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With new regulations starting in less than a month, you may need to take stock of your credit card portfolio to determine which cards' terms are changing to your benefit and which feature changes that can hit you in the wallet. The most important thing to do, says Lauren Bowne, staff attorney at San Francisco-based Consumers Union, is be aware of your card terms. So much has changed in recent months that consumers need to pay attention to what is and isn't featured in the credit card. "Even if you're the person who pays off your balance and doesn't even have any credit card debt," says Bowne.
If history is any indicator, less than 1% of Americans will be audited by the Internal Revenue Service in the coming year. And while some of these audits are totally random, and there's nothing that the individual taxpayer can do about them, many audits are actually instigated by the taxpayers themselves. To that end, below is a list of "red flags" that can cause your return to be cherry picked by the IRS for review.
*Updated It looks like Marvel Comics’ Captain America is throwing his mighty shield at the Tea Party Movement. Warner Todd Huston wrote on his Publius forum blog that the super-powered soldier who fought the Nazis in WWII observes with disdain Americans who are seemingly compared to Tea Party Movement protesters of today: In issue number 602 of Captain America, a new story line has begun called “Two Americas.” In it the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.
Google is spreading its wings in yet another direction - this time as a network provider, offering super-fast broadband to thousands of US homes. It plans to build a fibre-optic network offering speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second) to up to 500,000 homes. It said it would compete on price with other broadband providers offering much slower speeds.
As the Iranian authorities attempt to stifle tomorrow's protests surrounding the anniversary of the Iranian revolution, they are going one step further: Iran is permanently suspending access to Google's Gmail. Earlier this week, we wrote about failing Internet connections in Iran . The timing of these problems has been met with suspicion: February 11 (tomorrow) marks the anniversary of the Iranian revolution and gatherings are already being planned to protest against June's alleged election fraud. From the Wall Street Journal :
By FARNAZ FASSIHI BEIRUT—Iranian authorities deployed in force across Tehran Wednesday to conduct last-minute security sweeps and warn residents to refrain from joining antigovernment protests planned for Thursday. The government typically orchestrates large, carnival-like rallies and demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the Islamic Republic.
Google says it may allow people to participate in Google Buzz without having it integrated within Gmail, in addition to offering a combined Gmail service. That may be a welcome move for users of both products, especially in light of the substantial privacy concerns voiced this week about Google Buzz. “It’s clear that interest in Buzz may extend beyond the current Gmail base, and we’re open to serving that community,” said Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Product Marketing, when I spoke to him about some Buzz issues at the TED Conference. Horowitz stressed that Google would still offer a version of Buzz within Gmail, in addition to any independent version.
How much do I love Google ? Thanks to the stats provided by Google Web History , it's easy to quantify: Over the past four and a half years, I've Googled for information 43,295 times. That works out to about one search per hour, 24/7/365. If that doesn't indicate passion for the world's most popular search engine, I don't know what does. But I'd never argue that Google is always the fastest, most effective way to find facts, seek advice, take actions, or simply satisfy your curiosity about the world around you.
A federal appeals court Friday debated a privacy issue you probably hadn't considered: the government's ability to track your location at any time, if you carry a cell phone. As cell phones have morphed from cordless communication devices into pocket-sized PCs, cellular providers have developed and honed the ability to pinpoint your location fairly accurately -- potentially to within 150 feet. This helps network operators connect your phone to the nearest cell tower and locate you in an emergency, a federally mandated feature called E9-1-1
In the face of constant news about how the Internet connects people and empowers them, Sam Harris provided an interesting and contrarian perspective here at the brainy TED Conference in Long Beach, California. The eternal skeptic and author of "The End of Faith" responded in this way when I asked him what the most destructive technology on the planet is: "Increasingly the Internet itself, given our reliance on it, is a source of destructive technology. I think we really have to worry about cyber terrorism and cyber crime increasingly.
SPRING HILL — Charlie and Maria Cardoso are among the millions of Americans who have experienced the misery and embarrassment that come with home foreclosure. Just one problem: The Massachusetts couple paid for their future retirement home in Spring Hill with cash in 2005, five years before agents for Bank of America seized the house, removed belongings and changed the locks on the doors, according to a lawsuit the couple have filed in federal court. Early last month, Charlie Cardoso had to drive to Florida to get his home back, the complaint filed in Massachusetts on Jan. 20 states. The bank had an incorrect address on foreclosure documents — the house it meant to seize is across the street and about 10 doors down — but the Cardosos and a Realtor employed by Bank of America were unable to convince the company that it had the wrong house, the suit states.
By Kate Kelland LONDON | Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:50am GMT LONDON (Reuters) - Intelligence comes second only to smoking as a predictor of heart disease, scientists said on Wednesday, suggesting public health campaigns may need to be designed for people with lower IQs if they are to work. Research by Britain's Medical Research Council (MRC) found that lower intelligence quotient (IQ) scores were associated with higher rates of heart disease and death, and were more important indicators than any other risk factors except smoking.
The envoy had only met the woman a few times, during which she had hidden her face behind a niqab, the Gulf News reported. After the marriage contract was signed, the ambassador attempted to kiss his bride-to-be. It was only then that he discovered her facial hair and eyes. The ambassador told an Islamic Sharia court in the United Arab Emirates he was tricked into the marriage as the woman's mother had shown his own mother pictures of her sister instead of his bride-to-be.
Looking at these images never gets any easier. The photos that follow depict the horrible images of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the aftermath of the recovery efforts where some 2800 innocent people died, including those aboard hijacked flights American 11 and United 175. ABC News obtained these images after filing a Freedom of Information Act request in 2009 with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which had collected as part of an investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Video: Black hole simulation A new interactive program reveals the spectacular light show you'd see if you dared to wander close to a black hole. It demonstrates how the extreme gravity of a black hole could appear to shred background constellations of stars, spinning them around as though in a giant black washing machine. The program's creators say it could be an excellent tool to familiarise people with the weird ways that black holes warp light. "It's useful for people to play around with the parameters to study how, for instance, a black hole would distort the constellation Orion," says Thomas Müller of the University of Stuttgart in Germany. A black hole forms when a massive star explodes at the end of its life, the core collapsing to a point with huge density and an enormous gravitational pull.