US budget deficit hits all-time high of $864 billion in June

first_imgHomeBusinessUS budget deficit hits all-time high of $864 billion in June Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:00 amBusinessCovid-19GovernmentUS budget deficit hits all-time high of $864 billion in JuneAssociated Press11 months ago$864 billionbudgetCOVID-19deficit MARTIN CRUTSINGERAP Economics WriterThe federal government incurred the biggest monthly budget deficit in history in June as spending on programs to combat the coronavirus recession exploded while millions of job losses cut into tax revenues.The Treasury Department reported Monday that the deficit hit $864 billion last month, an amount of red ink that surpasses most annual deficits in the nation’s history and is above the previous monthly deficit record of $738 billion in April. That amount was also tied to the trillions of dollars Congress has provided to cushion the impact of the widespread shutdowns that occurred in an effort to limit the spread of the viral pandemic.For the first nine months of this budget year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit totals $2.74 trillion, also a record for that period. That puts the country well on the way to hitting the $3.7 trillion deficit for the whole year that has been forecast by the Congressional Budget Office.That total would surpass the previous annual record of $1.4 trillion set in 2009 when the government was spending heavily to lift the country out of the recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis.The June deficit was driven higher by spending on various government relief programs such as an extra $600 per week in expanded unemployment benefits and a Paycheck Protection Program that provided support to businesses to keep workers on their payrolls.The report showed that the cost of the Paycheck Protection Program in June was $511 billion. That reflected a charge to the government for all the bank loans made under the program even though the government will not actually have to pay out funds until the banks determine whether the businesses met the criteria for having the loans forgiven. Those requirements include spending at least 60% of the loan amount on worker pay with the other 40% going to overhead costs such as rent and utilities.Another reason for the surge in the June deficit was the government’s decision to delay tax payments this year until July 15. That decision mean that quarterly payments made by individual taxpayers and corporations will not be due until July 15 this year rather than June.So far this budget year, revenues total $2.26 trillion, down 13.4% from the same period last year, while spending totals $5 trillion, up 49.1% from a year ago.The CBO estimate of a $3.7 trillion deficit for this year could go higher depending on the course of the economy. The country fell into a deep recession in February, ending a record long expansion of nearly 11 years. The Trump administration is predicting that the economy will come roaring back in second half of this year but many private forecasters are concerned that a resurgence of virus cases could make consumers too fearful to resume spending, which drives 70% of the economy.Congress which has already approved more than $3 trillion in a series of rescue packages, is scheduled to debate another support effort when it returns from recess on June 20. Democrats are pushing for an extension of the expanded unemployment benefits which will soon run out.Nancy Vanden Houten, senior economist at Oxford Economics, said she was expecting that lawmakers would end up compromising on a new economic support package that would fall somewhere between a $3.5 trillion measure passed by the House but not taken up by the Senate and what is shaping up to be an opening offer by Senate Republicans for a package of about $1.5 trillion.“The risk is that the deficit will be larger due to additional stimulus but, given the congressional timetable, the impact of the next package will likely be skewed to fiscal 2021, which starts Oct. 1,” she said.Tags :$864 billionbudgetCOVID-19deficitshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCalifornia shuts bars, indoor dining and most gyms, churchesSMMUSD to announce reopening plan for Fall 2020 on ThursdayYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBoardwalk business recovery hamstrung by homelessness crisisClara Harter2 days agoCovid-19FeaturedNewsCovid protocols could persist in some business settingsMatthew Hall1 week agoFeaturedNewsMemorial Day crowds hit 2019 levels aiding an ailing tourism industryClara Harter1 week agoFeaturedGovernmentNewsMcKeown announces retirementBrennon Dixson2 weeks agoCovid-19FeaturedHealthLifeNewsLA’s unhoused population plagued by an epidemic of mental illnessClara Harter2 weeks agoFeaturedNewsCounty scrambles to reverse lagging vaccine rates before June 15 reopeningClara Harter2 weeks agolast_img read more

UWF Announces Time Change For January 11 Basketball Doubleheader

first_imgPENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida athletic department has announced a time change to both games of next Monday’s basketball doubleheader with the University of West Georgia at the UWF Field House. On Monday, Jan. 11, the women’s game will begin at 2:00 p.m. Central time and the men’s game at 4:00 p.m. CT Print Friendly Versionlast_img

Google’s New iPhone App Shows That Search Is Still King

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The start screen is now the same as on the iPad app. It is the classic Google search box reimagined for the touchscreen. It’s just a plain, off-white background, the iconic Google name (and even a mobile-friendly version of the day’s Google Doodle), and three other buttons: “Apps,” “Voice” and “Goggles.” Voice search lets you speak your query aloud, and it’s impressively accurate. Goggles lets you search visually using the camera. It recognizes text and objects, and it’s learning more over time.The “Apps” section is a launcher for all the various Google Web apps, which is probably why this app is so good. Google’s other native iOS apps, like Gmail, Translate and especially Voice are weird, hobbled versions of what Google’s Web apps can do in the browser. Google+ was, too, until its recent redesign, which is pretty but still slow and lacking features. The main Google app for iOS has always been fast, pretty and rock-solid. You get the impression that Google wants users to do all their Googling inside it. For most people, “Googling” means searching, and Google for iOS is almost a better search experience than the desktop. The iPhone now has the benefit of the full-bleed, high-resolution image search and the tappable, swipe-able panels for additional, rich information, which we’ve had in the iPad version since its update in November.Google clearly wants this app to be nothing less than the primary way iPhone users look for anything. It’s much faster to get a result from this app than from opening Safari and tapping the search box. As long as you’re loading Google pages, it just feels impossibly fast. That’s because Google is constantly preloading things in the background. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Tags:#Google#web jon mitchell “I think touch screens are going to really proliferate. I think you’re going to have a lot of touch surfaces in a lot of places, and it’s going to be interesting to see how people interact with multiple modes of info.”– Google Search lead designer Jon WileyBut the best is yet to come to this app. Last week, Google launched the Knowledge Graph, a new layer of information on top of search that pulls together information about the thing you’re searching for right on the page, instead of just listing Web results for it. It already works on the mobile Web version, so if you search in mobile Safari, you’ll see facts and background information there for certain searches.Google’s Johanna Wright told ReadWriteWeb that those features are coming to the native search apps as well. The Google iOS app is becoming the fastest, best-organized gateway to everything Google does on mobile. Everything except Google+, that is. Despite a shiny redesign this month, Google’s “social layer” still doesn’t get as much attention as search, which is Google’s crown jewel. Google updated its search app for iPhone today with a complete redesign that makes it more like the iPad version. This was already Google’s best iOS experience by far, and now it’s faster, more attractive, and consistent across devices. This month, it looks like search is back in the driver’s seat at Google.last_img read more

IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab release revised GDPR-consent framework

first_imgIAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab release revised GDPR-consent frameworkYou are here: Posted on 22nd August 2019Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share IAB Europe and the IAB Tech Lab have launched the second iteration of the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) after spending a year gathering feedback from publishers, advertisers, digital protection authority groups and ad tech providers. TCF 2.0 includes technical specifications and policy documents that outline GDPR-compliant processes for delivering digital ads and managing consumer data. This latest iteration states that consumers can not only withhold consent on data collection, but can exercise the “right to object” to how data is processed: “Consumers also gain more control over whether and how vendors may use certain features of data processing (for example, the use of precise geolocation).”Publishers implementing TCF 2.0 will also be able to restrict how consumer data is processed by third-parties on the publisher’s website on a per-vendor basis. “It is a framework for publishers, technology vendors, agencies and advertisers to clearly and consistently communicate with end users about how their data is being used, while also providing an opportunity for users to object,” said IAB Europe about TCF 2.0. Why we should careWith GDPR already more than a year into existence and the California Consumer Privacy Act coming next year, data privacy regulations are top of mind for marketers. IAB Europe and IAB Tech Lab’s latest efforts aim to offer the digital ad industry a framework to help publishers, advertiser and ad tech vendors navigate data privacy regulations. But the reality is many in the ad tech space are being forced to manage consent — no small task when you consider the complexities around programmatic ad networks and technological layers involved across the digital ad industry. “With the number of constituents involved and disparate regulatory interpretations across multiple jurisdictions, it was essential that the evolution of the framework was handled sensitively, with final specifications able to be adopted in a manner consistent with differing business models in a wide range of operational markets,” said IAB Europe CEO Townsend Feehan. According to IAB Europe, the TCF 2.0 had to meet the needs of the 28 different markets within the European Union, “Each possessing a DPA that interprets the rules regarding GDPR compliance in different ways.” IAB Europe also stated in the announcement that it is confident the updates to TCF 2.0 will allow UK companies to adopt GDPR-compliant RTB (real-time bidding) practices. But as recently as June, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) released a report addressing concerns that RTB was not GDPR-compliant. IAB Europe said it has continued a close-working relationship with the ICO, but jury is still out on whether or not TCF 2.0 will satisfy privacy regulators even if it does provide more details for vendors and offers “right to object” measures. More on the newsIAB Tech Lab has been collecting comments on TCF 2.0 since April. While Google did not sign on to previous versions of the TCF, it said in February it would integrate this next version as a TCF vendor.The post IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab release revised GDPR-consent framework appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab release revised GDPR-consent framework Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 HomeDigital MarketingIAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab release revised GDPR-consent frameworklast_img read more

Why You Can’t Escape Social Media Marketing Any More

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair brian proffitt Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#marketing#social networks Related Posts center_img As the business of social media continues to grow, social media tools – and the marketers who use them – are expanding their reach into nearly every social media network they can find. Thursday, HootSuite, one of the better-known social media management tools, added four additional social media networks to its library of social media channels.If you’re using HootSuite, you now have access to post to photo-sharing app Instagram, presentation-focused SlideShare, document-focused edocr, and engagement app Zuum.Social Media Arms RaceThe addition of the new networks gives HootSuite more ammunition in its ongoing battle with similar platforms like TweetDeck and Seesmic. But for Mark Holder, HootSuite’s director of integration programs, it’s not about some sort of arms race for social media channels, which he calls “apps.”“I wouldn’t say that it’s about who has the most apps,” Holder told me. “Of course you need to have the core important apps in there — Twitter, Facebook and the like – but for us, it’s about helping our users better engage with social media for their business.”Social Media Marketing Is Big BusinessSocial media marketing is no longer a trivial business. HootSuite has a reported 4+ million users who monitor and contribute to multiple social media services. Inbound marketing, which is the business-friendly term for using social media as a marketing tool, has become a standard element of almost all business marketing plans.Inbound marketing is no small potatoes, either. Some experts recommend that every business should allot some $115,000 to $200,000 annually just to social media management. With all of that money floating around, it’s little wonder that software vendors are fighting to dominate this market.One Network Still MissingThis business focus might be a reason why there’s one particularly noticeable absence from the HootSuite collection of apps: Google Plus. Although HootSuite has been integrated with Google Plus Pages since last November, users still don’t have the capability to manage general Google Plus accounts from HootSuite.It’s a line of thought that Holder doesn’t agree with, insisting that Google Plus is on the HootSuite map.“We’re currently working with their teams to intregrate Google Plus,” Holder said. “We just can’t provide a certain date.”Where Will the Marketers Head Next?If anything, the decision to include Google Plus Pages before standard Google Plus accounts makes sense, since it is businesses and power social media mavens who typically use Pages within Google’s social platform. It confirms that HootSuite’s focus, and indeed the focus of many social media software firms, is right where the money is.If that’s the case, then look out for more marketing efforts on Instagram, SlideShare and the rest of the apps in HootSuite’s collection. If HootSuite is reading the social media tea leaves right, those services are where the inbound marketers are heading next. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Video: Now You Can Travel Back & Forth Through Time on Google Earth

first_imgjon mitchell Monday marks the 40th anniversary of the Landsat satellite program. It’s the longest-running continuous program capturing satellite images of Earth. Google is working with the U.S. Geological Survey and Carnegie Mellon University to make parts of the archive available to the public. Using Google Earth Engine, you can now travel back and forth in time between 1999 and 2011 and see how Earth has changed.Read more about the partnership on the Google Lat Long blog. Related Posts Tags:#science#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The Key to Smart Home Success: Safety and Security

first_imgRelated Posts The smart home is the way of the future, but it comes with its own set of risks and potential downsides. If you’re going to install some of the latest connected devices into your home, make sure you prioritize safety and security at every point along the way.The Rise of the Smart HomeThe smart home isn’t some newfangled idea or sudden inspiration. It’s been discussed and anticipated for many years. In fact, we’ve seen a variety of smart home technologies hit the market over the decades, though most have failed.In 1967, the ECHO IV was heralded as the first smart device of its kind – supposedly able to handle shopping lists, automatically control a home’s temperature, and turn appliances on and off. It was never sold commercially, but set an early standard for the type of technology that would be expected in years to come.It really wasn’t until the late-1990s and early-2000s that useful consumer technologies hit the market – including gadgets like programmable thermostats. And it’s just within the last two or three years that practical innovations have reached a reasonable price point. Combined with lots of marketing and consumer education, we’re finally seeing progress.According to an IDC research report published earlier this year, the global market for smart home devices is expected to grow by 26.9 percent year over year in 2019. The growth will be sustained, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate of 16.9 percent from 2019 through 2023. The report splits smart home devices into six major categories. Here they are, ranked by 2019’s forecasted market share:Video entertainment (43 percent)Smart speakers (17.3 percent)Home monitoring/security (16.8 percent)Others (13.7 percent)Lighting (6.8 percent)Thermostat (2.3 percent)Trends show that 2018 was all about getting products into the hands of consumers. Both Google and Amazon did an excellent job of this by really pushing their low-cost smart speakers. Now that the foundation has been laid, the focus will shift to tying devices together and creating more cohesive experiences. The trick now is to fuse together fragmented devices and services for a more friendly user experience.The data shows that people want smart home technology – they just don’t know what to do with it yet. And those who do know what to do with it are concerned about security.The Challenge of SecuritySecurity is one of the chief concerns in the smart home industry – and rightly so. In theory, the idea of integrating smart home devices into the home sounds great. But when you consider that every camera, microphone, and data-aggregating device is another possible entry point for a hacker or cybercriminal, it’s easy to understand why people are skittish.Nobody wants the feeling of being watched or listened to. We’ve heard stories of people hacking cameras and spying on homeowners; smart speakers “inadvertently” recording intimate conversations; and companies selling personal data about its customers. And even if these cases are few and far between, they’re enough to make us think twice.Today, more than ever, we feel the pressure of balancing access with privacy. We want the latest, greatest technology, but we don’t want to open ourselves up to undue risk. With so many of our devices and accounts carefully linked together, there’s a domino effect in play whenever something happens. In today’s interconnected landscape, security issues are rarely isolated. One compromised system can lead to a complex web of problems in every area of a homeowner’s life.7 Tips for Securing Your Smart HomeIf you’re going to join the smart home fray – and you’ll almost certainly have to within the next five to seven years – you need to to ensure you’re minimizing risk across the board. Here are some tips, suggestions, and strategies to consider:1. Only Purchase Reliable ProductsEverything starts and ends with the products you purchase. If you put the right products into your home, you face a much lower risk of being compromised than if you invest in the wrong products. It’s a simple rule of thumb – but one that most people miss on.In pursuit of reliable smart home products, nothing beats research. In addition to crowdsourcing information via social media and online message boards, use dedicated review sites. House Method – which provides homeowners with reviews, guides, and advice on everything from DIY home projects to finding the right contractors to perform certain jobs – is one of the best.2. Stick With Protected Devices OnlyEvery device manufacturer and application developer relies on their own set of security features. Some place a greater emphasis on security than others. And in most cases, you get exactly what you pay for.As a consumer and homeowner, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with security and safety standards. Some of the industry standards include ZigBee, Z-Wave, and S2. You’ll find that most of the established brands from recognizable companies follow one of these secure transmission protocols. The cheaper, off-brand devices may cut corners to save money. As a result, they don’t always have the right security frameworks in place.3. Never Access Smart Home Network on Public WiFiOne of the useful aspects of the connected smart home is the ability to control the various systems of your home – like the thermostat, lighting, or even your kitchen oven – remotely. But if you aren’t careful, this could quickly become problematic. Never, under and circumstances, should you access your smart home network from a public WiFi connection.When you connect to your home network via a public connection, you expose yourself to the possibility of a man in the middle attack (where hackers set up fake networks to intercept transmissions). If you fall into this trap, you could be compromised and never know it. It’s best to use a VPN or private connection whenever possible.4. Establish Multiple NetworksSpeaking of networks, be smart about how you structure your own. Most internet routers on today’s market allow you to set up two or three different networks in your home. Use this to your advantage by purposefully separating your devices.For example, try putting all smart devices on their own network – separate from the home computer (which may have confidential information, credit cards, etc.). Furthermore, establish a guest network that you give to people when they’re visiting. It’s simple little steps like this that make a huge difference.5. Strengthen PasswordsBelieve it or not, most successful hacks are the result of compromised login details – not complex schemes where hackers backdoor their way into a system. Thankfully, all you have to do is strengthen your passwords to enhance your security and lower your susceptibility to an attack.Strong passwords use random strings of characters – including numbers, letters, and symbols – rather than predictable words. It’s also helpful to use a combination of upper and lower case characters, which makes passcodes significantly more challenging to crack. Finally, regularly changing your passcodes – as in every few weeks – lowers your risk of being hacked.(Side note: Stop using the same password for every account and device. If one account is hacked, you’re basically giving the hacker the freedom to access any other account on your network.)6. Utilize Multi-Factor AuthenticationIn addition to strengthening your passwords, it’s recommended that you utilize multi-factor authentication for all of your smart home devices, accounts, and networks.The most common form of multi-factor authentication is two-factor authentication (2FA). This is basically an extra layer of security that requires a username/password combo plus a second piece of information. This could be something you know (an additional pin code or security question), something you have (like a smartphone device or email account), or even something you are (like a fingerprint or iris scan).With 2FA, it’s much harder for someone to hack into your smart home without being physically present in the home. And when you consider that the vast majority of hacks take place remotely, you can see that multi-factor authentication is a pretty powerful security mechanism.7. Always Install Latest UpdatesNobody likes those annoying update requests, but they exist for a reason. Software updates typically address loopholes, concerns, and problems that emerge with the current version. A failure to update to the new and improved version will expose you to these risks.The best way to handle updates is automatically. This takes the decision-making process out of the equation and ensures you’re always up to date. It’s really a no-brainer.Be a Proactive Smart Home OwnerThe smart home sector will only go as far as the security side of the industry takes it. If security innovation doesn’t keep up, this space will dry up and homeowners will move in another direction. It’s up to each of us – as homeowners and consumers – to hold tech companies accountable. This starts with utilizing the security technology we’ve been given and putting pressure on these respective organizations to keep up. We all have a part to play. The Rise of the Smart Home, Apartment or Condom… How Much of Your Home Life Will Be Automated in… Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. center_img Use This Crowdfunding Hack to Fund Your Automat… Frank Landman Rachio 3: A Smart Yard Sprinkler Controlling Wa…last_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About Finances for Your Startup

first_imgTravel. If you need to go to a conference or on a business trip far from home, make sure you keep all of the receipts.Fully tax deductible.  Advertising. Whether you try and get the word out through the Google Ad network, Facebook ads, or traditional snail mail, the costs are fully deductible. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Business lunches. The government will pay 50% of your business lunches, as long as the expense can be substantiated (just check the small print first).Aim for Market Rate Pay Most entrepreneurs won’t give themselves a salary. They’ll work day in, day out, and take a little bit of money when they desperately need it and the company can afford it. It makes sense; you’re just starting off, why waste cash?The problem with this ethos is that it creates an unsustainable business model and an unworkable financial picture. Long term, it just doesn’t work. You should either pay yourself what your role demands or fit it into your short-term financial plans.Expect a Rainy Day You have a fantastic idea. The buzz seems promising. People are buying what you’re selling. It’s all looking good. Until it doesn’t. No matter how good you are at your job or how rosy things look, there’s almost always a bump in the road somewhere.Budget for a rainy day. Keep a buffer for the times when cash flow isn’t good. Retain quality employees even if you’re going through a rough couple of months. Keep your doors open while you weather the storm. Having a rainy day fund will get you out of the tough spots, so make sure you build a decent one.Even If You Know Everything, It’s Still Hard! Startups are exciting, liberating, and have the promise to give you professional satisfaction and making you (potentially) millions of dollars. On the flip side, running a business isn’t a cakewalk.Even if you know everything there is to know about startup finance, it’s not going to be an easy ride. With that in mind, equip yourself to deal with those difficult days. Keep learning about the dollar side of things as often as time allows. And don’t be afraid to call in the experts when you need to. Reasons to Outsource General Counsel Services f… Theodora Evans How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culturecenter_img Related Posts Theodora is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying the nature. Tags:#finances#small business#startups brGetting a startup off the ground isn’t easy. Instead of focusing solely on your baby, as in the actual product or service that you’re selling, you’ll also have to deal with administrative headaches. Managing your startup finances is one of these necessary evils. Here’s everything you need to know about finances for your startup.As a business owner, you’re going to have to get involved with the financial side of things. There are no two ways about it. Here’s what you need to know to steer your company’s finances in the right direction.Manage Your Finances Entrepreneurs will generally do everything except manage their finances properly. Making money is obviously a major concern and often a big driver in starting the business, but actually taking care of the day to day finances tends to take a backseat. And that’s a recipe for disaster.Managing your finances should be one of your top priorities. No “We need to focus on our product,” no, “I’m not a money person,” or “We’ll figure out the finer details later.” In short, no excuses. Manage your cash or you’ll go out of business, period.Your Accountant is ImportantI’ve already emphasized that managing your money is super important. Accountancy deserves its own headline, as it’s the crux around which your financial health will be measured. Without it, your paperwork will be a mess, the IRS will start sending you threatening letters, and you won’t have a clue about how much money you really have.Of course, a startup doesn’t always have the cash reserves to spend money on a fancy (and generally quite expensive) accountant. In the beginning, you’ll be able to do it in-house. You’ll need to brush up on your skills, however, and a course that covers the accountancy essentials should be plenty for Year one, either for yourself or for one of your designated employees. Once your numbers start getting a bit more complicated, hire a pro.Expensive Credit = Big No No You’re just starting out, which means you need money. And quickly. Trust me, as a former small business owner, I get it. When banks and credit card companies start sending you leaflets offering you a bunch of money and all you need to do is fill in a form, it’s easy to fall prey to temptation.I’m going to spell it out with some big letters (just to put some extra emphasis and also to be slightly annoying): NEVER GO FOR EXPENSIVE CREDIT.  It’ll (almost always) end in tears. If you’re relying on credit to get your business off the ground, you’ll likely run out of money before you can start paying it back.Keep Your Expenses LowWorking out of your basement or getting a cool office? Hiring a battalion of employees or working 18-hour days and hiring freelancers? Logo designed by expensive hipsters or something you got off Fiverr?These are choices you’ll be faced with, and while I’m not saying you should cut corners at every opportunity, keeping costs low, to begin with, are key to survival. You don’t want to burn through your finances in the first few months, nor do you want to get saddled with long-term contracts you can’t get out of. Spend money when you need to, but don’t be frivolous.Don’t Merge Personal and Business There’s business, and then there’s personal. They always say you should never mix the two, and ‘they’ are right. When you launch your startup, you’ll need a commercial bank account. For any business expenses, use this account only. Never, ever, use your personal bank account to cover any expenses. Even if it’s a short bridging loan or a matter of convenience. There are simple reasons for this:1) You won’t be tempted to make it a regular occurrence and2) It makes doing your taxes a lot more straightforward.Know Your Tax Deductions Tax deductions can seriously lower your expenses. You should know them inside out, or hire an expert who does. You’ll be surprised by the type of things you can include:Utilities. You can deduct electricity, gas, cell phones, internet connection, you name it. And yes, you can even claim this stuff if you work out of a home office.  China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who …last_img read more

Casper Mattress in Every Preference and Price Point

first_imgBrad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Related Posts Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Molekule Air Purifier: Small in Stature, Big on… After reading about the explosive growth in Internet mattress, bed-in-box companies, I finally decided to try shopping online for a mattress. To ease into the idea of buying a mattress on the Internet, I selected Casper Mattress as my choice. Here is the Casper Mattress in every preference and price point.Part of my decision was based on the idea that they offered a brick-and-mortar presence where I could still do the good old “lay on every mattress in the store” test. After all, buying a mattress has become an investment, and sleep is everything.Here’s what I thought of my experience with Casper Mattress, including what it felt like to shop for a mattress online.About Casper MattressCasper Mattress was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in New York City. It is still considered a startup as it continued to get funding as recently as early this year. The company sells mattresses in the U.S. and Canada as both an e-commerce and traditional retail company. The mattresses are all made in California, which I liked a lot.Mattress Shopping OnlineCasper Mattress has a very straightforward and transparent process for buying their mattresses. It only took me a few minutes to click on the mattress I wanted and place my order. It was probably one of the most natural things I’ve ordered, especially considering it was such a significant purchase.Types of MattressesThe company has an expanded number of mattress types. For this review and my own use, I am using The Casper, which is their original mattress and starts at $595.There is also the Essential, their new entry-level mattress model, which starts at $395. The Wave, which is their higher-end mattress, starts at $1,345. All three mattresses are available in six sizes.The Wave adds gel pods to the mattress, which is supposed to provide an additional cooling mechanism for even more comfort.The mattresses have a 10-year warranty, which is relatively standard for warranties on mattresses.Mattress Set-UpThe mattress arrived in a box, which made it easy to get upstairs. It works best on a bed frame that is either a platform or one with wooden slates so it can hold the weight of the mattress. The. Casper mattress basically unfolds and fluffs up within a few hours and is ready to use, making this an easy set-up process.While you don’t need to keep your box spring under it, I opted for the extra support. It does work either way.The Good About Casper MattressesOne of the best things about the Casper Mattress is the materials used. The 12” thick mattress has four layers, which include latex, memory foam, and high-density poly-foam. The cover is a soft polyester blend. This part is removable by zipper, which makes it easy to clean, if necessary. None of the materials contain any chemicals.I also felt like these different layers made it one of the most comfortable mattresses I’ve ever experienced. The materials and technology found in the open-cell foam make it bouncy while offering a way to keep the mattress cool. The memory foam also helps to prevent the overheating that happens with many mattresses due to body heat.More Things to LoveThe combination of materials makes it comfortable and removes the pressure on my back without turning into a mushy mattress that doesn’t offer the much-needed support. Whether I slept on my back, side, or stomach, I experienced a good night’s sleep with no aches or pain in the morning. Also, there is not a lot of movement, so that helps if you share the bed and don’t want to be woken up by the other person shifting in their sleep.Other things that I like about the Casper Mattress is the 100 nights they give you to test it out. They will take it back for a full refund if you are not satisfied with it. Plus, they give you free shipping and returns. Their customer service representatives were responsive, professional, and helpful.What Could Be BetterOf course, the one downside is that typically, mattress companies or retailers where you bought a mattress will haul away your old mattress. In this case and as with most of the online bed-in-a-box companies, you have to set up your new mattress and figure out how to get rid of your old one.You can get white glove delivery free-of-charge for the Wave and Wave Hybrid. White glove delivery is also available at an additional charge for the Casper, Casper Hybrid, and the Essential, and for this service, they will take your old mattress as well as set-up your new mattress.The other issue is the price because this still comes out to be a relatively expensive option. I would have liked the five layers found in The Wave mattress they offer, but for the King size bed I have, it was too expensive for my budget.PromotionsCurrently, the company is giving away two of its pillows when you purchase The Wave (most expensive) or The Casper (mid-range price).Where To BuyI bought my Casper Mattress through their website, but you can buy direct from their physical retail locations across the country. Amazon is another online source to purchase the Casper Mattress.Additionally, Casper has partnered with Target to bring their other products to more consumers, which are focused on their pillows, mattress toppers, mattress protectors, and other bedding products.Overall ThoughtsAlthough I wasn’t able to buy their premium mattress, I’m still personally pleased with the Casper Mattress. They offer comfort, purchase experience, and customer service interaction. Mattresses are definitely an individual preference, so I like that I could have also visited a store to try it out before buying it online or in their store. Overall, Casper offers a high-quality mattress and easy buying process. HyperDrive Power 9-in-1 USB-C Hub Canvia Digital Art Turns Home and Office Walls … Blueair 680i Air Purifier: Clean Air For Your H… Tags:#Matteress last_img read more

6 User-Interface Musts for Personal Finance Apps

first_imgRelated Posts Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Nobody wants to be in the dark about where his money is or how it’s performing in the market. Every one of today’s leading investing apps is an improvement from the once-a-quarter mailers that brokers used to send out. Every bank app is better than a monthly statement. With that said, some fintech apps are more user-friendly and informative than others. Which user interface elements make for a great personal finance app? The following are musts for a top-notch user experience:1. A goal promptWhether they’re saving, spending, or investing, your users have financial goals in mind. Although everyone’s priorities and risk preferences are different, offer preset fields for common goals. Credit and checking account apps should ask for spending limits on overall and categorical expenses. You might want to spend less than $100 per week on groceries, for example. If you approach or exceed that limit, your app should notify you. Saving and investing apps should work the same way. Round, a newer offering that provides everyday investors with access to active managers on Wall Street, learns about its clients’ goals—like homeownership, travel, and retirement. By learning about how much a client is trying to save—as well as his timeline—Round’s clients receive tailored portfolios based on their goals. Better yet, they get help tracking their progress. 2. Account or asset mix chartsVanguard’s app may need a fresh coat of paint, but it does well in one key area: Vanguard investors get pie charts that display their ideal and current asset mixes. In visual and percentage terms, they display how much of the user’s portfolio is allocated toward asset types like stocks, bonds, and real estate.Credit and banking apps should take a similar approach to spending. Use charts to show what percentage of spending over a given time frame went to common categories like retail, restaurants, and services. Another way credit and banking apps should break down spending is by account and authorized spender. If a user keeps two accounts with a bank—a savings account and a checking account, perhaps—he should be able to easily see how his assets are divided. Credit cardholders should be able to quickly check how much of the total bill each authorized user is responsible for. 3. Credit scoreAnother thing that every bank and credit card app should contain: a credit score summary. Although users can request their report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies, annual checks don’t cut it. Consumers need to see how their spending and payment habits affect their ability to get credit, and they need to know if their score suddenly tanks. A credit score readout isn’t as important for investing apps, and none to our knowledge offers one. Still, it’s a small feature that users would appreciate. The question of whether to pay off debts or invest the funds is made easier when users have the full picture right from their palm.4. Obvious transfer toolsMost consumers have more than one financial account. When a credit card bill comes due, they want to sink more money into the market, or they’re socking away money in savings, users need an easy way to transfer funds.Although I won’t name the company because it’s since corrected the issue, I recently spent hours on the phone because of unclear transfer tools. When I went to transfer money into a checking account I’d recently opened, the “to” and “from” text was cut off in the app’s interface. As a result, I tried to pull money from an account that had nothing in it. 5. Click-to-contact functionalityIn no industry is strong customer support as important as in finance. Users need to be able to talk to a human being when they spot an error, a transfer fails, or they’re confused by the fee structure. Give users as many ways as possible to reach out. TD Ameritrade’s app is the one to beat in this category. At any time of day and on any day of the week, users have access to text, phone, and instant messaging support. This interface feature becomes even more important if you don’t have physical locations. TD Ameritrade has branches around the country, but many online banks and brokers do not. 6. Fee breakdownNobody likes to be blindsided by fees. Although you don’t want to rub your fee structure in your user’s face, you should make it clear and accessible. What does that look like? Don’t stick fee information in a terms-and-conditions document and call it a day. Take a look at Acorns: Users pay $1, $2, or $3 per month, depending on their subscription tier. Keep fees simple, and explain them at sign-up and in a “Frequently Asked Questions” tab in your app. If your customer support strategy includes a chatbot, plug in a straightforward explanation of your fee structure. Fees may seem more important than app interface features, but users consider both when choosing a financial provider. Give them another reason to choose you, especially when that reason is as simple as a fresh design. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#app building#app development#financial apps#financial tools#Fintech#fintech apps#fintech tools#personal finance#personal finance apps#personal finance tools Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWritelast_img read more