Intuit fined for misleading tax filers, U.S. internet service providers ordered to block illegal streaming services, and Elon Musk wants to charge corporations to tweet.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday, May 5, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.
Intuit, the parent company of the TurboTax software, has been ordered to pay $141 million for unfairly charging tax filers, especially low-income Americans, as a part of a multi-state agreement. The issue stemmed from the company misleading people with the promise of free filing, only to charge them later. The company declined any wrongdoing in its practices, but has promised to suspend several advertising campaigns, as well changing the way its business works. The payment will go to almost 4.4 million consumers who filed through TurboTax’s Free Edition between 2016 and 2018. According to CNBC, these customers were led to believe that they had to pay to file their taxes despite it being a free service through the Internal Revenue Agency.
A federal judge has ordered all U.S. internet service providers to block three pirate streaming services. The three services are israel.tv, Israli-tv.com, and Sdraot.tv. After lawsuits were filed by Israeli TV producers, the owners of these services hid behind false identities and ignored court orders to appear. The blocking order came from three identical rulings issued by the New York District Court. Each ruling provides a list of 95 ISPs that must comply, and a financial compensation of $7.65 million. Additionally, the judge ordered the domain names to be transferred to the plaintiffs.
Elon Musk is mulling whether to charge corporations and governments to Tweet. Although the deal hasn’t closed, Musk is already contemplating on how to turn a profit with the service. The idea is of course in its early stages, but after the word got out, users were worried that Twitter would become a paid service. To assuage their fears, Musk said in a tweet that Twitter will always be a free service for everyday users. This approach appears to be a logical way of increasing monetization without drastically increasing the administration overheads. Still, the pay structure and how the platform will define a “business” still need to be worked out.
Cruise liners are the quintessence of ostentatiousness and luxury, but it’s also a major source of pollution. One maritime solutions company is looking to at least reduce their environmental hazards from its long list of negative impressions. To do so, the Norwegian company Ulstein wants to embed a thorium salt molten reactor, a type of nuclear reactor, in its products. These reactors fall under a class of reactors called small modular reactors, which has been gaining industry-wide attention to power remote operations. Ulstein says that these reactors can also be used for search and rescue crafts for extended operations.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.