IRS is looking to set up a free tax filing system, remote proctoring doesn’t seem to work, and big brands are ditching the Facebook button.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday September 9, and I’m your host, Tom Li.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is looking into establishing a free electronic tax filing system. To make it happen, the agency wants to use $15 million from the $80 billion allocated for the Inflation Reduction Act. As reported by the Washington Post, IRS officials said the biggest barrier to establishing a free filing system was the lack of funding. Now that’s out of the way, Americans may finally have an alternative to paid tax filing services like TurboTax. The system is still in the blueprint stage, however, and there’s no word on when it will officially enter service.
Despite their best efforts, remote proctoring doesn’t appear to work. A study found that Proctorio, a common anti-cheating software used by schools, failed to catch all of the cheaters in a testing environment. First reported by Motherboard, the researchers of the study concluded that it’s as effective as a placebo, and that it reduces cheating not because it works, but because people believe that it works. Students were able to easily defeat the system with virtual machines, or literally just calling a friend.
Big brands appear to be ditching Facebook sign-in as the social platform loses popularity. Dell, Best Buy, Ford Motor and even Twitch have removed the ability to sign in with Facebook accounts. Facebook has seen a cutback in users due to stronger competition from other platforms, new privacy changes, and tons of legal and privacy issues. Without trust from consumers, companies are also more hesitant to build partnerships with Facebook. Still, Meta’s other platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp still enjoy an active user base and are thriving.
Heat pumps, a device that compresses heat from one source to deliver to another, are becoming a hot topic. It’s already being used in cooling systems such as refrigerators, but it can also be used to heat homes, which can help reduce natural gas use and combat climate change. Also, it saves a ton of money compared to gas-based heating systems, lowering operating costs by as much as half. The system is already being mass deployed in countries like the U.K., and has been deemed as an essential part of national defence by U.S. President Joe Biden.
Source: The Conversation
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