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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Here’s How TurboTax Just Tricked You Into Paying to File Your Taxes

ProPublica: “Did you know that if you make less than $66,000 a year, you can prepare and file your taxes for free? No? That’s no accident. Companies that make tax preparation software, like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, would rather you didn’t know. Intuit and other tax software companies have spent millions lobbying to make… Continue Reading

Court Says Using Chalk On Tires For Parking Enforcement Violates Constitution

Wow – via NPR – “The next time parking enforcement officers use chalk to mark your tires, they might be acting unconstitutionally. A federal appeals court ruled Monday that “chalking” is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The case was brought by Alison Taylor, a Michigan woman whom the court describes as a “frequent recipient… Continue Reading

Constraints on presidency being redefined in Trump era, report fallout shows

Washington Post – “President Trump repeatedly tried to undermine the Russia investigation, but the special counsel overseeing the probe declined to say whether he broke the law — and the attorney general declared that he had committed no crime. Trump’s campaign showed a willingness to work with a foreign power — something his personal lawyer… Continue Reading

FBI Releases the Internet Crime Complaint Center 2018 Internet Crime Report

The FBI Alerts the Public to Trends in Internet Crime and Offers Prevention Tips – “The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2018 Internet Crime Report includes information from 351,936 complaints of suspected Internet crime, with reported losses in excess of $2.7 billion. The top three crime types reported by victims in 2018 were non-payment/non-delivery,… Continue Reading

How Recommendation Algorithms Run the World

Wired – “…What should you watch? What should you read? What’s news? What’s trending? Wherever you go online, companies have come up with very particular, imperfect ways of answering these questions. Everywhere you look, recommendation engines offer striking examples of how values and judgments become embedded in algorithms and how algorithms can be gamed by… Continue Reading

How Old Will You Be When Social Security’s Funds Run Out?

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFFB) – not good news for baby boomers!:  “The Social Security Trust Funds are projected to become insolvent in 2035, according to the program’s trustees. At that point, revenues coming into the program will be insufficient to cover scheduled benefits, causing all beneficiaries to suffer a 20 percent benefit… Continue Reading

The Antitrust Case Against Facebook

Srinivasan, Dina, The Antitrust Case Against Facebook (September 10, 2018). Berkeley Business Law Journal Vol. 16, Issue 1, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3247362 “The Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) social network, this era’s new communications service, plays an important role in the lives of 2+ billion people across the world. Though the market was highly competitive in… Continue Reading

Law libraries chart a new direction for the future, new report shows

ABA Journal – “Law librarians have recognized rapid technological shifts in their profession and, as a result, plan to focus on new skills for the future, according to data released Tuesday by the American Association of Law Libraries. The inaugural AALL State of the Profession 2019 report—which captures information from academic, government, law firm and… Continue Reading

Why You Should Use a Password Manager

Fortune: “…Some popular products include LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, RoboForm, Keeper Security, KeePass, and Sticky Password. Most of these work similarly. You use the software to generate a secure password for specific websites. That password and your username are stored in the program’s vault or database on your computer and potentially in the cloud. When you… Continue Reading

Earth Day 2019 – Protecting At-Risk Fish, Birds, and Animals

GAO Watchblog: “It’s Earth Day; and this year’s theme is about broadening protection for at-risk species and their habitats. What is the nation doing on this front? Today’s WatchBlog examines some national and international efforts….” [h/t Pete Weiss] [Note – since 1/17 – efforts focused on saving species and habitat via EPA and other agencies,… Continue Reading