Category Archives: News and Views

You can stash up to $18,000 in your 401k next year | Money.Cnn.com

Super savers and rich people will be able to put even more money in their 401ks next year. Starting in 2015, contribution limits for the tax-deferred retirement accounts will increase by $500 to $18,000, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

Meanwhile, the “catch-up” amount that workers age 50 and over can contribute to their plans will rise to $6,000 from $5,500, for a total of $24,000 next year.Of course, not many workers can afford to save those maximum amounts. In 2013, 12% of Vanguard’s more than 3 million 401k participants contributed the max allowed not including any match from their employer, according to the company’s annual How America Saves report.

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Now Everyone Wants to Sell You a Magical Anonymity Router. Choose Wisely | WIRED

Maintaining your privacy online, like investing in stocks or looking good naked, has become one of those nagging desires that leaves Americans with a surplus of stress and a deficit of facts. So it’s no surprise that a cottage industry of privacy marketers now wants to sell them the solution in a $50 piece of hardware promising internet “anonymity” or “invisibility.” And as with any panacea in a box, the quicker the fix, the more doubt it deserves.

Last week saw the fast forward rise and fall of Anonabox, a tiny $45 router that promised to anonymize all of a user’s traffic by routing it over the anonymity network Tor. That promise of plug-and-play privacy spurred Anonabox to raise $615,000 on the fundraising platform Kickstarter in four days, 82 times its modest $7,500 goal. Then on Thursday, Kickstarter froze those pledges, citing the project’s misleading claims about its hardware sources. Other critics pointed to flaws in Anonabox’s software’s security, too.

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McDonalds and Coca-Cola Try to Adapt to Changing Consumer Tastes | Adweek

Americans are losing their appetites for Big Macs chased down by Cokes, forcing two megabrands to re-think how to gain market share.

This week McDonald’s reported a 3.3 percent quarterly profit decline, marking its worst performance in years, while Coke’s profit dropped 14 percent with a continuing decline in North American sales during the same period.

What’s going on? That’s the question on the minds of those running both companies who are under pressure to turn things around fast.

McDonald’s execs might take a cue from rival Chipotle Mexican Grill, which posted 20 percent growth in the third quarter. Chipotle restaurants feature a Fresh Mex menu that offers customers a choice of ingredients to customize their orders as well as organic beans and tofu in its Sofritas for vegans.

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Dos and don’ts for watching today’s eclipse | USA Today

WHEN TO WATCH

New York City: The eclipse starts at 5:49 p.m. ET. The eclipse will still be going on as the sun sets at 6:03 p.m. ET.

Washington: The eclipse starts at 5:52 p.m. ET. The eclipse will still be going on as the sun sets at 6:17 p.m. ET.

Chicago: The eclipse starts at 4:36 p.m. CT. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 5:43 p.m. CT and the sun will set while still in eclipse.

Denver: The eclipse starts at 3:18 p.m. MT. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 4:35 p.m. MT and will end at 5:44 p.m. MDT.

Los Angeles: The eclipse will start at 2:08 p.m. PT. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 3:28 p.m. and will end at 4:40 p.m. PT.

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Why Xero is the Accounting Software of the Future | Allbusiness

A few years ago, we accepted that there were limitations to accessing the Web. However, this mindset has changed in a few short years thanks to the emergence of cloud computing and mobile technology. New businesses are now capitalizing on this recent technology to give us greater access to our assets stored online, with no strings attached.

Small business accounting has undergone a sea of change as a new breed of Web-based financial management tools has become available. These software providers have removed the constrictions of desktop software, allowing many accountants to work closer and more efficiently with their small business clients through the Web.

At the moment, the market is crowded with cloud accounting providers. Intuit is still the incumbent, but there are a number of alternatives to its flagship QuickBooks product.

I believe Xero will emerge from the pack and fortify itself as the must-have cloud accounting solution for small businesses in the future. Here’s what sets it apart from the other options and why it’s here to stay.

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The Tech Behind Apple Pay: Is Your Money Secure? | Live Science

Go ahead and forget your wallet. Apple’s new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, launches today Oct. 20, and while some have questioned whether the technology is safe, security experts say it may actually be safer than swiping your credit or debit card.

Apple Pay lets iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users make purchases in stores with their smartphones, using near-field communication NFC technology. A tiny antennain the phone transmits encrypted credit card data without consumers having to swipe their card.

NFC technology isn’t new; it’s used to make mobile payments from Android phones with apps like Google Wallet and Softcard. But Apple’s mobile wallet might be more secure than those other options, according to Martin Ferenczi, the North American president of Oberthur Technologies, a French electronics security company.

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How to Watch the Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday | Mashable

Millions of people across North America could have a chance to observe a partial solar eclipse next week, weather permitting. Although the Oct. 23 partial solar eclipse may not be as spectacular as a total eclipse, it is still a beautiful and interesting event to witness. The sight of the moon gradually moving across the face of the sun fills most people with awe.

The best views of the eclipse will be in the north, in Alaska and the Canadian arctic, but everyone in North America should see some of it, except in the extreme northeast of the continent. In eastern North America, the eclipse will only be visible near or at sunset, so a low western horizon is essential. Venus is very close to the eclipsed sun, but you will probably need to block the sun from view to spot it.

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