Rent the Runway back online after 11-day tech glitch

US clothing rental service Rent the Runway said on Tuesday its business was back online after an operational snag caused the company to cancel several customer orders and hold off on new sign-ups. The issue had forced the company to stop allowing new subscribers to the platform and halted its services for 11 days, starting…
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Libra’s backers show signs of nerves | Tech Wash

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Chinese tech makes cities ‘smart,’ but critics say it spreads authoritarianism

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Black Women in Tech: Dell’s Only Black Woman Senior Vice President

Najuma Atkinson has built a 20-year career at Dell Technologies Inc. Earlier this year, she joined Dell’s Chief Customer Office organization as the senior vice president for customer advocacy, insights & analytics, becoming Dell’s only African American female SVP and one of few senior black women in tech.

Atkinson started her career in finance after earning her bachelor of arts degree in political science from Fisk University. In 1999, she took a job at Dell as a tech support manager but quickly transitioned to human resources. She got a master’s degree in organizational management from Trevecca Nazarene University, and over the next two decades she worked her way up from HR operations manager to vice president.

Now, she and her team are responsible for customer data and analytics strategy, including using data science to improve the quality of Dell’s proprietary customer data, developing products that monetize that data, and addressing customer pain points. Here she shares how she became one of the few black women in tech to make it to her level.

How did you start your career?

I graduated from Fisk University with a science degree. But I went to the financial industry because they’re willing to give you any opportunities. So I actually worked for SunTrust bank first as an analyst. And that’s where I found that I have a proclivity for data, and information, and for numbers. I came to Dell Technologies as the front line tech support manager. At Dell, we were opening up our first call center outside of Central Texas, and they wanted leaders. They really didn’t care that you had technical capability or capacity. But they wanted to make sure that you had good leadership skills; I had those. And that’s how I got the first opportunity. About 18 months later, I moved into HR.

You built up a 20-year career in HR. Why did you decide to make a transition?

When you think about the skills, it really was a natural transition. I started to look for opportunities that would leverage those skills—how do I bring together groups of individuals, using facts and data to solve problems and create solutions that empower people and make situations better? HR is definitely one of those places to do it. But I wanted to do it for our customer.

I had an opportunity to see our chief customer officer, Karen Quintos, in action. She was talking about the work that she did in the broad organization and I’m like, “Well, that’s fascinating.” So I was at an event with Michael Dell, and I took the opportunity. I said, ‘”You know what really interests me, Michael? I think my next career should be in the chief customer office. I’m really interested in that space, and I’d like to explore it more if I’m ever given the opportunity.” Karen heard about that. And Karen is one who looks for skills and capabilities, not necessarily job titles, as she’s adding individuals to her team. She felt like if this was something I wanted to explore, I should be given that opportunity.

The more I interviewed and the more I spoke to people, the more I said, “Yeah, this is for me.” This is an organization that I think is at a pivot. It’s got broad, complex things that they’re looking at. And I do that very well. I take the complex and make it really, really simple. So I was bringing the skills that I had so that we could drive strategy for the organization.

Atkinson at the Dell BE Smart Student Symposium (Image: Black Enterprise)

There’s a huge lesson there in asking for what you want.

What’s the worst that could happen, right? He could say, “Well, that’s very interesting” and then we could change the subject. Or he could listen. And that’s what he looks for. He wants people that have perspective and opinion, and they’ll go after what they want. That’s what our organization is about.

You were successful at what you were already doing. What made you comfortable making that kind of leap?

I think those individuals that are successful are those that are risk-takers, that understand that you may not know everything and have 100% of the answer. But if you’ve got like 70%, then you should go for it. Was it a risk? It definitely was. I had built my career in HR, my credibility was there, my successes were there, most of my sponsors were there. I was going to be completely stepping outside of that and moving away from those relationships and that support to try something new. At the same time, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

If I stayed where I was, I could continue to do really great work. But would that be good for Dell? Was it the best thing where I could be the most impactful? They can’t have you play small, and let’s be No. 1, right? We can’t go after market share, achieve success, if people play small. This is a unique environment in that it truly allows you to be empowered and to try stuff that has never been tried. That’s what innovation is all about.

It can be difficult for black women in tech. What challenges have come specifically with making the transition into this role?

One of the interesting challenges is credibility when you work with highly technical people. I work with Ph.D.s, data scientists. They live and breathe data, they design strategies, they build infrastructure, these are like the big brain, Mensa people. And that is not who I am. And that’s not what I bring to the table. But I’ve worked very quickly to build credibility, and I did it by being authentic. I will never be as good as you are in that space. And I don’t need to be. Here’s where I think I have value.

Then going out there and figuring out what are all the things that we need to go after, and synthesizing that into two to three key actions that align to the overall vision of my leader. Those are my biggest challenges right now. I’m on a listening tour. I’m talking to my key stakeholders and our customers. And I’m like, “What do you need from us? How can we help you? What have we done effectively? And what would you like to see differently from us?” This is an environment that moves very fast. So I know that I have to quickly pivot and move to action. When you’re at a senior level, they want you to make an impact. That is why they put you in the job.

Career | Black Enterprise

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Amazon’s ‘Certified for Humans’ program makes smart homes more accessible to tech novices


Right now, just about every appliance or device in your home has a “smart” variant that you can purchase; allowing you to do things like adjust your oven temperature from another room, or ask your fridge for cookie baking instructions.

Read Entire ArticleRead Comments

TechSpot

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Sustainable Greens, But Make It Tech

Everything is a tech platform today, even tossed salad in a bowl.
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Secretive FBI demands for information go far beyond tech companies, new documents reveal

The FBI has sent secretive written demands for information to more than 120 companies in recent years, according to documents released Friday, raising new questions about the government’s ability to quietly gather data on people.
Technology

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Geena Davis Tech Tool Totes Up Female Parity On Children’s Programming

Women last year grabbed half of the leading roles in the top 50 children’s programs, according to a Geena Davis Institute analysis.
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Bill Gates on Global Inequality, Climate Change and Big Tech

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House Committee Requests Tech Executives’ Emails in Antitrust Probe

Congress opened a new front in the government’s antitrust probe of giant technology firms, with House lawmakers on Friday demanding emails and other records from some of the top chief executives in technology as they look for evidence of anticompetitive behavior.
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DealBook D.C. Summit: Mnuchin Talks Trade and the Economy; Microsoft’s Brad Smith on Tech Policy

Andrew Ross Sorkin hosts newsmakers from the worlds of business and policy at an event in Washington on Sept. 12. Watch it here, live.
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ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro wary of tech companies going after NFL rights

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said he would not be surprised to encounter competition from FANG when the next round of NFL television contracts expire in coming years. Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google were not specifically named, but Pitaro said he expected tech titans to make a run at football rights. ESPN’s $ 15.2 billion deal for…
Business | New York Post

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SWIPE: Music tech, the latest cycling gadgets and the Webby Awards

Technology

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Google and Amazon use smart speakers for 'surveillance,' top tech investor says

Google and Amazon use smart speakers for 'surveillance,' top tech investor saysVenture Capitalist John Borthwick says that smart speakers' ability to listen to users is similar to surveillance.



Yahoo Tech

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Big Tech Shares Lose Their Luster

Owning shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet has given investors little upside over the past 12 months, depriving the long-running bull market of one of its biggest drivers.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Brave New World: Uncle Sam is taxing robots as companies invest in advanced tech

It’s a brave new world for the IRS: taxing robots. Uncle Sam is padding the Treasury with millions of dollars to assess bots at the same time that corporations invest more in advanced technology and labor-saving machinery, according to experts. New “robot” taxes are expected to multiply in the coming decades as millions of Americans…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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The hottest back to school tech deals for 2019

The hottest back to school tech deals for 2019It's back-to-school season, and that means there are plenty of deals available on today's hottest tech.



Yahoo Tech

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This tech could secure voting machines, but not before 2020

This tech could secure voting machines, but not before 2020A new technology to better secure voting machines, and other consumer tech is coming, but not in time for 2020.



Yahoo Tech

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Disconnecting from tech causes withdrawal symptoms: study

Going off the grid is good for the soul — if you can survive the withdrawal symptoms. A new study looked at the emotional roller coaster of “digital detox” vacations, an increasingly trendy style of travel where people leave their phones at home, taking vacations from their demanding online lives as they soak in the…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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European Union Probes Amazon As Scrutiny Over Tech Giants Grows

The investigation could lead to fines and eventually cause Amazon to change the way it works.
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Big Tech is teaming up with health care companies to make it easier to see your health history

Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft's health teams were all represented at a meeting in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to discuss opening up access to patients' claims information.
Health and Science

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Justice Department Announces Wide-Ranging Antitrust Review of Tech Giants

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The Department of Justice just cracked open the tech industry’s latest threat—and it’s a big one.

Rumors of the DOJ’s interest in investigating tech’s most massive companies have bubbled up for months. The department finally announced the probe on Tuesday in a press release, stating that its antitrust division would review business practices among “market-leading online platforms.” 

The announcement doesn’t name names, though given recent Congressional antitrust scrutiny, the probe is likely to threaten Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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French Parliament Passes Bill To Tax US Tech Firms

The French parliament passed a Bill proposing 3 percent tax on major tech companies providing internet services in that country. The tax will be applied with retroactive effect from the beginning of the year. The French parliament went ahead with its proposal despite President Donald Trump ordering an investigation into the French government’s proposed tax. The Senate voted in favor of the Fre
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Tech execs sending deputies to testify at House antitrust hearing

Big Tech is being hauled back onto the carpet in Washington. Reps from Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook will testify at a hearing next week before the House Judiciary Committee’s top antitrust panel, according to reports. The tech titans will make the appearance as they are facing unprecedented scrutiny of their business practices by government…
Business | New York Post

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French tech giant Dassault to buy health software company Medidata in $5.8 billion deal

Dassault said it was offering $ 92.25 per share for Medidata, a slight discount to Medidata Solutions' closing price of $ 94.75 on June 11.
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How Haley Kalil went from lab tech to Sports Illustrated swimsuit model

Haley Kalil always wanted to be a model. But until recently, she was convinced it was never, ever going to happen. “When I was little, I watched ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ and would practice all the poses on the playground,” the 26-year-old said on the set of her photo shoot for The Post. “But I…
Fashion News, Photos, and Video | New York Post

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Tech investor backing bid to buy W magazine from Condé Nast

Tech investor Eric Crown is backing a bid by Marc Lotenberg, chief executive of Surface Media, to buy glossy fashion title W magazine from Condé Nast, according to a well-placed source. Crown, a prominent GOP donor who heads Tempe, Ariz.-based AZ Crown Investments, did not return a call or email seeking comment Friday. Meanwhile, Adam…
Media | New York Post

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A$AP Ferg ft. A$AP Rocky “Pups,” Tech N9ne ft. Krizz Kaliko & Jelly Roll “EF U” & More | Daily Visuals 5.16.19

Tech N9ne

Source: photo: WENN

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a video where the A$ AP Mob get together to form like Megazord (Wu-Tang Clan reserved the Voltron metaphor for themselves decades ago) but today fans get the next best thing as the groups two most well known artists get together for a new joint.

Hopping on a DMX “Where My Dogs At” sampled track, A$ AP Ferg and A$ AP Rocky put it down at an underground jam with an audience as diverse as can be in their visual for “Pups.”

Tech N9ne meanwhile tackles to the subject of suicide and finds himself in a mental institution to deal with his demons in the Krizz Kaliko and Jelly Roll assisted clip to “EF U (Easier For You).”

Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Tom G., Millyz, and more.

A$ AP FERG FT. A$ AP ROCKY – “PUPS”

TECH N9NE FT. KRIZZ KALIKO & JELLY ROLL – “EF U (EASIER FOR YOU)”

YUNG HONCHO FT. NOCAP & KEVO MUNEY – “UPSET”

TOM G. – “JOHNNY GILL”

MILLYZ – “THE PROM”

70TH STREET CARLOS & SAUCE WALKA – “DRIP ON 70TH STREET”

The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired

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Scouted: This Mother’s Day, Get Real and Update Your Mom’s Tech, From Wearables to Doorbells and More

Mother’s Day gifts are hard to figure out unless you stop and consider all the way you could take your mom’s tech to the next level. From what’s in her home to what’s on her person, there are many products that are affordable, functional, and stylish and that will help her in the modern age.

Google and Amazon Smart Home Assistants, $ 29 to $ 100: Whether her home leans Amazon or Google, it’s high time you invested in your mom’s ability to utilize the best smart assistants have to offer. And with increasing competition between the two smart device behemoths Amazon and Google, you’ve got competitive and similar pricing, both of them reducing prices on all the devices. While a $ 100 full-sized Google Home or Amazon Echo is a great deal, you can certainly start her off with a more affordable $ 30 Google Home Mini or Amazon Echo Dot.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The Money Snapshot: A 32-Year-Old Tech Support Worker Shares Thoughts on Budget Tracking

graphic of various money-related icons with text on top reading A 32-Year-Old Tech Support Worker Shares... Her Money Snapshot

Presenting our fourth “money snapshot,” this time with a tech support worker in Kansas! She notes: “Our decision to move from L.A./Orange County to Kansas City … [has] been probably the biggest factor in allowing us to improve our lifestyle and financial standing. When I told one Californian friend what I paid for my 3BR house, she literally fell over. It’s an enormous difference for the cost of living.”

By way of background: We got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we’ve asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more! If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here to submit your response! You can see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: Aerin
Location: Overland Park, KS (suburb of Kansas City)
Age: 32
Occupation: Tech support worker 
Income: $ 58,300
Partner’s age: 37, works as a technical trainer
Household income:
$ 115,000
Net worth: House is worth about $ 190K, have about $ 55K in retirement/savings. My husband also has savings accounts; don’t know his totals.
Net worth when started working: My very first job was babysitting at 14, so I didn’t have much net worth one way or another. I graduated college at 23 with about $ 11K in student loans and $ 5K in credit card debt.
Current debt: $ 1K credit card, $ 4K on car, $ 1K student loans, $ 138K balance on mortgage, $ 25K on personal loan
Living situation: Own, pay $ 1,100 mortgage

Is there anything else we should know about you?
Personal loan was to consolidate credit cards and financing for a major home repair, plus a bit of a slush fund for further home improvements. That total also includes the financing for our bed, which we got at 0% interest.

Also, my parents and I were in a commercial when I was a baby, doing one of those customer testimonial things. Commercial money is kind of insane, because you get paid every time it airs. I had to pay taxes as an infant! That money helped set up savings accounts for me and my siblings, and was the seed of what my parents later contributed toward a down payment for my house (about $ 5K by the time I cashed it in).

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
I have some student loans, not a ton. My husband has more, but he handles that separately. I ran up some credit card debt in college due to some emergencies/large expenses that took me a while to pay off. Recently I had to carry a balance on one of my cards due to a large vacation.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 100–$ 200 for credit card beyond regular use (see below), $ 70 for student loans, $ 177 for car payment, $ 1,200 for mortgage, $ 560 for personal loan.

How did you pay for school?
My school had a very generous aid package, and a commitment to ensure that any student they accepted could attend, regardless of what they could pay. For the first year and a half or so, my dad was contributing to the tune of maybe $ 6K/year. Then my sister was in a serious car accident that required two months in the ICU and several follow-up surgeries. He talked to the school and they eliminated his contribution, replacing it with grants. Student loans were a small percentage of aid to begin with, but then my senior year the school made headlines by removing loans from the package altogether. Beyond that, I had a work-study job, and worked an additional part-time job for about half my time there, which covered day-to-day expenses, travel, books, that sort of thing.

Have you paid off any major debt?
I had three separate student loans in my package. Two of them are paid off, and the third should be cleared in 2019. I also cleared a credit card by paying it down by an extra $ 100 each month. (So if the balance had been $ 1,900, then usage + interest brought it to $ 2,050, I would pay $ 250 to bring the balance down to $ 1,800.)

Home debt: 
We pay $ 100 more than the minimum. We looked at what we were paying in rent and tried to keep our mortgage payment similar. We ended up spending more than we hoped, but still less than we got approved for. Paying off the mortgage faster is a nice idea, although we plan to sell this house which would start the clock over anyway.

Have you ever done anything noteworthy to avoid or lessen debt?
The debt consolidation loan was kind of a big deal. It lowered the interest rates on some of my debt pretty substantially. And, of course, it just felt really good to zero out those other accounts. Oh, and I can’t forget our decision to move from L.A./Orange County to Kansas City. That was entirely financial — we had outgrown our one-bedroom apartment, and our options were to get a roommate, get second jobs, cut our expenses significantly, or move someplace cheaper. We opted for the last one, and it’s been probably the biggest factor in allowing us to improve our lifestyle and financial standing. When I told one Californian friend what I paid for my 3BR house, she literally fell over. It’s an enormous difference for the cost of living.

Thinking of making a move like Aerin’s but worried about leaving behind big-city life? We asked her to pass on some advice: 

It’s funny, I actually do a lot more in Kansas City than I did in L.A. — we’re members of the zoo and had season tickets for the symphony and the Broadway series for the past couple of years (although we’re not renewing either), plus we do a fair number of concerts, author events, and conventions. In L.A., we had annual passes for Disneyland and … that was about it. We have the time (thanks to a commute that’s over an hour shorter each way) and disposable income to do things we just couldn’t there. I’ve always lived in cities (well, suburbs of major metros) so I don’t think I’d do well in a legitimately small town. But I’ve found that basically if a city is large enough to support an airport, it’s likely going to have a decent selection of good restaurants and cultural offerings. I mean, Des Moines has a better Broadway series than KC does for next season! There are still some specific things I miss (returning to In-N-Out is the closest I get to a religious experience), but on the whole the trade-offs have been worth it.

The deal I made with my husband when we first talked about moving was that if we weren’t happy, we could just save aggressively for a couple of years and be better positioned to move back. It helped that we didn’t have kids, and that he was able to transfer within his company so we retained his income and our insurance for the transition. I’m open to making a big move again if the right opportunity comes up, but we’re more settled now, so the bar for that would be pretty high.

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
I contributed $ 3,600 this year. My company matched that, plus an additional 1% of my salary.

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts?
None. I know my husband has an FSA, though.

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
I have a $ 25 monthly savings transfer that I set up in college and still use. I also have a keep the change program that rounds up my purchases to the nearest dollar and moves that to savings. Beyond that, I allocate money to savings as I can when dividing up paychecks.

Do you have/use a financial adviser or planner? 
I just use the default for my retirement plan. I don’t really have enough of anything else to do any serious investing.

Do you have an end goal for saving or are you just saving for a rainy day?
Mostly I like to save for a rainy day. We also tend to save up for large purchase/projects, especially vacations.

What’s the #1 thing you’re doing to save money, limit spending, or live frugally?
I try to avoid purchasing things until I have the cash on hand to do it. I also try to price compare and find good sales. We lived paycheck to paycheck when I was growing up (we were pretty solidly middle class, but my mom kept the regular expenses extremely tight to allow for spending/safety nets in other areas) so I learned a lot of tricks and a frugal mindset that way.

We asked Aerin to share some more money-saving strategies she’s learned:

When we were kids, my mom made us divide our money into 50% savings, 20% gifts, 30% spending. So this acquainted me with splitting early on, but I kind of resented not getting to keep much of my money. So when I wanted to buy a laptop in high school, I ended up sort of skimming off myself — if I made $ 17 babysitting, I’d hand over $ 15 and squirrel away the other $ 2 in a hidden spot. I found it easier to get my head around saving up for something specific than for its own sake. That’s still largely how I operate, very goal-oriented.

The other big thing I remember is her teaching us the importance of tracking expenses. Once we were about junior-high age, she gave each of us kids an equal envelope of cash and took us back-to-school shopping for clothes and supplies, where we’d each pick out and pay for our own stuff. The trick was, we didn’t go to Walmart for supplies until very last. So if you didn’t hold back enough money to pay for a new backpack or binder, you were stuck using last year’s. Definitely a hands-on lesson! Another time she and I went on a long weekend trip to visit the campus of my first-choice college, and she put me in charge of writing down every penny we spent. Seeing how little stuff could add up was very enlightening.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 3K in my personal account, $ 4K in joint account. My husband maintains a separate personal account; I don’t know his total.

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week?
$ 1,200 in personal savings, $ 4K in joint savings.

How much is in your “emergency fund,” and where do you keep it?
Savings accounts as noted above. Some money in the regular accounts is allocated for specific larger expenses as needed (like medical bills or car stuff).

How much do you have in retirement savings?
$ 50K; don’t know about my husband’s.

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 400
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery: 
$ 300
Clothing and accessories: $ 30
Transportation: $ 200 (car payment; car is fully electric, so charging costs are minimal)
Rent/living expenses: $ 1,100
Entertainment: $ 150
Other major expenses: If I’m working on a major sewing/craft project, that can eat up a lot of cash. (I do have an Etsy shop, and it’s not something I would consider a full-on side hustle, but it usually brings in enough to pay for supplies for the next project and keeps that stuff from cluttering up the house. The downside is it means I tend to pick projects with an eye toward inventory rather than fun or challenge.) We also allocate about $ 50/month for pet expenses. 
Health care — premiums and other costs: $ 3.300/year medical, $ 130/year dental, $ 280/year vision, all for me and my husband. I probably spend about $ 1,000/year outside of coverage for things like chiropractor (not covered), co-pays, tests, that sort of thing.

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 1,000–$ 8,000 
Vacations – Average:
$ 4,000

Charity – Range of Donations: $ 10–$ 200
Charity – Average Donation:
$ 30/monthly recurring donations, $ 10–20 here and there when I can

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 5–$ 300
Individual items of clothing – Average: It hurts me to spend more than $ 20 on a single item of clothing. I do a lot of thrifting. One thing I do spend more on is coats.

Apartment or house – Current main residence: Purchased at $ 153K

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 2,000–$ 10,000
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 8,000

Any other large personal expenses? 
Lawn care $ 75/month (although we’re probably gonna get rid of that).

We asked Aerin to comment on whether she’d like to spend less (or more) on any of the categories listed: 

I’d really like to get our food costs down. We’ve been experimenting with a few different things for that, but everything at the grocery store is getting so expensive that it’s tricky. And I’m always trying to find extra money to throw at the vacation fund.

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.
I could save a decent chunk on groceries if I cut coupons and planned my meals better, but I don’t because I just don’t have the time or energy.

When was your wedding, how much did it cost (total), and how much did YOU pay? 
2010, cost $ 7K, my parents contributed about $ 4K

Tell us about your wedding: 
We cut down the guest list to literally the people in the wedding, their spouses, and any other family on the same tier. (So my husband’s uncle performed the ceremony, so we also invited the uncle’s siblings but not other aunts and uncles. He’s closer to his extended family than I am to mine, so this gave us a clear way to draw lines.) Total was about 40 people. Since my family is scattered all over, we got married in Las Vegas to make the travel easier. We booked a huge suite with a great view at Mandalay Bay, and that’s where we did the welcome dinner, rehearsal lunch, ceremony, and reception. When our caterer asked for my budget I told him $ 35/person, figuring I could go up as high as $ 50/person plus booze. He came back with a cocktail menu including beer/wine/soda for $ 35. The food was great, and that allowed us to cater the other meals plus take everyone to a breakfast buffet the next day.

We did a bunch of other stuff to cut down on expenses. My gown was $ 250 at David’s Bridal, marked down because it had been discontinued. I spent nine months making roses out of book pages. Instead of a regular cake, we did cookie cakes on a tiered display I designed and built. (That one got featured on CNN!) I spent ages scouring eBay for things like bridal party gifts (my side each got a nice leather-bound copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales), cake topper, shoes, jewelry, etc. Photographer and videographer were both friends who gave us good rates. The one place we didn’t skimp on was the rings, since we figured that was one of the few things we’d still have after the day was done. Those cost about $ 1K each.

Basically, we wanted to put our money toward showing everyone a really good time. We knew that traveling was expensive and annoying, so we wanted to make sure our guests were well cared for while they were there. The whole affair was pretty relaxed and we got to see nearly everyone outside the wedding itself, so it was pretty successful in that regard. And we did so well on the cost of the wedding that we had about $ 3K left over to pamper ourselves for a few extra days in Vegas.

Are there any other large expenses in your life, now or previously?
Buying myself a MacBook Pro in college cost about $ 3K that I didn’t have at the time, and I spent quite a while paying back that credit card debt. But I didn’t need to buy another computer for about six years after that, so I guess it worked out? Moving across the country pretty much wiped us out. We had some friends who let us live with them for a couple of months until we got on our feet, which was a huge help.

At any point in your life to date, has inheritance played a role in your money situation?  
My mom inherited some money from her parents, but we were all adults when they died so none of it has really passed to us (since there wasn’t a ton). 

How has your family provided financial support in your adult life, if any? (Or, do you provide support to them?)
My mom and stepdad gave me a car when I was in college, because I desperately needed one due to how far away my job was. When that car died and couldn’t be revived, my dad had just paid off his car so he gave it to me and bought a new one. I was extremely broke at the time and couldn’t afford car payments, so this was extremely necessary. Beyond that, I haven’t really leaned on my parents for much financially. 

I should revise the non-financial support from family: I don’t live anywhere near family, though they’ve sometimes advised from afar. Recently I had a weird power outage, and I told my mom who told my stepdad who told my stepbrother. He correctly deduced that it was an issue with the power company, which saved me from having to pay an electrician on a Sunday.

Does your family provide any non-financial support? 
I don’t live anywhere near family, though they’ve sometimes advised from afar. Recently, I had a weird power outage, and I told my mom, who told my stepdad, who told my stepbrother. He correctly deduced that it was an issue with the power company, which saved me from having to pay an electrician on a Sunday.

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy?
Oh, yes: The Spreadsheet.

I started doing this after we moved to the Midwest, before I found work and money was extremely tight. It’s got a column for each category of expenses: one for each bill (mortgage, power, insurance, etc) and then columns for things like vacation, appliances/furniture, or other things I’m saving up for, like new computers or a tattoo. Each column is marked with a target amount that it needs to get paid up to. On bills, this is the high-water mark of what we’ve ever owed. So one time our power bill was $ 250 for the month, so I keep $ 250 in that fund even though it’s usually much less each month. For other categories, it’s the savings goal, either a specific cost if there is one or a general guideline.

Then I go through the checking account, and each transaction gets entered in its own row. The amount gets listed in the correct column. Paychecks get divided up accordingly, and I have another page in the spreadsheet where I can keep track of which credit card transactions came out of which column so the bill can be divided accurately.

Functionally, this means I have at least one month’s worth of expenses on hand at all times. Once a bill comes out, I then put back the money so it’s ready for next month. It also allows me to work toward long-term goals, because even if I can only allocate a couple of bucks a week I’m still at least making space for it in my plans. More importantly, it means I don’t have to do a lot of thinking about my money when I’m spending it. If I get really concerned, I can pull it up on my phone to see where I’m at, but for the most part it works as a sort of post-hoc budgeting. If I overspend on one category for this week (like when I bought a bunch of work clothes from a store that was closing because they were 80% off), I know that I can’t put as much into other funds until I’ve made up the difference, and I also should avoid spending from that fund until it’s been rebuilt.

It’s a fair amount of work to sit down and log everything once every couple of weeks, but I absolutely love that I can buy fun, silly things on impulse without having to worry about whether this will mean I can’t pay a utility bill. It was a long road to go from being overdrawn in that account to having this sort of cushion, and The Spreadsheet absolutely helped me get there.

(After submitting her Money Snapshot, Aerin sent us this update: “I dug up the link to The Spreadsheet! Way old, but still works. I uploaded mine into Google Drive so it’s accessible from multiple devices — one version for my personal account and one for joint.”) 

Time vs. money — do you spend money to save time (e.g., cleaning service)? Do you donate your time instead of money? What else does this phrase mean to you?
There are definitely times when I do that, especially with home repairs when the DIY route usually ends up being more expensive as well as more time-consuming. I worked a retail job part-time for a while, but I realized that the bit of extra money wasn’t nearly worth the time, energy, and stress of it. My time is a non-renewable resource, and pushing myself beyond the limits of my energy had a much higher cost. I donate money over time, though, for much the same reason. I just don’t have the bandwidth to give extra time beyond my current commitments, but I can at least provide some support to the people who can.

Anything else to add? 
When my husband and I moved in together, our system was basically that he’d pay for everything, and I’d write him a check once a month for my half. It worked, more or less. Now, we have a joint account that we both pay into, which we use for shared household bills and anything that is used by both of us. However, we’ve still maintained our separate personal accounts as well, and I think it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. See, if there’s only one account, things become a zero-sum game: If he springs for some nice clothes, I might not be able to get the video game I was eyeing, because it’s all coming from the same pot. But with separate accounts, you don’t have one person held responsible for the expenses the other person incurred independently. We’ve been together for 10 years and we’ve never once argued about money. We talk about it a lot, and it’s been a source of stress when it’s not there or when we get thrown a curveball, but there’s just not the resentment about each other’s choices and priorities.

So that’s probably my biggest piece of advice to people getting serious with a partner: Keep a personal checking and savings account, even if you combine nearly everything else.

Photo credit: icons via Stencil. 

The post The Money Snapshot: A 32-Year-Old Tech Support Worker Shares Thoughts on Budget Tracking appeared first on Corporette.com.

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LGBT groups and tech companies warn that a Texas bill could cost the state billions

The LGBTQ community and major employers say a bill passed by the Texas Senate is a license to discriminate, giving professionals the right to turn away people based on religious beliefs. Amazon, Dell, Apple and Facebook urged Texas to drop the bill.
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Tech stocks are best positioned this earnings season, says analyst Nick Colas

"Technology is honestly the place where you have to look both because of its importance to market and because you have a wide disparity of expectations, " says DataTrek Research's Nick Colas.
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Steph Curry Sends Auburn, Texas Tech His New Kicks

(AP Photo)

Charles Barkley isn’t the only big-name fan of Auburn.

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry surprised the Tigers — and another Under Armour-sponsored school, Texas Tech — with pairs of his new sneakers for their Final Four appearance on Saturday night. Curry recorded videos for both of the teams and wished them well as they compete in the national semifinals.

“It was amazing. He gave us a special shoutout,” Tigers star Bryce Brown said. “He said he was an underdog like us, that this run was like the run he was on with Davidson.”

Before becoming an NBA star, Curry led tiny Davidson to the Elite Eight of the 2008 tournament.

Curry is one of Brown’s favorite players, so getting a shout-out? “That meant a lot,” he said.

[ione_media_gallery id=”740007″ overlay=”true”]

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Welcome to the era of $10 billion tech giants

Get ready, the march of the “decacorns” is coming to Wall Street. What’s a decacorn? A few short years ago, if you were a private company with a valuation north of $ 1 billion, you were dubbed a “unicorn.” This new crop of tech darlings have valuations of far more than $ 10 billion. Last week kicked…
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Alphabet-backed Clover Health is cutting tech jobs after realizing it needs more health-care experts

Clover Health is cutting about a quarter of its workforce so it can focus on hiring people with an expertise in clinical care and insurance.
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These tech companies aim to cure pain without pills

Companies such as Bioness, Cefaly and Sana are developing technology to reduce pain — and the need for addictive painkillers.
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Investors shrug off Warren’s pledge to break up tech giants

Sen. Elizabeth Warren vowed on Friday that if elected president, she would bust up Amazon, Google and Facebook to promote competition in the tech sector and protect consumers. The Massachusetts lawmaker unveiled the proposal in a blog post as she seeks to stand out in a Democratic candidate field crowded with progressives vying to oust…
Business | New York Post

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Cannabis convictions expunged thanks to new tech

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Foldable phones, 5G and ‘ethical A.I.’ will dominate tech event Mobile World Congress next week

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Aging Americans are a big market for tech investors, who also want to track their parents

Techies are finding new uses for consumer devices to help monitor their aging parents, who are increasingly opting to live independently.
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10 Types of Tech You and Your Home Can Do Without

It doesn’t always pay to become an early adopter of the latest and greatest technological advancements. In fact, some home tech products just aren’t worth the investment, or are subject to security risks or maintenance woes that make them better admired on the shelf than brought home. Scroll through for a list of tech products your home can probably live without, or that you should at the very least think twice before buying.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Cybersecurity firms say high-tech upgrades, self-driving tech make new cars easy targets for hackers

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Amazon just announced its best-selling tech gifts of the holidays – and they’re all still on sale

Amazon Holiday Best Sellers List

Amazon on Wednesday announced that this past holiday shopping season was its most successful season ever, with more items ordered worldwide than ever before. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how good the deals were this year across all of the most popular categories on Amazon’s site. Amazon didn’t share any specific numbers as far as sales go, and that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the company never shares specific sales volumes. It did announce some of its best-selling products across various categories though, and we’ve got some awesome news: Amazon’s best-selling products from this past holiday shopping season are still on sale right now.

Fire TV and Echo devices were popular this year, as they have been every year. Amazon also listed best-sellers from other categories like toys, where products like the L.O.L. Surprise! Glam Glitter Series Doll with 7 Surprises and Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster topped the charts. In the ever popular electronics category, six items topped the list and it just so happens that they’re all still on sale!

The Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones were top-sellers this year, and they’re still available right now for $ 50 off, which is the same exact deal we saw on Black Friday and during Cyber Week. Samsung’s UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV is also still on sale for more than $ 500 off, and Apple’s Space Gray iPad with 32GB of storage is still discounted as well, though it’s not as deep as it was during Cyber Week. Want to see what else topped Amazon’s list this year in the electronics category? You can check everything out below.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling

  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
  • Balanced audio performance at any volume
  • Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose Connect app

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling, with Alexa voice contro…: $ 299.99

Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV

  • HDR Plus: See movies and shows just as the director intended in stunning high dynamic range
  • Ultra Slim Array: The Ultra Slim Array dynamically fine-tunes the deepness of the blacks, to the brightness of the whites, for a picture with sensational contrast
  • Dynamic Crystal Color: Discover an expanded world of colors where millions of shades HDTVs can’t replicate make all the difference
  • Motion Rate 240: Enjoy smooth, crisp action even in the fastest scenes
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice: A revolutionary way to help find streaming and live TV shows with a Universal Guide, one remote and voice assistance.Sound Output (RMS): 15W x 2
  • Please note the differences between the UN65NU8000 and the UN65NU800D. NU8000: Eclipse silver bezel color, 550 nits HDR sustained brightness, Supreme UHD micro dimming. NU800D: Carbon silver bezel color, 530 nits HDR sustained brightness, UHD Dimming.

Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV (2018): $ 1,197.99

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray

  • 9.7-inch Retina display
  • A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP camera with 1080p video and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Two speaker audio

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model): $ 289.00

Wemo Mini Smart Plug

  • Control from anywhere. Plug in a Wemo Mini Smart Plug, download the free app, and control your lights and appliances from your phone and your voice through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Only needs Wi-Fi. No hub or subscription required
  • Compact size. Wemo Mini features a sleek new form-factor that allows you to stack two Mini Smart Plugs in the same outlet
  • Schedule automatically. Never come home to a dark house. Schedule the fan to turn on before you arrive. Sync lamps and devices to sunrise, sunset, or pre-set times automatically
  • Randomize Lights. The Mini Smart Plug protects your home better than a mechanical timer. “Away Mode” will turn your lights on and off randomly to make it look like you’re home even when you’re not
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Pair with voice built-in devices like Apple Homepod or Google Home and control your lights and appliances with your voice
  • Wemo works with Apple HomeKit automatically. Download the latest version of the Wemo App and follow the steps to connect your Wemo Mini connected devices to the Apple Home app

Wemo Mini Smart Plug, WiFi Enabled, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple HomeKit: $ 22.49

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

  • Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload).

Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout: $ 99.99

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera

  • Works with Alexa: Ask Alexa to show your front door, kid’s room, or anywhere else you have your Wyze Cam
  • 1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone day or night with night vision (up to 30 feet away). Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi)
  • Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and playback video modes. Operating system supports ios 8.0 and android 5.0 or later.
  • Motion and sound detection with free rolling 14-day cloud storage. Use the Wyze App (iOS and Android) to manage and share multiple cameras. Add a microSD card (up to 32GB max size) for local storage.
  • Magnetic base, 6-foot power cable and included adhesive metal plate let you mount your Wyze Cam anywhere – no screws required

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with…: $ 25.98

BGR Top Deals:

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  2. Amazon’s surprise discounts on the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 are still available today

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Amazon just announced its best-selling tech gifts of the holidays – and they’re all still on sale originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 27 Dec 2018 at 11:00:39 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Top tech for everyone on your gift list

Promotional feature with HONOR

Turn Xmas into techmas with great gadgets galore

If buying for those last few people on your Christmas list is proving tricky, you’re sure to be inspired by one of the sleek, smart gift ideas from HONOR. Whether they’re into keeping fit, are always listening to carefully crafted playlists or are a keen photographer or blogger, HONOR has a present that they’ll love to unwrap.

A smartphone for budding photographers

Selfies, lush landscape shots and more have been made even easier to snap and share thanks to the super sleek  HONOR 8X smartphone. It has a large screen to body ratio, high definition display and a dual 20 megapixel AI camera that has multi-scene recognition for breathtaking photos no matter where you are. You can get a blurry bokeh effects for selfies, plus it eliminates blur on night-time pics, and features super slo-mo for awesome action shots.

The HONOR 8X also has a reduced shutter speed and motion detection for capturing better action shots and creating backlit portrait selfies.

For the fitness fan

A fitness tracker is the perfect way to get more active, so we’ve found one that’s packed with useful functions as well as being ultra-stylish. HONOR Band 4 isn’t just for gym bunnies – it’ll also recognise swimming strokes, is pool-proof to 50 metres, and records your swimming speed, distance and calories. You can take it outside with confidence as well – it’ll track outdoor and indoor running, walking and cycling.

Beyond fitness, the HONOR Band 4 gives accurate heart rate monitoring with high rate alerts and infrared technology so you can wear it at night. Plus, if you suffer from insomnia, light or irregular sleep, it’ll track this and provide advice. Another reason to love it? The band can locate your phone if you’ve lost it and works as a remote to take selfies!

For the music lover

Clever headphones mean the music fan in your life can take their tunes wherever they go, and few come as clever as the HONOR Sport Bluetooth Earphones. Not only are they water and sweat-proof , they provide 11 hours playback (around 220 tracks) and last up to 10 days on standby so they won’t let you down during your favourite song. Wireless, comfy to wear and secure, each earbud is magnetic too, so when they’re not in, they snap together neatly around your neck. There’s no compromise on sound quality either as they feature a penetrating bass and high definition audio.

So what are you waiting for? Consider your Christmas shopping complete.

The post Top tech for everyone on your gift list appeared first on Marie Claire.

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JPMorgan Chase Invests $6 Million for Tech Training D.C. Area’s Black Students

Black and minority students at five school districts in the Washington, D.C. region will be beneficiaries of a $ 6 million commitment by JPMorgan Chase to help train and equip youth to land well-paying tech jobs.

The money is coming from the banking giant’s “New Skills for Youth” program. It will support the development of new educational initiatives at Baltimore City Public Schools, DC Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College.

The donation is part of a $ 350 million companywide investment by the New York-based company and nation’s largest bank in jobs and skills development globally.

The effort comes as more firms add tech jobs in the nation’s capital region. The growth is building higher demand for skilled IT workers and a need to fill the jobs. Take Amazon.

Last month the world’s largest online retailer picked New York City and Arlington, Virginia, for its second headquarters. The two areas will each get 25,000 lucrative tech jobs that Amazon is projected to bring.

While schools offer IT coursework, these courses are not always aligned with the skills, credentials, and work experiences employers demand, the bank reported. In 2017, only 3,000 individuals in the region obtained associate degrees and other sub-BA credentials in digital skills and technology but over 15,000 jobs needed those credentials. Demand for tech workers with less than a 4-year degree increased by 42% in the region between 2014 and 2017.

“We have a responsibility to build a better future for the region’s young people,” stated Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO at JPMorgan Chase. “This investment is a good example of how the public and private sectors can work together to create the opportunity for more people and grow the local economy so that everyone benefits.”

The JPMorgan Chase philanthropic investment will help to launch 16 new and revised high-quality, demand-driven IT career pathways for thousands of area students in high school through college.

This initiative aims to:

  • Help more young people in the region, particularly underrepresented populations, achieving career and economic success, with 3,200 more students participating in career pathway programs that connect with careers in fields including computer science and cybersecurity.
  • Employers providing 2,200 internships for students in IT career pathways.
  • A new system that enables educators to use regional labor market data on an ongoing basis to ensure that career pathways are aligned with employer demand.

“We need to make it clear to young people—from Anacostia, Prince George’s County to Baltimore and Virginia—that they have a future in this region—and we are working together to do just that,” stated Peter Scher, head of Corporate Responsibility and chair of the Mid-Atlantic Region, JPMorgan Chase.

“Amazon’s HQ2 announcement reinforced that companies around the globe are competing for talent, and through this investment, we are working with our partners in the public and private sectors to expand access to opportunity for young people in Greater Washington—and boost the workforce by directly aligning education and training programs with the skills needed for open technology roles here.”

The post JPMorgan Chase Invests $ 6 Million for Tech Training D.C. Area’s Black Students appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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