California makes it illegal to charge more for car insurance based on gender

Gender inequality is an incredibly pervasive problem all across the world and affects people in more ways than most of us realize. I, for example, wasn’t aware that a person’s stated gender would affect the price of their car insurance, but the good news is that as of Jan. 1, 2019, in California, that’s no longer the case. California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued a statement on Friday that as…

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No matter how long the US government is shutdown, Americans should still file their taxes ASAP

Tax season got a little more challenging due to the partial government shutdown. The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin reported this week that taxpayers who file early in the season may not receive their funds in a timely manner as the IRS is operating with about 12% of its employees. But that doesn’t mean taxpayers should delay filing their taxes, according to accountants. “File early as you normally would and…

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How to turn off the ‘Show Me That Scene Again’ feature on Netflix that everyone hates

I often find myself rewinding movies and TV shows on Netflix, but I only do so whenever I missed something because I was checking my phone. Of course, the smaller screen captures my attention, and I forget about what I was watching on Netflix. But I never feel the urge to rewatch a scene of a film just because it’s that good. And I wouldn’t appreciate a “Show Me That…

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Why Is My Credit Card Blocked?

A credit card block can mean two things: a usually temporary freeze of your card or a portion of your credit limit is put on hold. Both situations can be frustrating but are easier to resolve if you understand how they work. What Is a Credit Card Block? Usually, a credit card block happens when a merchant, such as a hotel, car rental company or gas station, places a hold on your…

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Why your iPhone and Android phone will cost more in 2019

If you thought $1,000 was outrageous for an iPhone or Android device, you’re in for a nasty surprise in 2019. Thanks to Apple and Samsung phones like the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9, $999 is the new normal. And that’s only the starting price. Level up your storage and phones become more costly still. For example, if you want an iPhone XS with 512GB storage capacity, you’ll pay 35…

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Samsung’s new space-saving monitors can stand flat against a wall or cubicle

Samsung has announced a new space-saving desk monitor ahead of CES 2019. Called the Samsung Space Monitor, the screen is attached to a movable arm that also hides cables, allowing it to sit flush against a wall and free up desk space when not in use. The Space Monitor will come in two versions: a 27-inch model with QHD resolution and a 32-inch model that’s 4K UHD. The company has…

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Netflix warns against Bird Box challenge as dangerous trend goes viral

Netflix has warned fans against participating in a potentially dangerous online challenge that’s inspired by its recent original horror film Bird Box. The challenge takes the core concept of Bird Box — wearing a blindfold at all times while wandering around outside — and applies it to a certain period of time. Some people, like YouTube creator Morgan Adams, have tried to go about their daily lives for 24 hours…

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FBI steps up efforts against ‘money mules’ online fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — The email caught the executive at a small company by surprise one morning in 2016. The company’s owner, or so he thought, was requesting a money transfer to pay for supplies from a new vendor. It wasn’t until that night when the executive, hours after the money had been transferred and still puzzled by the out-of-the-blue demand, texted the owner to make sure he’d heard the request…

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Charter’s new Spectrum app for Apple TV users doesn’t require logins

An official Spectrum TV app has been released for Apple TV customers after delays pushed back Charter’s planned 2018 launch for the app into the new year. The free app is straightforward, allowing subscribers to watch Spectrum programming — both live channels and on-demand content — when an Apple TV is connected to Spectrum home internet service without requiring the customer to sign in with their account details. To use…

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Tim Cook says Apple set Christmas Day activations record for iPhones in US and Canada

Hot on the heels of Apple cutting its Q1 forecast due to weaker-than-expected iPhone sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook has released a memo to employees, obtained by Bloomberg, that tries to soften that blow. In it, he notes that, despite the lower numbers, “iPhone activations in the US and Canada set new Christmas Day records” for the company. The internal memo further reinforces Cook’s original statement that the $9 billion…

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Tech in 2019: 5G, AI, 8K – the year ahead looks like an alphabet soup of progress

Faster networks, bendable phones, more choices for cord-cutters – even a breakdown in our very own critical thinking, because we’re leaning too heavily on artificial intelligence? Consumers will have a lot of new tech to digest in the new year ahead, in what is shaping up to be a year of transition. Here’s what to look forward to in consumer tech in 2019. We’ve been hearing about the wicked fast next-generation…

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January specials: Your monthly guide to freebies and meal deals

January is the month of resolutions. And if you’re resolving to save more money in 2019, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to USA TODAY’s January guide of free food, meal deals, made-up food holidays and other savings. One of the month’s sweetest days is Jan. 23, which is National Pie Day not to be confused with Pi Day held March 14. Bookmark this page because it’ll be updated…

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