Reimagining the Tax Code, Getting There with Grassroots Activism

Tax policy, which can be deadly dull, hasn’t inspired much enthusiasm for activist campaigns—until now. Advocates could leverage this energy to push for a progressive tax code.

The House and the Senate have reached an agreement on the final GOP tax bill and plan to vote on it sometime next week. However, there’s still aggressive mobilization against the legislation, fueled by progressive organizations like the Not One Penny and Stop the #GOPTaxScam coalitions; Indivisible; and Americans for Tax Fairness. These groups are working hard to disrupt a tax agenda that overwhelmingly favors the wealthy, even though in all likelihood the bill will pass. Tim Hogan, spokesperson for the Not One Penny campaign, says that regardless the outcome of the bill, this mobilization is a victory “in the court of public opinion.”

Indeed, Americans are strongly against the bill: a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that nearly half of Americans who are aware of the legislation oppose it. And tax policy activism—a rarely- seen phenomenon—has played a role in raising awareness. This surge in activism could lay the foundation for a popular movement, not just reject the GOP’s giveaway to the rich, but to work toward a new, more equitable tax code.

In September, before the Republican tax proposals were released, Prosperity Now and PolicyLink, two economic justice organizations, released a report entitled “Making the Connection: Bringing Tax Wonks and Grassroots Activists Together to End Inequality.” The U.S. tax code, the report found, is an extremely “powerful lever … to drive inequality.” But as much as the tax code expands the divide between rich and poor, the report argues, that there is also serious potential for the tax code, reimagined, to bridge it.

And, as the report makes clear, that’s where activists could come in.

Not One Penny, spawned from April’s Tax March and officially launched in August, is a coalition of almost 50 organizations, demanding “Not one penny in tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations.” While the Tax March largely brought people out to protest Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, the organizers wanted to bring attention to progressive tax policies, too. Following the initial action, Not One Penny shifted its focus. This summer, with a Republican tax proposal looming on the horizon, the group began training activists in anti-tax policy organizing.

Months later, after the release of the Trump tax plan and the eventual passage of the House and Senate proposals, demonstrations are taking place across the country to protest these trickle-down economics-oriented plans. Recently, five protestors were arrested in Maine after conducting a sit-in in Republican Senator Susan Collins’s office; Collins is a potential “no” vote when the conference bill comes back to the Senate. And in the spirit of the holiday season, New Jersey activists have confronted their Republican representatives with tax-themed Christmas carols.

As the Senate debated their tax bill, groups opposing the legislation set up a “People’s Filibuster” to protest the GOP proposal. For over 30 hours and throughout the night, different organizations “sponsored” hours, inviting activists and advocates to tell their stories. The speakers warned about the damaging effects of the House and Senate proposals on specific sectors like health care and the environment, and on certain groups such as graduate students, people with disabilities, and young families.

The “Making the Connection” report suggests that these types of protests could be leveraged to advocate for fairer tax policies, as such tactics have not frequently been utilized in tax policy advocacy. The report found that while almost 60 percent of the activists it polled had recently attended a rally or protest on an issue of public concern, just 5 percent had recently attended a rally or protest related to tax policy.

The report’s authors further explain that such low mobilization in regard to tax activism could be attributed to tax policy’s “messaging problem,” as advocates and the general public commonly think of tax policy as “complex, unapproachable, and downright boring.” Major barriers to effective progressive tax advocacy include a “knowledge deficit” concerning taxes, and a lack of a personal connection to tax policy.

But not only does the tax code work to raise revenue for the government (which everyone knows about), it also helps American households build wealth (which fewer people realize). That may be because, in our current tax code, most tax benefits are funneled toward the wealthy. According to the report, the top 1 percent of households received more federal dollars than the bottom 80 percent. The mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction? The government spends almost double on those credits for wealthier households than it does on Section 8 housing vouchers or Homeless Assistance Grants.

This preference for the wealthy is hard to detect, since programs like the mortgage-interest deduction are hidden inside the tax code, helping create a two-tier welfare system, where means-tested welfare programs for the poor are visible and known, but welfare programs for the wealthy, like deductions for homeownership, education, and retirement, help the rich build wealth but exist as “tax credits,” not “welfare.” The rich are lauded for taking advantage of the tax system (think of Trump saying that not paying taxes “makes me smart”), but means-tested welfare recipients are seen as moochers.

In other words, our tax code—even before the GOP makes it incalculably worse—exacerbates the nation’s vast economic inequality, in which the richest 1 percent of households own 40 percent of the country’s wealth. The tax code also contributes to the racial wealth gap, where the median white family owns 12 times the wealth of the median black family.

But, it also means that the tax code could also be a major force in reducing economic inequality. To right the imbalance and “shift the benefits distributed through the tax code to working families,” the “Making the Connection” report lays out concrete steps that advocacy organizations can take to make tax policy accessible to community organizers and grassroots activists.  

This support is necessary, says Jeremie Greer, Prosperity Now’s vice president of policy and research and a coauthor of the report, “because the personal connection to [tax policy] is underneath the tax code.” Greer says that “when [people] think about taxes, they think about the annual exercise of doing their taxes,” instead of associating the tax code with programs that help them.

The tax code contains housing credits, credits for low-income working families like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. The federal government uses that revenue to help pay for programs many communities rely on. One of the report’s survey respondents said that people often don’t realize that the EITC was the reason they received a tax refund. Another said that “many people don’t understand the connection between the taxes they pay and the roads they drive on or the schools their children attend.”

Other assistance programs outside the tax code are “very straightforward,” Greer says. Food stamps are for nutrition assistance. Housing vouchers help people with their housing. And the mortgage-interest deduction “is a wonky … and governmental way of talking about something,” he says. When talking to advocacy groups, Greer simply calls it what it is: a housing subsidy, which is one way to make tax policy clearer while helping people recognize how the tax code affects them personally.

Advocacy groups have been doing an excellent job of making the consequences of the Republican tax proposals both clear and personal. Lisa Beaudoin, executive director of ABLE New Hampshire, a disability rights organization, traveled to Washington for a recent Capitol Hill tax policy protest. She says, “Helping people understand the direct implications [that this tax bill has] in their lives … gives people something to hold onto and to fight for.”

The elimination of the individual mandate would threaten health care for millions of mostly low-income people. Multiple provisions, including the elimination of the medical expense deduction, would disproportionately hurt people with disabilities. And the reduction of the corporate tax rate is widely seen as a giveaway to wealthy Republican donors (as at least one Republican representative acknowledged).  

Anti-tax bill activism and the media coverage of the GOP bills have made an impact: Only 31 percent of Americans support the tax plan. But when the battle over the Republicans’ tax catastrophe is done, what will tax activists do then? It may be easier to advocate against polices that would be detrimental to low- and middle-income families than to campaign for fairer taxes, especially since progressive members of Congress have not put forth an omnibus proposal of their own.

Economist Gerald Friedman recently made the case at AlterNet that, “progressives should resist the temptation to simply attack the GOP giveaway to the ultra-rich; instead, they should articulate their own tax plan, one that would fund needed services, promote stable growth, and compensate the unlucky, including the victims of globalization.”

Many of Friedman’s policy proposals are not new to policymakers on the left; but they have not been bundled together in an overall progressive rewrite of the tax code. They include taxing capital income (such as profits from investments) at the same rate as income from work, and mandating new penalties on income stashed in offshore tax havens. Friedman also recommends strengthening the penalties on corporations that don’t provide benefits like health insurance and instituting a tax on carbon emissions.

The report’s policy proposals center on strengthening policies that already work, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and housing policy. The EITC lifts millions of families out of poverty, but really only works well for custodial parents. Greer says that people without children, including younger workers and the elderly, should be able to benefit too.

One such bill introduced by two progressive Democrats, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and California Representative Ro Khanna, would greatly expand the EITC along Prosperity Now’s lines. The Brown-Khanna plan increases the value of the credit for working families and gives childless workers greater access to the benefit. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that this proposal would lift the incomes of 47 million households.

By introducing such a congressional bill now, when the Republican majorities in each house have no intention of giving it a hearing, of course, is to lay the groundwork for a more progressive tax code if and when the Democrats return to power.

Another such proposal, Greer points out, would be to create a tax credit that benefits renters as well as homeowners. Support for families that rent could help move them into homeownership—a transformation that would be further incentivized if Congress permanently established a program like the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, which temporarily came about during the Great Recession.  

Progressive leaders can’t simply say “no” to the Republicans’ plan to alter the tax code, because the status quo isn’t ideal either. Instead, a new, progressive tax code could help eliminate income inequality, make the wealthy pay their fair share, and finally give low- and middle-income families the resources they need to lead lives that are economically secure. If Democrats can retake power and activists get the support they need to transform public tax discussions, the party could be prompted to adopt new policies (which would require reforming campaign finance to curtail the Democrats reliance on big money) to make a new tax code a reality.

 

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SoMe-Things YoU sHould knOw about “PhoneGap”: Android – LeaVe my baThRoom at-least !

PhoneGap Framework

phonegap

Building applications for each platform–iPhone, Android, Windows and more–requires different frameworks and languages. PhoneGap solves this by using standards-based web technologies to bridge web applications and mobile devices. Since PhoneGap apps are standards compliant, they’re future-proofed to work with browsers as they evolve.


The PhoneGap framework was contributed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under the name Apache Cordova and graduated to top-level project status in October 2012. Through the ASF, future PhoneGap development will ensure open stewardship of the project. It will always remain free and open source under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
To develop apps using Phonegap, the developer does not require top have knowledge of mobile programming language but should know languages like, HTML, CSS, JScript.
PhoneGap takes care of rest of the work, such as look and feel of the app and portability among various mobile operating systems and also allows its users to upload the data contents on website and it automatically converts it to various App files.

PhoneGap Environment Setup

Lets see how to setup basic PhoneGap Environment to develop apps easily. PhoneGap supports offline creation of apps using Cordova command line interface and Github, but we concentrate on online creation of apps. As PhoneGap supports only HTML, CSS and JavaScript, it is mandatory that the application should be created using these technologies only. 
An application package must contain following files:
  • Configuration File
  • Icons for App
  • Content (built using web technologies)
Configuration File
App require one configuration file named as “config.xml” that configure all its necessary settings. This file contains all the necessary information required to compile the app.
following is the content of config.xml file
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<widget xmlns = "http://www.w3.org/ns/widgets"
xmlns:gap = "http://phonegap.com/ns/1.0"
id = "com.phonegap.example"
versionCode = "10"
version = "1.0.0" >

<!-- versionCode is optional and Android only -->

<name>PhoneGap Example</name>

<description>
An example for phonegap build docs.
</description>

<author href="https://build.phonegap.com" email="[email protected]">
Hardeep Shoker
</author>

</widget>
The widget element must be the root of your XML document.When using PhoneGap Build, ensure you have the following attributes set on your widget element.
id – The unique identifier for your application. To support all supported platforms, this must be reverse-domain name style (e.g. com.yourcompany.yourapp)
version –  for best results, use a major/minor/patch style version, with three numbers, such as 0.0.1
versionCode – (optional) when building for Android, you can set the versionCode by specifying it in your config.xml.
<name> – The name of the application.
<description> – A description for your application.
<author> – The author of the application, either a company or individual (required for Windows 10 builds).
<platform> – You can have zero or more of these elements present in your config.xml. Set the name attribute to one of ios, android, or windows.If you specify none, all platforms will be built.
Icons
It is important to prepare icons of exact shapes and sizes as required by particular mobile operating system. Here we are using the folders res/icon/ios and res/icon/android/drawable-xxxx..To get this work done fast, you can create a logo of size 1024×1024 and log on to makeappicon.com. This website will help you instantly create logos of all sizes for both android and iOS platform.

PhoneGap App Contents

We can create two type of apps. Online app and Offline App. Following is the directory structure for the applications.
Online App
In online app entire information content is loaded from the Internet.
Online app directory structure
The index.html file contains actual links as it contains at the web server and all its links are either absolute or used with base href tag.
Offline App
Offline app will let you create a web application that is downloaded to its entirety to the mobile devices of a user who can access that offline.
offline app directory structure
The config.xml contains app configuration settings. The index.html file contains homepage of web contents. All the HTML files should contain only relative path not absolute path or base href tag.
Once selected your app type, organize files in above mentioned structure and zip it using any standard tool zip tool.

Sign Your App

Android requires that all APKs be digitally signed with a certificate before they can be installed. For this reason, you need to sign your app. You may need keytool which is a part of standard java distribution.Execute the following command in %JAVA_HOME% in your Windows command prompt or Linux Shell:-

keytool -genkey -v -keystore my_keystore.keystore 
   -alias TutorialsPoint -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000

It should generate one file.

PhoneGap App Compilation

Now we are ready to compile our first web API-based app. PhoneGap accepts user login created on GitHub or using AdobeID. GitHub is a online repository service where users can upload their contents and use them by providing their URL references.
Following steps are required to create Adobe Id and Compile the application.
Create Adobe ID
Got to https://build.phonegap.com/ and register after that login to your account it will display PhoneGap Console as shown in below
phonegap console

Click on ‘Upload a .zip file’ and upload the .zip file we created, which has the entire web content and configurations. You should see the following window after successful upload

Click on the Android icon and the following screen should appear


Click on drop-down option menu next to Android icon that reads No key selected, click on add a key and the following screen should appear
Provide the file created while signing the App. Then click on ‘Rebuild’ button next to it. The app built by this process can be directly uploaded to Google Play. Click on .apk file and you can download your first web-based free app.Before uploading, app should be tested on either virtual or real devices.

sign file submit form

Learn Android Programming?

Nokia 9 passes through the FCC with dual rear cameras and Snapdragon 835

We might still see a Christmas miracle, but apart from that, it’s looking more likely that the unannounced Nokia 9 will not debut before the year is out. Even so, it appears that the smartphone recently paid a visit to the FCC, with the phone appearing similar to the Nokia 8 in a few areas.

Starting with the display, the Nokia 9 features a 5.5-inch QHD OLED display, which is a bit larger than the Nokia 8’s 5.3-inch LCD display and delivers deeper blacks and punchier, albeit slightly unrealistic, colors. Much like the Nokia 8, the Nokia 9 also sports dual rear cameras — the former features dual 13 MP cameras, while the latter opts for a 12 MP and 13 MP sensor.

The rear cameras are not that different, though the story changes with the front camera. Whereas the Nokia 8 features a 13 MP selfie camera, the Nokia 9 makes do with a 5 MP sensor. I’m not sure why this change is so drastic, and even though megapixels aren’t everything, it’s hard to ignore the drop in image resolution.

Editor’s Pick

To wrap up the differences, the Nokia 9 swaps the Nokia 8’s 3,090 mAh battery for a larger 3,250 mAh power pack.

Everything else about the Nokia 9 is pretty much the same when compared to the Nokia 8. That means you’ll still find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset and 128 GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot available for additional space.

Some people might be upset about Nokia’s choice to go with the Snapdragon 835 for the Nokia 9, particularly since Qualcomm announced the newer, more capable Snapdragon 845 chipset. At the same time, it’s not like the Snapdragon 845 was announced when Nokia started work on the Nokia 9.

There are still some unanswered questions around the Nokia 9, such as when Nokia will unveil the phone, when it will be available, and how much it will go for. At this point, the earliest we could see the Nokia 9 is during CES 2018, though MWC 2018 might be slightly more viable.

Uses and abuses of challenge

Once upon a time, in a past so long a go that few people remember it, computer games came with an options menu in which you could choose the difficulty and challenge of the game yourself. The idea was that all of us would like games to be both winnable and not a pushover, but because preferences on how easily winnable a game should be, as well as experience and skill in a game, vary from user to user, it would be best to have several options in order to please everybody. Now that was way back when games still came in a box. With games increasingly switching to a “game as a service” online experience, difficulty settings fell out of favor. Somehow it appeared to make more sense if the same orc in World of Warcraft held the same challenge for each player, with the only variable being the power level of the player himself. With less and less single-player games around, and PvE games being more and more replaced by PvP, difficulty setting have become increasingly rare.

I’ve been playing a bunch of pseudo-PvP games on my iPad lately. Pseudo because I don’t necessarily fight another player online at the same time, but my army fights his computer-controlled army. That usually was nice enough at the start of the game. But then with each win I gained some sort of trophies or ranking, so that later I was matched against more and more powerful players. Ultimately it was obvious that this was a no-win proposition: The better I did, the more likely it became that I would lose the next game. The only strategy that worked was to deliberately lose games, to drop down in rankings, to then win the now easier PvP games in order to achieve the quests and goals the game set me. But that sort of cheesy strategy isn’t exactly fun.

The other type of game I played recently is the one in which your performance doesn’t actually matter at all any more. I played Total War: Arena, but many team vs. team multiplayer games fall into the same category: The contribution of any single player to the outcome of a 10 vs. 10 battle is only 5%. That gets quite annoying if you come up with a brilliant move and outmaneuver another player and crush him, only to find that the 9 other players on the enemy team obliterated your 9 team mates, and you lost the battle. Especially since in Total War: Arena you end up with more rewards having done nothing much in a won battle than for a great performance in a lost battle.

Finally my wife was complaining about a problem with challenge levels in her iPad puzzle games: The games are free to play, they get harder and harder with each level until you can’t beat it any more, and then the game offers you a way out: Use some sort of booster, which of course you need to pay real money for, to make the too hard levels easy enough to win again.

Somehow I get the feeling we lost something important when difficulty sliders went out of fashion. However the discussion of difficulty and challenge is complicated by the fact that this is one of the issues where gamers are the most dishonest about. Gamers tend to say they want more challenge, but when you observe what they are doing, e.g. attacking the enemy castle in a PvP MMORPG at 3 am in the morning, it is clearly that they are mostly occupied with avoiding or circumventing any actual challenge. Pay2Win and loot boxes wouldn’t be such an issue if gamers weren’t actually spending their money on improving their chances to win. If most gamers were so interested in challenge, then why is there so much cheating and botting going on? People want to win, by any means, and by talking up the challenge they want to make their win look more impressive. Which is kind of sad, if you think about it, that their positive self-image depends on being a winner in a video game. Many a fragile gamer-ego can’t admit that they’d quite like a relaxing game that doesn’t constantly challenge them to the max. I do.

Basic Understanding of RMI : JaVa – is not MaVa

RMI logo

The Remote Method Invocation(RMI) is an API that provides a mechanism to create distributed application in Java. RMI allows a Java object to invoke method on an object running on another machine. RMI provides remote communication between java programs.

—Watch the Video to understand “Why we need RMI ?”—-



Concept of RMI application

A RMI application can be divided into two parts,
1. Client  program
2. Server program.
Server program creates some remote object, make their references available for the client to invoke method on it. A Client program make request for remote objects on server and invoke method on them. Stub and Skeleton are two important objects used for communication with remote object.

Stub and Skeleton

components of RMI

Stub acts as a gateway for Client program. It resides on Client side and communicates with Skeleton object. It establishes the connection between remote object and transmit request to it. Skeleton object resides on the Server side.

Stub Operation:

  • Acts as proxy for remote object.
  • Marshall parameters (converting the data or the objects in-to a byte-stream).
  • Send request and parameters to server skeleton.
Skeleton operation:
  • UN-Marshall parameters(converting the byte-stream back to their original data or object).
  • Perform computation
  • Marshall method return.
  • Send return object to client stub
RMI Registry
RMI registry is a server where :
  • Servers can register their object.
  • Clients can find server objects and obtain a remote references. Using the remote reference we can then invoke the required method.
                             
Watch this video to understand basic Implementation of RMI


RMI IMPLEMENTATION

    RMI Architecture

    Creating simple RMI application involves following steps:

    • Define a remote interface.
    • Implementing remote interface.
    • create and start remote application
    • create and start client application

    Define a remote interface

    A remote interface specifies the methods that can be invoked remotely by a client. Clients program communicate to remote interfaces, not to classes implementing it. To be a remote interface, a interface must extend the Remote interface of java.rmi package.
    import java.rmi.*;
    public interface AddServerInterface extends Remote
    {
    public int sum(int a,int b);
    }

    Implementation of remote interface

    For implementation of remote interface, a class must either extend UnicastRemoteObject or use exportObject() method of UnicastRemoteObject class.
    import java.rmi.*;
    import java.rmi.server.*;
    public class Adder extends UnicastRemoteObject implements AddServerInterface
    {
    Adder()throws RemoteException{
    super();
    }
    public int sum(int a,int b) throws RemoteException
    {
    return a+b;
    }
    }

    Create Server and host rmi service

    You need to create a server application and host rmi service Adder in it. This is done using rebind() method of java.rmi.Naming class. rebind() method takes two arguments, first represent the name of the object reference and second argument is reference to instance of Adder
    import java.rmi.*;
    import java.rmi.registry.*;
    public class Server{
    public static void main(String args[]){
    try{
    AddServerInterface addService=new Adder();
    Naming.rebind("Sum",addService);
    //addService object is hosted with name Sum

    }catch(Exception e){System.out.println(e);}
    }
    }

    Create client application

    Client application contains a java program that invokes the lookup() method of the Naming class. This method accepts one argument, the rmi URL and returns a reference to an object of type AddServerInterface. All remote method invocation is done on this object.
    import java.rmi.*;
    public class Client{
    public static void main(String args[]){
    try{
    AddServerInterface st=(AddServerInterface)Naming.lookup("rmi://localhost/Sum");
    System.out.println(st.Sum(25,8));
    }catch(Exception e){System.out.println(e);}
    }
    }

    Steps to run this RMI application

    • compile all the java files
      javac *.java
    • Start RMI registry
      start rmiregistry
    • Run Server file
      java Server
    • Run Client file in another command prompt pass localhost at run time
      java Client localhost
    Goals of RMI
    • To minimize the complexity of applications.
    • Minimize the difference between working with local and remote objects
    • Make writing reliable distributed applications as simple as possible

    Would you like learn Java and get Certified from Oracle ?

    Huawei confirms its phones will be sold by US carriers in 2018, starting with Mate 10

    • Huawei exec Richard Yu stated its phones will be “competitively priced” in the US market.
    • He added that Huawei does not expect to deal with security concerns in the US.
    • More information on the Huawei US carrier launch will be revealed at CES 2018.

    After months of rumors and unconfirmed reports, the massive China-based phone company Huawei has finally and officially revealed that some of its handsets will be sold by US wireless carriers, starting sometime in 2018. The first such phone will be in its Mate 10 family of devices.

    Editor’s Pick

    The report comes from ABC News, quoting Richard Yu, the president of Huawei Technologies’ consumer business. He stated, “We will sell our flagship phone, our product, in the U.S. market through carriers next year.” The Mate 10, and its higher-end brother, the Mate 10 Pro, went on sale in China and other markets earlier this fall. Previous rumors claimed that the Mate 10 Pro would be sold by AT&T and Verizon in 2018. Yu did not state specifics on which carriers would sell its phones, but he did reveal that more information on those sales plans will be announced in early January during CES 2018.

    While Huawei has sold phones under its own name and with its Honor brand in the US as unlocked devices online, breaking into the US carrier market could be huge for the company. Huawei is currently the number three seller of smartphones worldwide, trailing behind only Apple and Samsung. Yu stated today that the company’s phones, as sold by carriers, would be “competitively priced” in the US market.

    He also added that Huawei does not expect its plans to be hit by security concerns by the US government. Some lawmakers and agencies have expressed concerns in the past that Chinese-based smartphone companies like Huawei could use those devices to spy on consumers. Today, Yu denied that would be the case, and suggested that those kinds of complaints were either politically motivated, or perhaps generated by its competitors.

    The best tech gifts for men

    Yes, the holidays are almost here again, and so if you haven’t finished shopping yet, it’s time to start thinking about what to get those special people in your lives. Or the people you want to suck up to – could go either way. So this year, we have a roundup of some of the best gifts you can give that will apply to most guys… though many of them will honestly make sense for anyone regardless of age or gender. Or you can go regift that fondue set from last year. We won’t judge. Should you decide not to go that route, here are some things you can think about.

    Looking for even more options? Check out the following guides:

    • 10 cheap tech gifts that only look expensive
    • Best tech gifts under $25
    • Best tech gifts under $50
    • 11 cheap secret Santa gifts
    • These gifts look like they come straight out of Star Trek
    • 6 geeky gift ideas that aren’t just for nerds anymore

    Exercise tracker

    Exercise trackers are a thing these days. They allow you to track your steps, heart rate, and a number of other vital statistics to keep you healthy and happy. The Fitbit Blaze is Fitbit’s first foray into smartwatch territory. The Fitbit Blaze uses Fitbit’s custom software to track your body’s stats, and deliver some smartwatch notifications as well. The design is a little on the chunky side, but it can average around four days of battery life.

    See more

    If Fitbit isn’t his style, maybe give the Garmin Vivosmart a look.

    Get Fitbit Blaze at Amazon
    Get Garmin Vivosmart at Amazon
     

    Home Assistant

    Home assistants are one of those items that, once you have them, you can’t live without them. From checking on weather, appointments, or traffic to controlling your smarthome, a home assistant is one of the more futuristic technologies available today. But they can be a little pricey and it seems like something one wouldn’t buy for oneself, which is what makes it a perfect gift!

    Google Home is a great product, and it even allows you to make phone calls and play movies and YouTube videos on your Chromecast-connected TVs. Google Home is a jack-of-all-trades kind of product, while other home assistants are a little more focused in one area or another. So, The home is definitely our recommendation in this gift guide. Check it out in the links below.

    If your recipient is more Amazon-focused, then the second-generation Echo is also a great buy. Don’t forget both Google Home and the Amazon Echo have “mini” counterparts – you know, if you don’t love them THAT much.

    See more
    Get Google Home at Google
    Get Amazon Echo at Amazon

    VR Headset

    In the world of VR, Oculus is by far the best known brand out there. While devices like the HTC Vive offer an outstanding experience the Oculus Rift headset is one of the go-to models in the world of VR. It offers a great array of games, plus support from a multi-billion dollar company which is always helpful. The Oculus Rift requires a pretty hefty computer to hook up to, much like the Vive, but the price is a bit lower – around $100 dollars lower.

    Truth be told, the HTC Vive is a great experience too – you won’t really go wrong with either one. But Oculus has the name recognition and has a much stronger source of cash, tipping the scales in its favor.

    Of course, if your recipient has a Playstation, the Sony Playstation VR is a great headset as well.

    Get Oculus Rift at Amazon
    Get HTC Vive at Amazon
    Get PlayStation VR at Amazon

    Headphones

    In case you haven’t noticed, wired headphones are a dying breed. At least, those with a 3.5mm jack are. It remains to be seen what will happen with USB Type-C connectors or lightning connectors (hashtag #courage). For now, it’s best to adapt or die, so let’s talk about some bluetooth headphones.

    The Jaybird X3 bluetooth in-ear headphones are sleek and stylish with great connectivity. These headphones come with a nice carrying case as well, making them a nice little package. That being said, these are in-ear monitors, which isn’t for everyone. The sound coming from them tends to be good, but not great, so if sound quality is of the utmost importance, or you’re not a fan of in-ear headphones, you may want to look at the Grado SR60e instead.

    Get Jaybird X3 at Amazon
    Get Grado SR60E at Amazon

    Media Streaming

    More and more of our content is coming from the internet these days. With the somewhat recent introductions of cable replacement services, like YouTube TV, Sling TV, and others, cord-cutting is becoming a real possibility for many folks out there. Of the wide variety of set top boxes that are out there, Roku stands above the rest. First and foremost, Roku has been doing this for a long time – long before the cord cutting phenomenon began. The Roku Express is an inexpensive, but not underpowered little box that can load up all of your cord-cutting apps without breaking a sweat, and without breaking the bank.

    Roku’s UI is also very nice and very streamlined. Oddly enough, Amazon’s Instant video app works much better on the Roku than it does on the Fire Stick. Go figure. Speaking of the Fire Stick, that’s not a bad alternative to a Roku, if you happen to like Amazon’s interface and ecosystem.

    See more
    Get Roku Express at Amazon
    Get Amazon Fire TV Stick at Amazon

    Tablet

    The future of tablets doesn’t really look all that bright if we’re going to be totally honest. But, there are still some solid use-cases for tablets today. The aforementioned cord-cutting/media streaming is a big one. Gaming is a solid number two. Whatever the case, tablets are still here, and they’re still fun to play with. And in the tablet space, the industry leader is far and away the iPad. From its inception the iPad has handled the transition from small phone screen to large tablet screen the best. Apps are designed exclusively for the iPad, and not just scaled up.

    Sure, the iOS interface is about as exciting as watching paint dry in a cornfield in Iowa after 8 hours of fishing having caught no fish. I may be overstating, but the point is, even though the interface is not exciting, the apps make the ecosystem, and iPad app development is not going anywhere any time soon. However, if you’re a fan of thumbing your nose at industry trends, the runner up in the tablet market – the Amazon Fire also sports a solid lineup of devices to choose from with its own app ecosystem – assuming you can live without Google services.

    Editor’s Pick
    Get iPad Pro at Amazon
    Get Fire tablets at Amazon

    Phones

    Of course if you really want to blow away a man during the holidays, who doesn’t love a new phone to play with. And recently, the Google Pixel 2 XL is one of the most solid phones you can buy today. It’s true, there may or may not be some screen issues, and until those can be addressed it’s hard to throw a lot of weight behind this recommendation. But, by the time you procrastinators out there are looking to shop for the holidays, perhaps we might have more clarity.

    That being said, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is also a great phone to pick up for the holidays. Samsung has been absolutely killing it in the hardware department, and the Note 8 takes real advantage of that stylus. For a powerful phone that will last and last, the Note 8 might just be your phone of choice this holiday season – especially when it comes to snapping photos and sending them to friends and family.

    See more
    Get Google Pixel 2 XL at Verizon
    Get Samsung Galaxy Note 8 at Amazon

    Laptop

    But since we’re talking about computing power, why settling for a phone or tablet when a full-blown laptop might be just what the doctor ordered. And in that area, the Dell XPS 13 is a beautiful line of laptops that absolutely kills it in the hardware department. The Dell XP 13 laptop can be just as powerful as you need it to be – it’s a very versatile line of laptops and comes in a number of configurations. But all of them come in the same gorgeous package.

    If you’re not a Windows fan, give a long hard look at the ASUS Chromebook Flip. With a full touchscreen, tablet mode, USB-C ports and more, this is a solid contender in the Chromebook space.

    Get Dell XPS 13 at Amazon
    Get Asus Chromebook Flip at Amazon

    Robot vacuum

    When you think of robot vacuums, you think of Roomba. Sometimes you think of a puppy on a Roomba, but that’s a different conversation. Having a robot vacuum wandering around the house, doing what you hate to do is one of those wonderful things that you don’t think you need, until you have it. Giving this as a gift to someone is another one of those “you won’t buy it for yourself, so here” gift ideas. The Roomba 690 is one of the midrange options which gets you a lot of bang for your buck. It has WiFi connectivity and can be controlled using an app, plus there’s a host of other bonuses and add-ons that are pretty huge.

    If the Roomba doesn’t float your boat, you can also take a look at the iLife A4. We also have a breakdown of a number of different robot vacuums over on DGiT.

    Get Roomba at Amazon
    Get iLife A4 at Amazon

    Smart Coffee Pot

    Coffee is arguably one of the most important parts of waking up in the morning. Millions of customers standing in line at Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more every day can’t be wrong. But this is the future, and the future of coffee is in the smart Coffee Pot. Not to mention, we all like to drink coffee while we watch radar; everyone knows that. Enter the Mr. Coffee Smart WeMo Coffee Maker. This app-controlled coffee pot lets you automate much of the coffee making process – check the status of the coffee pot, set daily schedules for brewing, etc.

    Alternatively, you could also take a look at the Behmor Connected Coffee Pot. We also wrote up a comprehensive look at smart coffee pots over a DGiT. Take a look!

    Get WeMo Coffee Maker at Mr. Coffee
    Get Belmor Coffee Maker at Amazon

    TV

    Vizio.com

    Nothing says love during the holidays like a new TV, but getting the best new TV, without busting your budget can be a pretty big ask. The Vizio M Series 55-inch TV offers a lot of bang for your buck, and comes with an Android tablet to boot. The downside is, you use this android tablet as a remote which can be less than ideal. But to wrap up a TV and a tablet for the holidays, is a pretty big win in our opinion, so this would be a good way to go.

    If you’re looking for a TV for gamers, the TCL P607 is a solid buy as well. Both TV’s are full array backlit instead of edge lit resulting in better black levels.

    Get Visio TV at Amazon
    Get TCL TV at Amazon

    Drone

    What man doesn’t want a drone? For the money, the DJI Spark is one of the best out there. Remarkably slim and stable, you can even fly the DJI spark using gestures, rather than a remote. Sure, it’s mostly a parlor trick at the moment, but it’s still pretty awesome tech and fun to brag about at parties. The DJI Spark is a great, “Grab and go” type of drone which will get you some great shots, and has a fair bit of range as well.

    But it you want to really blow their doors off, take a look at the Phantom 4, also by DJI. The Phantom 4 is the Cadillac of drone flying with a range of two miles and more. Learn even more about your drone options over at DroneRush.

    Get DJI Spark at Amazon
    Get DJI Phantom 4 at Amazon

    Home Game Console

    At the beginning of the year, Nintendo came out with its new gaming console, the Nintendo Switch. At first, the console was tough to get hands on. Now the system can be had at most retail outlets without much hassle. The Nintendo Switch is one of the most versatile gaming systems out there. The tablet-like console has controllers on either side that slide off, the tablet itself has a kickstand, plus there’s an included dock to hook the console up to a TV. It is very close to an optimal gaming solution.

    It’s not without its drawbacks – it’s a little underpowered compared to most modern gaming consoles. But the versatility of gaming scenarios, from family game nights, to road trips is pretty much unparalleled by any other system. If you know a gamer who doesn’t have a Nintendo Switch, this would put a smile on their face. Of course you could also get an Xbox or PS4, but odds are the person in your life already has one if they are into games at all. 

    Get Nintendo Switch at Amazon

    Smartwatch

    Smartwatches are one of those fun accessories to a smartphone that you need to use, in order to understand. Unlike many accessories of this nature, there’s a pretty high barrier of entry to get in on this trend. So, what better way to bring joy to a man’s heart than with the gift of a smartwatch. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch is a stylish smartwatch that works great with his Android smartphone. The Tizen-based watch even add Samsung Pay ability through the watch, making contactless or magnetic stripe payments fun and easy. The days of cash are numbered and contactless payment opportunities are becoming more and more widespread. Best get on that wagon now.

    Of course, if you need a watch for an iPhone user, look no further than the Apple Watch Series 3. No seriously, look no further, because that’s basically the only smartwatch that will work. The Apple Watch Series 3 adds LTE connectivity to the fold, which can be a great addition to the smartwatch family.

    Looking for more options? Be sure to check out our guide to the best smartwatches.

    Get Samsung Gear S3 Frontier at Amazon
    Get Apple Watch at Amazon

    Power bank

    You can’t anticipate what’s going to happen on a daily basis, especially when it comes to your smartphone battery. So many smartphones today boast “all day battery life” which frankly leaves little room for error if your day is going to be longer than planned. Sometimes, you’ve just had a heavy gaming day. Whatever the reason, it’s always a good idea to have some extra juice on you when you need to tether on the train ride home, or entertain the kid while in line at the DMV. Does that seem to specific? Because believe me, it happens.

    In cases like those, the Anker Powercore+ 20,000 mAh power bank might be a little on the beefy side, but it is very slick looking and slips easily into a bag. Plus it gives you PowerIQ technology and even a USB Type-C port for charging. This will top you off at the end of a long day, or keep you going during an overnight camping trip.

    If you need something a little more compact, take a look at the Eighty Plus 10,000 mAh power bank. It’s a lot more sleek and also more attractive. We have a full rundown of a number of other power banks here on Android Authority. If neither of these two are exciting – well, that’s because they’re power banks, but we also have a longer list to look at.

    Get Eighty Plus 10,000 at Amazon
    Get Anker External Battery at Amazon

    Tracking Beacon

    People lose stuff. Like always. Which is why there has been a recent surge in tracking tags that attach to your stuff, so you can locate it when you lose it. Use cases for these things extend from wallets and purses, to bikes, to keys – you name it. Many of these tracking tag systems rely on the crowd to throw a blanket of coverage over an entire area. Connectivity range is limited, so in order to track items beyond 30 feet away from your phone, Tile users can report items they come across to their owners. It’s an elegant solution that requires a ton of user adoption in order to saturate an area.

    Tile, and similar competitor Trackr have both gotten the type of widespread adoption required to make this somewhat of a reality. There are still gaps, to be sure, but GPS enabled trackers have miserable battery life and cost a lot of money. If you know someone who tends to misplace items, Tile or Trackr might just be a good stocking stuffer this holiday season.

    Get Tile at Amazon
    Get Tracker at Amazon

    So that’ll do it for our holiday gift guide for the men in your life. ‘Are any of these items on your shopping list? Think we left something out? Hit us up in the comments below and let us know what you’ll be camping out on Black Friday for.

    Disclosure: E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

    Nailing down the Switch

    I am still happily playing Zelda – Breath of the Wild every day on my new Switch. However I had to buy some accessories to make that work smoothly. After trying it out once I abandoned the idea of playing with the Switch as a mobile device: I found the screen too small for Zelda and the 2-hour battery life not sufficient for my needs. So I was playing on my TV, with the two Joy-Con controllers attached to the supplied grip, which makes them feel very similar to a gamepad. However the supplied grip has no electric connection at all. Thus at the end of every day I had to unhook the two Joy-Cons and attach them to the main console for charging. Not very practical, and somewhat fiddly.

    I considered two solutions and ended up buying both: A wired gamepad controller and a Joy-Con charging grip. The charging grip has the advantage that you can still play wirelessly, and just need to plug in the charging cable in the evening. The gamepad is rounder and slightly more comfortable to play with; however the one I bought doesn’t support motion control nor near-field communications.

    In summary, I basically nailed down my Switch and turned it into a regular console, with no more need to remove the tablet from the stand. I can see the appeal of having a mobile console, but unless somebody invents better batteries, the Switch isn’t that for me.

    World of Warcraft today

    I got a “gift” from Blizzard, 7 days of free subscription to WoW. Not that I would have needed it, I still have several tokens I could exchange for game time. But it did what it was supposed to do, prompt me to update the client and play World of Warcraft for an hour or so. Unfortunately for Blizzard that didn’t get me hooked again. Instead I got rather bored with running errands, aka quests, and logged out again.

    One major difficulty I have with World of Warcraft is that the buttons I have for each character have changed so often over the life of this game. Which means that even on my main character which I have played literally for thousands of hours I can’t remember the optimum sequence of button presses after a year and a half of not playing the game. That doesn’t appear to matter for quests, I can do those with just randomly mashing buttons, but it is a serious barrier to re-entry if I wanted to play again.

    The next thing that hit me was getting billions of artifact points thrown at me for doing not much. It basically made all the effort I had previously put into artifact weapons seem pointless. On the other hand, I had stopped playing with only part 1 of the achievement necessary for flying done, and it turns out that part 2 still needs weeks of grinding to get to. No thanks!

    In summary, World of Warcraft has changed the details frequently (which makes it hard to remember how to play well), while not changing the basic structure of the game enough (which makes it hard to find a renewed interest in playing). I still don’t think I will buy the next expansion, Battle for Azeroth.

    Why companies hiring Interns, build their BRAND faster?

    Why should company hire Intern?

    Increase productivity: Speaking of additional manpower, setting up an internship program allows you to take advantage of short-term support. The extra sets of hands help your employees be more productive, prevent them from becoming overburdened by side projects, as well as free them up to accomplish more creative tasks or those where higher-level, strategic thinking or expertise is required.

    Take advantage of low-cost labor: Interns are an inexpensive resource. Their salaries are significantly lower than staff employees, and you aren’t obligated to pay unemployment or a severance package should you not hire them on full time.Moreover, while their wage requirements are modest, they’re among the most highly motivated members of the workforce.

    Benefit your small business: When looking for full time work, the top talent often go for big-name businesses. But when seeking internships, learning is the leading draw. Many candidates feel they’ll get more hands-on training, real experience, and mentoring opportunities with smaller organizations.

    Advantages of doing the Internship for a student

    Get Real Work Experience
    The biggest benefit of internships is that they offer a safe space for students and graduates to gain work experience. This is important because most employers are reluctant to hire someone who’s never worked before, they think that with no experience, you’ll probably be unreliable and not know what to do or how to work. Of course, this creates a vicious circle with no way out which is why lots of graduates end up in completely unrelated fields.

    Internships can be a great solution to this problem as they allow students and graduates to experience a real workplace. Apart from the vocational skills that interns gain, they also get lots of soft skills which are crucial to not only finding a job but succeeding at one as well.

    Get a Taste of Your Chosen Field
    One of the greatest advantages of internships is that they allow people to experience their industry and chosen profession. This usually has one of two effects – makes people more excited and drives them to work hard and build a successful career, or they realize it’s not the right career for them.

    Boosts Your CV
    Internships can also benefit your CV as they are a foolproof way to demonstrate that you have work experience, as well as other workplace skills. The skills can be relevant to your chosen profession, which is admittedly crucial in a CV, but they could also be other skills, including communication and people skills that employers value.

    Helps You Choose a Specialty
    An internship can help you identify a particular area in your industry or profession that you’re interested in and help you acquire more knowledge regarding this area.

    Following are the major companies across the world always hiring Interns

    1. Facebook
    2. Google
    3. Qualcomm
    4. Microsoft
    5. Morgan Stanley
    6. Apple
    7. HP
    8. CISCO
    9. Deloitte
    10. JP Morgan and Chase
    11. Amazon.com
    For any Recruitment related advice and quality human resource , feel free to mail Ms Simran (Head-HR @ http://suvenconsultants.com )