Hashtag Trending April 19 – Senator questions Intuit; Windows toolbox malware; and U.S. military prints barracks

Files from Tom Li

Elizabeth Warren slams Intuit for misleading tax filers, a popular windows toolbox script is actually malware, and the U.S. military contracts a 3D printing company to build training facilities.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, April 19, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is questioning Intuit, the parent company of the TurboTax software, on why Americans need to pay to file taxes. Warren stated that Intuit used extensive lobbying tactics to prevent Americans from filing taxes for free, misleading them to pay for services like TurboTax. The controversy surrounds the Free File program, an initiative started by the IRS, through which Americans earning under $73,000 per year can file their taxes at no cost. In a letter, Warren accused the companies collaborating with the IRS on Free Filing of scamming taxpayers, misleading filers into paying for their services. Her statement follows up a recent lawsuit filed by the FTC against Intuit over the company’s deceptive marketing practices. 

A popular Windows Toolbox script turned out to be a trojan in disguise. The script, simply called Windows Toolbox on Github, allowed users to crack Microsoft Office and Windows, as well as to install Google Play Store on Windows 11, a function that Microsoft doesn’t yet officially support. The prospect of unlocking the full breadth of Android Apps on Windows 11 generated a lot of hype, and the tool became very popular for a time. Unfortunately, the script also abused its popularity to install malware and unwanted browser extensions. The full extent of the attack isn’t clear, but the damage may extend beyond what’s already been discovered.

The U.S. military has contracted with a 3D printing company to “print” barracks for training its troops. In the next 10 months, the military will use Icon’s building printing tech to build three structures. Once completed, the buildings will span 5,700 square feet each, the largest printed building project ever in the U.S. According to the press release, using 3D printing technology will help the military cut down on labour cost and construction times. And to withstand the rigors of military use, the buildings will be made with lavacrete, a high-strength concrete. 

And now for something a bit different. Although electric vehicles are increasingly becoming more powerful, their range remains a key issue. As countries ramp up efforts to build out its supporting infrastructure, battery technologies are also advancing at a rapid pace. One such example is a new battery tech Theion technology that makes a 900-mile range feasible for smaller cars. In addition to increased energy density, the battery is based on Sulfur, not Lithium, which is far more abundant. Having higher availability of source materials could also lower the price and better meet the demand of the booming EV market. Unfortunately, EVs won’t be Theion’s primary market. The company wants to target the aerospace industry first, and then consumer products like smartphones and laptops. With that said, the company says EV is definitely on its road map. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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