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UltraSoC joins the OpenHW Group and extends its commitment to an open-source future for technology development

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: aithority.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

UltraSoC today announced it has joined the OpenHW Group, the global not-for-profit organization established earlier this year to further the adoption of open source processors, particularly for high volume production systems-on-chip (SoCs). As part of its involvement, UltraSoC will contribute its substantial experience and IP in the area of system-level debug and processor trace. UltraSoC is committed to supporting its customers using all open-source and proprietary technologies and is seeing an increasing number of designs supporting mixed (heterogeneous) processor hardware.

The OpenHW Group has already announced a range of cores, dubbed CORE-V, based on the RISC-V open ISA. Both UltraSoC and the OpenHW Group are active members of the RISC-V Foundation, and development in this area will be a key part of UltraSoC’s initial contribution to the group.

Launched in June 2019, the OpenHW Group provides a complete infrastructure for hosting high quality open-source hardware developments. The Group, comprised of 25 member and partner organizations, operates as a not-for-profit driven by its members and individual contributors, where hardware and software designers collaborate globally in the development of open-source cores, as well as related IP, tools and software.

Rick O’Connor, Founder and CEO of OpenHW Group, added, “I am delighted that UltraSoC is bringing its significant and broad ‘platform agnostic’ embedded systems expertise to the OpenHW Group. I am confident the OpenHW Group ecosystem will benefit greatly from UltraSoC’s insights into building and operating reliable systems based on a wide range of open-source and heterogeneous hardware.”

UltraSoC CEO, Rupert Baines, commented, “The OpenHW Group is just what the industry needs today to make it easier to develop real systems using open-source hardware – these developments are increasingly presenting an equal or better option to proprietary CPU-based alternatives. We congratulate Rick and the team for the enlightened initiative and look forward to getting involved.”

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European investors will spend from €100 to €500 on Christmas gifts this year

Alex Marginean

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This was revealed in a survey of the European P2P investors conducted by the platform Robo.cash. According to the findings, such an amount will be spent by 55.5% of respondents. It is notable that 58.5% of investors are going to buy presents online.

 

The second most popular sum, which the respondents are willing to pay for Christmas gifts, is up to €100. This answer was given by 29.0% of them. 11.6% of P2P investors are going to spend from €500 to €999 and 3.9% – €1,000 or more.

Analysts of the company clarify that the most common range mentioned by the respondents – €100-499 – is just enough to buy presents for family members and close friends. At the same time, the limits are explained by investors’ reasonable approach to spending and a thorough budget planning.

It is noteworthy that 58.5% of respondents are going to buy Christmas presents online, whereas 65% of average Europeans are planning to do it in offline stores.

Such a tendency among P2P investors is due to several reasons. On the one hand, they are active users of digital tools in general. Apart from investing on P2P platforms, 32.3% of them regularly use online banking and 25.7% – mobile payments, according to Robo.cash findings. On the other hand, investors value their time. Therefore, they opt for fast and convenient online shopping instead of waiting in a queue.

The survey was launched by the platform in mid-November. In total, it collected responses of 440 P2P investors from European countries.

Robo.cash is a Croatia based fully automated P2P platform with a buyback guarantee on investments operating within the European Union and Switzerland. Launched in February 2017, the platform belongs to the financial holding Robocash Group that unites non-bank consumer lending companies in seven markets in Europe and Asia. As a part of the group, Robo.cash works according to a “peer-to-portfolio” model providing an opportunity to invest in short-term loans issued by the affiliated companies. For the time of operation, it has attracted over 9 mln of investments, which has allowed to finance 115 mln worth of loans.

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Books

How Social Networks Have Displaced Books From Our Lives

Kathrin Garner

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@burst on Pexels
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gone are the days of teenagers spending their spare time engrossed in a novel, according to findings from a study conducted by the American Psychological Association.

As a matter of fact, 1 in 3 high school students in the US didn’t read a book for pleasure in 2016. Also, 82% of 12th graders regularly visited social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in the same time period.

The lack of reading books is concerning. And today, we’re going to talk about how social networks have displaced books from our lives.

 

It’s No Longer a Top Priority

In the past 10 years or so, with the advent of social media, our lifestyles have transformed dramatically.

To a teen born in today’s age of the Internet, reading a book for fun doesn’t seem very exciting as most kids their age are already immersed in the world of social media.

Television used to be the king of digital media during the pre-internet era. Teenagers didn’t have many choices for watching things that would align with their likings. Therefore, spending downtime reading on topics they loved was very common.

However, things changed drastically after the arrival of the internet. As time went by, more people started using Google to learn how to detox knowledge and information, rather than reading books.

Don’t get us wrong here. The Internet might just be the greatest invention of the modern era. It has surely made our lives easier. However, the internet today is mostly influenced by social networks, which in many ways have veered from the key purpose of it.

Today’s generation prefers using social media over reading books because it seems more fun and they feel this sense of connection toward a community from which they’re accessing information. Little did the know, the information found on social networks is often unreliable—which normally isn’t the same for books.

 

Short Attention Span

With the entire world at your fingertips, you’re always multitasking and obtaining information from the internet faster—often at the cost of obtaining the full information.

Therefore, multitasking has slowly made us become more impatient, especially in terms of gathering knowledge. Instead of getting quality information and details on a specific topic, we scroll through several different pages on social media and end up receiving incomplete knowledge on a number of unnecessary topics.

To read a book, you must invest your time and fully focus on it. However, a short attention span, combined with impatience, might just be the reason why most people today favor quantity over quality.

One article posted on The New York Times regarding “The Eight-Second Attention Span” further discussed the short attention span of society and how this occurred.

We cannot solely blame social networks for this sudden decrease in attention span. However, giving unnecessary time to socializing in the virtual world versus spending some quality time in real life surely has its consequences.

 

Lack of Leisure Reading

“The lack of leisure reading is troubling,” said Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University. According to her, the most crucial discovery hidden in the data is the following statistic:

In the 1970s, nearly 90% of high school goers reported reading a book, newspaper, or magazine daily. Four decades later, 16% of high school students reported doing so in 2016.

This decline in reading books is troubling as the attention and skillset required to digest topics in long-form writing are significantly different from glancing at a status update on Facebook.

Reading long-form texts (e.g., books, magazines, articles, etc.) is vital for learning complex ideas and for improving critical thinking abilities.

The lack of effort makes the whole social media experience less rewarding.

 

Wrapping Up

We spend more hours on social networks than on reading books. We take more pleasure in technology than reading books. Therefore, our sole purpose is to bring the present vulnerable condition of reading habits into everyone’s attention.

Feel free to share this post with your friends and family members. Remember what Mark Twain said, “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

Spread the word.

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Guest Articles

How to Get Rid of Your Back Taxes

Alex Marginean

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Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Back taxes are the taxes that individuals do not entirely pay on the due date. You should pay your taxes on time every year. In case you fail to pay your tax, then you are liable to fines, penalties, and collection activities like bank tolls or salary garnishments. Not paying taxes can make things complicated. So, here are a few strategies to help you get rid of back taxes.

 

Do not avoid the IRS

The first approach towards relief on back taxes is keeping your communication open with the IRS about tax status. Do not ignore the letters and calls from the IRS. Ignoring their efforts of communication will make the matter worse. Instead, answer the IRS calls and explain to them your situation. They might come up with a resolution to help you in avoiding the collection activity and settling your account. Based on your conditions, you can request them for deferring your taxes citing reasons of hardship for paying your back taxes. IRS can grant you hardship deferment in the following situations:

  • Loss of job
  • Suffering from a severe disability or medical ailment.
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Divorce

To confirm whether you are eligible for hardship deferment, consult your tax expert before proceeding to ask the IRS.

Request IRS to waive off your penalties

Source

The interest and penalties keep increasing until you pay the back taxes. The greater the fees, the more difficult it gets to pay off your tax debt. You can request the IRS for a penalty waiver to eliminate the additional costs, considering you to pay just the tax balance.

Do not delay your current tax filing

You must continue to timely file and submit the current tax return every year, even when you are facing the back tax problem. When IRS is reviewing your account, make sure that you file the current tax on or before the April filing deadline. In case you miss the current year tax filing dates, then you can ask the IRS to arrange a mode of payment to avoid further piling up on what you already owe to the government. You can ask them for an installment payment method or any other method to demonstrate that you are reliable and willing to make the payment.

Settle your back taxes using a credit card

Source

Use a low-interest credit card to settle your back taxes. It will help you to settle your tax debt and buy you some time before reimbursing your credit card bill after a few months. Paying through a credit card is a more stable choice than using a debt settlement since it disburses your debt in a single return. This way, you can dodge off the fees and penalties that would have come if you had delayed the payment to the IRS.

Get organized

Get organized while dealing with your back taxes and start with the previous year when you filed taxes. Start making copies of your salary earning receipts and paperwork from that year onwards for which you failed to file a tax. You can get a copy of your income-earning record from your local IRS in case you do not have the original ones. Also, double-check with a tax professional about your back tax numbers and ensure that you report accurate annual income figures to avoid any penalties.

Calculate the precise amount that you owe to IRS

While filing your back tax returns, go through each one and make sure that you prepare it as per the IRS instructions. Your goal is to find out how much you owe to IRS and how much, if any, does IRS need to refund you at the end of every filing form. If you are not particular about your filing abilities, then ask a tax professional to go through your returns to make sure everything is correct. In case of any errors in the math, the tax professional can correct them before you submit your returns.

Submit past tax returns by paying a nominal amount for each debt

You must provide $5 for every tax debt you have to pay them while sending your tax return. It will get you back into compliance with the IRS. They will notice that you are sincere about repaying your back tax returns.

Ask for an alternate payment option for paying back taxes

Source

If you are not able to repay the IRS in full, then ask them for a different payment option. Payment options like:

A monthly installment agreement

Check to withhold

An Offer in Compromise or OIC

Monthly credit card withdrawals

Currently Not Collectible Status or CNC

These payment options allow you to pay off your back taxes in the best affordable way.

Ask a Tax Specialist

Lastly, if you have no idea how to settle back taxes, then appoint a tax professional. Your tax professional would be the right person to suggest you the best way to solve your outstanding payment. In some cases, they will settle your back tax amount for less than what you owe them. They will also suggest ways to deal with the IRS for the next time when you owe back taxes.

Conclusion:

The IRS aims to collect the debts that you owe in the form of back taxes from the past few years. If you do not take this seriously, you will run the risk of income loss or seizure of assets. To avoid these extreme penalties, you can resolve your back taxes by filing your back taxes, asking for waiving off your penalties or involve an expert tax consultant who can help you file your taxes and satisfy your account with the IRS.

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