Top apps and services for filing taxes

One of the smartest men ever claimed that "the hardest thing to understand in the world is income taxes." Einstein may have lost some hair filling out his tax forms, but you don't have to. Here are free tools to reduce the stress and get the most back from your income-tax filings.

Tax-preparation software

Need help preparing your taxes? Try one of these free apps:

TaxAct TaxAct Free Federal Edition supports most basic tax returns, including the 1040EZ, but also... Read More »

Topics: Office And Productivity , Shopping Dining And Lifestyle , Finance

Star Apps: Les Claypool

Primus frontman Les Claypool and M.I.R.V. guitarist Bryan Kehoe were jamming around the campfire one night. Claypool was suddenly inspired by the country music forced on him as a child -- Johnny Horton, Jerry Reed, and Vernon Dalhart -- and started playing his bass in a "Luther Perkins dig digga dang, dig digga dang" while Kehoe accompanied on guitar. They tested various songs, from obvious choices like Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans" and Primus' own "Jerry Was... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Mobile Software , Android Software , iOS Software , Music And Audio , Windows Phone Software , Apps , Android , Apps And Software , Apple , Music Software , Music And Software , Software , Software And Webware

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Star Apps: Gary Numan

Gary Numan is well aware that most Americans know him only for his "Cars" single. It's his only US hit, charting at No. 9 back in 1980. But when people call the electro pioneer a one-hit wonder, it drives me crazy. If "Down in the Park," "Are 'Friends' Electric?" "Me! I Disconnect From You," and "You Are in My Vision" (with Tubeway Army), "I Die: You Die," and "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" didn't chart in the US, it's not... Read More »

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Star Apps: 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' cast

DreamWorks' "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is based on the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment that appeared in the classic "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" cartoon. The movie follows dog father Mr. Peabody and his biped boy Sherman in a race through time to repair a hole in the universe that jeopardizes the entire space-time continuum. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" features the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, and Allison Janney; state-of-the-art CG animation and 3D; a great... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software , Mac Software , Mobile Software , Android Software , iOS Software , Social Networking , Windows Phone Software , Networking , Productivity And Business , Apps , Android , Productivity Software , Apps And Software , Apple

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Security lessons from RSA

The RSA Conference, the flagship meetup for cryptography, information security, and IT experts from around the world, just wrapped on February 28. While RSA is largely for IT professionals and businesses rather than consumers, I learned a couple of new lessons about personal protection in the age of big data. Read on for lessons learned and tips for taking control of your online security and digital privacy.

1. Beware of hackers and protect your passwords

Hackers are no more... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Security , Social Networking , Freeware , Tools Utilities And Drivers , Shopping Dining And Lifestyle , Developer Tools , Blogging And Web Publishing

Tags: Windows , security

Star Apps: Big Ang

As the debris settled from the explosive "Mob Wives: New Blood" season finale, which aired on VH1 February 27, viewers were left wondering who'd return next season. But if this photo on the show's Facebook page is any indication, all five wives, including series peacekeeper Big Ang will be back for season five. Angela Raiola is Brooklyn born, a single mother of two, and a former Mafia moll, and she also... Read More »

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Star Apps: Jonathan Kite

Actor Jonathan Kite is a far cry from Oleg, the bawdy Ukrainian cook he plays on CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls." He's US-born, more travel-crazed than sex-crazed, and doesn't deliver bawdy one-liners in his daily life. Kite also lends his voice to animated series "Black Dynamite" on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and after making stand-up comedy a weekend hobby, has become sought after for his impressions of Vince Vaughn, Tom Hanks, Seth... Read More »

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Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Security , Tools Utilities And Drivers , Developer Tools

Tags: Windows , security

Star Apps: JD Samson & Men

For some, work is a chore. For JD Samson & Men, music is a labor of love. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the electronic outfit's new, aptly titled album, "Labor." The LP's 13 tracks tackle heavy, highly personal topics suited for a therapy session -- gender identity, relationships, the challenges of making it in today's musical landscape -- yet listeners will likely experience a post-confessional lightness, buoyed by Men's synth-driven dance sound. I recently... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software , Mac Software , Mobile Software , Android Software , iOS Software , Social Networking , Music And Audio , Windows Phone Software , Productivity And Business , Apps , Android , Productivity Software , Apps And Software , Apple

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Star Apps: P.J. Byrne

As technology moves from desktop to handheld to wearable (connected fitness bands, smartwatches, Google Glass), one might wonder if microchipping is the next step in our tech evolution. The answer is an emphatic yes, according to CBS's "Intelligence," a new suspense series that airs Mondays (10 p.m. ET/PT). Josh Holloway plays Gabriel, a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced by a supercomputer microchip in his brain, which gives him unfettered access to the Internet, Wi-Fi, telephone, and satellite data... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Digital Photography , Mobile Software , Audiomp3 , Download Site News , Android Software , iOS Software , Social Networking , Music And Audio , Windows Phone Software , Digital Imaging , Productivity And Business , Apps , Android