Harris Adds to a Diverse Staff Where a Majority, Like Their Boss, Are Women of Color

While Ms. Flournoy’s appointment was seen as ensuring a grown-up will be in charge of Ms. Harris’s office, she is not without critics, who said she did not always have the right instincts to protect Mr. Clinton from politically damaging moments.

Many aides in Mrs. Clinton’s orbit hold Ms. Flournoy responsible for Mr. Clinton’s ill-fated airport tarmac meeting with Loretta E. Lynch, in June 2016, when Ms. Lynch was the attorney general and the F.B.I. was looking into the circumstances around Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.

Mr. Clinton was wrapping up a sweltering day on the campaign trail in Phoenix in support of his wife’s presidential run when the Secret Service alerted Ms. Flournoy and other staff members that Ms. Lynch’s government plane was parked next to his. Ms. Flournoy said the former president, often eager to catch up with friends, acquaintances and even political rivals, would want to say hello to Ms. Lynch, according to a person with knowledge of the events.

Ms. Lynch, who had a foot injury at the time, invited Mr. Clinton onto her plane to escape the heat, and Ms. Flournoy did not stop him from boarding alone, explaining that he and the attorney general should have some privacy.

When the meeting became known it touched off a firestorm of Republican criticism and Ms. Lynch ended up recusing herself from overseeing the email investigation, announcing that she would rely instead on the F.B.I. That set the stage for James B. Comey, the bureau’s director, to make a public statement sharply critical of Mrs. Clinton even as he announced she would not be charged.

Angel Ureña, a spokesman for Mr. Clinton, disputed that Ms. Flournoy was in any way responsible for the tarmac incident and said that she had the support of those who worked with her.

“I’ve worked for Tina for nearly eight years, so I’m pretty well positioned to say where my colleagues and I stand, which is behind her,” Mr. Ureña said. “We love and respect her, will miss her and have absolutely no doubt that she’ll be nothing but an asset to the vice president-elect and the country.”

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Quicken adds shopping refund tracker to its personal finance app Simplifi

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Quicken, maker of America’s best-selling personal finance software, released a new feature for Simplifi by Quicken, its award-winning personal finance app, to help users track their returns to make sure they receive their refunds. The company designed the shopping refund tracker to ensure users don’t leave money on the table during the holiday shopping season, which has already seen record online spending with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With heavier online shopping, returns could also reach record numbers this year.

A recent survey by Quicken found that 78% of respondents are ordering online more since the pandemic began in March. And as online sales increase, so do returns — 34% of respondents said they’ve had more returns, with 10% saying they had significantly more. However, few people have a system to ensure they receive their money back from each return. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they either have a loose system in place or don’t have one at all, with 45% citing that refunds might fall through the cracks.

Ahead of the upcoming holiday shopping season, Quicken launched a shopping refund tracker within Simplifi to help users manage their returns and ensure they receive all their money back, without having to manually check their accounts each day. With the shopping refund tracker, users can see a snapshot of all of their refunds in progress, so it’s easy to know when each is expected to be received. Simplifi will send a notification when a return from a specific payee, such as Amazon, is successfully refunded, so users know the money is back in their account. It will also send a notification if a refund is overdue, so users can follow up on the status.

“Nearly three-fourths (71%) of survey respondents said they would want a better, easy, system to track their returns and confirm they received the money back,” said Quicken CEO Eric Dunn. “We want our users to be able to make returns with confidence and take away the burden of monitoring for their refund to hit, so that they can focus on other important aspects of their personal finances, such as budgeting, saving and planning for retirement.”

The shopping refund tracker also offers peace of mind when returning high-ticket purchases. Forty-five percent of respondents returned more than $100 of online orders since March, with some counting returns of more than $10,000.

Additional information on Simplifi’s shopping refund tracker and more survey results are available on Simplifi’s blog.

Simplifi is available through the App Store, Google Play, and on the web. More information can be found at www.simplifimoney.com.

About Quicken:
Quicken is the #1 personal finance software in the US. For over 30 years, customers have relied on Quicken to manage all their finances, so they can lead healthy financial lives. In 2016, Quicken, formerly part of Intuit, became an independent company. Its desktop and cloud product suite includes a family of products that cater to different financial needs

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Women’s Wellness Tech Company, Bellabeat, Adds New Star Hire

Wellness has grown to be a top priority in people’s life encompassing wellbeing, beauty and lifestyle. The industry has seen massive growth in the past few years worth over $4.2 trillion with wellness tourism predicting to be a $919 billion industry by 2022, which would represent about 18 percent of all global tourism. 

The rise of the industry has also sparked wellness tech into a  steep upward trajectory in the past few years. While tech giants like Apple and Samsung have played a major role in this development, there are also numerous other players in the wellness and beauty sector that shaped this market with the help of new, innovative products and technologies such as San Francisco startup Bellabeat.

Bellabeat is a data-oriented wellness tech company that was founded by Sandro Mur, Urška Sršen, and Lovepreet Singh in 2013. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in London, Hong Kong, and Zagreb. The business focuses on women’s health and wellness but its main product is the Bellabeat Leaf. The Leaf is a water-resistant device that tracks your activity, stress, sleep, meditation, and reproductive health. The data is then shared with the consumer to help her adjust diet, exercise and wellness based on her hormones and menstrual cycle. It is made of hypoallergenic, vegan-friendly materials and can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or clip, depending on which accessories you combine with it. Within four years after its inception, Bellabeat has already sold over 700,000 pieces of jewelry.

 Although the wellness tech sector is being flooded with wearables, like smartwatches or smart rings, there is still a distinct lack of products specifically aimed at women. Bellabeat’s smart jewelry, on the other hand, is designed with women’s health in mind. The Leaf was also named the best overall smart jewelry by Business Insider.

The menstrual cycle is a big part of just about any woman’s life. It affects the hormonal balance of the body, and, thus, it has a big impact on women’s wellbeing. With the Bellabeat Leaf and its accompanying app, women can track just about everything that might have an impact on their health or performance. This knowledge can then help them optimize their lives. While Bellabeat has seen success since 2017, the company has now added the economist Jeppe Christiansen to its board in an effort to advance the wellness tech industry even further. Christiansen, who is a distinguished economist with an MSc in Economics from the University of Copenhagen and has decades of professional experience in the financial sector, joined Bellabeat as a board member to further improve the business and its products to help it reach even more women.

At the moment, Christiansen is CEO of Maj Invest, which is an asset management business based in Copenhagen, as well as vice-chair of Novo Nordisk,

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Microsoft Edge adds autofill coupon codes and more annotation tools

There are few worse first-world-problems than buying something online, only to find out there was a 10 percent coupon you missed out on.

Now Microsoft is trying to make that a thing of the past for Edge users by autofilling coupon codes for you, no searching required.

Now if you visit a retailer online, you’ll see a blue coupon icon show up in the address bar. According to Microsoft, Edge will proactively surface the coupon codes at checkout, and from there you can either copy and paste codes, or have Edge try out each code and autofill the one which will save you the most money for your medley of items.

Keeping with the shopping theme, the company introduced a price comparison tool within Edge’s Collections feature last month to help you save money. Now the company is being more proactive about these price comparisons, with a blue icon in the address bar showing if there is a better offer at another retailer. Alternatively, Edge will show you if the site you’re on has the lowest price it can find to save you some time.

These features will be turned on by default, but you can turn them off by pressing the ‘…’ button in the price alerts, or by going to Settings > Privacy, search, and services.

In more shopping news:

  • Edge now has an  optional deals button that lives on the new tab page
  • Bing now has a curated shopping hub
  • A new “Shop the look” feature uses visual search to help you come up with an outfit
  • Bing now has dedicated product pages in the shopping tab which let you view user ratings, professional reviews, specifications, price trends over time.

Of course, Edge is far from the only way to automate some savings in your browser. There is no shortage of extensions that purport to do the same and work across a suite of browsers. Still, it’s nice to have features built-in.

Shopping aside, Edge’s annotation features are getting a big upgrade as well. You can now screenshot and annotate sections of webpages, including inking support. “Later this month” users will also be able to capture full pages with a click to avoid the need for scrolling. To initiate a capture, you can press Ctrl + Shift +S, or select Web capture from the ‘…’ menu button.

Lastly, Edge is adding the ability to comment on PDFs, in addition to the handwritten annotations and highlighting available previously.

These updates are rolling out to users now. For more on these features, plus a couple of others, you can check out Microsoft’s blog post here.

For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on
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Published November 19, 2020 — 22:01 UTC

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Microsoft Edge update adds a built-in digital coupon tool

Microsoft Edge, the browser the company released earlier this year, has received new features in the latest software update, including built-in digital coupons. According to Microsoft, the browser tool will automatically find and alert the user to any coupons available when on a retailer’s website.

A number of browser extensions providing access to coupon codes are available, some more useful than others, but there’s that one big downside: they come from third-party sources. Microsoft is offering its users a new built-in coupon tool that functions similarly to extensions, alerting users when a coupon is available for the product they’re browsing.

Users can click on a blue shopping tag in the URL bar when alerted to see the available coupon codes. Assuming one is available, you can copy and paste it when checking out on the retailer’s website; there’s also the option to auto-populate the codes when checking out.

Microsoft has also launched what it says is a more proactive price comparison tool for Edge. The price comparison tool shows users other price options available from different retailers when they’re browsing products online using Edge browser.

As well, Edge has received a tab ‘enhancement’ that involves a tab page with new tools related to online shopping. Users who enable the feature will be able to access ‘Deals,’ a portal to discounts and other offers. Microsoft has also added a ‘Daily Brief’ option for seeing breaking news.

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