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Walmart preps for tax season

BY DSN STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart announced that it is helping customers prepare for tax season by offering low-cost tax preparation services and free in-store federal form 1040EZ filing. The retailer also will provide $3 and $6 check-cashing services.

"We believe Americans shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant prices on their everyday financial needs," almart Financial Services VP Daniel Eckert said. "It’s their money and we want to make sure they can cash checks, pay bills and transfer money at a low price."

According to Walmart, its low-cost check-cashing services can be used by customers to cash their tax refunds without being penalized financially. The average tax refund is $2,902 which means Americans could spend up to $90 just to receive their tax refund, Walmart said.

"Customers need to make every dollar count in this tough economy, and that’s why we’re committed to helping customers pay less for their financial services during tax season and throughout the year," said Eckert. "With more than 3,000 tax preparation kiosks in Walmart stores across the U.S. and low flat-fee check cashing services, our customers can conveniently make their refund dollars stretch farther by simply taking care of their tax needs at Walmart."

Walmart said it has worked with Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block to double its in-store tax kiosks and lower the cost for tax preparation services. Jackson Hewitt will offer free federal Form 1040EZ filing at its Walmart kiosks throughout the tax season and H&R Block will offer a free federal Form 1040EZ until Feb. 29. H&R Block will have 250 kiosks in Walmart stores, while Jackson Hewitt is adding approximately 800 kiosks bringing their Walmart footprint to 2,800.

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Those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes don’t seek lifestyle counseling, research finds

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Many patients that are at risk of Type 2 diabetes don’t believe they require lifestyle counseling to help them curb their chance of developing the disease, according to new research published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Pooling data from 10,149 patients that participated in the Finnish National Diabetes Prevention Project, researchers led by Sanna Salmela of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland found that 36% of men and 52% of women believed they needed counseling. What’s more, those that agreed to attend supervised lifestyle intervention were more likely to report a perceived need than those who agreed on a self-initiated lifestyle change or those who refused to attend lifestyle intervention. The need was associated with actual attendance in the lifestyle intervention only among women, the authors added.

"It will be vital to find additional means to support lifestyle change," the authors concluded.

The full study results can be found here.


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Kodak reiterates innovation despite expected bankruptcy announcement

BY Allison Cerra

LAS VEGAS — Kodak is debuting its latest products, including two new cameras, at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, despite rumors that the company will be seeking bankruptcy protection.

The company showcased at CES the Kodak EasyShare wireless camera M750 and the Kodak PlayFull Dual camera. The latest EasyShare camera, which will retail for $169.95, touts 16 megapixels and allows users to instantly share their pictures with its built-in Wi-Fi, making it no longer necessary to connect to a computer to share images. In line with the EasyShare camera launch, the company also has implemented the Kodak EasyShare camera app for smartphones, including Android, Apple and BlackBerry devices, where users can share photos via Kodak Gallery sites, email or Facebook.

Meanwhile, the newest addition to the Kodak PlayFull line is the PlayFull Dual camera, which retails for $199.95 and combines a 1080p/60 fps HD video camera with a 12 megapixel digital camera. The device has an external microphone jack, built-in Xenon flash, and Share button for easy upload to Facebook, YouTube, Kodak Gallery sites, email and more.

Additional products showcased included:

  • Hero all-in-one printers that are Google Cloud Print Ready and Kodak Email Print Ready, and allow photos and documents to be printed from smartphones, laptops or tablets;

  • At-home applications, including the My Kodak Moments app and the Kodak Photo Collage Print app; and

  • On-the-go applications, including Kodak Pic Flick app, Kodak Document Print app and Kodak Gallery Mobile app.

“Kodak has been synonymous with imaging for more than 120 years. And for today’s social and mobile consumers, we continue to innovate to deliver intelligent and intuitive products that produce brilliant Kodak-quality images,” said Vince Ferraro, Kodak’s new global VP corporate marketing and consumer digital imaging group. “People trust Kodak with their memories, and we want to help them do more with those memories. Whether at home, on the go, or at retail, Kodak has a smart and simple solution to capture, create, share and print.”

Last week, Wall Street analysts said the company was expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Additionally, Kodak also received a continued listing standards notice from the New York Stock Exchange after the average closing price of the company’s common stock was less than $1 per share over a period of 30 consecutive trading days.

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