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Photo Pro-labor demonstrators outside the Supreme Court in 2016 before the justices heard arguments in a case challenging mandatory union fees. The court split evenly on the case after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images In the summer of 2016, government workers in Illinois received a mailing that offered them tips on how…


Plumbing Problem Shows Powers and Limits of 3 Tax Programs

Photo The leading online tax-return preparation programs make the routine parts of doing your taxes easy. But when complexities arise, you can still wind up fretting over Internal Revenue Service rules. Credit Alamy I didn’t imagine that doing my taxes would make me grateful for a frozen pipe.That pipe forced a bathroom renovation at our…

Tech Tip: Organizing Pictures With Words

Q. I plan to start really organizing my digital photos on my computer. I would like to be able to sort them by location taken and search for pictures based on who or what is in the photo. Are there photo-editing programs that can also catalog a large personal picture collection?A. Several programs that import…

Bits: Dai and Jack’s Week in Tech: Don’t Trust the Internet

Photo Jack Nicas, The Times’s new Apple reporter, visited the new Apple campus this week. Credit Kyodo News, via Getty Images SAN FRANCISCO — Each Friday, Farhad Manjoo, technology columnist at The New York Times, reviews the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the tech…

Tech Tip: Leaping Over the Language Barrier

Q. I know there are sites that convert words and phrases from other languages to English, but how do you translate an entire web page?A. You can find language-translation options from certain browsers, search engines or websites. For example, Google’s Chrome browser for computers, Android and iOS have translation tools built in and may even…