Disney house, Facebook changes, and money matters
Notorious for copyright protection, Disney surprised a developer and architect in Utah when it agreed to allow them to build a replica of the house from the Disney-Pixar movie ‘Up’. According to the New York Times, although over 27,000 people have paid to tour the property, it’s still for sale. It can be yours for $400,000.
The Washington Post reports that Facebook is making some sweeping changes when it comes to how you share content with friends, and many look to be inspired by some of Google+’s more robust features.
In these tough times, the last thing we need is to replace a major appliance. Yahoo! Finance’s Financial Fit column tells how to prolong the life of some major appliances.
You’ve probably seen the commercial where a certain bank will round up purchases you make on your debit card and place them in your savings account for you (and therefore pocket a slightly higher fee from the merchant), but sometimes you need a more robust savings plan to build a rainy-day fund. Yahoo! Finance has some suggestions for building up your own nest egg.
Wired is impressed with Third Rail’s new iPhone 4 charging case.
FEMA has a pretty good online mapping tool for flood insurance maps but if you are a fan of Google Earth, there is a nice overlay for that too. You need to have downloaded Google Earth to your computer. Then you simply add on one of FEMA’s map layers to the program through another download here.
FEMA offers two free overlays for Google Earth: “Stay Dry” is a focused application that provides basic flood hazard map information from FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer for an address. It allows you to view flood hazard zones, cross sections and their labels, community names and boundaries, Flood Insurance Rate Map numbers and boundaries, and Letter of Map Revision case numbers and boundaries.
“FEMA NFHL” offers multiple layers of information. It is a general application that provides for the display of flood hazard zones, floodways, Coastal Barrier Resources System and Otherwise Protected Area units, community boundaries and names, base flood elevations, cross sections and coastal transects and their labels, hydraulic and flood control structures, and Flood Insurance Rate Map and Letter of Map Revision boundaries and numbers. Additional reference layers include the status of NFHL data availability, point locations for Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs) and Letters of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR–Fs), Q3 base flood, and subbasin hydrologic units. You control the information displayed by turning layers on and off. A basic knowledge of Google Earth and FEMA flood hazard information will help users of this application.
Commercial outperforms, private wi-fis, and Google buys Motorola
Washington is speculating that Obama administration will protect the 30-year mortgage – along with Freddie and Fannie in some form.
US commercial real estate will perform better than the country’s volatile sharemarket during the current economic downturn because investors value its intrinsic quality, according to a new CB Richard Ellis report.
Money Magazine is the latest to release a Best Places to Live list. Looking at the top picks it’s easy to see the editors like small towns or suburbia.
Who can resist the lure of free wi-fi? But using public wi-fi opens your computer or device to a slew of security risks. Never fear: Freelance Switch gives the scoop on private wifi.
People have been predicting the death of the PC computer for years. With the rise of cloud computing and new operating systems, it seems the PC is getting a second chance. Joshua Topolsky writes in the Washington Post that advances in both technology and the way people use the machines is dramatically changing:
Something very big is happening in computing right now. We’re moving away from closed, disconnected, windowed environments toward something dramatically different. This isn’t like going from a command line in DOS to the graphical environment of Windows. It’s more like going from driving a car to a shuttle launch. What will happen over the next few years in user interface design and decentralized cloud systems will make the previous 20 years seem tame by comparison. We’ve crossed over from a long, slow evolution to an explosive revolution in what a computer is and how you use it — and there’s no looking back.
Patent trolls are a problem, but no where more so than in Silicon Valley. Might that be one of the main reasons Google snapped up Motorola Mobility this week for $12.5 billion? As the new kid on the mobile phone playing field, Google doesn’t have the history or legal files that Motorola, one of the industry founders with 80 years of patents, does. While many of Motorola’s assets will be valuable to Google, its 17,000+ patents may be some of the most important.
According to the latest Pew Research Center survey, 13% of US cell phone owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them. Read the rest of the latest mobile phone survey results here.
Apple plans to sell a hell of a lot of iPhones in the second half of the year.
Our library catalog just entered this century! After months of prep and planning, we are pleased to announce that we have implemented our own koha-based library system. Koha is an open-source system based on a Drupal content management system. What this means is we saved money by not being tied into one of the large vendor-based systems, but we still have the flexibility of a robust, modern integrated library system to serve our members. Make the library your first stop for personal and professional reading through the new Library Catalog at www.Realtor.org/library, or go directly to http://realtors.kohalibrary.com/.
In addition to the 12,000+ books, reports, CDs and DVDs in the traditional collection, the library also offers a digital collection of 2300+ books, audiobooks and videos and nearly 1700 journals through Proquest.
Download Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw and The Tipping Point – or Keith Richard’s Life – from the NYT sampler of bestselling nonfiction. Prefer to read books in print format? Check out Facebook: The Missing Manual® by E. A. Vander Veer, Jennifer James’ Thinking in the Future Tense: A Workout for the Mind, Daniel Burrus’ Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible, and Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathyby Dev Patnaik with Peter Mortensen.
Need a username/password for the new library catalog? Contact Karen Janisch (x3288) or Mary Martinez-Garcia (x8832) at 800-84-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help using the new library catalog? Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 and ask to speak with a librarian.
Game theory and the debt ceiling, phantom vibrations, and a very narrow house
The debt ceiling negotiations are finally over and no one is happy. An article in Bloomberg/Business Week contends that according to game theory, it could not have ended any other way.
Fast Company explores the growing dependence we have with our mobile devices and the way we use them. Is it biological? And is there a growing backlash among the younger generation to the constant checking for messages and googling an answer when conversation stalls?
Robert Krulwich from NPR always has interesting stories to tell. This week he writes about a man who is building what could be the world’s narrowest house, wedged between two buildings in Poland. At its widest point it’s four feet across. At its narrowest, it’s just 28 inches, that’s the width of a front door. Click on the link for photos and more.
Having worked in a commercial real estate office, I can think of several agents who could have used the advice presented by CareerBuilder via CNN in Some Ways Not to Piss Off Your Coworkers. Speakerphone use was rampant. Not everyone wanted to know about your hot date last night or how sweet your new boat is.
Automated bill payment can keep you from racking up late charges, but it also can be a way for providers to sneak in extra fees or dings hoping you don’t notice. Yahoo Finance gives us 5 bills not to automate. Really it’s 5 bills not to automate and then forget. If you are careful to read your statement each month or make sure you know what a normal charge should be, you’ll be fine.
The list of the most-accessed Field Guides during the month of July was recently released:
- Field Guide to License Reciprocity / License Recognition
- Field Guide to Working with FSBOs
- Field Guide to Effects of Low-Income Housing on Property Values
- Field Guide to Buying vs. Renting
- Field Guide to Direct Mail
- Field Guide to Business Etiquette When Working with Other Cultures
- Field Guide to Commercial Property Management
- Field Guide to Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs)
- Field Guide to Short Sales
- Field Guide to Commercial Green Buildings