What We’re Reading: Nov. 8-14

Top housing markets, net neutrality, the well-written email, and Sesame Street turns 45

091908Coldwell Baker Real Estate released its annual home listing report that compares the cost of a 4-bed, 2-bath home in various housing markets. At the top for the second year in a row was Los Altos, California in Silicon Valley. Actually 9 of the top 10 markets were located in California, with only Wellesley, MA squeaking in at #10.

Gentrification is happening everywhere, but no more personally than in Chicago’s SRO (single room occupancy) properties along the lake. These pre-war high-rises have recently been coveted by developers targeting the urban young who want ‘vintage’ rather than glass. The downside is all the existing low-income occupants are displaced, often to much less desirable parts of town. The city has passed an ordinance trying to slow down the process, giving non-profits some time to save the SROs for low-income renters, but many believe much of the law could be overturned in court.

You’ve probably heard the debate surrounding the seemingly soporific topic of net neutrality, including John Oliver’s humorous rant. Humor aside, net neutrality is an issue that impacts us all and will define the future of small businesses in America. NYT tech writer Neil Irwin offers a simple topic overview and, of course, the NAR issued a statement recently on this topic (or check out our net neutrality topic page).

Crafting that just-right email while looking for a job, following up, thanking someone, or politely declining an invitation can sometimes be hard. When you’re struggling with how to convey your message as succinctly as possible, turn to these handy pre-written email templates. The entries also come with advice on how to craft your message and what to consider.

Coffee and toast or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast? Mac or PC? Cable or Dish? If you are tired of making decisions, you may have decision fatigue. Mark Zuckerberg only wears grey t-shirts to avoid making a choice of clothing each morning. “There’s actually a bunch of psychology theory that even making small decisions around what you wear or what you eat for breakfast or things like that, they kind of make you tired and consume your energy,” Zuckerberg says. Try streamlining your choices and see how it makes you feel.

Before Michael Jordan, Chicago was best known for its crime and mob bosses. The Chicago Tribune recently released its book “Gangsters & Grifters,” a collection of vintage Chicago crime images from the early 1900s through the 1950s. It’s a remarkable online gallery of the way this city used to run.

Computer hackers are getting more creative in finding ways to access your information. Until now, it was not publicly known how hackers had managed to get into its systems. But on Thursday, Home Depot said someone used the user name and password of one of its vendors to gain a foothold, then broke into different parts of Home Depot’s systems, including a database of customer emails and the company’s in-store cash register systems. In the breach at Target last year, for example, hackers managed to break in through the retailer’s heating and cooling management company. In other cases, hackers have broken in through a range of third-party systems, from those to manage human resources to employees’ favorite Chinese restaurants.

Sesame Street debuted 45 years ago this week. Since then the show  has featured cameo appearances of celebrities from James Earl Jones to Janelle Monáe. Check out 11 of the most memorable!

The US Government warned of a possible security breach in Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS8, according to Reuters. Basically it comes from installing apps not from Apple’s App store, but from other sources…which I didn’t know you could do…?


Senior Information Specialist

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