Downpayment saving, new Kindle next week? and enormous new TVs
How long will it take to save for your home? The Atlantic analyzed data to calculate times for major metro areas. They based their numbers on saving a standard 20 percent down on an average home with a worker making an average wage putting aside 10 percent of earnings each month. Now they use pretty conservative estimates, but if you’re looking to buy in Honolulu it would take over 28 years to save that downpayment. San Francisco is another place where the kids will be in college when you finally buy, coming in at over 20 years.
To get the best prices, don’t buy gas right before a holiday or Wednesday mornings after 10am. Gas stations usually raise their prices before heavily traveled holidays, such as Labor Day and after gas station owners have checked out their competitors’ prices.
Will the Kindle be given away for free some time in the near future? Farhad Manjoo of Slate predicts that it will. Manjoo even thinks that one day signing up for Amazon’s Prime service – $79 a year for fast shipping, streaming content, etc – will net you a free Kindle at some point down the road. And watch out: Amazon shows that Kindle Fires are ‘sold out‘ currently, meaning an update is just days away.
Time reports that Icelanders are more than twice as happy as Americans in general. What can American business learn from our northern neighbors to better our workplaces? Create a community, have a hobby, put family first, and provide healthier food. Oh, and eat fermented shark occasionally…
Love your new flat screen TV? You didn’t think electronic makers were going to let you stop there, did you? Start saving your pennies cause a whole slough of companies announced so-called ’4K’ sets this week. Boasting a resolution of nearly 4000 pixels on the horizontal (vs today’s 1080 pixels on the vertical), most sets start at 84 inches wide. But why stop there? Panasonic recently demo’d an 8k set. Of course there’s no content yet and you’ll have to sit wwaaayyy back but hey, there you go….
iPhone 4s, deductions for the self-employed, and Caribbean invaders
Apple launches new phone, world says ho-hum. The most hyped feature is SIRI, the new voice recognition software some have dubbed a virtual assistant. On launch it will understand English, French and German, but not Spanish. Some good news: for those who use (or are willing to switch) to Sprint you can get unlimited data. If you still have a 3GS and want to upgrade, here’s a chart showing what’s different between 4 and 4S. And if you need to free up a bit of cash for that new toy, here’s how to sell your old iPhone from Smart Money. The bad news: you’re not going to get as much now. RIP SJ.
Fox News gives some tips for deducting business trips and expenses for the self-employed.
The Washington Post has an article on how one partial solution to our trade imbalance is to import more tourists. International visitors to the US spent a remarkable $87 billion last year, all of which counts as export once they leave for home. In order to increase that figure, the State Department is trying to hand out tourist visas faster while another group is developing the first ever advertising campaign to woo visitors from overseas. While all this is great, it’s still kind of depressing.
Unemployment isn’t sky high everywhere. North Dakota is going through an oil boom and jobs are relatively plentiful. The result? A housing boom and traffic jams:
If you have a license and no criminal record, you can get a six-figure trucking job almost overnight. Real-estate construction is almost as frenzied as the oil drilling, and there’s a huge business in housing the workers. The business is sometimes referred to as providing “man camps,” although some women stay there, too. It’s a lot like most people would think: trailers in rows, with workers sleeping in simple single rooms or bunking with others.
Yahoo continues its monthly series of what’s on sale in October: winter clothes, sports goods, apples, holiday crap, and Europe.
If you thought fire ants were bad, watch out for Caribbean hairy crazy ants. They’re spreading from Texas to Florida.
Brandwashing, Attention on the Web, and Free Museums
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps. Time Magazine provides a slide show detailing the program’s history.
How long does the average person stay on a web page: Not very long. After lots of data crunching, Jakob Nielson reports that in order to gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.
Have a friend who is olfactory-sensitive? Be sure to invite him or her over to before you put your home on the market. Smells matter when it comes to home buyers.
Do you keep a diary? If you Facebook, then your answer will soon be ‘yes.’ The recent Facebook news feed changes are merely an appetizer for what is to come. This week Zuckerberg announced more changes are on the horizon.
There’s been a hue and cry all week ever since Netflix announced its splitting and new pricing model. Disgruntled users should remember there are alternatives to Netflix in the market.
Have you ever been primed? I mean has anyone ever deliberately influenced your subconscious mind and altered your perception of reality without your knowing it? Whole Foods Market, and others, are doing it to you right now.
Follow the 50% rule and these four other rules for determining when it pays to repair an item, rather than replace it.
And last, if you are looking for something fun to do this Saturday, check out the Smithsonian’s website to find a free museum in your area, in honor of Free Museum Day. Once you find a museum, be sure to fill out the ticket information form and print out your tickets for free admission.
Phantoms and vampires are in your house, spending your hard earned dollars on wasted energy! Forbes shines a light on the culprits.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this: Apple plans to introduce a smaller, cheaper iPhone in coming months.