Housing & the recovery, tweeting, and real estate advice from Vanilla Ice
The collapse in housing construction was caused by overactive building, right? Only partly. While single-family construction soared during the boom, multi-family construction remained relatively stable before falling even further with the downturn. The Atlantic looks at current household formation statistics, population growth, and construction data and postulates that a housing construction boom may just be around the corner.
NPR posts three interactive maps on foreclosure, unemployment and household income using current data that can be drilled down to the county level. And on Friday, NPR’s Morning Edition ran an interesting piece on shadow inventory, foreclosed properties or properties in the foreclosure pipeline that will further impact the recovery for several years.
Post tweets with hot hash tags and you might find yourself being followed by twitter bots, programs that automatically follow real users based on keywords. Wired discusses what to do if you’re followed by bots (hint: don’t follow back).
The family that tweets together, goes a bit bonkers together. Says the son: “I try to refrain from reading [mom's] blog because then we don’t have anything to talk about.”
Libraries are getting short-changed in the Great Recession. While it’s easy to cut their funding, libraries serve a valuable role in connecting people to jobs, improving schools and helping to build community. Support your local library!
If you can stand all the pop-up ads, Time has an interesting collection of photos from a behind-the-scenes book on the filming of Jaws.
Just in time for the summer music festival season: a shirt that charges your mobile phone based on sound.
So long Flip, smart crime victims, and ads on your Kindle
Criminals are finding out the hard way that stealing a laptop or an iPhone isn’t always so easy. Many robbery victims use online tools to pinpoint the location of their stolen hardware and even to remotely capture incriminating webcam images and videos of the thieves who robbed them. Read about a few enterprising victims in Mental Floss.
Roll the closing credits for Cisco’s Flip line of handheld video cameras: The networking firm will stop making those gadgets now that they’re succumbing to competition from smartphones.
They say ‘a man’s home is his castle’, but in Chicago that can be more true than you might expect. While you might think castle building died out some time ago, lots of mini versions are scattered around Chicago. Curbed Chicago highlights some of their favorites in The Great Castles of Chicago.
It’s the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Time magazine has a great photo gallery – with only a few annoying pop-up ads – of faces from the war. Another great resource for historic photos is Flickr’s The Commons, with photographs drawn from multiple archives. Here’s their Civil War images.
Is $25 off worth putting up with advertisements? Kindle hopes so.
REALTORS® need to be masters of communication and to understand what their clients and colleagues are really trying to say. But negotiation is more than just words and tone. Real Simple takes a quick tour of what various types of body language reveal about the speaker.
Last week, we posted about recycling or selling old electronics after the holidays. But what happens after you take it to a recycling center? What actually is recycled and reused – and how? More often then not, they head overseas where lots of nasty things happen. Fresh Air had an interesting story (and audio podcast) giving the details on what happens to electronic waste in this country.
You may think you’re revealing precious little when you tell your Facebook friends that you’re dressing your pooch, Puddles, in your favorite color, red, for brunch at Grandma’s on Sunday. But you’ve actually just opened a Pandora’s box of risks. MarketWatch details What Your Facebook Profile May Be Telling ID Thieves.
“New Year, New You” is often heard this time of year. But what about your stuff? As you open your latest credit card bill, are you thinking of re-evaluating your material lifestyle? CNN suggests when trying to decide what’s important, pretend you’re moving overseas and need to get rid of most of your possessions. What would you keep? What would you junk? Living on less is not only easier, cheaper and less demanding, it also can free you from the trap of always having/wanting more:
Living this way isn’t about having nothing. It’s about everything in your life having value. It’s looking at all your belongings and knowing that you’ve given that thing permission to be there, that the item is truly adding value and beauty to your life.
Verizon announced this week that it’s getting the iPhone starting in February. Gizmodo says don’t buy it…yet. Some kind of an upgrade will probably be coming this summer. Let others be the beta testers for Verizon’s network.
Already have an iPhone? Looking to spruce up your iPhone photos on the fly? The Chicago Tribune highlights the must-haves.
Can watching a cute video of cats playing pattycake make you a better, smarter employee? Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have studied the effect of viral videos on mood and problem solving.
The results of the study, which were published in Psychological Science, the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, showed that the participants in the happy group were vastly better at discerning the pattern than those who were put into negative or neutral moods. Ruby Nadler, one of the study researchers and a graduate student at the University of Ontario, said the takeaway from this study was that positive moods are helpful in enhancing creative problem solving, while also promoting flexible and careful thinking.
Now back to work.