One way your email gets on spammers lists, financial spring cleaning, and stolen mobile phones
Find out how Move Inc. is fighting scraping of their listings. Real estate listings are a valuable commodity because of the individual information and information gathered from a multitude of listings. Hedge funds, banks, other financial institutions and related real estate services find the listing information valuable to gather statistics and create mailing lists. Move.Inc looks for suspicious scraping activity of real time queries during a hold period and can block the scraper’s IP address, and discover if the information is ending up online. Please note that NAR never shares, trades, or sells email addresses.
Spring cleaning isn’t just about dusting and putting away the winter clothes. It also applies to your finances. Spring is a great time to review budgets, look at savings, debt, and prune your receipts. Time has 10 ideas for a financial spring cleaning.
Someone swiped your cellphone? Too bad, so sad, according to The New York Times. You may have filed a police report and your cell phone company, but not much can be done. The FCC’s database of stolen phone information can inactivate the phone’s individual tracking number, but most stolen phone end up overseas, where the database does not work.
Scientists at IBM have nothing better to do than make stop-motion animated movies by moving individual atoms…
A new use for those stress balls everyone gets at convention trade shows: memory aids.
Henry Gribbohm says he lost his life savings on a carnival game and all he has to show for it is a stuffed banana with dreadlocks.
2020: the next housing crisis, resilient agents, and a horse in the living room
Even as we’re still recovering from the last housing collapse, economists are forecasting the next crisis. Their best guess: 2020, as aging Boomers start leaving their giant suburban single-family homes for retirement living. The problem is there aren’t enough families in the following generations to meet demand, either because of finances or preference.
BloombergBusinessWeek has an interesting story this week on the rise (and so far mostly non-success) of Redfin, Zillow and Trulia. In looking at the internet startups that promised disintermediation, hollowing out the home buying experience as others had with travel agents, stock brokers and car dealers, the authors find that people still rely on the traditional agent for the largest purchase of their lives.
How can you spice up your listing photos? How about a horse in your living room? A REALTOR in Virginia helping to sell a $5.99-million horse farm is using a picture taken several years ago for a coffee table book that features the a horse standing in the stable apartment living room. The image was picked up by the Huffington Post, helping to generate some interest on the property.
The Bipartisan Policy Center released its blueprint for reform of the housing market. One suggestion is the elimination of both Fannie and Freddie, replacing the GSEs with a backstop guarantee much like GinnieMae does for FHA and VA loans. Some commentators feel this spells the end of the fixed rate 30 year mortgage as we know it.
We were shocked and saddened to learn about the man who died when a sinkhole opened up under his home in Florida. We wondered if homeowners’ insurance covers sinkholes. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, it depends on the extent of damage. Standard homeowners insurance is required by law to cover “catastrophic ground cover collapse” but to qualify to that level, the home must be so damaged that it’s condemned. Luckily separate more general sinkhole coverage is available as an add-0n. Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? A new service from Floodinsight will tell you for a small fee. You can also contact the Florida Geological Survey.
Samsung is set to unveil it’s new Galaxy IV phone later this month. CNN reports that some are speculating that the phone will have scrolling controlled by the users eyes. When you reach the bottom of the screen the phone will sense it and start scrolling the page for you.
You want to start a garden, but you don’t have a clue what to do. SproutRobot can help you. Sign up for free, and SproutRobot will create a personalized planting plan and send you seeds to plant. If only I had a yard!
North Korea’s been in the news lately. The latest dictate from Pyongyang: the country announced 28 approved haircuts for men and women. Interestingly, the current leader’s coif didn’t make the list…
The rise of ultraHD TVs, password keys, and Millennial debt
Having finally caught up to the 21st century with a plasma tv (or is that still 1990s?), I now see that the latest and greatest is Ultra HD (sometimes called 4K) sets from all the usual suspects. They were the stars of the just-concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Before you start hyperventilating that you will need to start saving now for your new $20,000 set, Engadget talks us off the ledge. A lot of things are going to have to happen before these become even remotely popular. Best guess: not until after 2016 Olympic Games.
Managing passwords is a constant battle. Make them all the same and one hack and your life is wiped out. Make them all different and good luck remembering even a few of them. There are some doable fixes like 1password, but they aren’t for everyone. Google is working on another option, trying to develop a password token that slides into a USB port or even a ring that transmits your information wirelessly at short range. While for now these fixes are only good on google browsers and sites, Google is talking of trying to develop an independent standard that might find acceptance across the industry.
While talk of debt among Millennials tends to focus on college tuition, credit cards are another area of concern, according to Time. A new study out of Ohio State University found that young adults are racking up credit card debt at a more rapid rate than other age groups, and that they’re slower at paying it off.
How well is Microsoft’s new tablet, Surface, doing in terms of sales? Not great….
This will help answer the most pressing question of our time—where are my missing socks? WiseBread helps you locate your lost socks in this helpful article.
Downsizing dilemmas, Google Maps, and the start of Best of 2012
As Baby Boomers age more and more people are thinking about downsizing. Trading the McMansion for something more economical and practical. While most people think that downsizing is going to be the magic cure for their still-depressed retirement account, it doesn’t always work that way. It’s hard to give up your lifestyle or your years of possessions, kids might balk at the sale of their childhood home or things, and unless you’re going to a cheaper part of the country, it might not cost as little as you think.
One way to get through the holidays—Dysfunctional Family Bingo! The Wall Street Journal has tips on how to play and how to cope with your family during the festive season!
If you had $29 to purchase one week’s worth of food, what would you buy? Newark Mayor Cory Booker made a few rookie mistakes, detailed in this article by NJ.com.
It’s that time of year again: Holiday office parties. If you’re attending, Time has some advice beyond the ‘don’t make an ass of yourself’ generalities.
Google came out with its annual search Zeitgeist for 2012 video [also posted below].
Zillow mines public data for pre-sale foreclosures, new Apple goodies, the worst passwords, and best blogs
Using publicly available data, Zillow plans to list properties in foreclosure before they are even listed for sale.
Remember your tiny dorm room from college with the bathroom down the hall? Or perhaps you shared a decrepit rental with 5 of your best buddies, with an old couch on the front porch. Dorms have evolved into cottage-style housing, reports The Wall Street Journal. “At the Cottages of Columbia near the University of Missouri, the units include 9-foot ceilings, stainless-steel appliances, hardwood floors and marble bathroom countertops. Other developers include walk-in closets, steam rooms, indoor golf simulators, basketball courts and yoga studios. ”My parents told me to not get used to living like this,” said Avery Bond, a Louisiana State University senior who has lived at the Cottages of Baton Rouge for three years and pays $630 a month.”
Apple releases a flood of updates (Mac mini, iMac, Macbook Pro with Retina, iPad) and a new, smaller iPad this week. How does the new iPad Mini stack up against the competition? Engadget has a handy chart. Update: within hours of pre-ordering opening on Friday, the white version of the mini appears to be already sold out.
And if you are one of those who needs to keep up with the latest and greatest, Mashable via CNN gives some suggestions on where you can sell your iPad 3.
Just in time for Halloween, Splashdata lits the scariest (ie worst) passwords for 2012. Unchanged from last year: #1 ‘password’ #2 ’123456′ #3 ’12345678′. #18 was a surprise to me: ‘shadow’.
During this presidential campaign, housing has been ignored. Why? Housing hasn’t been a feature in the debates or on the campaign trail. Seattle Bubble speculates that “Here’s one possible explanation: Neither wants to have a serious discussion about housing because they would have to talk about the mortgage interest deduction, which more and more is looking like it will need to be severely limited or possibliy even eliminated no matter who gets elected.”
The United States will be outpacing Saudi oil production, says the Energy Department. Production of crude and liquid hydrocarbons next year should reach a 40-year high. Increasing U.S. oil production will cut the need for foreign imports, helping our economy. The oil boom in such states as North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming has decrease unemployment and helped companies that support the oil boom, like pipe suppliers and railroads.
This week Tina Brown, editor at Newsweek, discussed the venerable print magazine’s transformation into a digital-only publication next year on NPR’s Morning Edition.
Time rounds up the best blogs for 2012, covering everything from the economics of gadgets to the Civil War to Kate Middleton’s fashions.
Celebrity pocket sales, what happens to stolen Picassos, and Newsweek goes digital only
With the forthcoming presidential election, many are wondering what’s on the horizon for real estate. The Sun Sentinel highlights the issues at hand and the surprising lack of discourse on this topic.
Celebrities keep many secrets, including information about selling their homes, says The Los Angeles Times. You won’t find their homes listed on www.realtor.com or a local MLS. These pocket listings are discreetly shopped around to brokers, avoiding gawkers, snoopers and fans. Also, homes can be bought and sold through a trust or a limited liability company, keeping private information private.
Art thieves stole several promenant works of masters in the Netherlands this week, including paintings by Monet, Gauguin, and Picasso. What happens next? Museums try to track them down through back channels and are generally willing to pay a bit to get them back. They obviously can’t be sold at auction right away, but the black market will handle them, though at a substantial discount from their face value.
Windows 8 rolls out next week with new touch screen functionality. Computer makers are already trying to figure out just how to incorporate it into their non-tablet machines without just creating smeared screens and gorilla arm syndrome.
It’s not even Halloween yet but the Holiday price wars are heating up. Amazon racked up some impressive gains last year, stealing sales from the brick and mortar world. This year, traditional retailers are starting to fight back.
Many Kindle and Nook users received an email this week in regards to a class-action suit on price fixing by publishers. Settlement from the suit isn’t going to make anyone (but the lawyers of course) rich, but you might find a bit more credit in your account eventually.
Do you panic when you can’t find your cell phone? You might have nomophobia—the fear of losing your cell phone. On average, people check their cell phone 34 times a day. Cell phone addiction may arise from a surge of dopamine as a reward when you read a new text message. Compulsive cell phone behavior ranges from checking your cell phone during inappropriate times to waking up in the middle of the night to check your messages.
Newsweek, founded in 1933, will become an online-only publication next year. Editor-in-chief Tina Brown cited a recent study that said 39% of Americans now get their news from an online source in saying the time had come. The new Newsweek Global site will work on a paid subscription model.
Halloween party on the horizon? Need an ‘appetizer’? How about some finger food?