What We’re Reading: Oct. 23 – Oct. 29

A window in the Chicago Loop

A storefront window in the Chicago Loop

Does your empty commercial space need a face lift? In Chicago’s downtown Loop, commercial property owners have connected with local artists to transform empty commercial space into vibrant and eye-catching displays. Learn more.

Graphic art or high-tech advertising? At first glance, the walls of Albany, New York’s Rensselaer rail station might seem decked out in art of the avant-garde. Take a closer look and the art might resemble something familiar: a bar code. New bar code advertisements allow 2-D smartphone users to quickly access websites, many offering freebies for connecting to the advertisement. New York Times’ writer Elizabeth Olson gives the scoop.

Social media, games and e-mail are the three most popular online activities, according to a Nielsen study about American’s online habits, with video surging into fourth place. The results indicate that no entrepreneur can afford to ignore social media, and now is a good time to start experimenting with video.

CNN reports on how the stable Australian economy, coupled with a strong Aussie dollar has created interest in foreclosed homes in the U.S.  Investors purchase the foreclosed homes (often through property management companies), rehab and then rent the homes out, usually for a handsome profit.

Just because you know not to send money to a lawyer connected with some deceased Nigerian king, doesn’t mean you’re safe from online or shopping scams. Thieves have become more resourceful in separating you from your money with everything from text message phishing, ATM machine overlays, and gift card mining. Consumer Reports’ Shop Smart Magazine lays out the latest and sneakiest new shopping scams.

If you’re headed to a conference and looking for some good networking opportunities, a smartphone application called “Unsocial” promises to make the task simpler. “Unsocial” uses geo-positioning to alert you to nearby professionals who might be a good match based on your profile information. The app will “help you become a vital part of the business community,” according to its developers.

If you’ve had a PC for any length of time you’ve probably noticed how it takes longer and longer to boot up and how the once speedy machine slowly chugs through the most innocuous tasks. Just like a car, your computer needs a tune up every so often. And while you can hire experts for help, you can also make a noticeable impact on your own. Follow the advice in this article to limber up your sluggish PC.

There are a million and one ‘Best Places to Move to’ lists. Here’s the latest from bestplaces.com.

The list takes into consideration all kinds of data points from cost of living to crime rates, the number of colleges and how healthy the population is, as well as access to museums, shows, sporting and other events. Plus, one you might not think of – stability.

Topping the list is Pittsburgh, followed by Buffalo.


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