What We’re Reading: July 28 – Aug. 3

Homebuying speeds up, iPhone rumors, and white flags on the moon

Househunters are encountering something not seen in most markets in several years: tighter inventories.

Not only are there less homes on the market, homes are selling faster in the majority of U.S. markets than they were a year ago. According to data in a report issued this month, which looked at the largest housing markets in the country, compared to June 2011, the average number of days homes spend on the market has fallen by nearly 10 percent. The fastest market? Oakland, CA.

It’s that time of the year again. When the internet turns to rumors and speculation about the latest version of Apple’s iPhone. Up to now it’s been a convenient shorthand to say iPhone 2 or iPhone 3 for the next model. But as the numbers get out of sync with the model, look for Apple to start referring to their latest smartphone as simply ‘the new iPhone‘.

And if you were wondering if your new iPhone would be able to replace your wallet in more stores, think again. It’s a solution to a problem most people didn’t know they had.

Getting ready for the apocalypse by purchasing real estate. It’s happening in the Northwest, with home buyers looking for a secluded property with a water source, possibly built underground, extra power systems and “defendability.”

Florence Nightingale wrote in 1859 that open windows made for a healthy hospital. A recent study supports those findings, showing that air sampled from mechanically ventilated rooms harbor more dangerous microbes and bacteria than either rooms with open windows or the great outdoors.

Gizmodo had an interesting story this week on how all the American flags on the moon are now white. Extreme temperatures, light and radiation all have bleached the flags of their red white and blue. Good news: all but one of the flags is still standing. And the one that fell down was actually blown down by the lunar capsule when it blasted off for its return journey to earth.

The London Olympics is really the first games of the social media era. While Twitter and Facebook were certainly around in 2008 for the Beijing games, their popularity wasn’t nearly what it is today. With instant communication and real-time updates people are once again complaining of NBC’s tape-delayed coverage of events. But really what’s playing out is the larger struggle between internet of live coverage and the more polished television production. Blame NBC for poor planning, but if you spent $1 billion on rights, you’d milk it too.

And in other Olympic news, apparently the speed of sound is too slow for Olympic athletes. Officials from the timekeepers of the games noticed that athletes further from the starting gun were slower out of the blocks than those closer. Even with speakers mounted behind them to give the sound of the gun instantly, people were still waiting for the ‘live’ sound actually reaching them. Officials therefore have switched to a tone that is just broadcast out of the speakers.


Senior Information Specialist

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