What We’re Reading: Aug. 4 – Aug. 10

Selling the New York dream from Afghanistan, Pinterest for all, and killer cats

New York is a tough real estate market. But selling New York real estate from Afghanistan is even tougher. Navy Reserve Lieutenant Commander Rachel Martin is selling million-dollar condos from her base in Afghanistan, with the help of a stateside co-worker. “In June, Martin, with the help of a colleague, “worked the deal at 200 Riverside Boulevard while I was deployed here,” she wrote in an e-mail from Kandahar, of a $1.9 million three-bedroom, three-bathroom luxury pad at Trump Place on West 70th Street. Her commission was about $114,000 — double the $65,000 she earns in the Reserve.”

One of the big stories this week was the recent hack into a Wired writer’s online life through a breach in Amazon and Apple. He lost his gmail account, twitter and over a year of photos of his daughter. The sad part: all the hackers really wanted was his twitter account. Are you vulnerable?

The social media image site Pinterest is now open to all. You do not need an invitation from a member to start pinning.  REALTORS® use Pinterest to provide home care tips, information about homes for sale, general information about real estate and homeownership and much more.  Start pinning! ps from dave: and while setting up this post I clicked into pinterest to get the URL and found a chocolate layer cake I just have to make!

We’re constantly asked here about the coming 3.8% tax on some capital gains. People still think it’s a broad tax on real estate sales when actually it’s a tax limited to a very small percentage of people. And now some high end sellers are worried about the end of the Bush era capital gains tax cuts. Inman reports on how some high end homeowners are rushing to sell their homes to beat the increase.

Starbucks is embracing the next step to a post-credit card world. Starting this fall you can use Square, an app for both iPhone and Android phones. You don’t even have to take your phone out of your purse or pocket; you can have Square automatically launch when the phone geolocates you inside a store. The cashier just matches your photo and name to you as you order. Sound secure?

Have you seen Coke’s new Freestyle automatic fountain drink dispensers? You can create over 120 combos, some better than others. I’ve tried it at a nearby restaurant and I like it, though if the syrup runs out, you’re left with a cup of club soda…

Sweet sweet Tabby is a ruthless hunter. That mouse carcass Kitty presents you with is just the tip of a very bloody iceberg. When researchers attached kittycams to house cats, they found a secret world of slaughter.


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