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What We’re Reading: Oct. 13 – Oct. 19

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?

Dave

Senior Information Specialist

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