What We’re Reading: Aug. 23-29

Asking price psychology, iPhone 6 on its way, and Facebook fights clickbait

"Home For Sale" sign in front of new houseIn residential real estate, the asking price is often as much about psychology as it is reality. Most home buyers don’t realize that setting an asking price is primarily a negotiating tactic. The Wall Street Journal has a great article on getting to the best asking price.

Census Bureau data show a wider gap between rich and poor. What’s also turning up is the recovery seems still to be location-specific. If you’re in an ‘innovation hub’ like San Francisco or Seattle, you might be doing pretty well. But if you’re in an old manufacturing hub, like many towns in the Rust Belt, maybe you’re not. NPR examines how the wage differential keeps growing.

Huffington Post writer Sunny Freeman posits on the long-term impact of foreign home buying in Canada and uses statistics to draw parallels to Australia’s housing market. Though Canadian and Australian law treat foreign investment in a manner different than the U.S., the article provides some interesting insights.

Good neighbors aren’t just nice to have around in an emergency. They actually improve your health!

The article title says it all: There’s a $10 Secret Menu Item at Arby’s Called the Meat Mountain.

Less than two weeks the Apple’s iPhone 6.

IBM has partnered with music producer James Murphy, formerly of the band LCD Soundsystem, to create music based on data points from matches at the U.S. Open. How? “Any match at the U.S. Open encompasses millions of points of data: aces tallied, forehand winners, break-point conversion percentages, and more. With the help of IBM Cloud services, Murphy and IBM experts used a custom musical algorithm that interprets these various data points into music, all in real time” (Business Insider).  Read more. Listen to the music

Another reason Millennials might miss out on housing: they generally have too low of a credit score to get a mortgage.

A new university in Florida is leaving its ebook collection development in the hands of its students. Students have access to a wide variety of ebooks from a provider, but it’s not until more than one student checks out a title that it is officially added to the library’s collection. The school has put aside $60,000 for these acquisitions.

You won’t believe Facebook’s reaction to those pesky click-bait news articles. To find out, click here! Don’t you just hate those? I sure do. Now Facebook is re-jiggering their algorithm to hopefully reduce the click-bait – articles that tempt with vague titles and then deliver very little substance. Instead of valuing content by what your friends simply click on, they will look at how much time was spent reading the article off-site as well as how many people are discussing and sharing the article: ie you’re still going to get plenty of cat videos.

File this under someone didn’t really think this through: ‘fast-fashion’ house Zara made a top for kids inspired by sheriff’s outfits of the Wild West…which ended up looking like Jewish concentration camp uniforms. Needless to say, they were pulled immediately.

A fight broke out this week on an airplane after a passenger used a ‘knee defender’ gadget that prevented the person in front of him from reclining her seat. Water was thrown, and the plane made an emergency landing in Chicago where both passengers were arrested.

Also filed under good intentions gone wrong: The British Embassy decided to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the burning of the White House in 1812.  They later thought better of it and apologized. Think before you tweet!

Get a mortgage from Russia’s Sberbank and you also get to borrow a cat. Why, you ask? In Russia, having a cat enter the home first brings good luck, according to an old superstition. See the cats in action here.

Talk about custom-built homes: here’s a 3-D printed Castle!

This is not the version of Star Wars you were looking for: If you’re a fan, you know that George Lucas has tinkered with the original Star Wars in every re-release, adding special effects, changing sounds, scenes, and even actors. Want to watch that original 1977 version? Good luck, it’s not easy to find. Fans have taken matters into their own hands to recreate the original Star Wars on their own.


Senior Information Specialist

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