What We’re Reading: Dec. 13-19

Sony’s Hack, Historic Homes, Trends in Container Housing, and a Wedding Proposal Disaster

The news the last few weeks has been dominated by the Sony hack. Cyber security is becoming more and more of an issue as the world continues to move online. Government hacks and security breaches are up over 35% from 2010 to 2013 according to officials. Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to review your online security and review how you interact with others online.

The Urban Land Institute looks at historic districts and the impact on property values, specifically reviewing a study in New York. The author concludes that the results are mixed. Properties in historic districts in most boroughs increase with only Manhattan showing lost value:

Because Manhattan has the highest land values and lowest supply of available land, the loss of the option for redevelopment in preserved neighborhoods reduces the potential value of a given parcel of land.

Shipping container home from Flickr user lori

Shipping container home from Flickr user lori

Our own Mary Martinez-Garcia recently authored a white paper for the Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) on the latest trends in shipping container housing. Didn’t know that was a thing? You’ll be amazed at what people can do.

Want to test your recall of events of thee last year? The New York Times has a special news quiz this week covering all of 2014. How well did you pay attention?

I don’t know about you but I find videos that auto-play really annoying. But apparently they are money earners. Facebook and Instagram have already gotten on board. Next in line: Twitter is still trying to decide what to do.

A Dutch man planned an elaborate wedding proposal in which he would serenade his girlfriend while dangling from a crane outside her window, but he failed to properly secure the crane, which promptly toppled over and smashed through a neighbor’s roof. Nobody was injured, and the man’s girlfriend still accepted his proposal.

This is just depressing that it’s even an issue: recently Santa’s ‘weight problem’ has come under some criticism. Apparently he’s not a good role model for kids because he’s obese and that might ‘normalize’ being fat as acceptable. Gizmodo talks back, saying it’s not so clear cut but still suggests laying off the cookies.

You do realize Christmas is NEXT THURSDAY right? Looking for some last minute gift ideas that don’t seem so last minute (I’m looking at you, box of smoked salmon)? Time has some great (and one awful) gift suggestions.

While Oxford chose vape for its connections to health and society, and Dictionary.com chose exposure to tie big news stories like Ebola and Ferguson together, Merriam-Webster settled on culture by figuring out which of their most popular words experienced the biggest spike in look-ups this year.

How many times have you heard “Let It Go” sung by your children or grandchildren in the last year?  Too many times, I would guess.  Jennifer Lee, the director of Frozen, has issued an apology to all parents, about that song.

Live in New York City? Now Amazon is offering 1-hour delivery. Maybe that helps to make up for having to live in New York City…


Senior Information Specialist

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