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Privacy Issues Met- Facebook Simplifies Privacy Settings



Facebook is a unique social network

facebook real estateWe’ve been talking about privacy issues online for some time, but most recently, conversation was sparked by Benn’s article, “Do we have a reasonable right to privacy online?” We received several calls since that story published with people wanting to opine or ask questions about how they can safeguard themselves in this era of “transparency” where everyone is supposed to behave humanly and “be themselves.”

This week, Facebook announced it is setting up a Safety Advisory Board to improve safety followed shortly by the announcement today that Facebook has rolled out new, simplified privacy settings.

Facebook is known to be a hotbed for identity theft, as many people have their information exposed to everyone including their home town, birth date including year (take the year off, folks), can probably figure out who your mom is and then her maiden name, your schools, etc. that allow them to answer standard security questions. But don’t be alarmed, you can (and should) set your privacy settings pretty high- we recommend only allowing people you’ve become friends with to see any information about you other than your name. We also recommend being careful in your selection of who you allow into your network and using common sense in not accepting friend requests from “Brittneey Spearzz” or “Hawt Dawg.”

Facebook has a long way to go to secure member data, but at least they are being proactive. If YOU were on the Facebook Safety Advisory Board, what would YOU recommend they change to make members more secure?

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  1. Ken Brand

    December 10, 2009 at 8:15 am

    This is an interesting topic. It’s gathering momentum and swelling into a wave….a tall one. Articles on this topic are appearing everywhere, for good reason. Indexing tools and methods are exploding, along with the technology to mine and monazite it.

    This is sorta random, but I think there are armies of people scrambling to become Social Media Gurus and feverishly working to figure out how to monazite their knowledge through teaching and speaking about how and why Social Media can change your life.

    The guru market is crowded and growing faster than the target market. If someone wanted to tap into the largest market audience and have people clamoring for their presentations, a super magnet topic would be “How To Protect Your Privacy On-Line. The market for this would be huge, everyone is concerned about their privacy and if they aren’t, it’d be easy to educate them about the danger. Even those that feel Social Media is dumb are threatened by identity theft, etc. There’s gold in them there hills and it’s a area that directly benefits the consumer.

    Just thinking out loud.


  2. Missy Caulk

    December 13, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I changed mine this week. This is a good start, I am more concerned that some of my tweets are showing up in Google Alerts for my name.
    Not that anyone in A2 Googles my name but….

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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