New Home Sales Rise in December, But Remain Lower Than Last Year

Housing Prices Photo

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that sales of new single-family homes in December were a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 or 3.7% above the revised rate in November of 599,000. However, it remained 2.4% below the year-ago rate of sales in December 2017 of 636,000.

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Japan Opens Antitrust Inquiry into Amazon

Amazon logo

At the urging the industry minister of Japan, the country’s Fair Trade Commission will look at a new program announced by Amazon Japan that some suggest may be anti-competitive in nature. Depending on the Commission’s findings, Amazon may be forced to abandon the idea, which is a form of a consumer rebate program.

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Family Members are at Your Door…Or Are They?

Image of Ring Doorbell app

Imagine this, you leave work early to grab a quick bite of lunch and get home before your sister, niece, and nephew arrive for a family visit. At lunch, you get a notification from your Ring Doorbell app and see that they’ve arrived early. No problem, thanks to Ring, you can let them in and head out to meet them there.

But is it really your family? Or is it a hacker who has figured out how to hack your Ring Doorbell and is now in your home, emptying it of all of its valuables?

New Ring Doorbell vulnerability discovered…

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Dec. Housing Starts Drop to Lowest Rate Since 2016

Photo of housing under construction

The U.S. Commerce Department released new data this week on housing starts for December 2018. Overall residential construction dropped to 1.08 million units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate or 11.2% lower than the November rate of 1.2 million units. This is the lowest rate of residential construction since September 2016.

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Nearly 8 of 10 Economists Predict Recession by 2021

graph showing economists expect recession ahead

A new survey by a business economics organization reveals that nearly 8 out of 10 economists (77%) say there will be a recession in the U.S. by 2021. A majority or 52% of them suggest that a recession will take place by the end of 2020. Yet even so, a majority of these economists anticipate that the Federal Reserve Board will continue to raise interest rates yet this year.

See the surprising results of this survey of economists…

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‘Coming Soon’ – B&W to Launch New ‘Formation’ Wireless Receivers & System

We learned today that Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) is close to launching a new series of products that appear to be under the “Formation” brand or series name. This news broke when MacRumors, a fan blog for aficionados of Apples McIntosh products, noticed a listing on Apple’s online list of sanctioned HomeKit and AirPlay accessories. They dug deeper…

See what MacRumors learned about B&W…

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Oops! Google Doesn’t Mention Nest Secure Has a Microphone Built-In

Nest thermostat

Eyebrows raised everywhere when privacy-concerned industry watchers discovered that Google had put a microphone in their Nest Secure home alarm system, but failed to disclose that fact. Google says is was simply an “error.” But was it?

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Google Closes in on Amazon in Smart Speaker Market Share

Amazon products

The latest data from market research firm Strategy Analytics shows that Amazon is still the king of the smart speaker market – selling more smart speakers than anyone else. But the data also showed something else rather surprising – Google has substantially closed the gap between it and Amazon, coming within about 5.5% of Amazon’s market share numbers in the all-important fourth quarter selling season.

See how the smart speaker horse race is getting so much closer…

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Emerald Expositions Says Sales Were Up in 2018, Yet Results Show a Big Loss

Fiscal Q4 Saw $57M in Sales, But a $90M Loss

From Emerald Expositions website

Emerald Expositions Events, Inc. (NYSE: EEX), owner of the CEDIA Expo and many other shows, reported their fiscal 2018 fourth quarter and full year results on Thursday and it was a dramatically mixed picture that suggests the company is still working through problems on many of its largest shows. Revenues in both periods increased nicely, largely thanks to acquisitions – but the company reported a large net loss as it was forced to take an impairment charge against earnings to write down the value of some of their shows as carried on their books.

See more details on Emerald’s mixed results…

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