Best Productivity Tool? iPhone or Android? Check Out the Answers to the 3 Quick Question Quiz

by Inman Next →

August 14, 2012  |  EventsNext TV

We were thrilled when Real Estate Connect Ambassador Bill Risser showed us his “Three Quick Question Quiz” and filmed ICSF attendees responses.

Check out the videos and get the inside scoop on everything from how these attendees like to spend their time to the tech tools have won their hearts (and work for the their business).

Peter Brewer

Best productivity tool? You might be surprised…

Monica Monson

Does Pinterest or Twitter get the job done? Check out the video to find out:

Raj Qsar

We all know Raj produces amazing videos but what does he do when he is away from work? Find out here:

Ricardo Bueno

MacBook or PC (or too obvious)?

Check out more “Three Quick Question Quizzes” and perspectives from the conference floor on our Inman News YouTube channel. 



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Only 2% of People Can Multitask Successfully

by 36

Pride yourself on multitasking? You may need to take a closer look at how you tackle your to-do list.

Despite the numerous gadgets and apps that help us get through our days, research suggests that only 2% of people can multitask effectively. As for the remaining 98%? They’re actually lessening their productivity without even realizing it.

This infographic from details how often we confuse multitasking with actual distraction. For example, employees who use a computer for work are, on average, distracted every 10.5 minutes. Students who bring their laptops to class aren’t doing much better, since 62% of the web pages that they open during class are completely unrelated to the lecture. And what about the 67% of people who check their email or use a mobile web browser while on a date?


SEE ALSO: 8 Google Chrome Extensions to Boost Your Productivity

Focusing on more than one thing decreases your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points, according to Harvard Business Review. And it almost goes without saying how dangerous it is to multitask while driving.

Check out the infographic below for more stats on how multitasking affects the average person. Do you think you’re part of the elite 2% that can achieve it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Multitasking Infographic



New iPhone 5 release date, news and rumours

By Dan Grabham 
iPhone 5 news and rumours
New iPhone 5 release date, news and rumours
Is this what the new iPhone will look like?

Although widely expected, there was no iPhone 5 in 2011 after all, though the company did announce the iPhone 4S.

So we’ll surely see a total revision of the iPhone during 2012. We’ve gathered together all the latest rumours on the new iPhone 5 to give us a reasonable picture of what Apple’s latest handset might be like.

You’ll find all the rumours below, but why not check out our new iPhone 5 rumours video first?

iPhone 5 release date

Given the pattern of Apple’s iPhone launches, we’re expecting the new iPhone 5 release date to be mid to late 2012.

At Apple’s WWDC 2012 event in early June we learnt a lot more about iOS 6, but there was no hardware (well, apart from new Macs). Check out the launch news as well asiOS 6: everything you need to know.

We reported in February that the new iPhone release date would be in October, falling into line with the same release schedule from last year – something backed up by the Verizon CFO.

According to analyst Shaw Wu, the Cupertino firm has reduced the number of iPhone orders by 20%-25% for this quarter ahead of the release.

It seems that Foxconn will again be manufacturing the handset. It’ll put the Samsung Galaxy S3 “to shame” according to the CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou – though he didn’t say how.

However, a “Taiwan-based supply chain source” told DigiTimes in early May that Chinese firm Pegatron Technology has the iPhone 5 order ahead of a scheduled September launch.

According to the report Pegatron has also received orders for a 10-inch iPad, which is due to launch at the end of this year – which sounds equally spurious.

This does fit in with a mooted August 7 launch date for the iPhone 5, as is currently being quoted by Know Your Mobile through an ‘industry source’, but we’ll wait to see if that actually comes to pass – and it now seems impossible given that actual manufacturing has yet to begin.

And that seems to be ‘backed up’ by a report from that the iPhone 5 release date will be September 21… although let’s be honest, a Chinese accessory maker with no name to the source being quoted by a previously unknown site when it comes to Apple launches isn’t the most reliable of sources.

Update: The latest rumour in the huge mill of new iPhone 5 release dates comes from another unknown source (*sigh*) – which claims we’ll see Appletake to the stage on September 12 to show off the next handset, alongside the iPad Mini.

Update:Further suggestions that September 12 will be the iPhone 5 launch date have been made, this time via sources for Reuters and AllThingsD.

Update: Networks could be preparing themselves for the arrival of the iPhone 5, as the 32GB model cropped up in a drop down menu in O2′s online accessory store – although the network was quick to stay it had nothing to do with the next iPhone and was purely “human error”, hmmm…

Update: Adding more fuel to the September 12 iPhone 5 release date fire is the rumour which says pre-orders for the new iPhone will start on the same date - something we’ve seen Apple do with other products – with stock expect to ship on September 21.

Update:According to reports, US network AT&T has cleared its schedule in anticipation of the iPhone 5 release date falling in September.

iPhone 5 name

We reckon iPhone 5 is still the favourite for the name of the new iPhone, but it could follow the new iPad and end up being called, simply, the new iPhone. We really hope not. One thing is for sure, Apple has already filed a complaint over the ownership of the URL.

Update: Apparently Apple is testing two versions of the next iPhone, which are known as “iPhone5,1″ and “iPhone5,2″ – so could handset number six for Apple actually be called number five?

iPhone 5 form factor

Unlike the iPhone 4S, the new iPhone will be a completely new design from what has gone before, so that means an entirely new casing as we saw with the iPhone 3G and, later, the iPhone 4.

Interestingly, someone who claimed to have seen a larger iPhone 5 prototype said in November 2011 that Steve Jobs canned the new size and opted for the iPhone 4S.According to Business Insider, it was feared that a new size would create a two-tier iPhone ecosystem.

Beatweek also claimed in November 2011 that the 5-inch was scrapped “because Apple wouldn’t be able to do it properly” this year. However, the Daily Mail (make of that what you will) then suggested that a four-inch version was likely and that Sony has already shipped top secret demo screens to Apple.

A new iPhone 5 backplate leaked in early May – they were acquired by 9to5 Mac, but look like the combination of a lot of the other rumours we’ve heard about the shape and size of the new handset. These feature bigger speaker grills as well as a four inch screen and a two-tone back with brushed aluminum .

And there’s a picture of the front been leaked too, with a lovely side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 4S for good measure, courtesy of KitGuru:


iPhone 5


The two-tone back was also spotted in a video from eTrade Supply, which again showed the relocation of the headphone jack as well as a smaller connector and redesigned speaker grills.

detailed video render of all the iPhone 5 rumoured/leaked images was also uploaded to YouTube in early June.

Update: Rumours surrounding that famous Apple 30-pin connector on the base of the iPhone have flared up again, with Reuters reporting that thedock connector is getting smaller to make room for a 3.5mm headphone jack on the base of the new iPhone 5.

Update: We’ve now seen a Chinese site claim to have a fully assembled iPhone 5 chassis - bringing together all the design aspects mentioned in previous leaks, including a smaller dock, relocated headphone jack, centralised front facing camera and two-tone back.

Update: More dock connector rumours, this time claiming Apple will opt for an even smaller 8-pin option over the current 30-pin port or rumoured 19-pin version.


iPhone 5 LEAK


Credit: iLab Factory

Update:According to a video which claims to show off the front panel of the new iPhone, the handset will be the same width as the iPhone 4S, but will be taller and thinner.

Update: Apparently the new SIM trays for the iPhone 5 have leaked online, showing that they will be smaller and the ones found in the iPhone 4/4S – pointing towards the use of nano-SIMs in the new iPhone.

Update: The smaller dock connector rumour is refusing to die, and now we’ve been told that the new iPhone won’t feature a 19-, 16- or 8-pin port, but instead a 9-pin offering will appear on the base of the device.

Update: The new iPhone may touch down at a svelte 7.6mm in thichness, making it one of the slimmest smartphones on the market, and 1.7mm thinner than the iPhone 4S.

iPhone 5 specs

Based on the roadmap of mobile chip design specialist ARM (of which Apple is a licensee), we’ll see a quad-core processor debut in the new iPhone 5 – probably called the Apple A6. We’ve seen other quad core handsets debut in 2012, so it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the new iPhone 5 will be the same.

We had expected some kind of help in terms of predicting the iPhone 5 CPU from the launch of the new iPad, but the announcement of a slightly tweaked A5X processor really didn’t help things there.

According to a tip to 9to5Mac, the CPU will be the S5L8950X. Again this could be a derivative of the A5, but as 9to5Mac points out, Apple is probably working on a low-power 32nm version of the processor. As we could well have guessed, that processor will be manufactured by Samsung but designed by Apple itself.

The same report suggests 1GB of RAM, which seems right to us.

In terms of other specs aside from the screen (more on that below), rumours are persisting that the new iPhone 5 may have a new dock connector. The leaked 9to5Mac iPhone 5 backplate has this smaller dock connector.


iPhone 5 backplate


[Image credit: 9to5Mac]

TechCrunch reported in June that the sixth generation of iPhone will come with a 19-pin connector on its base, with Apple ditching the iconic 30-pin port which has graced previous iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Well, it had to happen sometime didn’t it?

Update: According to a report from the Financial Times, mobile operators are stockpiling nanoSIMs, as they expect the iPhone 5 to support the latest, and smallest, SIM technology.

Update: Images of a range of internal gubbins, all claiming to be parts of the iPhone 5, have made their way onto the internet – revealing more about Apple’s sixth generation handset.

iPhone 5 will have 4G/LTE support

After the new iPad’s launch brought 4G to an Apple device, it’s widely expected that 4G will come to iPhone 5. And with many 4G handsets already announced in the US, it can’t be long before the iPhone supports 4G technologies – even if we won’t even have a UK spectrum auction until late this year or maybe early next.

Because of the 4G fuss over the new iPad in the UK, we’d expect this to be played down in any UK handset – or the UK might get a different version entirely of course.

Steve Jobs’ iPhone 5 legacy

Many sites have reported that Steve Jobs was working hard on the iPhone 5 project, which will apparently be a “radical redesign”. We shall see… but the fact the iPhone 4S was so similar to the iPhone 4 suggests that Steve was working on something pretty special before

Check out this handy iPhone 5 video detailing the latest rumours on release date, spec and more – so check if out for a quick fix of next-gen Apple fun:

The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that: “Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the phone. One person familiar said the fifth-generation iPhone would be a different form factor than those that are currently available… it was unclear how soon that version would be available to Verizon or other carriers.”

According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Jobs “had worked closely on the redesigned phone before his death”.

iPhone 5 screen

Various sources claim the iPhone 5 will feature a larger, 4-inch screen. Digitimes quotes the source as saying that Apple is expanding the screen size “to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market.”

On 23 May 2011, we reported on rumours that the iPhone 5 could feature a curved glass screen. These rumours also came from Digitimes, which said that Apple has purchased between 200 and 300 special glass cutting machines because they’re too costly for the manufacturers to invest in.

In March 2012, new reports suggested that the new iPhone 5 would come sporting a larger 4.6-inch retina display, while April rumours even suggested the next iPhone will use new touch technology.

During May, The Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying the device will definitely sport a 4-inch display – which seems to be the broader consensus as well - other prototypes are similar in size. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to dampen the ‘larger screen’ speculationat the recent D:10 conference, saying the company has “one phone with one screen size, one resolution”.

Those of you who are keen Apple watchers will, however, know that he is wrong – the currently-available 3GS does not have the same resolution as the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Whatever, it seems Sony is involved with the display and it has been making the screen since February, ramping up production from May. A larger screen will also be welcomed by developers, as Mobilebloom points out.

Update:The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 5 will use new in-cell technology to produce a thinner, lighter screen – which looks set to be 4-inches in size.

Update: Sharp has confirmed it will start shipping displays for the next-gen iPhone in August – although it didn’t reveal what size, blast.

Update: Apparently the front panel of the new iPhone has made its way online in the form of a video, and reveals that the iPhone 5 will indeed sport a larger screen, 4.06-inches in size and with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Update: After some digging around in the beta version of iOS 6 a scalable option to increase the OS to fit a 640×1136 resolution version has added more fuel to the larger screen fire.

Which retina is the best? We compare the high-res displays on Apple’s new iPad, iPhone 4S and 2012 MacBook Pro up-close:

iPhone 5 digital wallet – NFC

There’s been some speculation that Apple might include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the iPhone 5, turning it into a kind of credit/debit card.

However, with the tech being inside the Google Nexus Sand Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as well as a host of other top smartphones, the time for NFC may finally be here.

On 24 June 2011 it was reported that the Google Wallet mobile payment platform could feature on the new iPhone. Eric Schmidt admitted that Google is looking to port the software to other manufacturers.

However, on 31 January 2012 9to5Mac claimed to have spoken with a well-connected developer who disclosed information received from Apple iOS engineers saying they are “heavily into NFC”.

The developer in question has not been named, but is working on a dedicated iOS app which includes NFC reading for mobile transactions. When questioned how confident he was on the information he had received his reply was “Enough to bet the app development on”.

On April 30 2012 an Apple patent filing reinforced the idea NFC in iPhone 5 – and leaked code from something purporting to be the new iPhone alsocontains a lot of information on NFC in the new iPhone.

iPhone 5 camera

Sony makes the camera for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Speaking at a liveWall Street Journal event, Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer was talking about the company’s camera image sensor facility in Sendai, a town that was recently ravaged by the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

According to 9to5Mac, he said something along the lines of, “Our best sensor technology is built in one of the [tsunami] affected factories. Those go to Apple for their iPhones… or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us.”

Sources have also suggested the new iPhone could have an 8MP camera. Indeed, Sony announced in January 2012 that it had developed new back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensors which are smaller in size. It’s also been reported that the new iPhone will have an HD front-facing camera as well.

An interesting titbit via MirrorlessRumors is around a removable iPhone back panel that would include the camera lens has been spotted in a patent document. It seems to show that the device would work either by swapping the panel, or rotating the panel to change lenses.

iPhone 5 price

If the iPhone 5 is an evolutionary step like the move from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S then we’d expect the price to stay more or less the same, although in the UK higher VAT rates may well mean a higher price tag.

It’s pretty much nailed on that the new iPhone will cost around £500 for a 16GB / 32GB model (depending on the capacity Apple whacks in there) and unless the iPhone 5 comes with some truly next generation technology that pricing model should hold firm.

Will the iPhone 5 be Liquidmetal?

Apple has added a further two years onto its exclusivity deal for the Liquidmetal technology, which also includes future updates to the tech.

Liquidmetal is a metal alloy which is super strong and boasts a range of unique properties, apparently making it perfect for consumer products.

Apple has only used the technology once so far, and that was for the small SIM card tray ejector tool for the iPhone 3GThere are rumblings that iPhone 5 could sport a Liquidmetal chassis.

iPhone 5 review

TechRadar is renowned for its detailed phone reviews where we look at every aspect of a handset, and we’ll be bringing you a full, in-depth iPhone 5 review when we get our hands on one.

As for the name, well it looks like it will be called iPhone 5. Apple has certainly been trying to protect the name iPhone 5 – and has even launched a claim over the domain name.

There’s a lot of ‘information’ out there on what the new iPhone 5 will look like – be it larger screens, coloured backs or a whole glut of new technology tagged on the back.

However, while there’s (unsurprisingly) nothing in the way of a genuine leak from Apple when it comes to the iPhone 5, there’s a wealth of content from fans trying to guess/hint what the new iPhone will look like.

We’ve sifted through the wheat and dropped the chaff – here’s our gallery of images we think show the most likely design of the iPhone 5 (or just things that would clearly never happen, but come on… it’s cool).

TechRadar has now got on board with the 3D render gang and produced its own video of what the iPhone 5 may look like, taking inspiration from the most talked about rumours.

And here’s what everyone else came up with…


iPhone 5


Credit:Martin Utrecht (Flickr)

This is the pick of the bunch – a very impressive render based on all the iPhone 5 rumours collated so far. The two tone back and sleek design fromMartin Utrecht are so on message that a number of sites were fooled into thinking this was THE new iPhone. It’s not though. Don’t get excited.


iPhone 5


Credit:Ciccarese Design

We’re fans of this design not because it’s likely to happen, but more because it will appeal to the Apple fanboys of the world. It’s basically the unholy fusion of a Magic Mouse and an iPhone (with more than a nod to the much-fabled iPhone HD) from Ciccarese Design.

Although if it did double as a mouse, you’d have to pray that’s going to be the next generation of Gorilla Glass protecting the screen.


iPhone 5


Credit:NAK Phone Design

This is the most ‘normal’ of all the renders we’ve chosen here, and for that very reason we’re happy to state that if Apple goes in a new direction with the iPhone 5 design, this could very well be close to the mark with a more rounded-yet-industrial design.

However, it does look a bit like a Sony Ericsson Satio, which is a BAD THING. Although we do like the smorgasbord of colours here from NAK.


iPhone 5



What’s this?A phone with a smart cover? That makes a lot of sense. The rest of the concept is a little on the bland side (although you should check out the full range over on Concept-Phones) with a more angular design, but we love this cover notion.


iPhone 5


Credit:ADR Studios

We love this concept for one reason: the idea of incorporating the home button into a dock at the bottom of the screen. Would it work in practice? Probably not, as it would only be relevant for the home screen and engineering that into an LCD panel would be a pain in the posterior.

But we’re in concept land here – there are no limitations, so kudos to ADR Studios for a decent range of ideas on the next iPhone.

And to that end, here’s the ultimate in concepts for the iPhone – a video from Aatma that comes up with the idea of projecting a keyboard from the iPhone using a laser.

Make. This. Happen.




6 Kitchens, 6 DIY Updates

Get inspired to give your own kitchen a fresh look with ideas from these affordable, do-it-yourself fixes

 While an incredible kitchen remodel is impressive, sometimes a quick fix is all a kitchen needs — or all you can afford. These Houzz users got creative with their spaces, sticking to the basics but still creating a fresh new look. From new paint colors to clever countertop solutions to a smart layout fix, these six Houzzers managed to update their kitchens on tight budgets.
tsemdkel before
1. Cabinetry refresh in New HampshireBEFORE: Although the existing cabinets in tsemdkel‘s 1975 ranch were well built, they darkened the already poorly lit space. With a quick coat of paint and a new hardwood floor, the style changed dramatically.
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
AFTER: The owner kept the original backsplash for its classic look and installed new countertops. By taking down a wall that separated the kitchen from the den, she was also able to let more light into the space. “I now have a wonderful, sunny great room where there were two small, dark spaces before,” she says.New kitchen size: 13 by 12 feet
Budget: $10,000. The owner designed the space with the help of her mother, who’s an interior designer.
Location: Durham, New Hampshire
sarah gayle carter before
2. Bachelor’s barn in MaineWhen designer Sarah Carter moved to Maine to live in a converted barn with a new boyfriend, she found herself having to cook in a chaotic kitchen.”My South-African, ex-Rugby-playing guy was cute, but clearly oblivious to his surroundings,” she says.
kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
AFTER: Most of her budget went toward infrastructure changes — rewiring, putting in new outlets and track lighting, and installing on-demand hot water were musts. The flooring is simple DIY self-stick vinyl tiles, and the countertop was updated with a simple, stainless steel substrate. Ikea cabinetry and shelves and salvaged furniture provided the final — and affordable — touches.New kitchen size: 20 by 15 feet
Budget: $12,000, work done entirely on her own
Location: Bristol, Maine
capucine28 before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
3. New paint and counter finishes in QuebecAFTER: The bones of capucine28‘s kitchen were pretty good, so she knew that she could do the cosmetic work on her own. Sanding and varnishing the cabinets and painting the knobs refreshed the space, as did a fresh coat of soft yellow paint. Scrubbing the floor tiles and cleaning the grout revealed a decent kitchen floor. But the biggest change was on the countertop, which she refinished using the Encore Countertop system for a natural cement look.New kitchen size: 11 1/2 by 14 1/2 feet
Budget: $600 CAN, work done entirely on her own
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
malena before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
4. Simple floorplan fix in MassachusettsAFTER: Houzz user malena933 knew her kitchen needed an upgrade but she was on a tight budget. Instead of knocking everything out, she had her father carefully remove some of the cabinetry so she could turn the floorplan from a C to a more of a U shape. She repurposed almost all her cabinetry and hired a college student to help her install it in the new configuration.New paint and trim to match the original house gave the kitchen consistency.New kitchen size: 9 by 9 feet
Budget: about $10,000. The owner did all the work except electrical and plumbing.
Location: Monument Beach, Massachusetts
mizzyc before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
5. Empty nest revamp in TexasAFTER: As the mother of three boys and the manager of a miniature donkey ranch, Houzz usermizzyc didn’t have the time to update her kitchen until her boys were out of the house. Although she had built it in 1994 with materials meant to withstand three sons, it now felt outdated and inefficient. She got creative with materials and installation to cut down on costs. Granite was the major splurge, but tile from Home Depot and Lowe’s and a sink and faucet found online saved some serious cash.New kitchen size: 14 by 20 feet
Budget: $4,000, owner made the changes herself
Location: Lufkin, Texas
pfmorgan1416 before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
6. Countertop Changes in AlabamaAFTER: Houzz user pfmorgan1416 set out to redo her kitchen on her own. A DIY subway backsplash, minor carpentry changes and new hardware dressed up the space dramatically — but she was still plagued with a dark green, ’80s style laminate countertop. In the end, she decided to splurge and contract out for a new granite countertop that made a world of difference. Next up: A new, dark hardwood floor.New kitchen size: 12 by 12 feet
Budget: Done on her own over many years. The $1,500 granite countertop was biggest splurge.
Location: Alabama 


15 Ways To Keep Cool When it’s Hot

Keeping cool when temperatures reach record highs isn’t just about comfort. Dangerously high temperatures can result in heat-related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The following tips can help you keep cool all summer long.

  1. Alter your pattern of outdoor exercise to take advantage of cooler times (early morning or late evening). If you can’t change the time of your workout, scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead orrunning, or decreasing your level of exertion.
  2. Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably of a light color.
  3. Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.
  4. Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  5. Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house.
  6. Try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on hot, overtired feet.
  7. Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you’re ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you’ll have a supply of cold water with you.
  8. Take frequent baths or showers with cool or tepid water.
  9. Combat dehydration by drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes.
  10. Some people swear by small, portable, battery-powered fans. At an outdoor event I even saw a version that attaches to a water bottle that sprays a cooling mist.
  11. I learned this trick from a tennis pro: if you’re wearing a cap or hat, remove it and pour a bit of ice cold water into the hat, then quickly invert it and place on your head.
  12. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration.
  13. Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won’t have to cook next to a hot stove.
  14. If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, movie theater, or other public space that is cool. Many cities have cooling centers that are open to the public on sweltering days.
  15. Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces. Pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Don’t forget that pets also need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses too.


Olympic Medal Count 2012: Early Day 5 Standings and Bold End-of-Play Predictions


Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY

The London Olympics are going strong, and Day 5 looks to continue the fun and excitement.

After the crowing of Michael Phelps’ Olympic record on Tuesday, we turn our heads to some different action.

Medals will be handed out in 11 different sports on Wednesday. From kayaking to weightlifting, athletes will rise to the occasion for their countries or falter and return home without realizing their Olympic dreams.

Most of the medals being earned today are not in the high-profile events, but they add to to the overall medal count all the same.

London Olympics Medal Count as of Aug. 1, 8 a.m. ET.

Olympic Medal Tracker Gold Silver Bronze
China Total: 23 13 6 4
United States Total: 23 9 8 6
Japan Total: 13 1 4 8
France Total: 11 4 3 4
South Korea Total: 8 3 2 3
For full medal results, check out Bleacher Report’s official leaderboard.


Quiet Day for Americans

Wednesday won’t be a day filled with medal upon medal for the USA. There are opportunities here and there to snag a few, most notably in the men’s individual all-around gymnastics finals and women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, but overall it should be fairly quiet on the American front.

The American contingent will be focused on preliminary action. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings look to continue their Olympic set and match records in beach volleyball, and Team USA attempts to continue their domination in women’s basketball.

Don’t look for a big influx in gold on Wednesday.

Gymnastics Redemption

After a disappointment in the team competition, the men will go their separate ways and look for individual gold. This will be their chance to some sort of redemption after not claiming a medal as a group.

The men are talented and can come away with some individual hardware. Supposedly they have the best talent since the 1984 squad, but they have yet to live up to that potential in London.

It will be interesting to see what their mindset is entering the competition after their previous performances. As much as they were celebrated entering the Games, it is time for the men to step up. Maybe they can be inspired by what the women did on Tuesday.

China Will Extend Gold Lead

With the Americans only having a select few opportunities to close the gap on gold, look for the Chinese to extend their lead.

They already have one gold guaranteed as the gold-medal match in women’s table tennis features Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia.

Their early grasp on gold may be difficult to overcome, but it’s still early in the Games, and the Americans have plenty of opportunities to close the gap as the days pass. But for today, it looks as if they will extend the lead and continue their firm grasp over the rest of the world.

I hope you enjoyed the article! -


Growing Panes: Homeowners Go Big on Glass Walls

Anita and Bob Dethlefs wanted the new Portland, Ore. home they were building to really let the sunshine in. So, the couple installed 2,700 square feet of Marvin windows—about $300,000 worth—on nearly every wall of the property.

Giant spans of glass,once seen mainly in commercial construction, are now more common in residential homes. Wendy Bounds explains how technology has enabled glass makers to make these more affordable, safe (if tempered) and energy efficient.

And then they put up 12 security cameras.

“We’re getting about as much light as you can in the Northwest but with so many windows, safety was the No. 1 concern for me as a mommy with kids running around the house,” says 43-year-old Ms. Dethlefs, who has five children. Her husband started a leadership conference business, Evanta Inc., in 2003 and later sold it. Their 13,000-square-foot, $5 million Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home even has a glass front door, letting visitors on the front stoop see through the family’s living room out to Mount Hood.

Forget about a room with a view. Today, homeowners want views from every room. As large expanses of glass have become architecturally acceptable for modern and traditional homes, new technology is making living in a fishbowl more practical—albeit sometimes challenging.

Homes That Let the Sun Shine In

Leah Nash for The Wall Street Journal

Anita and Bob Dethlefs moved into their new Portland 13,000-square-foot home in November. The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home has about $300,000 worth of windows to let in as much light as possible and help with the ‘gray sky’ malaise Ms. Dethlefs says she gets living in the Pacific Northwest.

Homeowners’ desire for more open floor plans with combined kitchen and living-room spaces has paved the way structurally for bigger spreads of glass. A growing appetite for more energy-efficient windows and associated tax incentives and rebates have also supported the trend.

“The open floor plan is predominant in almost everyone’s design now,” says builder Tim Wilkinson of Great Falls, Mont. “They want more light and bigger windows to take advantage of views.”

Today, thanks to technological advances, nearly all windows installed in new homes have special, invisible coatings that block heat and keep ultraviolet rays from fading furniture. Many also use double or triple-panes with argon or krypton gas sandwiched in between, which helps insulate in cold climates. Now standard on Andersen Windows glass: a titanium dioxide coating the company says sheds dirt and virtually eliminates water spots. Some glass makers are even marketing windows for residences that can tint and untint with the push of a button.

And for those put off by the prospect of raising and lowering so many blinds, companies such as Lutron Electronics sell window shades that can be controlled with an iPhone app.

“Across the board, people want more light,” says Mike Rogers, senior vice president of GreenHomes America Inc., a company specializing in energy-efficient home renovations, which has been incorporating more glass in its projects.

Beyond privacy and safety—Ms. Dethlefs’s chief worries—there are maintenance issues, such as how to keep so much glass spotless. (The couple pay $850 to $950 for professional cleaning at least three times a year.) And despite technological improvements, glass still doesn’t typically insulate as well as a wall packed with insulation.

Then there is the bird problem: Anywhere from 100 million to 1 billion are killed in window collisions every year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

While manufacturers such as Andersen Corp. and Marvin Windows and Doors say overall window sales have slowed amid a sluggish new-house market, the companies say they are seeing more and larger windows going into new homes.

In modern homes, “they are filling space between floor and ceiling with as much glass as they can,” says Jay Sandgren, an architectural representative for Andersen. He says builders are being “a lot smarter” about positioning a home and the roof overhang to capture the most sunlight in winter and to block much of the heat from the sun in summer.

Building with glass isn’t cheap. Mr. Wilkinson the Montana builder estimates the price is about double the cost of installing regular walls packed with insulation. His own 4,800-square-foot home that he completed last year has $85,000 worth of Andersen glass, giving him a 240-degree view of three mountain ranges and the Missouri River. Even the deck railings are glass panels.

Tempered safety glass is installed according to local building codes in areas of homes where breakage might be of particular concern, such as windows and doors close to the floor or near a stairway or landing. Glass can sometimes attract vandals in the construction phase, a headache for builders, Mr. Wilkinson says. But breakage for homeowners “is rarely a problem,” he says, although he cautions that people mowing the lawn should look out for rocks that the mower can kick out to crack a pane.

Architect Thomas Roszak took the fishbowl aesthetic to the extreme in his own Northfield, Ill. home, which features commercial curtain-wall glass around the entire building.The walls are constructed from two argon-filled glass panes covered with what’s called low-emissivity, or “low-e,” metallic coating to block heat flow through the window, keeping the home cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.

With little traditional wall space, art is suspended in front of windows from a floor-to-ceiling, museum-type wire hanging system, Mr. Roszak says. For privacy, he planted trees around his one-acre property and installed $60,000 worth of electronically operated blinds.

One low point of glass-house design: The day his 8-year-old son spied a dead bird that had hit home’s glass siding, likely mistaking the trees’ reflection for safe habitat. “He said, ‘Daddy, I don’t think that bird is sleeping, I think it’s broken,’” Mr. Roszak says.

Glass homeowners must be mindful of clutter, since the view goes both ways. When Beata and Brad Peters built their 3,900-square-foot brick home in Hawthorn Woods, Ill., they incorporated large panels of glass symmetrically throughout. While most windows have wood blinds, the family tends to leave them open for aesthetics.

“I don’t put a lot of stuff in front of the windows,” Ms. Peters says. In the kitchen, appliances like toasters get packed along a wall with no glass.

Window-treatment companies are pushing to make shade operation less of a chore. Rotterdam-based Hunter Douglas this spring added a “Solar Energy Sensor” that raises and lowers blinds based on the amount of sun detected. Despite the slump in the housing market, the company’s North American sales rose almost 5% last year. An electronically controlled Lutron shade sells for about $900 more than manual ones and can be controlled via remote control or an app for Apple Inc. or Android devices.

Some glass companies now make windows that reduce the need for blinds altogether. One is Sage Electrochromics Inc. of Faribault, Minn., whose product consists of clear panes that morph to a grayish-blue tint when a user flips a switch to send a low-voltage current across the window. The tint reduces glare and heat but not visibility. Sage began selling the glass for residential applications around 2005, though they are typically found in high-end homes due to cost. An installed window costs between one-and-a-half to two times as much as one with typical low-e glass.

“If you’re on the West Coast facing the ocean when the sun is beating on the glass, what people do is pull their blinds and shades to block the glare,” says Helen Sanders, Sage’s vice president of technical business development. “What that means is you’ve just lost your view you paid a huge amount of money for.”

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Joel Schumacher Lists California Estate for $9.5 Million


Filmmaker Joel Schumacher has listed his Carpinteria, Calif., home for $9.5 million. Candace Jackson has details on The News Hub. Photo: Jim Bartsch.

Filmmaker Joel Schumacher has listed his 7-acre Carpinteria, Calif., estate for $9.5 million.


Jim BartschFilmmaker Joel Schumacher has listed his 7-acre Carpinteria, Calif., estate for $9.5 million.

Just outside of Santa Barbara, the compound was built by Mr. Schumacher on four separate parcels and includes a 6,500-square-foot main house with three bedrooms. Built in 2000, it has both mountain and ocean views and was built in a modern-rustic style with reclaimed barn wood. The home’s large living room has vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces and a loft currently configured as an office. A rotunda-shaped dining room has large windows overlooking a swimming pool. The master suite has a fireplace and a terrace.

The property also includes a guesthouse and a home for a property manager, each of which has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a pool house.

Known for such movies as “Batman Forever” and “A Time to Kill,” Mr. Schumacher is selling because he’s no longer using the property as much as he used to, according to a listing agent.

Rebecca Riskin & Associates is handling the listing.

A Miami, Fla., home has re-listed for $19 million, up from an original list price of $16.5 million. The seller is Dean Ziff, a private investor whose family founded and owned SunglassHut retail stores. Candace Jackson has details on The News Hub. Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty.

Miami Home Relists and Ups Its Price by 15% to $19 Million

A Miami home has relisted for $19 million, up from an original list price of $16.5 million. The seller is Dean Ziff, a private investor whose family founded and owned Sunglass Hut retail stores.

Built in 1990, the home is on 2½ acres of waterfront along Biscayne Bay. Located in a neighborhood with 24-hour security, the property is surrounded by tropical landscaping. The 14,400-square-foot main house, with Colonial Colombian architectural influences, has eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The home is built around a central atrium, and includes a large master suite and a second-story loggia overlooking the water.

Outside, there’s a swimming pool with an island in the middle and a tennis court. There are also two one-bedroom casitas and a guesthouse with its own kitchen and living room.

The home’s listing agent, Mayi de la Vega of Sotheby’s International Realty, says the listing price was raised because home underwent restorations and updates when it was taken off the market. She shares the listing with Jorge Uribe, also of Sotheby’s.

A Southampton, N.Y. home has listed for $30 million. On more than five acres, the property is directly on the beach with about 200 feet of oceanfront. It includes a two-story, 5,000-square-foot contemporary home with five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Candace Jackson has details on The News Hub. Photo: Philip M. Stamm.

A Home in the Hamptons Lists for $30 Million

A Southampton, N.Y., home has listed for $30 million.

On more than 5 acres, the property is directly on the beach with about 200 feet of oceanfront. It includes a two-story, 5,000-square-foot contemporary home with five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The two-story home has two kitchens, one on each level. There’s a swimming pool surrounded by a glass atrium. It also has a gated entry and a tennis court.

Philip Stamm, an attorney for the owner, whom he described as an 83-year-old relative, says the owner is selling because he has had the property for more than 25 years and is looking to move on. Mr. Stamm is handling the listing; Ryan Podskoch and Matt Podskoch of Global Real Estate Network are also marketing the property.

—Candace Jackson—Email:

A version of this article appeared July 27, 2012, on page D8 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Private Properties.

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The Top 5 Things Buyers Love

The Top 5 Things Buyers Love

This week’s blogs are chock-full of ways to translate what buyers love into strategies for selling your home this spring. 
Here are the top five things potential buyers want in a brand-new house, according to a recent survey by trade publisher Hanley Wood:
  • Everything is new
  • Less maintenance
  • More energy-efficient
  • Opportunity to customize
  • Contemporary floor plan

And here are the top five things potential buyers like about existing homes:

  • More affordable
  • Established community
  • Opportunity to remodel
  • Character
  • Better neighborhood

Now you know what to emphasize in your listing, whether you are selling a new house or an existing house.

Image courtesy of Morguefile contributor Taliesin