THE BYTE

Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.

This week we’re taking a BYTE out of the New Year, the last week of shows, a big social change, a new take on tackling affordable housing, and a new way to get around. Dig in!


Generally

2 Weeks Down 50 More To Go
2018 is underway and so far people are thinking it’s going to be a good year in the industry.

2018 Looks Good On You
Optimism is high in home building and with construction spending setting records, 30,000 jobs added just last month and total 35% increase from 2016 it’s easy to see why. Demand for homes isn’t looking to slow anytime soon and new home sales are expected to jump 5.4% this year. It’s not all good though, the new tax plan and increases in tariffs have some people worried about rising costs. There is also a worry about not enough workers signing up to work on construction sites. The south is expected to grow rapidly this year with the biggest growth cities from last year, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Austin, all expected to stay hotspots.


Show Us How It’s Done

Can Someone Please Turn On The Lights?
Last week brought about two major shows on opposite ends of the country, The International Builders Show (IBS) in Orlando and The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. IBS featured some incredible new products, whether it was an outdoor water feature with fire coming out of the top or smart/connected everything IBS is always a great way to start the new year and get new ideas rolling. The Consumer Electronics Show on the other hand was full of roll able TV screens, robots everywhere, AI integrated everything, and VR/AR evolutions. VR and AR took a lot of the spotlight this year at both shows as the tech is getting to a place that it’s being more widely adopted and used for game and for business purposes along with user friendly advances in the technology.


Take Notes

Bold Strategy
Facebook is changing what content is shared on people’s news feeds. The update is going to put more focus on posts from family and friends instead of businesses or pages. The reason for this is that Facebook wants being on their site to be more engaging and fun. They found that the posts from our families and friends give people a more enjoyable experience. While this might sound scary for businesses, some are saying if the whole experience is better on the site then it will likely be a positive change for everyone.

Fill Them Up
Denver is trying to tackle the city’s unaffordability problem by using some of the 16,000 vacant apartments in the city and helping people pay for the extra they can’t afford. For people that qualify, the city plans to spend $500 a month for individuals and up to $900 for families. They plan on subsidizing about 400 units over two years. The city is also going to better monitor landlords to make sure they aren’t raising rents to reflect the subsidies available.

Boeing Up
Boeing is no longer just in the plane business, they built a giant drone that can carry 500 pounds of cargo. Drone technology has been in the news for the past couple years but with Boeing’s vast resources this could mean a heavy duty drone to move objects or maybe even people long distances quickly is on the horizon. The goal is to eventually have a network of “flying taxis” and Boeing has even partnered with Uber on the project.


Totally Unrelated

Out Of This World
Ever wanted to fly through the Orion Nebula? Well here is your chance thanks to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.