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 the hottest zips and being prepared, a home share service entering real estate, self-teachers, capturing the ocean breeze, and rebuilding Puerto Rico. Dig in!
2017’s Hottest and Housing’s Preparedness
Realtor.com announced the hottest zip codes for this year and a northern Texas zip got the top spot. Also CNBC took a look at if the housing market can handle natural disasters, turns out it can’t really.
Tell Me More
When figuring out the hottest zip codes for 2017 factors included: relative affordability, population, job market, and salaries. Top three areas were: 1) 76148 Watauga, TX, 2) 48154 Livonia, MI, 3) 49548 Kentwood, MI. This year is the second year in a row that the 76148 zip code was in the number one spot.
So about those natural disasters… In the last 3 months at least 10,000 homes have been destroyed. Whether you are talking about fire, flood, or winds it all adds up to not the best news for the housing market. There’s already a labor shortage and a housing shortage, so these definitely aren’t helping. Federal and state money being sent to these areas is helping with the recovery, but let’s hope that we’ve already gone through the worst of it.
Airbnb Is Here
Airbnb has always been a company that relies on other people opening up their homes to visitors. No real product for Airbnb to take care of, until now. Airbnb is starting to take more of an active role in the real estate business. It is working with an apartment complex in Florida to build a community of units that are designed to function as part home, part permanent Airbnb. Residents will be allowed to rent out their space up to 180 days a year. The space is not outright owned by Airbnb but “powered by Airbnb” according to the website. This is their first big entry into actually playing a role in the space the visitors stay at.
AI is getting better and better each day and now it will start getting better quicker. AI systems are starting to teach themselves how to do things. Up until recently humans have been teaching the computers how to accomplish whatever its goal was, but now the AI is teaching itself, once given a task. For example, an AI just taught itself how to play a game called AlphaGo and now can’t be beaten by the top players in the world.
Getting Their Sea Legs
Scotland has built the world’s first floating wind farm. The farm will power 20,000 homes and the turbines rise up 575 feet out of the water. Up until now any water based wind farm has been built to the sea floor. These Scottish turbines actually float on the water and just have anchors that just keep them in place. This opens up deep sea areas to wind farming potential.
Google and Tesla are both trying to help Puerto Rico get back on track. Google has launched its internet streaming balloons to help bring service and internet to the people of Puerto Rico. This is the second time these balloons have been released to help those in need, but they are “still an experimental technology”, but they are hoping it helps. Tesla is also in talks to rebuild Puerto Rico’s infrastructure with Tesla solar panels and Powerwalls. However it is in the very early stages of figuring out how to make it work.
Sometimes playing in the rain isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, this 12 year old now knows that all too well…