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Daily Book of Mormon Reading

Posted on: June 21, 2008 I Written By

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About 5 years ago I was having a discussion with my brother who told me that he wanted a service that would just send him a short part of a book to his email. He always read his email and by having it in his email he’d be compelled to take the time to read it. More specifically he wanted to have a short part of The Book of Mormon sent to his email so that he could follow the prophet’s counsel to read The Book of Mormon daily.

Well, my brother doesn’t need to look any farther. Turns out there is a service that will do this for you. I also love that it has an RSS feed of it too. Might as well get my scripture reading done with my other feed reading. The only challenge there is that I’ve been letting my feed reading go by the way side lately. So, maybe I should stick to email.

Facebook Now the Largest Social Network

Posted on: June 12, 2008 I Written By

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Today Techcrunch announced that Facebook just passed up MySpace as the largest social network. I think we all knew that this was inevitable. MySpace sucks and Facebook sucks much less.

The worst part of it all is that MySpace is still going to be around for a long time to come. In fact, last I checked it was still growing quite rapidly. MySpace is to social networking what AOL was to dial up. We’re getting really close to the end of AOL, but I’m afraid that we may not see the end of MySpace. Let’s just hope I can keep my children away from it.

Congratulations Facebook.

New Favorite Real Estate Site

Posted on: June 10, 2008 I Written By

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I’ve just found my new favorite real estate site. I’ve always loved Zillow, but the last time I used it I had problems scrolling the page properly and the load times were too poor. I still like some of the data that Zillow has, but I think I’ll use it once I’ve found a place that I’m interested in analyzing its value.

Today I started playing with HotPads and I’m really impressed with their interface. Maybe I’m just more interested because I’ve started the job search and associated housing search that goes along with a new job in a new city. Regardless, I found HotPads really nice to use. I can still see a few parts of it that could be improved, but I love how quickly I can go through the map and see how much house I’ll be able to get for the price. I also really love the deep integration with what that size of mortgage will really cost me. There are so many variables involved and I think HotPads does a great job allowing you to change all of the various mortgage costs associated with purchasing a home.

A relatively new part of the site is a Rent vs. Buy heat map. I’m pretty sure this is just a really nice marketing item to get people to use the other parts of their site. Well, it worked for me. However, you can tell that the principle of rent vs. buy is more than just a marketing ploy for the company. This type of analysis is shown throughout the site to allow people to make more informed decisions.

I think that I especially love this part of the site, because when I moved to Las Vegas 3 years ago my in-laws nearly ridiculed my wife and I because we chose to rent and not buy. They said we were just throwing money away. Well, 3 years later that same in-law ended up selling their house at loss after paying much larger mortgage payments than our rent payments. Plus, if we had bought a house in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t be able to switch jobs, because I’d never be able to sell my house.

At the time I had no way of explaining these rather complicated rent vs. buy economic models to my in-laws. Now, I could just show them the nifty chart on HotPads. Sure, it’s based on certain assumptions about the market and inflation, but at least you can navigate best and worst case scenarios and make an informed decision.

I’ll let you know how it all goes once I finally land a new job (yes, I’m searching so if you know of any let me know) and try to find a house on HotPads. Right now it’s great visually. It will be fun to see how accurate and updated it is.