Contributing Editors



Developers Come Up with Tools to Make Facebook Even Less Private

by Winnie Hsiu May 18, 2010 12:42 PM
In case you were wondering why tenants choose to rent self storage units, look no further. Facebook will tell you. Three San Francisco developers have come up with a free web application, called Openbook, that lets you search Facebook status messages. Luckily, there are tools you can use to make sure that your status messages are not among the ones that come up when people search Openbook. [More]

Study Shows that Fathers Who Clean and Declutter Have Happier Marriages

by John Stevens May 17, 2010 10:50 PM
Sorting possessions, organizing closets, and packing objects into boxes can be hard work. But husbands and fathers who do these chores can now regard themselves as investing in their own future happiness, according to a study released Thursday by the London School of Economics (LSE). [More]

Nashville Flood Update: Verdict on the Damage at Soundcheck

by Kim Kilpatrick May 14, 2010 7:58 PM
Last week the media was just starting to report that several prominent country musicians, such as Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, expected to lose instruments and most of their touring equipment to the Nashville flood. The damage was done when the rising Cumberland River invaded Soundcheck Nashville, a storage and rehearsal space that at least 600 musicians rely on. This week reports of the actual, as opposed to the anticipated, damage started to come in.

In the end, musicians had to wait three days for flood waters to recede before they could attempt to enter their storage units at Soundcheck. When they did go in, they had to don rubber boots and gloves and wade through puddles. According to The Tennessean, salvagers found around 1,000 guitars, 2,000 amplifiers, and hundreds of drum sets that were damaged or destroyed. [More]

Portable Storage Inspires High Tech Portable Homes

by Holly Robinson May 14, 2010 1:23 PM
A Virginia pastor has invented a new kind of portable, high tech home that families can use to create extra room next to their homes for elderly relatives who need care. Rev. Kenneth Dupin, knowing that families often would prefer to care for their aging relatives personally but that they might not have space for them in their homes, has come up with the idea of the MedCottage.

In many ways, the MedCottage is similar to a portable storage container that can be trucked to a home and placed in the yard temporarily. Both are portable and benefit from state-of-the-art construction technology. But while portable storage units are customized to make them ideal for storing certain kinds of belongings, the MedCottage is customized to make it habitable by human beings. MedCottages are sized to fit one person, and include a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Its special features include lighting at knee height to illuminate the floor, because tripping over objects on the floor is a common cause of falls among the elderly. In case of a fall, video monitors in the MedCottage monitor the cottage at ankle level, in an attempt to respect the cottage resident’s privacy while still letting a caregiver know if the resident has sustained a fall. The MedCottage is also equipped with technology that monitors a resident’s vital signs and can filter the air for contaminants. [More]

SC Self Storage Operator Rescues Local Government Documents

by John Stevens May 13, 2010 6:13 PM
Self storage facility operator Audrey Tyner was cleaning out an abandoned storage unit this week when she discovered a box full of documents. The documents turned out to belong to a community nonprofit organization, Community Organized for Advancement, Inc (COFA). They contained information from the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and from South Carolina’s Department of Social Services (DSS). [More]

Next Fall, ex-Facebook Users May Head for Diaspora*

by Winnie Hsiu May 13, 2010 5:59 PM
At this time of year, many college students are trying to decide where to store their belongings over the summer months. In an attempt to reach out to students and become more accessible to them, many self storage companies have begun to advertise student discounts on their Facebook pages. But teenagers and twenty-somethings can be a difficult group to reach -- just as many businesses were making their first ventures into Facebook, college students and other Facebook users began to flee the site. Some ex-Facebook users are heading for a new social networking medium invented by college students: Diaspora*. [More]

Self Storage Companies Offer Military Discounts to Relocating Families

by Tony Gonzalez May 12, 2010 1:00 PM
In 2005, Congress established BRAC, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, to make recommendations about the future of military bases all over the United States. BRAC's job was to evaluate the future needs of the Department of Defense, weighing the military value of bases against the human impact of changes that might be made. Having done that, the Commission made its recommendations.

Most of the recommendations made by BRAC are scheduled to be completed by late fall 2011. In some cases, the process of reorganizing the bases has already begun. In many communities, though, the changes are just beginning. Some communities, such as the Washington D.C. area, will experience a fairly massive relocation of military employees and their families. [More]

Engineering Students Design Wedding Dress that Needs No Post-Wedding Storage

by John Stevens May 11, 2010 11:35 AM
For many brides, part of planning a wedding is planning what to do with the wedding dress afterward. Will it be wrapped in tissue, saved in a self storage unit as a family heirloom, and passed down from generation to generation? Will it be converted to an evening gown? Will it be altered after the wedding to make it into a dress that can be reworn on a variety of formal occasions?

British engineering students at Sheffield Hallam University have come up with what they feel is a better solution. They have designed a dress that has pieces knit into the fabric that will dissolve when water is added. When the water-soluble components of the dress, which are made out of polyvinyl alcohol, get wet, the dress comes apart. It can then be made into five different dresses that can be worn on a variety of occasions. [More]

How Will the Rise in Temporary Jobs Affect Families?

by Holly Robinson May 10, 2010 1:46 PM
As the United States begins to come out of the recession, more and more workers are finding employment -- but the new jobs are frequently temporary jobs or freelance assignments -- work that requires workers, and their families, to be ready for anything. For example, Business Week reported Friday that in April, the number of Americans working at temporary jobs (many of whom were hired by the Census Bureau for the 2010 Census) rose by 26,200. Many workers are having to live with the reality that they may have to relocate, or travel, for a short-term job or freelance assignment. The new focus on temporary contract work may herald a rise in the demand for short-term apartment leases, temporary storage spaces, and reliance on cell phones and the use of wireless mobile data cards that can access the Internet. Working on a temporary basis may spur some Americans to be more careful about saving money for an uncertain future, but it may send others spiraling into an ever-increasing amount of credit card debt. [More]

New Tax Rules: 1099s to Vendors, 1099s from Tenants

by Winnie Hsiu May 10, 2010 1:42 AM
Journalists combing through the fine print of the new health care reform bill have found a provision that requires business owners to issue 1099 forms, not only to contract workers, but also to any individual or business from whom they purchase more than $600 worth of goods or services. The provision is buried in Section 9006(b)(1), taking up 170 words out of the new health care reform law. The new law is about 2,500 pages long and has a total of about 400,000 words -- most readers did not notice the 1099 provision the first time they read the bill. [More]
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