Category واشنگتن پست اقتصادی

Homeowners collaborate with designers and elevate a project to success

Bill O’Leary

The Washington Post

Tim Price, right, and Jerry Sealy have used works of art as centerpieces in each room of their co-op in the District’s Adams Morgan to create a unified whole.

Like many couples considering moving in together, Jerry Sealy and Tim Price had difficulty deciding on design preferences.

Sealy, an editorial design consultant, liked contemporary. Price, an internal medicine physician, liked traditional.

But a design team helped them convert Price’s 1,600-square-foot, 1928 co-op in the District’s Adams Morgan neighborhood into a comfortably curated home contrasting styles and textures and melding elements of both personalities.

“Luckily, around that time we met Josh and Viv at the D.C...

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Mortgage rates rise amid positive housing news

Mortgage rates rose slightly this week amid positive housing market news and increased demand for home loans.

According to a Freddie Mac report released Thursday, the average for 30-year fixed rate reached 2.90 percent, up from 2.87 percent with an average 0.8 point. (A point is a fee borrowers pay, in addition to the interest rate, that equals 1 percent of the loan.) The rate was 3.64 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average reached 2.40 percent, up from 2.35 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 3.16 percent a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average reached 2.90 percent, down from 2.96 percent with an average 0.2 point. It was 3.38 percent a year ago.

Existing-home sales rose 2...

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Coronavirus may just sink the world’s video game museums

When Alex Handy first founded the Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment (or the MADE) in Oakland, Calif. in 2011, he imagined the institution as a bucket placed underneath an industry that was constantly leaking and dripping out vital artifacts of its own history. Over the museum’s near-decade of existence, it has weathered rising rents, flooding, and even robberies to deliver a playable library of more than 10,000 games to its visitors. However, more than six months after the ongoing coronavirus crisis forced its closure, it’s not at all clear if the MADE — or its fellow video game museums across the globe — will be able to survive the economic fallout wrought by the virus...

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Amazon announces new video game streaming service, partnership with Ubisoft

Amazon is pushing into the video game streaming market with Luna, a new service announced Thursday. The service will run off AWS game servers and allow users to stream video games though Fire TV, smartphones and tablets, as well as PC and Mac.

The service includes the Luna+ game channel, where players can access an array of games on a subscription basis. The game catalogue looks to be a work in progress, but the presentation spotlighted “Control,” “Resident Evil 7” and “Sonic Mania” and touted a new partnership with Ubisoft. A separate Ubisoft channel will allow Luna users to play “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” and “Far Cry 6” on their release days.

(Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Similar to those other services, users will be able t...

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Publicly traded firms paid dividends, bought their own stock after receiving PPP loans to pay employees

Some publicly traded companies that received taxpayer-backed small business loans to pay their employees during the early weeks of the pandemic paid out millions to Wall Street investors in dividends and share buybacks, publicly available financial disclosures reviewed by The Washington Post show.

The findings reinforce long-standing concerns that the Paycheck Protection Program, an emergency stimulus fund offering low-interest, forgivable loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, was accessed by financially healthy companies that could have gone without a bailout.

Under the Small Business Administration rules, a PPP loan could be used only to meet payroll and pay mortgage interest, leases or utility bills...

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Virus’s unseen hot zone: The American farm

In Yakima County, Wash., some fruit orchard owners declined on-site testing of workers by health departments at the height of harvest season even as coronavirus infections spiked. In Monterey, Calif., workers at some farms claimed foremen asked them to hide positive diagnoses from other crew members. And in Collier County, Fla., health officials did not begin widespread testing of farmworkers until the end of harvest, at which point the workers had already migrated northward.

At the height of harvest season, growers supplying some of America’s biggest agricultural companies and grocery store chains flouted public health guidelines to limit testing and obscure coronavirus outbreaks, according to thousands of pages of state and local records reviewed by The Washington Post.

At...

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Amazon’s new security drone pushes the boundaries of surveillance, again

Amazon appears undeterred by its emerging reputation in consumer technology: creep.

At a virtual launch event on Thursday, Amazon’s new product lineup again pushed the boundaries of where and how we bring surveillance into our lives. Its new gadgets include: a Ring security camera attached to an indoor flying drone, a new Echo Show speaker that swivels to follow you around, and a security camera for cars that can record encounters with police.

Amazon also announced a few overdue improvements to the privacy protections its connected products offer consumers, which I applaud. But the direction the company wants to take connected life is unmistakable: more recordings feeding into Amazon artificial intelligence to automate our homes and our lives.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns Th...

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Amazon’s new security drone, car camera and swiveling speaker push the boundaries of surveillance, again

Amazon appears undeterred by its emerging reputation in consumer technology: creep.

At a virtual launch event on Thursday, Amazon’s new product lineup again pushed the boundaries of where and how we bring surveillance into our lives. Its new gadgets include: a Ring security camera attached to an indoor flying drone, a new Echo Show speaker that swivels to follow you around, and a security camera for cars that can record encounters with police.

Amazon also announced a few overdue improvements to the privacy protections its connected products offer consumers, which I applaud. But the direction the company wants to take connected life is unmistakable: more recordings feeding into Amazon artificial intelligence to automate our homes and our lives.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns Th...

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Facebook removes Russian networks tied to intelligence services that interfered in the U.S. in 2016

Facebook shut down two Russian disinformation networks operated by the nation’s intelligence services and a third by people affiliated with a notorious troll farm that interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the company announced Thursday.

The networks focused their efforts in numerous nations in Europe and Asia, with relatively little reach among U.S. audiences, Facebook concluded. But the involvement of people and entities that previously had targeted American politics underscored the ongoing threat posed by Russia’s disinformation machinery, which U.S. intelligence officials have said is also attempting to interfere in November’s presidential vote.

“Today’s disclosures are further evidence that Russia continues aggressive interference operations and broader...

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Internal USPS documents link changes behind mail slowdowns to top executives

A senior executive at the U.S. Postal Service delivered a PowerPoint presentation in July that pressed officials across the organization to make the operational changes that led to mail backups across the country, seemingly contradicting months of official statements about the origin of the plans, according to internal documents obtained by The Washington Post.

David E. Williams, the agency’s chief of logistics and processing operations, listed the elimination of late and extra mail trips by postal workers as a primary agency goal during the July 10 teleconference. He also told the group that he wanted daily counts on such trips, which had become common practice to ensure the timely delivery of mail...

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