James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.
When researchers put cameras and sensors in young drivers' cars, they found that good habits quickly evaporated as they gained confidence. They started texting, eating and talking with friends while driving. That led to more accidents and close calls.
Today, Greece takes over the presidency of the European Union, at a time when 27 percent of Greeks are out of work. The country's not winning the award for the most popular member of the EU anytime soon.
For the next six months, Greece will organize meetings, conferences and set policy priorities. Greek politicians say they want the EU to focus on the economy and jobs.
Mark Lowen, the BBC's Athens correspondent, tells us what to expect.
This final note comes by way of Businessweek:
The FBI says criminals have found a new way to use stolen credit cards. They scale the roof of a store and wrap aluminum foil around antennas. Stores use antennas to communicate with credit card companies. That foil blocks the transmission, which means stores can't verify whether a card is legit or stolen.
Businesses figure the connection's down temporarily, which happens every once in a while, and approve the transaction.
By the time a business finds out what the card was stolen, the criminals are long gone with the merchandise they bought and the stores ... are on the hook.
Brazil is the world's third largest market for Facebook, the fifth largest for Twitter, and it has quickly become the largest market for Lulu, the controversial man-rating app for women. That has highlighted the country's race to pass legislation to keep up with a quickly changing society.
How's this for an unlikely pairing: Jimi Hendrix and George Frederick Handel. In the late 1960's, Hendrix rented a small attic apartment in Central London, which happened to be right next door to where Handel lived more than 200 years earlier.
The London odd couple of Handel and Hendrix will finally live together -- in the same museum.
For years, David Weliver, editor of Money Under 30, made financial New Year's resolutions, but they never stuck. “I made the wrong resolution, to be honest,” says Weliver. “I resolved to budget.”
At the time, Weliver was more than $80,000 in debt. The problem with resolving to budget was the same problem people run in to when they resolve to lose weight, he says. “If you just say, ‘I’m going to exercise more, I want to lose weight,’ you’re bound to not succeed, because those are very vague ideas.” Weliver was able to get rid of his debt by picking resolutions that were very specific and very achievable, such as putting aside $50 a week.
If you want to get your finances in order, specifically, what’s the first thing you should do?
“Aim for zero consumer debt. That includes credit card and auto loans,” says Jill Schlesinger, an analyst at CBS News who has more than a decade of financial planning experience.
After that, says Schlesinger, take care of the basics: Make an emergency fund to last at least 6 months and bump up your retirement contribution as much as you can. “Live beneath your means.”
That’s the major piece of advice David Jones, President of the Association of Independent Consumer Counseling Agencies, has for the resolutionarily inclined. He says that can often be achieved by making small changes to your daily routine. “We see people every day that are having trouble making ends meet,” says Jones. “Yet, they are going to Starbucks twice a day, they are buying lunches out when they could be brown bagging it.”
A lot of us are suffering because the country went through a financial rough patch, so it seems only fair that Uncle Sam should have to make a financial resolution.
“Have a regulatory regime that will prevent us from going through another financial crisis,” is what Schlesinger recommends. She says the most important thing the U.S. can do in 2014 is make sure 2007 never happens again.
“It’s very important when you have a year like we’ve just had to not gloat, but to look ahead and say, well, what could go wrong and let’s address that.”
If 2013 was a good financial year for you, says Schlesinger, max out your retirement contributions, make an emergency fund that could last you a year ... and then go out to a really nice dinner.
You can always start your diet in February.
Capers and heists are alive and well in the Internet age.
Just last year, a hacker stole more than 4,000 Bitcoins from the cloud. You may remember thieves stole $50 million worth of diamonds in Belgium, by driving onto the tarmac at the airport in Brussels and intercepting a shipment.
Tim Fernholz, reporter for Quartz, dutifully chronicled the biggest capers and heists of 2013.
Tim’s favorite heist of 2013? $26,000 worth of Pappy Van Winkle artisinal whiskey. “[That theft] hits near and dear to my heart, as a lover of bourbon,” Fernholz says. “This was Pappy Van Winkle’s 20-year-old aged bourbon, which of late in the United States, as had this very big resurgence in popularity. $900 dollars a bottle on the secondary market.” Fernholz added he doesn't think it'll be recovered anytime soon.
Check out the rest of his list over at Quartz