The housing sector has been one of the economy's bright spots in recent months. Prices are still going up, but data suggest that the market is cooling or soon will be.
As the Obama administration continues its erratic roll out of health care reform, halfway around the world in Indonesia, authorities are getting ready to introduce the world's biggest universal health care program. It will cover all 240 million citizens and go into effect in 2014.
It will take five years to roll out completely but eventually the idea is that everyone will be able to get health care that is free at the point of use. It's an ambitious plan for a middle income country.
But as the BBC's Claire Bolderson found on the Island of Sulewesi -- one of the biggest in the Indonesian archipelago -- the country's health care system is already under strain.
Federal regulators have ordered the genetic testing company 23andMe to stop marketing its mail-order DNA sampling kits. The FDA says 23andMe has not proven the validity of the kit's results. 23andMe's co-founder is Anne Wojicki, the estranged wife of Google's Sergey Brin, and Google is a major backer of the company.
The website offers a mail-in service that lets you know more about your ancestry, and in turn information on your health and the future of your wellbeing. 23andMe includes analysis of a number of health conditions, diseases you might be a carrier of, and how your body might respond to specific drugs.
The FDA is worried about patients acting on false results -- getting treatment they don't need if those results are false positives, putting off doctor's visits if they get false negatives. The FDA wants to make sure 23andMe's kits do what they say they're going to do, and the agency says it doesn't have assurance from 23andMe that the test works the way the company says it does.
23andMe has 15 business days to respond to the FDA. If they don't respond in a way the FDA is happy with, the FDA may take additional action.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a character -- no doubt. If you go his website, you'll see his offers for everything from magazines to Skype dates to New York dinner parties. He'll make a personal video for you. He'll talk to you for ten minutes on the phone. He even sent a guy in Minnesota a cheeseburger once after the guy asked him for one on Twitter. The New Jersey dude who started the successful online store winelibrary.com seems up for almost anything for attention.
But, there is a catch. Vaynerchuck will give to you -- and then ask for you to give back. It's a method he's used for years. Now, brands like GE, Pepsi, and the New York Jets ask his agency, Vayner Media, to help with their social media mojo. Vaynerchuck 's new book, "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World," is out today.
Vaynerchuck is something of a social media genius. When it comes to describing his online philosophy, he says it all boils down to this: "I care about where the eyeballs and ears of the consumer are," Vaynerchuck says.
Vaynerchuck says if you want to improve your social media strategy, focus on being generous with your followers. Those would be the jabs he's talking about in the title of his book. Vaynerchuck says it's time to give 'em the right hook when you need something back from your followers.
"It's the theory of this book, which is give, give, give, and ask. That's what 'Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook' is," he says. "I want the leverage of giving first. Everybody right now on Facebook and Twitter is posting things like 'come to my open house,' 'buy my wine,' 'buy my book ' -- me, me, me, me, me, me! A funny thing happens when you care about somebody first, they tend to care about you. I mean, last year I didn't have a book out, I didn't throw any right hooks -- I didn't need anything from anybody. So I was just putting out good stuff. I was answering people's questions -- give, give, give, give. For the last month, I've been really annoying with my right hooks, but I built up the equity -- and I've been strategic about still putting out jabs."
To hear more about Vaynerchuck's social media strategy and how companies who hire him use it, click the audio player above.
For those who absolutely must cook their birds in hot oil, there are plenty of safety videos showing how to do it. Among the most entertaining is Shatner's rap.
If Scotland were to pull away from the United Kingdom, what would its society look like? What would its economy look like? The Scottish National Party today issued a kind of mission statement to start answering those questions. In 10 months, voters in Scotland will be asked, yes or no: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
Some of the big challenges they would undoubtedly face would be economic, and one of the big issues they'd have to decide is which currency to use. The Scottish National Party is proposing a currency union with the rest of the United Kingdom. And -- as we know from the euro zone -- running a currency union with more than one government involved can sometimes be pretty challenging.
For more on the Scottish economy and the challenges an independent Scotland would face, click the audio player above.