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Barbara Carter's Blog

Real Estate in Ulster County NY

By Barbara Carter, RE Asso Broker | Agent in 12528
  • My New Interest~ Pinterest~ Pin A Little Pin For Me

    Posted Under: Tech Tips, Agent2Agent, How To...  |  November 17, 2012 5:50 AM  |  345 views  |  No comments

    My New Interest~ Pinterest

    pin

    Being a Realtor I find myself the role of Quasi Techie Geek. My first big endeavor was blogging the second my website www.NewPaltzRealEstate.com . I try to keep up with the social media as best I can, so far so good.

    Lately, the buzz seems to be Pinterest. So I took a look and immediately the creative mind started racing as to how to use this in my business. It seems like a fun interaction.

    So it begins…. A new adventure. . When you hire me to be your Realtor it is not all business as usual. professional, yes but I like to keep it light and fun. So here it is, my new real estate interaction. Join me as I launch “Barbara Carter Ulster County Realtor” on Pinterest. Follow me on Pinterest and pin a little pin for me on my community page.

    What will I offer? Here we will share everything Ulster County, actually the Hudson Valley will be shared. This is a place to share your dream. Stop by my Pinterest and pin a little pin for me!

  • Password- Security or a Mental Challenge?

    Posted Under: Tech Tips, How To...  |  November 8, 2012 10:56 AM  |  230 views  |  No comments

    Remember those days long, long ago when you could have one password for everything, and it was as simple as your kid’s name and birthday? (And you left it on a Post-It note stuck to your computer monitor?)

     

    Well, those days are gone. Now you probably have a different password for almost every website you visit, and each of those sites has different rules for how long your password can be, and which characters you can use to make it.

     

    A lot of time is wasted trying to remember (and then resetting) all of those forgotten passwords. Unfortunately, password security is vitally important. With bank accounts, medical information, and vital credit data just a username and password away from any computer, you absolutely must make strong passwords. Passwords aren’t guessed by human beings. They’re hacked by fast, sophisticated programs which can try millions of combinations almost instantly. (Did you know one of the most common passwords people use is actually... password?)

     

    Here are two tools to help you create and remember strong passwords:

     

    1. StrongPasswordGenerator.com - http://www.strongpasswordgenerator.com

    This website uses JavaScript to automatically generate random passwords using length and character rules you can control. The passwords are generated right in your browser and are not tied or identified by your computer. You simply set the rules, click “Generate Strong Password” and the site gives you one you can copy/paste.

     

    2. 1Password (https://agilebits.com/onepassword) & LastPass (http://www.lastpass.com)

    1Password is an affordable software package that allows you to securely store and “automatically login” to websites using the passwords stored with your 1Password account. It works on iOS, Mac, and Android devices. It can also synchronize its database with Dropbox, meaning you can use 1Password securely on multiple computers. If you’re using Windows (or Mac, too), you should check out LastPass https://lastpass.com/index.php, which is free with an inexpensive premium option.

     

    Protect yourself and save time!

     

    By the way, you can also use these password tools to login and search for properties on my website! www.NewPaltzRealEstate.com
  • What are Our Mobile Devices Doing to Communication?

    Posted Under: Tech Tips, How To...  |  November 3, 2012 6:28 PM  |  259 views  |  1 comment

    With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy that hit the North East last week, a comment made by one teenager in a TV interview during the after the storm coverage stood out as a positive among so much negative. When asked what they were doing without electricity she said they were just hanging out being a family and talking. Without the charged smart phones, tablets or computers they were playing board games and communicating. She said it was weird but kinda nice.

     

    Have you ever wondered exactly what all of these mobile devices are doing to us? As an agent, I’m almost always connected (it’s a part of client service!), but what’s the impact on our kids, families, and the role of true face-to-face time? (Have you ever gone out to dinner and watched a family spend the whole meal texting others or listening to music on a device?)

     

    If you’re at all concerned by these issues, you have to listen to this amazing interview on Fresh Air with Sherry Turkle, author of the new book “Alone Together Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.” Not only does she have fascinating insights into how texting and social media are shaping how we interact, but she also provides some interesting strategies for ensuring we maintain the crucial (human!) components of communication.

     

    Some of the highlights from the interview cover:

     

    - Young children using digital devices 

    - The effect of Facebook on teen identity

    - Why we text

    - Why cyberbullying can feel easier than face-to-face bullying

     

    One discussion I enjoyed in particular was how Ms Turkle recommends a ritual for setting devices aside during family dinners. Essentially, this involves shutting the devices down and storing them in a basket away from the dinner table for the duration of the meal. When the complaints begin, Ms Turkle advises explaining that dinner is a time when the family can come together and be present with each other.

     

    Whether or not you check out the book, the interview itself is well worth the half hour or so it takes to listen to it. Take it with you to the gym on your iPod, or plug it in on your next commute. It might just help you better understand the mindset of the “mobile generation” and foster better communication all around.

     

    Here’s the link to the interview:

    http://www.npr.org/2012/10/18/163098594/in-constant-digital-contact-we-feel-alone-together

     

    I’m as guilty as most when it comes to being connected. If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, get in touch! Call, email or text me-

    Barbara Carter 845 505 3160  UlsterHomes@yahoo.com

  • Energy Saving- Watch out for the Phantom Menace

    Posted Under: Tech Tips, Going Green  |  March 23, 2012 11:58 AM  |  260 views  |  No comments

    Energy Saving- Watch out for the Phantom Menace

     

     

    Does it seem like your power bill has gone up year after year? While elevated energy costs are certainly part of the problem, there’s a “phantom menace” that’s also been driving up your bill: New electronics.

     

    Long gone are the days when shouting at the kids to “turn off the light!” was a sure way to save on electricity (though installing reduced-energy bulbs is a good move, too). The U.S. Department of Energy reports that “75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while products are turned off.” Why’s that? Newer electronics and appliances consume power even when the device is turned off. The term to describe this is known as “phantom load.”

     

    Home entertainment systems with remote controls, wireless routers, appliances with clocks, electronics that use a power adaptor (i.e. a wall cube) and computer printers are all good targets for reducing phantom loads. If you can feasibly eliminate these loads, you can save a lot of money over the course of the year.

     

    So how do you eliminate phantom load? Unplugging devices every day is a hassle, but one sound alternative is the use of power strips which allow you to kill the connection to the main outlet without having to unplug devices. If you Google “smart power strips” you’ll also find a variety of options for allowing certain devices to “pass through” while others are shut off. This can be useful when you have certain devices which do need to be “on standby” while others do not.

     

    While going green is a perfectly good reason to reduce your power consumption, the money you save on power can go to other household expenses, family vacations, and perhaps even the down payment on your next (or first!) home.

     

    Keep an eye out for those energy vampires! Usually you can tell who they are by their LED lights glowing in the night.

     

    I love to help my clients get the most out of their home. If you’re thinking of selling or searching for a home soon, please get in touch today~ Barbara Carter John J. Lease Realtors 845 505 3160

  • Ipod Apps For Homeowners

    Posted Under: Tech Tips, Design & Decor, How To...  |  February 17, 2012 9:05 AM  |  342 views  |  No comments

    Do you have an iPad? Do you own a home? If so, I’ve got five killer apps for you to play with, most of which are free. Even the ones that aren’t free are so worth it that you might want to try them out anyway.

    Who would have thought that you could control your TV with your iPad? And match colors you see in the world to exact hues with Sherwin-Williams? And carry a comprehensive wood grain library with you everywhere you go? Oh, and did I mention: An app to measure your rooms and a different one to help you decorate them?

    Here are 5 incredible apps for the iPad that I think most homeowners will love:

    ColorSnap: Capture real world colors and match them to Sherwin-Williams paint colors—for free.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorsnap/id316256242?mt=8

    Remodelista: Looking for the perfect couch, stylish DIYs, or inspiration to refresh your space? Get your daily deco fix with the new Home Design App from Remodelista.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/remodelista/id377290615?mt=8

    Control4: Turn your iPad into a touch screen remote! Control your TV, lights, sound system and home security from one place:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/control4-my-home-for-ipad/id364304056?mt=8

    Photo Measures Lite: Photo Measures is the most elegant and the easiest way to save measures on your own photos on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch!

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-measures-lite/id417222688?mt=8

    I.D. Wood: A powerful reference guide to help you ID any kind of wood, or choose a color and grain for future projects.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-d-wood/id325838725?mt=8

    Not a homeowner yet? Maybe I can help you with that! I guide first-time buyers through a pain-free process all the time. Give me a call I will be happy to help you find the perfect home in the perfect location.

    Barbara Carter

    John J. Lease Realtors

    550 Route 299

    Highland NY 12528

    Cell 845 505 3160

    Email: UlsterHomes@yahoo.com

    Barbara CarterNYS Licensed Associate Broker
    John J. Lease Realtors
    550 Route 299 Highland NY 12528
    Cell: 845 505 3160
    Office: 845 883 7700 ext 103
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