The Surface Mini Is Officially Dead

The Surface Mini Is Officially Dead

On Tuesday during Microsoft’s FY14 Q4 earnings report to the United States Security and Exchange Commission, the company revealed that it is no longer pursuing an 8-inch Surface Mini tablet. Microsoft disclosed this in the “Computing and Gaming Hardware” section of the report.

“Current year cost of revenue included Surface inventory adjustments resulting from our transition to newer generation devices and a decision to not ship a new form factor,” the report stated.

News of the Surface Mini has been rather wishy-washy since the tablet was removed from a Surface reveal event back in May. Rumor has it that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella pulled the device at the last minute because it didn’t have anything to differentiate it from other small Windows-based tablets.    The touchy Office “Gemini” apps were supposed to make their debut on the tablet, but now it looks as if we won’t see them until Spring 2015.

Thousands of Surface Mini units are believed to be locked away in one of Microsoft’s warehouses.

The news arrives as rumors begin to surface about a third Apple iPad Mini “Air”. This device is rumored to pack a new Apple A8 processor and a design that’s a 30-percent thinner form factor when compared to the older iPad Mini model. That would suggest a thickness of around 5.25 mm; the first-generation model is 7.2 mm and the second-generation is 7.5 mm thanks to the Retina display.

It’s dead, Jim.
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South Florida home prices rebounding!!! Real Estate is back!!!!

Buy now or be priced out forever! I’m gonna be rich!

South Florida’s historic housing meltdown forced thousands from their homes and robbed many more of financial security.

Practically no one was spared. For-sale signs went up in front of modest homes and millionaire mansions. The term “short sale” became part of the daily lexicon as homeowners pleaded with lenders to let them sell for less than the mortgage amounts.

Even those who did hang on to their homes watched in dismay as plummeting values pushed families into foreclosure, leaving a trail of vacant homes and tattered neighborhoods.

But six years later, values across the region are headed back up — growing evidence of a widespread recovery and perhaps early signs of a watershed moment. One-third of 33 communities in Broward County posted double-digit price gains in October compared with their previous lows, according to data from real estate website Zillow.com.

Prices are rising in all corners of the county, in waterfront enclaves and working class communities alike. Some areas are seeing bigger bounces than others.

Wilton Manors, a small city in eastern Broward known for its immaculately manicured front lawns, bottomed at $184,600 in July 2010, but the median value there has soared to $226,900 — a 22.9 percent increase that leads all of Broward. The city’s median peaked at $419,200 in December 2005.

Real estate agent Chip Rowand has a client under contract to sell a three-bedroom townhome in Wilton Manors for about $420,000, a price tag usually reserved for single-family homes.

“I was shocked,” Rowand said. “But people are willing to pay higher-than-appraised value in these desirable communities.”

Fort Lauderdale’s October median value of $205,900 is 14.3 percent higher than its low point in February 2011. Weston is up 17.1 percent to $301,600 after hitting bottom in October 2009. Weston’s median peaked at $481,200 in March 2006.

“If you’re a bargain hunter and you were looking for the absolute bottom of the market, you’ve missed the boat,” said Douglas Rill, a longtime South Florida broker.

What’s driving the surge in prices? A lack of homes for sale, mortgage rates still hovering near historic lows and strong demand from investors and first-time buyers. Homes priced appropriately are getting multiple offers — sometimes 10 or more in a matter of a few days.

When a North Lauderdale townhome hit the market last week for $69,900, one couple offered full price and penned a heartfelt letter to the seller explaining why they wanted the home. Still, they lost out to a cash offer.

“Having to write a letter and beg for a house — that’s where we’re at today,” said Judy Trudel, a real estate agent for Balistreri Realty in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The market now is reminiscent of the early stages housing boom of 2000 to 2005, when speculators poured untold millions into residential real estate.

As investors bought homes and quickly sold them for fast profits, developers built more homes and condominiums and prices rose to record levels. The median price for a single-family home in Broward peaked at $391,100 in November 2005, according to the Florida Realtors.

Stan Warshaw bought his four-bedroom Lighthouse Point home in 1994 for $375,000. He said the value topped $1 million during the housing boom, but he didn’t sell because he didn’t want to have to buy another place at the top of the market.

“Now I wished I had sold it and just rented,” said Warshaw, 61. “Hindsight is 20-20.” The assessed value of his home has remained at a steady $646,570 for the past three years, records show.

Lenders were more than willing to hand out mortgages, often without verifying a borrower’s income. To afford the escalating home prices, young families and other first-time buyers had to take out risky loans that eventually would reset to much higher interest rates.

Many borrowers didn’t understand the mortgage terms or the consequences but signed on the dotted line anyway. Other borrowers were told not to worry about facing higher interest rates because they could quickly sell or use the equity in the homes to refinance.

Meanwhile, sellers routinely turned down market rate offers because they were convinced that prices would keep climbing.

South Florida real estate agent Cathy Prenner of Campbell & Rosemurgy said she had a client in Lighthouse Point who rejected $1.3 million at the height of the market, only to sell years later for $700,000.

“It was like musical chairs,” Prenner said. “The music was playing, and then it stopped.”

In 2006, prices started retreating and investors were struggling to flip their homes. Properties flooded the market, but buyers suddenly were hesitant to commit. Prices fell further as demand waned.

Foreclosures started to increase as homeowners who bought during the boom discovered they didn’t have the equity they thought they did and couldn’t get out of the burdensome mortgages.

By 2007, economic woes and job losses heightened the housing crisis. Prices were in freefall — leaving tens of thousands of South Florida homeowners “underwater” on their mortgages.

Short-sale negotiations dragged on for months and fickle buyers often moved on to the next house. Unable to sell, some homeowners walked away from their properties, damaging their credit and adding to the mountain of foreclosures.

Eventually, Broward County’s median home price fell to about half of its previous high, luring bargain buyers back into the market.

Foreign investors scooped up properties, viewing the deals as safe investments because the economies in their native countries were faltering. Investors have returned, but many are renting their properties while they wait for prices to rebound.

Strong sales over the past 18 months have reduced the glut of homes on the market. At the end of October, Broward had 4,806 homes for sale, roughly half the number from a year ago.

The market still has issues: Florida had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate in September and October, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Roughly four in 10 homeowners are underwater, but the recent price gains are helping to ease that burden for some.

Analysts expect the sharp price increases to level off when interest rates pick up and additional foreclosed homes hit the market.

Homes historically have appreciated 2 percent to 4 percent annually. Zillow projects South Florida values to rise 2.1 percent over the next year.

Mike Larson, a housing analyst with Weiss Research in Jupiter, warns that an influx of investors could create another bubble. Still, he’s not worried yet and is encouraged by the recent trend.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Larson said.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl … 4412.story

Your condo is still worthless and will remain that way. Enjoy sending those payments.
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Fuck.
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