Smart Home Vulnerabilities

Jerry ScainiOne of the benefits of the Internet is the rapid development of home security and home automation systems, which are now accessible through Internet Protocol (IP) networks. By connecting devices to IP networks, you can now monitor your surveillance cameras, set your air conditioning, or answer your front door intercom from virtually anywhere in the world. Continue reading

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Autopilot on the Seas

Jeremy BackmanOperating your watercraft on autopilot seems enticing. As your yacht captains itself, you are freed up to pay closer attention to maintaining a clear lookout on the water ahead along with your navigation and communication equipment. However, with the convenience of having an autopilot system, there is some potential for relying on and placing too much confidence in autopilot technology. Continue reading

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Green with Emerald Envy

Kim NeussPart of a series of articles about birthstones.

The month of May brings blooming flowers and warm weather, which is why the vibrant green color of an emerald represents the month as its birthstone.

The emerald is part of the beryl family and color ranges from vivid green to bluish green with deep color saturation preferred. The value of the stone is dramatically impacted if the stone is too light, too dark or overly included. If the stone is too light, it is no longer considered an emerald and would be just green beryl. Continue reading

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Preparing for the Storm

Dale TomlinsonEvery year from June 1st to November 30th, coastal residents brace for “Hurricane Season.” One of nature’s most fierce natural disasters poses problems if you’re not prepared. Knowing your vulnerabilities and having a plan can help save your family’s lives and protect your property.

A preparedness plan addresses vulnerabilities and provides guidance on how to best protect your family and property. The following preparations are a good starting point for protecting your most prized possessions and should be part of your plan. Continue reading

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The Cybercrime Financial Threats You May Be Overlooking

Frances O'BrienTechnology has become an integral part of everyday life. However, with nearly 400,000 identity theft complaints reported to the government in 2016, it’s no secret that the benefits of technological advancements are accompanied by numerous, unforeseen threats that leave personal, financial and intellectual information vulnerable to theft. Continue reading

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Protecting Your Income Property Investment

Kim ReidOwning an income or rental property can bring many benefits. When done right, an income property provides additional income, allows diversification of investments, and can offer significant tax deductions. The property value could even appreciate over time.

In the perfect scenario, you will have a long-term tenant that pays the rent regularly and on time, the property will never be vacant, and maintenance issues won’t ever arise. However, the reality is that you will more than likely face times without a tenant, have a tenant that falls behind in rent payments, or have a tenant that doesn’t care about the condition. While there is no guarantee that these situations will always be avoided, we have created a checklist to help prevent loss and protect your income property investment. Continue reading

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Time for a Spring Cleaning to Protect Against Chimney Fires

Barry DavisAlthough spring may have sprung, it’s never too late to pay attention to chimney safety. The arrival of warmer weather also is a good time to conduct routine maintenance on your chimney and heating system after a busy winter season. Continue reading

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Pretty in Pink: Pink Star Diamond Sets New Record

Juqui MonterossoThe second time’s the charm for Chinese retail jeweler Chow Tai Fook. The company acquired the Pink Star diamond in a heart-pounding, five-minute bidding war with two other potential buyers earlier this month – the second time this headline-grabbing gemstone has come up for auction in recent years.

In one fell swoop, Chow Tai Fook Chairman Dr. Henry Chen Kar-Shun phoned in the winning bid to Sotheby’s Hong Kong and made history by setting a new world record. Continue reading

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Consigning Art? Answer Three Key Questions First

Laura DoyleSpring is a busy season for the art fair scene. If you’re among the collectors making plans to consign art to a gallery exhibiting at a fair, you’re in good company. The global art market rose to $45 billion in 2016, according to the recently released TEFAF 2017 Art Market Report, which also noted that, “Art fairs, both local and global, are the most important point for acquiring new buyers.”

While there are compelling reasons to consign art, there are risks as well. Many of them can be addressed with a written agreement that clearly answers these questions: Continue reading

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The Beauty of Bakelite Jewelry

Lauren SummersSpringtime brings a renewed interest in bold jewelry styles, which often includes antiques. The materials from yesteryear can be different and collectible – and Bakelite is one such example that is beloved for its vintage and colorful style.

Bakelite, which was invented in 1907, was a popular material for jewelry during the 1930s and early 1940s. It is a type of plastic made of phenol and formaldehyde, and is often referred to as a resin. Unlike other types of plastic, Bakelite was formed into shapes, and not poured into molds. Continue reading

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