Friday Latte: Buy vs. Rent, WSJ on Conflict Minerals, Google Motorola banned in Germany

Looks like I need to start saving for a down payment.
Buying A Home Is 45% Cheaper than Renting -- The most important housing decision that most consumers face is whether to rent or to buy. So to help them with this decision, we took a look at the key market factors affecting the cost of homeownership. First off, asking home prices have started to rebound and have risen by 2.3% year over year in August (3.8% excluding foreclosures); however, rents have risen more (4.7%). This means that prices are lower relative to rents than they were a year ago. But more importantly, mortgage rates have fallen: the best rates this summer have been around 3.5%, while last summer rates were closer to 4.5%. Based on asking prices and rents during the summer of 2012, buying is now 45% cheaper than renting in the 100 largest U.S. metros, on average – that's a savings of $771 a month. If you plan to stay in a home for 7 years, which is the average time that Americans traditionally live in a home before moving again,it is more affordable to buy than to rent in ALL of the 100 largest metros in the U.S.

"They're going to push it down into their supply chains."
Conflict Minerals Rules Could Reverberate Through Supply Chain -- New rules for conflict minerals have been in the works for a long time, but much of the impact on manufacturing supply chains has yet to be felt. On the face of it, the rules, which require companies to trace the origin of specific minerals from central Africa, appears to apply to a relatively small number of companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission identified about 6,000 listed companies directly affected by its rules, which require vetting of the use of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. The idea behind the rule is that these metals are used by genocidal groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and surrounding countries to finance their operations.

"Google has not issued a statement, but is expected to appeal."
Google Motorola faces German ban after Apple victory -- Google's Motorola unit faces being forced to recall its Android tablets and smartphones from Germany after losing a patent lawsuit against Apple. The case relates to one of the innovations at the heart of an earlier US case in which Samsung was defeated by the iPhone maker. The dispute focused on the iOS system's bounce-back list feature which Motorola was found to have infringed. Apple has to formally request a sales ban before it would come into effect.

The new smart device.
Googling Your Lost Keys, And The Coming Revolution In Smart Products -- Soon we won't need to hunt anxiously for our missing shoes in the morning, we'll Google them. So said tech visionary Bruce Sterling seven years ago, but if you look around your room right now and count the number of Internet-connected objects, you won't find much beyond consumer electronics devices like laptops, phones and possibly your TV. Why?

- Sheena Moore

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