Brian Banmiller's blog

The Diamond Business

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The economy is improving, and the evidence is in the accessories.

Marc Fink is CEO and Chairman of Fink's Jewelers which currently has 15 locations on the East Coast. He says the sale of diamonds and jewelry is on the uptick, which means a lot of competition for him and a lot of choices for you.

“I'd say the most important thing is to deal with people that you think are reputable, that have been in business for a long time, that you can trust, that have a good reputation in your community, people that look you in the eye, people that sell quality brands.”

Fink says with so many ways to buy jewelry, profit margins in the industry have shrunk over the past twenty five years to keep up with competition. But more stones on the market does not mean all quality is the same.  read more »

Obama in Pictures

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Trying to sell a book about president Obama? How about a little help from president Obama.

Pete Souza is the former white house photographer credited for capturing some of the most iconic moments of Mr. Obama's presidency and preserving them on his popular Instagram account. Now president Obama is returning the favor with a little plug of his own.

The former president has agreed to write the foreword for Souza’s new book called “Obama: An Intimate Portrait.” The book of photos will contain 300 images taken during Mr. Obama's time in the white house. Souza says they show him in all parts of life from tense moments in the situation room surrounded by staff to laughing and having fun with his two daughters.  read more »

Toxic Coworkers

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Feeling a little under the weather? Turns out your co-worker could be to blame, even if they're perfectly healthy.

According to a joint study by the University of Calgary’s School of Business and The London School of Economics toxic co-workers can have a negative reaction on your health. These are people who are rude, make unfair demands of you and make the workplace an uncomfortable place to be.

The study found that people who have to deal with toxic coworkers on a daily basis reported symptoms that included headaches, stomach problems and sleepless nights. In one case, a woman named Cari said the endless demands from her supervisor caused her hair to fall out in clumps.  read more »

Robo-Cop Car

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Robo cop has a new ride and you can own it.

OR3 is the world's first robotic security car. It was created by a startup company in Singapore for companies to use to keep projects and employees safe. The car weighs 176 pounds and is about the size of a golf cart. It comes with 3D sensors and GPS and other instruments designed to detect unattended bags.

If a bag is left for more than five minutes the car will send out an alarm. It can also tell the difference between people the company marks as employees and intruders. If an unknown person is detected it will send a drone after him, for about three hundred feet.  read more »

Dual Citizenship Home

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Not sure if you should stick it out here in the United States or head for another country? How about a house where you can do both.

There is a large building for sale built in 1782 with thick granite walls, 1950's decor and 24 hour armed guards provided by both the U.S. and Canada. The house, which has been converted into five apartments straddles the border between Vermont and Quebec, Canada. It's on the market for just over $100,000 and needs about $600,000 in renovations.  read more »

Tackling Football

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China is tackling the American game of football, and they're hoping to score a profit.

GSG Sport is a company based in Beijing that is working to promote American football in a country that tends to favor basketball and soccer. The company is working to attract parents that might be seeking a different kind of game for their children to learn so it has started a 16 team future league that welcomes both boys and girls.

Right now one of the best players in the league is a nine-year-old girl named Lisa who plays running back and linebacker. Her father says since playing the game Lisa has become more confident and brave. Lisa, along with the rest of the league face off on Friday nights, in games complete with uniformed referees, cheering fans and a camera crew.  read more »

First Amendment Tweets

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There's a first amendment war brewing around Twitter and the most powerful tweeter of the free world is right in the middle of it.

In the month following inauguration day Twitter shares rose 13%. In part, analysts say to the president's daily habit of sharing his every thought in 140 characters or less. Considered the modern day version of President Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats, Mr. Trump's Twitter feed has an audience numbering in the millions. However it seems not everyone is welcome.  read more »

Mr. Met

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Actions speak louder than words; and they can cost you.

There is a new Mr. Met mascot parading the sidelines and entertaining the crowd for the New York Mets. This comes after the old Mr. Met was caught on camera flipping off a fan during a game. While major league baseball declined to get involved with the controversy the Mets club has let the old mascot go and now someone else will be wearing the oversized baseball head.

But despite the unsportsmanlike behavior fans are laughing it off. One person said Mr. Met was upset and got mad and that it was nothing but a New York thing. Another says it all has to be a mistake because the mascot only has four fingers making it impossible for him to flip someone the bird. And this isn't the first time the mascot has gone off script.  read more »

Apple's New Products

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It was reveal week for Apple and once again the tech powerhouse is adding a few more branches to the tree.

Earlier this week the worldwide developer's conference was held in Silicon Valley. And as expected CEO Tim Cook unveiled some of the hot new gadgets to add to your collection. That includes new versions of its operating system, a connected home speaker called the home pod and a new iPad pro tablet.

The home pod is expected to compete with Google Home and Amazon's Alexa. Small but powerful the speaker will sense the shape of your room and customize audio to maximize sound. It will play music, handle questions from weather to the stock market and work in sync with any smart home devices.  read more »

A Little Too Social

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You might think your social media activity is private, but remember the key word there is social.

If you were wait listed for next year's incoming class at Harvard you might want to check your email. According to the university's newspaper “The Harvard Crimson” ten students who had been accepted will now have their offers rescinded because of their online activities.

According to the newspaper about 100 students formed a Facebook group for incoming freshman. Then the ten students in question splintered off and formed a smaller group chat where jokes about sexual assault, the holocaust and child abuse were shared.  read more »