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5 Things to Know Today: March 13, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: March 13, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo via Ecocubo

Photo via Ecocubo

The Ides of March are upon us, and that means people around the country are filling in their March Madness brackets. If you’re too busy researching the Cinderella picks this year to read the news, you should know about the tiny cork home you can set up almost anywhere. Also, if you want to feel more connected to your community, consider bartering. 

1. TechCrunch: Soon, you’ll be able to code without knowing how to code.
Skuid, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, just raised $24 million for a product that promises to take on the coding aspect of developing new apps. The “codeless” interface has drag-and-drop functions and is integrated with Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, Slack, and other business-facing software with a voice-activated UI in the works. The company claims their software can cut down development time, improve user experience, and boost productivity.

2. Mrs. Frugalwoods: Is the barter economy coming back?
Homesteading mama  Mrs. Frugalwoods recently tackled modern barter and trade systems. She explains there are three types of bartering: “Formal bartering,” where there's an agreed-upon amount of services traded for the other; “Informal trades” like doing chores around someone’s house in exchange for a meal; and “skill-based trading,” where you trade your valuable skill for someone else's—like if I exchanged writing copy for an electrician's website and they provided electrical work in return. Not only can bartering help people meet their savings goals, but it encourages the community to rely upon one another, too.

3. Inhabitat: There’s a tiny home you can set up almost anywhere with almost no environmental impact. 
Ecocubo is a tiny, portable, prefabricated home made out of cork and wood that can be transported and assembled almost anywhere. They range from 9 to 16 square meters in size and include a sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Each cube features multifunctional furniture and adjustable layouts to be easily reconfigured based on each resident's needs. But most importantly, the home is made  of cork, which provides natural heat and sound insulation and can be installed with minimal impact on the land. 

4. Bloomberg: Iceland is ditching its capital controls, giving citizens and businesses access to the global capital markets.
Since 2008, Iceland has been recovering from their worst recession in over 60 years, but thanks to growing tourism, business is booming. The prime minister believes lifting capital controls over the markets will “create more trust in the Icelandic economy” and will make direct foreign investment easier for businesses. 

5. Triple Pundit: A new European study ranked the best companies for human rights. 
Companies from a range of industries were scored based on six indicators—governance and policies, due diligence for human rights, remedies for disasters, human rights practices, responses to allegations, and transparency. Of those evaluated, Marks and Spencer (M&S) was a leader in both apparel and food industries. Behind it were H&M, Adidas, and Costco. 

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