If you drive by billboards or flip through magazines from time to time, you may have noticed pixelated squares popping up all over the place. These aren't scrambled checkerboards or alien landing pads, but QR codes, short for quick response codes.
The codes are scanned with a smartphone camera, kind of like one might scan a bar code, and marketing departments all over the country are coming up with clever ways to use them.
For the first time, living people will be eligible to be honored on U.S. postage stamps.
The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday that it is ending its longstanding rule that people cannot be featured on stamps while they're still living. It's inviting suggestions from the public on who should get the first stamp.
"This change will enable us to pay tribute to individuals for their achievements while they are still alive to enjoy the honor," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement.
Sales of new single-family houses fell 2.3 percent in August from July, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported. The annualized rate: 295,000 sales.
The report underscores the weakness of the housing market, The Associated Press says. Sales have now fallen four straight months and are at a six-month low. Economists, according to the AP, say the pace needs to be about 700,000 "to sustain a healthy housing market."