Thursday, July 31, 2014

Etsy's online craft shops making five figures a month

EDM Designs, mentioned below
Selling home-made arts and crafts doesn't really sound like the kind of full-time job your parents would be too particularly proud of, but as it turns out there are ways to earn good income doing just that. Using your creative side, you too could be raking in the dough like some of these top earners from the home-made arts & crafts e-bazaar known as Etsy:


Overlaying images on pages of yellowed college level dictionary print is not a particularly novel idea (see what I did there?) but it is a best-seller. People eat this stuff up, and so as long as there is a demand I suspect the supply end will continue making a whopping number sales.


Berkeley Illustration

This artist hand-draws various realistic portrait prints of animals in human clothing. If this sounds a bit peculiar, you are not alone -- but make no mistake, the work is quality art. Someone must really like them, to be raking in the big five figures.

This list reaches up to $65,000/mo.!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Unlocking your smartphone made legal by Act, awaits President's signature

JULY 26, 2014
12:49 AM

Don't you want more for your phone?
For too long, the carrier giants of communications have hoarded the rights to smartphones sold by their company. They believe that any smartphone they sell to you, regardless of how much you paid for it, is still their property to set limits upon. Somehow, these companies had made it illegal to even switch carriers with your phone, a process called "unlocking" -- a bitter tactical move to maximize the profit margin on selling phone plans.

The legislative bodies of the United States have pushed through an act with little difficulty that will reinstate the legality of unlocking phones. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act needs only the President's (likely) approval before becoming law, effectively making obsolete Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which still prohibits such processes as unlocking. This is just one more success in the fight against the government's recent stranglehold on tech and information, but the war is long from over.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is College Outdated? A look at the future of higher education

With almost five thousands accredited colleges granting higher education degrees in the US (and that number being on the rise, as well), we should all consider the nature of the college process. As the Western world becomes significantly more dependent on colleges and university to churn out a skilled labor force, we may also be sacrificing rational and unique thought. Even worse still, those same skilled-labor factories may not even be outputting "skilled" labor anymore -- does that not merit serious inquiry?

Looks nice -- but $80,000-worth of nice?
One issue that seems to arise quite abundantly among colleges is the narrow field of view that they train students to work for. Realistically, colleges are only fully useful to STEM-related careers that hire candidates for extended periods of time (say, 10 years). This is because higher education degrees focus specifically on training the basics of a particular major/field, and then allowing the job itself to train graduates in the finer details of cross-disciplinary systems. Most of us do not have this luxury!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Printing circuit boards on the cheap

JULY 15, 2014
3:34 AM

Thank you, Kickstarter, for bringing us all sorts of new and awesome projects -- like today's topic, a project called Squink. Carlos Ospina, creator of the Squink idea, has been working with his team to build a 3D printer of sorts, except this one only prints circuit boards. Sound like a rip off? Then read on: the total cost for putting together one of these Squink boards is just $2. And you don't even need to know anything about circuit boards to do it!

The little circuit board maker does require an Internet connection to plug into the Squink web portal, from where one can choose from a variety of circuit board options. The trick to making the printing so cheap is a simple, two-step process. First, conductive glue dots are injected into the printing ink; then, the ink is printed onto an appropriate material, conductive dots included. This functions just like other circuit boards, and really does work.

Check out Squink's Kickstarter page to get in early!

Friday, July 11, 2014

S. Shimamura brings industrial farming indoors, improves yield 100-fold

JULY 11, 2014
10:36 PM

If you thought the agricultural revolution was something that already happened, maybe you should think again: a scientist in the Miyagi Prefecture of east Japan recently converted an old semiconductor factory into the largest indoor farm on the planet illuminated by LEDs. Racking up 25,000 sq. ft. and 10,000 heads of lettuce per day (no, that is not a typo) even this early in the process, the superfarm could very well make outdoor agriculture a figment of history.

Point in case: Shimamura's indoor farm uses just one percent of the water consumed by outside crops. This is thanks to the advanced monitoring systems that are plentiful throughout the entire system. The farm is truly a science experiment at this point, not meant to get into the produce business, but rather the "changing the world" business. It may do just that -- plans are already being drafted to crop up more farms in food-starved areas of the world.

The innovative people at GE Reports have kept us well-apprised with a thorough article on the topic, and the topic surely warrants even more research. We may be witnessing a monumental discovery, as it occurs.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Xbox not up for sale, says Microsoft

JULY 10, 2014
9:13 AM

Did you hear the rumor recently that Microsoft is about the sell off its flagship gaming enterprise, the ever-popular Xbox? So have we, again and again -- but let us educate you on the myths now. There is no plan for Microsoft to pawn off the game system to any company, regardless of what people have been saying. So take all recent Xbox news with a grain of salt, even here at the College.

Here's what Microsoft's CEO had to say on the subject:

"I also want to share some additional thoughts on Xbox and its importance to Microsoft. As a large company, I think it's critical to define the core, but it's important to make smart choices on other businesses in which we can have fundamental impact and success. The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox...