S’more – Passive Lockscreen App

smore1The S’more Lockscreen App might be my favorite passive income app.

I have always had a lockscreen on my smartphone that would require me to swipe up to unlock the phone. The S’more Lockscreen App requires me to swipe up to unlock my phone. It literally requires me to do EXACTLY what I was ALREADY doing!

smore3

And for the trouble of doing exactly what I was already doing they’ll pay me 10 cents a day to keep this app installed on my phone. Technically the award me 10 points a day and I can trade those points in for Amazon Gift Cards.The first withdrawal requires 150 points after that each withdrawal can be made at 100 points.  The codes are sent immediately to the email address used to sign up for the account and those codes can be applied to you Amazon account as soon as they’re received.

Now 10 cents a day isn’t going to fund my retirement, but it is an extra ~$35 a year for doing EXACTLY what I was ALREADY doing.  (And possibly $70 if I decide to install this on my wife’s phone.)

I don’t know whether I should install this on my wife’s phone. I love this app so much I don’t want to run the chance of having my account banned.  According to the TOS you can have 1 device per account but you can also have multiple accounts. I know that several people have multiple accounts running but I also know that several who have multiple accounts that have them all banned. According to what I’ve read what triggered the bans were redeeming these accounts all on the same day.

This is an android only app.  IOS devices are out of luck as Apple doesn’t want 3rd parties to have access to the lock screen.

If you have an Android phone, I can not recommend theS’more Lockscreen App enough.

Passive Income – EarnHoney

earnhoney earnhoney is AWESOME!

earnhoney.com truly embodies the term “passive income”.  Like many other reward sites earnhoney offers you the ability to complete offers, attempt surveys, play games, etc… in exchange for doing this they pay you in their virtual currency called Honey Dollars.  Honey Dollars can then be converted for Amazon Gift Cards or deposited into a verified PayPal account. (The exchange rate is 100 HD = $1.00)

That being said, I don’t consider any of the aforementioned activities to be passive.

Where earnhoney shines is by letting you “watch” videos and in so doing earn Honey Dollars.  And by “watch” I mean turn it on and forget about it.

There are numerous video streams available, some of which promise 15 HD per hour.  While I wasn’t ever able to reach that level after quite a bit of trial and error I was able to get an OLD laptop earning 11 HD per hour.  I don’t doubt that with a reasonably up to date machine that 15 HD per hour threshold might be reached.

Regardless, I set the laptop up in what I thought was the optimal configuration and decided to let it run for 5 days.

Over that 5 day period we lost internet connectivity twice (router reset) and checking the logs it looks as if the videos weren’t being played for about 12 hours. I checked the power draw on the laptop on day 3 and it was pulling 32 Watts which means over the course of the trial it used ~60 cents worth of electricity while earning $10.72 netting just over $10 while requiring about 10 minutes worth of maintenance.

Obviously I’m not sure if this 5 day stretch was an anomaly but it was very promising. I’m hopeful that at the end of the month by “watching” videos on earnhoney I will have earned $60 nearly entirely passively.

You’re currently limited to one device per account (I’d be willing to bet it’s one device per IP) however in the near future they will have an android app available (it’s currently in late beta). At that point you’ll be able to run earnhoney on two different devices which should equate to an earnings bump, but that’s yet to be seen.

I tested the program on an Ipad 2 and while the videos would play the ads would not and as such no HD were earned. I also tried earning with a Raspberry Pi 2 using Raspbian and Debian, but both were plagued by crashes.  Maybe a Pi 3 could handle it. My laptop is a single core Celeron 2.3GHz with 3GB of Ram.

earnhoneylogo

Linux Mint a Windows Replacement

My laptop had been acting squirrelly for the better part of several months.  It finally got to the point where I decided it was time to flatten it and start over.  And so I did the fdisk thing and started going to town.  I had my Vista install disks and my MS Office disks and everything I needed to start fresh.  Everything was going swimmingly until I hit the point where I was asked to enter my key.  Which I did.  It was at this point that the install process came to a screeching halt.  Evidently Microsoft was suspicious of this installation.  I don’t know why.  I think this was the second time I’d ever used the installation media.  It was suggested that I call MS support to verify my installation.  I don’t know why, but for some reason this really really pissed me off.  I didn’t want to call MS to verify my key. I spent ~$100 on this software, I should be able to use it without getting permission.

And it was at this point that I decided to take a look and see what had been going on in the Linux world.  I’ve used various Linux distributions in the past.  Occasionally they worked to do what I needed to get done…  which was usually something fairly specific.  More often than not it was a huge pain in the ass.  It had been such a pain in the ass that I’d never really considered using Linux as my main O/S.  I think the last time I’d made an honest stab at getting a Linux setup working was on an old machine that I wanted to use to move VHS tapes to digital.  After much tinkering I had managed to get Puppy Linux to work on it.  That machine ended up having a catastrophic failure in either the ram or the processor.

But back to my laptop…  I spent quite a bit of time researching different distributions before making the decision of what to install.  As the title suggests, I decided to install Linux Mint, specifically version 17.1 Rebecca.  I downloaded the installation image and burnt it to a DVD and then prepared myself for the hell that was to come.

Then something totally unexpected happened, it worked.

Seriously, straight up worked.  I was floored.  Everything worked.  No tinkering.  But I knew that this was Linux so I knew sooner or later the monster would raise it’s head and breath destruction.  I’m still waiting for that to happen.  I’ve had Mint installed on this laptop for over 6 months and I’ve only had to reset the system once and funny enough it was when I tried emulating a Windows program.

I find this hard to believe much less say, but for nearly every type of user, this distribution of Linux can be considered a replacement for Windows.

 

Mint Desktop
Mint Desktop

 

Start Menu
Start Menu

Hot Wheels – Speedometry

I stopped by the school this morning and found a present waiting for me.

Box delivered to school full of Hot Wheels Speedometry
Speedometry

I totally forgot that I had signed up for a classroom kit called “Hot Wheels – Speedometry“.  I think I filled out the form sometime in February, but it just as easily could have been October.  I know it was last year sometime.  Regardless it showed up in the mail at the school sometime this summer.

The kit contains 40 cars (5 designs x 8 cars) and enough track and loops to make I’m guessing 8 classroom sets (possibly 16 depending on the activity).

Loop and Cars
Loop and Cars

This might give you a better idea of what and how much is in the box.  The 5 packages each have 8 cars in them.  The loop that I made has 4 sections of track (looking at the instructions I should have only used 2 pieces of track on the loop).  The box contains 112 pieces of track and parts to make 16 loops.  There are also 16 plastic clamps to attach the track to a table top.

Seriously… It’s a bunch of stuff.  And the best thing about it was the cost.  Free Dollars.

Great resource for grade school teachers.  All sorts of science applications are possible (with a stopwatch): distance, time, speed, mass, maybe average acceleration and momentum… that might be taking it too far for the little ones though.

On the Hot Wheels website I link above they also have lesson plans for 2 units covering I think a total of 12 days.

Now if Vernier would just decide to send me 8 sets of Kinematics gear…

Best News in Years

I always turn my phone off when I’m in a meeting.  Not just to vibrate, but completely off.  I don’t like the distraction.

While I was driving home from a Physics conference in Alva, Oklahoma I noticed that I had a voice mail.  Someone had called me while I was in a meeting at the conference. Without a doubt some of the best news I’ve heard in a long long time.

 

I bleed Orange but in this case I was able to look past my school pride.

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