Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday Photo: Kids Green Outdoor Scene

Kids Outdoor moment

Call it the Future: 3D Printers Allow Us to Reimagine Mobile Phones

Call it the Future: 3D Printers Allow Us to Reimagine Mobile Phones

Let’s face it, our world has changed immeasurably since cell phones became small enough to fit into our pocket, and powerful enough to look up random Star Trek trivia. That quick accessibility is important when you’re trying to win a bet, but it’s even more useful when you need directions or want to know if a restaurant is worth your money. In fact, cell phones have become such an inextricable part of our day-to-day lives that we’re now seeing 3D-printed accessories that augment, protect, and beautify our devices. Although we haven’t reached a technological level where people can print custom cell phones from scratch, that time isn’t far off. Until then, here are two imaginative objects inspired by our phones:

The Wearable Phone Glove
It’s official — the future is here, and it comes in the form of a telephone glove. Designed by Bryan Cera, Glove One goes one step further than current wearables on the market and actually puts a phone on your hand. Like an 80s sci-fi film come to life, there are working buttons on the inside of your fingers that correspond to the number keypad. The thumb has an earphone and the pinky finger has a small microphone, so you literally hold your hand up to your face in a mimed “talking on the phone” gesture. It’s a whimsical take on the smart phone accessory, and Cera has shared detailed instructions for how to build one at home.

First, you’ll need to start by gathering all of the required materials and tools, including an unlocked cell phone to place into the device. If you’re feeling particularly confident about your engineering skills, MIT’s media lab has also shared an open-source way to build your own phone from scratch. Next, you’ll need to make a paper prototype of the glove that fits your hand, so that the end product is comfortable to wear. With the prototype as a guide, you can create a digital model of the glove using 3D graphics software, which will sync up with the 3D printer. Once the plastic parts are fabricated and printed, you’ll need to wire the electronic components together and secure the phone’s buttons into the glove. Finally, take a walk around the neighborhood with your finished product and count how many confused looks you get.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Real Estate Crowdfunding 101

Crowdfunding is another way to raise money for business ventures, pet projects, charitable causes and just about anything else. Opportunities are posted on crowdfunding websites which provides access to a much broader pool of potential investors than ever before. This method of raising capital is becoming a steadily increasing force in the real estate market as well.

The Basics

Real estate crowdfunding became more broadly available to investors in 2012. That year, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) was passed. It relaxed the eligibility requirements for individuals who want to invest in crowdfunding realty; a net worth of $1 million is one of the criteria. Conventional real estate investing often required a commitment of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. The average investment size for crowdfunding real estate projects is several thousand dollars.

Landlords and developers are also benefiting because it gives them another potential source of capital besides banks and more traditional financing options, which typically have more stringent requirements. According to a June 2014 Wall Street Journal article, a number of real estate crowdfunding websites had collectively raised $135 million in equity and debt for a wide variety of owners and developers.


One of the big benefits of real estate crowd funding is the diversification it provides on many fronts.

  • Geographic

 Some real estate markets are booming and others are depressed. Through crowdfunding, investors have no geographic limitations and can pick and choose the part of the country in which they want to invest.
  •     Financial 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

7 Valuable Mods for Your UTV

While your side-by-side is a beautiful thing on its own, you can also dramatically increase both its utility and its market value by adding the right modifications. Here are just seven useful ways to customize your UTV.

1. Heaters

Heaters are more than just a luxury. If you're hauling cargo or breaking bricks in snowy territory, your UTV heater can genuinely save your life. Don't skimp when it comes to buying the best and staying warm.

2. Custom Seats

Who likes riding in an ill-fitting seat? Splurge for custom seats that will accommodate your weight, height and any back or spinal problems that you may have. Even if you don't suffer from such conditions, custom seats can turn an average ride into a remarkable one.

3. Harnesses

Increasing the safety of your UTV will also increase its value. Look for harnesses that follow a five-point system and have straps of at least two inches. You might also decide to spend a little extra on "quick adjusting" harnesses that will allow you to rearrange them without all the usual fuss.

4. Windshield

Your UTV windshield serves a variety of purposes. For one, it protects you from the elements; no one will enjoy a ride through sand dunes without a windshield. It can also increase your visibility on the road if you upgrade from something grimy to something grand.

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