Why Garbage Pickers Are More Beneficial To The Earth Than You.

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Whether you live in an urban or suburban area, we’ve all seen them rummaging. What are they looking for? Well, recyclables if course! Whether their true passion in life is to rid the world of unnecessarily thrown out recyclable cans or they’re simply strapped for cash, these people are contributing to society more than meets the eye.

Each can they pick up removes about 14 grams of aluminum from being burned and each bottle saves 52 grams of plastic from being burned. That may not sound like a whole lot, but you’ll never see one of these people carrying around a single bottle ready to deposit it. You’ll see them haul around hundreds of cans and bottles at a time.

So how many cans are they removing from the millions? Let’s do some hypotheticals! It’s been said that you can make $5 and hour on average. That’s around 75 bottles, depending on if you get .05 or .10 on a can or bottle. Let’s say you do this for an 8 hour work day. That’s about 600 bottles a day. How many are there in NYC? let’s assume a whole lot. If you really pay attention, you’ll see them around.

I write this on my train ride into the city and I just saw one as I looked out the window. I suppose I’m a bit more keen to seeing them as I write about them. Let’s say the number is 400, but I’m sure there’s more through the entire city. That’s 87,600,000 cans a year taken out of the garbage! Or, by New York’s standards, 3 whole days of throwing out bottles. Damn NYC. I’m trying to make it sound significant! Quit throwing them out!

One man, interviewed by Brokelyn, has had no issue finding a stable source of income through this practice. “It’s his only source of income and he’s been doing it for 15 years. One morning this week, Ronald, who lives in the nearby Gowanus projects, had six large yard-waste bags full of recycling in two carts. He wouldn’t say exactly how much he makes, but he did say it’s enough to survive on without welfare or Medicaid. Although his collecting income allows for a steak “every now and then,” he mostly eats ‘pork and beans and franks.'”

If you want to read more on this topic: http://brokelyn.com/how-much-can-you-make-collecting-cans-and-bottles

So unless these people are harming you or your property in any way, let them be. If they have chosen your garbage can, they’re doing more good for this earth than you are.

Why are people such ungrateful twits in this godforsaken country? You don’t need a new computer.

So I was on some forum and I came across this commenter who wrote the following:

Crap shit old computer:

Processor: AMD A4-3400 APU Radeon(TM) HD Graphics 3.70GHz

Ram: 4.00 GB

You know what he was talking about? How surprised he was that a game ran on it.

Now, you don’t exactly have to know much about computers to know that the computer he’s bashing is not crappy nor shitty. If you look further into what he listed, the computer has 512MB of graphics memory and Direct X 11 capability. If you know anything about gaming, you can get away with playing most major games without any problems using that configuration! Hell! my computer is 1/4 that and mine does just fine with anything I throw at it.

But I only used him as an example to bring up a more important issue. Why is it that everyone has this annoying perspective that technology from the relative past is crap? (whether it be a year or 10, it doesnt matter.)

As I wrote before, (See for yourself how much has “changed”) my computers range from a 10 year old IBM laptop – That i’m typing on – to a 2002  iMac G4 to a 2005 Thinkcentre tower to a 2006 HP Tablet PC to a 2010 Chromebook. My school has computers ranging from when I was in Kindergarten to a select few with i5 chips.

I am able to clearly see and compare all spectrums of computing technology and i’m going to be upfront with you, reader:

There’s no goddamn difference! I swear.

All my computers can open up any website, play any video, open any document or play any game with equal stride. If they can’t? I sell them on eBay for a profit and move on to another.

Yet, all my computers are considered crappy to anyone I show, no matter which one. I throw out the word Pentium to them and they put on a face as if i’m lesser of a person than them. I say it has 2 GB of RAM and they outright laugh. It’s incredible!

And you’re right. If I throw in a third generation i7 chip at you, yeah, of course it’ll open it a site a few seconds faster or play a game at a better speed. Congrats. But if you’re just going to open a browser to watch a few videos or type a few documents, is spending the same amount of money as I got a CAR for on a laptop really worth it? Unless of course you’re going to be running Adobe Premiere, Inventor, and Photoshop at the same time, you don’t need it. 

So, to conclude, if a computer is not properly running at normal speed. It’s probably your fault, not the computer or it’s age. Stop watching porn, stop illegally downloading music – And get these two programs: CCleaner and MalawareBytes. Don’t reach for your wallet and buy a new computer because it’s not running as it did on day one – Unless you’re just going to throw it away to me. In that case, keep ’em coming!

Remember. These computers are designed to slow down over time. If you were a software maker, wouldn’t you do the same so you’d keep everyone buying the latest version so you don’t go out of business?! It’s genius! What do you think Apple does with their iPhones, iPods and iPads! Reinstall Windows if you have to. I don’t know! Do something!

It’s like buying car and after some time the air conditioner fluid runs out. Are you going to buy a new car?! NO. You’re going to bring it to a mechanic. Treat your computer like a car. Please. This country’s ego depends on it.

I love my Chromebook, but let’s compare it to a laptop from 2003

So I was given a “broken” IBM laptop to play around with.

All that I had to do was install Windows 7 to it and plug in the cable for the trackpad. After that, it was game on with my Chromebook CR48. Let’s compare.

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CR48 Running Windows 7

IBM T41P Running Windows 7

Windows Rating: 2.2 Windows Rating: 3.1
Wifi Test: 9.22 mbps Wifi Test: 15.5 mbps
2 GB RAM 2 GB RAM
16GB SSD 50GB HD
Intel Atom Processor N455 1.66GHz Intel Pentium M 1.7 GHz
12 Inch Screen 14 Inch Screen
3.8 LBS 5.3 LBS
Bluetooth Bluetooth
Rated 8 hours – I can confirm that it’s somewhere around there. Rated 6 hours – If you don’t have a crapped out battery like mine. I get an hour.
Graphics Storage: ZIP. None. Caput. Graphics Storage: 128MB
Cost to me: Free Cost to me: Free

So who wins in this case?

The IBM will be a fine laptop once I get a replacement battery for a whopping $20 on ebay. As you can see, it has a better Windows rating, better Wifi speed, same RAM (And both max out at 2GB), larger hard drive, better processor surprisingly, bigger screen, a convenient light to see the keys in the dark, and a ton more graphics capability (Something not often found on laptops.

The downside to the IBM? It’s ugly. It’s got that typical “I’m stuck in the 90’s” – Businessman look. I’d say it’s heavier, but i’m not one to complain about weight. But you go on Cnet and they’ll close the door on the laptop simply for that reason – No matter the capability. And sure. It doesn’t have a webcam. That’s why I have a phone.

Now, for the Chromebook, you’re right. It’s not supposed to be on Windows anyway. But until I was given the IBM, I didn’t have a computer with the capability to print (Until I put Windows on the CR48.) It’s much lighter, and has 3G capabilities. Battery as of right now is FAR superior, it has a webcam and it’s an attractive looking laptop. On Chrome OS, the laptop was perfectly snappy and could do any online docs editing and video watching.

I don’t have any complaints about either laptop. Neither win. They were made for completely different reasons. The IBM was made for business folk and the Chromebook was for the average user. They both do exactly what they were made to do. I just wanted to make a point on how laptops haven’t changed much. I mean, look at how far the mobile phone industry has come.

From Nokia’s to flip phones to blackberries to iPhones and Androids. No way could I even make a comparison with a phone from 10 years ago to today. They’ve evolved too much. On the contrary, laptops may have webcams, i7 chips, touchscreens or what, but in general, they haven’t really changed all that much. It’s like what they do with the iPhone. They make it slightly better, add a newer version of the operating system and call it new. Same thing with a laptop.

FIRST Robotics Team 263 Finishes it’s 2013 Year With Frisbees. Lots of Them.

On an early January morning at Stony Brook University, FIRST, the organization behind the nationwide high school robotics craze, broadcast it’s new funky game to the world.This year, the game involves a heap of Frisbees and a challenge not yet attempted by any previous year: Lift the 120 pound robot you just spent 6 weeks building over 5 feet in the air on a funky pyramid. Since the unveiling, the team has spent their days prototyping for their next bot, coming up with some very creative solutions to this year’s challenge and then, together, meshing their ideas to form this year’s robot. Of the prototypes, a tape measure design which would lift the robot using a simple household tape measure and a powerful motor to create a freakish creation. Though the idea was eventually brought down, the concept worked, lifting most of the required weight.

The final product had no tape measures, but the insanity did not stop at tape measures, as the robot ended up having over 10 feet’s worth of threaded rods (sort of like a long screw that’s powered by a motor) spread about the robot. Why the rods? To power the bot up the tower with ease by attaching hooks to the rods. The only downfall? It is near impossible to bring down without the robot powered. The team made a consensus that getting the robot down the pyramid once it’s up is the officials problem. Their rule.

You can keep track of all the team’s progress by liking their Facebook page by searching Sachem Robotics. To get a taste of what the team is like, visit their site, first263.org and click on gallery.

After 4 years of being on the team, I can assure you that it’s an experience that I’ll never forget. It’s a lot of work, but the team literally becomes your second family. And no. You don’t need to know anything about robotics to join. I’ll have you know, I didn’t get the “Magic Smoke” award for nothing. 

Above, Robotics Nationals in St. Louis, Missouri in 2012. Team 263 was one of the lucky teams to be chosen to go last year, and if the team can unite like it did last year, they’re headed for nationals once more. The FRC Nationals involves an entire arena full of the nation’s best and the brightest, as well as some of the world’s brightest, with teams spanning the entire globe.

Report: Long Island’s Cleanest Restaurants 2012

Long Island may not have the grade system based health department reports on each restaurant’s door like in New York City, but there is another surefire way to tell if a restaurant cares about its storefront, kitchen, dining room and garbage areas: Their maintenance contracts.

Now, it just so happens that my dad owns one of the largest pressure cleaning companies on the eastern seaboard, American Dream Pressure Cleaning, used by a multitude of restaurants across long island and the surrounding states. His company cleans nearly every chain restaurant on the island, including Chili’s, Carrabba’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Friday’s, Red Robin, Famous Daves, Outback Steakhouse and the list goes on. Here’s where the ratings start to become clear.

These restaurants, all mapped here, are under contract with American Dream to be cleaned based on their volume. They are guaranteed to have cleaner dining rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and garbage areas in comparison to the many chains on the island that neglect to even clean their floors with more than a mop.

I’m going to be as clear as possible when I say that I’m not trying to promote his company, I simply want to open up a bridge between the restaurants that actually care for their store on the Island and those who neglect to. We need a way to have some fluidity between the kitchen and the customer – something people in NYC take for granted with their rating system. I know by means of personal accounts, business owner reactions and outright customer satisfaction that the stores American Dream encompasses are ones that I’d feel confident bringing my family, especially as a person who has seen the kitchens beforehand himself.

There have been stores I’ve tagged along to that had never before been cleaned by American Dream that had potatoes spread about the floor and grease caking the floor enough to skate across.  Companies who do not step up to the plate so they can save a few bucks should be ashamed of themselves for letting their restaurant remain as unsanitary as they are.

This is why I want to give you the list of clean restaurants. This list may not point out every restaurant that’s doing the right thing and cleaning their store using a commercial company, but it’s a starting point for other companies to do the same.

http://www.americandreampressurecleaning.com/see-our-stores-yourself/

Can’t delete a file? You may be in luck.

For months, I couldn’t delete this entire folder from my backup drive and it had me clawing my hair out. I tried those force-delete apps and all and none of them deleted a single file. Today, I figured out a way to delete these files with a bit of backdoor work. Basically, you have to trick the file to think that you are the owner. Here’s how:

How to delete an undeletable file

 

Click on the picture to see it better.

 

If you follow these steps, the file will be gone in no time! And don’t worry. It gets easier as you repeat the steps. Good luck!

How I Take Ridiculously Close Macro Shots With an Android -DIY

To start, or rather, to prove that the photos I take with this phone are insanely closeup, take a gander of these photos before I show you how I took them.

Ready? You’re going to need an old camera and some hammers. No. I’m not kidding.

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However you obtain these small little lenses is beyond my jurisdiction. I’ll tell you this though; if you dont happen to have any of these little lenses lying around on your desk, find an old camera rip it to shreds! (Just a heads up, watch out for shock hazards! Old internal camera batteries hurt.)

 

Before I made this a permanent add on, I’d simply stick one of these lenses in between my fingers and go around with my newly created macro-droid. Only recently did I make this little copper contraption to clip onto my phone.

As always, there’s a retail version of this that’ll save you some headaches, but it was a fun experience for me and I’m willing to share the complex planning on how to make it. Here is how you make it:

  • Find a thick piece of copper wire.
  • Crudely bend it around a camera lens and then bend it around to fit your phone.
  • Put some tape on the end so you don’t scratch your screen.
  • The end.

Go crazy and enjoy.

Who needs electricity!? This handheld crank radio powers my surround sound system!

Now, I’ve had this little radio for over a year now and pretty much right before hurricane Sandy hit my area, I had just broken its built in speaker. Do not ask me how, It’s just the way things go. If this idea had crossed my mind, say, before October 29th, maybe my experience through the storm would’ve been a tiny bit more enjoyable.

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To make this contraption, I started out finding which wires went to the speakers – easy enough. A smart person would then solder the wire to that connection, but of course, tape would suffice. After many attempts to get the speaker wires to stay even when pulled a bit, I closed up the casing and there you have it, a working crank radio that actually handle some real bass.

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I don’t know why I didnt try my entire speaker system at this point, probably a lack of faith for the little contraption, but eventually I realized it’s true power.

Running 11 full sized speakers, the radio can’t handle such a long time without needing a crank or two (You can obviously figure out why) but here are my results:

10 minutes of music = 50 cranks. How long does it take to crank it 50 times? Give me 20 seconds.  As a secondary attempt, I got 25 minutes of music after a minute of cranking. Cranking is such an odd verb.

Regardless, that’s pretty awesome considering it’s running completely off the grid. Now if I could just get it to run my phone….

The Re-Emergence of the Convertible Tablet PC

laptop

Well, now. That’s a difference. You’re looking at my current laptop on the left and one of them many convertible tablet PCs soon to be flooding the market. Before the emergence of windows 8, the Tablet PC had been in heavy decline. I swear to you, the only reason I got my first tablet was because it was so much cheaper than the other same-hardware laptops on eBay at the time. I really don’t know why they were so ostracized from the tech industry. Call me crazy, but I really like these devices! Old and new!

Sure, the old ones need a pen to use the touch screen, but you don’t have to guess where you’re about to tap. The pen has a special magnet to determine distance so you have a full pointer.

Anyway, and I guess this is my point, Windows 8 may have just saved the future of the laptop completely. Everyone wants a tablet these days. Now, you can have best of both worlds. Smart move Microsoft. Well played.

My post on tablet convertibles from the past is right here if you’re interested in my journey to find the perfect tablet:

http://jcoinster.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/so-i-bought-myself-another-laptop-is-that-a-sin-2/