Get paid to walk around and take pictures with your iPhone

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Finally, my iPhone will start making me some money! How? Gigwalk. It’s a relatively new app that I learned about from an article in the Los Angeles Times, so it’s been around a bit and earned some high-profile, credibility-establishing attention. That’s important for something promising to make you money. How does it work? You download the app, sign up through Facebook or create your own login, then start looking for gigs. I live in Philadelphia in Center City, and there are hundreds of available gigs. What are the gigs? They can vary, but it seems the vast majority involve visiting a business and taking pictures and answering some questions about the place. The gigs pay from $3 to $90, but most of the ones I clicked on were in the $5 to $7 range. However, as you gain experience and prove to be reliable, more lucrative gigs await. Maybe! Here’s what a user had to say to the Times: More

The Age of Hacker Celebrities


Welcome to the Age of Hacker Celebrity. It used to be that hackers became notorious after they got caught. Now we have hackers who are running amok and generating news stories on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis. Julian Assange – Mr. WikiLeaks – is a former hacker but still operates with a hacker ethos. The guy who has caused the most trouble for Assange is Adrian Lamo, the ex-hacker who linked Bradley Manning to WikiLeaks. As for active hackers, we have Anonymous, the hacktivist collective. They appeared on my radar screen a few years ago because they organized public demonstrations against Scientology. I made a video about one of their events in Philadelphia. They have aligned themselves with WikiLeaks. On the other end of the spectrum is a hacker known as The Jester – @th3j35t3r on Twitter. He is anti-Assange and has attacked the WikiLeaks website. More

Color: Finally, a penis-sharing app?

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Show me your junk!

Color is the new photo-sharing app that allows you to share photos with friends and strangers, with a catch: They must be within 150 feet of you. I’ve tried to use it since it was released Wednesday. I say try because it is useless unless somebody else has the app and is nearby. I finally found somebody in Center City, Philadelphia, using the app. I was at an underground mall. He was in an office somewhere nearby. The photo he took was about an hour old – of his office, or somebody’s office. Whoa! I am not alone at being underwhelmed or just plain baffled by the app. It received so much criticism on its first day that its CEO, Bill Nguyen, told Mashable that the app would be getting a major update ASAP. So, it sucks, or people don’t understand how to use it – so what? It’s noteworthy because it launched with a $41 million investment. Again, so what? There is an ongoing debate about whether we are in another tech-industry bubble. One warning sign to look for is when investors continue to pour money into exhausted ideas. For example: photo sharing. Theoretically, Color can be interesting, but a massive amount of people need to be using it. And even then, it may only be interesting at events with lots of people. Until then, it has switched from becoming the target of frustration to becoming a joke about becoming the “dick pic” app. More

Find money on the Internet for your Great Idea

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Your move, Punk

Kickstarter has been around for a couple years, but I really took notice when some folks used it to fund a statue for Robocop in Detroit. How awesome is that? Almost as cool as this scene from the movie. Kickstarter offers people with ideas for documentary films, inventions, albums, you name it, a chance to get funding from online supporters. In Philadelphia, a documentary about the mysterious Toynbee Tiles funded through Kickstarter recently won acclaim at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Others are more modest, but no less worthy, such as this one for a youth beekeeping project in West Philadelphia. You can search for interesting projects in your city, such Philly, where I am. Here’s a Philly guy who wants to start a line of products for dogs. Now, what do you get for giving money to someone else’s great idea? They typically offer something in return depending on the dollar amount you pledge. One woman who takes artistic photos of herself nude in abandoned buildings is offering exclusive prints for Kickstarter backers. Got an idea that needs funding? Kickstarter is worth a visit.

eBay buying old iPhones, Androids

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Old iPhone 2

That’s my old iPhone 3GS (above). When I upgraded to the iPhone 4, I kept my 3GS. I didn’t think it was worth much, and I figured I could use it as a backup on WiFi. But with the Verizon iPhones going on sale this week, eBay has offered to buy AT&T iPhones and some Androids for $200 minimum, figuring a ton of them will get dumped in favor of switching to Verizon for its generally better signal service. Sounds like a good deal, right? I read, however, that the average sale price for an iPhone 3GS in a regular eBay auction is about $340. Of course, average is not what everyone pays. If I offered it up direct, I could get lucky. As an alternative (if I was getting the Verizon iPhone), I could get trade-in credit from Verizon. But I’m not switching phones. AT&T’s service works fairly well in Philadelphia, at least for me. I’ve bought stuff through eBay, but never sold anything. Hmm. Maybe I’ll just put it in a blender:

Why #ImFromPhilly became a hot topic on Twitter

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On Jan. 13, I noticed that #ImFromPhilly was a worldwide trending topic (TT) on Twitter that evening. Huh?

The most retweeted (by 100+ others) was @DoYouKnowDeek who wrote:

#ImFromPhilly where the word “Jawn” can be use 5 times in 1 sentence, but it still makes sense.
Thu Jan 13 2011 17:58:03 (EST) via web
Retweeted by veryfried and 100+ others

He tweeted that at 5:58 p.m. His tweet was the most popular, but it wasn’t what started the trend. (By the way, “jawn” can mean just about anything, such as a place or event, in Philly street lingo.)

I wondered if it had anything to do with an article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer that morning about the way people on Twitter use particular words or acronyms depending on what city or region they are in. For example, CTFU – cracking the f**k up – is popular among certain Twitter users in Philadelphia. I scanned some #ImFromPhilly tweets and saw no evidence of that (and was fairly doubtful anyway). I checked to see if there were a lot of tweets with #ImFromNewYork and there were. I had seen these city battles before and figured something like that was happening again. I was correct, but it had nothing to with New York. So what was going on? More