Monthly Archives: April 2014

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

In some cities, public payphones will soon be turned into free Wi-Fi spots

The city of New York has decided that for it’s thousands of public payphones that have sat dormant for a long time the time has some to do something with them. The Department of Information and Technology is seeking a contract or partnership for someone to take over the whole operation. These wi-fi spots would also act as advertising spots, some video and some static. This program would allow many people who can not afford broadband service access to the internet. Many of these stations would increase in size and height. The Mayor Bill de Blasio says that this would be a huge benefit to both consumers and businesses.

The idea and plan seem like a great idea but it’s the legal hurdles that always slow down progress. If you are interested in finding out more click on the link below.

Payphones turn into Free Wi-Fi spots

Do you need a hand? Let me print one for you

[Article Updated 2/19/2015]

It might sound like something from a sci-fiction movie but it’s not. Technology is moving so fast that we now have the ability to create all kinds of things that 5 or 10 years ago you could only purchase from a manufacture who specialize in custom jobs. Now you can make your own objects, toys, products, and even body parts from the comfort of your own home.

Using various instructions and videos online one could easily teach themselves how to use a 3-D printer. If that sounds like too much work, you can always visit a Techshop or Hackerspace where people can come in and build anything they want and learn how to use all their equipment including 3-D printers. You can get hands-on experience designing specs and then putting them into the printers to print out whatever you like. Then when you feel comfortable enough on your own to use it you can create some pretty amazing things for people. That is what these students did for others who were not so fortunate in life but thanks to the amazing possibilities that 3D printers bring, it’s made it affordable to be able to get body parts made on the cheap.

Story 1
Matthew Shields’ was your typical 9-year-old boy; he loved to play sports, hangout with his friends and do boy stuff. The only difference was that Matthew was born with an undeveloped hand with only a thumb. A family friend, Wilde, who is a 16-year-old from Louisburg High School junior decided to help him out. He knew about this website that had designs for prosthetic  hands called Robohand. This website has helped thousands, if not millions in the coming year, gain back the ability to use their hands again. Wilde knew his local library, Johnson County Library, had a 3-D printer so he went over and uploaded the designs he downloaded from Robohand and after taking 8 hours, gave the hand to Matthew who has now been able to use it in his life, enabling him to feel like a regular person.

Additional Links
Video Story
Kansas City News
Kansas City Star
3ders Story

Story 2
Engineering students can create some pretty amazing things and for one 8 year old, it was something that allowed him to do the things he enjoys the most, playing sports. The students at Westtown school were studying how to use 3-D printers to create things and one of their projects was to create a prosthetic hand. They said it took awhile but after it was finished it give new life to the 8 year old, Steele Songle, to be able to do the things he enjoys.

Story 3
Boylan High schoolers have enabled a little girl, Kylie Wicker, who is 9-year-old girl to be able to use her hand again. The high school had a 3-D printer donated to the school, in which Bud May the engineering graphics teacher, taught himself how to use. The school got an educational license to teach 3-D printing technology. When the students found out about Kylie, they offered to print out a hand for her, two infact in different colors (one in pink and one in purple). The students were all supportive when asked if they wanted to learn how to make 3-D objects. How the school got involved was the father of Kylie, Jeromy, did a search online because he heard about a dad who had made a hand for his son and when he found a local school had a 3-D printer donated to them he asked if they would help. The students in the class took on the challenge and this week little Kylie will be getting her new hands. Both Jeromy and Sharon knew they wouldn’t be able to afford the expensive costs that go with buying prosthetic parts, an industry that will eventually realize they will have to come down in price if they want to compete any longer, because their insurance would only cover 80%. Looking online and finding the school has saved them a lot of money, the total cost Kylie’s parent’s will be paying is $20 dollars.

The school has now gone on to offer their services for other kids in similar situations. A great thing to say your a part of on your college application for any student who is apart of that project.

ABC News Story
Khon News Story
BusinessInsider Story

If you are really interested in learning about Robohand and how it has gone one to change people’s lives, you can check out their website. The story of how it all got started was that one day Richard van As was working with wood when he sawed off his fingers. He is from South Africa. He met Ivan Owen who is a mechanical special-effects artist from Washington state. They worked together to create a mechanical finger in 2011 and from there they created the website Robohand for anyone to access and download what they created.

MakerBot has also created their own collection of hand deigns for people to use and download. You can see the different designs on their website Thingiverse and if you need help assembling the Cyborg Beast hand you can watch this video below to learn the process yourself.

These boys show just how impactful having an arm or hand can be and what it means to them.

Boy Gets Trooper Arm

Boy Gets Prosthetic Hand from 3-D Printer

Learn about Cyborg Beast Prosthetic Hand

Entrepreneurs find solutions from everyday setbacks. Yours could come from a small thing in life that you dread doing or maybe a way to improve something that just needs a little tweaking. Entrepreneurs are resourceful. They find new ways of looking at something and then go out and create it. If Richard Van As was a true capitalist, he would have tried to make money off of his 3-D designs, instead he knew the struggles of what it’s like not to be able to use any of your body parts. What he did for the world was a very generous deed that many people all over the world have been able to benefit from. He didn’t worry about trademarks or copyrights, he put it out there for the world to use because people needed it and for that he is rewarded by the recognition he deserves.

If you would like to be apart of this growing movement to help kids connect with engineers and people with 3-D printers you can contact the non-profit organization, E-Nable, which was started by Jon Schull in 2013. They connect volunteers with kids who need help getting a prosthetic hand made that is affordable. Their program has helped trained tons of people in learning how to download the designs and upload them to 3-D printers to print out and then assemble.

The website also offers a tool for parents to use in helping find the right size for their child’s hand. You can use the Hand-o-Matic online tool to find the right size. You can also contact a volunteer to help you with the whole process so you don’t end up getting the right design files. If you print out the wrong size it won’t fit your child’s hand correctly.

The look on people’s faces who need body parts is worth the effort to be apart of this growing trend. The cost of real medical prosthetics is too costly, especially for kids who will outgrown them in a few years, so parents have looked to the internet and found many options that are cheap and easy to learn for themselves. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to stay up to date on events, including their Twitter page.

Jon Schull said it best when he gave a speech about the importance of what it is he is doing for kids.

If you would like to be a part of this growing movement and help a child get a hand for free then you can click here to learn how to become a volunteer for E-Nable. John Hopkins now gives kids free hands who request them as well.

News Articles

Six-year-old Joseph Gilbert of Chester, N.Y. can thank the power of 3-D for giving him a hand that he can use since he was born without any fingers on his left hand.

3-D Printing Prosthetic hands that are anything but ordinary

Need a Hand? There’s a printer for that

3-D Printed Car

3-D Printer News/Links – Facebook Page, Twitter, YouTube, Google+

UltimakerFacebook Page, Twitter


Dremel 3D Idea Maker

Instructables 3-D Printing


Autodesk 123D



My Mini Factory


Maker’s Bot Digital Store

Google 3D Warehouse


It’s Never too Late

Social Capital is all around, you just have to invest in it

It’s not surprising how so few people ever take the time to talk to a stranger during the day. What if that person in the grocery store was the one you needed to know because they know someone who works in at a company that you’ve been applying to? What about that person you sat next to on the bus this morning? They might have been looking for a fun conversation to have but instead just sat there quietly.

This should not come as a surprise but there are opportunities out there everyday and they all come in the form of a little social conversation. Just saying hi or smiling at someone can brighten their day in ways you will never know.

In an experiment done to find out what kind of experience people would have if they talked to someone on the subway or train or bus, most of what the researchers found was that everyone was interested in talking to everyone. You just have to get over the fear of being rejected. If you say hi, that could start a whole new relationship with someone. It doesn’t have to be a life long relationship but just one that brought some joy to another person’s life. Business from a capitalist perspective is all about how much capital they can grow in a short period of time. The social entrepreneur knows that the best capital you can gain comes, not from money, but from people. It’s your relationships with others that help you to grow your business. Someone you know might know someone who is in need of your services and from there it grows. Money is nice to have, but in the end, it’s your relationships that showed what kind of impact you made on this world. Or a better way of looking at it, which one is more likely to show up for your funeral?

Read more about the social experiment conducted on public transportation

This developer worked with Steve Jobs, now he works for himself

Many tech companies hire students before they even graduate, but this one computer science major wanted to finish his degree to make sure he had something to show for his time. When he finally graduated he had to wait for Mr. Jobs to come back and approve the hire because he was on vacation.

He went on to work on creating the safari web browser app on the iPhone. The experience of working with Mr. Jobs right away was something that surprised the new hire. He didn’t think he would be asked to create something that millions of consumers would be using right away on a product that no one had ever seen before. The experience that Mr. Jobs taught him about work ethics is something he has carried with him since his time at Apple. Now he creates his own apps and works for himself after selling his first company to Motorola.

The key thing that to take away from the article is this. In college he worked on a special webkit on his own time that made Apple recruiters notice his work. It was his ambition to create his own projects while still going to school that helped get him noticed. If your in school, college, or university and all you do is the work your professors ask of you, then you are not doing enough. You are not understanding the point of going to school.

Read more about iPhone engineer and his latest app

Consumer habits affect mobile payment options

It’s no surprise that mobile wallets are becoming the new method of paying for stuff in stores but very few American’s have caught on to the habit of paying with their phones, and why should they? Cash and credit cards are still easier to manage and use at the payout stand instead of asking what mobile payment system the store uses. Imagine standing there trying to download the right application only for it not to work on your phone because your phone doesn’t support you phone’s hardware. Instead of keeping everyone else waiting in line you resort to taking out your physical wallet and paying with a method that has been around since forever.

The idea behind mobile payments is that there has to be a universal system in place for all consumers to adopt it. That makes it very difficult when technology companies keep introducing new methods to paying with your phone. Not every company will be able to support ten different versions, the cost along would take out some companies just by the IT costs involved, so there needs to be a method to dwindle it down to at least two or three. This allows consumers to have at least a few options ready if they want to pay with their phone. American’s compared to the rest of the world still have not caught on with this evolution in payments but it’s a market that many tech firms don’t want to miss out on because of the huge financial rewards. The firm to get it just right will reap huge profits.

Read more about why it’s a hard business model to solve