Abundant Michael: Cool Stuff

7 uses for LinkedIn and tips for better social networking

I recently have been studying how to use LinkedIn better and have been improving my profile. If anyone has any suggestions or feedback on it let me know. You can find me at
And if it makes sense to you, you are welcome to link to me too!

Things I have been using LinkedIn for in the past few weeks

  • finding subcontractors
  • researching a business expansion in Singapore - finding connections with experience of the business culture there
  • re-connecting with old college friends
  • making new folks aware of me and my businesses by posting useful questions and comments on groups related to my niche (large associations)
  • connecting to people who know a lot of C level people in my niche - I have connected to several book authors rated number one in Amazon for a certain niche
    • Many authors will accept a message out of the blue if you are respectful, say why you like their book and offer to connect if it makes sense.
    • I plan to interview the authors and other players in the field (using Skype), get the recording transcribed using Quicktate and publish the interview back on my TeraTech blog and link from my LinkedIn profile
  • I am planning to use LinkedIn to promote some tele-class events too using the event feature and relevant groups
  • I may start my own group if there is a gap in the groups around a niche I am interested in
  • I upgraded to the paid business LinkedIn account so that I could message anyone on LinkedIn using inMail, save interesting people I find in the profile manager, see who has looked at my profile and get better searching capabilities. I also decided to turn on free messaging to my account from any one on LinkedIn to make it easier for folks who find me by search to connect.

Uses for LinkedIn and bacon control

A friend was concerned about LinkedIn stealling email addresses. I have been a on linkedin for years and not had a problem with stolen email addresses. At the time I joined you had to explicitly upload your email address book or enter your gmail userid and password to give them your emails. I imagine that is still the case today otherwise how could they get your address book.

Additionally once you are a member you can adjust your bacon preferences (bacon is like spam in that there is more of it than you want but it is coming from a service you signed up with) to reduce or eliminate notification email. The same is true for Facebook.

I have used linkedin in the past mainly as a souped up address book for my contacts that is automatically updated by them when they move or change jobs. If  friend is not getting my emails then sometimes a message via Linkedin or Facebook will reach them when my real emails have not. I have used the search feature sometimes to find a friend of a friend with a certain skill or interest with some success. I also know people who like it's lists feature and the job advertizement feature. When I did more sales I would also use it to research background info on a lead or to get a referral to them. When I was running the CFUnited event we used Linked, Facebook and Twitter to promote the event using the events feature and fan page, with some success.


I am now exploring more ways to use LinkedIn. View Michael Smith's LinkedIn profileView Michael Smith's profile

I used to get invitations to joint some other social network (Plexo) but I got tired of them and I think I joined the network and then opted out of all the bacon. Worked for me. Alternatively when I have been getting more bacon than I want I have set up an email filter to automatically file the emails in a subdirectory so that I don't have to read them (unless I get curious again). I know this is easy to do in both Thunderbird and gmail and I imagine most other email programs let you do that do.

Let a million eyes see - computer insect cameras revealed

These insect eye cameras are smaller than a finger nail. They have infinite focus without moving parts. Once production ramps up they will be super cheap. Combine with micro transmission chips for a super mobile camera that is so cheap it could be thrown away after single use.


Just think where you could put cameras using this, or where a government or corporation could put them... Every object in a room, car, books, eye glasses, on micro drones, balloons, even on food for sale, plants, pets, children, shoes, inventory equipment, on credit cards. To track, monitor behavior, prevent theft, control rioters... Everyone could become a super spy with this technology. Who needs a billion dollar spy satellite when you can uses a bunch of 1 cent cameras sprinkled around an area? Every action and change could be recorded.


The insect eye lens can also be used in reserve in a micro projector that can put a clear image on an uneven surface and is only 6 mm thick. Think movies and adverts from your cell phone. Or embedded in the streets like the personalized ads in the movie Minority Report.

light field cameras explained


How to get $40,000 to start a tech business in Chile

Would you like to get $40,000 and a free visa for a year to work in Chile setting up a tech business? I thought some of the tech folks on this blog might either be interested in this opportunity or have children or friends who might be. Article is from free InternationalMan newsletter

What if you were paid $40,000 to travel to another country, get a 1-year visa, and work on your technology related business? That's exactly what Start-Up Chile - an initiative started in 2010 by the Chilean government - makes possible, offering grants to small teams of entrepreneurs to come work on their ideas in Santiago. It's all part of the country's bid to become "the Silicon Valley of South America," and today we chat with Kevin Kent, a Chicago entrepreneur who recently received a grant

IM: Why Chile?

KK: Right now, the Chilean government is trying to "up the entrepreneurial bar" here - to try to turn Santiago into the "Silicon Valley" of South America. They do this with a program called Start-Up Chile - they bring in talent from around the world - people who have experience starting businesses and people from other cultures who have different levels of risk tolerance, not the same kind of blocked-off mindset that many people down here have about failure and start-ups. (Back in the States, if you give something a shot and it fails, that's just something that happens and we're proud of you for giving it a try. It's definitely not the same mentality down here.)

The program offers $40,000 grants to teams of 1-4 people to start their businesses down here in Santiago, stay for six months, and work on their businesses. Actually, it's not a grant but rather a reimbursement. So you spend $6,000 on your business and then you have a reimbursement meeting, and then (hopefully) they reimburse you. That process is getting better, but it's been very difficult. With a government agency, there's a lot of hurdles to jump through and red tape. But in the end, you're getting $40,000 for free and they don't take any ownership in your business, so it's probably still worth your time.

If you just graduated college and have a great idea, but a lot of school loans and no money in the bank, it's an unbelievable opportunity to see another continent and get some free money to work on a business. You'll meet some really cool people and make some great contacts. ...

IM: Do you get a 6-month Visa?

KK: The program is 6 months but they give us a one-year visa and residential ID cards, which are apparently tough to get if you're not in a program (e.g., if you're just an expat wanting to come down here and stay a year). It's kind of like a Social Security card mixed with a driver's license or state ID. However, if you stay past the six months you don't get all of the benefits, like access to their working space.

IM: What was the application process like and was it hard to get approved?

KK: The application process was pretty standard. "What is your product? What is your target market? How are you going to reach customers?" and so on. We had to make a short two-minute video about our product and ourselves so they could get a little taste of our personality.

In our particular group, they let in 150 teams out of, I think, 600-700 applications - so we were pleased about that. In the following round, two people we knew who had very solid ideas didn't get in, so the difficulty to get in is growing as the program gets more popular.

IM: Are they mostly looking for young start-ups in the technology field?

KK: We're actually a hardware start-up and definitely not the norm. The vast majority are web apps or web start-ups. I think it's just much easier to use that $40,000 doing a web application. In six months with that kind of capital, you can develop a lot of different ideas and business models. It's much more difficult to do with a hardware start-up.


IM: Anything else you want to add?

KK: Problems aside, I want to say that Chile is beautiful. We went to a couple towns that were 8- to 10-hour bus rides away that were just gorgeous. In one place we went on a "night star" tour where we went horseback riding for an hour and a guy gave you a tour of the stars, which was just unbelievable. We also went to Buenos Aires for a couple days, so there's a lot of stuff you can see within a very short flight from Santiago, which is great.

Read more here


How I am using evernote

Here are some of the things I am using Evernote for. Interested to hear what else you are using for?

  • my GTD lists
  • saving interesting emails
  • clipping interesting webpages
  • clipping the sales confirmation page when I place an order online
  • saving travel tickets/itinerary from airlines etc
  • photographed all my old journals for 1) backup 2) searchable text
  • import all scanned mail from Earth Class Mail and other sources so I can search and find stuff
  • photographs of receipts
  • import of all files in MyDocuments fold for search and backup
  • keep track of important numbers and contacts
  • keeping track of goals
  • saving notes from online courses
  • project notes
  • list of delegated tasks
  • drafts of newsletter and blog entries
  • shopping lists (especially ones weeks in advance where I might think of new items at odd hours)
  • packing lists for trips

PS I used the paid version to get more notes and features ($5/month) but there is a free version too. It works on PC, Mac, smart phones and on the web in case you are traveling without your device.

The Vertical Farm

A positive idea for us to use now to grow healthy local food in cities...

I was inspired tonight by a different perspective on producing our food: the
vertical farm!


Producing food in stacked greenhouses (or possibly better designs that allow
us to use more sunlight), in cities, to grow our food instead of ship if
from who knows where. Totally hydroponic, no dirt required, add a few
nutrients to water that circulates and is therefore conserved. Very low
technology, but the cost of doing this in cities is limited by the price of
real estate. There are practical solutions out there.

Convert Plastic garbage to oil

This Japanese man has invented a machine to convert plastic garbage back to the oil it was made from. Clean up the envirnoment and need less oil too - double win!


Make your password longer, more complex - cloud hackers on the way

It used to be a six character password would take days to crack and the help of powerful expensive computers. Not any more. Amazon's cloud computing, useful for rapidly scalable graphics and database projects, can also be used by hackers to create a cheap super computer password hacker system that can crack a password in less than an hour for a cost of $2.10. So make your passwords longer and more complex (upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and special symbols such as !@#$%^&*()_+)


A German researcher demonstrated the technique using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and their new cluster-computing service that is designed for CPU-intensive graphics. Graphics and password cracking are remarkably similar from an algorithmic perspective: matrix and vector math. The results are quite instructive: using just 49 minutes of a single cluster instance, the researcher was able to crack passwords up to six letters in length. The total cost of the experiment: $2.10 for one hour of computing (the minimum charge is one hour).


For a hacker, there are two great sources for on-demand computing: botnets made of consumer PCs and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) from a service provider. Either one can deliver computing-on-demand for the purpose of brute-force computation. Botnets are unreliable, heterogeneous and will take longer to "provision." But they cost nothing to use and can scale to enormous size; researchers have found botnets composed of hundreds of thousands of PCs. A commercial cloud-computing offering will be faster to provision, have predictable performance and can be billed to a stolen credit card.


More at http://www.networkworld.com/columnists/2010/111710antonopoulos.html


Enormous Milky way energy bubbles discovered

NY Times article on a energy bubbles discovery in our galaxy that are nearly as big as the galaxy itself. Wow this is a major shift in what we know about where we live! Maybe relates to 2012 stuff too as we align with the galactic core.

From http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/science/space/10galaxy.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=galaxy&st=cse

A group of scientists working with data from
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope said Tuesday that they had discovered two bubbles of energy erupting from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The bubbles, they said at a news conference and in a paper to be published Wednesday in The Astrophysical Journal, extend 25,000 light years up and down from each side of the galaxy and contain the energy equivalent to 100,000 supernova explosions.

“They’re big,” said Doug Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, leader of the team that discovered them.


The source of the bubbles is a mystery. One possibility is that they are fueled by a wave of star births and deaths at the center of the galaxy. Another option is a gigantic belch from the black hole known to reside, like Jabba the Hutt, at the center of the Milky Way. What it is apparently not is dark matter, the mysterious something that astronomers say makes up a quarter of the universe and holds galaxies together.


“Wow,” said David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton who was not involved in the work.


“And we think we know a lot about our own galaxy,” Dr. Spergel added, noting that the bubbles were almost as big as the galaxy and yet unsuspected until now.


Jon Morse, head of astrophysics at NASA headquarters, said, “This shows again that the universe is full of surprises.”

One of the most surprised was Dr. Finkbeiner. A year ago he was part of a group led by Gregory Dobler of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, Calif., that said it had discerned the existence of a mysterious fog of high-energy particles buzzing around the center of the Milky Way. The particles manifested themselves as a haze of extra energy after all the known sources of gamma rays — the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation — had been subtracted from Fermi data that had recently been made public.

At the time, Dr. Finkbeiner and his colleagues speculated that the haze was produced by dark matter. The center of the galaxy is home to all manner of wild and woolly high-energy phenomena, including a gigantic black hole and violently spinning pulsars, but cosmological theories also suggest that dark matter would be concentrated there. Collisions of dark matter particles, the theory goes, could produce showers of gamma rays.

But in the follow-up analysis, the haze — besides being bigger than Dr. Finkbeiner and his colleagues had thought — turned out to have sharp boundaries, like, well, a bubble. Dark matter, according to the prevailing theory, should be more diffuse.


“Dark matter has been there billions of years,” Dr. Finkbeiner explained. “If something has been going on for billions of years, you wouldn’t expect a sharp edge.” He and the other scientists said this did not mean that dark matter was not there clogging the center of the galaxy, but that it would be harder to see.

Rotating house

Did you know that building a revolving house it is comparable in cost to building a conventional house? Built largely of glass and steel, and powered by an electric motor not much bigger than a washing machine motor, the 'Everingham Rotating House' is a brilliant testimonial to the ingenuity of its owner/builders. It also encapsulates many aspects of ecologically sound building principles, such as optimising natural light and heat, while rotating 360° to take advantage of sunshine and shade.More at http://www.everinghamrotatinghouse.com.au/


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