Free Money! (No, Seriously)

Back in the good old days (late 1990’s) companies like AllAdvantage paid us just for browsing the web (and having a small window that covered the bottom of our screen and rotated ads). I made some money off these programs (I think maybe $100 from AllAdvantage), but due to abuses these programs turned down (folks found ways to automate the process of appearing as if one was using the computer).

Bag of Money, image thanks to mcol and OpenClipart.
Bag of Money, image thanks to mcol and OpenClipart.

Well, it looks like the good old days may be coming back to us – so get in while you can. Okay, honestly, I think at least this company has a more sustainable and less cheatable model. I actually think its a bit of genius and I expect them to do well – though some competitors might come onto the scene who will offer them a run for their money.

What am I talking about? An Android application called Locket. If you have an Android smartphone (e.g. Verizon Droid, Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, and almost all smartphones that aren’t Apple iPhones), you can use this application.

The concept is simple. When you turn on your phone’s screen to take some action (make a phone call, browse the internet, text message, play a game, write a note, check your bank balance) you are immediately presented with the “lock screen.” You may a swipe motion to “unlock” the screen – this “lock” mechanism prevents you (at least theoretically) from accidentally pocket dialing folks.

Locket is a small Android application that “takes over” your lock screen. When you turn on your screen you’ll see an image (an ad). Its unintrusive, oftentimes interesting, and you can unlock like usual. Every (well almost every) time you unlock your phone, Locket gives you $.01.

Granted, that isn’t much. You aren’t going to get rich off this program – but seriously, it doesn’t reduce your productivity at all and I actually find the lock swipe mechanism to be better than that included by default with my Samsung Galaxy S3.

I’ve been using Locket for around 24 hours and have earn $0.18. Hahaha. Yeah, it isn’t much, but lets multiply that times a year: 365 * .18 = $65.70. It still isn’t much – but it almost covers a month with Verizon or AT&T of cell service and you are essentially being paid to do nothing.

I don’t use my phone super frequently. I use it for more than most people do (e.g. note taking, medicine adherence monitoring, banking, health monitoring, and so on) but not as frequently as many (I hate texting and phone calls) – so I imagine that others might earn a fairly easy $150 a year. Nothing to sneeze at, imho.

So, go get it. What does it cost you? No, I’m not getting paid to say this…I just like for people to use good products (and sometimes I do get paid, but not this time). 🙂

Well, It Is About Time: Why Coin Is the Wallet Replacement We’ve Been Looking For…

I don’t like carrying my wallet around. I hate to thing about what sitting with my wallet in my back pocket does to my spine. There are always so many cards and they always want to flop out of my wallet and I can never find the card I’m looking for and on and on it goes.

We are in a technological age where this problem should be easy-peasy to fix, but for the last number of years tech giants and startups alike have fumbled repeatedly in endeavors to launch a technology to replace the traditional wallet with its multitudinous cards…well, it looks like Coin has finally invented the way we will do wallets in the future.

I’m excited about this not only b/c of what it means for the wallet, but also b/c I’m sure I can get a sheath for my phone that will allow me to carry my coin card and drivers license with the phone – getting rid of the annoying wallet altogether.

So how did Coin make something that the tech giants have been failing to do for years? They aren’t trying to move everyone to a new standard (e.g. NFC) but instead are using an the old technology in a new way.

Basically, the Coin card comes with a scanner which can read the information off of credit cards and other striped cards. It stores this information in the Coin card and you can then choose through a display on the card itself which card you want to use at any given moment. The stores you visit don’t need any new technology – as far as they are concerned, the Coin card is just another credit card.

But wait folks, that’s not all. The Coin card also uses Bluetooth to make sure you don’t accidentally leave your card somewhere. If you walk out of a restaurant and forget your Coin card, your phone will alert you that the Coin card is no longer in the vicinity – before you drive all the way home and realize your card is missing.

The Coin isn’t available just yet but it can be pre-ordered at half price ($50 I think) and has a planned release date of Summer 2014.

SaveUp: Get Money for Saving Money?

SaveUp is an interesting site. You associate a few of your bank accounts (credit, debit, school loans) to SaveUp and they then give you “credits” based on the amount you pay down. These “credits” can then be utilized to enter raffles or play various lottery-esque games. It takes maybe ten minutes to setup the first time and then perhaps two minutes a day to enter the various contests. I haven’t won anything yet – but I am competing for one of the biggest prizes ($50k).

Five Dollar Bill.
Five Dollar Bill.

This site could be useful for anyone, but I’d considered it especially useful for anyone who has a lottery card buying habit – here you can essentially do a lottery without spending any money…save a few bucks – still have the opportunity to win a few more.