Earth Day: Environmental Sensors


Before you attempt to solve a problem, you must first study the problem. If there’s a problem with the environment, you must therefore study the environment at a scale never seen before. For this year’s Hackaday Prize, there are a lot of projects that aim to do just that. Here are a few of them:

[Pure Engineering]’s C12666 Micro Spectrometer has applications ranging from detecting if fruit is ripe, telling you to put sunscreen on, to detecting oil spills. Like the title says, it’s based on the Hamamatsu C12666MA spectrometer, a very tiny MEMS spectrometer that can sort light by wavelength from 340 to 780nm.

The project is to build a proper breakout board for this spectrometer. The best technologies are enabling technologies, and we can’t wait to see all the cool stuff that’s made with this sensor.

[radu.motisan]’s portable environmental monitor isn’t just one sensor, but an entire…

View original post 60 more words


FCC Creates Innovation Radio, The Future Of Wireless Broadband


Thirty years ago there was a lot of unused spectrum in the 900MHz,  2.8GHz, and 5.2GHz bands. They were licensed for industrial, scientific, and medical uses since their establishment in 1947. But by the 1980s, these bands were identified as being underused. Spectrum is a valuable resource, and in 1985, the FCC first allowed unlicensed, spread spectrum use of these bands. Anyone who has ever configured a router will know the importance of this slice of spectrum: they’re the backbone of WiFi and 4G. If you’re not connected to the Internet through an Ethernet cable, you have the FCC Commissioners and chairpersons in 1985 to thank for that.

Last week, the FCC unanimously voted to allow the use of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band with the Citizens Broadband Radio Service. This opens up 150 MHz of spectrum from 3550 – 3700MHz for new wireless broadband services. If history repeats…

View original post 328 more words

What Boomers Need to Know About Reverse Mortgages

 Man holds doll house and penny bank for mortgage, borrowing

You have been making mortgage payments most of your adult life. Maybe it’s time your mortgage lender starts to pay you back.

According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, since 1990, 906,018 seniors have accessed the equity in their homes by taking out a reverse mortgage. Although recently, the numbers seem to be on a decline. In 2009, 114,292 applications were processed, while in 2014 only 51,642 seniors applied.

The reverse mortgage is a financial product that has been available for more than 50 years, but many people are confused about what it is and how it works.

The original idea of the reverse mortgage was to give seniors (age 62 and over) the opportunity to access the equity in their homes without selling or incurring the obligation to make monthly payments to a lender.  It was expected that most reverse mortgage borrowers would receive monthly payments from the lender to help pay their living expenses and age in place.  However, recent studies have exposed worrisome trends that can put borrowers at financial risk.

David Cutner, partner at Lamson & Cutner, P.C., attorneys for the elderly and disabled, offered the following insight about reverse mortgages for boomers:

Boomer: What is a reverse mortgage and how does it work?


How to Generate Mortgage Leads Successfully

One of the best way to generate mortgage leads is to get your paperwork in order. When someone wants to purchase mortgage leads, they want to have the information in front of them. They want to see an outline of your plan and your goals. They also want to see the benefits of choosing you. In other words, why should someone choose you over someone else? You also need to be patient with your process. Don’t be too pushy. People do get turned off by people who are too pushy. In fact, it makes them move in the opposite direction. Once you have placed your advertising in front of someone, be patient. Let them come to you. The best thing is to let your company and work speak for itself.

Tap into some of your personal contacts. Sometimes persistence pays off. I’m talking about persistence, not being overbearing. Talk to your friends and family. Tell them what you are doing. Send them advertising. Let them discover for themselves what your business is all about. It’s okay to send them reminders every so often. Sometimes people forget and push something to the back. To be successful with friends and family is not taking it too personally. Don’t get upset if they turn you down. Maybe it’s just something that is not right for them. Just be you and let your friends be them. Even if they can’t benefit, maybe they know someone who can.


You can make your mortgage leads business work for you. Just go slow. The more secure you are about who you are and what you do, the more things will fall into place.