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5 Real Ways to Actually Make Money Online

How many articles are there about making money online? Thousands?  Millions? Enough? Probably. But there’s a problem. Too many of them are just sales pitches to convince you to sign up for some seminar, webinar, training session or some other way to become an online millionaire.

They really give online money making a bad name. But it is possible to make money online. I mean, the people selling all of those millionaire pitches are making money, right?

There are legitimate ways to make money online. The problem is that the real ways to make money aren’t “get rich quick” schemes.

Most of them require a lot of work and sometimes a lot of dedication before seeing a return on your time.  But if you really want to make money online, work from home or turn an idea into a business, you can do it. You can even earn money with apps if you don’t want to venture all the way to the computer.

I’m going to tell you about all kinds of legitimate ways to make money online.  Since we are talking about legitimate jobs, you’ve got to be…well, legitimate. Many of these options are real jobs that require you to put in hours if you want to get paid. They also require real work. Here are some tips for actually getting the job:

Take it seriously. Yes, you’re applying for an online job. Yes, you can do the work in your underwear, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a “real job”. You must treat it as such or they aren’t going to treat you as a serious candidate. You aren’t the only one who wants to work in their underwear. In fact, the competition online is likely higher than it is in your local area.
Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.
Give some, but not all.  Whether you’re providing writing samples, a photography portfolio or links to your work, give them enough examples to get the idea, but not so many that they don’t even know where to start. And while we’re on the topic, give them some of your background information, but don’t tell them your life story.
Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
1. Websites That Pay
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. There are all kinds of websites that will pay you for various things, such as shopping, taking surveys or testing products. No, I’m not getting paid to promote any of these and no, these websites won’t make you a millionaire, but they are great for earning some extra cash. I’ll leave out the scams.

Here are some legitimate websites that pay:

Swagbucks – Swagbucks is great for earning some extra cash. You can do a variety of things to make money, from taking surveys to using their search engine. You won’t get rich, but you will earn a few bucks. If you have the time to kill, you can spend it earning some extra cash, instead of surfing the web.
InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up.  I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.
Project Payday – Project Payday is one of those sites that has testimonials of people who have earned thousands of dollars by getting paid to get trial offers. I’m not saying you’ll earn thousands, but it is legit and you can earn some extra cash. They assume that by paying you to do a free trial, you’ll either like the product and purchase it, or forget to cancel the trial and get charged for it. If you can keep track and cancel before you get charged (if you don’t want the product), then this is a great site for making some money.
User Testing – User Testing pays $10 a pop for testing websites. A test usually takes about 15-20 minutes. The purpose is for a website owner to watch someone, who is new to their site, try to navigate it. The value that the site owner gets by watching an actual user experience is worth a ton, but $10 isn’t a bad pay-out.
Fiverr – Fiverr is a great place to make a few bucks or spend a few bucks if you need some of the services people offer. Basically, everything is $5. You either pay $5 or charge $5. They call them “gigs.” You can offer your services however you choose. If you sell art and you’re fine selling pieces for $5 each, that’s a gig. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to offer your services for $10/hour, simply offer a 30 minute gig. If they need two hours of graphic design, they pay you $20, or $10/hour by buying four gigs.
IZEA – IZEA works in addition to a blog or on its own. You get paid to blog, tweet, take photos and take videos. The pay is mostly based on your following, so if you want to make money with your tweets, you’ll need to grow you Twitter following.  Likewise, if you want to make money with blogs, you’ll need substantial blog traffic (more on blogging below).
2. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is one of the most popular ways to earn money online. Many successful freelancers can earn an average of 50 cents to a dollar per word. Some are earning twice that!

Of course, it doesn’t start out like that. You’ve got to build your portfolio and your résumé, blah blah blah. If you’re interested in writing, I’m sure you know this. If you’re not interested in writing, I wouldn’t recommend traveling down this road just for the money.

It takes dedication and time, though it can be highly profitable if it’s what you love. Assuming it is what you love, let’s talk about making money with it.

Before you decide to start reaching out to all of these freelance writing companies, you need to have a web presence. You need a blog (in my humble blogger opinion, of course).

Or you could just have an online portfolio. Even a LinkedIn profile works to get started. When you’re ready to start, here are 150 resources to help you write better, faster and more persuasively.

If that’s intimidating, just start with these 50 resources.

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for; once you’re ready to actually start making money, here are 10 websites you can start with:

Listverse – Listverse pays $100 for each accepted post. The article must be a list, it must be at least 1,500 words and you must include at least 10 things. Other than that, you can get pretty creative with it.
TopTenz – TopTenz pays $50 for each accepted post. Again, the article has to be in a list format and it must be at least 1,500 words, with few exceptions. They post often so your chances of getting accepted are fairly high.
A List Apart – A List Apart pays $200 for each accepted post. They’re not first on the list, because they tend to publish less articles, which means you have a smaller chance of getting accepted. Same guidelines as above, 1,500 word minimum.
International Living – International Living pays $75 for each accepted post. They are mostly looking for travel experiences from countries you have visited. For this site, it’s more about your experience than your writing ability.
FundsforWriters – FundsforWriters pays $50 for each accepted post. They are looking for articles about writing and making money with it. They only accept articles between 500-600 words, but they want you to make each word count.
Uxbooth – Uxbooth pays $100 for each accepted post. They do tend to take four to eight weeks to accept and post articles, so don’t count on this being a quick money maker. They take so long, because they pair with editors to only publish amazing content.
iWriter – iWriter pays up to $15 for each accepted post. That may seem small, but they aren’t as strict as many of the others above and they also allow you to pick exactly what you write. You can write as many or as few articles as you want.
Textbroker – Textbroker pays up to five cents per word, if you’re a 5-star writer. You’ll start by submitting a short sample article and you will most likely start as a 3-star writer, but you can work your way up by writing more and writing great content.
Matador Network – Matador Network pays up to $60 for each accepted post, but standard pay is around $20-$25. They don’t really focus on a minimum word count, but they have a maximum count of 1,500 words.
The Penny Hoarder – The Penny Hoarder pays up to $800 (rarely), depending upon the number of page views you receive. The pay starts at $100 for 50,000 page views, so this isn’t a guaranteed paid article, but it can potentially be highly rewarding.
There’s no doubt that you can make money with freelance writing, but it’s a process. Once you start building your portfolio and your writing skills, you can start making some serious money. If you’re not an experienced writer, expect to put some time in before you really start to see some dough.

3. Sell Your Stuff
Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:

Get a PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll want to get one if you’re doing business online. It’s the standard in online business for receiving payment and paying others.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others.  If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
Be honest.  If you’re selling used items, be honest about every dent, scratch, blemish, etc.. This will reduce many issues you could run into and keep your reviews positive.
Do good business. Plain and simple. Whether you’re selling on a small site or opening an online store, your customer service matters. You’ll want to get those positive reviews and make a good name for yourself. Respond to questions, concerns and complaints. Offer a guarantee if available.
Follow those guidelines and you will do well in online sales. When you’re ready to start selling, here’s where you go:

Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
eBay – Of course you can’t read an article about making money online that doesn’t mention eBay. You can start an eBay store and get serious about it or you can just sell some stuff to declutter your home. Either way, I’ve made my fair share from selling on eBay and it’s still a popular way to earn money. If you decide to start an actual eBay store, you’ll want to find a drop-ship business like Doba that will store and ship items straight to your customers so you don’t have to deal with an inventory.
Etsy – If you like to create arts and crafts, you can sell them on Etsy.It’s completely free to open an Etsy store. You simply sign up, post pictures of your creations and starting selling. You can choose your payment option, but PayPal is generally the easiest. Etsy makes it easy to sell and keep track of your inventory. There is a small listing fee and they take 3.5% of every sale you make.
Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.

4. Blogging
Hey look, an article about making money online that doesn’t mention blogging. . . oh wait, here it is.

First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.

Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.

Some people argue that you can make money without a lot of traffic and while that is true in some circumstances, you will generally need a lot of website traffic to start earning from a blog and that takes a while. Once you’ve reached that point, here are the primary ways to monetize your blog and start earning:

Advertising – This is definitely the most old-school way of earning money with a blog. It’s also starting to become the least common way. You can sell advertising spots directly on your site or you can sign up with a company like Google AdSense or Media.net. Either way, you won’t see a whole lot of money from ads until your views are well into the thousands each day.
Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
Membership – Many people have created a paid membership area on their blog. This is typically for exclusive content that you can only access in the “member’s area.” If you have a really great idea on what to include, this can be a great idea.  You’ll have to create something that can’t easily be accessed around the web.
Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.
Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
Sponsored/paid posts – Many blogs publish sponsored and paid posts. Sponsored posts are basically just posts about a specific brand, product or service. A company will pay you to publish an article about it. It’s similar with other paid posts as well. Your basically selling the spot for the article on your site. If you decide to take this route, you’ll want to build your traffic before you will get many offers.
Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. Evan of EvanTube is a kid and he has made millions by creating reviews of products that other kids his age would use. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
If you’re truly interested in becoming a blogger, start by looking through the archives of ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Boost Blog Traffic. Then go read through all the free guides over at Quick Sprout. It may take you a year to complete those tasks alone, but it will be worth it. You’ll practically have a MBA in blogging.

5. Work-at-Home Companies
Finally, there are some companies that will hire you to work from the comfort of your own home. If you’re interested in working for someone else, while still making your own schedule and deciding where to work from, here are a few companies that will let you do just that:

CrowdSource – CrowdSource offers many types of jobs from “microtask” jobs to larger writing and editing jobs. You decide how much you work and you can do most of it right at your computer.
Demand Studios – Demand Studios is hiring all kinds of creative professionals, from writer to filmmakers. The pay isn’t amazing, but it’s competitive for a work-at-home job.
Fast Chart – Fast Chart allows you to work from home as a medical transcriptionist. There are some requirments and qualifications listed on the page, but if you meet them, you’ll make competitive pay for the industry. You’ll also be able to set your own schedule since you’ll be working from home.
Leap Force – Leap Force is one way that Google rates websites for search engine ranking. If you’re hired, you make decent money (usually over $11/hour), you set your own schedule and it can be pretty fun to view and rank websites.
Liveops – Liveops is a call center that allows you to work from home. Once your set up to take the calls, you can begin making a weekly schedule and working from home. The pay is generally close to $10/hour, but you can earn more with commissions.
SpeakWrite – SpeakWrite will pay you up to $15/hour to transcribe information. You set your own schedule and work from home.
Now you’ve got many different options to start earning online. If you saw something that really interests you, try it out and learn more about it. If you’re really wanting to make a full-time income online, you need to be dedicated to learning how to do what you want to do.

 

8 Work-From-Home Jobs That Earn You Serious Money

It’s no exaggeration to say that a large portion of the working class would absolutely love to work from home. No traffic, no meaningless water cooler chat, no extraneous distractions to deal with. Sounds like a dream come true.

But is there really money to be made working in your pajamas? You bet. You just have to get in the right industry, and you’ll find you can create a steady cash flow regardless of whether or not you got dressed in the morning. Some of the best paying jobs that allow you to work from home are:

1. Clinical Regulatory Affairs Director
As a regulatory affairs director, you’ll be tasked with planning, preparing, and submitting products that have been clinically tested and approved to the national and international markets. Working from home, you’ll document the trial process, as well as create the marketing documentation to accompany the product being sent for approval. Snaring a position as a work from home affairs director will also snare you a lofty $150K a year.


2. Supervisory Attorney
Not all lawyers spend their days in court. Many people with law degrees who are also members of the Bar opt to simply act as advisers to those in need of legal assistance. These attorneys may focus their efforts on other aspects of the law rather than criminal cases, such as tax or real estate law. By making themselves available through telecommunications, they can reach a far wider clientele than if they were to practice locally. You’d still need to be a member of the Bar in the state in which you plan to practice, though. Going this route would earn you around $117K per year.

3. Senior Medical Writer
Like many technical writing gigs, senior medical writers can work remotely as they review medical information and translate it into various medical documents. They also may be tasked with reviewing and editing documentation created by peers and supervisors, proofreading for typographical and factual errors. Attention to detail is an absolute must when dealing with medical writing, and you also must have a medical or science degree to your name to be considered for the job. If you’re qualified, you can end up making $110K a year as a senior medical writer.

4. Environmental Engineer
Environmental engineers aren’t necessarily homebound, but most of their paperwork can be done from anywhere they please. These engineers design and assess pollution reduction and prevention approaches and plans, and analyze the best course of action for municipalities to take. As mentioned, they will often have to work in the field while conducting research and collecting data, but they’ll be able to take the information home with them to study and report on from the comfort of their own living room. Like medical writers, environmental engineers’ salaries fall around the $110K mark.

5. Director of Quality Improvement
Regardless of the industry, all companies strive to be the best they can be. A quality improvement director works to design and develop best practices related to systems administration and data architecture. If that’s too much jargon for one sentence, basically these employees analyze what a company is doing well, and what it could improve upon, and reports back to the managers and CEO. Quality improvement directors are natural leaders who have knowledge of on-going trends regarding quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. Working remotely on quality improvement could net you $100K a year.

6. Senior Software Engineer
It shouldn’t be a surprise that computer programmers can work from their home computer. Software engineers develop and design software, maintain oversight of programs, manage development teams, and troubleshoot issues colleagues face throughout the process. Collaborating online may actually be more effective for software engineers, as they won’t have to leave their work stations to discuss progress, and can continue to work on their projects seamlessly. A talented software engineer can bring home around $100K for his contributions to a company.

7. Director of Business Development
As a director of business development, you’d be tasked with managing large sales territories and maintaining steady revenue, while simultaneously researching ways in which to increase your business reach and income. You also would collaborate with directors in other territories and develop programs in order to increase coherency throughout different areas. Directors of business development will often have to travel and make in-person sales pitches, but a majority of their work can be done remotely. Working as a director can earn you around $100K or more, depending on your success.

8. Research Biologist
One advantage of working from home as a biologist is you’ll never be pressured into saving a beached whale. All kidding aside, research biologists usually specialize in a specific area of biology, such as microbiology or wildlife studies. They conduct research and analyze test results, then report back to their company regarding their findings. Like environmental engineers, research biologists will sometimes have to go into the field to conduct research, but can do the rest of the work from anywhere they feel comfortable. Although not as hefty as some of the other salaries on this list, research biologists can earn around $93K a year working mostly from home.

 

30 Interesting And Scam Free Ways To Make Money Online

As a writer who has been writing online since 2005, I’ve run across – and tried – plenty of varied ways to make money online. I’ve seen the scams and been blessed by discovering legitimate ways to make money online.

Here are 30 unique ways to earn some cash via the Internet:

1. Amazon: Publish your own Kindle books
Real people who love writing and marketing are finding that they can publish their own digital books directly to Amazon using their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Take for instance blogger Thomas Strock, who made $6,716.05 in one month alone from all his Kindle books. Not bad for an 18-year-old.

2. Google AdSense: Set up your own niche websites
I love reading the way that Spencer Haws – not the basketball player, but the webmaster – sets up websites focused around a variety of topics and then places Google AdSense ads on them to make money.

3. YouTube: Make money via video ads
If you know your way around your smartphone’s video feature, try to earn a $4 million per year like vlogger PewDiePie by uploading interesting videos to YouTube.com and monetizing them, praying they go viral.

4. Squidoo: Write interesting articles
There’s a noteworthy monetary trail on Virginia Allain’s Squidoo page that shows how her income has climbed and fallen over the years. As of August 2014, she made $676 for the month via the site.

5: iTunes App Store: Sell your own app
You don’t even need to be as technically inclined as Harlan Yee, a developer who made nearly $500 in July 2014 from his mobile apps. Even if you don’t know how to code apps, you can hire developers on sites like Elance to code them for you.

6. Upwork: Hawk your words
Speaking of Elance, the husband and wife team – Troy and Valerie Mellema – who run their “Words You Want” freelance writing business on the site, show current earnings of more than $450,000 over the past 12 months. Enough said.

7. eBay: Sell things around your house – or buy things to sell for higher prices
Tons of people have turned to eBay.com to make extra cash. Simply search through the “sold” listings to see the kinds of items that have sold recently and for how much. Whether you start off as a smaller seller like this blogger Yolanda, who is using her eBay profits to pay off her student loans – or whether you become a big player who buys shoes en masse and resells them for a profit, if you like selling and shipping stuff, give it a try.

8. Fiverr: Make money of just about any talent
If you scroll through the most popular sellers on Fiverr.com, you’ll note that they make money by offering everything from voiceover work to Photoshop skills.

9. iStockPhoto: Upload your photos, videos and illustrations for earnings
If you have a penchant for taking pics or drawing vector illustrations and the like, you can sell them as stock artwork on sites like iStockPhoto, where you’ll see that exclusive contributors and sellers like Beach Cottage Photography have experienced loads of downloads.

10: Instagram: Turn your social media photos into prints for a profit
Instagram.com isn’t just for sharing interesting pics or showing off your skinny waist in a corset. These days, photographers like Daniel Arnold have learned that he can make $15,000 in one day from the site. Even 15-year-old Ryan Parrilla has gotten in on the action and sells his beautiful Instagram photos as prints.

11. Whatever you want dot com: Start your own academy dot com
Popular author and speaker Pat Flynn worked as an architect until he got laid off in 2008. That turned out to be a big blessing in disguise, because he parlayed his knowledge of the LEED AP exam into a site called Green Exam Academy, which – among many additional pursuits – earned him nearly $4,500 for the month of June 2014 alone. Therefore, in the same way that sites like FXAcademy.com can help people wanting to learn more about Forex trading, use your own special career skills to help others who might seek information about your industry.

12. SiteSell: Work towards becoming a six-figure blogger
Lisa Irby has made more than $100,000 per year by teaching others for years how to start their own websites – either using WordPress or a SiteSell service that she loves. Follow her down-to-earth blog for tips and instructions on getting started.

13. Amazon Associates: Place special links on your blog to earn commissions on sales
Amazon Associates is a program that lets bloggers and writers place referral links to products on their websites or share via social media, etc., and when shoppers click through those links and buy something, the online retailer pays them a portion of the sale. Chris Guthrie has made goo-gobs of money that way over the years.

14. LinkShare: Recommend products and services to your readers
Retailers like Macy’s, Petsmart, Kohl’s and even Walmart have a presence on LinkShare.com, whereby if they approve you for participation in their programs, you can make money when customers buy products via your links. Harlan Yee made $118 in June 2014 that way.

15. Udemy: Teach an online course
Udemy profiled three successful course teachers using their site to make anywhere from $200 to $2,500 or more per month. Therefore, if you love teaching and have the kind of specialized skills folks are willing to pay for, you may find yourself enjoying a thriving online teaching business.

16. oDesk: Become a virtual assistant
The popular freelancing site called oDesk is merging with Elance, but on both you’ll find plenty of jobs posted by clients seeking virtual assistants to help them with plenty of tasks for varying rates. Scrolling through the administrative support category on Elance will turn up a bevy of individuals and companies that list their earnings as well.

17. Bubblews: Publish short, micro-articles for money
The interesting thing about sites like Bubblews is that anyone can join and publish short articles that earn small bits of money based on the number of views, comments, and other activity they receive. I’m a living witness that I’ve made $25 thus far from the site – albeit very slowly – and Michael Cimicata has apparently made at least $42.45 from the site as well.

18. Women’s Leadership Forum at BestBuy.com: Blog for gift cards, products
The site called WOLF at Best Buy is pretty fun, and us female bloggers generally jump at the chance to earn $50 Best Buy gift cards or products worth even more for writing about various specials, sales, etc., and promoting them to social media.

19. CJ.com: Promote products and services
Similar to other affiliate program sites, the website named Commission Junction at CJ.com features big name retailers Expedia, ULTA Beauty and QVC, who all offer to pay writers a portion of the sales they bring to those sites. I’ve made hundreds over the years from doing so.

20. Etsy: Pitch your jewelry and quirky designs
Some of the top sellers on Etsy, like beanforest, find success by selling pins. Find a wide variety of handmade and other crafts that may inspire you to sell there as well.

21. Teespring: A new model for selling t-shirts
A brand new way of selling t-shirts has arrived online, and sites like Teespring allow users to sell shirts that are of a great quality and don’t get created until there are enough buyers interested in the product, sort of like a shirt-on-demand business. Earnings for the campaigns can be discerned via the site’s data about the amount of shirts sold and the price per item.

22. Café Press: Sell customized products the old-fashioned way
If you’re no fan of the Teespring motto that forces you to “tip” a certain amount of sales prior to your shirts being printed, you can always use the old standby Café Press website to sell shirts, mugs and other stuff one by one.

23. Amazon FBA: Sell products with the “Fulfilled by Amazon” label
You know those products that you see on Amazon for sale from third-party sellers that still offer Amazon Prime shipping and “ships from Amazon” status? Those are sold by folks who ship products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers – and hopefully for a profit. Experts like Nathan Holmquist and Cynthia Stine are pros at doing so.

24. Examiner: Make money by writing articles
This writer just celebrated her 5th anniversary writing for Examiner.com, and although it usually doesn’t represent the $5,000 months of income that my PayPal account has seen during certain eras, the site does still pay writers about $5 for every 1,000 hits their articles receive. Carol Tice writes about making a full-time living there.

25. Deviant Art: Get money for your artwork
Just the other day I paid $5 for 400 points so my daughter could have her favorite artist on Deviant Art, Candi Floss, draw something for her that’s unique once she begins taking orders again. If you have similar skills, sell them on the site for artists and their fans.

26. Flippa: Create a profitable website and sell it
If you are good with setting up websites, you can use the site called Flippa to find someone to buy it from you when you need cash.

27. Social Spark: Write for money and trips
The site called Social Spark by IZEA Media allows bloggers to earn cash (or even trips, like I did when I was awarded a great one-night stay at Kalahari Waterpark for my whole family) for writing about a variety of products or experiences. Find a list of other bloggers who’ve benefitted on the site.

28. GoDaddy: Flip a popular dot com name
Let’s say you were smart enough to buy NoriWest.com or another potentially profitable domain name before anyone else. List it on GoDaddy Auctions and try to make money for a popular dot com name.

29. PayPal: Take money directly for your services
No matter if you’re a personal trainer, an SEO expert or a web assistant, you can always use online means to have your customers pay you. Take advantage of all the options that sites like PayPal.com or Square.com offer to make it easier for people to put money into your accounts.

30. Kontera: Monetize your content and social following with in-line and other ads
Another way to make money off of your online writings and social media following is to allow certain sites like Kontera to place ads within the content, whereby they automatically hyperlink certain words with relevant advertisements.

There you go! With 30 interesting ways to make money online listed above, you should start seeing your Internet income increase in no time.

 

Traveling in Greece


Each year Greece welcomes visitors from all over the world. In summer of course tourist movement soars as the Greek sun is synonymous with freedom and a carefree lifestyle, yet the country’s mild climate and many attractions, along with its excellent infrastructure, have made Greece a favourite destination in winter too.
One can travel to Greece in many different ways: by road, plane, train or sea. Major roads link Greece with Europe and Asia. The country’s airports provide top-notch services. Rail connections with Europe allow for a lovely nostalgic journey. And last but not least, Greek ports welcome ocean-going ships and local ferries all year round.
By plane, ship, train or car, or even a combination of transportation means, traveling to Greece is relatively simple and quick, even though it is situated at the southernmost corner of Europe and the Balkan Peninsula!

Visitgreece.gr

 

FORMATION COMPANIES IN BULGARIA


We assist you for the formation of your company in Bulgaria.
It is relatively easy to establish a company in Bulgaria. We advise our clients about the most legally and financially suitable decisions for their business activity in Bulgaria and help them to find appropriate corporative form, whether as a sole trader, joint partnership or stock company.
After you have chosen the type of enterprise, we prepare all documents needed in English and Bulgarian language taking into account the specifications of your business.
Pursuant to the Bulgarian commercial law each trader is supposed to indicate his company headquarters at the Commercial Register. If you do not plan to rent a private office, we offer our clients a domicile service, including postal services.
Our personnel provide you assistance with the notary appointments and with the opening of a bank account for the deposition of the share capital. We further represent you in the process of your company registration in front of the Bulgarian Commercial Register.
Following the formation of the company, on your behalf we request the Bank to provide an online banking service, so that you can freely operate with the company’s financial assets. All bank documents will be sent to you by priority post. At yours discretion we can further register your company in the National Revenue Agency in order to acquire value added tax identification number and take over the ongoing bookkeeping.

Our services in Bulgaria include:

Advice on the appropriate enterprise form
Applying for a company name
Preparation of corporate documents in English, German and Bulgarian
Notary appointments
Opening of a bank account for the deposit of the capital funds in a bank of your choice
Application for the registration of the company in the Commercial Register
Domicile service in Sofia, Bulgaria
Company accounts in banks of your choice, including Online banking services
Commercial register’s certificate of registration with accredited translation and Apostil
Applying for VAT registration
Secretarial/office services
Accounting services in English, Greek and Bulgarian

http://www.bulgarian-company.com

 

New Research From NASA Suggests Venus May Have Been Habitable

New research from NASA suggests that Venus may have had a shallow liquid-water ocean and habitable surface temperatures for up to 2 billion years of its early history.

The findings, published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, were obtained with a model similar to the type used to predict future climate change on Earth.

“Many of the same tools we use to model climate change on Earth can be adapted to study climates on other planets, both past and present,” said Michael Way, a researcher at GISS and the paper’s lead author. “These results show ancient Venus may have been a very different place than it is today.”

Venus today is a hellish world. It has a crushing carbon dioxide atmosphere 90 times as thick as Earth’s. There is almost no water vapor. Temperatures reach 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius) at its surface.

Scientists long have theorized that Venus formed out of ingredients similar to Earth’s, but followed a different evolutionary path. Measurements by NASA’s Pioneer mission to Venus in the 1980s first suggested Venus originally may have had an ocean. However, Venus is closer to the sun than Earth and receives far more sunlight. As a result, the planet’s early ocean evaporated, water-vapor molecules were broken apart by ultraviolet radiation, and hydrogen escaped to space. With no water left on the surface, carbon dioxide built up in the atmosphere, leading to a so-called runaway greenhouse effect that created present conditions.

Previous studies have shown that how fast a planet spins on its axis affects whether it has a habitable climate. A day on Venus is 117 Earth days. Until recently, it was assumed that a thick atmosphere like that of modern Venus was required for the planet to have today’s slow rotation rate. However, newer research has shown that a thin atmosphere like that of modern Earth could have produced the same result. That means an ancient Venus with an Earth-like atmosphere could have had the same rotation rate it has today.

Another factor that impacts a planet’s climate is topography. The GISS team postulated ancient Venus had more dry land overall than Earth, especially in the tropics. That limits the amount of water evaporated from the oceans and, as a result, the greenhouse effect by water vapor. This type of surface appears ideal for making a planet habitable; there seems to have been enough water to support abundant life, with sufficient land to reduce the planet’s sensitivity to changes from incoming sunlight.

Way and his GISS colleagues simulated conditions of a hypothetical early Venus with an atmosphere similar to Earth’s, a day as long as Venus’ current day, and a shallow ocean consistent with early data from the Pioneer spacecraft. The researchers added information about Venus’ topography from radar measurements taken by NASA’s Magellan mission in the 1990s, and filled the lowlands with water, leaving the highlands exposed as Venusian continents. The study also factored in an ancient sun that was up to 30 percent dimmer. Even so, ancient Venus still received about 40 percent more sunlight than Earth does today.

“In the GISS model’s simulation, Venus’ slow spin exposes its dayside to the sun for almost two months at a time,” co-author and fellow GISS scientist Anthony Del Genio said. “This warms the surface and produces rain that creates a thick layer of clouds, which acts like an umbrella to shield the surface from much of the solar heating. The result is mean climate temperatures that are actually a few degrees cooler than Earth’s today.”

The research was done as part of NASA’s Planetary Science Astrobiology program through the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) program, which seeks to accelerate the search for life on planets orbiting other stars, or exoplanets, by combining insights from the fields of astrophysics, planetary science, heliophysics, and Earth science. The findings have direct implications for future NASA missions, such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and James Webb Space Telescope, which will try to detect possible habitable planets and characterize their atmospheres.

Publication: M. J. Way, et al., “Was Venus the First Habitable World of our Solar System?,” Geophysical Research Letters, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069790

Source: Michael Cabbage and Leslie McCarthy, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

 

2018 timeline contents what will happent in future

2018-2048

Uganda is an oil-producing nation

Commercially viable oil in Uganda was discovered in 2006, with an estimated 3.5 billion barrels of reserves. However, it would take over a decade for production to start, due to a series of political, social, economic and technical issues. These included a lack of transparency in the planning process, corruption among officials, intimidation and poor compensation of local residents, sluggish progress in determining the best infrastructure, and general bureaucracy.

By 2012, a total of 77 wells had been drilled and investigated, with 70 showing potential for profit. In 2013 the government finally reached an agreement with Tullow Oil of the United Kingdom, Total of France and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), to build both the oil refinery and pipeline. Uganda also partnered with the neighbouring countries of South Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda to take up ownership in the planned oil refinery. Once the remaining issues were worked out, construction would begin in 2014, with first production in 2018.*

Most of the oil was located in the Albertine Graben region, a 45 by 500 km stretch of lush green vegetation, home to about half of Africa's bird species, along with baboons, antelopes and elephants. Serious concerns were therefore raised by environmentalists, but these were dismissed by the government. With at least 30 years of production capacity, Uganda would undergo an economic boom – bringing electricity to the 90% who had lived without it, boosting its education and healthcare systems, and shifting the nation into the league of upper-middle-income countries.

This new-found wealth could not last, however. In the longer term, serious environmental problems would plague not just Uganda, but much of the African continent. Landlocked and lying directly on the equator, Uganda was exposed to extreme climate risks, including substantial changes in rainfall and humidity.*

Click to enlarge

uganda oil map
Uganda oil map. Credit: Heritage Oil

2018

A missile defence shield is deployed in Europe

Europe is now protected by a continent-wide missile defence system, developed and deployed by the US military.
This has been established in phases between 2011 and 2018.

Phase 1 saw the deployment of a land-based early warning radar – which Turkey agreed to host – as well as ships in the Mediterranean equipped with proven SM-3 interceptors.

Phase 2 saw the creation of a land-based SM-3 interceptor site in Romania – in order to expand the defended area against short- and medium-range missile threats.

Phase 3, the most significant phase, added a more advanced SM-3 interceptor (Block IIA) and a second land-based SM-3 site, which Poland agreed to host. This would counter short-, medium- and intermediate-range missile threats. The system is located at Redzikowo military base, close to the Baltic Sea and Lithuania, roughly 50 miles from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.*

An additional fourth and final phase will be completed in 2020 with missiles being upgraded.*

Initially, this defence shield resulted in a cooling of relations between the US and Russia. The latter expressed concerns over the presence of missiles so close to its border, which it viewed as a security threat. This was despite assurances from the US that the shield was for potential threats from Iran and the Middle East – and was neither designed nor capable of threatening the numbers and sophisticated ability of Russia's strategic forces.*

missile defence shield in poland and the czech republic 2018

The first private supersonic jet

While commercial airliners typically cruise at Mach 0.85 (567 mph), the Spike S-512 uses advanced engine and airframe technology to reach speeds of Mach 1.8 (1200 mph). Holding up to 18 passengers, it can fly from NYC to London in 3.5 hours instead of 7 hours; or from LA to Tokyo in 8 hours instead of 16 hours.* This private jet, costing $80 million, is aimed at the richest business executives and celebrities, but supersonic and even hypersonic travel will become more affordable in future decades. A competitor, Aerion, delivers their own supersonic jet in 2023. This is followed by larger hypersonic commercial airliners in the 2030s.

first supersonic private jet 2018 technology timeline
Credit: Spike Aerospace

The African Central Bank is established

Following many years of diplomatic talks, a unified African Central Bank has been established.* This represents a crucial step towards a more stable and developed Africa.

Though international efforts made in recent years, mostly as part of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, the continent still had numerous problems to deal with. Despite medical advances and socio-economic progress, famine and disease were on-going issues. In the north, residual tensions and instability remained, following the protests and uprisings that raged earlier in the decade. The Horn of Africa was plagued by drought and civil unrest, while piracy off the coast of Somalia had only increased as oil and other commodities rose in value.

It became clear in recent years that a lasting and meaningful prosperity could only be achieved by the entire continent working together as one. Following the 2011 overthrow of its main proponent, Muammar Gaddafi, the plan for a United States of Africa came to be regarded as a dead proposal. However, countries were working together in other ways. The East African Federation, for instance, was established in 2015.** This was a full political federation of five member states – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – creating the second most populous nation in Africa (after Nigeria).

The growing need for a larger, more unified and far-reaching financial institution, in order to be fully integrated with the global economy, has led to further progress in developing the African Central Bank. Finally established in 2018, the benefits of this continental bank are immediate and substantial. Now acting as the banker for the African Union (consisting of 54 individual states), the Central Bank is able to regulate trade standards and currency value – supporting both public and private banking while setting interest and exchange rates.

The next step will be creating a pan-African single currency – known as the "Afro" – on schedule to take place in the early 2020s.* It is hoped that this development will be the keystone to helping each nation in the long term, especially the poorest, with value fluctuations and inequality becoming less and less rampant. The free movement of goods, persons, services, labour and capital will do much to improve the regional economy. A human rights court and monetary fund will also be set up. In addition, Africa finds itself in a uniquely advantageous position, in that it can learn from the past mistakes of Europe and the Euro. A prosperous and stable Africa now appears within sight for the first time.

However, true economic prosperity is still a far-off goal for most of the people of Africa, whose population has swelled to over 1.3 billion.* The looming threat of climate change will be the continent's biggest challenge of all.

africa african central bank 2018 timeline future currency banknotes coins banking

East Africa's largest ever infrastructure project

This year sees a major rail network completed in East Africa.** Built by a Chinese state-owned firm and part-funded by China's government, the $14bn Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is the largest infrastructure project in the region's history. The SGR connects a number of major cities – greatly boosting trade and investment while reducing the times needed to move people and goods across borders. The cost of sending a tonne of freight one kilometre is slashed from $0.20 to $0.08, with a typical journey between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa cut from 12 hours to just four. Until now, the region had relied almost exclusively on road transport.

2018 east africa rail map

South Korean city Pyeongchang hosts Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics take place from 9th February to 25th February 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The elected host city was announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in July 2011. Pyeongchang won on its third consecutive bid, having lost previously to Vancouver in Canada and Sochi in Russia. It is the first Winter Olympic Games and second Olympic Games in South Korea; the 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul. Pyeongchang is also the third Asian city to host the Winter Games after Sapporo, Japan (1972) and Nagano, Japan (1998). It is the first Winter Olympic Games since 1992 to be held in a ski resort town. In June 2015, four new disciplines were approved for inclusion in the games: snowboarding big air; curling mixed doubles; speed skating mass start and Alpine skiing team.

2018 winter olympics timeline

Russia hosts the FIFA World Cup

This is the first time Russia has hosted the World Cup. Some $10 billion are spent on the tournament, which is spread over 14 venues including Moscow and St. Petersburg. As of 2010, there were no stadia in the country with 80,000+ capacities, but Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow is expanded to 90,000 seats in time for the games.

InSight touches down on Mars

InSight is a space probe launched by NASA to Mars in 2018. The mission name stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. The stationary lander is placed on the surface of Mars, equipped with a seismometer and heat flow probe that drills 5 metres (16 ft) below ground – deeper than all previous arms, scoops, drills and probes.

InSight's main objective is to conduct an advanced study into the early geological processes that shaped Mars. The Solar System's rocky inner planets share a common ancestry that began with a process called accretion. As each body increased in size, its interior heated up and evolved to become a terrestrial planet with a core, mantle and crust. Despite this common ancestry, each of the terrestrial planets was later shaped and moulded through a poorly understood process known as "differentiation".

With its sub-surface measurements and hyper-sensitive instruments, Insight greatly improves our understanding of differentiation. The mission confirms whether Mars' core is solid or liquid, and determines why the crust is not divided into tectonic plates that drift like on Earth.* Following a technical issue reported in December 2015, the probe's launch was postponed by 26 months, from March 2016 to May 2018.*

nasa insight 2018 mars future timeline

The James Webb Space Telescope is launched

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the long-awaited successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Its primary mirror has a collecting area six times larger than Hubble. The telescope is situated in an L2 orbit approximately 1.5 million km from Earth. Originally planned for 2014, it was delayed until 2018 due to budgetary constraints.*

james webb telescope 2018 timeline

Japan lunar rover mission

In 2018, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) sends an unmanned mission to the Moon. This uses an Epsilon solid-fuel rocket to carry and deploy a "Smart Lander for Investigating Moon" (SLIM). The probe is designed to perfect soft-landing technologies for manned missions in the future. While previous attempts by space agencies have landed spacecraft within several kilometres of their target site, SLIM aims to land within 100 metres (approximately 328 feet).* Face recognition software, similar to that found in digital cameras, enables it to identify craters. The mission costs ¥10 billion to ¥15 billion (between $83 and $125 million). Only five nations have achieved soft landings on the lunar surface – the former Soviet Union, the USA, China, India and Japan.

2018 japan moon rover lunar mission timeline future 2018 2020

The Japanese Hayabusa-2 probe arrives at 1999 JU3

1999 JU3 is an Apollo asteroid – a group of asteroids whose orbits take them into the main belt, before drifting back towards Earth's vicinity. In 2018, this kilometre-sized rock is investigated by Japan's space agency, JAXA. The mission involves a probe, Hayabusa-2, launched in 2014 and arriving four years later. The spacecraft is equipped with a "cannon" that fires a 7 kg (15.4 lb) explosive projectile at a velocity of 2 km/s. This impacts the asteroid's surface with such force that a new crater is formed, with a camera filming the event from above. Hayabusa-2 then lands in the crater – scooping up samples for analysis back on Earth. It is hoped that water and organic materials in these samples may help to explain the origin of life.*

hayabusa 2 probe 2018

Completion of the 100,000 Genomes Project

The 100,000 Genomes Project is a £300 million ($467m) effort to sequence the genomes of National Health Service (NHS) patients in England between 2015 and 2018.* By utilising a huge sample size, it aims to identify common genetic traits behind a number of cancers and rare diseases, paving the way for new diagnostic tools, drugs and other treatments.

When the Human Genome Project was initiated in 1990, it cost $3 billion and required 13 years to complete. However, the time and expense of mapping a whole human genome began to fall exponentially, at a rate even faster than Moore's Law witnessed in computer chips.* By the early 2010s it was possible to sequence a person's DNA for less than $10,000 in a few days, and by 2014, machines capable of $1,000 genomes had appeared.* A new era of personalised genomics was beginning to emerge.*

The 100,000 Genomes Project takes advantage of these revolutionary advances to create a large-scale database, combining genetic information with personal health records. This helps researchers to better understand disease and its complex relationship with genes. Doctors can predict how well a person will respond to a particular treatment, or find one that works best for their specific case. It allows health organisations to more accurately track the spread of infectious disease, precisely pinpointing the source and nature of an outbreak. All data in the 100,000 Genomes Project is anonymous.*

England is the first country to undertake such a task,* but even larger projects follow in subsequent years, as genome sequencing continues to improve in both cost and speed. By 2020, tens of millions of human genomes have been sequenced. By 2040, these systems will be ubiquitous in countries around the world.* The impact of personalised medicine is on a scale similar to penicillin and the smallpox vaccine.*

100000 genomes project 2015 2018

Universal flu vaccine

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is a serious disease that causes between 250,000 and 500,000 worldwide annual deaths, rising to millions in pandemic years. It can sometimes lead to pneumonia, either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia, even in persons who are usually very healthy. Because of the way it can modify proteins on its outer surface, influenza is constantly evolving. This means that vaccines quickly become useless and new versions are required each year.

However, researchers found that material on the inside was common to many strains of the virus. By targeting this core region – that never changes, even in new strains – it was hoped that a universal flu vaccine could be developed that would be effective against all current and future outbreaks.

A type of white blood cell known as CD8 – part of the body's immune system – was found to recognise proteins in the core. Using blood samples from human volunteers, taken during the 2009 pandemic, it was discovered that patients with higher levels of CD8 T-cells had milder symptoms and less chance of developing flu. By identifying the exact subtype of the immune system giving protection and which components of the virus it was attacking, researchers were able to develop a "blueprint" for a vaccine that could stimulate production of these T-cells.* Following further years of research, the vaccine is made publicly available by 2018.*

universal flu vaccine 2018

Polio has been eradicated

Polio is a disease caused by a virus that enters through the mouth. Spread by poor sanitation and exposure to infected human stools, it can damage the nervous system, leading to paralysis and eventual death. During the first half of the 20th century, there was a dramatic rise in cases. Epidemics became regular events during summer months, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It was especially prevalent among young children.

This provided impetus for a "Great Race" towards the development of a vaccine. Developed in the mid-1950s, polio vaccines began to reduce the global number of cases per year. The last naturally occurring cases in the United States were reported in 1979 and the Western Hemisphere was declared free of the disease by 1994.

However, it continued to affect countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.* Vaccination efforts were stepped up – led by Rotary International, UNICEF and the World Health Organization. New commitments were made by governments and philanthropists including Bill Gates,* enabling over a billion children to be vaccinated. By 2018, polio has been eradicated from the world. New knowledge about the viruses, new technologies and new tactics to reach the most vulnerable communities have consigned it to history.* This is only the second time that a human disease has been completely wiped out; the previous instance was smallpox in 1979.*

polio eradication 2018

A drug to prevent obesity

A drug that lets people eat whatever they want without gaining weight is being developed.* This works by tricking the body into reacting as though it has already consumed a meal. Though initially expensive, there is enormous demand for this product, leading to a rapid fall in obesity levels throughout much of the world – especially in countries like the US, which until now had been experiencing a crisis in this regard. Average life expectancy is increased as a result, since there are less people dying of heart-related illnesses.

anti-obesity drugs 2018

Crossrail opens in London

In development since 1974, Crossrail is finally opened this year. One of Europe's largest ever transport projects, this boosts London's subway capacity by over 10%, bringing huge regenerative benefits.

The line is 120 km in length (including 42 km of tunnels) and runs from Berkshire in the west, to Essex in the east, linking together all the main economic hubs in the capital – Heathrow Airport, the West End, the City of London and Canary Wharf. Ten-coach trains, 200 metres long, run at frequencies of 24 trains per hour in each direction during peak periods.

The original planned schedule was for the first trains to run in 2017. A Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010 – saving over £1bn of the £16bn projected costs – meant that the first trains to run on the central section would be delayed until 2018.*

The Transbay Transit Center is completed in San Francisco

The population of California has continued to grow and grow. This has created some of the worst urban traffic problems in America. One of the places most badly affected has been the San Francisco Bay Area.

The main transport hub in downtown San Francisco had since 1939 been the original Transbay Terminal, located in the South of Market Neighborhood near the Financial District. In 2010, however, to address increasing stresses on the transportation system, this old station was demolished to make way for a new, high-tech development – something which had been in planning since the 1960s.

Demolition began in 2010, with a temporary station built to handle traffic over the seven year construction period. The first phase of the $4bn project would be completed in 2017. This would include a five storey, 1,400 foot long, million square foot transit centre, complete with numerous bus terminals, each with ramps connecting the stations to a new off-site bus storage facility and the nearby Oakland Bay Bridge. A 5.4 acre park would be included on top of the transit centre. The highly efficient re-design of the bus ramp system opened up parcels of land for a series of buildings which – together with the transit terminal – would make up San Francisco's grand urban renewal project. This part of the project would cover 40 acres and consist of townhouses, low to mid-rise buildings and skyscrapers, along with parks and recreation, overall providing 2,600 new homes, three million square feet of office space and over 100,000 square feet of retail space. The centrepiece of this development is the Transit Tower. Soaring to over 1,000 feet, it is among the tallest towers on the American West Coast, second only to the Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles.

The second and final phase – completed in 2018* – is the Downtown Rail Extension. This 1.3 mile long, primarily underground rail line connects the California commuter rail line, Caltrain, to downtown San Francisco, linking the city to the Peninsula, San Jose and Silicon Valley. This major extension opens the doors for new jobs and very rapid commutes in and out of the city. It is also made to accommodate the future California High Speed Rail Line. Overall, the project connects Caltrain, Greyhound, Golden Gate Transit, Muni, SamTrams, AC Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), WestCAT and Amtrak.

The development is designed with the environment in mind, too. Its open design allows for natural light, low-energy ventilation and passive cooling. LED lights are used extensively, while many buildings including the Transit Tower are outfitted with wind turbines. Another key feature is that the entire development is built to withstand earthquakes; a likely possibility in the Bay Area.

Once completed, the Transbay Transit Center helps to accommodate the rapidly growing population of California – predicted to rise from 37 million in 2010, to 51 million by 2030.*


Many complex surgeries are performed by robots

Basic robotic surgeons have been around since the 1990s. In the first decade of the 21st century, they remained uncommon and relatively simple, though high-end companies began to develop their own more advanced models.*

Surgeries were divided between supervisory-controlled systems, telesurgical systems and shared-control systems. Supervisory-controlled systems were the most automated – requiring a human only to input directional data, and to supervise the operation to take control if anything went wrong. Shared-control systems were the least automated, in which human surgeons were physically present and did most of the work, but were aided by robots.

Though yet to become widespread, many large hospitals and universities had their own automated systems in place by 2010. Continued tests and trials of these machines greatly improved their accuracy and reliability. The growing number of successful surgeries made patients more willing to trust in robotic procedures.

By the mid-2010s, many cardiothoracic, gastrointestinal and orthopaedic surgeries could be handled almost entirely by remote-controlled robots. By 2018, the majority of large hospitals in the developed world use a robotic surgeon on at least a semi-regular basis. South Korea in particular is leading the way in this field, with almost every hospital in the nation using them routinely.* The latest models feature improved dexterity and multitasking, high quality incision tools and higher levels of automation. New ultra-small cameras are also in use, giving controllers an extreme close-up view of the operation.*

future medical robot 2018 surgery timeline
©2011 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Previously, it could take a dozen surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses to perform surgeries, with even more for certain complex procedures. Now, robots can remove some or all of this burden, performing the jobs of several different specialists at once and working around the clock without tiring.* Surgeries in 2018 often consist of just one or two human supervisors overseeing a robot's work. In the long run, this helps to reduce health costs. Additionally, robots offer much higher precision than humans, so patients are able to leave the operating table with less collateral trauma.

Telesurgery is now being looked into as a way for doctors to conduct surgeries over long distances. This could allow a specialist surgeon in England to operate on a patient in Australia for example, using only remote-controlled robots. However, issues with latency will delay this practice from entering the mainstream for a while yet.

Despite being another profession threatened by automation, hospital surgery remains a primarily human undertaking for now. Robotic operations are still in their infancy, requiring the presence and supervision of doctors and other personnel. It will be a long time before human medics are made entirely redundant by this technology.

future medical robot 2018 surgery timeline
©2011 Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

The NHS begins high-energy proton therapy in England

High-energy proton beam therapy is a revolutionary form of cancer treatment offering greater precision with fewer side effects. The concept was first described and theorised in 1946, but it took more than 40 years before the first hospital-based proton therapies were brought online and even then, these were limited to low-energy cyclotrons for only a small number of patients. However, the early 21st century saw major progress in the research, development and deployment of high-energy proton beam therapy. By 2015, the USA was home to nearly 20 treatment centres, with many more in countries around the world.

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK had been sending patients abroad, mostly to the USA, at an average cost of £100,000 per case. The vast majority of these were children. As the number of these operations was increasing rapidly – and with only a single, low-energy proton beam facility available in the country – the British government announced £250 million in funding for two advanced radiotherapy centres, in London and Manchester. These would offer high-energy proton beam therapy to NHS patients in England, starting in 2018.

Public opinion of this treatment received a major boost in 2016, after the publication of a study in The Lancet, confirming that it was indeed safer than conventional X-ray radiotherapy.* Better precision allowed the beams to deposit most of their energy in the final stage of their journey, reducing the risk of damage to tissue surrounding the tumour – thus allowing higher treatment doses with fewer side effects.*

Enterprise-grade SSDs reach 128TB of capacity

Solid state drives (SSDs) have recently begun to overtake spinning drives in terms of storage capacity.* The largest of the enterprise-grade models are now reaching 128TB of capacity, with conventional HDDs lagging further behind. The gap between these storage methods will continue to accelerate as flash memory and similar technologies reach unprecedented densities in the 2020s.* The demand for consumer versions is being driven by rapid growth in 4K video adoption, enormous video game file sizes and other data-hungry applications.

solid state drives future timeline

Consumer devices with 100 Gbit/s transfer speeds

A new form of data transfer has recently become available for the consumer market. This is known as "Thunderbolt" and replaces the Universal Serial Bus (USB) leads which have been the standard for many years. The USB 3.0 specification allowed transfer speeds of 4.8 Gbit/s. An early version of Thunderbolt (codenamed "Light Peak") achieved 10 Gbit/s. This latest version, however, can achieve 100 Gbit/s – enough to transfer an entire Blu-ray movie in just three seconds.* Optical technology used in Thunderbolt also allows smaller connectors with longer, thinner and more flexible cables. Additionally, it can run multiple protocols simultaneously over a single cable, enabling the technology to connect devices such as peripherals, workstations, displays, disk drives, docking stations and more.

light peak intel 2018 technology
Credit: Intel

Portable, long-range 3D scanning

Recent advances in time-of-flight (ToF) systems, based on extra long wavelengths, have enabled 3D scans to be obtained from up to a kilometre away using handheld devices. This range will soon be extended to 10 kilometres, with millimetre accuracy. Applications include the scanning of static, man-made targets such as vehicles, identification of objects hidden behind foliage, remote examination of the health and volume of vegetation and the movement of rock faces to assess hazards.* This is adding to privacy concerns over the explosion of security and surveillance emerging at this time.

2018 technology scanning 3d
Credit: Optics Express

Scientists drill into Earth's mantle

In 2018, the first successful attempt is made to retrieve samples from Earth's mantle, the part of the planet that lies between the crust and the outer core. What was once considered science fiction has now become possible thanks to advances in drilling technology.*

The operation takes place in the Pacific, where the crust is much thinner, but still requires burrowing through some five miles (eight kilometres) of solid rock. Temperatures range from 500-900°C (932-1,652°F) at the upper boundary with the crust, while pressures exceed 4 million pounds per square foot (21 million kilograms per sq m). Seawater is pumped down into the hole at sufficient pressure that samples can be forced back up to the surface.

Until now, little has been known about the mantle, since the only samples to arrive at the surface have come from volcanoes or ancient mountain belts. Now for the first time, scientists can analyse "pure" extracts directly from the mantle, untainted by time or geological processes. This data reveals much about Earth's origins and early history. In addition, it provides insight into how current mantle processes operate: highly important in understanding the plate tectonics which drive earthquakes, tsunamis and eruptions.

Microbial life is also discovered at previously unexplored depths within the lower crust. These new forms of extremophile bacteria are found to survive at extraordinarily high temperatures – increasing the probability of alien life elsewhere in the universe.

drilling into the mantle core earth future exploration

The first Hyperloop track is open to the public

Hyperloop is a new form of transportation, in which pressurised capsules are shot through reduced-pressure tubes at extremely high speeds that are much faster than conventional train lines. The capsules ride on air cushions driven by linear induction motors and air compressors, able to reach upwards of 750mph (1,200km/h). Originally put forward by entrepreneur Elon Musk, the concept was explicitly open-sourced, with others encouraged to take the ideas and to further develop them. To that end, several companies were formed, along with teams of students working to advance the technology.

Designs for test tracks and capsules resulted in a full-scale prototype 5-mile (8 km) track. This was built by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) around Quay Valley, a new 75,000-resident community situated halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.* In addition to featuring the new Hyperloop system, this town would also be solar powered. Following two years of construction work and testing, the first route is opened to the public during 2018.** While initially something of a novelty, Hyperloop sees more widespread adoption in the decades ahead, as the full economic and technological benefits are realised. For example, travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco becomes possible in less than 30 minutes. Towards the end of the century, vactrains reaching thousands of miles per hour are commonplace throughout much of the world, forming a global network.*

 

Watchdog's banking tech reform 'not enough'

A shake-up in UK retail banking has been criticised by consumer groups and economists as not going far enough.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that new phone-based apps could show customers which banks may offer the best account.
Banks will also have to set maximum monthly fees for unarranged overdrafts.
But consumer group "Which?" said: "It is questionable whether these measures will be enough."
The CMA decided against a cross-industry cap, leaving individual banks to set their own charges.
Alasdair Smith, chair of the CMA's retail banking investigation told the Today programme: "Heavy-handed regulation would run the risk of reducing the availability of unarranged overdrafts."
But Alex Neill, director of policy and campaigns at Which? said: "It is disappointing that the monthly charge cap is not actually a cap and banks will be allowed to continue to charge exorbitant fees for so-called unauthorised overdrafts, rather than protect those customers that have been identified as among the most vulnerable.
The CMA said there would be other measures to encourage people to switch accounts.
Mr Smith said: "The reforms we have announced today will shake up retail banking for years to come, and ensure that both personal customers and small businesses get a better deal from their banks.
"Our reforms will increase innovation and competition in a sector whose performance is crucial for the UK economy."
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New apps
Under what the CMA calls its "Open Banking programme", banks will be required to make it possible to share customers' data on new apps.
Individual customers will have to give their consent before this happens.
The method of accessing their data - Application Programming Interface (API) - is used by the likes of Facebook and Uber.
It will enable customers to see information about prices, standards and the location of High Street branches.
Above all it will allow consumers to see which bank is cheapest, given their particular pattern of borrowing.
Mr Smith said: "Our central reform is the Open Banking programme to harness the technological changes which we have seen transform other markets.
"We want customers to be able to access new and innovative apps which will tailor services, information and advice to their individual needs."
However, Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, said: "The CMA is relying on the rolling out of new technology to do the heavy lifting on competition. But many customers will not have the tools or skills to do this. Customers are also - understandably - wary of the data-sharing required for this to be effective."
Diane Coyle , Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester told the BBC: "I am not at all sure these new measures will increase the amount of switching.
"There's a lot of reliance being placed on more information, but consumers will need to give all of their transaction information to third-part providers, and there's the trust question... do you really want another party to be able to see all the transactions that you make in your bank account and be able to tell other potential competitors about that?"
Close up of hand removing £10 from ATMImage copyrightPA
Meanwhile the banking industry welcomed the emphasis on new technology.
"Customers and businesses have already found digital banking hugely convenient and have taken advantage of mobile technology that is allowing us to bank round the clock," said chief executive of the British Bankers Association, Anthony Browne.
"We are pleased the CMA has reflected that in its recommendations," he said.
But the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warned about the dangers of sharing data.
Suren Thiru, Head of Economics and Business Finance at the BCC said the CMA should "tread carefully in the sharing of data by finance providers via the Open Banking programme, to ensure that businesses retain control over who has access to their data - otherwise any trust between lenders and businesses could be destroyed."
Overdrafts
All the banks will be required to introduce a Maximum Monthly Charge (MMC) - set by themselves - to limit the costs of an unarranged overdraft.
At the moment most banks cap overdraft fees, but then add on interest payments.
The MMC will include debit interest - typically charged at up to 20% a year - and unpaid item fees.
The CMA said this would make different bank accounts easier to compare, and cut through the complexities of overdraft charges.

Media captionChair of the CMA Alasdair Smith outlines plans to create "open banking"
Switching
The CMA also ordered new measures to encourage more people to switch their accounts to other providers.
It said only 3% of personal customers move their accounts each year. Recent figures show the number of people switching actually going down.
As a result there will be:
a new regulator to oversee the Current Account Switching Service (CASS).
a longer period during which transactions will be redirected from the old account to the new - currently set at three years.
a "long-term" promotional campaign to encourage more switching.
Banks will also be required to send customers text alerts, whenever they go overdrawn - something which most banks already do.

 
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