Whether through the trash section of our email inboxes or the comment sections of websites, we’re constantly being told by shady strangers how easy it is to start making thousands of dollars.
But what if I told you that all you need is a camera, an Internet connection, and maybe a sense of humor for you to be a millionaire? You don’t have to buy or sell anything. Just record yourself saying a few insightful or interesting things and voilà – you could make up to $6.7 million a year.
You’re probably rolling your eyes just as you did at that woman who assures you she made $7,000 a month sitting at home. Don’t throw me in your spam box just yet.
What is this mystery money maker I’m referring to? YouTube.
People with lots of followers and channel views on YouTube make money. Lots of money.
According to YouTube analytics site Social Blade, the highest-earning YouTube user, BlueXephos, made $6.7 million dollars on the site in 2012. Two more users made over $5 million. 13 users made over $2 million. The top 25 highest earning YouTube users all made over $1 million in 2012. Who knew prank jokes and makeup advice were such lucrative callings?
Users make money by becoming YouTube partners. Becoming a YouTube partner isn’t easy – you’ve got to have a loyal following of subscribers before applying to become one. But if YouTube’s team thinks you have what it takes to bring traffic to the site, you can make some serious money. YouTube partners share revenue generated from in-video advertisements. In 2012, YouTube generated over $3.4 billion in ad revenue.
This top 25 list is just people whose earnings top the million-dollar mark. If you’re content making, say, a lowly $90,000 a year, you’ll find a good crowd of people who’ve done so.
So, what are you waiting for?
(You’re welcome, YouTube)
The internet is a powerful thing. Words typed in anonymity online – whether intended to be taken seriously or not -- often bite back with real world consequences. Minnesota high school student Reid Sagehorn is finding this out the hard way.
Sagehorn has been suspended for over two months after sending out a tweet claiming to have had sexual relations with a teacher at his school. Sagehorn, a student at Rogers High School, sent out the tweet in response to a rumor on the “Rogers Confessions” page on ask.fm. Ask.fm is a popular social media site in which users – often through a veil of anonymity – ask and answer questions online.
A rumor on the site alleged Sagehorn had sexual contact with a female teacher at his school. In typical high school male bravado, Sagehorn responded to the rumor saying that “Yes, actually” he did have a sexual interaction with the teacher. Sagehorn’s claim spread quickly amongst students and didn’t take long to reach school administrators.
Police interviewed the 28-year-old teacher at the center of the rumor and found that Sagehorn’s claim was false. Rogers High School suspended Sagehorn for two months for making a false claim that had the very real ability to tarnish a teacher’s reputation and ruin her career.
The student body at Rogers High has taken to Sagehorn’s defense. They say his claim was just a joke and that his suspension is an overreaction. What’s worse, the students are directing much of their anger at the teacher involved in the rumor, as if she somehow contributed to Sagehorn’s suspension.
Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen spoke to the Star Tribune recently about Sagehorn’s comment and the student body’s protests.
“It’s like screaming ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater or ‘I have a bomb’ on an airplane,” Beahen said. “If you say something on a very public forum, there are consequences. This young, innocent teacher is the victim here…no one seems to care about the teacher … and that’s a sad experience. She’s, frankly, being bullied and harassed by students.”
Elk Area River Schools Superintendent Mark Bezek defended the teacher as well.
“The teacher involved, she did absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. “In the cyberworld, she’s getting crucified. Our staff members wonder: ‘Is this going to happen to me?’”
Police Chief Beahen says that in addition to his suspension, Sagehorn may face criminal charges. Since the teacher would be committing a crime if she had enagaged in sex with Sagehorn, his claim that she did so is a false criminal accusation.
“That’s a crime,” Beahen said.
Sagehorn may face either felony or misdemeanor charges for his comment. For a felony charge, Beahen said, “You have to prove intent, that the accused was fully aware that harm would occur.”
A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge could apply if prosecutors decide not to pursue the felony charge. Beahen says the county attorney will decide which route to take following an investigation.
Superintendent Bezek says the ordeal serves as a warning to students to take their online conduct seriously. He called the internet a powerful thing that “can also cause so much harm. We’ve just given it to them without the proper training. You don’t let a kid drive a car, shoot guns without the proper training.”
Google is aiming to run completely on alternative energy sources, its Energy and Sustainability head said Sunday. Already a third of the search engine giant’s operations rely on wind and solar energy.
Rick Needham, the director of Google’s Energy and Sustainability office, told CNBC that the company is investing in raising its 34 percent reusable energy use to a full 100. In the last quarter it spent $2.25 billion on data centers and general infrastructure—giving it an incentive to use clean energy to cut day-to-day operational costs.
"We've invested over a billion dollars in 15 projects that have the capacity to produce two gigawatts of power around the world, mostly in the US, but that's the equivalent of Hoover's Dam worth of power generation," Needham said.
Google just opened the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, a gigantic field of mirrors on the California-Nevada border southwest of Las Vegas that harnesses solar energy and reduces energy costs.
"The fact is that all of these things, procuring power for ourselves, investing in power plants, renewable power plants, they all make business sense, they make sense for us as a company to do. We rely on power for our business," Needham told CNBC.
Other Silicon Valley companies are investing in renewable energy sources, if not with as much enthusiasm as Google.
"Silicon Valley is leading the charge to be more efficient, to work on solutions to some of these problems. Google is ahead of the pack and we'll have to wait and see how it works out. They are certainly trying many different initiatives to figure out how best to manage their footprint in the environment, as well as how to manage the cost of all their energy," said Ben Schachter, senior Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities.
That means that your next Google search could be powered by the sun.
While Comcast plans to buy Time-Warner Cable and takeover the cable/Internet market, the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) has its own plan: to provide free Internet for the whole planet.
MDIF hopes to launch hundreds of low-cost miniature satellites into low Earth orbit (pictured), notes the Daily Mail.
MDIF is going to use datacasting, which sends data via radio waves and will theoretically broadcast the web around the world in what they call the "Outernet."
But MDIF first needs to raise tens of millions of dollars in donations, which they accept on their website.
"We have a very solid understand of the costs involved, as well as experience working on numerous spacecraft," MDIF's Syed Karim stated on the social media site Reddit.
"There isn't a lot of raw research that is being done here; much of what is being described has already been proven by other small satellite programs and experiments. There's really nothing that is technically impossible to this," added Karim.
Apple’s merger and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica and Tesla Motor’s chief executive Elon Musk met last year, suggesting that the iPhone maker may expand its business to electric cars.
Considering Apple has announced plans to better integrate iOS into car dashboard screens and has partnered with Ferrari, it seems likely that the Silicon Valley giant would be interested in Tesla.
The meeting was reported Sunday by The San Francisco Chronicle, which cited an anonymous source. The paper also noted that Apple is interested in medical devices, specifically those that can predict heart attacks.
Apple’s interest in electric cars and medical devices signal that the company wants to expand and take risks beyond the iPad and iPhone, as Wall Street analysts have speculated in the past.
Adnaan Ahmad, an investment bank analyst in Germany, wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook in October suggesting that Apple buy Tesla. He argued that the electric car industry could provide long-term revenue growth unlike smartphones and tablets.
“I know this is radical and potentially 'transformative',” Ahmad wrote, “but this would radically alter Apple's growth profile.”
Neither Tesla nor Apple have commented on the alleged merger.
Wisconsin man Jason Willis has been banned from the Internet after playing a twisted practical joke on his neighbor.
Willis posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be his female neighbor Dawn. The ad asked men to show up at Dawn’s house for sex. Willis used his neighbor’s name, address, and contact information in the ad.
Sure enough, men started showing up at Dawn’s house. One eager responder showed up in nothing but a trench coat.
“[Willis’] idea of a joke is much different to other peoples’ idea of a joke,” Dawn said.
“He had my full name," Dawn said of the man who showed up to her home in a trench coat. "He knew my address. And he said, ‘Oh, I got it off of Craigslist. You put an ad on there.’”
Dawn reported the incident to detectives. Some quick research found Willis posted numerous ads across the web asking men to come to Dawn's house for sex. They tracked the IP address behind the ads to Willis’ home.
On Tuesday, Willis accepted a plea deal for the charges. He will be disallowed access to the Internet for 30 days and will be on probation for 30 months.
Presiding Judge Allan Torhorst compared Willis’ dangerous use of the Internet to a drunk driver’s use of a car.
“If you want to drive drunk, you’re not allowed to drive,” Torhorst said. “To me, a public availability of the Internet—to use it the way he did—is unconscionable. Everybody knows it’s wrong. He knew it was wrong. He admitted it.”
Facebook introduced a list of 56 new gender identity terms on Thursday, allowing users to enter up to 10 options to customize their profile.
The change also allows users to choose a preferred pronoun: him, her or them.
Facebook stated that the changes allow its 159 million U.S. users more choices in describing themselves.
The company added that it also allows users worldwide to keep their gender identity private.
"It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool so we did something," Alex Schultz, Facebook's director of growth, said.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBT media advocacy organization, praised Facebook for developing the new options.
"Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said.
The updated list of options are as follow:
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
- Female to Male
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Male to Female
- Trans Female
- Trans Male
- Trans Man
- Trans Person
- Trans Woman
- Trans* Female
- Trans* Male
- Trans* Man
- Trans* Person
- Trans* Woman
- Transgender Female
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Transsexual Female
- Transsexual Male
- Transsexual Man
- Transsexual Person
- Transsexual Woman
Facebook is trying to accommodate people who self-identify their gender with 50 new terms.
Many of these new Facebook gender choices don't exist in medical textbooks, but include, "cisgender, intersex and gender fluid."
For those who do not want to identify their gender, Facebook will still allow them to keep it private, notes CNN.
“There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,” Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who is undergoing a gender transformation from male to female, told the Associated Press.
“All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it’s kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are,” added Harrison. “This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is.”
Facebook users can also choose the pronoun they want to be referred to publicly: he/his, she/her, or they/their.
Facebook states on its Diversity page, "When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self."
A mysterious Twitter user posted photos of the alleged iPhone 6 casing, which displayed a wider screen and a curved design.
The new set of photos is one in a series claiming to be the actual iPhone 6 design.
The user, mornray866, has not revealed the source of the images or explained why many of the phones are shown in plastic bags.
Apple has refused to comment on the details of the upcoming phone, though there are plenty of rumors to supplement its silence.
Some speculate that there will be three different models of the iPhone 6. The first will be a 4 inch 1136x640 (326 ppi) display for the cheapest iPhone. The second will be a 4.7 inch 1920x1080 (440ppi) display called the iPhone Air. The third will be a 5.5 inch 2272x1280 (510 ppi) display called the iPhone Pro.
The new iPhone will allegedly include a new camera module from Sony to improve the quality of pictures taken from its front facing camera.
The new phones are expected to be revealed at Apple’s annual developer conference in June, where the firm typically makes new product announcements.
If announced, the iPhone 6 is expected to go on sale within weeks of the conference.
A South Carolina high school student has been suspended for five days for “favoriting” several tweets on a Twitter page called HSConfessionsSC.
Demi Grant, a senior at Hartsville High School, said she clicked the “favorite” button on the tweets, not because they were true, but, as she explained, “because I thought they were funny.”
Allegedly, one of the tweets in question makes a reference to a Hartsville student, who was killed in a 2012 car crash; it was her liking this particular tweet that apparently enraged school officials.
Ironically, Grant has previous expressed frustration over someone creating a false social media account in the name of the girl who died in the 2012 crash.
According to Audrey Childers, a spokeswoman for the Darlington County school district, the tweets on the HSConfessionsSC page were “distasteful and untrue.”
The school has punished some 30 students for visiting the HSConfessionsSC Twitter account, referring to their support of the page as “cyber-bullying.” Grant, however, is the only one who has been suspended.
Grant said that when Principal Charlie Burry, Jr. called the students in to his office, he “looked at all of us and he said that we made him sick.”
Grant’s mother, Stephanie Grant, has expressed thorough disappointment with the high school administration.
“Five days suspension for favoriting a tweet? Wasn’t her words. It was no name in the tweet. She was bullying according to the school district, but I don’t know who she bullied,” the enraged mother stated.
It is unclear if Grant favorited the offensive tweets during school or on school property.
“There’s nothing really your children can do at school or outside of school that the district can’t punish them for,” the suspended girl’s mother added.
Demi and Stephanie tried to appeal the suspension, but apparently were met with no success; they have expressed concern that missing four days of school will “eventually catch up to Demi academically.”
Childers has suggested that the school district’s detectives “are actively investigating the situation and have asked for law enforcement’s help.”
Although both mother and daughter might have protested that the punishment seemed overly harsh and that it singled Demi out from a large group of students, both have admitted that they have come away from it with a lesson.
“If I see something like that, just leave alone because in the long run it could come back and get involved with the school and then this will happen again. It’s just not worth it,” Demi said.
Photo Source: Buzz Chomp