How (and Why) I’m Learning to Code Android Apps

Long time, no see income streamers! You may be wondering where your beloved author has been for the past two months. Well, I finally finished up this school year and track season and didn’t take a day off to get to work on a productive summer. I spent the last month in school figuring out how I can take advantage of my summer free time, and realised that as a 17 year old I have limited opportunities. I’m sticking with the stereotypical cashier-and-camp-counselor as far as making cash this summer, but what’s more important is how I’m increasing my earnings potential, and that’s by bulking up my programming knowledge.

I took AP Computer Science sophomore year, and had a great experience. I used the online course from Amplify which included many projects and videos. By the end of the year, I was a really knowledgeable guy on Java but didn’t feel like I knew enough to make use of it. So I decided to take on various projects and just google for what I didn’t know how to do as I made the projects.

My first was a password cracker that receives a hash of a password and then tries a number of methods to guess what password generates that hash, including brute force and dictionary attacks as well as personalised attacks based on a user’s interests (if they are known). This project introduced a number of concepts to me, but took forever to complete as I had to figure out problems the AP curriculum never covered. Next I made (and may release very soon!) some statistical analysis software inspired by taking statistical mathematics in school this year.

But where this programming knowledge could make a difference to my income is by coding an app. The idea sounded really intimidating to me at first, but after making the statistical software, I felt confident enough to dig in and explore how to do it. Android apps are coded in Java, so I sprung to that platform. I first had to download Android Studio here, and then fiddled around with the templates. I quickly realised I didn’t recognise a lot of the code, and some Googling around showed me that a lot of the app was written in XML or sometimes Java adapted to Google’s styling. So I decided to fall back on one of the best educational resources I’ve seen on programming: thenewboston. I used him to supplement my AP Comp Sci course, and his videos are both straightforward and entertaining. I’m on video 2 in his Android Development series, and I’ll be sure to update as I move along!

In addition to that resource, there’s also some useful beginner guides that I’ll be looking at. The Crowdsourced Android guide will be useful since it always stays up to date. The official Android development training was difficult when I first looked at it a few months ago out of curiosity, but I may return to it. Lastly, Udacity has a course for Android development and also every programming thing ever, I think.

Any advice for me? More resources? Drop a comment, and get programming for some passive income!

(Note: I haven’t been paid by thenewboston to promote them. I am not nearly famous enough to do that anyways 🙂 )

Advertisements

DogeCoin: the Coin of the Internet

Hello income streamers! Sorry that I’ve been gone lately, I’m in the last two weeks of my school year and I’ve had tons of finals and homework. But I’m back now, and would love to tell you all about the first coin I ever loved: Dogecoin!

Dogecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that was spun off of Litecoin, a Bitcoin spin-off itself that uses the Scrypt algorithm o mine and validate transactions. This algorithm was intended to use less computing resources than SHA-256, the one Bitcoin uses, but the competition among miners has made it just as demanding. So, while mining dogecoin may no longer be feasible, there’s plenty of ways to get some!

“And why would I want some, Steve? Isn’t this coin based off a meme?” I’m glad you asked! What makes dogecoin special is the culture surrounding it. A lot of the action in our community is on Reddit at /r/dogecoin and it is probably the friendliest place on the Internet. They are incredibly beginner friendly, and most of the exchange of dogecoin actually occurs through ‘tipping’, when people give away dogecoin for a funny comment or a good article post. So if you’re looking for dogecoin to play around with and to learn about cryptocurrency, hop on over and participate in a giveaway! There’s also plenty of faucets around, but they tend to give out ridiculously low amounts.

Trading dogecoin can also be quite profitable, if done right. Dogecoin tends to be a stable coin, given its established and devoted user base, but can sometimes be vulnerable to pump-and-dumps where groups buy up a lot of dogecoin at once to pump its price higher, only to dump it at the top and let the price crash. These events are rare, and don’t hurt long term investors since the coin price ends roughly where it starts. A good long term strategy for trading is to buy the same amount every month, similar to the MoonPledge, so that you don’t get caught trying to time the market and instead ride the upward trend of dogecoin.

Another thing that makes dogecoin unique is that there is much higher inflation, making each dogecoin worth very little compared to 1 Bitcoin. This may seem bad, but actually makes owning dogecoin a lot more fun, as you get to tell your friends you’re a millionaire in dogecoin :). And that’s the best part about dogecoin: its so easy to spread the word! When people see you enjoying your cryptocurrency and using it to tip other friendly folks on the internet, buying cool shirts, or sponsoring a NASCAR driver, they get interested in the important movement of cryptocurrencies as a whole. So get on over to Reddit, a faucet, or a friendly doger and get involved!

How to Invest Under $50

Hey guys! A lot of the money I make and save from what I suggest here piles up, and why not invest it? Here’s what I do:

Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to peer lending is a great way to put 30 to 50 dollars to work in order to grow it for future investment. Basically,  a website matches borrowers up with potential lenders who get to pick the loans they make based on riskiness and interest rate. By spreading your investment among a bunch of loans, you can avoid a bad customer ruining you, too.

There are a bunch of ways to do this, often through a bank account using Lending Club or Lending Tree. Personally, my favourite is BTCPOP because you don’t need a bank! No banks for loans, no banks for investments, its a great combo.

Buy a Phone Farm

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: can I even get a single phone for under 50$? And how is that an investment? Well it turns out you can buy a bunch of phones for as little as 10$ at Walmart or online. LG Whirls and Motions seem to go for this cheap, and I bet you could find used iPhones for 30 to 40$. Once you buy a few, trying installing the apps I listed here and running a video app like Perk or EarnHoney. When I tried it I managed to pay off my 15$ phone in less than a month, so give it a Whirl (pun ENTIRELY intended).

Invest in Cryptocurrency

You’ve probably heard me say this before, but the best place to put your money is the actual money of tomorrow, cryptocurrencies. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check this post here. If you do have a clue, you’ll be happy to know you can buy cryptocurrencies with as little as 1 cent. I got my start by visiting websites called faucets that give out small cryptocurrencies for free, but those seem to be dead by now. You can buy cryptocurrencies with Paypal at WeSellCrypto, a huge favourite of mine in the crypto world. They currently sell Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Dash, and Litecoin, all coins that I hope to do a full post on soon.

Cut Your Costs

This might be the best long term investment on this list. Even just ten dollars could go a long way to saving you money. Buy some LED lights that are more energy efficient. Get a shower timer to save water costs. Get some needed car repair to improve mileage. Get reusable shopping bags and save the 5-cent-per-bag rebate. Every dollar counts here at stevesincomestreams, so why not spend a few to save some more?

Alrighty folks, I hope you enjoyed this post and get those extra dollars to work. Until next time, keep on earning!

An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies

A big part of my financial strategy revolves around cryptocurrencies, the beauty being that I can profit both in the sort term and long term from them as an investment, while also supporting a technology that can impact the very structure of our economy. And in a world with “smart” everything, its pivotal that you all understand the smart money of the future.

What is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is any form of currency whose transactions are cryptographically validated by a decentralised network. More simply put, it is a type of money that derives its “authority” as real money from a mathematically proven history of transactions rather than the arbitrary say-so of a centralised authority. This kind of money gives power to everyday citizens to control our currency and not be left at the mercy of the whims of a Federal Reserve or Central Bank.

The first technology to use this concept on a large scale was the famous Bitcoin. Since its transactions were validated by math and not bankers, there was no way for the government or anyone else to track who owned which Bitcoin when. This anonymity revolutionised online economics and naturally lead to a black market, while also having legitimate uses. After the government’s crack down on the largest Bitcoin vendor, the Silk Road, Bitcoin went largely clean and is used for legal purposes in the vast majority of transactions.

The mechanics of Bitcoin involves two groups: the miners and the users. Miners are the people who connect their computer to the Bitcoin network to validate transactions. Since these transactions must be mathematically unable to forge, validating transactions requires an enormous amount of computing power. When the network was small and there were few miners competing among each other to validate a “block” of transactions before other miners did, many people just mined with laptops. But as more transactions flowed in and more miners entered the game, people switched from graphics cards to specially built mining cards and eventually were forced into pooling their resources among miner allies. Miners get rewarded 25 Bitcoin for validating a transaction, a vast sum that now ends up getting split among 1000 or so pool mates.

This serves the dual purpose of introducing new Bitcoin to the system as well as validating transactions. Miners tend to sell their rewards off for fiat currency or other cryptocurrency and the newly mined Bitcoin enter the system of users, being traded and used for purchase.

As an open source project, Bitcoin opened a world of opportunity for developers to create new coins based off of Bitcoin. This lead to a whole world of altcoins all claiming to make improvements off of Bitcoin’s model. These improvements include new validation algorithms, new ways to distribute coins and coins revolving around drawing support to special causes. I hope to take you through all these altcoins over time, but for now I hope you have a solid understanding of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. Until next time, keep on earning amigos!

Passive Income

My first blog post! Break out your history books, internet, because today is the day you all enter my realm.

Hi! I’m Steve and my goal is to be financially secure enough to chase dreams my whole life. And as a 17 year old you may think I’m just being hopeful, a dreamer who has no idea what he’s getting into.

I think you’re wrong.

And I’m enlisting you to prove me right! My goal is to use this website to spread my ideas about finance and I’m aggressively seeking out any improvements I can make. Therefore, without any further ado, here’s my current passive income! As a full time student athlete, I don’t get many hours at my part time job, so here’s a few ways I supplement the cashier wages:

Computer

eBesucher | Non-Ref – roughly 5 cents a day, I run a surfbar tab that automatically looks through sites. Do it in a browser you don’t normally use, minimise it, and forget!

Inbox Dollars | Non-Ref this site does not have a great rep, but if you set them as your default search engine you can make roughly 10 cents a week in addition to your 2 cents per email. They also give you $5 just for signing up

 

Phone

Mobile Performance Meter – 10 cents a day in some cities, 20 cents in others. You also get a monthly quick survey about your cell plan that pays a dollar. This is an app that just sends your data, entirely passive!

Mobile Experience Meter – 5 cents a day in my city, made by the same people as above, just as passive!

Nielsen Mobile Rewards – $1.09 a week, but takes a few weeks to start paying. Same idea as above, can run with performance meter

Slidejoy | Non-Ref– well known lockscreen app, shows me an ad when I open my phone, I get roughly 5$ a month from it

Adme (my code-vPTmE0i4BX)-same idea as above, I make 4$ a month. The two work flawlessly together. Use my code for a bonus!

FreeEats – A web service that pays you 1$ to sign up and sends you $0.25 every time they text you, approximately once a week.

This all adds up to $5.09 a week for me without really lifting a finger! Hopefully once I earn enough from these and my real job, I can invest in stocks and/or some real estate to get some more passive income cranking. Am I missing any good online methods? I’d love advice, so comment here. Until next time, I’m Steve and this is stevesincomestreams.com. Keep on earning!