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Entries from June 1, 2008 - June 30, 2008


Hack College Podcast Episode 31: All New!


Chris and Kelly are here this week introducing an all new format for the show. Shorter! More action! More beer! Let us know what you think!

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Feel Good and Donate over the Summer

As Kelly alluded to in an earlier post, these last months I have been applying, interviewing, and finally choosing which law school I will attend next year. My votes are in, and I will be much closer to Chris and Kelly this next year, out at USC in Los Angeles. ;)

I have already begun tracking "USC Law" on Twitter, so hopefully I will encounter other students online before driving out there early August.

Now. I have discovered that part of the process of moving on to law school involves some heavy donating. For me, this is a lot of clothing and used/old electronics.

Donate Your Used Clothing to Goodwill

At Goodwill, they have various policies nationwide. So, you'll have to check your state's website. But, in general,

Goodwill generally will not accept donations of auto parts, non-working electronics, furniture showing signs of damage, or exercise equipment. For liability reasons, Goodwill generally will not accept baby cribs. Sanitary regulations prohibit Goodwill from accepting mattress donations (although most Goodwill retail stores do sell new mattresses and box-springs at reasonable prices). Recently, due to safety concerns (in particular, concerns over lead content), Goodwill will not accept many toys, particularly those made in China.

Goodwill will generally always accept donations of clothing, shoes, books, accessories (handbags, belts), and consumer electronics. [Wikipedia]

Also see The Salvation Army's guidelines.

Donate Your Old Computer

If you plan on getting a new desktop or laptop for school, donate the old one at TechSoup. Search your zip code, and the service will provide you with organizations readily available to recycle and/or refurbish and donate your old computer.

Note: Be sure to wipe your hard drive completely clean of your personal information before donating. See Active@Killdisk or Darik's Boot and Nuke (Windows) or ShredIt X (Mac).

Ship the Rest of Your Used Electronics to Charities

RecyclingForCharities makes this very simple.

Note: If you are donating an old cell phone, be sure to erase all your data.

But Can I Make Some $$$ ?

Of course. Be sure to get a receipt from Goodwill and/or The Salvation Army. Depending on what you donate, it can rack up some nice tax deductions. See The Salvation Army's valuation guide.

And if you think that textbook is worth it, you can always try to sell it off Amazon.

And a good site to sell your used electronics would be eBay.


Find Out How Much Money You Don't Have with

If you're a student, money is probably tight. If it's not, your parents spoil you. Regardless of how many digits are in your bank account, will probably help teach us a thing or two about the ever-increasingly complex finance system.

Mint helps you manage all of your money... as long as it\'s not under the mattress.

Fresh Off the Press

From the get-go, leaves a fresh tingly feeling on your fingertips. It's got the slick interface down to a T.

First up, you add one of your bank accounts or credit cards to your account. Then watch the magic happen. If you're bank logs your check card transactions and you're always throwing down the plastic when it comes time to pay (like me), Mint will parse out each transaction and can instantly identify some of your spending habits.

I'd love to show you some screenshots of me using it, but it might get a little too personal. I can tell you right now that half of what I make in a month goes towards rent and about a quarter goes towards food. Mint figured that out right after I got my accounts in sync.

Do I Know What's Best for Me?

While we've written in the past about the magic of high-yield savings accounts, there's a lot more specialized accounts and credit cards that could be saving you money. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a service that already knew if you were getting competitive rates?

Because knows each of your accounts, it lets you know if you don't have the best account available. Awesome.

You can also see how your spending habits in certain areas measure up to the averages in your city. For the most part, I'm assuming most students will be well below the average.

Security? Oh Yeah.

Now, one service that plugs in to all of your bank accounts seems shady. What if one person got a hold of your account. Wouldn't they have access to all of your bank account information?

Mint is as safe as can be. It's a read-only banking service that does not save your login credentials. After you establish a link to an account, Mint forgets your passwords.

If someone manages to log in to your Mint account, they are only privy to how poor you actually are.

Special thanks to Garrett Shannon for recommending to us!


Hack College Podcast Episode 30: Getting to Heaven


Chris and Kelly are stepping on everyone this week on the their way to heaven...

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Summer Internships - Making the Most

Summer is officially here for all students not in year-round institutions. My buddies at Santa Clara and University of Washington finished up their finals last week. Any self-respecting person probably is not resting for long, because those internships or jobs. This post is for those of us who have scored internships and are maybe getting a little run down. Here's how to stay at the top of your game and be remembered long after you've left. After all, not many people want to stay in academia for the rest of their life...

The Revision3 Summer 2008 Interns

Do Everything

As an intern, you should never have dull time. Ever.

If you find yourself watching an inordinate number of YouTube videos (perhaps a college podcast that we all know and love), you're doing something wrong. Maybe your boss(es) is too, but you're the only one who can solve the problem.

Start reporting to people who are not your superior, but people who are peers with your superior. Get your hands involved in as much as possible.

I try to practice what I preach. Here's an example: My job title at Revision3 is "modern culture intern." That means I get to work on awesome shows like popSiren and Scam School. When I'm not busting balls on those shows, I'm writing software to help the company, brainstorming new shows, helping other people edit, contributing to the intern blog and appearing on other shows, like Internet Superstar. I am so self-righteous.

Work 60 Hour Weeks, Log 40

This is especially true if you're at a startup. As long as you're eating, paying rent and putting some away for repaying student loans, don't get greedy with the overtime you'll be working.

Get to Know Your Fellow Interns

After all, they could become your coworkers after you graduate.

Start coordinating and brainstorming specifically with them, if the situation allows it. You might come up with some crazy ideas that only other interns will want to try.

Don't Get Burned Out

You'll be stretching yourself thin if you're working your internship properly. As always with stretching yourself thin, you run the risk of meltdown. Even if you're working at the best internship in the world (Revision3), meltdowns still can occur.

I approached a meltdown earlier this week, but fended it off by doing something "normal": I sat down and saw The Incredible Hulk. Lame--I know--but it helped me get my mind off of things. Get outside every once in a while and do something dumb.

How do you make the most out of your summer internship? Let us know in some comments!


HackCollege Podcast Episode 29: ...And We're Back


Chris and Kelly are back for the first time this summer after nearly a month and half of traveling and moving in to San Francisco.

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Mid 2008: Is EOL Online?

The Encyclopedia of Life:

We expect to have actual, authenticated species pages available by mid 2008. [via EOL's FAQ, accessed May, 2007]

Is it online and ready for public access? Go check.


Seattle U. Shuts Down Off-Campus Party

The Jesuit institution in Seattle, known to many as the un-fun school in the fun city, pre-emptively shut down a Memorial Day weekend party entitled "the Douchebag party" because the party might have violated the university's code of conduct policy.

I typed \"douchebag\" in to flickr. This is what I found.

I'm sure glad the LMU, also a Jesuit university, does not extend it's rule off of campus.

Originally reported by the Chronicle for Higher Education:

"Seattle U Stops Student Party Because of Facebook Post" [Chronicle]