Sweden consistently ranks as one of Europe's most innovative and entrepreneurial nations, and one of the most obvious explanations for this is the country's generous leave policy, which entitles salaried, full-time workers to six months' unpaid leave to start a (noncompeting) business, look after a sick relative, or go back to school.
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Meet Kyle Kandilian, a 20-year-old University of Michigan-Dearborn student who raises tens of thousands of cockroaches, in his apartment, for fun and profit. Depending on the species, Kandilian's roaches can be had for as little as a dime a dozen, or as much as $200 for a very special individual bug. He's using the money to help pay for college. Read the rest
The University of Glasgow has launched its "Easy Access IP" project through which entrepreneurs can get free licenses to university patents, software and reports, and through which faculty will conduct free consulting -- the only requirement is that recipients have to acknowledge that the university was the source of the technical knowledge and inventions.
This is an extremely cool and wonderful programme, but it took a lot of digging to find out what it actually entailed. I was thrown off by the repeated use of the terms "intellectual property" and "IP" in the program's description. Now, "IP" is a vague and contentious term at best -- referring as it does to very different regimes from trade secrets to copyrights to trademarks to patents. But in this case, most of the university's "IP" isn't part of the program, and the stuff that's in the program is mostly not "IP." For example, the university's copyrights on scholarly papers and trademarks are not part of the program -- but the program does include free consulting, which is fantastic, but isn't anything like "IP."
Which is not to take away from the extreme coolness of this project, and how great it is to see a university take affirmative steps to transfer its knowledge and expertise outside of its walls. But if there was ever a textbook case of "IP" obfuscating rather than clarifying, this is surely it.
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University of Glasgow Principal Anton Muscatelli explained the rationale behind the move: "One of the core missions of the University is the creation, advancement and sharing of knowledge and we aim to transfer as much IP into commercial use as we can, to the benefit of our partners, the community and the economy.
Jesus Leonardo is the king of the "stoopers" -- people who pick up discarded betting slips at racetracks and betting parlors and double-check them to see if they're actually winners. He makes about $45,000 a year at it, working 10 hours a day, and declares his "winnings" to the IRS.
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Mr. Leonardo, who is married with two teenagers, is hardly living on the fringes. He said that stooping brings him $100 to $300 a day, and more than $45,000 a year. Last month, he cashed in a winning ticket from bets made on races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for $8,040. His largest purse came in 2006, when he received $9,500 from a Pick 4 wager (choosing the winners of four consecutive races) at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Tex.
It is all taxable income. "I file my winnings with the I.R.S. every year," Mr. Leonardo said in his thick Dominican accent...
Over time, Mr. Leonardo devised a plan to increase his winnings. He enlisted two friends to pick up the trash at four other OTB parlors around the city and take it to him for $25 per bag. By the time Mr. Leonardo boards his train, he is carrying 2,000 to 7,000 discarded tickets.
At home, two other friends help him bundle the tickets in stacks of 300, which Mr. Leonardo places in a red satchel. He heads back to New York in the morning and spends hours in front of a ticket machine, scanning each ticket.