Is there any way to speed up getting Steam trading cards? — R.J.
You can't make Trading Cards drop faster, but you can collect 'em all while you're doing something else. Idle Master (opens in new tab) is a lightweight, open source application that tricks Steam into thinking you're playing a game when you're not, which is only useful for collecting cards—or, I guess, supporting an elaborate lie about how you've stopped sleeping.
Leave Idle Master running, and it'll flip through your library, waiting for each game to drop all the cards it can before moving onto the next. It certainly bypasses the spirit of the Trading Card system, but was also inevitable, really—if people cheat at games, they're going to cheat when you gamify games. The best part is that you don't have to have a game installed to pretend to be playing it.
Idle Master has been around for a while without any Valve censure, so it seems pretty safe to use (though, I guess you might consider the energy cost of accumulating stacks of 10 cent jpgs). For more on the wonderful world of playing games but not really playing them, check out our story from a few years ago about Team Fortress 2 idler maps.