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3 Ways Technology May Save Us

3 Ways Technology May Save Us

The news is filled with pollution reports, climate change notices, and dire weather warnings on a daily basis. It is enough to make anyone live in terror for their future and for the future we are setting up for our kids. Mashable put out a report a year ago detailing the “masked city” in China, a city where most residents wear masks over their mouths to keep from breathing in the near-toxic levels of pollution.

It would be easy to blame many of the technologies we have today for these problems. Cars are constantly spewing smoke into the air. Factories run 24/7, burning and melting toxic substances and polluting everything around them. Everything, it seems, generates some sort of pollution in its manufacturing or operation.

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Blaming technology is too easy, though. Technology has likely saved many more lives than it has harmed. It will also be the thing most likely to save us from ourselves. Here are a few technological innovations with the potential to save the world.

Fuel made from algae

Yes, this is the algae that grows all over bodies of water and annoys people to no end. It actually has the potential to power everything we do. Algae-based fuel technology has been making headway since 2009, and there are actually vehicles in operation today that can run solely on algae.

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Here is the best part about algae. Not only does it burn much cleaner than fossil fuel, it actually has the potential to clean the air as well. Here is how it works.

Algae is a plant, meaning it needs carbon dioxide to grow. This means that it is actually cleaning carbon dioxide out of the air while it is growing. Some experts think companies could grow algae right next to big factories, and the algae could actually clean the air while it’s growing. Once the algae is ready, it could then be used to power vehicles.

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Smog cleaning buildings

Imagine if your apartment building could simply clean the air for you. It might sound crazy, but the technology actually exists and is being utilized in Mexico, a place not well known for its air quality.

There is a hospital in Mexico that uses tiles that pull energy from the sun during the day. They then use that energy to take in pollution from the air and convert it into less harmful substances. The tiles do this all day while the sun is out, requiring no electricity or labor. You can read more about how smog-cleaning buildings work here.

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The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is a project that has been talked about for awhile now. Many people do not realize just how much waste and trash is thrown into the ocean each year. This waste follows the currents and often ends up in the same place. In fact, in 2013, researchers investigated what is called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a 286,000 square mile patch of garbage that had collected in the Pacific Ocean.

The Ocean Cleanup project utilizes many different technologies to start cleaning up the garbage. Project leaders estimate that they will be able to clean up half of the debris in the ocean within 10 years. The technology actually uses the ocean to clean itself up, a novel concept that has drawn much attention. You can read about how the technology works on their website.

Yes, technological advancements are causing some environmental issues. However, new technologies are constantly being invented that can solve those problems. That is how humankind works. We solve problems, and when more problems arise we eventually solve those too. Technology that eliminates pollution, cleans water, and makes the world a better place will continue to come out far into the future. We just need to do our part and help where we can.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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