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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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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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