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How to Consume More Information in Less Time

How to Consume More Information in Less Time

Consuming news is a large part of our day. Think aboutit: when you aren’t consuming news and information through television, you are consuming it online. When doing so online, you are open to having news led toward one direction or another with a lot of fluff added for good measure. Clipped, at its current stage, prevents this by bringing news straight to the point (technically in three bullet points), thus changing the way you consume news. Clipped has larger plans that we will discuss a bit more later, but first, let’s go into what Clipped is and how it currently helps you.

What is Clipped?

Clipped

    Calling Clipped an application or program wouldn’t necessarily be accurate. While it is currently expressed in the form of an iPhone application, calling it an app would be as accurate as calling Google an app because it has a Google Chrome iPhone app. Clipped is more of a platform, or algorithm as Clipped says, that takes the text at hand and summarizes it into exactly three bullet points. However, how it works is a bit more than this.

    How Does it Work?

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          Currently, due to how Clipped makes use of digital news articles, Clipped takes a grammar algorithm that scans the article, grabbing the important information that recurs in the article, and incorporating it into three bullet points on the application. As more and more articles are summarized in the application, the power of Clipped increases, and its accuracy also improves. Recently, Clipped celebrated its one millionth article summarized on the application.

          When Clipped grows into other aspects (more in Clipped’s Future Plans), other means of summarization will take hold.

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          How Does it Look?

          The application is simple in design, which prevents it from being distracting and also allows you to focus more on the article at hand. When you first open Clipped, you are asked to sign up using Twitter or Facebook. When I open it even after signing in to either service, I continue to see this pop up as well (going away after a couple of seconds).

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            After signing in, you are presented with the news of the day. At the top, you have a search bar allowing you to search based on a subject, and there’s a logout button on the left side of the search bar. When clicking on a specific article, you are presented with a larger view of the related image, the title, the source, and a share button above the three bulleted text. When you click to share a Clipped article, a Facebook or Twitter prompt pops up allowing you to share.

            Clipped’s Future Plans

            You can currently find Clipped on iOS, Android, as a Bookmarklet, and on Google Chrome. However, in the near future, Clipped hopes to branch out to document issues in real life. This can include making use of OCR (Optical Character Reading) to grab the text and summarize it that way. This takes a more advanced algorithm and will be a bit more difficult to implement that what Clipped is currently working on, but this future plan will allow the service to be used in everything from legal documents to newspaper text.

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            Opinions and Suggestions

            Clipped is a great application that I have made use of since its debut in December. The ability to not only summarize news, but also discover and read news articles I normally wouldn’t have taken the time out to read has kept me informed on several issues as well.

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              There are a couple of pitfalls in Clipped, however, namely that there isn’t as much customization in terms of which articles I am able to enjoy. For example, when I search a website, not only does content from that website appear, but articles on other websites about that specific source shows up as well.

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                When searching for general topics, like Apple, search results are more successful. This is likely to change in the future, when information on Clipped becomes more varied and readily available. All in all, for such an advanced concept, this is a great start for Clipped to compete with the larger competitors in the information consumption field.

                Disclaimer: Tanay Tandon, the sole developer behind Clipped, developed the application through the Teens in Tech Incubator in Mountain View, CA. I currently work as the editorial director for Teens in Tech. All views expressed in this review of Clipped are my own, unaffected by any ulterior motive or confidential information.

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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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