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Cleaning Up: 7 Tech Ideas That Could Change the World One Day

The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030 says, "Without new policies, we risk irreversibly damaging the environment." This is a frightening statement, but it's a relief to know that the experts also point out that making a change is practical and affordable.

To reduce environmental impact, many companies have shifted to greener technologies to help tackle the issue and provide a clean environment for the future. Check out these seven technologies that will help us clean up the environment.

1. Kinetic Charger

With new technologies like myPower, runners can channel their energy into a rechargeable battery that they can later use for charging their phone or other mobile device. Reportedly, running for 45 minutes per day can give phones up to eight extra hours of battery life, and running with the device for a year will offset the carbon footprint of manufacturing it and the phone you are charging. When this type of technology hits mainstream, it will help us reduce the amount of energy we waste.

2. Garbage-Powered Street Lamps

Designed by Haneum Lee, the garbage-powered street lamps would feature a garbage bin at the base specifically for food waste, and then it would use the methane produced from the food garbage to light the street lamps. The city could then use the compost in the surrounding area. If cities begin using this type of technology, they could greatly decrease their energy consumption and reduce the amount of waste they're sending to landfills.

3. Cleaner Vehicles

More car manufactures are moving toward vehicles with better fuel efficiency. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz luxury SUV options provide the best fuel economy in their class, which means that even with the same amount of cars on the road, humans will reduce their ecological impact by driving more efficient cars like this.

The great news is that the average fuel efficiency is on the rise. In 2012, vehicles hit a record high of 23.8 mpg average, and then in 2013, the average soared again, reaching a 24.8 mpg average. While these numbers clearly don't represent the cleanest cars on the road, they show that the impact cars have on the environment is decreasing due to higher fuel efficiency levels. What's more, electric cars are gaining traction, and many get around 100 mpg or higher.

4. Green Architecture

By building green structures, we will greatly reduce the amount of energy we use. The idea of a green building is that it uses the most practical resources available that won't harm the environment. For instance, a green building might utilize sunlight to light the building instead of wasting electricity. Designers may incorporate better insulation practices to cut down on heating and cooling costs and energy consumption. Architects could even add rooftop gardens to promote sustainability within urban areas.

5. Waste-Water Electricity Generator

Thanks to a team of engineers from Oregon State University, we could see our energy consumption drastically decrease in the future by using waste water to produce energy. This waste-water electricity generator can power the treatment plant as well as provide power to other surrounding areas via microbial fuel cells and reverse electrodialysis technologies.

6. Carbon Capture Technology

Instead of sending carbon into the air to pollute our food and water and increase ocean acidity, researchers have come up with a new idea of capturing the carbon and storing it deep underground. The carbon emissions from a plant like this are 90 percent less than those of a traditional plant. This concept, when used on a large-scale, could quickly prevent the effects of carbon predicted for the future.

7. Artificial Photosynthesis

Scientists have designed a means of converting sunlight and carbon dioxide into energy much the same way plants do. This technology would help clean up the air while providing a sustainable and renewable source of energy for the world's population. This idea is genius, but researchers are still looking at ways to scale up the project and make it feasible for the world's population.

With the risks our current lifestyles pose to our future generations, it's time to start changing and cleaning up the environment. Luckily, we're already headed down that road with these technologies.

How to Use Skipity to Discover Interesting Content Online

How to Use Skipity to Discover Interesting Content OnlineThere's so much content on the Internet today that users have come to rely on various platforms to find things that might interest them, rather than just hopping onto a browser and typing in search terms. The way people give and receive these recommendations for websites, videos, games and other content is called "curation," just like museums have curators who decide what works of art will hang on the walls. Most content curation depends on social media, but there's a new tool called Skipity that lets users find new content on their own with ease.

What is Skipity?

Skipity is essentially a browser add-on that's currently compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers for Windows or OSx. Minimally, it is a button in the browser window that uses a mix of search terms, categories, and browser history to direct users to content they may not have seen. This content can include websites, blogs, YouTube videos, and images.

How Does Skipity Find Content?

Skipity takes a mixed approach to content curation. At its core, the application is driven by real people. Skipity's professional curators scour the Internet for content, then assign individual items to one of 34 categories. Users customize a personal profile and assign parameters to their preferred searches, telling the app which categories to include, exclude or keep neutral.

  • All "included" content will always show up.
  • All "excluded" content will never show up.
  • Neutral content (no checkmark at all) only shows up when it's also tagged with "included" categories.

Skipity adds tagged content all the time, so every search is likely to bring up something unique.

What's It Like to Use Skipity?

The Skipity experience has been designed to be quick and simple for users, especially because it's more about casual entertainment than serious searches. If a user wants to find specific information, search engines do a fine job. Skipity is about finding new content based on a user's likes and dislikes, minus the sometimes-laborious searches through social media and other curation platforms that depend on user promotions, i.e. Likes, +1, etc.

Using Skipity is as simple as pressing the Skipity Button, which automatically redirects to new content. This can be done at any time and as many times in a row as the user wishes. In a way, it's reminiscent of flipping through the channels on TV, but where every channel has been tailored to your tastes and the number of channels is infinite.

Social Media Integration

At this time, Skipity has a few add-ons that make it a bit more accessible, including a toolbar and a Facebook notification system. The Facebook system lets logged-in Skipity users know when there's something new or different about their personal profile.

Why Use Skipity?

The main draw of Skipity is the curation aspect. While traditional content curation depends on virality (how many other people like the content), Skipity is more about the individual user's tastes. A website or video doesn't have to be one of the most-watched things on the Internet today to come up in a Skipity jump. It's faster than a lot of content depositories, and it gets both more accurate and more varied with time.

You won't love every place Skipity takes you, but the app lets you navigate away to something fresh in an instant, so off-the-mark content doesn't really take away from the experience. It's also easy to let the app know what you want to see just for today by changing which categories are included, excluded or neutral. In short, on those days when all you want is funny pet videos, that's what Skipity will give you, but more variety is just a few clicks away.

Skipity isn't a replacement for other kinds of content curation, though it's not meant to be. It's personalized rather than inherently social and it's infinite rather than dependent on what other people post. That experience makes it at once convenient, casual and potentially very addictive.

How to Use Mobility to Your Advantage on the Hunt

With mobile technology weaving its way into people's lives, it's becoming easier to perform daily tasks no matter where you are, whether you're using it to check emails, secure your home, or get directions. With these advances come opportunities to do so much more with your time and resources. Among one of the many mobile advances, it makes job hunting easier. Check out these ways you can use this technology to benefit you job search.

Expand Your Options With Enterprise Mobility

One of the biggest steps forward in mobile technology today is enterprise mobility, the concept of having employees work out of the office and on mobile devices and cloud services to complete projects and business tasks. Today, about 10 percent of people work from home daily, and another 10 percent telecommute frequently worldwide, reports the Huffington Post.

Some jobs simply aren't fit for telecommuting, such as those that require hands-on operations, but many other jobs today don't require you to work in-person and can be done online instead. Some examples include teaching, counseling, event planning, designing, accounting, and more. The good news for people in these fields is that they can expand their job search to find more job openings, meaning that even if they live in California, they can work for a company based in New York.

Cut Down On Search Time

Recent job data shows that in November 2013, 183,000 new jobs were created. Mobile technology offers a fairly quick and simple way to discover these job openings. To start with, you can easily access job search websites to receive a list of job openings in your field and regional area.

But mobile technology can take it even one step farther. With job search mobile apps, you can search for jobs on-the-go, save your searches, and even receive updates on new job openings you might be interested in based on your previous searches. Some companies even send text alerts when a job opens, so make sure you sign up for these alerts with companies you're interested in working with. By utilizing several of these websites and apps at once, you can gain access to even more options so that you can quit hunting and start working.

Stay in Touch on Your Hunt

Today, the number one activity people perform on their mobile devices is accessing social media. If you're like 71 percent of those people surveyed in the Adobe 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey who reported they do this, then your job hunt just became a lot easier.

The more you stay in touch with job openings, network with people, and keep up-to-date on the latest news, the better chance you'll have of finding and landing jobs in your field. One of the best places to start with social media is LinkedIn, where you can do all this while on-the-go.

Stay On-Task With Your Search

Since the average person applies to more than one job at a time, keeping track of it all can get a bit crazy. But with mobile technology, you can use calendars, alarms, and other functions to stay on-task while you search. Consider these tips to use your device to your advantage while on-the-go:

  • Mark your calendar for application due dates and interviews.
  • Indicate when you've applied for a job so you know which ones you still have to apply for.
  • Remember job opening contact information by saving it on your device. If the company calls back, then you'll know who it is.
  • Set alarm reminders to make sure you meet deadlines and interview times.
  • Use your calendar to set weekly goals.
  • Use cloud-based programs, such as Dropbox, to save your resume and other files so you can access them from your mobile device.

With all these advantages that mobile technology can have on your job search, it's time to start utilizing these options to help improve your job hunting efforts if you aren't taking advantage of them already. If you want to learn more about how mobile technology can change your job search, read this article for more information.

Moving to Make Money: 4 States That are Booming in Business Jobs

At first the idea of moving interstate to make money seems absurd. A family could easily expect to spend more than $8,500 moving from Chicago to Boston, and that's before additional fees for tricky jobs and moving insurance to protect your assets. However, you can quickly recoup these costs if you move to one of these states experiencing a business job boom.

1. Texas on the Rise

Texas was one of the first American states to shake off the 2008 recession and start to rebuild, and it's continuing this rapid growth today.

Austin is responsible for much of Texas' growth, with 17 companies performing on the New York Stock Exchange and another 25 listed on the Nasdaq. Big corporations like Dell, Whole Foods Market, and Acumen all call Austin home. The strong performance of these firms and up-and-comers led MarketWatch to name Austin the top US city for growing businesses in 2013.

The cheap land in Austin and other Texas cities has inspired companies like prosthetics maker Hanger to relocate and Californian firms eBay and Electronic Arts to set up Texan operations. Those low real estate prices will also mean homeowners will pay less for their home. And without state income taxes, you’ll have even more green in your wallet.

2. Arizona Bounces Back

While Texas recovered quickly, Arizona struggled to find its feet after the financial crisis. However it's recently bounced back with a vengeance, leading Forbes to name it the best state for job growth this year. The business publication also named Arizona the country's most entrepreneurial state in 2012. Forbes predicts employment opportunities will grow by three percent over the next five years which should generate annual economic growth of 4.6 percent.

Business services and the financial sector were some of the state's fastest growing sectors, along with the Arizona's traditional industries including construction and hospitality. General Motors' construction of a fourth information technology innovation center in Chandler will bring 1,000 new jobs to the Phoenix suburb. GoDaddy is also expanding its global technology center in Tempe to employ 300 more workers. The city is also home to a new Direct Energy call center, which will create another 300 jobs.

3. Washington State Shows Sustained Growth

While the rest of America has a national unemployment figure of 7.6 percent, the picture in Washington State is much more bright, with an unemployment rate of less than seven percent. The outlook's even more optimistic in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area, where unemployment stood at just 4.8 percent in July 2013.

The state's recovered from the financial crisis of 2008 well, regaining around 83 percent of the 205,000 positions it shed during the economic downturn. In August 2013, it posted its tenth straight month of job gains.

Washington State is home to several well-known corporations, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing. These provide many career opportunities, along with smaller firms in the business and professional sector. Anyone interested in Washington's financial industry should view this career opportunities video from Fisher Investments, one of the state's leading investment firms.

4. California Offers Diverse Opportunities

A diverse range of opportunities exist in California, and not just in the traditional areas of tech and tourism. While the state's overall unemployment rate of 8.6 percent in May, 2013 doesn't seem impressive, certain areas of California tell another story. Things are particularly promising in the coastal region of Marin County, which boasts an unemployment rate of just 4.5 percent.

San Jose also promises strong growth after securing a phenomenal amount of recent patents. In 2010 a patent was secured for every 182 local residents, three times more than in the country's second most innovative city Boise. Such creativity will generate business jobs as these patented products are developed.

Overall, California is enjoying gains in a range of business sectors including financial activities, professional services, manufacturing, and trade. This growth could see California representing even more than 13.2 percent of America's economic production. A gross domestic product increase of 2 percent in 2012 was worth $33 billion, which is nothing to sneeze at, but we might be in for bigger booms.

An interstate move can be daunting, but it's worth pushing aside the nerves to take advantage of these business industry booms.

 

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