10 Best Chrome Extensions for Keeping Organized

Though it was necessity that caused most people to move to a remote workplace due to the restrictions put in place by the pandemic, many experts predict that remote work will continue long after a vaccine is created and we, as a whole, can go back to what was normal before quarantine. With that, staying organized at home can be more difficult than in an office, but technology is aplenty when it comes to helping you do so.

Here are 10 extensions that Chrome offers to help you keep your home office organized and secure.

Win the Day

Though admittedly not the most powerful tool on this list, starting said list with “Win the Day” seemed appropriate. This extension allows users to set goals and deadlines and keeps them organized on your desktop. You can sectionalize your goals with sub-goals, as well.

Google Keep

chrome extensions for productivity google keep
Via chrome.google.com

Google Keep is an extension for the organization of data. Data used to be utilized, primarily, by a data analyst at a given company, but now everyone should have a firm grasp of how to collect and manage data feedback.

Papier

This extension is to help organize your brainstorm sessions, even the ones with just you as the participant. It’s very easy to use, and with machine learning it can organize all of your brainstorming thoughts just how you like them, after a few weeks of you doing it manually.

LastPass

LastPass is a password manager extension that securely saves your login credentials across all of your devices. Rather than having a folder on your desktop that can be easily hacked, LastPass advertises itself as a “password vault” that only you can access when you need to quickly reference you means of accessing a website.

Productivity Tracker

Another encompassing extension, this helps users track their work, their financial plans, and even their personal goals outside of work, like walking every day, or keeping tabs on caloric intakes. It also tracks all of your clicks and scrolls in Chrome, so you can evaluate what you’ve been wasting your time on.

Save to Pocket

This nifty extension helps you organize your time and information by allowing you to quickly save something that you want to read right from your desktop to your phone. With this, you can make sure your time spent at the desktop involves actual work, and then when you’re in transit you can “check your pocket” for the story you want to get wise to.

Clockify

chrome extensions for productivity clockify
Via clockify.me

Clockify leans a little more towards time-management than physical organization, but organizing your time is as important as organizing your “stuff.” Clockify can be programmed to make sure you don’t get lost in a wormhole of a website like social media, that can not only waste time, but also cause security issues if logged in for too long.

TodoBook

With some similarities to Clockify, TodoBook is a way to self-inflict focus on your wondering mind. When you use this extension, it automatically shows you your to-do list every time you login to facebook or another social media site in order to keep you on task and mentally organized.

Diigo

This one is more geared towards those who need to organize and recall large amounts of research. Called a “web collector,” Diigo makes it extremely easy to collect, site, and even make notes directly on web pages that you can reference later.

Just Read

Last but not least, is more for in-the-moment organization, and that is the Just Read extension that allows users to block out everything on a page that isn’t the meat and potatoes. Ads, links, etc. are “muted,” allowing users to focus on what they came to the page to see.

Happy Chroming!

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What Is Authentication & Why Is It Important?

How to stay safe online remains a catch-22. Every 39 seconds, a hacker strikes, contributing to the dark web’s current catalogue of 15 billion stolen user credentials for sale. With every purchase, more e-users fall victim to identity theft. Multi-step security features, such as biometric and out-of-band voice authentication, are common tactics to strengthen online security.

However, more security factors don’t quite correspond to having more security. Think of authentication as identification checkpoints – walking through TSA, if you will. Authentication methods simply add rigor to your sign-in process. By no means do authentication methods further encrypt your data.

While it’s unarguable that authentication methods minimize a user’s risk of identity theft, it’s also unarguable they come with a fleet of flaws. 81% of security incidents were tied to stolen or weak passwords in 2018. To paint a numerical visual, there were 157,525 security incidents (and 3,950 confirmed data breaches) in 2019 alone. For that reason and many more, it’s time for a better approach to authentication. Already universally trusted, asymmetric cryptography has a solution.

Common Authentication Methods For Security & Convenience

authentication and security

Customarily, tech users are provided the following authentication feature options:

  • passwords and security questions,
  • out-of-band voice,
  • time-based, one-time passwords, and
  • biometrics

Still, not all authentication is equal. Specifically, passwords and security questions are very weak – but you already knew that. In 2014, Bill Gates predicted, “There is no doubt that over time, people are going to rely less and less on passwords.”

Perhaps the reliance on “shared secrets” is the reason the tech economy is turning away from passwords and security questions today. Shared secrets are only known by the user and are stored by the service provider. However, shared secrets leave users stuck and make the responsibility for protecting and remembering multiple passwords a nightmare.

Out-of-band voice is a stronger approach, but not by much. This technique confirms the user’s identity by calling the phone number registered to the account. Out-of-band voice is weak for countless reasons – primarily because it requires users to have a second device and be available to answer a call (i.e. active phone service, appropriate environment). However, the answered call cannot correlate to effective authentication. Voice calls are easily intercepted by – or redirected to – hackers.

Moving up the authentication, time-based, one-time passwords provided medium security. This works exactly how it sounds: a one-time code is sent to the user via text, push notification, or email. This provides sufficient security – enough to present hackers with obstacles – but is still vulnerable to SIM hijacking, malware, and notification flooding attacks.

Atop all is biometric security, providing strong security and being extremely hard to fake. The biggest con to biometric security is its technology often has issues with false positives. For example, holding facial recognition software up to a sleeping user, or using a twin to fool the system. Apart from that, biometric security is immensely durable.

In fact, it rids the need for password remembrance and extra steps for users. However if compromised, people can’t simply change their fingerprints or face – making it a high-value target for attack. Note: biometrics are only secure if data is stored locally and protected by TMP/Enclave.

What Is Two-Step Authentication & Is It Strong?

two step authentication

Two-step authentication is a legendary cyberterm that has grown recognizable to household users. Requiring two or more authentication methods to log in, its strength of security depends on the weakest factor used. Most commonly, users pair passwords and a one-time code to create two-step authentication; but remember, neither passwords or one-time codes are strong authentication methods. Saying this, the strength of two-step authentication is variably undeemable, which creates unpredictable hacking outcomes.

Here’s an example:

In July 2020, hackers took over the verified Twitter accounts of several entrepreneurial, celebrity and business figures across the globe. Targets included: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and even Michael Bloomberg. On their accounts, the hackers began suggesting followers to send them bitcoin, offering to double the value sent if they did so.

The tweet from Elon Musk’s account read, “I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19. I’ll double any BIC payment sent to my BIC address for the next hour. Good luck, and stay safe out there!” In the investigation, it was found that many of the compromised accounts used multi-factor authentication; however, hackers were unable to obtain the one-time codes sent out.

Again, more authentication doesn’t mean more security. In fact, multi-factor authentication creates more headaches for users, causing them to quickly act before one-time codes expire, jump between devices, and remember various passwords. On top of that, SMS authentication codes are encrypted and can be easily intercepted, and encrypted instant messaging apps may send to multiple devices at once.

As predicted by Bill Gates, asymmetric cryptographic (leveraged by certificates) is ending the need for passwords. This way, we can have immensely secure authentication that is easier and more convenient for everyone to use. Do you know how asymmetric cryptography works? How well are your accounts secured?

Please include attribution to https://www.beyondidentity.com with this graphic.

The Complete Guide To Authentication Methods

 

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10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Breast (Or Any Other) Cancer

Welcome to October. The leaves are showing their vibrant fall colors. Pumpkin spice everything can be found everywhere, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is underway.
Learning that a friend, family member, or coworker has breast (or any other) cancer is hard. Figuring out what to say next is harder. As a two-time cancer survivor, I know that there are plenty of things not to say to a cancer patient because I’ve heard most of them.

I’ve written my experiences and learnings down in my book Again: Surviving Cancer Twice With Love And Lists and I will share with you here important questions, phrases, or topics to avoid.

At least you have a good cancer.

No cancer is a “good” cancer. This is a backhanded way of asking about the patient’s prognosis. Rather than asking for such information, let the individual know that you’re there to listen and let her share what she’s comfortable sharing.

Cancer isn’t as hard as it used to be.

When I was fourteen years old in 1981 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer was really hard, especially when I threw up day after day from radiation treatment and couldn’t go to high school. Thirty-five years later when I was forty-nine—a wife, mom of three, and professional—with breast cancer, cancer still was really hard, especially after I lost my hair, had agonizing bone pain, and diarrhea during months of chemotherapy. While advances in cancer treatment have improved over the years, any treatment stinks. It’s okay to say, “This really sucks.” Because it does and thanks for noticing.

Are you getting the boob job with the tummy tuck?

A lumpectomy or a single or bilateral mastectomy is not a “boob job.” It’s the amputation of some or all of the breast tissue, possibly including nipples, and often resulting in the complete loss of sensation in the chest. Reconstruction, if chosen, may be done with implants or with some form of flap reconstruction where the surgeon may use tissue from other body parts to reconstruct the breasts. These are painful surgeries with fairly long recoveries and leave individuals profoundly changed in their self-identities and in their sex lives. So, not a tummy tuck.

Does it run in your family? Maybe you should have worked out more.

No one asks for a cancer diagnosis. It’s not anyone’s fault if they get one. Please leave the “should have” lectures at home and avoid attributing an individual’s cancer diagnosis to something they may or may not have done, such as the food they ate, their exercise habits, or family history.

My mother, sister, friend, grandma . . . had cancer. She died.

Individuals’ cancer experiences and outcomes are different, and these stories may not always be helpful or comforting, particularly if death is involved. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes, would you want someone to say that to you?

Have you heard about [this new treatment, supplement, anti-cancer diet]?

When I was in treatment, I received much unsolicited advice. I had a great team of medical professionals whom I trusted, and I didn’t want to hear about the latest Internet “cures,” ginger chews for nausea, or turmeric tea’s anti-inflammatory properties. Respect the patient – and her choices.

I Know How You Feel.

No, you don’t. But, you can ask her how she’s feeling.

You’re so brave, strong, an inspiration . . .

do not to say to a cancer patient

While not unkind, these expressions discount how individuals with cancer may feel, which, more often than not, may be sad, angry, terrified, and anxious.

You look great.

Cancer may come with hair loss, weight loss or gain, changes in skin tone, etc. Trust me, the patient knows she doesn’t look great and is probably upset about it. Instead, simply tell the individual how great it is to see her.

Nothing.

not to say to a cancer patient

If you’re not sure what to say, then say so. Don’t ghost your friend, family member, or coworker due to your fear or unease. It’s about her, not you.

So what can you do?

Remember that the person with whom you’re speaking is the same person she always has been. Listen or offer words of encouragement and support. Ask what you can do to help them in practical, concrete ways, such as making meals, taking them to appointments, or picking up children from school. Finally, talk to them about something, anything, other than cancer.

If you would like to learn more, read about my journey in my new book

The post 10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Breast (Or Any Other) Cancer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Catch the Glimpse of the Steps Involved in the Canada Immigration Process

Canada, the land of maple leaves is the most favourable destination. Over the years, this country has gained a great momentum because of a high influx of immigrants from all across the globe. Be it an Indian or a foreign national, nowadays, Canada is everyone’s favourite country to get settled in permanently. The immigrant-friendly rules and the loosened policies have made the maple country the cream of the crop.

Do you want to become a contributing part of the most diverse and multi-cultural nation this year? After all, Canada Immigration is the best decision you can make. That’s sure to give you a life that will be worth it. Almost everyone thinks that the maple country will face a comparatively less economic downturn. This is the reason more and more people are applying for Canada Immigration this year, despite the global health crisis.

The Canadian Government still has a positive attitude and is doing every possible effort to bring its economy back on its track. The increase in the number of immigrants is a clear indication that this country is still accepting the applications with an “open arms attitude.”

Now, let’s discuss the steps involved in the Canada Immigration Process

Choose the Right Immigration Program

canada immigration process step

The first and foremost step is to select the best program from a compiled list of more than 60 programs. Some of the programs that are mostly preferred by a lot of immigrants are Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs, Quebec Skilled Workers Program, Family Sponsorship Programs, and many more. So, the first step is to make a clear decision about which program you want to submit your application to.

Determine Your Eligibility

After selecting the right program, it’s time to check whether you’re eligible to apply under the program or not. All you can do is check your eligibility by filling a free online assessment form online. Under this form, you’re required to submit the information about your personal credentials such as your age, educational qualification, and many more. Keep one thing in mind that in order to be eligible in any of the programs, you need to prove your language proficiency. For this, you need to appear for the IELTS test.

Go for ECA (Educational Credential Assessment)

In order to prove that your current education meets the Canadian Education Standards, you need to submit an ECA report that is assessed by a third-party called WES (World Education Services). So, if your current education is from overseas, it’s time to get an ECA as early as possible so that you don’t face any delays.

Create Your Profile and Get Ready with the Pertinent Documents

If you’ve selected the fastest program i.e. the Express Entry, you need to create a profile under which you need to fill your personal details. It’s a safe and secure profile and all your data is confidential. After creating the profile, it’s time to get ready with all the documents such as a valid passport, IELTS score card, ECA report, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), proof of funds, and many more.

Score Maximum CRS and get an ITA

After entering the pool, your profile is evaluated on the basis of certain parameters such as core/human capital factors, partner skills, additional factors, and skills transferability factors. Your profile is then given a CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score.

So, make sure you meet the CRS cut-off released by the IRCC in order to get hold of an ITA. In case you score less CRS, don’t worry as PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) is there to help and support you.

Receive an ITA and Submit all the Documents

canada immigration process steps permanent residency

Once you’ve met the CRS cut-off, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for Canada’s Permanent Residence. You have 60 days in order to submit your application along with the mandatory documents.

PCC and Medical Certificate

It is a main pillar on which the entire process stands. Prior to moving, you need to make sure that you’re in good health and have a good character.

Pay Your Biometrics Fees and Land your Parachute in the Maple Country

Now, it’s time to pull your beautiful dreams into the day light. So, after following all the seven steps, now, you need to pay your biometrics fees and plan your arrival.

Final Words

Immigration can be a daunting task, so make sure that you follow the entire process carefully. Keep in mind that even a single folly can result in the rejection of your application.

If you’re still perplexed about the entire process, you can get in touch with the best experts who’ll guide you in every step of the way and make sure that you don’t face any difficulty throughout the entire process. Good Luck!

The post Catch the Glimpse of the Steps Involved in the Canada Immigration Process appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Can AI Be the Solution to the Much-Debated Climate Change Issue

How ironic is it that the species considered as the most intelligent in the entire universe is on the verge of destroying its only home. Last month several teenagers, among other people took to the streets to protest about the lack of action by political leaders on the issue of climate change. Whether people may choose to believe it or not, climate change is happening for real and is a more complex problem than it seems.

We can understand some part of the problem from the fact that a mere 16-year-old Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg had to come to the UN and enlighten the world leaders about the seriousness of the issue.

According to recent research by NASA, the leading cause of rapid change in the climate is the emission of greenhouse gases that lead to the phenomenon of global warming. As we try to look behind its roots, we find that there is a 95 percent probability that human actions in the past 50 years have warmed the planet.

This and more recent cases have shaken the world and made us realize the importance of stern measures that must be taken to combat the challenge. The climate change issue is an existential crisis, and the sooner everyone realizes it, the better it would be.

But, it’s not just strict policies that can cause an impact and save our only home. We are far more advanced than we were decades back. Thanks to all the technology that we’ve developed, we can now look beyond our planet to conduct research and study the solar system.

This technology can also be utilized to tackle the issues of climate change. One such cutting edge technology that has penetrated every sector of the economy and every other walk of life is Artificial Intelligence.

A research paper that proves this theory came into the limelight this year. Titled Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning, the paper is written by some of the pioneers of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It highlights the utility of machine learning and AI for battling the climate change crisis.

Understanding the impact of AI-powered niches like neural networks, GANs, image processing, computer vision, etc. have caused around the world, it’s a great idea to use them and find solutions for situations like global warming.

Why Not AI for Climate Change?

Until now, we have limitedly used AI’s potential to drive business growth, aid doctors in the healthcare sector or reform the travel experience. However, since the climate change issue has escalated beyond the point that we can solve it through the political wand, we need AI’s intervention to take charge. Because if we can use technology for almost everything, why can’t we use it to fight one of the scariest battles the world is witnessing?

One of the authors of the paper, David Rolnick, who is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, highlighted the fact that the research paper was a ‘call to arms’. The motive of the article was to bring researchers together and give a thought to the climate change problems that machine learning can contribute to.

Although physics-based models have been used in climate change predictions, they are bottom-up approaches and forecast only based on physical boundary conditions. General circular models or GCMs were developed by the numerical representation of atmospheric physical conditions.

Similarly, Earth System Models (ECMs) consider features like biochemical cycling and atmospheric chemistry. They are advanced GCM models used for current climatic studies. However, these models suffer from significant forecast uncertainties, which is why researchers began exploring neural networks and other advanced algorithms for the job.

But, those who see the disciplines of AI as a silver bullet might also be heading in the wrong direction. Artificial intelligence and machine learning need not necessarily provide an ultimate solution to the problem. But they help us see beyond the issue by offering valuable insights. Once we have the ideas at hand, both the government and the private sector can deploy cutting-edge technology and policies to drive the battle against climate change.

AI-Powered Devices

Artificial intelligence through ML techniques and powered devices help in the scenarios where we are uncertain and want to start a chain reaction that will approach the climate change issue in two ways. In one way, it will reduce any further deterioration of the environment.

While in the other way, it will provide futuristic solutions to improve the conditions and maybe even restore the ecosystem to a certain extent. A learning-based AI could do much more than crunching CO2 emission numbers. It could record those numbers, study causes and solutions, and ultimately recommend the best fitting solution.

Smart Thermostats

With climate change happening all across the world, more and more heating and cooling systems are being put to use. They demand a ton of energy and account for half of a residential’s energy requirements. However, with smart AI-based thermostats in the picture, this issue could be approached in a better manner.

Smart thermostats automatically adjust the indoor temperature setting by analyzing external temperatures and humidity settings. Nest’s learning thermostat is an example of an AI-powered device that works on a Wi-Fi connection. The smart thermostat also uses fans whenever necessary and automatically adjust the temperature of your home depending on whether you’re at home or not.

It also tracks user behavior and learns from manual adjustments so that it’s better able to adjust temperatures. Research indicates that using smart thermostats for the home can lower energy consumption by up to 15 percent annually.

Irrigation Systems

A lot of American households have large landscapes around them. In other instance, agriculture is extensively practiced in various parts of the world. All of this leads to a massive amount of water consumption. While agriculture is fundamental to life, green landscapes have their own perks.

Statistics suggest that American households use about 320 gallons of water per day, out of which 30 percent is used for maintaining these landscapes. Meanwhile, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of the world’s freshwater withdrawals.

Using a smart AI-backed irrigation system can save a significant amount of water and help conserve a part of the environment. Like other devices, they work on a wireless internet connection and stay up to date with the local weather of the area.

These devices understand when to not irrigate the lands during a downpour or after a storm. Based on the manual irrigation pattern of a user, these devices learn and suggest a schedule for optimal water usage. It can be used to maintain the desired level of moisture in the soil and help an individual conserve water to a great extent.

Pest Control

Pesticides not only harm the soil but also deplete it of certain essential nutrients. Moreover, the crops harnessed from such soil lacks nutrients. Artificial intelligence can be put to use in such a scenario to identify and fight specific insects without harming the others. The technology that is being commercially used in some parts of the world, uses image recognition to identify and treat harmful pests without harming the natural environment around it.

Smart Pest Controls can significantly lower the costs for a farmer and prevent the collapse of a useful colony of insects that are fundamental to the food chain and environment. Similarly, using this device can enable farmers or other concerned technicians to click a picture of a pest and upload it to find out the best treatment methods against it.

IoT Energy Meter

Energy conservation is a must for the conversation of the environment. The IoT energy meters can help track energy consumption with its smart sensors. They just need to be clamped into electrical circuits to start tracking the amount of energy being consumed.

It is easy and convenient to install in households and sends data securely over the Wi-Fi. They charge directly from circuit panels and do not require a battery. One such system is developed by Verdigris technologies.

Leading Organizations Developing AI-based Systems

Health of Forests

silviaterra
Via microsoft.com

Forests are the most important parts of our planet, which is why their conservation is our utmost priority. SilviaTerra, an AI-powered tool developed by Microsoft, uses satellite images to predict the sizes, species, and the health of forests. This is helping to save countless hours of manual fieldwork, which now researchers can put in improving the quality of green cover on the planet.

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Data Centres

No matter how powerful we consider the company Google to be, it could seldom do anything to reduce its carbon footprint. The point is that Google’s widespread services across the world call for a large number of data centers. These data centers take up a lot of energy for their cooling process, leaving a massive amount of carbon footprint in the environment.

To address this issue, Google recently collaborated with a company called DeepMind to build an AI-powered system. This new neural network-based tool could teach itself to use a bare minimum amount of energy to cool down Google’s data centers.

As a result, the tech titan was able to cut down their emissions by 40 percent. Moreover, there was also a 15 percent reduction in total power saving. Due to the general approach of the algorithm, the two companies also plan to work together on building more energy-saving applications in the future.

Self-configuring Pollution Forecasts

Unless we measure the impact of climate change, it is difficult to understand whether we’re impacting anything. A plethora of cities fail to measure their emissions, and as a result, fail to take measures to reduce them. Having said this, another tech giant IBM laid the foundation of the Green Horizon Project.

The Green Horizon Project is an artificial intelligence-based system that creates self-configuring weather and pollution forecasts. It was created with the vision to help cities become more efficient in terms of energy in today’s generation. The project found ground truth through its implementation in China, where it helped the city of Beijing reduce their average smog levels by 35 percent.

Images of Weather Events

Researchers at Cornell University created an artificial intelligence-based system to produce images before and after an extreme weather event takes place. Even though it might not sound like a problem-solving technology on its own, it is very helpful when it comes to studying the impact of climate change.

Researchers can use these images to predict the impact of certain climate changes, therefore, helping prioritize efforts towards adequate measures. The research used a niche of AI known as General Adversarial Networks (GANs) for the job. GANs are basically network-based algorithms that help in generating statistics or new pieces of information.

Energy Consumption of Commercial Buildings

Among the world’s top carbon emission contributors are commercial and industrial buildings. But with AI-based remedies, energy savings mode can be utilized. Verdigris Technologies, which developed numerous award-winning AI systems, joined forces with global electrification leader ABB. This combined Verdigris’ machine learning solution with ABB’s connected low-voltage switching fabric products.

In its entirety, the goal here was to foresee unexpected surges in power consumption for commercial buildings. It is ABB’s first energy forecasting and intelligent alerts app for building a sustainable environment that aims at reducing the energy consumption of commercial buildings between 10-20 percent.

Earth Science AI

Earth’s climate change is not just impacting the atmosphere. It is also deciding the fate of several businesses, societies, and countries. The London-based tech firm Cervest has designed an AI platform called Earth Science AI to predict the impact of climate change. The platform analyzes billions of data points to forecast how changes in the climate will impact the future of countries and individual landscapes, anywhere across the world.

The three years of research combines AI, machine learning, and statistics with modeling techniques from Earth sciences such as meteorology, hydrology, and atmosphere science. The beta version of the platform is expected to launch next year.

AI Technologies with the Potential to Fight Climate Change

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is one of the most popular technologies under the umbrella of artificial intelligence solutions that can be used to combat climate change. It can help draw conclusions based on a plethora of data one throws at it.

Having said this, predictive analysis is one of the fundamental elements that can help in learning the existing data and forecasting results based on it. Machine learning can help generate statistical models such as regression analysis for climate change forecasting.

GANs

General Adversarial networks are gaining popularity these days. Thanks to their statistics and new information generative capabilities, they can now be used to look at what houses appear before and after a weather event takes place.

GANs can be used to generate images that depict accurate, vivid, and personalized outcomes of climate change. A better version called Cyclic GANs collects the training data to extract the mapping function in order to generate realistic images.

Neural Networks

Neural networks are one of the best technologies that have emerged out of machine learning. They take the training data as input, whether or not they are labeled, only to learn from them and process a series of output known as trends. For example, neural networks can take the temperature data of 30 years and predict the rise and fall for the next ten years.

Deep Neural Networks or DNNs can be used for a time series analysis along with detection and rigorous classification. In spite of their great potential, DNNs have been seldom used for climate change issues. The accuracy of the best global model is found to be 97 percent using LeNet for the convolution neural networks.

Computer Vision

Computer vision is the discipline of AI which helps computers gain a high-level understanding from digital images and videos. It automates the task performed by human vision. Computer vision can be used to analyze images obtained from satellites and send signals about any alarming situations to researchers. For example, they can look at satellite images of forests and investigate whether there is a possibility of a fire within a short time.

BIM and Parametric Estimation Algorithms

Building Information Modelling or BIMs have existed for years but are seldom used to design energy-efficient architectural marvels. Parametric design and building information modeling go hand in hand when designing buildings.

Parametric design is basically a process based on the ML algorithm that allows specific variables to be manipulated to alter the outcomes of an equation. The three-dimensional model-based technology, when powered with parametric estimation algorithms, can help build cost and energy-saving architectures.

The Two Approaches to AI

But solving any problem takes time. The insights and knowledge that we now have about climate change took more than 40 years of rigorous study. In such a long time, the human race has at least been possible to study the climate and deduce that climate change exists.

If humans put another forty or fifty years of research, who knows, we might come up with nature-friendly solutions that require less energy and resources. But the question is, with the ongoing crisis, do we have this much time left? The answer is obvious, and that’s why we need machines to do this job much faster and more accurately.

As we proceed to harness the potential of artificial intelligence for climate change, we find two different approaches that can be utilized. While one is the rules-based approach to artificial intelligence, the other is based on learning. The rules-based approach is more focused on quantitative results. For example, it can help scientists compile specific data analytics, crunch numbers, etc.

The motto of this approach is to solve simple problems with if-then statements in their code. For climate change, it can help scientists find answers to complex issues within a short span of time.

The learning-based approach is a more qualitative approach to solving a problem. It is unlike the rules-based approach that has no memory capabilities and solves problems defined by humans. Instead, the learning-based method diagnoses a problem by interacting with it.

For example, if you ask the rules-based AI for a garment, it will help you find one based on the size and preference you’ve mentioned. On the other hand, when you assign the same task to a learning-based AI, it would instead study your past purchasing patterns to find out the correct size, color, or nature of the garment you are probable to like.

For climate change, both the approaches of Artificial intelligence can serve as saviors. One can tell you about the number of carbon footprints you’ve left in a day, week, month, or a lifetime, while the other can study these to find its sources and suggest ways in which you can reduce them.

AI-Powered Initiatives for the Future

In the practical scenario, there are presently only a handful of ways where machine learning and artificial intelligence can be applied.

Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Predictions of Electricity Consumption

Electricity is one of the primary renewable resources of society. But, since we’re going to need even more of it with growing time, AI algorithms must be able to predict our requirements. Although some of the algorithms already exist that can forecast the electricity demand, we need improved versions of them that can help operators schedule the resources. These must be able to predict the electricity demand in real-time by taking the local weather, household behavior, etc. into account.

Finding More Sustainable Materials

There is a need to find materials that can store, harvest, and utilize energy more efficiently. When done manually, the process of finding such materials is laborious and time-consuming. However, with machine learning to the rescue, it can be accelerated and new materials with desirable designs, structure, properties, etc. can be discovered or created. For example, we could find a material that can absorb excess carbon dioxide emissions or the one that can store solar energy more efficiently.

Optimizing Transportation and Freight

Transportation and freight require a significant chunk of energy, in terms of fuel, etc. With the ever-changing destinations across the world, transportation must be able to cater to them. With machine learning, we could develop a model that studies the freight trends and find ways to bundle shipments. This can help in minimizing the overall trips and demonstrating resilience when transportation is disrupted.

Promote Electric-Vehicle Adoption

We find a lot of electric vehicles existing today than they were decades ago. But, their adoption is still a matter of concern. One of the issues that hamper adoption is battery usage. AI-based algorithms can help in increasing adoption by improving the battery management so that the vehicles can last for a longer duration with one successful charging. They can also predict overall charging behavior so that grid operators can make decisions and manage load more appropriately.

More Environment-Friendly Buildings

With intelligent control systems in the picture, we can help make the energy consumption by buildings even more efficient. For example, a smart system could analyze weather conditions, occupancy, etc. to adjust heating, cooling, ventilation etc. needed in an enclosed space. AI could also communicate with the power grid and control the supply of power depending upon the requirements. One such example of this use case is the AI platform developed by Verdigris technologies.

Better Estimates of Energy Consumption

Very few people today have an idea about their carbon footprint. When it comes to buildings, this number is close to none. Artificial intelligence-based algorithms can help estimate the energy consumption of buildings from satellite imagery, etc. and determine it for an entire town or city.

With this information, it would be more convenient to develop effective mitigation strategies and reduce greenhouse emissions on a city’s level. Moreover, with the assistance of computer vision, this method can also be utilized to maximize the efficiency of energy consumption and find out the precise footprint of a building.

Enhance Tracking of Deforestation

Deforestation results in nearly 24 percent of greenhouse emissions today. It is one of the reasons that our planet is getting warmer and warmer with each passing year. But, tackling and preventing it can be a real hassle when it is done manually. Satellite images and computer vision algorithms can together work and find out any illegal encroachment at the earliest.

The loss of tree cover can also be identified by fitting sensors in the ground that can warn the authorities of any chainsaw sounds, etc. Moreover, we can also extend this idea to drones that can monitor extensive forests or green areas and send any warning signs before something like a fire breaks out.

Wildfire Detection

chooch wildfire alert
Via chooch.ai

One of the best things about artificial intelligence is that it can help refine images and reconstruct meaning out of it. AI-backed image processing helps in finding meaningful information in images that might not be visible to the naked eye.

This approach can be extensively applied to the detection of wildfires in forest areas. Chooch AI, a San Francisco-based technology company, is currently working on the development of an artificial intelligence-based system that could decrease the time between fire upsurge and the moment it is first spotted.

The platform uses hyper-detailed imagery obtained from satellites for evidence of wildfires. These images, when refined using AI, could lead to earlier fire detection and conservation of lives and green cover.

Encourage the Idea of Precision Agriculture

No matter where you go around the globe, all you can find in terms of agriculture is one crop dominating and growing on a swath of land. Also known as a monoculture, this practice has been helping farmers exercise more control over their fields with tractors and other necessary tools.

However, monoculture is also responsible for depleting the soil of its essential nutrients and leaving it less fertile. To combat this problem, farmers use nitrogen-based fertilizers that only add to the existing carbon emissions. AI-based models can, on the other hand, help farmers identify and manage a mix of crops that regenerate the soil and reduce the need for any fertilizers.

Conclusion

The purpose of artificial intelligence remains to assist the human race in combating the climate change crisis. We cannot leave it on machines to come up with an all-encompassing solution to a particular problem. But, with their intervention in the existing problem, we can hope for a positive future outlook.

The only idea is to start right away and not wait for the next Amazon fire to break out or the next city to suffer from water scarcity. The sooner we realize that we might be nearing the doomsday, the faster it is for us to build models and deploy artificial intelligence disciplines to fight the battle. Maybe, we could even use AI to predict the doomsday? Only if this is what it takes to drive a response from us.

The post Can AI Be the Solution to the Much-Debated Climate Change Issue appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Silent Clues You Should Stop Being a People Pleaser

They say that ’people pleasers’ are some of the nicest and most helpful people you can ever know.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

After all, they’ll go out of their way to help you and be nice to you.

From your own viewpoint, why wouldn’t you want to be known as nice and helpful? After all, that’s a wonderful compliment, isn’t it?

Yes, it is, but there’s more to it than that—and it’s not all good.

People who had a childhood that was full of criticism of their abilities—whether it came from their parents or their teachers—can often find that they easily slip into the ‘people pleasing’ mode once they become an adult. It can be an unconscious thing, and something that continues over time without the ’pleaser’ being aware of what they are doing.

How about you? Are you hooked on being a people pleaser and don’t even realise it?

Maybe it’s time to pay attention to those silent clues that you’ve been ignoring for far too long…

The main thing to look out for is your use of time.

Do you feel that you never have enough time, particularly not enough in which to do everything that you want to do?

Look closely at your life. Could it be because you give too much of your time to others? Do you always say ’Yes’ when asked to do a favour for someone, when you’d really rather say ’No’?

Maybe you feel short of time in which to do things for yourself. Have you put yourself at the bottom of your priority list—again?

What about your self-worth? Is it low? Do you feel that other people are more important than you are and that your needs don’t count?

Think very carefully about whether you have a subconscious fear of rejection.

You may secretly feel that people will no longer like you / care for you / stay with you if you don’t do all that you can to make that person happy. Think very carefully about this one because what it really means is that you are putting everyone else’s needs above your own.

What does that say about how you feel about your own self-worth? Be honest with yourself on this one.

stop trying to please everyone feeling self worth

Notice if you feel that you are being taken for granted. Why is this? If you feel that you are being put upon and you’re not happy about it, then it’s time to speak up. The greatest advice I have received made me realize that people treat us based on the behaviour we accept or reject from them.

Simply put, not speaking your mind the first time that someone takes advantage of you only creates a cycle where you find yourself constantly doing favours for others. When that happens, you only have yourself to blame for not turning them down when needed.

You may start to notice that you miss out on things in life because you have agreed to too many commitments to help others. If this happens just once or twice then that’s fine, but if it starts to be a regular occurrence then it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on—and, more importantly, why. After all, nobody can make you do something. So the agreement to help others is coming only from you.

You’re not going to feel good about yourself if you start to feel that everyone else’s needs are more important than yours. They’re not. There is no reason at all why everybody shouldn’t be on a level playing field when it comes to needs and priorities in life.

If you find yourself suffering at the expense of doing a favour for someone else, it can lead to a feeling of being taken for granted. That’s bad enough in itself but, if left unchecked, it can lead to something far worse…

… And that’s resentment.

Feelings of resentment can build up over time and, if you can’t shake off your people pleasing behaviour, then the chances are that you’ll let the situation continue.

The resentment will continue to build (yet you won’t be ’brave’ enough to express it) and, before you know it, you’ll be letting that anger or resentment seep out gradually—perhaps by making snide little comments or being sarcastic when it’s not called for.

Resentment that isn’t dealt with can ruin relationships—which can then ruin your life. So this really is a major warning sign, one that you need to keep a close watch out for.

Having read all of this, are you starting to feel bad about yourself, now that you’ve recognised some of these things as happening in your own life?

Please don’t feel bad as it’s not necessarily your fault. People pleasing is a form of behaviour that is very easy to slip into without noticing—but, now that I’ve pointed out the silent clues to you, don’t you think that perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look at your life?

Look for the signs—feeling that you never have enough time, feelings of low self-worth, feeling that you’re being taken for granted, feeling that you’re missing out on things in life, feeling resentful—and then admit to yourself that it’s time to make some changes.

There’s no need to rush into it, trying to change everything at once. That would be foolish.
Instead, take a gentle approach to change.

Don’t automatically rush into saying ’Yes’ each time you’re asked to help out. Learn to stall for a while and think it through properly before you make your decision. There’s nothing wrong with saying, ’I’ll get back to you later,’ to give yourself some more time to think about it.

saying no stop trying to please everyone

Saying ’No’ will feel really wrong to start with—after all, it’s not your default response—but trust me, it will get easier over time.

So put yourself first for a change. Remember those silent clues, stand up for yourself, and let the real you shine through at last!

The post Silent Clues You Should Stop Being a People Pleaser appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Podcasts that You Need in Your Life

Whether we are traveling back from the office, cleaning our house, or standing in a queue, time stands still, and boredom is at peak. However, we can make the most of this time by gaining knowledge. Gone are the days when we were bound to sit on a desk for learning. Today, technology has gifted us so many options for learning and entertainment on the go, and podcasts are one of them.

Podcasts are digital audio files that come in various topics and can be downloaded from the internet. If you are an Apple user, you will find the podcast app pre-downloaded. However, Android users have to download it from Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Last year, Serial got me hooked on podcasts, and now I always have one or two podcasts on my phone as I commute to work, get my chores done, or when I am waiting for the falafel guy to make my order.

With podcasts, you can learn a ton of new things and keep yourself entertained while getting tedious stuff done. Let me share some podcasts with you, which I think can change your life.

Here goes:

A Slob Comes Clean

If you are a slob and cleaning is a challenge, then this podcast is perfect for you. In this Podcast, Dana K. White, a cleaning expert, shares some exceptional cleaning, organizing, and decluttering tips to keep the home in a tip-top condition. She says that doorbells should not be the only motivation for us to clean. Cleaning schedules are mandatory for every house, irrespective of guests and parties.

With the belief that cleaning should be for the residents of the house, she motivates everyone to maintain a clean house 24/7. She encourages people to clean without getting scared of the required efforts. For this, she suggests various strategies that make cleaning a piece of cake. Cleaning itself is not a big deal; it is the cluttered room that makes cleaning look like a mess, she says. Loved by many homeowners and students, the podcast has bought a significant change in several homes.

In her podcast, White gives tips for:

  • Developing a cleaning schedule
  • Tips and tricks to make cleaning easy
  • Easy deep cleaning hacks such as for carpet cleaning
  • Homemade cleaning solutions, and more

How to Be A Better Person

kate hanley podcast

If you are feeling demotivated, sad, guilty, or depressed, give this podcast a try. Kate Hanley, the author, shares exceptional tips to bring a positive change in life. The small doses of guidance are ideal in improving relationships, helping others, and relaxing.

By spending just five minutes a day, you can easily learn the tactics and embrace positivity. Try listening to the episode “Forgive Your Mistakes” in your first attempt. Within a few seconds, Hanley will make you realize that mistakes are common in everyone’s life. The episode is great to forget your former mistakes and focus on the future.

Hidden Brain

If you love to learn science-based facts, give Hidden Brain a try. Shankar Vedantam, the host of the podcast, gets inside the unconscious ways that affect our minds. He gives scientific reasoning on the way our minds think. The podcast is ideal for people suffering from mental health issues, such as OCD.

The podcast is a life-changing tool for families that have someone with OCD as it helps them understand the issue and makes them better equipped to help that family member. Additionally, leaders and managerial level employees should also give it a try. Knowing the science behind how a human thinks helps in dealing effectively with the team and getting desired outcomes.

Sleep with Me

Are depression, anxiety, and stress becoming a hurdle in your sleep? Productivity becomes a big question when we do not get at least 8 hours of sleep a day. Do not worry, try this podcast by Drew Ackerman to get your sleep on.

The author tells boring bedtime stories that fight against your thoughts and put you to sleep. This podcast is a hit with hundreds of people as it has bought an excellent change in their sleeping schedules. Whether you are a teenager or an adult, these stories will put you right to sleep within minutes.

TED Talks Health

As the name suggests, the podcast focuses on health issues. From routine health problems to maintaining perfect health, the podcast provides insights into every issue. Though there are many health podcasts available, to overly focus on a single topic makes it boring.

TED Talks helps you in selecting your health issues and even selecting the medical experts that suits you. For instance, Mariano Sigman, a neuroscientist, has discussed the role of words in describing our mental health. The podcast is also helpful for health experts who have just started their careers and are in their training phase.

10% Happier

ten percent happier podcast

Dan Harris, a news anchor at ABC, started this podcast after the success of his book of the same name. The incident of having a panic attack and its impact on his life led him to work on this topic. The podcast sheds light on dealing with stress and using mediation techniques to resolve mental issues.

He has tried a couple of mediation tactics and now wants others to try them as well. If you are depressed and stress is becoming a hindrance in your routine activities, give it a try to bring a good change in your life.

Secrets of Productive People

This podcast by Fast Company is ideal for those struggling with productivity. Kate Davis, the author, declares that people get scared about the quality when huge quantity is required, and thus productivity becomes impossible. She highlights how top-notch entrepreneurs are managing both quality and quantity and what are the tactics behind it.

Besides, the podcast also covers some issues related to career growth, including getting a handsome salary in your first job, standing out from the mob of employees, and so on. So, if you have just started your career and want to give your best shot, get some expert advice from this podcast.

Wrapping It Up

Podcasts are making a big contribution to changing lives. Whether you are dealing with a mental health issue or struggling with your career, facing relationship problems, or tired of managing daily chores, podcasts can be a life-saving option. When you get expert guidance, tips, and strategies to cope up with the struggles and hardships of life, positive change becomes inevitable.

Try using the above podcasts and experience a noticeable change in your life. If you are already using some podcasts and finding them useful, do not forget to share it with us.

The post 7 Podcasts that You Need in Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Real Estate SEO Tips: How to Maximize Your Google Visibility

Like other sectors, real estate is increasingly grabbing customers’ attention by coming up with ideal websites that run with proper SEO strategies. SEO has emerged as a successful way to boost your site’s ranking on Google and earn more leads and conversions in your online real estate business.

Today, the majority of buyers rely on Google searches to buy properties. If you want your CRE website to reach the top on the searches, you should leverage the effective marketing strategies. SEO is one of the best digital marketing concepts that can assist your real estate business to gain more benefits and lead online competition ahead. Because SEO matters a lot in hitting your business goals, you must try it in your real estate business.

Best Ways to Optimize Your CRE Website to Boost Google Visibility

Nowadays, the business has the boast of achieving the top position in the search results, which led them to develop an effective SEO strategy to earn the best results. But the question arises from where you should start? How to come up with the best SEO strategy? Here we have come up with a few tips that will assist you in optimizing your site and maximizing its visibility on Google.

Kick-Off the Keyword Strategy

real estate seo keyword tips

Let’s start with the basics. The keyword strategy is the first step for effective SEO. There are a few things that you should consider while strategizing your move. Here, we have mentioned a few essential points of any keyword research and strategy.

Head keywords: When it comes to keywords strategy, the head keywords should be a priority. Generic competitive terms push your website on the Google search and help it to rank high for a specific keyword. For instance, you can consider the “1031 exchange” to “Miami office” and other possible variations that a user usually searches for.

Higher Valuable Terms: Such keywords include your company or brand name. These keywords also play a significant role in helping your site to rank higher.

Long-Tail Keywords: It includes the keywords that relate to a particular category of CRE company. Long-tail keywords include more characters than other keywords—for example, Washington DC Office space for rent, etc.

High-Quality Content

There is no doubt that high-quality content is the core part of SEO, without which you can’t fulfill your dream to rank your site high on Google or other search engines. Therefore, we would highly recommend you to check out the health and wealth of your web content; after all, they are essential for the implementation of SEO strategies that are considered as the smart move towards the success of your real-estate business.

Content is not only limited to text. It also includes images, videos, and graphics. So, it would be best if you prioritize them. If we say clearly, the thing you should focus on for your CRE website is mentioned below. Check it out.

  • Proper company overview
  • Full-fledged property descriptions
  • Only add the original content to your site
  • Content should be relevant to your industry
  • Original news articles
  • Company’s latest updates and news

Optimization of On-Page Elements

CRE website involves several SEO elements that one should always consider. If we say clearly, then on-page elements like the meta titles and meta descriptions of CRE websites are essential to be optimized so that Google can easily understand the page’s content. SEO optimization of on-page elements is necessary as it helps Google to place your site on the relevant searches and further improves the ranking.

Meta Title: In this field, you can describe your company and what you do. The thing which you need to remember is that the meta titles should be around 50-60 characters. Google displays the meta title of up to a maximum of 65 characters. Meta title example: Commercial Real Estate | Company Name | State or City

Meta Description: It allows you to elaborate on the description of your page and the company. The maximum meta description length is 50-160 characters. Along with this, another thing which you should focus on is the geographical area from where your real estate business operates and serves that rendered as target keywords.

Optimized Images: When it comes to SEO optimization, then it is essential to optimize your images correctly using correct file names and ALT tags. But why is it necessary? According to a study, it is mentioned that 63 percent of the people who look at Google images visit the host website, whereas 17 percent of that traffic belongs to the first image. Because website images have a higher CTR, they are also optimized correctly to earn more points in SEO rankings and Google visibility.

Focus on Quality Backlinks

Another CRE SEO tip on our list is to focus on quality backlinks. It is the best way to boost the site ranking on search engines. In this method, you can get other websites to link back to you. Backlinking is considered a part of traditional SEO, but it still works great with today’s websites. But when it comes to quality backlinks, there is a need to develop engaging content that should include something relevant. If your content is not attractive, then people will not provide a link to your site, and your chances for improving ranking will decline.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – An Effective Tool

real estate seo google tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a popular and widely used practice of improving your site’s ranking in Google search results and other search engines. If we say in simple words, then SEO maximizes your business’ visibility on Google and other search engines.

SEO involves several strategies that digital marketers or business owners implement to gain the best results. But at the same time, the process can take months or over a year to offer the desired results. Although it takes a couple of months, if the strategy is implemented properly, it can bring you powerful results, including increased website traffic and Google visibility.

Significance of SEO in Real Estate

Now the question arises, “Is SEO important for your real estate business?” If you are looking for its answer, then you are in the right place as here we mentioned a few statistics that will assist you in knowing how SEO is helpful. Let’s take a look.

  • Google statistics clearly show that around 63K searches are performed on Google every year
  • 33 percent of people click on the first results, and hence businesses always strive to reach on top of the Google search results
  • 75 percent of people never scroll past the first page of search engines

With the above statistics, one can easily conclude how essential SEO is in maximizing business visibility on Google. All these data show that if your business website ranks on top position, then you can easily earn more points in conversions, leads, and sales.

In simple words, you have to focus on several ranking factors that include choosing the right keywords for the meaningful impact and bringing more traffic of property buyers to your platforms. It can make you a better competitor in the online world.

Final Thoughts

The blog has covered everything you need to know about maximizing the Google visibility of your website. So, what are you waiting for? If you are also on the way to boost the ranking of your CRE (Commercial Real Estate) website, then this blog is for you. We hope that you find this helpful enough to learn more about SEO.

The post Real Estate SEO Tips: How to Maximize Your Google Visibility appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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