[ lifehack.org ] “You Must Stay Offline To Read This” Offers You A Peaceful Place to Stay Focus and Read

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

“You Must Stay Offline To Read This” Offers You A Peaceful Place to Stay Focus and Read

Keeping up with a constant onslaught of notifications and texts is exhausting. We live in an age in which our phones have the same functionality as our computers. People can reach out to us 24/7.

The constant disruptions are overwhelming. Even when I am able to put aside email and turn off my notifications, I still get distracted. Looking up a piece of information can result in a 45-minute trip down the internet rabbit hole. Sitting still and staying focused for even ten minutes can seem like a Herculean feat. It can be hard to concentrate and consume meaningful content when we have so much content at our fingertips.

Not only does this constant wave of distraction feel terrible–it’s bad for us. When our attention becomes divided by the busy online world, we have trouble forming memories and thinking deeply.[1] We’re actually reprogramming our brains to perform on a shallow level by jumping from notification to notification.

It’s time to unplug

Even though we live in a world in which you’re more likely to see people staring at their cellphones than interacting with one another, it’s possible to read offline. There’s no law that says that you must frantically scroll through social media when you’re waiting for your friends, standing in line at the grocery store, or hanging out at the bus stop.

Before smartphones became popular, we used to live offline most of the time. It’s still possible to do this–even with technology in our pockets. Many apps that you love already include offline functions so that you don’t have to use data or be connected to Wifi.

If you need further proof that reading from sites offline is the way to go, check out Chris Bolin’s Offline Only page. A friend sent the link to me, and I was immediately intrigued. When you go to the site, you’ll see the screen below.

It’s worth taking a look at what Mr. Bolin has to say about reading offline. The post will take you about two minutes to read, but it can transform your relationship with the internet. You can use this site to make unplugging a habit instead of just a novelty.

Going offline promotes inner peace

I didn’t realize how frazzled I felt all the time until Offline Only forced me to disconnect. For two solid minutes, I was focused on the words in front of me. I didn’t nervously click to other tabs or jump to notifications. I simply took in the words and felt my mind relax.

Being forced to unplug helped me connect to the present moment. This brief window of mindfulness helped me recognize that I needed to change the way I interacted with the internet.

It was so satisfying to be able to step away from all the static of modern life and allow myself commit my attention fully to one thing. We are all capable of doing this. Even those of us who stay online for work can benefit from stepping away from the internet once in a while.

Use the concept of going offline in other aspects of your life

Unplugging from technology can radically change the way that you experience life. When you make the conscious choice to silence your phone and stop answering emails after hours, you give yourself the gift of the present.

I’ll admit that I get frustrated when I see a group of friends or a family at lunch together spending more time looking at their phones than talking to each other. Whenever you allow a notification to disrupt an in-person conversation, you send the other person the message that the notification is more important than they are. You miss out on the possibilities that come with being in the moment.

Our personal relationships and our work benefit from taking time away from the internet. The more often you use sites like Offline Only to practice focus, the more you strengthen neural pathways in your brain related to concentration. You can undo the damage of years of mindless internet-surfing by adjusting to a lifestyle which revolves more around the quality of your attention than the quantity of items you view online in a day.

Every distraction costs you time that you can’t get back

A recent study found that the average worker gets interrupted once every three minutes and five seconds. A person can lose an astonishing 6.2 hours of productivity to the process of being interrupted, working to refocus, correcting errors from disruptions, and battling exhaustion from being so distracted.[2] Many of these disruptions are likely the result of unnecessary notifications that you can easily switch off.

Don’t squander the here and now through mindless scrolling. Practice focusing every day. Build the habit of being mindful and unplugging with Offline Only, and you’ll be amazed at how much your work and relationships will improve.


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[ lifehack.org ] Use “Scannable” So You Can Live A Paper- Free Life From Now On

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Use “Scannable” So You Can Live A Paper- Free Life From Now On

While the digital age is trying to turn most things electronic, we still can’t escape the paper trails we need to keep and file away such as tax forms, business cards, receipts, insurance forms and various instructions or manuals.

The problem with still having papers to keep comes with the gradual pile-up and keeping on top of each document’s relevance over time. Even if you file them in an orderly fashion, they can soon take up space and be a pain to find.

Using a scanner is one solution, but waiting until you can find one available and then having the time-consuming job of organising them into different files can be a frustrating task.

The App to Help Solve Your Paper Problems

There is a simple solution to avoid your paper and scanning woes and it comes in the form of an app called Scannable. This app is completely free to download and install on your phone allowing you to scan wherever and whenever you like.

The beauty of Scannable is that it links directly to Evernote making it much easier to instantly organise your paper documents. But if Evernote isn’t your go-to organisational platform, it comes with different export features meaning you can email your documents to whatever storage portal you use. Just scan, send and the documents will automatically export as jpeg or PDF.

How Scannable Can Help in Daily Life

One example of how Scannable can make your life much easier is with business cards. If we’re networking, business cards can start to pile up and while they’re useful, we don’t necessarily need then straight away – rather we tend to keep them for future use. Just point your camera, take a snap and Scannable will automatically rotate, crop and adjust the image to make it as clear as possible.

With Scannable, you’re not only able to scan the business card as a digital copy, it will also directly connect to the person on Linkedin. This will eliminate even the need for keeping and organising various business cards while giving you the ability to instantly stay connected.

You also have the ability to pass on documents to other members of your team. If you think a business card will be of particular use to a client or department, you can digitally send it over to them instead of physically handing it to them when you next see them. Equally, it stops the chance of it collecting dust in the bottom of your draw and being forgotten altogether.

Not only do you have the option to simply email or text the scan to your recipient, it also allows you to send it via email or text, or export it as PDF and JPG files. This can be done using Evernote or any other app you prefer to use.

So having this handy app will not only create physical space and get rid of the need for paper, it will give you peace of mind that everything is saved and organised ready for your future reference.

The post Use “Scannable” So You Can Live A Paper- Free Life From Now On appeared first on Lifehack.


[ futurism.com ] Watch: What if Our Universe Had No Structure?

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Watch: What if Our Universe Had No Structure?

We have “quantum lumps” to thank for the existence of galaxy clusters.

The post Watch: What if Our Universe Had No Structure? appeared first on Futurism.


[ gsmarena.com ] ZeroLemon’s new 5500mAh battery case is a snug fit for the Samsung Galaxy Note8

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

ZeroLemon’s new 5500mAh battery case is a snug fit for the Samsung Galaxy Note8

One of the biggest concerns both fans and critics express regarding Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 crown jewel is battery life. While in our in-depth review, we found that the Exynos-powered handset handles its 3,300 mAh worth of juice surprisingly well, the Snapdragon 835 variant could still benefit from a little bit of a boost. Also, having even an extra bit more battery is always a good thing. If you don’t mind paying for the convenience in pocket weight, battery packs are a solid offer and ZeroLemon stands out as one of the leaders in the field.

The company just unveiled its 5500 mAh…


[ futurism.com ] Fidelity Investments Is Mining for Cryptocurrency

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Fidelity Investments Is Mining for Cryptocurrency

Investing in Crypto

Investment and financial institutions are beginning to take cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies more seriously. Among them is Fidelity Investments, which manages $2.3 trillion in assets. Fidelity, while exploring the potential of bitcoin and dipping their toes into the blockchain waters, has recently begun a cryptocurrency mining program that is already generating a profit.

At the 2017 Consensus conference, Fidelity’s CEO Abigail Johnson said, “We set up a small bitcoin and ethereum mining operation…that miraculously now is actually making a lot of money.” The company started mining to learn more about the process.

Crypto mining, thankfully, doesn’t involve any pickaxes or collapsible underground tunnels. Instead, it is a process in which crypto transactions are verified and added to the blockchain — or public ledger. This process also allows for the creation of new bitcoin.

Financial Mining

The applications of blockchain technologies, and specifically cryptocurrencies, extend well beyond financial transactions. As more (and larger) companies show interest and seriously invest in a blockchain-based future, these technologies will grow in potential. Mining is becoming increasingly commonplace. Some individuals are trying to turn a profit with it, but right now it’s only a realistic moneymaking method (which is debated) for large institutions.

The Entire History of Bitcoin in a Single Infographic
Click to View Full Infographic

Fidelity has set the stage as a massive firm confident in venturing into crypto mining, so perhaps blockchain technologies will continue to be taken more seriously and adopted by a greater number of bigger organizations. Johnson will hopefully pave the way for others with a large presence to get involved. She has mined about 200,000 satoshis so far, according to a report in The Financial Times, and by the looks of it, she and Fidelity will continue to push forward as major supporters of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency mining.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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[ futurism.com ] China Pushes Electric Vehicles and Makes Producing Fossil Fuel Vehicles Tougher

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

China Pushes Electric Vehicles and Makes Producing Fossil Fuel Vehicles Tougher

China’s New EV Rules

China has announced that automakers that want to manufacture fossil fuel-powered cars first must produce low-emission and zero-emission cars to attain a new energy vehicle score. The new rule applies to companies that make or import more than 30,000 fossil fuel cars annually. This means that by 2019, carmakers must be producing a fleet with a total of 10% or more electric vehicles, and 12% or more by 2020.

All Electric Cars: What’s My Range? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

China’s new rule is part of an aggressive plan to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, a goal it shares with the UK and France, which both plan to ban sales of fossil fuel cars by 2040. A recent report indicates that China’s auto market will be all electric by 2030. While the country’s original plan was to ban fossil fuel vehicles outright — which was criticized as too ambitious — this revised version of the plan is aggressive, yet workable, allowing automakers time to adjust to the changing market.

Reducing Emissions Worldwide

This is part of a larger effort on China’s part to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel dependency. In 2017 alone, China has surpassed many of its own ambitious environmental goals. By August, the country had already reached its 2020 solar energy installation target, reasserting itself as the largest producer of solar power on earth. In June, an entire region of China ran on 100 percent renewables for seven days. China has begun to build a large-scale carbon capture and storage plant — the first of eight — as part of its attempts to reduce its carbon footprint. The nation has invested more into renewables than any other country in the world, including the US, and has begun to reap the benefits, turning around many of its pollution problems.

The move toward electric vehicles is global. California is considering a ban on the sale of fossil fuel vehicles, and when it comes to technology, California is a national trendsetter for the US. Research shows electric vehicles will dominate the European market by 2035. India will sell only electric cars within the next 13 years, gutting emissions significantly. This latest development is merely the next link in a long, global chain.

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[ futurism.com ] Reducing Our Dependency on Coal Will Make Us Healthier in the Long Run

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Reducing Our Dependency on Coal Will Make Us Healthier in the Long Run

Benefits of Quitting Coal

Dr. Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, doesn’t see a low carbon future as a negative; he sees it as a positive prescription for a healthier future. In a recent opinion piece for The Guardian, he wrote: “This is not an attempt to downplay the seriousness of the risks facing our climate. Rather, it is about reframing the choice we face, away from the prospect of bleak minimalism often associated with a low-carbon future.”

He’s got a point. The benefits of quitting coal are indisputable. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution causes 7 million deaths annually. Burning fossil fuels, and coal in particular, contributed 78% of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from 1970 to 2010, with deforestation also playing a role. Burning coal puts fine particulates, such as PM2.5 and other pollutants, into the environment — many of which are hazardous to human health.

Furthermore, the financial investment into greenhouse gas mitigation pays off 30-fold in terms of health benefits: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates a return of US$30 on every dollar invested into air pollution reduction. Additionally, 26-1,050% of the cost of American low-carbon policies can be offset by health benefits as a result of improving air quality. Dr. Patz commented, “So, the irony is that strategies focused on greenhouse gas mitigation could, more immediately, save an estimated 1 to 4 million lives annually by mid-century from improved air quality.”

Kicking the Coal Habit

As people eat more meat and start driving more cars around the world, the frequency of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity rises. Increased rates of active travel, such as cycling and walking, help lower carbon levels and promote health. Active travel is also associated with lower rates of cancer and a reduction in mortality rates.

Kicking the fossil fuel habit would also mean fewer heat-related deaths — and this is highly significant. The 2003 heatwave in Europe caused an estimated 70,000 deaths, and the 2010 heatwave in Russia killed 15,000. By 2100, heatwaves could threaten almost three-quarters of the world’s population.

Reframing the issue of climate change as an opportunity to change human health for the better is a useful way to think about both problems. Dr. Patz writes: “The experience of quitting carbon is not unlike that of quitting smoking: it is a necessary change that will make us healthier. Quitting presents challenges, but it would be foolish to only understand the process through that lens. The decision to quit smoking should not be something the individual does alone; it requires all kinds of support, as well as taking on an industry that profits from addiction to killer substances. But in the long run, we will all benefit from this kind of transformation. The same is true for quitting carbon.”

Countries around the world are reducing their dependencies on coal. Beijing has a goal to replace coal with clean energy by 2020, India is shutting down coal mines left and right, and coal use is declining rapidly in Europe, to name a few. Cost is also a factor to consider, and solar power is becoming cheaper every day. The solar industry provides more jobs than the coal industry, which in turn makes it more attractive to nations looking to reduce unemployment. Coal is becoming less attractive for many reasons, and the planet will be burning a lot less of it soon.

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