Before the technological age of online forums, social media, and mobile texting, maintaining one’s reputation involved keeping that nose clean and being a decent person in society. Today, however, no matter how kindhearted or generous you may be in real life, your reputation can be ruined online from the smallest, thoughtless action.
According to the CEO of Reputation.com Michael Fertik, search engines can highlight a variety of misleading or inaccurate information about you, your family, or a colleague. Indecent photos could crop up in a Google of your name, or a prank video you were once involved in could go viral, soliciting negative comments or even attacks from complete strangers.
The best thing you can do in order to maintain a good reputation online is to actively establish a positive presence. Search results show all kinds of material related to the search terms, even if the negative material brought up is about someone else who merely shares the same name. When Google practically serves as a character reference in modern society, it’s important to ensure your online presence is impressive.
You will likely never know that you have a poor online reputation if you never Google yourself. If you have a business, search the business name on major search engines and social networks to see what people are saying about it, since customers are more likely to give honest reviews, especially negative ones, online. If necessary, enlist the help of a free monitoring service like Reputation.com that sends out alerts when your name appears in new content.
Fight Negative Search Results
Reputation.com was established, in part, to help clients combat search results that take a hit at their character. Since most people will Google a term and only review the top two results, it’s important to push down those negative results, preferably on a second or third result page, so they become practically invisible to the average user.
Establish Your Image
This step involves developing a positive reputation on major websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can even create a professional blog using your name or business name in the URL or blog title. This makes it more difficult for someone to impersonate you. Establishing your own positive image is the best way to counteract any negative misinformation, but be sure to avoid online confrontations or arguments, since this will only add to a damaged reputation.
Creating and maintaining a good online reputation takes a little legwork, but is worth the extra steps to ensure you and your business are being represented honestly in the virtual world.
The shale gas boom and fracking revolution are having a significant impact on the economies of states like Ohio. Some environmentalists are also seeing the positive side despite the drinking water controversy as natural gas burns much cleaner that coal.
Ohio’s anticipated energy boom from hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits has oil and gas companies, investors and property owners scrambling for a piece of the action.
On the way to digging up the expected treasure, though, are legal sand traps that could slow or even stop production. They go well beyond the basic issue of who owns the buried oil and gas rights, disputes hashed out in courts since the start of the Utica shale rush in 2010.
Emerging battles concern possible threats to endangered species, Clean Air Act violations and claims that oil and gas drilling in Ohio is abnormally dangerous.
The Utica shale layer, centered in Ohio but stretching from Quebec to Tennessee, has been touted as holding hydrocarbons worth tens of billions of dollars — maybe $500 billion worth, if you believe the prediction of Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Corp., the top driller in Ohio.
The Ohio Shale Coalition estimates that almost 2,000 fracking wells will be drilled in the state by the end of 2014.
Recent fracking-law discussions at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the McDonald Hopkins law firm in Cleveland, as well as interviews with energy-sector attorneys, suggest a boom of another sort — in legal questions that riddle the shale play.
EPA’s critics say they see ill omens for President Barack Obama’s second term in Friday’s announcement of significantly tightened air pollution limits on soot from exhaust pipes and smokestacks.
The finished rule that emerged from the agency Friday is mostly as stringent as the one that EPA submitted for White House review in the summer. That’s a turnaround from the experience of the last couple of years, in which White House pressure forced the EPA to postpone a new rule on smog and placed regulations on toxic coal ash into a deep freeze.
The latest development heartened environmental groups, which praised the Obama administration for standing up to pressure from industry and the Hill — though some say they’re still waiting for tough action on climate change.
“Our air will be cleaner and thousands of Americans won’t have to face the dangerous health impacts of soot pollution from dirty sources like power plants and diesel trucks,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation voters.
But Friday’s announcement also had some industry groups wondering what to expect in the coming months, when the EPA is expected to finish regulations for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, with a host of pending regulations for industrial boilers, power plants and the coal industry waiting in the wings.
“We think it is [a] troublesome sign from the EPA,” said National Association of Manufacturers spokesman Jeff Ostermayer. “Most of these regulations have been on hold since before the election, and now we fear we will see them move forward with one after another, which is not good for an economy still struggling to recover.”
One outspoken industry supporter, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), has been warning for months about what he calls the “regulatory cliff” — a deluge of regulations brought on by a second Obama administration unencumbered by reelection worries. He called the new soot rule “the first in an onslaught of post-election rulemakings that will place considerable burdens on our struggling economy.”
We’re seeing a resurgence of manufacturing jobs in this country, but many argue that EPA regulations will strangle that progress. Well, we haven’t seen that so far in the fracking industry, as both sides are engaged and we’re seeing common sense regulations in states like Ohio.
But with global warming emerging as a huge issue, the political will for common sense regulations may be growing. It looks like the Obama administration is ready to proceed. The key with be whether they can balance the need to clean up and protect the environment with the need for industry and jobs.
Many people had very high hopes when Steve Jobs introduced the iPad. Some were excited about the ease of use, while others thought it would have a huge effect on how we work and play. Of course it turned out to be a smash hit, and it has sparked tons of competitors and has also negatively impacted laptop sales.
One area that garnered attention had to do with sustainability. The idea was that with the use of tablet computers we would see less use of paper. This seems to be having an effect, as recent articles have suggested that sustainability is a significant benefit resulting from the use of tablets.
. . . the growth of tablets is causing a steep decline in the use of paper, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a decrease in water consumption for the production of electronic devices.
Of course there is also the issue of e-waste that is the negative byproduct of more electronics.
That said, print is not going away. It’s still very important in our business and personal lives. Yes, we read more books now on e-readers, but printed materials remain the preferred option for many people. This also applies to things like brochures and marketing materials. Of course you can surf the web with your tablet to get a printing deal at places like 48 hour print, but those services aren’t going away.
The key is that we now have many more options, and we can decide what is most effective for our purposes. There will definitely be many sustainability benefits, and for that we can all be thankful. But let’s not pretend that everything will change overnight.
With the unfortunate damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the issue of global warming is front and center again in the public discourse. And, after years where climate science deniers have tried to shift the public debate, the hurricane has provided a vivid example of the challenges we face as a result of global warming. Of course you can’t tie one storm to this phenomenon, but rising sea levels certainly added to the destruction as we saw massive flooding in New York and New Jersey. The general connection is logical, and the public is now paying attention again. As the Earth gets warmer, the polar ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising. With that, the chance of flooding increases dramatically.
With the latest election, exit polls showed that 68% of Americans listed climate change as a serious problem. This represents a pretty big shift, though we’ll have to see if this holds as the storm is fresh in everyone’s mind right now. It will probably remain in the news, however, as rebuilding in New York and New Jersey will be a big story, along with the fight for Federal funds to pay for it.
An unscientific survey of the social networking literature on Sandy reveals an illuminating tweet (you read that correctly) from Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. On Oct. 29, Foley thumbed thusly: “Would this kind of storm happen without climate change? Yes. Fueled by many factors. Is storm stronger because of climate change? Yes.” Eric Pooley, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (and former deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek), offers a baseball analogy: “We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.”
In an Oct. 30 blog post, Mark Fischetti of Scientific American took a spin through Ph.D.-land and found more and more credentialed experts willing to shrug off the climate caveats. The broadening consensus: “Climate change amps up other basic factors that contribute to big storms. For example, the oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms. And the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture, which is drawn into storms and is then dumped on us.” Even those of us who are science-phobic can get the gist of that.
A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.
Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard.
He told Reuters during a recent demonstration that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months.
“I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni said.
“Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right,” he said.
Check out the video above and the entire article. It’s a truly amazing story and I’m dying to see this bike out there. For $20 bucks I’ll definitely get one!
Many of us dream of the paperless office, and in today’s world of computers, tablets and smartphones, we can eliminate a ton of paper from our personal lives along with at the office by making some common sense changes. We send less snail mail, and fewer meetings require a ton of paper. Still, you have to be mindful of these things, follow best practices, and try to set standards in the workplace. Basically, more devices often lead to more printing if you don’t try to control people’s impulses. At work, you need to make conservation a priority. By doing that, workers will respond and act more responsibly. Also, in today’s environment, with all the Internet sharing tools, it’s also much easier to implement. We don’t need all of the paper, so now we just need to break bad habits.
Still, there are important uses for some paper. The key is to identify what’s important, and explain to your staff that they shouldn’t cut out necessary items. For example, brochures are very important for many businesses, particularly in consumer settings or at trade shows. So here you want people to just be better shoppers by using tools like online printing services to get better quality and efficiency by choosing services like business brochures printing at UPrinting or other great options you can find online.
But, for many meetings, the agenda can be something people refer to on their tablet or smartphone – there’s no need to print it out and send it around. The same goes for reports; do you really need to print out 10 copies for everyone at the meeting? Ask yourself these kinds of questions and you’ll save a ton of trees!
Even as hybrid vehicles increase in popularity, many drivers remain misinformed about the pros and cons of driving a hybrid. Here is a look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions.
Hybrids Are Electric Cars
Hybrid cars have electric engines under the hood, right alongside their gasoline combustion engines. This is why we use the term “hybrid.” Most of the waste and smog generated by a combustion engine is due to stop and go city traffic. Idling, braking and accelerating all waste fuel. Hybrids overcome this problem by using an electric engine at speeds below around 25 miles per hour, and never idling. When travelling on the highway at higher and more consistent speeds, hybrids use their gasoline combustion engines. The electric engine is reserved for passing and quick acceleration.
Hybrids Are Too Small or Too Slow
Because hybrids are powered by regular gasoline engines, with the addition of an electric motor, many models offer more power than their traditional counterparts. Like traditional vehicles, the most affordable hybrids are compact and lack muscle. In addition to those economy models, an increasing number of luxury sedans and heavy pickup trucks are available. Watch for the Mitsubishi Pajero to join the Cadillac Escalade and Chevy Tahoe in the hybrid SUV fray, perhaps as soon as next year. Porsche is producing high performance hybrids for competition as well as for the consumer market.
Hybrids Are Too Expensive
We all know by now that hybrid drivers save money on gasoline, but many drivers consider the initial cost of a hybrid to be too high. Like most new technology, hybrids were expensive when they first hit the market. Now that hybrids are entering the mainstream and competition among car makers is increasing, hybrids are becoming more affordable every year. Hybrids have also become more affordable to maintain. More mechanics are prepared to work on them, and replacement parts have become more widely available.
The Battery Will Not Last
This myth is easy for drivers to believe, particularly if they have ever owned a laptop that was several years old. Unlike laptops, mobile phones and most other rechargeable electronics, a hybrid car never fully charges its battery. By maintaining a maximum charge of around 50%, hybrid engineers have ensured that their batteries will have a long life cycle. Normally, the warranty on a hybrid battery is good for 80,000 to 100,000 miles. Batteries tested up to 160,000 miles have performed like new.
All Hybrids Need to Be Plugged in
Some hybrid models must be plugged in to charge. Others charge their batteries using technology called regenerative braking. When the driver brakes, kinetic energy that would be wasted in a traditional vehicle is captured by the electric motor, and stored in the battery. Many hybrids use a combination of both methods.
General Motors first began selling the Chevy Volt, as the first ever plug-in hybrid vehicle, in December of 2010. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Volt achieves about 94 miles per gallon. However, with a price tag of around $40,000, consumers have been slow to jump on board with the plug-in electric car concept. In fact, production was halted back in March-April, 2012, due to sluggish sales. However, General Motors resumed production this past April, a week earlier than planned, as Volt sales have begun to turn around. Some say that this past summer’s high gas prices have encouraged more consumers to invest in the Volt. The following is an article, out of the NY Daily News, discussing the Volt’s return:
What a difference a few months made for the Chevy Volt. From underselling political deadweight to automotive press darling, GM’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle went back into production this week after a shorter-than expected shutdown announced in early March to reduce the inventory levels of unsold vehicles.
At that time, the Volt’s future looked bleak — it was being rounded on by US Republican presidential candidates and was still suffering from the aftereffects of a series of damaging headlines after a federal investigation into battery safety.
But that was then and this is now.
Check out the entire article. It’s inspiring to see that although progress has been slow, we are moving closer to achieving energy independence and reducing our carbon footprint…One car at a time.
When you think of a farm, you think of a classic rural image like the one above. But with the emergence of urban farming, the idea of farmland is changing. Older cities like Cleveland and Detroit are starting to use land in the inner city area for farming purposes, and the urban farming trend is starting to grow.
Old MacDonald had a farm, but probably not on an abandoned city lot tended by a farmer from Burma and supported by some of the top restaurants in town.
Cleveland, however, has such unconventional growing places. After only a few years of operation, they are bringing home surprising harvests.
Taut-skinned eggplant and fragrant parsley are being snipped off a row and, within minutes, walked three blocks to Flying Fig, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and other popular dining spots in the city’s Ohio City neighborhood. Off East 55th Street, a flower and vegetable farm provides cherished jobs for folks with developmental disabilities.
A few forgotten acres in the Kinsman neighborhood are now a green training ground for farming entrepreneurs. And a vineyard in Hough hasn’t made its first bottle of wine yet, but the vines look good, and the first cork is expected to pop next year.
Check out the whole article and you can see how an economic ecosystem is being built around these farms. The potential is staggering. It’s also interesting to read how the local restaurants are supporting these efforts by using these farms as a source of fresh fruits and vegetables, and you even have Great Lakes Brewery growing hops for their craft beers.