Finding Time for Some Cyber Tools on Memorial Day

I hope that you find time to relax today, if it’s a holiday for you!  Here in New Hampshire it looks like it is going to be a stunningly beautiful day.  All the neighborhood birds are trilling as the morning light illuminates the new green leaves.  The Monday world is awakening, and it really does feel like we are turning toward a new season.

42-17124172This Cyber Monday I wanted to share with you a couple of items that have come to my attention over the course of the past week.  I thought that they were interesting – and hope you do as well.

The first is Blackle.  It was developed by Heap Media after a blog post by Mark Ontkush on ecoIron that suggested that if high-traffic websites used black as their backgrounds, this could create significant energy-saving.   I’m not sure the black background works for me – but it’s an interesting concept.

The other tool is one that I came upon because there was such a stir about it last week on Twitter.  It’s a tool known as WolframAlpha … developed by Stephen Wolfram.  According to Michael Quoc on factoidz, this is “an answer-retrieval system much like Google, but instead of helping you find web pages as Google does, WA provides you with direct answers to specific queries. For example it will answer math questions (like “134 + 123 * 993?) or statistics (like “mean {3,6,4,10,20}”), nutrition (like “vitamin A in one lb lettuce”), geography (like “zip 60637?), and many other categories. It’s actually very similar to Google shortcuts (simple answers provided for queries like “weather new york” or “3 pounds to kilograms”), but greatly expanded in terms of query types and data sets available.”

Here is an overview of topics currently covered in WolframAlpha and data elements available within each topic category.  I have explored it a bit and found it to be an intriguing tool.  Try entering your birth date, for example … or the name of your hometown.  It will be interesting to see how WolframAlpha evolves over the coming months and years!

If you find time to explore these tools, I’d love to hear what you think!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …

Comments

  1. Interesting idea, but I vote thumbs down on Heap Media’s Blackle suggestion, at least for general use. (Might be fine for the initial Google page where one types in the search term, however.)

    The reason? Readability and eye strain. I was taught as a publications designer that it’s much more work for the eye to recognize and process reverse type than dark type on a light background.

    I’d prefer a pale gray page (Maybe call it “Graygle”? with black type to ease eyes and to better utilize our own energy. And maybe dimming our screens.

    Thanks for posing this thought-provoking question!

  2. Hi Alison- I can’t say that I disagree about the impact on the eye, and I love your Graygle suggestion! It’s nice to see people thinking creatively about saving energy, though!

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