Could Bio-Based Diesel Fuel Help You Curb Your Carbon Emissions?
Jun07

Could Bio-Based Diesel Fuel Help You Curb Your Carbon Emissions?

Although Americans tend to prioritize convenience over anything else, more residents are realizing that their bad habits are having an adverse effect on the planet. Relying on gas guzzlers to get us from point A to point B isn’t as socially as acceptable as it once was; instead, electric vehicles are “in,” predicted to make up 54% of all new car sales worldwide by 2040. But switching to an EV isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce greenhouse gases. A recent study shows that even diesel-powered vehicles could be considered eco-friendly, provided that they use bio-based diesel. Since one diesel engine car is sold for every 100 cars in the U.S., it’s clear that gasoline-powered vehicles are still in the majority. However, diesel is often viewed as a fuel of choice because it offers 12% more energy per gallon compared to gasoline. That said, diesel vehicles tend to cost more upfront (though they offer better fuel efficiency over time) and diesel fuel hasn’t traditionally been viewed as the most environmentally conscious option. …Until now, that is. According to the Biodiesel Technology Forum, data gathered by the California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program has revealed that biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels are responsible for the state’s biggest reduction in transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. During 2018, California’s use of renewable diesel and biodiesel fuels eliminated an impressive 4.3 million tons of carbon dioxide. Since the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program started in 2011, these same fuels have eliminated upwards of 18 million tons of CO2. This news is extremely encouraging, according to experts. The latest diesel engine powered vehicles can be paired more easily with biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels, which means that carbon emission reductions can be more widespread. Bio-based diesel fuels don’t require extra fueling infrastructure, which makes adoption far easier. What’s more, biodiesel is actually more effective at reducing greenhouse gases than electric vehicle technology. “The pairing of biofuels with new-generation diesel engines is, hands down, one of the most effective — and underrated — ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty transportation sources,” explained Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, in a statement. “Even though battery electric technologies dominate the headlines, electric cars and trucks in California resulted in only 1.2 million tons of CO2 reductions in 2018 — one-third of the emissions reductions delivered by diesel biofuels.” Several California cities (such as Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Diego) are now using renewable diesel fuel on an exclusive basis for their municipal-owned buses, heavy duty trucks, and other equipment. By using renewable diesel fuel in 632 transit...

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Apple Introduces New Way to Block Frustrating Robocalls
Jun07

Apple Introduces New Way to Block Frustrating Robocalls

We all know the frustration of answering a phone call, only to discover a scammer or a spammer on the other end of the line. But our cries for change haven’t fallen on deaf ears; Apple has finally taken action to stop scammers in their tracks. At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed that its newest iOS 13 software update will come with a feature designed to block robocallers from reaching your phone. “I think it reflects how frustrated people are,” Notes Jonathon Nelson, the director of project management for Hiya. “It’s gotten to this sad state of the world where we don’t want to answer the phone anymore because scammers have pretty much overrun it.” Hiya, a call-blocking app, notes that over 26 billion robocalls were made in the United States just last year. Apple’s update works by only allowing known numbers to make your phone ring. If an unknown caller tries to reach you, it will be automatically sent to voicemail. Should the caller leave a voicemail, you’ll get a transcription of the call from Apple and decide whether or not to call the number back. This is vital for residential and business phone users, alike. While new businesses can lower startup costs by 90% when they switch to a hosted VoIP, they may still have to cope with the occasional robocaller. Along with giving your employees more than a few headaches, this type of scam can also lower your business’ efficiency. After all, more than 46% of customers still prefer speaking to an actual business representative over automated responses. If customers are unable to reach staff because of business calls, this could seriously affect conversion rates or reflect poorly on your business. This new announcement comes on the heels of the FCC’s new rule that phone companies are permitted to block robocallers. In a vote of five to zero, the unanimous decision enables phone companies to enroll customers in default robo-blocking programs unless they specifically opt out. “If there is one thing in our country right now that unites Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, socialists and libertarians, vegetarians and carnivores, Ohio State and Michigan fans, it is that they are sick and tired of being bombarded by unwanted robocalls,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “We hear you and we are on your side.” But unlike Apple’s recent announcement, this doesn’t mean that all phone companies will offer this feature for free. A recent report notes that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will all offer these features, but at a cost. T-Mobile’s Scam ID is free, but the Name ID feature can cost up to $4...

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2019 Search Engine Optimization Trends: Industry Experts Lend Their Voices To The Conversation
Jun05

2019 Search Engine Optimization Trends: Industry Experts Lend Their Voices To The Conversation

Digital marketing is a nuanced industry. With so many different ranking factors and web design aspects to consider, it can be hard to know how to split your attention in a way that will most ideally benefit your company; given the increased amount of competition out there, this ability to balance is more important than ever. Let’s hear from some SEO industry experts to get their perspective on the tools and techniques that will best optimize your website.   The Human Experience Search engines were made for human beings, so it makes sense that the content provided be useful and relevant to their needs and interests.   “Quality content is the way forward in 2019,” said Madison Carter of Deprigo. “People are hungry for more thoughtful, informative, and interesting content, and are tired of reading the same tired blogs over and over again. We obviously will still need to keep keywords in mind when writing content, but I think we’re moving towards a more human-centric focus in SEO going forward.”   Jaco Grobbelaar of Broad Vision Marketing agreed wholeheartedly as he explained the positive impact of consumer/customer interactions:   “One of the most important SEO strategies for 2019 and beyond is increasing the interaction between website visitors and website content. The more a visitor interacts with the content the more it confirms to search engines that the right content has been delivered. This higher level of interaction will have a dramatic influence on the authority search engines allocate to the content, the page rank, and the domain.”   While this certainly applies to the content produced, it also plays a role behind the SEO scenes.   “Pages of reports and stats are becoming less important to clients,” said Dale Shadbegian of 118Group. “They want to have human and expert insight into what they mean. Expect to spend more time speaking to people about how their money is being invested and what those results are.”   Instead of churning out content like a factory, work with your client — in both the technical and creative aspects of the job — to produce something relevant and useful for all parties.   “Take the time to truly capture a client’s voice and culture to enable your team to clearly promote this voice throughout all digital content,” Jeremy Mountain of Bean Media Productions explained. “Using brand-consistent, creative, and updating messaging throughout site content, video, blogs, social media turns tactical SEO on the back end into personal relationships and trust on the front end.”   Know Your Field By adding skilled and experienced writers and content creators to this focus, you’ll be able to...

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Following Argument With His 90-Year-Old Grandmother, Richie Incognito Pleads Guilty to 2 Misdemeanors
May30

Following Argument With His 90-Year-Old Grandmother, Richie Incognito Pleads Guilty to 2 Misdemeanors

The National Football League (NFL) is full of talented, hardworking, and caring individuals. Plenty of these men do great work for their communities, compete as hard as they can, and are kind and respectful to their teammates, opponents, referees, and fans. Unfortunately, these players don’t get the recognition they deserve. Too often, the bad outshines the good and stories come out about troubling players rather than their compassionate peers. Sadly, this is one of those stories. It’s a story about a football player who is no stranger to controversy: Richie Incognito. Without a doubt, Incognito is a great player. He’s been in the league for 11 years, making the Pro Bowl in four seasons. He plays hard and is as competitive as they come. But he can’t seem to stay out of trouble. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders’ new acquisition has just pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from an argument back in August. During the altercation, Incognito punched a hole in the wall, ripped out a security system control box, and was overcome by his anger. The person he was arguing with: his 90-year-old grandmother. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor charge is up to 1 year in county jail and fines of up to $2,500. Incognito pleaded guilty to charges of criminal damage and disorderly conduct. A domestic violence charge was dismissed as part of his plea agreement, in which he was ordered to take anger management courses, pay a $569 fine, and begin a year of unsupervised probation. There are about 18 million organized meetings every year in the U.S. resulting in $280 billion in spending. Originally, Incognito was slated to make $3.7 million with the Buffalo Bills in 2018. The Raiders signed Incognito to a one-year deal in late May and immediately came under fire with questions and criticisms from media and fans. According to Fox News, Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock defended the signing of Incognito, who missed part of the 2013 NFL season and all of the 2014 season for the harassment of former teammate Jonathan Martin. “At the end of the day, you can’t have all Boy Scouts,” Mayock said. “You have to do your homework on each individual case. We’ve done our homework. We’ve talked to an awful lot of people. We’ve talked to Richie. We’ve told Richie what we expect both on and off the field and we expect him to adhere to that.” According to the CDC, there are approximately 37.2 million injury-related visits to the ER annually. Incognito, after struggling with plenty of physical injuries, was admitted to a psychiatric care center in...

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Conservationists Push For Wildlife Overpasses Along Trans-Canada Highway
May28

Conservationists Push For Wildlife Overpasses Along Trans-Canada Highway

The Trans-Canada Highway is the world’s longest national highway. It spans a staggering 7,821 km (4,860 mi) across the country, linking several provincial highways along its route. While this design is great for traveling humans, it poses quite a threat to Canadian wildlife who get hit trying to cross its path. A group of concerned residents and conservationists are looking to change this statistic by pushing for the construction of wildlife overpasses. “Since they were built, highway wildlife mortality due to collisions has reduced by 80% on average for large mammals generally and 96% for deer and elk,” explained Hilary Young, a member of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. “So they’re highly successful and ultimately, the savings from collisions pay for the structures themselves.” There are a number of wildlife overpasses in Canada’s many national parks, but the heavy traffic that the Trans-Canada Highway receives makes it a prime target; approximately 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs are shipped by truck throughout the nation. Cinthia Nemoto, a resident of Canmore who has since joined the fight for wildlife overpasses, witnessed the fallout of a serious crash involving a semi-tractor-trailer and several elk. “We saw the seven elk dead on the highway plus the semi-truck that hit them,” she said. “It shocked us. If it was a regular car, our car, if it was me driving, most likely I wouldn’t be alive right now.” The damage is as costly as it is dangerous; one overpass in Banff reduced the cost in crashes by 90% — over a $100,000 savings — in a single two-mile stretch of road. Scientists believe that once routes are established for these animals (which may take five years or more), it becomes intergenerational knowledge; they’ll know precisely where to go. Knowing which one of four types of tires to use on your vehicle might keep you safe, but it won’t help these animals. Young is hoping to bring the success of the Banff overpasses to this more-trafficked area of Highway 1, about 40 km east from the park gate all the way down to the Kananaskis River; she argued that 15 elk have been killed on the Canmore section of the Trans-Canada Highway in the last two months alone. As the most-used manmade material in the world, concrete has done a lot for humanity; it’s high time it was used to aid and support nature. With the construction of more wildlife overpasses, concrete can be put towards a more productive and beneficial...

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