Author: OneWorld

Add more voices to Speech Recognition

Add more voices to Speech Recognition

As one whose voice is frequently not understood by speech recognition technology, I applaud the Mozilla Common Voice project which aims to add more voices, more languages, and more pronunciations from around the globe. Its goal is to teach computers how real people speak.

Mozilla Common Voice

An article in PC Magazine quotes says Mark Surman, Executive Director at Mozilla, “Mozilla Common Voice is an ambitious, open-source initiative aimed at democratizing and diversifying voice technology. Common Voice enables people to donate their voices to a free and publicly available database that startups, researchers, and developers can then use to train voice-enabled apps, products, and services.” 

You can help by clicking here and adding your voice by reading preset sentences to increase the database of different voices. https://commonvoice.mozilla.org/en/speak

Don’t want to speak? You can also help by validating the voice clips others have recorded.

Help preserve history with your keyboard

Help preserve history with your keyboard

Ohio MemoryOHIO MEMORY is just one historical resource that is seeking volunteers to transcribe handwritten documents. You can help transcribe untold stories of Ohioans from the past. Transcribing is simple—just type what you see! The site provides instructions. No experience or special equipment is needed. The original document is scanned and displays on the left and an entry window is available to type into on the right. You can easily zoom in on the scanned documents for a better view. The documents are divided into single pages or facing pages. You can select to transcribe a single page or as many as you like. This lets you control the amount of time and effort you want to volunteer. OHIO MEMORY users will appreciate any and all help.

Why transcribe already scanned documents? It’s much easier to find and search for these handwritten materials online when they include transcriptions. Your efforts in transcribing historical documents are a direct way to helping save and share the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of past Ohioans. Learn more at https://transcribe.ohiohistory.org/

Recycle Technology with the Help of Goodwill and Dell

Recycle Technology with the Help of Goodwill and Dell

Dell Reconnect

Dell has partnered with Goodwill to make it simple to recycle technology and keep it out of the landfill. Donate unwanted technology including computers, monitors, printers, scanners, hard drives, keyboards, mice, speakers, and cables to Dell Reconnect to help protect the environment, support Goodwill’s mission of putting people to work, and get a receipt for tax purposes. Dell has made real strides in reaching its own moonshot goals around improving sustainability. For example, their “moonshot” goal of, “By 2030, 100% of our packaging will be made from recycled or renewable material” has already achieved 85% in 2020.

While Dell is a major manufacturer of technology products, the resources they have provided are not limited to Dell Products. Other manufacturers and stores such as Staples also provide recycling resources. This article focuses on those from Dell.

Find a location and drop off

More than 2,000 Goodwill locations across the U.S. are participating.  Use this link to find a location near you today.

Recycle Batteries, Ink & Toner Cartridges and Packaging

In addition to Dell Reconnect, Dell also offers links to help you recycle Batteries, Ink & Toner Cartridges, and even your packaging waste.

Ink & Toner Recycling

Dell offers two ways to recycle ink & toner cartridges: use their mail-in program or drop off at a participating Goodwill through the Dell Reconnect program.

Donate to Dell ReconnectDrop off your used ink and toner cartridges at a participating Goodwill and Dell will recycle it for free. Plus, everything you give helps create jobs and skills training for people in your community. Donate

Free Battery Recycling

Dell has partnered with call2recycle to recycle used computer batteries. Call2Recycle handles other types of batteries also. Visit their website https://www.call2recycle.org/ for more information.

Each year billions of batteries end up in landfills, where toxic metals could enter the waste stream and possibly harm our environment. Recycled batteries enable valuable metals to be recovered and used in new products such as making new batteries, pots, pans, golf clubs, or silverware.

To do your part, recycle your used batteries at any one of our certified drop-off locations.

Packaging Help

Many packaging products are recyclable or can be composted. Regardless of where your product comes from, visit https://corporate.delltechnologies.com/en-us/social-impact/advancing-sustainability/how-to-recycle/recycling-your-packaging.htm for more information on what to do with boxes, packing envelopes, product cushions, shipping manifests, plastic bags, and more.

Simple Steps to Save our Feathered Friends

Simple Steps to Save our Feathered Friends

1 in 8 bird species face extinction due to habitat loss. You can help protect them simply by hanging or giving birdhouses.

Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

How big is the problem? In just 50 years, there are 2.9 billion fewer birds! Loss of habitats can be from human land development or from natural causes such as the many hurricanes and fires over the last few years that have swept through areas and removed available shelter and food sources.

Consider donating bird houses or roosting pockets to local wildlife refuges or hang some to attract birds to your own yard.

Other powerful ways to encourage birds to thrive – avoid pesticides. Pesticides harm birds in many ways including direct contract and through contaminated food sources. Reduction of insect life through pesticides also reduces their numbers as an available food source.

Avoid single use plastics and increase recycling. Many bird species have been found to eat plastic and other trash, mistaking it for food. Birds, fish and other wildlife can become entangled on plastic bags, can loops and other plastic waste. Microplastics or plastic bits have been found everywhere – in our oceans, in animals, and in humans. Reducing plastic use helps all of us.

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Use your computer to make a small change today for free! For a short time, the GreaterGood Rainforest site will fund the equivalent of 21.7 square feet of protected habitat for each user who watches a short video to learn more about the issue. Click on the link above.

Free the Ocean LogoFree the Ocean is another website that supports plastic removal. Answer the daily trivia question and you’ll help remove one piece of plastic from the ocean. Help make an impact today.

Small steps have big payoffs in protecting wildlife. Take some today.

Only 9% of Plastic is Recycled

Only 9% of Plastic is Recycled

With statistics showing only 9% of plastic is recycled, more needs to be done. Recycling is an ideal method of keeping plastics out of landfills and eleswhere in the environment, but many other options are equally beneficial methods of reducing the amount of plastics in landfill or in the ocean.

The variety of plastic types includes a complex array of items that can and cannot be recycled, leaving the consumer the job of determining which to trash and which to recycle. Further complicating things is that some parts of a package may be recyclable while other parts are not. For example, often plastic bottles can be recycled, but their caps cannot. Including non-recyclable items can damage recycling equipment and increase the cost by requiring careful sorting. Many plastic containers contain food, liquids, or other contents that should be cleaned prior to recycling. Even labels can gum up recycling equipment. All of these factors increase the cost and effort required.

reusable water bottle
Photo by Kate Trifo on Unsplash

Reducing our reliance on single-use, disposable packaging can make an equal or larger impact than recycling. Multi-pack and bulk items can provide a better ratio of packaging to products and many companies are making efforts to reduce excess packaging. Other companies are testing alternatives to plastic as packaging materials, including plant-based materials that decompose more easily.

Choosing products packaged in glass or metal are another simple option. Glass and metal are much more efficiently recycled than plastics. Additionally, glass and metal containers can easily be cleaned, reused, and repurposed. Choosing a reusable water bottle over disposable plastic bottles can be a simple act, significantly reduce one of the biggest sources of plastic waste, and be a healthier choice by avoiding exposure to chemicals from cheap plastic bottles that can leach into the water.

Other simple choices include using real utensils rather than single serve plastic ones, grouping shipments to reduce packing, using your own bags when shopping, or buying secondhand. Small changes do make an impact.

Photo by Antoine GIRET on Unsplash

BYU Students use Technology to Help Autistic Youth Learn to Make Eye Contact

BYU Students use Technology to Help Autistic Youth Learn to Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact is difficult for autistic children, but it is a critical developmental step. Studies indicate that learning to make eye contact is a key precursor to learning verbal skills for these children.

Easily distracted, a key challenge is how to keep the autistic child’s attention focused on the other person’s face. The students created a set of glasses along the lines of a virtual reality headset. The glasses can project a favorite image of interest to the child onto the lenses. The opacity of the glasses can be adjusted gradually to help the wearer’s eyes become visible behind the image. the goal is to help autistic children develop skills and increase their attention span.

These glasses are not yet on the market and will be considered medical devices when they are which requires FDA regulations and clinical trials. This innovative idea by the mother of an autistic child, and brought to reality by a group of passionate students using modern technology shows what impressive things can be achieved.

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

Use spare home computing power to fight COVID-19

Use spare home computing power to fight COVID-19

Become a Citizen Scientist

Like the SETI at home project before it, Folding at home is a free, safe way for home computer users to provide additional computing cycles to solve difficult problems. Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project run by Stanford University that spreads computations over many computers to shorten the timeframe needed to complete the task. Folding@home is one of the largest, most powerful, and most widely distributed computing networks. By adding your unused computing power, you become a citizen scientists helping scientists to solve complex problems.

COVID-19

The Folding at home project is helping researchers understand and fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by developing life-saving therapies. Download the Folding@Home software to donate your unused computational resources to the global community of scientists researching COVID-19.

sStandford folding at home
Standford University Folding at home project

Folding@home doesn’t interrupt your normal computer use

The Folding@home software runs while you do other things.

While you keep doing your everyday activities on your computer, your computer will also be working to help find cures for diseases like COVID-19, cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Influenza and many others.

START FOLDING NOW

Find the version of the software you prefer and get started. Downloading Folding@home is completely free, easy to install and safe to use.

But is it secure?

Run, by Standford University, with sponsorship from Intel, Google,NVIDIA, ATI, and many other respected companies, the FAH project is safe and easy for home users. The following is from the FAH website, “We have worked very hard to maintain the best security possible with modern computer science methodology. Our software will upload and download data only from our data server here at Stanford. Also, we only interact with FAH files on your computer (we don’t read, write, or transmit any other files, as we don’t need to do so and doing so would violate our privacy policy). The Cores are also digitally signed (see below) to make sure that you’re getting the true Stanford cores and nothing else.”

Donate Kibble With a Click

Donate Kibble With a Click

HELP FEED AND CARE FOR SHELTER PETS!

As of late March, Freekibble.com has served over 26,913,201 nutritious meals to hungry dogs and cats and vaccinated over 227,000 shelter pets! You can help – with just a click. Answer a trivia question on the website and kibble will be donated – whether you got the answer right or not.

Kibble Plus

Become a Kibble Plus member and donate even more kibble! 

Founder Mimi Ausland and kibble sponsors: Halo, Purely for Pets, and our litter sponsor, Fresh Step, have delivered more than 27 million meals of premium pet food directly to animal shelters. Animal shelters use millions of pounds of cat litter. Donating litter to shelters enables them to spend the money saved on getting more cats adopted! Free Kibble has donated nearly 8.3 million scoops! of litter.

FreshStep:HSCO:Kitten2 copy
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freekibble.com
Increase Glass Recycling

Increase Glass Recycling

Although glass is 100% recyclable, only about one-third gets recycled in the US.  (Compared to 90% in Switzerland).  

Americans dispose of some 10 million metric tons of glass annually.  Most of it ends up in the trash.  Of the glass that does get recycled, most is comingled with aluminum & steel cans, various types of plastic, newspaper, junk mail, cardboard, and other paper products in what is called single-stream curbside collection in many US municipalities.

Additionally, many people mistakenly include garbage and non-recyclable items in the recycle bin which leads to higher costs to separate and lower actual rates of recycling.

You can help by being careful to only include recyclable items in the bins and requesting multi-stream recycling in your community. Multi-stream recycling means sorting your recyclables into types and can raise the amount of glass recylced from 40% in single stream to 90% in multistream recycling.

Free The Ocean Of Plastic

Free The Ocean Of Plastic

An estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic enters the ocean each year.

Let’s do something about it.

The state of our ocean effects every single one of us, whether we live in Ohio or Japan. Be a part of changing these statistics and help remove plastics and keep it out. Find out how you can limit your plastic footprint HERE. Free the Ocean takes the advertising dollars generated by you visiting their site and directly pay their cause partner as grants to fund removing plastic.

Simple Things YOU Can Do To Keep Plastic Out Of The Ocean

1 million plastic bags are used PER MINUTE.

Let’s reduce these #’s. Bring your own reusable shopping and produce bags to markets (in many grocery stores this will also save you from having to purchase a bag).

Be a good recycler.

Only 9% of recyclable plastics actually get recycled. So look up what your local waste center accepts and keep that in mind when buying products and throwing things away.

Bar soap > soap in a plastic bottle.

A lot of these tend to smell better anyways.

Stay away from those plastic water bottles.

Seriously. Invest in a reusable bottle, like the Free the Ocean stainless steel bottle, which will not only benefit the ocean but is cheaper in the long run (and keeps your beverages hot or cold). Once you’ve bought a reusable bottle, check out the handy app called Tap that can show you where you’ll find the closest water oasis to fill up. www.findtap.com

ENGAGE

FOLLOW  @FREETHEOCEANOFFICIAL #FREETHEOCEAN
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