Trending December 2023 # ‘Ghost Streams’ Sound Supernatural, But Their Impact On Your Health Is Very Real # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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A stream in its natural habitat. Nick Cooper via Unsplash

Brynn O’Donnell is a freshwater ecosystem scientist, with a focus on urban biogeochemistry. She also believes in the importance of science accessibility, and practices this through telling stories of the human relationship with water through her podcast, Submerge. She’s finishing her graduate degree in Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech, where she studies the impact of storm disturbances on stream health.

Across the country, buried beneath the pavement you walk on, an invisible network of waterways flows through the darkness. These are ghost streams, and they’re haunting us.

In their former lives, they wound through natural landscapes above ground; it’s only through decades of development that humanity has relegated them beneath the earth’s surface, enclosing the waterways in tombs of concrete and iron. The effects, decades later, plague us. Without a natural habitat to snake through, these streams carry downstream an excessive amount of pollutants (like salt and sediment) and nutrients (like nitrogen and phosphorus) because they can’t divest these materials into their surrounding environs.

The move isn’t a recently devised trick. The western world has been moving streams underground since the Roman Empire. Between then and now, our stream burial technology has not undergone any revolutions, aside from separating stormwater and raw sewage and using different pipe materials.

Most people are not aware of the historic streams that have been buried—except for the curious few who wonder, for instance, why the street in downtown New York City is named “Canal.” In fact, we’ve buried streams all across the nation—in Los Angeles, D.C, and more. The U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we’ve buried 98 percent of the streams that once crossed through Baltimore’s urban core.

Although we’ve buried these streams, we haven’t put them to rest. They are still flowing, and still take in all the things we shed, spill, drop, and leak into our landscape. As rain runs over paved streets and sidewalks, it sweeps everything from the urban world directly into the nearest waterbody. Urban runoff makes its way to these hidden streams.

Unpiped, healthy streams naturally filter much of the water that flows into them. Smaller streams are mediators of human effluent: receiving the waste discharged from point sources (like industrial pipes and wastewater treatment plants) and from nonpoint sources (like runoff from streets and agricultural activities) and using tools like microbes, algae, rocks, and soil to slowly unload and transform excess nutrients and pollutants. Unwittingly tasked with filtering chemicals and solutes, natural streams become highly important to human health. And when we bury streams, we rob ourselves of our natural purifiers.

Streams typically teem with life: algae, fish, and invertebrates. A stream is home to microbes that require light, nutrients, and a natural stream bottom. These microorganisms are the power players that remove those excessive nutrients. But most ghost streams don’t host much life at all. When we bury a stream underground, we cut it off from light and the stream bottom. Only nutrients remain, which are funneled downstream, mixing city runoff with fresh water in the nearest river.

“Nutrients” sound good, but they can wreak havoc in downstream waterbodies, polluting waterways, creating coastal dead zones, and feeding thick blooms of toxic cyanobacteria.

Luckily, towns are beginning to acknowledge the importance of these buried streams in an effort to reduce the terrors of urban runoff. Simply letting locals know a stream exists beneath them, and that the stream receives everything, untreated, that goes down the drain, encourages people to keep their waste out of the secret streams.

For example, small frog statues adorn city drains in Blacksburg, Virginia, marking the drains directly above the local ghost stream. It’s a callback to the Ancient Romans, who marked their buried streams with shrines to “Cloaca Maxima” or the sewer goddess. Baltimore stencils its storm drains, and Richmond, Virginia and Dayton, Ohio want to do the same using the work of local artists. Entry points to waterways are embellished with paintings of fish, octopuses, and otters encircled by cautionary reminders like “all water drains to the sea” and “only rain should go down the drain.” Other storm drain murals are decorated with landscape paintings of scenic wildlife, images of kelp with plastic and litter for companions, or paintings of fish where grated drains act as mouths.

Some places are going further, ripping up pavement, shattering pipes, and hammering away the concrete to exhume ghost streams. Daylighting, as the procedure is called, opens the streams up to the sun and restores the adjacent land connection. This begins the process of healing, re-growing vegetation, and encouraging microbes and algae to come back. It’s great, but unburying a stream is expensive and requires strong community backing, and community support for daylighting a stream can’t be mustered if residents aren’t aware of the buried stream itself. Art is a great first step.

By recognizing ghost streams and getting locals engaged, we can work toward healing the waterways by limiting the pollutants poured into them, and even eventually unearthing them from the ground.

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How Is Ai Transforming The Real Estate Business

With everything going online and with each possible stream of data available for scrutiny just like a distributed database, the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing faster than before. The seamless availability of information and management in the similar fashion shows the real transformation AI has brought into our lives. Machine learning and AI are revolutionizing every other industry be it law, medicine, education or real estate. The replacement of human jobs by automation has always been a topic of discussion. But before that one must have a closer look at the ways by which Artificial Intelligence is coming out as a boon not just for buyers or potential customers but for agents and real estate business firms. Real Estate is a territory which is eagerly seeking an integration with AI for desired and timely results accompanied by comfort. Virtual Access to Real Estate: Artificial Intelligence has led to a breakthrough in the responsive system for buildings. Smart LED lights and self-programming thermostats are a few examples of how the inclusion of AI can be seen. This technology will help in estimation of costs and come out with optimized structures. Having said that, there is still a lot to be done in this field to make buildings that are self-responsive. Tenant-Owner Interaction: Installation of smart technology in homes is nothing new. Brokers and AI: One way is to adopt the new technology to deliver an unmatched customer experience and the other is to lose your job. On one hand, AI provides integrated services with the requirement for lesser agents but it also puts several functional jobs in dilemma. It is absolutely true that AI offers the wide range of relative information to the potential buyer at one go making it easier for both the parties to come to a decision. But it can be disruptive when it comes to human jobs. It is efficiency versus jobs. Security Breach with AI: Earlier we talked about how smart homes have now become a thing and a virtual tour is more of comfort and how a stay office access to all the information makes the job less painful and more efficient. Amongst all these perks the security breach scenario and the danger of being hacked are some of the cons alongside. There are enormous risks associated with technology interfering our lives.

In 2023, IBM’s X-Force Ethical Hacking team conducted a penetration test on a customer’s building automation system and found numerous vulnerabilities in the HVAC system that would allow a malicious intruder to gain access to the enterprise’s central server, proprietary customer data.

The Future with AI in Real Estate: With the current level of inclusiveness of AI in real estate, the business has to balance the jobs and automation of the same. The benefit of efficiency and savings cannot be led to overpower the human jobs. If that happens, it will only lead to depletion of the hard-earned trust of the field in the market. Technology must be invited but one has to figure out a way to make space for it by not replacing something completely. Certainly, there are a few areas where AI aid is much needed like customer relations and customer services, employee management etc.

Impact Of Credit Policy On Working Capital Management

Role of Credit Policy

It is known to all that having a good amount of working capital is necessary for the smooth functioning of businesses. For example, the credit policy of a company plays a pivotal factor in managing the working capital of a company.

Companies often need to sell their products on credit to keep and gain market share. It is not possible for all products to get sold instantly which can generate immediate revenues. Therefore, the retailers may ask for a credit to sell the products and then pay for them to the manufacturers.

A business company therefore must adhere to a good credit policy to offer the minimum days of credit to the sellers. But at the same time, the credit terms must also follow the industry norms. Therefore, a credit policy should be created in such a manner that the businesses do not find it rough to pay the bills but also, at the same time, it is not too long for the company.

Impact of Credit Policy on Working Capital Management

Various policies of businesses play key roles in the working capital management of companies. Credit policy is one of them. Let us see its impacts on working capital management as mentioned below −

Bad Debt

Sale on credit creates debtors. Companies that follow a liberal credit policy without following the credit rating of companies risk creating bad debts that would eat the profits of the company.

Selling products in bad debt for the long term can restrain the business’s existence for a foreseeable future. Therefore, businesses must resort to practices that are healthy for their survival.

Bad debt is a common feature of manufacturing companies that do not follow a strict credit policy. It is the nature of retailers and other business units in the sales process to ask for credit as much as possible. Therefore, the manufacturer must make a decision depending on the needs of the sellers and their credit history. Being too liberal is not going to fetch any fruit in the long run.

Credit from the Suppliers

While the credit policy for the sellers is important for the manufacturers, the credit policy of its suppliers of raw materials and resources also plays a key role in its business operations. If the suppliers offer a long credit period, the companies would have to rely less on working capital.

The inventories are funded by suppliers’ credit so it reduces the cash conversion cycle of a company. It is notable to mention here that getting enough time to pay suppliers credit can help the business offer credit to the sellers ultimately. So, a liberal credit policy of the suppliers can help a company to offer extended credit to its customers.

Dependence On Bank Finance

A liberal credit policy also helps companies use their own resources more reliably. This in turn helps them to rely less on bank finances. Without a liberal credit policy for suppliers, the companies would need to meet their finances that are obtained from banks.

Bank finances that have low or reasonable rates of interest can help the businesses run smoothly. If the interest is low, the manufacturing companies can offer the products to sellers at a low cost which can lower the price of products at the end of the cycle.


The impacts of credit policy on business companies are palpable in nature. It can be easily understood that with a great credit policy, the companies may get an upper hand in staying and growing in business operations.

When the credit policy is wrong, the businesses would find it tough to stay intact on the path of business operations. Therefore, all business organizations must understand the impact of the credit policy on their businesses and form them judiciously.

How To Use Sound Recognition Alerts On Iphone

Apple has introduced an all-new accessibility feature in iOS 14 called Sound Recognition. This feature allows your iPhone to listen and identify different sounds, such as doorbells, car horns, dogs, cats, door knocks, etc. This is primarily meant for people who are hearing-impaired or deaf, but it can have other uses as well. You can set up your device to listen to certain sounds and alert you through a notification of what it has heard. Thus, you can set up alerts for specific sounds that you want to be notified about.

Set up Sound Recognition on Your iPhone

The Sound Recognition alert feature is only present in iOS 14 or later, so make sure your device is updated to the latest version. One important thing to note is that you will not be able to use the “Hey Siri” feature with Sound Recognition enabled. You can only use one or the other.

1. Open up the Settings app on your device.

2. In the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on “Accessibility.”

3. In the Accessibility menu, scroll down to the “Hearing” category and tap on “Sound Recognition” to proceed further.

4. Turn the toggle to the On position. Tap on the Sounds menu.

5. Use the toggle to enable the specific sounds you want for Sound Recognition.

If Siri is enabled on your device, you’ll be warned that “Hey Siri” will be disabled as long as this feature is enabled. Choose “Turn On Sound Recognition” and continue selecting the sounds you need.

Notifications for Sound Recognition will appear like normal notifications. This will be either on the lock screen, home screen or top of your screen as a banner.

It is important to note that you should not rely on this feature in emergencies, high-risk situations or for navigation. Apple has warned users regarding this, asking them not to rely on Sound Recognition in situations where they may be injured or harmed.

iOS 14 also comes with many other features, such as the Translate app and dynamic widgets on your homescreen.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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Hands On: Fujifilm Real 3D W1 Digital Camera

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In the past, in order to take a stereoscopic 3D photo, photogs had to fashion their own hacked shooting rigs of conjoined cameras wired into a central shutter. But even with all that, 3D shots taken with those setups still can’t be seen with the naked eye. Fujifilm’s Real 3D system, which is available in the U.S. today, includes a camera, digital frame, and print center that creates 3D images you can see without those flimsy glasses.

First up, the FinePix Real 3D W1 digital camera ($600). Just like costly stereoscopic rigs, the W1 has two side-by-side 10-megapixel lenses separated about as far as human eyes (about 2.75 inches) that capture two images simultaneously focused on the same point in front of the camera. The two shots are instantly combined inside the camera to create a MPO-JPEG (the “MP” is for “multi-picture”), instead of your standard JPEG. It also captures 3D movies in stereo 3D-AVI at 640-by-480 or 320-by-240 pixels at 30 frames per second.

The real trick, though, is in the screen: the 2.8-inch LCD uses directional light control to display the MPO and 3D-AVI files in 3D that’s visible with the naked eye. Directional light control displays two different sets of light, one pointed at your right eye and other at your left, that flash quickly enough back and forth to give the illusion of depth.

All this happens quickly in 3D auto mode, but there also manual settings to tinker with. Individual Shutter 3D, for example, snaps only one shot at a time, and displays a ghost of the first image on the screen to guide the second snap. The W1 can also take regular 2D photos, either one at a time or two at once. The dual-shot feature comes in handy for landscape or panorama shooting, though there’s no in-camera editing option to stitch the shots together on the fly.

How Fujifilm’s 3D Vision Works

Fuji’s system projects images and video in such a way that your eyes and brain are tricked into seeing in 3D.

I had an hour or so to play around with the W1 last week, and it’s impressive. The camera is heavy, but it’s metal body feels very sturdy despite its brick-like-ness. Snaps I took of my coffee cup and danish popped on the LCD just the way Fuji’s engineers said they would. I also had fun tinkering with the image ghosting (or parallax) controls, which let you control how much overlap there is between the two JPEGs to determine what part of the image you want to appear in 3D; I was able to shift focus from my mug to a camera in the background, for example

Fuji has also created options for off-camera, glasses-free viewing. The V1 Digital Viewer ($500) is an 8-inch LCD display that uses a parallax viewing system to render in 3D. This system, like the camera LCD directional light, points light at each eye individually, but in a slightly different way. The viewer has a second LCD overlaid that only displays thin, vertical black lines that quickly flash on and off on the right and left side. Once you find the screen’s “sweet spot,” (which could take a bit of bobbing your head back and forth, as it did for me) images and video appear to pop.

Fujifilm Real 3D W1 Screen

In person, images on the 2.8-inch LCD pop.

If you’re old-fashioned and want prints, you can order then for about $7 each through chúng tôi The 5-by-7 prints have the textured feel of holograms. Those raised ridges use what’s called binocular disparity to isolate parts of the image that get seen by each eye individually.

Fuji has also partnered with Nvidia to bring the Real 3D system to computers — albeit with the glasses. With the help of Nvidia 3D Vision glasses, a 120-Hz monitor, and a current Nvidia graphics card, you can view the W1’s MPO and 3D-AVI files on your PC.

The Real 3D system is available direct from Fuji starting today.

7 Ways To Manage Your Startup’S Financial Health

The success of your business depends on how well you manage its finances.

Learn about each aspect of your business’s finances, making financial projections so you can anticipate rough patches and profitable times.

Banks, alternative lenders and peer-to-peer lenders are sources you can turn to when you need money to help your business grow.

This article is for entrepreneurs who are running a new business and want to know how to manage their startup’s financial health.

In the beginning stages of managing your startup, the nitty-gritty of finances might be the last thing you want to think about, but letting financial planning fall by the wayside is a troubling habit for new business owners.

The pressures of success and profitability can weigh down a new business. But no matter your level of familiarity with business finances, you should keep certain key questions and resources in mind. Here are seven steps to take for the successful management of your startup’s financial health.

[Related Content: Benefits, Features and Costs of Accounting Software for your Business]

1. Open a business bank account.

A business bank account is one of the most important pieces of getting your startup’s finances in order. Whether you open a checking account, cash management account, or savings account, opening a business bank account is a wise move for these reasons:

It prepares you for tax season. Keeping your business and personal expenses separate will make it easier to file taxes. If you skip this step, come tax season, you might have a hard time untangling your business and personal expenses from each other. This can result in you losing out on deductions or cause a logistical nightmare later.

It offers legal protection. A business bank account can offer you limited personal liability protection depending on your business’s legal structure. If your business gets sued, for example, a business bank account may help prove that your business is a separate entity from you, which can protect your personal assets.

It makes you appear more professional. A business bank account allows clients and customers to pay your business rather than making payments to you personally. This lends your venture an air of professionalism.

Key Takeaway

A business bank account is key, as it separates your personal and business finances.

4. Determine your startup’s financial and market logistics.

Once you have a working knowledge of business finances, you have to ask the tough questions specific to your enterprise:

How much money do I need to start this business?

How long until my product or service will become profitable?

There is no perfect answer to these questions. It depends on your niche, which should be as narrow as possible in the beginning.

“Entrepreneurs often try to target as broad of a population as possible,” Moltz said. “That will just lead to more competition.” [Interested in finding the right accounting software for your small business? Check out our best picks and reviews.]

Understanding your niche will help you answer these more concrete questions. Service-based businesses, for example, take much less money to start than product-based businesses. No matter your market, the key is to not overspend.

“New business owners spend way too much money in the startup phase,” Moltz said. It seems logical – the more money you spend getting customers, the more customers you will get. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. That’s where profitability comes in.

Key Takeaway

Make sure you have a strong grasp on your business niche, how much money you need to get started, and how long it should take before your business becomes profitable.

Editor’s note: Looking for information on accounting software? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with free information:

Yara Simón contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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