Friday, February 22, 2008

How to rent movies from iTunes

We’ve been hoping ever since Apple TV was launched that Apple would get around to offering video downloads from its Australian iTunes store – and we’re still waiting. But Danny Gorog from APC has written up a guide to how to set up an account with the iTunes store in the US by buying an iTunes US gift voucher via eBay or similar. When you set up the account you don’t need to link it to a credit card account – although you are asked for a US mailing address. He says as you won’t be mailed anything it’s safe to put a spoof address. Probably against the TOS, but it sounds like a workable solution while we continue to wait for iTunes Australia to put the TV into Apple TV.

How to rent movies in Australia with iTunes [APC]


How Do You Do Your Taxes?

Nobody likes doing their taxes, primarily because 1) it takes time and 2) it involves money—and in the worst cases, owing significant chunks of it. Between online tax forms, software apps like Turbo Tax, chop shops like H&R Block, and your accountant, there are tonnes of ways you can go about tackling your taxes as income tax season quickly descends on us. So, in the face of this wealth of options, we’re wondering:


Build Your Grocery List While You Plan Your Meals at Tasty Planner

Recipe web site Tasty Planner adds an excellent layer of planning to the traditional recipe search with daily recipe planning tools and a built-in grocery list generator for everything on your list. We’ve seen a lot of recipe searches in the past, but with its drag-and-drop meal planning, it’s arrangeable and customisable grocery list, and it’s all-around attractive and fun-to-use interface, Tasty Planner actually demonstrates a lot of promise as a recipe search site that you could actually integrate with your daily life. Tasty Planner


Upgrade Your TiVo's Hard Drive for More Recording Space

Whether you’ve got an original Series1 TiVo or a brand new Series3 model, if you’re a die-hard TV lover you may regularly be bumping up against your storage limits. If so, web site NewReleaseVideo’s in-depth guide to upgrading your TiVo’s hard drive might be just what you’re looking for. The process from start to finish isn’t for the faint of heart, requiring a few special tools and some work in a Linux live CD environment, but if you’re serious about increasing your TiVo’s storage capabilities, the guide is also extremely detailed and beginner-friendly (though unfortunately photo-less). If you’ve ever upgraded your TiVo’s drive, tell us how the process went for you in the comments. If hardware hacking isn’t your thing, check out how to stream any video from your computer to your TiVo or your fellow readers’ favourite TiVo tricks. How-to TiVo upgrade [NewReleaseVideo]


Live out of a filing cabinet

What a cool concept – you can furnish a bedroom/study with the furniture shrunk and packed into a container the size of a filing cabinet. Watch the video – it’s like watching how many clowns can fit into a telephone booth, but in reverse. The container includes: 1 wardrobe1 large desk/table 1 desk cabinet with locking drawers1 revolving, height-adjustable desk chair2 stools1 single bed 1 mattress1 tall set of shelves

The kit, called CASULO, is a demo but will be on the market in Europe soon – an interesting idea for globetrotters and students.[via Wise Bread]


ABC

The ABC will launch a mobile portal later this year which will give mobile phone users on any platform access to its TV, radio and online content. This news came from an interesting piece in the Oz which also said that Auntie is also introducing user-generated content across ABC websites, and a geographic search engine which will allow users to click on a map to access ABC content relevant to that locale.


Get 5GB of Free Online Storage from SkyDrive

Upload and share up to 5GB of data to Windows Live SkyDrive, an online storage solution from Microsoft that’s just graduated from beta. With your SkyDrive account (which requires a Windows Live ID), you get that 5GB of storage (which bests Box.net’s 1GB free plan) for personal folders accessible only to you, shared folders accessible to your friends, and public folders open to everyone (which can be subscribed to via RSS). Details on SkyDrive limitations and usage are sketchy, but it looks like individual file sizes may be limited to 500MB. If you’ve been using SkyDrive since its beta, share your experience so far in the comments. Windows Live SkyDrive [via Digital Inspiration]


Vista

Microsoft has released a list of the applications which will be broken, or have their functionality reduced, by Vista Service Pack 1. CNET reports that it’s mostly security apps which will be affected, but the New York Times Reader application is also on the list.


Help your kids build a kaleidoscope

Toy – KaleidoscopeFor more of the funniest videos, click hereHere’s a weekend project that’s easy enough for the kids to work on with you – building your own kaleidoscope. The materials are very simple and cheap – it looks like you can use an old vitamin or pill container, along with an old CD. The cool thing is that you can experiment with using different coloured materials in the kaleidoscope – coloured glass, crystals, old LEDs, etc etc.

[via Geek Dad]


Stick to Self-Assigned Deadlines

Whether you’ve set personal goals for the new year or you’re self-employed, sticking to deadlines that you’ve assigned to yourself can be difficult. Freelance writer Thursday Bram discusses how he gets his work done on a deadline in the face of somewhat arbitrary deadlines. The post focuses mostly on freelance work, but the ideas are just as applicable to things like New Year’s resolutions or other personal goals. For more on sticking to your self-assigned deadlines and accomplishing your goals, check out how this editor motivates himself to stick to his resolutions. Making Fake Deadlines Real: Completing Projects with Self-Assigned Deadlines [Lifehack.org]