Productivity

Best Of 2012: Ask Lifehacker

We always welcome reader questions for Ask Lifehacker. Today’s Best Of 2012 post highlights the most popular questions we dealt with over the year.


Ask LH: How Do I Torrent Safely Now That Demonoid Is Down?

Dear Lifehacker, My favourite private BitTorrent tracker, Demonoid, has apparently gone down for good. I was so dependent on it for its quality, security from viruses and protection from prying eyes. Where can I torrent safely now that Demonoid is gone?


Ask LH: Is Usenet Safer Than BitTorrent?

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve been downloading torrents for a long time and people keep telling me about how great Usenet is, but is it actually safer than BitTorrent downloads? Or is it just not as popular?


Ask LH: How Often Should I Charge My Gadget’s Battery To Prolong Lifespan?

Dear Lifehacker, What is the deal with lithium-ion batteries (the kind found in smartphones and laptops)? I’ve heard lots of different things about how to take care of them, like that they need to be kept charged between 40 per cent and 80 percent, or that they should be drained completely and charged to 100 per cent. What is the ideal configuration to maintain a good battery life to battery health ratio?


Ask Lifehacker: Can I Read PDFs Using Kindle For Android?

Dear Lifehacker, I love using the Kindle app on my Android phone, and I want to be able to convert PDFs and read them in the Kindle app. Do you know of any way that this can be done? I’ve seen many websites detailing instructions on converting PDFs for the Kindle device, but not the Kindle app. Any ideas?


Ask LH: Why Does The Nexus 7 Tablet Cost So Much More In Australia?

Dear Lifehacker, Why is the entry-level Nexus 7 tablet from Google priced at $US199 in North America but costs $249 for Australian customers? That doesn’t make sense when the tablets are manufactured in Asia. What gives


Which Usenet Service Should I Use Now That NZBMatrix Has Closed?

Dear Lifehacker, After reading some of your previous stories I made the switch to Usenet, and have been happily grabbing Linux distros and whatnot for the past year or so. NZBMatrix went under last night, and I was wondering if you would be able to provide a list of worthy alternatives?


Ask LH: Can Cinemas Stop Me Bringing My Own Food To The Movies?

Dear Lifehacker, A thought occurs to me during your Consumer Power Week. A significant cinema chain in Perth still tries to stop you bringing in outside food/drinks and checks your bag for smuggled soft drinks. I’ve tried to find any information I could about the legality of this and all I could find is anecdotes and whinging. Can they do this?


Ask LH: How Can I Stop My ISP From Tracking My Every Move?

Dear Lifehacker, The recent kerfuffle over Telstra storing everyone’s mobile browsing history has renewed my worries over how much information my internet service provider (ISP) has about my online activity. How concerned should I be, and how can I ensure they don’t see everything I do?


Ask LH: How Often Should I Shut Down And Restart My Computer?

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve heard it’s bad to shut down your computer every night. Is it really better to leave it on all the time? I have a high-end machine and want to take care of it, but I don’t know the best way to do that.


Ask LH: What’s A Private BitTorrent Tracker And Why Should I Use One?

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve heard people murmur about “private” BitTorrent trackers and how they’re so much better than sites like The Pirate Bay, but I don’t really know what a private tracker is. Does it just increase my privacy? I have a Demonoid account, but I never use it. Should I be?