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Ask LH: How Can I Write Without Getting Constantly Distracted?

What is the best device for a monkish/writerly existence? I want to get some serious writing on, without distractions or bloat. But I would rather not use a pen and paper, as I need the output to be digital. Do you have a recommendation for a modern day typewriter?

Ask LH: When Should I Trust Online Reviews?

Dear Lifehacker, I know a lot of online reviews can be fake, and others are just written by angry people. How can I separate useful reviews from crappy ones? I don’t want to avoid something good because someone lied, but I don’t want to throw my money away either.

Ask LH: What's A Good University Laptop?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m just starting my second year of university and my home laptop is too bulky to take with me. I’m on the hunt for a secondary laptop but since I’m a full-time student, I’m on a bit of a budget. I don’t have too many requirements — just that it is smaller, has long battery life, fits at least 2 USB ports and runs relatively smoothly. I’m really struggling to make a decision here. Any suggestions?

Ask LH: What Thin, Cheap TV Should I Buy?

Dear Gizmodo, my fiancée and I are about to move into our first home, and our current TV is too big and bulky to mount in the house on the wall where we want our TV. We’re not TV connoisseurs and we don’t need all the latest and greatest features, we simply want the thinnest TV we can get with adequate image quality. Ideally the TV will be between 42 and 47 inches and $750 or less. Used/refurbished TVs are okay with us. What should we get and where should we look?

Ask LH: Should I Contest This Traffic Fine?

Dear Lifehacker, I received an infringement from the police for not stopping at a Give Way sign which I didn’t notice was there. However, I believe another involved driver was at fault. When I attempted to turn right, the other car wasn’t there. The only reason they did an emergency stop was because they failed to notice me on the road. The police said I failed to stop and gave me a ticket anyway. Do you think I have a chance to win the appeal?

Ask LH: Should I Simultaneously Apply For Multiple Jobs At The Same Company?

Dear Lifehacker, A company that I’d love to work for has two positions open — one I’m underqualified for and the other I’m overqualified for. I’d obviously prefer the higher paying position but am keen to join the company in any role. What’s the best way to apply for both positions without damaging my chances at either?

Ask LH: How Can I Train Myself To Obey My Alarm?

Dear Lifehacker, I find it difficult to wake up in the morning and rely heavily on phone alarms. However, I find myself semi-consciously turning them off. I’ve been known to hit the snooze button without even realising it. Is there something (say an app or service) that can help me “train” myself to pay more attention to the alarms? Hell, I’d even consider something akin to GymPact which took money off me for not waking up!

Ask LH: Are Livescribe Recordings Ever Illegal?

Dear Lifehacker, Can you tell me what is the legal status for using a Livescribe smartpen in meetings, etc? The pen uses a specific note pad to take handwritten notes and it can also record what is said for later reference. I read somewhere that it’s against the law to record conversations without permission. Should I be worried, and has anyone ever been charged for using one?

Ask LH: How Can I Stop My Fitness Tracker From Waking My Partner?

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve recently started using a fitness tracker which comes with an inbuilt vibration alarm. This is great, as it means my girlfriend doesn’t get woken up by the noise of my alarm. (I work morning shifts.) However, we like to snuggle while sleeping, which means my wrist is usually buzzing against her ribs or in her ear. Can you suggest a solution that will wake me up without disturbing her?

Ask LH: Are Vietnamese Pork Rolls Unsafe To Eat?

Dear Lifehacker, On the weekend it was reported that scores of people contracted food poisoning from a South Sydney bakery. (Story here.) The culprit is believed to have been a Vietnamese-style pork and chicken roll. This isn’t the first time these products have caused a health scare: something similar happened in my home town last year. Are all these outbreaks a coincidence, or do I need to start looking for a new healthy lunch option?

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