From The Tips Box: Email Annoyance Prevention, Searching Multiple Tabs

Lifehacker readers give tongue-in-cheek warnings about email annoyances to new users, dry shoes by the fridge, and search multiple tabs simultaneously.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox (tips at lifehacker.com.au), but for various reasons-maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in-the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption.

Use This Email as a Guideline to Warn New Users About Email Annoyances

Photo by turtlemom4bacon

brownize gives friends and relatives who are still building up their internet savvy a few pointers with a broad e-mail:

This is not humour. I share it with you because you probably get at least as many stupid email items as I do and may want to have a handy way to tell otherwise nice people they're blundering as email newbies.

I humbly suggest that you may wish to share this with all of the email lists in which you participate. You may also wish to keep a copy send to correspondents who forget these suggestions.

Email Facts Of Life

  1. Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's true". Furthermore, just because someone said in the message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit", does not actually make it true. And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None have." That's "none" as in "zero". Not even your friend's cousin.
  2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, please read this.
  3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $US200 cookie recipe. And even if they do, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy here. Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.
  4. We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate co-workers, gross out bathroom stall neighbours and creep out people on an elevator. We also know exactly how many engineers, college students, Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes to change a light bulb.
  5. Even if the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?
  6. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with virii. TryNorton or Symantec.
  7. If your CC: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your message, you're probably going to Hell.
  8. If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off the "HTML encoding." [hear, hear!]Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
  9. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the ">" that begin each line [I try to do that!] . Besides, if it has gone around that many times - we've probably already seen it.
  10. Craig Shergold in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a "little boy" either. Nor can you get into the Guinness Book of World Records this way anymore (the rules were rewritten specifically to prevent this.)

The list is quite tongue in cheek, but it does cover many of the common things that might throw off or terrify those new to email. We'd use it as a guideline to gently remind new users that they can't trust every email received.

Dry Shoes Using Your Fridge's Exhaust

Photo by Tazmany

GitEmSteveDave shares how he dries off shoes and other items without heating up the house:

In the summer, when I go out in the mornings to do my chores, my boots/mocs get wet due to the dew. Since it's summer, running a heater would also heat up the house and make my AC unit work harder. So instead, I place my shoes by the exhaust for my fridge. It's warm and running anyway, and it gently dries my stuff. By the next day, they are dry again, and ready to repeat.

Search Multiple Tabs Simultaneously With AutoHotkey or Texter

Evan tells us about how he has resolved a personal annoyance:

One feature that's always been on the top of my wish list for Firefox is the ability to use the quick search feature in such a way that it would perform multiple searches in tabs. For example, I could do "movie the god father" to get one tab with a rotten tomatoes search, and one with an IMDb search. Since I've yet to see any extensions that handle this type of functionality, I decided to create a quick n' dirty solution in AutoHotkey. Here's how I do it:

First, in Firefox, set up quick searches for IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. In this example I used "imdb" and "rt" as my keywords.

#Hotstring EndChars `t ;Sets the activation key to tab, so as not to effect normal use of words

:o:movie:: ;Omit final character (tab) and use "movie" as keyword

send {bs}+{Home}^crt{space}^v{enter} ;First line should always follow this format, the rt before the {space} is where the keyword is input

send ^limdb{space}^v!{enter} ;All subsequent lines should follow this format

Now if you type in "the god father movie" and press tab, you'll get two tabs, one with a rotten tomatoes search followed by one with an IMDb search. For browsers that don't support quick searches, you could also use this method by subbing the keywords with the search URLs, making sure that the "^v" is in the correct part of the url for a query. However, I recommend doing it this way if you can do quick searches, as it makes for cleaner, simpler code and faster input.

*If you don't like the idea of creating your own scripts in AutoHotkey, you should be able to get the same functionality using Texter's interface, using the hotstring "movie", setting the input option to script, setting the trigger to tab, and putting all the code as one line like {bs}+{Home}^crt{space}^v{enter}^limdb{space}^v!{enter}

Uncork Wine Bottles with Ease

Photo by TheBusyBrain

Jennifer has a quick pointer on easier cork removal:

A friend and I figured this trick out a year ago and it hasn't failed me since then:

To easily remove the cork from a bottle of wine, submerge the neck of the bottle in warm water for 20-30 seconds, then use a corkscrew as usual. The cork will then come out with very little effort. I'm not sure why this works — our theory was that the warm water makes the glass expand just enough to give the cork space.

Keep Your Collars Put With Repurposed Plastic Cards

Photo by dotbenjamin

Jon tells us about how he keeps his collars looking neat by repurposing old plastic cards:

I've always taken some measure of satisfaction every time I need collar stays for my dress shirts and simply cut up old frequent flyer cards or hotel room keys (or any plastic cards). If you cut them horizontally you can usually get 6 or 8 collar stays from each card. The alternative is to buy them in department stores but they are expensive and hard to find. Plastic cards, however, are usually pretty handy whether you are at home or on the road (where, in a pinch, you can always sabotage your hotel room card and ask the front desk for another).


Comments

    um..probably the wine expanding, rather than the bottle so much - you can try the same thing with a boiled egg and a gas burner...except it doesn't ruin the egg

    those organ-thief victims haven't written in yet... likely because they're long dead!

    and for the record, because you apparently haven't investigated the many alternatives "Symantec Norton is the worst AV rubbish ever made", and not worth the free discs that usually give it away on!

    BTW: nice article. :-)

    I must get me some of those brass stays -- sounds worthwhile, as long as they don't get lost along with every left cuff-link...

    incidentally, store cards are NOT expensive -- they are actually free, as long as you don't put them through a register. eg, you can walk into Targ├ęt or Myer and casually grab a handful from the front of the counter next time you purchase something. odd, it never before occurred to me there might be a practical use for those things.
    but the hotel keys might cost you -- many hotels charge US$10-20 for a replacement card, which now have RFID tags in them, unlike the store cards that are just a simple magnetic strip.

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