From The Tips Box: Headphone Cables, Dying Internet

Readers offer their best tips for preserving your headphone cables, and easily checking whether your internet’s down.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, 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. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Protect Headphone Cables with a Right Angle Jack Adapter

The continually conscious Java-Princess shares a tip for keeping headphone cords intact and less annoying:

The perpendicular headphone cable sticking out of your phone/mp3 player is trouble waiting to happen, at best it’ll weaken the socket, at worst something will snap. for a couple of bucks you can get a right-angled adaptor which you plug into the phone and then plug in your headphones. Here’s one from Amazon. There are better ones at Radio Shack.

These are great, the cable gets to swivel 360 degrees freely as you move around and it also follows the top of your player rather than sticking out like… you decide.

Check if Your Internet’s Down by Looking at the Dropbox Icon

bayXSonic lets us know an easy way to tell whether your internet’s down or if you’re just going crazy:

OSX: A quick way to check whether your internet connection is working is through internet-enabled menu bar applications. LogMeIn is the quickest to notice and then there’s Dropbox (a few seconds later), they both grey out when they can’t connect.

Windows: Windows Vista and Windows 7 include automatic Internet detection.

Chrome: Some Chrome extensions may notice the lack of connection, specifically the ones that check for updates, they’re usually slower, though.

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