From The Tips Box: Better Sleep In Your Car, Office Fridge Theft

Readers offer their best tips for catching shuteye in the car, preventing your food from being stolen from your workplace fridge, and on-demand Google Maps caching.

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

Get Better Sleep in Your Car, or The Seatbelt Head Hammock

Reader Matt Coker writes:

If you want to sleep in a car, start by putting your seatbelt on regularly. Then, pull just a little bit of slack in the shoulder strap and jerk it suddenly away from you. The seat belt locking mechanism (for car crashes) will activate, and you will have a place to rest your head as long as you keep it tight. I instantly fell in love with this, enjoy!

FYI the picture I have attached may look like my head is resting on my shoulder, but it is actually on the seat belt.

Keep Your Food and Drinks from Being Stolen in Your Work Fridge

Reader LARPkitten writes:

If your coworkers keep stealing your soda from the fridge, try putting it in a can cozy.

A coworker of mine kept having his sodas stolen from the fridge, even when he put his name on them or hid them in various locations, so instead he started putting them in the fridge, one a day, in an insulated can cozy. He hasn't had a one stolen since.

The seems-plausible explanation:

I think the psychology behind it is that it's easy to anonymously steal a can that's marked - just cover the marking (or peel off the sticky) and boom! The can looks like every other can out there, and no one knows you stole it. It's not about feeling guilty, it's about not getting caught.

The big bulky cozy, on the other hand, is highly noticeable and not quite so easy to remove, so it's more trouble than it's worth. People are more likely to notice you peeling off a cozy ("Shouldn't they be leaving it on?"), and if you drink the soda in the cozy, you're easy to spot as the thief. So they leave it alone to avoid suspicion. It's not a perfect solution, but it's a deterrent to the casual soda-stealer.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski..

On-Demand Google Maps Caching for Offline Navigation

Reader LordieLordie points out an under-the-radar feature from today's Google Maps for Android update:

In the new version of Google Maps (5.7) for Android you can download maps to your phone.

Tap menu > More > Labs. Select Download map area. Once you've done that, just follow the directions: "To download an area of the map, long press on the centre of the area you'd like to save, then tap on the bubble. Or go to 'More options' on a search result details page. Then select 'Download map area'.


    If you're sleeping in the car just lay the seat back as far as it will go. I do this whenever I'm driving and get tired. Sometimes I even stop the car as well.

    That Google maps caching is a surprisingly big deal. If you're downloading mpas ahead of time, suddenly it matters a lot less whether your android tablet has 3G or only wifi.

    Anyone know if there will be a similar update for Google Maps iOS?? I have an iTouch, so this would be soooooooo helpful to me.

    One option for workplaces where petty theft's a problem (honour system for tea/coffee/drinks, stuff being taken from fridge, etc.) is to place a poster or picture nearby of someone watching.

    It doesn't have to be an Orwellian "Big Brother is Watching" type image, just anything that looks like eyes.

    The psychology of feeling uncomfortable doing bad things while being observed will do the rest!

    can't wait to try the car hammock :)

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