Lifehacker ended last week on a brilliant note: we won Best Website at the 10th Microsoft IT Journalism Awards, which is like winning an Oscar when you're an Aussie tech writer. I gushed and thanked a lot of people in my speech that night, especially Elly and Logan (as well as appalling the entire journalism industry with my louder-than-loud outfit), but the most important people to thank are Lifehacker readers.
I love writing for Lifehacker, but it's only because you come along and read every day, leave comments and ask questions that the site keeps going. So thanks everyone! (Also huge congratulations to Allure's own Elly Hart, who won Best Reviewer; Kotaku, which won Best Gaming Coverage; and Tracey Lien, who won Best Gaming Journalist and Best Journalist.)
Anyway, here's what you were reading most often last week:
- Why Airline Food Tastes So Strange
Many people find being high up an unpleasant experience. This is not just mountain sickness or acrophobia – it turns out our taste buds too have no head for heights.
- All The Windows 8 Editions Explained
We still don’t have an official release date, but Microsoft has outlined its version plans for Windows 8. The good news? Unlike some earlier confusing Windows releases, there are only going to be three main versions. Here’s what you need to know.
- How I Learnt To Speak Four Languages In A Few Years
Lifehacker reader Gabriel Wyner was tasked with learning four languages in the past few years for his career as an opera singer, and in the process landed on “a pretty damn good method for language learning that you can do in limited amounts of spare time”. Here’s the four-step method that you can use too.
- ACCC Slams MSY Over Dodgy Warranties, Issues $203,500 Fine
Warranties are expected on new goods (and even some second-hand and refurbished gear), so being told that such standard protection will cost you extra, or isn’t present at all, should have one of your eyebrows arching in a questioning manner. Tech retailer MSY recently ran afoul of the ACCC after it attracted more than its fair share of inquisitive eyebrows, the end result being a number of fines, totalling in excess of $200,000.
- Fill Out This One-Minute Form Every Day And Find Out Why Your Life Sucks
Ever wonder why you’re having a bad day, or even a good one? Is there an ongoing problem in your life that you just can figure out? If you’ve got a free minute, just fill out this daily form to help you diagnose the problem by analysing how you think, act and feel.
- Conceal Speaker Wires With Easy Paper Tubes
Keeping wires hidden in a home theatre setup can be a fiddly and expensive task, especially when you’re connecting rear speakers. While you can purchase dedicated “raceways” to lay cable, reader Jay came up with a simpler solution: using paper.
- Why Being Great At Your Job Can Be A Dangerous Thing
Hard work and competence should be rewarded, but that’s not always what happens. Sometimes, when you do great work at a company, you not only get shafted but kicked to the kerb. Jeffrey Steele, writing for personal finance blog Five Cent Nickel, offers up a cautionary tale about being too competent.
- Why The ‘Three Second Rule’ Makes No Sense For Food
There’s a widespread belief that food dropped on the floor won’t risk contamination if you pick it up within three seconds (or, depending on who first told you, five seconds). As RMIT research officer Philip Button points out in an article at The Conversation, the reality is rather more complicated than that.
- Do You Want Your TV Cheaper Or Thinner?
There are three obvious trends in televisions: they get bigger, they get thinner and they get cheaper. So does it make sense to make a TV thicker just to make it cheaper? Samsung is about to find out.
- You May Be Able To Actually Make Yourself Smarter
New research shows that, with simple brain exercises, you may be able to actually increase your intelligence — something scientists previously thought impossible.