Readers offer their best tips for staying off Facebook and opening beer bottles.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.
Force Yourself To Manually Log Into Distracting Sites
Tom Hayford tell us how he kicked his Facebook addiction:
I got a new computer recently and realized that it was a lot easier to stay off Facebook. Why? Because I hadn't checked the box "Keep me logged in". With browser address auto complete, all I would have to type to start surfing Facebook was F+Enter. Now I get greeted with the login screen and am given one last chance to make the right decision to get back to work. I'm going to de-select that option for all the other services I use, too. As an added measure, actually logging off a service will help too if you keep your browser open. Really simple fix.
If you use a password manager, be sure to turn off auto-login on that as well.
Open Beer Bottles With A Staple Remover
David Grossman shares yet another clever trick for opening bottles:
My office often has beer parties and we always forget to bring a bottle opener. I usually have one, but did not today. Looked around and found a staple remover, put the teeth under one of the exposed creased of the cap, and in a pull or three, it came off. For office dwelling beer drinkers, this is a nice trick to know.
Use Tape To Record Loud Events On A Smartphone
Carl Eklof lets us know a trick for recording audio on a smartphone:
Problem: Recording anything loud such as band practice, or shooting video of a concert, sounds like the mic is getting flushed down a toilet. No amount of post-processing can fix this because the raw data is junk. My iPhone literally cuts out when recording band practice. A phone mic was designed and tuned to record a person's normal speaking voice, which is not very loud (~60db at 3 ', ~80db at the close-range of a phone at someone's ear). There are lots of aftermarket microphones out there. Many have a sensitivity control (in-line variable resistor). Many also provide stereo recording which is nice. But the add-on microphones cost money, take up space, can be damaged, and you have to have it with you. Solution: Simply cover the microphone input with a piece of tape. Different kinds of tape (such as Scotch or duct) will dampen the sound to different degrees, but in my experience any kind of tape will prevent the mic from clipping (clipping is the technical term for when you get signal loss due to an input signal being beyond the sensitivity range). Make sure you completely cover the mic input, even a small wrinkle can let in enough pressure to saturate the mic.
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