Add Custom Icons to My Maps

Add Custom Icons to My Maps

Previously mentioned My Maps—the customisable map tool built into Google Maps—now lets you add your own custom icons to maps using any JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG image on the internet. I didn’t give My Maps all that much of a look when it first launched this April, but after…

Send Documents as PDF Rather Than Fax

Send Documents as PDF Rather Than Fax

If you’re setting up the ultimate home office but you don’t want to shell out the cash for a klunky, outdated fax machine, you probably don’t need to. When I started working from home, I used free fax-from-your-computer options like FaxZero, but there are limitations to free faxes and in…

Laptop or Desktop Computer?

Laptop or Desktop Computer?

Blogger Ron Schenone insists that the desktop computer is no longer needed to run heavy software, since laptops are nearly if not just as capable as most desktops on the market. Add to that the portability, small footprint and dramatic price drops for good laptops, and Schenone wonders why any…

Manage Your Digital Pics with Windows Live Photo Gallery

Manage Your Digital Pics with Windows Live Photo Gallery

Windows only: One of the perks of Windows Vista is that it ships with a built-in digital picture manager called Photo Gallery—but now Windows XP users can get in on the newest beta of that action. The Photo Gallery Beta automatically organises your pics by date, and can add tags,…

Open Text Selection as URL?

Open Text Selection as URL?

Dear Lifehacker, Is there a Firefox extension or behaviour that automates the following process (which I seem to use a dozen times per day)?

Best Firefox userchrome.css Tweaks?

Best Firefox userchrome.css Tweaks?

Just as extensions add functionality and about:config tweaks change behaviour, you can style Firefox’s “chrome” using the userchrome.css file. The chrome includes menus, toolbars, tabs, and the address bar—all the outer control area in Firefox—and web developers know that CSS sets colors, sizes, visibility and more. We’ve already covered how…

Manage Group Projects with TaskBin

Manage Group Projects with TaskBin

Collaboration webapp Taskbin shares and manages to-do lists among groups. Flag tasks in order of urgency to prioritise, and write notes for yourself or share them with group members. What separates TaskBin from other tools is that it doesn’t force you to enter deadlines; it’s a simple list manager that…

Gnome 2.20 released

Gnome 2.20 released

Gnome 2.20 has been released and the (expansive! easy to read!) release notes say it includes: “Improved support for right-to-left languages; desktop search integrated into the file chooser dialog; convenient new features in the Evolution email and calendar client; enhanced browsing of image collections; simplified system preferences; efficient power management…

Google maps adds feature to customise route

Google maps adds feature to customise route

Google Maps has quietly added a sweet new feature which has greatly improved its “get directions” function. You can now easily alter the route it’s planned for you with a simple drag and drop – which is great if you can see that it hasn’t generated the optimal route for…

Check for Bad Neighbors Before You Move with RottenNeighbor

Check for Bad Neighbors Before You Move with RottenNeighbor

US-centric: Check Google Maps mashup RottenNeighbors before you move to a new neighbourhood to get a heads-up on the potentially noisy folks next door. Just go to the site and search by your zip code. If you want to add your rotten neighbour to the database and help out future…

Convert Any Filetype and Share Large Files at You Convert It

Convert Any Filetype and Share Large Files at You Convert It

Convert documents, images, audio and video files, or even units of measure to virtually any format with web site You Convert It. Similar to previously mentioned Zamzar, all you need to do is upload the file and provide the site with your email address so it knows where to send…

Top 10 Firefox Extension-free Tabbed Browsing Techniques

Top 10 Firefox Extension-free Tabbed Browsing Techniques

Sure we love our Tab Mix Plus, but there’s a ton of tabbed browsing features baked right into Firefox that don’t necessitate the extra baggage of an extension. Power web surfers need close control of the dozens of tabs they chew through in a day. From extensive keyboard shortcuts to…

The Art of Productive Procrastination

It’s when you’re putting off doing that thing you’re supposed to be doing that you can get the most other stuff done. Oh, I don’t know, maybe you’re supposed to be writing a book but you’re ripping your 500-disc CD collection to iTunes and organising your shoe rack instead. The…

Best of luck to Kyle!

We editors are very sad to say goodbye to our guy Kyle, who’s moving on from Lifehacker and heading back to school this fall. Thanks to Kyle for all his fabulous work on the site—especially his fantastic *nix coverage. We’ll miss you, Kyle!

Yahoo Mail Innovates, Gmail Stagnates

Yahoo Mail Innovates, Gmail Stagnates

Less than two years after their beta release, Yahoo Mail has begun rolling out of beta after releasing an onslaught of innovative feature improvements along the way. On the other hand, a whopping three years into their beta release, Gmail remains one of the most popular but stagnant web-based beta…

How to make a Wi-Fi extender

How to make a Wi-Fi extender

Here’s a YouTube tutorial on a quick and dirty way to use aluminium foil, a template and some glue to make a Wi-Fi extender. As a bonus, it looks like a tin foil sail, and it’s called a Windsurfer. Slightly better than a Pringles can, yeah? 🙂 They use a…

Hack Your Home Telephone with Asterisk

Telephony geek Brian Aker controls his entire home phone system using the free, open source Asterisk software which does some crazy stuff, like IM’s him whenever the phone rings, sets custom MP3 hold music, and—my favorite—forwards annoying telemarketing calls to the very loud sound of monkeys screaming. Hit the play…

Sony Defense Force and Wii60 Share Owner

Sony Defense Force and Wii60 Share Owner

The folks over at PS3Tag got bored and decided to do a little digging into who exactly owned the Sony Defense Force website. Seems PS3Tag is affiliated with SonyProtectionGroup.com, and were tired of getting associated with the SDF. As it turns out Narutoboy of the SPG was emailed by one…

GarageGames Readies InstantAction.com

GarageGames Readies InstantAction.com

IAC recently purchased the majority of indie developer and Torque engine creator GarageGames, and today the two companies announce the fruits of that transaction. InstantAction.com will eventually be a completely web-based action gaming portal, dedicated to serving high-quality video games without requiring downloads. I’m imagining it as a sort of…

Lifehacker on RRR radio tonight!

I’ll be a guest on Melbourne community radio station RRR’s computer show Byte into It tonight – Wednesday, 19 September. The show is broadbast from 7pm-8pm every Wednesday, and is hosted by Phil Wales. If you’re not in Melbourne, fear not. You can listen to RRR streaming online, or download…

Make Your Taskbar Transparent with TransBar

Make Your Taskbar Transparent with TransBar

Windows only: Add transparency to your Windows taskbar and give yourself slightly more usable desktop real estate with freeware application TransBar. While the latter claim (more desktop space) may seem like nonsense, it’s especially true for two-row taskbar folks like myself who don’t like auto-hiding the taskbar. Whether you want…

Mount Remote File Systems with NetDrive

Mount Remote File Systems with NetDrive

Windows only: Mount remote drives over FTP, SFTP, WebDAV or iFolder to your desktop with freeware application NetDrive. Once mounted, you can navigate your remote drive like any other folder in Windows Explorer.

Shine Wooden Furniture with Shoe Polish

Shine Wooden Furniture with Shoe Polish

Turns out shoe polish can shine up more than your kicks. Real Simple magazine says it can take nicks and gouges out of wooden furniture as well: Apply a pea-size dot of wax shoe polish, then use a soft cotton cloth to buff it in, as you would on shoes….

TwitterNotes Organises Your Notes

TwitterNotes Organises Your Notes

Webapp TwitterNotes separates notes to yourself from all the other chatter on Twitter. Simply log on to Twitter and type a note to yourself prefixed by the + sign, and check TwitterNotes to retrieve it later. Organise your TwitterNotes with tags by surrounding tag words in the tweet with asterisks,…

Google Docs Adds Presentations

Google Docs Adds Presentations

Google finally rounds out their web-based office suite with the addition of a Presentations to Google Docs. Create a whole new slideshow in Presentations or upload an existing PowerPoint file to get started. Kick your web-based presentation into slideshow view mode and invite others to see it real time as…

Preview of KDE 4

ExtremeTech has previewed KDE 4, which is slated for release in December. This overview looks at KDE 4’s range of freely available applications which take advantage of its new development framework, as well as the latest version of the Qt GUI toolkit. Their conclusion? “A major new version with as…

Release

Latest version 2.3 of free, open source office suite application OpenOffice.org is now available for download. The upgrade includes new features, overall polish and security patches.

Find Cheap, Recycled Cardboard Boxes for Your Next Move

Find Cheap, Recycled Cardboard Boxes for Your Next Move

US-centric – Find plenty of free or cheap cardboard boxes for your next move at U-Haul’s box exchange forum. Their forum is pretty basic, divided regionally into sections for finding free used boxes or for buying and selling boxes—though according to the Cool Tools weblog, there are plenty of people…

Mirror Your Mac on a Bootable External Drive

Mirror Your Mac on a Bootable External Drive

If and when that terrible day your Mac dies finally catches up to you, you can be back up and running with all your applications, settings and data in under 5 seconds with a bootable system clone. By mirroring your entire Mac’s hard drive to an external FireWire drive, you…

Quote of the day

“With proprietary operating systems increasingly designed to restrict and control the user, with digital ‘restrictions’ management, their users are subjugated even more now than before. If you don’t want chains on you hand and foot, your only escape is to switch to a free operating system.”—Richard Stallman

Find Similar Web Sites with Youlicit

Find Similar Web Sites with Youlicit

Search engine Youlicit calculates the popularity of search results based on user votes rather than web site links. Call it a social bookmark tool if you will: search by URL or key phrase, and related sites ranked by Youlicit users appear. To get in on the voting yourself, install a…