Dear Lifehacker, I recently bought a used car which unfortunately only came with a CD player and radio for entertainment. I was wondering if it was worth buying a new car radio with bluetooth or aux cable capabilities, or if I should just buy a portable speaker and mount that to my car?
Tagged With carstereo
Zen Habits had a thought provoking post on the differences between habits and tasks, and how and when you might include habits (or tasks-you-want-to-become-habits) on your to do list.
The thing I really appreciated about this post was the idea of identifying or choosing 'triggers' for habitual behaviour:
"I wake up at 4 a.m., after being triggered by an alarm clock. My getting up triggers my habit of starting my coffee and drinking water. Now, Iâ€™m using the drinking water as a trigger to exercise."
That gave me a "lightbulb over the head" moment, and an idea for training myself to exercise every day, rather than just three days a week. Yay!
The BBC's Science and Nature section has an interesting quiz titled the "Sleep Profiler", a quick (took me about 5 minutes) assessment tool you can use to figure out how to make the most of your sleepy time.
My quiz results told me that I have a pretty good handle on how much sleep I'm getting, but that I may want to lay off the caffeine late at night—there was actually a whole page of results directed at my unique answers that turned out to be very helpful. So! If you have a few minutes, take the assessment and share your results in the comments.
Windows only: Freeware application Foldr Monitr watches any user-defined folder and automatically uploads any new photos to your Flickr account. After installing the program and authenticating with Flickr, just select the folder you want to monitor and that's that. If you've set Foldr Monitr to start with Windows and point it to your main photo folder, the app will automatically back up all of your new pics to Flickr as soon as they hit your hard drive. I hacked together a similar solution for automatic folder monitoring and uploading to Flickr that works across platforms, but this freeware, Windows-only solution brings a much friendlier user interface and many more advanced options to the process.
Flickr Foldr Monitr
I was a guest on on Triple R's technology show Byte into IT last week, talking about all things Lifehacker. If you'd like to hear it, the podcast is available here.
Web utility URL Split creates single URLs that direct users to up to seven different web sites. For example, clicking this link five times will direct you to five of my recent Hack Attack Features in the order I linked them (one, two, three, four, and five). The site is built on an interesting idea, but in practice it could use some work—in particular, one would expect to be able to continue following the link chain from each link location (through some sort of proxy hosting). As is you have to continue opening the same link in a new tab until you see that it repeats, which really just causes more ambiguity than it's worth. If it worked as I suggested, though, URL Split could be a nice tool for sharing simple link tours or step-by-steps.
Add a little flair to your filing cabinet with custom labels. Blogger Aaron Propst cut the company letterhead off his bills and used them as folder labels for easy visual identification. This project is a time investment, but the result looks good and may make filing a little quicker and easier.
File Faster, Pull Icons Off of Your Bills
Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): Choose to download, open or view PDFs as HTML on a case-by-case basis with the PDF Download Firefox extension. After you've installed it, clicking a PDF link will pop up the PDF Download dialog, where you can choose your preferred action. It's not for everyone, but if you regularly deal with PDFs and you want more granular control over how Firefox manages them, PDF Download is a great add-on.
You can keep your home spotless in 19 short minutes a day by following CNN Living's room-by-room roadmap to cleanliness. For example: Bathroom, 2 minutes daily â€¢ Wipe out the sink (30 seconds). Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds). â€¢ Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds). â€¢ Wipe the mirror and faucet (15 seconds). â€¢ Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds). â€¢ Spray the entire shower and the curtain liner with shower mist after every use (15 seconds).In short, four and a half minutes in the kitchen, two minutes in the bathroom, six and a half minutes in your bedroom, and six minutes in the living room are all you need to keep your home looking great. Maybe I'm a pig, but the same routine spread out over every two or three days should still yield a pretty nice looking home.
Windows only: Define and switch between custom keyboard layouts with the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, a freeware download from Microsoft. Let's say, for example, you type a lot of accented letters or you're thinking about switching to a Dvorak keyboard layout; with the Keyboard Layout Creator, you can keep your traditional Qwerty keyboard, but quickly toggle to your new custom layout at any time using the Caps Lock button (most of us hardly use it anyway). When you're done with the alternate layout, just toggle Caps Lock again and you're back to your main layout. The software can be a little tough to wrap your head around, so take a look at this US/German template after you install KLC to get an idea of how it works. Thanks xeen!
Want to make a quick and dirty Karaoke track from an MP3 or make a new instrumental-only ringtone for your newly-hacked iPhone? Prolific YouTube how-to video maker jimmycron steps through how to remove the vocal track from some MP3s using the free, open source Audacity. Getting rid of the vocals won't work on all songs (it should work best on stereo tracks with the vocals centered), but if you just need a quick vocal removed, this method is worth a try.