Last month, I felt a disturbance in the Force, as if millions of crappy songs from 2003 to 2015 cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. And they were. MySpace — yes, it’s still around — lost all the music uploaded to the site between these years thanks to some corrupted data during a server migration. Whoops.
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I feel a little bad for not knowing about this previously, but that’s part of the fun of iOS: There’s always some random new thing, like the how-to-move-many-apps-at-once trick, that pops up on one’s geeky radar from time to time.
One of the things I like to do every now and then — especially around this time of year—is to start fresh. I’ll think about all the services I’ve signed up for and don’t actually use. Going through and deleting them helps me feel better about my digital sprawl, and it’s a practice I recommend everyone try regularly.
The file-storing service Mega usually cuts free users off once they’ve downloaded around 5GB or so, forcing you to wait hours before you can resume whatever it is you were transferring. It feels like Mega is more generous nowadays (I downloaded 18.75GB of data the other day before I hit the wall), but it still has some kind of download quota. And if you want to get past it without waiting, there’s only one trick left in your arsenal.
Windows/Mac/Linux (all platforms): ANki, a free "spaced repetition system" (i.e. flashcard-style memorisation tool), offers a gentle learning curve, a pared-down software interface, and online access and synchronisation.
Once you install and launch Anki, you can easily spend hours discovering all its neat capabilities and tricks—like an HTML editor for manually designing your "cards," audio embedding, tagging, and many more—but setting up a basic "deck" and "cards" is hardly rocket science. Hit the big "plus," choose a basic deck style (or use a pre-templated style you created), and write the front (question), back (answer), and tags of your cards one after another.
Once you've created your decks, you can hit File, "Save and Sync" to make them available on other Anki installations, or access them through a free Anki account.
Check out a video introduction of Anki's features and possibilities below.
While it added a handful of shows to iTunes recently, the ABC has a much wider selection of programming available on its ABC Shop Download site, which launched today. $2.95 gets you a seven day rental on a whole bunch of titles (there's 250 hours of programming on offer), and there's a handful of free taster episodes available as well. For now, the service is Windows-only, though ABC executives have said Macs will be supported in a future release.
As per several readers' requests, I just updated the Gmail Always Show CC: user script (and its BCC sibling.) Now the scripts can show the CC or BCC fields using a key combination; and they work when replying to messages, too. Go download the updated version of your choice.
To help prioritise his projects and next actions, blogger Ian McKenzie put together a free Priority Planning Worksheet available as a PDF download. The worksheet uses a simple calculus for determining the best order of tackling your next actions by assigning importance and urgency factors to each item. Once you've ordered your actions, the worksheet asks you to list and describe each item and the steps required to complete them. If your personal productivity benefits from structured systems, McKenzie's worksheet might be just the ticket for you. Priority Planning Model and Worksheet
Windows only: Donationware application Point Motivator helps you reach and visualise your goals by utilizing a point system. Assign points to actions, such as giving yourself 10 points for reading one page of a book. After you've reached a threshold of desired points, you can then reward yourself by purchasing items with your accumulated points. However, be aware: over-rewarding yourself can put you in point debt. The application allows you to configure different actions and rewards beyond the pre-defined items, and the XML file it creates can later be edited in any text editor if you're not excited about the program's interface. Point Motivator also features a history timeline of all your actions and rewards, statistics for all actions, and a chart that shows all progress over time. Point Motivator is donationware, Windows only.
Keep your home spotless by following web site Real Simple's Periodic Table of Cleaning. The table organises cleaning tasks by how often they should be performed, split up into weekly, monthly, three to six month, six to twelve month, or yearly periods. Of course the periodic guidelines aren't hard and fast, and you should feel free to adjust the schedule to your liking, but the table provides an excellent checklist and reminder—both for those household cleaning duties you should perform regularly and especially for those that come along only once or twice a year. Grab the PDF of the Periodic Table of Cleaning from Real Simple.The Definitive Cleaning Schedule