Can I set iCal to repeat to-dos at regular intervals?How can I deal with my company's new "no headphones" policy?What can I do to fix my router if someone else's Wi-Fi network is interfering with mine?How can I get into better shape when I'm starting from absolute zero fitness?Does anyone have suggestions for a killer ultraportable laptop?
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GuerrillaMail is an anonymous web service that provides you with a temporary email address—perfect for web sites that you don't want to communicate with you but require email registration. Generate an email address and reload the home page to view any incoming messages. The 15-minute timer displays the amount of time you have remaining until your email address expires, but you can extend your time if necessary. The concept is not much different from previously mentioned 10-minute mail, 2 Prong, or the army of similar temporary email services—though GuerrillaMail even has a (paid) script to host this application yourself, which could come in handy if the guerrillamail.info domain name gets banned. Whatever service you choose, temporary email addresses can really keep your regular inbox spam-free.
Filter all of your RSS feeds through web application FeedHub for a single, customised RSS feed that only delivers content that best matches your preferences. Just upload your OPML file (the file that holds all of your feeds) to FeedHub and then subscribe to your new FeedHub RSS feed. You can add or remove feeds to FeedHub at any time and select favourite content categories through a snazzy drag-and-drop interface. FeedHub dynamically adjusts what content you receive based on your reading preferences so that hopefully—in time—your feed will deliver all the content you want and very little of what you don't. While there are probably those sites from which you'll always want the full content, FeedHub could come in particularly handy for those feeds that have a low signal-to-noise ratio.
Title bar timer
Quitting may very well be good for your health, according to a study reported on by the Association for Psychological Science....the psychologists followed teenagers for a full year. Over that time, individuals who did not persist obtaining hard- to-reach goals had much lower levels of a protein called CRP, an indicator of bodily inflammation. Inflammation has recently been linked to several serious diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, suggesting that healthy but overly tenacious teens may already be on the road toward chronic illness later in life.
The lesson isn't necessarily a new one: know when to cut your losses. The upside to the study for those less willing to give up on goals easily is that of the participants who did quit, those who were more willing to set and re-engage in new goals had more sense of purpose. So just because it can be good for you to give up on a goal, that doesn't mean it's time to give up on tough goals altogether.
Why Quitting May Be Good for You
A self-made millionaire mum describes how she uses a digital timer to keep herself focused on getting work done during certain times of the day. As a "work"-from-home mum of a two-year-old, I find it necessary to structure my writing and blogging time according to her schedule and push to GET IT DONE. I write when she's sleeping in, napping, or enjoying one-on-one time with her daddy.
The How to Split an Atom blog has reviewed the beta version of Digg monitoring and notification tool, Notifir. If you're a power user/commenter on Digg, some of the features sound interesting. The review picks a few holes in the software but says:
"Currently, Notifir provides a dashboard of stories that you have submitted to Digg in the last 24 hours. It can tell you who Dugg it and gives you a platform from which to submit additional articles. I think the most interesting thing that it has going for it is that it provides a list of articles from â€œcommonly promoted sourcesâ€ and lets you submit these stories with a click of a button. For power users in the making, this can save you quite a bit of surfing time."
Participants in the Notifir beta can vote on which features should be developed, which is cool. And if you read the comments you'll also see the Notifir founder responds to some of the critical points of the review. Nice to see them responding to community feedback.
Dried ink on printer cartridges can render your expensive ink unusable, but blogger Bucky decided not to toss the cartridges out and instead soaked the base of the cartridge in WD-40. The result: a cartridge that works again. I got a brain-storm of an idea the other day and decided to try soaking the base of the cartridge in WD-40 to see if it would soften and clean the dried ink and holy crap - it worked!!! (I soaked it over-night and then wiped it off good before reinstalling it in the printer.)
I had to run the printer through three head cleaning cycles afterward, but it cleared the clogged nozzles and it is now working perfectly.
Since printer cartridges are rather expensive, this tip should help save you money while helping you get the most out of your ink. Thanks, Lacy!
AU - WD-40 is a very handy lubricant-cum-fix-all spray you can get in the US - I've found similar stuff here under a different name. Your local hardware store should be able to help you out.
Yet Another Use for WD-40
If you've got the DIY outdoors-y bug, you can make your own portable miniature stove using two aluminium cans, sandpaper, a thumb tack, razor blade, coat hanger, fiber glass, and Heet (I'm sure that's all just sitting in your go bag, right?). It's a very cool project, but if you undertake it, make sure you proceed with caution. Lifehacker prefers its readers keep their eyebrows. If you've got less goodies on hand but still need a fire, check out these alternatives.
Cool Little Miniature Stove!
Windows only: Track your latest Amazon purchases for price drops qualifying for their 30-day price guarantee or just watch your wish list for price drops or availability with freeware application Amazon Price Watch. After you've installed the application, Amazon Price Watch can automatically track any item you add to your cart or wish list. That means that as soon as you click the add to cart or add to wish list links at Amazon, Price Watch will prompt you and ask if you want to watch for price changes. Then the application will track the price for 30 days and alert you via email if and when there's a price drop (or change in availability, Wii hunters). Amazon Price Watch is freeware, Windows only, works with Internet Explorer only (bummer). For web-based price protection at a variety of online stores, check out Price Protectr
Amazon Price Watch
Getting Things Done author David Allen calls any kind of productivity trick or system "advanced common sense"—using the smart part of your brain to help out the dumb part in its most feeble moments. The Getting Things Done weblog lists some of its best "advanced common sense," like writing things down, ubiquitous capture and setting up to-do's in their right contexts. For me, hanging up the car keys on the keyrack is the advanced common sense that keeps my dumb future self from running around the house looking for them when it's time to go.
Does the thought of hiring a virtual personal assistant in Bangladesh for 5 bucks an hour make your skin crawl? Entrepreneur Ryan Norbauer explains how he got over his hang-ups and got super-productive with hired help. He writes: What is the part of your work (whether personal or professional) that only you can do? And what if you could somehow force yourself to do only that work? In my case, doing precisely this with the help of outsourcing has radically improved my effectiveness.
Record and share real-time (but not live) drawings and whiteboards with YouTube-like embedded videos at web site Sketchcast. Sketchcast's intro video (above) touts the product as a potentially new style of blogging, but it seems better described as a way to share whiteboard ideas online. On the other hand, if you're looking to collaborate with a live whiteboard online, check out previously mentioned Skrbl and Scriblink.
Google Calendar and Google Reader are now iPhone (and iPod Touch) friendly and Gmail has also undergone a graphical user interface overhaul which looks great on the iPhone, too. Thanks, Ian!
It's only when you've scheduled automatic tasks for your computer to do for you that you have true reign over your silicon gadget minions. Weblog Of Zen and Computing lists what jobs your computer can do for you, like spam filtering, Google Alerts, and image batch resizing. I'd add backup, downloads, hard drive cleaning and spyware/virus scanning to the list. What do you automate on your computer? Do tell.
Time Saving & Automation Round-up: Let the Computer Do the Work
Google's updated its advanced search operator options to make finding pages by date a lot easier. Recently the big G's gotten a whole lot faster at adding new pages to their index, and now you can search for pages that Google's found within any number of days, weeks or months. Hit up the advanced search form to use a handy (but limited) dropdown, or go beyond defaults using URL parameters like this.
Search the contents of every web page you've ever bookmarked with del.icio.us using a dynamically built Google Custom Search engine from deliGoo. Just point your browser to the deliGoo homepage, enter the username and optional tag you want to search, and then enter your search terms and click Goo. deliGoo will analyse your del.icio.us account and create a Google Custom Search Engine, then use it to search the contents of every site for a match. If you're a prolific bookmarker and you've run into a situation where you know you've bookmarked a page, remember what it was about, but can't find it using your tags, a deliGoo search might be just what the doctor ordered.
The minimalist Wine Wedge creates a cheap, space-saving wine rack of any size anywhere and any time you need one. The two rubber wedges that make up the Wine Wedge actually look a little on the flimsy side, but according to the NYT review, "The Wedge may not look very robust, but it works surprisingly well." If you've had problems with frail wine racks in the past, the $9.95 Wine Wedge is a cheap and sturdy alternative.
Logmein is a free application which allows you to connect and remotely control your PC. It's not new, but I'm a new fan having used it while I was away at a conference this week. Happily, it works with Vista, as I was using a Vista laptop at the conference to connect to my Vista box at home.
One thing I learned - the remote access does depend on the remote PC being powered on. It sounds like a no-brainer, but I was on autopilot before I left home and put my PC into hibernate mode. I had to make a phone call home to get it turned on, which wouldn't be possible if you live on your own! So if you intend to use Logmein on the road, make sure you leave your PC turned on!
My one gripe was that if the PC you're trying to access remotely needs to be powered up, there seems to be a delay of a few minutes before that PC shows up as "online" to you at the remote location. Admittedly, I was attempting to access it from a fairly crappy hotel conference room media centre with Vista machines on an unreliable wireless network, so any of those factors may have contributed to slowing down the remote connection!
We wrote up the use of Logmein as a way to provide remote tech support here.