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There's nothing like digging into your first Linux distribution, whether you're a tech-savvy user looking to branch out or whether you're installing it on a friend's computer. But which distribution is actually better for beginners? Here, we'll delve into the differences between Ubuntu and Mint, the two most popular beginner distros, and perform a little experiment to see what new users prefer.


Virgin Australia is increasingly promoting itself as a business travel alternative; domestic business trips are a core part of Qantas' profitability. But how much difference is there really between the two? Road Worrier decided to find out by flying both in a single day.


Thumbing through the newspaper over your morning coffee and a few minutes of chitchat at the water cooler used to be all it took to stay up-to-date on your world. Now we're faced with a constant flow of information from the internet that often feels overwhelming. The crop of iOS apps dedicated to bringing you a curated, customisable, and attractive stream of content is one way to combat the information overload. Much more than simple RSS readers, these digital digest apps cull stories from across the web and your social networks and wrap them into an iPad friendly and design-forward package. Here's a look at the two leading options.


In theory, all social networks -- including Facebook, Twitter and Google+ -- share a similar goal: To provide you with a platform to communicate online with your friends, followers, and encircled. In reality, each network has a considerably different culture, and as such, each is useful in very different ways. Here's a look at what each network does best.


The vast majority of Mac users do absolutely nothing to prevent malware or viruses from infecting their systems, and very few of them have experienced anything that would make them think twice about it. The fact is, however, that Mac malware does exist, and there are tools available to ensure that your Mac is as safe as possible from emerging threats.


When the iTunes App Store first opened up to eager iPhone and iPod touch upgraders (and iPhone 3G buyers), one of the first types of applications to show up was the to-do/task manager. From simple check-box lists to voice-transcribing tools, there's a bewildering number of apps, many of them free, that promise to help you keep track of your necessary actions and projects while you're away from your computer. Today we're checking out five of them, all free except for one requiring a "Pro" account, and comparing their features and functionality side-by-side, as well as asking which app you use to keep their busy lives together. Read on for the full show-down.


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In theory, any computer running Linux can be custom-built and tweaked down to the very last bit. In reality, a first-time Linux user wants to grab an install CD, get a working desktop, and do their own thing from there. Lots of Linux distributions make claims about being easy to use, fast, or stable, but what does that mean for a non-programmer trying out a Linux system for the first time? Today we're taking a look at the real differences between three popular distributions of open-source software, and offering our readers their chance to weigh in on why they like their own particular open-source OS.


A steady stream of preview releases have kept our typing fingers especially busy covering the beta beat the last several weeks. From Mac virtualization software to Microsoft Office add-ons to iTunes sharing apps, there are lots of new features for eager testers to preview and try out. Beyond the most obvious best public preview out there right now—Firefox 3—which beta has your heart? Cast your vote, after the jump. Photo by arriba.


A few weeks ago Facebook promised to start slowly rolling out chat, and it just hit my account today. (If it's enabled for you, check it out in the lower right hand corner when you're logged into Facebook.) It reminds me of Gmail's built-in chat—it's on by default, your contacts populate your chat buddy list, and you can use it without downloading a separate client. (You can also "pop-out" the chat window to save a tab.) Facebook is much more about social networking than Gmail, which makes it ripe for chatting, but in the short time it's been in existence, Gmail chat's earned lots of loyal followers. When it comes to web-based chat, which do you prefer?


If you've done any more than cursory text editing using Windows' built-in Notepad application, you know that Notepad is at best sorely lacking in the features department and at worst downright buggy. Several free, simple Notepad alternatives are available for download, but which one has your heart? After the jump, vote for your favourite powered-up Notepad replacement.


For the past two weeks, we've given out over a dozen autographed copies of our new book, Upgrade Your Life, to readers who submitted their best life hacks to us and saw them featured here on Lifehacker. Now we want to know which one of the winning hacks you thought was the coolest and most useful.

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Thanks to everyone who wrote in with their ideas, projects, tricks, tips, photos and screenshots.