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Windows only: Clean up and organise your Windows Start menu with free, open source application SMOz (Start Menu Organizer). With SMOz you can arrange your Start menu content by category through a simple, Windows Explorer-like interface. If you're not sure where to get started, try using one of the automated templates, which will move recognised applications (like iTunes) into pre-defined categories (like Multimedia). Granted, fewer and fewer of us still rely on the Start menu since the proliferation of application launchers like Launchy, but if you still prefer the old point and click of the Start menu, SMOz is an excellent tool to clean up the mess. SMOz is a free application, Windows only.



Wanna limit the time you spend goofing off online? Ask MetaFilter user myrrh created a timer that counts down a certain number of minutes in your browser title bar (or background tab) and pops up a browser alert dialog when it's done. Run a timed work dash or limit your Facebook break without installing any extra software—the magic all happens in this page's Javascript. Hit the link to give the timer a try. Thanks, Iron!

Title bar timer

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


You can head down to your local stereo store and get fleeced for about $150 (or more) to buy a good pair of noise reduction headphones; or you can watch this video demonstration from Metacafe on how to hack your very own noise reducing headphone set for around $20. You can find the headphones that the video talks about at any home improvement store—all together, this simple DIY project takes about five minutes (not counting your visit to the store). Definitely worth a try, especially since these things are so dang expensive.

Headphone Hack! Make You Own Noise Eliminating Headset! Video


Sometimes, even though we deserve it, it can be hard to take a compliment. Productivity site Lifehack.org has this suggestion:

It wasn't luck or the goodwill of others or any other reason that you managed to do something praiseworthy, it was your own effort and commitment. Even if you truly were just in the right place at the right time, you deserve credit for recognising an opportunity and acting on it. If you wouldn't dream of not taking responsibility for your failures, then step up and take responsibility for your achievements.

Of course, it's not a good idea to go too much the other way, but false humility is pretty easy to spot. So own those accomplishments—and enjoy the compliments when you get them.

How to Take a Compliment


Schedule free wake-up calls and reminders online with web site Wakerupper. Just enter the time and date you want your call, your timezone, phone number, email address, and an optional bit of reminder text that will be played text-to-speech style when you get the call. The site requires no registration, though registration is possible if you want to use the service for more than the occasional one-off wake-up call. Most of us have learned to use our cell phones as anywhere alarms, but if you're paranoid about waking up when you're travelling or before an important meeting, Wakerupper is a useful tool for creating anywhere, anytime wake-up calls (a little redundancy is always calming).



You already know that you can auto-complete web site addresses in Firefox's location bar using keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+Enter and Ctrl+Shift+Enter. (Oh, you didn't? Here's how to never type http://, www, .com or .org again.) The How-To Geek explains how to tweak Firefox's about:config settings to alter the behaviour of those keystrokes to your liking. So if you visit more .co.uk's more than .com's, Ctrl+Enter can fill in .co.uk instead. Just change the browser.fixup.alternate.suffix value to your desired suffix.

Change Ctrl+Enter Behavior in Firefox


If the announcement of the iPod Touch made you wonder whether to go for its sleek goodness now, rather than hanging out for the iPhone, ZDNet's article "10 reasons to buy an iPod Touch over an iPhone" may help. The two most compelling arguments in my mind are the fact that waiting for a later gen iPhone should see it move up from 2G to 3G or HSDPA 3.5G, and the fact that unlike iPhone, you don't need to worry about signing a ridiculous 24 month lockin contract for a iPod Touch! If you're thinking about the iPod Touch versus iPhone dilemma, what are the important issues for you?

10 reasons to buy an iPod Touch over an iPhone


Windows only: Freeware application Screenshot Captor is an advanced, full-featured screenshot application boasting an impressive feature set that rivals the paid-for favourite, SnagIt. For example, Screenshot Captor has tonnes of options for capturing your full screen, specific regions or selected windows; it has excellent callout functions, like standard arrows and highlighting tools along with the excellent blur effect you see in the screenshot above; and it can automatically open screenshots in your favourite image editor or email screenshots as soon as you take them. In all, Screenshot Captor may be the most full-featured screenshot app I've seen, freeware or otherwise. On the other hand, it does have a slightly steeper learning curve, so if there's a downside, that may be it. Screenshot Captor is donationware, Windows only.

Screenshot Captor


Ah the system tray. It's that little corner of screen real estate that holds all of your must-have, always-on utilities. They're generally not the sexiest apps you're running on your system, but to many of us, our favourites would be impossible to live without. Today we're looking at the system tray applications your fellow readers use every day to get things done.


Wired magazine profiles productivity guru David Allen and offers a good summary of his Getting Things Done system, its history, and some great quotes from The David. First, for folks who say GTD is too complex:

realises that his system can be difficult and that he's often accused of going overboard with elaborate schemes. He responds with a shrug. "Look, the workings of an automatic transmission are more complicated than a manual transmission," he says. "To simplify a complex event, you need a complex system."

The people willing to take on that complex system? They're the ones who know they need help and are trying to improve.


PR guy Steve Rubel uses his Gmail account to interact with all his favourite social networking apps (like Twitter and Facebook.) Using email settings and some feed trickery, Rubel doesn't have to go to those sites to get or post updates—it all happens in his inbox. The other day we posted about Fuser, the single inbox for your social networking messages, but Rubel's method uses the inbox you're already in every day to manage your online presence.

Turn Gmail (or any E-mail Account) Into a Social Network Hub


Search page Smplr is a web search command line tool. Using one input box, enter your query, prefaced by a snippet that directs the search to a particular site—very similar to the much-celebrated (and much more configurable) YubNub. For example, film:Dragon Wars will search IMDB, bt:Ubuntu will search the Pirate Bay, and terms without a prefix will search Google by default.


A couple of weeks ago we told you about a cool feature on using geotagging to link photos to locales. Well the author behind that story, Stephen Shankland, has written a follow up in which he goes through some of the traps he encountered while using geotagging, and how he got around them. He also talks about the newer, high end cameras with GPS interfaces, and riffs about how he'd like to see this technology develop.

My geotagging trials, travails and triumphs


Mac only - Danny Orog from APC magazine describes Rogue Amoeba's latest release, Radioshift, as 'tivo for internet radio'. It lets you capture internet streaming (or regular radio) on your mac, for later playback. You can search from over 50,000 listings of internet radio stations, and filter by genre or geography.

Looks like there's a catch or two though, first up it's paid software ($32) and if I read the article correctly, you need a $US50 radio appliance (Griffin's Radio Shark) to use it. I've contact Rogue Amoeba who make the software to find out about getting a review copy, and hopefully I'll be able to clarify whether you can use it with any internet radio receiver. I'll keep you posted!

Is Radioshift the next killer app?