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Yahoo rolls out some big upgrades to its web search tool today like the new Search Assistant, a pretty list of dynamic suggestions based on your search terms. (Check out the assistant in action on a search for "lifehacker" above.) You can also watch web video right inside Yahoo's search results (search site:youtube skateboarding to try it out) and any search with the word photos in it will return Flickr pics. (Here, have some sunset photos.)

From "To Do" to "Done" in One Search


The Coding Horror blog has written up "Computer Display Calibration 101".

"If you've invested in a quality monitor for your computer, you owe it to yourself-- and your eyes-- to spend 15 minutes setting it up properly for your viewing environment."

It also points out that Microsoft Media Center has a decent display calibration wizard built in. That I did not know.

Unfortunately since the DVI input on my monitor went south for no reason that I can discern, I'm back in VGA hell, but reading this post has given me a boot up the bum to actually get that fixed.

Computer Display Calibration 101

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.


Sometimes, cancelling a service that you don't want or need anymore can be a giant pain in the behind. However, calling outside of regular business hours might turn the tide your way:

The biggest tip is to call well outside of normal business hours -- in my company, customer service was open 24/7, but the retention department closed in the evening. If you call, say, before bed, or during the middle of the night, you'll just be talking to a regular CS rep who has no incentive whatsoever to keep you as a customer. It can turn a twenty minute phone call into a two minute phone call.

If you've ever had to deal with pushy reps this could be a lifesaver. What's your best tip for getting out of services you don't want? Thoughts in the comments.

How to cancel a service


You might be worried about your boss reading your email (it happens). You can't necessarily stop this practice, but you can at least prevent Big Brother from accessing the links that you include in your email by using HideLinks. HideLinks is a free service that operates much like TinyURL in that it shortens long internet addresses; however, it goes one step farther and lets you password-protect links as well. Of course, you'll have to figure out a way to get the password to your email friend—obviously, including it in the body of your encrypted super email sort of defeats the whole purpose.



Because it's so sturdy, dental floss has its uses beyond mouth hygiene. You can repair shoes with it, cut cakes with it, and keep your gadgets' plastic caps intact with it. But did you know you could also sew with it, use it as a clothesline, tie a strong knot with it to keep your suitcase closed, and silence a dripping faucet? Traveler's weblog Gadling suggests these tips and others without requiring extra baggage. What other hacks do you have for dental floss? Share your tips in the comments.

Clever Uses for Dental Floss


US-centric: Find a local merchant fast with web application FastCall411, a tool that calls multiple businesses at one time and then connects you to the first business to pick up. FastCall411's goal is to put an end to the days of flipping through your Yellow Pages calling one business at a time until you finally get ahold of someone. Right now the app only supports limited areas and services (I can only quickly get ahold of a plumber in Los Angeles), but in time it should have a pretty robust list of service offerings. If you happen to see a merchant you like in the search, you can also tell FastCall411 to dial only that merchant. Right now FastCall411 has a little way to go, but in time it could be an interesting and useful service. Alternately—if you're feeling lonely—you could just use the demo on the front page to call up three of your friends and talk to the first one that answers.



Personal growth blogger Peter says that before we get overly ambitious, we should apply some basic rules to our daily living. We can improve our outlook on life by defining our successes, having a positive attitude, and by getting a grasp on our health, wealth, and relationships. Here are a few of my favourite tidbits:

An open mind: some of our beliefs and actions are so ingrained that we automatically disregard any evidence that we should think or act otherwise. Keep an open mind, and you may just come across a better way of seeing or doing things.


YouTube will begin adding 30-second bumper ads to video clips starting in 2008, according to DirectTraffic. Guess we'll have to wait and see how intrusively it's implemented and if TubeStop can still block ads. UPDATE: As pointed out by our savvy tech gossip brothers at Valleywag, the source story is fishy at best (dated as 23/04/07... damn backwards dates!), so the report should be taken with a microscopic grain of salt at best.


Stop your headache before it starts by following MSNBC's eight daily reminders designed to help you nip any potential headaches in the bud, starting with:

7 a.m.: Abide the alarm Snoozing in for more than an hour can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, and anything that tinkers with your body's natural rhythms may prime you for pain.... Commit to waking up (and going to bed) at the same time every day -- yes, that includes weekends, too.

The article also suggests sticking with your caffeine habit (though it will just perpetuate the problem), adjusting your posture, drinking lots of water and exercise—among other headache savers. Photo by powerbooktrance.

How to stop a headache before it starts


Hyper but lovable author of Getting Things Done David Allen explains the meat of his GTD system in this five minute video, which covers dealing with the "stuff" in your life, reducing your to-do's to simple "widget-cranking," and clearing your mind. Allen comes across pretty frenetic in this quickly-cut together clip, but it's a good primer for folks new to GTD.


As I mentioned on Friday, Australian Lifehacker readers attempting to visit the Lifehacker US are currently unable to get there, due to a broken website redirection. Currently, all of the Lifehacker related URLs (including us.lifehacker.com) are redirecting the AU site. This is *not* working as intended - usually you can hit the "US edition" button at the top of the Lifehacker AU site, or type us.lifehacker.com to travel to the US site. While Australian readers/RSS subscribers get *all* the US content plus additional local content, we understand that sometimes you want to go straight to the US site, and normally things are set up for you to do just that. Unfortunately the fix for this is out of our hands - but we've alerted our friends over at Gawker who look after Lifehacker in the US, and they're working on a fix. Again, our apologies. It's as frustrating to us as it is to you.


Need a place to store all your bottles of vino? Try ReadyMade's quick wine rack project made out of cardboard mailing tubes. You can find these pretty cheaply at your favourite office supplies store; the fastest way to accomplish this project would be to plug the tubes into the bottom of a bookshelf - instant wine storage on the cheap.

Bottle Pocket


There may be ancient evolutionary impulses behind modern-day office politics. If human nature is shaped by our monkey pasts, and the tens of thousands of years our species spent as hunter-gatherers, we might want to use some 100,000 year-old solutions to fights over the printer, snarky sysadmins, and lateral promotions. In that spirit, Stanford neuroscientist and author Robert M. Sapolsky offers Lifehacker some lessons from human prehistory to solve modern-day office dilemmas.


A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the ABC's news website, and gave it a big thumbs up for incorporating lots of excellent online tools for personalising the ABC's online news service.

So I was very keen to see what their election website is like. It was due to launch on Tuesday and has finally gone live today. I've already done a roundup of election websites and told you about Google's election website. But the ABC's site is worth checking out. As well as the things you'd expect to see, such as ABC election analyst Antony Green's election guide, and a drop down menu which takes you to a page profiling each electorate, there are also some nifty tools like the Election Calculator, which lets you drag the pointer to see the effect of electoral swings on a national or state-by-state basis:

You can also get election news and results pushed out to you via SMS - details are here.

Australia Votes 2007


Collaboration webapp Taskbin shares and manages to-do lists among groups. Flag tasks in order of urgency to prioritise, and write notes for yourself or share them with group members. What separates TaskBin from other tools is that it doesn't force you to enter deadlines; it's a simple list manager that gives an unlimited amount of users a lot of flexibility for getting things done. A great choice if you want to get items off your mind without feeling overwhelmed.



Multi-platform browser Opera has released v9.50 Alpha which extends its support for BitTorrent by adding a uTorrent compatible Peer Exchange feature. This will hopefully speed up transfers and reduce tracker load I'll emphasise again that it's an ALPHA release - and I'm not an alpha girl at all - in fact I'm even a reluctant Beta user - so I'm not going there. Play wisely, and make sure you're backed up. :) The Windows version is downloadable here. The Linux versions are here.