Life Hacks – Spoken Edition
Summary: Daily weblog on software and personal productivity recommends downloads, web sites and shortcuts that help you work smarter and save time. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com
Bias lighting can help reduce the eye strain caused by long exposures to TV screens and monitors in dark rooms, but it can also help make the grays and blacks on your screen seem richer. Bias lighting is placed behind a TV to increase the ambient light around the screen without shining more light in the viewer’s eyes.
So you're in the market for a new HDTV, but don't know what size screen to buy. You could go with the "bigger is better" adage, or you can precisely calculate a more suitable size by applying the following formula. Gadgetwise blogger J.D. Biersdorfer and NYT personal tech editor Sam Grobart demonstrate how to determine the right television size using one simple formula.
If you're interested in learning to make concept art—or simply taking your recreational painting into the digital sphere—concept artist Matt Kohr spent a week teaching us the basics. Here's the complete 101 course for your edification. Lesson 1: Get Started Painting on Your Computer Painting digitally is significantly different from painting with brushes.
You can find just about anything on Reddit, for better or worse. It’s one of the reasons why the site remains so universally popular, as it’s an easy way for newbies to have near-unlimited access to everything that used to be a little harder to find: day-of downloads for new movies, streams of their favorite sporting events, free or modified games and applications, et cetera.
Drawing is hard. Even after a lesson with a New Yorker cartoonist, I get spooked by the simplest drawing exercises. If you’re also easily scared off, but you want to get better, try these basic drawing exercises at Envato. They address issues like “I can’t draw a circle” or “my proportions are all off.” These are exercises you can do while watching TV or sitting in a meeting or waiting room. They’re doodles.
Google definitely got the message that users weren’t happy about the auto-sign in/out link implemented in the previous version of Chrome. The company has launched an updated version of the browser (version 70) that makes it a lot easier to disable this annoying feature—among other changes. Back in Chrome 69, the browser automatically signed users in or out of Chrome when they logged in or out of Google’s web services—Gmail, YouTube, et cetera.
Every time I go to write an email, I get distracted by my inbox. I check all my new mail, and I put off the actual task I opened Gmail for. None of that new email was urgent, but I couldn’t ignore all those bold lines. So now I hide my inbox with Inbox When Ready. I’d tried other methods, like closing my Gmail tab most of the time. This helped me not idly check my inbox every time a message arrived. But as soon as I needed to complete any email task, I got waylaid by my inbox.
Pollution is killing oysters in Oregon. So much of New Jersey is paved that its storm water has nowhere to go. And in Nevada, the federal government wants to turn a mountain into a storage site for nuclear waste. You should know your state’s most pressing environmental issues before you head to the polls, and Popular Science has a guide to help you brush up.
I have seen the future, and it is Group FaceTime. Should you install a public beta of iOS on your primacy iPhone or iPad? Most people caution against it—especially when a beta is in its earlier stages, since you never know what kind of bugs might brick that-which-you-use-your-iPhone-to-do (or your favorite apps). However, we’re now at version number four of Apple’s public beta for iOS 12.1, so you can probably give it a shot without too much worry.
We’re heading into the tail end of October, that swampy backwater where Netflix unloads the remainder of its least distinguished “originals” and hopes for the best. The big debut this week is part 2 of Making a Murderer, which I’m having a hard time getting excited about.
Microsoft has officially killed off Windows Media Center, but there’s still hope for you if alternatives like Kodi just don’t seem to fill the void. Here’s how you can get Windows Media Center running on Windows 10. According to the Vice President of Windows and Devices Group, Gabriel Aul, Microsoft parted ways with WMC because of “decreased usage.” That actually left a lot of people scrambling for a way to keep WMC alive.
It’s Tuesday around 11 a.m. and you’ve just about had it. There’s a pile of paperwork on your desk, 10 emails you need to respond to and a Slack message or two from your boss wondering when she can expect an updated draft of your project proposal. Never mind that you need to remember to stop at the grocery store on your way home, update your pay withholdings and finally sign up for that password management system that’s been a perpetual bullet point on your to-do list.
If you're feeling nostalgic for the shows of your childhood, Nick Reboot streams shows like Rocko's Modern Life, Are You Afraid of the Dark, and Hey Arnold! 24 hours a day, for free. All you need to do is head to the web site and the stream will start. It will determine where you are and optimize the streaming quality depending on whether you're closer to the East or West ingest server. You can even chat with other streamers while you watch and reminisce about the good ol' days.
Just in time for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Duolingo is launching two courses for endangered indigenous languages, both created by native speakers. Starting today, you can use the app to learn the languages spoken by native Hawaiians and by the Diné, better known as the Navajo nation. Both are living languages still spoken today, but not many fluent speakers remain. Beginning in the late 1800s, Navajo children were sent to boarding schools where they were forced to speak only English.
When you were in college, posting that video of you doing an epic keg stand was cool. Now that you’ve finished law school and are looking for a firm to join—not so much. The smart move is to go back and make all those incriminating photos, videos, and posts private. The even smarter move? Delete them entirely.