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
In Pieces is an interactive environmental protection site where you can learn about your favorite animal, what’s killing them, and where you can donate to help. Animal lovers, environmentalists, or Planet Earth documentary-enjoyers understand that some eukaryotes aren’t long for this world.
As a fan of music, I’d love to learn how to make a song. Devoting time to learning music theory, however, isn’t exactly on my list of priorities. Music lessons are intimidating, they’re a little inconvenient, and definitely pricey. So this interactive tutorial on beat-making from Ableton is perfect for the budding musician in all of us. It’s got a ton a tools that make advanced concepts dead simple, especially since you can play with them yourself.
Cats are great. They’re awesome cuddlers and are cute as heck. But sometimes they’re also jerks. Like when they step all over your face in the middle of the night. So, you close your bedroom door and they meow and scratch until you let them back in. Here’s how to get them to stop so you can get some sleep. The first thing you need to do is find out if there are any underlying medical issues that could explain why your cat is meowing at night.
iPhone: The only thing better than using social media is not using social media. That’s why there’s Binky, which is sort of both. Binky is an app that lets you go through the motions of social media (swiping on pictures, scrolling through pictures, commenting on pictures) without actually connecting with human beings. It’s an endless feed of pictures of things, from potato bread to Lynn Margulis.
It might be too little too late, but amid all the Uber controversy, which recently culminated in its CEO’s resignation, Uber has decided to allow all U.S. drivers to accept tips. Here’s what that means for drivers and passengers. In a recent update to their page explaining the policy, Uber reported: Tipping is now available in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston starting on June 20, 2017.
I wasn’t above squeezing an occasional round of Doom in between study sessions in college, and am certainly not shy about catching some Pokémon if any are lurking in my office (that’s a no). But if I have a particularly busy workday and want to kill 30 seconds before entering a meeting, or want to keep my attention focused during a meeting, Google’s got my back with some sweet search engine Easter eggs. They just added a new one. It rhymes with “digit sinner.
Over the past three weeks, the /r/ProgrammerHumor subreddit has reinvented the on-screen volume controller hundreds of times over. Starting with one user’s sideways slider, users have created funny volume controls based on laptop screen angle, fidget spinners, battery power, latitude and longitude, and the digits of pi. You can browse them all here, but I’ve gathered some highlights. For maximum appreciation, imagine how each one sounds.
Unlike the rest of us, UPS has already begun to plan ahead for the holiday season. On Monday, UPS announced that it’s raising its shipping rates around Black Friday and Christmas. This is the first time UPS has charged “peak” rates for shipping during certain times. Between November 19 and December 2, you’ll have to pay $0.27 more for every package sent to your home using UPS Ground.
Sometimes outside car thermometers are so inaccurate that they feel like random number generators. They’re basically the worst feature of the car, next to the car’s infotainment systems. That’s because they’re not actually thermometers, they’re actually thermistors. What’s the difference? Unlike a thermometer, which measures heat, a thermistor measures the changes in electrical current after heat is added or removed.
If you’ve ever needed to upload an image or two, or deal with a scanned document, you know about all the headaches that come with conversion, and how finicky sites get with different file types. Turning scanned images into a PDF either requires some image editing know-how or a trip to an online conversion site where your data is uploaded to God-knows-where and converted for you. It’s not exactly easy, and definitely not secure.
The TSA is finally updating its decades-old security systems. On Thursday, it began testing a computed tomography (CT) scanner on carry-on luggage in Phoenix. Thanks to the CT scanner, passengers can now leave their technology and liquids in their bags when passing through airport security, meaning lines would speed up by up to 50 percent. In addition to making everyone feel like they have TSA PreCheck, the CT scans improve detection by showing 3D images of the contents in a carry-on.
Walking your dog, it turns out, counts as legitimate exercise—the kind that will help you live longer. Dogs really are man’s best friend.
You’re walking your dog. Someone else is walking their dog. Your pup is so excited to meet a new friend, and it’s tempting to go over for a sniff. But this isn’t always in your dog’s best interest—or the other dog’s. Dog trainer David Tirpak writes that on-leash greetings “cause reactivity, condition excitement, and put dogs in immensely uncomfortable situations.
Lyft has recently rolled out a “shuttle” service that is in beta in San Francisco and Chicago. Since I live in San Francisco, I was able to give this service a try so you know what to expect if it comes to your city. It was much more convenient to take than a Lyft Line (shared ride), and the one I took was 2-3 times cheaper than a Lyft, to boot.
Word on the street is the coconut oil is bad for you. Once thought to be a “fat burning fat” that was good to incorporate into your diet, now the advice is “You can put it on your body, but don’t put it in your body.” Turns out, the research behind the oil being good for you was a bit flawed. It was looking at all the good stuff in “designer oil,” which isn’t what most of us are picking up at Trader Joe’s.