January 24, 2008

Check it!

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:27 pm by Kris

We’ve moved! Check out our new duds!

Amateurs unite! Post your work and get published in one fell swoop! From Of Zen and Computing

Posted in art, photography at 12:13 pm by Kris

ShutterSphere Publishes Amateurs’ Photos in Print and on the Web

Photographers may upload their work directly to the ShutterSphere Web site, where submissions are rated and commented on by other visitors. Submissions are then selected for publication in print.

ShutterSphere’s format revolves around photographic themes. The themes for the first issue will be Environment, Winter, Alternative Angles, and Odds & Ends.

Founder Jack Prominski takes some of his inspiration from JPG Magazine, but looks to provide a showcase that is more accessible to amateurs.

“Right now, at least, ShutterSphere is mainly about the ease of getting the average hobbyist’s work published, something that is very difficult to do in JPG.”

Competition for a spot in more popular publications such as JPG is extremely tough.

As ShutterSphere goes through its infancy, it hopes to include most, if not all of the current submissions in its first issue. If the rate of submission grows beyond the capacity of one issue, Prominski may devise a system that takes the community’s input into account in order to choose which photos are published.

ShutterSphere will be accepting pre-orders for issue 1 within the coming days. Although the final price has not been set, those who wish to order a copy can expect to pay between $5 and $10. ShutterSphere is currently seeking advertising and funding in order to offset production costs for future issues.

Text to MP3? You betcha!

Posted in music, tips -n- tricks at 11:37 am by Kris

Create MP3 Files From Text in Emails and Web Pages

create mp3 text filesVozme
is web based tool that turns any snippet of text into an MP3 audio file
that you can either listen online or download to your local hard drive.

You just have to copy the text from a web page or an email and paste it inside the Vozme text box.

While there are tons of solutions that convert text to spoken words,
what I liked about Vozme is the clutter free interface and the fact
that it runs inside the browser without requiring any downloads.

Bloggers can easily integrate the Vozme feature in the site so
visitors can either listen to your full blog posts or they can select a
portion of text and have Vozme narrate it like a speech.

Vozme.com – Accepts Spanish, English and Italian languages. Thanks Jane.

Breaking news – agreements being reached to refund America’s workers

Posted in breaking news, government at 10:37 am by Kris

Tentative Deal Reached on Stimulus Plan

Published: January 24, 2008

Filed at 10:27 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic and Republican congressional leaders reached a tentative deal Thursday on tax rebates of $300 to $1,200 per family and business tax cuts to jolt the slumping economy.

Congressional officials close to the negotiations said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio reached agreement in principle in a telephone call Thursday morning.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the two wanted key members of their parties to sign off on the accord before any announcement.

The movement came as the White House said agreement seemed imminent. ”Our understanding is there is no final deal yet but they are making progress,” presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said early Thursday.

Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make too little to pay income taxes.

Families with children would receive an additional $300 per child, subject to an overall cap of perhaps $1,200, according to a senior House aide who outlined the deal on condition of anonymity in advance of formal adoption of the whole package. Rebates would go to people earning below a certain income cap, likely individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less.

People would have to have earned at least $3,000 in 2007 to receive the rebates, the officials said.

Pelosi, answering questions from reporters Thursday after addressing Families USA at a Washington hotel, said, ”I am not confirming anything,” but added she would have something to say later.

Another element of the plan is a package of tax breaks for businesses that could cost as $70 billion, far more than had been expected, said a senior House aide and a Democratic lobbyist said.

The business tax portion would give businesses incentives to invest in plants and equipment, give small businesses more generous expensing rules and allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid.

After a key Wednesday night meeting in which the parameters of an agreement were reached, Pelosi and Boehner spoke again Thursday to cement the accord.

In the talks, Pelosi pressed to make sure tax relief would find its way into the hands of lower-income earners while Boehner pushed to include upper middle-class couples, according to congressional aides.

The emerging package was already drawing fire from liberal activists and labor unions upset that proposals to extend unemployment insurance and boost food stamps had been dropped. They said those ideas could pump money into the economy more quickly than tax rebate checks that won’t be delivered until June.

Conservative Republicans were likely to be restless over tax rebates going to those without income tax liability.

Democratic aides said greater GOP flexibility over giving relief to poor families with children — who would not have been eligible under President Bush’s original tax rebate proposal — was the catalyst that moved the talks forward.

AT&T loses my vote! (Not that they ever had it………)

Posted in privacy, snooping at 9:25 am by Kris

I hate AT&T with a passion. But we just moved, so my choices were Time Warner and AT&T. AT&T had the fastest speed (and TW customer service sucks), so AT&T it is.

However, if this gets implemented, I will be moving on in a hurry. I’d give anything to have my old provider back, but they do not offer service in our new area.

________________________________________________________________

AT&T considering spying on its users

Posted by Martin in P2p, The Web Tags: att, internet, internet filter, P2p, traffic

AT&T are currently evaluating if they should implement a system that would in effect monitor all traffic coming through their lines in an effort to stop sharing of copyrighted material on the Internet using P2P networks. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson came up with a weak analogy to prove his point: “It’s like being in a store and watching someone steal a DVD. Do you act?”

Dear AT&T, dear Mr. Stephenson, are you aware that you can’t compare the theft of a DVD in store with downloading a DVD on the Internet. The theft of the DVD takes something away from someone while the second does not. It is not the same. But that’s not my main point of criticism, not at all.

AT&T is an Internet Service Provider which means that they provide the necessary infrastructure so that their customers can access the Internet. Let me ask you a question. What qualifies you to monitor or classify Internet traffic as copyright infringement ? Are you the police or a federal agency ? No you are not.

I’m not an expert in American law but I suppose that it is not allowed to spy on users that easily and even block traffic that has been analyzed before. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

What you are basically saying is that telephone companies should also eavesdrop on every call made because someone could plan or commit a crime over phone. What you are saying is that every letter and package send by mail should be opened and examined because someone could send copyright infringing material.

I’m sick of companies that side with the industry against their company. If you are a AT&T customer consider switching to another provider and LET THEM NOW that what you will do if they follow this shady pass.

SEXEH laptop – Wipe that drool from your chin!

Posted in gadgets, sexeh at 7:30 am by Kris

Now this is TEH SEXEH in terms of laptops………….*whew*! Courtesy of engadget.

_____________________________________________________________

Sony’s 17-inch VAIO AR with Blu-ray meets Penryn

Check it Blu-ray on-the-go fans. Sony just gave the Penryn bump to their VAIO AR
series of media laptops. Sweet, powerful, 2.5GHz of cool running, long
lasting, Core 2 Duo T9300 processing and 512MB of NVIDIA GeForce Go
8600M GT graphics now at the heart of this 17-inch, 1,920 x 1,200
resolution lappie. Your $3,300 pre-order should be greeted by a Jan
29th ship date if you’re lucky.

[Thanks, Zainuddin Z.]

Thanks and a shout out to….

Posted in shout-out, thanks at 6:40 am by Kris

A shout out to FoxieWire – they linked to my extension post, so I’d like to give them a big thanks for that – you’ve made my day, FoxieWire!

Product Review – Revo Uninstaller

Posted in open-source, product review, software, tips -n- tricks at 6:26 am by Kris

I found this program via a blog that I read, and was impressed by what I saw. But I was even more impressed once I installed it and ran the application! This is by far, the best uninstaller software that I have some across. You can choose four mode of uninstall, from light to very aggressive (if you’re a geek like me you want to get rid of ALL the junk old programs can leave behind). Once the uninstaller from the app being uninstalled runs, Revo does it’s due diligence and searches for orphaned folders, files and registry entries, allowing you to pick specifically which one you want to leave or send to the circular file.

Best of all? It’s FREE. I couldn’t believe how much functionality comes with this software – and you don’t have to pay a penny! More and more, I am going open-source for applications (made the switch to Open Office here recently) and I’m trying to always go the way of free software. But if you find one that you like, do donate: it helps them to pay their bills and continue development. Try this one out – you won’t be disappointed!
_____________________________________________________________________

Revo Uninstaller helps you to uninstall and remove any unwanted application installed on your computer.

With its advanced and fast algorithm, Revo Uninstaller analyzes an application’s data before uninstall and scans after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. Even if you have a broken installation, Revo Uninstaller scans for an application’s data on your hard disk drives and in the Windows registry and shows all found files, folders and registry items so you can delete them.

With its unique “Hunter mode“, Revo Uninstaller offers you some simple, easy to use, but effective and powerful approaches to manage (uninstall, stop, delete, disable from auto starting) and to get information about your installed and/or running applications.

Revo Uninstaller gives you another 8 handy and powerful tools to clean up your system.

Here are the list of all of the tools and utilities that are included:

Auto Start Manager – stop programs that start automatically when Windows starts; Speed up loading of Windows!

Windows Tools Manager – handy and useful tools bundled with every version of Windows; Easily find useful system tools and options!

Junk Files Cleaner – find and remove unnecessary files from your computer; Free up disk space and delete data you do not need!

Browsers History Cleaner – erase the web site history, visited pages history and temporary internet files of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape and Opera web browsers; Free up a lot of disk space by deleting temporary internet files like temporary saved videos, flash files, pictures etc!

Office History Cleaner – remove the history of most recently used files in MS Office; Remove your tracks by deleting the list of last opened MS Office documents!

Windows History Cleaner – remove the history of recently opened files, delete temporary files, remove usage tracks and other history items that are saved by Windows; Remove your tracks saved by windows for a lot of operations!

Unrecoverable Delete Tool – erase files and folders forever; Be sure that nobody could recover your files and folders after deleting!

Evidence Remover – make sure already deleted files, folders and other data are unrecoverable;

Download Nowread more


What’s new in Revo Uninstaller version 1.42:

Added new cleaning options to Windows Cleaner tool
Improved user interface of Windows Cleaner tool
Improved handling of Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) based installations
Added showing empty leftover folders after scanning
Added detection of grouped taskbar buttons in Hunter mode
Bug Fixed in Hunter mode – Detecting similar applications on desktop
New languages are added!

What’s new in Revo Uninstaller version 1.40:

Now deeper scanning, safer scanning, more accurate scanning!

Now Portable version available – supports auto update!

New Safe mode – Scans only for safe to delete items!
New Moderate mode – Extended scan for leftover items!
New Advanced mode – Deep scan of the system. Finds a lot of leftovers!
Added option for starting Revo Uninstaller in Hunter mode on Windows startup!
Added notification for applications set to run on windows startup!
Added transparency to Hunter mode!
Added Hunter mode in system tray!
Added saving of Hunter mode’s window’s size, position and transparency.
Added automatic creation of System Restore Point before uninstalling an application!
Added notification message boxes to all track cleaners!
Added integrated search from http://www.revouninstaller.com
Improved loading of Options dialog – now faster!
Improved loading of the installed applications – now faster!
Improved detection of icons of installed applications!
Improved window repositioning of the tools.
Fixed message boxes in Browsers cleaner!
Fixed bug in Opera browser’s bookmarks!
Fixed bug with Enter button on the main window and search window!
Fixed other minor bugs!
New languages are added!

Download Now

Revo Uninstaller is compatible with the following operating systems:

Kickin’ Itunes to the curb!

Posted in music, open-source, tips -n- tricks at 4:53 am by Kris

I’m a big fan of anything Mozilla – once I get home tonight you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be trying this!

Move over iTunes – Mozilla’s Songbird is Here

By Mark O’Neill

As a big fan of Firefox, I am always interested in any other projects that Mozilla might be dabbling in. Yesterday I began testing Songbird which is Mozilla’s open-source version of Apple’s iTunes music player.

Songbird has the same basic design as iTunes but it’s black (default skin) and with added functionality. As with iTunes, you can import your music, subscribe to podcasts, create playlists, rate each song, synchronise your playlists with your computer files and so on.

But let’s take a look at what makes Songbird different from iTunes.

First, as with Firefox, you can download extensions to make Songbird look and act the way you want it. In fact, this is Songbird’s biggest advantage as far as I can see – the open-source platform. I’ve still to delve deeper into the lengthy extensions list but right off the bat, I downloaded an extension that displays the Wikipedia page for the band you are playing, as well as extensions for iPod support, and the ability to play protected Windows Media files and Quicktime files. The extensions box is virtually identical in design to the Firefox version :

SongBird Extensions

Secondly, again taking a leaf out of Firefox’s book, you can have tabs open up for web browsing within Songbird so in theory, you could look at your favourite webpages while playing songs (particularly useful if you need to search online for lyrics while a song is playing, for example).

Third, you have a choice of three music stores which gives you the chance to download new music. But what makes this different from iTunes is that here, you can choose between iTunes, Amazon’s MP3 store and eMusic. So you are not limited to one file format.

songbirdmusicdownload.png

Fourth, and this is a neat one – you can shrink it to a basic version!

songbirdmini.png

Other features include:

  • Play Anything : MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, WMA, and more.
  • Multi-lingual: Comes in 39 languages.
  • Integrated Web Search
  • Style with Different visual skins
  • Runs on Mac, Linux and Windows.
  • Play the Web
  • Play web pages as playlists and view any web page as a playlist.

One problem I have found is that you cannot run iTunes music files on both iTunes and Songbird at the same time. So if you want to run iTunes music on Songbird, you must first de-authorize and uninstall iTunes from your computer. This is the hated DRM copy protection at work, not the fault of Songbird.

Just to be clear, Songbird is not yet at the stage where it can be called an “iTunes killer” (the project is still very much in beta development) but it’s looking extremely good so far. As I’ve said, its biggest strength is in throwing open the source code and inviting developers to make new features and improve existing ones. Can you imagine Apple doing that with iTunes? I don’t think so!

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January 23, 2008

Log your goods! From Lifehacker

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:27 pm by Kris

 

Insurance

Inventory Your Home or Office with StuffSafe

stuffsafe.pngInventory
all of your home or office furnishings and bolster your theft or
disaster recovery plan with web site StuffSafe. The obvious idea behind
the service is that any on-site inventory is no good, since you’ll very
likely lose the inventory materials in the event of a disaster or
theft. StuffSafe asks for pictures, descriptions, serial numbers, and
even allows read-only access to your account for your insurance agent
or other third parties. Finally, you can create a backup of your
account and cancel it at any time. I can’t say how acceptable a method
like StuffSafe would be to your insurance agent, but it seems like a
wonderful way to document your stuff in case of theft. If you know more about it or have your own preferred methods, let’s hear about it in the comments.

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The List of the 52 (yes, fifty two) BEST Firefox extensions

Posted in FireFox, tips -n- tricks at 9:02 pm by Kris

As promised, here is my loooooong list of extensions, complete with links so that if one interests you, it’s clickable and will take you right to it! This is MY “Best-Of” list 🙂 YMMV………
The list on my work PC isn’t this long, but pretty much has the same goodies.
______________________________________

Last updated:

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 01:58:48 GMT

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.8.1.11) Gecko/20071127 Firefox/2.0.0.11

Plugins (9):

  • 2007 Microsoft Office system
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Coupons Inc Bricks Plugin
  • Microsoft® Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin
  • Mozilla Default Plug-in
  • QuickTime Plug-in 7.3
  • Shockwave Flash
  • Windows Genuine Advantage
  • Yahoo! activeX Plug-in Bridge

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I can has cheesburger?

Posted in fun at 4:45 pm by Kris

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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Gmail on the slim down……..

Posted in Google, tips -n- tricks at 4:39 pm by Kris


Empty Your Inbox with Gmail and the Trusted Trio from Gina at Lifehacker

gmail-empty-inbox.png
Our favorite way to keep your email inbox empty is a simple, three-folder system we call The Trusted Trio.
However, if you’re using Gmail and want to keep a clear inbox, it’s
actually a duo. Here’s how to use two simple labels to consistently
empty your Gmail inbox.

You already know the Trusted Trio consists of three folders:

  • Archive—for closed messages you may want to reference later.
  • Follow Up—for messages you need to do something about and respond to.
  • Hold—for messages you’re waiting on someone else to get back to you about.

Here’s the full rundown of the Trusted Trio.

If you’re using Gmail, however, things are a bit different. First of
all, Gmail comes with an archive area built in: click on the “All Mail”
link to see it. When you archive a message in Gmail (either by clicking
the Archive button, selecting the menu option or hitting the E key),
the message gets yanked out of your inbox and archived in the “All
Mail” view. That means there’s no need for the Trusted Trio’s Archive
folder. That is, you only need Follow Up and Hold buckets.

gmailtrustedtrio.pngSince
we’re in Gmail, those buckets aren’t folders, they’re labels. If you’re
using labels other than Follow Up and Hold, you can sort Follow Up and
Hold at the top of your label list. I do this by prefacing each one
with an underscore, as shown. Several readers suggest numbering the
labels to get them to sort the way you’d like, i.e., (1. Follow Up, 2.
Hold.)

Of course, the whole point of the Trusted Trio is that you don’t need
a lengthy folder list to keep on top of what you’ve processed and what
you haven’t, but since you can give a single message more than one
label, that rule doesn’t apply as much in Gmail. Still, I recommend
relying on Gmail’s fabulous array of search operators to find stuff you need when you need it, rather than proactively labeling stuff in ways you’ll probably never need.

Do you keep your Gmail inbox empty? How do you do it? Let us know in the comments.

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Some new tips!

Posted in FireFox, tips -n- tricks at 3:03 pm by Kris

A few of these I didn’t know about – a great reference!

Firefox Tips you May Not Know About (Part 2)from Makeuseof.com

By Mark O’Neill

Every day I find new Firefox tips and tricks that I didn’t know about and then I find out that other people didn’t know about them either. So here’s what I discovered recently to make you more of a Firefox power-user. Some of them are useful keyboard shortcuts to keep your hand away from that mouse, and others are just regular tips to optimize and improve your use of Firefox.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

firefoxsearchenginebar.pngCTRL and K – moves your cursor up to the search engine plug-in box. Once you’re there, CTRL and the up / down arrows on your keyboard will jump from search engine to search engine.

CTRL + SHIFT + T – re-opens the last closed tab.

SPACEBAR : scrolls down the webpage you’re on.

SHIFT and the SPACEBAR : scrolls up the webpage you’re on.

F11 – removes the browser bars and makes the webpage full screen. Press F11 again to go back to normal.

CTRL + T – Opens a new tab window.

REGULAR TIPS

viewmenufirefox.pngRemove toolbars from the browser without uninstalling them : sometimes you need a toolbar to disappear as it takes up too much space on your browser. But at the same time, you will need that toolbar at some point and so you don’t want to uninstall it. Well, you can temporarily hide it by doing the following :

Go to View then Toolbars. Untick the toolbar you want to disappear and then it will be gone. To bring it back again, go back to View, Toolbars and re-tick it. The toolbar will then re-appear.

ffcalc.pngUse your Google search plug-in as a calculator : you can do this already on the normal Google page and you can also do it in the Firefox search plug-in. Just enter your numbers and mathematical symbols from your keyboard number-pad and the result will be shown in the search suggestions box. Of course you will already have the Windows calculator installed on your computer but if you have Firefox already open, you may find this facility a little more convenient.

firefoxpassword.pngReveal saved passwords in Firefox : I don’t use the saved passwords function in Firefox as I am totally paranoid about online security but there is apparently a javascript code you can enter into the Firefox address bar to reveal a saved password in Firefox. Having the browser save your passwords is all well and good but this can make you forget the actual password eventually since you are not typing it in every day. So if you need the actual password for any reason, just input the following code into the address bar and the password will be revealed in a pop-up box :

javascript:(function(){var s,F,j,f,i; s = “”; F = document.forms; for(j=0; j<F.length; ++j) { f = F[j]; for (i=0; i<f.length; ++i) { if (f[i].type.toLowerCase() == “password”) s += f[i].value + “\n”; } } if (s) alert(”Passwords in forms on this page:\n\n” + s); else alert(”There are no passwords in forms on this page.”);})();

Put that dusty printer to work!

Posted in organize, tips -n- tricks at 12:49 pm by Kris

Cool Printables: Ways to Put your Dusty Printer to Work from Makeusof.com

Bunch of unusual ways to make use of of your dusty printer. If you have a printer in the office, it’s even better: not only do you get free ink but also something to keep you occupied and make office hours fly. Well, and some actually to get things done.

Pocketmod – Create all-purpose, wallet-sized, booklets out of plain A4 sheets in just 1-2 minutes. As it says on the website, “it is hard to describe just how incredibly useful the PocketMod is. It’s best that you just dive in and create one“.

Printable-booklets.jpg

ePrintable – Web-based calendar generator. No registration required, just select the calendar type and click ‘print’ to generate it. You can also add some image and quotes.

PaperCDcase – Use this website to create a PDF file which can be printed and folded to create a stylish paper CD case.

Sudoku Generator – Sudoku fan? This site lets you generate different level sudoku puzzles which can be downloaded as PDF.

Documents Templates – Once in a while we all need some kind of document, it may be a business plan presentation, rental contract, non-disclosure agreement, or even a name change request form. Here are 3 places where you get them for free.

Big.First.Name – Free online app for printing nametags. Quick and simple. Check out some examples here.

Nametag Generator

PrintFreeGraphPaper – Web-based Graph Paper generator. Choose one of listed graph paper templates, indicate preferred paper size and measuring units, select paper type, and ‘Print’ it.

Print Graph Paper

Deyey – Neeed a stylish business card ? Maybe nametags for employees ? Enter Deyey, a feature-rich online business card creator. Ready cards can be printed out in high-resolution formats.

Business Card Maker

PDFpad – Provides a nice selection of handy document templates for work, school, games etc. These include: Calendars, Flags, Graph Paper, Smith Chart, Staff Paper and Sudoku.

Rasterbator – Turn any image into giant rasterized wall-poster.

MyBrochureMaker – Here you can create and print eye-catching brochures and advertising leaflets in minutes. Promote upcoming office parties, create product brochures, location promos, etc.

MyBrochureMaker - Design and Print Brochures Online

Notetaker – Create custom notetaking sheets. The custom sheets can be blank (Cornell st.), ruled, or graph style and can include your name and date.

iPaperCraft – Cash Wallet – Customisable paper wallets and card holders.

Paper rulers – Bunch of disposable printable paper rulers.

Filed Under: Productivity ¦ Office Worker ¦ Office Tools ¦ Lists of tools

Moving tools

Posted in organize, unclutter at 12:28 pm by Kris

Having just done this myself, I sure could have used these tips about two weeks ago!

Five Essential Tools for MovingFrom LifeHacker

uhaul.gif
Having just spent the long weekend moving into a new place, I learned
the hard way that there are little things you can do and tools you
should have plenty of on hand to make things go smoothly. Boxing up
every single one of your possessions and transporting them to your new
residence to set them all up again is a huge pain in the ass. Here are
a few items beyond your standard boxes, tape, and blankets that can
streamline your move:

  1. pluglabel.jpgLabels. Whether you use a fancy pants labeler or marker on masking tape, label every single box, bag, and doodad in sight, especially
    cables for your computer and entertainment center. This may sound
    obvious, but right now my TV’s not hooked up because that rat’s nest of
    unidentified cables for the receiver, TV, media center, and gaming
    consoles is a mess. (I fared better with my computer desk, having labeled all my cables beforehand.)
    Also, at some point during the packing process I got lazy and stopped
    labeling boxes. DO NOT DO THIS. Now finding stuff in the new place is
    like a treasure hunt. (Except it’s not fun.)
  2. Ziploc bags. Have tons of clear Ziplocs on hand, in
    all sizes. They’re perfect for wrangling little related bits and
    pieces, labeling and stowing away in boxes to easily find later.
  3. Zip ties. This one might go without saying, but this
    weekend I thanked my lucky stars that I save every zip tie that ever
    came into the house. Twist-tying together cables easily is an absolute
    must for picking apart items on the other side of your move.
  4. sliders_sm.pngSliders. We featured these Moving Sliders
    here on Lifehacker back in ’06, so I picked up a set this week and I’m
    glad I did. These little plastic disks are amazing for moving heavy
    furniture like bookshelves, desks, and filing cabinets without killing
    yourself.
  5. moverwrap_sm.jpegProtective plastic wrap
    These huge rolls of what looks like Saran Wrap (but for furniture) are
    used by pro movers to pad, protect, and contain big and small pieces. I
    wrapped tons of items in this stuff, and it comes off easy with no
    residue left behind. I recommend getting a very wide roll.

Any of you move recently and have hard-earned wisdom to share? Let
us know in the comments, while I try to figure out where the heck I put
my phone charger.

Tweak Firefox’s “Responsiveness”

Posted in FireFox, tips -n- tricks at 12:23 pm by Kris

Tweak
Firefox’s “Responsiveness” Config Setting from the How-To Geek

Have you ever noticed that sometimes Firefox
isn’t very responsive while loading a page? As a frequent StumbleUpon user,
this behavior grates on my nerves so I went looking for a solution.

When Firefox is loading a page it uses one of two modes: There’s a high
priority mode that doesn’t pay as much attention to your mouse and keyboard,
but loads the page faster. There’s also a lower priority mode that interrupts
the parser more often to respond to input events. It’s even documented at Mozillazine.

What we can do is tweak the amount of time before Firefox switches from
lower priority mode back into high priority mode.

Type about:config into the Firefox address bar, and then filter by
the following:

content.switch.threshold

image

Most likely the key doesn’t exist yet, so you’ll have to set it by right-clicking
in the empty area and selecting New \ Integer. Use these values when prompted:

  • Key Name:
    content.switch.threshold
  • Key Value:
    1000000

The default value is 750000, or 3/4 of a second. The more time that you tell
Firefox to wait before resuming high priority mode, the more responsive the
application will feel… but it will obviously take a little longer to load the
pages. You could reverse this if you were more worried about speeding up page
load time.

Note that this setting only works if you haven’t changed content.interrupt.parsing
to false.

The Geek is the founder of
How-To Geek and a geek enthusiast. When he’s not coming up with great how-to
articles, he’s probably writing at his personal blog.

 

Unlearning the To-Do List

Posted in organize, unclutter at 12:17 pm by Kris

Unlearning the To-Do List

January 22nd, 2008 by Stephen


Welcome new readers! Navigation is on the left, Sponsors and Links on the
right,
Click
here for an overview
of Productivity in Context, Here for the archives.

“When most people sit down to write a list, they’re actually
trying to combine all five phases we’ve defined for mastering workflow:
collect, process, organize, review, and do. They are simultaneously attempting
to grab things out of their mind, decide what they mean, arrange them in some
logical or meaningful fashion, jump immediately to an evaluation of each
against the other, and then choose the “most important” thing to do.”

~David Allen, Ready for Anything,
p.6

Does David Allen mean that this is the wrong way to make a to-do list?

Yes, indeed. The traditional list of things to do is a first generation
planning tool, succeeded by planning by calendar approaches, values-based
planning, and finally the workflow process. Why does the workflow process work
better?

The To-Do list is just a collection

A list is only a list, it has no context, and by itself can offer no
assistance in assigning a priority. These things may only exist in your mind,
and you must get them out. Write down what those contexts are, in detail. Are
there tasks that you must do:

  • at home?
  • at work?
  • on the computer?
  • online?
  • on the telephone?
  • via e-mail?

This is just a sample of the contexts that you may need to assign.

Process your To-Do list immediately

Do not just write things down willy-nilly. Write down each task on a separate
list, one for each context. Assign an estimated duration for each task. This
may take a little longer, and use more paper, but you are preparing your list
for organizing. This gives the list value. For example, when you sit down and
open your e-mail client, you have your To-Do list of tasks prepared, and can
execute them. You will not have to search for things that you wrote down yet
may have forgotten.

Organizing pays off over time

Having your To-Do list divided into Contexts will pay off in the incremental
advances that you make each day. If you save 10 minutes here, and 5 minutes
there, pretty soon you have saved an hour. And going home at 5:00 instead of
6:00 is worth just how much to you? I know that it was worth a lot to me!

Make time for a review

At the end of each day, take a moment or two to review the days activities.
Check off all of the things that are done, and note which ones you would like
to address first tomorrow. Then, when Friday rolls around, and you look at your
much-diminished lists of tasks, how will that feel? Can you imagine
having some extra time on the last day of the week to actually sit down and
look over your accomplishments for the week? Think about being able to catch
things that others have missed, or being able to follow-up on delegated tasks
early in the day, before weekend-itis sets in.

Do, do, do

Having a list of things to do is fine, but having an organized list of tasks
– sorted by context and tagged with duration – is a thing of beauty. Imagine
yourself at your desk, preparing for a meeting, when the phone rings. The
meeting has been delayed one half-hour. What do you do? The unprepared
person may go get a cup of coffee, or fiddle around surfing the internet. If
you have the time, these may be appropriate choices. But say you have a
deadline approaching and you would like to follow-up with some team members.
You look over your lists, and voila, you see that have an e-mail
session you estimated at 20 minutes. You are at your desk, the computer is
there, you are ready for the meeting, and you have 30 minutes. Send the e-mails
and cross it off the list!

Now you can go get that cup of coffee, and walk into the meeting
feeling good about that half-hour delay.

Related Posts:
Clear
Your In-box with Your Context List

Don’t
Try to Remember Everything

g

 

Preemptively Save Christmas ’08 with the Amazon Gift Organizer

Posted in organize, unclutter at 9:13 am by Kris

Preemptively Save Christmas ’08 with the Amazon Gift Organizer

Amazon.com
: Amazon Gift Central


With the holidays’ major combat operations now complete — but while the
trauma of bell fatigue and the stink of Orange Julius are still fresh in your
mind — I wanted to share a simple tip on something that was really useful to me
this past Christmas and that might make your own life easier for next December
or any other giftable event along the way.

So, you certainly know that you can create an Amazon Wish List to let
people locate and purchase items you would enjoy having as gifts;
that’s been around forever (and most needy cam girls have the iPods and panties
to prove it). And you may even have caught on that you can now have multiple
Wish Lists (with differing privacy settings). And if you’re a power user (read:
“Amazon Prime dork”), you will surely be utilizing the very helpful Shopping List
for finding and re-ordering repeat items like printer toner and blank CDs. But
were you aware of the crazy-useful “Gift Organizer?”
Well, okay, then.

Amazon has been smart about combining several pieces of existing
functionality to create the Gift Organizer. For example, you’ll probably start
simply by identifying the wish list of a friend or family member. That’s pretty
useful, because you can see when birthdays and anniversaries are arriving in
order to gift accordingly, plus, what’s better than giving someone something
they actually want? Quick win, there.

But then it gets better. Once the folks in your gifty circle are identified,
you can also start bookmarking gift ideas that might be nice to give them in
the future. So, as you surf Amazon and notice stuff that might be cool for Mom
or Aunt Sue or that nice UPS man, just click “Add to Wish List” and select the
person it’s intended for. Into the hopper it goes. Ubiquitous capture. Swish.

Furthermore, as you purchase actual things for the people in your
circle, Amazon lets you identify who the items were gifted to (you can
even clean  up your recent purchase history this way). That information gets stored in
your per-gifted-person area where you can continue to add new ideas for future
gifts from any Amazon item page (again, very much like adding to your own wish
list, but for others). On top of it all, Amazon will then employ their awesome
collaborative filtering to suggest more items that this person may like, and
the music goes ‘round.

Now, the cool part of all this — even if you don’t use Amazon very much — is
that Amazon.com is friggin huge. Which means that they (or their “Marketplace” partners) carry a
ridiculously high percentage of the purchasable, shippable items available in
the consumer universe. So, if you start using the Gift Organizer today — even
for stuff you have no intention of buying from Amazon — your life is
going to be much easier the next time a gift-giving occasion rolls around;
you’ve capitalized on several months of passive, half-assed attention to
actually do something useful.

Other ideas? One might be to create a few notional gift recipients to
represent clients, co-workers, or the other compulsory gift recipients in your
life; finding that clever, inexpensive gift at your leisure is a lot
less stressful than having to tear ass on December 21st.

In an ideal world, giving gifts to your pals shouldn’t feel like a stressful
race. If your heart is willing but your tolerance for malls is weak, try giving
the Gift Organizer a spin. You can always make your own
Orange Julius
.

 

Naming

Posted in Misc bullshit at 8:47 am by Kris

Thanks go out to SweetMisery for the name of this blog – she suggested it and I loved it immediately!

Firefoxeh goodness!

Posted in FireFox, Greasemonkey, Stylish, userscript at 8:38 am by Kris

You may have seen the posts I made regarding Stylish and userscripts. Stylish is a FireFox plugin that allows you to load scripts written in CSS, to modify website that you view. It changes their appearance in Firefox to be more pleasing to the end user.

My web experience would be very frustrating with the use of Stylish and Greasemonkey both, as I have vision impairment and darker pages with light text are optimal for my viewing pleasure.

  My Google search with scripts installed.

Firefox is my ONLY browser at home and work. If I run across a website that does not view in FF, it gets dumped and I never revisit it.

In another article, I will post my Stylish scripts I have installed as well as Greasemonkey scripts and FF extensions. It’s quite a list, let me tell ya!

Why use Firefox instead of IE?

What is trackback?

Posted in tips -n- tricks, wordpress at 8:14 am by Kris

WordPress Trackback Tutorial

by Teli Adlam

When used properly, trackbacks and pingbacks are an excellent way to build links and traffic to your blog, as well as building relationships with other bloggers.

What Is Trackback?

In layman’s terms, trackback is a way to notify a website when you publish an entry that references it.

When you send it a trackback, a link with a short excerpt of your entry will appear on the referenced website.
Example of a Trackback

How To Locate The Trackback Link

When you want to trackback, you will need to use a special link provided on the blog you want to reference.

Most trackback links appear just after the blog post content and before the comments.

Sometimes the link will appear as a plain text link:
Example of Plain Text Trackback Link

Other times it will be a hyperlink:
Example of Hyperlinked Trackback Link

If the trackback URL is hyperlinked, you’ll need to right click on it and select “Copy link location…” (or your browser’s equivalent), otherwise, you can highlight and copy the link.

If you plan to reference more than one blog entry, each trackback URL will need to be copied individually.

(Please note: Not all blogs display their trackback URL in plain view, some blogs even turn off their trackback. When in doubt, contact the blog author.)…………..

Stylish 0.5.3

Posted in FireFox, Stylish at 7:39 am by Kris

Stylish :: Firefox Add-ons

Stylish 0.5.3 Homepage
by np

Customize the look of the application and of websites with Stylish, a user styles manager.

Stylish allows easy management of user styles. User styles empower your browsing experience by letting you fix ugly sites, customize the look of your browser or mail client, or just have fun. With an online repository at userstyles.org, you don’t even need to know how to write styles yourself; just a couple clicks and the chosen style is applied. Stylish is to CSS what Greasemonkey is to JavaScript, and unlike other methods of using user styles, most styles take effect immediately.

User guide: http://userstyles.org/stylish/help
Bug reports and feature requests: http://userstyles.org/stylish/discussion
Works with:

* Firefox Firefox: 1.5 – 3.0a9

Developer Comments
*** If you’re creating your own styles, remember to include !important in every declaration like so:

* {
color: blue !important;
}
Version 0.5.3 — October 6, 2007 — 161 KB

Some minor bug fixes, bumped maxversions, additional locales.

Complete Version History

Google Search EXTREME Cleaner

Posted in FireFox, Stylish, userscript at 7:36 am by Kris

Google Search EXTREME Cleaner | userstyles.org

Google Search EXTREME Cleaner

Google Search EXTREME Cleaner
5718
****
By Vitj0k

Last updated Jan 23 2008

Removes all unnecessary elements on search result page of google.
It leaves only search field and results. In the form of link and description only.

Just see the screenshots.

Configured for google.com and google.de. For other locations, please change the code.

Update(Jan 23 2008):
– To keep cache links and regular site URL’s, uncomment following code
/*
span.a, a.fl, nobr {
display:inline !important;
}
*/
– Hidden some related search results
Before
After

Before                                           After

Heath Ledger – Peace to you my tortured soul……

Posted in celebrity, death at 7:09 am by Kris

Heath Ledger, the Australian-born actor whose breakthrough role as a gay cowboy in the 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain” earned him a nomination for an Academy Award and comparisons to the likes of Marlon Brando, was found dead Tuesday in an apartment in Manhattan with sleeping pills near his body, the police said.

The police said Mr. Ledger, 28, was found naked on the floor near
the bed in an apartment in SoHo that he had been renting. The chief
police spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said the police did not suspect foul
play.

“There was no indication of a disturbance,” he said, adding
that there were no signs that Mr. Ledger had been drinking. Nor were
any illegal drugs found in the loft, which takes up the entire fourth
floor. Neighbors said Mr. Ledger had occupied it for several months.

Police officials said that a bottle of prescription sleeping pills was found
on a nearby night table, but that they did not know whether the pills
had anything to do with Mr. Ledger’s death. Officers who checked the
apartment found other prescription medications in the bathroom. A
spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said an autopsy would be
conducted on Wednesday.

Mr. Browne said no obvious indication of suicide, like a note, was found in the bedroom.

Mr.Ledger had become a familiar figure in his SoHo neighborhood — and
something of a fixture in gossip columns — since moving there after he
broke up with the actress Michelle Williams, who played his wife in “Brokeback Mountain.”

There were reports of hand-holding and lip-locking with various
actresses and models, and sightings at restaurants and cocktail bars.
He had clashed with paparazzi in Australia, but in New York, where
there is no shortage of problem-causing partygoers, “he certainly
wasn’t one of them,” said Paul Sevigny, an owner of the Beatrice Inn, a
West Village club that Mr. Ledger frequented.

“He was really polite and nice,” said Mr. Sevigny.

Thepolice said Mr. Ledger’s body was found after a masseuse arrived at the
apartment at 2:45 p.m. for her regular appointment with Mr. Ledger. A
housekeeper let her in and knocked on the door of Mr. Ledger’s bedroom.
No one answered.

The housekeeper and the masseuse pushed open the
bedroom door and saw Mr. Ledger, unconscious, on the floor. They shook
him but could not revive him, and then called for help, the police
said. The housekeeper told officers that she had heard him snoring in
the bedroom around 12:30 p.m., the police said.

As word of Mr.Ledger’s death began circulating, fans and camera crews converged on
the street outside the apartment, at 421 Broome Street, between Crosby
and Lafayette.

Neighbors said Mr. Ledger was friendly. Julie
McIntosh, a hairstylist at a salon a few doors down the block from the
apartment, said she saw him on the street once or twice a week. She
said she had seen him with his 2-year-old daughter a couple of times.

“He seemed happy,” she said, recalling how she had run into him outside the
salon last month and joked, “When are you going to come in and let me
wash your hair?”

Others in the crowd said their first reaction to word of his death was disbelief. Nicole Vaughan, 24, a law student at New York University,
was in a seminar about Jesus when someone sent her a message about Mr.
Ledger. She checked the Web, then walked to the apartment “because of
the way our generation is; we sort of feel we’re a part of each other’s
lives.”

Vanessa Yuille, 29, a record-company manager who lives in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said her vigil outside the apartment building
was a way of paying tribute to what Mr. Ledger did the night she saw
him in a Williamsburg restaurant last summer. “A guy fell off a
motorcycle in front of the restaurant,” she said, “and it was Heath
Ledger who went to see if the guy was all right.”

More recently, Mr. Ledger had made the rounds in Manhattan.

A cocktail waitress at a downtown hotel bar that regularly draws
celebrities said he showed up one night last week with some friends,
ordered bottled water, as he always did, and stayed for an hour or two.
“He looked fit,” said the waitress, who would give her name only as
Renee for fear of jeopardizing her job. “He looked healthy.”

The Associated Press reported that his father, Kim Ledger, called his death
“tragic, untimely and accidental.” An uncle, Neil Bell, said the family
was taken by surprise. “He was in good spirits and having a wonderful
time on this Terry Gilliam movie,” he said, referring to “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” scheduled for release next year.

Mr. Bell, whom Mr. Ledger once cited as the inspiration for his character
in “Brokeback Mountain,” added: “They were all flying to Vancouver for
a shoot on this movie. Heath flew into New York to go home for a bit.”

Mr. Ledger’s publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said that she was too upset to talk about Mr. Ledger’s death.

Heathcliff Andrew Ledger was born on April 4, 1979, in Perth, Australia, where a local theater company cast him in “Peter Pan” when he was 10. That role led to parts on children’s television programs, and to the 1992 film “Clowning Around” and the television series “Ship to Shore.”

But the magazine Current Biography said he was also a champion at chess and
go-kart racing as a youngster, and played field hockey until his coach
forced him to choose between that sport and drama.

After appearing in a short-lived Australian television series, he moved to
Los Angeles in 1999. His first Hollywood film was the teenage romantic
comedy “10 Things I Hate About You,” a send-up of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” in which he appeared opposite Julia Stiles.

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