The getting things done gurus over at 43 Folder have just put up a Wiki for collecting “life hacks,” cool little tips and tricks for making life easier and more manageable. Right now, the hacks are uncategorized — it’s just a dump list — but they plan on fixing that at some point. So far, a bunch of the tips are about shaving. Shaving? What self-respecting geek bothers to shave — and shares detailed tips on the practice? Holy Gopod, the next thing you know, they’ll be hacks on “manscaping” and matching your geek ultility belt to your sneakers.
It’s amazing how the “life hacks” meme has taken off. I actually coined the term “lifestyle plug-ins” years ago when I was whoring myself out doing Digital Living Today. It was supposed to be one of those goofy commercial taglines, but I kinda liked it. Still do. Although “life hacks” obviously has more geekly resonance.
The PodcastNetwork, aiming to be the go-to link for the best Podcasts online, has a podcast program covering O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology (ETech) conference. As the motto on their page sez: “We go…so you don’t have to.” This Podcast “channel” is called “The Tech Conference Show,” and they will be covering other technology shows. They started off with coverage of DEMO@15.
Techpodcasts.com is a cool portal of tech and Net-related Podcasts. There are some really well-done and professional-sounding programs here, with decent tech reporting, humor, product reviews, and more. Forget about G4 TechTV. It’s VERY burnt toast. Techpodcasts looks far more promising.
PSP Video 9 is a freeware app that allows you to convert PC media files (avi, mpg, etc) into PSP video files for transfer and playback on the Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable). Combined with another application, Videora, you can download video files from the Net, covert them to the PSP format, and transfer them to a docked PSP. Since Videora incorporates BitTorrent and and RSS features, we’re talking a combo that brings Podcasting, or in this case, PSPcasting to the PlayStation Portable.
Remember the Etch-A-Sketch and how you would shake it to erase it? Imagine shaking your laptop to empty its trash. Silly, maybe, but doable, thanks to Sudden Motion Sensors found in some laptops (used to safely “park the head” of a hard drive if the laptop gets whacked or falls). A hacker discovered such a sensor in the latest Apple PowerBook and folks have been having fun programming apps that make other use of the sensor (such as creating tilt-sensitive games and a way of switching iTunes with a smack of your hand). Wired News has a piece about the phenom (with some links) here.
Peter Rojas has a fun review of the new Adidas 1 sneakers over on Engadget. Yeah, those are the US$250 kicks with the built-in microprocessors in ’em that are supposed to adjust the cushioning of the heel to match your activities. From the review, they appear to be as ridiculous as they sound.
Tomi, the artist behind PodBrix, just won’t stop. Now he has an iPod ad-inspired T-shirt with a PodBrix dude on it and a magnetic clasp on the shirt to hold your Shuffle (see pic). His stuff is so cool, it sells out as soon as he announces anything. Somebody kick this guy into a higher production mode.
Our buds over at Solarbotics have finally put together special parts bundles for two of the three projects in my Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots book. The kit for the Coathanger Walker costs US$27.70 and the kit for Mousey the Junkbot goes for $19.60. These bundles do not include everything, so check your parts lists carefully. For instance, the Walker kit does not include the 40-tooth plastic gear and the Mousey kit doesn’t include a mouse. There are some bonuses though, such as a set of Solarbotics’s photodiode optical sensors for Mousey, which are likely more sensitive than the IR receivers that you’d pull from a mouse, as suggested in the book. The bundles also include a spool of Hydro-X solder, a fave among BEAM builders, including the Big God hisself, Mark Tilden.
These bundles couldn’t have come out at a better time, as a version of the Mousey project is going to be published in the second issue of Make magazine.
Street Tech co-founder Sean Carton has a new book out, called the 2005 Gamer’s Almanac. Subtitled “Your Daily Dose of Tricks, Cheats and Fascinating Facts,” this all-color tome is crammed to the binding with all sorts of brain food for game geeks. Knowing how much effort Sean put into this title, it makes me nauseous just to thumb through it; it’s a phenomenal effort. Each day of the year has an actual event in gaming history attached to it, and then there are game and hardware reviews, tips on games, articles on various aspects of game culture and history, cheats codes, and on and on. It also covers every game platform, from PCs to consoles to cellphones. (Sean wants everybody to know that he had nothing to do with the wizard on the cover who’s carrying a football helmet and fitting off attack helicopters.)
AP is running a story about the latest trend among cellphone users in Japan: reading novels (and other books) via the tiny LCD phone screens, several lines at a time. Jezuz, I don’t like reading a lot of text on my frickin’ 20″ display! I can’t imagine reading a book on a 1-1/2″ x 1-1/4″ (or whatever) screen. Download an audiobook, for chrissake.