I LOVE this TED talk with AWESOME time-saving tech tips. Not all of them were new for me, but there were enough new things that the video should be here:
Here are his tips:
- When browsing on the web, do not scroll using the control on the right side. Use the Space Bar on your keyboard to scroll down one page. Use Shift+Space Bar to go back a page.
- When filling out forms, use the Tab key to move from box to box. When filling out a drop-down menu, type the first letter of item. If there are multiple items with that letter, keep pressing it to get to each one. i.e. Press “T” twice to get to Texas on the states list.
- To magnify a website, use Control (or Command for Mac) and press the “+” key. It will make the text larger. To reduce the size, use Control and the “-” key.
- When you’re typing on your Blackberry, Android or iPhone, you can press the Space Bar twice to add a period, space and turn on capitalization for your next sentence.
- To redial on your cell phone, just press the call button without typing in a number and your phone will call the last number you dialed.
- To jump past the directions when you’re leaving a message, press the following: * for Verizon, # for AT&T, and 1 for Sprint.
- Google is also a dictionary if you type “define” and the word in question, it will bring it up for you. Additionally, if you type the airline and flight number, Google will tell you where it is and whether it’s on time. It will also convert units and currency for you.
- When typing text, double-click to highlight one word. You don’t need to delete. You can just start typing over it. Double-clicking and dragging will highlight text in one-word increments. Triple-click to highlight an entire paragraph.
- Hold down the button on your camera to calculate focus and exposure to prevent shutter lag.
- When you’re presenting using Keynote, press the B key to blackout the slide and make everyone look at you. Hit the W key to whiteout the slide.
He forgot the BIGGEST time-saving tech tip:
Don’t sit around all day, watching TED talks. Get some stuff done!!!
I love this little video from Player One[s]. After saving the world, the council questions the hero about how many side quests he completed. It highlights EXACTLY what I hate about some games.
I love how the hero defends himself:
Look guys, I saved the world! What else is there for me to do? This is just busy work that you guys have me doing!
YES, YES, YES! That is exactly how I feel with some games. Then, with other games, I can go on side quest after side quest and just LOVE it. I don’t know what the difference is between the two, but there are definitely some times when I feel like my enjoyable game is just busy work.
Over the years, I haven’t been shy about my love for Animal Crossing: Wild World.
- Gadgets Page » Nintendo DS: Animal Crossing
- Gadgets Page » Nintendo DS: Animal Crossing Update
- Gadgets Page » Animal Crossing: How To Complete Your Catalog
- Gadgets Page » Animal Crossing: Gulliver
With great quips like, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he’ll eat for weeks!” it’s easy to understand why I love it so much.
But there is one game that has finally toppled Animal Crossing with the best writing in a video game, and it’s called Zombies, Run!
I’ve talked about this game A LOT on Starling Fitness because it’s a health and fitness app.
- Starling Fitness – Zombies, Run! Makes Exercise Fun
- Starling Fitness – Zombies, Run! 2 Is Coming This Spring
- Starling Fitness – I Am Runner Five
- Starling Fitness – Camilla Luddington Loves Zombies, Run!
On today’s run, however, I was struck with the brilliance of this game. I was playing the Zombies, Run! 5k Training Game, which is a less expensive app that gets you from walking to running and has a ton of episodes that happen between episode 1 and episode 2 of the original app. I was running with the Week 3 Workout 2 episode where Runner 10 has me testing out how far away we have to be from a zombie until they notice me. When the doctor asked him if he was SURE that the zombie was tethered strongly enough, I KNEW that the “zomb” was going to get free. I had no idea the feeling of accomplishment and gratitude I would feel when I heard them shoot her in the head and I was safe, however.
The writing and voice acting in this game is simply spectacular. It is so good that I want to consume it in one huge binge like I would do with a television series or a good book. I can’t, however. I am physically incapable of running more than once a day and even that is pushing it for me. Instead, I have to wait on pins and needles to find out whether Sam is feeling better after his breakdown and whether Francesca is able to find more supplies for the commissary.
This game is brilliant because it works so well with running. The doctor (or Sam, when he’s feeling better) never have me sitting in the safety of Abel Township fortifying walls or moving supplies. They ALWAYS have me running. Sometimes I have to stop for stretching, heel lifts or leg lifts, but they work that so effortlessly into the storyline. Today, I literally felt a wave of relief when I got behind “the fence” so I could do my stretches without worrying about the zombie catching me.
The reason the writing is so brilliant is because of Naomi Alderman. She is an author and her newest book, The Liars’ Gospel is pushing people’s buttons. If Naomi can make the story of Jesus new and controversial, then its no wonder the threat of zombies and all the other characters in Zombies, Run! feel so real.
I’ve long languished with video games because the premise of so many of them seems one-dimensional or contrived. The writing on Animal Crossing is the one thing that kept me playing for FAR longer than anyone should play a child’s video game. The same is true for Zombies, Run! Long after I would have abandoned the app and just ran with my music, I am still using Zombies, Run! and even more excited about their new version coming out, and it’s ALL because of the writing.
Zombies, Run! works on Android and iPhone platforms. For more information:
This commercial made me laugh out loud! It reminded me of the sometimes importance of paper over the iPad.
The next time someone is chiding you because you’re using paper instead of your iPad, remember this commercial and chuckle to yourself!
I am in a panic. When I loaded Google Reader this morning to look at my RSS feeds, they announced that it would be retired in July. That gives me MONTHS to find a new RSS reader, but I was sincerely ANGRY.
I know I SHOULDN’T be angry. Google Reader was a service that I was not paying for. I was happy to use it and never worried for a second that Google would pull a “Yahoo” and kill my beloved reader. Even though they crippled it by taking out all the things that my friends had shared and shoveling them into their Google+ monstrosity. I STILL believed that Google wouldn’t possibly kill Reader. Call me naive. It appears that Google is heading the route of so many companies before it, killing the things that they have created despite protests and beloved status.
So, I exported my subscriptions using Google Takeout and put them into Vienna, which is an open source RSS reader. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than Newsfire, which cost me ten bucks and couldn’t import the .xml file that Google provided me… grr…
I would be bothered by going back in time by about five years to a desktop RSS reader, just like the old days, but I’m not. I realized that I only read RSS when I’m on my “real” computer, so the fact that it’s not synced with my iPhone or iPad isn’t an issue. I just don’t read RSS on my iPhone or iPad, mostly because reading RSS is my form of work and work is VERY difficult to do on my phone.
In short, I feel betrayed by Google. I know I shouldn’t because I wasn’t paying for the service, but I feel as if Google can no longer be trusted. I’m downloading all my YouTube videos and I’m suddenly worried whether shifting our email to Google’s professional email service was worth it. If they are willing to kill a service that I used EVERY SINGLE DAY, then they might just be willing to kill my email or delete all my videos. I can’t trust them anymore and suddenly, I’m looking at other options.
Thank God I don’t have an Android phone…
Nintendo announced that Animal Crossing: New Leaf will arrive June 9th this year! I bought my Nintendo 3DS TWO years ago just for this game and I have been waiting forever for it! They just released a trailer for the game.
It came out in Japan back in November, so there are tons of videos showing how the game plays with kind people translating for us. For example, LinandKo have been doing tons of videos and just did one for Valentine’s Day this year, telling us what you can receive from the villagers in honor of the holiday.
I feel strangely excited that Animal Crossing: New Leaf is almost here. I haven’t had a game I have loved as much as Animal Crossing: Wild World, so I have high hopes for New Leaf.
Over the years, the most tantalizing games of the Nineties were hardly able to be called games. My favorite, was The Dark Eye. It was a strange, retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories that let you see them from the point of view of the victim and the “disturbed.”
The most disturbing was the story of Berenice. I had never read the story, so the ending of this portrayal on the game is particularly vivid in my memory. Wandering around the library, trapped and the eery voice repeating, “teeth,” over and over again is how I will always remember that story.
Here is a walkthrough of that storyline:
Watching this brought back all the creepy fascination I had with this game. That random wandering in the library, not knowing what to do, and those unintelligible voices just gave me a shiver of fear. All the portraits changed to smiling teeth and flashing teeth on the screen are just the finishing touches on a brilliant work.
KotakuNYC has an interesting tribute to the game here:
After watching these clips, I realize why The Dark Eye hasn’t been ported over to iOS like Myst and The 7th Guest. It was less a game and more an interactive movie… with puppets… and Edgar Allan Poe… and William S. Burroughs. It was just too strange to be rescued from the sterile death of non-compatibility. It remains only in clips and bits on YouTube and suffers a dismemberment not unlike the very characters it portrayed.
For more clips:
- The Dark Eye – Menu Theme
- The Dark Eye Part 1- Introduction
- The Dark Eye – The Cask of Amontillado (Montresor)
- The Dark Eye – The Cask of Amontillado (Fortunado 1/2)
- The Dark Eye – The Cask of Amontillado (Fortunado 2/2)
- The Dark Eye Part 3- Storyline
- The Dark Eye – Berenice (Egaeus)
- Let’s Play The Dark Eye  – Berenice: Her perspective. 1/2
- Let’s Play The Dark Eye  – Berenice: Her perspective. 2/2
- The Dark Eye – The Masque of the Red Death (Part 1)
- The Dark Eye – The Masque of the Red Death (Part 2)
- The Dark Eye – The Tell Tale Heart (Old Man)
- The Dark Eye Part 8-The Young Man pt.1
- The Dark Eye Part 8-The Young Man pt.2
- The Dark Eye Part 11-The Fall of Henry
- The Dark Eye – Annabel Lee
- The Dark Eye – Ending
I love this one-handed clothes hanger that makes taking clothes out of the closet easy.
They were designed by Howard Tseng and are now being marketed by Quirky.
I didn’t understand the genius of this hanger until I saw the video demonstrating it.
All of this looked wonderful until I saw the price. They are $11 for four hangers.
At that price, I think I’m willing to use both hands.
I LOVE this video showing what a house in 2001 would look like. Here is the living room.
He describes a huge console that would control the entire house, whereas now, our fancy televisions and any home automation that we have can be controlled by a simple app on our cell phone.
Here is the home office, where you don’t go to work, the work comes to you.
These days, you don’t need to print up the newspaper for future reference, you can just store it as a PDF on your hard drive. Even better, our video conferencing can be done on a tiny phone in our pockets.
The kitchen of the future is interesting as well.
I don’t have an automated chef that takes food from the storage and cooks it. I also have to wash dishes, but I don’t think I want that kitchen of the future. I would much rather wash a plate than smell melting plastic every time I eat.
I love to see the retro vision of what the future would be, but in the end, the future turned out to be SO much better!
It’s commonly known that printer manufacturers make money from selling ink cartridges, not from making the printers. I’ve even heard that they sell the printers at a loss in order to “get you hooked” on their ink.
Of course, there are options for people who want to enjoy their ink jet printers without shelling out the big bucks for the cartridges. You can refill the ink in the cartridges you already own. Here is a video showing you how to do it.
I’ve done this on my HP Printer and it has worked rather well. I used the Inktec Refill Kit that I found at Amazon.com with some syringe needles. I inject the ink into the cartridges and the printouts I had were just as beautiful as the ones with the HP ink. The HP ink was never water resistant and neither is this replacement ink, so I’m just as “happy” with my inkjet printer with the refill ink as I was with the original ink cartridges.
Now that the printer believes that the ink jet cartridges are empty, I have gotten rather threatening warnings on the little printer screen.
ATTENTION: Printer service or repairs required as a result of using a non-HP supply will not be covered under warranty. Replace Cartridge(s) or press OK to continue.
The printer was already out of warranty, so I wasn’t worried about voiding my warranty, but I was kind of offended that HP thinks they get to tell me what I can do with my printer after I buy it.
The warning on the HP utility application was even worse.
Original HP Ink Depleted – Information about ink levels will not be available.
I was okay with that. The computer readings about ink levels were never accurate anyway. I could easily keep printing for a month after the utility application would insist that I change them because of low ink levels.
It continued to threaten me, however.
The supply may be out, refilled or non-HP. If supply is out, please replace required cartridge with new one. HP cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of non-HP supplies. Printer service or repairs required as a result of using a non-HP supply will not be covered under warranty.
If you believe you purchased a new guenuine HP print cartridge, visit us at http://www.hp.com/go/anticounterfeit
Aside from the threatening messages, however, the printer worked really well with the refill ink until it just started turning itself off randomly. I now cannot keep the printer turned on long enough to print anything. It will turn on, run through its ink wasting cleaning process and before it can get through it, the machine will turn itself off.
When I look online to see if anyone else is having this problem, a lot of people are. The forum entry for printer turning on and off repeatedly has over 4500 views. It seems that this is a common problem with HP printers.
It all makes me feel like there is a huge HP conspiracy. I seriously looked online to see if anyone else felt that HP had programmed their printers to self-destruct if they noticed that the printers were being used despite an empty cartridge warning. The only thing I found was a paranoid forum discussion.
hp printer conspiracy theory!! by mmoss111 (4/27/09 2:18 PM)
I can not believe that my replacement hp C6280 has failed the exact same way the first one failed. After a few thousand pages the cyan print head has completely cutoff. No streaks or missing lines. The first one failed the identical way. The cyan cartridge was full of ink and it just cut off printing cyan. I tried all of the hardware resets and all the resets that hp has told a million people to no avail! I must have gone thru 6 or 7 hp printers last year with the infamous “ink system failure” I tried all the resets on the printers and they all failed. hp always wants to sell you a new printer or sell you an upgrade. Could this be a plot by hp to get you to buy a new or refurbished printer by having some software cutoff built into the main uP in the printer so when you get to a certain time or a certain number of pages, it sabotages your printer making it fail deliberately and forcing you to get another hp printer? If anyone has a better theory, let me know….. Better yet, if you have had this failure and have a fix for it, I would like to know about it!
This posting really fit my feelings of paranoia, but at the same time, one of the responses made more sense to me.
Re: hp printer conspiracy theory!! by Bert (4/27/09 5:28 PM)
If HP purposely programed their printers to fail it would eventually leak out and cause the mother of all techo scandals. The mad pursuit of faster, feature rich, and yet cheaper (cheesy) models that are considered throwaways is in my opinion responsible for the problem. There seems to be little regard for the continued production of proven designs. How many times is it necessary to iterate the same basic function other than for increased reliability, e.g. the print mechanism. Folks, we wanted cheap printers and we got ‘em.
So that’s my answer. We wanted cheap printers and we got ‘em.
On a positive note, I followed the procedure listed here:
- While the printer is still turned on, unplug all cables and cords at the back of the printer.
- Unplug the power cord also from the wall outlet…
- Wait for two minutes.
- Reconnect power cord to the wall outlet first.
- Press and hold the pound (#) and six (6) buttons.
- While holding down the two buttons, reconnect the power cord to the back of the printer and after two seconds, release pound and six buttons.
- Turn on the printer if it turns off…
My printer, the D7560, doesn’t have a keypad, so I couldn’t push the # and the 6 buttons, but I did everything else. I also moved the electrical plug to the wall socket instead of plugging it into our surge protector. Other people seem to have trouble with brownouts causing the spontaneous on and off problem. I was able to get my printer up and running long enough to print off the few things I needed, which was better than I’ve been able to do for weeks.
I guess HP hasn’t designed their printers to kill themselves if I refill my printer cartridges, but I have a hard time believing it’s just a power glitch issue based on how common that problem is.
This photo from Retronaut looked so familiar to me. After years of attending CES, I see women dressed as electrical appliances all the time.
Usually, I see women dressed as network cables, electrodes or microchips, but these women dressed as washing machines and vacuum cleaners look very similar. Only the costumes have changed.
Why do marketing people do this?
Are they trying to humanize “scary” new technology? Are they trying to sexualize it?
Whatever they’re doing, they’re missing a full HALF of the population by only dressing women up as gadgets instead of using both men and women. Maybe women don’t need technology to be humanized or sexualized to love it. Maybe us girls just love gadgets without all that marketing stuff.
I feel as if I’ve found a gem! Here is a video showing Disney’s Carousel of Progress, which used to be in Tomorrowland in Disneyland, but is now at Disney World. It showcases all the gadgets of yesteryear. It was supposed to be a hopeful look at the technological progress we have made over the last century, but it also was a commercial for the new things that GE had for sale. Now, however, it is merely a historical look at gadgets.
Even the so-called “future” of this attraction is so quaintly set in the past with its virtual reality games and microwaved pizza for Christmas dinner. Back in the early 90s, we all thought virtual reality was going to be the wave of the future, but it still hasn’t arrived yet. Here is a photo of a disappointing virtual reality booth at Comdex in 1996.
Now, virtual reality sounds quaint, just like the idea of flying cars. They would be cool, but I don’t have any hope that either one will materialize.
When it comes to predicting the gadgets of the future, it’s far better look to science fiction than to the hopeful aspirations of gadget companies. For example, this short film, True Skin, has an abundance of ideas about biotechnology. I wonder if it will feel just as dated in ten years as the final scene of the Carousel of Progress.
In the end, predicting the future of technology is far more difficult than it seems. For every science fiction idea that finally comes to fruition, there are fifty that remain in the realm of fantasy. I’m sure that there IS a great big beautiful tomorrow on the horizon for us. It just might not look like we expect it to.
I haven’t upgraded to iOS6 on my iPhone. The new operating system came out almost a month ago, and that little indicator on my Settings icon is quite irritating, but not nearly as irritating as losing my Google Maps app would be. I haven’t run into any problems yet, but I suspect I will and eventually, I’ll have to upgrade.
It used to be that I looked forward to Apple product updates, but the last few OSX upgrades have made my computer slower and LESS useful than before. Now, I have the choice between iOS5, which works wonderfully and I have no problems with it or iOS6, which feels as if my favorite feature has been RIPPED from me. I use Google Maps EVERY day. The Apple maps with Yelp enhancements just aren’t going to help me find the post office or the library.
Sometimes, owning an Apple product makes me feel like they care more about their concerns than mine. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, I thought, “Yes, finally a phone that was designed for ME.” All of that good karma has worn off and now, I with this new update, I feel as if they are so embroiled in screwing Google that they have completely forgotten about me.
In fact, this video shows EXACTLY how I feel, with less urgency, of course.
I suspect I’ll have to start looking at other phones, computers and operating systems in a few years. Hopefully, we won’t enter another dark age where we have to build our computers from components like we did in the mid-90s.
Apple is memorializing the death of Steve Jobs on their website. You can see the video here:
Here is what’s on their website:
A message from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.
One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.
I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.
Here is Jonathan Ive’s tribute to Steve Jobs:
When we found out that Steve Jobs died, Stacey, Dan, Michael and I were driving on our way to a quickie trip down south. We listened to Steve Job’s Commencement Speech.
I think Apple hasn’t been the same since Steve Jobs died. I don’t know what it was Steve did that made everything they did great, but whatever it was, the world is a worse place for his loss.
For $200, it seems a bit pricey, but what a GREAT idea! This little ottoman turns into a twin bed with just a little folding.
You can find it here: Fold-Out Ottoman Bed Cover, Bed Covering | Solutions
Here is another one from Amazon for only $159: Folding Ottoman Guest Bed Sleeper With Mattress & Fabric Cover at Amazon.com
I had no idea that a simple piece of furniture could be so versatile. I’m surprised IKEA doesn’t make one.
I absolutely adore this video of a seagull stealing a camera.
The camera in question was a GoPro Camera, which is a rugged and waterproof camera that can take almost any abuse you can give it.
Had the seagull dropped the camera in the water, it would have survived, but the owners probably would have never been able to retrieve it from the cold depths of the San Francisco Bay. Fortunately, the seagull merely got sick of it and left it on the boardwalk near the shore.
The next time you need a camera that you can take swimming, mountain biking and on a clandestine flight over the San Francisco Bay, think of the Go Pro. It can handle it!
The Hand Me Down House took some mason jars and dressed them up with mod podge and tissue paper. With the addition of a solar light, they became beautiful additions to the backyard.
This project reminds me of the hanging solar lights I did back in July:
The one thing I would have done differently with that project is use stronger wire for hanging the lights so that they could have held up to the near hurricane force winds we get in our neighborhood on a regular basis.
My four remaining hanging lights are going to be packed into our tent trailer and hung on the awning when we go camping so we can have light at night. Hopefully, they’ll be safe from the winds there.
Apartment Therapy has a great tutorial showing you how to make your favorite earbuds both colorful and tangle-free using embroidery floss.
The tutorial suggests using the Chinese Staircase knot style to create this, but you could just as easily use the similar knotting style with only ONE thread because you’re going around the edge of the earbud cords, you only need ONE strand of embroidery thread instead of three like they’ve shown in their tutorial.
Either way, you’ll end up with earbuds that won’t tie themselves into knots every time you shove them into your computer bag or pocket.
This week on PostSecret, there were several postcards about photography.
I will judge you if you always shoot your fancy DSLR on auto.
My problem with people with fancy DSLRs goes even deeper than that secret. I’ll never forget the day when Matt Strebe pointed at one of my photos and said, “You can’t take a photo like that with a snappy cam.” I laughed at him and said, “Dude! I took that picture with my IPHONE!”
The next secret is EXACTLY how I feel:
Photography taught me to see beauty.
This last postcard broke my heart:
When you tried to teach me the technicalities, you killed my love for photography.
Don’t let someone ruin your love of photography. You can take gorgeous photos with ANY camera. I’ve talked about this before.
Why am I so excited about this?!
I don’t actually like to play Angry Birds. Physics games can be fun, but I just never got into it. But marrying that game with space AND the Mars Curiosity Rover makes me all excited inside!
Fall is coming SOON!