"life hacks" entries

Is it Time to Retire the Never-Ending List?

One afternoon, earlier this year, as I was scanning a long list that I was adding to endlessly, I realized, I'll never get it all done. That's probably just fine. But this endless list and this feeling of being completely scheduled's not working right now. I met some friends for dinner and put the question out: Do you have a…

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Paging systems and Conference Bridges for startups & small teams

Early registration for the Velocity Web Performance & Operations Conference has opened. To help spread the word, I’ve written this “simplest thing that will work” hack to a common Operations need: Paging systems and Conference Bridges. Step 1: Establish a team contact list with SMS email addresses Create a Google Spreadsheet to create a team roster like this one. My…

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Kathy Sierra: Creating Passionate Users at TOC

We'd hoped to get Kathy Sierra at our Tools of Change for Publishing conference, but had to settle for a video. I interviewed Kathy a couple of months ago about her approach to creating passionate users via the "I rule" moment, what publishers of all stripes (as well as anyone making presentations) can learn from her ideas about storyboarding…

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A Passion for Reading

Several items about books: Stephen Levy writes in his Newsweek cover story on the Kindle and Jeff Bezos: "When making mental lists of the most whiz-bangy technological creations in our lives, […] we may overlook an object that is superbly designed, wickedly functional, infinitely useful and beloved more passionately than any gadget in a Best Buy: the book." Elizabeth Hardwick,…

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Mastering Information Through the Ages

As many of you know, I'm a big fan of the Long Now Foundation's Seminars on Long Term Thinking. Tonight's seminar looks like a good one. Stewart Brand sent out the following writeup: In a classic case of reperceiving the present via a very-long-now perspective, Alex Wright invokes examples from evolutionary biology, cultural anthropology, mythology, mysticism, the history of printing,…

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Surprises on the Bookshelves of CEOs

There was a lovely article in the New York Times a few weeks ago, entitled Surprises on the Bookshelves of CEOs that I've been trying to find time to write about since it appeared. I was particularly taken with the subtitle: "In personal libraries, more literature and poetry than business bestsellers." I have always felt slightly guilty for not keeping…

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Reducing the Power Consumption of Your Gadgets

Things plugged into wall sockets continue to draw power even if they are off. Chargers plugged in continue to draw power even if the associated device has been charged or unplugged. Until recently, I had not realized this; I doubt many other people really think about or act on this information regularly. There are two products that aim to…

Comments: 7

Just Give the One Finger Salute and Keep Going

One of the privileges of what we do at O'Reilly is the chance to meet incredible people and share their stories with others. Last night, at a "maker day" that we held as part of the setup for this weekend's Maker Faire, I got a chance to hear an inspiring talk by Col. Joe Kittinger, the man who holds the…

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Better Gmail

Lifehacker's Better Gmail extension shows how open source is winning the browser wars.

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The Paperless Hacker

Jason Hunter's latest article on oreillynet.com, "Personal Document Management Made Easy," is a great example of my thesis that "alpha geeks" tell us something about the shape of the future. Jason describes how he's done away with filing paper documents by scanning everything and keeping the scanned documents in a Perforce repository. It's an alpha geek "life hack," but it…

Comments: 3