Monday, September 30, 2013
If unfamiliar with AutoCAD software please refer to FlowJet Series parts 1 to 6 found on the Instructables website.
Creating understandable floor plans from an architectural drawing will help you complete a Utah State University standard working single floor plan of a of approximately 10,000 square feet in 1.5 to 3.5 hours depending on your AutoCAD proficiency. The floor plans created may be used to calculate space and direction data for any and all who rely on them. These plans may even be able to provide hours of enjoyment when printed on paper that can be folded into a paper airplane!Ensure that the following things are at your disposal:
AutoCAD software installed
Architectural CAD file of building you wish to clean up/convert
Existing standardized floor plan CAD file
Sunday, September 29, 2013
It's amazing how fabrication techniques have improved in the last few years. Inexpensive hardware, 3D printers, and awesome boutique electronics stores like Adafruit, SparkFun, and Seeed Studio have opened a Pandoras-box of Awesome.
Are you ready to build your robot? Please make sure to read through the entire Instructable before making any purchases - parts are listed throughout.
If you have any questions, let me know - I'll do my best to help. Want to see ROBOB (ROB-OB) in action?
Ding ding ding... let's go!
Purchase at Home Depot
There are many types of plywood with different laminations and surfaces. I used ¾” furniture-grade plywood with a sanded finish. I had 12” wide scraps left over from another project, but if you are going to buy plywood I would recommend doing it at Home Depot and having them cut the plywood into strips that are the width you want. A single 4’ by 8’ sheet of plywood cut into 12” strips is more than enough to build 2 puzzle benches.
Purchase at Home Depot
1¼” wood screws are ideal. It's possible to use longer screws and connect multiple pieces at a time, but you have to be careful to avoid gaps.
220 Grit Sand Paper
Purchase at Home Depot
1” Diameter Dowels – 48” Long
Purchase at Home Depot
1/2” Diameter Dowels – 48” Long
Purchase at Home Depot
Purchase at Home Depot
RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill
RYOBI 6.1 Amp Variable Speed Jig Saw with Speedmatch™
Saturday, September 28, 2013
There are hundreds of ways to reuse t-shirts all over the interent, but if you are a never-ending DIY-er like me, you have a vast collection of refashioned t-shirts dresses, t-shirt quilts, and t-shirt shopping bags.
I wanted to figure out another way to reuse the cool graphics of the shirts that could be replicated quickly and would appeal to the masses.
I also kept seeing Star Wars and Nintendo shirts at the thrift shop that were fifty cents and size XXL, so I grabbed as many nerdy shirts as I could and started selling the finished journals at a local coffee shop. Maybe you can do the same.
We all have piles of shirts that we don't wear anymore, but for sentimental or hoarder reasons we are unable to get rid of a single tee. I'll show you how to use an old shirt to make a cool fabric-covered journal, and BONUS! These make great presents!
2. Any kind of clear tape.
3. 3/64" drill bit. The hardware stores I checked only stocked bits down to 1/8". You can find these on amazon: http://amzn.to/10WJtLf
4. Wire cutters.
5. Jewelry pliers. These are needle nose pliers with round tips.
6. Ring sizer. Any local craft store should have one of these. This actually isn't absolutely necessary, but it can be handy.
7. Wire. I used 28 gauge, 18K dead soft gold wire. To practice you'll want to pick up some beading wire from your local craft store. I experimented with many different gauges ranging from 20 down to 32. 32 was a bit too tiny for my taste, and 24 and above makes for pretty rings without needing any reinforcement (you'll notice a gold band reinforcing the ring I made). Make sure to get plenty of practice before moving to gold wire, which you can find on etsy. Many of pictures I'll show will be of the beading wire. I was pretty focused when I was using real gold wire and didn't take many pictures.
8. T-pins. You can pick these up at any office supply store or steal them from work like I did.
9. A drill or dremel. If you use a drill you may need a chuck to fit your 3/64" bit. I got mine on amazon: http://amzn.to/14WVnIa
10. A hammer, this is only necessary if you get the ring stretcher that requires it (see #9).
11. A small diameter dowel. Anything 1/8" diameter or below. A skewer or strong toothpick would work. We'll use it to tie the basket around.
12. A ring stretcher. Again, amazon is great: http://amzn.to/1adGUsy
13. A pool cue. Get the cheapest one you can find. I went to a local billiards store and asked the owner for a cheap cue that I wouldn't even be using to play pool and he went in the back and came out with this. He didn't even charge me.
I just worked on a borrowed idea. Credit given where credit's due.
...and keep it safe. It's a wonder how the regular people feel impelled to steal this little gizmo.You will need the following:
- an old NES controller. Prefferably not-working. I still have my NES console with a pair of working controllers. Do not use those kind. Go to a flea market or something.
- a jacket zipper, 35 cm (13.8 in) long. To match the NEs scheme, I selected one in red.
- phillips n°1 screwdriver
- nose-end pliers
- vinilic glue (like the one used in plastic water pipings, or acrylic scale models).
- Instant glue.
- EVA foam sheet for insulation.
- book paper binders (many of 'em)
Later on I ended needing the following
- X-acto or tip-top crafts knife
- Red sewing thread
- Sewing Needle
Friday, September 27, 2013
Long wood clamps (length depends on what size you are going to build the box)
Pencil or pen (to mark measurements)
Items that are optional but are highly recommended:
Sandpaper (to smooth surfaces)
woodscrews (to ensure a good tight bond)
Drill (to screw in the woodscrews)
A large ruler (to measure wood)
A helping Hand (if you need to move heavy objects)
Access to a truck (to move boards of wood around)
Router (this is used to cut the circles that the subwoofer will be sitting it, while getting a router is optional it is very helpfull to have one to get dimensions right)
Items you need to buy:
Suboofer of your choice
Speaker wire Terminals
Optional Items you can buy:
Subwoofer box feet (optional)
Paint or stain or box carpet (optional)
Insulation (optional, what insulation does is help dampen the box, this can give clear and deep sounding bass)
I wanted to create a new kind of interactive cache that would have the ability to travel through the sky, and be tracked in real time with a small GPS device.
My goal is to give the community the ability to track, find, and relaunch this cache to keep it ever wandering
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online. - http://www.geocaching.com/
I will be updating this Instructable in the near future as this project progresses, and invite all of you to follow along and participate. Please comment with your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge, and lets make this a collaboration!
1) Zinc (You can buy it in a store as a slab, or pour your own)
2) Emery Black Polishing compound
3) Never Dull Polishing Wadding
1) Hacksaw or Jewelers saw
2) Metal File
3) Sandpaper (80,100,120,150,200,300,400, ect)
5) Dermal Tool with metal rasp wheel, and polishing wheel attachment
6) Drill Press
7) Time: Probably 3-4 hours
I've tried so many pulled pork recipes over the years, always trying to take shortcuts and have pulled pork quicker and easier. I've done crockpot pulled pork, pressure cooker pulled pork, wrapped it in aluminum foil and roasted it at high temps, tried braising it and then roasting, etc.
It was pretty silly, now that I think about it. Good pulled pork requires serious patience and willpower. :D
Keep reading and I will share alllllll the secrets and you'll be eating the most amazing pulled pork very soon.
P.S. Want a sauce or rub for your pulled pork? I've got them:
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Photo credit: culinnovation.comIngredients
• Fresh Mint
• Fresh Limes
• Bacardi Rum
• Lime or Lemon Juice Concentrate
• Club Soda
• 2 Wooden Spoons
• Shot Glass
• Margarita Shaker
• Lime Juicer
• Several Bowls
• Highball Glasses
Another point where I feel synthesizers are performing worse than traditional instruments, is in their connection to the user. Where I can feel the vibrations of my guitar resonating through my hands and body, the sound of a synthesizer comes from a speaker a few meters away from me. Similar on the control interface; A guitar is quite clear in the fact that if you pluck a string,a sound comes out. But for a synthesizer you will have to learn the function of dozens of knobs which often have several layers of functionality.
On the other hand the palette of different sounds coming from a synthesizer is bigger than that of most traditional instruments. Also the possibilities for programming the notes allow for things not possible on traditional instruments. So why choose one or the other? I wanted to create a synthesizer which has the flexibility and direct connection of a traditional instrument.
As I've done this project for Meeblip, one thing was certain, I would use a Meeblip Micro as the sonic centerpiece. Other than that, everything was still open. Would it become a drumbox or rather a guitar-like synth? After looking at a lot of different synthesizers, reading up on synthesizer design literature and sketching lot of variations, I came up with something.
After making a lot of prototypes of all the individual pieces (interface, electronics, sequencer etc) I finally found the 'final form' which is made in the next steps. All functions are directly accessible through the knobs and switches on the interface The internal speaker allows the instrument itself to vibrate, which, especially when you place the instrument in your lap, help you feel what your playing. The instrument is controlled through a circular sequencers, in which you set the notes form a range of -12 to +12 semitones from a center note set by the base knob.
My design is meant to address the issues I have with synthesizers in a few ways. Most obvious is the fact that it runs on battery power and includes a decent hifi amplifier and speaker, allowing it to be used anywhere. By using prettily grained wood, the instrument looks a lot more delicate than if I'd used plastic. This also references its appearance more towards acoustic instruments, which are usually made of wood. Last thing I did is make the interface as direct as possible. It didn't need to be intuitive, (who makes great music on a guitar the first time (s)he picks it up) but it does need to be reliable and consistent, so you can really learn the instrument. (Please discuss whether or not you feel like these points are valid!)
*Companies like Korg and Casio did make portable synthesizers running on batteries and including a speaker, but these are, at least to me, seen more as toys than as serious musical instruments; Their plastic encasing doesn't really place it in the same line as for instance an acoustic guitar or a Moog. While the small portable synths often sound great amplified, their raw sound is nearly always weak and I've never seen them used in a song.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Everyone I know loves french fries. If my son and I get fast food, I like to steal a few of his fries and put them on my burger (in between the buns). Yes, that may sound weird! But, it's really good! You eat fries with your burger - why not put your favorite things all together into something bite-sized and delicious! And, although potatoes have carbs in them, I still think this is healthier than eating a real bun with your burger. Lastly, my son (who hates burgers) absolutely loved these. Who knew you could make things bite-sized and fun and suddenly kids love them!
If you like this - please vote for me - thanks!
2. While the potatoes are sauteing, chop the remaining vegetables and add to the potatoes when you are finished. Saute for another 5-10 minutes.
3. Carefully sprinkle the flour over of the vegetables and mix very well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the vegetable stock, stirring briskly. Simmer for 10 minutes. While the other vegetables are simmering, you can prepare the corn by shucking and removing the kernels from the cob. I like to cut the corn kernals directly into a colander so I can rinse them easily.
2 C blackberries
1/4 C chia seeds*
1/4 C agave nectar*
1/4 C filtered water
2 TB lemon juice concentrate
Large pot, mixing spoon & bowl
Measuring cup/spoon, tongs and ladle, potato masher, veggie steamer (optional)
Although this is a vegan recipe intended to use agave nectar, you can substitute any sweetener of your choice. In one of my trials, I used local raw honey as pictured.
Also, chia was used to thicken and stabilize the jam. I chose chia seeds over the typical pectin for its supreme nutritional value. According to http://www.salbasmart.com/salba-nutrition//
Gram for Gram chia seeds provides . . .
325% more fiber than oatmeal
800% more Omega-3 (ALA) than salmon (EPA/DHA)
30% more antioxidants than blueberries (based on ORAC values)
1500% more magnesium than broccoli
200% more potassium than bananas
(CAUTION there is a significant shock hazard if you plan to open a flash camera from the capacitor!)
You will need to print out a different optical tube for the Kodak lenses vs the Fujifilm lenses, STLs for both are attached in the next step. I have tested this design with the following camera models:
Fujifilm QuickSnap Outdoor
Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash
Kodak FunSaver Flash
Kodak Max Outdoor
Use some pliers or otherwise to remove the faceplate on the camera and remove the objective lens. Once again, if you plan to get it from a flash camera, be really careful with the capacitor. Non-flash cameras are trivial. Take good care not to scratch the lenses.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The caliper is mostly made up of steel scraps that I had on-hand, but if you had to buy everything it’d probably cost about $20-25 from your local hardware depot.
1 in. x 1 in. x ? in. steel angle, total of 12 linear inches
1 in. x ? in. steel flat bar, total of 6 ½ linear inches
2 x #6-32 x 1” machine screws
4 x #6-32 nuts
1 magnet (I used a 40mm 15 lb pull round magnet from Harbor Freight, but anything similar would be fine)
You’ll need the following equipment:
- angle iron notcher
- drill press, 5/32 in. bit
- cold saw or vertical bandsaw
- Dremel tool with cutting disk
- hand file
This instructable is for a 5 gallon batch (roughly 25 bottles). You can scale it up or down to whatever you plan on making. You'll need 3 pounds of honey and roughly 6 ounces of raspberries per gallon. Honey is expensive. I have since made a Raspberry Wine, exactly like this, but with Dextrose (Corn Sugar) as the fermentable sugar instead of honey. It's considerably cheaper. BUT, you can no longer call it a Mead. And there will be obvious texture/mouth-feel/flavor differences. But they are both delicious. If you do end up going the sugar route, you don't need 3 pounds/gallon, closer to 2 pounds/gallon. Use your hydrometer to fine tune, you're aiming for about 1.10 or so as the starting gravity. I think I ended up needing about 12 pounds of dextrose. Anyway, on to what you'll need. I'm assuming you've brewed before and already have basic brewing equipment. If not, take a look at my other Instructables, or any of the other ones on this site to see what you need.
5 gallons of honey. I got my honey from http://www.flyingbeeranch.net/. These are the nicest people in the world, and their honey selection is AMAZING. I've also used Dutch Gold for bulk (60 pound bucket), or worked out deals with local apiaries. What turned me on to Flying Bee Ranch was their selection and prices. Really good. I went with the tried and true Orange Blossom. But I imagine if the Raspberry honey is available, that would work quite nicely as well.
32 ounces of Raspberries. It's hard to say precisely how much I used, I was very fortunate that my Aunt had several raspberry bushes and would pluck the best ones for me. I asked for about 2 pints. Store bought bags are just as good. The trick I've mentioned before is to freeze them. Allegedly this breaks the cell walls of the raspberries, which caused them to release more flavor. Whether that's true or not, I can't say. But that's what I do.
Yeast. For this first batch, I used Lalvin 71B. https://www.midwestsupplies.com/lalvin-wine-yeasts-5-grams-71b-1122-narbonne.html?utm_medium=feeds&utm_source=google&gdftrk=gdfV24959_a_7c1306_a_7c6184_a_7c8830&gclid=COKavfjF4bcCFVSe4AodUgYAUQ I read that it's supposed to be a nice pairing with fruit. But it fermented extremely fast and had some initial off flavors that took a while to tame out. Some of that was because it was quite hot. Since then, I used Lalvin D47. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/lalvin-wine-yeasts-5-grams-1cv-d-47-white-wine.html. I've never had a problem with this yeast, everything has always came out delicious.
Yeast Nutrient. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/fermaidk.html This is a good one. I've also had success using regular yeast nutrient/yeast energizer. And frankly, I'm not even sure it needs it. The raspberries will provide a decent amount of nutrition.
Spring Water to fill the rest of your carboy up. I'd avoid city water since it has some chemicals in it. Not to say it won't be good, but if you can get a good, clean water source, use it.
Monday, September 23, 2013
You can also switch out the vegetables with your favorites or add more. I'll be making this white bean soup in a pressure cooker, but you can do it on the stovetop too! Bacon is optional but awesome and makes it more filling. You could also use ham or chicken.
Ingredients: 1/2 pound dried white beans (I'm using great northern)3 carrots3 stalks of celery1 onion3 garlic cloves1 tomato4 cups chicken stock + more as needed (I used 6 cups total)2 big pinches of thyme1 big pinch rosemarysalt and pepper as neededbacon + bacon fatSteps: Chop up onions, celery, carrots and tomato. Mince the garlic.Saute the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in about a tablespoon of bacon fat until nice and soft. (We'll add the tomato later!) Then add the herbs and mix until they're nice and fragrant. (No bacon fat in the fridge? Shame on you! Guess you'll need to cook the bacon first.)Add in the beans and stir to coat them with the fat.Pour in your stock - you want enough to cover everything by an inch or so, since the beans will be expanding.Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high for 35 minutes - release the pressure naturally.Open the pressure cooker and check the seasonings - add some salt if needed, a little hot sauce, whatever you like. Then pop in the tomatoes and stir.Lock the lid again and cook for 5 more minutes on high pressure - quick release the pressure when done.Serve with crumbled bacon on top for best results.I also made cornbread muffins to go with the soup and it was excellent. :D
If you will be making the white bean soup on the stovetop, simmer the beans and veggies for about an hour or until the beans are soft. (It'll depend on how old your beans are!) Once they're soft, add the tomatoes and some salt and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Hello again to another special episode of “Booth Babes”! This week we are coming to from sunny Los Angeles, California where another tremendous E3 Expo has just concluded. As it was with last year’s E3 Expo there was tons of news about new consoles and controllers and headphones and games, but we know what enthusiasts really want to see coming from a show like E3…yep, the Booth babes that were hired to model at this years show!!
Being that we were in L.A. for the past several days, we saw so many babes that we were forced to narrow our presentation to you to just 50. We hope that you enjoy this year’s E3 Edition! Don’t forget to check back with us and let us know who your favorite was!
Of course if you want to compare previous years, feel free to go back and look:
Enough talk, bring on the models!
** Legit Reviews has be contacted by a couple 'executives' that threatened to bash Legit Reviews to their PR list if we don't remove this article. This article was done to show the hired models that were being paid to be at E3 to work in the vendor booths. By taking pictures of these professional models and some fans at the show we are not trying to 'send women back to the dark ages' or anything like that. If you feel that women should not be 'put on display' we suggest that you contact the companies that hired the women to model in the first place. To threaten Legit Reviews over taking and posting these images is crazy. We have always believed in equal rights and when there are men modeling at booths we take pictures of them too! **
The frame was free (more in Step 2), the photos were $0.19 each (after a few hours of looking for them on the computer,) and I spent about three hours coming up with the Power Point file to print.
The original idea came from here: Pinterest
The thing that tugged at my heart strings was the very last line ~ what a difference a day makes.
I've got nothing to say to top that.
You don't have to put the photos on the mat. I did that because I wanted to but it's totally optional and would certainly save time if it didn't get done.
If you’ve got a handle on power point, hopefully this framed art work will be easy for you and all you have to do is type in your family's info.
If you don’t know power point well, I’ve tried to make the Instructable as clear and simple as possible, BUT, you may run into a snag or two where I assumed that the person reading this knows how to use power point, “enough to get by.”
Here's a run-down of the steps in this Instructable:
Step 1 - Materials, Equipment and Tools Needed
Step 2 - Change the Color of the Frame (Optional)
Step 3 - Download the Power Point File
Step 4 - Create your own Power Point file to make a Personalized Dates Printable
Step 5 - Add photos to the mat (Optional)
Step 6 - Put it all together
The main photo shows a flash spot over one of the dates. I tried taking a photo without the flash, but just couldn't get it right. I think you get the idea though....
My parents could really use an upgrade in the cellphone department because they're still using dumbphones. Is there a particular smartphone that's better for non-tech savvy users?Sincerely,
Luddite PhoneDear LP,
Getting a non-tech savvy person into a smartphone isn't an easy task. While it's partially about finding a good fit for them on a usability level, it's also just about figuring out which features really matter to someone. While you have a ton of options out there, we'll stick to the big three here: Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone.It might sound silly to those of us who've had smartphones for a while, but the fact is, not everyone wants one. Nor does everyone need one. In fact, for a lot of people, a dumbphone is still the best option.A bunch of reasons exist for this. For one, smartphones are usually more expensive because they come with a data plan that adds to their bill. As CNET points out, the bill alone is worth considering, and it's a deal breaker for many:
The bottom line is that iPhones and really any smartphone are expensive devices to own. So unless your parents plan to use the features of these device, it's probably a waste of money. A less-expensive option for them would be to get a pay-as-you-go service on a basic feature phone and then buy a small tablet like the iPad Mini, the Nexus 7 Android tablet, or a Kindle Fire, which can be used on Wi-Fi networks for free. This way they can access the Internet and all kinds of apps, but they won't have to pay for the expensive data services associated with owning a smartphone.There's also the simple fact that less tech-savvy people are, by their nature, less interested in technology. This means things like games, fancy apps, or email with push notifications just don't matter to them. While it's great that the iPhone is easy to use, the fact that it has 900,000 apps means nothing to most people.The point is, before you even consider which smartphone is best, think about whether a smartphone is needed at all. If so, then it's time to decide which smartphone will work best. If not, then it's likely best to just save the cash and stick with the dumbphone.The best smartphone for people who aren't great with technology is really going to depend on a lot of factors.As we've noted before, the Windows Phone is a really good option for people looking for what essentially amounts to a dumbphone that can also surf the web, check email, and navigate you around town. The interface is easy to use at a glance, and if someone's coming from a dumbphone they're not going to struggle too much to use the phone at first.The nice thing about the Windows Phone is that it's a really good mix of the better features of the iPhone and Android. It has the ease of use of the iPhone where anyone can pick it up and use it, but Windows Phones also have a bunch of model options like Android, so they can find a bigger screen or nice hardware if they want. Essentially, a Windows phone is a win-win for anyone who doesn't really care that much about apps or features.The iPhone is nearly as simple as the Windows Phone, but it also comes packed with a gigantic App Store. The App Store is a huge selling point for techies and non-techies alike. If they're looking to download that new app they heard about from their friends, play the latest games, and so on, then the iPhone does it better than anyone else.On top of that, the iPhone 5 is also Wirecutter's pick for best cell phone. Even if you're not a techie, most people understand how to use an iPhone in a couple minutes. It might take a little work to get things like email, the calendar, and contacts set up initially, but once it's working they won't have to worry about it. The iPhone also hooks into Apple's operating system and iTunes really well, so if you're already using a Mac (or at the very least, iTunes), an iPhone is dead-simple to set up and start using right away. They'll also have access to Apple's Genius Bar for any help they need, which might at least partially cut down on the tech support calls you have to deal with.We'll be honest: despite our love for Android, it's at the bottom of our list for the non-geeks among us. It's a little bit harder to use, every handset is a little bit different,and you're going to be on the hook for all that tech support. However, if your parents are extremely entrenched in the Google universe, require certain advanced features the iPhone doesn't have, or something similar, then obviously Android's your best bet. However, you'll probably find those features are the exact features non tech-savvy people don't need. That said, Android has come a long way in recent years, and manufacturers like Samsung are really trying to make their phones appealing to more than just the geek crowd. If you're thinking about Android, maybe take them to the store and let them try it out first. It might be a fine choice—it's just a little riskier, since Android is a bit more complicated than Windows Phone or the iPhone. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course—it's what tech geeks like us love about it—but it's might be a little overwhelming to the non tech-savvy crowd. (From my personal experience, my dad, who's a smart enough guy but not remotely interested in tech, struggled to really appreciate anything about the Android phone he had for work).So, what's the bottom line? It really depends. As a universal recommendation, Windows Phone is definitely the easiest to use and has the right amount of features to make it useful without being overwhelming.Of course, the iPhone and Android both have plenty of strengths, so it's worth popping into a store with your parents and messing around with different phones for a little while before making that choice. You also want to consider one very simple thing: which phone do you know best? You're likely on tech support duty, so you'll want to pick the phone you can provide support for. If that's not possible, then consider the smartphone that most of their friends have because that'll make it so they always have someone around to help with questions.While you're there, don't forget that hardware is important too. Anyone upgrading from an indestructible brick of a Nokia dumbphone to an easy-to-destroy smartphone is likely a bit hesitant to mess around with the expensive smartphone. It might also be one of those instances where a smartphone case is a good idea.Good luck,
LifehackerPhoto by Everett Collection (Shutterstock), Sklathill, Carlos Varela.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I get a good 7–8 hours of sleep every night and exercise at least 3 times a week, but somehow I still feel tired every day. What’s sapping my energy and what can I do about it?SIf you carry around a multitool in your bag or pocket for quick fixes, repair work, or just in case you need a sharp edge, a screwdriver, or pair of scissors, you're in good company. Many of you do, and this week we wanted to take a look at some of the best available—the ones that pack useful tools, are still portable, and offer great bang for the buck. Here are five of the best, based on your nominations.SVoice search is one of those features that seems silly, but is awesome once you start using it. Not convinced? Here are a few ways to turn voice search from a silly gimmick into a useful productivity tool.SToday, Apple announced iOS 7 with a ton of new features, a complete overhaul to the interface, and plenty more. Here are all the new features.SWe've all hit that point where we can't figure out exactly what we really want to do with our lives. It can come when you're 18 or when you're 50, and it's always a difficult process to work through. It's not hopeless, though! Here are a few ways to help you figure it out.SDear Lifehacker,
I like Apple hardware, but it doesn't run cheap and I'm not sure I want to use OS X. I know I can run Windows, but am I wasting money purchasing a Mac if I'm not using it as a Mac? When does it make sense to buy Apple hardware instead of a standard PC?SBack in 1991, Warren Buffett met Bill Gates, though as he tells career community website Levo League, neither of them were excited to see one another. But it turned out they had a great time talking—and during the course of the conversation, Buffett pulled out the little black date book that he carries in his pocket. He flipped through it: The pages were practically empty.SIf you haven't heard yet, Gmail is rolling out a new tabbed interface for the inbox on both desktop and mobile. At first glance, this looks great for email organization. On further inspection, these new tabs are confusing as hell. Here's how to make sense of the new tabs and customize them for your own filters.SThe internet is aflame with the news that the National Security Agency may be spying on phone calls and internet access of American citizens, and the possibility that they've partnered with some of the biggest tech companies in the world—Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Skype, and others—to request and access data directly whenever they want it. Let's take a look at what exactly is going on, how long it's been happening, and what—if anything—you can do about it.