Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Weber Spirit E-210 Is the Grill You Want for Memorial Day Weekend

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, our friends over at The Wirecutter have weighed in on the topic of gas grills. They say the Weber Spirit E-210 is the one for your backyard, and praise it for its build quality, wide availability, and most importantly, how well it grills a nice steak.

The Weber Spirit E-210 isn't a cheap grill, it averages about $400 in most places, and The Wirecutter acknowledges that—they still think it's worth the money though, and point out that Weber's name and track record count for a lot, you'll never have to worry about finding parts or someone who can repair the thing (because it's an incredibly popular grill), and it doesn't hurt that the grill's twin burners pack a huge punch when it's time to start cooking. It's easy to clean and maintain, and it's small enough to fit in tiny backyards or on urban patios. It also doesn't hurt that the E-210's large cooking grate is made of enamelled cast-iron, so you know what that means—great heat retention, easy clean up, and deliciously seared meats.

It's not a perfect grill by any means, and aside from the price, they go into some of its drawbacks at the link below, including the fact that it's a little slow by gas grill standards to warm up. If you're thinking "of course it has problems, it's gas and not charcoal," they have a pick for the best charcoal grill for you too, and it shouldn't come as a surprise: the affordable, ubiquitious Weber One-Touch Gold. Hit the link below to read the full review.

The Best Gas Grill is the Weber Spirit E-210 | The Wirecutter

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Pidora Is a Fedora-Based Operating System for the Raspberry Pi

For the most part, Raspberry Pi users have only had one or two really strong operating systems to work with. If you're looking to try something different, Pidora is an OS built on the Linux system Fedora.

Pidora is slightly different than something like Rasbian in a few ways. It comes with a handful of different software than Raspbian, including a ton of text editors, programming languages, and more. You also get a "headless mode" to operate your Pi without a monitor attached (and with the clever feature to say your IP address out loud when speakers are attached). As you'd expect, you can also download a ton of additional software from the Fedora repository. Pidora has a slightly different look and feel than Raspbian, but if you're looking to try out a new OS on your Raspberry Pi it's worth checking out. You'll find everything you need over on the Pidora page.


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Will getting an advanced degree limit your career options?

Great discussions are par for the course here on Lifehacker. Each day, we highlight a discussion that is particularly helpful or insightful, along with other great discussions and reader questions you may have missed. Check out these discussions and add your own thoughts to make them even more wonderful!

For great discussions any time, be sure check out our user-run blog, Hackerspace.

If you've got a cool project, inspiration, or just something fun to share, send us a message at

Happy Lifehacking, everybody!

Will getting an advanced degree limit your career options?

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Organize Laundry with Kitchen Cabinets

It you're having trouble keeping your laundry room organized, you can repurpose an old wall-mounted kitchen cabinet into a great laundry organizer.

This tip comes via IKEA Hackers, but the principle is applicable pretty much any cabinet. Basically, just take a set of wall-mounted cabinets and either turn them upside down, or re-mount the handles to the top of the unit so you can reach them easily when the cabinet is on the ground. Then, cut a large circular hole into the top of each cabinet so that you can just toss your dirty clothes through while you're sorting your laundry into lights and darks. Once you're ready to start a load, just open up the cabinet door and pull everything out in one bundle.

As for the shelves within the cabinet, you could either remove them to use the entire thing as one big laundry hamper, or keep a few near the bottom to stash dryer sheets, detergent, and a lint roller. You could buy something similar commercially to do the same things, but if you can find some discarded kitchen cabinets on Craigslist, this would be significantly cheaper.

Laundry Organizer from Kitchen Cabinets | IKEA Hackers

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What Mistakes Can Ruin Your Professional Reputation?

Finding a job is a challenge these days, but keeping one can be a challenge as well. US News describes eight simple mistakes you can make to ruin your professional reputation, from leaving a job to early to failing to keep your commitments. What mistakes have you made, or seen others made, that hurt their reputation and made it more difficult to get another job?

Most of the time you'll get by just fine if you treat your employer with the respect you expect from them, avoid rash decisions, and keep your temper under control. Everybody makes mistakes, but how do you recover from them? If you've made a huge error and hurt your professional reputation, let us know how you fixed the problem, too.

How to Ruin Your Professional Reputation | US News

Photo by Lass Kristensen (Shutterstock).

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Thicken Up Your Smoothies with Chia Seeds

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Build an Instagram-Powered Wallpaper Rotator with Dropbox and IFTTT

Changing up your wallpaper on a regular basis is a fun way to personalize your desktop, and there's no way to make it more personal than to use your own photos. You could download your photos manually and set up a rotating wallpaper based on those photos, but why do it manually when you can automate it? Here's how.

We stumbled on this trick thanks to Hacker News reader alex_doom, who mentioned it in this great thread full of creative IFTTT recipes. Check it out for even more useful recipes (some of which we've shared before).

First, we need to back up all of your Instagram photos to Dropbox for safe keeping—both in the cloud and locally on your desktop. Then, since the photos are on your desktop too, you can quickly point Windows or OS X at the folder and tell it to rotate through the photos inside every time it switches your wallpaper. Here's how to set it all up:

Thankfully, there are close to a dozen IFTTT recipes already shared that back up Instagram photos to Dropbox, so we don't need to reinvent the wheel.

Log in to IFTTT (or sign up for it if you're not using it, which you really should be).Visit this IFTTT recipe (or any of the myriad others that auto-save Instagram phtoos to Dropbox) and enable the Instagram and Dropbox channels if they're not active already. You'll be prompted to log in and connect to each service if you haven't done so.Customize the folder path (if you want) where your Instagram photos will be stored in Dropbox.Click "Use Recipe" at the bottom of the page to activate it.Once the recipe is active, it'll act every time you post a new photo to Instagram. It won't grab your old photos, so you'll still have to do that manually if you want a good collection to get started. Once you do post a new Instagram photo though, IFTTT will create the folder and dump the photo inside. Congratulations, you're now backing up all of your Instagram photos to Dropbox!

From here, you have to configure your OS to use that folder for wallpapers. You'll want at least one photo inside, so make sure to take an Instagram photo before you start. Here's how to do is in Windows and OS X:


Right-click on the desktop and choose "Personalize."Click "Desktop Background" at the bottom of the window.Next to "Picture Location," click Browse, and navigate to your Dropbox folder, the IFTTT folder inside, and the Instagram folder inside that. Select the Instagram folder and click OK.If you haven't set your photos to rotate periodically, you can do that at the bottom of the Desktop Background window. Under "Change picture every:" choose how frequently you want to see a new wallpaper. Checking "Shuffle" makes sure you don't see them all in order of filename.Click "Save changes."If you'd prefer to use your Instagram photos as a screen saver instead of as wallpaper, click "Screen Saver" after the first step above. Pull down the screen saver menu and select "Photos." Navigate to your Instagram folder, select how fast Windows should change photos in the slide show (and click Shuffle unless you want to see them in order), and click Save.


Right-Click the Desktop and Choose "Change Desktop Background" (or go open System Preferences and select "Desktop.")You'll see a list of folders you can choose from on the left. At the bottom of the left sidebar, click the Plus sign (+).Navigate to your Dropbox folder, the IFTTT folder inside, and the Instagram folder. Select that folder and click "Choose."At the bottom of the Desktop & Screen Saver window, check "Change picture:" and choose how frequently you want the wallpaper to change. You can check "Random order" if you want them shuffled.Close System Preferences.If you'd prefer your Mac uses the new photos as a screen saver, Click the "Screen Saver" tab after step one above. Choose the style of photo screensaver you'd like from the sidebar on the left—there are tons of options, so you can click one to see a preview of it on the right. Once you find one you like, click the drop-down next to Source, select "Choose folder," and navigate to your Instafram folder (and click "Shuffle slide order" if you don't want them in order.

That's all there is to it. There are other tools that can handle things like this, but the beauty of using IFTTT is that you can tweak and customize it to work just the way you want, using whatever photo sources you prefer. If you scoff at Instagram and wouldn't sully your wallpapers with heavily-filtered photos, you can use Flickr instead, for example. Just point IFTTT to your Flickr account, or to a public Flickr group that you're a member of. If you want to back up your photos to a cloud service that's not Dropbox, like or Google Drive, you can do that too. The possibilities are endless, and that's what makes IFTTT so great: If you don't like what we've done with it here, you can very easily tweak it to work the way you want.