Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Phone Horn Passive Amplifier

0.284308659646774541.JPGI've seen a few of these projects online lately and really wanted to have a go myself - got my opportunity this week when I picked up an old decorative bugle for £1 at the car boot.

It only took an hour or two to complete, and made for an excellent evening's tinkering.

0.658429107703339520130526_160554.jpgI had a rough idea of the shape I wanted, so set about chopping down the horn, using my all-time favourite tool a copper pipe cutter, the kind you keep tightening and rotating, like in the opening credits for Cool Hand Luke but on a smaller scale.

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Book Certain Flights on Weekends For Cheaper Fares

Book Certain Flights on Weekends For Cheaper Fares

While a lot of airlines will offer sales at the beginning of the work week, if you can't find a special deal, you might save some money by booking your flight during the weekend.

Researchers from Texas A&M University analyzed flight pricing data from 2004, and found that on routes frequented by both business and leisure travelers, flights were 7% cheaper on average when booked on a weekend. Since the same discrepancy didn't apply to tourist-heavy destinations like Orlando or Las Vegas, the researchers theorized that business people using corporate credit cards typically booked their flights during the week, but budget-conscious leisure travelers paying out of pocket tended to plan their trips over the weekend, forcing the airlines to offer better deals on Saturday on Sunday. Depending on your destination and airline, it might not make a difference for you, but it's a trend worth keeping an eye on next time you're planning a vacation.

Of course, you can always maximize your savings by booking about two months before your flight, and by using sites like Kayak to comparison shop among all of your options.

Price Discrimination by Day-of-Week Purchase: Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry (PDF) | Texas A&M University via Main Street

Photo by Chalabala (Shutterstock).

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Productivity Myths Debunked, Smart Watches, and the Joys of Feedly

This week on the podcast we're debunking productivity myths, checking out smart watches, and migrating Google Reader to Feedly. We're also answering your questions about the future of Wi-Fi (802.11ac), getting your parents off of AOL, and using a TV as a computer monitor.

Here's how you can listen to our episode:

Feedly Gets Its Own Syncing Service, Detaches You From Google Reader and Feedly Launches a Standalone Webapp, No Extension Necessary: The internet probably doesn't need to be reminded that Google Reader is heading out the door on July 1st. The good news is, Feedly has already stepped up with its own sync server and extension-free webapp.

Instagram Can Now Record 15-Second Video Clips with Special Filters: Instagram is one of the most popular photo-sharing sites. Today, the company announced Video on Instagram: essentially, a Vine-like app for sharing quick video clips and add filters to them in typical Instagram style.

What Can I Do with a Smartwatch and Should I Get One? I keep seeing new “smartwatches” show up on gadget sites, but they all seem pretty different. What is a smartwatch, exactly, and should I consider buying one?

More Productivity Myths, Debunked by Science (and Common Sense): “A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.” “If you had more hours in the day, you'd be more productive.” These are common productivity tropes you've probably heard before, and you may even be wasting time trying to follow them when they don't make sense for you. Let's take a look at some of the most popular claims about productivity, and see if there's science to back them up.

How to Get (Nearly) Stock Android on Any Phone, No Rooting Required: Recently, Google fans finally got what they've wanted since the HTC Hero first came out: stock Android versions of the most popular, non-Nexus handsets. However, if you aren't able to pick up one of those phones, you can still get the stock experience, without having to root your device.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide: Over the last month we've learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

A correction from last time: “There is an important thing to note about what's safe to clean with CCleaner. The latest version will also, by default, remove saved sessions. So if you are like me and expect all 30 of your tabs to be there when you reopen your browser, uncheck Session under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. Hopefully no one else figures this out the hard way!”Should I get an 802.11ac router? What are the benefits? Can I upgrade my MacBook with an 802.11ac card? Read this to learn about the benefits and if any are worth it right now. As for your MacBook, no, not really. It might be possible but I wouldn't hold your breath.How can I get my parents to ditch AOL? Only get them off of AOL if it's costing them money unnecessarily or it's causing you problems. If they're fine on it, lay off. If you have to solve tech support issues, tell them you aren't helping until they switch. If they're worried about transferring their address, set up a Gmail mail fetcher for them so they'll get all their AOL email in Gmail.Can I use a 1080p or 720p TV with a computer? Will it look bad if I use VGA input? VGA isn't great on TVs. You'll get by with VGA at 720p but it'll probably look bad at 1080p. You're better off using a digital connection, so go for a TV with DVI or HDMI instead. Many Vizio TVs have several HDMI ports and one that includes HDMI with computer audio input. If you can find a TV like that, use it. If not, get an HDMI to DVI converter.There are two ways to send in your question:

Please keep your questions as brief as possible. This means about 3-5 sentences for emails and 30-60 seconds for calls and videos. Your questions can be specific, but broader questions are generally better because they'll apply to more people. For example, "how can I breathe new life into my old PDA?" is much better than "what can I do with an old HP iPAQ 210?" Either way, we look forward to hearing from you!

Repairing LCD monitor: how NOT to become planned obsolescence victim

image009.jpgProbably anyone, who are interested in technology heard something about "planned obsolescence". There are some descriptions, how to understand this term, but my favourite is the first one popularized. In 1954, engineer Brooks Stevens said that planned obsolescence is "Instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
This time we will try to fight against planned malfunctions, by bringing back to life our favourite LCD.In my case, LCD could not establish connection with graphic card. Monitor resets after catching correct video signal. It has been lasting 15-40min; and then, after one of resets, LCD catches signal and works correctly until video signal is present.

Placing heat-sensitive electrolyte capacitor near elements which are emitting a LOT OF energy by heat is one of the most common method to reduce life time of product. This causes faster loose of capacitance and, in effect, failure of element. And this, exactly, happens to me.

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7-Way 550-600 Watt Power Supply Roundup Review

Legit Power Supply Reviews

It is natural for an enthusiast to be dazzled by monsters such as the Corsair AX1200i and the Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W; however, even the majority of the enthusiasts would not actually purchase such a beast. It is (or should be) common knowledge that even a very good gaming system does not demand more than 300W-350W and thus, as power supplies are being designed to optimally perform at about 50% capacity, 550W-600W units are plenty for the vast majority of gamers and common users. It is only with multiple video cards, large raid arrays and other “specialized” designs that power requirements may increase substantially. As such, the bulk of a company’s sales does not come from top tier products but from their mainstream-focused designs.

power supply roundup review

Knowing that and realizing the need to offer our readers insight on products which truly are of interest to them, today we bring you a roundup review of seven quality 550W-600W power supplies. Do not be fooled however as the only common capacity of these seven power supplies virtually is their capacity, as each is designed for a different group of users. We will examine and test each unit thoroughly, all while assessing their performance in alignment with the monetary value and quality they offer. Our seven contenders are, alphabetically listed:

All power supplies will be rigorously tested, specifically in order to ensure that their quality matches the high market standards. In this article we have also implemented a 110% load test in order to assess how such these power supplies will react if overloaded for short periods of time. However, note that this is not considered to be a steady state; the power supply will certainly shut down after a short period of time and or might not be able to handle running overloaded at all once aging becomes a significant factor. 

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Do workdays seem shorter if you're doing interesting work?

Do workdays seem shorter if you're doing interesting work?

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!

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