Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Make Air Travel More Comfortable with a Beach Ball

Make Air Travel More Comfortable with a Beach Ball

Thanks to unsupportive seats you have to sit in for hours, flying is often literally a pain. You can reduce your chances of getting a sore, achy back on your next flight by bringing along an inflatable beach ball.

Physical therapist Doug Kelsey writes on the My Itchy Travel Feet blog that the adjustable beach ball is perfect for lumbar support:

Because the beach ball is filled with air, it allows you to move in your chair which in turn, moves your spine just enough to keep it from getting stiff.

Put a very small amount of air in the ball (once you’re in flight, the pressure change will increase the pressure in the ball so you don’t need much air). Place the ball in the small of your back. Increase or decrease the amount of air to your comfort level. About every thirty minutes, move the ball either up or down an inch or two. While in flight, periodically move side to side, forward and back for about a minute—kind of a small rocking motion of your trunk on the ball. When you’re done with the flight, deflate the ball and store for later use.
Bonus: You'll have something to toss around if you head to a beach or park on your vacation.

Travelers, relieve lower back pain with this simple tip | My Itchy Travel Feet

Photo by Klim Levene.

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Run the Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark as a Power User Battery Test

Run the Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark as a Power User Battery Test

Battery benchmarks tend to err on the side of casual use, offering higher numbers than many of us actually get on our laptops. If you want to know how long your battery will last under strenuous activity, however, the popular Peacekeeper browser test can give you a good idea.

The Peacekeeper test checks browser compatibility and speed by performing a variety of tasks, some more CPU-intensive than others. While most of us won't ever use our laptops at nearly full blast for the entire duration of their batteries, when you buy a laptop you don't just want to know the battery life you'll get from casual use but also the minimum. The Peacekeeper test, which lasts about five minutes, can run itself on a loop until your battery dies. When you start, you'll get a code that you can enter when you boot your computer back up to see how long it lasted.

If you want an accurate picture of how your battery stacks up under pressure, give it a try. You just scroll down to the bottom of the page where they hide the battery test link to get started.

Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark

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"No" Is the Button That Keeps Us On

"No" Is the Button That Keeps Us On

Saying "no" can feel awful. It's often seen as rude, uncooperative, unfriendly, unhelpful, and so on. But for makers and creators, "no" is "the button that keeps us on," writes Kevin Ashton on Medium.

In his essay titled "Creative People Say No," Ashton eloquently points out all the reasons saying "no" is essential if you want to be productive:

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say “no?” A sketch? A stanza? A paragraph? An experiment? Twenty lines of code? The answer is always the same: “yes” makes less.

Saying "no" without feeling like a jerk isn't easy, but as another "no" advocate, Ernie Miller writes, "no" can be a beautiful word.

Creative People Say No | Medium

Photo by Phatic-Photography (Shutterstock).

Gawker Texas Lawmaker Braving Backbreaking Filibuster to Stop Abortion Bill | Kotaku The Xbox One Vs

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The Sideswipe Home Screen

The Sideswipe Home Screen

Grids of icons are so passé. Mycolorscreen user Bowker678 opted for a different look with a side bar with quick access to common apps.

Just about all of the features shown in this set up were built using Ultimate Custom Widget, though for posterity, here is a list of all the links you'll need to put this look together:

If you want a bit more information on getting started with UCCW, you can check out a tutorial here. The app is extremely powerful, but can be a bit daunting at first. As this home screen demonstrates, it can be used to create everything from the side panel to the status bar.

Do you have an awesome, tweaked-into-oblivion home or lock screen of your own that you'd like to share? Post it in the comments below, or on your own Kinja blog with the tag "home screen showcase" (no quotes). Be sure to include a description of how you made it so we can feature it as the next featured home screen.

Sideswipe v4 | Bowker678

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TuneSpan Splits Your iTunes Library Across Many Drives, Only $2 Today

OS X: Previously mentioned (and previously free) TuneSpan—the app that splits your iTunes library across multiple drives—went on sale today for $2, down from $15. If you've got a large music collection that won't fit on your primary drive, this app will solve your problem.

TuneSpan looks a lot like iTunes when you open it up, making it a familiar way to set locations for your music. You just pick the files you want to move and choose a drive to put them on. TuneSpan then updates your iTunes library file so iTunes knows to look for the files elsewhere. While you will, of course, need to have the drive connected in order to access the files you can put the music you play less elsewhere and just connect the drive when you need it. This way you can have one giant library without taking up an enormous amount of disk space.

Normally $15, you can pick up TuneSpan for 87% off on the Mac App Store today only.

TuneSpan ($2) | Mac App Store via AppShopper