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Archive for December, 2009

PHP Charset FAQ

Posted by Narendra Dhami on December 16, 2009, A very good FAQ about charset.

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Most Popular Photography Hacks of 2009

Posted by Narendra Dhami on December 14, 2009

Whether making your own lens hood to create custom bokeh, breathing like a sniper to get a blur-free photo, or angling your body to look the best in pictures, we shared some great photography hacks this year.

Software and Photoshop tricks are great, but they’re a poor substitution for doing things in-camera. Over the last year we shared a variety of hacks for taking better photos, looking better in photos, and ways to get professional results without spending your rent money on camera accessories.

Create Your Own Bokeh for Beautiful Photo Effects
Position Your Tongue Properly to Look Good in Photos
Take Better Pictures by Treating Your Still Camera Like It’s Video
Avoid Mediocre Portraits with These Tricks
Set Up a High Speed Photography Studio in Your Garage
Create Abstract Light Art by Snapping a Camera-Toss Photo
´╗┐Be A Better Photographer On Vacation
Take Better Self-Portraits
DIY Tennis Ball Photography Stabilization Unit
Shoot Better Nighttime Pictures
Be More Photogenic by Forgetting About the Camera
Breathe Like a Sniper to Take Better Photos in Low Light
Create a Basic Ring Flash
Use Composition Rules to Take Better Photos
DIY Beauty Dish Enhances Your Portraits
Create Stunning High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos
Create Studio Quality Photos Using Natural Light
Make a DIY Photography Light Box with K’Nex
Take Great Panoramic Pictures with Any Camera
Take Better Pictures by Studying Studio Layouts
DIY Tilt-Shift Photography Lens
Take Awesome Sunset Photographs
Create a Flash Diffuser Using An Empty Cigarette Packet
Make a DIY Macro Lens from Old Binoculars

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The Top 10 Worst Effects of Global Warming

Posted by Narendra Dhami on December 14, 2009

Global warming is the long-term, cumulative effect that greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide and methane, have on Earth’s temperature when they build up in the atmosphere and trap the sun’s heat. It’s also a hotly debated topic. Some wonder if it’s really happening and, if it’s real, is it the fault of human actions, natural causes or both?

10. Rising Sea Level
9. Shrinking Glaciers
8. Heat Waves
7. Storms and Floods
6. Drought
5. Disease
4. Economic Consequences
3. Conflicts and War
2. Loss of Biodiversity
1. Destruction of Ecosystems

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Most Popular How-To Features of 2009

Posted by Narendra Dhami on December 11, 2009

How to Do Everything with Windows 7

Windows 7 was a huge part of 2009, and the Lifehacker crowd was eager to try it out early on—but not necessarily ready to ditch XP or Vista outright to do so. This guide got you up and running with a Windows 7 and Vista/XP dual-boot system. Once you got it up and running, our complete guide to Windows 7 got you started with the most important parts of tackling your new operating system. We toured Windows 7’s best, most underhyped features, schooled you on its impressive list of cool new shortcuts, and detailed how to pull a little XP mode in Windows 7. It was a pretty good year for Windows users.

How to Build a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard, Start to Finish

The Apple tax is always a little higher than a lot of people are willing to pay, so this year’s guide to building a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard, start to finish, followed up by the simplified guide to install Snow Leopard on your Hackintosh PC, no hacking required made a pretty big splash.

How to Crack a Wi-Fi Network’s WEP Password

Whether you’re verifying the security of your own network or up to something a little more dubious in nature, this guide to cracking a Wi-Fi network’s WEP password with BackTrack—followed by this WEP cracking redux post that took WEP cracking out of the command line realm proved popular.

Google Wave First Look

Google Wave made a serious splash this year, and while a lot of people still aren’t sure how to best put it to use, there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of interesting technology going on there. We did our best to help you understand how you might use it yourself, starting with our Google Wave first look, moving onto a few best use cases for Wave, and rounding it out with a guide to Wave keyboard shortcuts, filters, searches, and more with our Google Wave 101 guide.

Clean Up and Revive Your Bloated, Sluggish Mac

Feel like your Mac isn’t the speedy little box it used to be? Our guide to cleaning up and reviving your bloated, sluggish Mac will get your machine back to running like a champ. (PC users, we’ve got you covered here.)

Prep Your Mac for Snow Leopard

Windows users had the Windows 7 release, Mac users had the Snow Leopard upgrade, and this guide detailed how to prep your Mac for Snow Leopard for a painless transition.

Build a Silent, Standalone XBMC Media Center On the Cheap

The future of home entertainment isn’t in your cable box as you know it today—it’s in powerful home theater PCs. There was a time when you’d need a big, noisy box next to your computer if you wanted to impress with your HTPC, but this guide to building a silent, standalone XBMC media center on the cheap turns an inexpensive, tiny nettop computer into a standalone XBMC set-top box.

The First-Timer’s Guide to Building a Computer from Scratch

Ever been interested in building your own PC from the bottom up but always been a little scared of rolling up your sleeves with computer hardware? Building a computer from scratch is easier than you think, and it’s also one of the most satisfying projects a tech enthusiast can tackle.

Programmer 101: Teach Yourself How to Code

Whether you just want to do some simple scripting or you want to start down the road to an entirely new skill set, our 101 guide for teaching yourself how to code is a great place to get started.

How to Fix Your Relatives’ Terrible Computer

If you didn’t already fix every one of your relatives’ computers over Thanksgiving, don’t worry—the holidays are quickly approaching, and you know your the resident IT person for your friends and family. Our guide to fixing your relatives’ terrible computer can help.Photo by Justin Marty.

Cut the Cable For Good with Boxee and Apple TV

If our above guide to building a silent, standalone XBMC media center wasn’t quite your bag of chips, consider our step-by-step guide to cutting the cable for good with Boxee and Apple TV. You remember Boxee, right? They’re the killer media center folks who had to fight it out with Hulu all year, and they just updated with an impressive new look and feel. Photo by philcampbell.

Six Ways You Should Be Using Twitter (that Don’t Involve Breakfast)

Twitter may be taking the world by storm, but it’s often- and much-maligned by many of our readers. (47 percent of you say you’d never even use it.) Say what you will about tweeting, but if you’re not using Twitter for at least search, we think you’re missing out.

Properly Erase Your Physical Media

A whopping 40% of the used hard drives on eBay contain easily recoverable personal data. This guide details how to properly erase your physical media when you get rid of anything containing a hard drive so your personal data doesn’t end up in someone else’s hands. Photo by Robert Scoble.

The Definitive Guide to Finding Free Wi-Fi

Spend a lot of time on the road and out of the comfort of your home or office? Our definitive guide to finding free Wi-Fi can help you find some fast internet while you’re out of your home territory. Photo by ┬░Florian.

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating Virtual Machines with VirtualBox

We play around a lot with various pieces of new software and even entire operating systems around these parts. Play it safe or just play around with our beginner’s guide to creating virtual machines with VirtualBox, a free, open-source virtualization tool.

Use Firefox to Fix the Web’s Biggest Annoyances

The web is an amazing place. It can also be an extremely annoying place. Skip the annoying flashing ads, turn off auto-playing movies and sounds, skip the auto-refreshing pages, and more with our guide to fixing the web’s biggest annoyances with Firefox.

How to Build a Web Site from Scratch with No Experience

Ever wanted to try your hand at building a web site you’ve been dreaming about—but have no experience with web development? We’ve been there (I was proud to release earlier this year), and this guide for building a web site from scratch with no experience will point you in the right direction.

You’re Backing Up Your Data the Wrong Way

Your data is the most important thing you’ve got on your computer—in fact, it’s everything. If you aren’t backing it up correctly, one bad move and all that information—and all those memories—goes the way of the dodo. If you’re not sure if you’re backing up the right way, this how-to will steer you in the right direction.

Ten Must-Have Gmail Filters Available for Download

If your inbox is overflowing and you feel like you’ve lost control, these 10 must-have Gmail filters will get you started slicing and dicing your inbox into a more manageable place.

An Exhaustive Guide to Saving Your Smartphone’s Battery

If you spend a lot of time outside your home or office, your smartphone is likely your lifeline to the rest of the world. Problem is, your pesky battery can die pretty quickly if you’re not mindful of how you’re using it. Follow our exhaustive guide to saving your smartphone’s battery and you may be able to squeeze a few more hours out of that gadget of yours. Photo by [177].

Make Free VoIP Calls from Google Voice

Soon free-calling functionality may be built into Google Voice (now that Google’s bought Gizmo5), but in the meantime, here’s how you can make free phone calls using Google Voice.

Hack Your Wii for Homebrew without Twilight Princess

If you’ve got a Wii and want to undertake a little homebrew fun, the Twilight Princess hack used to be the only way to go. Not so anymore, and our guide to hacking your Wii for homebrew without Twilight Princess walks you through how to go from zero to homebrew step by step.

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Most Popular Top 10s of 2009

Posted by Narendra Dhami on December 11, 2009

Following are the top 10s to 2009:

1. Top 10 Tiny & Awesome Windows Utilities
2. Top 10 Must-Have Firefox Extensions, 2009 Edition
3. Top 10 Windows 7 Boosters
4. Top 10 Firefox 3.5 Features
5. Top 10 Underhyped Webapps, 2009 Edition
6. Top 10 Tricks MacGyver Would Be Proud Of
7. Top 10 Ubuntu Downloads
8. Top 10 Battery Hacks, Tips, And Tricks
9. Top 10 Cheap or Free Home Theater Upgrades
10. Top 10 Skills to Master Your Grill

Those 10 may have been the most popular, but if you’re still eager for some more listicle goodies, here’s a quick overview of the next ten most popular.

  • 11. Top 10 Tools for a Free Online Education
    “It’s easy to forget these days that the internet started out as a place for academics and researchers to trade data and knowledge. Recapture the web’s brain-expanding potential with these free resources for educating yourself online.”
  • 12. Top 10 Apps that Boost Your Media Center
    “Streaming video, digital DVD backups, DVR recording-it’s all possible from your TV-connected media center, and you don’t need a system administrator to pull it off. These 10 apps make filling and controlling your media center PC even easier.”
  • 13. Top 10 Home Office Hacks
    “Whatever kind of work you do at home, your office is one place you want to spend the time to make comfortable and convenient. Take 10 of our tips on organizing, fixing, and streamlining that space.”
  • 14. Top 10 Tricks for Creatively Hiding Your Stuff – Security – Lifehacker
    “Every kid has a creative stash for secret stuff, but that useful enthusiasm doesn’t have to die off just because we’ve traded treehouses for desks. See how you can hide money, files, workspaces, and more in today’s Top 10.”
  • 15. Top 10 Computer Hardware Fixes and Upgrades – Hardware – Lifehacker
    “If your desktop or laptop parts have died or seen better days, you’ve got a friend. All of your Lifehacker editors-and many helpful net denizens-have upgraded or repaired faulty systems, and we’ve rounded up some of their most helpful tutorials.”
  • 16. Top 10 Productivity Basics Explained

    “There’s a core set of habits and techniques that filter and color a lot of what we write about at Lifehacker, but we rarely step back to explain them for newcomers. Let’s get back to basics with 10 productivity tactics.”

  • 17. Top 10 Tools for Your Blog or Web Site
    “Having your own hosted web domain has never been cheaper, or easier, with the vast array of free resources out there. Here are our ten favorite tools to help anyone launch and maintain their internet presence.”
  • 18. Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Better Coffee
    Coffee doesn’t always make work better, but you can definitely work to get better coffee. From four-cup hotel machines to French presses, from home-roasted beans to decorative foam-we’ve got a wealth of tips for enjoying a better cup.
  • 19. Top 10 Tricks for Making Your Playlists Rock
    “If music is part of your everyday work routine, workout, or commute, stuffing your player full of tunes and hitting shuffle just won’t cut it. Scan these 10 tips for improving and expanding your music playlists.”
  • 20. Top 10 Outlook Boosters
    “Outlook is such a fixture of office and computer life, its potential as a central life-organizing inbox is easily taken for granted. Empower your Outlook with these add-ons, link-ups, and data management techniques.”

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