• Quote of the Day
    "There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up."
    Bernard Meltzer, posted by HBas

Daniel

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Makes camping seem worthwhile and power outages more bearable

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Nearly identical to its larger, more powerful sibling, the Jackery Explorer 300 weighs just 7 pounds and has two AC outlets, two USB-A ports, and a USB-C port—more than most other lightweight options we tried. We like to bring it to a beach, park, or campsite to inflate an air mattress, run a fan, or charge a phone, camera, portable speaker, lantern, or headlamp. You lose some of the power and capacity you get with our larger picks—don’t expect to run an air conditioner or charge multiple laptops—but you save on space (and money).

Rated max output: 300 W
Rated capacity: 293 Wh
Weight: 7 pounds
Body dimensions: 9 by 5 by 8 inches

For buying a 300+ watt portable power station, I decided on a cheaper, generic brand, EBL, which is not sold in Canada. It is half the price ($150) but with similar specs (and 30 extra watts).
 
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Eat Your Books lets you access and organize recipes online from your cookbooks. There is a limited free plan, and a premium membership is only $3 a month.



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Daniel

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⁨Firefox Relay⁩ email masks protect your true email address from public view, automatically forwarding messages to your true inbox. Now you can receive only the messages you want in your inbox. Sign up with your ⁨Firefox account⁩ to get started.
 

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This is brand new, a feature added to the latest release of Firefox a couple of days ago. Sounds interesting but I need to explore exactly how it works. I use the Microsoft Office Outlook 19 email client too (run from desktop) so I'm not sure Relay can handle that.
 

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It reminds me of virtual credit card numbers as a way to keep merchants in line :)
 

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Plugin(s) and tips for using MS Word to write blog posts:



 
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Daniel

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Apps I use for my morning ritual.​

  • Coach.me (formerly Lift) – This is the app I’ve been using to track my habits, create new rituals, and get coaching.
  • Insight Timer / Headspace – I love Insight Timer. It’s not the prettiest app, but there are dozens of guided mediations from great teachers included in the app for free. It also has a cool timer for doing your own meditation. Headspace is the media darling app for meditation, and it’s very popular right now. It’s a beautiful app and it does the job.
  • Vision Board – This is a very simple, clunky app that does the job. It’s highly customizable and there are different life categories you can add text or images to. I haven’t been able to find better (if you know of one let us know in the comments)
  • Feedly – The best news/blog aggregator out there. Use Feedly to “subscribe” to your favorite sites, and do all your reading in batches. It syncs with all your favorite apps too.
  • Pocket – A read it later tool and app. Never allow yourself to get distracted and fall down the article wormhole. Use this to read interesting content later when you plan for it.
  • Outread (iOS) – This app is one of my favorites because it helps me speed read articles. It syncs perfectly with Pocket, so I can jam through articles I saved to read later from Pocket quickly whenever there’s downtime.
  • Audible – The app for audiobooks. I love Audible for when I’m not able to read or I’m in the car, otherwise I prefer Kindle books. New customers can get two free books and three months of membership for only $7.49 per month.
  • Podcasts – The app for listening to podcasts on iOS. For Android, Stitcher is a great app.
  • Elevate – A brain training app that enhances memory, reading comprehension, and writing. Beautifully designed and award winning. Very addictive.
  • Sleep Cycle – The best app for tracking your sleep and logging the data. I’ve been using this for years.
  • Day One (iOS) – An awesome app for journaling and saving memories. I compared many iOS journaling apps and this is the best. I love that you can export everything, and the entries are very customizable.
  • Stickk – A free service that allows you to create “commitment contracts” by setting goals and creating money stakes.
 

Daniel

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Daniel

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UCLA Mindful App

Free UCLA Mindful App for iOS and Android​


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With this easy-to-use app, you can practice mindfulness meditation anywhere, anytime with the guidance of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Scientific research shows mindfulness can help manage stress-related physical conditions, reduce anxiety and depression, cultivate positive emotions, and help improve overall physical health and well-being.

Mindfulness is the practice of training the mind to be present through moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, body sensations and environment. Mindfulness promotes an attitude of openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with our experience. Through regular practice, taught through this app, you can develop a meditation practice and learn to bring more mindfulness into your daily life.

This app offers:
  • Basic Meditations for getting started, in both English and Spanish
  • Wellness Meditations for people suffering from challenging health conditions
  • Informative videos exploring how to get started, supportive meditation postures, and the science of mindfulness
  • Weekly podcasts from UCLA's Hammer Museum-- a 30 minute meditation on different themes you can search for and bookmark
  • A timer to meditate on your own
 

Daniel

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Best less expensive coffee subscription​

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Craft Coffee Subscription
From $12
Consistency | Easy-to-change shipping date, asks what kind of supermarket beans you like | Offers tasting flights and four-ounce bags of beans

In a category with competitive pricing, it’s hard for other subscriptions to touch Craft’s value, which starts at about $1 per ounce. I can find whole beans at the supermarket for less when they’re on sale, but the flavor won’t be nearly as fresh. This is the only subscription I tested that asks which mainstream brands you buy — like Starbucks, Dunkin’, or Peet’s. Craft recommends a blend based on your answer, and you can adjust it to be lighter or darker or switch to a pricier single-origin coffee. Craft roasts its own beans, and most of what it offers are blends — like the Streetlight Mix from Latin America and Sumatra that I tasted, which has a rich, roasted flavor and pleasing bitterness.
 
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Daniel

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For buying a 300+ watt portable power station, I decided on a cheaper, generic brand, EBL, which is not sold in Canada. It is half the price ($150) but with similar specs (and 30 extra watts).

Already got use out of the 330w portable power station. It is great for the price. My favorite feature is the built-in lamp since you can't have too much light when the power is off. Along with the lamp, I got at least a few hours of power for a 50-watt fan. (Power went out last night at 11 PM until almost 2 pm the next day because a car hit a power pole.)

For eventual camping, watching a large-screen TV, or powering a refrigerator, I will wait for the prices to go down before buying a second power station with more backup power (currently $800 for 882 Watt hours):


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For my desktop computer and 4g wireless router, I will buy a traditional 900w UPS backup system, which will be my next purchase.
 
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News organizations have become increasingly adoptive of such platforms as 24liveblog, Livefyre, CoverItLive, Live Blog,Arena and ScribbleLive which allow for a dedicated box in which to publish short-form and mid-form updates with automatic, dynamically-generated appearances of the most recent posts.

A recent peer-reviewed publication outlines the utilization and perception of live blogging coverage at a physical therapy conference.[6] The authors concluded that live blogging extended the viewing audience and facilitated viewer engagement. Survey respondents found the coverage educational, of high quality, and would participate again in the future.
 
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Daniel

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Free, open-source Kindle book: Engineering a Better Future: Interplay between Engineering, Social Sciences, and Innovation

The book is an academic collection of essays, but there are some nuggets throughout.

From my favorite essay, "The Cult of Innovation":

As long as one is being “innovative,” things are bound moving on the right path and likely headed toward wonderful outcomes. “Just do your best to become one of the creative elect and the blessings will surely shower down upon you.” In my experience, much of university teaching now generates homilies of that kind, reassurance for young people who spend huge sums of money in hopes of joining the clever, rich, and powerful...

As entrepreneur Jigar Shah observes, “Solar and wind are winning around the world not because of fundamental technological breakthroughs, but instead because after 30 years the banking sector is finally comfortable scaling up their use… I am not against innovation, but we don’t need to be telling people that we need it to reach the 2 degrees milestone being talked about in Paris. What we need is deployment” (Shah 2015)...

In sum, “innovation” appears magically before our eyes—the jewel in the crown of neoliberalism, a fabulous gift promised those who doggedly pursue the economic and technological obsessions of the early twenty-first century. Within this aura The Cult of Innovation steadily expands—a throng of true believers engaged in ceaseless adoration of a beloved but ultimately tawdry (perhaps even deadly) treasure.

From another essay, "The Art of Research" by Avina et al:

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Daniel

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“Circumvent distraction” with speedy Snippets​

This quote is pulled directly from Pete in the webinar, and we love how he describes distraction and “the ADHD brain.” According to Pete, the speed that he can access information with TextExpander is fast enough to avoid getting distracted. He calls it a game of telephone with his brain, where his original goal and his current workflow can diverge and get distorted, but using a speedy Snippet keeps him on track. This he says is especially valuable for boring, repetitive tasks.

If you’ve not seen it yet, do head over to watch our Introduction to TextExpander webinar with Take Control ADHD. You’ll find tips that will help anyone wanting to focus and get more done with their day.

Takeaways​

  • Reuse copy that works well by creating a Snippet anytime you write something work repeating.
  • Avoid getting distracted by your inbox, by building Snippets for any information you go to your emails for multiple times.
  • Create Groups for the Snippets related to each client, the personal typos you make consistently, contact details, and key dates that are coming up for you.
  • Create templates for any documents you use repeatedly, like meeting agendas, feedback emails, customer feedback requests, invoice terms, and more.
  • Humans are poor at repetitive work, so create Snippets to avoid messing up a URL or name of a person or brand.
  • Circumvent distraction by not giving your brain enough time to get distracted. Snippets can be triggered before you even realize there’s a chance to go off track.
  • Don’t miss the Introduction to TextExpander webinar with Take Control ADHD if you’ve not watched it already.
 

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Scite.ai is for students and researchers. Among other things, it provides information on how a certain paper is supported or criticized among citing papers.

For example:


Visualize citations
 

Daniel

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Amazon is not the only retailer with its own day

Amazon Prime Day has become such a big online shopping event that many of Amazon’s competitors have launched their own sales around the same time to attract the attention of shoppers while they’re in a “Christmas in July” mindset.

Last year, RetailMeNot found more than 300 retailers offering competing deals during Amazon Prime Day. Here’s a look at some of the most high-profile sales.

Target hosts its online-only Target Deal Days event July 11–13, offering discounts across every product category. You do not have to be a member to take advantage of the sales.

Kohl’s Summer Cyber Deals will be available July 12–13, with sales on items including clothing, toys and outdoor recreation products.

Newegg runs its annual FantasTech sale July 11–15, with deals on desktop computers, laptops, electronics and more.

EBay hosts its Summer Sale July 7–13, with discounts in categories including refurbished products from brands like Apple, Samsung and Dyson.

Walmart has not yet announced its 2022 Deals for Days event, which has historically taken place around the same time as Prime Day. Last year, the event ran for four days, starting the day before Prime Day and extending until the day after.
 

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Fundamentally, RSEs build software to support scientific research. They generally don’t have research questions of their own — they develop the computer tools to help other people to do cool things. They might add features to existing software, clear out bugs or build something from scratch. But they don’t just sit in front of a computer and write code. They have to be good communicators who can embed themselves in a team.

Software runs through the entire research process, but professors tend to get most of the recognition and prestige. Pieces of software can have just as much impact as certain research papers, some of them much more so. If RSEs can get the recognition and rewards that they deserve, then the career path will be that much more visible and attractive.
 

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It's a good idea to periodically clear your cache. This will speed up your phone while you're browsing the web, whether you're using iOS 15 or the public beta of iOS 16. You can also manage your iPhone's storage to help get it running fast again...

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[For Chrome and Firefox, use the settings in the app do delete the cache. More details in the full article.]
 
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