Monthly Archives: January 2010

Five Best Public BitTorrent Trackers [Hive Five]

A great BitTorrent client is all well and good, but you need a great tracker to get the actual torrent files and stoke the bandwidth burning fire in your client of choice. Here’s a rundown of five of the most popular options.

A bit of clarification is in order before we share the list of the top five contenders with you. In our call for contenders we asked for you to share your favorite BitTorrent trackers, but we didn't explain the difference between a BitTorrent tracker and a BitTorrent indexer. The difference isn't immediately clear to the end user—nor does the difference even matter to many end users—and because we didn't make the difference crystal clear the votes were a mix of both sites that tracked and indexed and just indexed torrent files.

Since the purpose of the Hive Five is to help readers find tools and the ability to find torrents is more important to the majority of users than whether or not the place they find the torrents is also acting as the tracker for those torrents, we’ve opted to overlook the confusion in an effort to share a list of where Lifehacker readers go to search and download torrent files. The following list contains both true trackers and indexers. If you’re curious about the technical details between a tracker and an indexer you can read up on them here and here.

The Pirate Bay


The Pirate Bay is no longer the full-service tracker it once was thanks to some rough battles with the law, but it remains in service as an indexer. The Pirate Bay has been and remains one of the most publicly recognizable faces of the torrent phenomenon and is still a popular destination for torrent seekers. It no longer indexes its own tracker but instead organizes torrents indexed to other trackers. The Pirate Bay is known for having, even now, a wide selection and a well-organized, easy-to-browse site.

BTJunkie

BTJunkie is one of the largest torrent indexers on the web with over four million torrents and several thousand added daily. BTJunkie amasses such a high number of torrents by employing crawlers that dig through web sites looking for torrent files to index. The quality of torrents is ranked both by an algorithm and by user input which helps filter out low quality or malicious torrents.

isoHunt


Another enormous indexer, isoHunt has nearly two million torrents and a huge user base. In addition to being able to search torrents and sort them by age, number of peers, and other common search factors isoHunt has an additional variable, appropriately called isoHunt Rank, that is a compilation of all the other factors like age, number of comments, user feedback, and more. Sorting by isoHunt Rank allows you to see which torrents are best overall instead of just best in some subcategory like number of seeders or age.

Demonoid


Demonoid is a semi-public tracker. Registration is traditionally closed—it opens a few times a year to let new users in, or you can be invited by an existing member—but the site is still quite functional even without registration. Registration gives you access to the deep archives of Demonoid, but even without it you have access to over a quarter million torrents—the most recently added ones—available for download. Demonoid has built a name for itself by having a low number of bogus torrents and a high level of user participation.

KickAssTorrents


KickAssTorrents is a new kid on the torrent indexing block, but it has quickly built a name for itself by offering a user friendly experience. KickAssTorrents is the only torrent search engine that offers correction of spelling mistakes—search for Unutu for instance and it will ask "Did you mean Ubuntu?"—which is a small thing but highlights the level of detail put into the construction of their search engine. In addition to indexing regular torrents KickAssTorrents also indexes httpTorrents, which allow users who cannot access the BitTorrent cloud due to their location or firewall restrictions to access torrents.


Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the best places to find new torrents it’s time to cast your vote in the poll below:

Which BitTorrent Indexer is Best?(answers)

Have a favorite torrent hangout that didn’t make the list? Have a BitTorrent-related tip or trick? Let’s hear about it in the comments.





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Top 10 Tips and Tools for Freelancers [Lifehacker Top 10]

Freelancing isn’t something you should just jump into, but it makes sense for a good number of workers. If you’re looking into, or getting started with, working on your own, here are 10 resources we think every freelancer can learn from.

Photo by Mat Honan, who is himself a freelancer.

10. Make your schedule family-friendly

If you’re going to have to entirely ignore your kids and family when you’re working at home, you might as well head into the office. Career columnist and Wall Street Journal writer Alexandra Levit offered up six tips for working parents to spend more time parenting. They were aimed at anyone with a job, but freelancers certainly have an easier time of shifting their schedules back and ahead, taking web meetings instead of traveling for in-person summits, and involving their children in their work. Photo by Amit Chattopadhyay.

9. Do it without quitting your day job

Why freelance on the side instead of full time? The taxes are a lot more simple, the income a bit more stable, and, best of all, your day-to-day job provides you with countless opportunities to meet and greet future clients and referral helpers. That’s assuming your side gig is kosher with your boss, of course, but if you want to test the waters of selling yourself on the freelance market, do it without quitting your job.

8. Use discounts to get paid on time

Becoming your own Accounts Payable department is new to most freelancers, and not very fun. If you run into clients who are hesitant to pay on time, or leave you on the hook waiting for their next order, try offering a discount or repeat business incentives, as suggested by Web Worker Daily. Give clients a 5 percent discount if they pay within, say, 24 or 48 hours of invoice shipment, or whatever you consider prompt—the cash value is almost certainly worth the time you'll spend tracking it down and worrying. If clients make you wait forever for their next order, offer a coupon or discount after receiving payment on a gig, giving them a small bit off if they place another order within a certain time frame. It's easy for small businesses to lose track of freelance people, but they tend to pay attention to dollars and cents. (Original post)

7. Track your work and generate invoices simultaneously

The web is full of freelancers and contractors, and many of them have created better systems for tracking time and sending bills. There are too many free or “freemium” services to try and compile into one list, but, hey, let’s throw out a few. MakeSomeTime is simple, CurdBee handles everything up to the Google Checkout/PayPal payment screen for clients, FreshBooks covers a lot of different aspects of billing, Toggl is a great second-by-second live tracker, and BlinkSale has been generating crisp-looking invoices for years. Any of them are worth checking out, and probably fit the bill better than a gigundo spreadsheet. (Original post)

6. Know what you can write off

If you’re starting to get actual, notable income from your freelance work, the first thing you should do is find someone who knows how to handle the taxes of independent contractors. Gina proved the value of a good accountant in her human versus TurboTax.com showdown, but noted that an experienced filer could probably make due with the tax software solution. The Freelance Switch blog also offers 10 easy-to-miss freelancer deductions, like coffeeshop meetings, unpaid invoices, and gig hunting expenses, that any independent worker would do well to look into. (Original post)

5. Find more work

Cold calling is not fun, and if you think it might be, watch Glengarry Glen Ross again. A good lead comes from knowing where people are looking. FreelanceSwitch has compiled a monster list of freelance job sites, though some of them are going to be hired-gun-type, low-paying grunt work. On the other hand, a 10-minute call to your clients can get you all kinds of results you weren’t even looking for. (Original post)

4. Track your pitches with a custom spreadsheet

Who should you call with a reminder that you’re available, and who needs a quick follow-up on a pitch? Those are questions you should have answers for. Web Worker Daily’s Celine Rogue explains how to set up a spreadsheet with drop-down choosers, collated data, and other tools to become a great pitch, client, and job tracker. Half of life is just showing up, after all, and some extra percentage is knowing exactly where and when to be present with an offer. (Original post)

3. Get into the estimated tax groove

If you don’t cover the tax burden throughout the year of not having an employer to deduct social security, unemployment, and other taxes for you, the month of April will truly be the cruelest. Read how our own self-employed readers set aside money for estimated tax payments four times each year (or in other installments), and read how Gina automates her finances to always have the money on hand, even when her income is very variable.

2. Learn your legalese

Besides having to learn the basics of contracts and work rules, freelancers should try to grab the basics of selling and regulating resalable (and different) stock work, as well as know how to stand their ground on copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons. It is, in short, not enough to simply create cool things—you have to know how to shepherd them through the cloudy worlds of commerce and the web these days. Photo by MikeBlogs. (Original posts: legal resources, stock work).

1. Determine your hourly rate

Not every contract will rely on hourly rates, but you’d best be prepared to offer a price if someone asks. The general advice is to aim slightly higher than you figure you should really charge, because you will always, always aim low when you’re determining the time and administrative costs of getting the job done. If you want a more concrete number to base your rate on, try FreelanceSwitch’s hourly rate calculator, which takes your office and supply costs, experience, and other factors into account. (Original post)


If you’re an established freelancer, what apps, tools, or advice did you find truly helpful when starting out? If you’re still green at working for yourself, what do you need the most help with? Swap the tips and stories in the comments.




OS X Hidden Gems

Have you ever noticed that little dark circle that appears within the close button of a document window in OS X when you have unsaved changes? Yeah, me neither. After years of diligent Mac use, this subtle little element somehow escaped me until now. I guess I remember noticing it at times but never realized it was telling me to save my work. It’s a nice touch and got me wondering about what other subtle elements I might have missed over the years.

I spent some time gathering up a number of these hidden gems and figured I’d list them here in the hopes that our readers could add to the list in the comments.

Save Dialog

When saving a file you can press / at the save dialog box to choose from any point in the file system via a file path.

Displays

You can press Shift + Ctrl + Eject to put external displays to sleep. On a MacBook this will force the system to sleep without having to close the lid.

Airport

Pressing the Option key when clicking on the AirPort icon in the menubar will display some detailed information about your wireless connection, including the transmit rate.

Finder

Pressing Control while clicking on the current location icon at the top of the Finder window opens a menu to let you select any parent location along that particular file path.

Screen

Pressing Ctrl + Option + Command + 8 will invert the color of your screen.

Dictionary

Pressing Ctrl + Command + D while hovering over a word in any Cocoa application (Safari, Mail, etc.) will automatically look up that word in the OS X dictionary app.

This list just scratches the surface of what I know are a huge number of hidden gems buried inside OS X. If you have any others you want to add to the list, please share it with us in the comments.

Memonic Helps You Clip and Organize Data From Across the Web [Notes]

Memonic is a free web-based tool that seeks to help you clip out just what you need from your web-based research and organize it in a personally meaningful and helpful way.

Memonic allows you to move away from the model of bookmarking sites that contain data you want and instead of snipping that data out of the page and saving it to your Memonic account. If you're doing research on a vacation for instance, you wouldn't bookmark every page you found with interesting content about that vacation. You would use Memonic to clip out the bits that were of interest to you—a specific restaurant review from a restaurant critic page, a landmark you found on the visitor's bureau site you want to visit, some photos of local street performers you'd like to keep an eye out for, and so on. All the things you clip end up in your Memonic inbox, seen below:

From there you can sort and organize your clips, edit the associated information, and share your clippings and organized portfolios with others. Memonic accounts are free and you can enter information into Memonic using a bookmarklet—see the top screenshot, the green box is the clipping border—or by emailing the information to your Memonic account or manually creating a new entry within Memonic. If you're curious to try out Memonic but hate signing up for new accounts, you can try out all the features of Memonic just by visiting the main page. If you like the service, you can create a free account to save the clippings you made during your trial run.

Have a favorite service for gathering web-based clippings and media together? Let’s hear about it in the comments. Thanks Mick!






Wallbase Helps You Find Fresh Desktop Wallpaper [Wallpaper]

Wallbase catalogs wallpaper to bring you over 350,000 unique wallpapers. Take a peek inside to find something new for casual Friday.

Wallbase is a huge database built by scraping the image boards of 4chan related to wallpapers and high resolution images. The database is searchable by keyword as well as variables like whether or not images are NSFW—we'd caution you that images are user tagged and the database constantly updates so the chances of something sneaking through the NSFW filter are moderately high, keep that in mind if you're browsing at work. You can also specify image size, screen ratio, and whether or not you'll scan all the available boards or a specific sub-board.

For more places to find great wallpaper check out our Hive Five on top wallpaper sites. Have a favorite place of your own? Let’s hear about it in the comments.






TabJump is a Smart, Organized Tab Manager for Google Chrome [Downloads]

Google Chrome (Windows/Mac/Linux): If you tend to have tons of small, hard-to-read tabs open at a time, navigate through them with TabJump, a Chrome extension that lets you open recently closed tabs, jump to open tabs, and group related tabs together.

We've all been there before—you open up Wikipedia for a five-minute break, and two hours later you have 30 tabs open. TabJump is a great tab manager for Google Chrome, that sits in the address bar and organizes all your open and recently closed tabs, so you can easily navigate through your sea of open pages. Your open tabs are organized into two columns, one of which shows the tabs related to the one currently in focus, so you can quickly jump between open pages from the same site. You can also lock certain pages, protecting them from accidental closure. If you try to close a locked tab, you'll get a popup message from Chrome asking you if you are sure, preventing you from losing what was really important out of all those open tabs.

TabJump is a free download, works wherever Google Chrome does (Note: You’ll need to be running the beta channel for extension support on Linux, and the dev channel for extension support in OS X). Thanks, MPS!

TabJump – Intelligent Tab Navigator [Google Chrome Extensions]






The 19 most complex and dangerous roads in the world

Sure, it feels fantastic to traverse the vast stretches of the best roads in the world via adrenaline pumping speeds. How about a complicated road, one that twists and turns, or has downright congested traffic, or unforgiving terrain? They might give you a headache, but it sure feels good when you’ve conquered them. Here is the  list of the world’s most complicated and dangerous roads. Some of these complicated mountain passes can be dangerous if not negotiated with utmost caution, while others are complicated sets of roads and bridges, erected to ensure a streamlined flow of traffic at busy junctions. Without further ado, we present our top 19 list…

1) Col de Turini, France

Col-De-Turini-1

Col-De-Turini-2

photo credits : 1,2

Situated more than 1 mile above sea level, Col de Turini is a mountain pass situated in south of France in the Alps. It’s also part of a 20 miles rally stage of the Monte Carlo Rally of WRC, which combines 34 challenging hairpins and long stretches where cars top 111 mph. It is one of the most exciting roads on Earth.  The pass was featured in the very first episode of Top Gear series 10, when the presenters went in search of the greatest driving road in the world. At its highest point, Col de Turini  is 1607m high. In the north, the Col de Turini starts  with a dazzling series of hairpins. Finally, we end up riding in a gorge, with a wild river on the left, and a steep rock-wall on the right.

2) Stelvio Pass, Italy

stelvio-pass

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Photo credits 1,2

Located in the Eastern Alps in Italy, the Stelvio Pass Road connects the Valtellina with Merano and the upper Adige valley. This mountain road pass is situated at an altitude of around 1.7 miles above sea level. The road is particularly challenging to drive due to the presence of 48 hairpin bends, with the road becoming exceedingly narrow at some points, and some very steep inclines. With a height of 2757 meters, it is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps and the second highest in the Alps, after the 2770 m high Col de l’Iseran. While it might not be as dangerous  as the other routes, it is certainly breathtaking. The  toughest and most spectacular drives are from the Prato side. The mountain pass is  one of the best continuous hairpin routes in the world.

3) Leh–Manali Highway, India

leh-manali-highway

Photo credit 1

The Leh-Manali Highway is situated in India and spans over a length of 297 miles among the Himalaya mountain range. It passes through some of the worlds highest mountain passes in the world, with a mean altitude in between 2 to 3 miles above sea level. The road is one of the most complicated and challenging roads in the world, with snow, landslides and terrain making the journey exceedingly difficult for anything other than a capable four wheel drive vehicle. The road was built and is maintained by the Indian Army.

4) The Puxi Viaduct, Shanghai

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Photo credit 1

This is one of Shanghai’s busiest and largest interchange that caters to thousands of vehicles every hour. It has five levels of bridges that help connect two of the cities busiest highways, directing vehicles without much fuss.

5) The Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange, LA

The-Judge-Harry-Pregerson-Interchange

Photo credit: 1

The Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange is situated in Los Angeles, CA and is one of the most complicated interchanges in the country. It permits entry and exit in all directions between the I-105 and the I-110. It’s a stack interchange with layers of bridges making a complicated network of roads allowing smooth flow of traffic though both the interstate highways. This interchange was opened in 1993. It is a 4 level interchange with a restricted access lane that can be used by high-occupancy vehicles.

6) The Road of death, Bolivia

road of death2

Photo credits:  1, 2

The North Yungas Road (also known as the El Camino de la Muerte, ‘Road of Death’ in Spanish) is a 43 mile road connecting La Paz and Coroico, 35 miles northeast of La Paz in Bolivia. Famous for its extreme danger, it was christened as the “world’s most dangerous road” in 1995 by the Inter-American Development Bank. The single-lane width, extreme drop offs, and lack of guardrails, only add to the danger lurking behind. Further, the fog and rain can make visibility poor and the road surface muddy, loosening rocks from the hillsides above. It is estimated that 200 to 300 travelers are killed per year on this treacherous road. Although, the old North Yungas Road is  much less used by traffic nowadays, an increasing number of adventure bikers  travel it for the thrills.

7) Russia’s Lena Highway, the Highway from Hell

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Photo credits: 1,2

The last 600 miles of the Russian Federal Highway from Moscow city to the Siberian city of Yakutsk is called the “Lena Highway”. This bizarre road runs parallel to the River Lena on the final leg to Yakutsk. As if the road of mud was not a big problem, Yakutsk is considered one of the the coldest cities on earth, with January temperatures averaging -45 °F. But surprisingly, it is only in the summertime that the road becomes impassable. Whenever it rains in summer, the road virtually becomes a slush pit making it impossible for the vehicles to pass through it. This being the only road to Yakutsk makes the traffic heavy and even more complicated to negotiate.

8. Gravelly Hill Interchange, Birmingham, UK

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Photo credit: 1

Gravelly Hill Interchange, nicknamed ‘the Spaghetti Junction’, is the 6th junction  of the M6 motorway, where it joins the A38 Aston Expressway in Birmingham, UK. The name “Spaghetti Junction” was coined by Roy Smith, a journalist from the Birmingham Evening  Mail in the 1970s. The areal view of the junction sure tells us why it is called the Spaghetti Junction. Spanning an impressive 30 acres, the junction serves 18 routes and includes 4 km of slip roads. Across 6 different levels, there are 559 concrete columns, reaching up to 24.4 m in height. The engineers had to elevate 13.5 miles of the motorway to accommodate 2 railway lines, 3 canals, and 2 rivers. It’s the most complicated junction in United Kingdom.

9) Russian-Georgian “Military” Mountain Roads

russia-georgia-military-hiway

Russian-Georgian-Military-Mountain-Roads

Photo credit 1

When they are not covered in sheets of snow, then it’s the thick, grueling mud. These remote highways would probably swallow your car in the snow or mud. Though neither affect the locals who drive their Lada cars down it regularly. Situated in the Caucasus mountains, these roads are to be tackled only by the Russian military which probably explain why they lack any official designation. The harsh surface, along with the problems posed by snow, makes this road almost inaccessible during winter. The seldom used road connects Russia and Georgia and assumes of strategic importance for both countries.

10) Guoliang Tunnel Road, China

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Photo credits: 1,2

The magnificent tunnel road in the Taihang mountains was built by 13 local villagers headed by their chief, Shen Mingxin, and took around five years to finish. Many villagers lost their lives in accidents during construction of the tunnel but the others continued relentlessly. The tunnel was opened to traffic on May 1st, 1977. The 1200 meter long tunnel is about 5 meters high and 4 meters wide. It is located in the Henan Province of China. The Guoliang tunnel is another addition to most dangerous and complicated roads to travel. Dubbed as “the road that does not tolerate any mistakes”, most accidents in the tunnel are primarily caused by the neglect of the traveler. Nonetheless, it is an extremely scenic route and is a key destination on the Chinese tourism map.

11) Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan (Chungheng)

Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan (Chungheng)-1

Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan (Chungheng)

Photo credit: 1

The Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan is another mountain route  made by carving out rocks, like the Guoliang Tunnel road. The road passes through the Taroko national park alongside the Taroko Gorge. The road is an appeal to the tourist, as well as a mode of transportation of marble found abundantly in the Gorge.

12) Pasubio (Vicenza), Northern Italy

Pasubio (Vicenza), Northern Italy1

Pasubio (Vicenza), Northern Italy2

Photo credit: 1

This is a hiking trail made out of an ancient road trail. The road serves mostly for motorcycles and certain types of car. The road is dangerously narrow and slippery, spanning many cliff faces and tunnels with stunning scenery, making this a popular destination for adventurous travelers.

13) The Halsema Highway in the Philippines

Halsema Highway1

Halsema Highway2

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photo credits 1

The Halsema Highway runs through the Central Cordillera Valley in Philippines. It is also called the Baguio-Bontoc Road. The road is approximately 150 miles long and is mostly unpaved. The road runs through steep cliff faces which barely have any guard rails or other safety devices installed. The narrow roads and steep cliff faces make the road almost impassable during the rainy season. It’s known for the rock slides and mud slides and buses driving dangerously fast on its narrow passage. There are plenty of accidents and many overturned buses on a yearly basis. There are sheer drop offs of more than 1000 feet without a safety guard rail. This route is for sure one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

14) Trollstigen in Norway

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Photo credts: 1,2

The Fjord in Norway has many roads that attract tourists. The most notable among them is the Trollstigen which is a series of stunning roads with a breathtaking view of a few waterfalls. The word Trollstigen means the Troll Ladder. The road, though not lacking in safety standards, takes a lot of concentration and driving skill to conquer. The vertigo-inducing steep inclines, intense set of hairpins and narrow roads leave no margin for error. However, once you are at the top, the view is just breathtaking. The narrow road leaves us with extremely few possibilities for vehicles to pass each other. The frequent rockfalls in the region have resulted in some upgrades to the road in 2005. At the top, there is a viewing balcony which overlooks the road and the Stigfossen waterfall, a 320 m long waterfall which falls down the mountain side.

15) Los Caracoles Pass in Andes

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Photo credit: 1

This road passes though the Andreas Mountains on the way between Chile and Argentina. Los Caracoles is a series of hard switchbacks on an extremely steep incline. The road has many steep inclines and hairpins without any safety guard rails. The road is covered with snow for the most part of the year. The snow together with nature of the road requires extreme patience and skill to negotiate. However, this road is maintained pretty regularly and does not have a morbid accident record. Cargo trucks and even double-Decker tourist buses travel through the road on a daily basis, and it’s quite an experience.

16) Iroha-zaka winding road, Japan

Irohazaka Winding Road Japan

Iroha-zaka winding road is the main route that connects central Nikko and Oku-Nikko. The First Iroha-zaka is used to come down, and the  Second Iroha-zaka to go up. Each corner has an ancient Japanese alphabet, and you will see it in alphabetical order starting from I-ro-ha and hence the name. The road was used by ascetics in the past. The number of curves on the road was 48, matching the 48 letters of the ancient Japanese alphabet. Therefore, the tourist guides started to call the slope Iroha-zaka.  After the construction of the second Iroha-zaka there were 50 curves, but 2 were decreased to remain corresponding with the 48 letters. How’s that for complicated?

17) Van Zyl’s Pass, Namibia

Van Zyl pass

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Photo credits: 1

Van Zyl’s Pass, or the DR3703, located in Namibia, is a classic extreme road. It is not exactly a road, just a route made over the mountain by the travelers over time. The outrageously steep pass provides a pure adrenaline rush, but the route that leads up to it is a 10-15km of tough driving where one has to dodge their way through rocks, boulders, badlands and ravines. At the end, the road descends to the ancient glacial valley called Marienfluss valley, which is one of the planet’s most beautiful sights that await only the brave-hearted.

18) El Espinazo Del diablo, Mexico

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El Espinazo del diablo

Photo credits: 1, 2

El Espinazo Del diablo or ‘The devil’s backbone’ is the mountain pass in Durango, Mexico. It’s about 5 hours long, and it was the only road from Durango to Mazatlan Sinaloa for a long time. We have heard many cautionary tales about crossing the devil’s backbone, El Espinoza Del Diablo, But the road is exceptionally well maintained and there are many cautionary signs marking most of the hazards. Of course these are in Spanish, so keep an electronic translator or a dictionary, handy. Pull out spots are frequent, so you can easily stop anytime you want. There are some tight curves, too. So tight that a truck needs all of the road to make it around. These hinder potential two way traffic in these regions. However, stunning rock formations rising around you and the lush, green vistas stretching on for impossible distances make every inch of the drive breathtaking.

19) Lysebotn Road, Norway

Lysebotn Road

Photo credit: 1

This is probably the most fun road you can travel on four wheels, and then maybe on your two legs checking out the various hiking trails leading from the area. In fact, this might be considered the most breathtaking place in Europe. It all starts with the narrow road up the steep walls of the Lysefjord, Norway. It has 27 switchbacks and a 1.1 km long tunnel at the bottom, with 3 switchbacks inside. The last 30 km of Lysebotn road is a true roller-coaster! It’s narrow but has a perfect surface, winding left and right all the time. If you happen to ride a motorcycle in Norway, then this is the road you simply cannot afford to miss!

Deleting Password


Internet browsers do provide a way for users who dislike keying in their passwords every time they log in a favorite website that requires one.

They do this by offering a saved password option. This might be okay if you’re using a private computer, but can be dangerous if used in a shared one.

So in case you have no choice but to use a public terminal, here’s what you can do to make sure that the browser does not store your username and password:

For users of the latest Internet Explorer, load the Internet Explorer browser. Click on Tools and choose “Internet Options.”

Click on the “Delete” next to “Browsing History.” A new window will pop up. Delete the “Passwords” history.

This will delete all the passwords and usernames you’ve typed in all the sites you’ve visited.

AutoHotkey AutoInclude Organizes, Consolidates Your AHK Workflow [Autohotkey]

Ed note: We love AutoHotkey around Lifehacker HQ due to its powerful Windows tweaking skills, so we were thrilled when Reader Scott Rippey wrote in with this extremely smart script for managing your AHK scripts.

I’m ashamed to say that this is my first contribution to Lifehacker. I say “ashamed” because I’ve been taking and taking, and I haven’t given anything in return! So I thought it was high-time I contributed my most helpful AutoHotkey script. I call it “AutoInclude”.

There are 2 problems that it solves: first, as an avid reader of Lifehacker, and a huge user of AHK, I come across dozens of GREAT scripts that I want to incorporate into my own “main script”, but it can be quite a hassle combining them all into a single AHK file. Take a look at all these scripts:

Second, I use AHK on my Work PC, my laptop, and my Media Center — and I have different AHK needs for each of these locations, but I still want some AHK code to be shared across the board.

My AutoInclude script scans a list of folders for *.ahk, and creates a temporary AHK file that “#Include“s them all, and then executes the temporary file. It allows me to keep all my scripts VERY organized, allows me to determine which scripts are appropriate for each computer, and lets me edit my scripts very easily! Finally, I put all my AutoHotkey scripts into a Live-Mesh-Synchronized folder and share it across all my PC’s.

On each PC, I modify the top of the file to only include the folders that apply to that system (such as All, XP, and Tablet, versus All, Dual Monitor, and Work) and I comment out the rest:

Finally, when I run the script, I only have a single AHK process running! I love it.

The only thing that is tricky is the fact that “#Include“ing a bunch of files can cause possible issues if the script needs an “Auto-Execute” section. The solution is as follows:

If a script needs to auto-execute, then the first line of the file should be the comment “; Auto-Execute”, followed by the auto-execute code as usual, and there MUST be a “Return” before any other code or hot-keys. The AutoInclude script will put a label in front of the “#Include” statement, and will call a GoSub to that label, thereby auto-executing it!

Take a look at the auto-generated script:

You can download my AutoHotkey AutoInclude script here.

Thanks Scott! Want to get your feet wet with AHK? Take a look at our beginner’s guide to turning any action into a keyboard shortcut with AutoHotkey.






Ben Color Capture Finds the Perfect Paint Color Match with iPhone Pics [Downloads]

iPhone only: How do you know if the color you want so much for your kitchen renovation is sea foam green or surf green? Let the Ben Color Capture App for iPhone help you figure it out.

Inspiration strikes at the strangest times. You’ll search for the perfect paint color for weeks, only to stumble across it splashed on the side of a city bus advertisement as you’re heading to lunch. Whip out your iPhone, snap a pic, then fire up the Ben app. Open up the picture you just took, tap anywhere on the image that displays the color you like, and the app will name the closest match available in a Benjamin Moore paint color. Alternatively, you can use a picture you’ve already got stored in your camera roll.

A store locator feature lets you know the nearest place that stocks Benjamin Moore paint, so you can run right over and grab some. Once you’ve settled on a paint color you like, the app also clues you in on what other colors will compliment your selection and keep you from making eye-burning choices like purple walls with fuchsia trim.

If you’re planning on doing some repainting, there’s really no reason not to grab this handy and free little app.






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