Give simple, clever webapp #mom the phone number of that special someone who worries about you (e.g., your mom), connect it with your Foursquare account, and then tag any notification-worthy Foursquare check-in with #mom—say when you land at that far-flung airport. The service will place a call or send a text to your loved one letting her know you made it safely. Brilliant.
iOS 5: There are plenty of great jailbreak hacks to boost Notification Center's capabilities, but not much available for those who haven't jailbroken their iPhones. Launch Center bridges that gap by using a clever workaround to add handy app and settings shortcuts to your notification drawer. It works by providing a number of built-in, configurable shortcuts—such as launching a web site, turning on the LED light on your phone, and googling the contents of your clipboard—and scheduling them as alerts. When the alerts pop up, you can just tap them to initiate the shortcut immediately or grab them anytime in your notifications drawer.
When you engage any shortcut, it opens up Launch Center to handle the action, which can take a few seconds and isn't ideal. Of course, this is because Launch Center is required to operate this way due to restrictions in iOS 5. These sorts of shortcuts would certainly work better in a jailbroken environment, since they wouldn't have to be routed through an app, but if you don't want to jailbreak and have a dollar to spare, this app can offer some handy functionality with just a few taps.
Googler Daniel Russell knows how to find the answers to questions you can't get to with a simple Google query. In his weekly Search Research column, Russell issues a search challenge, then follows up later in the week with his solution—using whatever search technology and methodology fits the bill. This week's challenge: What was Art Thorpe's job?
Forgive me if I ask you another question about historic San Francisco. But I ran across this intriguing man in the mists of San Francisco history, and I can't pass up the chance to teach you another great search trick in the process.
Meet Arthur A. Thorpe. He lived in San Francisco at the turn of the century... the one before the last one. To make things easier for you, I'll even tell you he lived in SF in 1899.
We know he enjoyed several hobbies (I'll let you figure out one of them), had a pretty nice handlebar mustache, centrally parted hair, and had an occupation that was once common on the Bay, but is VERY rare these days.
Can you figure out what Art's job was during 1899?
And, for extra credit, can you estimate how many other people in San Francisco had that job as well?
When you post your answer, please include the URL where you found the answer, the search path you used to figure it out, and how long it took you to get to the secret!
I'm guessing that this is difficulty level 3. (This is on my informal Russellian scale where the max difficulty is 5. Level 1 is a simple 1-query search that takes less than 30 seconds, while a 5 is a full day's worth of work with many queries along the way.)
Daniel M. Russell studies the way people search and research—an anthropologist of search, if you will. You can read more from Russell on his SearchReSearch blog, and stay tuned for his weekly challenges (and answers) here on Lifehacker.
The new notifications in iOS 5 are great and unobtrusive, but sometimes they stick around in your status bar for a bit longer than you'd like. Whether or not you're wiping away an embarrassing text or it's simply covering up something on your screen, there's a simple way to dismiss the message immediately. All you have to do is swipe from the right to the left, on top of the message. You can't do it the other way around—it has to be from right to left. This will toss the message away like you're flicking it off your screen with your finger. (In a way, you kind of are.)
Check out the video above for a demonstration.
Dismiss Banner Notifications With A Swipe In iOS 5 Without Jailbreak | Addictive Tips
You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. Twitter's the best way to contact him, too.
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