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Entries from December 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010


How Should We Deal With Computers in Classrooms?

She might be distracting herself on Facebook during class, but could this be distracting everyone else too? Image courtesy of Flickr user Stars Alive and licensed under CC 2.0.

It seems like every year I've been in school, more and more laptops have found their way onto desks during class, and I've always been all for it.  Yes, I've occasionally ventured onto Facebook or Google Reader during a lecture's duller moments, but I figured if I wasn't distracting myself, I'd probably just space out anyway.  

The benefits to using a computer in class are numerous; you can look up unfamiliar phrases or references on the fly, most people can type faster than they can hand write, and you can use apps like Dropbox or Evernote to instantly back up your valuable notes.  A recent post over at Carolyn Blogs though has given me pause.  She points out that laptop users don't just risk distracting themselves, but everyone behind them as well.  Even something as innocuous as a screensaver can catch some attention from other students and possibly sidetrack their thoughts.  

Click to read more ...


Winter Roundup

Kinda wish it snowed like this in Texas. Photo courtesy of alicepopkorn. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.While we're all still on our winter breaks and not at all thinking about the next semester that will start in a few weeks, I'm going to link to a few articles for you readers to peruse in your ample free time. These articles will provide some interesting reading to keep your brains working over the break and give you some tips to think about using once the semester starts up again.

How to Get Things Done on an Airplane

Traveling this winter break? Take a look at this article to make yourself productive while on those trips to visit relatives you may or may not want to see. Also, keep this article in mind if you're ever traveling for school functions, like sports, that may keep you on the road during the school year.

The Top 40 iPhone Apps of 2010

My big/only Christmas gift this year was my beautiful iPhone. I feel very new to this whole new universe of smart phones, so luckily TechCrunch has written up a beautiful list of apps that I need to get right now.

Asus Teases New Transforming Hinged Notebook/Tablet Combi

These new transforming notebooks are a newly emerging trend, since Dell's Inspiron Duo is supposed to be launched sometime in the near future (check out my brief discussion about it here). I'm still undecided about what I think about these kinds of laptops, but they're kinda awesome to think about.

Beer Tech

For some reason this week, there was a lot of alcohol-related technology circulating around the tech blogs. I don't know why, but I don't really care if it's going to give us awesome articles like Beer Bots in the Dorm Room, iPhone Controlled Beer Canon, and the Perfect Shot Pourer.

Winter Hacks

Sometimes winter can be a pain in the ass. And I say that as a Texan, who hasn't seen more than three inches of snow. But for those of you who actually know what constitutes a real winter, there are some some tips to make winter a little more manageable. First, check out this article about snow proofing your bike. Then take a look at this article about these spiffy little things that let you use your touch screens without taking off your gloves.

[via Gizmodo, Lifehacker, TechCrunch, and Engadget]


TotalFinder Transforms Mac File Browsing

OS X's default file browser, Finder, is pretty nice, but certainly has room for improvement. While there are a number of replacement apps out there, TotalFinder is an excellent plug-in that adds functionality to Finder itself.

With TotalFinder installed, you'll be able to open new Finder tabs (a perfect remedy for window overload), switch to a handy dual pane mode, open a Finder window from anywhere with a keyboard shortcut, and more. After a few days of using it you'll wonder why these features weren't included by default with OS X.

TotalFinder offers a two week free trial, after which you'll need to pony up $15 of your Christmas money for a single license, or $30 for three. It's a little steep, but ultimately fair for something you might use dozens of times per day.


Twitter Contest: GoodReader for iPhone

A few months ago, Shep covered the goodness that is GoodReader for iOS. Just in time for the end of the year, we've got four copies of GoodReader for the iPhone to give away. The app normally costs $2.99, so this is the perfect little stocking stuffer for a tech-savvy friend or yourself. As the tweet says, simply @ reply us on Twitter with your favorite holiday hack by the end of Christmas day, and we'll pick the four winners. Good luck!


Last Minute Holiday Gifts

The holidays are fast approaching. Have you finished shopping? Photo courtesy of metaphoricalplatypus. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.

Exams are over. Papers are written. Projects have been turned in. However, another daunting task awaits us college students this December -- finding holiday gifts on a college budget. It's no easy thing to do but after a few Christmases in college, I hope I can offer you some solid advice on how to come up with some ideas for those hard-to-buy-for individuals. For starters, check out Gizmodo's awesome Gift Guide for 2010.

Parents and Other Close Family Members

Sure, it's usually pretty easy to buy for your best friends, siblings, and significant other, but sometimes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins pose a bit of a problem. You're not around during the year to see what would be a good addition to their life, since you're obviously busy making stellar grades in college. But there are a few things you can do or get that will make fairly satisfying gifts. 

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Take Flirting Online with Likealittle

 All of your classmates' flirts show up in this list. Let the guessing begin!

In case your campus missed out on's viral explosion during your finals, you should probably check it out once everyone gets back to school and the hormones start boiling raging.  The amusing service allows anybody to flirt anonymously from across the room.  You simply say where you are on campus, your target's hair color and gender, and a flirty message.  The publicly available flirts become an incredibly amusing Twitter-like list for all to enjoy.

The site hit 20 million page views in just six weeks, and was getting a million more each day (but I assume that has died down with the semester ending).  The viral growth here at Trinity was nothing short of amazing; a new message was popping up about every 30 seconds during finals studying nights, the vast majority of which were from the library.  Considering that my school only has about 2400 people, it was a stunning level of engagement. It could have been a finals week flash in the pan; we'll know a lot more in January, but it's definitely worth checking out your school's page when you get back.

By the way, they're also hiring interns.


Guest Post: Stuff Your Brain With Cramberry

Today's guest post comes from Kyle Dreger, a tech enthusiast and freshman at University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.  You can read more of his writing at his personal Tumblr.

Through the years, low-tech flashcards have remained one of the best ways to help you memorize facts, vocabulary, or pretty much any sort of information you need. However, many times the process of creating flashcards can be tedious - writing a hundred front and back cards is exhausting for anyone. If you've made flash cards before, you realize that keeping track of many sets is a pain as well. Once a hardcore flashcard user, I've tried almost every online flashcard creation site out there. They all have different strengths, but none really gave me the simple, yet robust, flashcard experience I was looking for on both the desktop and my mobile device. Then I met Cramberry

Click to read more ...


10 Ways to Use Evernote as a Student

My guest post on's blog just went up, and you might like it.  It's a top-level overview of how you can use the service as a student. 

Also check out our 11th reason to use Evernote: stress free moving to and from the dorms.