General

  1. Backblaze: The cheapest cloud backup solution I’ve found.
  2. One-Time Secret: Sharing passwords is tricky. Even if you share them over an encrypted channel, they may end up unencrypted on a device of the receiver. One-Time Secret alleviates that risk a bit. (H/t Chris.)
  3. Facebook: It has nice people in it. I understand them better than on VK. I’m also one of those people who don’t dislike whatever the latest design is. WhatsApp is probably pretty secure now. And I really enjoy React and PyTorch!
  4. Google: Great search engine, but I can also recommend some of their other tools, like Drive with all its document formats, Photos, Mail, Maps, Colab, etc. YouTube has a lot of cool climbing content. The calendar can be a bit wonky at times. Google Meet usually doesn’t let me in.
  5. EA Forum: Lots of good thoughts on effective altruism. (H/t Alex P.)
  6. Feedly: Sort of like Google Reader, except alive.
  7. Jitsi: Virtual meeting rooms that let you in!
  8. Kraken: Good for trading cryptocurrencies. (Note that I don’t know what this “Buy Crypto” button does, but it gives me worse conversion rates than normal trades on Kraken. H/t Tanja.)
  9. Static blog generators: Those are good for websites that are are read much more often than they change. Having unchanging content, but regenerating the same pages every time they’re requested, and then putting a few layers of caching in front seems like the sort of things evolution would come up with. We can do better! ^.^
  10. Domains for creating Google Docs: There are a number of domains that redirect such that they create new Google docs. E.g., you can open doc.new to create a new text document. (H/t Alfredo)

Linux, Mac OS, and Maybe Other Operating Systems Too But Who Knows

  1. Vivaldi (many OSs): A Chrome-based (or rather Chromium-based) browser with vertical tab bar! Browsers go from unusable to awesome once you add a vertical tab bar. Alternatively, you can turn your screen 90° and have all websites translated to a vertical script. Vivaldi also has a bunch of other features, but the vertical tab bar is what matters to me. Since it’s based on Chromium, you can use it with all the Chrome extensions.
  2. Magnet (Mac OS): A window manager for Mac OS. It’s like an 80/20 compromise between all the features of a tiling window manager (like XMonad) and compatibility with Mac OS. It saves me a lot of time, though I mostly just use it to maximize windows.
  3. Diodon (Linux), Flycut (Mac OS), CopyClip (Mac OS): Some of the most stable clipboard managers I’ve found. I can’t do without a clipboard manager, but a lot of them crash all the time. (H/t Jahlela for Flycut. I haven’t used it.)
  4. EasyRes (Mac OS): Retina screens support insane resolutions but I didn’t notice because I could never set it as high. With EasyRes, you can set resolutions higher than the ones the monitor preferences allow you to select. Suddenly there’s so much space! Especially recommended if stuff on screens usually looks ridiculously big to you while at the same time you can see the space between the pixels.
  5. Visual Studio Code (many OSs): Great for writing. Case in point: I’m writing this in VS Code.

Chrome, Vivaldi, and Maybe Firefox Too

  1. 1Password: A password manager. Please use one! Then you can use different random passwords for every website, and never reuse passwords anymore. Make encrypted backups from time to time just in case.
  2. Bitwarden: Another cheaper password manager. I use this one. Make encrypted backups from time to time just in case.
  3. Typio Form Recovery: A Chrome/Vivaldi extension that automatically backs up form input. Useful to recover long comments after a browser crash, a website malfunction, or after accidentally navigating away from the page.
  4. View Image: A Chrome/Vivaldi extension that reimplements the Google Images “View Image” and “Search by Image” buttons.
  5. I don’t care about cookies: Firefox and Chrome extension that hides annoying but legally required cookie warnings.
  6. Text Blaze: Similar to Auto Text Expander, but better maintained and adds the templates to the context menu.
  7. XPath Helper: Shows you an XPath for arbitrary elements on the page and (often more importantly) shows you the text content of the selected elements. Great for copying things from pages that would be too tedious to copy one by one.
  8. Event Merge: Visually merge duplicate events in Google Calendar.

Android and Maybe iOS

  1. Voice Aloud Reader (Android): It reads text to you. I went from visual reading at ~ 150 WPM up to listening at ~ 400 WPM. Effectively the difference is even greater because reading at a slow rate is so boring that I easily get distracted by my own thoughts and forget to pay attention to what I’m reading. The UI is terrible, but it extracts PDFs better than other tools like Speechify (which wins in terms of UI). It also crashes more rarely.
  2. Save my Time (Android): A time tracking app that asks you periodically what you’ve been up to when you unlock your phone. I’ve tried a dozen or so time-tracking apps (after reviewing almost a hundred), and this one has worked best for me.
  3. CamScanner (Android, iOS): Makes scanners obsolete. I think at one point they got banned from Play Store because they installed a backdoor on the phone to display some ads. The app is back in the store, so I hope that’s no longer the case.
  4. PowerDirector (Android): The best Android app I’ve found so far for video editing on the phone.

Lifehacks

  1. Use two-factor authentication but make sure you can restore your access to your accounts if you lose your phone, it’s stolen, or you sell it.
  2. Automate your backups.
  3. Also back up your Google Takeouts, social media data, password manager (but encrypted), etc.
  4. You can turn broken slats of your bed into hangboards for finger training.
  5. Keep as much money as possible in a well-diversified portfolio that matches your investment horizon.
  6. Take a bunch of experimental longevity drugs and adjust your investment horizon accordingly.
  7. Have close friends with opposite opinions on things who (the friends) can argue for them well.
  8. Use parentheticals to resolve referential ambiguity Infinite Jest style.
  9. Do all the effective altruism things, because what’s the point otherwise.

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