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Coder Myk Bilokonsky asked Twitter for things “that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.” The answers came from all over, and they range from life-altering to useless. Some are cold hard facts, some expert analyses, some are unfounded opinions. Here are the most interesting, shocking, and informative.

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Last year, we wrote about the troubling problem of Airbnb rentals with hidden cameras, spying on guests. (Back in April, a family even found a hidden camera live-streaming their stay at an Airbnb in Ireland.) But in our latest edition of Hack or Wack, we ask another important, related question: Would you willingly book a cheap hotel or Airbnb, knowing you’d be live-streaming your entire stay on YouTube?

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When it comes to web searching, the privacy-conscious among us have probably already heard of DuckDuckGo. This week Fast Company wrote about an alternative to the search engine called Startpage, which if you’re a DuckDuckGo user is worth a look as well.

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Medium, the blog platform/publisher that once wanted to revolutionize online media, has put its content behind a $5/month paywall. After a couple of free articles per month, you can’t read anything else without paying up. Unless you use Twitter.

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A big part of being a kid is building things, deconstructing things and, in general, discovering how things work—that’s why we buy those starter science experiment kits and toy microscopes to encourage their curiosity. But it’s easy to run out of ideas to keep them interested in science, especially as they get older. Luckily for parents, Scientific American has for years been developing an archive of hundreds of science experiments for kids ages 6-12 to conduct with their parents.

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At some point, we got into the habit of exclusively binge-watching shows at our house. While we do keep up with a handful of series as they’re airing, for the most part, we end up picking a show that has four or five seasons already available and then watching a few episodes each night until we’re done.

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The design site Dimensions.Guide is a clip art library for designers, architects, and anyone else who needs precise scale drawings. Every scale drawing in its database is composed in the same clean line-art style. Drawings include sports equipment, cars, furniture, people (in various poses and sizes), computers and phones, plants and animals, room and landscape layouts, and even Marvel characters. And it’s all free to use in your own projects.

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According to multiple reports, Netflix is testing a new pop-out player for those who use Netflix’s website to stream their favorite shows. While I tend to only use Netflix’s apps, there’s something elegant about this new approach—if you have access to the feature, clicking a little button on Netflix’s player will launch it in a separate floating window. This window sits on top of anything else you’re doing on your computer, which means it’s the perfect way to distract yourself when you have eight hours of joyful spreadsheets awaiting you at work.

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The earth has been warming for decades, but year-to-year changes are hard to watch in real time. Was this winter really less snowy than usual? Now there’s a handy way to see how your area’s average yearly temperature has varied over time.

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In March, the mountains of Lake Elsinore, California experienced its annual bloom of fiery-orange poppies—and Instagram users flocked there, cameras and smartphones in hand, and fucked it all up.

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iOS: If you’ve ever taken an R-rated picture on your phone, odds are good that you know it exists somewhere in your photo library. I’m pretty forgetful, but I know I’d remember that fact. I mean, there’s the setup process—lighting is important!—the fact that you have to at least partially undress, the multitude of photos you’ll take before you settle on the one perfect one, the knowledge that you’re probably sending this to someone (and might regret that fact later), etc.

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We love the convenience and feature-rich nature of the apps and products big corporations can offer you, but we’re also proponents of personal autonomy and control over your online experience. However, it’s one thing to just turn your back on the big corporations; it’s another to do so mindfully and ethically.

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When you want to make a good impression in a cover letter or written submission, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover later that you left out a word in the very first sentence. Our brains don’t always catch simple mistakes, so it can’t hurt to enlist a little digital help as well.

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Google announced Monday that it’s launching a beta for a new Android feature called Live Transcribe, which can accurately create written captions from speech on the fly. It’s an accessibility-focused project made to help people with hearing loss communicate without making special arrangements or purchasing expensive equipment.
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Art, as we all know, is about following a set number of rules handed to you by another person. In the latest New York Magazine cover story, art critic Jerry Saltz lists 33 steps to becoming a great artist, and what’s interesting is how many don’ts he’s willing to hand out. His refreshingly specific tips are all, at some level, optional. And that is why they’re useful, if you’re trying to be more creative.
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You should listen to more than one history podcast. But if you’ve got to pick just one, pick In Our Time, the venerable BBC radio show and podcast that covers a different topic each episode. It’s your best opportunity to learn a little bit about a lot of things. And it’s the best way to figure out what parts of history really interest you, for further learning.
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