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The Distraction-Free Desktop

The Distraction-Free Desktop

It may look like just a wallpaper, but reader DeviousDog put some work into making sure that it had just the right tools at hand and that all of the tempting distractions of his computer were far away while he was trying to work or study. Here's how you can do the same thing.

DeviousDog submitted this desktop to our Desktop Showcase, which is all you have to do to get yours featured! Just post it to your Kinja blog—the one that came with your commenter account—and tag it "desktop showcase." We'll see it, look it over, and if we like it, we'll feature it! Now, to make your computer more like this, here's what you'll need:

These components go together to create a remarkably open and minimal desktop and taskbar that's highly functional when you need it, and out of the way and transparent when you don't need anything, leaving plenty of room to work or focus without distractions, whether you're a full-screen-er or a windowed worker. For more on each piece of this, and for tips on how to configure everything just right, hit the link below to DeviousDog's Kinja blog.

Do you have a good-looking, functional desktop of your own to show off? Share it with us! Post it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag Desktop Showcase or add it to our Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell Flickr pool. Screenshots must be at least at least 640x360 and please include information about what you used, links to your wallpaper, skins, and themes, and any other relevant details. If your awesome desktop catches our eye, you might get featured!

The Distraction Reducing Studious Desktop | DeviousDog

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career, jobs, motivation, popularish

These Occupations Could Offer the Most Satisfying Careers

These Occupations Could Offer the Most Satisfying Careers

We generally look for dream jobs that aren't overly stressful or pay really well, but there's another factor that should be considered: feeling like you make a difference. This list ranks over 200 different occupations not on how big the salary is, but on how meaningful these jobs feel to the people that work them.

If you're just starting college, or looking to switch gears in your professional life, this list might be able to help. The list, from PayScale.com, is based on a massive survey and one question that everyone surveyed is asked: Do you feel like your job makes the world a better place? It only counted if they answered a resounding "yes." Here are the top five:

  • Pastoral Ministry: 93%
  • Nursing: 83%
  • Clinical Laboratory Science: 83%
  • Child Development: 80%
  • Athletic Training, Early Childhood Education, Sports Medicine, Medical Technology: 78%

That means that 93 percent of all pastors and ministers believe they are doing good in the world, which should come as no surprise. Take this list with a grain of salt, however. Whether your job has meaning or not is entirely up to you and your perspective. The lowest occupations on this list are artistic ventures, but that doesn't mean it it's not meaningful to you, or that you can't make a difference with what you do. If you're passionate about something and you think you can make a living doing it, there's no reason not to try.

One trend that's clearly visible, though, is that occupations that try to help people or children give those workers a high sense of purpose. So if you're looking to make a difference with your job, it can never hurt to start there. See the complete list at the link below.

Most and Least Meaningful College Majors | PayScale via Business Insider

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gif, popularish, television
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popularish

The Limefuel Rugged Keeps Your Gear Charged, Can Take a Beating

The Limefuel Rugged Keeps Your Gear Charged, Can Take a Beating

Battery packs are easy to come by, but what's a bit more difficult to find is a battery pack that'll keep your gear charged, charge it completely if it's low on battery, and still be sturdy and well-built enough to go with you anywhere—and we mean anywhere. The Limefuel Rugged fits the bill perfectly. Here's why.

Make no mistake, we have some favorite battery packs, and we're fans of Limefuel's (formerly Limeade) other models too, but the Limefuel Rugged (aka the L150XR) is in a class of its own. They sent one over to us to try out, and it's one of the best battery packs I've ever used. It's one of the few I've tried that doesn't just pump out enough juice to keep your devices running, it's enough to actually charge them to full battery. Plus, it seems like it just keeps going and going—and that's a good feeling to get out of your battery pack.

The Limefuel Rugged comes in two flavors—the 15,000 mAh model that we tested, which will set you back $85 at Amazon, and a smaller, 10,400 mAh version for $65. Both versions are the same size: 5.5" long x 3.3" wide x 1" deep, making it just a bit much for most pockets, but perfect for a go bag, everyday carry, briefcase, or backpack. It weighs 13 ounces, so while it has some heft, it's not heavy or bulky. It even comes with a ripstop nylon strap and carabiner that goes into the slot at the bottom of the battery pack so you can attach it to or secure it inside of your backpack.

The Rugged features two, 5V/2.4A charging ports (total 5V/4.2A, meaning plugging in two devices doesn't halve your charge rate), so you can plug in a pair of power-hungry devices without worrying that they won't charge. It's also capable of charge passthrough, so you can charge the battery and power your devices at the same time. If the battery is charged, all the juice goes right to your device, which is really nice.

The Limefuel Rugged Keeps Your Gear Charged, Can Take a Beating

The charging cable that comes with the Rugged is also worth mentioning. It's flat and won't tangle, much like a SATA cable. It even has a rubber clasp on it, so you can coil it up and wrap the clasp around it to keep the cable neat. One end has a thin USB port that's narrow enough to slip into any spare port without competing for space with other used ones, and the microUSB side actually shares a charging adapter for Apple's Thunderbolt connector. If you need to charge a Thunderbolt device, leave the adapter on. If you're charging microUSB, just slide it out of the way of the microUSB port. You can see it in the photo above, but it's a nice touch. This way you don't need two cables to charge two different devices.

Build-wise, the Limefuel Rugged is IP66 certified (although immersion isn't recommended), so you don't need to worry about getting it wet. It's also shock and crush resistent. We kicked ours around a fair bit, and it barely picked up a scratch. The center of the chassis is a kind of translucent polycarbonate, and the power and charge indicator—which is normally dark—is touch sensitive. When you tap it, it'll light up and display how much charge is left in the battery. The edges of the case are made from solid, thick, textured rubber that's ridged on the sides for an easy grip. The charging ports are at the top, and are be protected by closing a snap-lock port cover. Suffice to say, the thing is built like a brick and will take more punishment than you'll probably put it through, but it still looks great and isn't super-heavy.

The Limefuel Rugged Keeps Your Gear Charged, Can Take a Beating

There isn't' a lot to dislike about the Rugged, actually. It can take a long time to charge (which we can't really ding it for, since the battery's capacity is large and it takes forever to discharge), but that's about it. The Thunderbolt connector on the convertible cable pops off sometimes, so you may need to keep an eye on that. It's a little on the big side—I could fit it in my pocket easily, but it's just a touch heavy enough that you probably wouldn't want to keep it in there and just run the cable out from your pocket. A jacket pocket, sure, but a pants pocket might be a bit much. It only has two output ports (unlike even other Limefuels, like the Blast, which has four high-speed ports). Still, I never found myself needing to plug in more than two devices at a time.

Over a few weeks of use, I regularly found myself packing a Rugged over other, even higher-capacity, battery packs just because my experience with the Rugged was better. Its build-quality was solid, and felt like something I could carry around safely. Since the Rugged actually charges the devices it's connected to, you can plug in a dying phone and come away with one that has way more juice than you left it with, which is a better proposition than just using your phone with the Rugged connected. If you ask us, that's a pretty big boon, and one that's definitely worth its price tag.

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google, popularish, reminders

Google Now Can Provide Countdowns to Major Holidays in Reminders

Google Now Can Provide Countdowns to Major Holidays in Reminders

At the moment, most of you are probably counting down to about twelve different holidays or events. Sorting through how much time you have is math you don't need right now. Google Now is making it a bit easier by giving you countdowns to holidays it recognizes.

As Android Police points out, if you create a reminder in Google Now, you will now get a handy little red label that tells you how many days you have left until the event. It doesn't seem to be tied in to your calendar, so custom events won't have their own label (or birthdays, sadly), but hopefully Google will expand it over time. It's also worth mentioning that, since you can see your reminders in Inbox, this is particularly handy.

In our tests, this didn't work on older versions of the Google (formerly Search) app. If you're still on an older version—anything pre-4.0, really—Android Police's sister site APK Mirror has downloads and instructions here. Unrooted users on KitKat or older may have trouble, but rooted users, or those running Lollipop can fix the incompatibility issues. Or you can wait til this version rolls out to everyone. Hopefully it won't be after the holidays.

Tip: Google Now Can Give You A Countdown To Some Events Based On Your Reminders | Android Police