Don’t let the food stop moving

We’re all busy, so I’ll make this quick. In fact, I’ll jump right into the facts:

  • Because of the global economic downturn, both individuals and governments have dramatically reduced the amount they are willing to give. The World Food Program has only received $3.7 billion of the $6.7 billion they need to operate in 2009.
  • The WFP will run out of money to send aid workers to Chad by August 15th, and will have to stop flying food and aid workers to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea by the end of the month if it can’t raise $10 million (Reuters).
  • According to Mashable, tens of millions of people are using Twitter every month. My guess is that just about everyone who uses Twitter can give some amount of money — even if just a few dollars — to help keep the WFP active in Western Africa. (Those who can’t give can at least re-tweet in hopes of reaching those who can.)

The WFP was already forced to discontinue air service to Ivory Coast and Niger in February because of lack of funds. Let’s not let that happen again. If you have a few dollars you can spare:

  1. Go to the WFP’s website to see how you can help.
  2. Post this link on Twitter and get your followers involved. There’s no reason why this problem can’t be solved by the end of the week without any of us spending any more time or money than we’ll ever miss.

Thanks for your help!

How to use more than one computer

If you use more than one computer on a regular basis, here are five tips to make your life easier:

  1. Consider replacing desktop apps with web apps. Some desktop apps can’t be replaced (especially on Macs), but some can (especially on Windows). If you’re willing to sacrifice a few features and little performance, check out Writely (word processing), meebo (instant messaging), Num Sum (spreadsheets), Backpack (to-dos, notes, photos, files), Bloglines (RSS aggregation), and Yahoo! Mail or Gmail. What do we still need? A good calendar application (actually, personal information management in general), HTML WYSIWYG editor, and a good cross-platform, streaming music solution.
  2. Move your bookmarks online. Use del.icio.us, the Firefox bookmark synchronizer plugin (needs to be updated for 1.5), or get a .Mac account to synchronize your bookmarks across Macs (Safari only).
  3. Move your files online. I’m actually not sure the best way to do this. I’m using a Mac these days, so .Mac is one solution. I tried using Xdrive when I was using Windows more often, and it was a complete disaster. Omnidrive seems to have potential, but I’ve never used it, and it’s still in beta.
  4. Move your music online with something like Rhapsody. Rhapsody is the first service like this I’ve tried, and it was great. Worth every penny. Until I started using a Mac again. Their Mac support doesn’t really even deserve to be called such. I don’t know of a good cross-platform solution except to just cary around a high-capacity MP3 player in your bag. If all you use are Macs, and you are usually on the same network, you can always just share your iTunes playlists.
  5. Work off a USB flash drive. If you need a lot of capacity, use a high-capacity compact flash card and a PCMCIA adapter, especially if you need your computer to be more easily mobile (a PCMCIA adapter sits flush with a laptop case while a USB flash drive obviously needs to be ejected and removed before your computer can be packed up.) For sensitive information that you’re afraid could get lost, create a small encrypted partition on the flash drive. I carry a Swissbit Victorinox USB flash drive everywhere I go. You can even run several applications directly off of flash drives like Firefox and Thunderbird.

Any other good suggestions?