TIME How-To

Here’s How to Build a Homemade Sled in 10 Minutes

Sledding
Sledding Scott Suriano—Getty Images/Flickr RF

Get out there and enjoy the snow this week

Snow will pelt the Northeast on Monday and Tuesday, with snowfall in the New York City metropolitan area potentially hitting record levels. Is it massively inconvenient? Yes. Dangerous? Possibly. Most fun you’ve had sledding since the blizzard of 2006? That’s up to you!

Once the snow stops falling, sledding is one of the best ways to get out there and enjoy all that fresh powder. But not everyone still has their childhood sled lying around, so instructables has a nifty guide for building your own out of a large garbage bag, a thick cardboard box, and duct tape.

The basic idea is to use the cardboard box to make a solid base, and then wrap it with a black garbage bag. Voila: you’ve got a seat, and insulation to reduce friction. Read the step-by-step guide here.

You could still pick up one of these beautiful, old-school wooden sleds. But it’s snowing right now! Make that homemade sled and get out there — and stay safe!

MORE: Here’s Who Decides if Your Flight Takes Off This Week

 

TIME How-To

Here’s What to Do When Your Computer Runs Out of Space

TIME.com stock photos Computer Mouse
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Photos, videos, and apps aren’t the only thing clogging up your hard drive

You’re cruising along the Internet, mouse in one hand, coffee in the other, and then — wham — like Wile E. Coyote hitting a brick wall, your computer has stopped you in your tracks. “Low Disk Space” reads the flag on your PC’s system tray. Or, if you’re on a Mac, you get the alarming alert window that says, “Your startup disk is almost full.”

“Because computers are so flexible now — from music and videos to pictures they’ve downloaded from their phone — there’s just a lot of sources of data that end up on your PC,” says Jamie McGuffie, president of Plymouth, Mich.-based EdgeRunner, which produces SpaceMonger, a great Windows-based tool for seeing how much space your files are taking up.

But before you need a program like his, there are several other steps you should take to put your hard drive on a diet.

Step 1: Empty Your Trash

This will seem like a no-brainer to most of the people reading this article, and that’s why it’s the first step. So, if you’ve forgotten to dump that overflowing bin in the corner of your screen, do so now. While it’s possible that you’ll can free up enough space to solve the problem, it’s unlikely to be the case. You got here out of years and gigabytes of neglect, and it’s going to take more than one click to fix the problem.

Step 2: Dump Your Download Folder

Whether you’re on a Mac or a PC, download folders are like their own special little episode of Hoarders. Remember that AOL Instant Messenger download, your resume from that job you applied for in 2007, and the photos your friend took from that concert you went to three summers ago? They are all in here, having a party that’s raging so hard that it’s wrecking your computer.

It’s time to kick some of these files to the curb. If you’re on a Mac, you’ll find your Download folder next to the Trash Bin in the Dock. If you’re on a PC, you can find it by navigating to c://users/username/appdata/local/temp. Sift through the files in there and toss the ones you no longer need into the trash. If you’re a frequent Internet user, you’ll be surprised at not only how many files are in there, but also by how much space you free up.

Step 3: Eliminate One-Time Files

McGuffie points to one-time files as a serious disk space offender for people looking to recover some real estate on their hard drive. “Files are bigger in general because people are using their PCs as multi-purpose tools, with graphics, video, and music files,” he says. “You can just leave things out there and forget about them, but there are some significant amounts of storage tied up there over time.”

While the Download folder is the chief offender in providing refuge for most of these files, you’ll find them all over your hard drive — especially in your media libraries. Videos you’ve taken with your phone but never looked at since, your salivating collection of dessert photos, and the music albums that are so last year — all these files are squatting in your hard drive, and it’s time to evict them.

But the worst of the worst are movie files, downloads of cinematic films that you bought (you did buy them, right?) online. Those can take up anywhere from one to five gigabytes each. And if you did actually buy those movies, there’s little reason to keep them on your computer, because all the major online media stores let you re-download your files after the initial purchase.

Step 4: Clean Up Your Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is a great tool for people to access their data no matter where they go. But if left unchecked, it can gobble up space in your computer’s hard drive like a cancer. “People forget that automatic backups are very big,” says McGuffie. “Things that are backed up by mobile devices and synced from the cloud take up a lot of space.”

But thinning out your backups and cloud storage can be a challenge. Start by going into the cloud storage and eliminating files you don’t need anymore — those files are also on your computer, and when you delete them from the web, the service will sync and remove them from your hard drive. It’s also a good idea to look for entirely duplicate cloud libraries on your computer. Sometimes, when services upgrade how they work, they leave behind libraries from versions past.

In addition—especially if you’re using an iPhone or iPad, go into iTunes, select Preferences, and look at the Devices tab. There you will find a listing of all the backups for your iDevice. Delete all but the most recent one. “It seems like every device is cross-syncing to every other device and that’s where you’re getting a lot of storage being consumed,” says McGuffie.

Step 5: Audit Your Entire Computer

This is where programs like SpaceMonger come in. This PC app, and its competitors WinDirStat and TreeSize, scan hard drives and allow users to look at their storage allocations in several different ways. Using a Treemap visual, users can quickly see what directories are taking up the most space on the drive, and drill down into those folders to even discover the individual files that are the culprits. These programs are great for finding far-flung files that are mucking up your machine, like the horde of email attachments from when you bought a home back in 2004.

On Macs, DaisyDisk also breaks down storage into an easy-to-browse, pie-chart like interface.

Step 6: Archive onto An External Drive

Once you’ve combed through the previous steps — and all your files — you’ll have a great idea of what’s hogging all the blankets on your computer. Though items like your photo and music libraries default to being stored on your computer’s internal hard drive, you can actually move these to external drives (at least on a Mac), giving the rest of your system the elbow room it needs to zip around like the Road Runner, not his unfortunate adversary.

TIME How-To

How To Get Your In-Ear Headphones to Fit Better

headphones
Getty Images

Try looping the cable that connects them behind your head and around the top of each ear

If your earphones are too loose or aren’t seated well in your ear, even the best in-ear headphones, or earphones, can sound awful. And if they’re too tight, they can quickly become uncomfortable. To get the most out of your earphones, follow these tips to getting the proper fit.

Size and material matter

The key to a proper earphone fit is using the right size ear tip. So try the various sizes of foam and silicon tips that come with your earphones. Foam tips are more forgiving for size differences, so they’re a good option for hard-to-fit ears.

For comfort and better fit, you can also buy specialized tips. Comply also makes a 3-pair foam variety pack that includes a pair of sound isolation tips, sport tips (without SweatGuard) and comfort tips in your choice of S, M or L for $14.95 on Comply.com. And Monster makes a 6-pair variety packs with extra-soft gel tips and foam tips in S, M and L for $17.71 on Amazon.com.

Also, one of your ears may be slightly larger than the other, so you may need to use a different size tip for each ear.

Seat the eartip firmly

To get the best sound, you need to seal your ear canal with the eartip. So simply pushing an eartip into your ear often isn’t enough to create a proper seal. Try gently pulling on the outer rim of your ear to ease the tip into a comfortable position. You should notice a drop in ambient noise when the tip is seated correctly. And when you’re listening to music, you’ll notice more range, especially bass.

Secure the tip for sports

Getting headphones for working out to fit well is particularly tricky. The constant pulling on the eartip as you move can loosen even well-inserted eartips.

Try looping the cable that connects them behind your head and around the top of each ear. For eartips that are angled to fit in the ear canal, place the side marked “L” in your right ear and the side marked “R” in your left ear. Some headphones, like those made by Shure, are designed to be worn this way, so check before swapping sides.

Make sure to use any stabilizers that may have come packed with the earphones. These plastic pieces basically wedge the eartip into place to keep it from wiggling as you move. You can also try a generic stabilizer, like the BudLocks Earphone Sport Grips ($14.95 on Amazon). And for Apple Earpods, there are Earbudi Clips ear hooks ($9.99 on Amazon) you can attach to help them stay in place.

If your earphones come with eartips that have double or triple flanges, you may find they stay put better than the regular tips. And check to see if your earphones are compatible with Comply’s new Sport Plus tips ($12.95 on Comply.com) with SweatGuard that prevent slipping when you exercise and moisture from getting in your earphones.

You can also try anchoring the headphone cable to your shirt with a clothing clip so it doesn’t flop around as much. I like Bud Button, a magnetic cord holder ($11.99 on Amazon) that anchors your earphone cord to your shirt, or Sport Guppy ($12.99 at Amazon.com), a magnetic clip that also attaches to your shirt and holds excess cord.

Need a new pair of headphones? Check out our picks for great sports headphones under $50 and the best Bluetooth headphones.

This article originally appeared on Techlicious.

More from Techlicious:

TIME Gadgets

How To Boost Your Wi-Fi With a Range Extender

phone
Getty Images

Here's how to get your Wi-Fi network to finally cover your whole house

I love the Wi-Fi service available in my home. I have my laptop, my smartphone and my tablet hooked up to it so I can surf the web from anywhere in the house. Well, almost anywhere.

The Wi-Fi gear is installed towards the back of my place. The further I go towards the front of the house, the worse the signal. If I try to do much more than check email in my front room, it takes forever. Streaming YouTube or Netflix is out of the question.

Fortunately, this is why they make wireless Wi-Fi range extenders. These are small boxes that can extend the range of your Wi-Fi signal by boosting it and retransmitting it.

What to buy

When looking for a wireless Wi-Fi range extender of your own, you don’t need to buy from the same manufacturer as your Wi-Fi box (though it doesn’t hurt, either.) The features you are looking for are easy set up, matching frequency band (2.4 and/or 5Ghz) and a signal-strength indicator.

Two-button set up

If you aren’t especially tech-savvy, you’ll want to stay away from extenders that require you to fiddle around with their internal settings through a web browser. Watch out for any product that comes with a CD or software.

The easiest set up is if both your Wi-Fi box and the expander have WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). Pushing the WPS buttons on both your Wi-Fi box and your extender at the same time allows the systems to talk to each other and take care of the setup without you having to muck around with the settings.

Match the frequency

Is your Wi-Fi box running on a 2.4 or 5Ghz band? Make sure the extender matches. If you have a choice, boosting a 2.4Gz signal will go further, but boosting the short-range 5Ghz signal will be stronger. Dual-band extenders cover both.

Signal strength indicator

How do you know where to put your extender for the best signal boost? Too close to your Wi-Fi box and you won’t get the best coverage. Go too far and the weakened signal won’t do you any good. Look for extenders that give an indication of signal strength so you can find just the right spot.

Our recommendation

Netgear’s WN2500RP Dual Band Wi-Fi Range Extender ($54 on Amazon) has all the bells and whistles we covered here. We particularly like the LED lights that give you a great indicator of the signal strength.

That’s all there is to it. With a repeater in place, you can be streaming music in your garage or checking Facebook on the porch in no time. But what if an extender can’t get the Wi-Fi to the room you want? Then it’s time to consider a wired alternative.

Wired extender alternatives

1. If your home has been wired for cable, you may have a coax (cat 5) jack in your home’s Wi-Fi dead zone that you can use to extend your coverage. A coax adapter creates a wired connection from your router box to the are where you need coverage without having to run a cable.

It’s as simple as plugging one adapter into a coax jack next to your existing router and using an Ethernet cable to connect them. Then plug the second adapter into a coax jack in the area where you need Wi-Fi coverage and use an Ethernet cable to connect the adapter to the included, second Wi-Fi router. You should get the same speeds as your current W-Fi network and higher speeds than a Wi-Fi repeater will provide.

If this sounds like the option for you, we recommend the Actiontec Dual-Band Wireless Network Extender and Ethernet Over Coax Adapter Kit ($149.99 on Amazon).

2. A powerline adapter creates a wired connection from your router box to the room you need it without having to run a cable between the two areas. It does this by using the existing electrical system already built into your house.

It’s as simple as plugging one adapter into a power outlet next to your router and using an Ethernet cable to connect them. Then plug the second adapter into an electrical socket in the room where you need it and plug another Ethernet cable from that one into whatever computer, game console or smart TV requires an internet connection. Pair the two adapters by pressing the buttons on the front of them and you’re good to go.

A powerline adapter will likely provide a faster internet connection than a Wi-Fi repeater, though it will depend on how your house is wired. It’s ideal if you’re only trying to connect one device that has an ethernet port.

If this sounds like the option for you, we recommend the TP-LINK TL-PA4010KIT AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit ($40 on Amazon). It is small, powerful, secure and has an energy-saving mode. You can buy extra adapters if you want a signal in more than one room.

This article originally appeared on Techlicious.

More from Techlicious:

TIME How-To

You Asked: What Is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth
A Bluetooth logo is seen at the 2013 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker—Getty Images

Everything from PCs to headphones pack this wireless technology

You may not realize it, but Danish King Harald Blatant is something of a household name. The Danish ruler who held the throne from 958 to 986 A.D. was responsible for uniting Denmark and Norway. But you know him better as Bluetooth, the nickname his Viking friends had for him, and the moniker that was adopted by technology companies in the 1990s for a new wireless technology.

According to Errett Kroeter, senior director of marketing at Bluetooth SIG, a group of 25,000 companies that support the technology, Bluetooth was chosen as the name for the new tech because King Harald had been instrumental in uniting warring factions in parts of what is now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Likewise, Bluetooth technology was designed to help various gadgets such as computers, mobile phones, and accessories play nice with each other.

But at its core, Bluetooth is a radio signal engineered to jump around between 42 different channels, hundreds of times per second, making it less likely it would interfere with Wi-Fi networks or cordless phones. In addition, that frequency-hopping also helps to make Bluetooth connections very secure. On top of that, the technology has government-grade encryption baked into it, making it nearly impossible to hack.

To date, there have been four versions of Bluetooth. The original Bluetooth was primarily designed for streaming data, so you’ll find it in a lot of audio devices like streaming audio players, speakers, and wireless headphones. The newest version, Bluetooth 4.0 — also called Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth Smart — is much more power-efficient than its predecessors.

Devices that use Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate can run as long as a couple years on a tiny coin cell battery. Bluetooth Smart also excels at feeding data into applications located on smart phones, tablets, or PCs, which is why many new wearables, fitness devices and smart home products use it.

“Currently, it’s the thing that’s making the Internet of Things possible,” says Kroeter. So, in the future, when beam your fitness data from your band to your phone, or open your garage door with an app, don’t forget to thank King Harald for making all these once-warring gadget makers work together.

TIME How-To

Here’s How To Go Completely Paperless This Year

Paper bills
Man at home paying bills 678783—Getty Images

Turn over a new leaf and save some trees with these paper-saving tech tips

The first month of 2015 is quickly coming to a close, but if you’ve already tossed aside your New Year’s resolution of cutting back on paper, it’s not to late to grab it before it flies away. In fact, the time has never been better: your first bills of the year are starting to trickle in, and tax time is just about to begin.

These five tech-fueled tips can help you to organize your statements, wrangle your receipts, and electronically file your personal documents, so you can cut paper out of your daily routine, now and forever.

1. Batch-scan boxes of paperwork by mail: People drowning in paperwork will immediately point to their stacks of pulp as the biggest reason they couldn’t possibly go paper-free. That’s a poor excuse, because the Neat Concierge Scanning Service will convert 50 documents for $16 or up to 500 pages for $90, fees that even include shipping the documents in for processing and returning them to you (or shredding them).

The service will also make your documents fully-searchable, using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to help organize your files. There is one catch, however: To take advantage of Neat Concierge Scanning, you have to sign up for Neat’s $15-per-month premium cloud service. But it’s a good investment, considering that it protects your paper files in case something catastrophic happens to your home or computer.

2. Scan slips with your smartphone: With more than 1.2 million apps in Apple’s App Store, you can bet there’s a lot that turn your smartphone’s camera into a scanner. One of the newest ones, Evernote Scannable, makes it faster and easier than ever to save your paperwork from receipts to multiple page documents.

Business users will love the free iOS app’s ability to attach scans to appointments on their calendar, and high-powered networkers will adore its inspired LinkedIn integration. When you scan a person’s business card, it automatically finds their profile on the social network. So long, rolodex.

3. Digitize documents with—or without—your desktop: Document scanners are nothing new. In fact, many homes already have them on their multi-function printers. But while those machines may be Jacks of all paper trades, they aren’t the kings of capturing your documents.

Specialized scanners, like those made by Doxie, zip through your sheets, pairing great hardware with excellent software that your inkjet just doesn’t have. For instance, the $159 Doxie Go is a battery-charged scanner about the size of a paper towel tube that can collect your paper anywhere, and then upload it to your computer when you connect the two via USB. And the $229 Doxie Go Wi-Fi does all that minus the cables, sending your scans over a wireless Internet connection, even to a smartphone app.

4. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s digitally: Faxing is the digital equivalent of a sundial in 2015 — while it works, there are a lot of easier ways to send a document.

One of the coolest features of Mac OS Yosemite is how you can edit PDFs right in the Mail app, even signing your name on the dotted line with your touchpad. But for a more secure and legally-binding solution, Docusign offers a cross-platform solution that lets people scan their signature onto a page, sign with their finger on a touchscreen, or even use their fingerprint to okay a contract. However you sign, it sure beats the tree killing (and soul crushing) process of printing out your document, scrawling all over it, and scanning it back up.

5. Collect PDFs of your bills in an app: If 2014 was the year you finally converted to e-bills, this is about the time (tax season) you’ll realize that you now have to go hunt down all those PDFs. In the words of the great philosopher Homer (Simpson), “Can’t someone else do it?

Well, FileThis can. The free service (with paid premium offerings) will fetch bills every week, displaying them on great looking Android and iOS apps, and saving their fully searchable, encrypted data on an array of online storage services, like Amazon Cloud Drive, Box and Dropbox — or even just on your computer, if you’re old fashioned like that.

TIME How-To

5 Ways to Make Your Mac and iPhone Play Nice

Apple Unveils New iPad Models
The new 27 inch iMac with 5K Retina display is displayed during an Apple special event on October 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Copying from your computer and pasting to your iPhone? Yes, it can be done.

Apple’s newest desktop operating system, Yosemite, is all about making Macs link up with iPhones and iPads in new and exciting ways. And with tricks like answering your phone calls on your Macbook and springing open emails from your lock screen, this so-called Handoff technology is certainly intuitive.

But when it comes to interoperability between Apple’s computers and mobile devices, there are still simple functions that are lacking. These five workarounds will help your iPhone, iPad, and Mac work better together — some of which Apple itself hasn’t even thought of.

Here’s how to…

1. Listen to the stories you don’t have time to read.

There’s only so much time in a day, but there is also an endless cascade of things to read on the Internet. Capti allows Mac (and Windows) users to flag webpages for listening to, not reading, later on.

The free solution involves planting a bookmark in your web browser’s favorite bar, which you click on when you come across something you don’t have time to devour with your eyes. This saves the page to Capti’s service, which you can open with your iPhone, using the Capti Narrator app. With speed settings and five different English-speaking voices (I’m partial to “Moira” and her lovely Irish brogue), the app adeptly turns printed words into podcasts.

2. Copy from one device and paste in another.

When you’re working with a computer, tablet, and phone, copying information to the clipboard on one can give you a digital form of phantom limb syndrome on another. That’s because that text you thought you captured isn’t where you need it to be.

Command-C is a great solution for wirelessly sharing your text or images. Begin by purchasing the $3.99 app from the Mac App Store, and follow suit by grabbing its free iOS companion for your iPhone and/or iPad. With all your devices on the same Wi-Fi network, pair them together using the apps. Then, copy text or an image on one device, and click on either the ⌘C menu bar icon on the Mac, or open the Command-C app on your device, to select where you want to clipboard to go.

Voila, it automatically gets loaded into the destination’s clipboard. And because Command-C uses Wi-Fi, it’s fully encrypted, keeping your data safe from other machines on the same network.

3. Abbreviate frequently typed phrases on all your Apple devices.

When most people think of keyboard shortcuts on Macs, Command-S for Save or Command-Q for quit typically spring to mind. But Apple has another kind of keyboard shortcut, allowing you can program your Mac or iDevice to automatically expand abbreviations, kind of like how spellcheck keeps making you type “ducking” instead of… well, you know.

Just click on the keyboard icon in your Mac’s System Preferences panel and select the “Text” column. There, you can type out — for the last time — all your most cumbersome strings of characters. For instance, I use “addy” to roll out my street address and “tjp” to unfurl a “Thanks, jpp” at the end of my emails.

If you come up with more painful turns of phrase while on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings: General: Keyboard: Shortcuts to make additional abbreviations. And your codes work on all your machines, if you set up syncing via iCloud.

4. Turn your iPad into a second screen for your Mac.

A common sight in offices, dual monitors can be a huge productivity booster. But if you’re not a professional, or if you’re working on the road, a pair of monitors can be hard to come by. Duet Display is a $15 solution to a hundred-plus dollar problem, turning your iPad into an extra monitor.

Just download and run the free Mac OS app, purchase the iOS version from the App Store, and you’re in business. Built by former Apple engineers, the lag-free solution requires that you plug your iPad into your Mac, but gives you extra real estate in which to put an extra browser, email window, or YouTube video while you work.

5. Control all your devices with one (physical) keyboard.

Even though Apple brought third-party keyboards to iOS devices with its newest operating system, nothing beats the speed and accuracy of banging away on physical keys. The Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard lets you tickle the ivories on your Mac just like other keyboards, but with three different Bluetooth settings, you can also pair it to your iPhone and iPad for fast typing without having to hunt and peck on a touchscreen. At $49, the chiclet keyed peripheral is a no-brainer for anyone who has an iPad, iPhone and a computer, and that includes Windows users, because this keyboard works with PCs as well.

TIME How-To

How to Save Your Voicemails Forever

Voicemail
Oli Kellett—Getty Images

It's not as easy as it should be, but here's a quick primer

I’d bet good money that most voicemails never get played. Instead, they just sit there serving as extra “missed call” notifications, letting you know to call or text back whoever bothered to leave you the message in the first place.

But every once in a while, you get a really special voicemail. Maybe your partner called you early in the morning, knowing you were asleep, to leave a Happy Birthday recording for when you awoke. Or maybe a beloved family member recently passed away, and you have a voicemail from them that might’ve seemed pretty pointless at the time but now carries extra significance.

In those cases, you might like to save that voicemail somewhere other than your phone for safekeeping or sharing.

Most phones don’t make that as easy as it ought to be. Apple’s iPhone will back up voicemails to your computer along with everything else, but they’re stored in a funky file format that’s not easily played by most software. Most Android phones, meanwhile, store your voicemails on off-site servers.

So what should you do if you’ve got a voicemail that’s really worth saving? The solution involves some free software and an affordable purchase, but it’s doable. Here’s how:

1. Download Audacity, a free audio recording program for Windows and Mac.

2. After opening Audacity, navigate to Preferences -> Recording, then check “software playthrough.”

3. Use a male-to-male headphone cable (that is, one with connectors at both ends) to connect your phone to your computer’s “Line In” jack. That cable shouldn’t run you more than a few bucks. Note that some computers, particularly Macs, only have one audio port that serves as both input and output.

4. On Audacity’s main control panel, make sure “Line In” or “Built-In Input” is selected in the drop-down menu for the recording source, marked by a microphone icon. The source you pick should match the port you’re using to connect your iPhone or Android to your computer.

5. Hit “Record” on Audacity. Then, on your phone, play the voicemail you’d like to record. When your message is done, stop recording. If you want to get really fancy, you can use Audacity to chop off any dead air at the start or end of your recording.

6. Navigate to File -> Export Audio and save your voicemail on your computer as an .MP3. You should now be able to open the recorded voicemail in software like iTunes or Windows Media Player.

7. For extra security, back up your newly recorded voicemails to a storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive, both of which offer free space.

Read next: How to Stop Accidentally Closing Your Browser All the Time

TIME How-To

These Are the Best Times to Hail an Uber on New Year’s Eve

The Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer Weekends
Th Uber app hailing a car in New York on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Victor J. Blue—Bloomberg / Getty Images

Early birds and night owls can avoid surge pricing

Uber has released a handy guide to its New Year’s Eve surge pricing, showing when demand for rides tends to peak and when it bottoms out. The car hailing service anticipates a record-breaking surge in demand this New Year’s Eve, expecting up to 2 million rides within a 24-hour period.

Uber’s surge pricing, which can drastically increase the cost of getting a lift, kicks in automatically during times of high demand to incentivize more drivers to get on the road.

“On New Year’s Eve, everyone is looking for rides at exactly the same times,” Uber wrote in an official blog post. “We expect the highest demand—and fares—between 12:30 and 2:30 AM. For the most affordable rides, request right when the ball drops at midnight or wait until later for prices to return to normal.”

Uber also charted its expected demand over the course of nine hours, revealing sweet spots for early birds and night owls:

uber_NYE_2014_DemandGraphs_0000_1
Uber

The rest of the ridership can always consent to the fare hike and then rant about it on Twitter, in keeping with what’s become a veritable New Year’s tradition.

TIME How-To

5 Sites to Send Last Minute Christmas Cards

christmas card
Getty Images

...that don't look hastily slapped together

With Christmas just two days away and Hannukah wrapping up tomorrow evening, there’s still plenty of time to send a card to those loved ones who may have slipped your mind. Here are a couple of easy outs:

Cards That Give – Who could accuse you of not caring when your e-card includes a charitable donation? Cards That Give is a not-for-profit website that rolls up e-cards from charities in more than 40 states and 30 countries around the world. All of the proceeds go to a charity of your choosing—and the money adds up. A Detroit food bank, for instance, delivered 43.9 million pounds of food thanks to its holiday card drive.

Card Karma – Give your card a personal touch using this site’s multimedia-friendly card builder. Embed photos or videos from your phone or if you’re really pinched for time, lift a photo from Flickr’s creative commons. Add text and tinker with the background color and that’s it, the card is ready to email or share over social media.

Hipster Cards – As the name would suggest, these cards come with a heavy shellacking of holiday cheese. Many include Norman-Rockwell-style depictions of a Christmas evening with the ideal 1950’s family. Perfect for the sender who has an allergic reaction to sincerity.

Postcard.FM – For the sound buff in your family, upload a song or audio file, combine it with a photo, enter the email address, and off it goes like a singing telegram.

Red Stamp – The Red Stamp app makes assembling a card within the confines of a mobile phone a breeze. The cards have a clean, minimalist design and ample space for photos. Add up to four images on a single card.

 

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser