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Three Tip Thursday: 02/02/17

Today’s T3 includes tips for searching for Gmail messages, a blue-light reduction app, and how to watch the Big Game without cable.

1. Gmail Search Filters

I learned a new piece of tech slang today: bacn. It’s pronounced “bacon” and it refers to emails that are better than spam but not ones you necessarily read as soon as they arrive. So they might be email newsletters, sales announcements, service updates, and other types of messages that you do want to receive, but aren’t high priority. According to this NPR article, the term has been around since at least 2007, but it’s the first time I ever heard of it.

It came up when a friend tweeted out a request on how to do something and another friend responded using the term. What the first friend wanted to do was delete emails in Gmail from a newsletter that were unread and had come in more than 24 hours ago. Because unlike Outlook and some other email clients, Gmail doesn’t let you sort emails based on sender or subject line, which would make it very easy to bulk delete them.

You might think the more important question is why do people keep using Gmail 🙂 but since they do, here’s the answer to the question. You need to create enter a query into the search box like this:

older_than:1d label:unread from:”[ENTER SENDER NAME HERE]”

Once you’ve got the filtered results, you can bulk delete the messages (or move them or add labels, etc.)


  • You can use “d” for day, “m” for month, or “y” for year for those timeframes, but not “w” for week for some reason.
  • If you click the down arrow in the search box, you’ll see more options for filtering your messages.

If this is a search you think you’ll run often, there are two ways to save it. The first is simply to bookmark the URL in your browser, because the search parameters are added to it. The second is to go to Settings > Labs and scroll down to the feature called Quick Links. When you enable that, you’ll get a new Quick Links box in the left-hand column where you can the current view.

NOTE: You won’t see the Quick Links box unless you click the three dots at the bottom of the column.

2. Reader App Rec: Twilight

Thanks to T4L reader Marlene for submitting her favorite app, Twilight, to the January Reader Poll Contest. Also, congratulations to Marlene, whose name was drawn to win the $25 Amazon gift card!

Twilight is an app for Android mobile devices that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness to reduce the amount of blue light being emitted in the evening. Blue light has been shown to make it more difficult for people to get a good night’s sleep.

NOTE: I don’t use the app myself, but when I was researching it I found references to it damaging certain kinds of screens, known as AMOLED. The company that makes the app says they’ve been testing on AMOLED screens for years without a problem, but before installing the app, make sure you do your due diligence (which of course you should do before installing any app. 🙂

P.S. New reader poll contest coming soon… Stay tuned!

3. Streaming the Super Bowl

In case you missed this week’s Luddite Lounge podcast (transcript here), Fox will be streaming the Super Bowl through its FOX Sports GO app for free, without requiring cable/satellite authentication. The app is available for the Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast as well as iOS, Android, and Fire mobile devices. You can also watch it on the FOX Sports website.

This Wired article lists even more options for watching the game without cable if none of the above work for you:

How to watch the Super Bowl without cable

Enjoy the game!

You may also be interested in:

Stop the Email Threading Madness

Streaming Media: News, Views, and How-Tos

Elizabeth Kricfalusi

View Comments

  • Regarding the blue light filter app on Android, I need to mention that there is something similar for Windows 10 Desktop/Laptop devices called Night Light. You should check it out. Super useful.

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