How can I get sand out of my camera?

Depends where the sand is in the camera. The safest bet is to send the camera to the manufacturers service center to be taken care of otherwise you run the risk of doing damage to your camera. This is particularly true if sand is in the camera itself. Trying to remove the sand yourself could result in a scratched mirror or sensor if an SLR. If a lens then a damp cloth and wiping down the exterior of the barrel is fine. Otherwise to get sand off the front or rear element of a lens use an air blower.

If the camera matters to you then its best to let the manufacturers service center take care of removing the sand.

How do you prevent autoplay when linking to a YouTube video?

The only way I know is this:
Let's say you want to send someone a link like this

You need to modify the link this way…
(get rid of watch? and transform = after v into /).

It's not perfect: it doesn't really open in the video's youtube page, but instead it links to the video in a full window.

How can I decelerate the growth of my facial hair?

Besides castration and estrogen pills or injections, there is nothing you can do. Your hair growth rate and thickness is due to your testosterone levels and nothing else, and you do not want to mess with your hormones unless you seek a sex change. If you feel your time is wasted, buy a better razor or practice better time management, else take comfort in the fact that somewhere, out there, a guy with a patchy and slow-growing beard envies you. [In fact, their Quora questions are probably listed to the right.]

How can I find excellent J2EE developers in the Chicago-Land area?

Tim Yandel is one of the more integrated technical recruiters in the country, who runs an office based out of Chicago. He is submerged in the technical community, utilizes social media, and has an altruistic approach to the business.

How do you remove product features that people aren't using?

This is really hard. 

Couple of suggestions:

  • Bury It First: Reduces usage to the point where it will make it less painful to eliminate.  Netflix tried removing a feature and customers complained so loudly they brought it back and buried it — see here for full details…
  • Throttle Them: Limit the capabilities of the product.  Many years ago HotJobs had a job listing product that recruiters abused by refreshing the job nearly everyday to make it appear like the job was in fact new today.  This boosted the relevancy of the job. Rather than completely eliminate this product we initially throttled the number of times the recruiter could perform the refresh action and made it transparent to the jobseeker that the job listing had only been refreshed.
  • Take it On Chin:  If a small % of users are holding you back from innovating on behalf of a much larger % of users, kill the feature, communicate it and move forward.  Some innovative sites like Digg fell prey to a very vocal set of users who demanded the product not evolve.
  • Replace it With Something Else: When Facebook App Notifications were eliminated, they provided other ways to connect with users….  (Nowhere near the same level of distribution but some alternatives…I hear the moans from Facebook App Developers)

How do I make DVD playback using DVD Player on my Mac translucent so that I can work behind the video while still watching the video?

DVD Player I don't think can do this, VLC for Mac can. Under Video select "Float on Top" and under "Extended Controls" change your opacity to fit.

How do you learn to develop iOS apps?

Developing for the iPhone is a little different than picking up any other environment because it usually entails both learning a new language, a new SDK and a totally new environment. I say usually because most developers don't have Mac Development experience.

  • Start with a Book. I usually recommend 'jumping' into new environments but iOS development can be so overwhelming at times that I recommend starting this one with a book. One book I've found well suited for the task is "Beginning iPhone Development", here's the link:…. It takes you through all the necessary evil, lays out things in a nice fashion and at an adequate pace and leaves you with a comfortable feeling whenever you move up the ladder.
  • Avoid Online-Content when starting. I recommend avoiding online content for a while, at least until you've developed a basic understanding of all the moving parts. The reason is that there's so much content out there that its easy to drown and feel lost.
  • Understand the Basics. Make sure you get that value out of the book. Spend some good valuable time understanding the building-blocks of an iOS app. Be it the various GUI elements, how events work, what can be done using the GUI Editor, some CoreGraphics and what requires OpenGL.
  • Understand Objective-C. There's another good resource for learning and understanding Obective-C, its called 'From C++ to Objective-C', here's the link:
  • Ecosystem. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the iPhone App Development Eco-System, think about what sort of App you want to develop and what resources/examples/people/success-stories/failure-stories are out there waiting for you to learn from.
  • Learning from Video. I haven't tried but many people recommend a course that was/is taught at Stanford University titled… "iPhone Application Development". Luckily enough its available in iTunes, search for "CS193P".