Monday, August 31, 2009

“Improve Firefox performance and Increase Browsing speed with SpeedyFox” plus 1 more | Blogsolute

“Improve Firefox performance and Increase Browsing speed with SpeedyFox” plus 1 more | Blogsolute

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Improve Firefox performance and Increase Browsing speed with SpeedyFox

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 09:57 AM PDT

Firefox is a versatile and popular browsser, we all know that performance is not one of its strengths, and that with the passage of time takes longer to start, it hangs more often responds more slowly, and so on. To solve this we now have SpeedyFox, which will make the Mozilla browser feel as if  it is newly installed.

What makes SpeedyFox is to solve the problem by fragmentation of firefox databases, compacting files. Automatically recognizes the profile used by default, but you can compact the rest of the profiles. Obviously, to carry out the compaction we should close the browser. Especially the starting time, according to developers that can be reduced by up to 66%. It also makes browsing history and cookie management faster.



The optimization process can take time based on your data available with Firefox. The whole optimization process is safe as it does not effect your history, bookmarks, passwords, etc.

SpeedyFox works only on Windows, but its creators promise pathways launch Firefox versions for Mac and Firefox Portable. Thanks NirmalTV

Download SpeedyFox

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Glamorous LG 15 inch AM-OLED TV Preview

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 09:01 AM PDT

LG has announced the glorious OLED 15″ inch TV and Reuters have confirmed that it will be available commercially in November this year. The manufacturer will officially launch at IFA next week and hopes to put on sale in Korea this November (the rest of the world will see it next year i.e 2010)

LG 15 inch AM OLED TV

LG 15 inch AM OLED TV

With a thickness of 3.2 mm, when viewed in side simulates the design of a folded piece of paper fold. AM OLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) TVs are still expensive, but this display technology has some great advantages. There is no need for backlight as the OLED elements light up itself. There is no need for backlight as light up the OLED elements itself. The OLED displays use much less power, but still provide better contrast and response time than LCD. The OLED displays use much less power, but still Provide better contrast and response time than LCD.

Of course, an OLED TV still suffers from quite a paste, including a price too high compared to competitors that use other technologies such as LCD and a size too small for the hall. With 15 inches is presented as an option to install in the bedroom or kitchen, but rarely as main TV.

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Cool Websites and Tools [August 30]

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 06:01 PM PDT

cool websites Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE (or come with a decent free account option). No trials or buy-to-use craplets. For more cool websites and web app reviews subscribe to MakeUseOf Directory.


(1) AudioPal – This online utility lets you quickly record embeddable audios and add them to your website. The audios can be customized to auto-play on each page load or every new visitor. Read more: AudioPal – Record Audio Alerts for Your Website

(2) ReloadBench – For everyone who likes to play around with darts or guns to shoot at targets ReloadBench offers a big collection of free printable targets. The targets are free to download with most available in PDF format. Simply choose the one you like most and download it to your computer. Read more: ReloadBench – Free Printable Targets

(3) ShowRSS – Great resource which provides bittorrent RSS feeds for popular TV shows. The site is free to use and lets to subscribe to as many show as you like. There is a big collection latest shows to choose from. You can search for shows and check out popular or recent additions. Read more: ShowRSS – Get BitTorrent RSS Feeds For TV Shows

(4) Biographicon – If you intend to find someone's biography online, Wikipedia would pop up the information quickly if he is a known figure. However, not everyone can get an about page on this site due to their notability requirement. So where do people like you and I go ? Answer – The Biographicon. It's a site where you can easily create and edit your own biography or someone's autobiography. Read more: Biographicon – Create a Biography Page Online

(5) FanFeedr – New site for sports lovers. It aggregates all the relevant information about a particular sport on one page.You can search for your favorite teams or players, add comments, email stuff, follow and become a fan of teams and players, check out what they are saying on Twitter and access the site through free iPhone app. Read more: FanFeedr – Personalized Sports News Aggregator

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These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

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Thank You To Our Friends

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 05:30 PM PDT

It's time to say thanks to our friends who often help us out with different projects and sometimes even offer their services at discount prices. Thank you guys!

    TrueKolor – Cheap Custom Logo and Banner Design

    TrueKolor - logo & banner design If you’re looking for a cheap, original and quality logo or banner, check out TrueKolor. We often contact these guys when we need a logo or a banner made, some of the stuff they did for us listed on their portfolio page. Highly recommended.

    Pair – Reliable Web Hosting - Affordable and Reliable We Hosting Finding the right hosting provider is VERY important. Along with choosing the right domain name it's the most important decision you have to make at the beginning. Here on MakeUseOf when someone asks for hosting advice we always recommend Pair. Speedy servers, excellent tech support, over 99.95% guaranteed uptime .

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ESL Tools & Practices For Better Writing In English As A Second Language

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 03:01 PM PDT

esl resourcesWriting in a foreign language (in this case, English) can be quite difficult, and mistakes are easy to make. These range from misspelled and missing words to grammatical errors and incorrect sentences. Sometimes you can make a mistake and not even know about it!

This post offers ESL tools and practices based on real life experience that will help significantly improve your written English.

On-the-fly misspelling correction

TinySpell is a little software that detects spelling errors as you type (compared to spellcheckers that requires you to manually check the text). It is a great addition to the built-in spellchecker in your text editor, since it allows you to correct misspelled words without taking your hands off the keyboard.

Another advantage is that it reduces the need to search for the right spelling of words that the built-in spellchecker couldn’t correct.

Are you using the right word?

But a spellchecker won’t tell you if you chose the right word and surely won’t help if you’re having a problem finding the right one to use.

For these cases you should download and install the WordWeb dictionary as an ESL tool. Use it to find synonyms or make sure the meaning of the word which you chose. For example, if you’re in doubt whether to use ‘then’ or ‘than’, you can check their definition within a single click, without even leaving the application you’re in.

esl tools

You can also use the online English-English dictionary YourDictionary as an ESL tool to learn the right way to use a word. Just search for that word and then click the ‘Sentence examples‘ tab. There you will find examples of use in sentences (see image below).

If you know the word in your native language but not in English, use an online dictionary such as WordReference to translate it. If your language does not show up in WordReference, use Google to find one in which it does and save it to your bookmarks for future use.

Find the right word in a given context & make sure the sentence is correct.

When you’re not sure if a sentence is correct, or can’t remember how a phrase goes, use Google as an ESL tool. Often it’s enough just to copy and paste the sentence or a part of into Google to get the rest of it or to see how others have written it differently.

For example, if you search for ‘it is not over until‘, the first results will tell you that the rest of the sentence is ‘until the fat lady sings” (see image below).

esl tools

When the sentence you’re writing isn’t that trivial, you have to be more specific for Google to help. Copy the sentence and paste it into Google enclosed in double quotation marks. The search will return only the exact sentence. If it shows up in high frequency, it is likely to assume that it is correct.

If you’re not sure about certain words within the sentence, replace them with an asterisk (*). That tells Google that ’something should be here, but I don’t know what’. The search results will contain variations of the sentence, from which you could learn the right way to write it.

For example, searching for this query: “paste it * google” (including the quotation marks) would have taught you to write “paste it into google” rather then “paste it to google”.

esl resources

Problematic sentences & paragraphs

You’re over with the spelling and missing words. But did you compose the sentences correctly? Did you choose the right words? The people over at UsingEnglish, the English language discussion forums, will be glad to help you.

Just write the sentence or paragraph you’re not sure about, and you’ll get an answer within a few minutes or hours. Another possibility is to ask Aardvark for an opinion about the sentence – it has been working great for me.

Full text grammar check

Spellchecker is an online spelling, grammar, and thesaurus checker. Having accomplished the previous steps, you will probably not need to use the spelling feature spellchker offers.

The grammar checking, on the other hand, is very useful and worth going through. It detects mistakes such as sentences that do not begin with a capital letter; correct grammar mistakes such as “to” vs. “too”, and warn you from being too wordy.

Find the unfindable mistakes

The final step is to use Google translate. The secret here is to use it in reverse. That is, take the finished text in English and translate it into your native language. This step takes a lot of time, and surely there is no need to apply it always, but I find it crucial for important texts, such as blog posts I publish.

Reading the text in your native language enables you to detect mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise detect. For example, no spelling or grammar checker would correct the sentence “it seams like a bed idea to fill out this from” (where “seams”, “bed”, and “from” should have been “seem”, bad” and “form”, respectively). You wouldn’t even know the mistakes are there to ask for help, but in the translated version this sentence would just not make any sense.

What are your tools and practices for better English?  Tell us in the comments.

Image Credits : Håkan Dahlström

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Top 3 Reasons Kazaa Lite English Is Better Than Kazaa

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 01:01 PM PDT

kazaa liteKazaa has been around for some time now as a way to share files with people on the internet. For me personally it replaced Napster as soon as that got in trouble with lawsuits and decided to stops its file and music sharing services.

Kazaa used its own sharing network and soon grew larger with many people sharing music, but also other kinds of files. But Kazaa got in legal trouble of its own. The company was sued by all kinds of different organizations around the world and users were also sued and fined, with rather high fines.

Eventually Kazaa decided to change their service. They went the way of Napster and started a paid service, where you pay a monthly fee to receive unlimited access to music. The problem is that you can only play them on three computers and no portable devices and since there is a digital rights management system involved, the music never really becomes yours and you’re reliant on the service being continued by them.

There is a spin-off called Kazaa Lite English which continues to operate in the same way Kazaa started out. This was also called K-lite ++ or Kazaa lite tools or Resurrection in some versions. An overview of programs can be found here.

Here are the top 3 reasons Kazaa Lite English is better than Kazaa.

1. No spyware or adware

First of all Kazaa was always suspected of containing all kinds of spyware and adware. This meant your computer got slow when it was installed, you received pop-ups from programs you didn’t install and your connection was used for other things than sharing files.

Even after the website displayed a “No spyware/adware” badge these problems remained present. Kazaa Lite English and its later versions don’t have this problem. They are spyware and adware free. It’s of course still important to be careful and take good care of your computer. Read this MakeUseOf article on how to keep your computer secure.

kazaa lite english

2. Improved download behavior

Kazaa had introduced a feature called “participation level“. This measured how much you uploaded compared to how much you downloaded. If you didn’t upload enough, your download speed would be throttled. Kazaa Lite strips this feature by always giving you the maximum participation level.

Another way of increasing download speed is by allowing you to download from more sources simultaneously and  having a better way of resuming downloads.

3. The same sharing network

Kazaa Lite still uses the same sharing network as Kazaa used to use, so there is no difference. By using this program you get all of the benefits without any of the drawbacks. A trusted site to download Kazaa Lite is my-k-lite. You should never pay for a version of Kazaa Lite or another version of Kazaa.

It has to be said there are nowhere near as many users in the Kazaa network active as there were some years ago. Many people have switched to other forms of filesharing. Good alternatives if you want to share music are Limewire and Ares.

A guide to using Limewire without getting a virus can be found here.

An article about a great client for the Ares network can be found here.

A good alternative for movies or other files is the Bittorrent network. An excellent guide about the different kinds of filesharing networks and methods has also recently been published on MakeUseOf here.

kazaa lite english

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4 Sites That Give You A Free Updated Proxy List

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 11:01 AM PDT

anonymous_spySo you say you can’t get on the open seas of the Internet at school/work/home? You’re concerned about men in black suits watching what you see? What you need, then, is a proxy server.

You connect directly to the proxy server and it connects you to the rest of the Internet, using its IP address. Simple, effective, but more and more hard to come by.

As groups continue to try to regulate your Internet usage, proxy servers are being shut down. This has the effect of pushing people back into the main lanes of the highway called the Internet. It’s so much easier to track your sheep if they are all in the same field.

Courtesy of

Let’s see what we can find for free proxy lists of proxy servers you can use.

Public Proxy Servers

publicproxyserversAround since 2002, PublicProxyServers is an independent, free service to allow you to find proxy servers for privacy and to circumvent browsing controls.

I think what makes this an excellent service is that they track the performance of each server on their free proxy list.

free proxy list

Poor performance, or slow download/upload speeds has been the biggest traditional complaint about using proxy servers. With Public Proxy Servers, this problem can be minimized.

On average, the proxies listed have response times of less than a second. Not good enough for you? Sort the list by access time! Want to appear that you’re coming from another country? Sort the list by country! You can sort the list by any of 7 criteria.

Probably my only complaint about this site is that they have plain text advertising that looks a lot like their regular content. Not much to complain about, I know.

Stay Invisible

stay_invisibleStay Invisible has more than just a free proxy list. It provides some tools to help you determine if your IP address is being effectively blocked.

According to Stay Invisible, there is a fault in Java that allows for your real IP address to be revealed, even if you are using a proxy. They also provide solutions for that problem.

free proxy list

You can find a traditional list of proxies here, with more information about each server, such as:

  • Originating Country
  • Anonymity Level
  • Form Submitting
  • URL Encoding
  • Referrer Hiding
  • Cookie Blocking
  • Script Blocking
  • SSL Access

These details may not seem that important to you, but it would be good for you to learn a bit more about each and what they could mean to you.

What I like best about Stay Invisible is that they have a list of other proxy lists! You can order that list by how many lists each list has added today, or in the last 7 days. This will help you find the freshest lists with more working proxies.


proxy anonymous list newCenturian is another site that offers much more than a free proxy list. With an appealing design and easy to use layout, this is a learning resource as well.

Centurian provides articles on different proxy-related subjects, scripts related to proxy usage, and a forum.

The list can be sorted by the criteria of how new it is on the list, country, or script used to provide the proxy server. The speed of the proxy servers is shown graphically with a bar, that represents its score out of 10 for speed.

Now, I don’t know how that score is calculated or exactly what it means in terms of performance, however it is a nice, simple way to see if a particular proxy is useful.

proxy anonymous list new

Anonymity Checker

proxy anonymous list newYet another site that lists proxy servers, but has a little twist that I think could be quite useful. Their list of servers comes with a ‘whois’ link for each server. This should help you to determine just who is running the proxy server.

Is it a university, business, or government?  Consider what each might have to gain for giving you ‘anonymity’. Nothing is free.

Things to Keep In Mind

Please keep in mind that just because you are using a proxy, does not mean you are guaranteed to be anonymous. Some proxy servers will track IP addresses that use them. Some offer no additional protection beyond being a proxy and your IP address can be accessed anyway.

Another thing to consider is this – how safe is a service that is being provided in order to ‘break the rules’? What if the server is being set up for a honey pot attack? That something is too sweet and easy to pass up, but then it becomes a trap.

So, my advice to you is to use these proxies with caution. Do some research and only use a proxy server when absolutely necessary.

Image Credit: Anonymous9000

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The 3 Best NFO File Readers To Open Those NFO Documents

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 07:01 AM PDT

nfo1An NFO file is a ReadMe on crack – it includes all the basic information about the downloaded movie, game or application, often with a nice ASCII text art finish.

Most people out there have already discovered that these files can be opened by Notepad or another text processing application. This ‘works’ in the most basic sense of the word, but it’s clumsy and pretty ugly – you’re missing out on a lot of the fun.

To really use NFO files to their full extent you’ll need an NFO File Reader or Viewer – an application specifically designed to deal with these files. Today we’ll take a look at three of the best free NFO File Readers (and one creator) on the software market.

ACiDView 6

ACiDView is currently one of – and in my personal opinion, the best NFO file reader out there. This free application is actually an all-around image viewer, with support for JPEG, GIF, and other popular image formats. It might not be the best image viewer you’ll encounter, but as an NFO viewer it easily beats its competitors because of all the extra functionalities.

Perhaps one of the most useful features is the browsing sidebar, which allows you to quickly select your NFO and other files. I’ve tried out several other NFO viewers in my technological past, and this is a feature you’ll start to miss fast.


You can also autoscroll the NFO files, view them fullscreen, and change the resolution and basic formatting options such as font type and colour palette.

For the real freaks, ACIDView can stream an NFO file to simulate the desired speed of a certain modem connection and slow down the animation accordingly.


DAMN NFO Viewer makes a good second to ACiDViewer. It’s not as graphically oriented as other applications, but instead more like a text viewer with ASCII support. As such, it’s got a tighter letter spacing and a reversed (or actually, ‘normal’ colour palette). This makes it a lot better for reading, but less ‘fun’ and good-looking for the ASCII (fear not, this can be fixed).


DAMN NFO Viewer supports NFO-, DIZ- and TXT files. It’s the basic package, without too much extra stuff – just read your NFO’s and optionally tweak your formatting a little bit.


Last but not least is NFOlux. This tiny application will both let you view or create NFO files. Although the viewer doesn’t stand up to big guys like ACIDViewer, it’s extremely rare and useful to have an NFO reader and creator in one – to my knowlege, this is the only application that does this.


The special features are to be found in the creation section. There’s an ‘auto generator’ that’ll create an NFO for you, based on some basic release information, with a Movie- and an Application template included. Custom characters can be added with the integrated characters palette and the click of a button.

NFOlux won’t do anything special in the reading department, but offers a few unique functions for creating NFOs – it’s the combination of these two applications that makes NFOlux a winning formula.

What NFO file reader application do you use? Something fancy, or haven’t you been able to leave Notepad yet? Let us and your fellow MakeUseOf readers know in the comments section below – we’d love to hear!

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Top 10 Sites For Online Coupons & Promotional Codes

Posted: 30 Aug 2009 05:01 AM PDT

If you’ve ever done some online shopping, you may notice it in your shopping cart or order summary during the checkout process. It’s a text box where you can apply an online coupon or promo code and, if valid, get a discount on whatever you’re purchasing. Good stuff, huh?

Plenty of websites offer these online coupons and promotions for online consumers to take advantage of. However, what if you don’t have one of those pesky little codes? There’s no need to worry about looking for where to find them or paying full price with this list. Here’s some websites that may help you save a little bit of money the next time you shop online simply by typing in a code.


Covering more than 30,000 online stores and currently offering over 150,000 online coupon codes, RetailMeNot is one of the best sites on the Web for the online shopper.

A strong community helps separates the good codes from the unreliable, so there’s no need to hassle through what works and what doesn’t. The ones retaining high success rates are your best bets.

Read more about RetailMeNot in the MakeUseOf Directory.


CurrentCodes offers tons of online coupon codes and is updated frequently. Its huge database covers hundreds of popular online stores and you can find the codes you’re looking for easily by browsing by merchant, alphabetically, or by category.

The website lists everything out plainly, providing the code, a short description of the offer, and the expiration date.


With thousands of active online coupons and deals available, CouponCabin is a great place to snag a discount online. According to the website, it searches consumer emails, forums, blogs, merchant sites, and newspapers for any coupon codes from online retailers.

Covering just about every store out there, CouponCabin has got a lot of publicity over the years and remains one of the best sites on the Web for getting a deal when shopping online. Be sure to try out searching for coupons locally by zip code and signing up for their weekly newsletter.


A vast supply of rebates and coupon codes to over 1,000 stores are at your fingertips on Ebates.

Sort through all of them by store, category, or what kind of deal is being offered, like codes for free shipping, money off, and free gifts. The cashback shopping website makes it simple.


Incorporating some 15,000 stores and over 100,000 coupon codes, WebbyPlanet is another great place to start saving.

The website’s online discount shopping directory allows users to search and shop for items at discounted prices.

In the MUO Directory, more information about WebbyPlanet is available.

Coupon Chief

With coupon codes for both products and services, you can potentially save a bundle by searching Coupon Chief.

Like RetailMeNot, the website invites its members to comment, rate, and validate the codes, so you won’t find any expired coupons here.

Coupon Chief will even pay you back. They’ll share 2% of revenue earned from purchases made with any online coupon you submit.

Learn more about the website in the MUO Directory.


Buxr is a social bargain hunting community. The website’s members share hot shopping deals, including those elusive coupon codes, and they’re all voted on by the community based on hotness.

New deals are found and posted everyday, making Buxr a unique but effective site to locate a good discount and save money.

Coupon Cowgirl

Coupon Cowgirl rounds up all the best coupon and promotional codes for its visitors.

Browse the website by store, category, and search for codes providing money off, percent off, or free shipping coupons on your online purchases.

Be sure to check out the site’s luxury brands and cowboy steals pages for more shopping deals.

Search for the best deals and coupon codes at The website’s members vote for the best ones, covering brand-name and recognizable merchants to lesser-known online stores.’s lengthy and well-written About Coupons page also provides readers with pretty much everything you need to know about coupons.


With coupon codes to most leading U.S. online stores, it’s just click and save with CouponSmarter.

The website claims to be the world’s largest coupon source, searching merchant sites for discount offers that can save you up to 30% or more on your online purchases.

Looking for more? MakeUseOf’s Directory of Apps has got the scoop on FatWallet, WoW-Coupons, Tjoos, and RatherBeShopping, four more great websites where you’ll find additional discount codes. We’ve also previously covered websites for grocery coupons, bargains, and saving money when shopping online.

Where do you go to save money when shopping on the Web? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit : Online Coupons

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