Wednesday, March 31, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [March 30th]” plus 8 more “Cool Websites and Tools [March 30th]” plus 8 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [March 30th]

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 08:31 PM PDT

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.

List Your Website Here! – Texting is hip, but not if you have a smart phone with all the features you ever dreamed of. is a free iPhone app that makes communicating with your friends easier by sending audio messages. Simple record one using your iPhone and then send it to a friend or group of friends. Read more: A Voice Messenger For The iPhone.


ShrinkTheWeb – If you are ever tasked to create several web screenshots, you probably know that compiling them can be tedious. Fortunately for us, ShrinkTheWeb's PagePix service is a handy tool that automates the process of creating thumbnail screenshots for convenient posting to your website. It has free and paid account options available. The free Basic account allows you to submit up to 5000 new screenshot requests and 250,000 screenshot fetches for websites. Read more: ShrinkTheWeb: Automatically Creates Web Screenshot Thumbnails..



CureTogether – is a health research website that can help you diagnose a medical condition or find an effective treatment using statistics inputted by other users. You can also use the website to track your progress when trying out specific treatments. Read more: CureTogether: Comparing, Tracking & Managing Your Health Online.



Twit2Tel – Social networking sites like Twitter are convenient and effective communication tools. However, messaging in Twitter doesn't quite capture the depth of a regular phone call. Twit2Tel is a Twitter-based app that integrates your account with your phone so that you can call your Twitter contacts or leave voicemail messages for free. Read more: Twit2Tel: Make Phone Calls To Ayone On Twitter.



Google Reader Play – Google Reader is one of the best apps around to read your RSS feeds and now Google is making it even more fun by introducing the Google Reader Play feature. The play feature lets you browse your RSS feeds visually so you can easily skim through them. Read more: Google Reader Play: Browse Your RSS Feeds Visually.


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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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Browse Top News Stories On Your iPhone/iTouch With Digg

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 06:31 PM PDT

Last week Digg rolled out their much anticipated application for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Since its release the Digg iPhone app has received hundreds of positive reviews from users. Wait, what's Digg?

For those of you who don't know, Digg is a community driven news website that allows its users to pick the top stories on the web by voting them up (digging them) or down (burying them). I'm sure you've probably seen those shiny yellow Digg buttons all over the web (feel free to click ours below!)

The Digg iPhone app was designed to allow you to browse Digg from the palm of your hand and contribute to the community on the go. You can discover interesting content, view stories by category, search for topics, share them on social networks, and save your favorites for later.

In this article I am going to go over some of the free app's features in depth and show you what the app looks like with screenshots. Get ready to Digg!

Browsing Top Stories

Just like Digg's website, the application allows for multiple ways to find the stories you're interested in. The main page on the Digg iPhone app shows you a list of the top stories on all of Digg. You can view how many diggs the story has right from this list.

If you click the little blue arrow next to a story you can also view how many comments the story has, favorite the story, or digg or bury it from there.

At the bottom of the screen you can switch from Top stories to Recent and Upcoming. You can also access your saved stories.

Searching Topics

At the top of the screen you can select a specific topic by clicking the Topics button, or you can search for your own. Topics to choose from include Technology, World & Business, Science, Gaming, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Sports, and Offbeat. If you're familiar with the site you will recognize these. You can click on a topic to be taken to a list of subtopics. This should help narrow down the scope of what you're looking for.

When you go to the search screen, a QWERTY keyboard pops up so you can type in your search criteria. Your results are displayed based on the keywords you've typed in and you can sort them by Best, Recent, and Diggs.

Preview & Browse Pages

So what do you do when you've finally found your content? You can click on a story and the app takes you to the story's preview page where you can see a summary of the article, who submitted it, when it was submitted, and what website it is linking to. You can view comments and related stories on this page, which I will discuss further below.

Clicking on the actual headline itself opens up your browser and takes you to the article. It keeps a bar on the top and bottom so you can return to the app seamlessly or digg, bury, or save the story.

Commenting & Sharing

Allowing users to comment on stories is one of the more popular features that Digg offers its users. On the preview screen, you can view either the top comments with the most diggs or all comments that have been left, as well as digg the comments you like or leave one yourself for others to see.

Clicking the arrow on the bottom right of the screen brings up a list of options that allow you to share the story via Twitter, Facebook, and Email. You can also Copy to Clipboard.


Personally, I am a huge fan of Digg. When this app came out I started using it right away. If you are a regular user of the website or like to get your news online, I'd recommend you download this app for your iPhone/iTouch. We're doing more and more on the go these days, and that includes getting our news as it happens.

You can find a demo of the app on YouTube here :

What do you think of this Digg iPhone app? Do you use Digg often? Leave your thoughts, comments, and ideas below!

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Kompozer – Free Web Design Software To Whip Together Webpages

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 04:31 PM PDT

While I love blogging, there are times when I just want to whip together a simple webpage straight out of HTML. Of course, there is a lot of basic HTML coding that you really don’t want to have to deal with over and over, such as creating tables, inserting images, creating forms and other common webpage components.

Sometimes it’s easier to make use of free web design software that can do all of that coding for you. In particular, I’d like to cover the free web authoring application called KompoZer. I like Kompozer because it’s a very small, lightweight application. While many people like the popular app Dreamweaver, it’s not free. And CoffeeCup is popular software too, but it’s a bit of a larger application than KompoZer. In the case of KompoZer, you could copy the files onto your memory stick and take it anywhere you want to go. Want to quickly whip up an HTML page, just launch the KomoZer executable and you’re good to go!

Free Web Design Software With Everything You Need

The first thing you’ll notice about KompoZer is that the user interface is very straightforward and easy to use. Everything is laid out on the main page, and what isn’t on the main page is well organized within the sub-menus for each object – like tables, forms and links. The entry screen is laid out into a site explorer pane and a composer pane, so your entire web design project stays well organized and within reach on one screen.

free web design software

Of course, KompoZer wouldn’t be useful if it wasn’t up to Web 2.0 standards, but with the CSS Stylesheets wizard, you can create the style rules for your headers, paragraphs, text and other elements of your page without any knowledge of CSS scripting (although a bit of knowledge would help). Just select the element type you want to configure and create the rules on the various tabs – text, background, borders, etc.

free web design software

For example, here I’m configuring all of my H3 headers to use the Arial font and medium font size. As you can see, the style configurations that you can make are detailed, and you don’t need to know a single lick of CSS code.

free web design software

If you’re writing a webpage that’s set up like a typical blog entry, where you have a header image with text wrapped around it on the right, then you’ll need an easy way to import that image into a local directory that your webpage can refer to, as well as a simple way to format and insert the image with that formatting. Kompozer makes this process about as easy as it could possibly be with a single image configuration section.

free web page design

When you browse to and select an image on your computer that you want to use in your webpage, it places a picture of that image in a local “Pictures” directory within the local folder that you’re working in (if you select to make the URL relative to page location). The screen has a field for alternative text, and even any popup “tooltip” that you’d like to include.

free web page design

My favorite part of the image insertion process in Kompozer is the fact that I don’t have top open up the picture in an image editor in order to resize the way I would like. Kompozer has a built in area (much like Wordpress) where you can simply set the width and height – and bast of all a “Constrain” option so that your image doesn’t get warped.

free web page design

The table wizard is insanely simple. While most web designers today focus on using CSS to format pages, tables still occasionally have a place when you want to quickly create in-page formatting. Once you’ve chosen the table type you want, configuring the table is a breeze on the table properties screen.

web design software

As a guy who has programmed some pretty complicated tables, I’m impressed by the ease with which you can just toss together a table with this software. Configure borders, alignment and other formatting choices in the tool and voila – your table is done! No complicated HTML code, and no trying to keep track of table, row and cell tags!

web design software

Forms are pretty simple to insert as well – but you’ll need to have an “action URL” that you can submit the form information to for processing. A form configuration wizard lets you choose from standard form elements – text fields, buttons, etc – in order to piece together your form on the page.

Once I finished creating my simple test page, the moment of truth for me was checking the code in the background. Doing so is as easy as selecting the “source” tab at the bottom of the screen.  One of the reasons I’ve always avoided using free (or paid) web design software is that I would always have to deal with a terrible mess of code on the back end whenever I wanted to “tweak” anything. If you’ve ever seen the junk that Microsoft Word creates when you “save as HTML” then you know what I mean. However, clicking on “source” revealed the following code.

web design software

The first thing I noticed is how wonderfully clean and well formatted the code is. Only the basic scripting is included that will accomplish the configuration choices you selected for each object. As you can see, there’s no confusing HTML with the img code or with the table – it’s what you’d expect if someone had gone in and typed it up themselves. The formatting is also laid out in a way that’s easy to read and simple to follow.

Want to quickly see what your new web page looks like? Just click the “Preview” button at the bottom of the page and you get a preview of what it will look like in the web browser. Here is my page with an image, simple headers and an invisible table that I used to format and align text, seemingly in the middle of empty space. The preview looked exactly as I laid out on the page in the design view, no alteration of spacing or weird indents – the sort of things I became accustomed to, and frustrated with, in the old versions of FrontPage (a nightmare web editor!)

All in all, I think I’ve fallen in love with Kompozer. There are times when I put together very fast and simple web pages for new domains that I start up, and this tool allows the speed and flexibility to create some well designed websites utilizing CSS in a fraction of the time it would take to put together the code by hand.

Do you use any free web design software? Have you ever tried Kompozer? Share your insight in the comments section below.

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3 Awesome Virtual Tours To Show You The World’s Sights

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 02:31 PM PDT

Life has certainly changed over the last 50 years, and among the greatest changes is the ability to travel to far away places with a click of a mouse.

I really love traveling, but don’t have nearly enough time or money to visit all of the world’s greatest places.

Virtual world tours are an awesome way to explore the greatest nooks and crannies of the earth.  Virtual tours are also an excellent way to teach children about the world or to help folks who can’t travel to see the sites.  The best collection of tours is located here.

But in case you don’t have time to view all 100 of those tours, I have picked the 3 virtual world tours that I think are worth a virtual passport.  I chose one from earth, one from space, and one from water.  Enjoy!

Goin’ To The Chapel….

Cathedrals 3D Tour

This tour takes you all over the world to see the greatest cathedrals.  The modeling is excellent, but you must be patient and allow the models to render.

Cathedrals 3D works within Google Earth, but everything is there for you to use with ease.

Each virtual world tour takes you to a different cathedral and offers a 3D realistic model of the structure.  Because it is an overlay, you can see what is around it in real time. The key is to make sure you click on the box next to “3D Buildings” in the layer toolbar of Google Earth.

Once you have the tour loaded properly, it works like a charm.  It pauses between stops automatically, and you can click on balloons to get more information about each located.

The detail of the 3D models are awesome!  You can click on the model and turn it around and explore it from different angles.

Because it is within Google Earth/Google Maps, you get a lot of information about the location, and that is really helpful if you are interested in the culture or history of a location.

Out Of This World

Arounder Moon

This is an awesome tour.  While it is not as complete as applications like Celestia, it offers very close imaging of the Earth’s moon.  NASA has provided panoramic tours of different locations, and, although the images are black and white, they are still incredible.

The detail of the moon rock is truly incredible.  When presented to my star gazing son, he wanted to know if the moon was black and white and without color or if the film was black and white.  While I don’t know the answer, I thought the question was pretty profound for an 8 year old.  This sort of imagery and virtual tourism helped him frame an intelligent question.  Awesome.

This is a close up shot from Apollo 17.  Again, the detail is fantastic.  If you spin around, you can see this shot…

A Whale Of A Tour

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Virtual Whale.

This seems like a silly sort of tour, but my kids love it.  Essentially, you are touring the whale’s exterior.  You simple move that little red box to zoom in.

The details are amazing.  You – literally – see every nook of this whale.  You get close enough to see the mouth and scars.  There is something incredible about looking directly into its eye.

The point of the tour is clear.  This may, indeed, be one of the last whales we will be able to see if commercial whale fishing isn’t stopped.

Which virtual world tours do you enjoy viewing?  Let us know all about them in the comments.

Image Credit: Caveman

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SenderOK – Email Productivity With An Outlook & Webmail Add-in

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 12:31 PM PDT

For those of us who live in the inbox, email management is a 24×7 job. The email inbox becomes not only the historian, who faithfully records our online social trips, but the inbox becomes the clearing house for all information that pours in. Wouldn't it be great if it could behave like a secretary we always wished we could have?

With a slew of free tools and add-ons, the email is heading that way. Maybe it won't flash a charming smile just yet, but there are some email assistants that can help us live a more charmed life and enjoy greater personal productivity. One such free email software is SenderOK.

SenderOK comes with a quiver full of features but the basic idea of the software is that it focuses on the more important emails. SenderOK tries to distinguish between the good emails and the not so good ones. Picking the good ones and putting them ahead in the queue speeds up email productivity.

Email productivity (or any other) is about prioritizing. SenderOK is that, but on auto-pilot. How? Let's see…

Taking A First Look At Our Email Assistant

SenderOK is a 9.52MB download and it is an add-in for Outlook (2003, 2007) and the browser (IE6+, FF2+). It is supported on Windows XP, Vista, and 7. After installation, a SenderOK user account has to be created. The SenderOK account is your calling card into the network of trusted senders.

On installation, the SenderOK Account Manager takes you through screens of a few configurations. One of the most important ones is where you give SenderOK the specific email accounts to handle:

email personal productivity

The last step in the installation step-by-step is where SenderOK indexes all the emails. The nice touch is, SenderOK gives a tour of the features while the indexing is on.

Taking a Second, Deeper Look At Our Email Assistant

  • The first look was really slick, nice and fast. The indexing can carry on in the background and if you don't want to view the introductory video, open up your Outlook. Here's how the layout changes to reflect the work of SenderOK's filtering.
  • email personal productivity

  • SenderOK filters the emails into three priority rated folders: VIP, Important, and Routine. Also, taking each single email, the priority can be changed on a case by case basic if you feel that SenderOK has got it wrong on the first try. This action re-sorts the individual email into the matching folder.
  • email personal productivity

  • SenderOK also helps you quickly identify senders thanks to the virtual business card displayed within the email message. The photo is plucked from Facebook and you can click the Facebook icon to take a look at the person's profile. Obviously, not all senders will have a Facebook profile and this social information available for display.
  • email productivity

  • The little info panel can be extended to a more detailed view with a click. What you get are all the emails you have exchanged with the sender and listed attachments if any. Mouseover any of the conversations and you can catch the email in a pop-out.
  • email productivity

  • SenderOK also 'rescues' email wrongly captured by spam filters and moves them from the spam folder back into the right folders. The accounts to act on can be specified during the installation.
  • email productivity

  • SenderOK notifies you of new email and its priority status with a little taskbar icon. This icon is on display even if Outlook or webmail is closed. The type of notification display (tray icon, ticker, or sound alert) can be changed by clicking the tray icon and choosing Configure SenderOK Settings. Click the tray icon to get a more detailed display of your mail status.
  • email management software

  • SenderOK lets you exchange virtual business cards with your contacts. SenderOK's Card Box is where you can create and manage your own cards as well as those of your contacts. It's also a searchable database of all your contacts with filter sets and tags.
  • email management software

Is SenderOK A Good Email Assistant?

SenderOK does a good job of sorting through the mail and arranging them according to priority. Though the brain behind the sorting is not mentioned, SenderOK also takes into account global classification of the emails. If users classify a particular sender as high priority, then it apparently helps to fine tune the email classification. What's helpful definitely is the grouping of the emails from a single sender in the info panel. Along with the photo, it speeds up email productivity.

The cons? I am not sure if webmail accounts also display virtual folders with sorted mails as in Outlook's Inbox. I couldn't get it to work and in all probability, there is this single distinction between webmail and Outlook. Though, webmail accounts display the priority for individual emails and any change in one gets reflected in all emails from that sender.

SenderOK can only get better at its job as we use it more. Just like a real assistant.

Will this software have your stamp of okay? Use it with Outlook and webmail and let us know.

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ComicRack – An Incredible Free eComic Reader [Windows]

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 11:31 AM PDT

Electronic books and magazines are no joke. Last Christmas alone, Amazon already sold more electronic issues than regular books.

International manga fans have long been known for downloading their stories online, but now regular comics are appearing online as well. With copyright expiring, some of the great classics can now be downloaded for free, legally.

Most of these comics and manga can be read on your computer with your native image viewer, but to really enjoy them, you’ll want to use special comic book reader software. You can find decent comic book readers for most devices, but none of them will fare as well as ComicRack does on Windows.


ComicRack describes itself as ‘the best eComic reader and manager for Windows computers’. Having tried it, I don’t dare to refute that claim. ComicRack doesn’t just look good, it is an all-purpose solution; the Swiss army knife of comic book apps. It’ll function as a comic reader, a library management application, and a conversion tool.

comic book reader

eComic Reader

The ComicRack reader supports the usual zip, rar, tar, 7z, pdf files, but also cbz, cbr, cbt, or cb7. These last four are essentially renamed archives of the first type, and are typical for eComics.

There are various reading modes. The one you see below, two page display, gives a real comic book view to it. For smaller displays, you can also view a single page at a time, or only part of a page with auto-scroll. I can picture a few Blake and Mortimer comics where that might be necessary.

comic book reader

Network Sharing must be one of the more exciting aspects of ComicRack. You can share your entire eComic library over your network, optionally passworded, and access it from another laptop or tablet wherever in reach. Other nifty features of this comic book reader includes a magnifying glass, auto-rotation for some tablet PCs, and even a special manga reading mode.

Library & Conversion

ComicRack is more than only a fine eComic reader, it allows you to organize and manage your soon all-encompassing library. Albeit digital, most collectors want to do more than just keep their comics within reach.

comic book reader

The library view – which can be opened simultaneously or in a different tab than the reader – offers you a shelf view of eComic thumbnails. You can find your way by launching a Quick Search, or creating a list or smartlist. The latter one allows you to sort on eComic information, like ‘author’, ’series’, ‘read’, and so on, essentially creating a more dynamic sort of sorting than general lists and folders.

ComicRack also allows you to convert between every supported format. Do you have a PDF that you want to turn into a cbz or cb7 eComic archive? Just give the command! The application also supports batch converting, allowing you to take a whole folder worth of comics at once. Back in the library view, you can even modify the color scheme for a single eComic.

Do you know any other great eComic reading or management solutions? Perhaps for Linux or Mac OS X? Let us know in the comments section below.

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How To Modify Your Wordpress Theme Via The Browser Using Stiqr

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 10:31 AM PDT

00_Stiqr_logo.jpgOrdinary self-hosted Wordpress users know only too well that even though choosing and using thousands of available themes is a snap, creating one is an almost impossible task. You could use one of the customizable themes to modify the look to your liking, but that’s as far as you can go. Theme creating is not for the faint-hearted who are afraid to plunge into HTML, PHP and CSS coding.

But that’s not the case anymore. I recently stumbled across a Wordpress theme editor plugin called Stiqr – still in beta as every other Web 2.0 service is – which can help ordinary web users to become a “skillful” web designer. If you can drag and drop objects, you can modify the look of your web. Self-hosted Wordpress is officially included in the list of supported type of websites.

Wordpress theme editor plugin

And everything is done without the need for a standalone web builder application, or the coding knowledge. All you need is a browser.

Wordpress theme editor plugin

Setting Up The Stage

If you’ve always wanted to design your own website but the all the technical terminologies scared you, now is the perfect time for you to start. Visit Stiqr and click on the “Get Started Now“.

Wordpress theme editor plugin

But don’t expect to see the ordinary sign-up process because it’s not that obvious. Before going through the “Enter Your Name” and “Enter Your Email” routines, you have to insert one line of code in your website. But you don’t have to tremble with fear, because all the steps are painless in Wordpress.

Stiqr will provide you with the code, save it to be used later.

wordpress theme editor

Armed with the code, login to your Wordpress.

wordpress theme editor

Then navigate to the right sidebar, and click “Editor” under the “Appearance” menu.

wordpress theme editor

Within the Wordpress theme editor plugin, find the “Footer (footer.php)” and click on the link to edit.

wordpress blog editor

You will see the editable lines of codes for “footer.php“. Navigate to the lower part of the codes and find the closing line for the body – “</body>” – and insert the code that you got from Stiqr above it. Then click the “Update File” button.

wordpress blog editor

After the “File edited successfully” notification appear, go to the main page of your Wordpress by clicking “Visit Site” button next to the title of your blog.

wordpress blog editor

That concludes the preparation stage.

Turn Your Wordpress Into A Sticker Scrapbook

On the front page of your Wordpress blog, press the key combination of “Shift + F2” to start Stiqr. As a first time Stiqr user, you will have to register first. Start by entering your email address and click “OK“.

wysiwyg wordpress theme editor

Then continue by choosing your preferred password followed by another “OK“. My advice: please come up with a strong password for this one.

wysiwyg wordpress theme editor

If the registration is successful, a notification window will pop-up along with a thank you note and what to do next: wait for the page to be refreshed and press “Shift + F2” button one more time.

wysiwyg wordpress theme editor

You will be asked to enter your password to log in. Some might think that this step is unnecessary, but you really need the protection since everybody could access this page. You don’t want anybody to mess around with the look of your site, do you? This is also the reason why you need a strong password.

09 Login to Edit.jpg

Upon successful login, an editor bar will appear at the bottom of your page. You can start using the tools and let your creativity go wild.

10 Start to Build A Blog.jpg

I will save the the discussion about editing the look of your webpage using Stiqr for the next part of this article. Until then, you can experiment and get yourself familiar with this cool web-based WYSIWYG web editor.

So far, my opinion about Stiqr is that it has opened up a whole new horizon that I’ve never thought possible: live editing the look of Wordpress (or any other kind of website) directly from the browser without the need for coding knowledge. I am absolutely sure that I’ll use this service often in the future.

What do you think of Stiqr? Do you know similar services out there? Please share using the comments below.

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3 Innovative Ways To Learn Or Improve A Foreign Language

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 09:31 AM PDT

learn a foreign languageWhen you think of learning a foreign language, what comes to mind?

I’m reminded of studying vocabulary and grammar from a book, practicing to speak the language with fellow non-native speakers, and proving my skills in written tests. Now that doesn’t sound very stimulating or promising, does it?

Personally, I had medium success with the traditional approach to learning a foreign language. Yes, it does help to study vocabulary and grammar. And exams are a good enough motivation to push you forward. However, that alone will hardly get you to the point where you fluently speak a foreign language.

So when you want to learn a foreign language, what makes the difference? Motivation, tons of practicing, and the right tools to keep it fun and interesting. Maybe one of the following ways to learn a new language is the right starting point for you.


Listening to language podcasts is a great way to get started. First of all you develop a feeling for the sound of the language. As you advance and learn more and more words, you also gain an understanding of how sentences are put together. In other words, you pick up the language just like a baby: first it’s all strange sounds, then it’s starting to make sense, and in the end you’re starting to speak.


For a start, you can go with the tools you already have. Browse iTunes for your language of choice or navigate to > Podcasts (source column) > Podcast Directory (bottom right) > Education (category) > Language Courses (more information) to get an overview of what’s available.

learn a foreign language

You’ll find more language podcasts in this list for Language Learning Podcasts and within the Podcast Directory.

Frankly, podcasts are a one sided affair. Your iPod won’t object when you make mistakes and thus you will soon reach a premature learning plateau. This is where communities come into play.


A great benefit of communities is that you don’t just digest lessons and learn a foreign language passively. Instead, you can interact with others, communicate with native speakers, practice understanding the language, and receive feedback regarding your skills. Here is a selection of communities with different emphases:


RhinoSpike is the natural advancement from solitary podcast studying to exchanging audio files socially.

learn a foreign language


Lang-8 focuses on writing in a foreign language. You write, native speakers correct your mistakes, and you can contribute by correcting texts in your native language.


Busuu provides not only a community and a chatroom, but also courses, writing exercises, vocabulary training, and tests.

You may also be interested to learn about LiveMocha, which Saikat covered in this article LiveMocha – Smell The Coffee & Learn The Lingo.

Study Context

Once you start speaking fluently, casual conversations won’t do the trick anymore. Improving the language further now is a matter of accumulating more words and expressions into your active vocabulary. In other words focus and close your gaps.

VocabSushi (English)

This is the perfect tool if you’re studying for an English language test. It lets you pick the type of test and a quick diagnostic determines your skill level.

Flash Cards (any language)

You know best what your gaps are. So gather up what you want to learn and create your own flash cards. Karl wrote an article on how to Learn A New Language With Anki’s Flash Card System. Varun introduced Pauker – An Easy-To-Use Freeware Java Flash Card Program. Shankar compiled 30+ Online Resources to Expand your English Vocabulary.

Are you interested in more free resources to learn a foreign language? Have a look at these articles:

What works best for you?

Image credits: dogmadic

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Listen To Streaming Music On Your Windows Mobile With Slacker

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 08:31 AM PDT

slackHeadIf you have a Windows Mobile device like I do and you also love music then I have a streaming music Windows Mobile app for you! There have been rumors floating around for some time now that Slacker was going to release a Windows Mobile application. Then they did and then they removed it.

Some users on XDA-Developers hacked it up to work again but we have all been waiting for an official re-release. Slacker denied it over and over again. Finally T-Mobile released the HTC HD 2 with guess what on it….you guessed it – Slacker Mobile!

Now Slacker is available to you and your Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. Slacker is wireless radio at its best. Currently Slacker has a webpage dedicated to its mobile applications but there is no mention of the Windows Mobile Application as you can see below:

streaming music windows mobile

They seem to only have a BlackBerry and an iPhone/iPod Touch application. So what gives? Well I guess you just need their super secret special URL which is here. Just hit that link from your Windows Mobile device and we can start setting it up.

After you download the CAB file you can simply run it and install it on your device. You can install it anywhere you please and I am running mine directly from the micro-SD card I have installed. Once you have completed the installation, go ahead and click on it to start it up. You will see a login screen when it starts for the first time. It looks like this:

streaming music windows mobile

You will need to create an account to use the application. You can click on Create Account and run through their wizard or go online to Slacker and set it up there. I will walk you through setting up your account from your device.

You will need to fill in all the fields here including your year of birth (to verify if you are old enough to listen to explicit content).

streaming music windows mobile

When you have completed it, you can either leave the sign me up for the Slacker Newsletter on yes or turn it to no like I did. Then click create account. While Slacker creates your account you will see this screen:

streaming music mobile

When it completes you will move on to the main menu. From here you can search for radio stations, view your favorites, recently played stations and more. I normally go right to the Top Stations menu item. This shows the most popular stations in each category.

streaming music mobile

Each category is represented by a picture of an artist or group from that genre like you can see below:

streaming music mobile

I jumped into Hip Hop / R&B and it took me directly to the station and instantly started streaming the current playing song.

windows mobile music

The song was Heartless from Kayne West. You can see who the next artist up is right below the current track information. And below that you have a pause button and a button to skip to the next track (it tells you how many you can move forward, next to the arrows). You will also see buttons for favorites, a ban list, a button to upgrade to a paid version and soft key buttons to go back to stations or see your settings.

If you click on the ban button which is the circle with the line through it you can choose artists or tracks you do not want to hear like so:

windows mobile music

And finally let's take a look at the settings page over here:

windows mobile music

The settings page pretty much just allows you to change the account you are using, try Slacker Radio Plus for free, turn explicit content on and off, and a button to shut down Slacker radio and exit.

This is an exceptional application for free! I tried it out on a Windows 6.1 device and while it worked, there were some screens that you were not able to navigate to easily.

What do you use to listen to radio stations on your phone without an antennae?

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