Monday, June 21, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [June 20th]” plus 6 more “Cool Websites and Tools [June 20th]” plus 6 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [June 20th]

Posted: 20 Jun 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!


SepiaTown – Do you want to know what the biggest cities in the world looked like during their vintage years? Then you should check out SepiaTown. This Google Maps mashup hosts a comprehensive historical image collection of cities and landmarks. Read more: SepiaTown: Historical Image Collection Of Cities & Landmarks.


Google Font Directory – Web developers view each website critically. They observe various page elements, the fonts being one of them. If a font catches a developer's eye, it is not always easy for them to obtain it. Google has now taken steps to help website developers obtain the fonts they like on Google. Read more: Google Font Directory: An Easy Way To Implement Custom Fonts On Your Website.



DefaultIcon – Computer users can employ custom icons to personalize their computer whereas developers can use icons for their future projects. The web has countless resources for custom icons. One such service that is extremely easy for computers users and developers alike is DefaultIcon. Read more: DefaultIcon: Free Developer Icon Set Comes With .EPS Illustrator Source Files.



6rounds – ChatRoulette made it popular by letting users to communicate random people by video chatting. However the site has not been developed much since its formation. While this might be a disappointment to its users, it definitely leaves room for other site creators to expand the Chatroulette concept to the next stage. A fine example of this is 6rounds. Read more: 6rounds: Video Communication Service With A Unique & Fun Concept. – To truly quiz your friends on issues that are important to you or issues you want to have fun with, you can adopt a well known way of questioning: fill in the blanks. is a social quiz questions and answers service providing the type of empty-blank questions. Read more: A Social Quiz Questions and Answers Platform.


List Your Website Here!

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 MakeUseOf Friends!

Posted: 20 Jun 2010 07:31 PM PDT

It's time to say thanks to MakeUseOf’s friends who, once in a while, tip us great story ideas, help out on different projects and in some cases offer their services at discounted prices. Thank you, guys!

ShrinkTheWeb – Website Screenshot Thumbnail Service

Ever wanted to add website screenshots to your website? In my professional opinion ShrinkTheWeb is one of the best services for that, both in terms of performance and pricing. The free account gets you a whopping 250,000 impressions with nearly no delay. See it in action in our daily Cool Websites and Tools series.


Walyou – Cool Gadgets for Geeks
new cool gadgets
Walyou is a fun blog covering all sorts of new cool gadgets and other stuff every geek is likely to find entertaining. Everything from world’s largest Gunny Bears to E-hookah gadgets. Make sure to check them out.

PXLEyes – Photoshop Contests and Tutorials
photoshop contests & tutorials
The place for graphical artists! An awesome community with one common interest: a big passion for computer graphics! There are contests, prizes, tutorials, forums and an active community!


Loon Design – Reliable Web Hosting
Loon Design
The guy who designed MakeUseOf theme. If you’re looking for a reliable web designer for an affordable rate make sure to check him out. We have been working with Kai Loon for over 1.5 years now and highly recommend him.


rade | eccles – iPhone Application Development

The perfect iPhone development team, rade | eccles managed to put our iPhone app together in record time yet exude professionalism and dedication every step of the way. Our collaboration wasn’t happenstance. We would make the same decision all over again. Our only recommendation for an iPhone developer – rade | eccles.

Thank you, guys!

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Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]

Posted: 20 Jun 2010 06:31 PM PDT


Check out the top picks from MakeUseOf Geeky Fun during the last week.

  1. The Most Accurate Wikipedia Post Ever (Pic)
  2. Books Read By Teenagers (Pic)
  3. Types of WiFi Users at Starbucks (Pic)
  4. What It Is Like To Own An Apple Product (Pic)
  5. Banned iPhone 4 Commercial (Video)
  6. How The World Spends Its Time Online (Pic)

If you would like to keep up with all latest Geeky Fun additions, please subscribe to the Geeky Fun feed here. You can also subscribe and get the latest additions via email.


Our latest mega giveaway: zozi is sponsoring a FREE 7-day, wine-tasting trip in New Zealand for two. Here’s how you can sign up. Contest ends June 25th.

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How Big Is Your USB Memory Stick? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Posted: 20 Jun 2010 05:31 PM PDT

Last week we asked you if you like our weekly Movers & Shakers posts.

40% of you responded that you read it every week and it has helped you find cool new free applications.  22% of you said that you read it occasionally and think it should stay. Then 20% said that you never read it. 13% said that it sucks and you hate it.

You can see the full list below and we are waiting to hear back on if the feature will be killed off or not.


This weeks poll is how big is your USB memory stick? Almost everyone I know carries around a memory stick in their pocket, bag and some of them keep them around their necks.

Up until recently I had a 1GB memory stick crammed with all sorts of wonderful portable goodness into it. But I never had room for the documents, music or other stuff that I wanted to carry with me. So now I have dropped $14 on a 16GB memory stick and $11 for a 8GB memory stick for my Wii. Now I carry around this 16GB stick which fits on all my portable applications as well as all my documents and files that I might need.

So we are wondering – if you carry a USB memory stick with you – how big is it? Let us know below and as always drop a comment to let us know what you carry on your stick.

Got Questions? Ask Them Now for FREE on MakeUseOf Answers!

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Find That Particular Font You Love With WhatTheFont

Posted: 20 Jun 2010 03:31 PM PDT

where do i find different fontsYou've all been there. You find a great font on an image in a webpage, and you'd love to use the same font for a project of your own but you have no idea which font you're looking at.

Karl recently showed you WhatFontIs which could help you but I'm going to show you another way to discover the font you want, and perhaps even get a copy of it, using WhatTheFont.

There's a problem using unusual fonts – as fonts – on webpages. Simply put, if the webpage uses a font that you don't have, then you won't be able to see the page as it is intended. The simplest solution to this problem is the one that is used most. Don't actually use the font.

Instead, use a graphic image that looks identical. As webpages get more and more complex, this solution is more and more important. MakeUseOf uses this method all the time. Many of our screenshots represent fonts that you almost certainly don't have installed on your system.

But now and then you need something more. You really like the font you see on a page, and you would like to to make use of it yourself to create the perfect webpage, or to use offline somewhere. To do that, you need to find out what font was used.

WhatTheFont lets you upload or link to the image containing the font, asks you some questions, and presents you with some candidate fonts for comparison.

So how effective is this? Depends. I'd say it's a great tool to find a similar font. To be sure you have an identical font requires a better eye than I have.

Example 1 – The MakeUseOf logo

where do i find different fontsLet's see what we can do with our own dogfood. First, make sure you have access to the image you want to use. Either the URL, or a local copy in a web format, such as .jpg or .png.

Visit the site then provide the address of the image:

where do i find different fonts

Click the Continue button.

WhatTheFont needs to do some work now. If you've ever used any OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software you'll be familiar with the idea. The images is composed of a set of small pixels. Fonts are instead sets of geometric models. Translation between these is the part that requires some effort.

The next page that appears is where you can help. WhatTheFont has made some guesses as to what some of the characters are that make up the logo.

find a font

In some cases, the guesses are not correct. For instance, se is tagged as being the letter m. You can easily fix these by changing the values in the boxes.

find a fontSome guesses are a little more complex though. The website cannot correctly recognise that this is one letter e, rather than two unknown characters.

These are also easy to fix though. Drag one of these images over the other and drop it. The page will be redrawn, and you can correctly tag the character.

When you have completed as many of these characters as you can, click Continue again.

WhatTheFont uses all of the supplied information and presents you with a set of fonts that best fit.

find a font

In this case, Futura SB-Bold Con seems a very close match. If you click on the font name you are forwarded to a more central part of the MyFonts site, and presented with information and samples specifically about that one font.

find a font

From here, the choices are yours. Look up more details, buy the font. Find free options. you can spend a lot of time in here.

Example 2 – Signage

Let's try something a little harder from the real world.

find a font

You know how it works now, so let's just hit the high points. First off… it didn't work. That is, until I cropped it down to just the text.

After that, things went more normally.

find fonts

Turns out that there are some good matches.

find fonts

Anyway, that should give you enough to get started. Enjoy yourself. If you need any more help with fonts, first give the rest of MyFonts a try. if that doesn't do it for you, Identifont can help you out when the automatic options don't work. And if you want to learn to identify fonts yourself, find out some more at FontTrainer.

How did it go for you? Let me know in the comments.

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10 Free MP3 Album Downloads [Sound Sunday]

Posted: 20 Jun 2010 12:30 PM PDT

where can I download free mp3sWhy do so many artists give away their albums for free? Some because they can afford it, others because they can not afford otherwise. It’s a way to promote the music, the name, the tour, and build a solid fan base that will purchase future releases.

It’s in your hands to make the efforts worthwhile. Don’t be a freeloader, but invest in music you enjoy. This week’s Sound Sunday includes albums from InAshton, Durgstore Fanatics, Jelly Antler, J The S, Jonny Rumble, Daniel Whittington, The Revere, Zar The Diplomat, and Shorelines End. If you enjoy any of these, watch out for future releases and in the meantime attend a live gig.

InAshton – InAshton: RED

Genres: alternative, rock

where can I download free mp3s InAshton’s debut album has been downloaded over 100,000 times. Now it’s your chance to keep the momentum going and help InAshton reach the next milestone and public fame. You can also see them live now before they break through. InAshton is playing a few shows in the US in June and July.

You can download InAshton: Red from their homepage.

InAshton MySpace and Homepage.

Drugstore Fanatics – What’s Born in the Basement

Genres: alternative, rock, industrial, ambient

where can I download free music Originally formed in Tel Aviv, Israel, Drugstore Fanatics now call Los Angeles, California, USA their home. This free album download is .rar compressed. Follow the links provided in the eMail containing the download URL or try 7-Zip to unpack the .rar archive. What’s Born in the Basement is well worth the effort!

You can download Drugstore Fanatics’ debut album from their homepage after providing your eMail address and country. For $5 you can upgrade to a higher quality mp3 download and five B-side tracks.

Durgstore Fanatics MySpace and Homepage.

Jelly Antler – 1

Genres: experimental, electronica, instrumental

download free mp3 The title of this debut album couldn’t be any more minimalistic. Yet the music is rich in experimental sounds, tied together to a futuristic mix, slightly reminding me of the first Myst soundtrack. My favorite piece is Besesame.

Grab the album from Bandcamp, all you need is an eMail address. More music is available on Jelly Antler’s SoundCloud page.

Jelly Antler MySpace and Blog.

J The S – Wish You Were Here

Genre: hip hop

how can I download free albums Jake The Snake has released Wish You Were Here as a precursor to his upcoming album The Last Days. The original material featuring many collaborations will prepare listeners for an album that “seeks to bridge the gap between raw rhyme skills and sharp writing, intelligence and wit, and even between musical styles.”

The free album download is provided by and comes with no strings attached.

J the S MySpace and Homepage.

Jonny Rumble – JR

Genres: indie, garage, power pop

how can I download music for free This band has a lively history and has gone through some rough times before releasing JR. By the sound of it Jonny Rumble must also be a fantastic live experience. If you’re from Chicago, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see them play a gig this summer.

The free download comes straight from Rock Proper, no further input required.

Jonny Rumble MySpace and Homepage.

Daniel Whittington – Things Change

Genres: rock, americana, independent

how can I download mp3 for free As time moves forward, things change. This very simple fact of life led to the end of Daniel Whittington’s band Rhodes, while he moved on to pursue work on solo projects. The result is this wonderful album, consequently titled Things Change. Daniel Whittington will play live gigs in Austin, Texas, USA in July and August.

For trading little bits of information you can download Things Change for free from NoiseTrade.

Daniel Whittington MySpace and Homepage.

The Revere – The Great City

Genre: rock

how can I download free mp3 albums The Revere introduce The Great City as being “the first installment of a two part journey concerning individuals called in a dream to follow an Old Man to an unknown destination.” If you’re down in Pennsylvania, USA you can visit this story telling band for live shows in June or August.

Get the album The Great City from their homepage in exchange for your eMail address.

The Revere MySpace and Homepage.

The New Enemy – Shakedown

Genres: hardcore, punk, rock

free album download Toronto’s much acclaimed punk band The New Enemy is not afraid to voice their opinion. Now they have thrown both their albums onto the free market.

Download their 2009 album Shakedown from their homepage (link removed). On the same page you will also find a free download of their 2008 EP Outsourced.

The New Enemy MySpace and Homepage (link removed).

Zar The Diplomat – In This Corner

Genre: hip hop

free music download Zar The Diplomat, also known as Ansar El Muhammad, is an independent rap artist from the US Bay Area. He translates his everyday frustration with what’s going on in America into his music. He has also founded the Keep Youth Alive movement to create a counterbalance to the violence generally glorified in rap or hip hop music.

Zar’s album In This Corner is made available through box.

Zar The Diplomat Homepage.

Shorelines End – From Across This Crowded Room

Genres: alternative, pop, rock

free mp3 download From Across This Crowded Room is the debut album of Shorelines End. I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more from this talented young band. Throughout July they are touring the US with the Warped Tour 2010.

To download the album in various formats you only need to share your eMail address. The download is available from Bandcamp.

Shorelines End MySpace and Homepage.

If you have some free music to share, please get in touch with me (tina at makeuseof dot com)! On Sound Sunday MakeUseOf promotes free mp3 downloads of either songs (no information collected) or albums. And in case you enjoyed any of the above, please subscribe to the band’s mailing list, visit their live show, or simply leave a comment to say “Thank You!”

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How to Manage Tabs in Opera Like a Pro

Posted: 20 Jun 2010 09:30 AM PDT

It wasn’t so long ago that tabbed browsing didn’t exist. If you wanted to open a website but you didn’t want to leave the website you were viewing you had only one option – open a new window. Tabbed browsing was first made popular by Firefox, and it has caught on. Now every browser uses tabs in order to display multiple websites at once, including Opera.

Opera is a bit different from Firefox and others, however. Or rather, it is a bit more advanced. While other browsers offer tabbed browsing, they treat each individual tab as a separate entity. You can display one tab at once. Opera, however, uses tabs like windows inside the browser. In this tutorial we’ll take a look at four ways to use advanced Opera tab features in order to make browsing the web easier.

1. Pin Tabs

Opera has the ability to pin tabs to the taskbar. This can be accomplished simply by right-clicking on an Opera tab and then clicking Pin Tab. When a tab is pinned, it no longer has an X on the right side of the tab which can be used to close the tab. Instead it has a magnifying glass symbol.

Using the Pin Tab function allows you to make websites you visit very frequently, such as your search engine or a web-based email client, a permanent fixture in your web browser. When you use Pin Tab on a website in Opera it becomes permanent even if you close Opera. The website will still be pinned when you open Opera later.

2. Using Follower Tabs

The follower tab is a feature unique to Opera. You can create a follower tab by right-clicking on a current tab in the taskbar and then clicking Create Follower Tab. The follower tab will be blank when it first opens, but now any link you click on in the original tab will no longer open in that tab. Instead it will open in the follower tab.

Follower Opera tabs are handy when you are browsing a website and blog and you want to check out multiple articles. For example, let’s say you’re browsing and you found a post you want to read. However, you want to keep browsing the main page as well. You could use the follower tab feature to make browsing easier. When you find a post to read, simply click on it to open it in the follower tab. The functionality of the follower tab can also be achieved by simply opening new tabs, but the follower tab streamlines the process so that you are not constantly opening and closing tabs.

3. Cascading and Tiling Tabs

opera tabs

Opera tabs are unique from other web browsers in that they act more like windows than tabs, making the taskbar label of Opera’s tab manager very appropriate. The difference in how Opera handles tabs isn’t evident at first, but it becomes obvious when you right-click on a tab and then go to the Arrange section. Here you’ll find options on how to manage tabs in the Opera browser’s space.

From this menu, you can minimize or maximize all of your tabs. The more interesting options, however, are the Cascade, Tile Vertically and Tile Horizontally options. You can use this feature to tile all of your open tabs inside the Opera web browser. This feature can be used to easily arrange multiple websites so that they can be read together. It can also be used to pick out which tab you want to read, as you maximize any of the tiled tabs so that they take up the entire browser space.

4. Use Session Management

opera tabs

Opera has a built-in session manager by default. A session manager is a feature which can save all of the tabs which you are currently working on for later use. You can re-open these tabs at any time through the session manager.

To try it, open a few tabs. Then click on the Opera menu button in the upper left hand corner of the browser. Go to Tabs and Windows > SessionsSave This Session. Name the session and un-check the “Show these tabs and windows every time I start Opera” checkbox. Then click okay. Now close all of your open tabs.

Once all tabs are closed, go back to the Sessions menu. You should see the session you saved as a selection in the menu. If you click on it all of the tabs you had open will re-open, letting you pick up where you left off.


These tab management features should make using tabs in Opera much easier, and they are features which, for the most part, other browsers cannot yet emulate. Once you know how to use Opera tabs, you’ll find that certain tasks, such as researching multiple websites or browsing blogs, is easier in Opera than in other browsers.

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