Monday, June 28, 2010 “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 7 more “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 7 more

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Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 02:49 AM PDT


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

  1. This site almost killed me (Pic)
  2. Perfect Business Card for an IT Tech (Pic)
  3. Mac, PC and Zombie (Pic)
  4. iPhone Obsessed (Pic)
  5. Decision Flowchart: Should You Buy A New Gadget? (Pic)
  6. Why Is Life So Unfair? (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.


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Cool Websites and Tools [June 27th]

Posted: 27 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!


UrlVoid – While there are many tools to check your files for viruses, there are not many trusted sources to check whether a website has malware on it. You could visit the malware infected site and the malware could penetrate your computer without your antivirus or you knowing about it. This is a serious problem which URLVoid provides a solution to. Read more: UrlVoid: Online Link Virus Scanner.


TimeToMeet – Scheduling meetings can sometimes be difficult even if there are only two people involved. The two persons could have busy schedules and meeting a commonly convenient time through phone calls and emails could become tedious. Fortunately TimeToMeet is a perfect solution for this problem. Read more: TimeToMeet: Intuitive & Easy Meeting Planning Website.



AmazonUniversalWishlist – Amazon has a great Wish List feature but it is only limited to products. Well, this official add-on from Amazon changes that. Using this Firefox add-on, you can add products from any website to your Wish List along with comments. Read more: AmazonUniversalWishlist: Add Products From Any Site To Amazon WishList. Namecheck – In the Internet age, you need to make sure what name your company has has an open domain, and also that the name is free on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. is the perfect one-stop shop for finding all this information and more. Read more: Namecheck: Check Domain, Profile & Brand Name Availability.



DoubleClick Adplanner – by Google is a media and ad planning tool that can help both advertisers and publishers. For an advertiser, the tool shows sites in different niches and information related to them like pageviews, unique visitors, audience demographics from over 40 nations and much more. Read more: DoubleClick Adplanner by Google: Display Ads On Relevant Sites.


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: 27 Jun 2010 07:30 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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How Many Monitors Do You Have In Your Setup? [Poll]

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 06:30 PM PDT

Last week we asked you How big your USB memory stick was. And the results are in. First place was held by the 8GB stick. I also find that the 8GB sticks are the best for working with DivX players and other set top devices. Second place was held by 4GB (which was what I had before I upgraded to the 8GB one). Third place was 16GB and fourth was 32GB or higher.

You can see the full results after the jump.

This week we are asking you how many monitors you have in your computer setup. Personally, I have three monitors connected to my PC. Some people think that I should be a stock trader but I say that three monitors gives me three times more room to work and I can differentiate different projects by which screen they are on.

Please vote below and leave us a comment!

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf fan page on Facebook. Over 20,000 fans already!

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JulNoWriMo – Write A Novel In 30 Days With The July Novel Writing Month

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 03:30 PM PDT

You may have heard of NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. In fact, MakeUseOf has mentioned it before.

The challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in just one month, with no real reward other than your own personal satisfaction of completing it. But whereas NaNoWriMo takes place in November, JulNoWriMo takes place in July.

If July happens to be a less busy month for you, JulNoWriMo is an alternative that you might want to consider. After all, attempting to write a whole novel in a month is a pretty big commitment.

Tens of thousands of people participate in NaNoWriMo, which might make JulNoWriMo seem a somewhat meager event by comparison. But the number of people setting out to write a novel in July is growing quickly. In 2008, less than two hundred people participated, but in 2009, the number of participants nearly tripled to well over five hundred. Why not join in on the action this year?

All you have to do to sign up is head over to the JulNoWriMo forums and register a username. Then you might want to start planning your novel, because July’s going to hit sooner than you know it.

Tips and Resources

One of the advantages that JulNoWriMo has over NaNoWriMo is that July has one more day in it than November. That means you have just a little bit more time to accomplish the challenge. Take a look at the numbers: NaNoWriMo writers have to write 1666 words per day, but JulNoWriMo writers have to write slightly less, just 1613 words per day. If you want to follow a strict schedule of 1613 words per day, check out this page, which tells you the cumulative total words you have to have written each day to keep up.

Another advantage to JulNoWriMo is that, unlike during NaNoWriMo, you’re not required to start a new novel. If you've got some writing in progress, you can pick it up again for JulNoWriMo. You just have to write 50,000 new words during the month of July.

When you start writing, you'll probably want to show off how much you've written by updating your word count on the JulNoWriMo site. The word count system isn’t activated yet, but you’ll need to know how to update it when July comes. First, go to the forums and make sure you’re logged in. Then go to your User Control Panel.

In your user control panel, select Edit Profile.

You’ll see where you can edit your word count on the Edit Profile page come July.

JulNoWriMo’s forums, while not nearly as active as NaNoWriMo's, are a great place to socialize with others who have also committed to this crazy challenge. You can just have some fun discussion there to take a break from writing, and you can ask your fellow writers for help.

I also highly recommend checking out JulNoWriMo's collection of links. There's a huge variety of links to helpful writing resources, and there are also links to all of the different writing challenges throughout the year if you don't think you're up for this in July.

Helpful Programs

One of the biggest challenges to getting 50,000 words down is suppressing the desire to go back and edit your work. It just isn't possible to go back and fix all of your grammatical mistakes now, when you should instead be focusing on writing as much as possible as quickly as possible.

Typewriter is a program that will make it impossible to edit yourself. This unique minimalist text editor is meant to emulate a typewriter. To that end, it offers none of the features common to word processors and really doesn't let you do much besides write, save, and print. Most importantly for our purposes, it doesn't let you use backspace.

Just as if you were using a typewriter, any mistakes you make you're stuck with, which will require you to just keep on writing and not look back.

If you want a program suited more to creative writing, yWriter might be your best bet. It can help you organize your writing and perhaps make your 50,000 words a little less chaotic.

To get more details on yWriter, check out this article.


If you think you’re up for the challenge, be sure to try out JulNoWriMo. Don’t worry if you don’t make 50,000 words this year. I’ve been doing JulNoWriMo for three years and haven’t quite made it once. But it’s worth coming back each year regardless because it’s a good way to encourage yourself to write. And, who knows, you might find out you’re a creative genius and manage to churn out 50,000 words.

What do you think? Will you participate this year?

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Hot Tech Deals [June 27th]

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 01:30 PM PDT

If you’re in the market for a new computer, laptop, mobile phone, games and other accessories; don’t waste your time searching online. We’ve taken the liberty of locating the best tech deals and unifying them into a single post for your convenience.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

  1. Sharp AQUOS 52″ 120Hz 1080p LED LCD HDTV for $1,150 + free shipping
  2. Multicoated UV Camera Lens Filter for free + $5 s&h
  3. Refurbished Sony Mini Hi-Fi Component System for $65 + free shipping
  4. Western Digital 320GB 2.5″ SATA Internal Laptop HDD for $35 + free shipping
  5. Western Digital 4-Bay 2TB Gigabit NAS for $280 + free shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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10 Free MP3 Albums To Download [Sound Sunday]

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 12:30 PM PDT

where can I download free mp3sSound Sunday has been a MakeUseOf feature for over a month and of course, we would like to know how you like it so far. Has the series been helpful in keeping your music collection fresh, have you discovered new favorites, and what would you improve?

Feedback and suggestions will always find room in the comments, but you can also eMail me (tina at makeuseof dot com). If you are an artist who would like to be featured on Sound Sunday, please get in touch with me.

This week we’re mixing it up a little with free MP3s, mixed albums, and full albums from all over the place.

10 Free MP3 Downloads

NME – Glastonbury 2010 Album

Genre: mixed

where can I download free mp3s The NME has released a mixed album, celebrating the Glastonbury Festival 2010, which concluded this Sunday. The 20-piece collection features songs and remixes from Florence & The Machine, Broken Bells, Two Door Cinema Club, Bonobo, La Roux, and many more.

Preview and download the whole thing from the NME.

PS: RCRDLBL has its own Glastonbury Playlist with 24 songs.

Spinner – Siren Festival 2010 Mix

Genre: mixed

free music downloads Clearly, it’s the festival season all over the Northern Hemisphere. The Siren Festival 2010 will rock Coney Island, New York for the 10th time this July. Spinner heralds 10-year anniversary with a collection of seven free MP3 from performers of this year’s festival.

Download the songs directly from Spinner.

The Blumpkins – mixed

Genres: metal, grindcore, hardcore

where can I download free music Essentially, The Blumpkins is a one man band with Drew Seibert making it all happen since 1999. On The Blumpkins Twitter page, Drew faithfully records updates for his band’s ReverbNation charts positions. Maybe you can help him move up a few positions.

Download 20 free songs of The Blumpkins via ReverbNation.

The Blumpkins MySpace and Facebook.

JustDave – Well I Never…. (album preview)

Genres: powerpop, pop, rock

where can I download free albums Dave Ward is a British musician who’s been into music since the mid 80’s. While working in a mainstream job, Dave continued to play with cover bands. Eventually, he decided it was time to return to what initially got him into music: playing his own stuff.

JustDave won’t give you his entire album for free. Before you decide to buy, you can listen to the samples and download 5 full tracks for free. And there are more material on his homepage. Go ahead and download almost half an album straight from Just Dave’s homepage.

Just Dave MySpace and Homepage.

DJ Fresh & Mr.Tower – Hella Songs

Genres: hip hop, rap, soul

where can I download free songs Hella Songs is a project of Oakland’s The Whole Shabang producer Mr.Tower. He’s freestyling over records from DJ Fresh. The result is an album with only the finest chilled rap music.

Download the eight track masterpiece from Bandcamp. Some info will be collected.

DJ Fresh MySpace. Mr.Tower Homepage.

Futures – The Holiday

Genres: alternative, rock, pop punk

free music downloads Here is yet another promising band from the UK. Futures released their debut album The Holiday in March, signed a record deal with Mercury Records in June, and will be touring Great Britain in September. With this sequence of events, the future looks bright.

Their album The Holiday is distributed via Bandcamp. Data required.

Futures MySpace.

Provizion – Extorting English

Genres: hip hop, rap

free album downloads Dan Shaba, aka Provizion, hails from London, Ontario, Canada. Extorting English is his debut album, which will have people listen up throughout the North American continent and beyond its natural borders.

Comment on this Facebook status message to get a free copy of the album. Note that you have to like the artist, before you may comment on a status.

Provizion MySpace and Homepage.

Cousin Junebug – 1623 Allesandro Funk Classics

Genre: funk

free mp3 downloads Cousin Junebug is an instrumental band from Los Angeles. Their passion are obscure early funk tunes. They cover the Kingsmen, Fred Wesley, the Detroit Sex machines, Lyn Collins, and many more.

This funky album contains seven songs and is available through Bandcamp. Questions will be asked.

Cousin Junebug MySpace and Homepage.

Jon J – The Power Struggle

Genres: gospop, r&b, hip hop, soul

download music for free Jon J released his album The Power Struggle on June 22nd. It flows on gospop and soul and is a very smooth experience throughout. The piano composition in the title track makes it my favorite song of the album.

Download The Power Struggle from his homepage. Answer truthfully.

Jon J Twitter and Homepage.

Ralph Hinkley Syndrome – selftitled

Genres: alternative, indie, rock

download albums for free The Ralph Hinkley Syndrome is the band of Wyman Gentry and Jason Ogle. Initially only offered to their fans on Facebook, their self-titled album is now available for free to the general public.

Share your eMail address and download it free from Bandcamp.

Ralph Hinkley Syndrome MySpace and Facebook.

Are you saturated, yet? Please share your thought in the comments.

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Slide Screen Redefines The Android Home Interface

Posted: 27 Jun 2010 09:30 AM PDT

android slide screenWith an incredible amount of data sources – email, SMS, RSS, and more arriving every single day, it's sometimes hard to create a structure of sorts out of all that information.

Most interfaces now try to solve that by neglecting the problem. They just give you a blank slate that you can litter any way you like. Although the freedom of a sandbox interface is enticing, that doesn’t seem to be the way to do it.

Some companies (and home programmers) have been redefining the way we think about content placement, and redesigning the main interface of popular devices and applications. Slide Screen is most prominent, in the way it revamps the face of the Android, an already hot smartphone.

Slide Screen

Different Android phones (e.g. HTC versus Motorolla) tend to pack a different home screen — basically the desktop of your phone. Slide Screen, although it certainly has the feel of a custom ROM, is simply another home screen replacement. It redefines the face of your phone, and does so intelligently and beautifully.

android slide screen

With an eye on these heavy (Android) phone users, those people swimming in emails and RSS feeds, Slide Screen tries to facilitate a better overview of the data pool. The application shows you a clean and simplistic overview, packed with as much information possible, without creating a clutter.

android slide screen

The general overview consists of an upper and a lower part, divided by a center bar that supplies you with the most rudimentary information; date, time, weather and available data connections.

Personal data is placed on the top of the screen. This includes phone calls, messages, emails and the calendar. Currently, Slide Screen only syncs with the Gmail application, though. At the bottom of the screen are your RSS news feeds, stock quotes and Tweets. Facebook support is due to be added in a later version of the application. All these 'applications' are color-coded to allow for easy distinction. And besides, it looks pretty.

android slidescreen

This center bar can be slid up- or downwards to prioritize one branch of information, and reallocate the available space on your screen. You can also filter the information flow by hitting one of the icons on the righthand side of the screen. For example, tapping the Twitter icon will open that application, momentarily showing only Tweets, as can be seen in the screenshot above.

Integrated RSS Reader

As can be expected, if you instead hit one of the items in the list, it will open the post, email or stock information in full screen. This feature works incredible with your RSS news feeds. And don't expect it to fire up your browser, or a third-party RSS reader. Slide Screen will show you your articles without you having to leave the slick, black interface.

android slidescreen

Instead of having to switch between interfaces tenfold, you can keep yourself focused on the data at hand. Currently these applications only extend to the aforementioned. However, Slide Screen appears to be working on an API that will make it possible for other developers to create compatible applications.

Revamped Application Overview

Slide Screen also made work of the application overview, a part of the Android user interface that stands separate from the 'real' home screen. Redesigning the application overview, Slide Screen closes the GUI loop.

android slidescreen

As can be expected, there weren't any radical reforms here. The application overview has already proven its usability. It was redesigned to fit in with the rest of Slide Screen, and now allows you to pin a number of favorite applications – those that otherwise would've ended up on your home screen.

What do you think of Slide Screen? Is this the direction you want future mobile interfaces to go? It certainly shares some qualities with the new Windows Mobile OS. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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