Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MakeUseOf.com: “Cool Websites and Tools [August 9th]” plus 10 more

MakeUseOf.com: “Cool Websites and Tools [August 9th]” plus 10 more

Link to MakeUseOf.com

Cool Websites and Tools [August 9th]

Posted: 09 Aug 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.

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RGB2CMYK – Images have different color schemes. To obtain the best results, the image should be in the color scheme of the platform it is intended for. RGB models are used to display images on televisions, monitors, and other screen displays. For print, the CYMK color model is used. RGB To CMYK conversion and vice versa can be done via RGB2CMYK. Read more: RGB2CMYK: RGB To CMYK Conversion And Vice Versa.


MyTube60 – There is often a need to play several YouTube videos and MyTube60 lets you easily combine multiple Youtube videos into one. After you sign up for a free account, you can search for YouTube videos using keywords and add them to your video mix using drag and drop functionality. Read more: MyTube60: Easily Combine YouTube Videos Into One.



Zingaya – is a cool web service that let your website visitors call you from your website. This is how Zingaya works: you embed a widget on your website with a “call me” button. When a user clicks the button, the call is forwarded to any Skype (for free), landline or mobile (not free) number that you have specified. Read more: Zingaya: Let Your Website Visitors Call You.



Bundle – While every individual has a different pattern when it comes to spending and saving money, a comparative analysis always helps improving it. Bundle is a web service focused on letting you compare your spending habits with other people in the country based on your location, age and household composition. Read more: Bundle: Compare Your Spending Habit With Other People.



Godzilla – Tweetie is one of the most popular Twitter clients for the iPhone that lets you post status updates, send messages and share photos. However, in order to share photos you have to use an image service like yfrog or TwitPic where you can upload the image for sharing. Godzilla is a tool that lets you bypass third-party image services and upload photos directly to your Flickr account. Read more: Godzilla: Upload Images To Flickr From Tweetie [iPhone].


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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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MakeUseOf Back To School Special Giveaway

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 07:30 PM PDT

Summer break is drawing to an end and quite soon, students will see the start of classes, term papers and exams. We have a pretty sizeable team of writers who are in fact, students — so we know how it feels like to be going back to school after a long and glorious summer break.

Throughout the month of August, we will try to smoothen your transition back to school by offering some really cool stuff in a series of mini-giveaways on Facebook.

So let’s take a look at what we’re giving away!

On Facebook right now, we’re offering a Crumpler Western Lawn Messenger bag. To be in running to win, all you need to do is ‘Like’ the status update on Facebook. You can also spread the news to your friends and share the joy.

These mini-giveaways conclude whenever a certain number of ‘Likes’ is reached. Subsequently, a winner is selected. Then the next giveaway begins. But here’s the catch, you won’t know when — we’ll just spring it on you. So keep an eye on our fan page to find out (we’ll sometimes drop hints when the next giveaway is about to begin).

Onwards to Facebook!

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Join MakeUseOf On Facebook!

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 06:31 PM PDT

If you like reading MakeUseOf and have a Facebook account, join MakeUseOf on Facebook and enjoy reading our greatest posts! Simply click on the “Like” button below to get started!

You’ll be rewarded with exclusive previews of future publications, what we refer to as “Sneak Peeks”; and the best posts from the day before, “Yesterday’s Best”.

We also use our fan page to inform you about premium software giveaways and discounts that are not announced on the website. We get a lot of those from software developers and distribute them mainly on Facebook.

So grab some friends and join us on Facebook today!

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4 Great Sites To Rate and Review Teachers & Professors

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 04:30 PM PDT

rate college professorsDo you remember your favorite teacher? What about the ones you couldn’t stand?

With summer break winding down for many students, it'll be time to get back to their studies soon. With that comes the responsibility of registering for classes for the new semester and maybe some burning questions in the back of your mind.

"Is this class going to be hard?" "What's the professor like?" With the Web, it's easy to find out what other students think of the teacher before you take the class. Read up on their reviews and check out how others rate college professors so that you can be better prepared, have an idea of what to expect, and know who you may want to steer clear of.

Don’t wait until the first day. Here are the 4 best sites to rate and review teachers or professors.

Rate My Professors

Rate My Professors is one of the most popular professor review websites on the Web. The site boasts more than 10 million opinions of over 1 million professors from students like you. The ratings cover more than 6,000 schools across the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Wales.

rate college professors

Just search by professor or just find your school first by entering in its name. Displayed on every professor's page is the overall rating, followed by ratings on helpfulness, clarity, and easiness.

rate my professors

Below that are the actual reviews, showing the class, how the users rate college professors, and any comments.

rate my professors


RateMyTeachers is another popular review site. This time, however, the focus is on elementary and secondary school teachers only for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

rate my professors

Again, here you can search for your teacher by name or search for your school for the full list of teachers. Once on the teacher's page, you can rate your teacher right there. It's another simple 1 to 5 rating system, with the categories including easiness, helpfulness, clarity, and popularity.

rate my teacher

Ratings and reviews are displayed just below that. If you'd like to know when the teacher is commented or rated on, just hit the "Follow" button and type in your email address to receive updates.


rate my teacher

The academic website MyEdu also features how students rate college professors. What sets this site apart from others is that it claims to be the only community that works directly with universities to post the actual end-of-semester course and even the professor evaluations that students fill out in class.

rate my teacher

The only catch is that you have to sign up to the site. With a free account, you're limited to only the latest three reviews (if there are any). Upgrading your account gets you in-depth information about not only the professor but also the class in general, including grade history, drop rate, and more.

Professor Performance

For the United States and Canada only, Professor Performance is another useful review site for colleges and universities. Just browse by schools or search by professor to get started.

rate college professors

The rating system is a bit more unique than others, with letter grades, comment, and simple positive and negative columns.

Do you use any of these websites and have they helped you at all? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: marc buehler

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How To Set Up Your Own Free Job Posting Board

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 02:30 PM PDT

job boardsFinding a qualified candidate to fill a job posting can be a trying experience. Some firms elect to outsource this task to a recruitment service or hiring firm. Others will post the job opening to Monster.com, or to a syndicated Job posting placement site such as JobCoin, covered here previously.

Finally, companies can list jobs on their own homepage, through a paid-service similar to a plugin, or from custom hosted software. The downside to these options is that they are expensive to implement or purchase the rights to.

Recently, my company decided they wanted to host a job board on our website, so I started my search for any free software that was able to do this task. I did a lot of digging and had a hard time finding any open source job board software. Finally I landed on jobberBase, aptly named “The Open Source Job Board Software”. It looked like it would fit the bill perfectly.

job boards

At its core, jobberBase allows you to post jobs to your website. But it also offers a lot of other functionality which would be useful to a company looking to post jobs. RSS feeds are available as well as widgets for syndicating your content to other areas of the internet. A lightweight CMS is used to manage page. You can separate jobs by City or Categories, and also you can apply for a job directly on the page.

First, you need a working website through a host, or perhaps you host one internally. Once you have your account set up, you will need FTP access information and MySQL access to a database. The easiest way to manage MySQL is via phpMyAdmin.

The requirements are fairly broad:

  • Web Server: Apache or IIS (We will be covering Apache)
  • PHP 5.x with MySQLi extension
  • mod_rewrite for Apache or Microsoft’s URL Rewrite module or ISAPI_Rewrite for IIS.

Step 1 – Download the Software

Downloading jobberBase requires you to register on the site. Once you register, a download link will be emailed to you. Although I think the registration should be optional (it will allow the developers to email you when there is a new version or security issue), you need to do this in order to download the latest version of the software.

Step 2 – Install the database and set up access

Create a database and username/password to access it with. This is most easily done using phpMyAdmin but could also be done via command line if you are adept at that. Upload the database file from db/jobberbase.sql.

job boards

Step 3 – Upload the files

Unzip the installation file. Within this file, you will see 3 directories, db, docs & public. The public files are the ones which you will need to upload to a directory on your website. Use your favorite FTP or SCP to transfer the files to your webhost.

Make the following directories writable with your FTP or other client (chmod 755 /dir or chmod 777 /dir)

  • /uploads
  • /_templates/default/_cache – if using a different theme, change ‘default’ to your theme name
  • /admin/_templates/_cache

Step 4 – Set up the configuration file

Now we need to tell the website files how to connect to the database and the information we just imported. Open the file:


The instances are set up so that you can have multiple sites set up with the same DB – however, for this tutorial we are going to set up one only. Pick one and remove the other, and modify the settings to your database values above. The most important ones are:

'prefix' => 'your.domain.name', // must be a part of app_url below         'db_host' => 'your_db_hostname',  // this is usually 'localhost'         'db_port' => 3306,         'db_user' => 'your_db_user',         'db_password' => 'your_db_password',         'db_name' => 'your_db_name',         'db_prefix' => '',         'app_url' => 'http://domain/path/to/jobberbase',

Save this file.

Step 5 – Configure the Administrative Options, Add Jobs!

Now we should have the technical part of the website all set up! Visit http://yourdomain/path/to/jobberbase/admin/ and you will be prompted for a username and password. Use admin/admin to log in, be sure to change the password right away.

job posting boards

From there you can start editing your site, manage job categories, and it even includes a decent CMS (Content Management System) for modifying pages on the site.

Tweak the site to your content. Two themes are available out of the box, ‘default’ and ‘hireme’. I found that it is fairly easy to modify the themes to your needs.

job posting boards

Hopefully, you have found this tutorial easy to follow and you can use this job posting board on your website. With minimal effort, you may be able to save a LOT of money from job posting services by rolling your own jobs website. If you stumble on any of the steps or have a hard time getting things going, leave a comment and I’ll help you get it installed!

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Hot Tech Deals [Aug 9th]

Posted: 09 Aug 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.

Keep reading to find out today’s Hot Tech Deals.

  1. Sennheiser MX400 Lightweight Earphones $7.99
  2. Power Station External Backup 1000mAh Battery w/ Power Indicator for iPhones/iPods $9.49
  3. LG 32LD350 32 inch LCD HDTV (720p) $369 via code EMCYTZT90
  4. ThinkGeek Coupon Code $10 off $30+ via code SDCC
  5. LG LHB535 5.1ch 1100W Home Theater System w/ Netflix Streaming Blu-Ray Player $379.99 via code HTS84A
  6. Dell Inspiron 15 Intel Core i3-350M 2.26GHz 15.6in Laptop (3GB/250GB/Win7) $499.99 via code ?8CN$RJ?W5TQ0C
  7. Dell Inspiron 14z Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 ULV 14in Laptop (4GB/500GB/2yr Warranty) $700.79 via codes 6KWMM0JFLZK0W? and ?8CN$RJ?W5TQ0C
  8. Lenovo IdeaPad Y460 Intel Core i5-520 2.4GHz 14in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Radeon HD5650) $799via code USPY460803
  9. Lenovo IdeaPad U460 Intel Core i5-450 2.4GHz 14in Laptop (only 4lbs/4GB/500GB/Geforce 305M/8-Cell) $749 via code USPU220803
  10. Lenovo G460 Intel Core i3-350M Dual-Core 2.26GHz 14in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Win7) $579 via code USPG4D803

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set



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Getting Creative with Photoshop Learning Layers and Styles

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 12:30 PM PDT

tutorials on layers in photoshopWe have covered 20 Photoshop Tips and Tricks You Should Know About, but in this Photoshop how-to we're going to delve into what is called layer styles and effects such as drop shadows, bevels, color overlays, and textures; used in nearly all graphic design. Many of the graphic ads posted MUO, for example, make use of layer styles. This is an example.

If you are new to Photoshop, you can easily learn about how to add these special effects using any recent version of Photoshop CS or Photoshop Elements. In presenting this tutorial on layers in Photoshop, I assume you know about layers and how to work with text in Photoshop.

First let's learn a really easy use of layer styles, focusing on using what is called strokes. If for example, you want to quickly add a rectangular border to a photo, one way to do so is using the stroke style.

tutorials on layers in photoshop

With an image opened in Photoshop, go to the Photoshop menu and select Layer>Layer Style, and in the pull-down menu select, Stroke.

photoshop layers

After the resulting dialogue box opens, you should instantly see a border/stroke added to your image. If the stroke doesn't appear, change the Position button from Outside to Inside.

photoshop layers

As you can see, in this same dialogue box you can change the color and size of the stroke to fit your needs.

Layer Styles and Titles

Layer style effects are also used a lot with text in graphic design. Let's see how to create effects like this one:

photoshop layers

Open a blank document in Photoshop and type of out some text. It might be best to use a bold font for this particular exercise. In this example I use the font style, Cracked.

Select the layer of the text you typed and go to Layer>Layer Styles>Drop Shadow.

how to use layers in photoshop

Similarly as in the last example, and dialogue box will appear. This is where you can play around with various styles, including bevels, shadows, glow effects. Simply click the check boxes to add effects.

When you select a particular style, you can, as shown in the above example, make all types of adjustments in terms of color, and the direction, opacity, size, and distance of shadows. Click Okay to apply the effect(s).

When you have the effect set the way you want, you can even copy and paste the style to another layer without having to re-open the Layer Style box.

how to use layers in photoshop

First, select the layer of text with the layer style you just created. Right- or Control-click on that layer and select Copy Layer Style in the pull-down menu.

Next, right- or Control-click on the new layer of text and select Paste Style in the pull-down menu.

tutorials on layers in photoshop

Using layer styles can be a lot of fun, and can easily embellish texts and other elements in design projects. For examples of practical use of layer styles and similar graphic design elements, check out How to Create a Logo Using Custom Shapes in Photoshop and  How to Create a Simple Blog Logo in Photoshop.

Let us know how this tutorial works out for you.

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10 Websites for Puzzles, Brain Teasers and Riddles

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 11:30 AM PDT

brain teasers and riddlesRiddle me this, riddle me that… So goes the popular line from one of superhero fiction's most popular villains. And we are hooked as The Riddler plots Batman's downfall with a riddle. That's the hook that a good riddle delivers. Come to think of it, even a stupid one gets the gears in our brain moving. There actually are no stupid riddles; just easy ones and difficult ones.

For instance, take a shot at this riddle that's an example of a simple riddle (but difficult to answer).

What is greater than God?
More evil than the devil,
The poor have it,
The rich need it,
And if you eat it, you'll die?

The answer is – Nothing.

Well, we won't leave you with that as we check out ten brain teaser and riddle websites that can help to boost your brainpower or liven up a dull train journey.


brain teasers and riddles

Take a shot at the famous Einstein's Riddle and be in the top 2% of the 'brainiest people in the world'! From simple riddles and puzzles, the site has lots of logic, math, and science puzzles to keep your brain on overdrive. You can browse through the puzzles or use the search tool. You can also send in your own as submissions. All puzzles are rated.

Think Riddles

hard riddles

With 8000 brain teasers and riddles to choose from, you can really put your brain in a tizzy. So check out the popular riddles first. You can also go at them alphabetically with the letter links at the foot of the webpage. The riddles at ThinkRiddles.com are more for children than adults.


hard riddles

Mindcipher does not have a large number of puzzles, but the limited collection is arranged in neat categories. Two categories you should try out first are – Lateral Thinking and Logical. Answers along with detailed explanations are given for most of the riddles.


hard riddles

BrainBashers is a potpourri mix of brain teasers, puzzles, riddles, games and optical illusions. It is one of the better rounded sites on brain games you will find because it offers – jigsaws, mazes, logic and mind riddles, online games, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, stereograms, jigsaw puzzles, optical illusions, brain teasers, and more. Interesting side features like Common Answers and Droodles should make you come back daily or subscribe to the Daily Gubbins email or RSS feed.


solve a riddle

If your brain craves for variety, give it Braingle's mix of quizzes, riddles, logic problems, and trivia. Try out the Puzzle Hunts on the site which is like a treasure hunt for the brain. There are only two as of now with ten levels each, but the site also links to others that may be found online.


solve a riddle

Riddles star getting serious here. The site does not have the trappings of rich graphics, but the personal collection of riddles (since 2002) is from a guy who knows his conundrums. The brain twisters are very well chosen. It's a little bit difficult to get to the answers (in case you can't solve them) is that the answers are posted not on the site directly but on the Forum.


solve a riddle

If you speak Chinese, Russian and Slovak apart from English of course, then this site is of help. Apart from the riddles and the brain teasers, try out the small collection on Optical Illusions, Matchstick Puzzles, and Paradoxes.



Puzzletome is not a repository of riddles but one where you can play two full-length puzzle contests and any mini-contests created exclusively by the Puzzletome team. The site requires a free registration. Puzzletome also has a cryptic crossword section with which does not need a log-in. While playing the mini-contests, you can keep an eye on the stats that reflect how you are coping.

Had To Play On


It's a community of riddlers who regularly hold contests around topics such as movies, music, traditional riddles, wordplay etc. For instance, the contest that's running is called 'Sing Who You See'. Using the names of the people in a series of pictures, you have to put together the name of a song. You have to register on the site before you can begin exciting your brain cells.


brain teasers and riddles

You have a chance to find out if this one is really the hardest riddle game to crack as it claims to be. It will tease your brain with its 140 levels. The riddle consists of a series of pictures and you have to navigate through each of them using nothing but your horse sense. Hints are given on a separate page till the eighth level so they won't take you far.

Riddles will continue to have enduring significance. They are the cheapest brain medicine. They also helped to make history intriguing enough for a read through a bestselling book and a Tom Hanks movie. Do you have the time for brain teasers and riddles? Or are life's own puzzles overwhelming you? Take some time out and let us know about your favorite riddles and where we can find them.

Image: Horia Varlan

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10 of the Funniest iPad YouTube Spoofs You Have to Watch

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 10:30 AM PDT

ipad youtube spoofsI’m not embarrassed to say that I’m a self-avowed Apple fangirl. I own a MacBook, an iPod and an iPhone. That said, the humorous parodies and spoofs that flood onto YouTube whenever Apple unveils a new product, can be hilarious. The iPad was of course no exception. In fact, it seems that the iPad has spurned more comedy than any other Apple product. That is, until the iPhone 4 antenna debacle.

This is a list of the funniest iPad YouTube video spoofs, witty commentaries and we’ve even added in a remake of a famous pop song to boot. It is, however, in no way an attempt to instigate an Apple/PC war of which the Internet has seen far too many. From making fun of the iPad’s name to the Apple promo itself, amateur and professional comedians alike have left no stone unturned.

The iPad is a Comedy Gold Mine

The best place to start is with College Humor’s iPad spoof that tells you just why there are so many iPad spoofs out there, and how the iPad is going to “change the way we make fun of Apple.” [NSFW]

Banned iPad Promo

No list of iPad spoof videos would be complete without the spoof iPad promo. These guys are genius. Their reasons for buying the iPad range from saving the Amazon rain forest to seeing everything bigger including the web, email, pictures, and the 3G symbol. [NSFW]

What Would Hitler Do?

It may be somewhat politically incorrect, but how do you think Hitler would react to the iPad? Here’s one possibility, using scenes from a German Film Downfall and subtitled by Hitler Downfall Parody.


What happens when you combine the iPad, Twilight and the Chinese language? Apparently hilarity ensues. Watch as Edward struggles over a choice between Bella and the iPad.

The iPad Keynote in less than 180 Seconds

If you were too busy to catch the iPad Keynote speech you could always watch this iPad YouTube spoof which sums it all up so that you get the general idea in just 180 seconds.

Charlie Brooker on the iPad

Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe makes fun of pretty much everything on our TV screens, so of course the iPad couldn’t escape his witty and sarcastic sense of humour. It’s not exactly a parody, but his take on it is hilarious nonetheless. [NSFW]

Doritos Tablet

Doritos Canada took it to another level when they used Apple’s iPad promo ad as the inspiration for a parody ad all about Doritos Spice 2.0.

Grandma’s iPad Commercial

This spoof was actually created for a college assignment, and takes a look at all of the iPad’s features, along with a few features that Apple seems to have left out.

Apple iPad Notepad

Apple’s choice of name was a breeding ground for jokes of every kind that you could possibly imagine. One of the safer jokes about the name comes courtesy of The Peter Serafinowicz Show.

The Fringemunks: The iPad Song

Weird Al Yankovic would be proud. The Fringemunks parody Michael Jackson’s song Bad, and of course the lyrics are their take on everything they don’t like about the iPad.

What are your favourite iPad YouTube spoof videos? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Robert Donovan

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6 Tips To Get More Out Of Signatures in Gmail

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 09:30 AM PDT

signatures in gmailYour email signature is perhaps the one component that adds the most to the personal touch in your email messages. You could write a formal letter or have a chit chat, its the signature which closes off the conversation and adds that little bit extra. You can be conveying your status, position or rank in a formal communication or letting your friends know where they can find you, its best done at the bottom of the email with your signatures!

Here are some tips you can use to get more out of signatures in Gmail.

Use different signatures for different accounts

signatures in gmail

Gmail can be used to link multiple email accounts. Not only can you consolidate emails from all these accounts into a single inbox, you can also just log into one account and send emails as different accounts. An example could be your work and home email accounts accessible via one Gmail account. Obviously ,you would want to have different signatures for each of these accounts. This is done easily with signatures in Gmail.

Just go to the settings page and scroll down to the region where you can configure signatures. You will see a drop down listing all your configured accounts, for which you can compose signatures separately.

Use rich text signatures

gmail signature settings

While you are here (refer above), notice that the signature box now has buttons that allow you to change the font, text-size as well as include images and hyperlinks in your signature. You can use these to create signatures that not only convey the message you want to, but also display just like you would want them to. Gone are the days when you would have to resort to hacks to get signatures formatted according to your needs. Now you can do it all from the signatures box.

Add style to your signatures

gmail signature settings

You might have heard about WiseStamp, it was one of our favorite and preferred approaches to get rich text and a per-account signature up until recently, when Gmail started offering the functionality natively. As it turns out, WiseStamp, specializing in email signatures, still offers a lot that you can make use of. For starters, you just need to add your social network and IM contact information and WiseStamp displays it all nicely formatted with icons, clicking on which would open up your social network profile.

While you can do this with Gmail, you would have to find icons, make them the right size and then link it to your profiles one by one. Do-able, but we would have to say WiseStamp does this better if you are looking for some bling!

Add dynamic quotes, jokes or other links

gmail signature settings

WiseStamp also has another trick up its sleeves. You can use the RSS feature to insert dynamic quotes, jokes and any other kind of information in your email signature. Just copy and paste the link to your favorite RSS feed in the RSS tab and you are good to go. Note that the title of the feed is what will be displayed in your signature, which would of course link to the place where the item is located.

signatures in gmail

Move the signatures above quoted text

how to make signatures on gmail email

Email threads are known to get lengthy. Add in a couple of joke-cracking pals and a couple of LOL’s and LMAO’s later you find that the quoted text occupies the majority of your message. Although Gmail does a nice job of hiding quoted text whenever applicable, other email clients are not so cunning. In such long threads, it might actually make sense to insert your signatures and signing off comments before the quoted text starts. This can be done easily by enabling a Gmail labs feature that goes by the name of "Signature Tweaks"

Use your handwritten signatures

What better way to add a personal touch to your email than to include your personal signature in your own handwriting? Well, if you agree and long for the same you can do so. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. You can actually sign on a piece of paper and scan the document (save it as an image) onto your computer. Next, open it in a photo editor and apply a basic Levels adjustment to make the background truly white (your scanner probably gave it a shade of gray). Crop and resize to a reasonable size and use it in your signatures via Gmail or WiseStamp.
  2. You can also try YourFonts. The concept is essentially the same as in 1 above, however here you just print, write and scan on a piece of paper and YourFonts does the rest for you. In addition to the signatures, you also get a custom font for your handwriting if you filled the entire page.

While I mention Gmail explicitly in the title just because we love it so much, the bottom three could just as well be used with other web-based email clients just as well. We all write our names and contact info, but it is not uncommon to see people promoting social causes or raising money using their email signatures.

Have you ever done something similar? Let us know of the clever ways you have been using your email signatures.

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Clean Out Your Mac and Give It New Life with CleanMyMac [Giveaway]

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 08:30 AM PDT

CleanMyMac is a handy all-in-one utility for keeping your Mac clean and healthy.

In a matter of minutes, the app scans your files and folders for unnecessary items that are taking up valuable space on your machine – from caches and logs to extensions and universal binaries; saving you an average of 2-3GB on your first run.

Think it’s time to do some spring cleaning done on your Mac? Lucky you — we have 10 lifetime CleanMyMac licenses worth $300 to give away! In addition to that, MacPaw has provided us with a unique 25% discount code. Find out more after the jump.

Once the scan is complete, you will be provided an overview of the files pending deletion. Carefully go through the list to select the files you’d rather keep. You can even tweet your results if you’re impressed by the amount of disk space you’ve just saved.

Nothing has been left overlooked. You can even delete unnecessary language files that come bundled with your favourite apps. Simply choose in the preferences which language files you want to keep, and the rest will be deleted.

CleanMyMac has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. You can uninstall programs through the app, using their drag and drop interface, to ensure that all files related to the app are removed. CleanMyMac can be set as your default ‘uninstaller’ where dragging an app to the trash will launch the program.

CleanMyMac is also a file shredder, offering a secure erase option when deleting top secret files you don’t want anyone to recover.

It also runs unobtrusively in the background, automatically deleting certain files as they accumulate without the need to run a scan, such as Mac OS Service Junk files.

If you’re not familiar with the inner workings of your Mac, don’t worry. CleanMyMac explains the purpose of each type of file that is automatically being saved on your computer. Using the program will improve your Mac's performance, and makes it easy to get rid of unwanted files, without deleting essential system files by mistake.

Go ahead and try it out while you wait. The trial version will allow you to clean 200MB of unnecessary files.

How do I win a copy?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.

Join our Facebook page by clicking the Like button or you can follow us on Twitter, if you prefer. If you’re already following us, you may skip this step.

If you can’t see the fanbox, click on this link.

Here’s our giveaway form. Please fill it in accurately. Be sure to enter your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!

Share it on Facebook

Or on Twitter

And that’s it! You’re done!

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, 13th August at 2100hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

We’re pleased to let you know that we’ve been given a 25% discount code for CleanMyMac! So for those who didn’t win this giveaway, you can purchase a lifetime license at a reduced price. Simply visit the MacPaw Store and enter MAKEUSEOF in the coupon code field. Code is valid until the 19th of August 2010.

MakeUseOf would like to thank Sofia from MacPaw for her generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

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