Wednesday, August 18, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [August 17th]” plus 10 more “Cool Websites and Tools [August 17th]” plus 10 more

Link to

Cool Websites and Tools [August 17th]

Posted: 17 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.

List Your Website Here!


SquareRoot Calculator – Calculators are cheap and abundant but there are often times when you don't have access to a calculator or the one you have can only do so much. If you are stuck with a situation like this and all you want to do is calculate the square root of any number, checkout the dead simple SquareRootCalculator. Read more: SquareRootCalculator: Quickly Calculate The Square Root of a Number.


Yogile – Sharing photos online has become easier with websites like Picasa, Flickr, and Facebook. However there are times when you want to get all of the pictures of an event from your friends' cameras and put them all in the same album. This is what Yogile is all about. Read more: Yogile: Easily Create Online Group Photo Albums.



CSS Button Designer – is a neat little tool from PageTutor for creating and styling HTML buttons with CSS and JavaScript effects. With this tool, users can simply apply CSS styles and Javascript mouseover actions to a simple HTML button to improve their appearance of the webpage and increase clicks to the button. Read more: CSS Button Designer: An Easy Tool To Generate Web Buttons.



Twitterbar – If you are looking for a way to make your Twitter account more accessible, then we have a wonderful tool for you – TwitterBar. It is a browser add-on for Mozilla Firefox that lets you tweet from your browser address bar i.e. the area where the URL of a website appears. Read more: TwitterBar: Tweet From Your Address Bar (Firefox Add-on).



FollowUp – Because of our busy schedules, we often forget important dates and events. For example some people read emails and plan on replying 2 days later but they forget to do so. To make sure that people do not forget, FollowUp comes up with an easy solution. Read more: FollowUp: Easily Set Follow Up Email Reminders.


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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The 10 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 07:30 PM PDT

MakeUseOf Answers needs your help in solving some complicated questions this week. Please have a look and make a valuable contribution if you can. Your answer could be worth $50 in our Best Answer of the Week contest, provided we are able to contact you with the good news.

Below are the tough questions that need answers:

  1. How do I play sound to two different audio receivers simultaneously in Windows 7?
  2. How can I sync only specific GMail contacts to my Droid Hero?
  3. How can I make tables align automatically in Microsoft Word or any other Office software?
  4. Why can Adobe Bridge no longer perform Camera Raw editing?
  5. How can I clone my GSM sim card?
  6. How can I associate Acrobat 9.0 with WinZIP?
  7. How can I boost my mono speaker outlet?
  8. Why can I not access the internet with Windows 7 while it works fine with Windows XP?
  9. How can I format an external hard drive to be used with Time Machine?
  10. How can I lock the font on multiple lables in DesignPro?

There are many more questions to be solved on MakeUseOf Answers. View the Latest Questions, Unanswered Questions or Most Popular Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

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Limited Time Offer: Get AnyBizSoft’s PDF Merger & PDF Splitter for FREE

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 06:30 PM PDT

Do you read or work with PDF files often? If so, you’ve probably needed the ability to either combine multiple files into one or split one into many at some point.

AnyBizSoft has two applications that can do just that. Their PDF Merger allows you to combine multiple PDF files into one for better organizing, archiving, and batch printing, while their PDF Splitter enables you to split PDF files–even encrypted ones–by pages, bookmarks, and page ranges.

In this article, I am going to review both of these applications, emphasizing how simple they are to use. I will also tell you where you can get these apps for free (for a limited time).

PDF Merger

PDF Merger is a standalone program that doesn't require Adobe Reader or Acrobat to be installed in order for you to use it. It allows you to set properties and security for your newly created files, and it can remove passwords from protected files that prevent you from copying, editing, or printing.

To begin merging PDF files, you have to start by installing the program and running it. From the application's main screen, you simply click Add Files… to select the files you would like to merge. You can import up to an astounding 200 files at one time with this program.

After adding your desired files, select any one of them and click Method. A screen will appear that allows you to select your page range and sort method. Available options include the merging of all pages, odd/even, or specific pages you type in.

Once you’ve made your selections, click the Options button to customize the properties and security for your soon-to-be merged file. Then, you can return to the home screen where you can set the file name and destination folder for the exported file.

If you’ve got everything situated just the way you like, all that’s left to do is to click the Merge button to begin the process of combining your PDFs into a single file. Check the folder for the your new document once completed.

PDF Splitter

PDF Splitter gives you a way to split large PDF files into smaller ones quickly and flexibly. Like PDF Merger, it is a standalone program that doesn’t require any other software to be installed. It allows you to split one large PDF file in multiple ways, including into several files with equal page number.

To use PDF Splitter, you first have to open the program to the home screen. Clicking Browse will allow you to select the PDF file you want to split.

Once selected, you can go under Select Split Method to choose your split settings. You can split by any amount of pages, split by bookmark, by page range to a single file, page range to multiple files, and averagely across multiple files. Customize the output folder and you're done!

Click the Split button and PDF Splitter will go to work for you. Simply check the folder when you’re done for your newly created files.

Where Do I Get These Apps?

For a limited time only, AnyBizSoft is giving licenses to these apps away for free. All you have to do is navigate over to their Facebook page and fill in your information to be sent a free license for both apps. Once you have a license, you can download the apps from their respective pages and enter in your code to begin using them for free.

Aside from the limited time offer, AnyBizSoft is also constantly giving away free licenses for their flagship app, PDF to Word Converter 3.0.0. More details on their Facebook page.

If you’re an academic user, you can also check out their Back to School special offer page for more great deals.

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Deadline – A Fast Math Computer Program For Solving Problems

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 04:31 PM PDT

fast math computer programBack in high school, when I first started taking some of the more advanced math classes, I would have loved to have had the sort of tools and resources that the Internet now offers. Instead, I had to invest in an expensive scientific graphic calculator – the famous HP 48G. It took me a full summer of washing dishes to save up for that baby, but it got me through both high school and college.

Today, if you’re an engineering or a science student and you want a useful and fast math computer program that can solve complicated math or algebraic equations in just seconds, you have a whole plethora of options on the Internet.

One of the best free applications that I discovered for this purpose is called Deadline. Need to calculate derivatives, integrals or the roots of an equation? Not a problem. Want to save the resulting graph to a report or a document filled with your homework solutions? It’s easy, just run Deadline and you can generate, manipulate and save any graph and the resulting mathematical solutions.

Solve Equations & Math Problems

When you first start the Deadline Wizard, you’ll have an opportunity to type in your equation, enter all of the equation parameters, and also type in the x-axis interval (the range of values that will be used in the formula to generate the graph of results).

fast math computer program

When you click OK, you’ll instantly see a plot of your entire graph. In the top right field, you can modify whatever parameters you used in the equation on the first screen. This is useful because you can graphically see how changing each parameter changes your entire set of results. In this example, increasing “m” shifts the entire graph up.

free math programs

You can also click on the roots (where the formula solution is zero), and you’ll see those roots represented in the graph as large green dots. You can also change the resolution of the graph by reducing or increasing the number of “points” used in the generation of the graph. Obviously, 1000 points will create a nice and smooth graph, but you can decrease it down to only 10 points to see how this affects results.

free math programs

Working With Mathematical Solutions For Your Formulas

The nice thing about Deadline is that it doesn’t just graph results. You can actively change the formula or parameters as part of the graphic process. When you click Calculate -> Evaluate from the menu, you’ll see the three derivative results (f, f’ and f”) for each value of x that you’d like to test.

free math programs

If you’re familiar with derivatives, you can select Calculate -> Derive to view the differential equations based on your original formula. This may not be useful for basic math problems, but for students working on advanced calculus or engineering problems, this can be extremely useful.

fast math program

Even more useful to engineers and scientists is the ability to calculate and view the integrals for your equation. The integral is basically the amount of area between your graph of results and the x axis of the chart. Knowing this total area for a certain range is very valuable information, and this graphic software offers that answer with just a few keystrokes.

fast math program

Under the “Calculate” menu item, you’ll also see the “find Extrema” tool, which gives you the peaks (extrema) of the graph in the range that you’ve displayed.

fast math program

When you’re finished tweaking the chart with the parameters that you want, you can save the current graph to an image file (PNG format). This is obviously very useful for inserting the graph results in reports or homework solutions that you may be working on. In this format, you could also insert the graphs directly into a website or online posting.

fast math program

DeadLine also comes with a built in “calculator” for those complicated math problems that have no variables. This is great for complex math problems that you just can’t do in your head.  Do you have 20 apples that you sell for 10 dollars each and want to divide among 4 friends and their 2 siblings? Just kick open the calculator and type “(20*10)/(4*2)” and you’re done.  No matter how complicated the problem, the calculator will always pull through.

fast math computer program

As you type in each equation, the equation and resulting solution gets logged in the top window. I find the Deadline graphic and math calculator to be one of the most useful and functional math computer programs that I’ve discovered so far.

I would love to hear what you think of it, and whether you know of any other similar, or more useful and fast math computer programs that get the job done just as well.

Image Credit: Kim André Silkebækken

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Glass – Share Your Web Browsing Experience With Your Friends (500 Invites!)

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 02:31 PM PDT

share web browserOne of my favorite things to do on Twitter and Facebook is to share links.  I typically keep my Twitter stream tech related so whenever I find an article or website that interests me and it also has a tech-related topic, I’ll share the link.

That is all fine and good, but sometimes it’s better to share the context as to why I am sharing the link.  For instance, it would be nice if I could share the parts of the article or website that I found interesting.

share web browser

With Glass, this is possible.  Glass is a new Firefox plugin (they’re also working on a Chrome plugin) that works as if there is a layer of glass over the website so you can posts notes and such on the places you want to bring attention to.  As you add friends, you can share your actual browsing experience with one another.

Sign Up For Glass

Since the purpose of Glass is to share with other people, it is actually something you have to sign up for.  Don’t worry, the process is simple. Since it is still in private beta, you will need to first enter your Glass code on the front page.  You will be happy to know that we will be giving away free invites at the end of the article for you to give Glass a try.

Install the Glass Firefox Plugin

Once you finish creating your account, you will be brought to the page where you can install the plugin.

share web browser

Installing the plugin is just like installing any other plugin for Firefox, browser restart and all.

Share Something On A Page

OK, now that you’re all equipped  with an account and the plugin, just browse the web like you normally do.  When you come across a site or page you want to comment on and share, click the little green icon up near the address bar.

share browsing

When you click the icon, a window will pop up giving you three choices.

share browsing

First, you can add a new slide which is what you do when you want to begin posting notes on a site.  Secondly, you can have a link to your feed.  This is the place where all of the notes to all of the sites you’ve shared will be listed.  Also, if your friends have tagged you to see sites they’ve commented on, they’ll appear on this list.  Finally you can choose to hide all slides, if you want to browse without the notes.

In order to post notes on a page, choose “Create Slide” to get started.  You will see a box that appears over the website you are commenting on.  Begin entering one of your friend’s usernames in the first field and enter the note in the second field.

share browsing

Once you are finished, click “Post” to see how the slide will look.

browser viewport

Check out your feed to see that it has appeared there.  The feed is really cool because you can keep track of all of your slides, your friends’ slides, and all comments made on each of them.

browser viewport

They have also incorporated the posting of video comments and are still working hard to add even more features.  Like I said earlier, I believe they are working on a Google Chrome version so keep your eyes open.

Tip: Check out their YouTube channel for some cool commercials and tutorials all about Glass.

The good people at Glass are looking for some beta testers so they gave us 500 invites to give away here on MakeUseOf.  You will notice that you will also have some invites to share with your friends once you sign up.  When you go to the Glass website, enter the code “makeuseof” to get your invitation to the private beta.

Try out the new service and tell us what you think in the comments.  Also, it being in beta and all, I’m sure the people over at Glass would love your input and suggestions.

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Hot Tech Deals [Aug 17th]

Posted: 17 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. AVG Internet Security 9.0 Software (1 Year License) FREE After Rebate
  2. Linksys WRT160N Ultra RangePlus 802.11n Wireless N Router $39.99
  3. Lenovo Coupon Code up to 15% off Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops via code USPTHINKDEALS
  4. New ShoeMall Coupon Code 20% Off + Free Shipping via code BK2SCHOOL
  5. Sharp LC-60E88UN 60 inch LCD HDTV (1080p, 240Hz) $1599 via code QDFL8GW9D?SLMZ
  6. Sony SA-VS350H 5.1/7.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker System $399.99 via code SONYSAVS350H
  7. Antec Six Hundred Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (200mm Top Fan & 3x 120mm Fans) $57.95AR via code HARDOCP811C

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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10 Websites For Short & Sweet Twitter Movie Reviews

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 12:31 PM PDT

twitter movie reviewsMost of us would just like to get on with the business of movies. Who has the time to read through a wordy critical review of a movie?  But going to watch a movie without a fair idea of how it’s faring has its fair share of dangers, one of it being a wasted ticket. But now Twitter has come to the rescue.

Twitter has already compressed our conversations to 140 characters or less. When we are bending one's ear with chatter, why not use it to catch which film is worth watching? After all, more than the film critic, it is the man on the street's take that holds more value sometimes.

There are a host of Twitter based tools that bring us timely movie reviews crammed into a tweet. Here are 10 Twitter based movie review sites that help you catch a show or save you from a washout.

Skinni Popcorn

twitter movie reviews

Skinni Popcorn combines the best of both worlds in a slick interface. Read the overview on a movie and catch What People are Saying on Twitter. The interface is conveniently divided into three sections – Now Showing, Top Box Office, and Most Talked About. Clicking on any of the three sections makes it drop down with the movie listings and the reviews.


Flicktweets scans the Twitter universe and gives you real time buzz on a movie. You also get a short synopsis, and a metric score that comes from their sister site on films – MRQE. The metric score is a film's quality barometer decided by critics.

If you are interested in expanding on the film review on FlickTweets, you can jump to MRQE for a more thorough look. Flicktweets covers current releases, DVD releases, and film classics.


TwitCritics (Beta) is a film and movie review website based on Twitter. It collects tweets on a movie in real time and ranks a movie based on the number of positive or negative tweets it garners. You can filter movies by its positive or negative scores, the buzz it's generating, and what's trending now on Twitter. There's also the search bar to search through any reviews.


reviews on twitter

fflick is another Twitter based movie review site which analyses your friends Twitter feeds to see which movies they are talking about. But it also tells you how a movie is being rated by the general Twitter crowd.

For instance, if you want to catch what celebrity is saying about movies, you can enter the Twitter name and tap into his (or her) Twitter stream. fflick also catches the sentiments for the expected releases which makes it a great source for trailer tipoffs and leaks.


reviews on twitter

You can search Mombo by a movie or actor and find out what's being ranted about it on Twitter. Mombo uses a sentiment analysis engine to evaluate and rate movies based on the tweets it gets. The site also has a list of movie folks and their Twitter names.


reviews on twitter

TwitFlix catches what moviegoers are saying about a movie on Twitter and then assigns a value from 1 to 100 and creates the overall film rating. Based on this score, you can check both the most popular movies and the least popular one.


twitter review

MovieCritter also takes in feedback via Twitter and rates movies according to the yeahs and nays. You can use the search engine for a movie, sort from the front page using filters like 'best' or 'worst', or do an alphabetical listing. Get more information on the movie from Amazon, Wikipedia, or IMDB. Also included are trailers and a link to Fandango for showtimes and tickets.

Film Review Friday

twitter review

Send in your own Tweet sized reviews or read what others are saying about a movie. Tweeting in your two bits worth is easy with the website’s hashtag, a score and a quick review. As the site says, you can review any film, anytime and say anything. Each film is also linked to IMDB,, and Amazon.


twitter review

TwitMovie brings all movie murmurs on a single page. Behind the scenes, a live feed is fed in from Twitter, trailers from YouTube, ratings and other details from Rotten Tomatoes and Netflix. You can click the ratings buttons to directly add your own say to Twitter. If you really follow a movie, you will also like to click on the News tab which is sourced from Yahoo and Google.


twitter movie reviews

For the user, Blippr is broader in scope than the ones we have covered so far. You get to read and do Tweet-sized micro-reviews on apps, books, games, music, and movies.

Blippr bases its recommendations by learning what you usually watch. For example, you can allow Blippr to connect to your Netflix account. It also connects to your social networks like Facebook and Twitter which can then be used to pass on recommendations to your friends via the reviews you do on Blippr. Blippr gives you the ratings on a movie given by your friends.  Blippr also allows you to create all sorts of lists on your favorites.

So, would you rather follow what the Twitter crowd is saying or lean towards a critic's movie review of a film before buying the movie ticket?

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Pivot – Search & Interact With Massive Amounts Of Data

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 11:31 AM PDT

search dataThe user experience that we’ve come to know and love is, when you think about it, quite flawed. Although we are only displaying a rather limited amount of data on our screen (whatever our screen resolution can handle), a lot of data is kept unused in the background, as a memory hog. It’s because of how a computer accesses data.

This has dealt us some serious restrictions. We stumble around the web, half blindfolded, only able to pan and search a seriously limited amount of data.

Or so it used to be.

The current tech revolution centers around a zooming kind of interface. Like when you’re using Google Maps, and the individual streets are only loaded (and only then start using up valuable memory) after zooming in. Microsoft Live Labs has been following tail in this revolution, and has worked up a number of revolutionary experimental applications. According to the team, Pivot is their most ambitious one to date.

Microsoft Live Labs’ Pivot

Pivot is based on a previous experiment called Seadragon, now dubbed and free for all. Just like, Pivot allows you to move and search through incredible amounts of data. But where the former could only exploit one huge picture at a time, Pivot juggles with thousands upon thousands of different files. It’s a new way to experience data.

data processing

All those tiny tiles in the screenshot above are high resolution magazine covers. And this is no static collage. You can, with a relatively small amount of memory, rearrange, and zoom in on that pile. With a modern household computer, there are no loading times, no lag, only the time it takes for your internet connection to download a few individual pictures. Because when you’re using Pivot, you only download what you see, and not what’s hidden behind binoculars.

We select a single tile and double-click. In seconds, we sweep in closer and get a full-screen view. Not only of the magazine cover, but of related information and suggested Bing search results.

There’s one fact we neglected to mention. Pivot is a web browser. That doesn’t mean you can surf MakeUseOf in this manner. Yet. But it definitely shows the power of the technology. As others get a chance to explore this platform, more collections will be created, and the web will be irreparably damaged with bouts of more awesomeness.

Sorting Data With The Speed Of Light

There’s more to Pivot than an oversized zoom function, though. The real power lies in the sorting mechanisms. You can easily and instantly filter that gigantic mountain of tiles. In the example collection above, by selecting sports featured on the cover, or the athletes’ leagues and teams.

data processing

Once we’ve narrowed our collection down, we’ll want to switch to graph view, rearranging the data into groups. For a moment, while you see those tiles fly around on your screen, I want you to imagine the amount of data embedded in those 7 resulting bars.

Here, the covers are sorted by cover date. You can easily sort it by other attributes though, depending on the data collection and the embedded information.

For more information, and a firsthand view, check out the video below:

Onlookers & Techies

Although Pivot is free, revolutionary and quite stunning, you’ll have to bear in mind that it’s still an experiment. Currently this means that it isn’t exactly easy to create collections of your own. The best GUI currently available seems to be Pivot Collection Maker, by y2k4life (third-party).

Pivot currently features a Collection Gallery. Most relevant are the sport-related collections, Wikipedia (highly recommended), Yoga Journal Featured Poses, AMG Movies/Actors and New/Concept Cars. The other available Collections can be seen here.

data processing

Until more home brewed collections find their way to the public, or you can find your way around the Collection Maker application, Pivot won’t be an application for daily use. But even as an experiment, it’s a wonder you have to see with your own eyes.

Recommended System Configuration:

  • Windows 7 with Aero enabled.
  • 2-GHz 32-bit (x86) processor.
  • 2 gigabytes of random access memory.

Supported System Configuration:

  • Windows Vista with Aero enabled.
  • 2-GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.

Minimum Graphics Requirements:

  • 256 megabytes of video memory. Pivot does not support most Intel integrated video chipsets.

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How To Easily Jailbreak Your iPhone In One Slide

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 10:31 AM PDT

how to jailbreak an iphoneAside from the legality issue and the warranty, the major reason why most iPhone owners who fall into the novice category (myself included) feel reluctant to jailbreak their precious iDevices in the past was because the process of jailbreaking is not for the faint of heart.

Our Assistant Editor, Jackson, explained the complication of jailbreaking perfectly in his article A Newbie's Guide to Jailbreaking [iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad].

“Be sure to find the right method for the right device for the right firmware. Inappropriate jailbreaking may render your device into a "brick". Taking the term literally, that means your device will be as useful as a piece of brick – it won't turn on. Jailbreaking will also void your warranty, so I reiterate – make sure that you know what you're doing.”

But it seems that those days are over since two important things happened in the jailbreaking world recently.

It Takes Two To Tango

The first is the announcement from the United States government that jailbreaking and unlocking an iPhone is completely legal as long as you are not violating copyright law. Meaning that you are allowed to run unauthorized applications and use your iPhone with any carriers without having to worry about going to jail.

But be warned that learning how to jailbreak an iPhone and doing so will still void its warranty. Moreover, the law might be different in other countries. Simply said, jailbreak at your own risk. Please also note that jailbreaking does not give you permission to install copyrighted applications which were acquired illegally.

how to jailbreak an iphone

The second important thing is the return of JailbreakMe – the web-based jailbreaking tool and the easiest way to jailbreak your iPhone. All it takes to jailbreak is a stable internet connection and the ability to touch and slide. No hacking skills required.

These two things might change the minds of most people about breaking out of the jail.

It’s So Easy That…

The jailbreaking process using JailbreakMe is so easy that anybody can do it anywhere. Some people even go as far as doing it inside the Apple Store just to prove that they can.

If you’ve decided that you are up to the task, plug your iPhone to your computer and sync. This step is required to make sure that you have a backup of your phone. Just in case. The back up process will also allow you to restore your iPhone should you decide that you want to go back to jail in the future.

how to jailbreak iphone

After the sync, open the Safari browser from your iPhone and visit the JailbreakMe site using a stable internet connection (it doesn’t have to be very fast, just stable) to make sure everything will go fine.

JailbreakMe will only work on iOS 4.0.1 and below

I tried to do this the first day JailbreakMe went alive and I had difficulties accessing the site. One of my friends recommended an alternative site and everything went smoothly.

After the famous “slide to jailbreak” process is finished, you will get the notification that Cydia has been added. Congratulations, you have successfully jailbroken your iPhone!

how to jailbreak iphone

Some might wonder “is that it?” Yes, that’s it. Told you it will be easy, didn’t I? And if you are up for more adventure, let’s explore Cydia a little bit.

The Unofficial App Installer

Using layman terms, Cydia is the iTunes App Store for unofficial iPhone apps. Here’s the place to get many kinds of apps that will enable cool features on your iPhone that are not officially available from Apple.

The first time you open Cydia, you will be asked what type of user you are. Unless you are a hacker or a developer, choose “User (Graphical Only)“. You will also be asked to download “Essential Upgrade” to avoid any possible errors.

how to jailbreak iphone

The download process for the upgrade looks similar to other download processes, starting from the confirmation window, the download process itself, and the extraction and installation.

jailbreak iphone

After the basic configuration is set, you can start browsing around to familiarize yourself with the Cydia environment and see whether there are any particular apps that you like.

jailbreak iphone

Most of the apps can be found in the “Sections” and “Manage” tabs at the bottom of the screen.

jailbreak iphone

Browsing for apps is fun and you might come across several great items that you didn’t even know existed. But if you already know what you are looking for, the easiest and fastest way to find the app is by using the search function. Tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom right of the screen.

how to jailbreak an iphone

There are lots of cool apps inside the Cydia repository, but first timers might want to try SpringBoard and WinterBoard (plus all the pre-made themes) that allow you to modify the iPhone theme beyond what Apple allows you to. Also try “What’s Next” which will tell you what things you can do after jailbreaking, and “UnlimTones” to modify and add ringtones. We’ll keep the discussions about Cydia apps for future articles.

Have you tried jailbreaking? Will you now try jailbreaking with JailBreakMe? Share your comments below.

Image credit: Casey Serin

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Get Instant Alerts Of New Computer Viruses & Phishing Emails

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 09:31 AM PDT

new computer virusesAn antivirus program and a firewall are indispensable tools to keep your data safe and your computer running smoothly. However, no matter how careful you are, new computer viruses and malware find the most peculiar ways into your system.

Hackers can exploit holes in your software, you could run into a novel virus before the definitions of your antivirus tool are updated, or you might fall for one of many new phishing emails. You will never be 100% safe.

One more precaution you can take is to stay up to date with the latest threats. Learn about the traps before you’re stuck in the middle of one.

This article summarizes feeds, email newsletters, and other means of staying informed about the latest new computer viruses and phishing emails.


new computer viruses

The spamNEWS blog provides frequent updates on anything that threatens your digital experience. Besides spam, you will also find updates on phishing attacks, security vulnerabilities, or Facebook scams.

This news blog relies on several sources for its information, including Sophos, Secunia, MessageLabs, and SecureWorks. It’s the perfect central news resource for the curious, but not overly worried among you.

spamNEWS RSS Feed


new computer virus alert

Sophos is a company that has specialized in the protection of information. They offer a range of products, from data encryption to email security. They also provide several RSS and Atom feeds that addresses the latest threats.

RSS Feeds:

For links to the respective Atom Feeds, click the Sophos link above. You will find the list of all feeds on the right hand side.

Trend Micro

computer viruses

Trend Micro became famous for its browser-based virus and malware scanning tool HouseCall. Meanwhile, the tool has grown into a full-blown standalone and browser-independent application.

Apart from a list of informational RSS Feeds (see below), Trend Micro also provides two interesting tools: the Threat Resource Center widget, which you can add to your website, Facebook, or Google page; and the ThreatWatch app for your iPhone. Obviously, both of them will alert you about new security threats. Get both of the tools here.

RSS Feeds:


computer viruses

Despite often being criticized for its notoriously bulky software, Symantec remains one of the leaders in the field. Naturally, the ‘Threat Landscape’ is closely watched by this company. The Threat Explorer provides an overview of the current threats, risks, and vulnerabilities.

Below are the respective feed links. The threats can also be viewed in Symantec’s ‘Internet Threat Meter‘, a desktop widget for Windows and Mac, powered by Yahoo! Widgets.

RSS Feeds:


new computer viruses

McAfee is best known for its antivirus program. Being one of the major players in the field, the company must frequently update its antivirus definitions to keep its customers safe.

McAfee provides an overview of current threat activity. At the bottom of the list you can also sign up to McAfee’s ‘Security News and Special Offers’ newsletter (see link below), which promises to shower you with virus alerts.


If you’re neither interested in RSS Feeds, nor email newsletters, you may be a social network addict, who prefers to work with status updates. Below are some Twitter resources related to virus, malware, and phishing alerts.


With these feeds and updates to your email inbox you should always know what is waiting to get you on the other side of your security setup. What is the worst security threat you ever had to deal with on your work or home computer?

Image Credits: zvon

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Freemake – An Easy Video Converter For Windows

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 08:31 AM PDT

free video converterDigital video is admittedly much easier to transfer between formats than old-fashioned video kept on big, bulky tapes, but that doesn’t mean that changing formats is a pain-free process. It can be particularly difficult on Windows computers because the available free movie maker software – Windows Movie Maker - doesn’t offer that large a selection of output formats. Uploading a YouTube video in HD has been particularly difficult, for example.

Enter Freemake, a free video converter that was designed with ease-of-use in mind. I’ve used different free video converters before in an effort to resolve my issues with publishing movies only using Windows software and have walked away unsatisfied, leading me to simply publish videos using my Mac instead. Freemake has made me consider using Windows for video again.

Just one quick note, however – this free video converter does require the latest installation of Microsoft Windows .NET – and it can be quite a sizable download if you don’t already have .NET.

Video Conversion

The main use of Freemake is, of course, video conversion. The program will accept virtually any video file you can dream of as an input. Selecting a video for conversion is as simple as hitting the large Video button at the top of the program and then browsing to find the video file that you want to convert.

Once the video file is selected it will appear on a list in Freemake. You can select numerous files at once and convert them in a batch. Once you’ve selected one or more files you can simply click on one of the output options at the bottom of the program to begin the video conversion process.

free video converter

While a wide variety of inputs are accepted, the outputs are more limited, but still very robust. AVI, MP4, WMV, 3GP, DVD, MP3 and Youtube output is supported. The AVI and WMV options allow you to chose from a variety of quality options including 1080p, 720p, DVD quality, TV quality and mobile quality. The MP4 conversion is optimized for mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad, the Sony PSP, and smartphones. The 3GP format is also targeted towards mobile devices.

freeware video converter

The DVD option will, as you might expect, burn video to a DVD if you have a burner installed in your computer. The MP3 option also does what you might expect, stripping out video data and hanging on to audio, effectively turning a video file into a podcast.

Last, but not least, the Youtube option automatically uploads the video files you’ve selected once you enter your Youtube username and password.

Audio, DVD & Photo Conversion

Freemake’s greatest strength is its ability to accept a wide variety of input video files, but its capabilities extend beyond accepting traditional video formats. Audio, DVD and Photo formats can also be accepted.

Being targeted towards video conversion, there are not a lot of audio conversion options. You can convert to the video file formats, but there are no real options available in regards to audio quality. MP3 conversion is the only real audio conversion option.

However, one nifty feature is the ability to add audio tracks to video files, which can be done by adding a video file and audio file and then selecting the “Join into one file” checkbox.

free video converter

The DVD option lets you rip a DVD to your computer. Once you have selected the DVD in your DVD drive, you can convert it to any of the available formats. You can also press the Edit button on the right to cut out any advertisements or other non-essential video content included on the DVD.

Finally, the photo option makes it possible to create movie slideshow files out of a set of photographs. Clicking the Photo option lets you browser and select multiple photo files. Once selected, you can convert them into any of the available formats to make a slideshow. The Edit button again lets you modify the video, although in the case of photos you can only change the interval between photos and add music into the background.


Freemake is an exceptional program. It has one of the best interfaces I’ve ever come across in a free video converter, but it is also a powerful program despite its simplicity. If you’ve been frustrated with other video conversion programs for Windows you should definitely check this out.

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