Monday, September 27, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [September 26th]” plus 7 more “Cool Websites and Tools [September 26th]” plus 7 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [September 26th]

Posted: 26 Sep 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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Unsuck It – Most offices use special words and terms to define everyday business affairs. People in the office familiarize themselves with these terms over time; but to visitors and new employees the terms are needless jargon. If you have such management jargon to decode just head on over to Unsuck It. Read more: Unsuck It: Office Jargon Dictionary Online


Vision Of Humanity – is an organization dedicated to improving peace in the world. There are many projects that the organization endorses but one of the most important things they do is to come up with a Global Peace Ranking Index each year that tells you how peaceful each country is. Read more: VisionOfHumanity: Check Global Peace Ranking For Any Country



Coloring Pages Plus – Coloring objects and sceneries keep children busy like nothing else. There are thousands of websites that provide coloring pages on the web that can be printed and used for coloring by kids. ColoringPagesPlus is a coloring pages search engine that aggregates all these sites together and lets you search all at once. Read more: ColoringPagesPlus: Free Coloring Pages Search Engine



Wrttn – Web apps that allow you to take notes provide great portability. You can save notes on the web app using one computer, then access and modify the same note from any place through the internet. Wrttn is one online note taking solution that sets itself apart from the competition. Read more: Wrttn: A Simple & Fast Note Taking Web App



FreeApps – After a reinstallation of your operating system your first step is to download and install all your favorite applications. Since you have to download and install each application individually, the process can become very time consuming. Thankfully FreeApps has a solution to this problem. Read more: FreeApps: Download & Install Multiple Applications at Once


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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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Thank You To MakeUseOf Friends!

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 07:31 PM PDT

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

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


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

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


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.


TrueKolor – Affordable Quality Logo and Banner Design
If you’re looking for a cheap, original and quality logo or banner, check out TrueKolor. We often contact these guys when we need a logo or a banner made, some of the stuff they did for us listed on their portfolio page. Highly recommended.


Mobify – Making the Web a mobile place
More and more users access websites and read blogs using their mobile phone. Mobify lets you mobilize your blog or website by creating lightweight version of it, which loads much faster and looks great on a mobile screen. MakeUseOf’s mobile site was created by Mobify, and we’re proud of it!


Thank you, guys!

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How Often Do You Buy Software? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 06:30 PM PDT

Last week, we asked you when you last saw spam in your inbox. It seems that there are still plenty of people out there suffering from spam each day. However, some readers were kind enough to leave comments with some great tools for avoiding spam mail. Worth checking out if you’re in need of a solution!

Out of 329 total votes, 31% of people always see spam in their inbox. Another 19% of readers see spam weekly, while 4% see spam every fortnight. Out of the readers who are largely free of spam, 6% saw spam within the last month, 19% see spam once in a blue moon and 21% can’t recall the last time they saw spam.

Full results and this week's poll after the jump.

As you can see, over half of MakeUseOf readers still suffer regularly from spam.

This week's poll question is: How often do you buy software?

This includes software for your smartphone, too.

If you’ve recently bought some great software, let us know in the comments!

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Eltima’s Elmedia Player PRO Giveaway Winners

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 04:30 PM PDT

Did Elmedia Player PRO managed to convince you to ditch VLC? It is, after all, an all-in-one player. Anyhow, we’re not here to judge.

Here are the 25 very happy MakeUseOf readers who will be enjoying media on their Macs with their new Elmedia Players.

Are you one of them?

  1. Roy
  2. Pam McCabe
  3. Mike Lamar
  4. Sharon Thompson
  5. Josh
  6. Yaron Oaknin
  7. Vesa Särkelä
  8. Angelique Salas
  9. Andrew Lee
  10. Deanna Grigg
  11. Ed Frymire
  12. AmjadQ
  13. Ivan Hochberg
  14. Michael Marshall
  15. James Krenz
  16. Diana Tso
  17. Shawn Langlois
  18. Gilberto de Hoyos
  19. Chris Reich
  20. Mel Gibb
  21. Diego Giao Garcia
  22. Jonathan Lewis
  23. Tomer
  24. Aurelio
  25. Jose Fernandez

Congratulations! Licenses have been sent out via email. Please check your respective inboxes.

MakeUseOf would like to thank Eltima Software for their 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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5 Ways to Turn YouTube into Your Personal DJ

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 03:30 PM PDT

youtube listen to free musicIn one of our latest polls, we asked you what your favourite music streaming service is. A lot of those services are great, and I personally use a few of them myself. But sometimes there’s a song, here or there, that I can’t find. The one place I know that I’m always going to find them is on YouTube.

While you can create playlists within YouTube itself, there are some slick apps that make the process much easier, and do it with style. If you want to use YouTube as a way to listen to free music, create playlists, and keep up with your favourite singers' latest hits; check out some of the websites and apps listed below.


StreamDrag allows you to create playlists of music that is available on YouTube.

youtube listen to free music

You don’t have to register for an account to use the site, but the advantage of signing up for a free account is being able to save multiple playlists. Search for your favorite songs and add them to your playlist. Once you’ve got your playlist up and running, you can share specific songs with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Delicious.

music youtube


MuzakBox takes a simpler approach by essentially creating the playlist for you. You choose the artist you want to listen to and MuzakBox does the rest – pulling all of the songs from YouTube into one list. Of course if you’re the kind of person who gets bored listening to one artist for too long, MuzakBox isn’t the ideal choice for you.

music youtube

YouTube Music Player addon

Firefox users can benefit from the YouTube Music Player Addon. Once installed, a new menu item will be available in your browser where you can access all of the YouTube Music Player controls, from searching, to add songs to your playlist, to playing them. Accessing these controls opens up the addon in a sidebar in your browser. Search for songs and add them by right-clicking the results.

music youtube

Once a song has been added to your playlist it is highlighted in red. YouTube Music Player is jam-packed with features, allowing you to create and save multiple lists, preview videos before adding them to your list by hovering over the specific search result, and giving you full control of playback with shuffle and repeat settings. Playback settings can be accessed from the Firefox menu, from the status bar, or from the small window that opens displaying the video itself.

music youtube


JukeFly gives you a whole lot more than just songs from YouTube.Searching for any given artist results in a full discography, an artist bio, and the site even displays the lyrics of songs as they play.

music youtube

For all its bells and whistles, however, like MuzakBox, you can only listen to one artist at a time. While signing up for a free account allows you to create playlists – that doesn’t mean playlists of YouTube videos, but rather from your local music library which you can stream from anywhere using their Windows software. Like StreamDrag, JukeFly allows you to share your favourite songs directly with your Facebook and Twitter friends, or via email.

music youtube

YouTube jockey

YouTube Jockey is a slick Adobe Air app which allows you to create one playlist at a time. Search for and add songs to your playlist, and then you can choose whether or not to display the video as it plays. Don’t worry – there is nothing you have to do to save your playlist – it will automatically be saved for you to return to when you open the app. While it’s great to have a cross-platform desktop app that allows you to easily create YouTube, being able to create and save multiple playlists would make it even better.

youtube listen to free music

Also be sure to check out our in-depth reviews of TubeRadioFM and Muziic for a couple more ways to use YouTube to listen to your favourite tunes.

Do you use YouTube to listen to music? Let us know how in the comments.

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Hot Tech Deals [Sep 26th]

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 01:15 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. Toshiba Satellite L650D-ST2N01 AMD Phenom Quad-Core P920 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB) $649
  2. Toshiba Satellite P500-ST2G01 Intel Core i5 2.4GHz 18.4in Laptop (4GB/320GB/Geforce 310M) $899
  3. Garmin nuvi 295W GPS Navigation (3.5in) w/ 3MP Camera & HTML Browser $109.99 Free Ship
  4. Rosewill RLT-SP-01 Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speaker $49.99 Free Shipping
  5. Dell Ultrasharp U2311H 23in IPS LCD Monitor $239.25 Free Shpiping, 22in $209.25


  1. Dell Home: Free Shipping on Computers $599+ Coupon Code: ZQQZSGW6HFDG3K
  2. Dell Coupon: 25% off All Laptops & Desktops on this landing page Coupon Code: ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F
  3. Dell Coupon: 20% off all Dell Desktops & Laptops in this link with Coupon Code: 5TK?LC9VJ5F$33
  4. Dell coupon: Free Shipping on Dell Studio/Studop XPS Laptops $699+ Coupon Code: ?8CN$RJ?W5TQ0C

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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10 Free MP3 Albums To Download [Sound Sunday]

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 12:30 PM PDT

where can I download free mp3sSound Sunday features free album releases of talented artists from around the world. Not only can you fill up your mp3 player each and every week with free and legal music, you can also broaden your musical horizon. Music shapes the brain.

If you are new to Sound Sunday, you may want to look into past editions for all previous free album downloads. If you are an artist, feel free to share your free music download with me (tina at makeuseof dot com). Now let’s see what this week has in store for you.

Tangram – Flow

Genre: ambient, electronica, new wave, downtempo, minimal

where can I download free mp3sThis is the third free Tangram album featured on MakeUseOf. I previously reported about Tepidarium and Micropolis. Tangram’s seventh album Flow explores the downtempo, minimalistic, and relaxing side of electronic music. The music flows forward.

Download the album from Bandcamp.

Tangram MySpace and Homepage.

Aievea – Cinema

Genre: electronic, pop, nu-jazz

where can I download free mp3sAievea is a band from Romania. Their music is calm and soothing, which is amplified by the smooth and quiet voice of their lead singer Marta Hristea. Lyrically they switch between English, French, and (I suppose) Romanian.

The album is available from Bandcamp.

Aievea MySpace and Homepage.

Phantom Power – Chic In Egypt

Genre: indie, pop, lo-fi, chillwave

where can I download free mp3sPhantom Power apparently is a band with a scientific background as is suggested by the name and the about section on MySpace. Antisense pop and phophophobia is how Eric and Em describe their music.

Download the album free from Bandcamp. More free music is available from Phantom Power’s Homepage.

Phantom Power MySpace and Homepage.

Day of the Woman – DOTW

Genre: indie, instrumental, electronic beats, psychedelic

where can I download free mp3sThe San Antonio, Texas based label Exponential Records has released the album DOTW by Day of the Woman. The album is a joint collaboration of producers Pollination (Nick Noeding), Stenographer (Dave Salinas), and Yppah (Joe Corrales), who started this project in 2007. They have named themselves after the 1978 movie Day of the Woman.

Download the album for free from Exponential Records or Bandcamp.

Day of the Woman MySpace and Homepage.

P.SO the Earth Tone King and 8thW1 – Suicide by Jellyfish

Genre: electronic, hip-hop, rap

where can I download free mp3sP.SO The Earth Tone King was formerly known as P.CASSO. For Suicide by Jellyfish he joined up with 8thW1, a fellow AOK Collective member. P.SO describes the album to be hip hop over indie rock with electro, remixes, and mashups at its core.

The album is hosted by Bandcamp.

P.SO the Earth Tone King MySpace. 8thW1 MySpace. Joined Homepage.

Beta State – Stars

Genre: alternative, rock, pop

where can I download free mp3sEarlier this month Beta State have released their debut album Stars. Judging by their MySpace page, the band from San Francisco, California has been around for at least 7 years. Before they could record their first album, however, they had to audition for a new lead singer.

Monologue Remixed is available exclusively through Live 105. A free song is available at Bandcamp.

Beta State MySpace and Facebook.

Talking to Turtles – Monologue Remixed

Genre: acoustic, rock, pop

where can I download free mp3sThe German band Talking to Turtles released their debut album Monologue earlier this year. It has now been followed up by a free remixed version of the album.

The album is hosted by the netlabel ANALOGSOUL. Click on ANA019 TALKING TO TURTLES in the list of artists to load the free album download to the right.

Talking to Turtles MySpace and Homepage.

Longitude – The Last Anniversary

Genre: alternative, rock, emo

where can I download free mp3sLongitude is a four man band from Fredonia, New York. Their album The Last Anniversary is dominated by guitars and the singers’ raw voice. This is rock.

The Last Anniversary is a free download from Bandcamp.

Longitude MySpace and Tumblr.

Rob Roy – King Warrior Magician Lover

Genre: rap, punk, blues

where can I download free mp3sRob Roy recently signed with Florida-based record label Dim Mac Records. While he is working on his second album, his debut album King Warrior Magician Lover is now available for free.

Download the 11 track album one song at a time from Rcrdlbl.

Rob Roy MySpace and Tumblr.

saddet – Fear Remixes | Volume One

Genre: ambient, electronica, techno, industrial, trance, cyberpop

where can I download free mp3sThis album “includes saddet’s internationsl smash-hit Fear along with four remixes from the winners of the ‘Fear Remix Contest’.” His previous free album Groceries Remixes was featured in this Sound Sunday edition.

Download Fear Remixes | Volume One from Bandcamp.

saddet Twitter and Homepage.

Which one is your favorite album this week? The comments are open for your feedback and suggestions.

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4 Unexpected Free Computer Games In Popular Retail Series

Posted: 26 Sep 2010 10:31 AM PDT

free computer gamesThere are a number of games series that are renowned worldwide for their followers and general excellence. These are the main pillars of retail gaming, and often show the stark contrast in quality (or rather, budget) with free computer games.

Surprisingly, these same game studios have been probing the freeware market as well, and have released a good number of games for free as a nice surprise for the freeware gamer.

Below are four such games, stemming from popular games series and available free of charge.

Need For Speed World

In a few decades of racing games, Need for Speed has, time and time again, set the gaming standard for street races, across all platforms. Need for Speed is not just a PC-exclusive installment, it’s the first ever MMORG (Massive Multiplayer Online Racing Game) in the series and available for free.

In the past, free meant a free trial and level cap. Those restrictions are removed now. The game is extended through a system of micro-transactions to unlock extra cars and features. Those who have previously bought the game have received a pleasant number of credits.

free computer games

Need for Speed World is a decent installment in the series – you either love it or you hate it. Expect unrealistically dumb cops and easy physics, allowing you to work up some additional speed and adrenaline.

Company Of Heroes Online

Company of Heroes Online is based on the original Company of Heroes; an epic real-time strategy installment that was voted Game Of The Year 2006 by PC Gamer, Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, GameSpot, IGN, and received an impressive array of other awards and nominations.

The game has been in closed beta until earlier this month, and is now open for all.

free pc games

The online installment received a remarkably good welcome online and by early critics worldwide, and contains all the features you can expect from an online World War II strategy game, with excellent graphics and fluency of use.

Everquest II Extended (Beta)

Everquest is a popular MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that’s been around since 1999. Everquest II was to be set in a parallel universe, or an alternate future of the game’s setting. Not too long ago, Everquest II Extended went in public beta, as a free to play version of Everquest II.

This version offers a micro-transaction system, and runs parallel to (read: uses separate servers from) the ‘original’ second installment, up to EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey.

free pc games

Gameplay still focuses around adventuring (completing quests and fighting monsters) and socializing with other players. The various races, weapons classes and the vast world of Norrath will keep you entertained for quite some time. Interestingly, the Everquest II Extended download comes with some nifty semi-streaming functionality, so you can get into the game faster than ever.

Battlefield Heroes

Battlefield, most recently known from the realistic first person shooter Bad Company 2, went on a profoundly different tour with Heroes, a joyous, almost comical experience.

free computer games

We covered Battlefield Heroes back when it was still in closed beta. The game is still the same, a fun cartoon World War II MMO shooter, with a number of fun extensions along the way. Join the Royal or National army, and go at it on foot or in one of the many vehicles. Capture enough nodes and keep them from enemy hands to win.

What do you think is the best free computer game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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