Wednesday, September 22, 2010 “Ninjatown: Trees of Doom for iPad [Mini Giveaway]” plus 11 more “Ninjatown: Trees of Doom for iPad [Mini Giveaway]” plus 11 more

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Ninjatown: Trees of Doom for iPad [Mini Giveaway]

Posted: 22 Sep 2010 04:45 AM PDT

Don’t think less of me for what I’m about to tell you — this simple tree-climbing game appealed to me, even as an adult! Ninjatown: Trees of Doom [iTunes link] for the iPad by Venan Entertainment is an easy-to-learn, soon-you’ll-regret-playing-because-it’s-so-damn-addictive masterpiece of a game.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so, the app scored 4 1/2 stars with with over 4,500 ratings on the App Store. So, there’s definitely something right going on here.

Like I mentioned, the game is blindingly simple. Tap on each side to jump from one tree to another. Hook on to a branch and the ninja character will be catapulted a short distance above. Avoid those red devils!

We’ve got 4 promo codes to give away. Enter below. If you don’t feel like waiting, purchase the game for $1.99 from the App Store.

How do I enter?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.


Join our Facebook page by liking us. 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 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 LIKE the post. This step is optional but why not spread the love?

And that’s it! You’re done!

Giveaway eligibility
You must be a fan of our Facebook page to enter;
Individuals who are over the age of 18. If you are under 18, get your parents to participate on your behalf;
Individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India are not permitted to enter.

This giveaway begins now and ends after 100 submissions. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

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Cool Websites and Tools [September 21st]

Posted: 21 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.

List Your Website Here!


Twoolr – If you use Twitter for business or professional purposes and have significant Twitter activity, it is usually a very good idea to analyze how you are doing statistically and what you can do to improve. Twoolr is an excellent tool for this. In addition to showing your Tweet frequency on an easy-to-read chart, the tool also displays a distribution of your tweets by hour. Read more: Twoolr: Detailed Analytics For Your Twitter Account


Kidopo – School keeps young children busy. But during the summer, children have vacations from school and keep their parents busy. If your children are making you run around the house after them, perhaps it is time you started looking for an activity for them. Kidopo is a perfect place to start. Read more: Kidopo: Keep Children Busy With Coloring & Games



Frintr – What best way to show your friendship than to make each one of your friends a part of your profile pic? Frintr is a simple tool that does that without any hassle. It lets you make mosaic pictures from profile images of all your friends. The tool works with Facebook, MySpace as well as Twitter. Read more: Frintr: Make Mosaic Pictures From Images of Your Social Network Friends



GooEdit – Google Chrome is making a move to your desktop with powerful extensions sitting atop the browser. One of these extensions is GooEdit, an online image editor for Chrome that works using HTML5. This tool lets you do light image editing from your browser. Unlike desktop image editors, you can take an image from any website and edit them on the spot. Read more: GooEdit: Adds Basic Image Editor To Chrome



DrupalGardens – If you are about to promote a product or cause online, then a micro-site can help you get the desired online attention. Drupal Gardens is a tool that can help you create Drupal based websites easily. But unlike WordPress, Drupal offers a number of features that make it more than a blogging platform. Read more: DrupalGardens: Easily Create Drupal Based Websites.


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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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The 10 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 07:31 PM PDT

If you wonder what makes MakeUseOf Answers different from similar services, let me give you an idea. Every single question is moderated.

For over 90% of questions that get published I (re)write the headline. Most questions are edited to make them easier to read and understand. About 20% of submitted questions are rejected with a custom message providing further information. This processing helps us maintain a high standard and it helps you to receive the best answer possible.

Sometimes, however, the answer isn’t obvious and we need everyone’s input to provide a proper solution. Every Friday, your help is rewarded in the Best Answer of the Week contest. All it takes is an excellent answer and a way to contact you, valid email address preferred.

This week we need ideas for these tough questions:

  1. How many people own and use smartphones?
  2. Where can I get 1 GB DDR1 RAM?
  3. Why is EASEUS Todo Backup so slow and is it safe to use?
  4. How do you meet single geeks, gurus, or Linux men?
  5. How can I restore an iPhone backup from Windows 7?
  6. Why does Windows Media Player lose music?
  7. How can I add a Javascript widget in WordPress?
  8. How do Torrent tracking sites make lots of money?
  9. Why does a mouse middle click no longer open a new background tab in Chrome?
  10. How can I create a bootable USB drive with either Windows 7 or openSUSE?

MakeUseOf Answers may provide solutions to your questions. Browse by Latest Questions, Unanswered Questions or Most Popular Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

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5 Great Reasons To Use Seesmic Desktop 2 As Your Twitter Client

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 06:31 PM PDT

seesmic twitterI’m a big fan of Seesmic’s latest release to their desktop client. I started paying attention to them a while back, and I knew they were in for some big things when they acquired, but they still managed to surpass my expectations.

If you follow MUO closely, you’ll know that we’ve covered Twitter clients in the past. In fact, we’ve examined Seesmic Desktop, its alternatives (including Seesmic Look), and whether web apps or desktop apps are better to use.

Seesmic Desktop 2, however, appears to be the first next-generation Twitter client, with support for multiple services. In this article, I am going to show you what’s new in Seesmic 2 and how you can benefit from using it.

1. No Limits For Accounts

seesmic twitter

In this release, there is no limit to the number or type of accounts you can manage in Seesmic. Just select the services you would like to add from the list, authenticate them and you’re good to go. Accounts you can add include Facebook, Foursquare, Google Buzz, LinkedIn,, and of course, Twitter.

This is especially useful if you have multiple Twitter accounts, say one for personal use and one for business. It’s not uncommon, so now there is no need to continually log in or out of separate accounts.

2. Additional Plugins

seesmic desktop

If you can’t find your favorite service within the client itself, there are dozens of plugins you can install from the marketplace to increase functionality. This adds a lot more value to the client and removes any limitations you might find with the basic services that come pre-installed.

seesmic desktop

There are plugins for social networks like Ning and Socialcast, entertainment venues such as YouTube and, URL shorteners, support for pictures/videos, news, and shopping services.

Some plugins are integrated into Seesmic by default, but the majority of them can be found in the online marketplace.

3. Control The Message Composer

One feature that some of the top Twitter clients have is the ability to send a message over multiple networks at the same time. With integration, Seesmic has the ability to send your message to more services at one time than any other client out there.

You can pick which networks your message will go out to, enabling/disabling them one by one with a single click. Link and picture integration is also available, as well as URL shortening and things of that nature.

4. Stock Lists & Channels

One great thing about Seesmic Desktop 2 is the integration with stock lists and channels.

seesmic desktop

For instance, the Seesmic Directory is what I really liked about Seesmic Look. It’s essentially a stock list of high-profile Twitter accounts to follow, and includes everything from news authorities like CNN to sports stars like Shaq.

Channels feature Twitter profiles like The Huffington Post and TIME, who might have multiple topics or areas of interest for you to follow.

5. Customizable Background

seesmic twitter

By default Seesmic comes with their custom dark gray interface, but in the new release you can customize the colors and background of the desktop client. You can make the background any color you like, as well as pick from a few basic background images. It’s not much, but it’s a nice feature if you aren’t keen on having a dark background.


If you missed the link above, you can download Seesmic Desktop 2 here.

I currently use Seesmic’s web-based client for the majority of my Twitter use, but with this new release I’ll definitely be giving Seesmic Desktop 2 a chance. I’ve been really impressed with it so far.

The biggest thing that stands out to me with this Twitter client is the plugin marketplace. From a business standpoint, Seesmic has really taken the next step forward by integrating plugins into the interface and allowing developers to create their own. They are also offering service to those who don’t have the resources to develop a plugin on their own.

Will you be giving Seesmic a try?  If not, what is your preferred Twitter client?

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6 Good Web-Based FTP Clients For When You Are On The Road

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 04:31 PM PDT

ftp clientsMost of the time, when you need to transfer files to your web hosting account or any other remote server, you might be at home on your laptop where you’ve got your favorite desktop FTP client installed. However, when you’re on the road or using a friend’s computer, a desktop FTP client may not be available.

The fastest solution for transferring files from anywhere in the world is by using a web based FTP client. Using such clients, you can transfer images or files from a digital camera or memory stick to a remote server from any computer. Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve covered a number of the best desktop FTP clients like FileZilla, which Mark reviewed and various other FTP clients for Windows or Mac.

When you’re on the go, desktop FTP clients just won’t do. You’ve got pics on the memory stick that you’ve got to upload to your website, and you need to do it now. So pull into a library or Internet cafe, fire up the web, and browse through this list of the five best web-based FTP clients.

The Top 6 Web Based FTP Clients


JavaFTP is actually a java-based FTP client that I stumbled across when I first signed up for a web hosting plan at Over time, I’ve found that Webmasters isn’t the best hosting company in the world, but they did create this awesome web-based FTP client.

ftp clients

The reason it deserves the top rank for online FTP clients is because of the side-by-side window pane setup. I’ve noticed most Internet FTP tools use a very non-intuitive single-pane interface. However, the two-pane web-based clients have the look and feel of the best desktop clients. Transferring files is as simple as selecting the file in the left pane, and then clicking the “upload” button.


Since side-by-side clients represent the best of the FTP breed of web-based clients, then it makes sense that the AnyClient FTP tool comes in a very close second. With AnyClient, you select the file in one pane and click the arrows to transfer to the other pane.

free ftp clients

The only reason I placed this one behind JavaFTP is because the control interface is a bit scattered throughout the tool, so it takes a little bit of searching around to figure out exactly what you want to do and how to do it.

The next few apps one the list are single-pane FTP clients, but they make the top 5 list because they offer additional functionality and are well-programmed. If I was hard pressed and ended up on a computer without the ability to run Java apps, I would resort to using one of the following clients.


free ftp clients

When I first visited Net2FTP, I really didn’t think I’d like it. The main page has the look of a very cheaply made website. However, once you log in and get into the tool, it’s actually well designed and very functional. Aside from the typical uploading and downloading functionality, you can also edit the files online by clicking “Edit” under the actions menu. This is a very useful feature because you can edit webpages on the fly without the need to download and then re-upload after edits – very cool!


Next up is FTPLive, for the same reason Net2FTP made the list, because you get the added functionality of editing the files by clicking the edit icon under the “Operations” field.

free ftp clients

I don’t like the layout of this tool as much as others, or the fact that you have to scroll down to the bottom of the window to access the upload or download functions.

online ftp

With that said, the tool works well and offers everything you need in a web-based FTP client, and then some.


The next online FTP tool that made the list is Smooth FTP. I actually like the look and feel of this tool. You can’t edit files on the fly, but you can change permissions and rename, and all of the functions like directory modifications or file transfers are all handled by clicking on the menu options at the top of the tool.

online ftp

Smooth FTP is easy, convenient, and it’ll get the job done fast.

Web to FTP

The final tool that I’d like to mention is called Web to FTP. When I first saw the login page for this tool, I was sure it would make the top of the list because it looked like one of the other high-quality Java tools I’ve mentioned. Unfortunately, once you log in it looks like the rest of the single-window FTP tools.

ftp clients

It is laid out a bit odd, and the functionality is a bit lacking, but if you just need to quickly upload a file and you need a quick online tool to do so, Web to FTP is ready to serve.

What FTP tools do you use when you’re not at home and you  need to upload files to your website? Do you have any of your own favorite online FTP clients? Do you have a favorite from this list? Offer your take in the comments section below.

Image Credit: T. Al Nakib

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How To Lose Half A Day Playing Trivial Pursuit On YouTube

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 02:31 PM PDT

trivial pursuit online gameThe world of online gaming has recently been given a shiny new direction: YouTube interactive games. And after spending a little time with the latest and greatest YouTube game, I can see it’s going to be big.

You may have heard of YouTube’s interactive games before. Basically, they’re the product of a lot of short videos and hyperlinks in annotations. Up until now, most of the games have been low budget, indie creations doing the best they could with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” mentality. They’re great fun (and certainly addictive) but mostly far from seamless execution – until the Trivial Pursuit online YouTube game.

The Trivial Pursuit YouTube game has the sort of financing that the other game creators could only dream of. Along with some co-operation from YouTube (which I bet the indie creators would love to get a piece of), it has taken the clunkiness out of YouTube’s interactive games and turned it into something sleek and novel.

trivial pursuit online game

Obviously, the game is built on the same premise as previous games – with a new video playing for each choice you make. But due to the unchanging URL and lack of distracting related videos it looks like one seamless interactive game. The changing videos are merely background mechanics that you don’t need to bother yourself with. All you do is play. And play. And play (and suddenly realise you’ve lost a few hours!)

Trivial Pursuit already had a lot going for it. As a household board game it’s well known for providing challenging questions in various categories for various ages and backgrounds. Answering trivia is an inherently addictive pastime (if you agree with this, you should also try Free Rice – let your addiction do some good).

online trivial pursuit

As an online game, Trivial Pursuit has also worked in a few social features which adds another dimension to their game and make it just that little bit more addictive. Add a twist of betting, some neat stats and some of the most viral YouTube videos and you have a sure-fire internet hit.

online trivial pursuit

Gameplay is such that users are impervious to how much time they’ve really spent playing. Rounds take about a minute and it’s very, very easy to say “well, just one more”. Months from now, pale half-starved people will re-emerge after finally recovering from their Trivial Pursuit addiction – Popcap Games would be proud.

online trivial pursuit

The game also looks great! The designers have made a clean, uncluttered interface and scattered some colourful, moving cheerleaders around to brighten things up.

When you start you’re asked to choose a language and to give your age. There’s no special kids questions, because users need to be over 18, and the language option seems to just translate the questions rather than making them more appropriate for that demographic (I tried in French and got asked about English literature and American geography).

trivial pursuit online game

This is really a big move in the world of games on YouTube and there’s a lot to get excited about. I am very much looking forward to more games like this.

How to play? Well, it’s dead simple. Click this link - and beware.

If you’re in need of even more YouTube entertainment, try some awesome stop-motion videos.

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Hot Tech Deals [Sep 21st]

Posted: 21 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. Dell Optiplex 380 Mini Tower w/ 20in LCD Intel Core 2 Duo 2.93GHz (2GB/320GB/Win 7) $499

  2. Dell PowerEdge T110 Server Desktop Intel Xeon Quad-Core 2.4GHz $399 Free Shipping

  3. LG GP08 8X USB 2.0 Portable Slim External DVD Burner $34.99 Free Shipping via code BTEYWNY59

  4. Corsair HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W Power Supply (80 PLUS Certified, Modular Active PFC) $79.99AR Free Shipping

  5. Dell Latitude E5510 Intel Core i5 2.40GHz 15.6in Business Laptop (2GB/250GB/1600×900) $634.88 via code TDLMZNK$8D?D3R
  6. TODAY ONLY Sharp LC-60E88UN 60 inch LCD HDTV (1080p, 240Hz) $1549 Free Shipping

  7. TODAY ONLY Kensington SD100 Notebook Docking Station $19.99 Free Shipping

  8. Panasonic DMP-BD65 Blu-Ray Player (Netflix Streaming) $109.99 Free Shipping

  9. Panasonic HDC-SD60K SDHC Card High Definition Digital Camcorder $369 Free Shipping via code GEICO10


  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

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5 YouTube Channels Where You Can Learn How To Throw A Knockout Punch

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 12:31 PM PDT

how to throw a punchMovies and the WWF channel aside, a real world situation calls for doing what works. Learning how to throw a knockout punch is not about machismo (though it seems that way), it's about having the street smarts to defend yourself.

There are as many ways to throw a punch as there are ways to run away from a fight. But the latter is not an option when you come up against an attacker or a bully. To survive or just to gain respect, you have to know how to land a few haymakers.

These five YouTube videos that show you how to throw a knockout punch are less about teaching you how to fight. That takes skill, patience, and pain. It's just an insight, that there are ways to finish a fight and give someone a bloody nose. You can take that hint when you go in for structured self-defense coaching.

Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan have done their bit. Now it's up to you to get serious about self-defense tactics.

Self Defense Tutorial

how to throw a punch

This YouTube channel has just nine uploads. But the self defense demos are simple enough and well constructed against a dummy. You can maybe start off with the video on How To Throw A Punch and then go on to How To Knock Someone Out In One Punch.

The videos come from the principal website that teaches basic self defense techniques. It's a simple enough starting point but do remember what Bruce Lee once famously said – 'Boards don't fight back'.


how to knock someone out with a punch

I would start off with the How to Fight: Top 5 Ways To Avoid A Street Fight video. But you and I know that soon we might have to square off. That's where the How To Punch Tutorial comes in. Follow it up with the channel's highest viewed video on Street Fight Defense Tips. The channel also has a few videos on conditioning your body. So that would be a good idea before you go deeper into the instructional on street, school, and fist fight advice.

The YouTube channel on self defense and street fight skills has been put together by Shane Fazen. As his profile says, he is an experienced 'street fighter' and an amateur Thai kickboxing (Muay Thai) competitor.


how to knock someone out with a punch

Shihan Michael Pace brings you 100+ videos with step by step slow motion instructions on self defense. From how should a woman defend herself against a bedroom rape attempt to striking techniques that teach you how to hit with power and precision, the videos are easy enough to follow for ideas.

A few videos on how the Special Forces go about their hand to hand combat makes for interesting viewing. For scoring knockouts, checkout the video on Knockout Power.

Street Fight Secrets

how to knock someone out with a punch

I came across the channel's selection of videos thanks to its tip on How to Knock Someone out with One Punch. Richard Grannon has nearly 240 uploads to his credit. As the site says, the instructions are not only about combative techniques but also about the thought process behind it. So you have videos on how to deal with verbal threats and few clips on how to get over violent attacks.

Master Wong Martial Arts TV

how to throw a punch

If you think that kicking groins and headbutts is dirty fighting and want to get into serious martial arts, check out this channel. Master Wong's channel with free martial arts video training has around 250 videos. The video/TV channel is backed by a fully fledged website, chat show, and other forms of media. The martial arts instructions cover fighting skills on Wing Chun, Kick Boxing, Tai Chi, self defense, and more. Don't treat this channel as a quick lesson on how to knockout someone by learning how to throw a single punch, but more as a learning resource on martial art forms and what they can do for self defense.

I am not a fighter. But I am an interested observer like you who wants to know how to defend himself in an emergency. YouTube is a great resource that shows you exactly how it's done. But to really master the self defense techniques, you have to go to an expert. But do remember what Sun Tzu's Art of War tells us – the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Even then, tell us about your favorite YouTube video or any other video that shows how to land a great left-right combo.

Image Credit : Wikimedia Commons

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How To Recover Broken MP3 Files That Aren’t Recognized

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 11:31 AM PDT

recover my file mp3There are a lot of audio applications that are essentially flawed. They seem to work great, and may continue to do so, but under the surface they transfer little quirks and errors to the files they’re handling in your music collection.

You’d be surprised how many of your files are already affected. Luckily, many of these errors stay below the radar, and these files will continue to play as if nothing were wrong. Most applications don’t rely too heavily on a particular MP3 tag.

But if a file suddenly has choppy sound or doesn’t play at all, and if a collection of songs can’t be added to iTunes, then you know what’s happening.

Depending on how grave the particular distortion is, it might be easy to solve, or not at all. Below are a bunch of applications, for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, that will help you detect the fault and recover corrupt MP3 files in your music collection.

Validating & Repairing MP3 Tags

Most of these errors have to do with so-called MP3 tags. These aren’t limited to the name of the artist and the album release year, but also contain critical technical information, like MPEG stream and Xing header data. When these don’t match up or there’s garbage at the beginning or end of the file, some MP3 players will get confused. The applications below analyze your files, try to realize what’s wrong, and fix it.

a) MP3 DiagsDownload (Windows, Linux)

This application is available for both Windows and Linux. If you’re experiencing trouble, try option (c).

MP3 Diags is a wonderfully extensive application that not only takes care of the aforementioned errors, but also helps you maintain the consumer-relevant tags and album artwork. For the purpose for this article, we will focus only on its repairing capabilities.

recover my file mp3

In this collection, MP3 Diags is the heaviest and most extended application. It works its magic fast, precise and with vast detail. If you’re technologically gifted, MP3 Diags will duly and thoroughly inform you of the nature of those errors. It’s obviously one of the better applications in this category.

The main development platform is Linux (OpenSUSE), so it’ll function best on Linux OS’s. Contrary to MP3val, MP3 Diags offers a decent GUI. Windows compilations should work fine though, although program crashes are slightly more likely. The Windows build is currently being developed and tested using Windows 7.

b) MP3 Scan+Repair (Mac OS X)

The Mac OS X handyman is called MP3 Scan+Repair. Barely 1MB, MP3 Scan+Repair is a small, but resourceful application, that’s just as easy (if not easier) to use as MP3val.

fix mp3 files

Files can be added from within the application, or by dragging it onto the application window or dock item. The application will immediately start scanning your files. To repair all (repairable) errors, select the corrupt files (click the warning icon at the top and select all) and press the hammer icon. Files will be moved to the trash and reconstructed in their stead.

c) MP3val (Windows, Linux)

This application is available for both Windows and Linux. If you’re experiencing trouble, try option (a).

MP3val is a lightweight application that can fix most of the aforementioned problems, lightning fast. It’s been the salvation of many an audiophile. You can include files manually, or add whole folders to scan. Once the MP3 problems have been determined, they can be fixed with the click of a button.

recover my file mp3

Although MP3val is technically a command-line tool, the MP3val frontend offers a graphical user interface for Windows users, as can be seen in the screenshot above. On the download page, make sure to select the MP3val-frontend 0.1.1 binaries.

The MP3val core (command-line) is up to version 0.1.8 and can be used on both Windows and on Linux after compilation.

The majority of, but not all, files can are repairable. It’s possible that some files have been distorted beyond repair. It’s also possible that you’re not looking at a ‘real’ MP3 file. If you downloaded this from a shady source, I suggest doing a full system spyware sweep.

Got any other tips on bringing disheveled MP3 files back to life? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Sync Your Google Docs To Multiple Machines With Insync

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 10:31 AM PDT

sync google docsFor many people, Dropbox is one of their must have apps. Its simple yet innovative concept allows users to be creative in utilizing the app. But among the things that you can achieve using Dropbox, there are also things that it can’t do. One of them is to easily sync your Google Docs to your desktop.

While I’m not a heavy Google Docs user myself, I think I will use the service more often ever since I found out about Insync. This is a combination of a web service and desktop apps (Windows and Mac) that will help you sync your Google Docs to multiple machines, Dropbox-style.

Setting Up The System

You should check this out if you use Google Docs a lot. This fresh-from-the-oven free service (with 1GB storage of personal use) allows you to easily add, delete and edit Google Docs documents in the comfort of your desktop – either online or offline. The changes that you make will be synchronized to your Google Docs accounts whenever your machine connects to the net.

To start using the service, you have to register and download the desktop app. Go to the website and click the green “Install Insync” button.

sync google docs

Fill in the field with your Gmail/Google Account address and click “Go“. You’ll have to confirm that you allow Insync to use this address as the login information. Then the app will be downloaded in the background. Install it when the download is done.

01b Insync - Enter Google Account.jpg

There’s another confirmation window in your machine that you have to go through before the app can run.

02 Start Insync.jpg

Insync will use your Google account as login information. Assign a name to your machine before clicking the “Sign In” button.

02b Insync - Sign In.jpg

Then you will land in the “Activities” tab of the web interface where you can see your recent activities.

google docs

There’s also information about your storage usage on the right side of the page, along with links to “Settings“, “Support“, and “Install” (where you can (re)download the desktop clients).

google docs

On the desktop, the app will reside in the notification area of the taskbar (Windows) or menubar (Mac). You can use the icon to access Insync’s preferences.

google docs

Preferences is the place for you to edit the location of the Insync folder and the Proxy Configuration.

synchronize notes with google docs

Share & Collaborate

Insync allows you to share your Google Docs folder with your colleagues. This feature makes it easy for a team to work on projects simultaneously from different locations.

You can share your folder(s) simply by right clicking them from within your Insync folder and choosing “Share“.

synchronize notes with google docs

Or from within the web interface by clicking the small arrow next to the folder name.

synchronize notes with google docs

Then type in a name or email address of the person that you want to share your folder with.

google docs sync

On the other hand, if someone wants to share a folder with you, you will get a notification on your Insync client. To accept, go to the “Action – someone wants to share foldername with you – Accept” menu.

google docs sync

If you don’t have the desktop client, you will get an email with this notification instead. Basically it suggests that you install the client.

google docs sync

If you’ve ever been in a project where many people are collaborating, you will be familiar with the term “revisions“. One document that has been edited by many people will have several revisions. It’s important for the project coordinator to be able to track the revisions.

Insync makes it easy to do so. Just right click on a file within the Insync folder on your desktop, or click the small arrow next to a document name on the web interface, and choose “Revisions“.

sync google docs

Early Notes

After playing around with the service for a while, a few things came to my mind. The first one is the inability to share only a file or two. You’ll have to share the whole folder and everything in it. I think it’s safe to assume that not everybody wants to share everything inside his/her Google Docs folder. So, the workaround is to create folders to share inside the Google Docs folder and only put the files that you want to share inside those shared folders.

The second is the inability to easily change users. Once you login with one, you have to go through lots of hoops to use different Google Accounts with the desktop client. It would be cool if people with multiple Google Accounts could just click on the menubar icon and choose “change account“.

Another thing is that you might need to restart your machine before the right click Insync menu works. I tried the desktop client on two machines, the right click menu worked instantly on one machine after installation while the other required a restart.

The last note is a question: why would anyone choose Insync over Dropbox to sync and share their documents? Is the ability to access Google Docs enough to justify the switch? The truth is, you don’t have to choose. You can use both services hand in hand. I curiously tried to move the Insync folder inside Dropbox. It worked (and still works) just fine. So you can have the best of both worlds.

Give Insync a try and tell us what you think about it in the comments below.

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15 Yahoo Answers Questions That Will Make You LOL Hard!

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 09:31 AM PDT

funny yahoo answersAs the editor of MakeUseOf Answers I see a lot of tech-related questions every day. Since every question is moderated, most of the embarrassing fun is edited out and the most ridiculous questions never see the light of day. From an entertaining point of view that is too bad, but on the other hand, we really want to make the world a smarter place.

If you don’t know what I mean, have a look at 15 funny Yahoo Answers questions from Yahoo users. How do these people manage to survive?

If you need to work out those face and belly muscles, here you go!

1. Question: How Can I Prevent Pearl Harbor From Happening?

funny yahoo answers

Smartass Answer: You need a Delorean, a Flux-capacitor and 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity to make that happen.

2. Question: Credit Card (Stuck) In Computer?

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Smartass Answer: Turn the computer upside down and shake it.

3. Question: If You Die, What Happens To Your MySpace?

yahoo questions and answers

Smartass Answer: It deletes itself. You see when you die a little microchip goes off in your brain and instantly deactivates any accounts you may have. They are inserted a few months after birth, everyone has them.

This was also the best answer chosen by the asker herself!

4. Question: Why Do Stupid People Breed?

yahoo questions and answers

Smartass Answer: They wanted company?

5. Question: If A Woman Was To Eat A Lot Of Chocolate, Would Her Breast Milk Taste Like Chocolate Milk?

funny yahoo questions

Smartass Answer: Chocolate breast milk comes from black women.

This was also the best answer chosen by the asker. His comment?

wow never realised this b4, ty

6. Question: How Turn Computer Monitor Into Mirror?

yahoo answers

Smartass Answer: Get a can of mirror spray paint, point, and spray.

7. Question: How To Get YouTube To Come Film You?

yahoo questions

Smartass Answer: facepalm

incredible questions

This is actually a popular troll question, that has been posted several times on Yahoo! Answers. Meanwhile, the original question was deleted.

8. Question: Why Are Fossilized Clam Shells Found On Mt. Everest?

yahoo answers questions

Smartass Answer: Obviously. Any other suggestion, such as geological uplift of the ancient seabed at points of tectonic plate subduction, would be mere hocus-pocus and superstition.

9. Question: What Is The Country Of Canada All About?

ridiculous yahoo answers questions

Smartass Answer: Wow, the American education system really is in crisis.

10. Question: Instead Of Simply Worshipping ‘God’, Why Not Worship Godzilla?

ridiculous yahoo questions

Smartass Answer: I choose to worship God because I prefer worshiping real things over movie characters anytime.

This question reminds of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As founder Bobby Henderson says:

With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshippers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents—mostly fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs.

11. Question: How Do People Hide Large Amounts Of Food In Their Mouth?

how to ask a question on yahoo answers

Smartass Answer: It’s called Bulimia?

12. Question: Can I Fail A Drug Test By Having Sex The Night Before?

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Smartass Answer: You will fail an IQ test.

13. Question: Why Doesn’t The Earth Fall Down?

yahoo fail

Smartass Answer: Because it can fly.

Yes, that’s also the best answer selected by the Asker. She didn’t care much for gravity and the sun.

14. Question: Why Did Yahoo! Answers Delete My Question?

Subtitle: Would my cat like the heat from about 15 seconds in the microwave?

funny yahoo answers

Smartass Answer: Try the dryer instead.

15. Question: VERY POPULAR Techno Song?? HELP!!! They Play It In Clubs!!?

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Smartass Answer: Sandstorm by Darude.

I’m speechless. People actually knew the answer!

If those got you hooked, check out more funny Yahoo! Answers on these pages:

Do you think most of these questions are genuine or do people just fake it to appear in an article like this?

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Increase Your Video Game Performance With Game Booster 2

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 08:31 AM PDT

increase video game performanceGaming is one of the most demanding tasks that you can ask your computer to perform. The graphics that are rendered to create the game world place a major load on your video card and the AI and physics calculations that take place will stress your processor. While almost any modern computer can easily handle day-to-day productivity applications, a rather beefy system is needed to play the most beautiful games at high detail settings.

You can always increase video game performance with new hardware, but you can also improve performance by fine-tuning what you already have. That is the goal of Game Booster 2, an application that can change your computer’s settings so that games run faster and more smoothly.

Game Booster 2 also offers some convenience features that make it easier for the average user to keep their computer up to date. Let’s take a closer look to see how this software can help your gaming rig.

Driver Management

The drivers that you have installed on your computer partially determine how well it will perform. A video card that has never had its drivers updated (and is more than a year old) is likely to be running ten to twenty percent slower than it otherwise could. New features and bug fixes are often introduced in driver updates as well.

Even so, most people don’t both to update their computer’s drivers. The reason for this is simple – updating drivers is usually a pain in the butt. Video card drivers are the easiest, both ATI and Nvidia have intuitive websites and relatively painless installers. Other drivers, such as the drivers for your sound card and network adapter, are not as simple. Figuring out where to download new drivers from can be its own adventure.

increase video game performance

Game Booster 2 simplifies this in its Game Drivers section by creating a list of drivers on your system. The current version of the driver is listed, as is the driver’s release date. If your drivers are out of date you can click on the “Go to download page” button to quickly download whatever driver you need. This basic feature is one of Game Booster 2’s most useful and can save you a lot of time.

Boosting Game Performance

online pc game performance test

As the name implies, one of the main goals of Game Booster 2 is an increase in your game performance. It aims to accomplish this with a feature called Gaming Mode.

This feature tries to improve gaming by disabling background programs that could reduce your computer’s overall performance. In this sense it isn’t just a Gaming Mode but also a general go-fast mode. You can replicate this feature manually by entering Windows Task Manager and going hog-wild closing things, but you’ll waste a lot of time.

The Gaming Mode feature is also better because it turns all of the background programs you disabled back on automatically when you turn the feature off.

increase video game performance

There are other performance boosters available as well. The Game Defrag feature will scan game folders for file fragmentation and can defrag as required, which may improve loading times. The System Tweaks section includes a number of registry changes that can improve overall system performance. These tweaks can improve load times, enhance network performance and more.

As with Gaming Mode, these tweaks aren’t necessarily just useful for gamers – some of them, such as a tweak that increase the number of download sessions you can have active with Internet Explorer, can be useful for everyone.

Results & Conclusion

All of this sounds great, but what are the results?

To find out I used the built-in benchmarks from Just Cause 2 and Far Cry 2 both before and after using the features of Game Booster 2. I found that my increase in performance was about five percent. That’s not earth-shattering, but it is something. When lumped on top of the performance benefit of upgrading your drivers you may be able to increase your performance by up to twenty five percent.

The benefit you gain from Game Booster 2 will depend on how long its been since you’ve last tried to improve your gaming performance. Game Booster 2 may not help if you keep on top of driver updates and already tweak your system manually. If you’ve never updated your drivers and your computer has been swarmed by background programs, however, Game Booster 2 will be a huge help.

Overall, Game Booster 2 is a nice program not just because it can help increase video game performance but also because it makes gaming easier. The program reduces the time you’ll spend finding and downloading drivers, hunting and shutting down background processors, and turning them all back on when you’re done.

Oh, and if you have the original Game Booster installed, I highly recommend upgrading. Many of the features discussed here aren’t present in the first version.

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