Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MakeUseOf.com: “Cool Websites and Tools [October 18th]” plus 8 more

MakeUseOf.com: “Cool Websites and Tools [October 18th]” plus 8 more

Link to MakeUseOf.com

Cool Websites and Tools [October 18th]

Posted: 18 Oct 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. You can make use of them without spending a dime. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here.

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Lanyrd – Imagine you are a web developer and an important JavaScript-related conference is being held nearby. The conference goes on and ends without you even knowing about it. You find out the next day and wish you had knowledge of the event so that you could have attended it. Lanyrd is an online service that finds conferences and makes sure you do not miss them. Read more: Lanyrd: Finds Conferences In You Area


ScrapWalls – Collages are fun to make. An example of this is a massive collage poster made up of tiny actual photographs. If you want to get such a poster made, head on over to ScrapWalls. It is is a free and simple to use website through which you can create a collage poster composed of individual photographs. Read more: ScrapWalls: Create Collage Posters From Photos & Share Online



WiseStamp – ASCII art may have lost its coolness quotient sometime in the last decade, but email signatures are still here and by the looks of it, they're here to stay. WiseStamp is a new service that helps you create social media email signatures that is more in line with the current social media trend. Read more: WiseStamp: Social Media Email Signatures



Tinyapps – is an online directory of applications that are really small, install without a hassle and do not consume a lot of system resources. The apps are primarily for the Windows OS but there are pages for Palm and OS X as well. For an app to be a part of this site, it should not be more than 1.44 MB in size. Read more: Tinyapps.Org: An Online Directory Of Tiny Applications



Cooklet – Are you looking for an all-in-one kitchen-related website? What if there was a website that contained various cooking tips, numerous food recipes, and a glossary of all ingredients? Cooklet offers all of that. It contains recipes, food cleaning tips, cooking tips, and tips on which products to buy. Read more: Cooklet: Discover, Organize & Store Recipes Online


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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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3 Modified Google Search Versions To Set As Your Browser’s Default

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 06:30 PM PDT

No matter which browser you are using, your default search engine is likely to be Google. I am not going to persuade you to change it to something else because that advice would be useless to many: we still use Google, no matter what.

This post is about modifying your browser’s default engine slightly – these modifications are likely to improve your searching experience a lot.

But first, let’s very briefly look at how we can create a new search and set it as default in our favorite browser.

How to Create a New Search Engine

FireFox (address/URL field)

  • Open about:config
  • Filter for keyword.url
  • Double click on this entry to open a dialog;
  • Edit the 'keyword.url' string

Placeholder for your search term: blank

FireFox search box

  • Go to mycroft.mozdev.org and use the form (you can also use "Show full instructions option?" to see the tips) to create a search plugin for your search box;
  • When ready, test the plugin, generate the code and submit it to the database.

Placeholder for your search term: {searchTerms}

Google Chrome

  • Navigate: Settings (icon) -> Options and click "Manage" next to your "Default search engine"
  • Click "Add" button and there provide the details:
    the name, keyword and query string of your new search engine.

Placeholder for your search term: %s


  • Press CTRL+F12 to open the Preferences panel and click on the Search tab.
  • Click “Add” button and provide the new search engine name, keyword, URL and query string.

Placeholder for your search term: %s

Internet Explorer

  • In the search bar, click the arrow next to the search icon and select “Search for other search engines” and there click “Create my own search provider”
  • Provide the name and query string of your search provider.

Placeholder for your search term: TEST

Now that we know how to create a new search engine, let’s see which options we actually have.

Google “Browse by Name” Search

Google “Browse by Name” search functionality is something in between “I am feeling lucky” and regular Google search. With “I am feeling lucky” button you will always land on the actual page ranked top for your search term (by-passing Google results page). With regular search, you always land on Google results page.

With “Browse by Name”

  • For generic search terms, you land on Google search results page;
  • For “navigational” terms (where the top result is pretty much obvious), you land on the top result page.





Note: This search will also bypass the search results page for all terms where a Wikipedia article is ranked #1. Try:

  • http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=war
  • http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=dickens
  • http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=shakespeare

Google search query to create this search engine:

  • FireFox address bar: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=
  • FireFox search box: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q={searchTerms}
  • Google Chrome: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=%s
  • Opera: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=%s
  • Internet Explorer: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=TEST

Note: The search can be a huge time-saver but surely not for everyone. People who specialize in search (like myself) can’t use it because for them, the search results page is the most important destination.

Google Vanilla Search

Google vanilla is our old good Google we all miss so much: no “universal search” results (images, videos, etc within general Google search results page), no sidebar search options, no ads on top of organic search results, etc. Everything is crystal clean and clear:

vanilla google

Google search query to add this search engine in your browser:

  • FireFox address bar: http://www.google.com/custom?q=
  • FireFox search box: http://www.google.com/custom?q={searchTerms}
  • Google Chrome: http://www.google.com/custom?q=%s
  • Opera: http://www.google.com/custom?q=%s
  • Internet Explorer: http://www.google.com/custom?q=TEST

Google De-Personalized Search

Like I have already mentioned, Google personalizes search results to try to show you the results that you are likely to appreciate. You are free to disable this behavior and you have various ways to de-personalize your Google search results – one of which is by creating a new default search engine in your browser.

Google search query to create this search engine:

  • FireFox address bar: http://www.google.com/search?pws=0&q=
  • FireFox search box: http://www.google.com/search?pws=0&q={searchTerms}
  • Google Chrome: http://www.google.com/search?pws=0&q=%s
  • Opera: http://www.google.com/search?pws=0&q=%s
  • Internet Explorer: http://www.google.com/search?pws=0&q=TEST

Are there any cool Google modifications you are aware of? Let’s have some Google fun!



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Hamster Is A Free, Highly User-Friendly Video Converter [Windows]

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 04:30 PM PDT

freeware video converterIn order to improve my earlier tutorial screencasts, I’ve been experimenting with video editing using free applications, such as Wax 2.0 and VirtualDub to release videos on Youtube. This, of course, comes with a lot of back-and-forth video conversion tasks as most free video editors seem to only accept AVI files (except Avidemux which also takes MP4).

Online video converters are incredibly convenient (Zamzar is one of my favorites as it converts in high-quality), but having an application on the desktop seems to make more sense if I needed to consistently convert videos.

Thus, I scoured the web for a good freeware video converter, such as the ones found on this handy list and another one on free video-and-audio converters. A number of them seemed too complicated or bloated for my needs as I only wanted a quick converting app and to avoid spending so much time figuring out the conversion procedure when video-editing just consumes as much time. Then I found Hamster Free Video Converter and looked for more information at the publisher’s site, which comes with no nag-screen of any kind or ads (unless you count the author’s Facebook, Twitter and Youtube links as ads). It’s currently my favorite application for Windows (might be yours soon too!)

You can get the installer (14.2MB) from the Download.com page. Once you complete the installation, you can get started converting videos for your desktop and portable electronics in a jiffy.

Beautiful & Numbered Interface

One of the most striking things you notice when you first launch the installed program is the beautiful interface. Contrary to a lot of other video converters which offer overwhelming interfaces with way too many confusing buttons and options, this program sports a cleaner look which you can definitely tell it was carefully- and well-designed. It features 3 tabs, each indicating the steps needed to convert your videos: adding files, choosing settings, and converting.

freeware video converter

The first tab is where you drag and drop your files. You can also add files by clicking on the button to browse.

video format converter

The application also supports batch conversion to a specific format or container so you can drag and drop several videos at a time. You also have a video player on the right of the first tab so you can confirm that you have the correct files. One drawback is that the player doesn’t seem to produce any audio, but you can still look and verify at the audio codec information, as well as other file details right underneath in the Info box.

Choosing Conversion Settings

After you’ve added your desired files to convert, proceed to click on the second tab titled Edit, which lists all the possible output formats and device presets. It includes very recent devices such as the iPad and iPhone 4, as well as Android, Blackberry, PSP, Xbox, Zune, etc.

video format converter

For AVI, WMV and FLV outputs, you can additionally select to deinterlace and resize the video, and change the frame rate and bit rate.

video format converter

When you’re converting to AVI, you can also pick codecs, such as DivX or Xvid (which were explained more in Best Settings & Formats For Youtube Videos), which depends on the ones you have installed on your system.

video file converter

If you regularly find yourself converting videos, you can save your settings to use them next time by clicking on Add To Favorites.

video file converter

When you’re all set choosing your settings, go on to the third tab to click Convert and just wait for the videos to be converted.

Supported Languages & Themes

The program has been translated to a good deal of languages including Spanish (which I tested and determined, has great translations), French, Japanese, etc. which you can switch to by clicking on Settings at the title bar, selecting Language and checking one of the numerous languages. According to the official developer blog, the list of supported languages nears 40 which includes a lot of other languages that you don’t usually see support for.

video file converter

The original color of the interface is actually yellow but if you dive into its Settings, you can also click on Themes, which brings up a rainbow palette for you to customize the color.

freeware video converter

Have you got a favorite free video converter in mind you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

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How to Remove Windows Desktop Search from Your PC

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 02:30 PM PDT

remove windows desktop searchWhat is it with Microsoft and "optional" mandatory updates? Windows Desktop Search (though Microsoft have dropped the "desktop" making version 4.0 Windows Search) probably made its way onto your Windows XP PC when you installed Microsoft Office, the MSN Toolbar or similar Microsoft product.

The update creates a full-text index of all the files on your local drive, but unfortunately does not extend to any network drives you have access to. In Windows 7 and Vista have this technology built in, on XP you'll have had to install it as an add-on.

You can disable Windows Desktop Search but if you'd rather get rid of it altogether, you're in the right place.

Removal Instructions

The first (and probably most obvious) removal procedure is via the Add/Remove Programs interface in Control Panel. For quick access, hit Start then Run and type appwiz.cpl before hitting Enter.

remove windows desktop search

Once Windows has populated the list, make sure the Show Updates checkbox is ticked and keep an eye out for Windows Desktop Search and your version number. Click Remove and follow the prompts to get rid of the offending article.

That wasn't so hard was it?

However, a quick internet search will reveal that many users were unable to use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall Windows Desktop Search. The entry simply doesn't appear, and this makes it that little bit harder to uninstall.

If you happened to install the MSN Toolbar (which installs WDS on your system) then removing this may work, but you'll have to sacrifice the toolbar in the process.

Sometimes the uninstaller will run, yet this simply removes the entry from your installed programs list, meaning the service is still present.

All is not lost however, and there are a few other things you can try if you're still determined to ditch the update.

Further Reading

The first thing you're going to need to do is take note of your Windows Desktop Search version. You can do this by opening Windows Update (which usually resides at the top of your Start menu) and perusing your Update History.

windows desktop search

Once you've found out your version, you'll need to run the hidden uninstaller that lives in your Windows folder. Click Start then Run and type in cmd before hitting Enter.

windows desktop search

You'll then need to paste the command for your particular version into the command prompt:

Version 4 (known as Windows Search)


Version 3.01


Version 2.6.5 Beta






Once you've pasted the corresponding command into that window and hit Enter the hidden uninstaller should run, removing WDS from your system. There is of course, the chance that you’ll see this screen:

windows desktop search

The Final Straw

If you're still having trouble and have tried all of the above then help may come from blogger David Arno, who has packaged the uninstaller into a handy little ZIP file. This will only work for version 4.0, aka Windows Search.

Download [direct link] the file and unzip the $NtUninstallKB940157$ folder it to your Windows directory (probably C:\Windows) and open another command prompt.

remove windows desktop search

Copy and paste the following into the window you just opened:


This should initialize the uninstaller and Windows (Desktop) Search should now have been removed from your PC.


If you're determined to claw back some performance, or are just taking a hardline approach to unwanted software then getting rid of WDS is a start. You might also want to read about removing Windows Genuine Advantage from Windows XP, another optional-turned-mandatory update that can now be overlooked.

Lastly, there’s a myriad of lightweight Linux installs to consider if you’re that way inclined. Check out Ubuntu’s full range as well as Linux Mint and don’t miss our excellent 2010 Linux pack.

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Hot Tech Deals [Oct 18th]

Posted: 18 Oct 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. RiDATA Lightning Series 16GB SDHC Flash Card $25.99 Free Shipping

  2. LG HFB-500 Solar Powered Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit $8.99 Free Shipping via code MLC211853101817NL1

  3. TODAY ONLY 5dot Connect Curve Messenger Carrying Case (fits laptops up to 16in) $11.99 Free Shipping

  4. TODAY ONLY Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB Internal SATA Hard Drive $54.99 Free Shipping

  5. Samsung 2494LW 24in Widescreen LCD Monitor (1920×1080) $159.99 Free Shipping

  6. Nikon Coolpix S3000 12MP 4X Digital Camera w/ VR Image Stabilization (REFURB) $84.99 via code CAM101425

  7. Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18MP Digital SLR w/ EF-S 18-5 F/3.5-5.6IS + 55-250 Zoom Lens $929.99

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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Amazon’s Top 10 Customer Reviewers Help You Make Buying Decisions

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 11:30 AM PDT

customer reviewsAmazon has become the super mall of many Internet users.  The mammoth online store is no longer limited to selling books. Everything from clothing apparel to outdoor recreation items are sold from 10-30% or more of the retail price.

And to help customers make informed buying decisions, Amazon has hundreds of customers who are extremely prolific reviewers and are recognized for helping millions of their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions on . There's even a page dedicated to the top customer reviewers for Amazon.

So let’s learn a little about Amazon’s top ranking reviewers. The new reviewer rankings are largely based upon among other factors the percentage of positive votes reviewers receive from fellow Amazon customers who found their reviews helpful.

Each reviewer has an RSS feed so that you can follow their posts.

A. Chandler

customer reviews

The number one viewer is A.Chandler who has written to date 414 reviews, and has received 97% of the helpful votes. She reviews varied items including kitchen appliances, electronic gadgets, beauty products, and exercise DVDs. Her interest tags include technology, cooking, art, decorating, fitness, painting, photography, and pet related items.

Joanna Daneman

Joanna Deneman has written 2,201 reviews also on varied subjects as art, Photoshop, digital photography, health and knitting books. She has also developed fourteen Listmania lists on subjects like Sleeping Without Drugs, Teaching Kids to Knit, and Wild for Watercolor. She has received 40,553 helpful votes.

A. Dent

A. Dent has written 1, 038 product reviews and has received 13,327 helpful votes for reviews of mainly computer accessories (e.g. gaming mouse) and home items (e.g. iron teapot.) He has reviewed several Blackberry devices, as well as numerous books.

Beth Cholette

Not only has Beth Cholette written 1,563 product reviews, she's also put together 32 Listmania Lists on subjects such as Helpful Yoga DVDs, Quirky Books, Great 80s Pop Music, and Top 25 Simpsons Episodes. She writes reviews on a wide variety of fiction genres, mainstream thrillers (e.g. Stephen King and Dean Koontz), exercise books and products, and movies. She as received 18,848 helpful votes.

Timothy B. Riley

Timothy Riley has written 329 reviews. In his own words he calls himself the "gadget-guy," and his product reviews focus mainly cooking and kitchen items. He's also put together Listmania Lists on Toys and Tools for the Beginning Geocacher, Recommending Items for the Frequent Traveler, and Great Gifts for Fathers. He has received 4,497 helpful votes.

J Scott Morrison

A retired physician and student of classical music, J Scott Morrison has written 2,202 reviews on classical music related items, including of course albums, DVDs, and books. Among the top reviewers his reviews are the most focused on a particular topic. He has received 20,551 helpful votes, and has created 13 Listmania Lists.


Calling himself, "calvinnme," this reviewer has written 1,767 reviews and has received 26,363 helpful votes. You might want to follow calvinnme if you're interested in classical and early cinema DVDs, such as the Elia Kazan Collection, movies starring Humphrey Bogart, the 1946 film noir classic, The Verdict. He also writes reviews on software development books.


customer reviews

Mark has written 593 customer reviews at Amazon on varied items such as electronic gadgets, games, fiction and non-fiction books, music, and movies. He's also developed 22 Listmania Lists, including Best Low Cost Value Headphones, Nintendo DS Lite Unites and Bundles, and MP3 Players for Around $150 or Less. He has received 16,831 helpful votes.

NLee the Engineer

customer reviews

By comparison to other reviewers, NLee the Engineer's reviews are very modest, but for his 201 reviews he has received 12,894 helpful votes. He writes mainly about gadgets like rechargeable batteries, flash drives, and memory cards.

z hayes

customer reviews

A self-proclaimed book addict and graduate student, z hayes has written 1,976 reviews on children's DVDs, literary fiction thrillers, history books, biographers, and memoirs, and assorted DVDs.

All these reviewers are also Amazon Vine Reviewers which entitles them to receive free products in exchange for customer reviews.

Let us know if you're a big user of Amazon.com and how use it to make buying decisions.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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Top 10 YouTube Dance Lessons To Learn Cool Dance Moves

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 10:30 AM PDT

free dance lessons onlineThis post is written by a guy with two left feet. With a yearning to learn some cool dance moves, but too shy to go for a dance class. Sound familiar? I bet there are many of my kind with a similar social phobia when it comes to a bit of hop, shimmy, and jig.

The good news is that closet dancers now can hold on to their dreams of becoming the next Astaire. Me, I would love to move like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

YouTube is the dance class we can 'enroll' in. We have seen how YouTube videos can be tapped as a great source for learning skills like card tricks, speak English, play games, and throw a knockout punch.

So, there should be something on dancing too… and there is. Here are ten free YouTube dance lessons you can sample. There are of course, so many dance forms than you can shake a leg with. If you find that your favorite jive isn't here, a simple YouTube search should do it.

In the meantime, cut the rug with these ten YouTube videos and learn some cool dance moves.

Moonwalk Like Michael Jackson

free dance lessons online

If this one of a kind dance move has been in your wish list, learn how to moonwalk from this 2 minute long clip. Also, check out the video suggestions on the side for more cool Michael Jackson signature dance moves.


dance lessons videos

If someone remembers the early years when Thriller hit us, this is what we have been trying and more often failing to do. Now, it has got back its original term of 'B-Boying' but the basics remain the same. To check what they are, go and click on any of the 107 uploads in this dance channel on YouTube. You can start off by learning how to do the robot dance but it's more difficult than it looks. Most of the videos are taken from the channel author's official DVD.

Addicted to Salsa

dance lessons videos

The YouTube channel teaches you the basic of salsa with the help of nearly 100 videos. You can start with the lessons for beginners and then graduate upwards. Though salsa has a few solo moves, it is mostly a dance form which requires a partner. So, motivate someone to join you and fall into the rhythm of this electric dance style.

Step Up with Hip Hop

dance lessons videos

I borrowed the title from a movie that showcased the hip-hop style superbly. The videos that teach you how to hip-hop are showcased by Expert Village (now, eHow). The playlist strip at the bottom of the screen will take you to other videos too that teach you at least 13 moves of this  freestyle street dancing form. Even if you don't get all the moves right, it's a fun way to lose the flab.

Do the Tango

youtube dance lessons

Tango is one of the most passionate dance forms out there. Argentine Tango is its most original form. Get some of the basics from the 21 videos hosted on this channel. The videos haven't been updated for quite some time, but the video guides that are available serve as an introduction to this dance form.

Club Dance Moves

youtube dance lessons

Clubs are the ultimate frontier for guys or gals who are petrified of dancing. You can either park yourself on the barstools or jump under the strobe lights with some of the lessons here. Most of the lessons follow the hip-hop style.

Pick Up Dance

youtube dance lessons

If the above videos seem too challenging, check out a few simpler ones here. This channel seems to have stuttered and stopped, but the videos on sidesteps and how to turn a girl should stand in you in good stead.

Cheerleading Jumps and Kicks

There are some who may scoff at cheerleading as a serious dance form and take it more as a sport. But you need a dancer's grace to do it just right. The basic cheerleading video from Expert Village introduces you to some of the simpler toe touching stuff. Then you can move on to handsprings, tumbles, and more advanced stunts.

Ballroom Dancing for Beginners

Ballroom dancing skills will come real handy when you have to do a jig at your wedding. The 30 odd videos in the playlist from Expert Village cover the basics well. The dance steps are demonstrated by professional dance coaches.


free dance lessons online

The 378 videos should keep you occupied for at least a year. This is one of the more comprehensive dancing channels on YouTube. You get to work on hip-hop, salsa, waltz, ballet, belly dancing, pole dancing, and even dirty 'n sexy dancing among others. There are some videos that teach kids simple dance steps. And I learnt about a dance form called the Bachata dance, I didn't know anything about earlier.

Check out the videos, add your own favorite ones in the comments, and don't forget to dance like no one's watching.

Image: Shutterstock

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Share Your Life in Photos With The Free Instagram App [iPhone]

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 09:30 AM PDT

share photos online freeEver since I’ve seen friends sharing photos with the neat filters from Hipstamatic, I’ve been looking for a free app that could do similar styles. I noticed some photos coming from Twitter friends which had this same style coming from an application called Instagr.am so I thought I would check it out. It turned out it was in private beta so I signed up to receive notice for when it was released – which just happened a few days ago.

Instagram describes itself as a “fast, beautiful and fun way to share photos with friends.” After a quick download and signup, I’ve found it to be everything it had promised and more.

Above all, Instagram is built around taking and sharing photos. It also includes a social network which allows you to like and comment on others’ photos. The network part is only a fraction of what is available to users of this program. The other main feature that sets this apart from other photo sharing apps is the filters that it provides for processing pictures right on your iPhone.

Similar to Hipstamatic, after taking a photo you can apply a number of filters to the photo. These filters turn the photo into an ‘analog’ photo of yore with old-school style effects. Some examples of names on the filters are “1977″, “Gotham” and “Earlybird”. Each filter has a unique effect which will complement, or detract from, a photo.

share photos online free

Once you have decided on a filter, or no filter at all, you then move on to add a description and/or location of your photo. The locations pull from Foursquare so there are plenty of places to choose from.

free share photos

The options you have to share photos is limited to the big players – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and if you have a location set, FourSquare. They could expand upon these further – certainly there aren’t as many sharing options as in the photo sharing mega-app Pixelpipe. This being said, keeping the options simple does have an upside: the interface is clean and easy to use.

The social aspect of the app works very nicely. It is only available to Instagram app users, which sadly limits it to iPhone owners. This is a smaller pool of talent to draw from so I do not see this network growing beyond a ‘niche’ of photo sharing iPhone users. The interface is done very nicely and the transitions between pictures is very user friendly. It is hard to describe in words but I wish that other user interfaces were designed as beautifully as Instagram’s.

free share photos

Much as on Facebook, Tumblr and any other number of photo sharing sites, you can ‘Like’ or comment on a photo if you please. You can ‘Follow’ other members to bring their photos into your timeline. The effect is something like a ‘Twitter for Photos’ – but the only way to send an update is with a photo.

Another neat feature is ‘Popular photos’. These list the most recent photos which are liked by a number of users and there are some good shots there.

share photos online free

If you are looking for a free program that allows you to apply a number of filters to your photos, Instagram [App Store link] is a great app to keep in your repertoire. The social network it provides, along with the tight integration with Twitter, Facebook and other services, help you to easily share photos with your friends and beyond.

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WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe: All-In-One Tool for Video Conversion [Giveaway]

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 08:30 AM PDT

Thanks to a range of devices from a few inches across to many, watching videos is a cinch. But it is these sundry devices that present a stumbling block when we have to transfer a video from one device to the other. For the average user, talk of file format conversions and codecs only serves to mar the enjoyment of watching a video.

This is where WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe comes in with its all round solution for converting all High Definition and HD-Camcorder videos, to both portable and console players. Plus, it puts a DVD Burner and Website Video Downloader in your hands.

This week, we will be giving away 10 licenses for WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe worth almost $300. Read on to find out how you can get one.

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe for Windows is your all-in-one tool because it comes with 160 video codecs and 50 audio codecs, so you don't have to install anything from anywhere else. It is these codecs that allow the video conversion software to handle all common (and a few uncommon) format conversion jobs like Blu-ray M2TS to MKV, AVCHD to AVI, MKV to AVI, MTS to AVI/MP4, MOD TOD to MPEG/DVD, convert AVCHD to MPEG, DVD, OGG, WMV, FLV, MOV… and more.

The array of formats supported is mind-boggling, so check out the complete listing given on the software page.

The Main Window and the Easy Three Step Start Process

A user-friendly interface and a three step process – Select manually or drag 'n drop your file. You have 15 output options on view. Each format tab has a few more format options under it.  When done with the selection, click on Start. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe goes to work with a real time video converting speed of 15x.

Choose and Tweak Output Format

If you want a simple conversion, a dropdown gives you list of few presets. But for those who want to fine-tune the video further, the slew of options under Audio Settings and Video Settings is the place. For instance, check out the variety at hand when it comes to converting a video to any of the popular cell phone formats.

A checkmark sets up the powerful CPU Core Use, Advanced De-interlace Accelerator for progressive scanning, High Quality Engine for better image quality, and audio-video synchronization too.

Choose a Track When It's a Multi-Track Video

Quite often, videos come with multiple audio tracks. When you don't need all of them, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe lets you pick the one you want.

Burn to DVD

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is a quick and easy DVD burning tool too. With a couple of clicks, any video can be burned straight to DVD.

Online Video Downloader

Paste the video URL from YouTube video, Myspace, Metacafe etc and click OK to download the video. It's that simple.

Little features like clipping a section for conversion or extracting just the audio from a video file are convenient to have around. The final word says that WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is a one stop solution for your video conversion jobs.

How do I win a copy?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.

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

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

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

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

Like it on Facebook

Or share it on Twitter

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 Friday, October 22nd at 2100hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

MakeUseOf would like to thank Digiarty 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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