Wednesday, October 20, 2010 “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 11 more “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 11 more

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Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 09:40 PM PDT


Check out the top picks from MakeUseOf Geeky Fun during the last week.

  1. Where I Can Buy Microsoft Office 2010 Left Handed Edition? (Screenshot)
  2. Why Chatting On The Net Is Better Than In Person (Pic)
  3. The Designer You Treat Like Shit Has Quit Unexpectedly (Pic)
  4. Anthem For Coders: "And So You Code " (Video)
  5. PowerPoint slides are like children…(Pic)
  6. If Tech Companies Made Self-Driving Cars (Pic)
  7. Geek Candy (Pic)

If you would like to keep up with all latest Geeky Fun additions, please subscribe to the Geeky Fun feed here. You can also subscribe and get the latest additions via email.



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Cool Websites and Tools [October 19th]

Posted: 19 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.

List Your Website Here!


OnText – is a dead simple way to publish text online without any formatting and without the pain of registering for an account or going through any code. Simply go to OnText and start typing your text (or copy/paste). Once done, click publish and the tool will give your published text a short unique URL that can be shared with anybody you want. Read more: OnText: Instant Text Publishing Tool Online


AllergyEats – People with food allergies always have a tough time deciding which restaurant to go to. They need to be aware of a restaurant menu and its allergy-friendliness beforehand. Otherwise the restaurant might end up serving something the customer is allergic to. To locate and rate allergy-friendly restaurants, head on over to Allergy Eats. Read more: AllergyEats: Easily Locate Allergy Friendly Restaurants



Motifake – The Internet, in addition to being a massive knowledge resource, is also a huge collection of entertaining websites. If you find yourself in a 'down' mood, you can log onto one of many websites and get a good laugh. One such website is 'MotiFake'. Read more: MotiFake: Get Funny Fake Motivational Posters



GroceryiQ – You want to go to the local store and get more cereal but you need to note down the cereal's name first. You would normally go and fetch a pen and paper, but instead, how about saving the cereal's barcode information and using that to easily detect the product at the store? With Grocery iQ you can do just that. Read more: GroceryiQ: Barcode Based Grocery Lists Maker



Safe2Pee – is a website (including a Google Maps mashup) that helps people find gender neutral, safe and accessible toilets which they can use without fear of discrimination or discomfort. Single stall and gender neutral bathrooms help not only the gender variant people but also benefit others like those demanding more privacy or parents with children. Read more: Safe2Pee: Find Safe & Gender Neutral Toilets


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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: 19 Oct 2010 07:30 PM PDT

The folks contributing to MakeUseOf Answers do their best to solve all your tech issues. If a question was answered to your satisfaction, it would be awesome if you could leave a line or two to say Thank You. If you happen to see a great answer, you can also give it the Thumbs Up by hitting the LIKE button. This helps me determine the Best Answer of the Week, which is rewarded with $50 each Friday.

Now let’s see where we need help this week. Here are our toughest questions.

  1. How can I clean up thousands of duplicate bookmarks on a Mac?
  2. How can I find C:\ and retrieve Windows files from Parallels on a Mac?
  3. Can you help me find this song?
  4. How can I turn my old PC into a wireless router?
  5. Is there a good replacement for Windows Analog Recorder?
  6. How can I have multiple tabs of Internet Explorer automatically rotate to the foreground?
  7. How can I restrict access to a Facebook page without blocking people?
  8. How can I improve app sales?
  9. Is Partition Assistant good for resizing hard drive partitions?
  10. How can I customize Enterprise Architect Requirement Element?

You will find new challenging questions on MakeUseOf Answers each and every day. Browse by Latest Questions, Unanswered Questions or Most Popular Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.

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10 Great Bing Online Games You Can Play For Free

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 06:30 PM PDT

bing online gamesDo you like to play games online? It can be a great way to pass the time or entertain yourself whenever you are bored, or you need a break from speeding up your blog, running a personal cloud, or watching science experiments on YouTube.

Free games are great for achieving this because they hold your attention and are generally simple in concept. And as we all know, sometimes the simpler a game is the more addicting it can be.

There are a lot of places to play games for free online, but did you know that Bing has online games? Well they do, and they’re actually pretty high quality. You can even sign in with your Facebook account to see your friends’ game feeds. In this article, I’ll show you some of the top games on Bing, so get ready to start having fun.

Bing Has Online Games?

If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself. In order to navigate to the games page, just go to Bing’s home page, click on Entertainment and then Games. If you never knew they existed, I do not blame you.

Bing online games are categorized into 6 categories–Action, Arcade, Puzzle, Card, Casino and Word. I’ll show you some of the best games you can find in these areas.

Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey

bing online games

Touted as the most popular game on Bing, I figure this is a safe place to start. Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey lets you create a dream aquarium. You have to unearth various hidden objects to get points, which allow you to choose tank accessories, buy exotic creatures, and care for your underwater pets.

Bejeweled 2

free bing games

You’ve undoubtedly played or at least seen Bejeweled before in some form or another. Bejeweled 2 is the sequel and is bigger and better than before. You play by swapping two adjacent pieces to make chains of identical sparkling gems. Put your brain to the test by trying the different game modes.

If you enjoy Bejeweled 2, also give Hexic a try. The concept is similar.

Zuma’s Revenge

free bing games

Zuma’s Revenge is a game in which you get to shoot different colored balls into one another in order to shorten the chain and stop it from reaching the end. It’s a classic game that gets more difficult as you progress, but you do get help in the way of special shots and combos.


free bing games

In this game, your goal is to help Midas battle mythical monsters and break an ancient curse. You do this by rotating tiles and connecting Talismans to create coins. Fill the scale with coins to complete each level.

Plants vs. Zombies

free games on bing

In Plants vs. Zombies, you have to defend your home with zombie-zapping plants. Counterattack the undead by strategically and speedily planting peashooters, cherry bombs and other various plants throughout the board.


free games on bing

In other plant-related news, Gardenscapes lets you grow a gorgeous garden. You can sell hidden objects from a mansion estate to earn money and restore the landscape to its former glory. Design your lawn’s layout, customize with accessories, and compete in the “Best Garden” contest with the help of ‘Austin the Butler’.

Ranch Rush

free games on bing

Play Farmville much? In Ranch Rush, you get to help Sara turn three acres into a thriving Farmer’s Market Ranch.

8 Ball Champion

This is a deceptively addicting game. Enter the pool hall and put your skills to the test. The game works just like a regular game of 8-ball, that’s played on a computer of course. If you’re a sharp shooter, you’ll clear the table in no time.

Text Twist 2

Text Twist 2 is a word-based game that will test your vocabulary. See how many words you can make from a bunch of random letters. It’s tougher than it sounds.


bing online games

If you’ve ever played Blackjack, you know how addicting it is. Make your bet, and you’re dealt two cards. If you think you can get closer to 21 without going over, have the dealer give you another. Are you feeling lucky?


What do you think? As I alluded to earlier, the graphics on these Bing online games aren’t too bad, and you can definitely kill some time playing them. A couple of the titles you should even be able to find in the app store on your phone, which speaks to their quality.

Considering how few people even know about Bing games, I’m curious to see how you feel about them.

What do you think of games on Bing? Leave your thoughts, ideas and comments below!

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Create a Virtual Tour Integrated With Google Maps Using YouVR

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 04:30 PM PDT

virtual tour softwareIt isn’t always easy to show people how amazing a location is. Maybe you’ve visited an awesome theme park or a zoo and you’d like to show them how cool it was. Or maybe you’re trying to sell your home, but pictures or words just don’t reveal the beauty of the land and the house itself. Sometimes, the best way to show people a location is through a real video tour. This lets people feel as though they, themselves, are walking through the area. Providing an online video of an area is like providing web visitors with a virtual tour.

One of the best solutions I’ve found to offer virtual tours like this is YouVR. There are lots of ways that you can integrate photos into Google Maps, like Mark’s approach of geotagging Flickr photos on Google Maps, or using apps like HistoryPin to pin photos to certain Google Maps locations. But if you want to attach an actual video tour of a location on Google Maps, then YouVR is the place to do it.

Creating a Virtual Tour

Once you sign up at YouVR, you’ll find that creating your own location-based virtual tours are as easy as filling out forms. The process is a very simple three step procedure, and probably the part that requires the most work is actually shooting your digital video to upload. That’s actually the first thing you should do – just shoot a 1 to 2 minute video capture, touring the area and showing everything that you’d like to highlight. Ideally, the video shouldn’t be a huge file. For example, I shot a 2 minute video and saved it in windows media player format in a file that was under 3 MB.

Once you’ve shot your video and have it ready on your computer, go to your YouVR admin panel and click on “Add New Tour.”

virtual tour software

The first step is simple, just provide the title and search details that best describe the video. In my case I’m making it a public video, so search Meta Tags are important. Choose tags that are descriptive so that people will be able to find your video without much effort. If you want to keep your video tour private and only share it out to friends, that’s an option as well.

virtual tour

On the next window, you’ll see the remainder of the tour creation process broken down into sections. The critical sections at the top of the screen include choosing an accurate category for your video, and of course selecting a spot on Google Maps where the video was shot. To add this, just click on “Use Google Maps”. If you’d actually rather upload your own map that you drew or created on your computer, those are available options as well.

virtual tour

To specify the area for your virtual tour, just zoom into the spot on the world map that identifies the general location of the video. Now, keep in mind that you can have several hotspots as part of one tour, so make sure you don’t zoom in so close that some of the hotspots aren’t in the map. For example, if you’re shooting cool locations in a National Park, make sure you zoom the map out enough so the entire area fits in the map view.

virtual tour

Next, click on the “Add Hotspot (HS) on Map” and click the “Add Hotspot” button to add important sites to that map that you’d like to include as part of your virtual tour.

Once that’s done, scroll down and click on the link to Upload a Movie/Video. YouVR also gives you the option of uploading pictures instead of video, but if you can take digital video, that’s the best way to go. Video is the clearest way to show someone what it’s like to explore a certain site. Just click “Choose File”, browse to and select the digital video stored on your PC, and then click Submit. When the file is done uploading, the popup window will disappear.

Now, I ran into an issue here where if the file is too big, it’ll just disappear and go back to saying no file is selected. If this happens to you, it’s a good indication that the video file is too big – so choose a different format and then try again.

Finally, the next step in the process is just to add descriptions to each HotSpot that you selected. This is helpful for visitors who are viewing your tour, because it offers important information about each “stop” – sort of like you’re a tour guide offering information about each location.

Once you’re done, you’ll find yourself back at your admin page. If you want to see what your new video looks like, just go to the YouVR public area (click on Virtual Tours), and if you just created your virtual tour, you’ll see it under “Most Recent.” Here you can see mine titled “Ryan Dube Home”.

Every tour you create looks like the window above. The cool part is that you can create up to 4 hotspots in your list under the free account. Each hotspot can have an associated video, so that when your visitor clicks on a hotspot in your list, they can watch the video that you created for it. As you can see, I’ve only added one hotspot on the Google Map area I selected, a tour of the land around my house.

Clicking play – the video immediately loads. I found that the upload speed was just as good or better than you’d experience on YouTube. Here’s what my captured video looked like in action on the YouVR site.

virtual tour software

This is an awesome service for all kinds of uses. I could imaging real estate agents could make good use of such a service, providing a virtual video tour of properties that are for sale, including hotspot virtual tours of the house and the property. Field guides could use the service to advertise the outdoor adventures they offer, or colleges could use the service to provide students with virtual tours of certain locations on campus.

Can you think of any cool uses for such a virtual tour service? Have you ever used this service, or any others similar to it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image credit: Patrick Nijhuis

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5 Websites To Get Hilarious Practical Joke Ideas

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 02:30 PM PDT

practical joke ideasSearching for a good practical joke site is a little like telling Google to search for a page full of spam. Most of the results are awful sites with the same practical jokes in all of them, repeating the same gags over and over in an attempt to get you to buy the latest prank joke product. The rest of the results are the stores for said products. It’s a little lacking in quality ideas.

In an attempt to uncover some decent practical joke ideas, these results have been throughly sifted for you. What’s left are some decent practical joke sites and a number of great articles with some clever practical joke ideas.

1. Museum of Hoaxes

Featuring a wide variety of scams, hoaxes and April fool’s day jokes, the Museum of Hoaxes has listed some of the classier and grand-scale practical jokes ever pulled off. It’s certainly a good place to drum up ideas for your own mischief.

practical joke ideas

2. Funny Practical Joke

Funny Practical Jokes has a range of different practical jokes, plus a handful of useful prank items you can buy. There’s plenty of great ideas, ranging from hiding onion in sweet foods to placing fake ads for bargains using your friend’s phone number. Should give you a few joke ideas.

practical jokes

3. Prankspace

Prankspace is full of practical joke ideas, covering pranks from highschool, car pranks, college pranks and office pranks. Some of these would be quick and easy to do, others more difficult. Either way, there are plenty of ideas here, so it’s great for inspiration.

practical jokes

4. LolPranks

LolPranks is a very picture-heavy blog of practical jokes, with many jokes being the sorts of things you’d do to friends or teachers in school. At the very worst, it will give you a good reason not to drink at college parties.

practical jokes

5. April Fool Zone

April Fool Zone is a little lighter on ideas than some of the rest, but it still features a few classics and will certainly help you to come up with practical jokes you can easily pull off. There’s a whole section on computer pranks as well as a section on office pranks. It has a few of my favourites, like the desktop screenshot as wallpaper and the ultra-slow mouse. Things that are easy to do and will annoy workmates for a while.

practical joke ideas

Practical Joke Articles

While these aren’t sites wholly dedicated to the cause of practical jokes, they are fun-filled articles with great prank ideas. Some fabulous ideas in this collection.

More MakeUseOf Articles on Jokes and Pranks

Here’s some more reading on jokes that you’ll love:

Share Your Best Practical Jokes

Here’s one of my favourite gags, the invisible rope.

Hopefully your quest for practical joke ideas has now armed you with ideas for some great laughs for you and your friends. If you have tried any great practical jokes or found anything new in one of these sites, let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Hot Tech Deals [Oct 19th]

Posted: 19 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. Apex TX-381-C Steel MicroATX Computer Case + Apex 500W Power Supply $39.98 Free Shipping

  2. Samsung EcoGreen F2 1TB 3.5in Internal Sata Hard Drive $49.99 Free Shipping via code EMCZYZX47

  3. Archos 32GB 3.2in Internet Touch Tablet (WiFi + Bluetooth) $144.99

  4. Asus EEE PC 1005HA Intel Atom N270 10.1in Netbook (Refurb, 1GB/160GB/Win 7/6-Cell) $199.99 via code EMCZYZX46

  5. Polk Audio Monitor 60 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker (SINGLE) $114.99 via code EMCZYZX23

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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XnView – A Free Image Viewer and Image Converter You Should Really Consider

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 12:30 PM PDT

free image converterWe have looked at quite a few image viewers in the past. A place at the head of the table has been reserved for IrfanView, a really good and compact image viewer. It has come in for special praise. Then there have been some others image tools too which have earned a good word.

But admittedly, we have been neglecting a great image software called XnView. We know a good thing when some of our knowledgeable readers start giving it a few raves. Some comments have even mentioned that it can easily give IrfanView a run for its money.

So to start off, XnView is a cross-platform image viewer/browser, image organizer, and an image converter with a host of utilitarian tools for image work. Just what are these helpful tools that make XnView a thoroughbred in the rich stable of image and graphic tools? Let's find out.

Choices from the Start

XnView gives you quite a few options when it comes to the download. XnView (ver.1.97.8) is a 15 MB free download. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux x86, FreeBSD x86, OpenBSD x86, NetBSD x86, Solaris, Irix, HP-UX, and AIX. Whew!

It is available in 44 languages (Windows only). More importantly, it is available for a free download in multiple variants – Standard, Minimal, U3 USB, for Pocket PCs and Smartphones (Windows Mobile), and as an extension for windows explorer. The XnView v1.97.8 Complete Version can be downloaded as an EXE setup file or as a ZIP file which also makes it portable. The complete version has the full complement of files to work with images.

The Windows Explorer like Look

free image converter

The Explorer-like interface may make it seem a bit boring, but it does give fast access to your image folders that may be scattered around. You can easily customize the layout to your comfort with the layout options given in the menu.

free image viewer

XnView is also skinnable. The panes can also be dragged and resized. Enhance the thumbnail visibility by turning off the image labels and increasing the size of the thumbnails.

Select an image and open it in a new tab with a click or open it in a separate tab next to the main browser tab. Isolating an image in a separate tab gives you a full toolbar of tools to work with on the image.

free image viewer

You can crop an image, transform an image, adjust colors, remove red eye, start a quick slideshow with all the images in the folder, organize the image in the right folder, and convert the image to another format.

Import 400 & Export 50 Graphic File Formats

If you are searching for something which can let you view a MonkeyCard file, or something that's even rarer, XnView just might have it in the 400 odd formats it supports. IrfanView supports about 70 image formats. It can write to 50 file formats too when it does the conversions. Most of the digital camera formats are supported. XnView can also display video formats. Just like IrfanView, some formats require plugins.

The Image Processing Powerhouse

XnView has quite a lineup of effects and filters. Effects can be moderated with the help of the 'Before' and 'After' screens. You can also use Adobe Photoshop plugins with XnView.

free image viewer

With XnView it's easy to rotate and flip images without any loss in quality as it supports JPEG Lossless transformations.

image file converter

XnView includes a host of batch processing choices from image renaming to resizing. You can apply a whole lineup of transformations in sequence to a batch of images. Often, batch processing is what you need to rename a bunch of files downloaded from a digital camera. You can set it to run and remove red eye effects, add watermarks, clean metadata, etc.

image file converter

XnView comes with a nifty quick image capture tool that can snap your active desktop, any window, the active window or a defined rectangular area.

image file converter

With XnView, you can quickly create and edit multi-page files in the TIFF format. You can also make strips of images in horizontal or vertical alignments. This way, you can store a sequence of images (like a lot of scanned images) with all data intact in a single TIFF multipage file.

The Image Organizer

free image converter

With the help of XnView, you can sort images around a lot of parameters. Metadata support is of course, one (EXIF, IPTC, XMP). You can define categories and finetune them with tags. Further image organization options include color labeling and ratings. Organizing images helps in the long run because you can use filters to sort through your image archives quickly.

XnView – The Final Effect

With its range of options, XnView goes beyond the definition of a basic image software. There are a host of features I haven't been able to cover. Here's a summary of features. XnView is worth a download just for the sheer number of file formats it supports. If I have a peeve, it's with the absence of an updated and linked help file.

Download XnView and potter around it. Let us know if you are a convert or you would still stick to the image software you already have.

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Set Up Growl Notifications Between Different Computers And Devices

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 12:00 PM PDT

growl remote notificationsAre you one of those multi-gadget users? How do you keep up with everything that happens on all of your devices? Wouldn’t it nice if some kind of notification system could be triggered remotely between gadgets? For example, when something happens in computer #1, a notification could be sent to computer #2. Or, when the 3D animation rendering that you started in your office last night is finally complete but you’re already home, so a notification will pop up on your mobile phone.

If it sounds amazing, you are right. Everything could be set using the help of Growl. It allows us to forward notifications from one machine to another as long as all of them has Growl installed.

I’m sure some of you are familiar with Growl. It’s the notification system for Mac. But most of us might not know that there’s also the Windows version of Growl. And after playing with it for a while, I can personally say that in some aspects, the Windows version is better than the original Mac version. Since we have discussed the Mac version, let’s look at the Windows version of Growl remote notifications.

The installation routine goes just like any other Windows application.

growl remote notifications

But you have to tell Windows Firewall to allow this application to bypass the block. In case you are worried about security, don’t check the “Public network” option.

remote notifications

The app will reside in the System Tray. Windows 7 users have to dig a little deeper (or set it to be visible all the time) to access the settings.

remote notifications

Check the “Automatically start Growl at login” box so that the application will always available every time you start Windows.

remote notifications

This is also the place where you can set the sound notification and the user’s idle status.

Notify Me And I’ll Notify You

To set up the notification system to go off on several computers, click the “Network” tab. Then check the “Forward notifications to other computers” box to enable it, and “Subscribe to notifications from other computers” box to enable receiving notifications from other computers.

Then click the “Plus (+)” button under “Forward…” box to add the computer/iPhone/email address that you want to forward your notifications to. If there are other computers with Growl in the same network, they should appear automatically on the list and you can choose to link them.

Please note that Mac computers will not show on a Windows list unless the Windows machine has Bonjour installed. If you have installed iTunes and Quicktime in your Windows, Bonjour would have beeb installed along with them.

mobile notifications

If you prefer to forward the message by email, you should give the setting a description and an email address. The default SMTP Settings is “Home (“. Choose the the priority and click “Save“.

mobile notifications

The “Home” SMTP setting will only work if you have an email server installed on your computer. Further customization is available by clicking the “edit” link. Every system will have different email server configurations. Please consult your “knowledgeable acquaintance” about this matter.

mobile notifications

Apply similar settings to other Growls on other computers. This is what it looks like on a Mac machine.

With A Little Help

Unfortunately, Windows machine can’t “listen to” a Mac machine by default. To be able to do that, you have to use the help from an application called “Growl Impersonator“. Find out more about the settings here.

To forward the Growl remote notifications to an iPhone (currently, this is the only supported mobile phone), you have to use help of other services. There are several options available: Prowl (paid), Howl (paid), Boxcar (free) and Notifo (free). Strangely, this “forward to iPhone” option is only available from Windows version of Growl (I just couldn’t find the way to do it from Mac).

The Windows version of Growl also enables its users to “listen to” notifications from web services like Twitter and GMail. To enable this feature, you need to integrate it with We’ll discuss in a separate article later on.

growl remote notifications

Do you use a notification system? Can you mention other worthy alternatives? Please share using the comment below.

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5 Cool Android Apps That Every Movie Fan Should Have

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 11:30 AM PDT

best movie appsLike everything these days, movies are going mobile. Internet and mobile technologies together have opened many doors, and even us can feel subjects of a futuristic movie.

Below, we’ve aggregated some of the best Android movie apps for the movie lover. Find reviews and watch trailers on the go, locate movie theaters near you, and get interesting audio bits and wallpapers delivered right to your doorstep phone.

Movies by Flixster

The Movies application by Flixter is one the most extensive applications available right now for movie lovers. It combines local features with general movie data. Movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, one of the more popular movie review sites, are shown for all new movies and top box offices.

best movie apps

The Movies application will also look for theaters and movie showtimes near you, up and coming movies, and DVDs. Perhaps one of the more interesting features of the application is the ability to effectively ‘bookmark’ movies, which you’ll then be able to find in the My Movies tab above.

Download it by scanning this QR code with your Android phone.

mobile movies download

IMDb Movies & TV

Every movie fan with internet access should already be thoroughly familiar with IMDb; the Internet Movie Database. This website is an unchallenged authority on cataloging movies and TV series, and is known for its often-time critic user reviews. Personally, I always take a look at IMDb to determine the worth of a particular movie.

android app movies

Having it readily accessible on my cellphone allows me to look up movie information without breaking a sweat, no matter where I am. If you’re living in the US, you can use the app to look up movie showtimes, TV listings based on your timezone, and even view recaps from last night’s shows. Users around the world can view film trailers, user and critic reviews, quotes, trivia, and of course all the different IMDb’s movie charts.

Download it by scanning this QR code with your Android phone.


Sure, both Flixter’s Movies and the IMDb app allow you to look up movie showtimes, but contrary to most modernist, I’m a strong advocate of dedicated applications. If you’re looking for nothing more than movie showtimes, there’s no reason your memory should be hogged by features you aren’t going to use. Besides, this application offers some interesting additional features.

mobile movies download

CineShowTime automatically determines your location and the movie theaters near you. You can view the showtimes and plenty of information on the individual movies, including duration, rating, and a link to the IMDb page. But best of all, the application will automatically add a showing to your personal calendar.

Download it by scanning this QR code with your Android phone.

Hollywood Movie Wallpapers

If you regularly change your Android wallpaper, you’ve probably got your own sources of fun images, but I’ll bet it isn’t as easy to use as this application. Although the movie wallpapers supplied aren’t always as interesting, there’s always an ever-ready repository, and it doesn’t require you to individually resize and transfer any images to your phone.

Swap through the images, zoom in with using but a single finger, and set your new wallpaper in a mere two taps. You can also mail yourself the wallpaper, or contribute to the overall wallpaper quality by issuing a rating.

Download it by scanning this QR code with your Android phone.

Classic Movie Quotes

If anything, this application isn’t too sophisticated, but it’s a fun gimmick to have on your phone. Classic Movie Quotes, much like the name implies, supplies you with random audio movie quotes of movie classics.

If you want, you can also save said audio quotes as a notification or ringtone sound byte. To do so, select a quote, and press one of the buttons at the bottom of the screen. This will remain in effect after reboot.

Download it by scanning this QR code with your Android phone.

best movie apps

Do you know any other great movie applications for the Android? Let us know in the comments below!

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What A Flash Mob Is & How You Can Participate

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 09:31 AM PDT

flash mobA Flash Mob is a large group of people who gather at a public location to perform a pre-defined action, typically a brief dance, and disperse rapidly after the event has concluded.

Flash Mobs are an internet phenomenon of the 21st century. Although Flash Mobs don’t happen online, they are organized using social media, viral emails, or websites in general. Consequently, the first ‘official’ gathering of this nature was attempted in Manhatten in May 2003, the early days of social media. The phenomenon has since spread across the globe and Flash Mobs are open to anyone to join.

Would you like to participate in a Flash Mob? This articles shows you how to find flash mobs and a few videos from past successful Flash Mobs.

How Does It Work?

Flash Mobs are initiated online. The organizers set up a website, mailing list, and/or a viral message that provides all necessary instructions for potential participants. This of course includes the date, time, and meeting point in the real world, as well as the action to perform, for example a video of the dance moves.

An example of an upcoming worldwide Flash Mob is Thrill The World, a tribute to Michal Jackson. Since 2006 it has been held on the weekend before Halloween. This year it will be held in countries around the globe on Saturday, October 23rd, in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

This is what the practicing session looked like in Vancouver in 2010:

To participate in October, learn the dance here:

Now let’s look at some ways you can find other upcoming Flash Mobs in your area.

Improv Everywhere & The Urban Prankster Network

Improv Everywhere, aka IE, is a performance art group based in New York City. They started to ’cause scenes’ as early as 2001. In the meantime their ‘missions’ often involve a high number of ‘agents’, which they recruit through their website. However, not all of their pranks strictly fit the Flash Mob definition.

One of their latest missions called for people to invade a beach dressed in business attire:

One of Improv Everywhere’s most famous pranks is the ‘Frozen Grand Central’ mission:

If you are not in New York, you may find a local IE-inspired group on The Urban Prankster Network.

The site is simple to use and very basic. Anyone can post their Flash Mob and you can search the latest posts for Flash Mobs in your area. Unfortunately, there is no way to pre-sort the entries by location, you have to use your eagle eye.

what is a flash mob

Social Media

The best and most reliable way to find out about a Flash Mob are social media networks like Twitter or Facebook. Simply search for the keywords ‘flash mob’ / ‘flashmob’ or follow groups and people who regularly tip off Flash Mobs.

Facebook: Flashmob groups and pages; Flash Mob groups and pages.

Twitter: flashmobfreedom, flashmobbrasil, flashmobamerica

flash mob


For some time the Flash Mob movement received a lot of attention from the media. Subsequently, companies picked it up to use it for viral marketing and even advertisements. The T-Mobile Dance is a famous example.

Flash Mobs are out of the ordinary and simply fun. If you have a list of ‘Things To Do Before You Die’, being part of a Flash Mob should definitely be on it. Well, maybe you can already cross that item off your list. If you ever participated in a Flash Mob, what did you do and what was it like?

Image credits: Capgros

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The Best Mac Video Cards for Graphics Designers

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 08:30 AM PDT

mac video cardsBuying a new video card for your Mac can be a major boon if you’re a graphics designer or you work with a program that supports GPU acceleration. A video card can complete certain tasks many times more quickly than a traditional computer processor can, so buying a video card can shave precious time off your work day.

If you’re looking to upgrade the video card on your Apple machine, however, you’re in for a new kind of pain. Apple computers have a very specific design, and OS X has very specific driver support for new devices. There are only a few cards that are compatible. Luckily, I’ve gone to the trouble of identifying three Mac video cards that are currently available and compatible. Note that this article focuses on compatibility with the Mac Pro, as iMacs, while not impossible to upgrade, are not considered user serviceable.

Radeon 5000 series

mac video cards

We’ll start off with the most obvious choice first. Current Mac Pro computers ship with the Radeon HD 5770 video card, a fast mid-range card with 1GB of RAM. This is not the fastest card on the market by a long shot, but it is also far from the slowest, and it will provide a noticeable boost if you’re using a program that supports GPU acceleration. Alternatively, you can purchase the quicker Radeon HD 5870. The Radeon HD 5870 is among the three quickest video cards currently available, so it will provide a big performance boost to any application that can make use of its power.

The Radeon 5000 series cards should work on any Mac Pro tower from the 2008 update or later. However, there does appear to be an issue with the use of DisplayPort on the video card when it is installed in older machines. Connecting a DisplayPort device deactivates the DVI ports, so you won’t be able to connect three displays as you would on a Windows machine but rather only two (with DVI) or one (with DisplayPort).

Quadro FX4800 for Mac

mac pro video cards

The Nvidia Quadro FX4800 is a high-end graphics card built for workstation computers, and the “For Mac” edition is the only current Nvidia Quadro card that can be used with the Mac Pro.

Now you may be wondering – what’s the difference between a Quadro card and a Geforce card? That’s a good question. The answer comes down certain specific features such as quad-buffered 3D output support and 128-bit color precision. These are features that are only useful with certain programs in certain situations (i.e. the Quadro is the only way to view 3D effects with Maya on a Mac computer). The Quadro FX4800 also offers support for CUDA, which is useful for acceleration of video transcoding with CUDA-compatible applications.

The price tag of the Quadro FX4800 is a shocker, however – about $1800 if you buy it from the Apple store and not much less elsewhere. This card can be worth it for certain professionals, but you’ll need to think very hard about how this card will save you time before you purchase it. The FX4800, like the Radeon 5000 series cards, is only compatible Mac Pros made since the 2008 model year.

Nvidia Geforce GT 120

mac video cards

Both the Radeon 5000 Series cards and the Quadro FX4800 are monsters in their own right capable of pushing huge volumes of graphics data through a big, fat memory pipeline.

The Geforce GT 120? Well, uh, not so much. Nvidia’s product line uses larger numbers to represent newer and faster cards, so the GT 120 is quite slow indeed. Even so, it can be a decent upgrade if you have an older Mac Pro with a bum video card or an even less powerful card. Also, as the Apple store description of this card points out — each GT 120 can handle two displays, so you can purchase four of these and run up to eight displays. The Geforce GT 120 is the best way to support a massive multi-monitor desktop.

This card, like the other listed here, should work with model year 2008 or newer Mac Pros although official support only extended to 2009 and newer Mac Pros. The card will cost you $150 from the Apple store.

Older Mac Pros and Conclusion

As you’ve probably noticed, all of the cards here are for relatively new Mac Pros. According to Apple support, the following cards are compatible with the PowerMac G5.

  • GeForce 6600 LE
  • GeForce 6600
  • GeForce 7800 GT
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (part number 631-0110)

And the following cards are compatible with the first two revisions of the Mac Pro

  • NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
  • ATI Radeon X1900 XT
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (part number 630-7532 or 630-7895)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (part number 630-9492), offered as an upgrade kit.

The problem, of course, is that these Mac-compatible video cards are discontinued models. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find them, but you may have to find a second-hand model. If you know of a good source of second hand-cards, or you managed to get a different video card working in your Mac, let us know how you managed it in the comments!

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