Wednesday, October 27, 2010 “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 13 more “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 13 more

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Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]

Posted: 27 Oct 2010 06:21 AM PDT


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

  1. WTF: Old Woman With A Mobile Phone (1928) (Video)
  2. Oh crap! Teachers can use the internet, too (Pic)
  3. Back in the office after 30 years (Pic)
  4. Steve to Bill: Remember when I said that netbooks aren't good… (Pic)
  5. Why Chatting On The Internet Is Better Than In Person (Pic)
  6. Secrete Technology Behind Google Earth (Pic)
  7. Privacy And The Internet (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 26th]

Posted: 26 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!


Instant CSS Code – If you are a CSS coding developer, then perhaps you could use a pre-generated framework. Of course this framework needs to match the type of project you have. In order to generate such a framework, pay a visit to Instant CSS Code, which will generate the CSS code template that will help you get to the main coding faster. Read more: InstantCSSCode: Generate Web Design Frameworks With Valid HTML/xHTML & CSS


Graph Your Inbox – Considering how important email is to most of us, have you ever wished that you could run some quick calculations on the emails that you get and plot some nice graphs from them? Maybe plot the number of times you've received an email from your boss that said “ASAP”? Read more: GraphYourInbox: Graphs Your Gmail Account Activity History



Excel-Formula – No one wants to get stuck while working on spreadsheets. A simple problem can take you hours finding the right solution which leads to even more frustration. For quick answers and reference on Excel how-tos, check out Excel-Formulas, a web service that connects boggled Excel users with experts to get quick, confidential and comprehensive help. Read more: Excel-Formula: Ask Your Excel Questions To Experts



Word Domination – is a web based service to easily find words for crossword puzzles as well as for other word games. The site has two search options – simple and crossword. In the simple box, you can find words using operators like "*" and "?". Read more: WordDomination: Word Finding Website For Crossword Buffs



Family Safety Center – is a portal put together by Google that contains lots of tips, answers, videos and articles to help provide a safe internet use for kids and family. In addition to a list of safety tools that are embedded in various Google services, the site has a detailed FAQ section on how Google handles various related issues. Read more: FamilySafetyCenter: Tips & Resources On Safe Internet Use For Kids & Family


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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 5 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 07:31 PM PDT

Once a week MakeUseOf Answers asks for your help. You never know where you might be able to chip in, what tough problem you have already solved that is driving someone else nuts now. So please have a look!

Your efforts might be rewarded! Every Friday $50 go to the Best Answer of the Week. Every answer with sufficient contact information qualifies for the contest.

Please help us solve these questions or share your opinion:

  1. How can I find out which company produces ‘ethical’ cell phones?
  2. Is a WiFi notebook a good alternative to an Android mobile phone?
  3. How can I utilize the "Ctrl-(select)" or "Shift-(select)" function with mouse only?
  4. How can I print from my Mac on a HP M1319f network printer connected to my Macbook Pro?
  5. How can I make a WordPress Plugin work on Blogspot blogs?

MakeUseOf Answers receives new challenging questions 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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Make 3G Video Calls On Your iPhone with Yahoo! Messenger 2.0

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 07:30 PM PDT

video call iphoneYahoo! recently released its latest update to the Yahoo! Messenger 2.0 [App Store link] application for the iPhone. This app lets you connect with your IM friends and make free voice and video calls to everyone on your Messenger account. You can also use it to make low cost calls to land line or mobile phones, as well as make calls to PCs and Android devices.

Being able to make video calls is a welcomed addition to an already popular application on iOS devices, and is especially useful if you’re looking for a quick way to connect with friends visually. In this article, I will go over all the new features associated with this application.

Making Calls with Yahoo! Messenger 2.0

video call iphone

We’ll start with the most important update to the application–making calls. With this app, you can now make both video and voice calls to your Yahoo! Messenger friends. Calls can be made to either iOS to iOS, iOS to PC or iOS to Android devices.

mobile video call

To make video calls and stream live video one-to-one, it is preferable to have an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, iOS 4.1 and WiFi connection.

Voice calls are also free to your Messenger friends, but you are also able to make low cost voice calls to landlines and mobile phones, as well as low cost international calls with a Yahoo! Voice Phone Out account. This feature is available in the following markets: US, France, Germany, Spain and Singapore.


Another new feature incorporated into the app is multitasking. Quite simply, what this allows you to do is work with your other iPhone apps while Yahoo! Messenger runs in the background. This feature is available for iPhone 3GS/4 users running iOS 4.1.

mobile video call

Multitasking is a huge addition to this app if you ask me. It allows you to do other things while waiting for a response to the people you’ve messaged, and also gives you the opportunity to access your other files in the middle of a conversation. No more “I’ll check and get back to you later.”

What Else Can You Do with This App?

Now that we’ve tackled the major updates, lets look at some of the other features that make this a useful application for your phone. You can still use the Yahoo! Messenger app to send free SMS messages to your friends, although they may be charged a fee depending on their carrier’s policies.

video call iphone

Also, get notified for every message you receive with push notification support. Now you can know when a new message arrives regardless of whether the app is running, in the background, or even if it’s not open.

You can bring your friends into one place by adding your Windows Live Messenger contacts to your buddy list, and capture and share iPhone photos and video with them in real-time, as well as all of your Yahoo! Messenger buddies.

And in case you were wondering, the app’s performance has been enhanced, offering a “simpler, faster, richer Yahoo! Messenger experience at your fingertips.” Rich text and personal expressions–like emoticons and avatars–are also in play.


If you use Yahoo! Messenger to keep in touch with your friends and you also own an iPhone or other iOS device, I see no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this app. With the new updates, Yahoo! offers a simple way to keep in touch with your friends and contact them via texting, calling by phone, and even video chat.

It’s also great to see that this app works across different platforms such as the PC and Android, so even if your buddies don’t have an iPhone the chances are good that you can still message them for free with this app.

Do you use Yahoo! Messenger to keep in touch with your friends? If not, will you be now that this update has come out? Leave your thoughts, ideas, and comments below!

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4 Android Apps that Link Your Contacts With Facebook

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 04:30 PM PDT

android apps link contacts facebookIf there is anything that I always forget to do, it’s maintain my contact list. For years, I tried to keep a current list, but my family or friends would move, their address and phone numbers would change – and inevitably my entire mobile address book would be completely outdated. There has never been a very good way of “automatically” updating contact lists. However, now people willingly submit and update their own contact details online, so what better way to maintain an updated contact list than to extract and sync it all from Facebook?

I decided to search for the best mobile address book applications that could automatically connect to and sync up with all of my Facebook friends. The following four applications from the Android Market are the best apps to accomplish this amazing feat of contact automation.


My favorite contacts application, even though it’s the simplest, is EboBirthday. Keeping track of birthdays is something that I’m notoriously bad at. I forget my own birthday, let alone my brother’s or sister’s. Thankfully, EboBirthday comes to the rescue with an app that can import birthday information from your Facebook or Google contacts, or from any previous birthday lists you might have been trying to maintain.

android apps link contacts facebook

The beauty of this is that it acts like a central repository for all of your birthday data. Once you’re connected to Facebook, you’ll never forget another birthday again. On the downside, not everyone is completely honest about their listed birthday on Facebook. So, for those contacts, you’ll probably have to update manually.

android facebook

Download EboBirthday with this QR code:

android facebook

PicDial for Facebook

Remembering birthdays is nice, but the most valuable part of being plugged into Facebook is that it’s essentially a database of contact information that auto-updates itself. For that reason, it is the best source to sync up to if you want to maintain your phone’s contact list without any effort on your part. A very cool app for doing this is called PicDial. PicDial can pull in friend data from either Facebook or MySpace.

android facebook

It can also automatically use your own profile picture on Facebook for an image to display on your friend’s phone when you call them.

facebook im for android

Once all of your friends’ data is uploaded, including phone numbers, email addresses and any other contact information they’ve offered, you will finally have the following quick-dial pad. It’s like a speed-dial app that lets you call people instantly by just tapping on their picture.

facebook im for android

Download PicDial with the following QR code.

facebook im for android


One of my favorite apps to connect my Facebook contacts with my Android address book is ContApps. It not only pulls in photos and contact info from your Facebook friends list, but it’ll also show you your friends’ latest Facebook status update as well. The main page looks a lot like PicDial’s speed-dial screen, but I found that the ContApps list wasn’t quite as well organized or easy to navigate.

What I liked the most about this app was the individual screen for each friend. Everything you need is all in one place, the person’s birthday, work email, home email, IM contact and phone number.

The buttons at the bottom are pretty cool. Social feeds doesn’t quite work yet as far as I can tell, but the “Google It” button will Google the person’s name – so you can view Internet details about the person whenever you like. From reviews I’ve seen, it also shows you the location of your friends and it pulls in Twitter data as well. As I mentioned above, you can view the person’s current Facebook status by tapping on their picture.

Overall, I think this is a useful app and goes a long way toward connecting the Android address book with popular social networks. If you want to give it a shot and use it to import your Facebook contacts, you can download it with the following QR code.

AddressBook for Android

By far, my favorite app to connect all of my favorite social networks with my Android address book is, aptly named, AddressBook for Android. After you download this app, you’ll be prompted to download all of the additional plug-ins that you want – such as one to connect to Facebook and another to connect to Twitter or YouTube.

Once your contacts are imported from those social networks, they’re displayed in a nice looking contacts list. This is meant to replace the standard Android address book, and throughout you’ll find all sorts of other features incorporated into it, such as a button for an emergency number (which you can program) and a one-touch connection to look up local movie listings.

I really like this app because it’s clean, fast, and it just works as advertised. You can add-on the features you want, or just leave off the ones you don’t.

Download AddressBook with the following QR code.

android apps link contacts facebook

So, give a few of these address books a test drive and import your contacts into your Android mobile phone. Once you do, you’ll never have to worry about keeping track of contact details or making changes. Finally, we’ve entered a world where information gets automatically updated for you.

Did you pick any of these apps? Do you know of any others that you like more? Share your insight in the comments section below.

Image credit: Ricardo Santeugini

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10 Awesome & Inspiring Blogs for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 02:30 PM PDT

entrepreneur ideasAre you an entrepreneur, solo business owner or freelancer? Are you keen to get regular business advice but don’t have the time to work out which blogs to subscribe to? Well, we’ve done the research for you.

Here’s a collection of business blogs aimed at entrepreneurs and small businesses. These have been chosen for their insights, advice, presentation and overall appeal to business people. Hopefully you’ll find these blogs cover all the business management advice and business trends analysis for your needs.

1. Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review is a staple in any entrepreneur blog collection. The blog delivers timely business analysis and professional management advice.

entrepreneur ideas

2. Young Entrepreneur

When you’re just starting our with your business venture, things can be a little tough. Young Entrepreneur focuses on the things you’ll need to know – financing, bootstrapping, identifying opportunities and making sales.

how to become an entrepreneur

3. 64 Notes

64 Notes gets straight to the nuggets of gold by bypassing straightforward management tips and filling each post with those eye-opening things that change your business from alright to amazing. They also write a lot about how to avoid being the start-up that failed.

how to become an entrepreneur

4. The Personal MBA

The Personal MBA is a blog dedicated to teaching all the tips and tricks you would have learned if you had done a degree in business. It recommends books, summarises books and draws on advice given freely by great minds in business. If you follow this blog you will learn a great deal about managing your business.

how to become an entrepreneur

5. Instigator Blog

Instigator Blog is a very insightful blog, mainly discussing thoughts relevant to small business and entrepreneurs, written by an entrepreneur as he works on his business.

how to start a business

6. Fast Company

Fast Company is a major business blog, covering business news and trends. It’s vital information if you want to know where business is heading.

how to start a business

7. Entrepreneur Blog

Entrepreneur Blog is a site dedicated to providing business insights to entrepreneurs. It will analyse business failures, successes and trends, while offering sensible advice for any business owner.

how to start a business

8. The Entrepreneurial Mind

The Entrepreneurial Mind is a business blog written by a Belmont University professor of Entrepreneurship. His academic insight into the world of the entrepreneur is a great balance to the news and trends offered by other blogs.

9. Creative Web Biz

Creative Web Biz is a great blog for all the artistic entrepreneurs out there. This is a place for those people who are entrepreneurs, but don’t much care for all the business management advice and trends. This blog is entirely focused on how to get that art out there and sold. Highly recommended for musicians, artists, and makers of other crafts.

10. Work Happy

Work Happy is a blog offering advice for anyone in business for themselves. It’s useful for freelancers, small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. It features a lot of video presentations from entrepreneurs to keep things interesting.

entrepreneur ideas

Bonus: Entrepreneurship Interviews

Entrepreneurship Interviews added itself on to the list by being a wealth of information in the form of interviews with entrepreneurs. It’s not much to look at, but there is a lot to be gained by listening to what other entrepreneurs say candidly about their own business ventures.

More Blogs

If you’re keen to see some more great blog lists from MakeUseOf, read on:

If you know of other great blogs for business people, let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Hot Tech Deals [Oct 26th]

Posted: 26 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. Dell PowerEdge T110 Intel Core i3-550 3.2GHz Server Desktop $329 Free Shipping via code 4B9$MGJQXSF?FV

  2. Hitachi SimpleDrive III 7200rpm 1TB Aluminum External Hard Drive $69.97 via code YUGSAVE5/25

  3. DogFighter PC Game $1.50

  4. TODAY ONLY Asus TS Mini SOHO Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz Windows Home Server (1GB/500GB HDD) $179.99AR Free Shipping

  5. TODAY ONLY Epson Powerlite 8100 Home Cinema Projector (Refurb, 1080p) $869.99 Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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100 Things to Do Before I Die: 6 Sites That Help Create Your Own Bucket List

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 12:30 PM PDT

bucket list ideasIn the film, 'The Bucket List', Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman go on a road trip. Their milestones are the wish list of things they want to achieve before they 'kick the bucket'. The movie might have entertained you. But did it make you at least think on the importance of creating your own wish list for life?

The purpose of a bucket list is dead simple – to motivate you to move your butt and go for your dreams. Heck, life is just too short. A bucket list is like a vision statement for your life; so it's really different from a laundry list. A '100 things to do before I die' musing is more like the master list for your life, with all your achievable and seemingly impossible dreams on it.

How do you make one? With pen, paper, and a clear dreamy mind. Or use these six simple websites which help you come up with bucket list ideas, and then jot down your wish list and share it with the world.


bucket list ideas

These guys got the name before anyone else did. And why not, because the site is all about starting your own bucket lists. You can create an account or login with your Facebook ID. Fill your profile details because it makes you approachable to anyone with a similar wish list item. On, you can make your wish lists more graphic by adding images, videos, links, and notes. Lists can be re-ordered. Bucketlist lets you follow other people’s lists. The real motivation is when you come across someone's story about a triumph. That's why when you reach a goal; do add your own story.


my bucket list

Probably the most well known web service in this niche, asks you – What do you want to do with your life? 43Things is well, about 43 things you can dream of achieving. The site says that 43 is the right number of things for a busy person to try to do. The site is full of mundane to-do lists too, but as one of the larger sites you are sure to find your wish reflected here.

The community-based site lets you connect with people of similar goals and there's a lot to learn in shared experiences. You can also post to your blog from 43Things. The site also has the concept of 'cheers' when you like someone's list, comment, or effort. (See Directory mention)

Day Zero

my bucket list

If you love deadlines and challenges then you will love what this site is all about. It's about achieving 101 preset goals in 1001 days (about 2.75 years). The site believes that it's the wand of time that pushes us forward to achieve the wish lists and defeat procrastination. Using the site's tools let you add your list and track it across the next three years. You can use an Idea Finder to narrow down your list.

Reaper List

my bucket list

Would you like to do some crazy things before the Grim Reaper rings the doorbell? Put it down on this site which takes a rather fatalistic approach to motivating you. The Grim Reaper is the site's mascot and he is the one who has the reaper list. The default list length is 30 but if you send in a request it gets an increase.


making a bucket list is a simple site for creating and storing your bucket list ideas. You can add each wish and also write a description like a mini-blog post on it with formatted text, pictures, and symbols. The site still has a small number of users as I found out when searching for other community members with an interest in travel (the most quoted wish).

Super Viva

bucket list ideas

SuperViva is a well designed site and is a place to keep your life list of future goals and past experiences. Straightaway after logging in, you can start building up your list. You can list a goal as a future goal or even add some goals you have already achieved. You can keep your goals organized in lists or arrange them around dimensions like family, fun, spiritual, relationships etc. For each goal, you can add a detailed plan which can include a timeframe, priority, finances, and the effort needed. The site has another little tool which lets you jot down memories of things you would want to remember in later years.

The thing with bucket list ideas is that you may not achieve them all in a single lifetime. To borrow a quote from someone – "Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." The stars are the little ones you do achieve. Do you have a bucket list? What do you think of the whole idea?

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Turn Your Captcha Into A Video With NuCaptcha [News]

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 11:39 AM PDT

NuCaptcha.pngOne of the most annoying steps when signing up for a new service or website has to be filling out the captcha to prove you’re not a spambot. Sometimes the images are so garbled, it’s impossible to figure out what letters you’re expected to enter.

The Canadian based company, NuCaptcha aims to do something about that. Instead of cryptic images, they’ve taken captcha security to a new level, by using videos.

This opens up a whole slew of possibilities on how the captcha can be used – one of which is a new advertising resource for websites to bring in revenue, and for advertisers to get their message out. After all, it seems like one of the easiest ways to find a captive audience.

With the Basic Package, users have no control over the exact video that will be played. That said Basic features include a choice of themes, such as environment, sports or abstract themes, and up to 25,000 NuCaptchas per month.

Upgrading to the paid Engage Package will give users complete control over the ads, Captcha copy and formats. According to NuCaptcha, where most services make you choose between security and revenue – they give you both. No mention is made on the site, however, of how much you have to pay to get in on the service.

NuCaptcha Ad.png

So how does it work? NuCaptcha is a video stream, and not a flash program. As they point out on their website, it would not be secure to create a Captcha in Flash. With HTML5 and mobile support, the system works on mobile phones, on the four browsers, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer, and on tablets.

With NuCaptcha’s video based security system, the Captchas are easier to decipher, and more secure – so in the end – everyone wins.  What do you think?

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Publish iCal Calendars Without MobileMe Or An OS X Server [Mac]

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 11:31 AM PDT

ical calendarsLast month, we wrote about how you can use Google Calendar to keep multiple instances of iCal and even your Android calendar synchronized. This applies to people who want to keep their own calendar up to date on multiple machines.

Publishing and subscribing to iCal feeds allows you to watch other people’s calendars relative to your schedule. You can use it to coordinate between co-workers, friends and family, or to keep on top of tour dates and important happenings in your area.

Sadly, iCal requires one of two things to publish one of your own calendars; a premium MobileMe subscription or a server with rather specific Mac OS X CalDAV software. Today we’re going to look at two workarounds to publish a calendar using a free online service, or even your own regular server space.

1. Publish iCal Calendars Using is a free personal storage service, much like the acclaimed Dropbox. You can sign up for the free, ‘Lite’ account, which will give you 1GB of storage and a 25MB file size limit; more than enough for a calendar or two. As you probably guessed, has CalDAV support and will carry our publications without much ado.

ical calendars

You can choose to publish a single calendar, or a whole calendar group, in which case the individual components will be merged. Right-click a calendar or group, and select Publish. Select ‘A private server‘ from the drop-down list and enter as the base URL, with your credentials below. Check the first box to automatically publish any changes made to the calendar and create an active feed. The other checkboxes are optional depending on your personal preferences.

ical for windows

To subscribe, go to Calendar -> Subscribe… in iCal, and enter as the URL. Remember what you called the calendar in the publish dialog? That’s our filename (Home.ics in our example above). That’s it!

2. Using Regular Server Space

If you want to keep complete control over your calendar files, or don’t feel like signing up for yet another account, you can use regular server space as well; the same you would use for, say, a WordPress installment. Since these servers generally don’t have calDAV, it’s a little more complicated though. This tutorial requires a Google Calendar account.

ical for windows

First, right-click a single calendar or calendar group and select Publish. Publishing a group will not preserve the individual calendars, but instead merge its components into one single calendar.

ical for windows

Give your calendar a recognizable name and select ‘A private server’ from the drop-down menu. You want to use your server’s FTP address as the base URL, suffixed with www/ to put the calendar in the website root directory. For the sake of keeping organized, you might want to put your calendar in another folder (e.g. ical) instead of the root. This optional folder needs to exist before we can publish our calendar, so you’ll have to create it using your web server’s file manager. Your FTP credentials will need to be entered below.

Check the first box to automatically publish any changes made to the calendar and create an active feed. The other checkboxes are optional depending on your personal preferences.

Sign in to Google Calendar. If you don’t have a Google account yet, sign up for one now. At the bottom of the left sidebar, under Other calendars, select Add -> Add by URL.

This is where you enter the URL to your iCal publication; Google Calendars doesn’t really care if the server supports CalDAV and will pull in the calendar anyway. Note that – compared to your base publication URL – the actual URL is prefixed with http instead of ftp, and misses the www/ insertion. Remember how we called our calendar? That’s our filename.ics .

ical calendars

The calendar will now exist in Google Calendar. From here on, it’s as easy as synchronizing your Google Calendar account with iCal. Go to iCal -> Preferences -> Accounts -> “+” and enter your Google credentials. If you’ve got multiple calendars in Google Calendar, you’ll have to enable them under the Delegation tab.

What do you use your calendar subscriptions for? Tell us in the comments below!

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How To Summarize a Website & RSS Feeds Easily Using

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 10:31 AM PDT

summarize a websiteMy cinematographer friend once told me that the secret of making non-boring music videos is to make every scene last less than five seconds. The reason, she continued, is because we – especially youngsters – have very short attention spans. Further discussion brought us to several reasons why we have that inability to focus on something longer.

The biggest culprit is information overload. With the advancement of technology, the amount of information that we have to digest grows exponentially, while the amount of time that we have everyday stays the same. We adapt by allocating less and less time on something to be able to fit everything in.

Wrong move. The better solution should be eliminating all the fat and focusing on the parts we really need, using

What Lies Behind The Weird Name

The service itself is quite straightforward: it helps users to summarize long winded articles and even longer winded RSS feeds into their small, medium and long versions.

When you visit the site you will see two fields, one for RSS and the other for URL. Let’s see just how good the summarizing engine is.

summarize a website

First, I experimented with the “Compress A Feed” tool using the MakeUseOf feed address. After pasting in the address and clicking “Summarize“, I got four addresses as a result: the original, short, medium and long versions.

how to summarize a website

I used those addresses with a news reader, picked one article at random from each version of RSS, and compared the results. My honest opinion: they are disappointing. There is too much noise so the result was uncomfortable to read.

how to summarize a website

I continued with the “Summarize A URL” tool and pasted down the address of the article that I used in the previous comparison. Similar to the news feed, there are four versions of the result. I went through each one and was a bit surprised to find out that the results are good – completely different than the ones on the news feed.

how to summarize a website

So to summarize (pun intended), go with the URL tool and avoid the RSS one – for now.

A Little Something For The Browser

If you don’t like the idea of going back and forth to the site just to summarize the articles that you stumble upon, you could use a little bookmarklet help instead. Below the RSS and URL fields, you will find a bookmarklet link. Drag and drop the link to your browser’s bookmark bar.

rss summary

And assign a name to it.

rss summary

Now you can summarize any article on a webpage that you have currently read just by clicking the bookmarklet button. The summaries will be opened in a new tab.

summarize a website

So if you are the kind of person with too many things to absorb and too little time to accomplish it, could be your friend in need. But, as I’ve said earlier, go with the URL tool only until the refined RSS summarizing engine comes out.

Try the service and tell us what you think using the comments below.

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MakeUseOf Team Spotlight [October 25th 2010]

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 10:00 AM PDT

MakeUseOf Team Spotlight is our occasional feature where we profile the work of our writers outside of MakeUseOf. We have some very talented employees who like to spread their talents all around the web and it’s only right that we should recognise and showcase those talents.

In this edition of Spotlight, we will be profiling the work of Justin, Jackson, Dave and Ryan. We’ve got some very interesting posts including a giveaway this week so check it out!

People Talking Without Speaking – The Untweeted Disaster

Posted on Justin Pot by Justin Pot

People in Pakistan continue to recover from the recent flood, but you wouldn't know it from Digg or Twitter. It's not as sexy a disaster as hurricane Katrina or the earthquake in Haiti so we don't talk about it.

Are real people are being overlooked and forgotten because the web’s inability to process complex information?

Giveaway: 5 x Daniusoft Video Studio Express [Windows]

Posted on TheDailyBuggle by Jackson Chung

Over at The Daily Buggle, Jackson is organising a modest giveaway, featuring Daniusoft’s brand new Video Studio Express for Windows. The app retails for $35.00 (also available for Mac) but he managed to his hands on five copies to give away to readers of The Daily Buggle.

Drop by and check it out. Participating is super simple and will only take a few seconds. Giveaway ends on Friday Oct 29 so hurry!

7 Places To Avoid Checking Into On FourSquare, Facebook Places, and More

Posted on System Bash by Dave Drager

FourSquare, and its competitors Gowalla and Facebook Places, offers consumers an interesting and inviting way to share what you are doing with friends.

They also open up privacy issues which haven’t been a problem until the rise of GeoSocial. Since checkins are opt-in, these networks are only as safe as the person who uses them. Check out these essential locations where you should avoid checking into!

Getting Paid for Online Writing – Fee or Royalty

Posted on FreeWritingCenter by Ryan Dube

In this article, Ryan examines the two main methods of earning income for your writing online. He takes on writing for royalties and compares it to fee based writing opportunities online.

While there’s certainly a place for both types of writing income, Ryan doesn’t hold back any punches as he goes after those services that exploit writers with unfair royalty algorithms.

If you would like to follow the MUO staff yourself on Twitter, check out this Twitter list, which is updated on a regular basis, as staff are hired or fired. From there, you can click through to each writer’s Twitter profile where you can subscribe to them for all their latest updates.

Image Credit: Visualogist

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20 Original & Funny Facebook Statuses

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 09:30 AM PDT

funny facebook statusesFacebook is not only a great way to reconnect and stay in touch with friends, relatives, and interesting people. It is also a rich source for entertainment. And I don’t mean the mindless games and psycho tests.

While it seems that most of us lead a rather eventless lives, there are people out there who can fit a meaningful message or funny story in 140 characters. Wouldn’t you like to receive their status updates? Or maybe you would rather be such a creative mind yourself!

Gather up some inspiration and get those creative juices flowing! Here are 20 original and funny Facebook status messages that are different.

People with Problems

  • You asked the cop if you could use his in-car computer to update your Facebook. No way you were getting out of a DUI.
  • The most awkward part of meeting new people is when my kids say, “Please help us.”
  • I drank so much Goldschläger last night, I could shit a necklace.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try drinking beer while you do it. You’ll be amazed at how much less you care.
  • He let me duct tape his mouth because I said it was my fetish; I really just wanted him to shut up.

funny facebook statuses

For Halloween

  • Eat, drink and be scary.
  • I am dying to have a great Halloween with you.
  • … wants to remind you this Halloween, that as a general rule, don’t solve riddles that open portals to Hell.
  • … wonders if he's getting old, or if others also ask for high-fiber candy only on Halloween?
  • … thinks that cauldron of Halloween candy has been undressing me with its eyes from across the room all night…come here you.

funniest facebook statuses ever

For the New Year

  • I will stop using FB as a toll of procrastination and actually do some homework.
  • I will avoid taking a bath whenever possible and conserve more water.
  • I resolve to work with neglected children. (my own).
  • I will stop judging myself on how many people I have on my friends list. Also, stop taking posed, extreme angle profile pics…if you know me you know what I really look like!
  • I will try to find a way to politely lose the 4 most annoying Facebook friends.

funny facebook statuses

For Uninspired Times

  • Insert coin to view status message.
  • If you have a parrot and you don’t teach it to say,”Help, they’ve turned me into a parrot”, you are wasting everybody’s time.
  • The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.
  • When I was born I was so surprised, I didn’t talk for a year and a half.
  • … is cle'a[ hi's ke]yb36oa;rd

Need more inspiration? Check out the following pages and my resources for Funny Facebook Statuses:

Also check out our other articles on Facebook:

So what was your funniest Facebook status update ever? Please post your favorites in the comments.

Image credits: michaelaw, pascal79, gabriel77

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What is Microsoft Silverlight? [Geeks Weigh In]

Posted: 26 Oct 2010 08:30 AM PDT

what is microsoft silverlightMicrosoft is a big frickin company. Although born from the Windows operating system and the success of software such as Microsoft Office, the giant now has its hands in everything from cell phones to game consoles to in-car infotainment systems. Microsoft’s execution of its various goals also varies greatly – Internet Explorer has been bleeding users for years, but the Xbox 360 has become a popular and successful device.

Given the array of Microsoft products and services available, it can become difficult to remember any single service very well. You may have heard recently about Microsoft Silverlight – indeed, its likely because some Microsoft websites and software don’t work correctly without it. What is Microsoft Silverlight, and how does it matter to you?

In The Beginning…

what is microsoft silverlight

You may have heard of Microsoft Silverlight as early as 2007. This is when the first version of Silverlight was released. This early version is likely best described as “online presentation software”. Silverlight started as a web application framework that provided a method of building interactivity into online content. Input could be taken from a user’s computer, and appropriate results would happen with in the application. Video, in the form WMA, WMD 7-9 and VC-1 was support, as was MP3 audio.

Is this sounding familiar? It should, because Silverlight from the very beginning had goals similar to Flash. You view Flash content constantly, often times even when you’re not aware of it, but Flash has always been criticized as inefficient and somewhat buggy. Silverlight offers an alternative.

Silverlight Today

Updates to Silverlight have been provided regularly since the original release of Silverlight in 2007.  Each new release of introduced some fairly substantial new features.

Silverlight 2 was perhaps most famous for introducing Deep Zoom, a feature that made it possible to display a series of high-resolution photographs as thumbnails, yet also display extremely high-resolution detailed photos if the user zooms in. There are many good examples of this online, one of which is the Hard Rock Memorabilia website.

microsoft silverlight

AAC audio support an H.264 video support was added in Silverlight 3, as well as support for 1080p streaming and other media features. This bolstered Silverlight’s already reasonable capability as a media player, making it a good alternative to Flash for streaming video.

The most recent version is Silverlight 4, which was released in April 2010. This version’s most important update was problem the addition of Google Chrome support. It was also made possible to include webcam and microphone input in Silverlight apps.

These are, obviously, not all of the updates made to Silverlight over the years. If you’re an actual developer, and not an end user, the additions to the framework over the last three years have made big changes to what you can achieve. For users, however, the basic result is this – Silverlight is a lot like Flash, but is often quicker and has features (like the Deep Zoom Support) that are difficult or impossible for Flash to replicate.

microsoft silverlight

However, Silverlight is a relatively new and not entirely understood player on the scene. The situation of Microsoft’s Silverlight is actually rather ironic for the company – in this case, they appear to have a competitive and arguably superior solution, but are being held back by the fact that a competitor (Adobe’s Flash) already has an entire ecosystem of applications and experienced developers surrounding it.

Perhaps the best way to see what Silverlight has to offer, however, is to simply use it. Microsoft’s website offers a showcase the highlights a number of websites, gadgets and tools that make use of this framework. Some are pretty damn cool. Others aren’t.


If there is one thing that Microsoft can offer its projects, it is access to a very large user base. Anyone Windows XP, Vista or 7 can use Silverlight with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Silverlight also works in Safari on Intel-based Apple computers. Windows based smartphones support Silverlight as well.

what is microsoft silverlight

All current Windows mobile smartphones and Windows operating systems should already have Silverlight installed. If that’s not the case, however, grabbing it is easy. Installation should take less than a minute.


Now that I’ve explained the basics of Silverlight, it is time for the geeks to weigh in. I think there is a lot of promise here, but the fact remains that Flash is the 800-pound gorilla. It remains in the middle of the ring, ready to take on all challengers. What do you think? Is Silverlight a reasonable alternative to Flash? Or, just as importantly, will both Silverlight and Flash succumb to HTML5?

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