Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogger Tips and Tricks

Blogger Tips and Tricks

Styling the blog date header

Posted: 30 Nov 2010 02:49 AM PST

A reader asked: " I really want to make a different date header!"Well this can be done via editing the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) in the template. Note that before making changes to the template best to first backup the blog template (Dashboard > Design (previously called LAYOUT) > Edit HTML >Download Full Template).Now in the template editor, look for h2.date-header (use ctrl+F) which may be

HTML textarea tag replaces scroll box

Posted: 30 Nov 2010 02:31 AM PST

A blog reader by the name of Kevin of http://www.thebrosource.com/ alerted me to the <textarea< tag in place of the more complicated codes for scroll box. I tested it at Testing Blogger: testarea tag in place of scroll box. The code is as follows: <textarea cols="50" rows="30">type your text here</textarea>where cols="50" defines the box for the text area to be 50 characters wide and rows="30"

MakeUseOf.com: “Apple’s iOS 4.2 Is Now Available For The iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch [News]” plus 12 more

MakeUseOf.com: “Apple’s iOS 4.2 Is Now Available For The iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch [News]” plus 12 more

Link to MakeUseOf.com

Apple’s iOS 4.2 Is Now Available For The iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch [News]

Posted: 30 Nov 2010 04:52 AM PST

If you own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, you may have noticed that Apple released a software update last week. Then again, it was Thanksgiving so you may have missed it. In either case this is exciting news because chances are good that your iOS device is getting some extra capabilities.

This major software update includes multitasking, a unified inbox, folders, a game center, AirPlay & AirPrint, and is a significant upgrade for iPad and company.

Let’s take a look at what Apple has released with this new update.  Nancy will shortly be reviewing iOS 4.2 on the iPad properly but for the moment, here is a quick overview.

What’s New In 4.2?

iOS 4.2 brings over 100 new features to iPad from the 4.0 release, making it “a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season”, as Steve Jobs succinctly put it.

Here’s a list of the main feature additions:

  • Multitasking - iPad users can now run their favorite apps and switch between them instantly, while preserving iPad's battery life.
  • Folders – Users can organize their apps with drag-and-drop simplicity using Folders.
  • Unified Inbox – Mail now features a Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching, and a threaded message view.
  • Game Center – Allows iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users to challenge and play friends or be matched automatically with new opponents, showcase their scores/achievements, and see what their friends are playing.
  • AirPlay – A new feature for streaming music, video, and photos wirelessly from iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch to Apple TV. iOS users also will be able to use AirPort Express and AirPlay to stream wirelessly to any stereo or powered speakers.
  • AirPrint – A next-generation Wi-Fi print architecture that dramatically simplifies printing by completely eliminating printer drivers. iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to any printer that supports AirPrint.

As you can see, this update significantly changes how you’ll be using your iOS devices, especially your iPad. Apple really pulled out all the stops with this release and it will be interesting to see what future releases have in store for Apple fanboys and girls.

What do you think of this new release?

Source: Apple Press Release
Image Credit: Niels van Eck

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Cool Websites and Tools [November 29th]

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 07:31 PM PST

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.

Add Your Website Here!


Simures – Website developers often have to ensure that their site will display properly in the most common screen resolutions. To test website resolution compatibility they often change their own screen resolution manually or use an external program to change the browser's resolution. But many developers will find the method offered by Simures to be more convenient. Read more: Simures: Quick & Easy Website Resolution Compatibility Check


DigiSigner – Digital signatures on PDF documents are highly useful. To digitally sign a PDF document you need a PDF modification application that usually comes with a price tag. But thanks to DigiSigner you can now easily digitally sign PDF documents for free. You can use the tool's online Java-based interface or download its installable form. Read more: Digisigner: Digitally Sign Your PDF Documents



Ratio Finder – Do you want to know which of the local bar usually has more guys than girls (or the other way around)? There is not reliable way to find this out. At least, there was not one before the Ratio Finder went online, a very simple to use website that provides the male-to-female ratio of local places based on FourSquare check ins. Read more: Ratio Finder: Find Out What The Male To Female Ratio Is in Nearby Popular Places



Whats This Word? – Are you having trouble filling out a crossword? Or perhaps you need some extra help in a game of Hangman. In either of those situations, you will find “WhatsThisWord” to be extremely helpful. What's This Word is a online service that helps you find a word with missing letters. The site's usage could not be any simpler: you enter the word and replace the missing letters with questions marks. Read more: WhatsThisWord: Find A Word With Missing Letters



Georeader – Imagine walking (or driving )past a famous landmark. Normally you would not stop by it to thoroughly check it out. Consequently you do not learn anything about the landmark. But thanks to GeoReader you will not need to stop by the landmark locations to know more about it. GeoReader is a free application for Android smartphones. It recognizes any landmark that you are passing by. Read more: Georeader: Detects Landmark Locations Nearby & Reads Out Info About It


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.

Got Questions? Ask Them Now FREE on MakeUseOf Answers!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

4 Unique Tools to Monitor Flickr via RSS

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 05:30 PM PST

flickr rss feed urlIf you often browse Flickr to find inspiration, you may be wondering if there are any good tools to monitor the resource for regular interesting updates.

One such way is tracking Flickr via RSS feeds. The site has a few handy RSS subscription options which, sadly, lack flexibility.

Flickr provides feeds for public photos & video, friends’ photostream, public favorites from a user, group discussions, group pools, forum discussions, recent activity on your photo stream, and recent comments you made.

Here are a few tools that allow more flexibility and let you gain a better control over RSS feeds of Flickr images

1. Daily Interestingness Flickr photo RSS feeds

“Interestingness” section is where Flickr lists most interesting, most rated and most commented photos that have become recently popular with the community. According to Flickr,

There are lots of elements that make something ‘interesting’ (or not) on Flickr. Where the clickthroughs are coming from; who comments on it and when; who marks it as a favorite; its tags and many more things which are constantly changing. Interestingness changes over time, as more and more fantastic content and stories are added to Flickr.

Flickr photo RSS is a nice tool that allows you to subscribe to the “Interestingness” section using your preferred feed reader.

There are two feeds available:

  • Four recently popular photos daily;
  • One photo daily.

Here’s an example of the output when subscribed in Google reader:

Flickr RSS

2. Flickr RSS Feed Generator: by Tags (Keywords)

Flickr RSS Feed Generator is a great tool we reviewed at MUO already that uses the Flickr API to retrieve images determined by parameters you specify and returns an RSS feed, which you can use to subscribe using your favorite feed reader.

The parameters you can play with are:

  • Tags;
  • Tag mode (all of the listed tags or at least any of them);
  • Sorting order (by interestingness / date / relevance);
  • Maximum number of images to return.

The resulting feed has a direct link to the image page on Flickr, the preview and the direct link to the preview image file:

flickr rss feed url

3. digestr

digestr is a fun tool that allows to create a digest of all Flickr uploads based on the specified parameters. The tool was created to by-pass the exciting Flickr feed limitation: you can only see the latest 20 photos in your Flickr RSS for now.

The idea behind digestr is that multiple photos since the last update would be consolidated into one easy to view post.

Here’s a sample RSS feed from the bad signage photo pool (notice each update title: you can see how many new uploads were found for that day. All new uploads are listed right there in an easy-to-scan digest):

flickr rss feed url

This way you are unlikely to miss any important update even if there were dozens of them.

The tool seems perfect to use for actively updated groups or photo streams that are updated not too often but with large number of new photos uploaded all at once. According to the creator,

The idea came out of trying to make it more useful for friends and family to subscribe to photo's of my kid Atticus. I only get around to updating my photos of Atticus about once a month, so there may be a backlog of 10 to 50 pictures. The default flickr rss feed show the last 20 uploaded pictures, each as an individual 'post'. So if you were subscribed you would get a barrage of up to 20 new posts (and nothing beyond the 20 picture limit). The idea behind digestr is that those photos would be consolidated into one easy to view post.

Flickr rss

4. More Unique RSS Feeds from Yahoo! Pipe Users

Yahoo! Pipe users never cease to amaze me. I spent a couple of hours going through multiple mashups relating to Flickr there, picked 4 that seemed most interesting to me and I am sure I have missed more than I found. But here they are (if you find more interesting Yahoo! Pipes playing with Flickr, please share them in the comments!):

  1. Flickr – Group-pool top contributors: If you find yourself using the same group again and again (I love using Creative Commons for example), use this pipe to track its top contributors. Provide the group ID, number of photos to return per contributor, total number of photos to return in the output, the number of top contributors to go through – and you are done!

    Flickr rss

  2. Flickr User/Tag Feed Re-sizer: This pipe replaces the Flickr’s default (thumbnails) in Flickr feeds with the size of your choosing. Size may be any of the following (case matters): Original, Large, Medium, Small, Thumbnail, or Square

    flickr feed

  3. Flickr – Group pool photostream and resize: As the name suggests, this pipe allows to subscribe to any group RSS feed but it allows up to 500 photos to be retrieved instead of the standard 20 and lets you set the image size:

    flickr feed

  4. Most interesting Flickr Images (without flowers): You guessed it right, this pipe allows you to track the most interesting Flickr images, minus the “boring” photos of flowers.

    flickr feed

Do you monitor Flickr via RSS? Please share your tips!

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

SharedCopy Lets You Bookmark & Annotate Websites With Style

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 03:30 PM PST

annotate web pagesWhile you may be used to sharing websites without much as a blink, annotating these web pages with useful comments may be more efficient for future reference and better bookmarking. There are fully-featured bookmark-managing tools, such as my favorite, Diigo, which has evolved into an information management tool for individuals and groups.

Although Diigo is more complete than regular social bookmarking sites and I truly like the toolbar, introducing it to my friends doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be blown away by it. I know some of them don’t even use Delicious, or have any way to back up their bookmarks so they still keep them in long folders on their browsers. In other words, a full client like Diigo is just too much for them. For simpler annotating, I’ve found SharedCopy to be light and simple, particularly because all of its features are presented in no more than a bookmarklet.

I was really glad to discover SharedCopy a few years back, when I was looking for a way to integrate my comments on an article that I had to share with a project team mate. I was finding it difficult to share my comments on a Wikipedia article with her via email, especially when an article was extremely lengthy and thus, made it harder to keep track of all the main points. SharedCopy helped me point out what I wanted to tell her in really simple ways. All you have to do is get the bookmarklet from this page, click on it (or set a keyword for instant launching) to start using and annotating away with the SharedCopy toolbar.

annotate web pages

You can highlight, type text, draw circles, boxes and lines. There are more buttons you can add if you get an account but no registration is required. An account will mainly provide you with a library of annotated websites for future reference. Without an account, you still get easy access to your comments on that annotated page, which are available for you to copy in plain text and as embeddable code for your website when you’re done annotating.

annotate website

All annotations are private unless you share the links to the annotated websites. You can change this in the final page with the sharing links to change privacy settings for a single page, or visit your Account preferences to set all annotations to private or public by default. If you do choose to share your annotation page, which includes a thumbnail of the page you annotated, you can send the link to social sites, email, your blog, etc.

annotate website

Two neat features are the additional buttons (think of them as extensions) for the bookmarklet.

annotate website

You can add more functionality to the basic toolbar. I’ve added here the PDF button, which turns a website along with my annotations into a PDF file, and the Arrow button.

bookmark websites

Another cool feature is that you can get an RSS feed of the comments on a website you’ve annotated, which is useful if you shared the page with someone and want to see his/her thoughts on the same.

annotate web pages

SharedCopy also has a read-it-later bookmarklet that lets you add random interesting articles in full to an RSS feed (and then close the tabs for you!) so you can read those items even when you are offline on your favorite RSS reader. It can definitely be a better and more efficient practice than say, adding even more bookmarks to an already-very-populated list of unread links/browser bookmarks, which I’m totally guilty of, or even emailing yourself things to read when your inbox shouldn’t be a repository of bookmarks, but of messages.

While SharedCopy has some very useful ways to integrate how you process (find a bookmarkable site) and refine (annotate) information on the web, it’d be nice to see integration with browsers so every time you visit a bookmarked page, you’ll see the annotations right away.

For similar annotating bookmarklets, check out BounceApp (check out the quick Directory review) and MarkUp.io, which is another slick app that’s been featured on the Directory. While none of these let you color-code your comments, you can try the DrawHere bookmarklet that lets you add layers (check out the free PDF manual on Photoshop to learn more), select brush size and colors.

What do you use to share comments in your bookmarks?

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Use Raptr to Download Free Games, Play and Chat with Xbox Live, Steam and PSN Friends

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 01:30 PM PST

online gamingHmm… what to play? Something I probably shouldn't be asking myself whilst beginning a new article – but if you're not me, have just finished work and love your games maybe you'll find yourself asking the same question.

Raptr is a solution aimed at Windows users designed to marry the many platforms on which we now waste our time into one tidy application. Also included is a tasty selection of completely free games you can download, right within the application itself.

So if you're a casual gamer or permanently suffering RSI in your thumbs you'll probably find something to like about Raptr.

Social Gaming

Raptr attempts to add an enhanced level of social interaction whilst playing your games. This involves talking to the Xbox Live, Steam and PlayStation Network services as expected, but also includes Facebook and MSN amongst others.

online gaming

You could probably use Raptr as an instant messaging client for many of your usual networks, with the bonus of adding your gaming accounts as well. You’re also presented with the option of registering a Raptr account, in case any of your other friends are using the service.

You don't have to register a Raptr account however, and the application functions excellently on its own as a client for conglomerating your web of games services into one place.

free online gaming

You'll also receive notifications of what your friends are up to, especially useful if you're an impulsive gamer (and terrible if you're trying to actually work).

As well as the social element, Raptr also provides users with a way of discovering new and completely free games and supports client downloads directly within the application itself.

Free Gaming

Raptr uses two windows – a buddy list, and the main window. If you have connected any accounts using the main window they will in turn be kept separate in the buddy list which makes joining games and chatting to mates that little bit easier.

free online gaming

The main window has 3 main sections – Free Games, My Games and Downloads. The Free Games window opens up automatically on each launch, so you can quickly see what's new.

All the games have some multiplayer element, and are split into 3 main categories – Action, Sports and RPG. The process of downloading a game that takes your fancy is a straightforward one, simply click the big green Start Download button and the game begins downloading.

free online gaming

This will add a download to your Downloads section. If you download any games that require an account to play, Raptr will invite you to register directly from the Download page.

Any games you own that have been detected by Raptr or downloaded using Free Games will then appear in your My Games list. The client can also track statistics for a vast number of games, which builds a picture of your preferred timewasters and whether you're actually any good.

Download Raptr

You can download Raptr here (direct download) as long as you’re using Windows. There's plenty of support for older games, so if your PC isn't quite up to the latest and greatest you should still be able to get something out of it.

Once the installer has downloaded, run it and choose a download location. Once you've clicked Install the installer will connect to the internet and download the latest version. If you’ve got a firewall installed you’re going to need to allow the installer access to the web.

online gaming

Once the installation is complete, Raptr will automatically launch and quickly scan your hard drive for installed games. You're then free to begin downloading games and adding accounts to your heart's content.

Now the question of "what to play?" can be quickly resolved by glancing at your Raptr buddy list and seeing what your friends are up to.


As a communication tool for gamers, Raptr is pretty good. What makes it totally awesome is the integration of completely free games downloads which ensures you're never short of something to play.

If you're a power-gamer who owns every console and way too many graphics cards then you'll probably find Raptr a useful tool to have around.

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Hot Tech Deals [Nov 29th]

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 12:15 PM PST

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. Western Digital Elements 1.5TB External Hard Drive $69.99 Free Shipping

  2. ViewSonic VA2702W 27in Widescreen LCD Monitor $239.95 Free Shipping

  3. Dell Zino HD AMD Athlon II V140 2.3Ghz-Core Miniature Desktop (2GB/250GB) $299; w/ Blu-Ray $369

  4. Lost Planet 2 Game (Xbox 360, PS3) $17.99 Free Shipping

  5. Sharp AQUOS LC-32SB28UT 32in LCD HDTV (720p) $289.99 Free Shipping

  6. Sony Playstation 3 Slim 160GB w/ Uncharted 2 Game, Karate Kid Blu-Ray Movie $299.99 Free Shipping

  7. Dell ST2320L 23in LED-Backlit LCD Monitor (HDMI) $149.99 Free Shipping

  8. APC Back-UPS BE750G 750VA 450W UPS Battery Backup w/ 10 Outlets $69.99 Free Shipping

  9. Vizio E470VA 47in LCD HDTV (1080p, 120Hz) $597.99 Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Get Real, Useful Photography Critiques at 1x.com

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 11:30 AM PST

photography critiqueThere are a lot of photography communities that allow you to share your photographs, with a variety of interactions including comments, ratings and favourites. What many of these communities lack is any sort of serious critique. If you’re just looking for a place to share your snaps with your family and friends, that’s not a big deal. But what if you’re a budding, amateur or even professional photographer who is looking for a bit of feedback?

1x.com is a photography community meant only for those with a slightly thicker skin than the average hobbyist. The standard of photography shared on 1x.com is of a higher than average quality, and the best part is that you are critiqued by your peers who are there for the same reason as you – they want feedback on their work as well.

The basic membership allows you to upload one photo per week, which is just one of the reasons to be highly selective when it comes to uploading photos. You can also add photos to your favourites, and add other photographers to your watchlist.

photography critique

To sign up for a free account, provide your name, email, username and password, and you’ll get instant access to some of the most frank photography critiques in an online community.

photography critique questions

Before posting a photograph to receive a critique, you need to give a few critiques yourself. Click on the Critique tab at the top of the page, and you will find a series of photos that have received little or no critique at all. In order to submit your own photography, you have to have critiqued at least 3 pictures in the past 7 days. Only then can you submit your work to be critiqued.

Scrolling further down, you can see all photos that have been published to the critique panel.

photography criticism

Once you have completed your critiques, you can submit your own phtoographs. When submitting, you can provide additional information such as the date, location, and tags, and any comments or questions you want to share with the community.

photography criticism

What sets 1x.com apart from other photography communities is not only the extent of the critique alone. Another way in which it is different is that not all of your work will automatically be published. All of your photos go through a screening process where an editor will approve or reject the photo. Depending on the photograph itself the screening process can be very elaborate.

It will first go through screening by 1x.com assigned screeners, and they can approve or reject it, or if they are undecided, pass it on to member screening – where all 1x.com members get a say in what is published. An image has to receive 100 votes before member screening comes to an end, and then the final decision can be made to publish the image or not. The screening process may seem a little heavy handed to some, but at the same time, it really goes far to ensure the quality of photography on the site.

photography criticism

The critique section of photos is not to be confused with another section of the site. Clicking on the Photos tab at the top of the page will take you to the latest additions published by paying members. These photographs do not have to go through a screening process and you will find that the photographers are not expecting a critique, but rather 1x.com can serve as an online portfolio. These photos can be added to your favourites, whereas photos in the critique panel cannot.

photography critique

One of our least favourite features at 1x.com is the fact that photographers cannot delete their own individual photos that are submitted for critique, but rather have to ask a moderator to do so for you. On the other hand, you can delete your entire account, deleting with it your photos if you want, provided you have no intention of returning to the site.

That said, because 1x.com is a community of photographers, for photographers, there is a sensitivity in the way that critiques are approached, but that does not make them any less honest. So unless you want to hear what people really think of your photography, 1x.com is not the place for you.

If you’re interested in improving your photography skills and learn how to fully utilise your camera, check out Bakari’s PDF manual, The Essential Guide to Digital Photography.

Where do you go for honest critiques of your photography? Let us know in the comments.

Got Questions? Ask Them Now FREE on MakeUseOf Answers!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Common iPad Wi-Fi Problems and Fixes

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 10:30 AM PST

ipad wifi problemsWhen the iPad Wi-Fi was released back in April, a significant number of users complained about problems with getting Wi-Fi connections with the device—including connection drops, issues with it not working with home networks, or getting a weak connection when visiting particular websites. Apple eventually released a system software update which addressed the problems, but a few weeks ago, my iPad started experiencing Wi-Fi connections troubles. So I hopped online to learn about suggested fixes.

Using what I learned from Apple’s own July 15th document (iPad: Troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks and connections) concerning the problem, as well as recent discussions on Apple’s support and discussion forum, the following are some suggestions that seem to fix Wi-Fi problems on an iPad.

Check for System Updates

First off, whenever you're experiencing problems with any software or operating system, check to make sure you are running the latest version. In the case of the iPad operating system, simply select the Settings application, and then tap General > About > Version. At the time of writing, version 3.2.2 is the latest update of the iOS.

ipad wifi problems

Connect your iPad to iTunes and select your iPad in the sidebar. Then click on “Check for Updates” followed by “Update” to install the latest version.

Firmware Update of Router

Many iPad users seem to have discovered the problem was with their wireless router or base station. This ended up being the culprit in my case.

I was running a three year-old Linksys router, which after talking to Linksys support, I was told that I at least needed a firmware update for my router. But instead I chose to replace the router with a newer model, and so far it has resolved the Wi-Fi issues I had on my iPad.

Another suggestion is to check how other devices and hardware (e.g., Wii, laptop, iPhone, Droid) are performing with your existing router. If you notice issues with them, then of course it may indicate that you need to check with the manufacturer of your router about any needed firmware updates.

You could also take your iPad to another network location, such as Starbucks or a friend's house, to see if it experiences Wi-Fi connection problems.

This firmware update problem/solution extends to networks you might encounter outside your home. As discussed on Apple's discussion board, you may run into frequent Wi-Fi problems when making a connection at a hotel network, for example, where there may be incompatibility issues with Safari HTML5, in which Apple will need to address (if it already hasn't) with a software update for iPad Mobile Safari.

Resetting DHCP or Network

This is not always the best solution, but I found turning off and back on the Wi-Fi connection on my iPad helps with a weak signal range.

Renew Lease

Back in September, Princeton University posted a lengthy report about DHCP issues related to the iPad. It's a pretty technical article, but basically it says, "DHCPv4 the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv4, allows a device attached to the network to automatically learn some or all of its network configuration, including its IPv4 (Internet) address. Most operating systems include DHCP client software."

ipad wifi

If you're getting a weak connection or if it’s dropping out all together, you might try renewing the DHCP connection. Again, select the Settings app > General > Network. Tap the small blue button on the right side of your network and finally tap the Renew Lease button. This solution will cause the iPad to acquire a new IP address, DNS, and Search Domain information from the Wi-Fi network.

ipad wifi

The Princeton report offers some other suggestions if you're having Wi-Fi connection problems with an iPad+3G or if your iPad is configured with an email account that supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.

Above all, though it’s a pain, you can always try rebooting the iPad to see if it will get you back to full signal.

Reset Network Settings

Apple also suggests resetting networking settings on your iPad, by selecting Settings > General > Resettings. Note, however, that this will reset all your network settings, including passwords, VPN, and APN settings.

ipad wifi problems

Other Solutions

The final three solutions Apple offers might make you want to get your money back, but here they are:

  • Try moving closer to the Wi-Fi router or base station to see if the Wi-Fi signal improves.
  • Remove iPad from any cases, stands, or other attachments to see if the Wi-Fi signal improves.
  • Open Safari and try to load a webpage to see if the Wi-Fi signal improves.

Let us know if you have experienced similar Wi-Fi problems with your iPad and what fixes have or have not helped. In the upcoming iOS 4 update for the device, there will no doubt be additional stability fixes to address any remaining problems.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Scam Application Promises To Tell You Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile [News]

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 10:25 AM PST

For whatever reason it may be, knowing who’s been checking out your Facebook profile has arguably been one of the most sought after features on the social network. For this reason, it’s no surprise that someone has thought of using that to their advantage. The latest scam to force its way into an arena that is already riddled with privacy trainwrecks ironically gained access to tens of thousands of profiles, using people’s desire to know exactly who has been spending time looking at their profile

The rogue application, ePrivacy, has been making its rounds on the social network for the past few days, posting the following message to user’s profiles:


The link, once clicked, leads to a standard application permission page, which may have lulled some into a sense of security, because it looked familiar.

According to Sophos, at least 60,000 people were quick to fall for the trick, and actually granted ePrivacy permission to access their profiles. The permission included access to basic profile information, ability to post to user’s walls, and even manage pages that you happen to run.


The fact that so many people were more than willing to grant a random application permission to access their private information goes to show that awareness of privacy issues on Facebook is hardly a priority for some.

Luckily revoking access to your profile is as simple as going into your Account Settings. Go to Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites and remove ePrivacy from your profile.

To make sure that your profile is secure, download MakeUseOf’s Unofficial Facebook Privacy Manual for all the tips and tricks you need to stay safe on Facebook.

Via TechCrunch

NEW: Download MakeUseOf iPhone App. FREE!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

OCZ Vertez 2 SSD 120GB Review and Giveaway

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 10:00 AM PST

Last week, we looked at Kingston’s affordable solid state drive offering. While it was completely adequate, the average-ish performance would probably put off enthusiasts.

This week, we’ll be looking at another SSD albeit from a company which focuses on performance. The OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 120GB offers excellent performance and modest storage at an average price — making it one of the most desirable SSDs available. We’ll be giving this one away. Read on for more info.

Smacked (just about) right in the middle of OCZ’s product lineup, the Vertex 2 SSD doesn’t scrimp on features. It features a sleek 2.5″ design that’s only slightly thicker than the Kingston SSDNow V+ drive. It also uses MLC NAND flash memory, has native TRIM support, sports a 2,000,000 hours life expectancy and here’s the kicker — it is able operate at 50,000 IOPS, thanks to its Sandforce controller.

The OCZ Vertex 2 offers drives in several capacities. They also differ in performance — their 40GB model sports a max read/write speed of 280/270 MB/s; the drives between 50 and 240GB have slightly increased performance at read/write speeds of 285/275 MB/s; and larger capacity drives have considerable poorer (albeit still pretty good) speeds at 250MB/s and 240 MB/s for read and write respectively.

Fortunately, the unit that I’m testing is 120GB, which falls in the “superb performance” range. Luckily, it’s also the most affordable — priced at $224 after rebate at Newegg.com, it comes up to only $1.86 per gigabyte. So if you’re looking to buy your first SSD, this 120GB model provides you with a reasonable amount of space for your operating system and storage at a very, very fair price.

Unfortunately, none of OCZ drives come with an upgrade kit — which means that if you need to transfer data over from your old drive to the new one, you’ll have to fork out more money for an enclosure. It’s not really expensive but rather unpleasant.

And since the OCZ Vertex 2 SSD rides solo, the packaging is pretty small.

On the inside, you get an anti-static bag packed with the SSD, a sticker that says, “My SSD is faster than your HDD”, and a 3.5″ mounting bracket

The OCZ Vertex 2 SSD has a very squarish, box-ish look. And although it’s only 9.3mm tall, I had a bit of trouble getting it into the MacBook’s drive bay.

Performance-wise, the SSD scored much better than the Kingston SSDNow V+ did. It managed to reach an average read speed of 259 MB/s and write speed of 236 MB/s with DiskTester. That’s not very far off from the manufacturer’s claim of 285/275 MB/s for read and write speeds respectively. Already, things were going very well.

Here’s the thing though, when working with real-world situations, the drive’s speed difference wasn’t really noticeable. On paper, it may look more desirable but under normal computing activities, it feels pretty much the same as the Kingston.

The one thing that pulls the OCZ Vertex 2 SSD ahead is its low power consumption Sandforce controller. OCZ claims that the drive only uses 2W when in operation — that’s half of the power drawn by the Kingston SSDNow V+ drive.

If you’re the sort of person who wants a great performing SSD but refuse to pay a lot for it, the OCZ Vertex 2 comes highly recommended. Still not convinced? I’ve listed 5 reasons why you should consider buying an SSD, read it and perhaps it will change your mind.

The good: superb performance, long life expectancy, low price.

The bad: slightly thicker than other SSDs, no upgrade kit.

We’re giving away this review unit to one very lucky MakeUseOf reader!

How do I win it?

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, December 3rd at 2100hrs PST. The winner will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

MakeUseOf would like to thank OCZ Technology 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.

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

7 Online Magazines for Kids That Are Worth a Read

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 09:30 AM PST

magazines for kidsOne would think that websites and blogs with their free for all and universal access are forcing traditional magazines to shut shop. But a look at the newsstand at the corner belies this belief. The doomsday for magazines is still distant.

That's a relief because many of us started our world exploration with children's magazines that introduced us to many of our sports and pop heroes. Not to mention, it did wonders for general knowledge.

Children's magazines like their adult counterparts also have accompanying websites. A visitor who drops by won't be able to distinguish between an online magazine and a website (or blog). Most of the online versions of the children's magazines also publish the same content; partly if not all.

The online face of a children's magazine might include interactive graphical content that's not possible in print. So, it really helps if you can go over to the online magazine while flipping the pages of a printed one.

What's your favorite online magazine for kids? Here are five that are worth a look and a read.

National Geographic Kids

magazines for kids

Parents, students, and teachers can take the help of this quality resource to learn about people, places, science, space, history, nature, and assorted fun activities. The children's online magazine targets them in the age group of 8-14. Interactive content includes videos, games, photos, blogs, etc. This is one online magazine that parents and teachers will always recommend without hesitation.

TIME For Kids

online magazines for kids

TIME magazine for adults might be too serious a read. The version for kids isn't but it does go deep with a lot of educational content and teaching resources that's helpfully arranged around grades. The weekly classroom news magazine covers world affairs and aims to develop the reading and analyzing habit in kids. It's not somber stuff as you can see what Harry Potter is doing in New York or download quizzes, worksheets and other learning resources.

Sports Illustrated for Kids

online magazines for kids

Reading up on sports is why most kids gravitate to magazines around the world. There's something about those glossy images and center-spread posters. SIKids.com is updated daily with news, games, and interactive features. Not only photos, as an online magazine for kids, you get sports videos also. What's cooler is the entire section titled – Build. Here you can make some of your dreams come true virtually, like design your own car or have a NBA matchup.

Discover Girls

on-line magazines for kids

Pre-teen girls need all the advice they can get on friendship and lifestyle. Discovery Girls covers it with advice, tips, little quizzes, There's a regular section on Health & Beauty, a blog, and an advice section. There's also fun stuff with downloads, giveaways, games, quizzes, and contests.

Weekly Reader

on-line magazines for kids

An offline and online magazine for elementary school students that features a lot of educational tools for teachers and students alike. The About Us page of the site that's Weekly Reader is one of the oldest classroom magazines in the United States and its complete range of magazines are arranged around grades from Pre-K to grade 12. The online version also reflects some of the content (and more) that can be found in the print publication. You have news, articles, and downloadable classroom kits. Lot of the tools are interactive and based around nicely designed stories that makes learning fun. Some sections are open to only subscribers tough.


on-line magazines for kids

Highlights.com brings out magazines for kids of ages 2-12. The publication group's credo is to help children become their best selves. The online homepage of the magazine is more for merchandizing but it also gives you further websites to explore like Puzzlemaniakids.com and Highlightskids.com. Play free online puzzles, solve riddles, go creative with fun activities, and even learn a little about nature and science at these two sites. For instance, you can go into a story adventure (Goofus and Gallant) or create your own stories at The Timbertoes. Highlightsparents.com is another site for parents and parenting tips that worth a browse.

Popular Science

magazines for kids

One of the most 'popular' websites on science and invention doesn't have a separate website dedicated to kids, but you can get to the articles that are tagged for the younger lot. And you can also search 138 years of Popular Science by using keywords like kids or children. It's not as in-your-face as the other kids only magazine websites, but the sheer richness of the content is worth a hard search.

The online versions of children's magazines may not be as rich in content as the real world versions, but they do bring a greater degree of interactivity. Also, you can easily get an idea of the content of past and present issues and use the hint to go and buy the printed magazine if you think your kid could do with it. More importantly, online children's magazine gives you another valuable kid's resource to mine for learning and fun.

What do you think of online children's magazines? Do name your favorite.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

15 Sites That Do Amazing Things With HTML5

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 08:30 AM PST

what is html5The forthcoming HTML5 update to the 20 year old HyperText Markup Language promises to bring the “web” experience to a whole new level, allowing the browser to do more from both a visual and data perspective. Even though HTML5 is still a good distance away from being fully deployed, that hasn’t stopped many developers from pushing it to the limits.

Check out these amazing websites which really give you a good idea as to the capabilities of HTML5 as a programming language, doing things in your web browser that were once only possible in an external program or plugin. I’ve tested them in Chrome and they should all work in an HTML5 compliant browser such as Chrome, Firefox 4, Safari or IE9. They are demos and HTML5 is still a work in progress, so if you have problems viewing them you might want to try in another browser. Enjoy!

Arcade Fire – The Wilderness Downtown

what is html5

This is a great demo done by Arcade Fire and Google which feature different HTML5 Canvas tricks. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you – enter your childhood address and enjoy the video and technical wizardry.


dive into html5

WebVenture is an HTML5 and Javascript implementation of the MacVenture gaming platform. You can now play Deja Vu 1 & 2, Shadowgate and Uninvited right in your browser! Other game implementations such as Wolfenstein 3D are being worked on, bringing gaming into your browser.

20 Things I Learned About Browsers And The Web

dive into html5

This site from Google demos a “book” styled approach to a description about how web browsers work and how many of the underlying technologies work. Impressive from a technical standpoint, it also is a good primer for readers who would like to know more about how the web works.

Collaborative Drawing

dive into html5

This demo uses the HTML5 websockets feature to allow viewers to collaboratively – at the same time – draw on the canvas.


html5 tutorial

SketchPad is a “paint” program for the web. It supports rudimentary drawing instruments and is done only in HTML5 and JavaScript.

Galactic Plunder

html5 tutorial

Galactic Plunder is a 2D Space Shooter implemented in HTML5. Not quite as feature filled as a normal side scrolling shooter, it is done entirely in HTML5 which is impressive in itself.

Video Effects

html5 tutorial

HTML5 allows you to to much with video on the web. In addition to letting you play it without your web browser, with no plugin, it allows you to manipulate that video. This demo shows how you can “Blow up” the pixels of a video while playing.

Multiple Window Ball

This demonstrates and effect also seen in the Arcade Fire video. HTML5 allows you to open multiple windows and have objects move between them.

HTML5Rocks (Google)

HTML5 Rocks is a slideshow which demonstrates many of the special features of the HTML5 language. If you are a developer it gives you sample code and lets you see the possibilities of HTML5.

8-bit Color Cycling (Like Old School Games)

If you were a gamer in the early 90s you will remember this effect fondly. Since computational power was limited, graphic designers used ‘tricks’ to emulate video in a static image. This canvas effect will show you how it was done and also includes many examples which are beautiful as well.

HTML5 Experiments from Hakim.se

This site lists many demos of games and other neat little gadgets to show off what you can do with HTML5. Good for inspiration and maybe a little time diversion.


Harmony is a neat little drawing program that lets you use cool brushes to paint a picture. You can create things such as “fur” and “web” which are just cool to see in creation.

Twitter/Music Mashup

This neat mashup from @9elements pits music and rotating dots with twitter posts about HTML5. Hard to describe in practice, must be seen to understand!

Radiohead/HTML5 Mashup

Another neat mashup which pits Radiohead’s Idioteque with a drawing of Thom Yorke which is drawn as the song progresses. Another “seen to be believed” effect.

Want More?

HTML5Demos / CanvasDemos

what is html5

These two websites are set up to give views a wide variety of demos of HTML5 and the HTML5 Canvas effects. Ranging from the mundane to the “cool”, if you are thirsty for more these are the places to go.

There are many demos of HTML5 out there on the internet now – and it is well on its way to becoming the new standard of the web. Do you have awesome demos you would like to share? Please post in the comments below!

Got Questions? Ask Them Now FREE on MakeUseOf Answers!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Study and Translate Smarter with TranslateIt! [MakeUseOf Giveaway]

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 07:30 AM PST

If you constantly need to translate words by copying and pasting them onto Google Translate or another translation service, you should check out TranslateIt!, available for Windows and Mac, which presents a smart (and faster!) solution for bilingual users wanting to learn new words on the fly.

This week, we’re giving away 10 one-year licenses for the Windows and Mac versions of TranslateIt! worth up to $350 in total. Find out how you can win one after the jump.

With TranslateIt!, you can view the translation for any word on any document, including PDF files that you mouse over or highlight in conjunction with a hotkey.

A small window will pop up with the translation to the language you chose in the program settings, where you can also adjust and customize how the popup looks like.

There are currently 4 languages supported: English, Spanish, Russian, and German. However, you may download additional dictionaries of your choice easily within the app by opening the context menu and select: Service – Download additional dictionaries and follow the instructions.

Since the program started as a German-English translation service, you can hear the pronunciation of the selected word in English and in German.

When you hover over a word that TranslateIt! doesn’t have in its database, it will list similar but lexically modified words, which you might then be able to find the translation of. Another handy feature found in the Settings is reverse translation, which allows you to see a translation of the translation for more precise matching and definition.

In addition to the instant translation features, you can also translate whole paragraphs of text with the built-in Google Translate-powered dialog box, which you can access by right-clicking the system tray icon, and selecting Translate Text.

TranslateIt! also not only does translations, but it also carries dictionary features. You can search for definitions to words on Wiktionary, and add entries to your User dictionary which is separate from the Common Dictionary that contains standard translations.

If you rely on browser extensions to search for translations of words, TranslateIt! definitely is worth a try as it creates a most seamless experience, and works not only in browsers, but with other programs, as well as offline.

Coincidentally, a new version of TranslateIt! for Mac was just released today with loads of updates and a renewed text translation tool. Check it out on the TranslateIt! i3 for Mac homepage.

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, Dec 3rd at 2100hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

If you own a website with a decent number of followers, you can actually try getting a review license directly from the developers. Just head over to this page for more information.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

MakeUseOf would like to thank TranslateIt! 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.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles