Sunday, November 14, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [November 13th]” plus 5 more “Cool Websites and Tools [November 13th]” plus 5 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [November 13th]

Posted: 13 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.

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Set Rating – You might have encountered a rating tool on many websites. These ratings let site visitors express their approval or disapproval of an article, a picture, or some other element on the website. Now thanks to Set Rating you easlty can add add ratings to any website. Read more: SetRating: Easily Add Ratings To Your Website


Periodic Videos – Learning and memorizing the periodic table of elements can be a very tedious and boring task. If you want to learn periodic table easily and not just memorize them blindly one by one, The Periodic Table of Videos is a great web resource for you. Read more: PeriodicVideos: Learn Periodic Table Easily With Videos



Now Relevant – If you've ever performed a Google search on a current topic and been frustrated by the months old results that Google returned, you'll really like NowRelevant. Unlike Google or other conventional search engines that sort their results according to some variation of a page ranking algorithm, NowRelevant returns results from the last two weeks only. Read more: NowRelevant: Always Get The Latest Search Results



Comic Master – Today graphic novels are more popular than ever. Mixing great dialogue and plot with brilliant drawing and visuals keeps the reader engaged and entertained. If you are an aspiring graphic novelist, one tool you might find helpful is Comic Master, a free to use website that lets you create your graphic novel online. Read more: ComicMaster: Create a Graphic Novel Online & Print



Wiki Seer – On many webpages you have to go through a large amount of text before you get to your desired information. An intelligent summary of the provided text is required. This summary should save time on reading while still providing you with the needed information. WikiSeer Keynotes ia a text summary generator that does exactly that. Read more: WikiSeer Keynotes: Browser Based Text Summary Generator


These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.



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3 Tools To Highlight Google Search Terms On The Target Page

Posted: 13 Nov 2010 05:31 PM PST

highlight search termsWe search and click through search results a lot, as this is an essential part of our browsing. Sometimes we are able to quickly see what we were looking for on the target page but more often than not we have to scroll down back and forth to find the exact part of the page that brought us there from the Google search results page.

Having the search terms highlighted on the target page will increase your browsing speed dramatically. This way you can quickly locate the most relevant part of the page and find the required information.

There are three tools that can highlight search terms on the page you land on.  Read on to find out about them.

1. Google Toolbar Highlighter

If you have the Google toolbar installed, you may be using its handy highlight feature:

  • It highlights each search term in a different color within the Google search results page;
  • It highlights each search term in a different color on each result page you go from SERPs;
  • It highlights each search term in a different color on each webpage you visit (even when a click did not originate from Google) as long as the highlighter in the toolbar is activated.
  • You can click through the terms which occurred on a page using the toolbar:

highlight search terms

2. Word Highlight (Greasemonkey)

Word Highlight is a Greasemonkey script which can be a nice alternative to the Google toolbar (in case you don’t want to install it):

  1. It highlights each search term in a different color within the Google search results page;
  2. It highlights each search term in a different color on each result page you go from SERPs;
  3. You can click through the terms which occurred on a page using the toolbar;
  4. It displays a “heat” map of all colored search terms on a page:

highlight search results

To change the colors to whatever you want, you can edit the script:

  • Select Tools -> Greasemonkey -> Manage user scripts;
  • Choose "Word highlight" in the left-hand panel;
  • Click "Edit". This should open the installed version of the script in your favorite text editor (if it doesn't, choose any text editor to open the script);
  • Scroll down to the following line and edit all the colors (for example, you can set one color for all different search terms to make the output less colorful):

highlight search results

3. Google Quick Scroll (Google Chrome)

Google Quick Scroll is a Google Chrome extension that scrolls the target page right to the place you saw in Google snippet:

  • It works only if the search terms are hard to locate on the page you landed on after clicking through from the search result listing: it appears on the bottom-right corner of the page, showing one or more bits of text from the page that are relevant to your query. Clicking on the text will take you to that part of the page.
  • It highlights the part of the page that looks most relevant to your initial query.

highlight search terms

Are you using any of these tools?  Do you find them helpful?  Do you know of any others? Please share your thoughts!

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Bioserie iPhone 4 Bioplastic Case Review and Giveaway

Posted: 13 Nov 2010 01:30 PM PST

My search for the best iPhone case goes on. We’ve covered some pretty unique cases in the past and today’s case is no different. Instead of basing the review completely on looks and/or functionality, we’ll be looking at the “green” or environmental factor. Not many case manufacturers pride themselves with being earth-friendly so this should be an interesting take.

Bioserie‘s line of cases for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad utilises cutting edge technology to produce beautiful cases that are made 100% plant-derived biodegradable components; and is perfect for those who are conscientious about our planet.

Without going into too much detail, Bioserie’s “green” cases are created from a unique blend of biodegradable and environmentally-friendly components, and are annually renewable natural resources. Unlike regular silicone or plastic cases, Bioserie cases have a considerably lower environmental impact — they are both compostable and recyclable. A lot of money was spent researching and designing the most eco-friendly manufacturing procedures, packing, distributing and even colouring methods, which is achieved by using bio-pigments.

As a result, the prices of these cases are above the market average. Whether or not to pay that small premium on a greener iPhone case is ultimately a personal decision.

The Bioserie iPhone case ships to you in a box that’s carefully designed so that every single bit is recyclable. You won’t find any unnecessary plastic wrappings here.

The case itself is an amazing 1 mm thick (or thin, depending on how you look at it) and weighs only 12 grams. It feels extremely light but at the same time, is also pretty rigid.

Usually, I’m not a fan of cases that don’t offer any interior lining but since we’re on the eco-train, I’m willing to make an exception.

The case clips on and off easily. Plus, it only weighs 12 grams and is so thin so there’s no noticeable weight change. It doesn’t feel any chunkier either.

Access to volume controls, headphone jack and sync connecter are unobstructed.

The case offers a reasonable amount of protection when lying front-side down with “patent pending feet at the corners” which keep the screen from touching the surface on that it’s lying on.

Just to give you an idea of how strong this case is, here’s a short video of it getting bent. Of course, I realise that an iPhone case will never be stressed like this.

Bioserie iPhone 4 cases may be purchased from their online store at $34.95 each with free worldwide shipping. Buy two and receive 20% off, buy 3 and get 30% off.

What’s good: extremely eco-friendly, light, durable.

What’s bad: minimal shock protection, expensive.

We’ve got two iPhone 4 cases to give away. Here’s how you can get your hands on them.

How do I enter?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.


Join our Facebook page by liking us. If you’re already following us, you may skip this step.

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


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


You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to LIKE the post. This step is optional but why not spread the love?

And that’s it! You’re done!

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

This giveaway begins now and ends after 300 submissions. The winner will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

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Hot Tech Deals [Nov 13th]

Posted: 13 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. Dell Inspiron 17 Intel Core i3 17.3in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Radeon HD4330/3yr Warranty) $677.99 via code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F

  2. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Win7) $599.99

  3. Onkyo HT-RC270 100W/Ch 7.2Ch 3D Network Receiver (THX Certified Select 2 PLUS) $479.99 Free Shipping via code RECVER1113A

  4. Sony Bloggie MHS-CM5/V 1080p High Definition Portable Camcorder w/ 5X Optical Zoom $158.97 Free Shipping

  5. Dell Vostro 230 Slim Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 Desktop (2GB/250GB/Win7 Pro) w/ 19in LCD $429

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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Get Informative Pinned Tabs Without Upgrading Chrome

Posted: 13 Nov 2010 11:31 AM PST

chrome tabsFind out how many emails, voicemails and incoming Tweets you have, as well as the date, by glancing at a few Chrome tabs. If you like the idea of permanent tabs with informative icons, but don’t feel like installing a development version of Chrome and setting up apps, that’s not a problem. Chrome comes pre-loaded with the ability to “pin” tabs, making your web apps start with Chrome as text-free icons.

Even better, there are lots of ways to make favicons display useful information.

We previously explained how to install the development version of Chrome to get more features, including the much hyped “apps.” But if apps seem appealing to you primarily because of the small tabs, you’ll be happy to know that ‘pinned’ tabs are only two clicks away in Chrome, and not that terribly different with Chrome apps in their current form.

Pin Your Tabs

First things first: let’s pin your tabs. Open the web apps you use most often, such as your Gmail account or your favorite Calendar application. Right click the tab, and you’ll see a menu like this:

chrome tabs

Click “Pin tab” and you’re set. The tab will be moved to the left, and will show only the favicon. Best of all, pinned tabs show up every time you start Chrome, so your most-used websites are instantly at hand. Pin your most-used sites to save time.

Install Your Scripts

Pinned tabs, of course, have no text beside their icons. This is okay in some cases, but may leave you missing key pieces of information. Gmail, for example, includes the current “unread” count visible on tabs, but not on pinned tabs.

Unless, of course, you install various user scripts to show useful information where the favicon is:

tabs in chrome

There are thousands of scripts over at, and a few make useful favicons. Things they do include:

Of course, there are plenty more such scripts to be found. Just search UserScripts for “favicon” along with your web app of choice to find a few. Installing them is easy: just click the “install” button and Chrome will prompt you:

chrome tabs

Don’t want to hunt and peck for user scripts? You should check out the Favicon Alert plugin for Chrome. This plugin scans every tab’s description for a number in brackets and automatically changes the favicon to include that number. Since many sites on the web use such bracketed numbers to indicate incoming messages, this should cover a variety of sites all over the web. Let us know what sites you get working with it!


This isn’t a particularly complicated guide, but combining these two things gives me a quick overview of my incoming messages and quick access to my favorite web apps.

Can you recommend any web apps worth pinning, and any useful scripts or plugins to make their favicons useful? Share them in the comments below so everyone can benefit.

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Why You Should Replace iPhoto With A Free App Called Lyn [Mac]

Posted: 13 Nov 2010 09:31 AM PST

iphoto alternativeIf you have hundreds of photos on your computer and want to organise them using iPhoto – you’ll probably be banging your head against the nearest wall in no time. The fact alone that you have to import your photos into the application before organising them makes iPhoto an inconvenient app to use.

If you want the organisational changes that you made to your albums and photos to be reflected in the Finder, then iPhoto certainly isn’t the app for you. If you’re looking for a more convenient way to organise your photos, the free Mac app, Lyn makes getting the job done very easy.

Its intuitive and easy-to-use interface will have your photo library organised in no time at all, making it a great alternative to iPhoto. Photos can be displayed in one of three ways. As large thumbnails:

iphoto alternative

As small thumbnails, with a large preview of the selected image:

better than iphoto

Or as a list of very small thumbnails and the photo’s EXIF data:

better than iphoto

When viewing large or small thumbnails, you can easily access the photo’s EXIF data in a convenient sidebar, by clicking on the blue information button in the top right hand corner of the screen.

better than iphoto

While there is no one-click way to import all of your photos from a camera to Lyn, you can still access all of the files from the camera and do a quick drag-and-drop to get the job done.

free iphoto alternative

Opening any given photo allows you to zoom in and out, show the image’s actual size, rotates the image, and opens it in full screen, amongst a few other options.

free iphoto alternative

Lyn’s strength is in its layout. The menu of directories and folders makes it much easier to drag and drop images from one folder to another.

free iphoto alternative

The application gives you full control when organising your photos as you would want them in your folders – a feature that is sorely lacking from iPhoto. Any change made in Lyn is reflected in the Finder.

Create new folders, move and delete images quickly from the comfort of one screen without having to switch from one Finder window to the next. If you need to locate the image in your Finder, Lyn makes it as easy as possible.

While it is possible to delete images directly from within Lyn, using the keyboard shortcut, CMD-Delete, you can’t delete folders. That said, it is a small inconvenience as you can easily do this from the Finder. Another con to using Lyn is that it displays all files in any given folder, whether or not they are images.

Lyn supports a wide variety of images, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, animated GIF and Raw. The app also allows you to display beautiful full screen slideshows of your photos.

Lyn’s preferences are limited mainly to the way that it displays and opens images, as well as the general display of the app’s fonts and colours.

iphoto alternative

Lyn is in public beta until December 1, 2010, so hurry up and download it while you can.

If you are looking for some some basic editing features, along with the ability to organise your photos, then Picasa is your best bet. Not only does it give you an easy way to organise, Picasa also has the added advantage of allowing you to sync your photos to your online Google account, giving you a quick and easy way to back up your images.

What app do you use to organise your photos? Let us know in the comments.

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