Saturday, November 27, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [November 26th]” plus 9 more “Cool Websites and Tools [November 26th]” plus 9 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [November 26th]

Posted: 26 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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Touch Test – If you suspect your Android phone's touchscreen does not accurately register your touches, there are not many tools you can confirm your suspicions with. What you need is a touch-tracking application that will display the path of your touch as you use the screen. This is precisely what this Touch Test app offers. Read more: Touch Test: Touch Screen Test App For Your Android Smartphone


Email Oracle – Would you not want to track your emails? It would be a great way to determine when somebody had opened your email and were still not replying. There are numerous web services that let you do this in different ways. But one of the most effective ones is Email Oracle. Read more: Email Oracle: Track Emails & Know If They Have Been Opened



Synnk – Are you planning an event and want to invite your friends? Many online services let you do this for free. Usually they ask you to sign up for an account first. If you want to have the event created the quickest way, without going through any registration, then you need to check out Synnk. Read more: Synnk: Easy & Quick Event Organization Through An Email



Untabbed – When you get results from Google search, you open each one in a new tab and jump from one tab to the next, finding whatever you are looking for. The results page leaves a lot of unutilized white space to the right. This space is utilized by “Untabbed” to help you get your results on the same page, without opening extra tabs. Read more: Untabbed: Opens Google Search Results On The Same Page



Slidedeck – Web developers are always on the lookout for visually appealing and effective ways to present data. One technique that site visitors usually appreciate is data presented as slideshows. Often to organize your information as a slideshow, you need to go through extensive coding and spend a great deal of time. But this entire process is made simpler by SlideDeck. Read more: SlideDeck: Present Your Website Data Effectively As A Slideshow


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 Best Questions From You [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 05:31 PM PST

MakeUseOf Answers is proud to have you guys! People who confront us with challenges and those that provide the answers every day. Thank you!

This Friday, the prize for Best Answer of the Week goes to Uyraell for the answer to this question: How can I best replace my expiring Microsoft Office trial? Great answer explaining why Open Office might not be the ultimate solution.

Care for a little financial upgrade yourself? The Best Answer of the Week is worth $50 in Paypal cash or Amazon voucher. All it takes is an answer and a way we can contact our winner: Disqus, Facebook, or guest login preferred.

This week’s best questions are waiting after the jump:

MakeUseOf Answers can be enjoyed in three different flavors: Latest Questions, Most Popular Questions, or Unanswered Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.


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Locate Your Missing Or Stolen iPhone, iPad Or iPod Touch With Find My iPhone

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 03:31 PM PST

fmilogo.pngUp until the recent iOS 4.2 update of Apple's mobile devices, if you wanted a way to locate your lost or stolen iPhone, you had to be an MobileMe subscriber, which means forking over $99 per year. But now every owner of a mobile device can get a powerful MobileMe feature called Find My iPhone, for free by simply signing up.

As a MobileMe subscriber, I’ve used Find My iPhone for almost a year now, and though my iPhone has never been stolen, it has located the device on the floor of my car, behind my bedroom bedside table, and in the dirty clothes hamper, more than a few times. So believe me, Find My iPhone is definitely worth installing on your iPhone and/or other Apple devices.

Requirements & Setup

If you have own any model iPhone, iPad, or 4th generation iPod touch, you can use the Find My iPhone service and app.


You will need to download the free Find My iPhone app (iTunes Store link) for all your qualifying Apple iOS4 devices. If you don't have the app on your device, then of course you can't use the service to locate it.


Next, you need to launch the app and sign up for an Apple ID account, which also in the process registers your device. Note, if you're a MobileMe member, you will not be able to use  the other services in the control panel shown on the page, just the Find My iPhone feature.

If you're already a MobileMe subscriber, you don't have to sign up again for the Find My iPhone service, but you will have to go through the setup again via your devices in order to sync it with the new Find My iPhone update.

How To Use It

If your iPhone is ever lost or stolen – not just simply misplaced around the house – you will want a quick way to activate the service.

I set up a bookmark to my MobileMe account for quick access. The bookmark is not buried in a folder, for if I need a family member to download the account page, I want it to be easily and quickly found.

So when you need to use the service, you need to go to and sign in.


Note: if your device does not show up on the page or if it says "Location services are disabled", launch the Settings app of your mobile device, tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars > your email account. Then set the Find My iPhone button to on.

If your device is connected to an Edge, 3G or Wi-Fi network, a blue circle shows its estimated location on the map. A smaller circle means a more precise location.


Actions To Take

If your device is lost or stolen, you want to act quickly. You have the following options:

  1. Display Message or Play Sound: You can type out a message about where you can be reached for returning your device. And/or you can have a sound played on your device. The message will appear or the sound will play even if your device is locked or set to mute.
  2. You can also send a new passcode to your device which remotely locks it. Be sure of course to send a code that you remember so you can unlock the device after it’s retrieved.
  3. If you're worried about someone accessing important information on your device, you can have all the data permanently deleted, which in turn restores it to factory settings. As the instructions say, “Once wiped, your iPhone (or other device) will no longer be able to display messages or be located“.


In most cases, the Find My iPhone service has located my phone in less than a minute, but one occasion it took almost ten minutes. But out of the handful of times I’ve used it, it’s never failed to locate the device.


It seems as though the now free Find My iPhone service means Apple may be in the process of making some other MobileMe features (syncing bookmarks, contacts, and data) available for free in future upgrades of their devices or the iOS. But for now, Find My iPhone is a must-have app and service – probably the best and only way for retrieving your device if it’s lost or stolen.

So let us know if you have used Find My iPhone. Has it ever helped you get your phone back? Are there other features you wish would be included? Let us know.

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Path – The Personal Photo Sharing App We’ve All Been Waiting For [iPhone]

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 01:31 PM PST

They say that a picture says a thousand words. If that’s true, books are about to be written with all of these great photo-sharing apps coming out for our phones. I’m really big on daily photo sharing services right now, especially DailyBooth and ShutterCal, but I’m really liking these new phone apps that are coming out. Instagram has become insanely popular, as has Picplz.

Now I can add Path to my ‘like’ column. This app is generating a lot of buzz because its co-founder and CEO is Dave Morin, former Senior Platform Manager at Facebook. The other founders include Dustin Mierau (co-creator of Macster) and Shawn Fanning (co-founder of Napster) and Kevin Rose (founder of Digg) is also an angel investor. Can you tell I’m excited?

In this article, I’ll show you what all the hype is about.

So What Is Path?

“Path is the personal network. A place to be yourself and share life with close friends and family. The personal network doesn’t replace your existing social networks – it augments them. Path allows you to capture your life’s most personal moments and share them with the 50 close friends and family in your life who matter most”.

To see Path in action, check out this short video from the company:

What Makes It Different?

I’m glad you asked. What makes this app so attractive are its differences. You may have noticed that they refer to it as the personal network, not social. While it’s a photo sharing app, it’s designed to make you feel comfortable being yourself and sharing your life’s story with your closest connections via photos you take every day on your phone.

Your personal network on Path is limited to your 50 closest friends and family, the people you can trust with any/all of your personal photos. The number 50 was chosen based on the research of Oxford Professor of Evolutionary Psychology Robin Dunbar, which provides a pretty interesting back story.

With Path there is no following and no friending, only sharing.

How Does It Work?

It all starts with your phone’s camera. Simply take a photo and add context around that moment by tagging people, places, and things. Tags are how you tell a story around each photo you take.

Once you have your moments captured, you can share them with your personal connections. You’re always in control within your “personal” network.

Here’s the cool part. For each moment that you capture and add to your Path, you will see which of your friends have seen the moment in real-time. This is called their “See” feature. The idea behind it is that understanding enables trust and storytelling amongst close friends and family.

The goal is to feel like more of your close friends are seeing your life through your eyes, in your context. Due to the amount of context included in each moment on Path, you can connect with friends in interesting ways. You can even explore your friends’ moments on a map, with more visualizations to come.

Where Can I Get Path?

Right now, Path is only available for the iPhone (App store link), but they have plans to come out with releases on other major devices soon. If you head over to their signup page, you can sign up for an account, claim your username, and fill out your information so others can find you. This also enables you to receive a notification when Path is available for your phone.

I think this is a prime example of a company thinking outside of the box. We’re seeing more and more social networks pop up that try to be like Facebook rather than working to come up with a way to be different or develop a complementary resource for users of the network. With the release of Path (and some of the other apps I’ve mentioned) it will be interesting to see where we go from here.

What do you think of photo sharing apps? Where are we headed in this industry?

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Hot Tech Deals [Nov 26th]

Posted: 26 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 N5030 Intel Dual-Core T4500 2.3GHz 15.6in Laptop (3GB/320GB) $399.99 via code F1R5XQ?9X7B70W

  2. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Win7) $499.99 via code JCFKG9MWG5QPS4

  3. Dell Inspiron 570 Mini AMD Dual-Core 240 2.8GHz Desktop (3GB/500GB) w/ 20in LED LCD $399.99 via code HD1M?ZJ0GZFZBL

  4. Sharp LC-42SB48UT 42in LCD HDTV (1080p) $449.99 Free Shipping via code $FFS036FV4T?90

  5. Xbox 360 Slim New Gen 4GB Gaming System w/ Kinect Sensor + 12mo Xbox Live Gold $299.99 Free Shipping via code SG74BKD$S88B01

  6. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H55 14MP 10X Digital Camera + 4GB SDHC Card $169.99 Free Shipping via code PX40D8S?HFBD1L

  7. Samsung ML-1665 Personal Monochrome Laser Printer $39.99 Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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3 Things Pro Gmail Users Have Set Up In Their Accounts

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 11:31 AM PST

Have you been using Gmail for a while, but you’re still overrun by an overflowing inbox? Time to sort you out! There’s a few simple tricks pro users use to make very good use of Gmail. We’ll make it clear for you.

Most of us here at MakeUseOf use Gmail, whether we then import that mail to a client on our computers or not. The point is, Gmail makes things easy for us — especially by doing a lot of work before our email even gets to our eyes. I personally can’t imagine life without Gmail’s spam filter — I’d probably give up on email altogether without it.

Let’s take you through some of Gmail’s most awesome features and how you can become a pro user by making use of them.

1. Filters, Filters, Filters

Gmail’s priority inbox might be enough for some people, but others prefer to keep track of their own filtering. This involves filtering email into relevant folders (for when they do want to read them) and archiving so that the email doesn’t clog up their inbox.

Set up filters for everything you refer to or need to separate from everyday reading (basic instructions here):

  • Filter and archive out your bacn.
  • Filter and archive out social networking notifications and blog responses.
  • Filters to highlight work email.
  • Filters to highlight email which requires an immediate response.
  • Filters to highlight email from your partner, family and friends.
  • Other cool filters, like grouping together family photos sent to you, funny emails, recipes or links to read later.
  • While you’re at it, set up filters to teach Gmail’s priority inbox: set some things as high priority, some as low priority and add stars to things you will want to refer to later.

Most importantly, you need to keep adding to these filters. If some bacn finds its way to your inbox, the only way to stay on top of it is to set up a filter to remove it straight away. Else, next time you see your inbox it will be full of email that could already have been filtered out. Just do it whenever you process your email.

2. A System To Process Email Regularly

Whether you archive email after reading or simply leave it as read, you still need a system for noting that you’ve read your email. That, and you need to do it regularly — once per day is good. Pro users know this processing is a pivotal point and ensure they do so religiously.

Personally, I make sure I read all of the email arriving in my inbox briefly. I either respond straight away and do any associated tasks, or I label it as “@To Do” for later (usually after sending a quick message saying it will be done soon). Yes, this means also having a system to process the email labelled as “@To Do”, but I don’t want to have important unread email sitting around.

Also make good use of Google Calendar tie-ins, and enter dates into your calendar straight away. Don’t forget to also use Google Calendar features like “Find a Time“.

3. The Best Labs Features & Add-Ons

Gmail has some amazing Labs features and add-ons which you can use easily to make your life more simple. Here’s some pro user favourites.

RTM Gmail Extension Or Gadget

For those who organise their To-Do list with Remember The Milk, it would be a potential problem to leave another to-do list hanging around in Gmail. So, try using the RTM Firefox extension to automatically add tasks to RTM whenever you label an email as “@To Do”. Saves headaches!

If you don’t use Firefox, try using the Labs RTM Gadget and setting up a filter or a “canned response” (also in Labs) to forward mail to RTM as a task.

Whatever you do, your life will be much easier if you keep your tasks together.

Multiple Inboxes

There’s a labs extension which allows you to view multiple inboxes (to use, enable it in labs settings, then you’ll get your own settings area for multiple inboxes). I thought I would never need such a thing, until I considered the searches I could use for each inbox.

Make good use of OR statements (using “|”), brackets and the is:unread search.

For instance:

label:professional AND is:unread
(label:family | in:inbox | label:@to-do) AND is:unread
label:!-blogs---networks AND is:unread

I find this set-up keeps me from worrying that I need to check the filtered-out labels too often, since I can see if the last nine emails to fit the criteria are pretty mundane. It also allows me to quickly spot work email if I’ve been away from my email for a while.

Google Translate

If you ever get email in a language you don’t normally speak, Google Translate in Gmail is a life saver. In settings, language is the first option. Choose: Enable Translation.

Then, whenever you get an email which might need translation, you have a handy link within the email to translate it. Then you can even toggle to the original and back. This is incredibly useful when you’re new to a country or still learning a language.

Google Docs & Google Calendar Labs Widgets

If you refer to Gmail more often than Calendar or Docs, it’s handy to have these gadgets showing in Gmail which give you quick access to your agenda and latest documents (find them in Labs).

Pro Users Always Look For More Tips & Tricks

There’s always plenty more pro user Gmail tips and tricks to be found around here.

Let us know your favourite Gmail tricks and Gmail Labs uses in the comments!

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8 Simple Ways To Use Flickr For Your Wallpaper Downloads

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 10:31 AM PST

I am bit of a wallpaper freak. I change them as often as I change clothes. For me and I believe for many of us in the human pool, wallpapers also reflect our daily moods. Down in the dumps; put up a motivational poster on the desktop and the inner spirit goes up a small notch.

For a guy who flips his way through wallpapers, the web and the numerous wallpaper resources are like an Aladdin's cave. Our previous wallpaper posts are bit of a trail-marker towards it. Then there was Tina's excellent post on The Best Resources To Pimp Your Wallpaper.

Flickr happens to be the world's largest photo sharing community. So, you can expect to find a few cool and great wallpapers among its small collection of 5 billion images.

Leaving the other great sites alone, it's fun to make Flickr your image playground. When it comes to wallpapers also, Flickr gives you lots to download and cover your desktop with. So, let's check out some of the ways we can get to those neat wallpapers on Flickr.

Flickr's Wallpaper Group

With 7,513 members contributing nearly 58,000 uploads with a minimum resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels (with a preference for 1,600 by 1,200 pixels), you can browse and select to your heart's content. You can post your own too on this public Flickr group.

Use the search box to explore the pool. I find using the Group Tags more convenient. Then there's the Flickr Slideshow view also.

Flickr's Wallpaper and Backgrounds

A lesser number (4,377) of users but nearly 28,000 wallpaper images is still a grand collection. This group follows a minimum standard of 1,280 x 1,024 pixels for its wallpapers and backgrounds. Unlike the previous group, this one only accepts photos (no screencasts and videos). Users can contribute one a day as against five per day for the previous group.

Flickr's iPhone Wallpapers

Flickr sees a lot of iPhone users. This group of nearly 6,000 members sees to it that you get to use 28,000 iPhone wallpapers. The group accepts video and animation uploads too.

Wallpapers Corner

The site is a simple search engine for Flickr images. You get a menu on the side which offers you a series of filter choices to get the right Flickr wallpaper of your choice. Use a keyword and then distill the results down with the filters (for instance, for your screen resolution). You have to click another link that takes you to the image page on Flickr.


A simple Brazilian search engine built on Ajax for Flickr desktop wallpaper images. It neatly asks you how many wallpapers you want (set it for 20, 40 or 100 photos) for your specific search query and then it goes about collecting them from Flickr. Now, there's an iPhone and iPod Touch version too.


Fleace stands for – the Flickr-Enabled Automatic Changer for Everyone. It is a simple free wallpaper changer that calls up pictures from Flickr depending on the tags you choose. The 312KB free wallpaper changer runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista. You can run it straight from the downloaded EXE file or install it and run on startup. The app downloads random wallpapers one at a time, gives you a preview and automatically changes it on the desktop. Then it goes to sleep so it does not hog memory.

You can choose not to install the shown wallpaper and instead go for the next one that Fleace brings up. You can apply a few more settings like wallpaper position and size in the Options tab.

Wallpaper Flickr

The free software for retrieving Flickr wallpapers is a bit dated but at 50KB download size, it does its job pretty well. The developer's site doesn't list the software, so I went into CNET's to get it. The free wallpaper rotator works on Windows XP and Vista and its functionality is pretty much as you can see in the screenshot. You can set it to automatically rotate your desktop wallpaper after every few seconds. You need to have Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed though.

Flickr Wallpaper

We go even tinier and simpler with this 8KB little app that's compiled in C#. You have to install Microsoft .Net Framework version 1.1 at least to run this. This little program downloads a random, interesting photo from Flickr, and changes your desktop wallpaper. You can schedule it to run automatically using Scheduled Tasks on Windows. You can download specific wallpapers by changing the tags in the shortcut file that's provided. The simple to understand instructions are given in the Readme.txt file.

Even a simple Google Image Search can filter out larger resolution Flickr images that you can use as desktop wallpapers. The thing about Flickr is that there's an incredible variety of images that can be positioned as wallpapers. So, can I find you on Flickr downloading wallpapers to deck up your desktop?

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Three Free Brain Teaser Games For Your Android Phone

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 09:31 AM PST

There are a lot of games on the Android. Not all of them are worth a download, but you’ll find enough of them to waste a few months of your time.

If you’re going to spend your time gaming, why not invest in something useful? By playing brain teasers and puzzles, you can train your brain, vocabulary and logical insight — all that while having fun!

Below are three fun brain teaser games for the Android phone that you should definitely check out.


Wordfeud is a Scrabble-like crossword puzzle game. Make words vertically or horizontally with the letters you are given. Each letter has a numeric value. The cumulative value of your word is added to your score. The game is played in turns. By constructing long words with difficult letters, you can add a lot of points to your score. When the game ends, the player with the highest score wins.

You aren’t limited to playing against the computer. Wordfeud allows you to play against friends, or random players. The game’s designed to play at a slow pace. You can participate in up to 30 games simultaneously, without having to leave the other boards. Wordfeud can be played in English, Dutch and Norwegian.

Search for Wordfeud on the Android Market, or use your phone to scan the above QR code.

Brain Genius Deluxe

Brain Genius Deluxe is a free brain trainer for the Android. It hosts a number of fun, engaging games. Some of these will be familiar, like Sudoku and mazes, supplemented by a wide variety of numerical games and puzzles.

This free game includes 24 original games and additional puzzle games, like Sudoku, controlled by motion and touch gestures. Most of these games are rather simple, and if you’re used to puzzle games, they won’t be too much of a challenge, others will require a bit more effort on your side. Brain Genius Deluxe is recommended as a fun game for novice puzzlers.

Search for Brain Genius Deluxe on the Android Market, or use your phone to scan the above QR code.

Craniati Enigma

Craniati Enigma is a self-proclaimed Android implementation of those popular browser-based riddle games. You know the lot. The game consists of a number of successive pages. You’ll be able to proceed from one level to the next by solving a riddle. It’s often right in front of you, but very easy to miss. If you don’t like a frustratingly challenging game, turn back now. Otherwise, you’ll find more than a match in Craniati Enigma.

One of the fun things about Craniati Enigma is how well it integrates with your Android phone. The levels require you to know your Android inside and out. You’ll have to venture off inside the darkest depths of your Android menus and browse the settings to succeed in some levels.

Search for Craniati Enigma on the Android Market, or use your phone to scan the above QR code.

What do you think of these games? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: Shutterstock

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Come Up With the Perfect Rhyme Every Time With VersePerfect

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 08:31 AM PST

Whether you’re a poet, a songwriter or in any other field that requires a creative rhyme, one of the best ways to overcome writers block is with an abundance of information. Rhyming isn’t always easy, but if you have a list of examples, definitions and word information to help you along, you can find just the perfect word every time.

A writer by the name of Bryant McGill developed a powerful, free software package called VersePerfect that does just that. It is a powerhouse of definitions, research tools, and other features the help you develop perfect rhyme all in parallel with the piece that you’re writing. For poets, this program virtually wipes out writers block from an inability to come up with the perfect word. For songwriters, the application will dramatically shorten the time it takes to come up with awesome song lyrics.

Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve covered a number of useful resources for those of you that love music. Simon shared 3 tools that will help you write your own sheet music. He also offered up a review of Lilypond for sheet music as well. Where VersePerfect comes into play is long before you even consider the music – first you’ve got to come up with good lyrics.

The Lyrical Writing Workspace

Every good writer needs a tool that makes the creative process flow as easily as possible. The last thing you want to do while you’re writing the next Iliad is waste all of your time trying to remember words. Lots of creative people are brilliant writers, and have the ability to come up with some of the most impressive lyrics or poems – but sometimes it can be really hard to come up with the perfect word that rhymes without sounding completely contrived or tacky. VersePerfect offers a writing space where everything you need to write your lyrics are right at your fingertips.

The column to the left of your sentences shows the line number and syllable count. Just this feature alone is a useful tool for forming sentences that have good flow and rhythm. This is really useful for rap artists or poets that are trying to come up with carefully structured rhymes.

On the right side of the main window, you’ll find all of the suggested words that rhyme with the word you just typed. It’s pretty surprising how many words exist within the built-in dictionary and how many suggestions the program offers after each word.

If you really want to dig into everything you can possibly find about a particular word, click on the “Word Explorer” at the top of the main window. This utility is sort of an all-in-one research tool for any word. In addition to providing the definition of the word, it also has tabs for the nearest words that are like that word (for those times when you can’t remember a specific word), synonyms for the word, and “types of” – for example, types of “fools” would be clowns, buffoons, and dupes.

If the Word Explorer doesn’t do the trick, there are also a whole bunch of additional research tools right within reach. At the top of the screen, you’ll notice tabs like Google, and Wikipedia. If you click on these tabs, the program automatically does a search on those sites for the word you’ve highlighted.

The “Online Lookup” tab is one of the most thorough research tools available, with a drop-down list of about four dozen dictionary databases you can use to search for more information about the word.

One of the coolest features in VersePerfect is the built-in hyperbolic thesaurus. In this tool, you can visually follow all word relationships between all related words. Click on any of the relationships to trace through each connection from one level to the next.

For hard-core poets, another pretty useful feature is the “verse forms” panel. This dropdown box lets you choose what lyrical form you’d like to follow. The program will then display the outline you need to follow in order to create that poetic form.

So, if you click on Haiku, the program shows you how many syllables you need to write on each line in order to follow the Haiku form.

As though all of these features aren’t enough, the icing on the cake are the “rhyme lines” panel at the bottom of the screen. These feature displays a list of lines from famous poets related to the last word that you just typed.

This feature is pretty useful. Having a glimpse of some of the greatest poetic lines in history after every word you type is a pretty powerful resource. At the very least, they can really prod you forward with new ideas and inspiration.

Whether you have your own band and write your own songs, or you’re a college student trying to write your first Haiku, VersePerfect is an awesome free tool that can make the creative process a whole lot easier. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Do you know of any other similar tools out there that also help with writing cool lyrics? Share your input in the comments section below.

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The Best Online Sources For Free Mac Games [Mac]

Posted: 26 Nov 2010 07:31 AM PST

The life of a Mac gamer can be a hard one. Most Apple computers have nice displays and a graphics card capable of handling at least basic 3D titles. Unfortunately, the relative lack of visible and publicized Mac games can be a downer.

But don’t despair – there are free games available for the Mac, and some of them are extremely good. You just need to dig a little deeper in order to find them.  Today we’re going to help you find them.


Before we venture off into the wilds of the web, let’s first talk about a source that is skipped with surprising frequency – Apple itself.

Yes, Apple has a games page on its website, and it’s full of free games. It’s important to note that in this case “free” often means “demo” – but that’s not always true. Some of the games on the Apple website are truly freeware, and a handful are older PC games that were once sold for profit but are now made available for free.

While the Apple website lists a fair number of games, it’s doesn’t offer much in the way of organization. You can sort games chronologically, alphabetically and by popularity, or you can rely on the “staff picks” if you’re not sure where to start.

Of course, Apple has already announced a coming app store for the Mac, so you can expect a more complete and easily organized selection of free Mac games to be readily available in the near future.


Although it appears as if it is an independent website in Google Search, Macgames is actually just a URL given to the CNET Downloads category focusing on Mac games.

That’s actually great news, as CNET Downloads remains one of the better repositories of applications currently on the web. Unlike the Apple website, CNET Downloads actually lets you sort Mac games by the ‘Top Freeware” tag. I noticed that a few demos are included in the results, but for the most part the freeware games listed are actually fully functional games.

Nearly every genre of game is represented on the site, and the stats associated with each game – such as the number of times it’s been downloaded and the user reviews – will help you discover games that scratch your specific gaming itch.

Free MMO Gamer

To be honest, there isn’t a lot to see here. The Free MMO Gamer site dedicated to free Mac games consists of 9 titles, each represented by a single screenshot. Clicking on a screenshot will send you to a game overview that tells you a bit about the title, but there isn’t any way to sort between games and the selection of just 9 games is obviously limited.

However, at least some of those 9 games are excellent. The Free MMO Gamer site includes titles like Quake Live, Savage 2 and Runescape. These are great free games that are sometimes missed by other free Mac game sites.

MacRumors Game Guide

If you’re looking for the latest scoop on Mac hardware and software, MacRumors is often the site to turn to. It is a Wiki-based site with a strong sense of community that, despite its unconventional format, offers some compelling content.

The games section isn’t anything special in terms of organization. Titles are simply listed in a table alphabetically with a small description attached to each game. As with the Free MMO Gamer page, however, the MacRumors games section overcomes a lack of organization with content. A number of the games listed on the site are incredible (be sure to check out Cave Story) and are not listed on many or any other sites.


Mac gaming may not be as easy as playing games on a Windows PC, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. The free game sites above will provide most gamers with everything they’ll need for years. If there is a particular game that you recommend, however, let us know in the comments!

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