Saturday, December 4, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [December 3rd]” plus 10 more “Cool Websites and Tools [December 3rd]” plus 10 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [December 3rd]

Posted: 03 Dec 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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Leatherbound – You might have come across tools that let you compare book prices across different online vendors. These tools let you quickly execute a search, compare prices, and then go with the online store that is cheapest. Leatherbound performs the same service but instead of physical books, it works for eBooks. Read more: Leatherbound: Easily Comparing Ebooks


HowMutch – Are you trying to check how much customers will be willing to pay for a product or company deal you are about to launch? For this, you could form lengthy internet forms and deploy them. Or, more conveniently, you could use HowMutch, a free to use web service that asks people a simple question: "How much would you pay for X?" Read more: HowMutch: Find How Much People Will Pay For A Certain Product Or Dare



Printing Facebook – is a fun tool that lets you create a poster with profile pictures of all your Facebook friends and then have it shipped to your place. The cost is $20 and shipping charges. You can also opt for groups and fan pages while creating the poster. It pulls in the profile pictures after you connect your Facebook account with the tool, and then shows you all kinds of design options to create the poster. Read more: PrintingFacebook: Prints Cool Facebook Friends Posters



Docs In Office – Many people have now adapted cloud computing as their primary mode of working, with good reason: collaboration is seamless, you do not have to worry about hard drive space or processor requirements, and most of all, you can work from anywhere. However, there are times when we need our trusty MS Office for more demanding office tasks. Fortunately, we have DocsInOffice, a nifty app that lets you access Google Docs. Read more: DocsInOffice: Access Google Docs From Desktop Via Any MS Office Software



FluffyApp – Plenty of web apps let you upload images, music and videos from your computer to the cloud, but very few make the process as painless as FluffyApp. This small app lets you upload and share all kinds of files by just dragging and dropping to a small icon in your system tray. The little cloud icon appears in your system tray once you create a free account and download a small app. Read more: FluffyApp: Drag And Drop File, Screenshot & URL Sharing


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: 03 Dec 2010 05:31 PM PST

Tech support is a tough job. At MakeUseOf Answers, we seriously try to help you! It is our goal to provide the best solution, which often requires us to ask many questions.  Most of us are amateurs, yet we are eager to offer the best service possible. We do this because we love to help and share our skills.

This week, we award the prize for Best Answer of the Week to Verdant for the answer to this question: How come my Windows computer temporarily freezes when I scroll or enter commands? Thank you for your contribution and way to go!

Read on to see the best questions of the week:

MakeUseOf Answers is free and interactive tech support opportunity. Ask, answer, and learn: 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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Whohub Gives You Probing Interview Questions To Give You Better Visibility On The Web

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 03:31 PM PST

web visibilityHaving a strong presence on the Internet these days is almost essential for marketing your skills, experiences, and sometimes your views on various issues and topics. We have covered a few user profile sites like, and others for your social networks; each has its unique features. A fairly new site, however, takes another approach to letting people know who you are and what you do. It's called Whohub.

Whohub’s goal is to develop a “social network for creative professionals based on their capacity for self-expression and collaboration”.  In other words, you use Whohub to not only paste links to your business and social network sites, you also answer a series of interview questions to convey more specifically who you are, what motivates you, and what your goals are. It's sort of like posting a personal job interview or being interviewed on the Larry King Show – that is, depending on how you choose to answer the questions.

web visibility

Why Use It?

Whohub provides another way to publicize your work and experience to potential clients, employers, associates, or colleagues. What you reveal about yourself is up to you. Whohub says it automatically optimizes all interviews for search engines. It also provides customized HTML code that you can embed into your blog or other websites to publicize your interview.

There are of course interview questions for linking to your other sites and sites you recommend to readers. You get a personal URL to share with others, and you can contact other professionals like yourself, in order to share experiences or collaborate on projects.

The site contains interviews from people all over the world, in more than 100 countries.

How It Works

Setting your interview profile on Whohub is very simple. You select a category (e.g., writing, cooking, politics, advertising, art, music, entrepreneur) that fits what you mainly do or are interested in.

how to get visibility

Each category has a dozen or more unique questions from which you can choose from. For example, if you’re a writer, questions may include: “What did you first read?  How did you begin to write?  Who were the first to read what you wrote?  What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc?” and “What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?”

Just because you're given a long list of questions, however, doesn't mean you should answer all of them. If you want people to actually read your interview, you might limit your responses to say 10 questions, focusing on ones that convey what you think readers most need to know about you.

how to get visibility

After setting up an account, you can edit or delete your responses, as well answer additional questions. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own questions to the list.

As you might expect, you can share your interview on various social networking sites.

Other Features

To further build your profile, you can maintain a log of your current activities and projects, as well follow other “authors“ and send them messages. also features a pretty large free jobs board, where you can search by title, company, location, and job type. Job searches are free, but there's a fee for posting jobs. There are also forum and bookmarking sections, but they are linear-based and only broken up by language.

web visibility

There are some excellent questions in the forums where users asks people to help them with a project, respond to their published work, or answer tough discussion questions like, “What is the cause of the global economic depression?”.  There should be a way, however, to do a topic search of forum questions instead of clicking from page to page in order to read the long and growing list.

Let us know what you think of Whohub and feel free to post a link your interview page.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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Minus – Share Your Pictures The Easy Way With Drag-And-Drop Functionality

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 01:31 PM PST

share your picturesHow do you share your photos with others? Do you use Facebook or Flickr, or do you opt for more conventional methods like Dropbox? Or maybe you’ve joined a photo sharing community like ShutterCal or DailyBooth?  Whatever the case may be, all of these methods work because you find them convenient and easy to use.

If you’re looking for a truly simple way to share your photos, however, Minus might be the most useful service of them all. Minus is all about simplicity and minimalism, and it’s extremely basic. Just drag files from your desktop and folders to your browser to start sharing. In this article, I’ll show you how this simple sharing service operates.

What Is Minus?

Minus is a drag-and-drop sharing system. Images are kept indefinitely unless they are deleted by the uploader and uploading them is as easy as dragging them onto the homepage.

share your pictures

Registration is free but not required. If you opt to create an account, however, you will be able to sign in and track your galleries from anywhere on the go.

Supported image types include JPEG, GIF, PNG, APNG, and BMP.

How Does Minus Work?

share your pictures online

To start using Minus, just drag pictures from your desktop and folders onto the page. As soon as you do, a new gallery will be automatically created for you. You can save and manage your gallery with the Editor link and use the left and right arrows to browse through your gallery’s pictures at any time.

If you click on the Untitled button on the top right you can name your newly created gallery. Dragging image titles around allows you to change the order in which they appear in your gallery.

It’s very easy to add and remove images from your gallery. To add them, all you have to do is continue dragging them onto your gallery page. Delete photos individually by clicking on the image’s X-icon or delete the entire gallery with the Trash icon.

share your pictures

To share a gallery with others just pass out your Viewer link. There is also a Direct Image link, which you can use if you just want to share a single image and not the whole gallery.

What Else Can I Do?

Some other interesting features include the ability to download an entire gallery in a Zip file, view the history of your created and viewed galleries, import galleries, and share photos anonymously.

How does anonymous photo sharing work? Well, when sharing anonymously, your galleries are tracked via a cookie that is attached to one computer. When sharing while logged in, your galleries are tracked permanently until you clear the gallery history. My Galleries tracking between anonymous and the logged in state are separate.

Also, as of now the number of photos you can add to a gallery is limited to 50, but you can create an unlimited amount of galleries. Files must be under 7 MB to be uploaded.


Like I said, Minus is the simplest way to share pictures with others. I really see a lot of potential in this service and once they implement documents, music, videos, and other files – as they have stated they will – it could be something great. If you’re a fan of Dropbox you’ll like this service, as the two kind of remind me of one another.

Will you be giving Minus a go? How do you currently share your pictures?

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Hot Tech Deals [Dec 3rd]

Posted: 03 Dec 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. New Puma Coupon Code 40% Off Regular Price Merchandise + Free Shipping $50+ via code PUMAFRIENDS1210

  2. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX7 10MP 4X Digital Camera (Image Stabilized) $259.99 Free Shipping via code TECHBARGAINSTX7

  3. TODAY ONLY Vizio E420VA 42 inch LCD HDTV (1080p) $479.99 Free Shipping

  4. LG INFINIA 50PX950 50in Plasma 3D-Ready HDTV (1080p) $1199 Free Shipping

  5. Cavalry CAUM 2TB External Hard Drive $84.99AR Free Shipping

  6. Kingston DataTraveler 101 G2 16GB USB Flash Drive $22.95 Free Shipping

  7. Dell Latitude E5510 Intel Core i7-620M 2.66GHz Dual Core 15.6 Laptop $682.59 Free Shipping via code LG7VDG?FS19BDW

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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Free Tutorials To Make Your Own Kids Toys For Christmas

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 11:31 AM PST

how to make toysWith Christmas just around the corner, it’s hard not to think about kids and the potential presents one might give them. But toys these days are pretty disappointing. Who wants to give kids expensive pieces of plastic which will get broken or ignored in no time? Why not make your own kids toys?

For those of you with a crafty, DIY instinct, toy-making probably comes naturally to you. Other people might need just a little bit of inspiration and a few tutorials to get started. Thankfully, the internet is full of great ideas, photos of finished products and free tutorials to help newbies get on the right track.

Finding free tutorials and ideas can be as easy as an image search for your specific idea (with “Free” + “Tutorial” in there), or you might prefer to be pointed in the direction of some useful forums or collections for easy, free guides.

Home-made toys are not only cheap — they’re unique, interesting, ecologically friendly, intellectually stimulating, durable and often simple enough to be used for multiple purposes. You won’t even know what games your children will come up with for home-made toys until they start playing with them.

Here’s some easy toy ideas to get you started.

1. Wooden Toys

Wooden toys are a great place to start if you’ve got a shed and want to make toys. Try making building blocks in bright colours, toy ovens, rocking horses, cubby houses, instruments, kites, cars, trucks, boats, go-karts, sleds, bowling sets, board games, puzzles, swings and doll houses. These are all favourites when it comes to wooden toys.

Also try adding in a few magnets or propulsion mechanisms to make them even more interesting!

Some Great Free Resources For Wooden Toys:

how to make toys

2. Soft Toys & Dolls

Soft toys are only limited by your own imagination. There are many cute designs out there to get you started with a basic shape, then take a look at Flickr groups and crafty forums to get more inspiration for your own individual style.

Some Great Free Resources For Soft Toys & Dolls:

make toys for christmas

3. Felt Toys

Felt toys are such a booming craft craze at the moment that they deserve a mention distinct from your everyday soft toys. Using felt and a little stuffing, you can easily make sets of toys for your kids that will keep them entertained for ages.

For example, you could make a selection of felt food so that your kids can design sandwiches, bento boxes, tea-parties, breakfast or dinner. This would be great with a toy oven and a cubby house! Or you could make a box full of tiny felt animals, so that kids can make jungle scenes or farms.

Some Great Free Resources For Felt Food:

make toys for christmas

4. Science Toys

Science toys usually have geek appeal, because they’ll be fun and intriguing for years while teaching your kids scientific principles. There are many old favourites which are easy to make, such as spinning tops, the oscillating woodpeckers, Jacob’s ladder, bird-feeders and kaleidoscopes. You’re only really limited by your own skills and science knowledge.

Some Great Free Science Toy Resources:

make toys for christmas

5. Puppets

Puppets are only limited by your imagination, since they’re quite simple to make. Plus, with every new puppet character you make, the child’s collection becomes even more useful.

Some Great Free Resources For Puppets:

how to make toys

Need More To Read?

If you’re keen on crafts or projects to entertain kids, here’s some more MakeUseOf articles you might like:

Let us know what kids toys you like to make, and what online information is useful to you for doing this.

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10 News Photo Galleries To Catch All The Latest World News In Pictures

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 10:31 AM PST

news photo galleryDo pictures speak a thousand words? One look at the photo essay on Hurricane Katrina and its devastation should convince most of us. Not only bad news, but some of the good that happens around the world captures our eye when it is captured through a photographer's lens.

I don't think anyone can explain why a still photo still holds sway when there are more animated ways to capture news. Perhaps because a picture is news without words; perhaps it's the silence that makes us ponder for a while.

Whatever the reason is, today every online news source gives a due place to photos, picture galleries, and slideshows. The photo journalist himself is a revered guy in the news field.

We know most of the online news websites that appear in the list below. The next time you visit them, don't read the words, just sift through the photo galleries and find out if the pictures really are worth a thousand words or more.


news photo gallery

We stay on at and its rich photoessays. The Photo section of the magazine gives you news in pictures for the current day, the week, and the year, embellished with some specials. For instance, catch Behind the Scenes with JFK.


As soon as you land on this link, you will be greeted with the Editor's choice. That single photo (or the slideshow) could perhaps describe the most momentous events of the last 24 hours. The great thing about Reuters and the photos is that their coverage is pretty much global, so you get to see unique photos from all corners of the world. Then there are the featured slideshows on breaking news across the globe.


If you are talking about photo journalism, you have to talk about one of the world's first photographic magazine. Life magazine is more than a century old. The online version is of course young but just as full of riches. From its different sections that cover everything from news to sports, to its Timelines, you can lose yourself here. You can start with Today's Top Photos and then move on to your section of interest.

One of my favorite sections is Life's Great Adventures. Then, if you are bored with history or current affairs, why not play Sexy or Sleazy.

The New York Times

photo gallery news

When a paper is more than a hundred years old and boasts of more than a hundred Pulitzer prizes, you have to take it seriously. It is also one of the more popular online news destinations. For news in pictures head towards its Multimedia and Photos section. You have a lot of photo slideshows to choose from and a few interactive features combining videos, audio and photos. Don't miss the Pictures of the Day on the Lens Blog.


photo gallery news

A bit of U.K, Europe and the rest of the world with another news source that defines news reporting. The site seems a bit simpler than the others covered before but that's just design. The content is filled with news in pictures and slideshows. And there is a section too where you can showcase your own uploaded pictures according to the theme for the day.

The Guardian

photo gallery news

According to Wikipedia, the online website The Guardian is the second most popular news website after NYT. The multimedia gallery is certainly complete. You get to browse through sections like Eyewitness (the latest photographs), 24 hours in pictures (a selection of the best images from around the world), and From the Agencies (showcasing the best photo journalism). Then you have feature specific audio-photo slideshows.

Sports Illustrated

news photos

The American sports magazine is better known perhaps for its swimsuit edition but hey, it includes a lot of other cool content too. It’s heavily American-centric but covers a few others like golf, tennis, and soccer too. Special coverage on events like the Olympics and Tour de France among others doesn't go missing. And heck, don't miss the swimsuits section!

National Geographic

news photos

A ‘National Geographic photographer’ is almost a universal calling card. Just picking up the magazine and flipping it from cover to cover tells you what photography is all about. The photos on the website that cover natural science news aren't any different. The photos are not only educational but also a visual treat.

IMDB Snapshot

news photos

Political news is fine but what about news on films and celebrities? IMDB covers a lot of it with its page full of 'Newest Stills, Latest Events, Hottest Celebs'. Take a peek into the latest upcoming movies and celebrity events on slideshows.

Pictures of The Day

news photo gallery

The news agency behind this news photo gallery is one of the world's more noteworthy wire services (Zuma Press). The site collates news worthy pictures from its team of photo journalists and presents it for our visual pleasure. A unique feature of the site is the section called WORD which goes into the background of the shot and why it was selected.

When it comes to world news and pictures, these ten sites aren't the only ones out there. But looking through them you can certainly appreciate the power of the lens.

Do you know of any other newsworthy source that I have missed? Do let us know in the comments. Also, check out all our news related posts.

Image: Shutterstock



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Mougg Streams Your Music From The Cloud [Web & Android]

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 09:31 AM PST

stream music androidMusic shouldn’t be locked away locally. We’re slowly improving by stepping away from DRM and other rather aggressive content restriction policies, but there’s still a long way to go.

Arguably one of the “better” ways to enjoy music is from the cloud; something many people on YouTube, and Spotify understand.

But not just in terms of music discovery or online radio tidbits. Uploading your own music to the clouds is at least as viable as enjoying it offline. Even if you continue to use iTunes locally, a cloud-based music library allows you to enjoy your own music wherever you are, regardless of the device you’re currently sporting.


Mougg fits the bill. This nifty online tool will be your media player in the clouds. Anyone signing up — without much of a hassle, I might add — gets 1 GB free storage. That makes for approximately 200 to 250 MP3′s. Admittedly, many users might require more, but it’s a handsome amount to carry around with you all the time, and should be enough to host your (currently) most favorite songs.

stream music android

The online media player, shown above, is kind to the eye and easy to use. You can browse your cloud library counterpart, skipping, seeking and shuffling songs to your heart’s desire. Mougg was able to keep its streaming on par with my connection speed, which makes for fast buffering. Only right-mouse functionality seemed to be lacking.

stream music android app

After supplying an email address and custom password, you’re set to go — no confirmation required. Select Upload Music in the left sidebar to get (part of) your music library online. Mougg allows you to select music from your computer, MP3 or M4A, but only around 50 items at a time. On the plus side, the music controls on the bottom left get you enjoying your music as soon as the first song finishes uploading.

stream music android app

In advanced controls, Mougg makes your music library instantly searchable, showing results as you type. It also offers playlist functionality, which is something that simply can’t be said for all online music players. To fill a playlist, simply drag the songs onto the playlist name. However, these songs have to be added one by one, as shift-click doesn’t seem to work.

Mobile Integration

Mougg is also trying to make a truly portable entrance, with mobile streaming applications. One such app, for the Android OS, exists already, and can be seen below. It integrates well with the website; looks slick and is easy to use. After logging in with your Mougg credentials, you can start streaming right away.

stream music android app

A similar application for the iPhone is said to be on the way. Besides being able to stream music, like the Android app currently does, the iPhone application will also be able to play music locally, offline.

stream music android

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

Have you ever thought about freeing your music? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

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Never Get Charged Another Late Fee Again By Using BillQ

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 08:31 AM PST

best bill pay reminder softwareI love budget software. I mean, seriously, I must try a different budgeting application or website at least once every other month. As I wrote about here at MakeUseOf, I’ve tried SimpleD, and I even created my own customized budget spreadsheet in Excel. I even tried Mint, which Bakari wrote about.

Even after using all of those tools, it never fails that eventually I just forget to pay a bill. You see, the real problem for me isn’t creating or maintaining a budget – I’ve got that pretty well figured out at this point. It’s just a matter of remembering to sit down and pay specific bills that keeps me stumped. When you’ve got a lot going on and have so much to remember already in your life, paying bills isn’t always at the top of the list. It’s very easy to procrastinate when it comes to sending your hard earned money to other people. And I don’t like automating payments, because I like staying in control of my bank account.

So I set out in search of an automated solution that offered a variety of reminder tools and management features that would basically take the place of my brain.

All I need is a reminder about 5 days before a bill is due so that I will remember to log in and pay the bill online, or write a check. That’s not asking a lot, but in my experience not many of the “budgeting” apps really focus as much on the bill paying aspect as they should. Luckily I found billQ, and I doubt I’ll ever forget to pay another bill again.

Setting Up Your Bills

Let’s face it, the idea of loading up another online system with all of my bills isn’t something I really feel like doing. However, the idea that taking the time now to enter in the bill schedule just once will make it so that I never have to remember it again is enough incentive for me. I’m tired of having so many things to remember. The more you can offload out of your head, the more efficient you’ll be at remembering the important stuff.

best bill pay reminder software

From the first page, you’ll see how clean and well organized this system is. It’s all about bills – nothing else. No budget, no complicated balance calculations – just how much you owe every month and when it’s due. It’s as simple as that. Keep in mind there are two terms here to remember – a schedule and a bill. A bill can be a one-time payment, but a schedule is a recurring payment.

A free account is limited to 10 schedules, so if you have a lot of bills, this online tool isn’t for you. To add a new schedule just click the Schedules tab and click the “Add Schedule” button.

bill reminder

Type in the name, amount and when it’s due. You can also group bills into categories like household or automotive just to keep things clean and organized. You can also select from different recurring schedules like once every number of days, or on a particular day each month.

bill reminder

The beauty of billQ is how clean it is. When you log in, you’ll see the bills that require your immediate attention at the very top of the list on your main page. Bills that are close to the due date will change color from green to amber.

bill reminder

You can see your overall spending situation in the right menu bar. You’ll see your total monthly expenses, as well as the most expensive bill (usually the mortgage!) and what group of bills seem to be sucking the most money out of you.

bill reminder software

If you have a one-time bill that comes up, like someone lending you money or a small loan that you took out and you want to pay off the following month, just add those by adding a new bill instead of a schedule.

bill reminder software

While you could just remember to log in every couple of weeks to check which bills are due – there’s no need. The system comes with built-in reminders that it can send to your email, your phone, or both. You can set it up to send you the list of bills every month, or a reminder for each bill that’s coming due.

bill reminder software

My favorite part of billQ is how integrated it is with whatever manner you get information from the Internet. You can install a desktop dashboard widget for Mac, an AIR app for Windows, a Bookmarklet for your browser, an iCal plugin, and there’s even an RSS feed you can tap into that feeds your reminders to you every day. Now that’s cool.

No matter where you are in the world, BillQ has you covered with the ability to handle just about all of the world’s top currencies.

best bill pay reminder software

If you’re like me and overloaded with things to remember – go ahead and give billQ a try. The last thing you want to do is work so hard to make money, only to squander it with late fees and charges. Let billQ remember your bills for you, and you can focus on the more important stuff.

What do you think of billQ? Do you have your own techniques or tools to remember bills? Share them in the comments section below.

Image credit: G Schouten de Jel

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Holga and SuperHeadz Wide & Slim Camera Giveaway by FourCornerStore

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 08:00 AM PST



Let’s start with the SuperHeadz Wide and Slim cameras. Originally invented by Vivitar, it was known as the Ultra Wide and Slim cameras and was as cheap as chips. However, despite its popularity, the camera was discontinued. That’s when Japanese toy camera maker SuperHeadz swooped in and reproduced the Ultra Wide and Slim as the White Slim Angel, Black Slim Devil, Yellow Peace and Blue Ribbon; among others depending on their colour.

These SuperHeadz Wide and Slim cameras are strictly speaking, toy cameras that allow for a bit of fun and carelessness. It’s made entirely out of plastic and features a fixed shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, a 22mm wide angle fixed focus lens at an aperture of f/11 — you guess, it’s fixed. This camera is as customisable as a pencil. But still, it’s the hype of all pumped up lo-fi photography fans because of its low price; anyone can afford to buy one of these and give film photography a go.


The camera is completely mechanical and operates without any electronics or batteries, for that matter. All you need to do is insert any 35mm film and wind it up. For that reason alone, it’s very low maintenance. Film advancement is done manually via a dial at the bottom.


Like the Diana F+, the SuperHeadz Wide and Slim viewfinder does not provide a true representation of the resulting image that hits the film. So the user will have to adjust for parallax error when framing up a shot. This takes a bit of practise to overcome and is definitely a very, very small obstacle in order to achieve truly unique lo-fi photography.

Here are a couple of samples:

Dottonbori by Chris Harber


Fukuoka by Chris Harber


Holga 135BC & Accessories

Next up is the Holga 135BC. The Holga initially began life as a medium format camera using 120 film. But in 2007, the 135 model was released and uses 35mm film. The first generation Holga 135 cameras didn’t produce the same strong vignette that the original Holga did so they released a 135BC version to make the vignetting more pronounced.


One of the main reasons to own a 35mm film camera as opposed to a medium format camera is convenience. It’s so much easier to just grab a roll of 35mm film and drop it off at any photo lab to get it developed. And with the Holga 135, you’re still holding a Holga — just with added convenience. It’s smaller and lighter than the original Holga, has a 47mm f/8 plastic lens and a shutter speed of about 1/100th of a second– and just about everything else on this camera is plastic, similar to the SuperHeadz.


Among the many things that I enjoy about owning a Holga 135 is the various types of add-ons which are available for it. Let’s take a look at two of those: The Holga Wide Lens and Super Filter Set.

The Wide Lens is essentially just a bit of kit that slides over the existing Holga lens and expands the field of view. It sort of adds a “fisheye” effect to the image, although not as pronounced. And since the Holga 135 comes fitted with a 47mm lens, this Wide Lens does help when taking close-up shots.


The next is the Holga Super Filter set which includes a filter holder, 3 prism filters, 4 diffusion filters and 4 colour filters; to allow you to quickly add some quirkiness to your snapshots without Photoshop. Take these out at a party and you’ll quickly find yourself being the centre of attention.


We’re giving away three SuperHeadz Wide and Slim cameras and three Holga 135 with accessories!

How do I win one?

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!
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3 Ways To Check The Security Of Your Internet Connection

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 07:31 AM PST

internet privacy and securityYour Internet connection is a portal to a world of information, but it is a portal that can work both ways. Just as you can find information through it, others can use it to find information about you. Trojans and keyloggers can monitor your computer usage and transmit sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, to a third party.

Using a wireless connection makes security even more important because anyone who gains access to your network can use it to conduct illegal activities without your knowledge.

There are, however, some methods that can be used to keep tabs on the security of your Internet connection. Some are simple, while others are very complex, and no single practice covers all possible security problems. Taking the right steps will reduce the risk of your Internet connection being compromised, however.

Install A Firewall

internet privacy and security

The worm, a common security threat, typically replicates itself by randomly spamming information at other computers in search of a security flaw. If the flaw is found, the worm can inject itself into a system without the user doing anything. This can lead to your computer being enlisted into a botnet – a series of infected computers that follow commands given by the worm that has infected the system or, in some cases, by the person or persons who created the worm. Botnets are often used to send spam and perform denial-of-service attacks against websites.

Installing a firewall will dramatically reduce the chance that your computer will be infected by a worm and forced into the service of a botnet. A firewall, as you may know, is a barrier that filters out Internet traffic which may be malicious. This prevents many common attempts to hijack or infect a computer via network security flaw. Windows now ships with an acceptable firewall, but you can further enhance your security by downloading a free firewall or purchasing one as part of an Internet security suite.

Use Network Monitoring Software

internet security

Home networks are increasingly common as homes that once had only a single computer are adding additional devices. This includes not just new computers but also game consoles, Blu Ray players, televisions and various appliances that feature wireless connectivity.

This array of devices can make it difficult to identify a device that isn’t supposed to be connected if it appears. Networking monitoring software solves this issue by keeping track of your network and shaping the information it gathers into an intuitive display. This makes it possible to analyze the devices on your network and sniff out those that don’t belong. Some network monitoring software also lets you designate certain devices as trusted. If a new device pops up you’ll be given an alert, or the device will automatically have its network access restricted.

Tech-savvy readers will probably note that this same basic functionality can be achieved by monitoring the MAC addresses that show up when you log into your router. For most users, however, network monitoring software will be the better choice.

Try To Crack Your Wireless Internet Password

internet privacy and security

If you are using a secure wireless connection the only thing that protects your Internet security is the password you’ve chosen for your network. Anyone who compromises this password can easily make full use of your Internet connection. Network monitoring software would likely display the new, unknown hardware connecting to your network, but if you’re not home the damage may be done before you can take action against the intruder.

The best defense against this is a long password that makes use of many different characters. This decreases the chance that a brute-force attack will be able to crack your wireless password. In order to check up on your security you can try to break your password with your own computer. The most popular tool for this purpose is Aircrack, which can be used to attack WEP and WPA encryption.

The only issue with this is the complexity of the program – if you’re not already versed in the technical nitty-gritty of wireless networking you may have trouble using a tool like Aircrack. The geeks who design these programs rarely have accessibility in mind.


As is often the case with computer security, you can’t 100% guarantee that your Internet connection will never be cracked. However, taking these steps can protect you from most threats.  Hackers are clever folk, but they rarely have reason to bang against someone who is taking steps to protect their Internet connection when they can instead pick on your grandparent’s poorly secured connection.

Let us know if you have any other methods for testing the security of your Internet connection.

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