Monday, December 27, 2010 “Cool Websites and Tools [December 26th]” plus 4 more “Cool Websites and Tools [December 26th]” plus 4 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [December 26th]

Posted: 26 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.

Add Your Website Here!


All My Mac Apps – Are you looking for Mac applications across numerous websites? Wouldn't it be convenient to find all your Mac apps on the same site instead? AllMyMacApps mac software directory offers exactly that. You can categorically browse the apps according to whether or not they are free or first narrow down your options via a keywords search. Read more: AllMyMacApps: Cool Mac Software Directory


Markify – Checking trademark availability is an essential when creating a company. If you mistakenly choose a company name that a 3rd party has already trademarked, you might later be forced to change your company's name and pay damages. Until now, checking for taken trademarks was a lengthy process that usually required you to spend money. But thanks to Markify, the entire process has now become easy and free. Read more: Markify: Check for available trademark names before naming a company



NudgeMail – There are many apps that let you set reminders, but since pretty much most of our time online is spent using an email client, it just sounds logical to use email for setting and receiving reminders. NudgeMail lets you do exactly that. To set up a reminder, just send an email to and specify the exact time for the reminder in the subject line. Read more: NudgeMail: Set & Send Yourself Reminders Through Email



Switch To HTML5 – Even if its complete adoption is far away, there is no doubt that HTML5 is the future of the web. Many developers are already working with HTML5 and look forward to finding HTML5-related web tools. One such tool is SwitchToHTML5, a simple and free HTML5 framework generator. The framework already has your required tags and most of the syntax thereby saving the web developer's valuable time. Read more: SwitchToHTML5: HTML5 Framework Generator



Windroplr – Droplr is a desktop program for Mac computers that lets people quickly upload files to the web and obtain a download URL. The freeware has been serving Mac users for quite some time. Thanks to WinDroplr, now Windows users too can take advantage of Droplr. The first step to start using it is to head on over to Droplr's website and create an account through your Twitter username. Read more: Windroplr: Droplr for Windows


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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Thank You To MakeUseOf Friends!

Posted: 26 Dec 2010 05:31 PM PST

It's time to say thanks to our friends who, once in a while, tip us great articles, help out on projects and in some cases offer their services at discounted prices. Thank you, guys!

    [1] ShrinkTheWeb – Website Screenshot Thumbnail Service

    Ever wanted to add website screenshots to your website? In my professional opinion ShrinkTheWeb is one of the best services for that, both in terms of performance and pricing. The free account gets you a whopping 250,000 impressions with nearly no delay. See it in action in our daily Cool Websites and Tools series.


    [2] LapDawg – Hands-free Laptop Stands

    Hands free laptop stand
    The dream gadget designed for Laptop & Book owners. LapDawg X4 Hands free laptop stand. Holds your laptop or books in any position you want with it’s unique 360 degree rotating joints. Perfect for holding them in bed while lying down or adjust for your living room couch at eye level. Made from anodized aluminum with a beautiful black matte finish.

    [3] Walyou – Cool Gadgets for Geeks

    new cool gadgets
    Walyou is a fun blog covering all sorts of new cool gadgets and other stuff every geek is likely to find entertaining. Everything from world’s largest Gunny Bears to E-hookah gadgets. Make sure to check them out.


    [4] rade | eccles – iPhone Application Development

    The perfect iPhone development team, rade | eccles managed to put our iPhone app together in record time yet exude professionalism and dedication every step of the way. Our collaboration wasn’t happenstance. We would make the same decision all over again. Our only recommendation for an iPhone developer – rade | eccles.


    [5] TrueKolor – Affordable Quality Logo and Banner Design

    If you’re looking for a cheap, original and quality logo or banner, check out TrueKolor. We often contact these guys when we need a logo or a banner made, some of the stuff they did for us listed on their portfolio page. Highly recommended.


    [6] Mobify – Making the Web a mobile place

    More and more users access websites and read blogs using their mobile phone. Mobify lets you mobilize your blog or website by creating lightweight version of it, which loads much faster and looks great on a mobile screen. MakeUseOf’s mobile site was created by Mobify, and we’re proud of it!


    [7] Sendible – The easiest way to market your brand online

    We’re strong believers of the service Sendible provides — we use it on a daily basis and it has never failed us! Sendible is an online marketing service to promote, grow and track brands through the use of social media, email and SMS messaging. It has the ability to post to multiple services at once, schedule social network updates and analyse their success. We love it!


    [8] Sourcebits – Android Developement

    Sourcebits did a bang up job of helping us put together our long-awaited Android app. For that, we are eternally grateful!


Thank you, guys!

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What Are The Best Presents To Get A Geek? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Posted: 26 Dec 2010 05:30 PM PST

Last week, we asked you which of your Apple mobile devices was the best. I’ll let you in on a secret: The winner is iPhone!

With 148 votes gathered, we saw 48% go to iPhone, 28% go to iPad and the remaining 24% of votes go to iPod Touch. So, if you’re tossing up between the choices, let the Apple geeks of the MakeUseOf readership help you make that decision: Get an iPhone!

Full results and this week's poll after the jump.

Apple’s iPhone is right ahead of the other devices with nearly half of the votes.

This week's poll question is: What Are The Best Presents To Get A Geek?

Many of us have recently bought and given Christmas presents, so we’ve probably had some time to think about the best sort of presents to get for geeks. Let’s help out our friends and family by adding our opinion to the poll!

Do you hate it when someone buys you an expensive gadget because you had a slightly different model in mind? Or do you just love getting new toys you didn’t have to research or pay for yourself? Please elaborate in the comments – let us know what you really think!

NEW: Download MakeUseOf iPhone App. FREE!



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Hot Tech Deals [Dec 26th]

Posted: 26 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. JVC LT-32P510 32in LCD HDTV (1080p, 120Hz) $349

  2. Toshiba 40E200U 40 inch LCD HDTV (1080p) $399 via code EMCZNNT74

  3. Logitech Z623 200W 2.1 Speaker System (THX-Certified) $86.99AR Free Shipping via code EMCZNNT72

  4. Patriot LX 8GB SDHC Card (Class 10) $7.99AR Free Shipping

  5. Samsung BX2450 24in LED-Backlit LCD Monitor (Slim, 1920×1080) $199.99 Free Shipping via code EMCZNNT54

  6. Garmin nuvi 255WT GPS Navigation (4.3in, Tet To Speech, Lifetime Traffic Updates) $79.99 Free Shipping

  7. Gateway NV53A52u AMD Turion II Dual-Core P540 2.4GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Win7) $399.99

  8. TODAY ONLY Sony VPL-BW7 LCD Home Theater Projector (720p, 2000 Lumens) $429.99 Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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10 Free MP3 Albums To Download – Boxing Day Edition [Sound Sunday]

Posted: 26 Dec 2010 11:31 AM PST

where can I download free mp3s Sound Sunday is here to keep you rocking on Boxing Day.

This weekend I take you on a musical roller coaster of progressive rock, electronica, psychedelic rock, hip hop, metal, and nu-jazz. There is a treat for everyone.

Please share your thoughts on this week’s edition or suggest genres and artists in the comments. You’re also welcome to email me [tina at makeuseof dot com]. Now enjoy the leftovers from your Holiday Feast as you dive into a new set of 10 albums and a free song.

Ron Sexsmith – Here Comes My Baby

Genre: folk rock

free albumCanadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith may be one of the most talented composers of our time, but he is also notoriously self-conscious and has yet to achieve major commercial success. Besides giving an insight into Ron’s career and family life, the recent Ron Sexsmith documentary Loves Shines also followed the production of his latest album, which in the end didn’t convince a record label. Finally, in spring 2011 we shall see the release of the album Long Player Late Bloomer that was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi, Michael Bublé).

In the meantime, you can get a free copy of the song Here Comes My Baby, a Cat Stevens cover, if you sign up for Ron’s mailing list.

Ron Sexsmith MySpace and Homepage.

Exclusive | Mellowfield – Last Dawning of the New Age

Genre: alternative, rock, psychedelic

As you know, Bandcamp limits the amount of free downloads each artist can offer. This limit had been reached for the above album by the time I was able to share it on Sound Sunday. Mellowfield, however, kindly offered to make their album available for free for one week.

Mike Gobble (vocals, guitar, drums) writes about the album:

Started as a one track experiment, the album slowly took on a life of its own. The Bells was the first track recorded. It had many incarnations. This was to be the case with most of the tracks. The majority of the album was recorded in a small house studio in the swamps of South Carolina. This certainly effected the mood of the songs, if not the sound. As it developed, it became clear that there was a loose but insistent theme of spirituality colliding with real life, about the choices we make and the hope that things will work out in the end. At some point, it seemed almost necessary to present all of these songs as a whole movement. (…) There is a strangely wide appeal to the album. There seems to be something for everyone on this album. That, we didn’t expect. We hope that you will enjoy it and we hope you can take something from it.

Download Last Dawning of the New Age until January 2nd from MediaFire.

Mellowfield Facebook.

Paradigm – They Carried The Clouds

Genre: indie, experimental, progressive, rock

Chicago’s Paradigm has a free album out on Bandcamp which features the best rock music I have heard in months. The album was produced by singer Nate Leslie, who also wrote the lyrics and writes about himself that “If the Killers, Mogwai, and Pete Yorn all put their DNA together and begat a drum machine, it’s pre-programmed sounds would come out as Nate Leslie songs.

Download They Carried The Clouds free from Bandcamp before it’s too late.

Paradigm MySpace and Nate Leslie Facebook.

Friends of Friends Music – Pop Massacre

Genre: electronic, pop, mashup

Pop Massacre is a compilation in which contributing members of FoF Music each chose a song from popular culture and made it the source material for a remix, or a ‘pop massacre’. Artists whose music inspired this album include Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, the Beach Boys, A-ha, and ABBA.

Pop Massacre can be downloaded from Bandcamp.

Friends of Friends Music Homepage and Facebook.

Spiral – Citizen

Genre: progressive, psychedelic, rock

I would love to promote this band, but it was tough to even track down their MySpace page. The album Citizen was born from an original concept by Chris Boat, Aaron Frale, Jason Boat, and Beau Dawson. “Maybe the machine knows the date?

You can download Citizen free from Bandcamp.

Spiral MySpace.

Logic – On The Way Up

Genre: hip hop, rap

Logic aka David Mayhall is a hip hop musician from Walnut, California. On The Way Up is his fifth mixtape. It showcases his talent for mixing beats and sound snippets to support his skillful raps. In all honesty, I’m not a great fan of rap and hip hop, but I enjoyed these 19 tracks.

On The Way Up is a free download from Bandcamp.

Logic MySpace and Homepage.

Big Pauper – Cops Eat Flowers

Genre: experimental, psychedelic, hip hop, mash-up

music downloadsI love all the creative elements in hip hop, minus the vocals. Big Pauper fka Panzah Zandahz delivers. The mash-ups on this record are epic. A maze of sounds and mesmerizing melodies keeps you hooked. The underlying theme of the album is relationships.

Cops Eat Flowers is a free download from Circle Into Square.

Big Pauper MySpace and Facebook.

Pry – From Morph

Genre: alternative, grunge, metal

legal downloadFormed in 2007, the Serbian metal band Pry recorded their first demo in 2009 and completed their band lineup. From Morph is their debut album, which was well received at several festivals and contests the band participated in this year.
Download From Morph from Pry’s MySpace page.

Pry MySpace and Homepage.

Jax – Chaos Calmos

Genre: dub, electronica, nu-jazz

best free mp3Jax has been contributing to the net label Electrobel for over four years. He recently released the album Chaos Calmos, which ties together ElectroJazz, movie soundtracks, ethnomusic, deep house, and down tempo to an eclectic sound. It makes me wish I sat in a dim lighted lounge with a cocktail in my hand and tons of interesting people to watch.

Download Chaos Calmos from the Electrobel NetLab.

Jax MySpace and Homepage.

Bonjay – Pop Montréal Session

Genre: indie, experimental, electronic

sound sundayBonjay, spice island slang for ‘Good God’, are a musical duo from Canada. They recorded a session with Daytrotter, a site that invites musicians to  record four songs with them, which are subsequently published on the website for a free download. Bonjay followed the invitation and played a session at the Breakglass Studio in Montréal, Québec.

Download Bonjay’s Pop Montréal Session from Daytrotter.

Bonjay MySpace and Homepage.

RAMUK69 – Mega Music Xmas Giveaway

Genre: compilation, rock, pop

cool free musicNow that Christmas is over, I can reveal that Ryan Martin aka RAMUK69 has given away a free track a day between December 1st and December 25th. The songs were donated from musicians all over the internet. You can download all 25 tracks from his homepage.

We have featured RAMUK69 in a previous edition Sound Sunday with his Monster Pyjama Party album.

Download the songs shared in his Mega Music Xmas Giveaway from RAMUK69.

Ramuk69 Blog and Facebook.

Had a blast and crave more? Browse past editions of Sound Sunday for more free albums. And if you have something to say, do get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com]. Feel free to share material, suggestions, and feedback that you don't want to post in the comments below.

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