Wednesday, January 5, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [January 4th]” plus 12 more “Cool Websites and Tools [January 4th]” plus 12 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [January 4th]

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 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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Quotebase – Running a business and chasing clients is complicated enough without dealing with paperwork. While we want to impress our clients with proposal and quotes, we also want to get them over with so that we can get back to real work. Fortunately we have Quotebase, a companion online price quote generator that lets you create customized professional looking quotes quickly. Read more: Quotebase: Cool Price Quote Generator


Imgr – There are many times when you see an awesome color in an image but struggle to identify the exact color. Imgr is a photo color extractor that helps you with these situations. Simply upload any image to Imgr and the app will identify all the unique colors present in that image. Not only that, you can also view the hexadecimal code for each color and see them as a swatch. Read more: Imgr: Photo Color Extractor



WhatDoMyFriendsLike – Facebook is a powerful social media site because of its ability to let your friends know what you like. This allows like-minded people to develop communities, meet new friends, and organize projects and initiatives. WhatDoMyFriendsLike is a cool tool that enhances this touted "like" feature. The web app aggregates the different liked items by your friends and shows them in a clean interface. Read more: WhatDoMyFriendsLike: Aggregate View Of What Your Friends Like On Facebook



DEXTR – Imagine being able to read your Twitter feed from a point far from your computer's monitor. This could enable you to run on your treadmill, water your plants, or do any other activity while reading the Twitter feed on your computer's screen – undoubtedly a convenience all Twitter users will appreciate. This convenience is exactly what DEXTR offers. Read more: DEXTR: Enlarge Twitter Feed Text & Read It From Across The Room



Boutiques – Google has finally stepped into e-commerce with the launch of a visual search based fashion portal, Several mini Boutiques (think collections) let you browse through everything ranging from designer clothing, to bags, shoes and accessories. You can easily love/hate, save or share any item. Bringing your mouse over an item gives you a detailed description. Read more: Boutiques: A Visual Fashion Shopping Website By Google


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 15+ Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 05:30 PM PST

MakeUseOf Answers rewards great answers with a cash prize of $50 every Friday. For a chance to win the Best Answer of the Week contest, answer questions and make sure we can contact you in case your answer is chosen.

During the recent holidays, several questions remained unanswered. Maybe you can help us solve these open cases. Get your geek on!

Here are your challenges:

  1. Does Facebook have a reference calendar for posts and photos?
  2. How can I use an animated gif for my Facebook avatar?
  3. Can you recommend a free and private forum with networking features for a reunion?
  4. How can I add iCalendar links into Google Calendar?
  5. Why does Windows 7 not recognize my new hard drive on which I installed Ubuntu?
  6. Why did I lose a standard user account and gain a guest account in Windows 7?
  7. How can I change the visualizations in Windows Media Player?
  8. Why does Outlook 2010 not open?
  9. How can I fix an upside down LifeFrame webcam image?
  10. Which book is suitable for someone starting out programming and scripting in Linux?
  11. How can I go online in HP Quick Web mode using an Airtel mobile internet connection?
  12. How can I set up Yahoo outgoing SMTP to work with iMac Mail?
  13. How can I use my wireless keyboard to send eMail without touching the iPhone control codes?
  14. How can I play Zynga games on my iPhone 4?
  15. What Java software do I need to view a video on a Micromax Q3 mobile?
  16. How can I view PDF files with full graphics on a Micromax Q3 mobile?

MakeUseOf Answers won’t leave you bored. Browse by Latest Questions, Most Popular Questions, or Unanswered Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

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Create & Share Cool Animated Messages With WonderSay

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 04:31 PM PST

free animated text messagesIf you’re a fan of websites like or Furly and the many other URL shorteners, then you will know the value of intermediate message services. Whether you’re sending a friend a cool article or posting a blog update to Twitter, URL shorteners serve up that link to your friends for you.

What if, instead of forwarding a website to a friend, you just wanted to forward a message in a creative way? Sending a free animated text message is a really cool way to draw attention to what you’re trying to say. You can send a motivational quote to a friend, a birthday or holiday greeting to your family, or you can send your blog or website readers an eye-catching message.

We’ve covered a few alternatives like this at MUO before, like 3D Text Maker or Text Anim, but these all let you create animated GIFs that you can host on your own site. What if you don’t have a website, or just don’t want to deal with the hassle? Well then head on over to Wondersay and get ready to start creating your Wondersayings.

Creating A Wondersaying

Wondersay is a brand new service where you can create an entire webpage that’s designed for the sole purpose of delivering your animated message. You don’t need to sign up for an account, and you don’t even need to offer your email. Like URL shorteners, all you have to do is use the service by typing your message into the “make a new wondersaying” box, and your animated message gets created instantly.

free animated text messages

One trick you can use to format your animated message right off the bat is by placing a “double space” between each pause in the message. This makes each segment appear and disappear onto the screen separately, timed according to whatever your current settings are. Once you create your message, you’ll be at the customized link that’s created just for your message.

animated text messages

Bookmark this URL so that you can return here later to further customize the message or get the link or embed code. Sharing the message is as easy as just highlighting the entire link in the link box, copying it and sending it to friends via email. This is the fastest way to create and send fun, animated holiday messages to all of your friends.

animated text messages

When you click on the settings tab, you can go through each element of the animated message and change everything about it – how each section appears and disappears, the speed of the message animation, and the general theme of the web page like the background, text colors and font.

animated text messages

Each element has its own quick pop-up box where you can set the colors that you want in just a few simple clicks.

fun animated messages

The easiest way to change your message significantly is by playing around with the different built-in effects. If you do this right, you could basically put together a short presentation that delivers a message to any group of people that you send the link to. It’s a great way to deliver some surprise or an inspirational message to a large group of people.

fun animated messages

In my case, I’m running a promotion on my website, so I wanted to create a high-impact message that I could deliver via Twitter and also place on my blog. When anyone clicks on the link in an email or in Twitter, all they see is the entire webpage filled with your animated text.

fun animated messages

The coolest part of this service, in my opinion, is the embed feature. By embedding the message, you can basically create a really cool animated ad on your website. This is exactly what I wanted to do on my site to advertise the upcoming promotion. Clicking on the embed tab, you just highlight the iframe code in the text box.

Posting that code in your sidebar, you get a high-impact instant advertisement. The only drawback is that it only scrolls through the ad once and then ends on a static page – but at least your message still appears on that last page, and people can click on the “replay” button to see it again or the “fullscreen” button to see the message in fullscreen. It’ll definitely catch the eye of your visitors.

Another nice little feature of the service is that if you want to deliver your animated message in a Twitter update, it utilizes to shorten the URL.

free animated text messages

This means that you can use the monitoring feature to see how many people have clicked through your Twitter update to view your animated message. It’s a nice feature and a good way to see how much traffic your Wondersaying page is generating from Twitter.

Have you ever used Wondersay? Do you know of any other similar services? Share your insight in the comments section below.

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10 Great Free Games for Your iPad

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 03:30 PM PST

ipad gamesWho got an iPad for Christmas? I did, and I’ve been glued to it ever since. One thing I noticed right away, however, was the lack of quality, free apps in the App Store for iPad. It’s not like the App Store for the iPhone/iPod Touch, that’s for sure. Heck, just recently I was able to find enough beer apps for the iPhone to warrant a top 10 article. Sure, a lot of these work on the iPad, but where are the best native iPad apps?

I’m here to answer that for you, and now that I own an iPad myself, expect to never miss a great, free app again. I’m going to start with the iPad games section because, let’s face it — what’s an iPad really good for, if not fun?

1. Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift

ipad games

Here’s one last joyful thing from the holiday season. Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift is a twist on the hugely popular game Cut the Rope HD Lite.

In it, you have a creature named Om Nom that you need to constantly feed. The way you do this is by swiping your finger across the ropes and collecting the stars by touching them with the candy, but it’s not always simple. There are a lot of enemies and obstacles to avoid as the levels get harder.

In Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift you don't just need to feed Om Nom, you also need to collect three golden stars in each stage. Don’t worry though, there are a variety of special tools to help you.

2. Fruit Ninja HD Lite

best ipad games

As simple in concept as this next game is, you are not going to believe how much fun it is to play. In Fruit Ninja HD Lite, you swipe the screen as fruit flies around to “slash and splatter fruit like a true ninja warrior”. It actually gets pretty tricky as more and more items get tossed through the air, including bombs.

In Fruit Ninja HD Lite, you can even check out the Dojo, where your in-game success can unlock awesome new backgrounds and blades. There are also a small sample of achievements to unlock, with three exclusive to this version of the game. You can post your results to Facebook and Twitter, too.

3. Smurfs’ Village

best ipad games

The simple fact that this game even exists makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. In Smurfs’ Village, you are faced with the task of creating your own village, which includes constructing buildings and bridges, growing gardens, and playing mini-games to create things like potions and cookies. Think Sim City meets Farmville.

All of your favorite Smurfs are in this game based on the original cartoon. You can even connect your account with Facebook and view all your friends’ villages in the game. Need I say more?

4. Puzzle Planet

Who doesn’t love a good puzzle game? In Puzzle Planet, you have to help the traveler Nur and his furry friend Glood navigate the wonders of Planet Earth and solve jigsaw puzzles along the way.

“Just so we're clear, these aren't your run-of-the-mill, sit-at-a-card-table-with-your-grandma-sipping-lemonade jigsaw puzzles. These are wickedly challenging and lightning fast. You'll need lizard fingers and an alien brain to solve them fast and rack up the points.”

The game features three levels of difficulty, three special in-game power-ups, leaderboards, and achievements/souvenirs to collect.

5. Brickshooter Egypt HD

Free for a limited time, Brickshooter Egypt HD gives you the ability to unravel the mysteries of ancient hieroglyphs and help restore the pyramids to form. It’s a unique brain-teasing puzzle experience that features over 60 levels of addictive gameplay. Crack the intriguing puzzles of the past and unlock the secrets of the pharaohs!

6. Hungry Shark – Part 1 HD

best ipad games

In Hungry Shark, you have to chomp your way to the top of the food chain. It’s a fast-paced aquatic eat ‘em-up game. This game has pretty amazing graphics and can be very addicting. Troll the seas and binge on pretty much whatever you want to try to beat your friends’ high scores.

7. Touch Hockey Extreme: FS5

free ipad games

The most popular arcade game on the iPhone is now available for the iPad with enhanced 3D graphics. Touch Hockey Extreme: FS5 features enhanced multi-touch gesture recognition and it turns your iPad into a virtual air hockey table.

8. Bakery Story

free ipad games

This game reminds me a lot of Cafe World, the hugely popular Facebook game. Bakery Story let’s you design your own virtual bakery to show off to your friends. Keep your customers happy and well-fed by creating tasty pastries and things. New content is released every week to make the game continually better.

Like the concept but not a fan of bakeries? Check out Restaurant Story and City Story too.

9. Can Knockdown

free ipad games

You wouldn’t believe how addictive a simple game like throwing a ball at a bunch of stacked up cans can be until you play Can Knockdown. With this one, swipe your finger towards the cans to shoot the ball with enough velocity to knock them all down. There’s a strategy to it as the levels get harder because you only have so many chances. Be sure to utilize the exploding cans, too.

10. Simply Solitaire HD

ipad games

One game that just has to be on every electronic device is Solitaire. Simply Solitaire HD is the best Solitaire game available for the iPad and it has a lot of different modes and features for you. You won’t be disappointed with this app.


If you enjoyed those Ipad games, be sure to check out our other articles:

What do you think of the games listed above? Do you have a favorite iPad game?

Image Credit: Rego –

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4 Great Greasemonkey Scripts To Easily Browse & Scan Through Google Cache

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 02:31 PM PST

google cacheGoogle cache is an awesome tool that can prove really handy for various purposes. For example, clicking through Google cache links from within search results pages will highlight your search terms and allow you to easier locate them on the target page.

Besides, Google cache can also be used as a proxy server to bypass office and school firewalls or access sites which are blocked in your area, restricted for registered-only users (but visible to search engines), etc. Using Google cache will also allow you to browse your competitors’ sites without leaving any trace of you being there (for that, you will need to use Google’s “Text only” version of the page).

I for one use Google cache on a daily basis and have collected a few useful tools to make the most of it. But before we take a closer look at those tools, let me note the following:

  • Not all webpages are available in Google cache. Savvy website owners may choose not to allow Google to archive their webpages by using the NOARCHIVE Robots meta tag;
  • All of the below tools are userscripts. I’ve tested them all in FireFox with Greasemonkey installed. If you use Opera, Google Chrome, Safari or IE, you should be able to still use the scripts but I didn’t try them there.

So here you go: how to make the most of Google cache browsing with the following userscripts:

Browse Google Cache

If you start using Google cache, the fist thing you will notice is that it won’t let you stay for long: whenever you click any link, it will bring you outside of the cached page to the actual website. If you plan to use Google cache often, you may want to have an option to stay within it when browsing the whole website.

If you want to browse the website from within Google cache without ever leaving it, you will need either of the following scripts:

(Note: as I have noted above, some pages may be absent in Google cache which means that sometimes you’ll end up landing on Google’s error messages).

1. Google Cache Continue Redux

This script adds yellow “cache” links next to each page link within Google’s snapshot of the page. Clicking the yellow cache link opens the Google cache version of the page, allowing the user to continue browsing the site through Google’s cache.


google cache


google cache search

Does it keep the initial search terms highlighted? – Yes!

2. Google Cache Browser

This script (or this identical one) replaces the links on a cached page for Google cache links – this way you can continuously browse the website from within Google cache just like Google Cache Continue Redux but with no formatting used for Google cache links (and also giving you thus fewer options: with it, you can’t easily leave Google cache by clicking off the actual link).


google cache search


google cache search

Does it keep the initial search terms highlighted? – No

Easily Scan Through The Page Cache

1. Google Cache Highlights Browser

This script makes Google cache keyboard-friendly. It creates two hotkeys (“n” for “next” and “b” for “previous”) that will automatically scroll through highlighted search words on a Google cache page:

search google cache

2. Google Cache Mapper (Text-Only Version)

This script adds a virtual scrollbar to the left of the screen that provides a quick way to find highlighted terms on a Google cached page. Google highlights your search terms using different colors and this script visualizes the matches.

You can hover over any part of the scrollbar to see the search term and its immediate context. You can then click through the different colors in the scrollbar to go to any search term occurrence:

google cache

Do you use Google cache a lot? Please share your tips and tricks!

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Easy Lifecaching: How To Back Up Your Online Life

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 01:31 PM PST

your online lifeDid you lose a little faith in the cloud when you heard about Delicious shutting down (even though they say it will be sold now)? Do you use multiple services online to organise and express yourself? Do you need a backup of those things just in case? Well, I’m about to let you in on a little trick to do just that.

Lifecaching is a recently popular activity, which is the process of keeping your own copy of all your online activities for whatever reason. You might want it as a memento, as a backup of your online accounts, for it to be searchable or for something else entirely. Whatever your reason, it’s easy to set up and best set up earlier rather than later.

Setting up your life cache will involve the use of a few different online services, which can be chosen by you. For best results, you might like to set up a few lifecaches using different services and processes. This way, if one part of the process fails, the other lifecache will still catch everything from your online life. You’ll need your own account for most of the suggested services, which is generally straightforward to create.

Step 1 – Get A Single RSS Feed Of All Your Online Activities

Most of your social networking services, bookmarking services, blogs and photo storage sites will offer an RSS feed of your activities. You will need to copy and paste that RSS feed into a service that will combine them for you into one mega feed. There are lots of different services to choose from here, including lifestreams and dedicated RSS combining tools:

The lifestreams are the easiest to manage, since you probably already ensure they’re up-to-date and will automatically head there to add new services in the future. They also make it easy to add each service. The dedicated RSS combiners might not be on your radar so often and you might forget to add new things to your combined RSS feed. Your choice – but just keep that in mind!

your online life

Step 2 – Turn Your Single Lifestream RSS Feed Into Email

Use a service such as Google’s Feedburner or FeedMyInbox to turn your RSS feed into something you can subscribe to via email. There are plenty of RSS to email services out there to choose from.

In Feedburner, go to Publicize > Email Subscriptions.

Step 3 – Subscribe To Your Lifestream RSS Via Email

Subscribe to your RSS feed by email (Gmail is a good idea, here).

In Feedburner when you have activated email subscriptions, preview the subscription link and use that to subscribe your own email address.

organize your online life

This is also a very important point where you can increase the backup security of your lifecaching:

Step 4 – Diversify & Verify

Backups are all about ensuring the backup will be made and retained no matter what. If one link in this chain goes down, so does your backup. So make another one using a different RSS combiner, a different RSS-to-Email service and different email addresses. Also set up a reminder to yourself to check in on them and see that they’re still working.

Life Caching Benefits

Now that you’re lifecaching, you might wonder what you’ll be using it for. Here’s a few handy things I can suggest off the top of my head:

  • Instead of searching Delicious or Tumblr for that recipe, simply search your Gmail. Or better still, if you’ve tagged the ingredients, simply search for the ingredient you’re looking to use.
  • All the text of your blog posts are backed up automatically and independently of your blog backups.
  • No need to remember where you wrote or bookmarked something anymore. It doesn’t matter if you Tweeted it or added it to Delicious — a simple Gmail search will find it for you.

your online life

Why do you want to keep a cache of your online life? What do you use it for? What services do you use to create it? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: ShutterStock

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Hot Tech Deals [Jan 4th]

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 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.

  1. Sharp LC-52D78UN 52 inch LCD HDTV (1080p, 120Hz) $949.99 Free Shipping
  2. NEC MultiSync EA231WMi 23 inch (IPS Panel, DisplayPort) LCD Monitor $239.99 Free Shipping
  3. PNY Optima 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1333MHz PC3-10666 Desktop Memory $32.99AR Free Shipping
  4. Corsair Dominator 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3-1600MHz PC3-12800 Memory $114.99 Free Shipping
  5. Shuttle XS35GT Intel Atom D510 Dual-Core Barebones Nettop Computer w/ NVIDIA ION Graphics $199.99 via code EMCKJKF28 (Exp 1/10)

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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The WikiLeaks Fallout – 8 Websites For Progressive News & Political Commentary

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 11:31 AM PST

progressive websitesNews was meant to be free in more senses than one. In the 21st century, news is a big business like any other. Thankfully, the web has arrived with a free voice. It might have been a whimper so far when pitted against television, but the WikiLeaks drama has given it a drill sergeant's voice. 

Though WikiLeaks has started a slanging match, one cannot deny that it has also forced us to take a second look at the role of the media in educating the public. Do we trust it at our own peril or do we take it at face value?

There are a few websites that go against the tele-prompted script with progressive journalism. Progressive journalism is about shared knowledge and presenting news free of censorship. Progressive journalism maybe flailing at the windmills of ad-sponsored media blitzkriegs, but it has a huge role to play for raising awareness and triggering debate.

WikiLeaks has opened a can of worms. Can these eight progressive websites open our eyes and make us read news with a more inquisitive eye?

CableSearch (Beta)

progressive websites

CableSearch is a search engine for leaked documents culled from the recent Cablegate releases by WikiLeaks. All documents are available in the public domain. But more than that, CableSearch positions itself as a tool for investigative journalists who want to research the 250,000 documents released on WikiLeaks for their reports. The site maintains a cable count i.e. the number of public materials available. You can also set up news alerts for receiving notifications when new cables become available (see Directory mention).


political news sites

An Annenberg Public Policy Center (University of Pennsylvania) initiative, FactCheck aims to debunk the falsehoods and doublespeak that's part of US politics. The site monitors popular media and verifies the accuracy of the claims made by political personalities and political stakeholders. FactCheck aims to hold politicians accountable for their statements. The site is completely US-centric, but it is also a fine example of an e-enabled initiative to educate the public especially during elections in the US. For instance, the site focuses strongly on political spending and profiles the organizations behind the dollars.


political news sites

If you are looking for alternative news, this is one news website you should have on your Top 5 list. It can be described as a progressive and liberal news service. AlterNet syndicates news from other newswires and also reports on its own. For instance, the behind the scenes investigative articles in the Investigations section of the site make for a wide-eyed read. Try the 7 Shocking WikiLeaks Revelations if you aren't in the know about the WikiLeaks furor.

Drudge Report

political news sites

Don't mind the looks; it started as an email newsletter in 1996. But it has lots of credits when it comes to breaking news that other publishers might balk from publishing. It has notable firsts like the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Prince Harry's Afghanistan tour of duty. The site is otherwise populated with aggregated headlines from a variety of news sources.


political sites

SourceWatch is a wiki that documents PR firms, think tanks, and other front groups that seek to influence public opinion with their spin. The Center for Media and Democracy published resource attempts to act as a central clearing house for the propaganda we are fed by public relations firms through media. Though it is a collaborative wiki that encourages worldwide participation, it adheres to strict publishing guidelines.

Common Dreams

political sites

A progressive news website that promotes 'internet activism' for social good and public awareness; the site is all about grassroots activism and it does so with breaking news and views presented from around the world.

Project Censored

political sites

Project Censored looks into the what's and the why's of news that didn't make the front pages for one reason or the other. The non-partisan and non-profit site advocates the credo of free press. Project Censored is all about media ethics and as well as media democracy. Project Censored gathers together an annual list of 25 news stories of social importance that have been overlooked, misreported, under-reported or censored by the news media. The current top slot is held by a story which lets us into the global plans to replace the dollar.


progressive websites

The progressive news website doesn't try to take the familiar road when it comes to daily news. It digs deeper into the stories of the day and brings insightful commentary that may be controversial and opinionated, but also thought provoking. Of note is the fact that Truthdig won the 2010 Webby Award jury prize for Best Political Blog.

There are many more progressive voices on the web in the form of news websites and political blogs. Let us into your favorites.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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How To Use Gubb To Retrieve Lists By Text Message Or Email

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 10:31 AM PST

text message listEver since I first discovered web applications that even non-smartphone owners can use via SMS, there have been a few times I have seen other services that could belong on that list. One of these services, Gubb, is a website that sincerely deserves mention.

Gubb is a list-making website with features that will suit users on the go. It’s got a feature that most note-taking apps don’t have, which is to send lists or notes via email on demand. If you have a texting plan (preferably an unlimited one to avoid going over your limit), and you’re ready to ditch a physical notebook for a digital, accessible-from-anywhere notebook, read on. Gubb might just be a great starting point for you.

You will first to sign up for an account, which is free. After doing so, you’ll notice a plain workspace, which will be a kind of digital corkboard for your lists, complete with hidden reminder alerts and RSS feeds.

Create Lists From Scratch Or By Pasting Text

After you log into your account at, creating a list on the website is a simple matter of going into one of the three tabs on the top left of Gubb’s website.

text message list

You can then name your list, add a description and customize the color. You can also set whether this list will contain task items or bulleted items for general use.

texting list

If you’re migrating from another note platform, there really isn’t much functionality in Gubb to import lists apart from pasting them one by one. When you create lists using the Lists tab on the website, you’ll see an option to paste clipboard text contents.

texting list

If you are pasting items that have some kind of listing scheme (e.g. asterisks, numbers), Gubb can get rid of the symbols and still understand how you want to list your items.

texting list

After creating your list, you can add items by either entering it in each list, which looks like a sticky note on a corkboard, or you can add items via email, which shall be explained in the next section.

creating lists

Retrieve Lists By Text Message Or Email

Each list you create will have an email address that’s very easy to remember and looks like ““. You can do two things with this email address, either send it a message to email you back a copy of the list (by sending the keyword “g” or “get” in the message body), or send it a message with the new items that you want to add in the body. You can verify the list’s email address by navigating the drop-down Options menu for each list.

creating lists

You should then see the list’s unique email address.

You need to have a cell phone that can send messages to email addresses in order to retrieve lists via text message. If you rather use your webmail address to interact with Gubb, you can specify additional email addresses by clicking on Preferences on the top right of the website.

text message list

Even if you’re a Remember The Milk or Toodledo user that likes to use Twitter to retrieve items by tags or lists, Remember The Milk at least, doesn’t seem to always work when the items with the tag are numerous because RTM cannot exceed Twitter’s 140-character limit. Since Gubb uses email, which doesn’t really come with any character limitation, retrieving lists via email will definitely work.

I did have issues texting the lists to my phone from the website, but retrieving them with the “g” or “get” command to the list’s email worked beautifully and within minutes. You can also use the mobile site at to access your lists if you have a smartphone.

Gubb also has other pretty unique and handy features, such as the abilities to hide lists, archive completed items, and set email or text reminder alerts for items. To export or backup lists, the options are limited to email, RSS and iCal feeds. Overall, Gubb is a minimalistic list-making web app that bundles the rare option for the user to retrieve items, which suits non-smartphone owners, but it could also serve as a neat GTD app for everyone else.

If you have a thing for list-making and note-taking apps in general like I do, be sure to check out NoteScraps and other minimalistic list-makers. Meanwhile, share your favorite apps in the comments!

Image credit: Ben Fleming

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WebPlus Starter Edition – A Free & Powerful Website Builder For Beginners [Windows]

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 09:31 AM PST

free website builderIf you are wondering why newbies who dare to enter the realm of web design are scarce, it’s because the number of desktop-based entry-level web design applications are also rare. Most of the available choices are expensive and complicated to use.

So far, the only application that fit the “easy and free” category is Apple’s iWeb – which is available exclusively only for Mac users. But recently I found another free website builder for Windows users called WebPlus Starter Edition. Even though I think this one is not as user-friendly as iWeb, it’s free and powerful – a perfect tool for any newbie who wants to try their hand at web design.

Getting Started

Before you can start using the software, you have to register yourself on the company’s website. Upon registering you will be brought to the download page where you have to confirm your email address and then download the software.

free website builder

You will also get the serial number to register the product. You can enter the number when you install the software.

website builder software

The start page will show up the first time you start the application. The page gives you access to the “Create“, “Open“, And “Learn” menus. Under the “Create” menu, you can start your project using the blank canvas (“Start New Site“) or use the ready made templates (“Use Design Template“), while the “Learn” menu will give you access to videos and tutorials.

website builder software

You can also choose different Workspaces according to your expertise. Each profile will give you slightly different settings. Beginners should not worry about these workspaces, but you should start with the “Use Design Templates” instead.

website builder software

Modifying The Templates

While you can use WebPlus to build your site from scratch, the overall interface feels a little bit too complicated for beginners to use. It’s advisable to start with the available templates and familiarize yourself with the environment. Unfortunately, WebPlus Starter Edition doesn’t give too many choices in templates – there are only 4. To get more templates, you are required to upgrade to the paid full version.

easy website builder

However, each theme comes with several color schemes, so you can play a little bit with the preferred template-colors combination. You can also choose which pages from the templates that you want to include in your website.

easy website builder

Click “Open” to start working with your site, and see how the overall interface will look.

easy website builder

At the top left side you can find the site management pane with the list of all pages within your site. You can also see the editing tools along the very left of the window.


Below the site management pane is the “Transform” pane where you can modify Color, Line, Position (Transform), Alignment, and Character of certain element of your page. There’s also the “Swatches/Transparency” pane below it.


You can hide/show these panes according to your preferences.

Editing one element on the page is as easy as clicking and modifying it. As you select an element, some of the tools will become available according to what element you choose.


To modify the basic settings of the page, right click on the page that you want to modify on the site management pane and choose “Page Properties” from the pop up menu.


There are many settings you can adjust on the “Page Properties” window, including: Navigation, Appearance, Page Security, Effects, etc. Just choose one of the tabs to choose a specific setting.


The right-click pop-up menu also gives you access to many other menus such as “Estimate Download Time


And “Preview in Window“.


If you ever need to learn more about something in WebPlus, you can access the “How To” tab next to the “Site” tab in the site management pane.


Finally, the overall construction of your site can be managed from the “Site Manager” window. You can access this window from the “Tools” menu or from the second toolbar under the menu.


As building websites is a skill that you must master by doing and experimenting, I suggest you explore this great free website builder on your own and build your own site.

Publish Your Site

After you finish the building part, the publishing part comes. WebPlus allows you to easily publish your site to your hard drive or to the web. The second option requires you to have a web hosting account where you can store your site to. The “Publish Site” menu is available under the “File” menu.


If you choose to publish the site to the Web, you will have to complete some information from the “Publish To Web” window. Here you can find options to do “Unattended upload“, use “Site Checker“, choose which page(s) to publish under the “Page Range” and to “Back-up the document to the remote server“.


But the most important information that you need to fill in are the details about your FTP account. You should contact your web hosting provider for more information about this.

free website builder

Even though I have compared WebPlus Starter Edition with iWeb, in terms of price and the use of templates, I found WebPlus’ interface to be more similar to Dreamweaver. So I think most users will find certain factors of WebPlus to be more powerful – but also more difficult to use – than iWeb.

Have you tried WebPlus? What do you think about it? Please share your opinions using the comments below.

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55 Geeky One Line Jokes

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 08:31 AM PST

one-line jokesWhether you’re a nerd, a geek, a programmer, or just a regular person interested in technology, you should enjoy some serious humor, otherwise this world is very sad.

With this article you can also do something for your abs and burn off the excess Christmas treats. Start the New Year with a broad grin and lots of laughter. It’s healthy and contagious. Infect yourself with 50 hilarious geeky one-line jokes.


  • There are only 10 types of people in the world: those that understand binary and those that don’t.
  • Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.
  • Be nice to the nerds, for all you know they might be the next Bill Gates!
  • Artificial intelligence usually beats real stupidity.
  • To err is human – and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
  • CAPS LOCK – Preventing Login Since 1980.

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funny one line jokes


  • The truth is out there. Anybody got the URL?
  • The Internet: where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents.
  • Some things Man was never meant to know. For everything else, there’s Google.

Operating Systems

  • The box said ‘Requires Windows Vista or better’. So I installed LINUX.
  • UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.
  • In a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?
  • C://dos
  • Bugs come in through open Windows.
  • Penguins love cold, they wont survive the sun.
  • Unix is user friendly. It’s just selective about who its friends are.
  • Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.
  • NT is the only OS that has caused me to beat a piece of hardware to death with my bare hands.
  • My daily Unix command list: unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; unmount; sleep.
  • Microsoft: “You’ve got questions. We’ve got dancing paperclips.”
  • Erik Naggum: “Microsoft is not the answer. Microsoft is the question. NO is the answer.”
  • Windows isn’t a virus, viruses do something.
  • Computers are like air conditioners: they stop working when you open Windows.
  • Mac users swear by their Mac, PC users swear at their PC.

one line jokes


  • If at first you don’t succeed; call it version 1.0.
  • My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.
  • I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
  • The code that is the hardest to debug is the code that you know cannot possibly be wrong.
  • Beware of programmers that carry screwdrivers.
  • Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
  • The beginning of the programmer’s wisdom is understanding the difference between getting program to run and having a runnable program.
  • I’m not anti-social; I’m just not user friendly.
  • Hey! It compiles! Ship it!
  • If Ruby is not and Perl is the answer, you don’t understand the question.
  • The more I C, the less I see.
  • COBOL programmers understand why women hate periods.
  • Michael Sinz: “Programming is like sex, one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life.”
  • If you give someone a program, you will frustrate them for a day; if you teach them how to program, you will frustrate them for a lifetime.
  • Programmers are tools for converting caffeine into code.
  • My attitude isn’t bad. It’s in beta.

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one line jokes

Ad Absurdum

  • Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.
  • E-mail returned to sender, insufficient voltage.
  • All wiyht. Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?
  • Black holes are where God divided by zero.
  • If I wanted a warm fuzzy feeling, I’d antialias my graphics!
  • If brute force doesn’t solve your problems, then you aren’t using enough.
  • SUPERCOMPUTER: what it sounded like before you bought it.
  • Evolution is God’s way of issuing upgrades.
  • Linus Torvalds: “Real men don’t use backups, they post their stuff on a public ftp server and let the rest of the world make copies.”
  • Hacking is like sex. You get in, you get out, and hope that you didn’t leave something that can be traced back to you.


  • There are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can’t.
  • Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world’s population.
  • Hand over the calculator, friends don’t let friends derive drunk.
  • An infinite crowd of mathematicians enters a bar. The first one orders a pint, the second one a half pint, the third one a quarter pint… “I understand”, says the bartender – and pours two pints.
  • 1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly n33d t0 g37 l41d.

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What is your favorite geek one-line joke?

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Record Desktop Video, Webcam Video Or Podcasts With SMRecorder [Windows]

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 07:31 AM PST

record desktop videoSharing video or audio with friends and perfect strangers is easier than ever before thanks to the Internet and the wide array of social websites. Actually recording that video and/or audio, however, can still be a pain.

One solution to this problem is SMRecorder, a versatile free recording program for Windows. SMRecorder can record audio, video (from a webcam) or your desktop, and it provides a number of setup options for each choice. Let’s take a look at why this lightweight recording software kicks butt.

Starting A Recording

record desktop video

SMRecorder opens as a small window with a few buttons on it that aren’t labeled by text. To start recording you first need to click the button to the very left, which looks like the new file icon found in Microsoft Word.

This will bring up the New Recording Task window, which is where the meat of your options appear. There are three recording modes available with SMRecorder, and they are listed in the Capture Type drop-down menu at the top of the window.

  • Desktop Video – Records the activity taking place on your Windows desktop.
  • Camera Video – Records from any attached webcam.
  • Desktop/Microphone Sound – Records from a microphone.

The options that are available in the remainder of the New Recording Task window are dependent on the Capture Type you choose, so let’s take a look at each option in turn.

Desktop Video Recording

desktop record software

Selecting desktop video recording will let you record whatever is taking place on your desktop. It’s the perfect way to make tutorial videos to put up on YouTube, but could also be used to record a game or video you want to make a commentary on. There’s just one limitation that will put a barrier on how you use this program – the desktop video option does not record desktop audio, but rather audio from your microphone.

The main options to change can be found in the General tab. Audio Input needs to be set to the appropriate source, of course, and it should default to whatever audio recording device you typically use with Windows. Capture Size is also very important, as it determines what part of your desktop will be recorded. You can record your entire desktop, or just a small section. The size of the capture area will impact performance, so keep that in mind if your computer seems to become unbearably sluggish while recording. Finally, the Duration tab lets you choose the maximum length of your recording in minutes.

desktop record softwareThe Video and Audio tabs also have a number of options. The default setting are fine, but will result in slightly choppy video. You can reduce this by increasing the frame capture rate, and you can also improve overall quality by upping the compression quality. Similar things can be said of the options in the Audio tab. They’re fine by default, but can be improved if you desire. Remember however that the file size of your desktop video will become larger.

When you are ready to record you simply press the OK button. The SMRecorder window will disappear, but can be brought back by pressing CTRL-P. This will pause the video. You can then continue the recording or, if you feel that you’re finished, stop and save the recording.

Video Recording & Audio Recording

desktop record software

The Camera Video recording options are simple. The main options to concern yourself with are the Video Input and Audio Input, as they need to be properly configured in order to record video. If you have a default webcam and microphone installed, they should be selected by the program automatically, so you likely won’t have to configure anything at all.

You can also mess with the duration in order to limit the length of the video. The Audio Settings tab only has one option available, and that’s adjustment of the volume.

record desktop video

Audio recording is also simple. You must select your input device, and you can set a length limit. The Audio Settings Tab also lets you adjust the Sample Frequency and the MP3 Encoding Rate. Choosing a higher encoding rate will improve audio quality, but will increase file size. The default option of 128 bit/s is fine for recording a podcast, particularly if you don’t have a great microphone.


SMRecorder is a great piece of free recording software. It’s very lightweight, so it should have no problem running on computers with limited processing power, and its ability to record desktop video is excellent. I can see myself using this to record video tutorials in the future – but what would you do with it?  Let us know in the comments.

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Mega Photography Giveaway, RevoDrive PCIe SSD Giveaway and Sorted 2 Giveaway Winners

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 06:30 AM PST


The time has come to announce the winners of our recent giveaways. Today, we’ll be revealing the lucky MakeUseOf readers who will winning tonnes of photography goodies, an OCZ RevoDrive PCIe SSD and promo codes for Sorted 2.

Here they are.

Lomography Diana F+ Deluxe Kit

  1. Mike Hulley
  2. Jennifer Pike

Holga and SuperHeadz Wide & Slim Camera Giveaway by FourCornerStore

  1. Matthew Farra
  2. Jessica Mead
  3. Lindsay Hess
  4. Joshua Hamudot
  5. Patricia Moore
  6. Jim Passin

Cloak Camera Bag, SuperHeadz White Angel, SLR Pinhole Lens Giveaway by Photojojo

  1. Shaun Dergousoff
  2. Chaz Carlson
  3. Joseph Johaneman
  4. Jeff Lin
  5. Gail Harmata
  6. Colleen Nielsen

Break Free From Cables With The Eye-Fi Geo X2

  1. Tyler Higgins
  2. Rob Carviou
  3. Kristine Bradley

OpticFilm 7400 Film Scanner Giveaway by Plustek

  1. Josh Eager

Turbocharge Your PC With The OCZ RevoDrive PCIe SSD

  1. Sebastian Cortes

Sorted 2

  1. Joseph Palmieri
  2. Mitchell Brook
  3. Elias Savada
  4. Patricia Kennedy
  5. Matt
  6. Donn King
  7. Chad Mccormick
  8. Clinton Daly
  9. Agustin Torres
  10. Jan Guinn
  11. Mark Roda
  12. Wei Han
  13. Zachary Aletheia
  14. Malcolm Rodwell
  15. Chris Wyld
  16. Natalie Ryder
  17. Richard
  18. Peter Taylor
  19. Mark Rushton
  20. Daniel Martinez Farthing
  21. Richard Niddrie
  22. Jon Sofield
  23. Liz Barry
  24. Ciro Principe
  25. Jack Daws

Congratulations! An email has been sent to your inbox. Please reply it within 24 hours to confirm your prize.

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