Sunday, January 30, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [January 29th]” plus 6 more “Cool Websites and Tools [January 29th]” plus 6 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [January 29th]

Posted: 29 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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Teach Parents Tech – If you sometimes feel tired answering basic computer questions frequently asked by your mom and dad (and maybe your grandma), then you'll love this new site called Teach Parents Tech. Created by Google, this one-page site helps you send basic how-to videos in one email so that your parents can learn by watching. Read more: Teach Parents Tech: Simple Tech Support For Parents


CSS Round – Web developers often face strict deadlines when projects need to be completed. Thus they can use all the time-saving resources that are available. If you are a web developer that works with CSS, then there is a web tool that will save time while creating rounded cornered boxes; this tool is CSS Round, a simple web tool that will save time when you need to create round cornered boxes in CSS. Read more: CSSRound: Quickly Generate Rounded Corners In CSS



Lens Hero – If you are in the market for a new DSLR lens, LensHero is a service you will want to check out. The tool lets you compare dslr lenses, find the right lens based on your specifications and if you don't know what you want, it also recommends lenses based on what you already have. Start by selecting your DSLR camera and specifying a budget. Next, tell LensHero what style of lens you are looking for. Read more: LensHero: Easily Find & Compare DSLR Lenses



Connect Me – Imagine having a business contact who you wanted to give your contact details to: your phone number, email, and links to your social networking accounts. Memorizing all that and writing it down to give to the contact will definitely be difficult. This problem is effectively solved by a new web service called ConnectMe, a free to use web service that lets you easily deliver your contact information to different platforms. Read more: Connectme: Easily Send Your Contact Details To Somebody's Phone, Email Or Twitter – What if an online contact needs to give you a phone call? You would probably give them your phone number. But if you want to keep your number private and still get the call, you can use a wonderful web service called, a free web service that masks your phone number by a URL. After entering your phone number, you get a verification phone call during which you use a PIN code; this is when the generated URL is activated. Read more: Let Others Call You & Keep Your Number Private


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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How To Load Google Search Results In A Preview Panel (On The Same Page)

Posted: 29 Jan 2011 05:31 PM PST

google search previewBrowser tabs have been a genius invention. I can’t live without them and I can’t imagine me opening search results in new windows (I still remember the time when I had to!). But sometimes too many tabs may become a problem as well. With plenty of tabs open you feel lost and your browser feels slow.

So while previously I was sharing mostly tips on getting productive with tabs, today’s tip will hopefully help you to reduce the number of open tabs by showing you how you can split the browser screen and load search results on the same page but in a separate sidebar panel. This way you will able to quickly click through search results without getting distracted by multiple active tabs.

Search Results In A Separate Sidebar Panel: Firefox

All-in-one Sidebar is one of the addons that many Firefox users can’t live without. It lets you open various windows as sidebar panels, and quickly switch between them. The addon is very flexible and can be also used to preview any search results as well.

For Google, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Perform a Google search in the main window;
  2. Set the "MultiPanel" mode (click on "Page" in the sidebar menus and select "MultiPanel");
  3. Use the icon in the sidebar to load the current tab in the sidebar;
  4. Click search results in the sidebar to load them in the main window.

OK, this is really much easier to do than to describe the process:

google search preview

And now step 4:

Preview Google Search results with All-in-One Sidebar (FireFox)

The only inconvenience is that because of the new Google search sidebar; you will always have to scroll a bit to see the search results in the sidebar:

Preview Google search

If you plan to use All-in-One Sidebar often to load search results in the sidebar panel, you may consider hiding Google’s options using this user script.

Hide Google options sidebar

Note: another inconvenience is that any link will be loaded in the sidebar: even the paging link. So you will either need to click the All-in-One icon each time (to load the next page of results in the sidebar panel), or you will have to set Google to show at least 100 results per page (in which case you won’t need paging at all). To do the latter, you’ll need to disable Google Instant first.

Search Results In A Separate Sidebar Panel: SweetSearch

Unlike All-in-One Sidebar Sweet Search is designed specifically for Google Search (therefore it has some fun additional options we’ll see below). The extension allows you to keep your Google search results on the left while loading the pages you click on the same page in the right sidebar.

With the extension installed you can do the following:

  1. Click search results to open webpages in the right part of the screen;
  2. Click an arrow icon next to any search result to open a new separate tab with the webpage;


Also notice that it gets rid of Google’s search options sidebar on its own, so you don’t need any additional tricks.

The extension is easily turned off from the toolbar icon:

google search preview

Note: Unlike All-in-One Sidebar that loads any links you click in the sidebar panel, this one is designed to work only for Google search result listing titles (linked titles of the pages you normally click to land on the actual page). If you click any other links within search results (like Cached link, Related link, etc), the page will load in the full-screen mode.

Do you think it’s a great way to browse (Google) search results? Please share your thoughts!

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MakeUseOf Team Spotlight [January 29th 2011]

Posted: 29 Jan 2011 03:30 PM PST

MakeUseOf Team Spotlight is our occasional feature where we profile the work of our writers outside of MakeUseOf. We have some very talented employees who like to spread their talents all around the web and it’s only right that we should recognise and showcase those talents.

In this edition of Spotlight, we will be profiling the inspiring work of Ryan, Jackson and Bohed. We will also be sharing these posts individually on Facebook and Twitter, so join us there as well!

Wikileaks to Release Swiss Bank Account Details

Posted on Top Secret Writers by Ryan Dube

In his coverage of WikiLeaks, Ryan covers the recent news story about the release of the details of about 2,000 off-shore bank accounts by former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer. Elmer implied to the media that many of the accounts reflected “plenty of suspicious activity.”

According to news accounts, Julian Assange stated that within the next few weeks, more information about any illegal activity reflected in the accounts will be released to the public. Read Ryan’s review of this story, and his continued coverage of the WikiLeaks saga.

Get 9 Useful Apps For The Price of 1 & Help Us Raise Money For Charity [Giveaway]

Posted on The Daily Buggle by Jackson Chung

A project which was initiated by the damaging floods in Australia and especially in Queensland, the bundlelytic charity bundle brings together 9 app developers, ioSafe and Nitro PDF to help raise money for the inundated families in Queensland. 50% of the proceeds from the bundle will be donated to the Queensland Flood Relief fund, set up to help the victims get back on their feet.

The Daily Buggle is offering 10 copies of the bundle for free, in an effort to promote awareness and spread the word about the charity bundle to others. Please help by retweeting about it or sharing the post on Facebook. In this bundle, you’ll be getting 9 Windows apps for the price of one. Check it out at The Daily Buggle.

Top 10 Most Recognizable Logos

Posted on TruKolor by Azamat “Bohed” E

Bohed chose the top 10 most recognizable logos for this article. Of course, this top list is his own, based on nothing other than just his own judgment. He’s done some research on Google, going through tons of interesting information on these great logos. The brief information provided here is focused on logos and their evolution, not on the company histories. If you are curious about what you might not know about these big industry players, just Google them. Some of the details and facts are just amazing!

If you would like to follow the MUO staff yourself on Twitter, check out this Twitter list, which is updated on a regular basis, as staff are hired or fired. From there, you can click through to each writer’s Twitter profile where you can subscribe to them for all their latest updates.

Image Credit: Visualogist

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Hot Tech Deals [Jan 29th]

Posted: 29 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. TODAY ONLY Paragon Partition Manager 11 Personal and novaPDF Professional Edition $9.99 Digital Download
  2. Klipsch HD300 5.1ch Home Theater Speakers w/ Speaker Wire $229.99 Free Shipping via code EMCYTZT276 (Exp 1/30)
  3. TODAY ONLY Sony VPL-BW7 LCD Home Theater Projector (720p, 2000 Lumens) $419.99 Free Shipping
  4. Biostar Eco i2 Barebones Computer w/ HDMI Port and Remote Control (Supports up to i7 Proc) $109.99 Free Shipping
  5. Fujitsu Lifebook PH520 AMD Athlon II Neo K125 11.6in Netbook (2GB/320GB/Win 7 Pro) w/ 500GB Portable HDD $399.99 via code VALENTINE11 (Exp Soon)
  6. Newegg Ectaco E-Book Reader Sale (Jetbook Lite $79.99, Jetbook Mini $71.99 via code EMCYTZT275 (Exp 1/31)
  7. Dell Vostro 3700 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 17.3in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB/Win7) $599
  8. Dell Vostro 3500 Intel Core i3 2.4GHz 15.6in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $529 Free Overnight Shipping
  9. Dell Vostro 3400 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 14in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $549

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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Streamie: An Awesome Real-Time Twitter Client For Your Browser

Posted: 29 Jan 2011 11:31 AM PST

real time twitter clientA clean, feature-rich, browser-based Twitter client that updates in real time. If you’re looking for a better way to experience Twitter, but don’t want to install yet another application on your computer, you should really check out Streamie. This real-time Twitter client isn’t only attractive and fast: it’s useful.

Find yourself disappointed by the new Twitter? You’re not alone. Many found the new client slow, or missing key features. There are extensions that help you ditch Twitter clients in favour of the new website, but if you’d rather have a complete replacement where you don’t need to install anything in order to use it, I highly recommend Streamie.

Streamie provides some of the benefits of Twitter clients, such as URL shortening and quick image uploading, but can be accessed on the web. Best of all, it’s real-time, much like the Twitter site itself. Streamie worked really well for me on Chrome and Firefox, although it should work fine on any HTML5-compliant browser.

Fast, Clean, Awesome.

Head over to Streamie to get started. You’ll need to authenticate your Twitter account of course, but once you do, everything will look as it should:

real time twitter client

As you can see, this client is clean. What you can’t see of course is that updates are instant. It’s kind of scary how quickly this thing works. Basically, if something new happens on Twitter you will see it instantly, a feature I don’t think I’ve seen outside of Twitter itself.

There are the usual buttons to browse: your @ mentions, retweets and private messages are all a click away. Writing your own message is quick:

realtime twitter stream

Unlike the Twitter site, uploading an image and shortening links only takes a click. The fact that this is possible without plugins makes Streamie much easier to use than Twitter.

There are some nice perks here for reading, as well. Is there a picture in a tweet? Mouse over the link to see a preview. There’s also a solution here for a perennial Twitter problem: a piece of conversation without context. Click the “Conversation” button underneath such a tweet to be shown what was said leading up to a given comment.


There are a few settings you can configure. If you like the wallpaper you’ve selected in Twitter, you’ll be happy to know that Streamie can show it. Unlike the new Twitter however, Streamie leaves enough free space on the screen for your wallpaper to be visible.

real time twitter client

It’s also possible to add your location to Tweets and automatically translate any tweets not in your preferred language. Like all web-based translations, it’s not perfect but being able to understand things a little better is never a bad thing.


Is Streamie groundbreaking? Probably not. But if you’re looking for a good, web-based Twitter client that stays out of your way I think you’ll be happy. I’d recommend this web app to anyone not pleased with the recent changes made at It’s everything Twitter should have added without the added clutter. There’s even a Streamie Chrome app.

Those with a background in programming will be pleased to know that this project is open source, and you can make your own version if you want. Read more about hacking Streamie.

But you don’t need any hacking skill to use Streamie; it’s self-explanatory for anyone familiar with Twitter. I think I’ll be using this more often – will you? Let me know what you think of this real-time Twitter client, and why, in the comments below.

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4 Free iPad Browsers To Replace Mobile Safari

Posted: 29 Jan 2011 09:31 AM PST

browsers for ipadWhile Mobile Safari has steadily improved with time, particularly on the iPad, there are several other free options available that bring additional features to the table. Depending on how and when you want to use your iPad to browse the Internet, this list of four browsers will make it easier to make your selection.

From private browsing to adjustable brightness, from full screens to social media integration, the available features are endless. There’s no reason you have to stick with the native browser the iPad ships with, when there are plenty of great, free alternatives.

LastPass Tab

Who’s going to use LastPass Tab [iTunes link]?  LastPass users and anyone who gets tired of logging into their accounts on their iPad.

browsers for ipad

The main reason you’d switch from Safari to LastPass Tab is for a secure way to easily log into all of your accounts. If you already use LastPass on your computer, you’ll know that the password storing service makes it easy to store and fill in your log-in details. Just click on the LastPass logo at the top right hand corner to log in.

a better web browser ipad

Other than secure log-ins, you get quite a few other features that are lacking from Safari. LastPass Tab allows for authentic tabbed browsing as opposed to Safari’s multiple windows.

a better web browser ipad

With LastPass Tab’s settings, you can block images and automatically open links to different domains in new tabs.


LastPass Tab uses Safari’s webkit, but setting the user agent allows you to access sites as though you were using iPad Safari Mobile, Safari 4.0, Firefox 3.6, Chrome 6.0 or Internet Explorer 8.0 – essentially making it seem to the website that you are using any given browser.


What are you going to lose if you choose to use LastPass Tab? Surprisingly enough there is no way to bookmark sites on LastPass, and you can’t search for specific text on any given page.

Terra Web Browser

Who’s going to use Terra Web Browser [iTunes link]? Anyone who’s looking for a browser with an easy way to launch into incognito and full screen mode (for whatever reason that may be).


Switching into incognito mode can be done through the app’s settings.


Toggling full screen mode is done by pressing the button next to the settings button.


In full screen mode, Terra allows you to take full advantage of the iPad’s gorgeous screen.


With Terra, you can also add the page you are browsing to your bookmarks, save pages for offline viewing, find text on the page, mail the link or open it in Safari. To save a page for offline viewing, select ‘Save page as file.’ The saved page can later be accessed under your bookmarks.


Along with offline browsing, you also get tabbed browsing.


Long pressing links gives you the option to open them in a new or background tab.


In addition, you can also password protect the use of Terra and select iPad Safari Mobile, OS X Safari 5, Internet Explorer 6 or Firefox 3.6 as your user agent.

Night Browser

Who’s going to use Night Browser [iTunes link]?  If you’re burning the midnight oil, but don’t want your iPad screen to disturb anyone around you, the dimmed Night Browser is the perfect option.

ipad browser

You can easily adjust the brightness of the screen directly within the app.

ipad browser

Aside from the dimmed screen, Night Browser takes a page from Safari, and rather than using tabbed browsing, additional pages are opened in new windows.

ipad browser

You’ll also get bookmarks and a Google search bar next to the address bar, but other than that, Night Browser doesn’t offer much in the way of features.

ipad browser

What’s missing? You can’t search for text on the page you are browsing, or open links in a new window.

Atomic Browser Lite

Who’s going to use Atomic Browser Lite [iTunes link]?  This browser is ideal for the social media addict with easy Facebook and Twitter integration, and for anyone who’s serious about their Internet browsing. For a lite version, the app is jam-packed with features.

change ipad browser

To share the page you are browsing on Facebook, Twitter or via email, bookmark it or open it in Safari, click the bookmark icon in the menu.

change ipad browser

Other settings you can adjust when using Atomic Browser include toggling private mode on and off, locking the screen’s rotation, increasing and decreasing the font size, and hiding the tab bar.

change ipad browser

This is just the tip of the iceberg with Atomic’s settings. You have extensive control over privacy settings, full screen options, colour themes and more.

a better web browser ipad

Another great feature is the ability to search using a variety of search engines, with eBay, Google and Bing among the options. To select, use the search bar next to the address bar, which also allows you to search for text within the page you’re browsing.

browsers for ipad

Atomic Web Browser is also iPhone/iPod Touch compatible.

What’s your preferred free iPad browser? Let us know in the comments.

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OpenLeaks, A WikiLeaks Alternative, Just Went Live [News]

Posted: 29 Jan 2011 08:30 AM PST

OpenLeaks, an alternative to WikiLeaks, which is a site that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources and news leaks, has officially gone live. WikiLeaks, as you may know, fell under harsh criticism and faced a lot of pressure from various governments and organizations because of material “leaked” via the website.

In light of this, OpenLeaks is set to fill the void left by WikiLeaks. They intend to do this by providing “dedicated and generally free services to whistleblowers and organizations interested in transparency.” The site seeks to create a knowledge base aiming to provide a comprehensive reference to all areas surrounding whistleblowing. Let’s take a look at how they are going about circumventing the WikiLeaks problem.

How is OpenLeaks different from WikiLeaks?

As stated by Ars Technica, OpenLeaks confirmed that it doesn’t plan to publish information itself, but rather help third parties get access to leaked documents, which then would be shown to the public. Third parties would include non-profit and news organizations. Half of these “members” are to be handpicked by the OpenLeaks community, while the other half will be able to go through a public application process of sorts.

The site is not yet fully operational, but they have released a “first draft” video, shown below. It explains the process of leaking and publishing as it will be supported by OpenLeaks, and it visualizes how OpenLeaks works differently from other platforms.

If you have any further questions about what OpenLeaks is or who it’s for, as well as what the legal implications of this type of site are, check out the OpenLeaks FAQ page. There’s a lot of good information there. What do you think of the new OpenLeaks platform?

Source: Ars Technica

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