Tuesday, January 25, 2011

MakeUseOf.com: “Google Takes Weather To Another Level On Your Mobile Phone [News]” plus 10 more

MakeUseOf.com: “Google Takes Weather To Another Level On Your Mobile Phone [News]” plus 10 more

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Google Takes Weather To Another Level On Your Mobile Phone [News]

Posted: 25 Jan 2011 07:13 AM PST

How often do you need to know what the weather is going to be like? Probably every day, right? One of the first things I do every morning is check the day’s weather on my phone, and I’d bet a lot of other people do too. Some of you probably use an app to check the weather, while others have a fancy SMS alerts setup. However, I’m sure there’s quite a few people who just fire up the browser on their mobile phones and Google the term ‘weather’, too.

As of Monday though, that last method just got a little more interesting.

Why? Because Google recently built a new search results snippet for weather, which makes your results more user-friendly. Let’s take a look at what’s changed because of this latest news.

Here’s a quote from the Google Mobile Blog:

We'd been wanting to build a fun, useful, app-like way to display weather information on our search results pages in the mobile browser. So we pulled together a user experience designer and team of engineers and built a new weather search results snippet that lets you actually play with the results.

You don’t have to do anything differently in order to get the new results. To try it out, just go to google.com on your iPhone or Android-powered device and search for 'weather' to see the changes.

What Has Changed?

The stuff you’re used to seeing, like current conditions and a forecast for the next few days, isn’t going anywhere. But now when you move the slider over to view the next 12 hours, you’ll see a detailed hour-by-hour breakdown of the changing weather conditions. Humidity, temperature, and wind speed are all shown and you can see how they’re expected to change throughout the day. The background color also changes throughout the day to reflect these changes.

Like the old method better? No worries, you can still scroll further down to see the search results like you usually do. Google also states that “this new weather search experience is available only in English, but we have more updates on the way.”

Source: Google Mobile Blog

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Cool Websites and Tools [January 24th]

Posted: 24 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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Supertintin – Although instant messengers are mostly used for chatting with friends, they are also very effective tools for businesses. The only missing thing is the option to record your conversations. If you need a tool to record your video conversation on Skype or MSN head over to Supertintin. It is a nice application that allows you to record all audio and video streams easily. Read more: Supertintin: Record Audio & Video Conversations In Skype & MSN


Viber – is an application for iPhone that helps users make free international calls to other iPhone users who have this app installed. The official site of this app lists certain advantages of using Viber over other VoIP tools like Skype. Like, there are no hidden costs (except for data charges), no registration required, no buddy list to maintain, missed call notifications, ability to receive calls anytime. Read more: Viber: Make Voip Calls Over 3G/Wifi (iPhone)



Free Boat Plans – Boats serve many purposes and are one of the most sought after modes of transport after cars. FreeBoatPlans is a great web resource that provides DIY plans to create several kinds of boats with minimal help. These boats range from Simbo, created from a single sheet of plywood, to a 12 foot skiff. The website provides detailed step-by-step instructions along with photos to construct many types of boats for various purposes. Read more: FreeBoatPlans: Free Boat Building Plans



CableSearch – CableGate refers to the recent leak of confidential documents that detail correspondences between the US government and its diplomatic missions around the world. While there is a good chance you will not be able to visit CableGate's official website, you can still search leaked documents on “Cable Search”, a simple and effective search engine for the CableGate documents. Read more: CableSearch: Search & View Leaked Documents Online



FriendLynx – Facebook and Twitter are probably the two most popular social networks right now, therefore it is likely that you have friends on both of them. If you intend to see which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter whom you haven't followed yet then you can use this Facebook application called FriendLynx. It uses the filterweeps.com website to locate such people automatically by their names. Read more: FriendLynx: Easily Find Facebook Friends On Twitter


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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Search Everywhere: Search The Content Linked From The Current Web Page

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 05:30 PM PST

It is always fun to discover new great tools people can use to search. We have shared quite a few of them already, including tools that let you quickly jump to other search engines after you search Google, plugins that support search suggestions and Firefox addons that let you search faster than Google Instant.

Today’s one is pretty much unique: I for one have never seen anything similar.

Search Everywhere is a great FireFox addon that allows you to search over the content linked from your web browser’s current page. In essence, it works as follows.

  1. Imagine you land on a page that links to a number of related resources – and you want to search within these linked resources;
  2. Click the tool icon in the status bar, type your search term and hit “Search”
  3. The tool will extract the linked domains (or URLs depending on your settings);
  4. Then the tool will create a custom Google search engine that will search for your keyword within the extracted domains / URLs.

Here’s a simple example from the developer to explain how it can turn really useful:

…suppose you are hanging out at the Dapper Rat website, and become interested in cages for pet rats. The Dapper Rat has a terrific page of nearly 300 links pointing to reliable pet rat information. You need a search engine that searches over this reliable information. That is exactly what the Search Everywhere toolbar does, using a Linked CSE.

That being said, the tool seems to be a great help when you want to find most relevant results from the websites listed on a links page or in a web directory.

Now that we are clear with how the tool works, let’s look over its options.

Search Everywhere Options

As I have already said, to trigger the search field, you need to click the icon in the status bar (sadly, there’s no keyboard shortcut for that):

Within the toolbar there are a few handy options:

  • SiteSearch: Run a simple SITE: search to narrow results to the current domain (instead of searching within linked content). To learn more about Google’s SITE: search operator, check out this post by Saikat Basu: 5 Ways To Do A Site-Specific Search Using Search Engines
  • New Tab: When checked, this prompts to display the search results in a new tab.
  • URL Extraction:
    • Exact: Use extracted URLs without modification, to create a very “narrow” search engine (this will restrict search results to exact URLs you see on the current page).
    • Paths: Use the host and path from an extracted URL, but omit any filenames (like the above one but allowing a bit broader search). For MUO, for example, it would mean searching within http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/ (which is our directory).
    • Hosts: Use only the domains from extracted URLs to create a “broad” search engine.
  • Extraction modifiers:
    • Filter: When checked, this option is supposed to filter out certain overly-dominant URL patterns (I am not sure I got this one to work; I wish we could set the filters manually)
    • Boost exact: This allows combination of host or path URL extraction, with an extra layer of exact URL extraction. Exact urls will be preferred in the search results.

Do you see where this tool may turn particularly useful? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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How to Embed a PDF Document Into Your Website

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 03:30 PM PST

embed a pdf documentMakeUseOf is no stranger to PDF documents as it’s home to a myriad of guides for all kinds of topics, and plenty of articles on PDF-reading and editing software (including online apps for conversions as well). There are also tips on how to search for specific text on PDF files and how to optimize them for better viewing on your portable devices.

Today, we’ll take a look at how you, the reader, can take your PDF documents and present them on your website without additional plugins, as all we will be using are embed codes. There’s a number of third-party websites that house your PDF files in their viewers. The most popular ones that have implemented improved features will be discussed after the jump.

Zoho Docs

embed a pdf document

Zoho is suite of superb office and productivity applications, among which is a web-based viewer that supports a lot more formats than Google Docs, including but not limited to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, RTF (rich text format) files, as well as OpenDocument text, presentation and spreadsheet files. Unlike the Google Docs Viewer, the Zoho Docs Viewer lets you upload a file you own (which you can publish so it will have a short, shareable URL) or paste the URL in the main page. Once you’ve uploaded your file and are viewing it online, you can grab the embed code at the Embed tab. There’s no required sign-up process.

embed pdf

This viewer doubles up as a handy conversion service, which allows you to convert any of the supported document files to other file types.

Google Docs

embed pdf

For a simple web-based PDF viewer that can also display PowerPoint files, TIFF images, Microsoft Word documents, Google Docs also offers a viewer. If all you’re looking for is the document viewer, you don’t even have to visit that page. You just need to have published your PDF document so you can get the URL of the stored document and append it to the Google Docs Viewer address at http://docs.google.com/viewer so it just becomes http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=yourURLhere. Since the path also accepts the embed parameter, you can also embed a PDF document viewer in your website with iframes. Just copy the embed code on the Google Docs Viewer page.

embed pdf


how to embed pdf file in html

Scribd is a slightly different breed when it comes to sites that allow document embedding. It is actually a document-sharing website for authors that want to publish their works online. You need to sign up for an account in order to finish uploading documents to Scribd, but once you do, you’ll have a beautiful viewer for your piece. Scribd also allows you to import any documents from Google Docs, as well as to create a document from pasted text.

how to embed pdf file in html

If you’re an author and have lots of works you’d like to share or sell, you can use Scribd and other popular document-sharing websites, such as DocStoc, Issuu, YouPublish, edocr (the free account has limited functionality) and YUDU, which really have a sharing focus so your documents can get as exposed as possible.

If you’d rather not use a third-party document viewer, FlexPaper will likely be the best option for you as a website owner.

embed a pdf document

It is an open-source web-based document viewer that you can download for non-commercial purposes at this website and upload it to your site.

Did we miss any other free online document viewers? Let us know in the comments!

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Top 5 Awesome Photo Blogs To Inspire & Impress

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 01:30 PM PST

photo blogsPhotography is one of the finer artforms that the web has to offer, though it is often drowned out in today’s mass of streaming video and online games. Sure, there’s Flickr, DeviantArt and Picasa, but what about small, independent websites?

Photojournalists, individual shooters and professionals venting some photo-based steam all offer an interesting perspective on photography, and sometimes you need to go off-piste to find the best.

Here are 5 varied and regularly updated photo blogs that will (hopefully) keep you coming back for more.

The Big Picture

One of the web’s most important outlets of professional photography, The Big Picture is the official photo blog of The Boston Globe newspaper. The photographs featured come straight from some of the world’s top news agencies such as the Associated Press and Reuters.

Without paying a small fortune, many of us would not get to see such well-thought out, professionally executed and critically selected photo sets from a variety of photographers in every corner of the globe.

photo blogs

World news headlines, seasonal events and even celestial happenings are documented with stunning, thought-provoking photographs. The website is also fully compatible with the excellent CoolIris, meaning you can browse some of the best pictures online from a very sexy interface.

One to stick in your bookmarks for sure.


A delightfully minimalistic blog that acts as the "personal notepad" of photographer Sean Wood. Sean deals with film photography, so the art on offer here should please some of the more die-hard photo critics out there.

video and photo blogs

With a Javascript lightbox for that closer look, each photo is presented with minimum amount of text and serves to document the photographer’s more experimental work. If you like abstract photography peppered with film grain then you might have found your new favourite blog.

William Darhy’s Photoblog

French amateur photographer William Darhy specalises in street and urban photography, and his personal photo blog highlights the intriguing and photogenic nature of a built-up environment. The photographs undergo very little post-processing, thus proving you don’t need to spend hours in Photoshop to achieve good results.

photo blogs

Basic EXIF data is included with each photo, especially useful for those still learning the ropes. William also runs a blog which follows the state of street photography, exhibitions and advice, which you can check out here.


Another daily dose of French photography is provided by Pierre at his ATZOOM photo blog. There’s a selection of dramatic landscapes (including some beautiful shots of the French Alps), some stunning panoramas for an interesting look into the photographer’s life.

In fact there’s so many different styles on offer that it’s hard not to find something you like. You can also check out Pierre’s portfolio on the front page of his site.

They Shoot Film

They Shoot Film is the collective name of two photographers, Patrice Esser in San Francisco and Garrick Fujii in Los Angeles. Over the last year, they’ve kicked up quite a storm and were awarded the Best New Photoblog award by PhotoblogAwards.com.

photo blogs

As you’d expect, they shoot film! Each photo is punctuated by either # or + (# being Patrice’s work, + being Garrick’s), the camera used (Leica M6 anyone?) and the film used for the shot. There’s a fair amount of variety, including candid lifestyle shots, urban photography, portraiture and anything that captures the duo’s imagination.

The photos displayed here often give the viewer a quirky and cheeky insight into daily American life.


So there you have it – pure inspiration. There’s nothing better for clearing out "photographer’s block" than to examine the work of others, and see how they approach similar subjects and situations.

That and nothing beats a good gawp at some stunning photos when you’re bored! You could even start one

Have you got any favourite photo blogs? What do you think of this lot? Feeling inspired yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hot Tech Deals [Jan 24th]

Posted: 24 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. Sony BDVE370 5.1ch 850W 3D Netflix Blu-Ray Home Theater System $199.99 Free Ship
  2. Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB Internal SATA Hard Drive $199.99 Free Shipping
  3. TODAY ONLY Dell ST2310 23in Widescreen LCD Monitor (1920×1080) $159.99 Free Shipping
  4. TODAY ONLY Apex PC-302-C Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $19.99 Free Shipping
  5. Garmin nuvi 1490T GPS (Ultra-Slim, 5in, Text-to-Speech, Bluetooth, Lifetime Traffic, Refurb) $139.98
  6. Asus VH236H 23 inch Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDMI $132.99AR Free Shipping
  7. Memorex Mini TravelDrive 32GB USB Flash Drive $36.99 Free Shipping

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How to Earn Extra Space on Dropbox, ZumoDrive and SugarSync

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 11:30 AM PST

extra space storageSigning up for a free Dropbox account gives you 2 GB worth of storage, SugarSync gives you 5 GB and ZumoDrive gives you 1 GB. Depending on how you use each service, you could find yourself running out of space fast. If you don’t want to upgrade to a paid account, there are a few ways to earn some much needed extra space and file storage.

Dropbox are certainly the stars at giving their users ways to earn extra storage space on what is one of the best cloud storage/sync services available online today. While most services will offer a referral system that depend on other users signing up for the service, Dropbox goes one step further and gives each user a few extra tasks that could earn them up almost 9 extra gigabytes. While ZumoDrive and SugarSync offer only a referral program, you can still earn some serious storage space.


If you complete all methods outlined below, Dropbox users can earn an extra 8.75 GB, which can be almost doubled to 16.75 GB if you’re a student with an .edu email address. If you signed up for Dropbox with a regular email address, just connect your university address to your account and any previous referrals will be doubled retroactively.

Getting Started

The first method to earn 250 MB worth of extra space on Dropbox is to complete the Get Started list of tasks. The tasks are simple and are things that you will, for the most part, do anyway when using Dropbox.

extra space dropbox


Another easy way to earn extra space on Dropbox is to send out referrals. You and your friend will each earn an extra 250 MB. If you use an .edu email address for your Dropbox account, your share automatically doubles to 500 MB. You can refer up to a maximum of 32 people, earning 8 GB using this method, and students can earn up to 16 GB.

free online file storage

Send out emails to your friends encouraging them to sign up for Dropbox if they don’t already, and share your referral link on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, and you’ll probably hit the limit in no time.

Connect with Social Media

Connecting your Dropbox account with your Social Media profiles, specifically on Facebook and Twitter can earn you an extra 512 MB. Each step will earn you an additional 128 MB, from connecting to Twitter and Facebook, to tweeting about your undying love for Dropbox, to following the Dropbox Twitter account.

more dropbox storage


SugarSync certainly doesn’t offer as many ways as Dropbox to increase your storage space, but a free account automatically gets you 5 GB as opposed to Dropbox’s 2 GB. If 5 GB still isn’t enough for you, you can also opt for SugarSync’s referral program to earn more space.

If your friend opens a free account, you’ll each earn an extra 500 MB. If your friend opens a 30 GB or larger account, you’ll each earn a whopping 10 GB. SugarSync is however limiting this offer until March 31, 2011, so if you want to earn some extra space, now is the time to do it, after which the amounts will decrease to 250 MB, and 5 GB respectively. For the period of the offer, there’s no limit to the amount of extra space you could earn with SugarSync.

Send your friends your referral link to make sure you get the extra space. Additionally, if a friend signs up through a shared folder, you’ll earn the extra space or storage then as well.

To access the page with your referral link, click the SugarSync icon in your system tray, and click on Refer a Friend.


ZumoDrive only gives you 1 GB storage space with a free account, but with their referral program, you can earn another 256 MB for every friend you refer, getting up to 5 GB additional space.

Do you have any tips on how to earn extra space on your favourite storage service? Let us know in the comments.

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10 Great Health-Related Apps for the iPhone and iPad

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 10:30 AM PST

health care software iphoneOne of the best things about iOS mobile applications is how developers try to create solutions for the practical needs of users. The popular Apple ad slogan “There's an app for that” rings pretty true, especially in the case of health care software for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.

While there are several dozens paid applications in this category, you'll be pleased to know there are a good number of free options that will address many of the exercise and health related needs of iOS users. From calorie counters, fitness apps, to kids’ health information; these apps can be very useful in helping us take better care of ourselves and our loved ones.

Note: all the links in the headings below are to the App Store.

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker

No doubt many of you have a new year resolution for losing weight and watching your calorie intake. MyFitnessPal's Calorie & Diet Tracker is like keeping a calorie diary on your iPhone.

health care software iphone

After you log in and register your weight loss (or gain) goals and your exercise habits, you can use Calorie Counter to tap into its large food database. The app provides you nutritional facts about the food you eat. You log in and add the information about your meals each day, and Calorie Counter keeps track of your calorie intake and the progress you're making toward your goals.

best health apps iphone

The app also enables you to invite your friends to become a part of your weight watching program. Calorie Counter has very high ratings in the App Store. The more you learn to use it, the easier it becomes to maintain it as a daily log.

Calorie Counter

FatSecret's Calorie Counter is another meals, exercise, and weight tracker for the iPhone and iPod touch. There's also an optimized version for the iPad.

best health apps ipad

In addition to its large database of food information, Calorie Counter includes a barcode scanner feature for getting more accurate data of the foods you eat. You can also browse menu information at nearly all national restaurant chains, as well as popular brand products from major supermarkets. You can save your searches and re-use them for future log entries.

The user interface of Calorie Counter is very well done, featuring a diet calendar, exercise diary, weight tracker, and of course, a food diary. All your data can be synced to your Fatsecret.com account.

Fitness Free

For those of us looking to get a fitness regiment going, Fitness Free includes 300 exercise routines you can choose from and add to your fitness log as you complete them.

mobile health

You can also customize your exercises. Each exercise "recipe" includes instructions on how to perform the exercise and where it should fit into your daily or weekly exercise routine. The paid full version of the application offers other features, but this free version is enough to get you started.

Glucose Buddy

For iOS users with diabetes, Glucose Buddy is a data storage utility in which users can "manually enter glucose numbers, carbohydrate consumption, insulin dosages, and activities."

mobile health apps

Glucose Buddy is well designed and graphically oriented, with graphs, log-in reminders, and the ability to sync information to your online account.

Carb Counting with Lenny

For children with diabetes, Carb Counting with Lenny is a fun app for managing diabetes. According to the app's description: "Carb counting allows children with diabetes to eat a variety of foods, just like other kids, and increases their sense of control and confidence in managing their diabetes. For parents and caregivers, this is important in order to plan meals and help children maintain good blood sugar levels."

Children can search food information by photos and save them to the photo library of their iOS device.


SparkPeople is the iPad and iPhone version of the popular exercise and fitness website, SparkPeople.com. This application is also well designed with lots of colorful graphic detail.


In addition to helping you keep track of your food and calorie intake, SparkPeople can help you plan weight watching meals, keep track of your exercises, and the progress you're making toward your weight goals. SparkPeople could possibly replace a couple of other fitness apps that do the same thing. While the app has many categories, it's very easy to search food information and keep track of your daily meals and exercises. You can also link your information to your online SparkPeople account.

Everyday Health

We all should all have a general health reference guide that we can access at any time. Everyday Health, Inc. has produced well designed and easy to use general health information application filled with descriptions about the top 50 health conditions, including allergies, eating disorders, HIV/AIDS, lung cancer, thyroid conditions, and yeast infections.


The health care software for the iPhone includes hundreds of daily health tips, expert answers from doctors and pharmacists, and nutritional facts about various snacks that we love to eat. Its "What Would Mom Say…" list home remedies for common health problems like sore throat, sprained angle, sunburns, cold sores, and queasy stomach.


Everyday Health is like having a big 500-page medical reference guide on your iPhone or iPad.

The Snack App

For us snack lovers, EverydayHealth has also produced an app for keeping track of the calories for the snack foods we love to eat.


It breaks down food categories by the number of calories, and it also provides ideas for burning calories and making healthier snack choices. The app is visually designed and descriptions are easy to read, so there's no reason not check out its content.

Pink Pad Free

This menstrual period and health tracking app is receiving high ratings in the App Store. The app’s calendar-style user interface is easy to navigate and helps women keep track of health-related issues such as weight, menstrual cycle, and emotional/physical well-being.


The app of course sends you menstrual and fertility notifications, and its latest version allows you to set up any reminders you like, such as for drinking water, taking your pill, or getting a breast exam.


Designed by pediatric experts, KidsCheckup is a simple reference guide application that includes descriptions of medical treatments, such problems as asthma, common childhood orthopedic conditions, muscular dystrophy, childhood cancer, and cystic fibrosis.

health care software iphone

Its “What Do I Do” section provides information for symptoms and solutions for conditions such as asthma flare-ups, chest pains, chicken pox, coughs, dental entries, rashes, splinters. This app is a useful medical resource for parents.

For even more health related apps and information on MUO, check out these articles, here and here. If you know of useful free heath and exercise apps, please let us know about them.

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10 Financial Websites That Help You Stay On Top Of The Market

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 09:30 AM PST

financial websitesThese days, bulls and bears are spoken of more in urban neighborhoods than the wild. Our generation is probably more money-wise when it comes to investment and financial forethought. And the market is more than willing to take the dollars we spend or invest.

For every dime, you have tens of options to invest in. So where do you go for sound investment advice? The web is chock-a-bloc with financial websites and personal finance blogs. To wade through them you will need the most precious resource of all – time.

And if it is something you don't have then you can thank these websites who have built-in mass communication tools like RSS feeds, newsletters, Twitter, and Facebook updates.

But it still pays to visit these ten websites because of the sheer depth of financial guidance.


financial websites

Three well known names are behind all the financial information on this site: CNN, Fortune, and Money. The business and financial news gets updated throughout the day and so you can expect to pick up fresh tips and market hints thanks to the range of newsletters and the alerts. It is also one of the neatest newsletter sign-up pages you can ever get to see.


financial investment website

The well known name in financial circles brings business forecasts and personal finance advice across the entire media spectrum. The Kiplinger Letter (a weekly business and economic forecasting periodical) requires a paid subscription, but the email updates from the site does not. The site has a section for the first time investor who needs to know the basics.

This Is Money

financial investment website

The UK-centric financial website is a part of Daily Mail, the second largest selling British newspaper. The financial website covers personal finance with investment tips, news, predictions, advice, and guides. Check out the site map at the foot of the homepage for all the wealth you can find on the site. With all the tools on the site, it's better that you be there, but if you can't then make do with the weekly roundup newsletter packed with investment advice or the one which covers breakings news and special deals.

The Street

The Wall Street based financial website has a mix of free and premium services for financial updates. The website gives you a choice of seven free e-mail newsletters — The Daily Booyah!, Before the Bell, Midday Bell, After the Bell, Winners & Losers, TheStreet Top 10 Stories, and TheStreet ETF Weekly that help you be on top of market trends with timely investment advice from guys like financial journalist (and bestselling author) Jim Cramer.

Smart Money

financial news websites

Smartmoney.com is a part of the Wall Street Journal media network. The financial website caters to the high brow professionals who go deep into day-to-day markets with stocks and mutual fund investments. The site gives the individual investor a range of tools like watchlists, stock screeners, market maps, and the SmartMoney LifePlan as a step-by-step guide to investments. With a free registration, you can access these tools and the bundle of free investment information. You can stay on the WSJ network and keep tabs on the market with the sites in their portfolio.

Seeking Alpha

financial news websites

Seeking Alpha more like a financial news aggregator packaged as a blog. It sifts through the top market blogs, money managers, financial experts and investment newsletters to bring nearly 250 articles dally. The site says that it's the only free, online source for over 1,500 public companies’ quarterly earnings call transcripts, including the S&P 500. The site has an interesting section called Long & Short Ideas where you get tips on long term stocks and those that are falling.


financial news sites

One of the best financial websites out there, Bloomberg is all about up-to-date business analysis and financial data. The site has a good personal finance section with news supported by videos and four calculator tools. The news coverage is international and if you are on YouTube, you can catch their channel there too. Bloomberg also owns BusinessWeek and all-in-all it has a one-third share of the financial data market.


If you are in the least bit interested in money, then you would know the lists which Forbes brings out annually. But the site is more than that as it packs in news on business, technology, stock markets, personal finance, and lifestyle with bytes of advice, tools, and investing tips.

Investor Words

This financial website is not one for investment news, but it hands out words which can help to make you a better investor. You can get the Term of the Day delivered to your inbox with a free sign-up. The term of the day email newsletter provides one definition and one investing aphorism per day to subscribers. The financial glossary has database of 8000 terms which is constantly updated. In between, you can also catch up with other finance related articles.

My Money

financial websites

MyMoney.gov is the official U.S government website setup to impart financial literacy to the American public. The site is well designed with three clear cut sections that help with financial knowhow for each stage of life, supported by other resources and tools.

These ten websites can serve the newbie investor best with the 5 Websites Where You Can Learn To Invest Money because learning how to invest and when to with informed investment decisions go together. Do you have a favorite financial website that's in your bookmarks?

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5 Best Blog Sites Other Than WordPress and Blogger

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 08:30 AM PST

best blog sitesThe two major players in the personal blogging space are WordPress and Blogger (Google). Although these two well established names have been around the longest and have the largest user base, there are plenty of alternatives if their style is not for you, each with their own differences and reasons why you may or may not wish to use them.

The blog of today is quite different from the blog of just a few years ago. Many are into ‘casual blogging’ where a blog post is not just (long) text written out but perhaps just an image or sound clip.

Interested in which of the best blog sites offer alternatives to the big players? Let’s go over some WordPress and Blogger alternatives that you might want to check out.


best blog sites

Tumblr (also known as a Tumble log) is a widely known blogging service which we have covered here on MakeUseOf before. Tumblr really excels in two areas: so-called “photo blogging” and its sense of community.

Tumblr’s community is centered around the follow, like and the reblog. If you ‘like’ a post – similar to Facebook – it will show at the bottom of the post. Reblogging is much the same but in addition it will post the item back to your Tumblr as well.

You can import blog posts from a number of other services including Twitter, RSS feeds, or even AOL Instant Messenger.


free blog sites

Posterous is another “microblogging” service like Tumblr. You are able to post images, text, video and audio. Like Tumblr, you can change your theme easily but unlike Tumblr there is no “reblog.”

Posts can be imported from any number of sources and will also be “sent out” to Facebook and Twitter. One of the simplest ways to submit a post – and in fact to start your Posterous account, is to send an email to post@posterous.com. After doing so you will automatically be set up for an account and your blog created.


free blogging sites

Not usually considered a “blogging” service, Twitter is actually a microblog by definition. If you are able to write your thoughts in 140 characters or less Twitter is actually a great way to communicate with others.

One of the reasons Twitter has been so successful is that you do not have a lot of time investment to get started and to keep updated. If you leave your profile on public anyone can read your posts just like a regular blog.


free blog sites

Another popular blogging service is Xanga. One of the older blogging sites, it is definitely more for personal use.

Although Xanga used to be very popular it has waned somewhat recently with the rise of other sites, but is still popular especially with the younger crowd.


best blog sites

Weebly is a hosted website and blogging service. Your account is free and ad-free, and if you want to upgrade to a domain and for certain other features there is a professional account available for a fee.

The one thing that I like about Weebly is how customizable the pages are. However, I think that is the same exact reason that more people do not use it. It is more complicated (than sending an email, as with Posterous) so for casual blogging it is more of a time commitment.

Which blogging service is for you?

As with many things in life, it depends on your personal tastes. Check out each site to see how it meshes with your personal style and how frequently you want to blog. For ease of use, I think Posterous or Tumblr win. For short messages, Twitter is great.

Let us know if you use any other hosted blogging service that you thing should be on the list of best blog sites, and what you like about it!

Image credit: Shutterstock

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Get In Sync With SyncMate 3 Expert Edition [MakeUseOf Giveaway]

Posted: 24 Jan 2011 07:30 AM PST

How many times have you experienced the frustration of manually syncing files, folders and other data on a regular basis between two or more computers or mobile devices? It can involve the laborious task of dragging and dropping files onto a flash drive and copying them to another computer, or most often forgetting to sync files when you need them most. Well, Eltima Software's SyncMate is one of the best solutions for syncing your Mac with multiple devices, automatically and simultaneously.

SyncMate helps you to synchronize Macs with Macs, Macs with Windows Mobile devices, Macs with your Google account, Macs with Nokia Series 40 phones, Macs with USB drives, Macs with Windows PCs, Macs with PSPs or all at once. This week, we’ll be giving away 25 licenses for SyncMate 3 Expert Edition worth almost $1000 in total.

Sync Your Macs

You may already know you can share the contents of two or more Macs using the built-in sharing feature found in Mac OS X, but SyncMate takes sharing data well beyond the features Apple provides.

By installing SyncMate on two or more Macs, you get many of the same capabilities for syncing data that we Apple MobileMe users pay an annual membership fee for. As with MobileMe, you can sync all or selected data from your Address Book, iCal, ToDos and Mail notes, Safari Bookmarks, as well as Entourage notes.

But get this — unlike with MobileMe, you can set up SyncMate to automatically sync all or selected files in your iTunes and iPhoto library, as well selected folders in Finder. This saves you the task of dragging and dropping files from one computer to another. And with SyncMate’s Expert Edition, iPhoto files are resized as they are synced from one computer to another.

SyncMate goes a step further. You can actually sync files and folders in real time on the same network, without having to click a single button.

And of course, you can apply settings for auto-syncing to occur when another Mac or device is available, at specified time intervals or when SyncMate is hidden or in the background. SyncMate also works with a slew of mobile devices, including Nokia S40, Windows Mobile, and Android phones. In an upcoming update, SyncMate will add the iPhone to the mix of mobile devices that can be synced to.

Signing up for a special online account, you can also sync selected files on Etima's online server, making your data accessible anytime from any Mac with SyncMate installed. You can of course encrypt and protect this data with a password for safety purposes.

Expert Edition

While the free version of SyncMate has several useful features, the Expert Edition provides you over dozen more, including syncing Firefox bookmarks, time synchronization, iTunes video synchronization, Stickies and Entourage notes synchronization, data encryption, and much more.

Finally, although SyncMate is a Mac application, you can also sync data with Windows PC.

SyncMate is a perfect, time saving solution to keeping your computers and devices in sync without the hassle of doing it all manually.

We’re giving away 25 copies of SyncMate 3 Expert Edition this week. Here’s how you can win one.

How do I win a copy?

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!
Giveaway eligibility
You must be a fan of our Facebook page to enter;
Individuals who are over the age of 18. If you are under 18, get your parents to participate on your behalf;
Individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States; Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India are not permitted to enter.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, January 29th at 2100hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

MakeUseOf would like to thank Eltima Software for their generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

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