Sunday, March 6, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [March 5th]” plus 4 more “Cool Websites and Tools [March 5th]” plus 4 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [March 5th]

Posted: 05 Mar 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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Bubbalon – If you are looking for a trustworthy review website, then you should check out Bubbalon. This social rating site allows users to share their experiences about anything while finding friends and building communities around it. You can review products, brands, people, places, performances, websites, and much more. Read more: Bubbalon: A Social Rating Site for Product Reviews & Sentiments


iManageProject – In your search for the best project management tools, this is another one that you should seriously consider. iManageProject is a cool project tracking and management system designs for serious collaborations. The tool borrows a lot of from the popular Basecamp while offering free and much cheaper premium packages – including the most useful features like Messages, To-dos, Milestones, Files, and even Writeboards. Read more: iManageProject: Project Management Tool Like Basecamp



Appimeal – The surge of daily deal sites, which started with the rise of Groupon, isn't limited to deals on local stores and shops. We can now find all kinds of such services, including the ones that offer daily deals on software. AppiMeal is a new entrant in this space which wants to offer a paid (and licensed) software every day for free. Read more: AppiMeal: Daily App Deals For iPhone, Mac, Android Or iPad



Photoshop Etiquette – Many web designers carry out their designs in Photoshop and an increasing number of designers are following this practice. If you are one of these designers and would like to get tips on efficient design practices in Photoshop, you should pay a visit to Photoshop Etiquette, a free to use website that lists numerous good Photoshop practices. Read more: Photoshop Etiquette: Learn Good Design Practices For Web Designing In Photoshop



Search Engine Blacklist – Often results from unwanted websites show up whenever you conduct a search query. To block certain websites from appearing in your Google search results, you can use a helpful tool called Search Engine Blacklist, a browser extension for Google Chrome that helps you better control your Google Search results. Read more: Search Engine Blacklist: Block Websites From Google Search Results


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 Add The Current Time To A Google Spreadsheet

Posted: 05 Mar 2011 05:31 PM PST

time in google spreadsheetGoogle Spreadsheets has always been one of my favorite tools. I was an early adopter (I quickly switched to the tool shortly after Google discontinued Google Notebook) and since then I’ve been happy to see all the hard work and hundreds of improvements the Google Docs team have been introducing.

Despite the fact that there are a few great alternatives, I have never really thought about switching. Google Docs (and Google Spreadsheets) have always been the most reliable tool for me and, like with any really great tools, there are plenty of (partially) hidden features inside Google Spreadsheet you may be amazed to discover.

Today’s post is about two really cool Google Spreadsheet functions that allow you to always display the current date and time in your spreadsheet. This will become particularly useful if you use Google Spreadsheets to monitor your tasks and deliverables, plan your work week, track your finances, etc.


=TEXT( NOW()) is a highly-customizable official Google Spreadsheet function that returns the computer system date and time in a cell.

Important note: The function value is updated when your document “re-calculates” which means that, unless you make any edits to the document, you are not going to see the current date and time. However if you plan to edit your document on a regular basis (to update the task statuses, for example), this is not going to be an issue.

The awesome thing about this function is that it has plenty of available parameters that allow to format the date and time in various ways):

  • See the current day, month and year: =TEXT( NOW() ; “yyyy-M-d” ) returns 2011-2-20
  • See the current time (with seconds): =TEXT( NOW() ; “HH:mm:ss” ) returns 13:24:56
  • See the current day of the week (and the number of the week in a month): =TEXT( NOW() ; “yyyy ‘week’ w” ) returns 2011 week 8
  • See the current time and time zone: =TEXT( NOW() ; “HH:mm z” ) returns 13:24 GMT+00:00
  • Even see the current era! =TEXT( NOW() ; “yyyy G GGGG” ) returns 2011 AD Anno Domini

Here’s an awesome spreadsheet listing all the available parameters as well as the examples of usage.

time in google spreadsheet


If you plan to publish the spreadsheet to the web, the above function won’t work as (like I have noted above), it is only updated when you edit the current spreadsheet (i.e. type/edit/delete a value in any cell). For published and rarely updated spreadsheets there is another useful function that can turn really helpful (it is undocumented but is included in the Google Spreadsheet formula builder. This is how I actually discovered it).

time in google spreadsheet

If you use the =GoogleClock() function in a spreadsheet, it will automatically update live whenever you view the spreadsheet (including shared viewing). Besides, if you publish a spreadsheet as a webpage, it will automatically update every 5 minutes.

The function always returns the current date and time in the following format (unless there are any parameters I am not aware of):

m/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss


Note: Here are similar functions for Microsoft Excel (also updated live).

Are you aware of any other time management functions in Google Spreadsheets? Please let us know!

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Hot Tech Deals [Mar 5th]

Posted: 05 Mar 2011 12:30 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. $75 off any Dell Desktop priced $300+ Coupon Code: $75Desk$300up (Exp 3/16)
  2. $100 off any Dell Laptop priced $400+ Coupon Code: $100Lap$400up (Exp 3/16)
  3. Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB Internal SATA Hard Drive $69.99 Free Shipping
  4. XFX HD-485X-ZNFC Radeon HD4850 1GB HDCP PCI-E Video Card $46.99 Free Shipping via code XFX3113 (Exp 3/7)
  5. Dell Vostro 3700 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 17.3in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $549
  6. Dell Vostro 3400 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 14in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $499
  7. Dell Vostro 3500 Intel Core i3 2.4GHz 15.6in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $501 Free Overnight Shipping
  8. Dell Vostro 3300 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 13.3in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $469
  9. Dell Vostro 230 Slim Intel Dual-Core E5700 3GHz Desktop (3GB/250GB) w/ 22in LCD $399

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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4 Uses For Browsing In Privacy Mode (That Isn’t Porn)

Posted: 05 Mar 2011 11:31 AM PST

browsing privacyDo you think the privacy mode on your browser has only one use, and an unsavory one at that? You’re wrong.

Every major browser on the market right now features some kind of incognito mode. On Firefox, it’s called Private Browsing; on Safari, Private Browsing; on Internet Explorer, InPrivate; on Opera, private tab or private window; on Chrome, Incognito mode.

Whatever the name, this feature is commonly advertised by browser makers as being perfect for birthday shopping. The seeming naiveté of this universally draws laughter from people who think they know what the Internet is for.

Laughter aside, however, there are some amazing uses for privacy mode besides explicit imagery and planning surprises.

Multiple User Accounts

Sure, you can easily enable and use Google’s new multiple sign-in feature, but it needs to be set up again on every computer and can be a security problem if you’re using a friend’s computer.

Privacy mode, however, is within reach on most browsers and allows you to quickly log into another user account without disrupting accounts that are already connected. Whether you want to quickly check your Facebook account without logging out a friend or work in two different Google Docs accounts at the same time, privacy mode is a pretty useful tool. This won’t work on Safari, but works really well in Chrome.

Secure & Clean Searching

Do a Google search and you’ll probably see lots of results from your friends, similar to what’s shown below. Google’s quest to compete with the likes of Facebook means such customized search results are increasingly becoming the norm.

browsing privacy

Whether this is good or bad is the subject of much debate, but one thing’s for sure: if you do a Google search logged in as yourself, you’re not seeing the results most of the world does.

You could change this by logging out of your Google account, but it’s easier to simply use privacy mode.

Cookie Proofing

Cookies used to be the scariest thing on the Internet, and there are plenty of people aged 50 and over who still lump them in to the same category as viruses and phishers. For the most part, however, cookies have become a vital part of how the Internet works and not something to be feared.

Still, there are reasons you may want to avoid them from time to time. Suggested shopping results at Amazon, for example, work by using cookies to track your browsing. Avoid these suggestions by entering privacy mode before you shop. Not everyone is too concerned with this, but it can make for a more peaceful shopping session.

internet browsing privacy

Want to take this a step further? Automatically use InCognito mode for certain websites with Autonito. This Chrome plugin allows you to enter sites you’d rather not be able to keep track of you, a useful tool for avoiding certain cookies.

Avoid Distractions

It’s not practical to turn off your Internet connection when you need to get things done, because the Internet is a vital research tool. Still, having email, Twitter and Facebook only a new tab away can be too great a temptation to overcome sometimes.

browsing privacy

Do your research work in privacy mode, however, and you’ll not be able to access these features without logging in. It’s not a fireproof barrier, but it just might be enough to remind you to get back to work. Via Lifehacker.


For some people, privacy mode is the norm. If you’re among them you might want to learn how to start Chrome in Incognito mode by default. For everyone else, however, privacy mode is an occasional tool for a variety of uses.

Do you have any ideas for this mode I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comments below. Also feel free to tell me if certain uses don’t work in certain browsers. Thanks!

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10 Ways To Update Facebook & Twitter Simultaneously

Posted: 05 Mar 2011 09:31 AM PST

update facebook and twitter at the same timeIf you’re active on both Facebook and Twitter it can be a hassle updating both social networks at the same time. There are several apps that make it easy to automatically post your latest tweets to your Facebook wall. While clearly not as popular, there are also some options on how to post your Facebook status updates to your Twitter feed, whether from your Facebook page or personal profile. A third option yet is to post to both networks simultaneously using a third party application.

Some Facebook and Twitter users argue that the two should not be combined, and it’s unwise to flood your followers and friends with the same content. On the flip side, there is often a lot of content that is of interest to both your Facebook and Twitter friends, and finding a way to easily share that information across social networks can be a timesaver.

Post Twitter Updates To Facebook

If you want to get your tweets on your Facebook wall, the following three apps are a good place to start. It’s worth noting that if you’re tweets are protected, none of these apps will work.

Selective Twitter

Selective Twitter is an app which allows you to selectively post your tweets to your Facebook wall. To configure the app to post tweets to your Facbeook profile, enter your Twitter username, and grant it access to your Facebook profile.

update facebook and twitter at the same time

In addition to posting Twitter updates to your Facebook profile, you can also configure the app to update your Facebook pages with your latest tweets.

update facebook and twitter simultaneously

What sets Selective Twitter apart from other similar services is that you choose which tweets are sent to your Facebook wall by including the hashtag #fb. This is useful for people who don’t want to flood their Facebook friends with all of their tweets.

update facebook and twitter simultaneously

Twitter App

The official Twitter app for Facebook allows you to post all of your Twitter updates to your Facebook wall. After granting the app permission to access your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you’re ready to share your tweets with your Facebook friends.

update facebook and twitter simultaneously

Unlike Selective Tweets, all of your tweets will be posted, with the exception of @ replies and direct messages.

update twitter and facebook at the same time

An advantage that the Twitter App has over Selective Tweets is that it includes a direct link to your Twitter account.

update twitter and facebook at the same time

Smart Twitter

To use Smart Twitter, you must first grant the application access to both your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

update twitter and facebook at the same time

You can then decide which tweets will be posted to your Facebook wall. One way in which Smart Tweets sets itself apart is it allows you to choose to include @ replies, retweets and hashtags.


Like Selective Tweets, there is no direct link to your Twitter account on each of your status updates.


Post Facebook Updates to Twitter

It’s not as simple if you want to update Twitter from within Facebook, but there are a couple of options available. You can easily update your Twitter account from your Facebook fan page, but to do so from your personal profile will take a little bit more effort.


In order to post your Facebook status updates to Twitter, you will need to find your status update RSS feed. To do this, go to your notifications page by clicking See All Notifications.


Right click Via RSS and click Copy Link Address.


You’re going to slightly alter the link – the part of the link that reads ‘notifications.php’ should be replaced to ‘status.php’ while the rest remains the same. In TwitterFeed click on Create a new feed and use the altered RSS feed from Facebook.


In the advanced settings, for Post Content, select ‘title only‘ and for Update Frequency, ‘Post up to 1 new update at a time,’ and make sure that ‘Post Link‘ is unchecked.


Authenticate your Twitter account and all status updates will now be automatically pushed from Facebook to Twitter.


The tweet will also include your Facebook name which is less than ideal, but may be a small price to pay for the automated service.


Facebook Pages

If you run a Facebook fan page, Facebook makes it easy to share all of your Facebook updates directly on Twitter, by linking your page to Twitter.


You can share everything published on your Facebook page, or selectively choose from status updates, links, photos, notes and events.


All updates show on Twitter as being updated via Facebook.

update facebook and twitter at the same time

Post to Both Facebook and Twitter Simultaneously

If you’re equally active on Facebook and Twitter and want to update them at the same time, there are several applications to consider. and HelloTxt allow you to simultaneously update both Facebook and Twitter, amongst other social media and blogging services including Tumblr and LinkedIn. Third party apps like HootSuite, Seesmic and TweetDeck feature Facebook and Twitter integration, amongst other services, allowing you to update your status using just one application.

Do you think it’s a good idea to update Facebook and Twitter at the same time? Do you have any tips on how to update both social media networks simultaneously? Let us know in the comments.

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