Sunday, March 13, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [March 12th]” plus 6 more “Cool Websites and Tools [March 12th]” plus 6 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [March 12th]

Posted: 12 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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TV Show Favs – Are you wondering when the next episode of your favorite series will air? If yes, then a TV guide would be extremely helpful. With TV Show Favs, you get a portable TV guide on your Android smartphone. TV Show Favs is a free and simple to use application for Android smartphones with an easy to use schedule. Read more: TV Show Favs: Up-To-Date Portable TV Guide for Your Android


Safer Chrome – Many malicious websites seem like all other normal non-malicious websites. To recognize these malicious sites and better protect yourself from them, you can make your browsing sessions secure and safer by using a tool called Safer Chrome, a browser extension for Google Chrome; it helps notify you if the site you are browsing is potentially malicious. After installing the extension you will notice a new icon in the URL bar. Read more: Safer Chrome: Makes Chrome Browsing Secure & Safer



Puntalo – If you always misplace or lose your phone, you may already wonder how to get it back when you lose it again. Fortunately, Puntalo is a cool app that makes it easy for you to find your lost or stolen phone by tracking its whereabouts. In addition, Puntalo also lets you track your family or friends by sending you SMS or e-mail notifications. Read more: Puntalo: Track Your Family & Find Your Lost Or Stolen Phone



Android Icon Generator – The best thing about Android phones is the ability to customize everything. Android Icon Generator lets you create your own icons for Android phones by simply uploading an image. You can generate icons for the menu, tabs, status bar, list view and dialogue. Each icon can be generated with hdpi, mdpi and ldpi designations. Read more: Android Icon Generator: Create Icons For Android Phone Online



Wallcast – Setting your photographs as your desktop wallpaper personalizes your computer experience. Turning on your computer and being greeted by a auto changing wallpaper with your family photographs will surely put a smile on your face. Wallcast helps you do exactly that. The program generates beautiful wallpapers by combining photographs that you provide it with. Read more: Wallcast: Creates Cool Auto Changing Wallpapers Of Your Photos


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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3 Methods To Create Your Own Searchable Twitter Archive

Posted: 12 Mar 2011 05:31 PM PST

twitter archiveIf you want to secure your tweets against any issues that might happen to Twitter and its servers, consider backing up your Twitter shares. If you use Twitter as a bookmarking tool sharing the most interesting links you come across, you may want to create a searchable archive to be able to quickly find a link you remember sharing a few days or months ago.

Twitter search could be a good solution (there is also a handy from: operator that allows you to find all tweets from any user) but it is only able to work for recently shared links. Twitter search only stores tweets for up to 10 days. If you want to be able to search through older tweets, consider using one (or all) of these tools to create a searchable archive of your tweets or any other Twitter-powered databases.

1. Archive & Search Tweets Using Google Reader

The great thing about Twitter is that almost everything has an RSS feed. There is an RSS link for your own updates as well as for the updates from any user. There’s also an RSS link for any search results. Obviously, you can grab that RSS feed link to subscribe using Google Reader:

twitter archive

From now on, your Twitter archive will be stored within your Google Reader giving you flexibility to search using some Google advanced operators:

search twitter archives

  • Exclude Any Word From Your Search Results: use – key;
  • Force Any Word In Your Search Results: use + key;
  • Force An Exact Match: use quotes;
  • Control The Proximity Of The Exact Match (wildcard search): use an asterisk to replace some words in your query.

Unlike general Google search (where one asterisk stands for one or more words), Google Reader search treats each asterisk as one word. This means that if you want two words in between your exact-match query, you will need to use two asterisks:

twitter archiving

While this approach seems quite perfect, there are some issues reported about the number of updates archived via Google Reader. For some active hashtags, for example, Google Reader seems to pull only the most recent 30 results. This probably happens because Twitter limits the number of updates in its RSS. The possible workaround is the next tool.

2. Archive & Search Tweets Using TwapperKeeper

TwapperKeeper is a handy web-based tool that allows you to create Twitter archives from any #hashtag, keyword or @person. The archive is being constantly updated, can be exported to Excel and provides an RSS link for tracking:

twitter archiving

You can use this RSS feed to archive and search Tweets in Google Reader or you can use the standalone tool and its inherent search options:

  • Search by date;
  • Search by Twitter user;
  • Search by keyword;
  • Filter out all RTs:

twitter archiving

3. Archive & Search Tweets Using is the most basic and sweetest tool of all listed in this article. All it does is store your Twitter, Facebook or any RSS feed updates and lets you search through it by keyword.

The sweet part is that:

  • It has a very nice clutter-free interface which makes scanning through results quite fun;
  • It displays a favicon for each source URL (for linked updates) which lets you easier identify the tweet;
  • It aggregates your Twitter and Facebook shares.

twitter archive

Let’s Put it All Together!

Google ReaderTwapper
Create archive for…Any user, any search results (including advanced search results like near: and filter:links searches)Any user, any hashtag, any keyword (no advanced search results here)Your account (via auth) or any RSS feed
Search optionsExclude any word, force exact match, control the proximitySet the date range, search by Twitter user, filter our RTsNone (search by keyword)

Are you aware of any more ways to create a Twitter archive that would enable you to search for previously shared links and updates? Please let us know your thoughts!

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Hot Tech Deals [Mar 12th]

Posted: 12 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. Dell UltraSharp U3011 30in IPS Widescreen LCD Monitor (2560×1600) $1124.25 Free Shipping via code $5HNJCKS5KR?VC (Exp 3/13)
  2. Sharp LC-42SB48UT 42in LCD HDTV (1080p) $449.99 Free Shipping
  3. Dell Inspiron 15 Intel Dual-Core T4500 2.3GHz 15.6in Laptop (3GB/320GB) $399.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  4. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Core i5-460M Dual-Core 2.53GHz 17.3in Laptop (4GB/500GB) $599.99 via code 0CQ6F64K$ZCPV$ (Exp 3/14)
  5. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i5-460M Dual-Core 2.53GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB) $599.99
  6. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-370M 15.6″ Notebook Computer for $499.99 Free Shipping via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  7. Dell Inspiron 580 Intel Core i3-550 Dual-Core 3.2GHz Desktop Computer (6GB/1TB) w/ 20in LED LCD $579.99
  8. Dell Vostro 3300 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 13.3in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $469
  9. Dell Vostro 3500 Intel Core i3 2.4GHz 15.6in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $501 Free Overnight Shipping
  10. Dell Vostro 3400 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 14in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $499
  11. Dell Vostro 3700 Intel Core i3-370M 2.4GHz 17.3in Laptop (Aluminum, 2GB/250GB) $549

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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Firefox 4 Release Candidate Available for Download [News]

Posted: 12 Mar 2011 12:00 PM PST

We’ve already given you 7 reasons you might consider upgrading to Firefox 4, so if you’re eager to try out the latest features, the release candidate is now available for download. The release candidate has been available for a few days, and for those of you who didn’t want to install the beta, the stability the latest version offers is reason enough to take the plunge.

With changes made both to Firefox’s appearance, as well as countless changes under the hood, there’s a lot worth trying out in the release candidate.

Changes have been made to Firefox’s appearance, specifically changing the tab location, to above the address bar. (Chrome anyone?)

A unique new Firefox tab feature is the ability to pin tabs to your browser. This comes in handy for websites you tend to keep open all the time, such as webmail, and is just one of a few features which will appeal to users who’s online life is in the cloud.

Another useful in-the-cloud feature is the synchronisation feature, all of your your Firefox data – from settings to passwords, from history to open tabs – can be available to you on all of your devices, including Android and iOS devices, through a Firefox sync server.

The release candidate also launches a revamped add-ons management centre, with an updated slick interface making it easy to search for and install Firefox plugins.

Under the hood, you’ll find that Firefox 4 RC is faster than any previous version – at least 3 and a half times faster than previous versions according to tests.

In addition, Firefox 4 RC features HTML 5 support, enhanced privacy settings, and crash protection, meaning when Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins crash, you can reload the page without having to restart Firefox.

If you want to give Firefox 4 RC a try, head over and download your copy now.

What do you think of the latest Firefox version? Would you ditch your preferred browser in favor of Firefox 4? Let us know in the comments.

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All My Apps: Browse & Install Free Windows Software

Posted: 12 Mar 2011 11:31 AM PST

free computer softwareInstall, upgrade and manage your favorite free applications from one simple interface. All My Apps is a sort of app store for Windows, allowing you to install software in just a few clicks. Downloading and installation itself is automated, meaning you won’t have to click “Next” several times or worry about add-ons.

If you read MakeUseOf, you no doubt have a love for free software. All My Apps is a program for Windows that allows you to find free software and install it.. There is also some software for sale through this program, but the emphasis seems to be on the free stuff. Browse applications by categories; see which are downloaded most frequently. Heck, this program can even handle updates for you. All My Apps is a free download, although using it requires that you sign up for the web service.

What It Is

Like the package management in Ubuntu or the Apple App store, All My Apps is a repository of software you can quickly install. Browsing software is simple:

free computer software

Applications are broken down into categories, including Communication and Office. Click one of these categories and you’ll see the most installed apps. Click an application to read a summary of it:

free software downloads

When you decide to install a program, you’ll be presented with that software’s EULA:

free software downloads

Accept it and All My Apps will automatically download and install the software. There’s no clicking “Next” five times, and no annoying add-ons included with the software as far as I could tell. Just the software you want, quickly.

If a piece of software is already on your machine, All My Apps will let you know:

free software downloads

Want to queue several installations to run? Head over to the website:

free software

Here you can queue a list of software to install, then send the list to All My Apps for quick installation. Approve all the EULAs and you’re good to go.

Setting Up

Ready to get started? The first thing you’re going to want to do is head over to All My Apps and sign up for an account. Then you’re going to want to download the free client, which you’ll find a link to in the top-right corner of the site:

free computer software

Installing the client will take a while, particularly if you don’t have .NET 3.5 installed yet. Don’t worry; it’s worth it. Once the client loads for the first time you can start exploring for apps.


Our readers are awesome. When I pointed out that Npackd installs and updates Windows software, they were quick to point out All My Apps as an alternative with a simpler interface. Thanks CopyPastaa!

Is this tool similar to Ninite, a tool for installing all of your favorite free apps as one installation? A little, but Ninite is more for one-off installations; All My Apps wants to stay on your computer and be your go-to place to find new applications. Both approaches have merit, but which do you prefer? Also feel free to recommend alternative programs in the comments below; they just might be written up.

Oh, and if you want to explore the best free Windows software without installing anything, check out our list of the best Windows software. Enjoy!

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5 Ways To Use Twitter As An Online Private Diary

Posted: 12 Mar 2011 09:31 AM PST

twitter as a diaryWhile Twitter is all about social networking, conversations and sharing your thoughts with your followers, it can also be a great way to document what you’re doing throughout the day. That said, you don’t want to bore your followers with every detail of your day, and one of the first rules anyone will tell you about Twitter is not to tweet about what you eat. But if you want to keep track of your eating habits, your errands, or just about anything that happens to you throughout the day, there’s a service that will let you do just that using Twitter – but privately.

Below are 5 suggestions on how you can use Twitter as a diary. These are ways you can use Twitter or use Twitter-like services to keep a private microblog, saving your thoughts, or daily experiences online for posterity.

Tweet What You Eat!

Tweet What You Eat! (TWYE) is a free service that allows you to keep a food diary. Whether you’re on a diet, counting calories, or simply want to keep track of your eating habits. TWYE has you covered.

Signing up for a free account can be done by registering for a free account or you can register using your Facebook login.

twitter as a diary

You will then need to link your TWYE account to your Twitter account, which will also automatically follow the TWYE Twitter account.


Once you’re logged in, you can begin to keep track of what you eat and your weight. Each food entry is accompanied by a description, the number of calories, date eaten and time. You also have the option of posting it to Facebook.


Weight entries are accompanied by the date, time, weight and comments. While weight entries are technically in pounds, there’s no reason you can’t enter them in kilograms.


If you’re wondering where the Twitter part is, you can add items on the go through Twitter, by DM’ing the information to the TWYE Twitter account. If you want to include the calorie count, be sure to use the following format:

Slice of Pizza:240

As you continue to add items to your log, TWYE will calculate the total number of calories per day, your average weight, and more.

While your entries are not made public on your Twitter profile, they are public on TWYE, on the “Recently Tweaten List”.

Tweet What You Spend

If you want to use Twitter as a spending diary, from the same people behind TWYE, comes Tweet What You Spend (TWYS).

To register, you have to create a new account. Unlike TWYE you can’t register using your Facebook account, and for privacy issues that’s definitely better.

twitter diary

The next step is to link your TWYS account with your Twitter account.


You can then begin to keep track of your spending habits using TWYS. Information included with entries include date, time, item description and the amount spent.


After you’ve added the item, you can drag and drop the item into the categories listed on the left-hand side of the screen, a list that is entirely editable.

twitter diary

TWYS will also keep track of your average daily spending and you can export your spending journal to a CSV file.

Like TWYE, you can DM your expenses making it easy to make entries on the go. TWYS provides a guide on how to formulate your entries. For example, if you want to include the amount, description and category use the following format:

Taxi 20 Transportation

If for any reason, TWYE or TWYS doesn’t auto-follow you once you’ve registered, you won’t be able to DM them, just mention it to them on Twitter and it should be resolved quickly.

Tweet Private

With TweetPrivate, you can keep a private online diary of just about anything you want. You don’t have to register for a new account, just connect it to your Twitter account.


You can then store private thoughts in your Tweet Private account.

twitter diary

Not only can you store your private thoughts, you can also upload photos that will be kept private.

using twitter as a diary

To use Tweet Private on the go, log in from your phone on the mobile site and you can enter your rants and thoughts from anywhere. In addition to storing your thoughts, you can also check in on the online map. On your TweetPhoto account you can browse your personal tweets by date.

using twitter as a diary


If you’d rather keep Twitter and your diary separate, Current offers an interesting alternative. It limits you to Twitter’s 140 character count, making it an ideal private microblog. Signing up for a new account requires a username, email address, password and time zone.

using twitter as a diary

You can then write one short diary entry entry per day.

twitter as a diary

All entries will be displayed on your home page and are visible only to you.

using twitter as a diary

Private Twitter Account

Without a doubt, the easiest way to pull this off is to use a private Twitter account. With lots of third party Twitter apps, both mobile and desktop, supporting multiple accounts, all it takes to keep a private microblog is to open a new Twitter account.

Would you use Twitter to keep a private online journal? Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to use Twitter as a diary?

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



Winamp Releases Android Media Player 1.0 [News]

Posted: 12 Mar 2011 07:31 AM PST

Winamp has just released their Winamp 1.0 client for Google Android devices, allowing users to sync their music wirelessly from their Winamp Desktop library to their Android device over their Wi-Fi network. Get your copy of the Winamp Android application for free here or through the Android Market here.

Most Android devices of version 2.2 and above can connect Winamp to the free online radio directory service SHOUTcast, which has thousands of radio stations in its directory. Users can browse these stations easily from the Winamp home screen.

Winamp has completely redesigned the home screen and “Now Playing” screens. It now supports genre browsing, search and a left/right swipe gesture to change tracks, plus it has the ability to use Google’s voice command “Listen to” to activate Winamp. The “Now Playing” screen shows album art, title track and artist information and more. The user can press and hold the song information to interact with Pandora, YouTube or the Amazon MP3 store.

A brand new feature is the ability to download free tracks using the Winamp for Android home screen. Users can stream tracks individually and if they like them they can download them instantly to their Android device for free.

Player controls remain persistent while within the Winamp application, allowing easy access to the home screen as well as track navigation.

Widgets are available for Winamp playlists or the Winamp player, giving easy access to your favourite tunes.

If the client is installed, Winamp will support scrobbling of tracks to

The new Winamp client now supports 12 languages and has fixed various bugs since the first release.

For more excellent Android applications, check out the best sites to find Android apps.  In the meantime, let us know what you think of Winamp’s new Android app or whether you prefer another Android app to listen to music.

Source: Winamp Blog



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