- Cool Websites and Tools [March 27th]
- Thank You To MakeUseOf Friends!
- How Many Operating Systems Do You Use? [MakeUseOf Poll]
- RockMelt: The Ultimate Social Media Browser Enters Public Beta
- Hot Tech Deals [Mar 27th]
- 10 Free MP3 Albums To Download [Sound Sunday]
- SplashTop – A Free Operating System For Quick Internet Browsing
Posted: 27 Mar 2011 08:31 PM PDT
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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Posted: 27 Mar 2011 07:31 PM PDT
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Posted: 27 Mar 2011 06:30 PM PDT
Out of the 1067 votes collected, here’s the split: 46% have 3-5 computers in the house; 32% have 5-10 computers in their house; 11% have 2 computers; 6% have 10-20 computers; 4% have one computer and less than 1% has more than 20 computers. Just one voter had no computers in their house.
Full results and this week’s poll follows below.
If you have 3-10 computers in your house, you can consider yourself normal for a MakeUseOf reader.
This week’s poll question is: How Many Operating Systems Do You Use?
Consider all the different computers and smartphones you use at home and for work and let us know how many different operating systems you use in a normal week. Consider the various major versions to be different operating systems (eg. Windows 7 versus Windows NT or Linux versus FreeBSD) but leave out minor version differences like Windows NT Home versus Windows NT Professional.
Now that you’re thinking about it, let us know which operating systems you use. Are they mainly all Windows/Mac/UNIX or some combination of different tools for different purposes?
Need Assistance? Ask questions to MakeUseOf staff and thousands of other readers on MakeUseOf Answers!
More articles about: operating system, Reader Polls
Posted: 27 Mar 2011 03:31 PM PDT
Similar to Flock, RockMelt is a browser that targets the die-hard social media addict by integrating Twitter and Facebook directly into your browsing experience. It doesn’t end there as you can easily integrate other sites that you use on a daily basis including Tumblr, YouTube and Google Reader. Aside from it’s social media features, RockMelt also includes basic features found in other browsers, such as hitting the tab key to search from the address bar.
As far as Facebook integration is concerned, RockMelt automatically logs you into Facebook chat, with your contact list featured subtly on the left hand side of your browser. There you can see which contacts are online and which are idle. You can also selectively add Facebook friends to your favorites, and toggle the view of your contact list to show your favorite friends only.
On the right hand side of the browser you can access all of the apps and feeds that you have added to the browser.
There are two separate Facebook tabs on the right hand side. In one, you can see your friends' latest posts and update your Facebook status. Interaction with your friends on Facebook include the ability to like and comment on their updates. When your feed is updated, or you have any new notifications, a small badge will appear over the Facebook icon with the number of updates. The second tab features all of your Facebook notifications, and new notifications are visible through a badge with a mouse over the icon.
When chatting with friends, a new window will open up. You are notified of new chat messages with sound notifications as well as badges on the contact’s image in your contact list.
Like with Facebook, adding Twitter to RockMelt will allow you to keep up with your Twitter feed from a convenient window accessible from your apps and feeds list on the right hand side of the browser. With the Twitter feed, you can toggle a sidebar open and closed to reveal links to your replies, direct messages, tweets, retweets and lists.
You can tweet, reply to tweets and retweet them, using Twitter's native Retweet method.
You can even share a link from Twitter directly on your Facebook wall.
As far as content is concerned, photos and videos are displayed embedded within your feed.
If you want to add multiple Twitter accounts, you can do so by clicking on the settings button in your Twitter feed.
An interesting RockMelt Twitter feature is the ability to search your timeline for keywords, which is a nice novelty feature. The more significant and more useful feature of searching Twitter is, unfortunately, not a feature included in RockMelt's mini-client.
Some drawbacks we noticed to using Twitter on RockMelt is that to view a user's profile you have to open it on the website, and if you want to retweet and add your own text to the tweet, you'll have to copy and paste the original tweet.
RockMelt takes things one step further, making it easy not only to access information directly from your favorite sites, but also making it easy to share content as well. The 'Share' button next to the address bar allows you to share links quickly as you are viewing them, directly to your added apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Have you downloaded RockMelt? Would you be willing to switch from your preferred browser to RockMelt? Let us know in the comments.
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More articles about: beta, browsers, Facebook, social media, social networks, Twitter
Posted: 27 Mar 2011 01:30 PM PDT
For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.
Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set
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Posted: 27 Mar 2011 12:30 PM PDT
This week’s mix is full of soul, rhythm and blues, electronic and ambient elements, as well as some metal and jazz. It’s a killer edition with very little mainstream. I hope you are ready to open your ears to something new today; it’s a good workout for the brain.
Questions, suggestions, feedback? There is room for comments at the bottom and you can always eMail me [tina at makeuseof dot com]. Enjoy the music!
Anoop Desai – Zero.0
Anoop Desai is a former American Idol participant. In February he released his debut album All Is Fair. Zero.0 is the first of three EPs to be released this year. Anoop about the album: “The whole concept of ‘Zero’ is talking about the power of music to describe a moment in time, not necessarily a singular emotion.”
Download Zero.0 one song at a time from SoundCloud.
The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
Genre: rhythm and blues, soul
The Weeknd is a mysterious new band from Toronto, Canada. As MTV writes, tThey just signed a record deal with Drake’s label Young Money. The Guardian reveals that the men behind the project are Abel Tesfaye (vocals) and Jeremy Rose (production).
Download House Of Balloons from The Weeknd’s Homepage.
Kollektiv Artists – Pioneri
Kollketiv Artists is an online platform for electronic music artists. At musickollektiv.org anyone can discover electronic music. Pioneri, the Moscow Sampler, is an all Russian sampler from artists from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The above track, however, is from Kollektiv Artists’ previous free album, a sampler called Volume Four.
Download Pioneri from Kollektiv Artists’ Homepage.
Kollektiv Artists MySpace and Homepage.
Being – Naptime
Genre: electronic, distorto
Being, also known as The Wee DJs, The Buttmasters, Dave Parton, and many other names, is a band from the UK. On their Bandcamp page they write, the album Naptime was “recorded during the precious hours of naptime between 12pm and 3pm over a couple of weeks.”
Naptime is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
The Spectral Eye – Ghosts Of The City
Genre: avantgarde, ambient
From the artist’s Archive.org profile: “With my songs I tell about the people who no-one normally sees: the forgotten, the outcast, the silenced ones: their feeling, their dreams and memories, their fears and hopes. Their eyes and souls are full of stories and feeling no-one seems to notice, or care for: they are like ghosts, lost into the darkness and light of the city.”
Preview the full album and download Ghosts Of The City from Archive.org.
Adveniat Hiems – Loki
Genre: metal, black metal, ambient
From their Archive.org profile: “Adveniat Hiems formed in 2008 and are based in Milan, Italy. The band is dedicated to the production of short concept albums about northern mythology and themes from the North-European folklore.The basic lineup consists of three people and is integrated with session singers/musicians when needed.”
Preview the full album and download Loki from Archive.org.
Día De Los Muertos – Satánico-Dramáctico
Genre: metal, death metal, hardcore
Download Satánico-Dramático from Día De Los Muertos’ Homepage.
Jirí Vedral – Bueno
Genre: acoustic, folk, jazz
Download Bueno free from Indies Scope.
Jirí Vedral Facebook.
BrainStorm Operations – mixed
Genre: ambient, chillout, downtempo, electronica
From their Facebook profile: “BSO is (…) an unconventional company that plans on leaving a lasting impression on those who choose to involve them in a cooperative project. We produce ambient, chillout, lounge, deep trance, sound design and house. The goal is not only to deliver quality music but qualitative surroundings well. We here at BSO continue to live by the simple Tantra: Chill The Planet…”
Preview and download dozens of BSO’s songs free from Last.fm.
Dwayne Patrick – Heart What I See
Genre: hip hop, rhythm and blues, soul
Hear everything Dwayne has to say about Hear What I See in the album trailer above.
Download Heart What I See from Dwayne’s Homepage.
New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here.
Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.
More articles about: downloads, freebies, indie music, music, music albums, songs, soundsunday
Posted: 27 Mar 2011 10:31 AM PDT
If you’re already running Windows, perhaps it’s worth taking a look as it’s designed to run alongside and get you booted into an Internet-ready session in seconds. You’ll also get the power of Chrome web apps.
Download & Install
Head over to SplashTop and down the latest SplashTop OS. It’s a small 2MB installation file, but once you launch the application it’ll download a further 312MB over your Internet connection.
When THAT installation has finished, you’ll be given the option to import either IE or Firefox favourites as well as your Wi-fi settings, which is a nice touch. Restart the machine, and your boot menu will now show you a SplashTop OS option too. The boot-up is hardly instant, but it’s certainly faster than Windows.
Features At A Glance
That’s it, basically. It’s not designed to replace Windows. It’s a simple no-frills approach to using the Internet. So why would you use it then?
Faster Boot Time
So you don’t have to wait for the bulk of Windows to load. It’s not just the time taken to show you a desktop either – once you’ve loaded the desktop, you often still have to wait for various drivers, anti-virus software, automatic update checks – all of which prevents you from doing your simple 2 second Internet search. If 90% of your netbook use is using a browser, then you really don’t need all the bloat of Windows. SplashTop provides a simple alternative.
If you are running lots of background apps in Windows when you really just need the Internet, it’s a pain to close them all after a Windows restart just to get a quick speed up. On limited netbook machines, every ounce of computing power that you can squeeze out is important.
You can’t download files to your hard drive, only to USB drives. While this might be annoying, it does provide a great deal of security by preventing browser based attacks – of which there are none for Chrome anyway.
For security reasons or anonymity, there is a Restore Defaults option under the Enviromental Settings -> General screen. It will wipe everything, and restore the initial OS image.
Making Use Of An Old Computer
Okay, so you need to install Windows first, but then you can install the lightweight SplashTop OS for daily use as a basic Internet station.
Although I wasn’t able to make screenshots within the OS, here’s a short video from SplashTop to tempt you.
If you’re worried about trying this out on your main machine then bear in mind it unfortunately won’t work on a virtual machine (at least it wouldn’t for me). Don’t worry though, an uninstall option is added to your Windows installed programs list so it’s easy to get rid of if you don’t like it.
Despite apparently being powered by Bing, all my test searches using the browser bar defaulted to Google, so don’t let the Bing branding scare you off. It’s simple, lightweight, perfect for a quick browsing session on a netbook. It’s not going to replace your main Windows installation, and it’s not supposed to – it’s complementary. If you’re living in the cloud though, it’s a great way to simplify your computing experience.
Let us know in the comments what you think of it.
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More articles about: browsing, chrome os, internet, netbook, operating system
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