Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MakeUseOf.com: “Cool Websites and Tools [March 28th]” plus 10 more

MakeUseOf.com: “Cool Websites and Tools [March 28th]” plus 10 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [March 28th]

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 08:31 PM PDT

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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Twitpic To Flickr – While Twitpic lets you share photos on Twitter, many people still use Flickr as their default photo hosting web service. If you separately upload photographs to Twitpic and Flickr, then there is a web service you will find helpful called Twitpic to Flickr, a free web service that synchronizes your Twitpic photographs to your Flickr account. Read more: Twitpic To Flickr: Automatically Syncs Your Twitipic To Your Flickr


JotPress – This is a dead-simple and free app that lets anyone share their ideas to the online world from their e-mails. All one needs to do is e-mail post@jotpress.com to instantly publish anything from their e-mail to the web. Read more: JotPress: Publish Ideas To Web From Your E-mail



Wizdrop – Many people who buy new smartphones cannot figure out how to send files from their phones to their contacts. For them a site called Wizdrop will be helpful, a free to use web service that lets people send files to mobile phones and email addresses. You can access the site either through your computer or through your phone. Read more: Wizdrop: Easily Transfer Files To Any Mobile Phone Or Email



Net Safety App – Today there are an increasing number of online threats to mobile internet users. Phishing schemes, cyber-bullying, and online viruses are only some of the threats users face. To stay informed of these threats on the go, check out a mobile internet safety app called Net Safety App. The app sends you security tips every now and then. Read more: Net Safety App: Get Tips On Internet Safety [Android]



Pushnote – While you are browsing a webpage, the chances are that thousands of other users are visiting the same webpage but there is no way for you to interact with them. Pushnote changes that by letting you leave comments on any webpage and read what other Pushnote users have written about that particular page. Read more: Pushnote: Communicate With Visitors On Any Webpage


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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2 FireFox Addons To Extract And View Multiple Web Images

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 06:30 PM PDT

firefox multiple imagesLet’s face it: FireFox’s default image viewing options are quite limited. You can’t click through multiple images in one tab and you can’t zoom effectively (you can only zoom in / out once at most).

Luckily there are two addons that do a great job fixing that issue. In fact, I am so in love with both of these addons that I now have FireFox as my default image viewing software.

So let me try to explain why I find them so awesome:

1. Image Tools

(Compatible: Firefox 3.6 – 4.0.*)

Image Tools is a fun addon that boosts the default image-viewing screen adding plenty of options and lets you view all images from the current page (or from the current local folder). The addon works from the right-click menu that lets you view all images on the current page (To see a local image just drag it into Firefox):

firefox multiple images

The image viewing panel lets you:

  • View all the images from the current page one by one;
  • Zoom the image in and out (and reset to the actual size);
  • Zoom the image to fit the window;
  • Rotate the current image right or left;
  • Set the background and frame color;
  • Save the image;
  • Copy image address;
  • Edit image online on Pixlr.com

firefox image viewer

The addon also supports and adds the range of useful keyboard shortcuts:

  • Save image: CTRL+S;
  • Copy image address to clipboard: CTRL+C;
  • List images: RIGHT and LEFT ARROW;
  • Fit image to window: Q – fit to window
  • View the original size: E
  • Zoom image in / out: W / S (respectively)
  • Rotate left / right: A / D (respectively)

Web Slide Show

Web Slide Show grabs all the images linked from the current page and creates a beautiful slide show using them. Like the above one, it works from the right-click menu:

firefox image viewer

The great thing about it is that (unlike the above one), it shows all linked images in their full size (replacing thumbnails).

The slideshow has all the necessary options to customize your viewing experience. You can:

  • Save all images from the current page (which os a great extra option);
  • Zoom images to fit the screen,
  • Make the slide show faster or slower;
  • Repeat as well as play / stop the slideshow;
  • View all images by clicking through them manually – there are buttons for that but you can also use standard shortcuts:
  • Home / End keys – view the first / last image in the slide show;
  • Page up / Page down keys – view previous / next image respectively

firefox image viewer

(To stop slideshow and close window press ESC or double click).

The addon also offers special support for popular web services including Flickr, Google Picasa Web and Google Image Search, Wikimedia and Wikipedia, Deviantart.com, Facebook.com, Imageshack.us, Photobucket.com, etc

The tool has a number of settings which can customize your viewing experience:

  • Loop all the slideshow for endless viewing (in case you just want to lean back and enjoy);
  • Adjust the time out (mind that it also depend on your Internet connection);
  • Minimum image width for it to appear in the slide show (to skip all icons and thumbnails);
  • Set it to shrink or zoom images to fit the screen, etc.

firefox multiple images

Are you aware of any more options to supercharge viewing of multiple images in FireFox? Have you had any experience with those listed here? Please share your thoughts!

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3 New & Superb Ways To Share Files Online

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 04:30 PM PDT

storage share filesWith the advent of HTML5, which enables websites to do amazing things, the realm of file-sharing sites has definitely grown with newer options that make the whole experience a lot more seamless. You can drag and drop onto websites, in interesting ways you couldn't (or could with limited results) with the web apps you may be used to, like the defunct Drop.io or Mediafire. It may be easier to use desktop programs, like Dropbox (which you now use to sync folders outside the main one), but it never hurts to explore other alternatives that offer similar features.

We'll take a look at some of the newer web-based storage and file-sharing sites that despite their simple looks, offer convenient drag-and-drop, as well as, shortened URLs and statistics (something that most desktop programs don't provide yet).


storage share files

With Crate, you get a beautiful and ad-free site where you can upload files of up to 50 MB by drag and dropping them onto the website and copy the shortened link to share with whomever. You can have up to 6 different crates or workspaces for a total of 200MB of storage space, which you can track if you sign up for a free account. Once signed in, you can see the number of views and downloads for your files. Though you can share an entire crate, you can't download it since you still have to click on each file to download it. You will also need a compatible browser to get the most of out Crate, as you can't drag and drop files in IE9.

store and share files


store and share files

Here is another simple, real-time sharing website, which has a focus on letting you share your files quick and move on. With Ge.tt, you can select files  or can drag and drop them onto the site (if you have a supported browser), and then share the shortened URL like the other apps in this list, but a cool feature is that you don't have to wait for your file to finish uploading before users download them.

You also don't need an account to start uploading files, but acquiring a free account enables your files to live longer than 30 days, plus you get live statistics. You can also add or remove files,  but any files that stay inactive in your account for more than 3 months will get removed. Like Crate, Ge.tt doesn't allow the download of an entire share, so if you have multiple files to share, other users will have to click on each file to download them all.


storage share files

Min.us started as a super-easy way to share good-looking image galleries, but nowadays, the storage service has expanded and thus, it now accepts other types of files, such as documents, and videos. You can drag and drop or select your files. Then, you can instantly view your file, add or remove files, as well as download the entire share, which will be in the form of a zip file. You can use the service without signing up, but with an account, you'll have a a profile at http://min.us/u/YOURusername like this one, where you can publish files and galleries.

Be sure to explore Steve's article as he reviewed Min.us in more detail, back when the service was mostly for displaying great image galleries.

Behind minimalistic looks, these 3 sites offer plenty of features and could be great alternatives to Drop.io. I say, using any of these sites is as easy as using Dropbox's Public folder, but let's hear from you. What do you use to share your files instantly?

Image credit: Shutterstock

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4+ Free Downloadable Xbox 360 Games & DLC You Should Grab Right Now

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 02:30 PM PDT

download xbox 360 gamesIf you own an Xbox 360 console there’s a good chance you’ve used the Xbox Live online service. If not, then it’s not too late to unlock a whole world of free online goodies for your console.

This includes full games, add-ons for games you may already own, themes and other Xbox Live content. If you’re particularly keen on improving your GamerScore you’ll be delighted to know that some of these freebies come with achievements you can grind away at.

Fire up your 360 and clear some download space if you’ve not got this lot already!

Regions & Downloading Options

Unfortunately Microsoft choose to restrict which regions receive some of this free content, especially the games. Much of this content will be available in US NTSC regions, and I’ve tested its availability in the UK (that’s the European PAL region).

Gamers down under might encounter some issues, as I’ve read on multiple forums that some of this content isn’t available in their region.

On the plus side you’ve got two options when you want to download Xbox 360 games. You can either choose to navigate your way through the Game Marketplace on your Xbox 360 console (you’ll need to be logged in to a Live-enabled account), or sign in with your Xbox Live credentials at Xbox.com to add each download to your queue.

Once you power your console up and login, your downloads will automatically start. This is generally a lot quicker than navigating your way around the Xbox dashboard with a controller.


Harms Way

download xbox 360 games

Do you like racing? Good. How about shooting? Ok, well grab yourself a friend and prepare to do plenty of both with this free co-op "I race, you shoot" Xbox Live Arcade game. Featuring full online play (though you might have to persist at more social hours to get a game) and offline local carnage too, there’s very little reason not to download Harms Way.

Aegis Wing

xbox 360 video games

Created by three Microsoft interns and Carbonated Games, Aegis Wing is a side-scrolling shooter that rewards co-op play. Up to four friends can join in either locally or via Xbox Live to battle through hordes of enemy aliens.

It is possible to combine ships in order to boost firepower and there are some pretty spectacular power-ups to collect along your way. If you enjoy this kind of arcade experience download Aegis Wing now!

Note: Even though the game displays for me within a browser on Xbox.com US, I’ve not been able to download this one in the UK on my console.

Doritos Crash Course

xbox 360 video games

Easily one of the most infuriating yet addictive games to date, Doritos Crash Course is essentially a spicier, crispier video game homage to the hit TV show Total Wipeout. The aim is to finish the course, avoid the obstacles, duck and jump your way to the end in order to place better than your friends and the rest of the world.

With online leaderboards, a frantic local multiplayer experience and achievements to boot, Doritos Crash Course should keep you busy, at least for a while.

Microsoft Game Room

xbox 360 video games

Accessible via an Xbox 360 and the Microsoft Windows operating system, Games Room is a collection of genuine arcade classics all wrapped up in a 3D environment. The best part is you don’t necessarily need to spend any money to enjoy classics like Centipede on your 360 console.

Anything you do happen to purchase will also then be available on PC, so you can do your gaming from anywhere. There’s a handful of cabinets that are free to play, though you’ll be invited to make a couple of purchases on your way.

Downloadable Content

You’ll need to own the original games for these to work, but here are some of the best free DLC downloads released for the Xbox 360 to date.

Rockband & Rockband 2

games for xbox 360

If you spent all your money on Rockband controllers way back when, then chances are you’ve got a copy of the game too. There are a few great free songs available for download completely free of charge, and you might even find yourself playing these more than ones you’ve actually paid for.

Personal favourites include Still Alive, released by Valve Software, which is the song played at the end of the popular FPS Portal. Another quality free track is Promised Land by Vesuvius, which featured in the film The Rocker and is an absolute blast for the drummer and vocalist.

For a better way to peruse the whole catalogue (with previews) try the Rockband Music Store.

Left 4 DeadSurvival Pack

download xbox 360 games

Rarely do free add-ons get as good as this (unless they’re free mods, of course). Despite Valve’s Left 4 Dead being a bit short and well, a bit repetitive, the addition of two completely new levels and a new game mode pretty much makes up for it.

Considering you can waltz into any good games reseller and by a nice, cheap, sub-$10 copy of Left 4 Dead; this DLC makes it all the more enticing (and essentially gives you another third of a game, completely free).


Hopefully some of the titles mentioned here will tickle your fancy, and more importantly are available for download in your region. Don’t forget Microsoft regularly update the Xbox 360 online game catalog each Wednesday, with new Arcade games, DLC, game demos and games on demand.

Do you have an Xbox 360? Any favorite titles or addons? Discovered any nice freebies recently? Let us know in the comments.

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Hot Tech Deals [Mar 28th]

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 01:30 PM PDT

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. LG 47LD450 47in LCD HDTV (1080p) $599.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKGHE27 (Exp 3/31)
  2. Dell Vostro 230 Mini Intel Dual-Core E5800 3.2GHz Desktop (2GB/320GB) w/ 17in LCD $329
  3. Dell Vostro 230 Slim Intel Dual-Core E5800 3.2GHz Mini Tower Desktop (3GB/250GB) w/ 22in LCD $399
  4. Dell Vostro 230 Mini Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Desktop (3GB/320GB) w/ Viewsonic 24in LCD $449
  5. Dell Vostro 460 Mini Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge Quad-Core 3.1GHz Desktop w/ 22in LCD, Win7 Pro $759
  6. Apple Outlet Refurbished iPod Nano Touch Current Generation (8GB $129, 16GB $149)
  7. TODAY ONLY Dell ST2210 22in Widescreen LCD Monitor $119.99 Free Shipping
  8. HP ENVY 17 Intel Core 7-2630QM Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop (6GB/750GB/Radeon 6850) $1199 via code NB7275 (Exp Soon)
  9. HP dv7tqe Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop (6GB/750GB/Blu-Ray/Radeon 6770) $892 via code NB739862 (Exp Soon)
  10. HP Pavilion dv6tse Intel Core i5-2410M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge 15in Laptop (6GB/640GB) $664.99 via code NB2315 (Exp Soon)
  11. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Core i5-2410M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop (4GB/500GB) $699.99
  12. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-2310M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB) $599

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set



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Frenzy Turns Dropbox Into A Private Social Network [Mac]

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 12:31 PM PDT

dropbox social networkThe latest social media network has appeared in the most unlikely of places – inside your Dropbox folders. Frenzy is a private social network which you can use to share files, status updates, messages and more. All you need is a Mac with Dropbox installed, using either a free or a paid account.

The advantage to using an app like Frenzy to keep up with your friends, as well as share files, is the absolute privacy that it provides, giving you complete control over your files, photos and more, unlike with public social networks like Facebook. It could also prove useful in a work environment, as a slick alternative to services like Yammer. The drawback, however, is that it only works on Macs, which will definitely limit the app’s potential as a private social network.

After installing Frenzy, the first thing you will be prompted to do is determine your own keyboard shortcut for quickly sharing files and links from your computer through the Frenzy network, or you can just stick with Frenzy’s suggested keyboard shortcut.

dropbox social network

The next step will be to install the Firefox extension, which allows you to use the service to share links from your browser. All other browsers work out of the box.

dropbox social networking

You can also choose the location where files shared through Frenzy are saved. By default, all of your shared folders will be included in the list, but you can uncheck any folders you don’t want to use through the app’s preferences.

dropbox social networking

If after installing Frenzy you share more folders with friends, you will be asked if you wish to use these folders with Frenzy as well.

dropbox social networking

So how does Frenzy work? It stores all of your real-time updates in hidden folders inside your Dropbox shared folder, which is of course automatically synced using the service. You can type messages and status updates directly within the Frenzy window, determining which shared folder you want the message to go to, with the ability to send it to multiple folders simultaneously, in effect allowing you to communicate with as many different groups of people as you want in what is basically a Dropbox social network.

dropbox network

You can share files or folders, accompanied by messages, from your computer using the keyboard shortcut, which will automatically launch the Frenzy window. You can also share the URL of the page you are browsing in Firefox, Safari, OmniWeb, Opera, Camino, NetNewsWire and Chrome, also using the keyboard shortcut.

dropbox social network

Everything you share in any given folder will be visible in the feed of other people with whom this folder is shared. While only the last 25 updates are visible in your feed, the files themselves continue to exist. In future versions of Frenzy, it will be possible to display and view older items in your feed.

If you wish to delete files that are no longer visible in the feed, navigate to your Frenzy folder directly from your feed, by clicking ‘Reveal in Finder,’ on any given item. This will bring you straight to your hidden folder where you can easily delete files that are saved, even if you can’t view them on your feed any longer.

Note: Frenzy is in public beta at the moment, and can be downloaded for free. While the beta will not expire, once the app is launched it will no longer be available for free.

Have you tried out Frenzy? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

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Use Automator To Create Symbolic Links To Dropbox [Mac]

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 11:31 AM PDT

dropbox symbolic linksIf you’re lucky enough to have two or more computers and mobile devices, you will know the biggest challenge is keeping files synced between your computers and devices. For some applications in which you regularly update their libraries with new data – such as text expansion programs like TextExpander, Typinator, or 1Password - it’s a lot less time consuming to keep those application’s data in sync between computers so you don’t have to re-enter the information more than once. Using a file sharing service like Dropbox is a very powerful and free way to keep files in sync between computers.

We’ve already explained how to sync files and folders between computers using Dropbox.  But there are some applications which see where the file points to rather than the alias itself. To make the data of those applications work in Dropbox, you need to create what’s called a “symbolic link” to your Dropbox drive.

Don’t let the fancy term turn you off, symbolic links simply rely on specific path information to locate a file. A Mac alias of a file sometimes will not be enough. There are Command line ways to create symbolic links, but if you’d rather not get your hands dirty with that, you can use a good old Automator hack to create dropbox symbolic links for you.

For this tutorial, I’m going to show you to create a symbolic link for Typinator, but this how-to can also apply to TextExpander, 1Password, and other similar applications. Taking the trouble to set this up will pay off in the end when you see how quickly your selected files update on your computers via Dropbox. This tutorial assumes that you already have the Dropbox client installed on your Mac. If you’re new to Dropbox, download the free PDF MUO guide, The First Unofficial Guide to Dropbox.

Download & Install Action

In order to create your symbolic link using the Automator, we need to download the action from Junecloud. When you click to the site, scroll down and click on the green download button. After the .dmg file downloads to your computer, open it if it doesn’t automatically open.

dropbox symbolic links

Next, open Automator and go to File > Import, and then locate the Create Symbolic Link action in the Junecloud .dmg folder.

Create The Symbolic Link Action

  1. Next, locate the file which you want to make a symbolic link for. In this case, we find the Typinator or TextExpander file in your Home Library > Application Support > Typinator.
  2. dropbox symbolic link mac

  3. Create a new folder in your Dropbox directory and name it “Library“. Next, move – don’t copy – the Typinator folder from your Application Support folder to the new Library folder in Dropbox.
  4. Now, go back to Automator and create a new workflow. Drag the Typinator folder in Dropbox and place it in the main workflow window of Automator.

    dropbox symbolic link mac

  5. Click on Files and Folders in the library pane of Automator and then locate the Create Symbolic Link action. Drag that action into the workflow area under the Typinator/Get Specified Finder Items action.

    dropbox symbolic link mac

  6. In the Symbolic Link action, click on the button next to the word, “Where.” Change the location from desktop to Application Support in your Home Library folder. The same folder from which you moved the Typinator folder.

    dropbox symbolic linker

  7. Now run the action by clicking the Run button in the menu bar of Automator. It should create your symbolic link. To make sure, open your Home Library folder and you should see the linked Typinator folder.

    dropbox symbolic links

Syncing To Another Mac(s)

So far you may feel like you’ve changed the tire on your car. But remember, doing all this mechanical work is going to save you lots of time in the long run.

Now go onto your other Mac, your laptop for instance, in which you want to sync with the Typinator or TextExpander file in your Dropbox account. Download the Create Symbolic action to that Mac and install it in Automator in the same way you did above.

If you already have Typinator or TextExpander installed on your second Mac, go into the Home Library > Application Support folder and trash the Typinator or TextExpander folder that is located there. The reason is that you want to replace that folder with the one in your Dropbox.

Now do the exact same setup in Automator that you did above. Drag the Typinator folder in Dropbox to the workflow area in Automator, and then add the Create the Symbolic Link action, and change the location to the Home Library  > Application Support of your remote Mac. Finally, run the workflow. Make sure the symbolic link appears in your Application Support folder of your remote Mac.

The Joys Of Syncing

Now you should see the same exact Typinator or TextExpander snippets on both of your Macs. If not, try quitting and restarting the applications.

When you add new snippets to either of the applications, they will almost instantly get updated via Dropbox, saving you – my automation time saving friend – all the trouble of manually inputting the same snippets on both computers. This is how computerization should work.

Let me know how this tutorial works out for you. If you use symbolic links with other applications, please let us know which ones.

If you’re interested in other Automator workflows, download the free MUO PDF, The Awesome Automation Guide for Mac OS X. Also if you’re interested in other ways to share folders through other computers, read Jeffry’s excellent article -  How to Share and Synchronize Research Data to Other Computers.

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8 Bestseller Lists To Find Books To Read That Are On Top of The Pile

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 10:30 AM PDT

bestseller book listsMaking it to a list of any kind gets attention. The item on it is guaranteed at least its 15 minutes of fame. The list that every book aspires to be on is of course, "The Bestseller List".

Sounds catchy, but as history will testify, finding a place on it is easier written than done. The reason a bestseller book list is an enviable list is to be on is because it marks out an author and puts him on the who's who of the writing world.

A bestseller list is purely about the number of books sold and it does not have a direct bearing on the actual merit of the book. Even then, a book title on such a list is indicative of the fact that you can buy and give it a read.

So as a reader, which are the lists you should follow. We start with the most definitive and then move on to the next bests.

The New York Times Bestsellers

new york times bestseller lists

A place on The New York Times' weekly list is sure to get you worldwide book signing tours. Not only is this list the most widely recognized, it is also probably one of the oldest ones out there. The exact nature of compiling this leading list is not known, but the rankings do focus on the number of retail sales as against wholesale. Thus, this represents what an individual buyer may be actually buying off the shelf. In tune with the times, The New York Times Bestseller list also has a category for e-books.  On the site, you can also check out rankers in previous lists.

Amazon.com Bestsellers

bestseller lists

These days a lot many books are finding their place into our hands from online stores. Amazon is the preeminent one among them. The lists are updated hourly, and though this list is absolutely about books that are sold by Amazon, you can get some pretty fair tips on what's moving up in the book ecosystem. Amazon's features like customer discussions, book previews, the Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought section are pretty good sources for buying tips. You can also see which books made it in any particular category, and the ones which made it by date ranges.

USA Today

bestseller lists

Unlike Amazon, USA Today's bestseller book list doesn't distinguish between formats. It combines sales figures across all formats and across all selling sources (online and offline) into the week’s 150 top-selling titles. The list has to be respected because USA Today is also the widest circulated print newspaper in the United States. The bestselling books list is very sortable by rank, title, and author. You can also reach into the previous lists by clicking on the little calendar icon. The list also put all types of books: hardcover, fiction, non-fiction, e-books, etc on one single list. If you want to use it as a shopping reference, just print out the list.

Barnes & Noble

bestseller lists

Barnes & Noble is one of the largest online retailers of books in the U.S. So, their Barnes & Noble Top 100 is a good read. The list is all about the top selling books from the Barnes & Noble chains across the country. The bestselling books can be viewed in many ways – Bestsellers by Subject, Paperback Bestsellers, The Year’s Top 100, This Hour’s Top 100 etc. just to name a few.


About.com has guides on many subjects; one of them is on bestsellers. Compiled by a lady, Erin Collazo Miller, the bestseller list is a subjective evaluation of what's a good read currently. The guide also has recommendation lists by genre and topic, and reviews of the latest books. The books may be individual picks (i.e. by sales figures) but you can definitely run your eyes over the titles that get mentioned.

Oprah's Book Club

This book discussion club started by iconic American TV host Oprah Winfrey probably gave rise to the term – The Oprah Effect. It is not an "official" bestselling list of any kind, but a mere mention of a book can make a book be a member of any bestselling list. The book club is highly influential, so a visit to catch the Oprah Book Club is definitely in order.

Publishers Weekly

Last but in no way the least, let's take a look at what this international book news website of book publishing and the bookselling business says about top-selling books. The American book trade magazine is nearly 138 years old. The site is known for its book reviews, so you can expect lot of it finds an echo in the top picks that the magazine publishes online on its site. Also, always watch out for the Best of the Year lists that come out. Here's the one for 2010. You can also register for free access to their Best Seller Archive.

Booklist Online

bestseller book lists

Booklist started as a book review magazine by the American Library Association. So, you can not only read book reviews catering to a broad section of the pie but also go over lists of current and past winners of awards such as the Pulitzer, Booker, Newberry and Printz. The left sidebar has a long lineup of literary recognitions and is thus a treasure trove of books that should prove page turners.

This eight member list may not be all about books that are selling like hot cakes, but if any book from these lists sufficiently arouses your reading interest, then it definitely will make the list which matters most – yours.

Let us know if you follow book reviews or book websites to broaden your book reading choices.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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How To Disable Or Fake Your Location In Firefox, Internet Explorer & Chrome

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 09:31 AM PDT

fake your location ipModern browsers including Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer now include “geolocation” services based in the browser. What this does is attempt to locate you based on your IP, wi-fi or network location. It is used for several reasons, including adding a location to your tweets or Facebook updates, or to locate you on a map. You might want to hide or fake this location IP due to privacy concerns, and it isn’t too terribly hard to do so.

What Is Geolocation?

Geolocation is a technology that locates your position on the planet and ties it into your web browser (or other application). A couple of services work to provide location services in your web browser. One is a Google service that looks at your IP and connected network information and matches it up to known locations, Microsoft runs another similar service. Apple uses the internal service CoreLocation to locate you across a variety of services. Geolocation has a lot of useful applications, but it also has some serious privacy implications.

Turning Off Geolocation

Turning off the location features in either browser is fairly easy. When you are first given the chance to allow or deny location in Firefox, you can disable it right from that menu. If you have already allowed it, go to the configuration settings by typing about:config in your browser window. Find the setting geo.enabled and double click it to set it to “false.”

fake your location ip

In Google Chrome, the settings are in -> Options -> Under The Hood -> Content Settings -> Location:

fake your location on internet

Set the option “Do not allow any site to track my physical location” to disable geolocation in Chrome.

In Internet Explorer 9 you can also disable location services. Go into Internet options -> Privacy. Select “Never allow websites to track your physical location.”

fake your location on internet

Faking Your Location

The easiest browser to fake your location in is Firefox. In fact, there is a browser extension that does just that called Geolocater (sic).

Download and install Geolocater and restart your browser. To configure it, you must go into the “Tools” menu, so right click at the top of your browser and enable the file menu to gain access to configuration.

fake your location on internet

When you launch it, you must add a new location and include the name to save it. Search or browse to the location you wish to set, enter the name in the box on the right, and then click the button that looks like a kite with a check mark to save it.

fake your location

Next time you go to a website that has geolocation enabled, you will be able to change which location you want to send to them and then “Share” to fake your location.

There is another alternative that works both in Firefox and Chrome, but you will need to do some editing of files to make it happen.

The way these geolocation services work is by requesting a file from Google which then responds with your location in JSON format. To fake this in Firefox, you can create a file on your computer with this text:

{"location":{"latitude":48.861426,2.338929,"longitude":2.338929, "accuracy":20.0}}

You can find this location by locating it in Google Maps or any other maps program that supports Latitude and Longitude. Google maps generates a link that looks like the following:


In this case the first number is the latitude and the second the longitude.

You can place this in a plain text file on your computer, then update the Firefox setting in about:config named geo.wifi.uri to the location on your computer. In Windows, it will look something like this:


fake your location

Make sure if there are any spaces in the directory to replace them with %20 for proper encoding. Restart Firefox and your location will show the updated information.

fake your location ip

Location Is Disabled – But You Can Still Be Tracked

Even though location services have been disabled or faked, a great deal of information about where you are located is sent just by using the Internet. Your IP address can narrow your location down to your country and maybe even the city you are located in. Just be aware that unless you use a VPN, your location can still be tracked based on that information.

Do you have any other tricks to hide or fake your location IP?  Do you know how to disable or fake your location in other browsers such as Safari and Opera? Let us know!

Image credit: tranchis

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Speck Fitted Case for iPod touch Review and Giveaway

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 08:30 AM PDT

Over the past few months, we’ve reviewed several cases for the iPod touch. There was the Speck CandyShell Grip Case which was designed for gaming, and the Speck CandyShell Case which offered superb protection with its hardshell exterior. Today, we’ll be looking at a case designed with sophistication and flair in mind — the Speck Fitted Case for iPod touch 4G.

As we all know, Speck tends to add a little artistic flare into all of its products. With the Fitted product line, however, they redefined how people perceive the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad accessories market. Let’s see why. We’ve also got 5 Fitted cases to offer so read on to find out how to join the giveaway.

The Fitted iPod touch case retails for $29.95 and like its iPhone and iPad counterparts, the Fitted case for the iPod touch is also a two-piece case. The rear piece clips on to the front piece which bevels over the iPod touch’s screen. Both front and back pieces are finished with a matte soft-touch coating to give it that rubbery feel that’s really nice to grasp. The case generally provides adequate protection, although not as much as the CandyShell does.

The rear piece is wrapped with a stylish fabric and this is what gives the Fitted line its elegant trademark design; which is embraced (mostly) by female owners of Apple devices, I imagine.

Access to the sync port, volume control, camera, sleep button are unobstructed.

Overall, it is a very stylish case and is suitable for those looking to show off their device and fancy casing rather than suffocate it in protection.

We’ve got 5 Fitted cases to give away. Here’s how you can win one for yourself.

How do I win one?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with 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.

The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from our Facebook page.

Step 2: Share!

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

Giveaway eligibility
In accordance with Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines 2.4.2 and 2.4.3:
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 Belgium, Norway, Sweden, India or any country embargoed by the United States are not permitted to enter.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, April 1st at 2100hrs PDT. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

MakeUseOf would like to thank Speck 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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Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 07:04 AM PDT


Check out the top picks from MakeUseOf Geeky Fun during the last week.

  1. Google Reviews: Awful Customer Service (Pic)
  2. Your True Profile (Pic)
  3. The Pathology of Inactive Life (Pic)
  4. Computing Power Of Your Mobile (Pic)
  5. I might copy that one, too (Pic)
  6. How To Detect A Geek (Pic)
  7. Do You Need a Social Media Detox? (Pic)

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