Wednesday, May 25, 2011 “Apple Approves Its 500,000th Store App [Infographic]” plus 11 more “Apple Approves Its 500,000th Store App [Infographic]” plus 11 more

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Apple Approves Its 500,000th Store App [Infographic]

Posted: 25 May 2011 06:18 AM PDT

It’s common in most situations for iPhone users to say “there’s an app for that!” Well, there are in fact so many apps in the Apple App Store that the company has just approved the 500,000th app. Compare that to its nearest rival, Google Android, which only has 100,000 apps in its Market, and you’ll see instantly that Steve Jobs and Co have a very substantial lead over their competitors.

Below is an infographic showing various facts and figures from the Apple App Store, ranging from the number of developers to the average price of an app.  See which apps are the most popular and see some of the history behind apps which are household names today such as Amazon, Kindle, Twitter and Angry Birds.

Will this inspire you to get an iPhone (if you don’t already have one)?  Do you think Android has a chance of catching up anytime soon?  Anything that the infographic has missed out?  Have your say in the comments below!

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Cool Websites and Tools [May 24th]

Posted: 24 May 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool website round-ups delivered to your daily email, subscribe here.

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SimpleShare – To share files you normally opt for online file hosts; to use these hosts you need to first open up your web browser. It would definitely be more convenient to start sharing files straight from your desktop without having to open the browser at all. This is what a tool called SimpleShare helps you accomplish. Read more: SimpleShare: Create, Upload & Share Files Straight From Your Desktop


Typeset Style Generator – Graphics designers and web developers can always make use of new tools that let them select typesets in helpful ways. One of these tools is Typeset Style Generator, a browser based web tool, which provides a number of color contrast options for typesets. Read more: Typeset Style Generator: Create Different Typesets & Get Their CSS Code



Whimventory – While browsing websites of online retailers you often come across items that you want to put in your wishlist. Maintaining wishlists for separate retailer websites can be a little inconvenient if you frequent numerous websites. A great solution to this is presented by Whimventory. Read more: Whimventory: Create Wishlists While You Shop Online



XPS Viewer – XPS documents exist as one big single page. Most software that lets you view XPS files do not present the document in a reader-friendly manner. Thankfully, XPS Viewer is the exception to this rule. The application breaks down your XPS files into individual pages that can be flipped through a visually appealing animation. Read more: XPSViewer: View XPS Documents in A Reader-Friendly Manner



Dropbox Forms – JotForm, a popular app that lets you create online forms easily, is out with a new tool that facilitates Dropbox integration. This new feature sends Jotform form submissions directly to your Dropbox account. For existing forms on your website or emails, go to the submissions page for your form. Read more: Dropbox Forms: Integrate Online Forms With Dropbox


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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The 15 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 24 May 2011 06:31 PM PDT

MakeUseOf AnswersMakeUseOf Answers relies on expertise in many different areas to solve some of the most ridiculous and difficult questions out there. Do you have what it takes to come up with great ideas and smart solutions? If you feel you do, please contribute your skills to Answers.

The Best Answer of the Week is rewarded with $50 and two runners-up win $30 and $20, respectively. Every answer automatically enters the contest. Just make sure we can contact you in case you win.

Please help us out with these questions:

MakeUseOf Answers can teach you a trick each day. Read, learn, and share by browsing the Latest Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.

SuperTinTin – Skype Video Call Recorder
Record and save your audio and video conversations on Skype or MSN. Easy to use.


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3 Extremely Useful Chrome Extensions That Will Make Your Life Easier

Posted: 24 May 2011 04:31 PM PDT

chrome extensionsOne of the things you may have learned about me from reading my articles in recent months is that I am a Chrome user. I’m a big fan of how fast and clean Google Chrome is, and it has only continued to impress me since I made the switch from Firefox. In the last few months I showed you how to browse privately in Chrome without going fully incognito. I also showed you what Google Chrome Instant is and why it’s badass. Today, we’re talking Chrome extensions.

I recently uncovered a few extensions that I have found to be very useful, and I’d like to share them with you. One lets you browse in split screen mode, which I’ve constantly had a need for, and one lets you browse ‘up one level’ on websites. The third extension lets you run IE inside of Chrome, which is huge if you want to test the compatibility or formatting of something.

Split Screen

chrome extensions

I really like Chrome’s tab feature, but sometimes I need to refer to two windows at the same time when I’m recording/comparing data or–better yet–multitasking. Split Screen is a simple extension that lets you view two websites at the same time, side by side, without having to resize your windows.

Split Screen installs as a button next to the OmniBar. When you click on it, a new tab will open and you’ll be prompted for two URLs. Type in your destinations and two websites will load in the same window.

The URL bars cannot be used for searching in Google but the extension does come equipped with a notepad that saves whatever you type for the next time you use the extension, which can be great if you need to take notes.


google chrome extensions

Typically, whenever you want to go back to a previous page you were on, you hit your browser’s ‘back’ button. What browsers don’t have, however, is a ‘level up’ button, which lets you return to a previous level of a website.

If you install NavigUp, you will see a button in the Chrome OmniBar that–when clicked–will take you up one level in the URL. For instance, if you’re currently browsing and you want to go up one level, just click the NavigUp button to be taken to and once more to be taken to, even if you hadn’t browsed either of those URLs previously.

Chrome IE

chrome extensions

Lots of people out there still use IE as their default browser, which means if you’re designing or building something for the web you need to take IE’s functionality into account.

Chrome IE installs as a button next to the OmniBar that lets you toggle between Chrome and IE mode. To search or open pages in IE from the OmniBar, type IE and enter keywords or the URL. The Chrome extension also lets you sign in to different Google accounts in each browser.


In conclusion, I am still an avid Chrome user. Being able to view two websites at once in a single window is pretty great, and NavigUp proved extremely useful as well. Admittedly I won’t have much of a need for the Chrome IE extension, but I know a lot of others who will be uninstalling IE from their computers after hearing about this extension. Are you one of them?

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The New Delicious Firefox 4.0 Beta Extension Is Out!

Posted: 24 May 2011 02:31 PM PDT

It’s no secret that Delicious has recently seen some troubled times. With Yahoo threatening to close down the service, then eventually selling it off to AVOS, people have been more than a little apprehensive about its future. But times are changing. The sale elicited a huge sigh of relief from Delicious fans and now, Delicious has returned to business as usual, releasing a long-awaited beta add-on for Firefox 4.

The beta extension for Firefox 4.0 supports Firefox 3.0 also and has all the same features as the previous release. So, once again you can easily search through or browse your Delicious bookmarks, access bookmarks from any computer, add to your bookmarks, tag bookmarks, follow your network and see links for you.

Get The Firefox 4 Beta Extension For Delicious

To begin with, get your copy of the new Delicious extension here. Installation requires a restart. If you’ve never used Delicious before, you’ll be given the option to import your Firefox bookmarks when you sign up. If you’re already a Delicious user, it will allow you to sync your bookmarks later.

What Does It Do?

The new extension is a way of integrating Firefox bookmarks and Delicious links. When you update links in one they’re instantly reflected in the other, making it easy to sync bookmarks across computers. There are several ways to access your bookmarks from within Firefox, which we’ll go into in turn.

Sidebar Access

The sidebar can be toggled on and off in many ways, but is always easily accessible. This means you can search your bookmarks or browse by tag with a simple interface. You’ll also see recent bookmarks, whether or not you’ve shared them with the world and if they have a note.

Toolbar Access

On your main toolbar you’ll see three new icons for Delicious use, allowing you to quickly visit Delicious, toggle the sidebar and save new bookmarks.

There’s also a new Delicious toolbar with an icon for quick access and a “Recently Bookmarked” link. If you’re a heavy Delicious user, it’s worth noting that you can choose to feature your Tag Bundles from this toolbar, making it easy to access your bookmarks in a sensible manner.

These toolbars can be removed or rearranged by right-clicking the toolbar and choosing “Customize“.

Delicious Menu

Up in your menu bar you’ll see a new option called “Delicious“. From here you can toggle the sidebar, see recently viewed sites and regularly viewed sites from your bookmarks, plus you can track your most often-used tags.

Save a Bookmark

When you click on one of the many ways to save a bookmark using this add-on you’ll be able to do many things just as you would on the Delicious site.  This includes adding a note, tagging the link and choosing whether to share or not. However, you will also have the option to send it to someone in your network or to services such as Twitter or email — you can even add a message.

Status Bar

There are two new icons in your status bar. One will access your Delicious links, while the other lets you know of activity within your Delicious network.

Control Delicious Add-On Options

If you want to remove the Delicious menu or control any of the other options, go to Tools > Delicious Options and make your choices.

To begin with, you’ll want to go to the Advanced tab in order to begin a full sync of your bookmarks. This could take a while if you have a lot of bookmarks!

In the Awesome Bar tab, you’ll find some incredibly useful options which allow you to get Awesome bar suggestions from your Delicious links, or to use the >> prefix to get tag suggestions.

More On Delicious

We are big fans of Delicious here at MakeUseOf, so here’s some great articles you can read with tips and tricks:

What do you think of the new extension? Do you use all of it or disable some sections to suit yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: IconShock via Iconspedia

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Hot Tech Deals – Toshiba Satellite AMD P960 Quad-Core 15.6in Laptop for $549.99+ more

Posted: 24 May 2011 01:30 PM PDT

If you’re looking for a new laptop, you might want to check out today’s featured deals, that is the Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5164 AMD P960 Quad-Core 15.6in Laptop (4GB/640GB/Win7) which is going for $549.99 and the HP 630 Intel Dual-Core P6200 2.13GHz 15.6in Laptop for $369.99 equipped with 4 GB of memory and a 320 GB hard disk.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

  1. KGuard CA104-H02 (4) Surveillance Cameras + 4-Channel DVR $159.99AR via code EMCKEHF86 (Exp 5/30) and rebate
  2. Samsung S24A350H ToC Rose 24in LED-Backlit LCD Monitor $219.99 Free Ship via code EMCKEHF46 (Exp 5/30)
  3. Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $29.99A via code EMCKEHF34 (Exp 5/30) and rebate
  4. Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5164 AMD P960 Quad-Core 15.6in Laptop (4GB/640GB/Win7) $549.99
  5. Western Digital Elements SE 1TB Portable External Hard Drive $79.99 Free Shipping via code MEMORIALWKND (Exp 5/31)
  6. Microsoft Xbox 360 4GB Gaming Console w/ $50 Newegg Gift Card $199.99 Free Shipping
  7. Dell XPS 8300 Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Sandy Bridge Desktop w/ 22 LCD $799 via code LM?BF7P$FR9KCK and HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  8. LG 42LK450 42in LCD HDTV (1080p) $529.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKEHF72 (Exp 5/30)
  9. HP 630 Intel Dual-Core P6200 2.13GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/320GB) $369.99


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10 Websites For Unit Conversions & Calculations

Posted: 24 May 2011 12:31 PM PDT

unit conversionsThe old bugbear of unit conversions confounds many. Sometimes it can be corrected with an eraser; sometimes it could take a million dollars. It is a matter of trivia that NASA’s 1999 loss of the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter was caused by one launch team using metric units while another used US customary units for a calculation.

It is serious stuff and for long was a matter of national pride as the U.S and U.K went head to head with their measurement systems. Thankfully, the SI system became the universal standard. For me, it was just my homework and the headache of getting my pounds and pints right. Kilograms and liters (or is it litres?) seemed so much easier. Online unit converters and calculators save the day today. It's no longer a case of 1,000,000 headaches = 1 mega-headache as online unit converters do the math with a click.

Here are ten of them.


unit conversions

It is an offbeat name for an all-in-one unit converter. The free online tool covers all the common conversions you might use in your daily life; some purely mathematical and others (clothing size, cooking) for functional. Exchange rate calculators again are one useful tool that gives you the currency conversions with a fair degree of real time accuracy. (See Directory mention)


unit of measure conversions

The free online converter handles temperature, volume, distance, weight, area, data, time, and speed unit conversions. The interface is very user-friendly with large icons and bulleted units which you can select for your instant conversion needs. (See Directory mention)

Convert Center

unit of measure conversions

Engineering students and others too can make use of the variety of conversion options on this site. Molar mass unit conversions or frequency wavelength unit conversions will appeal to the scientifically minded. I am more interested in finding out how many gallons I can get to the liter with the fuel conversion tool. (See Directory mention)

Convert World

unit of measure conversions ratchets up with a few more options like wind speed conversion, absorbed dose tool, TV & monitor size converter, and a 'language' conversion tool, among a lot of other scientific options. You can view the converters by selecting from your choice of 28 languages. (See Directory mention)

Conversion Tool

dimensions and unit calculations

This cool looking conversion tool supports just three measurements – Length, Temperature, and Weight. But if you are looking to equalize how the Americans say it as against the British, this simple tool should do the job quickly. Put in the figure, select the unit and out pops the equivalent measurement on the other scale. (See Directory mention)

Online Conversion

dimensions and unit calculations is another simple free online unit converter that has calculators relating to nearly 5,000 units, and 50,000 conversions. They are arranged in categories on the landing page. Check out the Miscellaneous category which has measurement tools for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood-alcohol content, GPA, wind chill, room area, typography, and a lot of other offbeat calculators.

Unit Converters

dimensions and unit calculations

Unit Converters is another simple site to the extent of its interface. Otherwise, the online service is chock-a-bloc with scientific and engineering unit converters ranging from the common to the more technical ones like radiology and magnetism.

Online Converter

The one unique conversion tool I found on this otherwise simple site is the tool that takes a piece of text and converts it into the dots and dashes of Morse Code. The other unit converters relate to the usual lineup of time, distance, pressure, energy and work, volume, speed etc.

Metric Conversions is worth a mention not because it contains a unique conversion tool but because it is the only one I came across that lets you download 'cheat sheets' of conversion tables in printable formats. Inspite of the presence of one-click online tools, the printable downloads could serve as handy reference.

Converter (Firefox Add-on)

unit conversions

Converter is a useful Firefox add-on that works seamlessly with any figures you might have on the web page. It works via the right-click menu (select a figure and right click to see the options) or via the neat add-on bar where a single click converts all measurements on the page. You can also setup a custom conversion by right clicking on the icon on the add-on bar and entering your measurement values.

Of course, if you are an expert Google user, you can simply use the Google search bar for some quick fire unit conversions and calculations. You can even use the powerful Wolfram Alpha engine. But these ten web tools do give you broader options. Each one of the ten tools brings something new to the table. Do you have your own free online unit conversion web app to add to the list?

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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GDocsDrive – A Full-Featured Google Docs Desktop Client [Giveaway]

Posted: 24 May 2011 11:31 AM PDT

Google Docs keeps getting better, but some people just feel more comfortable using a desktop application rather than a browser. If you’re one of those people, you might get a fair bit of use out of GDocsDrive. As the title for this post suggests, GDocsDrive basically lets you do anything you can do with Google Docs, from the comfort of your desktop.

If you happen to like it, we’ve got 25 copies of GDocsDrive worth $475 to give away!

Contrary to what the name may suggest, GDocsDrive does not take up a drive letter on your computer, and is not mapped to a local folder. Instead, it’s a self-contained Windows application. Let’s take a quick look at the main window:


To the left is the folder tree, just like in the Web interface. Navigation is quite snappy – folders are not preloaded but load right when you open them, so the entire tree feels responsive and does not take a long time to cache on startup.

When you double-click a document, it opens using the Web interface. But if you just want to download it as a Word document for local editing, you can right-click it, open the Export menu, and select one of the numerous options Google Docs offers:


To upload a file, simply drag and drop it onto the app. You would then get a window similar to this:


You can also upload entire folders. I was unable to upload files to my Google Apps account, but my “regular” Google account worked without a hitch.

You can also share (and unshare) files right from within GDocsDrive:


You can also rename documents, and create new folders. Interestingly, I was unable to move a document into a folder just by dragging it onto the folder. Other than that, I could do pretty much do anything I could think of, and it all feels like I’m working with a desktop app rather than a Web-based one.

GDocsDrive retails for $19.00 and you may purchase a copy here. Otherwise, join our giveaway to win a free copy!

How Do I Win A Copy?

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

This giveaway begins now and ends Saturday, May 28th 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 GDocsDrive for their generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interested in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

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Get Better Learning Results With The Help Of Brainscape’s Online Flashcards

Posted: 24 May 2011 10:31 AM PDT

online flashcardsI think everybody is familiar with the old saying: “Repetition is the mother of all learning“. It means the more you repeat a subject in your study, the better results you will get. This statement has been proven by many scientific experiments like this one, and people all around the world uses this method all the time to help their learning.

The popular implementation of this “learning by repeating” method is flashcards usage. Thanks to the power of technology, flashcard learning is not limited to physical cards anymore. It has been adapted as countless web and desktop applications. One of those online flashcard services is Brainscape. This one is unique because it has a different method of utilizing and presenting the cards.

Deal The Cards

Aside from the standard signup process, Brainscape also allows you to register using your Facebook account. The second option is quicker, but only for those who feel comfortable letting third party applications access their account.  After signing up, you can start using the service by choosing what topic you want to learn.

There are three main groups of topics to start: Test Prep, Languages, and Knowledge Junkie.

online flashcards

For example, you can find flashcards to learn Chinese inside Language.

free online flashcards

But my curiosity brought me to Keyboard Shortcuts inside Knowledge Junkie. After choosing the topic, pick one of the available decks to start.

free online flashcards

In general, learning a subject using Brainscape is similar to using another flashcard service/application. But the difference is Brainscape only asks users to think of the answers, and doesn’t require users to write anything.

free online flashcards

After seeing the question and thinking of the answer, click the “Reveal Answer” button to check to see if you were right.

make your own flashcards and memory games

Brainscape will ask you to rate your knowledge of the answer using a scale of 1 to 5. It will use your rating to determine how often the question will be repeated during your learning session. “Perfectly known” answers will be repeated less often than the “Very well” known answers, and so on.

make your own flashcards and memory games

We can see from the “Frequency of Repetition” pie chart how often each kind of question will pop out. The questions rated as “Not at all” known will appear in more than half of the learning session. This kind of arrangement will help users focus more on their weaknesses and less on the topics that they’ve already mastered.

make your own flashcards and memory games

Create Your Own Decks Of Online Flashcards

While I think Brainscape’s method of displaying the flashcards is great, it’s obvious that its collection of decks is pretty limited. Luckily, the service provides you with the ability to create your own decks of cards with your chosen topics.

  • The first step to creating your deck is filling in the deck’s basic information.

03a create deck

  • Then click the “Create Cards” button to start. You can fill in more supplementary information if you want to.

03b supplementary issue

There are two ways to create your online flashcards. The first one is by using “Quick Create“. This method is great if you only need to fill in basic questions and answers. The second one is “Standard Create” where you can customize the font style and add images and sound.

03c create cards

This is what the “Quick Create” looks like. First, you write down the “Prompt” which will appear at the beginning of each card. Then you fill in the “Question” and “Answer” fields, and click the “Add these Cards” button to add more cards to the set. If there are cards that you don’t want to keep, you can easily delete them using the red “minus (-)” button on the right of each entry.

03d quick add

The “Standard Create” fields are more elaborate. You will get all sorts of editing options on the toolbar.

03e customize card

And also the option to add images and audio.

03f add media

You can review the cards by going to the “Review” tab. There are also options to Edit, Delete, Add Note and View Notes.

04a review

All of the decks of cards in your collection are accessible from the “My Library” tab at the top of your account’s page. You can see the list of subjects in the left pane and decks of cards under a subject in the main pane.

04b my library

The subjects are editable. Just click the option button and choose “Edit Subject“. You can also share your subject via email by clicking the button below it.

04c edit subject

Going Mobile & Wish List

Brainscape’s flashcards also available as iPhone apps. But the company made their apps different from other flash card apps. Instead of releasing one app with a library of cards, Brainscape has released one app for each subject. Some of the decks are free while others are paid.

The topic that I used as the example above – Keyboard Shortcuts – is available for free.

05a iPhone app1

The app takes a similar approach to its web counterpart: question, answer, and knowledge rating.

online flashcards

The way I see it, Brainscape’s method of displaying online flashcards gives the product a competitive edge against other similar products. Unfortunately, there’s still one thing missing. A flashcard application will only really take off if there are lots of flashcard decks from various topics in its repository, and Brainscape’s repository is rather empty. If this web service want to expand its flashcards collection, it could use the power of community by letting users contribute and share their custom flashcard decks.

What do you think of Brainscape? Will you use it or do you prefer other flashcard applications? Share your thoughts using the comments below.

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Top 11 HTML Tags Every Blogger & Website Owner Must Know

Posted: 24 May 2011 09:31 AM PDT

html tagsThe world wide web knows many languages and is coded in several different ones. The one language however, that can be found all over and has been around since the invention of webpages, is the HyperText Markup Language, better known as HTML. As the name implies, HTML is not a programming, but a markup language. The markups are interpreted by browsers to visualize content on websites. In its most simple form HTML is used to format text, embed media files, and organize content on a webpage. In other words, HTML describes webpages and based on this description, the browser creates an ‘image’.

Thanks to free website builders no one really needs to mess with coding HTML anymore. However, on occasion HTML tags can come in handy, for example to make quick changes to a website, add hypertext in a comment, or format text for a forum post. In this article I want to show you a few, possibly random, but definitely useful and simple tags for daily use.

Before we start, let me introduce you to some basic rules that will hopefully make HTML tags easier to understand:

  • HTML uses markup tags, which are enclosed in angle brackets, such as this: <html>
  • Tags that look like the one in the example above are called start tags. Every start tag must be followed by an end tag at some point, such as this: </html>
  • Some tags do not describe content. To be compliant with current standards, however, they must still end. Consequently, they unite the start and end tag, such as this: <br />

Formatting Text

HTML tags are usually straightforward. The tags for making text bold, italic, or underlined are derived from the respective word.

Input: <b>bold</b>
Output: bold

Input: <i>italic</i>

Input: <u>underlined</u>

Input: <s>strike through text</s>
strike through text

Creating Hypertext

Plain URLs can look pretty ugly. Adding the hyperlink to a text, i.e. creating a hypertext, is much more stylish and will save space, especially if the link is very long.

Input: <a href=”” title=”MakeUseOf”>MakeUseOf</a>
Output: MakeUseOf

As you can see this HTML tag is a little more complicated, so let’s look at it in detail. The actual tag is <a> and the additional elements are attributes that specify further characteristics. The attribute href= specifies the link and title= defines the mouse-over tooltip. Be sure to use quotations marks to enclose the link and the title, otherwise you might end up with a broken link.

Embedding Images

A picture can say more than a thousand words. We should use them more often. And this is how you can manually insert one using HTML:

Input: <img src=”” alt=”smiley” />
Output: html tags

Let’s also analyze this tag. Again, the actual tag is <img> and the required attributes are src= and alt=. The former points to the location of the image, i.e. its URL, and the latter provides an alternative text, which is displayed in case the display of images is blocked or the link is broken. Again, use quotation marks to avoid broken links.

The <img> tag is also an example of a tag that doesn’t need to be ‘ended’ and hence closes with the forward dash in the initial tag, i.e. <img /> rather than <img>.

Breaks & Paragraphs

To create a structured text, you need to utilize line breaks and paragraphs. And these are the tags you need to know:

Input: <br />
This tag creates a line break. Note that this is another tag that unites start and end tag in one.

Input: <p>Text inside your paragraph.</p>
Unlike the previous tag, the paragraph tag has a standard start and end tag. The text in between the two tags is wrapped into a paragraph, meaning there is an empty line before and after.


There are essentially two types of lists: ordered and unordered lists, better known as numbered and bulleted lists. To create either, you need to know two different tags, but only three in total. Let’s look at the examples first:


<li>Item One</li>
<li>Item Two</li>


  1. Item One
  2. Item Two


<li>Item One</li>
<li>Item Two</li>


  • Item One
  • Item Two

To create an ordered list, use the tag <ol> and for an unordered list, insert the <ul> tag. In both cases, the <li> tag is used to define an item within the list.

Now that you have seen how simple and logic HTML is, you may want to go beyond the very basics and learn a little more. For more HTML tips, check out these articles:

Do you feel a little more confident about using HTML tags now? If you have been ‘hand coding’ routinely before, what tags do you think are missing?

Image credits: kentoh

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How To Combat WiFi Security Risks When Connecting To A Public Network

Posted: 24 May 2011 08:31 AM PDT

wifi securityAs many people now know, connecting to a public, unsecured wireless network can have serious risks. It's known that doing this can provide an opening for all manner of data theft, particularly passwords and private information.

The specifics of why an unsecure connection can be a problem is more obscure, however – as are the methods that can be used to beef up your security even when using an unsecured public hotspot. Let's have a look at the exact WiFi security risks of public networks, and the solutions available to counter those risks.

Ah! My Airwaves!

security of wifi connections

The problem of unsecured wireless networks is a part of the way radios work. Unless specifically designed to do so, a radio won't broadcast in any particular direction. It will send information across the airwaves in all directions.

As a result, anyone nearby can potentially pick up the data sent by a wireless radio, and if that data is unsecured, it can be read. WiFi security works by encrypting the data sent. It can still be picked up, but can't be easily read because of the algorithm used to scramble it.

Most people understand this broad summary of the issue, but it's actually a bit misleading, because it seems to imply that someone can simply open a notepad, connect to a public network, and watch passwords drop in. In truth, obtaining data even over a public WiFi network requires a certain level of knowledge about software such as WiFi scanners, and your average person simply doesn't possess the necessary skills. Yes, there are tools like the FireSheep extension for Firefox that can hijack sessions easily in theory, but in practice some technical knowledge is usually required to do anything truly malicious.

HTTPS Security Is Your Friend

Attempts to read data can sometimes be thwarted by the first line of defense on a public WiFi network – site or service encryption. For example, when you type in and send your password across a network, it does not need to be, and ideally should not be, sent as “plain text”. It should instead be encrypted via HTTPS or SSL. The same goes for all potentially sensitive information.

security of wifi connections

Many sites will automatically switch to HTTPS when you visit a page that requires the exchange of potentially sensitive information. Some sites, like Google, Twitter and Facebook, give you the option to remain in HTTPS at all times. You can decrease your risk when using any public network by making sure that any site on which you are entering potentially sensitive information is secured. Usually this is as simple as watching for the “https” prefix on the URL. If you're on a public network, and the site is not secured, then just wait until you're home before entering any important information.

Use a VPN

security of wifi connections

Although HTTPS can be great, it does depend on the website's implementation, which is something you have no control over. A poorly designed HTTPS site could have huge security holes – and it's never wise to assume that a site has great security just because it's popular.

A VPN is a great way to make public WiFi secure for your use 100% of the time. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it's a method of creating a secured connection even on a network that is public and unsecured. Instead of connecting directly to the Internet, you connect to a specific server, which is itself connected to the Internet. The connection between your device and the server is encrypted, so the information you send is protected even on unsecured WiFi.

There are quite a few different ways to set up a VPN, but the easiest is to use a free VPN service. Free use of a VPN is usually limited to a certain amount of traffic per day or month, after which you'll have to pay for more bandwidth. The speed of your connection might also be handicapped unless you pay up.

Tunnel For Safety

laptop security using wifi

Another common method of creating a secure connection even on public WiFi is to use tunneling. Leave your shovel in the shed – this method is a server capable of SSH protocol.

Tunneling is the process of placing a packet sent via a specific network protocol inside another packet using a different network protocol. In the case of SSH tunneling, all packets are placed inside SSH packets, which are encrypted. The packets are then sent to the designated SSH server.

This method can also be used to work around attempts to block access to specific websites, which can be handy if you're on a WiFi hotspot that's trying to prevent you from accessing certain content without paying up. You can tunnel either by using a virtual server or by using your own server, which presumably would be left at home.


The best way to make sure your information isn't obtained when using a public WiFi network is to not send any sensitive information over the network. This is not always practical, however, so the methods above can help provide extra security.

Of the three, relying on HTTPS is by far the worst, because only specific information will be encrypted and that information is designated by the site, rather than the user. Still, it's better than nothing.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other good WiFi security tips for protecting yourself while on a public WiFi network.

Image Credits: proXPN,

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New eBuddy XMS App For Android & iOS Launches Worldwide [News]

Posted: 24 May 2011 07:31 AM PDT

The eBuddy XMS application for iOS and Android has launched worldwide and is set to change phone messaging as we know it. The eBuddy XMS application is a free messaging system which allows you to send more than just SMS to your contacts, including pictures and emoticons.

To use eBuddy, once verified, all that is required is an Internet connection. So, unlike sending messages and pictures via your phone, the eBuddy service will be free from additional phone charges. If you’re using free Wi-Fi or your home Internet there are no additional costs. If you use your phone’s data plan you may be charged for your Internet usage, depending on your plan.

To get the eBuddy application, see the eBuddy XMS Android application and the eBuddy XMS iOS application on iTunes. The eBuddy application even works on the iPhone Touch, although users will need a valid mobile number to verify the account.

Users of eBuddy XMS need to verify their phone number with an SMS verification. Once verified, eBuddy will automatically scan for contacts already using eBuddy XMS. Users can also link their Facebook account to eBuddy in order to find new contacts or send out an invite via Twitter or SMS.

Messages are sent in real time and eBuddy XMS will show you when messages are sent and read.

The eBuddy application is similar to other free SMS applications such as LiveProfile, Textie and ConnectMe however eBuddy is available worldwide.

Have you tried eBuddy XMS? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Source: TheNextWeb

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