Sunday, May 8, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [May 7th]” plus 5 more “Cool Websites and Tools [May 7th]” plus 5 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [May 7th]

Posted: 07 May 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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Anniversary Alert – is a free anniversary reminder service that lets you set up important anniversary alerts and be notified in advance of important dates. To set up an alert, simply fill out the anniversary name, date, type, alert advance time (1, 2 or 4 weeks) and email where you want to be notified, and click “Remember”. Done! Read more: Anniversary Alert: Anniversary Reminder Service Online


Billable – Spreadsheet programs like Excel require you to format the cells before you can start creating your invoice. This process of resizing the cells can become quite time consuming. Here to save you time while you create invoices is a web service called Billable, an extremely easy web service that lets you quickly create invoices. Read more: Billable: Easily Create, Print & Download Invoices



CSS3 Generator – Are you a web developer or graphics designer who works with CSS3? If yes then you could certainly use a user-friendly CSS gradient generator. That is precisely what the website CSS3 Generator is, a very simple website that lets you create CSS gradients. You can select the gradient colors along with colors for the border and background. Read more: CSS3-Generator: Create CSS3 Gradients Online



Fandor – Netflix and Hulu are all great for streaming mainstream Hollywood content, but if you are more into indie movies, Fandor is the way to go. Fandor is a collection of over 2,000 indie movies that you can watch instantly right from your computer. No download required. Read more: Fandor: Watch Thousands Of Independent Movies Online



TypeLink – Today's smart-devices let us perform a variety of functions. One of the most useful of these functions is the ability to take down notes wherever we are. In case you are looking for a note-taking application for your iOS smart-device, check out a wiki notepad tool called TypeLink, a wonderful cloud-based note-taking wiki application. Read more: TypeLink: Web Based Wiki Notepad For Your iOS Devices


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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Discover & Switch Between Different Search Engines With Boounce [Firefox]

Posted: 07 May 2011 06:31 PM PDT

switch search engineWe regularly find and share various search tools that allow you to discover new search experiences and become search-savvier. Today’s Firefox addon is a great example of how tools can make searching much more fun.

Boounce is a new tool (which is still in beta) that is aimed at making you more search efficient. It lets you easily jump between various search engines and discover more topical search databases. Here’s the overview of its features:

1. Easily Jump To Other Search Engines

This option of the addon works similarly to the Greasemonkey scripts that allow you to jump from Google results to other search engines which I once shared. But Boounce supports both Google and Bing. In essence, once you search Google, it will invite you to perform the same search on other search engines:

switch search engine

Each new search will open in a new tab.

2. Easily Compare Search Results (Google & Bing)

If you “boounce” from Google to Bing (or vice versa), you will have an option to hide the duplicate entries:

toggle search engine

If you choose to show the hidden entries, they will be highlighted in green:

toggle search engine

3. Quickly Search From The Toolbar

The addon comes equipped with a handy toolbar that lets you quickly perform and search (as well as switch between search engines) from the top of your browser. It can be toggled on and off using the tiny icon in the address bar.

The most useful thing about the toolbar is that it is very flexible: you can switch between the “search engine groups” based on your query. For example, these are the following search groups by default:

  • “Images” search group contains Google Images, Flickr, Stock Images, etc;
  • “Downloads” search group lets you quickly “boounce” between,, and other app-related search engines, etc:

toggle search engine

To discover more search groups, just start typing in the “Search groups” field:

search engine switching

All the search engines the tool operates can be found here.

Depending on the search group, the search options may slightly differ as well. For example, if you are looking for “jobs” you may be interested in restricting results by territory, so the toolbar will add the “zip code” field if you switch to the “Jobs” search group:

search engine switching

Another important thing to mention about the toolbar is that it is dynamic. It will change when you use any topical search engine and suggest you more search options to click through. For example, if you search IMDB, the toolbar will suggest trying your search on Yahoo! Movies, Metacritic, etc. Moreover, it will automatically include your search term to save your time:

search engine switching

The addon options let you turn on and off almost any of the above features including:

  • Google and Bing integration;
  • Identification of duplicate results; etc:

switch search engine

Looks like a cool search tool! What are your thoughts?

One more important note here is that the tool claims to be community-driven: recommended search engines in the toolbar are picked based on the user behavior. That being said, we can hope that the tool will get better and better when more people start using it.

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Hot Tech Deals – Pinnacle Home Theater Systems + more

Posted: 07 May 2011 01:30 PM PDT

Today is a very good day if you’re looking to buy some home entertainment equipment. Pinnacle is holding a sale for its 5.1 and 7.1 home theater systems.

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

  1. Pinnacle MB6000 5.1ch 350W Home Theater System for $199.99 Free Shipping
  2. Pinnacle MB8000 5.1ch 350W Home Theater System for $369.99 Free Shipping
  3. Pinnacle MB11700 7.1ch 1000W Home Theater System for $399.99 Free Shipping
  4. Pinnacle MB13700 7.1ch 1600W Home Theater System for $499.99 Free Shipping
  5. Pinnacle MB15700 7.1ch 2100W Home Theater System for $799.99 Free Shipping
  6. TODAY ONLY Cables Unlimited 900MHz Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Speakers (2-Pack) $59.99
  7. Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB Internal SATA Hard Drive w/ SATA PCI-E Card $149.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKEKG26 (Exp 5/9)
  8. Linksys WRT400N 802.11n Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (DD-WRT) $59.99 Free Shipping

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Find Elusive Malware On Your PC With Microsoft Safety Scanner

Posted: 07 May 2011 12:31 PM PDT

microsoft safety scannerDo emergency scans of your computer with Microsoft's latest free download. Microsoft Safety Scanner, a portable application that can examine any PC, can't replace a full-blown anti-virus program, but it is a great tool to have around should infections pop up. Best of all – because it doesn’t need to be installed, you can easily download it on one computer, stick it on a thumb drive and clean up another computer.

Microsoft Safety Scanner doesn’t offer any real-time protection; that’s not what it’s intended for. This tool is Microsoft’s answer to scan-only tools such as Malwarebytes and Combofix: tools intended to clean up existing messes, not prevent future ones. As such, this is less something every home user should download than something they should be aware of should something go wrong.

Take note that Safety Scanner cannot update itself. As such, you’ll need to re-download it every ten days if you want to make regular use of it.


The first thing you need to do is head over to the Safety Scanner download page and grab the program. This is the download button:

microsoft safety scanner

I only point this out because of how much this link looks like an ad or a scam. Don’t worry, this is the real download button.

The file you will download is an .exe file. There’s nothing to install; you’re ready to start scanning if you’d like.


Running this program is as easy as double-clicking. Pick the kind of scan you want to run:

microsoft virus scanner

As depicted, you can do a quick or full scan. If you know which file is corrupted, you can scan a specific folder as well. Most times a quick scan will do the trick, but a full scan is always safest. Choose a setting and click next; scanning will begin:

microsoft virus scanner

If you’re lucky, you’ll see a message that looks like this:

microsoft virus scanner

This means that, as far as Safety Scanner knows, your system is clean. Alternatively, you may see a message like this:

microsoft safety scanner

Go ahead and tell the program to clean up your system, if you wish.


As previously stated, every download of Microsoft Safety Scanner expires after ten days. This is because the software cannot update itself, and Microsoft does not want outdated versions of the software out in the wild. As such, it’s best to wait until you need Safety Scanner to download it. My advice would be to bookmark the download page.

I think expiring after ten days, while perhaps a little heavy-handed, is a good idea overall. It ensures the program will always be up-to-date, while making it unnecessary for a computer to have a working Internet connection in order to be scanned. All techs should add this tool to their kit, for sure.


Microsoft, once infamous for its lack of concern about security, has been working hard to help make its platform a safer one recently. This tool is just another part of that. Here’s hoping the company continues to do all it can to protect its platform in the future.

How do you like Safety Scanner? Fill us in below in the comments. As always, alternatives to this software should be shared freely; everyone should learn from your knowledge.

Image credit: Bedrin Aleksandr via Shutterstock

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The Top 4 Ways To Listen To Music On Your iPad

Posted: 07 May 2011 10:31 AM PDT

listen to music ipadThe iPad is the ultimate portable entertainment gadget because of the flexibility of how it can be used. When it comes to just listening to music alone on the iPad, there’s a variety of ways you can do it. Whether it’s listening to specific artists or songs of your choice from your own library, from the net, or listening to various radio stations depending on your preferred genre of music. You can even use the iPad as a way to explore and discover new music.

We’ve put together a list of iPad apps that give users a variety of ways to keep up with the latest in what music has to offer, or listen to your favourite songs. iPhone users should also check out 6 iPhone Internet Radio Apps For Every Type Of Listener. If you’d rather make music than listen to it, be sure to check out 7 Free Apps To Make Music On Your iPhone.

Explore New Music With Aweditorium

Aweditorium [iTunes link] offers a very unique listening experience for iPad users, but it's not surprising, considering that the app comes from the developers behind the popular music streaming site, TheSixtyOne. When you first launch the app, you will be presented with a grid of artist/band images. Tap on the band of your choice to begin the song.

listen to music ipad

Much like the website's interface, the entire iPad screen is dedicated to a photo of the band or artist, with a small menu of controls at the bottom right hand corner which disappears when you tap the screen. To easily listen to the next song you can swipe the screen to easily skip forward.

listening to music ipad

While Aweditorium offers a fun and sleek way to discover new music, the app's main flaw is the inability to select at least a genre or mood when listening to music.

Listen To Your Own Music Collection With Audiogalaxy

You can take your entire music collection with you on the go using your iPad and Audiogalaxy. Install the desktop app on your Mac and once your music library has been automatically scanned, you can access your entire iTunes library using the iPad/iPhone app [iTunes link].

One of the best things about Audiogalaxy is that there is literally no set up process. Simply install the apps on your desktop and iPad/iPhone and let the app do the rest.

listening to music ipad

There are no restrictions on Audiogalaxy’s use, giving you unlimited access to your music collection from anywhere. You don’t have to be on the same network to access your music, but the computer containing your music library must of course be left on with the Audiogalaxy Helper running. Audiogalaxy can also be used from your iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phone, or can even be accessed from your computer’s web browser.

listening to music ipad

Also be sure to check out ZumoCast, another great option for iPad and iPhone users for accessing their music library from their iOS device.

Listen To Specific Music From YouTube With Vevo

Vevo makes it easy to listen to pretty much any major or up and coming artist on YouTube, providing high quality music videos and exclusive firsts. The iPad app [iTunes link] lives up to Vevo’s great reputation. You can look up specific artists and videos, watch Vevo-created playlists featuring the Top 10 songs in each musical genre, and a music map to see what videos are being played in your neighbourhood. In addition, you can also create your own playlists.

music on the ipad

While Vevo doesn’t continue to play in the background when you exit to the homescreen, we can’t really fault them for that as, after all, they are first and foremost a music video service.

music on the ipad

Also be sure to check out Muziic, another iPad/iPhone app that takes advantage of the amazing amount of music available on YouTube.

Listen To Genre Radio With Goom Or iheartradio

Goom [iTunes link] provides 5 radio stations, each playing a specific genre of music, from pop, to hip hop to metal. The app doesn't give you many options or features. Simply play music, and download the currently playing song on iTunes. Goom continues to play in the background if you exit to the home screen.

music on the ipad

Another great iPad radio app is the aptly name iheartradio [iTunes link]. Browse radio stations by musical genre, with a special list of commercial free radio stations. You can add radio stations to your favourites to come back to them easily, as well as watch a selection of music videos that are provided in the app. There is also an iPhone version of the app available. As would be expected with a radio app, iheartradio continues to play if you exit to the home screen.


One of the best iPad radio apps is TuneIn Radio [iTunes link], because in addition to offering genre music stations, they also offer local, talk and sports radio stations. With TuneIn Radio you can add radio stations to your presets, as well as access your most recently played radio stations and local stations from the home page.

listen to music ipad

How do you listen to music on your iPad? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit: Joseph Thornton

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Bin Laden Scam Video Sweeps Facebook [News]

Posted: 07 May 2011 10:00 AM PDT

An Osama Bin Laden scam video has spread rapidly through Facebook recently, with scammers targetting users with javascript enabled. Facebook users who are keen to view a video of Osama’s execution are tricked into executing a small Javascript.

This scam differentiates itself from other JavaScript scams on Facebook by actually asking users to cut and paste the Javascript into the URL bar.

The link to the supposed video is titled “Special Forces hit squad put a bullet in the head of Bin Laden!” and uses a shortened link to redirect. When clicked, users are asked to cut and paste the JavaScript in order to see the video. The video is never shown, but the Javascript automatically pastes a link on to the user’s wall.

So far, there’s been nothing malicious executed in the code — All it does is propagate the scam links. But that’s not to say it will stay that way.

Using JavaScript propagation on Facebook to post scam links to the user’s wall and therefore spread the scam to the user’s friends is nothing new. But actually asking users to cut and paste the JavaScript is a little unexpected. It’s something experienced internet users would be unlikely to fall for. However, many people are doing so in droves. The drive to see certain things, such as who viewed your profile, has resulted in many Facebook users falling for scams.

Image Credit:ZDNEt Image Credit: ShutterStock

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