Monday, May 30, 2011 “DOWNLOAD Learn to Speak “Internet”: Your Guide To xHTML” plus 7 more “DOWNLOAD Learn to Speak “Internet”: Your Guide To xHTML” plus 7 more

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DOWNLOAD Learn to Speak “Internet”: Your Guide To xHTML

Posted: 30 May 2011 06:31 AM PDT

Want to learn the basics of xHTML? This is the manual for you. “How to Speak Internet: Your Guide to xHTML”, by author Richard Giles, is your introduction not only to the language of the web but also to the very basics of programming. You won’t be able to build the next Facebook immediately after reading it, but you’ll have a basis on which to build your knowledge.

If you struggle to read even the simplest bits of HTML code, and wish you knew more about the language so much of the web is built on, consider this manual your starting point.

You’ll find excerpts of code alongside screenshots, showing you precisely what a given snippet accomplishes. Follow these steps at home to learn for yourself how to build basic websites, a skill you can build on as you further your studies.

This guide, like all of our guides, is absolutely free, so grab it now!

DOWNLOAD Learn to Speak “Internet”: Your Guide to xHTML
Having trouble downloading? Right-click the link, then click “Save As…”

or Read Now on Scribd

In this guide you’ll learn:

  • The very basics of xHTML
  • Setting up links, inserting pictures and using tables
  • Design your page with CSS
  • Using these skills within WordPress or Joomla websites

DOWNLOAD Learn to Speak “Internet”: Your Guide to xHTML
Having trouble downloading? Right-click the link, then click “Save As…”

or Read Now on Scribd

Please take a moment and share this guide with friends on Facebook and Twitter using the social network sharing buttons below.

Download videos from the sites like YouTube, etc. Convert videos to almost any format.


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Cool Websites and Tools [May 29th]

Posted: 29 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.

Add Your Website Here!


Amazon Discounts – Certain items on Amazon are often discounted in price. But users are normally not aware that they can filter search results through the discount. To help them easily do this, Amazon Discounts was created, an application that works on Google Chrome. You can install it from the Chrome Web Store and access it each time you open a new tab. Read more: Amazon Discounts: Easily Find Discounted Products On Amazon [Chrome]


Google Talk Guru – To perform a quick web task like getting currency exchange rates, game scores, and translating text, you often use the Google search engine by going to its webpage. Here to help you save time in doing this is Google's new tool called Google Talk Guru, a new tool by Google that lets get answers quickly through Google Talk. Read more: Google Talk Guru: Get Answers Quickly Through GTalk



Zapd – The speed and ease of creating websites has evolved from knowing how to code HTML or any other web language, to using simple blog platforms such as Tumblr. Now we have Zapd, a cool service that takes another leap forward by letting people create websites with the flick of a finger. This iPhone app lets you customize beautiful, seamless, and mobile-friendly websites from your phone. Read more: Zapd: Create Instant Websites From Your Phone [iPhone]



Dropdo – If you are looking for a quick solution to host and share files, then you should check Dropdo. This tool lets you upload a file or paste a URL then preview the file in an quick-to-share interface. It is so easy to use that you will definitely have fun with it. Dropdo's main strength is that it can host and preview various image and documents formats. Read more: Dropdo: Quick & Easy File Sharing With Preview



Supershirter – What can be a better symbol of your friendship then to wear a t-shirt with all of your friends' pictures printed on it? SuperShirter is a new web app that allows you to create a t-shirt with Facebook profile photos of all your friends printed on it. To create the shirt simply log into your Facebook account and allow the app access. Read more: SuperShirter: Create & Order A Shirt With Facebook Profile Photos Of Your Friends


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.

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


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Thank You To MakeUseOf Friends!

Posted: 29 May 2011 07:31 PM PDT

It’s time to say thanks to our friends who, once in a while, tip us great articles, help out on projects and in some cases offer their services at discounted prices. Thank you, guys!

    [1] ShrinkTheWeb – Website Screenshot Thumbnail Service

    Ever wanted to add website screenshots to your website? ShrinkTheWeb is one of the best services for that, both in terms of performance and pricing. The free account gets you a whopping 250,000 impressions. See it in action in our daily Cool Websites and Tools series.


    [2] LapDawg “" Hands-free Laptop Stands

    Hands free laptop stand
    The hands free laptop stand holds your laptop or books in any position you want with it’s unique 360 degree rotating joints. Perfect for holding them in bed while lying down. Made from anodized aluminum with a beautiful black matte finish.

    [3] Walyou “" Cool Gadgets for Geeks

    new cool gadgets
    Walyou is a fun blog covering all sorts of new cool gadgets and other stuff every geek is likely to find entertaining. Everything from world’s largest Gunny Bears to E-hookah gadgets. Make sure to check them out.


    [4] rade | eccles – iPhone Application Development

    The perfect iPhone development team, rade | eccles managed to put our iPhone app together in record time yet exude professionalism and dedication every step of the way. Our collaboration wasn’t happenstance. We would make the same decision all over again. Our only recommendation for an iPhone developer – rade | eccles.


    [5] TrueKolor – Affordable Quality Logo and Banner Design

    If you’re looking for a cheap, original and quality logo or banner, check out TrueKolor. We often contact these guys when we need a logo or a banner made, some of the stuff they did for us listed on their portfolio page. Highly recommended.


    [6] Sendible – The easiest way to market your brand online

    We’re strong believers of the service Sendible provides — we use it on a daily basis and it has never failed us! Sendible is an online marketing service to promote, grow and track brands through the use of social media, email and SMS messaging. It has the ability to post to multiple services at once, schedule social network updates and analyse their success. We love it!


    [7] Sourcebits – Android Developement

    Sourcebits did a bang up job of helping us put together our long-awaited Android app. For that, we are eternally grateful!


Thank you, guys!

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


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Which New Web Browser Could Sway You From Firefox/Chrome? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Posted: 29 May 2011 06:30 PM PDT

Last week we wanted to know which major gaming platforms you use. The poll results acknowledged the full spectrum of games from extremely new to the utterly retro. It seems most of you use new gaming devices, your PCs and your mobile phones for gaming.

We collected 1153 votes, divided as follows: 27% use PCs for gaming; 15% use mobile phones; 11% use XBox 360; 11% use Nintendo Wii; 10% use Playstation 3; 9% use handheld gaming devices; 8% use slightly older systems; 6% use much older systems; 3% use retro gaming systems.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

This week’s poll question is: Which New Web Browser Could Sway You From Firefox/Chrome?

Inspired by a post on new browsers by Jessica, this week we’re asking for your opinion on which of the new, upcoming browsers might finally sway you (or has already swayed you) from Firefox and Chrome. Read the article for more information on each of the listed browsers.

If your favourite up-and-coming browser wasn’t mentioned in the poll, let us know what it is and why it’s great in the comments!

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


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Create Impressive Flipbooks For Free With FlipSnack

Posted: 29 May 2011 03:30 PM PDT

FlipSnack is a service brought to you by SnackTools, which makes it incredibly easy to create flipbooks for free. Using the step by step wizard, it couldn’t be simpler to create a flipbook and host it on their website, or embed it on your own.

With a variety of templates to choose from, easy sharing of flipbooks on social networking sites, and viewer statistics, FlipSnack offers an amazing variety of features for free. If you’d prefer to use a desktop app to create a flipbook, check out FlipSuite, a Windows-only app we’ve reviewed in the past, previously known as Flipbook Printer.

To use FlipSnack, you can register for a free account or log in using your Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo or MySpace account.

Flipbooks can be created using a PDF file of up to 500 pages. You can either upload the PDF file directly from your computer, or import if it is already stored online using the direct URL.

Once you’ve uploaded the file, depending on how large the file is, FlipSnack will convert the document into a flipbook.

If you choose to add another PDF file to your flipbook, you can do so while the first file is being converted. If you’re using a free account, a total of 3 PDFs can be added to one flipbook.  Each PDF file uploaded to one flipbook will appear as a separate book or section within the flipbook.

Once you’ve uploaded each of your files, you can edit the information that is automatically filled in – the title and description.

The next step is to customize your flipbook. There are four templates to choose from which you can preview. The Classic template uses the front page of the PDF as the cover and looks like a magazine.

The Hardcover template changes the front image to a leather cover, and you have the choice between 5 colors.

The Coil flip template looks like a spiral notebook, using your PDF cover as the front image.

The Interactive template looks almost identical to the classic template but includes icons for user feedback.


After settling on your template, you can further customize the flipbook by setting a specific width and height for the book, choose the colors and style of the background, and the cover of the Hardcover template. You can also choose to show buttons to make it easy to share the flipbook on Twitter, Facebook, or simply by sharing the link wherever you want.

After your flipbook has been published, you can easily share it, or generate the embed code for a watermarked version of the flipbook. If you want to embed the book without a watermark or download it, it will cost you $19.

In addition to being able to share your flipbook, you can also keep track of view stats from your account, and edit it, if you decide you want to change the title, settings, or even add more PDF files.

When you share the link with other users, they can comment on the flipbook if they are logged into their Facebook accounts.

When reading the flipbook, users can hit the click to read button to go into full screen where your flipbook looks exactly as it did in the preview screen.

FlipSnack is a pretty slick service, with an impressive array of features for free, and SnackTool provides five other similar services for free. You can create gif and flash banners with BannerSnack, create online surveys and polls with QuizSnack, photo slideshows with PhotoSnack, a customized audio player with your own playlist with PodSnack and lastly, a video player and playlist with TubeSnack.

Do you have any recommendations for free services to create online flipbooks? Let us know in the comments.

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


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10 Free Album Downloads [Sound Sunday]

Posted: 29 May 2011 11:30 AM PDT

You are listening to Sound Sunday!

Whether you’re walking in rainy Vancouver or tanning in sunny Lisbon, take note of the sounds around you. Every location, every season, and every hour has a unique pattern, an acoustic fingerprint. If you constantly walk around with the plugs in your ears, you’re missing out! Or maybe not? If you’re in dire need of fresh tunes, plug into Sound Sunday.

The comments are open for feedback and suggestions. Also feel free to send me an email [tina at makeuseof dot com].

Sidecar Rider – Aquele Peso Em Mim

Genre: indie, alternative, pop, rock

The Canadian, Brazilian and Scottish band of four lives and plays in São Paulo, Brazil. Aquele Peso Em Mim is their second album, following their 2010 debut Choir of Crickets.

Aquele Peso Em Mim is a free download from Bandcamp.

American Songwriter Magazine – The Country Way

Genre: american, singer & songwriter, country, folk, sampler

From the website: “In conjunction with our new country music issue, American Songwriter and CMT proudly present The Country Way Digital Volume 2, featuring 31 must-hear tracks from some of our favorite artists. And the best thing about it? It's free!

The Country Way is a free download from Bandcamp.

Nodding by the Fire – At Home in the Wilderness

Genre: indie, acoustic, folk

From their profile: “Nodding By The Fire is a four piece instrumental band from Spain. Although the band sound is not limited and hold an eerie edge the band approach are more focused along folk stream, indie and acoustic vibes.

At Home in the Wilderness is a free download from Bandcamp.

The Dead Ends – Cellar Doors

Genre: alternative, rock

The Dead Ends is an alternative rock band from Auburn, Alabama. The three guys just released their debut album Cellar Doors. It’s a promising piece, starting out with a powerful rock song (Mother and Father). Further into the album, every track invites a little bit of melancholy into the sound, reinforced by singer Will Fargason’s doleful vocals.

Cellar Doors is a free download from Bandcamp.

Tulo and I/Dex – Footpaths of Autumn

Genre: ambient, electro, acoustic, breaks, dubstep

From the Internet Archive album intro: “This album is the common work of sound designer from Byelorussia Vitaly Harmash (I/Dex) and Kriipis Tulo (Tulo) from Latvia. It is a crystallization of sounds searches and findings, autumn sun, full of warm romantic waves. (…) These tunes bring to listeners the cooling breeze of Baltic Sea and the freshness of bright and clear autumn sky. Recorded live during improvisations by Kriipis Tulo and I/Dex at Tokctoka Studio, Riga/Latvia.”

Footpaths of Autumn is a free download from the Internet Archive.

bryface – How To Dodge Lasers

Genre: electronic, synthesizer

From his homepage’s album intro: “THE KORG DS-10 is a piece of synthesizer software for the Nintendo DS that I picked up a while ago. Its portable and tactile nature singlehandedly enabled me to overcome constant writer’s block and begin composing electronic music again – on the go. (…) Everything you hear on this album has been synthesized, composed and arranged from scratch. I’ve tried to capture a wide variety of musical styles, and draw from all sorts of influences including – but not limited to – video games, nature, sci-fi landscapes, random present thoughts in my head, and various life experiences imaginary and real.

How To Dodge Lasers can be downloaded for free from bryface’s Homepage.

Matthew Mayfield – NoiseTrade Sampler

Genre: acoustic, rock

From his NoiseTrade page: “My new album, ‘Now You're Free’, is everything I want it to be. Honest, anthemic and diverse. The songs are full of hope, which in some ways is very new to me. They are the sound of a fresh start. I'm excited about attempting to change something with this record. It could be someone's mood for a few minutes, the temperature in their room, or the way they watch the sunset driving down the interstate. Music has changed everything for me. I want to be a part of that for other people.

The NoiseTrade Sampler is a free download from guess where.

Courrier – A Violent Flame Sampler

Genre: alternative, rock

From their NoiseTrade page: “Like a new wind in an often dry and monotonous music "business," Courrier's music is refreshing indeed. With a penchant for melody in the likes of alternative-rock bands like Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, and Kings of Leon, Courrier writes songs as soothing as they are sincere. It is in this duality that Courrier finds their message. In the beauty of existence and the pain of experience, lead singer Austin Jones' voice even reflects the honeyed grit of reality, while the ascending harmonies and radiant guitars anthem the intimate.

The A Violent Flame Sampler is a free download from NoiseTrade.

Skyhook – Rough Mixes

Genre: alternative, rock

From their NoiseTrade page: “Skyhook hails from Nashville, Tennessee and is made up of band members Dane Allen, Josh Giles, Seth Wharton, Andrew Gomez, Ben Miller, and Evan Thon. Skyhook’s edgy sound is a concoction of stellar vocal harmonies overlaid with mind-bending guitars and dynamic progressions. But the lyrics rule the day for these guys. Originally a worship band who made waves and turned heads at the various national festivals, Skyhook’s ultimate goal is to create and perform musical art that serves their generation with a message of hope and a challenge to pursue authentic change by repositioning one’s life close to the heart of the Creator.

Rough Mixes is a free download from NoiseTrade.

Jason Poe – Now Is The Winter

Genre: alternative, pop

From Jason’s Facebook Biography: “A great pop song is easy to spot, but hard to create. That's why singer/songwriter Jason Poe is obsessed with creating cleverly crafted hooks, relying on a piano and leaving his acoustic guitar behind. His catchy choruses and thoughtful lyrics leave listeners wanting more. Taking cues from musical greats like Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, Jason has positioned himself somewhere in the musical spectrum between Aqualung and The Fray.

Now Is The Winter is a free download from NoiseTrade.

New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here.

Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.


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WordPress: 3 More Hidden Gems In The Jetpack Plugin Suite, & The WordPress App Is Updated!

Posted: 29 May 2011 10:30 AM PDT

The Jetpack plugin suite is an essential first plugin install for every new WordPress blog owner – and Jeffry covered the installation and some of it’s features before. If you’re not convinced yet, here’s another 3 reasons why you should install it now. It also ties in nicely with the newest release of the WordPress mobile blogging app which brings some new features I’d like to show you today too, though sadly the app still falls short of the mark.


If the thought of Google Analytics and it’s mountains of variables and cross-analysis over trends over time gives you a headache, the simple WordPress Stats plugin may be perfect for you. Previously only available to hosted accounts, they decided to open it up for any self-hosted WordPress install too – though you do still need a login for as thats where your stats are collated and stored. As well as the basic visitor count and top content, you also get top referrers – useful to see which of your inbound links is worth the most to you. I do think Analytics is worth taking the time to learn though, so if you think you might want to move on up to what the big boys use at some point, it may even be a good idea to install both WordPress and Google Analytics stats codes so you have a good archive of data building up.

Gravatar Hovercards

I really like these, and it’s a great way to encourage user interaction and commenting on your site. WordPress uses Gravatar images by default if commentators leave their linked email address, and this plugin expands on that by making their profile images clickable – which reveals a little pop-up box (a hovercard) with personal or social links for that user and a little bio. I’ll certainly be adding this feature to my blogs as it really adds a little bit of “wow factor”.

Shortcode Embeds

WordPress tends to strip a lot of HTML codes by default, and often this includes the embed codes from various video sites. Avoid the hassle and do everything automatically with this simple plugin. Once installed, you just need to write [youtube http://URL ] replacing the URL, and it will all be done for you – no messy embed codes, no frustration. The plugin works with a quite a few of the most popular video sites too, not just WordPress.

Mobile Blogging WordPress App:

The latest version adds a quick photo button for those times when all you want to do is post and photo, but sadly it literally only uploads and inserts the images and doesn’t actually set the featured image (I showed you how to MakeUseOf this functionality a few weeks ago as well as make your own widget out of them) – which is a little disappointing. It also fails to categorise the post, so you’ll still need to do a little editing on the PC side at a later date if the idea of uncategorised posts infuriates you as much it as it does me.

Perhaps the only really impressive feature they’ve added is to view your stats, assuming you installed the Jetpack plugin and enabled the stats component of it. Is it worth it for that alone? I doubt it, yet this app is the best out there for mobile blogging. I’d suggest you keep it for those moments of textual inspiration on the go, but don’t expect to be able to write fully formed blog posts from it. As long as you’re willing to do a few edits later, uploading photos while you’re on the go too removes a middle-step of having to get the images off your phone then upload them using your browser, so I guess we can all appreciate that.

Trouble adding your blog? Make sure you remember to add the http:// part of the url, and that you have XML-RPC remote publishing enabled from the Writing options on the Settings sidebar.

That’s all folks. Do you use any incredible WordPress plugins you think the world should know about? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow along with all our WordPress tutorials and features.

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


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Gmail Begins Rolling Out New “People Widget” [News]

Posted: 29 May 2011 10:00 AM PDT

On Thursday Google announced a two-week roll-out of a new Gmail feature – the people widget. The addition places a small column alongside every email which displays relevant, contextual information relating to friends and contacts in that conversation.

All accounts should receive the upgrade within the next fortnight and once active the widget lists recent emails, Buzz posts, shared documents and calendar events on the right hand side of email messages. Quick access to instant messaging, group chat and scheduling meetings with persons in the conversation also make an appearance.

In a post on the official Gmail blog Software Engineer Zohair Hyder announced:

“We think it can be helpful to view relevant information in context, which is why over the next two weeks we're rolling out a new people widget located on the right hand side of your messages. The people widget surfaces content from friends, family and colleagues that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them.”

What do you think of the new feature? Has it shown up on your account yet? Clutter or timesaver? Let us know in the comments below.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 105,000 fans already!


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