Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MakeUseOf.com: “DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre” plus 10 more

MakeUseOf.com: “DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre” plus 10 more

Link to MakeUseOf

DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre

Posted: 10 May 2011 06:31 AM PDT

manage ebooksFind yourself collecting eBooks, but not sure how to manage them all? “Open Book: Managing Your eBooks With Calibre” is the free download you’ve been looking for. This guide, from author Lachlan Roy, outlines the best tools on the market for managing your (non-DRM) eBook collection. Easily manage, convert and transfer your books using Calibre, the swiss army knife of eBook software, and a variety of related programs.

From music to movies, various products previously sold in brick and mortar stores are shifting to digital distribution. Books, it seems, are not immune to the trend. The sheer number of eReaders on the market points that out. This guide focuses mainly on the open sorts of eBooks, not those protected with DRM.

There is a section on removing DRM from books you’ve purchased for your Amazon Kindle, so this is not a guide that Kindle owners should miss. Free your files and learn to read them on any device!

manage ebooks

This guide outlines:

  • Using Calibre to manage your eBooks.
  • Download newspapers from the web for free.
  • Where to find free eBooks.
  • What DRM is, and what it means.
  • The many eBook formats.
  • Easily transfer books to your iPad, iPod or any eReader device.
  • How to remove DRM from Kindle-purchased books.

DOWNLOAD Open Book: Managing your eBooks with Calibre
(take a moment and share this guide with friends on Facebook and Twitter
using the social network sharing buttons below)

or

Read now on Scribd


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Cool Websites and Tools [May 9th]

Posted: 09 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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Weatherspark – Weather websites help us plan our day – but there has to be a better way to get weather forecasts than just knowing the temperature or whether it will rain or not. Fortunately, WeatherSpark is one new app with interactive weather graphs and detailed weather analysis in an easy to read format. Read more: WeatherSpark: Provides Detailed Weather Forecast Graphs For Any Location

 

Photo Measures – If you are moving to a new house and want to make sure your furniture fits, you will probably need a tape measure to measure the length of walls and floor space. Good thing we have Photo Measures, an iOS app that measures the dimension of indoor space through photographs. Before using Photo Measures, calibrate the app by taking a picture. Read more: Photo Measure: Easily Measure The Dimensions of Walls & Floors (iOS)

 

 

Rinnku – Every browser has a bookmark feature built in, but Rinnku is a web tool that takes bookmarking to the next level by giving it a personal touch. With Rinnku, you can easily create bookmarks using any browser, store them in a web space so you can access them from anywhere and share them with the world, whenever you want to. Read more: Rinnku: Create, Manage And Share Bookmarks Easily

 

 

Offermatic – There are thousands of sites on the web that list deals and coupons. However, since 90% of the coupons are not relevant to you, browsing these sites becomes a waste of time. Offermatic, on the other hand, brings you deals and coupons that are 100% relevant to you by looking at your purchase history. Read more: Offermatic: Get Automatic Discounts & Rebates While Using Your Credit Card

 

 

uSwim – Like most other skills, swimming becomes harder to learn as you get older. Therefore it should be learned at a young age. If you have any young children in your home, uSwim helps you teach them how to swim, an iOS application for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 3.1 or later. The application provides various tutorials for adults to help them teach swimming to young children. Read more: uSwim: Teach Swimming To Young Kids

 

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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Structure Your FireFox Browsing History With FromWhereToWhere

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:30 PM PDT

firefox history formatWe’ve seen quite a few interesting tools that could allow us to make the most of and get more productive with our browsing history: here are 4 Firefox addons to search and record browsing history and here’s another guide on how to record and print out browsing history on Firefox and Internet Explorer.

FromWhereToWhere is another way to dig into your browsing history and structure it in some way.

Similar to the no-longer-supported addon called “Referrer History”, this tool structures your FireFox history based on which page took you to the current URL and where you headed after that.

More Effective Search

Web search may be very addictive and hectic. You click through the search results, then you start clicking links on the target pages – and you ultimately forget where you actually started and how you got to the current page. With FromWhereToWhere addon you can always get a well-structured picture of what you’ve been doing.

It only shows the web history that is related to the currently active URL instead of displaying all the browsing history.

All you need to do is to click FromWhereToWhere item in your FireFox “Tools” menus when on the search results page and:

  • You’ll see the list of pages you clicked from the search results;
  • Each node can be expanded if there are URLs that you visited from the URL it stands for;
  • Each page has the exact date when you visited it for the last time;
  • You can open a URL by right click on the node -> “open in new tab”, or simple double click.

firefox history format

Note: the addon does NOT collect browsing history, Firefox does when you let it. FromWhereToWhere only search through the history data kept by Firefox. This means that you are not allowing any third-party tool to access your history. Instead, the tool is using the database which already exists within your browser and moreover the tool is analyzing the information locally.

You can control what the tool has access to by tweaking your FireFox browsing history settings:

Go to: Tools -> Options -> Privacy and there select “Use custom history for settings”. Now you have more freedom with tweaking what is being saved:

  • Remember your browsing history or your download history;
  • Remember your search and form history;
  • Clear history when you browse the history:

firefox history display

Domain Browsing History

The tool offers a clearly structured domain history: which links you clicked off from any domain or website. The search result proximity can be somehow controlled:

  • Search terms that are not quoted are considered optional. A page will show up in search results if its title has any (at least one) of the optional terms;
  • If you need an exact match, you’ll have to use the phrase in quotes;
  • You can also exclude any word with help of – operator: -word:

firefox history display

Easy Note Taking

The addon has a useful note-taking feature inside that lets you quickly save some URLs for further reference:

  • Hold CTRL to select multiple links;
  • Right-click and select “Save to local notes”
  • A note will be created named after the top selected URL:

firefox history format

Additional fun feature: Scrapbook support – if a link had been captured by the add-on Scrapbook, it’ll be highlighted in Italic font – which makes this addon even more note-taking-friendly.

What are your thoughts? Does this look like a promising addon!


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Top 4 RSS Music Feeds To Get New Tunes Every Day

Posted: 09 May 2011 04:30 PM PDT

rss music feedsMusic discovery websites seem to have exploded in popularity lately. There are music discovery social networks, desktop applications (for Linux, see this post) and even online music stations. You can actually even resort to using YouTube and iTunes' iMix features to discover new songs. There are, indeed, many free ways to discover new music easily.

Steve recently wrote a post on what websites to check out to obtain new music releases. Since we want to make life easier for you and help you reap the benefits of music for your brain, we will also go over what specific RSS music feeds you can get to obtain the latest tunes in the comfort of your RSS reader, that is, without having to check multiple websites daily.

ArtistDirect

rss music feeds

This site offers feeds for featured music releases, mostly albums, along with the release date and album price. Though it may not have a lot of additional information, it's definitely short and sweet, which should suit anyone that wants the updates in a quick glance.

RSS Music Feed: Copy this link

iTunes

free music rss feeds

Of course, being the giant digital store it is, iTunes maintains records of new music releases (both albums and singles) along with album/single price information, release date, genre and album/single cover. The cool thing about the RSS site that iTunes offers is that you can choose what the feed will display. You can make the feed display 10, 25, and up to 300 items, and best of all, you can pick what genre you're interested in. The following feed is for 25 new releases of all genres.

RSS Feed: Copy this link

New Album Releases

free music rss feeds

New Album Releases appeared in Steve's post, and it's truly worth another mention here as it provides a feed full of informative posts about the latest albums that have been released. Each post details the artist, style or genre and even has an image of the album cover!

RSS Feed: Copy this link

Roadie

rss music feedsRoadie provides a feed similar to New Album Releases with the difference that the former simply presents you with the name of the artist, the new album being released, the price of the album, and an Amazon MP3 link for you to obtain more information on the track list and the artist. If you want more details on Roadie, check out our Directory article. While the website says you can search for your favorite artist and get an RSS feed to get updates only for that musician, the resulting feed gives information on all artists, not your favorite artists exactly. It's still a good feed to keep yourself updated with the latest album releases, since it reports additional albums that New Album Releases doesn't.

RSS Feed: Copy this link

Now that you're updated with lots of information on the latest albums, why not go to music streaming sites to listen to those new songs and albums? Here are 7 sites that do not impose any restrictions, such as time limits. You can also check out 14+ Hottest Music Streaming & Discovery Sites, which should keep you plenty entertained.

How do you discover new music? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Media Design (Ben Fleming)


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Soundtrckr – Personalised Radio & Location-Based Music Discovery From Your PC or Smartphone

Posted: 09 May 2011 02:30 PM PDT

music discovery mobileThere are a plethora of services designed to help you stream and discover new music, and many of them are free. Last.fm was one such bastion of tailored, streaming "radio" that suggested artists and tracks based on a single search. Unfortunately, Last.fm has vastly reduced the free option to a measly 30 second per track.

Soundtrckr undoubtedly takes its cues from Pandora, the popular US streaming service which follows a similar model. One thing Soundtrckr adds that Pandora users are yet to sample is location-based discovery, either using GPS from your smartphone or geo-IP technology in your browser.

In this review I’ll be using the Soundtrckr website via Firefox on Ubuntu 10.10 (not the new 11.04) and the iPhone Soundtrckr app, on the latest (4.3.2) non-jailbroken firmware.

More "Free" Music

Before you can start creating stations and listening, you’ll need a Soundtrckr account, which you can create via the homepage or app of your choice. You are given the option to create a standard email and username combination; or use your existing Facebook or Twitter account to connect.

As an internet radio (or mobile) app, Soundtrckr works great. By its very definition "radio" is a passive affair, usually serenading you rather than demanding to know what to play next. You can share your stations using the usual mainstream social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.
music discovery mobile
Unlike Spotify, Grooveshark and mflow; Soundtrckr is not an on-demand music streamer. Instead you create music stations, and see where the tunes take you – much like Last.fm. Searching for an artist will return a couple of that artist’s songs, and a selection of similar artists in the genre.
After creating your station, the music just flows. There’s no way of singling out a track to play, and you can’t go back in the queue to re-listen to songs either. Instead you are given the option to buy every song you listen to, which is clearly how the developers are supporting the service.
music discovery
And why not? This model works. There are no adverts to speak of in either version I tested, and as a music discovery tool it still has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

Location Discovery, Mobile & Friends

Finding out what’s popular in your region works best via the smartphone apps, with both Chrome and Firefox encountering issues even after allowing universal location tracking in both browsers. Firefox did eventually give me my local suggestions, Chrome on the other hand hit a brick wall.
music discovery
Via the iPhone app however, local discovery takes seconds. Without over-analysing the validity and usefulness of local listeners, pulling songs out of the air is great when you simply can’t decide what to listen to. If you’re a traveller then I can also see use for it there, such as discovering local artists on the road or abroad.
music discovery
Touching the artist’s name in the mobile app queries for known lyrics to the song you are listening to and opens the artist’s Wikipedia entry for further information on the Bio tab. This is a really nice touch, though I can’t help but feel some way of bookmarking the song you’re listening to would be a lot more useful.
location based music app
Whilst you can buy the song directly from iTunes or equivalent, there is no "Like" button to save favorites in a wishlist for later. I found this frustrating – the more music I like, the more likely I am to come back and actually buy something. The lack of a “previously listened to” listing also detracts, especially as you can’t skip to the previous track once it has finished.
location based music app
You can however share your stations, and listen to other stations by finding other users to follow, much like Twitter. If you’re stuck for friends then connecting your Facebook or Twitter will allow you to scan for contacts from the website.
music discovery mobile
In a turn up for the mobile books, the app allows you to scan Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail address books too.

Download

There are currently 4 versions of Soundtrckr for mobile devices, and you can download the appropriate version from the links below. Unfortunately there is no Android edition of Soundtrckr at the time of writing.

Conclusion

As a desktop web app, Soundtrckr is good. As a mobile radio smartphone app, Soundtrckr is excellent. Even if you believe that location-based discovery is simply a gimmick, there’s no ignoring the great mobile interface, range of artists and excellent integration with your social networks.

You might have just found your new Last.fm – all we need now is scrobbling, an "I like this but I don’t want to buy it" button and an Android version. Fingers crossed.


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Hot Tech Deals – Intel 120GB SATA II MLC Internal SSD + more

Posted: 09 May 2011 01:30 PM PDT

Today, the main feature is the Intel 320 Series 2.5in 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive which you may purchase for just $199 — which is great value for an SSD. Also, save up to $200 on various Dell Sandy Bridge laptops. Hurry, deals expire!

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

  1. TP-LINK TL-WN722N 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter $16.99 Free Shipping
  2. Intel 320 Series 2.5in 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive $199.99 Free Shipping via code INTELSSD5X3 (Exp Soon)
  3. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop $624.99 via code 0CQ6F64K$ZCPV$ and HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  4. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 17n Laptop $549.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  5. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge 14in Laptop $624.99 via code 0CQ6F64K$ZCPV$ and HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  6. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 14n Laptop $549.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  7. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge 15.6in Laptop $624.99 via code 0CQ6F64K$ZCPV$ and HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  8. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 15.6in Laptop $499.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  9. TODAY ONLY Audio Unlimited 2.4 GHz Digital Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Stereo Speakers $139.99

 

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3 Easy Methods To Help You Live Blog Events

Posted: 09 May 2011 12:31 PM PDT

how to live blogWhether you’re attending a conference, taking part in an event, or even watching a football match, there are various ways you can share your comments, thoughts, images and much more. While Twitter has become immensely popular for live tweeting just about everything you could imagine, if you’re looking for something a little bit more robust, there are three free services that have been built specifically for this purpose.

There are certain advantages to using a service like Twitter as your go-to live blog service. Chances are, there’s someone else live blogging along with you, and using Twitter is a great way to keep track of what other people have to say about the same subject. By using hashtags, you instantly have instant access to a flood of tweets. On the flipside, rather than alienate your Twitter users by flooding their stream with live tweets about an event they aren’t necessarily interested in, you can try any one of these services to live blog to your heart’s content.

Wordfaire

Wordfaire is a new service that has the potential to be a one-stop-shop for live blogging, if more features are added. As it stands now, after logging in with your Twitter, Facebook or Google credentials, you are then able to create as many liveblogs as you want.

To create a new liveblog, simply choose your URL, title and timezone.

how to live blog

You can then begin to update the page, with text and images.

wordfaire2.png

The page is automatically refreshed as you create new updates.

wordfaire3.png

Comments are powered by Disqus, and apply to the entire blog, rather than individual updates. Your Wordfaire live blog can also be embedded into your existing blog by copying the code, although free embeds are limited to 1,000 updates, a figure which may change as time goes by.

Wordfaire’s gorgeous, minimalist look is not only great for live blogging, but makes it an interesting and simplified blogging alternative to Tumblr and Posterous.

Live Blogging WordPress Plugin

The aptly named WordPress plugin, Live Blogging, offers bloggers an easy and convenient way to incorporate live blogging into their own sites. After installing and activating the plugin on your WordPress blog, the first step is to create a new post, as you would any other. Once you’ve typed in your introductory text for your live blog post, be sure to add the shortcode [liveblog] at the end of the post.

free live blogging tool

You will also have to check the option Enable live blogging on this post.

wp2.png

In order to add updates to the blog post, you can then access the Live Blogging panel from the sidebar on the left, by clicking Add new under Live Blog Entries.

wp3.png

Once the window opens up to add the updates, you can select the blog post you just created, and begin to update it.

wp4.png

Live blog posts include a timestamp on the post, and the page automatically refreshes as you update it, so users will not have to refresh it to see your latest updates. Any content that can normally be included in a WordPress blog, from images, to videos to links, can be included in your live blog.

wp5.png

The Live Blogging plugin is incredibly easy to use, and feels like a natural extension of the WordPress setup.

CoveritLive

CoveritLive is probably one of the most elaborate live blogging options which also provides their service for free. While the free account does have its limitations, the features list is still impressive. Basic accounts give you a 5000/month live readership limit.

Before your live blogging event, enter all the settings in your CoveritLive account.

free live blogging tool

You can then copy and paste the generated code into a blog post, or direct users to your CoveritLive page.

free live blogging tool

Launch your event straight away, or save it to be launched when you’re ready to start live blogging.

live blogging tools

With CoveritLive, you can also include specific Twitter users, lists or hashtags in the live blog, as well as images, invite other participants to take part in the live blog, and post reminders on your site about the event. Once the event is launched, you will then gain access to a panel where you can post updates, moderate comments and polls, see how many audience members you have, and more.

live blogging tools

The embedded live blog will look like this:

live blogging tools

CoveritLive also has a free iPhone app [iTunes link] that makes it easy to create new events and live blog on the go.

how to live blog

CoveritLive is so feature rich, it makes it the ideal choice for a professional live blogging event. The sheer number of features can be a bit overwhelming, and so a service like Wordfaire would be more suitable for the less technologically inclined.

We would recommend creating a test event to experiment with CoveritLive first, while also giving yourself a chance to see how much the service really has to offer.

ScribbleLive is another great live blogging service that has been reviewed in the past on MakeUseOf, but free accounts are now limited to a one month trial period.

What is your favourite free live blogging service? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit: Shutterstock


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5 Useful Web Browsers For The iPad

Posted: 09 May 2011 11:30 AM PDT

web browser for ipad

It is easy to see why there are several dozen web browsers for the iPad—because browsing the net on this device feels like you're browsing a magazine or newspaper. Unlike  its smaller brother and sister, the iPhone and the iPod touch, the iPad's larger screen, along with the lightness of the device itself, make it perfect for reading content and consuming media on the net.

We covered a few free web browers back in January, but since then other savvy developers have created several additional browsers you might you want to include in the browser folder of your iPad. Let's check them out. (Note: each link will take you to the iTunes App Store.)

web browser for ipad

Weblicious

One of the most unique web browsers in this current review collection is Weblicious. This browser will appeal to users who like to take advantage of the iPad's visual orientation. Instead of bookmarking web pages in the typical title list view, Weblicious allows you to bookmark websites as smaller windows—sort of like the preview display feature in Safari 5, but with more customizations.
ipad web browser
When you click the tab of a saved site, it of course opens up in a full screen. Weblicious includes over a dozen backgrounds, one or more that will surely appeal to any user.

Fraktol Web Browser

If you find the tab feature in the iPad version of Safari a little annoying (where you must leave your current page in order to switch to another tab on a separate screen), Fraktol's preview display of up to 9 pages at the top of browser will be a welcome change.

ipad web browser
You can scroll through previews or access them from the traditional bookmark drop-down window. There's also a little button that hides your open tabs. Fraktol also remembers your open tabs after you close and re-open the browser.

Two Web

Dual web browser apps have been around for a while, but if you don't want to pay out a few dollars for one, you can download Two Web for free. The only drawback is that this browser doesn't remember the last pages you were on after you close the app. But it does allow you to simply browse web pages side-by-side.

ipad web browser

StumbleUpon

I never launch StumbleUpon unless I'm prepared to spend an hour or more browsing the web. If you've never heard of or use StumbleUpon, it's essentially a service that delivers random websites and pages based on your personal topical preferences and recommendations of other stumblers. It's a great way to discover new and interesting content without using Google or some other search engine.
ipad web browser
You can mark as favorite any page you stumble upon and come back to it for later viewing. To me, StumbleUpon makes web browsing fun, and it's especially appealing on the iPad.

360 Web Browser

If you're finding iPad Safari too lightweight for your web browsing needs, 360 Web Browser contains some rich advance features you'll want to test out in this lite version of 360 Web.
web browser for ipad
This web browser for the iPad contains Firefox Sync which allows you to sync your tabs, bookmarks, and history from Firefox between your iPad and other mobile devices. This browser includes multi-touch gestures for navigation pages, full screen viewing, pre-loaded plug-ins for services like Evernote and Track This, and pop-up round menu bar for switching between more than its 20+ features.

While many features of 360 Web are not enabled in the Lite version, I recommend downloading and taking it for a spin to see if it or the full version will be useful to you.

There are other free web browsers (Tabulous, TwitpadOne, for example) I would have liked to add this to the list, but in my test runs they didn't perform well, though their concepts are good.

If you have come across web browsers you like, please let us know about them. If you're looking for other free iPad apps, check out these MUO articles, here and here.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com


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7 Travel Quizzes To Take & Improve Your Travel IQ

Posted: 09 May 2011 10:30 AM PDT

travel quizWhere in the world is Timbuktu? Anyone who knows English knows of the term, "From here to Timbuktu". Very few know that we can actually travel there and it's not a fictitious name at all. This is more often than not a very common question in travel quizzes. The answer you should give before the gong is Mali.

You may or may not travel to this not-so-outlandish place but a travel quiz can throw up interesting tidbits like these. Surprisingly, travel quizzes aren't that many on the web or it could be that Google Search failed me when I went 'travelling' for travel quizzes. Though the ones I found made me realize that there's a big leap between one's geographical IQ and travel IQ. Is that your story too?

Take these seven travel quizzes and find out if you know your Timbuktu from Shangri-La.

The Traveler IQ Challenge

travel quiz

The travel blog has a neat Flash travel quiz which tests how well you know your world. We had seen this game in action in our post on 10 Online Geography Games That Help Kids Know More About The World. You can choose from the different game plays available based on region, flags, and photos. It is the Photos of the World I find most fun. You will be surprised that it's quite difficult to land them on the map.

Discover Your Visual DNA

travel quizzes

This is a short and easy quiz which surprisingly gave me a close to accurate result. Perhaps, it was because I was pretty sure of the kind of travel holidays I enjoy. A series of thumbnails helps to determine your choice of location, food, company etc and arrive at your 'travel personality'. A proprietary VisualDNA Technology is used to understand your travel type. Partners can use this travel quiz to pinpoint their likely travel destination.

National Geographic

travel quizzes

One of the world's best magazine's on natural sciences is also about travel by default. One look at their illustrations and you just might fall in love with the places shown. So, if you love the exotic and wondrous, check out the series of quizzes. There are Featured Travel Quiz, Country and Continent Quizzes, City Quizzes, National Park Quizzes, and Road Trip Quizzes. Check out some of the featured quizzes like Unfinished Landmarks or Mysterious Places. Most of the quizzes come from National Geographic's Traveler Magazine.

Are You a Savvy Traveler?

travel quizzes

Find your travel IQ at Infohub.com. The specialty travel guide features information on many destinations around the world. One way of piquing interest is through travel quizzes. You can register for free or play as an anonymous user. Registered members can start their own tournaments. The selection of travel quizzes quite diverse, with most based on locations. There is a travel quiz especially for women travelers. Registration is free and members can quickly set up their own private quiz tournaments to find out the travel IQ of their friends or family before starting a trip. Quizzes have author recommendations as answers and explanations give an insight into the culture of the place.

How Green a Traveler Are You?

travel iq test

Guardian UK has a long standing 12 question quiz which can help you decide if you are an eco-conscious traveler or not. The multiple choice travel quiz is hardly a boring round of obvious answers, but with ones that could just befuddle and bemuse you, and hopefully make you think twice when you pack your bags next.

What Kind Of A Traveler Are You?

travel iq test

The travel site Best Trip Choices gives you another chance to find out what kind of a traveler are you with its 5-minute travel quiz. Take the scientifically validated Plog Travel Personality Quiz to learn about yourself and what kinds of destinations you will probably like the most. When you’ve completed it, you get a list of destinations that others with your personality recommend. The quiz asks for a US Zip code at the end before giving you the analysis which is quite detailed.

MSN Australia – Travel

travel quiz

The Australian MSN portal has a nice lineup of offbeat travel quizzes. If you are a monarchist you just might like the timely How well do you know Wills and Kate quiz. My personal choice goes to the Guess the movie location round of questions.

Playing a few rounds of travel quizzes is undoubtedly fun. But not more than travel itself. Go to these websites for some free travel tips

The 10 Best Free International Travel Guide Websites

10 Websites For Virtual Sightseeing With Travel Videos

The Best Travel Deals Sites To Save Cash On Your Next Vacation

Drop us a hint if you know of any cool travel quiz out there.

Image Credit: Shutterstock


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Ethical Hackers Find Skype Security Hole For Mac [News]

Posted: 09 May 2011 10:01 AM PDT

Skype will soon issue an update for all Mac users, due to security concerns in Skype version 5.x for Mac which allows a malicious user to activate code on the victim’s computer. Ethical hackers alerted Skype to the security breach, proving that it was possible to send a specific message to a user of Skype Version 5.x for Mac and it would crash Skype and make it unusable.

Officials at Skype have released a hotfix (Skype for Mac version 5.1.0.922), but have not yet pushed the proposed release to all Mac users as there have been no reports of abuse using this method so far.

The Skype vulnerability is also mitigated by the fact that the message would also have to come from someone already on your Skype contact list, as Skype’s default settings don’t allow messages from people you haven’t approved as contacts.

Other Skype clients, such as Windows and Linux, are not susceptible to this vulnerability.

The upcoming Mac Skype release will also feature several other updates and bug fixes. It will be pushed to all Mac users automatically, but if you wish to upgrade to use the hotfix now, click on Skype > Check for Updates or by clicking here.

Image Credit:Yahoo News


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Make Your Own Programs With Illumination Software Creator [Giveaway]

Posted: 09 May 2011 09:31 AM PDT

If you use your computer for more than just Facebook and Farmville, you’ve probably wanted to create your own software at one point or another. However, you don’t know any code and therefore can’t write any programs.

Well, what if I told you that you can, still without writing a single line of code? Let me introduce to you the Illumination Software Creator. This week, we’ll be giving away 25 copies of Illumination Software Creator worth $1,248 in total!

Installing

Getting started is easy! Windows and Mac users should install the program like any other, and Linux users just need to extract the folder, make sure the illumination file is executable, and double-click to run. Radical Breeze, the developers of Illumination Software Creator have built the program with as little dependencies as possible, so there shouldn’t be any problems for Linux users on that end.

Running The Program

When you first start the program, you’ll be greeted by a very nice welcome window. It talks again about what it does, what systems it supports, and where to get help if you need it. Once you close that window, you’ll see the main screen, with an extremely simple setup already in place. The main window is object-and-action-oriented, meaning that once you create objects such as buttons in your application window, you can link it with an action, and then customize that action. You can link as much as you want, and make a single button do numerous tasks if you wish.

In order to have objects in your application window, you’ll need to “design” that window. That’s easy enough to do: just click on the window object and then on the “Design Window” button, and then drag objects from the left pane onto your application window. From there you can move around and resize your object, and in the right pane configure the name and label of that object. Once each object has been placed onto your application window, you can go back to the main window and start linking objects with actions when clicked.

Every once in a while you should test your application by saving the project, running “Build App“, and then “Run App“, choosing the appropriate option both times. Just because the program is clean and easy-to-use doesn’t mean that during the process you’ve missed something so that your program doesn’t start!

Features

Illumination Software Creator also makes use of variables so that you have more flexibility with what you want to store and work with. This is also a useful feature for those who know the ground-down basics of Computer Science and wish to program but don’t know enough of a language to build one from scratch. I would fall under that category myself, so I would definitely make use of variables.

Speaking of which, in case Illumination Software Creator does not have a certain feature that you were looking for, but know the actual code for it, you can add that in a “Custom Block“. Once you complete the information in the window, you’ll have that piece of code ready to work for your application.

Illumination Software Creator is a great learning tool as well. When building desktop applications, a window will appear with the source file for your program. If you would like to know more about programming and eventually code from scratch, you can look at the code in those files to learn more about what code is represented by what you are doing.

Conclusion

Overall, Illumination Software Creator is a great tool to have in developing applications for desktops, web, Android, and iOS. Its interface has virtually no learning curve, and you’ll be on your way in just a few minutes to making your greatest idea a reality. Plus the program even gives you the source code it generates. What else could you want?

Do you like the idea of this program? Would you be interested in using this? What sort of programs would you make with ISC? Let us know in the comments! We’re also giving 25 copies away and you can be in the running to win one by following these simple steps.

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

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, May 13th 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 Radical Breeze 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.


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


 

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