Sunday, June 12, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [June 11th]” plus 4 more “Cool Websites and Tools [June 11th]” plus 4 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [June 11th]

Posted: 11 Jun 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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Songsprite – In addition to letting you watch videos, YouTube also lets you listen to songs. But these songs come accompanied by videos that take longer to buffer than audio would. A nifty solution to this is presented by SongSprite – a site that lets you create audio playlists from YouTube videos and share them with friends. Read more: SongSprite: Create & Share Audio Playlists From YouTube Music Videos


MyCodeStock – Developers often create code snippets which they reuse in their other projects. Having remote access to these snippets therefore can be quite helpful. To help make your snippets remotely accessible, check out MyCodeStock, a web service that stores code snippets of all popularly used programming languages. Read more: MyCodeStock: Store Your Code Snippets & Make Them Remotely Accessible



Ofelio – is a search engine that searches for topics across all kinds of RSS feeds. That means that unlike other search engines which crawl a webpage to find potential content, Ofelio will go through the RSS feed of that page to track topics. Clicking on the options icon, which is located just beside the search button, will show options to show the results as a digest. Read more: Ofelio: RSS Feed Search Engine



WMSIWT – At home, bored and wondering what movie you should watch? Head straight to WMSIWT or What Movie Should I Watch Tonight? It's a really simple and yet visually impressive website that quickly recommends a movie you should consider watching. When you visit the site, it immediately starts showing a movie trailer. Read more: WMSIWT: Amazingly Simple & Cool Movie Recommendations



CLcarz – Craigslist is an excellent place to find cars people have put up for sale. The site's native searching interface however has much room for improvement. Thankfully there is CLcarz – a search engine that helps finds cars on Craigslist. The site does not require any registration and works much like a search engine. Read more: CLcarz: Easily Look For Cars On Craigslist


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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Access All Your Travel Guides & Maps Offline With Stay [iPhone]

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 06:31 PM PDT

offline maps iphoneTraveling is a hot summer topic for most countries around the world. Since most of us are going on vacation and planning a nice trip, we tend to review and share more traveling tools during the high traveling season.

We have had a bunch of useful travel planning tips already. Here’s a fun Facebook tool to make your travel plans social, here’s how you can plan a road trip with Virtual Tourist and don’t forget to check out Gowaza to make an informative travel plan map. This time we are sharing a brand new travel planning iPhone app from Stay.

Stay is a free fun web-based tool we have reviewed previously. Basically, it offers a great feature set for planning and mapping your traveling and then saving and sharing your plans with friends, relatives or random people. Just a few days ago, the site launched their official free app for the iPhone which makes downloading and accessing your travel guides much easier.

Creating Your Guides

To create a travel guide, you will still have to use the web-based application. This is the first thing to do because you won’t be able to do anything with the app unless you have an account with with travel guides already created.

Creating a guide is addictive though. The web interface is clean and very easy to use: you just browse the places and add them to your guide. There is no clutter or extra details interrupting the process. You browse the categories (like “Attractions”, “Restaurants”, “Art Galleries”, ” Hotels”, etc) and add anything that looks worth visiting to your guide. Search results are sorted by popularity among the site users – which makes picking fun places even easier.

offline maps iphone

Once your guide is ready, you can download it to your iPhone.

Using The iPhone Application

To upload your saved guides to your iPhone you will need Stay’s official application which is free. When you have it installed, log into your account (it supports Facebook login which makes things even faster). Immediately after you log in, you can download your guides.

The best thing about having this app is that all your city guides will have a complete offline map, so when you are away traveling, you don’t need to worry about finding an Internet connection:

offline maps

To edit, improve or complete any of your existing guides, you will need to use the web-based interface again. But the good thing is, your iPhone guide will be updated automatically:

offline maps

Travel Guides Inside Your iPhone

You will most likely love having your travel guides inside your iPhone because:

  • Your guides are well structured (all your favorite destinations are broken into categories, so you can easily plan each day of your vacation),
  • You can view your guide on the map with all your chosen destinations pinned;
  • Each place you have added to your guide has a “more info” section with photos, description and location details.

offline maps iphone

What do you think of the tool? It looks like a high-quality free app that is worth a check. I am not sure how the app works for less popular locations though. I have checked a few and it seemed to be rather detailed. What’s your experience?

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Cloud Save: Save Files Directly To The Cloud [Chrome]

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 12:31 PM PDT

save files to the cloudWhy download files to your computer, only to upload them somewhere else? Save yourself some unnecessary clicks by “downloading” files directly to the cloud, skipping your hard drive altogether.

Cloud Save sends would-be downloads directly to web-based services, including Dropbox, Google Docs, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and more. Simply right-click a file, then decide where you’d like to send your file. It’s a feature so mind-bogglingly useful you’ll wonder why it’s not built into Chrome to begin with, particularly as Google prepares to sell laptops sporting Chrome OS.

The extension is the work of antimatter15, who is still actively improving it. It’s working wonderfully for me so far.

Using Cloud Save

So you stumble upon a file you want to send to a web service. Assuming you’ve already installed Cloud Share, all you need to do is right-click the link to the file:

save files to the cloud

As you can see, you’ll find the “Cloud Save” option in the menu. Pick the service you want to send your file to; this will of course depend on the type of file it is. If this is the first time you’ve used a given service with Cloud Save, you’ll be asked to authorize the app. Authorizing Dropbox looks like this:

cloud file storage

Be careful to actually authorize the app: not doing so could cause a service to not work. I had to re-install Cloud Save to get Dropbox working, after accidentally clicking no.

Once everything is authorized, the transfer will begin. You’ll see a Chrome-style alert with the progress:

cloud file storage

How long this will take obviously depends on the size of the file, so be patient.

You can also use the settings page to upload a file from your computer:

save files to the cloud

This isn’t in line with the purpose of the app, but I could see some using it from time to time.

Supported Services

There are quite a few services supported by Cloud Save, many of which are MakeUseOf favourites. The current list includes:

This is a nice variety of applications. There are the storage apps, such as Dropbox or Sugarsync, and the more socially inclined apps such as Facebook or Flickr. Those looking to send photos elsewhere should be particularly pleased, because there is no shortage of photo-related apps in the above list. Support for more web apps may well be in the future, so stay tuned.

Having the ability to save files to a particular folder in Dropbox and other services would be nice. I wonder if that’s coming eventually?


I like seeing stuff like this, because I like software that simplifies life. By allowing users to send files directly to web apps, instead of requiring them to download and re-upload a file, Cloud Save is certainly a program that can save you some time.

What do you think? Is Cloud Save a good idea, or do you prefer doing things the old fashioned way? Or do you consider this entire “cloud” thing to be some sort of fad? As always, share your thoughts in the comments below.


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Create Your Own Custom Linux Installation Disc With SUSE Studio

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 10:31 AM PDT

linux installation discWe all know that Linux is very flexible, and you can do so many things with it. One of its advantages is that it can run on virtually any hardware. Linux is also extremely modular, so parts can be added and removed as you please. In fact, it is this ability that makes Linux a great pick for many users, no matter what environment. It is also this principle of modularity that allows SUSE Studio to exist.


SUSE Studio is a website that takes the base of the latest versions of openSUSE or SUSE Enterprise (you can choose), and lets you customize a number of different aspects of your distro. It’s a very easy process. Just go through the screens, clicking on whatever you would like to add, change, or remove. There are actually a handful of things you can do that you might not have expected from a web service. When you finish with all the configuration, the service will build your very own custom ISO of openSUSE/SUSE Enterprise with all the settings that you chose.

Getting Started

To start off, you’ll need to sign in or create an account. You can also sign in using a different service (like Google), and it will automatically create an account on their server for you. These accounts are important because you’ll receive 4GB of free storage to be used for this service.

linux installation disc


The next step is to choose what version of SUSE you would like to base your Linux installation disk off of. Currently the options are openSUSE 11.4, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP1, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP4. If you do not have a specific need for either of the Enterprise versions, I suggest you select the openSUSE option.

linux installation disk

In no time at all, you’ll be able to start customizing your distribution. First off is the software selection page, where you can choose to include certain software packages with your ISO so that you do not have to download and install it later.

linux installation disk

This is a handy feature to customize your experience right from the start. Simply search for the packages you want and add them. You can also add additional repositories if you so desire or upload your own RPM files to include.

linux installation disk

The Configuration tab lets you tweak a large amount of system settings such as locale, time zone, network settings, firewall settings, and users. You can also choose different appearances and logos from the Personalize section, change the default run level and add EULAs in the Startup section, and edit other server, desktop, and virtual machine related settings.

In the Files category, you can add any overlay files that you wish. These are applied after all packages are installed.

linux installation disc

Finish With a Build

You can now build your “appliance” in the Build category and download when it is finished. Then simply burn the ISO onto a CD/DVD, USB stick, or try it out in a virtual machine. You can do whatever you want with that ISO file as you can with a more generic one.


SUSE Studio is an amazing tool for those who want to build custom ISOs for their own unique needs. I’ve heard a handful of people use this for everything from server setups to media centers and beyond. Only your imagination can come up with the perfect combination of packages and settings to make your Linux experience one of the best.

Do you think SUSE Studio is a great idea? Will you maybe try it out for your own needs or just to get a better experience with Linux? What else would you use it for? Let us know in the comments!


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Citibank Gets Hacked, Admits Compromised Data A Month Later [News]

Posted: 11 Jun 2011 09:31 AM PDT

Citibank has admitted that the personal information of around 200,000 customers has been compromised in an attack that occurred last month.

The security breach affects a number of credit card customers, with names, email addresses and account numbers making up the haul of stolen data. The good news here is that Citibank has confirmed that other data (including dates of birth, PINs and other sensitive information) is stored elsewhere and has not been leaked.

Citibank have released a statement in the wake of the breach:

During routine monitoring, we recently discovered unauthorized access to Citi's Account Online. A limited number – roughly one percent – of Citi bankcard customers' account information (such as name, account number and contact information including email address) was viewed.

Any affected Citibank customers will be contacted directly, the firm says:

We are contacting customers whose information was impacted. Citi has implemented enhanced procedures to prevent a recurrence of this type of event. For the security of these customers, we are not disclosing further details.

Speaking on the Sophos Naked Security blog, Christopher Wisniewski warned:

Customers affected by this incident should be on high alert for scams, phishing and phone calls purporting to be from Citibank and their subsidiaries. While Citi customers aren’t likely to have fraudulent charges against their accounts as a result of this breach, they are likely to encounter social engineering attempts to enable further crime. Considering that the attackers have your name, account number and other sensitive information they are able to provide a very convincing cover story to victims.

Do you bank with Citibank? Are these security breaches a bit too frequent now? Sub-par security or overly aggressive hackers? You decide in the comments below!

Source: Reuters, Sophos

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