Wednesday, June 22, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [June 21st]” plus 12 more “Cool Websites and Tools [June 21st]” plus 12 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [June 21st]

Posted: 21 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.

Add Your Website Here!


Wee Nudge – If you are a web designer, you will know very well that clients can be annoying. They can be really stubborn about requesting things that either don't make much design sense or end up not being user friendly. Wee Nudge is a collection of web design articles for beginners that can help you teach your clients the value of certain web design elements. Read more: Wee Nudge: A Collection Of Web Design Articles For Beginners To Teach Your Clients


Moat – There is a search engine for everything so why not ads as well? Moat is a search engine for advertisements that you can use to search for currently running ads for any brand. Simply type in the name of a brand and Moat will display a collection of ads that are running on various websites. Hovering your mouse over any ad will display it in full size. Read more: Moat: Search Engine For Advertisements



Picasion – Putting images together in a loop to create animations can easily be done through GIF files. If you are looking for an app that helps create GIF images, check out Picasion, a web app that helps you easily create GIF animations. You start by specifying the image files stored on your computer. Next you select the speed of the GIF. Read more: Picasion: Create GIF Animations From Photos Stored On Your Computer



Mobile Media Converter Online – A number of web apps convert YouTube videos into audio for you. But the conversion process takes a bit of time during which you are glued to your browser tab. Mobile Media Converter Online solves this problem in a very simple way. MMCO offers 4 audio output formats: MP3, OGG, AAC, and WMA. Read more: Mobile Media Converter Online: Convert YouTube Clips Into Audio



NewFreeScreensavers – This is a directory of free downloadable screensavers. All the screensavers on their site are safe to download, install and run and are compatible with any version of Windows and Mac. You can browse screensavers by categories (Abstract, Animation, Nature, Sport, etc) or view the top voted/commented screensavers. Every screensaver has a short description of what it does, so that you know in advance what to expect when it runs on your desktop. Read more: NewFreeScreensavers: Directory Of Free Downloadable Screensavers [Windows & Mac]


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.

Cool Websites and Tools [June 21st] is a post from: MakeUseOf

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Share, Share, Share….Spread The Word!

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 07:31 PM PDT

With most of the MakeUseOf articles that we profile every day, our main goal is to give you something that you will find interesting and useful.

To show you a website or a software program you can make use of is our number one priority.

This time around, we would like something from you. Something really easy and simple. That is to share MakeUseOf articles you find useful with others. That’s really the best way for you to show your appreciation for our work.

It’s quick and super easy to do.

Simply click one of the sharing buttons at the bottom of the article and vote it up (or share).

As you can see, there are options to share the article with your friends on Facebook, Twitter (retweet), StumbleUpon and Digg. Also, there is a ‘ShareThis‘ button which lets you share the article on several other social networks as well as giving you an option to email the link to someone.

You might not realize it but this has a major impact on our daily workflow and the popularity of So if you’re an avid reader and like what we are doing, please make sure to always share the articles you find useful with friends.

Share, Share, Share….Spread The Word! is a post from: MakeUseOf

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The 9 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 06:31 PM PDT

MakeUseOf AnswersMakeUseOf Answers can help you find solutions for your technology related questions. Since we’re only human and don’t know everything, we need a lot of help. Maybe you know a thing or two that we don’t? If you can help us answer some of the toughest questions, you could win a prize!

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

Please help us out with these questions:

For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.

The 9 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers] is a post from: MakeUseOf

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Share & Discover New Foursquare Places You Love Using Scoville

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 04:31 PM PDT

foursquare placesI’ve been using Foursquare for a while now, checking into the places I frequent and sharing my whereabouts with my followers on Twitter. Being that I live in New York City, which was recently proclaimed Twitter capital of the world, Foursquare has become a necessity. The tandem of Twitter and Foursquare has helped me find great places to try out, as well as plenty of nice specials to take advantage of. I’ve checked in at some great spots so far.

But what can I do with all of my check-in data? I’d love to be able to not only see all of the places I’ve checked into, but mark certain ones as my favorites and then use that information to discover even more great venues. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so, and neither does Scoville.

What Is Scoville?

foursquare places

Scoville is another one of those great applications that will enhance your Foursquare experience. It gives you a fun way to remember, share, and discover places you love.

Our mission is to help our users discover at least one great new place every week. We’ll make it extremely simple for you to share the places you really love, the places you believe the community should know about.

Each and every week, Scoville will take all of the data you share with it and it will create an awesome list of cool places for you to discover. The list will be based on places you’ve already been to and have liked. By the way, this data isn’t just taken from your overall check-in count, it’s also taken from what Scoville calls #TopTuesday.

What Is #TopTuesday?

The first article I ever wrote for MUO covered the topic of hashtags, and that’s what #TopTuesday essentially is. Here’s how it works.

find foursquare venues

Every Monday, you’ll use Scoville to look at all of your recent check-ins, and you can go through and pick the places you loved the most. On Tuesday, you can share your #TopTuesday with your friends and followers so they can see what you liked.

find foursquare venues

You can use your iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or other smartphone to contribute to #TopTuesday on the go. Just append the #TopTuesday hashtag whenever you check in or add a tip to an awesome place. Following the hashtag can be a great way to discover places you should visit in your city!

How Do I Start Using Scoville?

To start using Scoville, just head over to their website and sign up. The site is still in beta, but you can sign in with your Foursquare credentials or submit your email address to get on the invite list. Then just watch out for your invite email (I got mine relatively quickly).

foursquare places

Once you’re in, you can pick your favorite places to be part of your next #TopTuesday, where you can connect via Twitter or Facebook to share them with your friends. As I stated earlier, you can just use the hashtag to automatically add a check-in to your next #TopTuesday.

Are you a Foursquare user? How often do you check in?  Do you think Scoville will enhance your Foursquare experience?  Let us know what you think in the comments.

Share & Discover New Foursquare Places You Love Using Scoville is a post from: MakeUseOf

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A Sneak Peek Into the New Nitro PDF Reader 2

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 03:30 PM PDT

PDFs are great, there’s no argument there. But reading and editing PDFs can get quite cumbersome, especially when the main contender out there is Adobe Acrobat, which you might need to sell your house in order to buy.

Nitro PDF Reader is an awesome free option which we’ve covered here in the past, and today, Nitro is getting a younger brother in the form of Nitro PDF Reader 2. We were allowed an early peek into this new version, and I will take you through all the new (and some of the old) awesome features that I found particularly useful.

Getting Started

Download and installation are as simple as it gets. There are no extra options on installation, although the process itself is pretty lengthy. When you first run Nitro Reader 2, it asks you if you want to make it your default PDF viewer, and it does this even if the older version of Nitro Reader already was your default viewer, so if you're like me and tend to click “No” automatically without reading the message, you should pay attention when you first run the program.


Browser Integration

One of the nice new features Nitro Reader 2 is supposed to have is the browser integration. I've been having a hard time with Foxit's integration in Firefox, so I was excited to try this.


Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, Nitro Reader 2 would not open PDFs within my browsers (Firefox, Chrome and IE). At first I thought this was a default viewer problem, but even after uninstalling my previous viewer, Nitro did not take over PDFs and I could not use it to open PDFs in my browsers. Perhaps you’ll have better luck.

Text and Image Extraction

Another Nitro Reader 2 feature is its ability to extract text and images from a PDF. This is not a new feature, but it's supposed to be improved in this version. Extracting is very easy – there are big extraction buttons in the toolbar, and you can easily extract just text or just images from your PDF.


This feature worked really well and was very quick, especially considering I tried it on a very big and image-rich PDF. It offered many options such as adding line breaks after a specific number of characters for text, or choosing a specific image format for color or monochromatic images.


You can even choose to automatically open the files after creation, but if the extraction created numerous image files, it only opens the folder and not all the files, which is both smart and fortunate.


PDF Creation

The next thing I tried was creating a PDF from a Word document. I had to do this recently, and did so using the "Save as PDF or XPS" add-in for MS Word, which did it really quickly. I was curious what the new Nitro Reader 2 had to offer in this arena.

The PDF creation tool offers much more than a simple “Save as…”. You can control the kind of output you get (web, office or print ready), you can tell Nitro Reader 2 to convert the colors of your images, control the size of the pages of the output and even have your new PDF in landscape format.


I tried creating a PDF which will convert all my images to grayscale. The first time I tried it, the PDF creation was very slow, and it took Nitro Reader 2 about a whole minute to create my PDF, but I contributed that to the fact that it had to convert my images. But alas, when I got my new PDF, the images were still in color. I tried this several more time, and I must say the conversion itself got quicker all the time, with the last one taking only a few second, but my pictures still refused to lose their color.


A little quirk in the conversion was the fact that it showed two progress bars for no apparent reason. When the bottom one got to 100%, the top one just disappeared. Not sure why they were both needed.


Highlights and Annotations

Let me just say this: Nitro Reader 2's highlights and annotation options are hands-down the best I've seen in a PDF reader. First of all, you don't just get to highlight, you get to underline and cross-over as well. Each of these gets its own color, which you can, of course, change, by right clicking the highlight and choosing "Properties".


You can also add a note to each kind of highlight, and it will automatically get the color of the highlight. In the properties, you can change the note's author and its subject, and you can even reply to a note or a highlight left by someone else.


You can also add sticky notes wherever you wish on the document, and customize it to your liking, similar to the highlight notes.



I won't go into all the ways you can customize Nitro Reader 2. I might stay up writing until tomorrow morning. I'll just highlight a few things that I found especially useful or thoughtful.

Nitro Reader 2 features a Quick Access Toolbar, similar to Office, and it can be customized very easily. The thing I liked best is the fact that I can right-click any of the buttons and simply add them to the Quick Access Toolbar. You can choose to have the toolbar under the buttons or above the buttons, and can choose to have only the toolbar and no buttons at all.


Another very cute option, which is new for this version, is the option to get rid of the "Do More With Pro" button that sends you to Nitro's website where you can buy the pro version. If you don't like the looks of the button, or simply want the interface to be as minimalist as possible, you can go to Preferences –> Interface, and uncheck “Show the More with Pro button on the Home tab”. And just like that, it's gone!



There are many features of Nitro PDF Reader 2 I did not even get into, like the ability to create a signature stamp from a scanned image of your signature or the ability to e-mail a PDF to someone from within the program (if you're using an e-mail client).

The new Nitro PDF Reader 2 is a definite improvement over other free PDF readers out there, at least the ones I tried. It's fast and responsive, and even large and rich PDFs load quickly. I would be happy to see the browser integration working, or to learn why it didn't work for me, and when that happens, I will gladly adopt Nitro Reader 2 as my default PDF reader. I might even do so right now, just because I love the highlights and notes so much.

So what did you think of the new version of Nitro Reader? Did you find any bugs that I missed? Got things working better you? Share your experience in the comments.

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

A Sneak Peek Into the New Nitro PDF Reader 2 is a post from: MakeUseOf

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4 Handy Tweaks To Customize & Improve Snow Leopard [Mac]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 02:31 PM PDT

customize snow leapardAre you always looking for ways to tweak your Mac desktop? Are you always finding things you wish you could do, then searching around to find a little hack to make it happen? Well, if so, here’s a few of those little tweaks ready for you to use.

If you’re keen to maximise your desktop area, clean up your Dock, view hidden files or get some mouseover highlighting occuring where it should, this is a useful list for you. Most of these can be activated with a quick shortcut or a simple Terminal command.

1. Auto-Hide Windows When You Change Focus

Sometimes you might wish that you could actually see those beautiful desktop backgrounds you’ve downloaded. But sadly, most of us clog up our space with all the apps we’re using. Windows pile up on top of each other and leave you with just a tiny amount of free desktop space around the edge. This sort of anti-minimalist behaviour is easy to stop. It’s possible to automatically hide any window that doesn’t have the focus. It takes a little getting used to, but it will keep your desktop uncluttered.

To automatically hide non-focused windows, open Terminal (found in Applications > Utilities) and type this command:

defaults write single-app -bool TRUE

Then restart the dock by typing:

killall Dock

If you decide you don’t like it, you can go back to normal settings by typing this into Terminal:

defaults write single-app -bool FALSE

customize snow leapard

Some people might prefer to only hide other windows on occasion. This is possible when you’re accessing an application via the dock. When you click on the application, press Command-Option at the same time and it will hide all the other application windows.

2. Highlighting Items On Mouseover In Stacks Grid View

MakeUseOf Mac users know that Stacks are great. There’s a number of different cool ideas for great stacks you can use. But for some reason, in Snow Leopard when you go to use Stacks, the highlighted focus only works when you’re using the arrow keys, not the mouse. But there’s a quick fix to get highlighting happening for the mouse as well.

In Terminal, type this command:

defaults write mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean yes

Then restart the dock:

killall Dock

improve snow leapard

To reverse this, use this command:

defaults write mouse-over-hilite-stack -boolean yes

3. Add Spacers To Dock

If you’ve got way too many applications in your dock, this tweak is for you. Basically, you can add spacers between your applications in the dock as well as many other dock tricks.

In Terminal, type this command to create each spacer and repeat for however many spacers you want:

defaults write persistent-apps -array-add '{"tile-type"="spacer-tile";}'

Then restart the dock:

killall Dock

improve snow leapard

When the dock restarts, you’ll see a gap on the right hand side. You can move the spacers about as if they’re regular dock icons, so just drag them into place.

To reverse this, right-click over the spacers and click "Remove from dock".

4. Viewing Hidden Files

There are two easy ways to show hidden files for Mac. If you’re using the Open/Save dialogue of any application, you can view hidden files by pressing Command-Shift. This only works for the Open/Save dialogue, not for Finder windows.

Hidden files can be shown permanently in Finder using a Terminal command.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool YES

customize snow leapard

If you want things back to normal, type:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool NO

More Mac Tweaks

We know you love tweaking your Mac to get it just right. So here’s a bunch more articles that you’ll love:

What other Mac tweaks would you love to see? Let us know in the comments!

4 Handy Tweaks To Customize & Improve Snow Leopard [Mac] is a post from: MakeUseOf

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Hot Tech Deals – LG 42LV5500 42in LED-Edgelit LCD HDTV for $689 + more

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 01:30 PM PDT

Today’s featured deal is the LG 42LV5500 42in LED-Edgelit LCD HDTV which is going for $689 with free shipping. It retails for $1099.99, so getting it today will save you $400! With a 1920×1080 display, 3 HDMI ports, HD tuner, a 120Hz refresh rate and LED-edgelit panel, it’s definitely a must-buy!

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

  1. Samsung Star S5230 Cell Phone (Unlocked, Quad-Band GSM) $94.99 Free Shipping
  2. TODAY ONLY HP 16GB SDHC Flash Card (Class 4) $15.99 Free Shipping
  3. Asus 8X USB 2.0 External Slim DVD Burner $23.99AR Free Shipping
  4. Asus A52 Series Intel Dual-Core P6200 2.13GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/320GB) $399.99 Free Shipping
  5. Hannspree Intel Pentium ULV SU4100 12.1in Netbook (2GB/320GB) $289.99
  6. LG 42LV5500 42in LED-Edgelit LCD HDTV (1080p, 120Hz) $689 Free Shipping via code S4200869

Hot Tech Deals – LG 42LV5500 42in LED-Edgelit LCD HDTV for $689 + more is a post from: MakeUseOf

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Send Your Notes To Google Docs From Firefox Using The QuickFox Add-on & A Simple Script

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 12:31 PM PDT

send to google docsIf you like working from anywhere, then Google Docs is one of the great sink holes you can pour everything into. Google Docs allows us to create and share in the cloud from any location, while keeping our document needs covered. The 'software as a service' has really taken off and we are richer for it. You can upload, store, archive, tag, and organize your documents. If you use it efficiently, 1GB of free storage also is adequate for most needs.

The here-there-and-everywhere nature of Google Docs gives me an opportunity to use it as a brain dump for my impromptu notes. Most of us live in the browser; and if it's Firefox then QuickFox is a must-install extension for those who ever loved Opera's own Notes feature and do a lot of note-taking while browsing.

I wrote glowingly about it previously and since then I have never taken it off my must-have extensions list. But QuickFox is browser based and in case you want to access it from any other computer, it presents a problem.

Not much because you can synchronize your notes using an online XMarks account and access it from anywhere. QuickFox also seamlessly works with the SimpleNote app. There is a third way and it involves the interplay of QuickFox, Google Docs, and a very useful script. Please note that sending notes to Google Docs via QuickFox is not a sync but merely a save as the script does not enable synchronization between the two.

Send Notes to Google Docs With QuickFox

You can send all your notes saved on QuickFox to Google Docs by introducing a small script into the QuickFox add-on folder. The script extends the default feature set of QuickFox and enabling its integration with Google Docs. Download the Google Docs script from here (right-click on the script page, and save it as a .js file).

send to google docs

Then proceed to install it in the following directory:

For Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\68u8hfy4.default\qfn-scripts
For Windows Vista and 7:

Restart the browser for the change to take effect.

After restarting the browser, open a QuickFox Note. You will notice that a new icon for syncing with Google Docs has appeared alongside the other buttons. See the screenshot below.

send to google docs firefox

Compose a note and click on the button. A new window opens up and asks for your Google account username and password. The note gets saved to Google Docs as a text document with the same name as the QuickFox note. A small notification below says that the note has been clipped successfully.

send to google docs

Instead of using the bookmarking utility like XMarks, this tip proves really useful for picking up snippets from the web while browsing and saving or archiving them on Google Docs for later read. Of course, we can go into Google Docs and then share, organize, or collaborate on this note. I for example, create a bunch of notes and then organize them into collections. Later, I have Google Doc's facility to download the saved notes as a PDF file.

Give us your opinion on this quick tip that allows you to save your browser notes to Google Docs.

Send Your Notes To Google Docs From Firefox Using The QuickFox Add-on & A Simple Script is a post from: MakeUseOf

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JuiceDefender – Squeeze More Battery Life Out of Your Android Device [1.6+]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 11:31 AM PDT

battery life extenderSmartphones keep getting faster, better and slicker. One part of the device that’s having trouble keeping up is the battery. Many state-of-the-art smartphones have trouble making it through a single day on a charge, much less two or three days like the simple Nokia phones of yore. But can anything be done about this, short of buying an extra battery? JuiceDefender for Android says the answer is yes.

Before we begin, one note. The link above leads to JuiceDefender’s beta version. LaterDroid, the developer, normally offers a free version on the Android Market. However, at the moment they’re having some trouble with the market, and have asked me to link to the Beta version instead. It’s free and quite stable.

When I started the app, the first thing I noticed was the unique look-and-feel of the interface:

battery life

Many say Android’s lack of UI guidelines is bad, but this is one app that uses its creative freedom to good effect. The interface blends copious amounts of explanations along with the buttons, in a way that feels natural and uncluttered. As you can see above, it starts off disabled by default, so tap that “enabled” button to get started.

What JuiceDefender essentially does is disable some of your device’s functions at times you’re not likely to notice, thus saving you some precious power. For instance, if you’re not connected to a WiFi network, JuiceDefender will simply disable your device’s WiFi radio. Once fifteen minutes elapse, JuiceDefender will enable the radio again, check for a connection, and if there’s still no connection, it will shut it off again. So you no longer have to remember to toggle WiFi off when you leave the house or the office.

Another example is turning off data during the night – from 2am till 6am (or at other hours you can configure), JuiceDefender can simply disable mobile data. After all, you’re not likely to be reading a lot of emails in your sleep (I hope).

Since there are so many options, JuiceDefender works using profiles. There are three main profiles offering varying degrees of aggressiveness (i.e, which services are shut down and when), plus two customization options (“customize” and “advanced”). Since I’m using the free version, not all profiles are available. However, the interface initially did not make it clear which profiles can be used and which are paid-version only.

For instance, I tapped the “aggressive” profile which should be available in the free version:

battery life extender

Then I tapped “extreme“, which should not be available in this version:

battery life

Can you tell the difference? I sure can’t. I figured this must be a bug, and restarted the app. Indeed, after a restart I got a different result when tapping “aggressive“:

battery life

This sure makes things clearer. I love the detailed explanation, and how it blends well into the interface. Now let’s tap “extreme” again:

extended life cell phone battery

Okay, this is certainly clearer. No “extreme” profile in the free version. Now let’s take a look at the “customize” option:

extended life cell phone battery

This opens up a whole new “Settings” tab, with numerous options. However, if you’re using the free version, I suggest you don’t even bother with this tab. Only “Mobile Data” and one other option are enabled. The rest are shown with complete explanations, but cannot be modified. This does, however, give a good sense of what the paid versions of the app (Plus and Ultimate) can do.

That’s right, JuiceDefender has not one, but two paid versions. Plus goes for €1.99 on the market, and allows you to access the Extreme profile, control mobile data and tweak a host of other settings. Ultimate will set you back €4.99 and unleash JuiceDefender’s full power, no holds barred. The app features a handy comparison chart so you can figure out which version to buy:

battery life extender

On its own, the free version of JuiceDefender can be a nice “set it and forget it” way to conserve battery use. You can use it to evaluate the app’s basic efficiency, see if it’s making a difference for your device and get used to the idea of conserving power via an app. But if you’re serious about improving battery life, you would definitely want to go for one of the paid versions.

Let us know what you think of JuiceDefender and if you know of any other alternatives we should be looking at.

JuiceDefender – Squeeze More Battery Life Out of Your Android Device [1.6+] is a post from: MakeUseOf

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Transfer Web Files Directly To Your Dropbox Folder With URL Droplet

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 10:31 AM PDT

transfer files to dropboxIf you live and work in a multi-gadget environment, you’ll need tools to help you bring your files across the devices that you use. Aside from USB flash drives, cloud storage is another popular option.

One of the leading names in consumer cloud storage services is Dropbox. Since the service started a couple of years back, people have come up with some creative uses of Dropbox to enhance its functionality. URL Droplet is one of them.

The Drops To The Cloud

All the cloud services more or less work the same way – you upload your files to the cloud, and you can then access them from anywhere with an Internet connection. But things become impractical when the files you want to put in the cloud are also coming from the web. In this case, the steps would be to download the files from the web to your computer hard drive, then upload the files to the cloud. Due to the downloading-uploading steps, this process could take a long time depending on the size of the files and the speed of your Internet connection.

URL Droplet is the service that will cut out the middle man – your computer’s hard drive. This web tool will allow you to upload files from the web directly to your Dropbox storage. Since the transfer goes from one web server to another, the process happens very fast – regardless of the speed of your Internet connection. Size does matter, but only a little. In my experiment, transferring a 50MB file from the web to my Dropbox folder was done in less than one second, while doing it the traditional way (web->hard drive->Dropbox) consumed more than half an hour.

To use URL Droplet, visit the site and click “Login“. You will be asked to log into your Dropbox account.

transfer files to dropbox

Then you have to give permission to URL Droplet to connect to your Dropbox account. The service is ready to use after you grant the access. Even though I think URL Droplet will never abuse the access, it’s better if you make sure that you don’t keep your sensitive information there. If you feel uncomfortable with this, don’t use URL Droplet.

Let The Download Begin

To download a file, you need the direct download link of that file to be pasted to the URL Droplet address field. While acquiring direct download links is mostly as easy as right clicking on the file and copying the address, sometimes the process is not that easy.

dropbox transfer

For example, how can you save converted YouTube videos to your Dropbox account? To do this we need help from a web video downloader such as Clip Converter. The download button will appear after the conversion process is finished. Just right click the download button and copy the link.

dropbox transfer

You can also try another way to acquire the download address. Click the download button to download the file as usual, then right click on the download progress and copy the address.

dropbox transfer

Armed with the download address, go to the URL Droplet website and paste the link. The download will start after you click the “Save” button. You can save the file under a different name by clicking the “Save as” link.

how to move files to dropbox

The download progress can be monitored by looking at the bar. It’s available at the bottom of the page.

how to move files to dropbox

All of your successful downloads are listed at the lower part of the page.

transfer files to dropbox

All the downloaded files are saved in the main folder of your Dropbox account.

You can use URL Droplet to download files that you find when you are away from your home computer, either using another computer, or by using a mobile gadget. If you keep Dropbox always open in your home computer, the downloaded files will be ready for you when you arrive home later.

Have you tried URL Droplet? What do you think about the service? Share your opinions using the comments below.

Image credit: wwarby

Transfer Web Files Directly To Your Dropbox Folder With URL Droplet is a post from: MakeUseOf

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6 Bookmarklets That Will Boost Your Web Surfing Speed & Productivity

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 09:31 AM PDT

bookmarklets boost web surfingBookmarklets are unsuspicious little helpers that sit in your browser’s bookmarks bar. Unlike your regular bookmarks, they don’t archive a URL, rather bookmarklets are small java applets with a one-click functionality. To ‘install’ a bookmarklet, you simply drag and drop it from a website link into your bookmarks bar.

There are hundreds of bookmarklets and each can complete a different task. In this article I want to show you 6 bookmarklets that can help boost your web surfing speed by providing direct access to some of the best productivity services and time saving tools on the net.

1. Spreeder

Drag and drop this to your bookmarks: Spreed!

The Internet is all about information and a lot of it is delivered in the form of text. Spreeder will help you read faster. Simply select text you want to read and click the bookmarklet. The text will load in the speed reader application. When you hit play, your text will be displayed one word at a time. You can change the speed and size via the > Settings.

bookmarklets boost web surfing

If this bookmarklet sounds interesting, you might also want to look at this article: 3 Ways You Can Learn To Speed Read Online.

2. Readability

Drag and drop this to your bookmarks: Readability

So the speed reader is not for you, but with your regular reading you’re constantly distracted by ads and images and the fonts are always too small? You need a bookmarklet that auto-edits your texts to make it easier to read!

Your solution is Readability. Simply click the bookmarklet and your text will be converted into a format that makes it a delight to read. You can try it right away with this article!


You’ll find more information about Readbility here: 2 Useful Bookmarklets To Make Your Web Reading Easier.

UPDATE : Unfortunately, it appears that the Readability bookmarklet was discontinued shortly after this article was composed. However, there is an alternative to Readability, called Readable. In fact, Readable is a great alternative as it allows you to greatly customize your reading experience. Thank you very much Elmar for suggesting it.

3. Instapaper

Drag and drop this to your bookmarks: Instapaper

If you frequently save articles to read them later, I recommend using Instapaper. Not only will you have access to your ‘read later’ material from anywhere with an Internet connection, you can also speed-bookmark material with the Instapaper bookmarklet.


For more information about Instapaper, check out this article: Manage Your Bookmarks & Reading List with Instapaper.

4. Evernote

Drag and drop this to your bookmarks: Evernote

Evernote is a fantastic tool for saving anything and everything: notes, ideas, text snippets, videos, pictures etc. One thing that makes it so great is its advanced search functionality. With the Evernote bookmarklet, saving bits and pieces becomes a bliss.


Not yet familiar with Evernote? Find out about it here:

5. BugMeNot

Drag and drop this to your bookmarks: BugMetNot

Are you tired having to sign up for every other website and does it take too long? Try BugMetNot to quickly receive login information for websites that force you to log in.

bookmarklet tutorial

An alternative to BugMetNot is Login2. Drag and drop this to your bookmarks: Login2

6. Bookmarklet Combiner

Demo: Speed Bookmarklets

Now that you have a little list of great bookmarklets, how about combining them all into one? With Bookmarklet Combiner you can take multiple URLs or bookmarklets and unite them into a single bookmarklet. This is a non-typical bookmarklet, as you have to configure it yourself before you can drag and drop it into your bookmarks bar. The demo above combines all bookmarklets introduced in this article.

bookmarklets boost web surfing

For a thorough walkthrough that explains how to use this tool, check out this article: Combine All Your Bookmarklets Into One with Bookmarklet Combiner.

We have previously featured selected bookmarklets on MakeUseOf:

What are your most used bookmarklets and which one is your favorite from the list above?

Image credits: Igor Shikov

6 Bookmarklets That Will Boost Your Web Surfing Speed & Productivity is a post from: MakeUseOf

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The 5 Best No Contract Smartphones With Premium Data Features

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 08:31 AM PDT

no contract smartphonesSmartphones are great. They offer access to the Internet, to your email, and thousands upon thousands of apps. They're basically pocket PCs, and for geeks, that's only a step away from heaven.

There's just one problem though, and that's contracts. The phones are great. The two year contracts with outrageous pricing? Not so much. There are, however, a handful of no contract smartphones that are available. They're not as powerful as the cutting-edge phones sold by major carriers, but they'll get the job done, and they all have (at least) 3G support.

Samsung Galaxy Prevail

no contract smartphones

While Samsung's Galaxy is indeed the company smartphone flagship, there's a number of Galaxy branded phones that trickle down the lineup. One of these is the Samsung Galaxy Prevail, a 3.2" touchscreen no contract smartphone for $179.99 on Boost Mobile.

This is arguably the most stylish of all the phones on this list. I wouldn't be surprised if many people have trouble telling the difference between it and its larger siblings at a glance.

The Prevail includes a 2 MP camera, Bluetooth, GPS, and comes with Android 2.2. The 800 MHz processor provides smooth performance, and while the 124MB of available storage is limiting, Boost Mobile does ship the Prevail with a 2GB microSD card.

Blackberry Curve

no contract touchscreen smartphones

The workhorse Blackberry Curve is far from the sexiest phone around, but it remains popular. The reasons why aren't hard to discover upon using the phone. It fits well in your hand and the keyboard makes navigation and typing quick. The Curve's lack of a sliding keyboard forces the use of a tiny display, but improves durability.

When it comes to features, the Curve can slug it out with other no- contract phones. It has a 2 MP camera, Bluetooth, and GPS as well as 256MB of on-board memory. While the hardware isn't the quickest, Blackberry's OS rendered on the low-resolution display is plenty smooth.

You'll find the Curve on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile for $179.99

LG Optimus V

no contract touchscreen smartphones

A clear competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Prevail, the LG Optimus V is – much like the Prevail – a downscaled Android phone that pays homage to its larger siblings. It has a 3.2" touchscreen and is smaller than many Android phones as a result, but it still offers Android 2.2.

The features are virtually identical to the Prevail, but the Optimus V does offer a better 3.2 MP camera. On the downside, the Optimus V has a slower 600 MHz processor, which is quite anemic for a modern Android phone. There's 150MB of built-in storage, and unfortunately Virgin Mobile doesn't seem to be shipping the phone with an SD card to increase storage.  This phone can be had for as little as $149.99.

The Optimus V has some siblings with different letters attached to their names, like S and M. Although given their own title, the changes are generally minor. Look for those as potential no-contract options as well.

Huawei Ascend

no contract touchscreen smartphones

If you're looking for an Android phone with a lot of features on a tight budget, the Huawei Ascend may be your best bet. This 3.5" touchscreen smartphone has a nice selection of goodies including a 3.2 MP camera, Bluetooth and GPS. Inside you'll find 512MB of flash storage, which isn't bad, and a 600 MHz processor.

The slow processor is forgivable considering the price tag, which is just $99.99 on Cricket Wireless. What some users may have difficulty tolerating however, is the Android 2.1 operating system that ships with the phone. The Ascend does have a 2.2 update on Metro PCS, but the phone goes for $169.99 on that carrier.

Samsung Galaxy Indulge

no contract smartphones

Most no-contract smartphones offered by service providers at reasonable prices are based on older technology. The Samsung Galaxy Indulge, however, is an example. This Android 2.2 smartphone has a 3.5" touchscreen and offers all of the standard features including a 3.2 MP camera. The Indulge offers a sliding keyboard, and there's something else that sets it apart – support for Metro PCS 4G LTE service.

Another nice bonus is the 1 GHz processor, which makes the Indulge a speed demon among no-contract options. In addition to this, the Samsung Galaxy Indulge comes with 2GB of on board storage, which puts most of the competition to shame.

You'll have to pay for these features, however. Currently Metro PCS offers the Indulge on sale for $299, and its normal price is $399. That's well in excess of the other phones here.


All of these phones are available without a contract. Before you go, however, there's something you should know – any of the phones that you see advertised with major carriers can technically be  no-contract smartphones.

Yes, you can obtain an iPhone 4 or an Evo 4G without a contract. How? You pay full price for the phone. You also need to sweet-talk the customer service reps, because they generally don't like selling smartphones without stringing a contract along with them.

The 5 Best No Contract Smartphones With Premium Data Features is a post from: MakeUseOf

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Google Adds “Me On The Web” To The Dashboard [News]

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 07:31 AM PDT

On Wednesday Google added a new feature to its Dashboard line-up for Google Account users. The “Me On The Web” feature pulls information from your Google Profile (if you have one set up), and places it in an easy to find place, just below your account settings. The feature attempts to track mentions of your name and email address across the web and keep you up to date with your web presence.

Users will need a Google Profile in order to make use of the new feature, and once they have done so Google Alerts can be configured to notify you of any incoming mentions. These mentions can simply be your name or email in a news story, a photo that you have been tagged in or a post on a public social network.

In a post on the Google Public Policy Blog, product manager Andreas Tuerk said:

Savvy web users may already have used Google Alerts to set up notifications for mentions of their name or email address in websites and news stories. If you haven't set up alerts yet, Me on the Web makes it even easier to do so and even automatically suggests some search terms you may want to monitor.

The feature also adds some useful links with information regarding the removal of data that is linked to you. These include common tips like reaching out to the webmaster of a site to ask for the content to be taken down, or publishing additional information on your own to help make less relevant websites appear farther down in search results.

Have you set up your Google Profile and Alerts yet? Will you do so now? Let us know what you think of Me On The Web in the comments below.

Need Assistance? Ask questions to MakeUseOf staff and thousands of other readers on MakeUseOf Answers!

Google Adds “Me On The Web” To The Dashboard [News] is a post from: MakeUseOf

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