Sunday, July 3, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [July 2nd]” plus 6 more “Cool Websites and Tools [July 2nd]” plus 6 more

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Cool Websites and Tools [July 2nd]

Posted: 02 Jul 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!


Fundraise – Are you looking for an easy way to set up an online fundraiser? If yes then you require a tool that lets you set up any type of fundraiser and supports organizations of all sizes. FundRaise offers precisely that. It is is a web service that lets you browse various fundraisers and create online fundraisers. Read more: Fundraise: Easily Set Up Online Fundraisers For Any Cause


CSS3 Shapes – Web designs often feature many commonly used shapes such as rectangles, circles, and triangles. If you are a developer about to use these shapes in your design, you can now save the time required to code in CSS3 thanks to a site called CSS3 Shapes, that provides users with the CSS3 codes for commonly used shapes. Read more: CSS3 Shapes: Get CSS3 Code Snippets For Most Commonly Used Shapes



Timeslot – Keeping a to-do list for the day helps you to not forget any tasks you were planning to get completed. While usually to-do lists only let you add names of tasks, a new web service called Timeslot lets you add times to your tasks and helps create a complete schedule of the day, in a very convenient way. Read more: Timeslot: Conveniently Create Your Daily Schedule



JobMuncher – Most online job listing websites do nothing more than letting you list a job. People viewing the job details can send their applications to the specified email address with the listing website not having any part in managing the applications. "JobMuncher" is an exception to that rule. Read more: JobMuncher: Create A Job Listing & Manage The Applications You Receive



NotSharingMy.Info – Disposable email addresses are fine as far as anonymity is concerned; but when you want to receive emails while staying anonymous, you have to look beyond traditional disposable email addresses. That is where Not Sharing My Info steps in, a free to use web service that lets you create a ‘mask’ for your existing email address. Read more: NotSharingMy.Info: Create A Mask For Your Email Address To Ensure Online Anonymity


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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How To Customize, Delete & Arrange Photos In Your Facebook Photo Album

Posted: 02 Jul 2011 06:31 PM PDT

customize facebook photo albumsThe ability to share your personal photos with your friends and relatives is the most favorite feature of Facebook. Therefore many of us have quite a few photo albums in our Facebook accounts. However as much as we use Facebook, we are still completely unaware of how many of its most obvious features work. The site has numerous options and features and consequently there are quite a few usability issues with many great options being hidden so well that you never know they exist.

Here’s a collection of Facebook photo album tips you are likely to be unaware of.

1. HOW TO: Customize The Facebook Photo Album Cover (Thumbnail)

When you create a Facebook photo album, one of the photos is automatically selected to create the photo album thumbnail. This thumbnail is a clickable image taking you and your friends to the photos inside (in your profile “Photos” section).

To customize your photo album thumbnail, you will need to do the following:

  • Go to your profile, click “Photos” in the left-hand column, click the album cover thumbnail to access the album;
  • Click a tiny blue link “Edit Album” and then “Edit photos“:

customize facebook photo albums

  • Scroll down to the photo you need and set it as the album cover:

delete facebook photos

2. HOW TO: Delete Multiple Photos From A Photo Album

If you were ever wondering how to delete many photos from an album (while still keeping the album), here are the necessary (yet not really obvious) steps:

  • Go to your profile, click “Photos” in the left-hand column, click the album cover thumbnail to access the album;
  • Click a tiny blue link “Edit Album” and then “Edit photos“:
  • The next page will let you check the boxes below the photos you want to remove and delete them on in bulk (here are a few checkbox helpers for you as an added bonus):

delete facebook photos

3. How TO: Arrange Photos In Any Album

This one is easy but not many people are actually aware of the fact that they can do it – photos in your album can be dragged around.

This means that to change the order of your photos in an album, you need to:

  • Go to your profile, click “Photos” in the left-hand column, click the album cover thumbnail to access the album;
  • Hover over any photo until you see a four-arrow icon, left-click and drag the photo to where you want it to appear:

customize facebook photo albums

More Facebook photo guides and tips we have covered previously:

Any other useful Facebook photo sharing tips I missed? Please share them in the comments!

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

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Anokimobi, LapDawg and Sticky Password Pro Giveaway Winners

Posted: 02 Jul 2011 03:30 PM PDT

Ah, the smell of victory. Do you think that you were lucky enough to be a winner in the past 3 giveaways that we held here at MakeUseOf? Think you could have made it as one of the lucky 30 winners to be announced right now?

Cross your fingers, here are the winners of the Anokimobi e-pouch, LapDawg and Sticky Password Pro giveaway winners.

Sticky Password Pro

  1. Rigoberto Garcia
  2. Dan Nowak
  3. Willy
  4. Perry Lowe
  5. Leanne Hamby
  6. Yen
  7. Dana Simmelink
  8. Theodore
  9. Harshana
  10. Annette Whyte
  11. Janice Jacoby
  12. Jonathan Biggs
  13. Mike
  14. Pedro M Cabanillas
  15. Katherine Hutter
  16. Ayman Mahmoud
  17. Lisa Kidder
  18. Abhinav Dhiman
  19. Vern Hoffman
  20. Roger Gardner
  21. Samsudeen Hussain
  22. Brian Rahenkamp
  23. Paul
  24. Ted Betts
  25. Mayank


  1. Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
  2. Leow Yen Lin
  3. Carol Rowley
  4. Tim Nicholls Harrison
  5. Robert Randolph

Anokimobi e-pouch

  1. Stephen Kelley
  2. Karl Joseph Ku
  3. Jim Aspinwall
  4. Rachel Ohana-Levy
  5. Brian Lawrence

Congratulations to all! To the Sticky Password Pro winners, your licenses have already been sent via email. To the others, we’ve sent you an email requesting for shipping information. Please reply that email in 48 hours to claim your prize.


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Hot Tech Deals – Dell Inspiron 14R for $549.99+ more

Posted: 02 Jul 2011 01:30 PM PDT

Get the Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 14 inch Laptop for just $549.99 — and that’s today’s featured deal! It sports a 14″ 1366×768 LED display; Intel Core i3-2310M Dual-Core 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge processor; 3GB of RAM; a 320GB HDD; DVD burner; 802.11n + bluetooth; pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium; webcam; 6-cell; 2yr warranty.

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

  1. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 17n Laptop $549.99
  2. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 14in Laptop (3GB/320B) $549.99
  3. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 15.6in Laptop $499.99
  4. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-380M 2.53GHz 15.6in Laptop $399.99 (14in Model $399) via code 6H9V9W67TW3P2V
  5. Onkyo TX-NR809 7.2ch 135W/ch 3D-Ready AV Receiver (THX, HDMI 8-in, 2-out) $699.99
  6. LG Infinia 55LW5600 55in Passive 3D-Edgelit LED LCD HDTV Bundle $1299
  7. ASUS Eee PC 1001PX-MU20 Intel Atom N450 10.1in Netbook (1GB/160GB) $199.99
  8. Klipsch HD 300 5.1ch High Definition Home Theater Speakers $199.99 Free Shipping
  9. Hanns-G HZ281HPB 27.5in Widescreen LCD Monitor (1920×1200) $269.99 Free Shipping

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Brain Workshop: A Game Scientifically Shown To Make You Smarter

Posted: 02 Jul 2011 12:31 PM PDT

free brain gamesImprove your working memory and fluid intelligence by playing a game. This isn’t some vapid marketing claim; it’s the result of various scientific tests.

Brain Workshop, a free brain game you can install on Linux, Window and Mac machines, creates the exact circumstances of an activity shown in three different academic studies to improve one’s short-term memory and problem solving skills. To quote the game’s website, “these findings are important because fluid intelligence was previously thought to be unchangeable.”

Don’t believe a game can improve your brain? This being a free game, it won’t cost you anything to find out.

What It Does

As I said, this free brain game can improve certain aspects of your mental faculties, as this 2008 article in Wired pointed out. The main improvement this gives your brain is the ability to think on your feet. To quote the article,

Fluid intelligence measures how people adapt to new situations and solve problems they’ve never seen before. Fluid intelligence differs from crystallized intelligence, which takes into account skills and knowledge that have been acquired — like vocabulary, grammar and math.

This is significant. Before the method employed by Brain Workshop was created and tested it was assumed that fluid intelligence could not be improved.

Want to know more about how this process works? You can read the original study, if you want, or the other two seperate confirmations. All seem to agree that playing regularly, around 20 minutes a day, is ideal.

How To Use It

So what does this software look like? The best way to get an idea is to watch this video:

As you can tell, the game is not focused on graphics:

free brain games

The point is to increase the function of your memory. In each round, a square shows up in a particular part of the grid, and a letter is read aloud. You must keep track of what letters are read and where the square was when they were read, then find matches later. If you find a match you press one or two keys in order to point out what you’ve found. The default mode, Dual 2-Back, means you must remember what was on the board two rounds ago.

brain games fun

Do well and you’ll hear some nifty music. You are scored after each game, and will move up to harder versions of the game as you improve. The step after Dual 2-Back, for example, is Dual 3-Back. This means you must match squares and letters from three rounds ago. This, to me, is a great deal harder, but I imagine it will seem easy if I ever get to Dual-16 Back.


You can download Brain Workshop here, if you’re interested. It works on Linux, Windows and Intel/PPC Macs. The main interface might be a little foreign to some users, because it’s keyboard driven instead of mouse driven. Having said that, it’s not too hard to figure this out.

free brain games

Similar, albeit not academically researched, ideas include:

Let us know how much smarter you become in the comments below, or please do recommend other free brain games you may know about.

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

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How To Install Arch Linux On Your Computer [Part 2]

Posted: 02 Jul 2011 10:31 AM PDT

In Part 1 of this two part series, you were able to download the Arch ISO and install the base Linux system by going through all the steps in the setup. With everything complete from Part 1, you can now work on your base system to install a desktop environment. We will be installing the most used desktop, GNOME, although other options are available.

However, before we get there, we have plenty of other things to do first. Let’s check out the steps :

  • Updating the System: It is always best to update your system before doing anything else, because it’ll reduce the possibility of conflicts with the new packages you’ll be installing. Plus, updates generally provide more features and higher stability.
  • Adding a User: In Part 1, we only set up a root user. You probably don’t want to do everything as root (especially when you can start your graphical desktop), so we need to set up a user account you’ll be using.
  • Sudo Permissions: Sudo is great because it lets you issue commands with root permissions even though you’re not logged in as root. We will be setting this up.
  • Installing Audio and Graphics Servers: You want to see and hear something, right?
  • Installing GNOME: We will finally install the actual desktop environment for you to use.

Updating The System

  • First, boot up into your system and log in as root (the only user configured right now).
  • Once you’re in, you’ll need to refresh your repositories with pacman -Syy.
  • Next you need to update all packages with pacman -Syu. It will tell you that pacman itself needs to be updated first, so hit y for all prompts.
  • Once that completes, you need to run pacman-db-upgrade so that pacman works properly after the new version is installed, as it should tell you once pacman is updated.
  • Finally, run pacman -Syu one more time to install all the other updates that were put aside, and hit y for all changes requested.Then sit back while it downloads and installs.

Adding A User

Next you should add your own user. This can be achieved with adduser. So run that command and fill out the information. Type in your username, and leave the User ID and Initial group blank. For additional groups, you need to add yourself to numerous groups to gain permissions to use each one. To try to get as many as possible, add audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,games,power,scanner. Make double sure that you add wheel, as this is required for the next step. All other fields can remain blank. It will ask you to confirm, then it’ll request other optional information that doesn’t really need to be filled out, and finally your desired password.

Give Sudo Permissions

Sudo is a great tool as it allows you to run commands with root permissions even though you’re not actually logged into the root user account. If you didn’t install sudo in Part 1, you can do so by typing pacman -S sudo. To be able to actually use sudo with your account, you’ll need to enter EDITOR=nano visudo and uncomment the line %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL. Save, and that’s it. Now you can leave the root account to the side and use sudo in front of all your commands.

Install The Sound Base

For sound, you need to type pacman -S alsa-utils alsa-plugins. This will install the base system for your audio.

Install The Graphics Stack

Next you need to install your graphics setup. To get the graphical server, run pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-utils xorg-server-utils mesa xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm. Afterwards you need to install the driver that works for your system. There is quite a long list, so I’d suggest you look here to find the right one. Remember, pacman -S [package name] will install it. I’d also suggest the same when installing input drivers.

You also need to install a system package called dbus. What it actually does is very hard to explain (something about allowing programs to communicate with each other), but it is required by GNOME, which we will install later. Install it with pacman -S dbus, start it with rc.d start dbus, and add dbus under DAEMONS(..dbus..) in /etc/rc.conf with your favorite editor.

To test out the graphical server, use startx. If all goes well (if you get something like the screenshot), enter exit. If not, you’ll need to troubleshoot by looking here.

Installing GNOME

You’re almost done! Finally we get to install GNOME itself. To do this, run pacman -S gnome gnome-extra gdm. Let all of that install, as it’ll take some time. When it’s all done, you should run modprobe fuse and then add it to /etc/rc.conf as MODULES=(fuse). The FUSE module is another tricky component that is hard to explain, but is highly recommended to set up. In the same config file, you’ll also need to add gdm to the DAEMONS list as you did with dbus. When you’re done, save, and restart. You should now see the GDM loading.


Congratulations! You finally installed a working GNOME system with Arch! There’s still plenty you can do and configure, but everything from here on out is up to you. If you need any help, I highly suggest that you look at Arch’s Wiki, as it’s one of the best of any distro. There is also a forum for Arch users where you can ask any specific questions that you may have.

If you’ve installed GNOME with Arch now, how are you liking it? If not, do you think it’s too complicated to get a working system in order? Let us know in the comments!

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Skype For Android 2.1+ Now With Video Calls [News]

Posted: 02 Jul 2011 09:31 AM PDT

Skype has just released a major update for Android users, with the Android application now supporting video calls. It’s a big step which now puts the Android application functionality on a par with the iPhone application.

Android 2.1+ users can get the new Skype from the Android Market. Samsung Galaxy S users will need to be running Android 2.2 to use this version of Skype. Skype Video chat should run on the following handsets: Google Nexus S, HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro. Other handsets will be supported in the future.

To make one-to-one video calls using Skype, your phone will need to have a front-facing camera. Video calls can be made to any other Skype-enabled video device, while regular calls, IM chat and SMS can still be sent at cheap rates to other devices. Skype video calls are possible via Wi-Fi or 3G network connections.

The Skype video update comes with a redesign of the Skype Android interface, making it easier to set moods, check your account balance and navigate the system. It’s very easy to sort your contacts using groups or availability, so it makes communication just that little bit simpler.

Should Skype also be integrating rear-facing cameras? Do you think Skype moves quickly enough to support Android? Let us know your thoughts!

Source: Android Market

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