Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Emerging Web Technologies in 2011

2011 was an amazing year for technology. In spite of grim economic conditions and fiercer competition, several startups and new inventions have made a huge impact and continue gain attention. Even veterans like Groupon and Facebook had some shining moments with acquisitions, new features and reinventions.

This top 10 list combines resources, services and tools that have attracted considerable buzz and influenced trends that will be seen well into 2012. They have successfully done something a little bit different to make their product stand out. Without further ado and in no particular order:

Autodesk Homestyler: Online Home Design App With Realistic Rendering

AutoDesk Homestyler is a free, online interior layout and designing tool created by Autodesk, creators of AutoCAD, the professional CAD software, and 3D modeling software 3DS Max. With Autodesk Homestyler you can try your own hand in designing your home and experiment with furniture placement, wall paint, etc. and see in a realistic way how your planned renovation will look like when complete.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Customize Your Facebook Timeline With Schweppes Profile App

Netherland’s beverage company Schweppes has launched a new Facebook app, the successor to the Schweppes Profile App, that lets users create a personal and customized Facebook Timeline profile page.

Last year year when Facebook changed the profile page layout, Schweppes like dozens of others, released a Facebook application to help users hack their profile page to create a unique look. Now that Facebook profile has changed again, Schweppes responded with Schweppes Profile App 2.0.

Move Photos From Flickr to Facebook With UnifyPhotos

If you use Flickr to share your personal photos with friends and family, you have chosen the wrong platform. Flickr is for sharing photos with the world, not just your friends. It’s a place where you showcase your photography skills, discuss camera techniques and share your passion on photography with like minded people. It’s not for sharing photos of your personal life, and if you do that or even compare Flickr with Facebook you haven’t understood what Flickr is for. But back when Facebook didn’t exist, Flickr was the most popular choice and many long time Flickr users have many precious pictures there. Although there are several tools to download Flickr photos to your computer, there is no direct way to transfer them from Flickr to Facebook, until now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BrandMyMail Adds Social Media Snippets to Your Emails

BrandMyMail is a new web-based app that allows you to customize your email messages by integrating contents from your social media accounts directly into the emails. Even though the service is designed mainly for businesses, it can be used by anyone who wants to publicize their blog or Twitter posts or Flickr photos. Aside from stylish signatures, BrandMyMail allows you to add real-time content such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, Facebook photos, RSS feeds, YouTube videos, blog post from Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr, Google+ updates, Quora questions, Picasa photos and more.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays Google Doodles 1999 to 2011

If you visit today’s Google homepage, you will see a colorful, animated, musical doodle wishing everybody happy holidays.

The happy holidays doodle has six glowing buttons. Each button plays a sound from the musical notes of 'jingle bells', when we click on it. The button also light up six Christmas symbols - snowflake, Santa Claus, bell, snowman, candle and a gift box - on a dark background. Once all the six buttons are clicked, it starts to play 'jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way'.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

5 Free Photo Collage Making Software Compared

Photo collages are a great way to tell stories and keep memories, and this a good time of the year to try out some. Instead of presenting greetings cards to your friends you can present them a collage of photos you took at Jessie’s house party or the vacation you went away with your buddies. You can present grandma a collage of photos of last year’s family reunion. You can also make a collage poster for your Christmas or new year party, and birthday parties next year. Today, we look at 4 free desktop software and one online that lets you make digital collages on your computer. Some of these tools have multiple features and can do lots of other things (eg. Picasa, Photoscape), but we all concentrate ourselves to only the collage making function.

Friday, December 23, 2011

idoo File Encryption Pro Giveaway

idoo File Encryption Pro is a powerful and easy to use file encryption software designed to help you easily lock and hide files on your computer in order to prevent unwanted access. idoo File Encryption uses 256-bit AES encryption to encrypt your files located either on the hard disk drive or any portable media such as USB drives. Using this software you can quickly hide files, folders or entire drives on your system, prevent reading of files as well as make files read-only where the file can be opened but cannot edited. idoo File Encryption can also monitor any number of folders for changes.

GetJar Offers 100+ Premium Android Apps for Free [Time Limited]

GetJar, an alternative market for Android apps, is offering more than a hundreds paid Android apps for free during this Christmas season. You probably still remember Google’s celebration of 10 billion downloads where the company slashed prices of about a 100 apps to a dime for 10 days. GetJar has bettered Google’s deal by slashing prices all the way down to zero. And these aren’t your average apps. GetJar has included some high quality titles like Beautiful Widgets, Smart Office, Splashtop Remote Desktop, Fruit Ninja HD, Age of Zombies, and Farm Frenzy, to name a few.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kingsoft Office for Android is Now Free

Kingsoft has announced that one of its major products, Kingsoft Office for Android, will be henceforth available for free. The first version of Kingsoft Office for Android was released in August 2011 and since then was being sold at the price of $14.99. Starting last week, the app has been available on the Android market as a free download. On July this year, Kingsoft made another of their flagship product Kingsoft Office 2012 a freeware. Android users will greatly benefit from this move since there aren’t many good free office apps on the market. But that’s not all. Kingsoft has even promised refund to all users who have previously paid for this product.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quick Guide to a Secure WordPress Setup

WordPress is, by far, the most popular blogging and content management system used around the world. There are nearly 70 million active WordPress installs, which means there are 70 million websites hackers and malware distributors know how to exploit. Securing WordPress is critical to the success of any WordPress-powered website and even the most un-tech savvy blogger can take some steps to ensure a secure install. Don’t let your hosting company fool you – WordPress sites are vulnerable to several kinds of attacks no matter how secure the hosting environment is. These include “script injections" where security flaws in your WordPress install, theme or plugins can allow an attacker to modify your site files, inserting download links, redirects or other malicious content. These attacks are hard to reverse, and have some pretty annoying side effects, like getting your site blocked by Google or causing unwanted downtime.

Proxy Tool: Change Proxies, User Agent, HTTP Referrer and More in Firefox

Proxy Tool is an add-on for Firefox that makes it super easy to switch to a proxy server. No need to search for proxies – available proxies are automatically added to Firefox, you just have to choose them. This is where normally other proxy add-ons stop. But Proxy Tool actually takes off from here. Changing proxies is just one of the many functions little devil is capable of doing. You can spoof your browser user-agent, fake operating system and even change HTTP referrer, that websites uses to identify who sent visitors to their sites.

Toolwiz Care: PC Optimization and Maintenance Software

Toolwiz Care is an all-in-one computer maintenance software designed to optimize and tweak your PC and keep it in pristine condition. The software has a huge number of tools bundled together. The usual suspects are disk cleaner, file shredder, registry cleaner, startup manager, disk defragmenter, network manager, process manager, program uninstaller etc. There are also several utilities that lets you perform numerous jobs like split file, encrypt files, recover deleted files, generate passwords, improve computer performance during gaming, prevent unwanted changes to the system, and some more. Apparently, Toolwiz Care is not only concerned about the health of your system but your health as well. This explains why there is an ‘Eyes Care’ utility among them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

‘Intellipark’ Makes Western Digital Green Drives Prone to Early Failure. Here’s the Fix

Western Digital sells internal hard disk drives under three product lines – the high performance Black and Blue drives and the cheaper and eco-friendly Green drives targeted for home users. In order to conserve power, WD incorporated a number of features into their Green drives under the collective term ‘Intellipower’ which includes, according to their website, “a fine-tuned balance of spin speed, transfer rate and caching algorithms designed to deliver both significant power savings and solid performance.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

Microsoft Learning Suite

Microsoft Learning Suite is a comprehensive set of free software, web-based tools, and teacher resources specifically aimed at schools and students, available in one simple, customizable download. At present, Microsoft Learning Suite includes 30 products “which empower teachers to effectively integrate technology into their curriculum while promoting creativity, collaboration, and research & study”.

MIT to Offer Unofficial Certification Upon Completion of Free Online Courses

MIT today announced that it will be launching a new online learning initiative called MITx that will offer a portfolio of MIT courses through an online interactive learning platform. MITx will be based upon MIT’s OpenCourseWare, a free online publication of nearly all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate course materials, that’s been available for the last 10 years. MITx hopes to take OpenCourseWare a step further by offering certification to online learners who complete MIT’s coursework. These certifications will be different from MIT degrees awarded to students who attend MIT classes, and will be offered by a new non-profit body that MIT plans to form.

Prevent Loading of Unknown Kernel Mode Drivers with Driver Radar Pro

Driver Radar Pro is an interesting portable program that enables you to selectively block or allow loading of kernel mode drivers on a Windows system. Using whitelisting method you can permit or deny the loading of selected drivers which in turn will temporarily disable any hardware on your system. This can be used to troubleshoot driver and hardware related programs. By selectively blocking drivers from loading and monitoring the behavior of the machine one can isolate the offending drivers. Driver Radar Pro can also be used to block of specific type of malware that infects the system by installing kernel drivers. If your system is already infected by such malware, this program can prevent the malware from executing. Additionally, you can copy the to-be-loaded drivers to a user-specified location so that it can be analyzed later.

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Customize ‘via Facebook for’ Messages on Status Updates

Do you know how you can make your Facebook status updates annoying? Post it from your phone. That way you could have those incredibly sickening little messages - ‘via Facebook for iPhone’ or ‘via Facebook for Samsung Galaxy Nexus’ - tagging along with your updates. Hey guys! look, I have an Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Arggh… I suspect some guys actually enjoy those pesky messages, especially the ones who blew $500 on the phone. On the other hand, there are people who loathes every time their phone do this to their Facebook updates. If you belong to the latter group, here is what you can do about them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Google Zeitgeist 2011 is Out

Google has just published Zeitgeist 2011 – a list of the top searched queries on Google search and the fastest rising and falling trend for the year gone by. This year's Zeitgeist report offers greater depth and visualization with animated search and pictures to go along with it. Like last year, Google has also published an inspiring video highlighting the top events and news makers for this year. 2011 has sure been a crazy year – earthquakes in Christchurch and the stressful days during the Fukushima incident, riots in Egypt and Libya and subsequent overthrowing of the dictators, slaying of Osama bin Laden, death of Steve Jobs and and Amy Winehouse and the wedding of Middleton and Kardashian. You can read more on the blog post, but before that lets look at some of top trends this year and compare it with last year's trend

Turn Firefox Into a Social Networking Super-Tool

There are so many social networks and social networking apps out there today that it becomes more inefficient to use them than they originally intended. The Web is where most internet users spend their time, so it makes sense that the browser is the best choice for centralizing social networking activities.

Even if you have moved to an online tool like Hootsuite, the Firefox browser is a powerful framework that can be extended to give you fast access to many popular social networks and social activities like bookmarking, image sharing, status updates and snippets. Below are 10 add-ons, compatible with the latest Firefox release, to help you turn Firefox into a social networking super-tool for increased productivity.

Add ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ to Desktop Context Menu

One way to safely disconnect a USB connected hardware is to use the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ option which appears on the system tray whenever a USB storage drive is connected to the machine. Another way is to use software that lets you manage USB devices such as the recently mentioned DevEject. For most cases, the little icon on the system tray is enough but if your find its location inconvenient, you can add this option to the desktop context menu. Here is how.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Create Pop-up Reminders in Windows Without Using 3rd Party Software

If you juggle dozens of tasks everyday or have the memory of a goldfish, you need reminders. Email programs like Outlook or Thunderbird have integrated calendars and a system to setup reminder and alerts for important events. Google Calendar has this too. In fact, any good calendar program allows you to add reminders. There are also many dedicated programs and web apps that helps you remember things. But in this short tutorial I will show you how to create simple message reminders using tools already present in Windows.

Monday, December 12, 2011

PrintWhatYouLike: Automatically Clean-Up Page Before Printing or Save as PDF

PrintWhatYouLike is a free online webpage editor that enables the user to decide how pages should look when printed. After all it’s your ink, your paper and your money. Why waste precious ink on images, social sharing buttons, ads, and links on the sidebar? In any case, a webpage is neither formatted nor optimized for printing and shouldn’t be attempted to do such (unless you are printing on somebody else’s cost).

Top Business Apps for Windows Phone 7

Smartphones put a lot of computing power in the hands of business owners and employees, but it takes the right apps to put them to work. Many people rave about their cell phones, iPhones and Android-powered smartphones, but more people are discovering the power of Windows Phone.

Code-named Mango, the latest operating system from Microsoft offers mobile workers powerful tools that help them stay productive even while out of the office. Here we look at the best Windows Phone apps for business professionals that can make work easy and enjoyable.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Google Picasa 3.9 Adds Google+ Sharing, 24 Photo Effects and More

Google has added a bunch of new features to their desktop image viewing, managing and editing software Picasa. Despite the minor bump in version number, from 3.8 to 3.9, the new release is actually a significant update with lots of new features and improvements. The feature Google is most eager to show off is Google+ sharing, of course. But there is plenty more for asocial people as well.

Install Google Currents Outside the US [APK File]

Yesterday Google launched a new publication platform called Google Currents that allows Android and iOS users to read their favorite sites in a magazine like format on their mobile devices. Web publishers can publish ‘edition’ of their sites containing a feed of their latest articles, social media updates, photos, videos etc. Readers can subscribe to available editions and also use it as an RSS feed reader. At launch more than 180 editions from notable publishers like CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Fast Company are available.

How to Make USB Drives Read Only

There are two reasons why you might want to make USB drives such as Flash drives or external hard disks read only.

  1. 200526544-001You own the computer and want to prevent information on your computer from leaking out but need the ability to read data from a USB drive. You cannot block access to USB ports because you need them. But you also cannot grant full access to them because that would allow anybody to steal files from the computer. The middle route is to deny write access to the USB ports.
  2. You own the USB drive and you are tired of getting infected with viruses from other people’s machine.

Friday, December 9, 2011

MyPublicWiFi: Virtual Wi-Fi Hotspot With URL Logging

If you are running Windows 7 on your computer or laptop, it is possible to share the Internet connection on your machine with another laptop or mobile devices by turning your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot. This is  useful when you don’t have a router and need to setup a temporary Access Point in a hotel room, meeting room or even at home. This Windows 7 feature is utilized in a number of applications like Connectify, Virtual Router and Marify.

Microsoft Flight Beta Registration is Open. Signup Now

Microsoft has started accepting applications for the closed beta of its new flight simulation game Microsoft Flight. The beta will begin next month, January 2012, and will enable flight simulator fans to lay their hands on the latest edition of the popular Microsoft Flight Simulator series before anybody else.

The first version of Microsoft Flight Simulator hit store shelves way back in 1982 followed by nine more releases. Flight Simulator X brought the series to a close in 2006. Then Microsoft announced a revival at Gamescom 2010 in August 2010 with the upcoming launch of Microsoft Flight.

Yahoo Introduces Second Sign-in Verification

After Gmail, Hotmail and Facebook, Yahoo is adopting two factor authentication to protect users from account hijacks where the attacker gains access to the victim’s account using stolen password. When a Yahoo account is protected by the new Second Sign-in Verification feature, a mobile phone number is associated with the account through which the user has to verify his or her identify before it can login to their account. This prevents a hacker from gaining entry into the victim’s Yahoo account even if the password is compromised.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The $99 HP TouchPad Sale is Back For a Limited Time

Those who missed out on Hewlett Packard's fire-sale of TouchPad tablets earlier this year, in which the ill-fated webOS devices were sold for as little as $99 following the company's decision to discontinue all current hardware devices running webOS, will get a second chance. An internal HP memo intended for employees revealed that the company will be selling refurbished TouchPad on HP eBay store starting Sunday, December 11th at 6:00 p.m. Central time. A $79 accessory bundle will also be available, which includes a case, charging dock and wireless keyboard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

10 Android Apps For 10 Cents For Next 10 Days

The Android Market has hit 10 billion downloads and to celebrate Google is making several apps available for a dime. Each day, starting from December 6, ten "premium" apps will be sold for just $0.10 each. This will continue for the next 10 days, and each day will feature 10 new apps so that at the end of this promotion you could be richer by hundred paid apps and lose only $10 in the process.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

World’s First Webcam Kept Watch on a Coffee Pot

The world’s first Internet webcam was invented not out of necessity but out of convenience.

In late 1991, about 15 or so researchers in the Systems Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Lab used to share a coffee machine located in the corridor outside the computer lab known as the Trojan Room. The coffee pot provided enough coffee to fill only a few mugs, and whenever a fresh pot was brewed, it emptied pretty quickly.

Control Panel Renamed to ‘PC Settings’ in Windows 8

A series of screenshots purportedly from a leaked Windows 8 Build 8158 posted on a Chinese website shows one unexpected change that Microsoft has planned for their upcoming OS. The screenshot of a new Windows 8 build start screen shows a Metro tile with the title “PC Settings". The Chinese website Win8China.com claims that this new "PC Settings" section is in fact a replacement for the familiar "Control Panel" folder of previous Windows operating systems.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Download Videos from TED.com with TED Downloader

TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. It’s a non-profit organization formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading" and they do so by holding conferences and talks where they invite some of the world’s most fascinating thinkers to present their ideas. Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Free 50 GB Box.net Space for LG Android Phone Users

Online storage service Box.net is giving away 50 GB of free storage to all LG Android Smartphone users. If you have an LG phone, simply download Box.net Android app from the market and login to your Box.net account or signup for a new one. Your account will be immediately upgraded with 50 GB of storage space. The extra storage isn’t just limited to your mobile device, you get it anywhere you use your Box account, like on your laptop at home or your desktop at the office.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Desktop Media Automatically Adds Shortcuts to USB Drives, DVDs on the Desktop

Desktop Media is small application for Windows that automatically adds shortcut icons to USB drives, CD/DVD disks and other media when you connect these devices to your computer, and then automatically remove the shortcuts when unplug the device. Additionally, Desktop Media can display shortcuts to fixed hard drive partitions on the desktop for easy access.

Top 5 Free Website Builders for Non-Coders

Online website builders are a perfect solution for small business owners, artists and bloggers who prefer the benefits of a hosted solution and ease of designing pages without any coding knowledge. Hiring a professional web designer can easily turn out to be time consuming and out of your financial reach. Website builders make it easy for beginners to get a foothold on the web, acting as a grand stepping-stone for growing an online business or identity while learning the ropes.

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