Today's most popular headlines are Carve ... [Stats Feed]

Today's most popular headlines are Carve Your Thanksgiving Turkey Like a Butcher (4,389 views today), 15 Ways to Fool Yourself into Saving Money (3,939) and Build a Solar Heater on the Cheap (2,620). Today's most discussed stories are Build a Solar Heater on the Cheap (16 comments), 15 Ways to Fool Yourself into Saving Money (11) and Eat Less at Thanksgiving by Eating Earlier (10).

Access Any Web Site (Like Wikipedia) Offline with GearsMonkey [Featured Greasemonkey User Script]

allow-gears.jpgFirefox with Greasemonkey and Google Gears: The Wikipedia Offline Greasemonkey script plugs Greasemonkey into Google Gears (the offline web access extension that works with Google Reader and other sites) to provide offline access and syncing with Wikipedia. Once you've installed the script, head to Wikipedia and enable Gears. Now, when browsing any page on Wikipedia, you'll notice a small frame that contains links to cache the current page or access other pages you've already cached. Even better, the author of the script provides a howto guide for taking virtually any web site offline with Gears and Greasemonkey, so anyone with some javascript chops should be able to start building Gears access for their favorite sites (here's hoping we see a lot more of these). The Wikipedia Offline script is free, requires Greasemonkey and Google Gears.

Create Global Folder Bookmarks with Dirkey [Featured Windows Download]

dirkey.jpgWindows only: Create custom folder bookmarks accessible from your keyboard in any Explorer window or save or open file dialog with freeware system tray application Dirkey. You can set any folder as a bookmark on-the-fly by pressing Ctrl-Alt-0..9, then quickly jump to any of your bookmarks by pressing Ctrl-0..9 for the corresponding bookmark (e.g., if you set a folder as a bookmark with Ctrl-Alt-1, you can access that folder any time by pressing Ctrl-1). Dirkey does the work of previously mentioned applications like FindeXer, PlacesBar Editor, and FinderStyle but offers the quickest access to both creating new bookmarks and jumping to your most frequently used folders. Dirkey is freeware, Windows only.

eBay Fees Calculator: How much money are you really making on eBay?

eBay Fees Calculator
Selling some old junk on eBay? It might seem like a great way to pick up some cash while clearing out the closet, but those seller fees will get you every time. First you have to pay to "insert" an auction, then you have to pay for a percentage of your sale. And don't forget PayPal fees and shipping and handling costs.

You can save yourself a lot of time and heartbreak by checking out the unofficial eBay Fees Calculator before you get started. Just enter the type of auction, your planned starting bid, and what you expect the item to sell for, and hit the Calculate button. The web-based tool will give you an estimate of how much money you'll actually make after all the fees.

You can also use the calculator to do something a bit more shady. Just figure out how much money you want to make off your auction, type it in the "Desired Net Profit" box, and eBay Fees Calculator will tell you how much to overcharge for shipping.

[via CyberNet]

Add a Stack of Recent Things to Your Dock [Mac OS X Leopard]

recent-things.pngWeb site Mac OS X Hints highlights a simple Terminal command that will tweak your Dock to add a "recent things" Stack capable of showing you recent apps, docs, servers, or favorite volumes and items. Just open Terminal and type (one line):

defaults write persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'
Follow that with killall Dock and you should notice the new Stack in your Dock. If you want multiple recent Stacks, just run the command multiple times and right-click each Stack to set which recent Stack you want. While you're already customizing your Stacks in Leopard, the "recent things" Stack—particularly recent docs Stack—looks like an indispensable addition to your Dock.

Ask DLS - How do I disable Firefox search suggestions?

We get a lot of questions at Download Squad. Where are the cookies? What did you do with the cookies? Why did you eat the cookies? And, so forth. Often we find questions have few simple answers, this one however was a cinch. It's also a good tip as Download Squad readers head off into the loving arms of family this holiday, no doubt to be bombarded with computer questions.

Dmitry T. writes, "I love the auto suggest feature [In Firefox's search box], but there doesn't seem to be a way to filter results, I have a kid and don't want certain words popping up on screen. I have Crawler parental control set up so he can't actually visit any objectionable sites but, I don't want objectionable search terms coming up. So is there a way to filter the auto-suggestion or disable that option for good?"

There sure is Dmitry, and it's easier than you might think. Just right-click on the search box itself, and un-check the option "Show Suggestions". After that, the little tyke can type anything he or she wants, and no suggestions will be offered; Offensive or otherwise.

Thanks Dmitry!

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Make the Most of Your Travel Delay with Sleeping in Airports [Travel]

sleep-in-airports.jpgFind a good place to curl up and catch some shut-eye at the airport this holiday season with tips from web site Sleeping in Airports. For example:

When you're forced to stay over in an airport due to airline problems, make sure you are granted access to their lounge. This is especially recommended for the airports with uncomfortable chairs out in the main transit/departures lounge with the usual riff-raff.
Designed for budget travelers looking to save a few bucks when traveling, Sleeping in Airports may be just what you need during that red-eye delay now that one of the busiest travel days of the year upon us.

Resize Any Window with ResizableEnable [Featured Windows Download]

resizeenable.pngWindows only: Resize any window on your desktop—including those windows that normally refuse to let you resize them—with freeware application ResizeEnable. Just run the system tray executable and any window—no matter how stubbornly it denied your resizing attempts in the past—should be resizable. Once resized, the contents of the window should automatically adjust to fit the new dimensions. While it's probably not an everyday application, the freeware, Windows-only RezizeEnable does what it says when you need it.

Google Docs lovers should check out the Vertical ...

Google Docs lovers should check out the Vertical Spacing Greasemonkey user script for a much improved, more normal paragraph style in their Gdocs.

SeeToo: Broadcast yourself. To one other person.

Sure, YouTube and other online video sharing sites are great if you want to show your home movies off to the entire world. But what if you just want your mom to see the first videos of her grandson walking, without putting your baby's image out there for the whole world to see?

SeeToo is a new service, currently in private beta, that lets you show your video to one other person - in real time. Just install a client, choose a video from your PC, and send a link to the person you want to share the video with. When they click the link, they'll go to a web page showing your movie and you can both watch it at the same time, and chat in a little chat window below the video.

SeeToo facilitates the whole thing, but doesn't store your video on a server. So you're not actually leaving a video on the internet for the whole world to find. Of course, if you send the link to your friend and then turn your computer off, they'll also be unable to watch the video.

The company plans to launch a public beta by the end of the year.

[via AppScout]

One year ago, you learned how to control ... [Flashback]

One year ago, you learned how to control your Mac with the sound of your voice.

Carve Your Thanksgiving Turkey Like a Butcher [Cooking]
If the crown of family turkey-carver is weighing heavy on your head this Thanksgiving, the New York Times gets advice on how to carve the perfect turkey from New York butcher Ray Venezia. His trick: Take it off the table.

Instead of slicing the meat from the roast at the table, Mr. Venezia's carving protocol calls for the biggest pieces, the breasts and the thighs, to be removed whole, then boned and sliced on a cutting board. "Trying to carve from the carcass is like trying to cut it off a beach ball: it's all curved surfaces and it moves around under the knife," he said. "Give me a flat cutting board any time."

The article is also accompanied by both a step-by-step photo guide to turkey carving (above) as well as an excellent six and a half minute video. The carving goes in this order, cutting out pieces of meat in whole chunks:

  1. Start with the dark meat (legs and thighs).
  2. Move onto the wings.
  3. Remove the breast meat whole (this is some expert cutting—again, be sure to check the video for details).
Finally, carve up that breast meat against the grain. Whether or not you're already comfortable with your carving chops, the article's tips and the video are sure to make for an easier carve this holiday. If you consider yourself an artist in turkey sculpting, let's hear how you do it in the comments.

Ziepod: Free podcast aggregator

Looking for a good, free podcast aggregator/player for Windows? For a long time, Juice (formerly known as iPodder) was the reigning champ. But it's kind of a pain in the behind to get Juice working with Vista. So we're always looking for a better solution.

You can use Miro to download audio podcasts as well as video, but that's sort of like using a tank to drive to the supermarket.

Ziepod, on the other hand, is a bit more like a corvette. It's pretty, easy to use, and fast. The built-in podcast directory is also excellent if you're browsing for new podcasts. Notice we said browsing? There's no search button, which is a bit baffling.

Another odd choice is that while you an set Ziepod to automatically delete podcasts that have been sitting on your PC for a certain period of time, there's no way to customize that setting for different feeds. So if you download some podcasts on a weekly basis and others on a daily basis, there doesn't appear to be an easy way to keep the last 2 days worth of one and 3 weeks worth of the other.

That said, Ziepod does a great job of pulling in your podcasts, storing them, letting you listen on your computer or synchronize with an iPod. There's also a commercial version for $20 with a few additional features like download bandwitdh speed control, and a dockable video bar.

[thanks booblik!]

Today's most popular headlines are Boost ... [Stats Feed]

Today's most popular headlines are Boost Your Wi-Fi Antenna for Less than a Dollar (5,962 views today), Firefox 3 Beta 1 Now Available (4,932) and Set Custom "Ringtones" for Your Email Inbox (3,095). Today's most discussed stories are Firefox 3 Beta 1 Now Available (26 comments), Boost Your Wi-Fi Antenna for Less than a Dollar (22) and Synchronize Your Computer's Time with DS Clock (11).

Two years ago, we introduced website owners ... [Flashback]

Two years ago, we introduced website owners to the art of SEO with some basic tips and tricks.

Get Fine-Point Mouse Control with MouseKeys [Windows Tip]

The CyberNet blog points to a tucked-away feature in Windows that could come in handy for graphic designers or others needing precision mouse control. MouseKeys, an option contained in the accessibility controls, moves the mouse with the numeric keypad and can be set to turn on and off with a hotkey. Our own Adam Pash's Mouser offers greater functionality and customization, but MouseKeys could be a useful tweak for when you rarely need brain-surgeon-like pointing power.

15 Ways to Fool Yourself into Saving Money [Saving Money]

Like flossing, stretching and car waxing, socking away savings is easy to think positive about and much, much harder to act on. For help tricking yourself to be good, finance blog The Digerati Life offers 15 ways to defeat your inner spending machine. This one might be worth pondering while you're weighing those Black Friday rebate deals:

#8 Bank the savings you receive from coupons, sales and discounts
Big sales can save you a bundle, so how about writing yourself a check each time you score some savings while shopping? If you were prepared to pay full price but discover a savings of 10%, bank the 10% you save into your savings account. This could be a painless strategy of building up your nest egg that you incorporate into your daily shopping habits.
What kind of mental hacks have you used to secretly store away cash? Share your tips in the comments.

Create Slick DVD Menus with ManDVD [Featured Linux Download]

Linux only: Give your home-brewed DVDs a polished finish with ManDVD, a free software package for GNOME and KDE-based systems. ManDVD may not have as many encoding and burning options as K3b, DeVeDe or other Linux DVD creators, but the front ends it creates look a good deal nicer. Grab frames or clips to create menus and video buttons, add custom text and tweak the layout to your heart's content. If you want to give your holiday videos a nice front-end (and make them a bit less confusing) for your relatives, ManDVD could fit the bill nicely.

ManDVD is a free download for Linux systems only; Ubuntu and Debian users can grab a self-installing package at the link below, while KDE-based systems and other distros can find their packages or source at the developer's site.

Access Your Database from Your Phone with Zoho Creator [Database]

Online productivity suite Zoho has rolled out a mobile version of its Creator webapp , which can make both basic databases and help forge customized interfaces and applications to use them. As the somewhat (intentionally?) cheesy promotional video shows, It could be useful for adding to office or personal projects and websites on the go, or for pulling up and presenting information from a non-sensitive database. Like other Zoho applications, Creator is free to use but requires an account sign-up.

Eat Less at Thanksgiving by Eating Earlier [Food Hacks]

Health and Nutrition author Jennifer Ackerman writes in today's New York Times that planning your big Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day helps you eat less. That's because the body is better at recognizing it's full in the morning:

Not only does an ample morning meal provide energy for the day's labors, but it better satisfies our appetites, perhaps because the brain's satiety systems work best early in the day. People who take in more of their calories at breakfast -- whether in the form of proteins, carbohydrates or fat -- are likely to consume fewer calories overall than those who indulge in big meals later in the day.
Ackerman also advises against eating any part of the big meal in front of the television. And if your meal does fall later in the day, eating a healthy breakfast also helps prevent ravenous consumption later—unless, of course, you're dead-set on doing so anyways.

Public Speaking Tips by the Boatload [Public Speaking]

The Public Speaking Blog never met a tip it couldn't share—or so it would seem from an extensive roundup of suggestions, dos and don'ts posted there. You might not want to sit down with the entire list before your moment at the mic, but a few of them are worth writing down somewhere, including this bit of speech-prep zen:

Present 70% of what you prepared. Keep the rest for emergency purposes, e.g. during Q&A or when you need to show off.
One of the tips, of course, is to never stick too hard to such rules, and to adapt to a crowd's response. One more great tip? Don't kill your audience with PowerPoint. Photo by eschipul

Build a Solar Heater on the Cheap [Video Demonstration]

Create a cheap and green solar heater for less than $10. All you need is foam board, lots of pennies, black spray paint, and plexiglass. The assembled product should be placed next to a window and can increase the room temperature by a minimum of 10 degrees (according to the video), depending on the amount of sunlight that reaches the heater. If you're looking for more ways to harness the power of the sun, check out the solar water heater we described in the summer.

Compare Grocery Store Sales with GroceryGuide [Shopping]

groceryguide.jpgCompare sales at numerous local grocers with GroceryGuide, a webapp that accesses sales from hundreds of supermarkets and chains around the nation. GroceryGuide shows price trends and fluctuations as well as recipes that can be made with each food item. Additionally, the site lists coupons that can be further applied to discounted items. While GroceryGuide is missing one of my favorite supermarkets on its list, it still has a decent representation of many chains throughout the country and does a good job locating bargains without the need to visit each individual shop's website to view the circulars.

Ten Tips for Web Design Magic

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Cobian Backup: Free backup tool for Windows

Cobian BackupLooking for a free easy to use solution for backing up your files to an external hard drive or network attached storage device? While we're big fans of the freeware version of SyncBack, sometimes you want something a bit simpler. And Cobian Backup fits the bill.

We can't decide if it's because Cobian lacks the bells and whistles that SyncBack has, or if it's just missing the complicated menus. Or maybe it's the fact that Cobian has extra-large icons that even your grandmother can read without her glasses on. Anyway, it takes just a few minute to create and schedule an automated daily backup of all your important data.

Like any good backup utility, Cobian lets you schedule full or incremental backups. In other words, you can copy either your entire directories every day, or just the files that have changed. If you go the incremental route, you can still set Cobian to create a full backup every X days.

Cobian Backup 8 runs on Windows 2000 - Vista. If you've got an older system you should probably upgrade. But Cobian 7 will work with Windows 95 and up.

Recover Any Password in Firefox with the Asterisk Revealer [Firefox]

asterisk-revealer.pngThe Firefox Asterisk Revealer bookmarklet reveals the contents of any password field (i.e., a field whose text is obscured by asterisks) in an alert box using a simple bit of javascript—particularly handy for those sites for which you've saved the password but long since forgotten what it is. The post itself just includes the javascript, but you can turn it into a bookmarklet by simply right-clicking your Bookmarks toolbar and selecting New Bookmark, and then pasting the javascript into the Location field.

Multi-Client IM on Your Mobile Device with Palringo [Featured Windows Mobile Download]

palringo.pngWindows Mobile and Symbian phones only: Freeware application Palringo brings multi-client chat to your Windows Mobile device or Symbian smartphone. There once was a time when the go-to mobile IM client was a program called Agile Messenger, but ever since it went shareware there's been a gap for freeware IM on a lot of phones. With support for everything from AIM to Google Talk and its own mobile voice chat, it looks like Palringo is filling that gap with aplomb. Palringo is freeware, works on Symbian Series 60 phones and Windows Mobile 2003 and up.

Flickr Uploadr 3.0 beta available now

Flickr has just launched the beta of Flickr Uploadr 3.0, available for both Windows and Mac users now. Flickr has a pretty great upload utility built into their web page (assuming Flash is working), so why use an external program? Well, if you want to upload a large group of pictures, Flickr Uploadr lets you select any number of photos, add titles/tags/descriptions, create sets, change the privacy settings and even alter the order, all before uploading to Flickr. That's very snazzy, and it can save a ton of time.

For our very informal, non exhaustive test, we selected 50 photos (640x480 images from PhotoBooth, not 50 photos from our digital camera), labeled them as a set, tagged a few images and then hit "upload." To our pleasure, uploading was significantly faster via the program than using the web interface. Approximately 3 megabytes of photographs were online in seemingly seconds, as opposed to the several minutes it would take to do the same job using the Flash utility on the Flickr site. Our photos weren't all included in part of the set - something we easily corrected on our Flickr page - but they were all correctly tagged and labeled.

Continue reading Flickr Uploadr 3.0 beta available now

Move Your Desktop Folders to Your Wall [DIY]

wall-folders.pngGadget weblog SlashGear highlights Desktop Folders for your walls, a design concept that brings the look and feel of your virtual desktop to your walls. The wall folders idea came from this German design site, but some reinforced vanilla folders and a little DIY ingenuity and this would be a fairly easy and fun project to pull off. Then again, if you have a hard time keeping your virtual desktop uncluttered, you probably don't want to extend the problem to your walls.

Recent Posts