19 January 2013

Shareaholic Is A Must-Have Add-on For Social Media Addicts [Firefox]



If you’re a typical internet user, you’ve probably signed up for a handful of different social networks over the years. All of these social networks no doubt mean completely different things to you, as they each have a separate set of your friends subscribed, different uses and often hold unique interests at heart. In other words, the things you share with each social network are tailored individually to each network and audience.


Despite keeping these networks separate in your own head, the everyday browsing habits of internet users usually involve one main browser set-up, often with a bunch of extensions. But who wants to have a different extension for each social network you want to share to? Not me! Not when there’s a way of sharing to all your networks using the one extension, Shareaholic.


What Is Shareaholic?


Shareaholic is a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer. It’s also available as a bookmarklet for use in any other browser. We’re going to focus on the Firefox extension for now.



In addition to these browser tools, Shareaholic also offers blog sharing tools and analytics for publishers. So, take a closer look around if that interests you.


Share To Anywhere


There are 100+ popular social networks and tools supported by Shareaholic, and it’s possible for you to choose which of these to list and in what order they appear. Because of this, you should be able to share directly to almost any social network or tool you like, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, WordPress, LinkedIn, Evernote, Hootsuite, Tumblr, Delicious, Bit.ly, Pocket, Gmail and many more. Since it’s entirely up to you, you can make this the most powerful and productive browser tool you ever use.



Keeping Things Neat


Since you only need one browser extension to share with multiple social networks, you can cut down on the total amount of extensions you have active in your browser. This will keep your toolbars neat and cut down on extension slowness.



How To Use Shareaholic


Shareaholic sits unobtrusively on your toolbar until you’re ready to share something. When you’re on a page worth sharing, simply click the Shareaholic button and choose the service you want to share to from the menu (which you will have already customized to show your favorite services). Shareaholic then pops up a window ready to share. Mostly, this window contains the correct page to share items directly to that service, with all the details of the page you were on filled in. This means that for any given service you can access all the bells and whistles available including delayed posting, choice of image, tagging and more.



Shareaholic Accounts


Registration is not required, but it is available as an option. For people who use multiple browsers, you’ll appreciate that you can sync your Shareaholic settings by signing up for an account. Any services added to Shareaholic via one browser extension (or the website) will be ready to use in other browsers immediately.



Recommended By Mozilla


The Shareaholic extension is loved by so many people that it now comes recommended by the Mozilla foundation itself.It was the Grand Prize Winner of Mozilla’s own Extend Firefox contest.


Also Read


If you’re a Chrome user and you want to give it a try, check out the Shareaholic review for Chrome. For Firefox users, check out the Best Firefox Add-ons for more great tools to try.


The post Shareaholic Is A Must-Have Add-on For Social Media Addicts [Firefox] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



18 January 2013

Enhance Google Services with These 5 Add-Ons



Most of us use at least one Google service each day – usually much more than just one. Search, Gmail, Reader, Calendar, Drive, Play, YouTube…. this is just a partial list of the services we use every day. And for good reason, too. Google’s services are not popular just because they have the name “Google” next to them – they’re actually very good, and constantly provide their competitors with inspiration and ideas.


Even Google isn’t perfect, though. In fact, it’s far from it. While Gmail, Reader and the rest are extremely useful, there’s always room for improvement, and thanks to some excellent browser add-ons, it’s easy to upgrade our favorite Google services and make them even slicker, more accessible, and, well, just better.


Google Redesigned [Firefox & Chrome]


google-redesigned[4]


Do you have a secret desire to have all your Google services look like this? Your dreams can come true with the help of a browser add-on called Google Redesigned. At first, I assumed Google Redesigned will let me control what my Google services look like, or at least offer several redesign options to choose from, but after seeing this new look on my Gmail, Reader, Calendar and Drive, I no longer wished for control.


If you’re a dark-theme buff, you’re going to love this redesign. If you’re a minimalist, you’re going to love this redesign. Actually, no matter who you are, you’re probably going to love it. Google Redesign can redesign Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader and Google Drive (which it still refers to as Docs). You can choose which of these services you want to redesign, and which you want to keep in the same old look by clicking on the add-on’s icon.


The only caveat: some services may be slightly less responsive, depending on the service, your browser, your computer, etc. Try it out to see for yourself.


Google Reader Mag [Chrome]


google-reader-mag


Google Reader Mag is powered by Feedly, and before you use if for the first time you’ll have to grant it access to your Google Reader. The add-on is different from the regular Feedly add-on – it automatically takes over your Google Reader and turns it into a Feedly-like experience. All your favorite feeds are already there, organized just the way you like them, and the only thing you need to do is start reading.


The interface is much nicer and cleaner than the native Google Reader, and you can choose to view your feeds in several visual ways such as magazine style, cards (seen above), mosaic, and more. When reading articles, you can easily share on Google+, Twitter or Facebook, save articles for later and add tags, and send articles to Instapaper, Pocket, Evernote, and others.


Google Shortcuts [Firefox & Chrome]


google-shortcuts


What better way to enhance your Google services than to access them easily? Google Shortcuts adds shortcut buttons to any Google service you can dream of, especially if you’re stuck sometime in 2010. Yes, the add-on is a little outdated, and includes services like Google Wave and the “Android Market”, but being completely customizable, you can add whatever service you see fit.


You can also choose between having buttons on the toolbar itself, as seen above, or in a configurable dropdown menu, as see below.


google-shortcuts-2[4]


You can control the name, URL and position of each shortcut, as well as the browser’s tab behavior when a shortcut is clicked.


Integrated Google Calendar [Firefox]


integrated-google-calendar


Google Calendar really is a useful little service, but for some reason, it never felt truly accessible to me. This is not something I can explain logically, but to me, a calendar needs to be right there whenever I want to use it, and Google Calendar is always too many clicks away. Not anymore. Integrated Google Calendar is a simple little add-on that takes Google Calendar out of.. well, wherever it usually is, and brings it right to your Firefox toolbar. Want to see your calendar? Click the toolbar icon or use your designated keyboard shortcut, and voila, there it is!


You can change the window’s size, move it around and pin it so it stays always on top. You can even set it to delay its load when starting Firefox, so as to now slow anything down more than necessary.


+You Google Bar [Firefox & Chrome]


The Google bar went through several iterations in the past year, but for now, it seems that we’re settled on the thin black bar with its More and Even More options. The current Google bar is nice and unobtrusive, but it also decides for you which Google services are the most accessible. By default, you get links to search, images, maps, Google Play, and the rest you can see below.


google-bar-1


But what if you don’t need a link to Google Search staring at you on every Google service? What if you’d rather have a quick link to Google Reader, or Google Translate? Google doesn’t ask you what you want or don’t want, but this add-on does. after installation (note that you’ll probably have to restart your browser to get it to work), you’ll find a new cog icon on the left side of your Google bar. Use this cog menu to start rearranging your Google services.


google-bar-2


Note that you don’t drag items onto the bar itself. Use the cog menu to arrange the items as you see fit, and watch them change on the bar itself as you go. It’s a little unintuitive at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.


So how do you make your Google services even better? Any favorite add-ons or plugins? Share them in the comments!


Image credit: shiny image via Shutterstock


The post Enhance Google Services with These 5 Add-Ons appeared first on MakeUseOf.



17 January 2013

7 Most Important Websites We Can’t Live Without



The World Wide Web (now more commonly known simply as the Web) has been with us for over 20 years now, and in that relatively short space of time it has unequivocally changed the world. For better or worse. The architects of the Web could not have foreseen what a huge impact their creation was going to have, but over the course of two decades and counting the Web has evolved into a sprawling mass of websites and pages that number in the billions.


MakeUseOf deals with a mix of new and old sites, often comparing those of a similar nature to each other. We’re mainly focused on the fresh, the new, the undiscovered, but just occasionally it’s worth reminding ourselves of the websites that we’d be lost without. The ones which, if they didn’t exist, could bring the Web grinding to a halt.


What follows are what I consider to be the seven wonders of the Web, at least as it stands in 2013. There are many more missing that were considered for inclusion, but for me the websites included are the linchpins around which the rest of the Web operates. The list is also made up of websites that, were the rest of the Web to disappear, I could use to survive. If I were you I’d bookmark each and every one of the following, if you haven’t done so already.


Google



Google is arguably the glue that keeps the Web together. Certainly the Google homepage, with its minimalist design and constantly changing Google Doodles, is the first port of call many people make when they open their Web browser. From the Google homepage you can also access Gmail, Play, Maps, News, and a host of other services provided by the company.


The Google homepage is the tipping off point for various trawls around the Web. It’s certainly telling that “Google” quickly became a verb, with people Googling websites, names, and places. In many ways Google helped turn the Web from a geeky collection of disparate websites into a mainstream phenomenon for the masses. All of which assures its place on this list.


Wikipedia



Wikipedia is the free online encyclopedia that is the website most people turn to when they need to source extra information about a particular person, place, or product. At the time of writing it contains 24 million entries, 4 million of which are written in English. This is a vast collection of data about every subject under the sun. And a few more besides.


Wikipedia had a poor reputation for many years thanks to untruths, misquotes, and the vandalization of entries. But those issues have mostly been resolved thanks to a dedicated team of editors who check every crowd-sourced revision. It’s a truly invaluable resource, and it’s completely free and funded by donation, meaning you don’t even have to put up with adverts.


YouTube



YouTube is the premier video-sharing site on the Web, with a vast collection of videos of all descriptions being uploaded every day, all of which are added to the growing repository. When YouTube was launched in 2005 it was good, now, thanks to a strong guiding hand from Google, which acquired the site in 2006, it’s phenomenal.


While some people may not explore past the music videos and clips of animals doing funny things, YouTube is home to a lot more than that. Not only are movies, concerts, sporting events, and original programming available on the site, there are channels dedicated to subjects of particular interest to MakeUseOf readers, including science and technology.


Facebook



Facebook is by far the largest social networking site in the world, with more than 1 billion people registered for an account. Strangely, a good proportion of those users don’t particularly like the site, or at least Facebook’s often-clumsy attempts at opening up user data to a wider audience or introducing new, unwanted features. Still, Facebook makes this list because its power cannot be disputed.


Many other sites and services now connect to Facebook or let you use your Facebook credentials in place of their own. In other words, Facebook has its tentacles spread far and wide across the Web, and is hard to ignore as a result. It’s important to remember Facebook’s primary function is for keeping in touch with family and friends, and as long as you stay on top of your profile, it doesn’t have to be a painful experience.


Twitter



Twitter is a different beast than Facebook, with its 140-character limit on updates and a much weaker bond between the contacts and connections made. If Facebook is for friends and family to communicate, Twitter is for strangers to do the same. You can follow individuals you admire and find out what they’re up to, or become the conduit for your own broadcasts, telling the rest of the world whatever it is you want them to hear.


This, however, isn’t the reason Twitter makes the list. Instead it’s the capacity for Twitter to be used as an organ for breaking news that makes it one of the wonders of the Web. There are countless examples of big, important news stories having first broken on the micro-blogging social network. The only problem is sorting the real news stories from the fakes.


eBay



eBay may not be the force it once was, but it’s still the first port of call for many people looking to buy and sell new and used items online to others. You could literally buy and sell all your worldly possessions on eBay multiple times over, and that’s justification enough for its inclusion on this list.


If you have a need or desire to pick up an item that isn’t available in bricks-and-mortar stores (for reasons of age or availability) then eBay is the obvious solution. The reverse is also true; if you have an item you no longer want but think will be of worth to someone else, then eBay is the place to go. If you have spare cash and a desire for unnecessary material possessions then browsing eBay also makes for an entertaining evening.


Reddit



Reddit is the dark horse on this list, the one most likely to elicit furrowed brows from some readers. But bear with me for a second. Although there are many websites offering similar compendiums of awesomeness, Reddit is the daddy of them all. Partly thanks to the scale and scope of content available on the site, and partly because of the number of users now getting involved on a regular basis.


Reddit calls itself “the front page of the Internet,” and that description seems more apt with every passing day. While there is a need to sort the wheat from the chaff on Reddit, the quality of content that makes it to the front page is improving rapidly. With Reddit it’s a definite case of the more you put in, the more you get out, and I suspect its popularity is only going to grow from this point on.


Conclusions


As mentioned in the opening paragraphs I considered many, many more websites for inclusion in this list, but in the end these seven won out over the countless others vying for attention. The reasons each one was included have, I hope, been explained to the satisfaction of most. If not then feel free to leave a comment below questioning the inclusion of any of the above or exclusion of your pick.


Think of this as a starting point. If you think another website should have made the list then link to it in the comments section and explain why it should be considered an absolute must for all Internet users. Readers stumbling upon this article in years to come can then read on past this paragraph and gain more insight from the MakeUseOf readership.


Image Credit: Hobvias Sudoneighm


The post 7 Most Important Websites We Can’t Live Without appeared first on MakeUseOf.



16 January 2013

It’s Raining Deals: Turbo-Charge Your Shopping And Save Money With Booly [Firefox]



booly firefoxWe, at MakeUseOf.com believe in the idea of saving. Usually, it is time and effort as we give you tips and tales of the best technology offerings out there. But sometimes, we try to save you some hard green bucks too. That’s when we come across a cool application that helps you to win at online shopping or passing the message about real world sales tactics.


There are dime a dozen tools that watch out for the next price drop or a bargain grab. From price notifications to deal hunting, browser extensions and add-ons have been a favorite for long. In this brief article, we will take a look at a handy Firefox add-on called Booly which could qualify for a try out as shopping accessory.


Turn Your Search Engine into a Shopping Basket



You can think of Booly as a search enhancer or a search augmenter. The Booly browser add-on intelligently watches over your search and boosts it up with real time price comparisons, latest coupon codes and money saving deals. Booly tracks your shopping search across search engines like Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Bing and Blekko.


You can expect to get the best real-time price gathering and deal finding updates from top retailers in the U.S. and U.K. (Yes, shopping info is limited to these countries only for now. Australia and Europe will be covered soon), and across thousands of product categories. Booly has its own database on retailers and it has also tied-in with retail intelligence companies like Shopzilla and Shopping.com for price comparisons (with coupons and deal alerts).


Going Shopping With Booly


Booly is available as a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. We are focusing on the Firefox add-on for the purpose here, but all of them work in the same manner. The manner of Booly’s working is easily understood by the walkthrough of the deal-hunting process Booly puts us through after the add-on is installed.


booly firefox


Save With the Help of Booly’s Price Bar


As soon as you do your search, the blue bar pops up after a second or two and tells you if the product you are shopping for is cheaper elsewhere, or this is the best price you can expect to get. In some cases, you can also view similar items and also search for more products by clicking the green search button. You can retract the blue price notification bar to the extreme right of the browser and keep it unobtrusive till you need it again.


firefox shopping add on


The shopping window displays all the prices, relevant savings, deals and coupons if any, and of course a direct button to the sites where you can grab all of these. The same shopping window also gives you a study in price comparison across popular retailers. Thus, you can make a more informed choice.


Bargain Hunting With Your Favorite Search Engine


Search for a product on your shopping list using regulars like Google or Bing. Booly powers up the search with the help of colored Booly icons to indicate potential savings. As the screen above shows, you might get coupon information related to the product right on top of the search result. You can click on it to reveal a few more details.


firefox shopping add on


You can also get to the deals by clicking on the green icon next to the search results. Remember, a Green tag indicates that only deals and coupons have been found. A Red tag casts a wider net and could mean that Boo.ly has found favorable price comparisons for the product, possibly with related deals and coupons for that merchant. A red tag is obviously better because it gives you a few more price options.


booly firefox


Bargain Hunting With Friends


I would advise you to keep the news about a potential saving to yourself…you never know, there might be limited stocks available. But if you are the unselfish kind and want to crow about the bargain, make the social sharing buttons work for you. There’s nothing like a deal or a sale to make the world a happier place.


So, Is It A Good Deal?


Booly is fairly unobtrusive. I don’t have to feed it extra data, and it does not feed on mine except what I am searching for. You don’t have to change your search behavior, but just look for the red or green tag for the price info. Booly of course does not succeed every time and there are instances when it will not get you a price comparison or a bargain even on a shopping site like Amazon and for a common product like a leather folio tablet case. That is a bit frustrating because you would want instantaneous results from a search engine add-on always. This is one area where Booly really has to smoothen things out. As a shopper you don’t want to be kept waiting – online or offline. Though, when it does, it goes a long way in helping you make certain that you aren’t getting ripped off.


I couldn’t gather the entire list of online retailers Booly pings for price comparisons, but from what I could get, it does seem that it is dominated by the bigger players. Smaller niche retailers are given a miss.


I would also wish it to have a shopping list feature that would allow me to save the results for a later time. Booly is real-time while you may want some time to deliberate and come back to your shopping later.


So, what did the first run with Booly and an item on your wish list tell you? Do you think there’s money to be saved out there with some smart shopping? Is Booly one of the better decision support applications when it comes to shopping and deal-hunting? Thumbs up for Booly put it on our Best Firefox Add-ons page. There are specialized shopping tools especially for Amazon. So, does it deserve a place there or is there a comparison engine that’s better than Booly?


The post It’s Raining Deals: Turbo-Charge Your Shopping And Save Money With Booly [Firefox] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



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Adobe Photoshop is, without a doubt, the best image processing software out there for Windows and Mac operating systems. While there are plenty Adobe Photoshop alternatives around, none of them come close to Photoshop as far as ease of use and features are concerned. The latest version of Adobe Photoshop, called Photoshop CS6, is available [...]

A New, Completely Redesigned MySpace Is Now Open To The Public [Updates]



Remember MySpace? It’s back, and it has Justin Timberlake all over it. The new version of MySpace, or the “New MySpace“, is a completely re-imagined version of the pioneer social network, and it’s now officially open to the public. Anyone who’s up for a second round of MySpace can create an account, or log in using the old MySpace account, Facebook or Twitter.


After creating the account, you’ll get the chance to choose your artistic profession, upload a photo, write a short bio, and you’re ready to go. You can use the New MySpace to discover new artists, songs, albums, mixes, and even radio stations. You can easily listen to music, “connect” with songs or artists, and watch trending videos. MySpace’s new interface is barely recognizable compared to the old version, and it’s so wide it was actually cut off at the side even on my 19″ monitor.



The New MySpace was first announced back in July, and in September we got a first visual glimpse on a preview video. The video was promoted by Justin Timberlake, one of site’s biggest investors, whose face is now all over the New MySpace’s landing page, advertising the release of his new single. After a being invite-only since the initial announcement, the New MySpace now opens its gates to a new generation of budding artists, fans, and the generally curious.


If you’ve had music in the old version of MySpace, you can import it to the new version using what they call the “classic MySpace” login option. Even if you’ve never had a MySpace account before, it’s worth taking a look, if only to see how a website can turn 180 degrees and make a complete change.


What do you think of the New MySpace? Will you use it, or is it this effort doomed from the start?


Source: MySpace via The Verge


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Automatic Coupon Finders – Do They Really Help You Save Money?



coupon finderLike many good things in life, coupons and promo codes are elusive. Saving money is never an easy thing, after all, and when you’re trying to find valid codes for something specific, you usually end up with many useless or expired codes, and lots and lots of open tabs. Think about it, how many times have you wanted to buy something and actually managed to find a discount code that helped you save money?


Before you get excited, this post is not about the perfect coupon source, or a dream-come-true way to get instant discounts just by thinking about them. I wish it were. Instead, I’m going to take a close look at three different coupon finder services that promise to take the pain and annoyance out of the coupon-finding business, and help you find the right coupon for the right purchase at the right time. These are not mere coupon websites I’m talking about, but browser add-ons and bookmarklets that find discount codes based on the checkout page you’re already on.


So do these services really work? Do they really save you money? Is finding coupons and codes going to be FUN from now on? Read on to find out.


The Coupon Finder Services


For the purposes of this article, I’m going to try to save money using three different automatic coupon finders: Promofly, Honey and Coupons at Checkout.


Promofly is a browser bookmarklet which I’ve looked at in the past, and is compatible with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Promofly is still in beta, and while you can request an invite and sometimes even get it immediately, you still can’t start using it right away.


coupon finder


Being a bookmarklet, there’s nothing to install when using Promofly, and after dragging the button to your bookmarks bar, you can click it at any time to start looking for codes. The nice thing about Promofly is that you can use it as soon as you enter an online store to find available discounts before you even start shopping. You can also browse its database for currently available coupons on hundreds of stores.


Honey is a browser add-on which works only with Chrome. After installation, it adds a “Find Savings” button to checkout pages in the stores it supports, and automatically finds all available coupons. But this is not Honey’s unique feature. Not only does Honey find relevant coupons, it automatically enters them in the promo code box and hits enter, thus testing whether the code actually works. It does this, one by one, to all the codes it finds.


automatic coupon finder


Coupons at Checkout is a browser add-on made by coupon database CouponFollow, and is compatible with IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. When you check out of an online store, clicking on the promo code box will reveal all the coupons Coupons and Checkout managed to find. When you choose one, it’s copied into the box and you can see if it works. You can then mark whether it worked or not by clicking on the box again.


automatic coupon finder


All three of these services are super easy to use, and all three by far beat browsing in numerous coupon websites looking for Mr. Right Coupon. But do they really work?


Target.com


automatic coupon finder


On Target.com I tried buying the Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother you see above. The regular price for this toy is $42.99. What was it after looking for coupons using Promofly, Honey and Coupons at Checkout?


Promofly: Upon entering the Target website, Promofly notified me immediately that it found a coupon for it. On checkout, I launched the bookmarklet, clicked the coupon, and managed to drop the price to $37.99 – $5 off the original price.


find coupons to print


Honey: Honey tested 10 coupons for me when I clicked on “Find Savings” on checkout. Unfortunately, it couldn’t find any code that fit this item.


Coupons at Checkout: Coupons at Checkout found three codes for me to try: one for a $5 discount, one for a $7 discount for $70+ purchases, and a third one which it told me was likely be expired. I tried all three one by one (I added another unit to my basket to try the $70+ one), but unfortunately, none worked.


The winner: In this case, the clear winner is Promofly, which helped me save $5 off my purchase.


Sears.com


find coupons to print


I went for two different items on Sears. The first was a $207 Grand Resort Thomas 9ft umbrella, which was already on sale, and the second was a $204 Stork Craft baby crib.


Promofly: When looking at Promofly, I found a $20 discount coupon for every purchase over $200 in Outdoor Living. This promo code actually worked for the umbrella, and I managed to get my purchase down to $187. There was no code for the crib.


Honey: Honey’s button didn’t appear anywhere on this checkout, despite its website claiming to support Sears.


Coupons at Checkout: Coupons at Checkout showed three different coupons for the umbrella, none of which worked, but managed to find a 15% discount code for the crib, which worked and brought my purchase down to $173.


find coupons to print


The winner: There’s actually one loser instead of one winner, and in this case it’s Honey, which failed to even show up to the party. Both Promofly and Coupons at Checkout worked well for their respective items, with Promofly having the advantage of telling me about available coupons in advance.


Starbucks.com


starbucks.com


On Starbucks, I decided to buy a $90 Cuisinart coffee maker. After all, I need my coffee in the mornings. But did I manage to get it for slightly less?


Promofly: Promofly found a 10% discount code for new customers, which worked like a charm.


Honey: Honey’s button didn’t appear, perhaps the service doesn’t support Starbucks.


Coupons at Checkout: Coupons at Checkout found the same 10% discount code Promofly did, and it worked well.


coupon finder


The winner: Coupons at Checkout and Promofly performed well, although it should be mentioned that the coupon they found was advertised on Starbucks.com. Honey didn’t deliver yet again.


More Tries


Among some other stores I tried were Amazon, Newegg, Old Navy, Gap, Walgreens, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble. Naturally, many websites simply did not have any promotions going at the time, and none of the services found discounts. In other stores, the promotions were explicit all over the website, telling me exactly which promo code to use to get a discount. In these cases Promofly and Coupons at Checkout sometimes offered the same coupons. Not once did Honey manage to find a coupon for me, except on Walgreens, where the discount was applied automatically, but Honey still claimed to have found it for me.


Conclusion – Can You Save Money Easily Or Not?


When I started testing these coupon finder services, I thought it would be a piece of cake. Open some websites, click some buttons, see what happens. It turned out it’s slightly more complicated than that, and not surprisingly, it looks like saving money will never be really easy.


With that in mind, Promofly is a truly great service because of how effortless it is to use, and mainly because it tells you right off the bat if there are codes available, and on what. You can use Promofly on checkout, but you don’t have to wait until you’re there to see what’s available, and this makes this service a true winner. It also comes with a pretty good database for both stores and coupons


Since Promofly is still in beta, and you might have to wait to get your invite, the next best choice is Coupons at Checkout. It’s just as effortless and many times just as efficient, but it does lack Promofly’s ability to see the available codes before checkout. Here too, you can enjoy a good database and a huge list of supported stores.


As for Honey, I loved the idea behind it, but at the moment, its database and supported store list is just not up to par.


All in all, none of these coupon finder services are a sure thing, and more often than not you won’t find a coupon for what you want to buy. But if you’re tired of searching and want to feel like you’ve at least tried, they’re highly recommended. Who knows, you might even save some money on the way!


How do you find discount codes? Do you actually manage to save money this way? Share your experiences in the comments.


Image credit: piggy bank image via Shutterstock


The post Automatic Coupon Finders – Do They Really Help You Save Money? appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Neat Facebook Chat Hacks To Keep You Enjoying IM Via Facebook [Weekly Facebook Tips]



facebook hacksFacebook chat is one of those things that’s fantastic when everything is going well, yet very annoying when something’s not right. Sadly, most people don’t have the time to navigate all of the options and set their preferences just so.


There’s also a number of useful tricks and Facebook hacks you can do with chat messages that many people just don’t realise is possible. That’s why today we’re going to quickly run through some of the most useful Facebook chat hacks for you. We’ll have you set up comfortably in no time.


Forward Facebook Chat Messages


There are a number of reasons you may need to forward chat messages, but very few people realise that it’s in fact possible. To do it, go to your Facebook Messages screen and highlight a conversation with a particular friend. In the top right, there’s a menu with a gear icon and “Actions“. Click on that and choose “Forward Messages“, then you’ll be able to choose which items of the full chat history to forward.


You can forward these to either a Facebook user or an email address.


facebook hacks


Filter Who Sees You Online In Facebook Chat


Chatting to friends on Facebook can be great, if they’re the friends you wanted to catch up with. If you’re always getting hassled by workmates or other acquaintances, then maybe it’s worth setting a few things up to ensure they only see you online when you actually want to chat.


You may or may not already know that it’s possible to filter who can see you online in Facebook chat. There are two ways of going about it: either with a blacklist or a whitelist. Both the blacklist and the whitelist can be made up of individuals or friends lists. So, you can choose to chat with anyone except people on list xyz. Or, you can choose to only chat to people on list abc. It’s your choice how you do it. All you need to do then is make an appropriate friends list to suit your needs.


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To make changes to your Facebook Chat settings, head to the bottom right of your Facebook Chat and click on the gear icon, choosing “Advanced Settings“. From there, you’ll be able to either enter friends you DO want to chat to or friends you DON’T want to chat to. I’ve chosen to make lists of acquaintances and people I don’t normally want to chat to, thus leaving myself open to chat with anyone else on my friends list.


You may choose to do it the other way around and only chat to your best friends.


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For more on how to set up filters for Facebook chat, check out this article to Decide Which Facebook Friends See You Online & Which Don’t, The Easy Way.


Hide Offline Friends In Facebook Chat


For some reason, certain friends will always show up in Facebook chat regardless of whether they’re online or not. If this bugs you, there’s a Chrome extension to fix this, which simply hides all the people who are currently offline.


Disable Read Receipts In Facebook Chat


If you don’t want your friends to know that you’ve seen a certain message, you can disable read receipts using a handy browser extension called Chat Undetected. It’s available for Firefox and Chrome.


Turn Off Chat By Default


To turn off Facebook chat, head to the gear icon at the bottom of Facebook Chat and choose “Turn Off Chat” from the menu (or turn it back on again using the same method). It’s also possible to turn off Facebook chat by default using the “Advanced Settings” from the same menu, then choosing “Turn Off Chat“.


Turn Off Facebook Chat Sounds


Again, all you need to do is head to the gear icon at the bottom of Facebook Chat and un-check “Chat Sounds”. No more annoying notification sounds!


Hopefully, your Facebook Chat is now very well set up and ready to make your life a pleasure rather than a pain. What else would you like to see Facebook chat do?


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Facebook Joins The Search Game, Introduces Graph Search [Updates]



Facebook has announced a new and improved search experience called Graph Search, which helps you navigate Facebook’s vast amount of information and find new people who share your interests, specific activities, specific photos, and more. It’s different from regular Web search in that it utilizes Facebook’s database to show you information from people you know or might now, along with popular Facebook results.


Graph Search will make use of details people choose to share on Facebook, and will only use them according to each user’s privacy settings. This means that the same search for different people can yield completely different results, and this is what can make Graph Search unique. For example, you can search for friends who like to ski, for photos your friends took in Paris, for people who work in your company and like to dance, etc.


Graph Search is currently in limited beta testing for English-speaking users only. If you want to get a glimpse of the action, you can join the waiting list here. At the moment, not all the promised features are available, but these will be added shortly, as the service expands.


Privacy wise, Graph Search shouldn’t pose a serious problem as it will only use information you choose to share, and will only show it to people you chose to share it with. It remains to be seen how exactly this aspect will work, considering Facebook’s not-so-trustworthy reputation when it comes to privacy issues. You can read more about privacy and Graph Search here.


Will you use Graph Search once its available?


Source: Facebook


The post Facebook Joins The Search Game, Introduces Graph Search [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Facebook Joins The Search Game, Introduces Graph Search [Updates]



Facebook has announced a new and improved search experience called Graph Search, which helps you navigate Facebook’s vast amount of information and find new people who share your interests, specific activities, specific photos, and more. It’s different from regular Web search in that it utilizes Facebook’s database to show you information from people you know or might now, along with popular Facebook results.


Graph Search will make use of details people choose to share on Facebook, and will only use them according to each user’s privacy settings. This means that the same search for different people can yield completely different results, and this is what can make Graph Search unique. For example, you can search for friends who like to ski, for photos your friends took in Paris, for people who work in your company and like to dance, etc.


Graph Search is currently in limited beta testing for English-speaking users only. If you want to get a glimpse of the action, you can join the waiting list here. At the moment, not all the promised features are available, but these will be added shortly, as the service expands.


Privacy wise, Graph Search shouldn’t pose a serious problem as it will only use information you choose to share, and will only show it to people you chose to share it with. It remains to be seen how exactly this aspect will work, considering Facebook’s not-so-trustworthy reputation when it comes to privacy issues. You can read more about privacy and Graph Search here.


Will you use Graph Search once its available?


Source: Facebook


The post Facebook Joins The Search Game, Introduces Graph Search [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



15 January 2013

Wi-Fi Finder Helps You Find Wi-Fi Hotspots Anywhere In The World [iOS]



find wifi hotspotsIs your cellular data at a premium? Unless you are grandfathered into an unlimited plan with your carrier, the chances are that your mobile data runs out rather quickly. The best solution to the problem is to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi. This way you don’t have to worry about sucking down your precious bandwidth, and you are likely to see a speed improvement on Wi-Fi as well.


However, if you want to find a Wi-Fi hotspot, it can often be easier said than done. But with Wi-Fi Finder, that will not be a problem.


With Wi-Fi Finder, you can find both free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots anywhere in the world, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of cellular data again. If you are worried about running out of data on your iPhone, or you are traveling overseas and you don’t want to deal with international data roaming, this is an app that you must have installed on your iPhone.


Features


find wifi hotspots


This app allows you to find Wi-Fi hotspots in one of two ways. The first of these allows you to find hotspots around your current location. From the main screen, you can tap the big “Find Public Wi-Fi Near Me” button. If you are already in the search screen, you can simply tap the locate button on the top left of the screen to search around you at any time.


how to find hotspots


If you are going somewhere, and you want to know the Wi-Fi situation at your destination, you can search for Wi-Fi hotspots instead of having the app use your location. To do this, you can tap the “Search for Wi-Fi World-wide” button or simply click the search box if you are already on the search screen. Type in the area you want to search, and it will bring up the public Wi-Fi there.


wifi and find hotspots


The search results for both options can be displayed on a map or in a list. By default the app shows you the map view of the Wi-Fi hotspots. If you prefer to see a list, simply click the “List View” button to see the same results organized in a text-based list.


how to find hotspots


You can narrow your search by clicking the options button. From here, you can limit the venue type, provider, cost, save a location to recent searches, and more. This will certainly make it easier to find a Wi-Fi hotspot that suits your needs.


how to find hotspots


If you click the Recent button on the bottom of the screen, you will see the search results you saved there. If you plan to come back to a certain search time and time again, saving the results is a great option.


wifi and find hotspots


Next to Recent is an option called Favorites. This is where you will save a particular Wi-Fi location. If you used Wi-Fi at a place and were particularly fond of the service offered, you may want to keep it saved here so you can remember it and come back to it later.


wifi and find hotspots


If you know of a Wi-Fi network that is not listed, you can add it, but each Wi-Fi network is reviewed by the creators of the app, so it may take 4-6 weeks for it to show up within the app. To do this, click the “More” button on the bottom fo the screen and then go to “Submit a Hotspot.” You can also add a new hotspot via the options menu from the search results.


find wifi hotspots


The app also has the ability to store Wi-Fi locations offline, which is great if you know you are going to be traveling somewhere and using data is completely off-limits. You will have to do this in advance, as it requires Wi-Fi to download the Wi-Fi database. To access the offline database, go to “More” and click the option.


Conclusion


If you need help to find Wi-Fi hotspot networks available to the public in your area, this is the app you need to download. It is incredibly easy to use, and it comes with a huge database of Wi-Fi networks from all around the world. If you cannot use cellular data, but still want to access the Internet from your phone, Wi-Fi Finder will solve that problem with ease.


The post Wi-Fi Finder Helps You Find Wi-Fi Hotspots Anywhere In The World [iOS] appeared first on MakeUseOf.