26 January 2013

6 Great Sources for Cheap and Beautiful Business Cards You Can Print

cheap business cardsIf you’re a freelancer or you run a small business, you know that having a great business card is a valuable asset. However, when you’re just starting out, printing business cards can seem a little out of reach pricewise. It doesn’t have to be like that though. These days, there are dozens of low-cost printers who will do a print run of a modest amount of cards for you. All you need to do is choose your card style, add your details and put in your order.

There are even places who offer a free trial for your first batch of cards, online business cards to give you a stylish virtual presence and a great deal of variety for printed cards if you’re willing to pay a little. Check out these great options for cheap business cards that we found!

1. VistaPrint

VistaPrint have patented a way to do small runs of business cards cost effectively, thus allowing them to offer cards at a very cheap rate (normally £17.99 for 250 cards). In order to let you try them out, they also offer a 250-card print run for free if you are a new customer (but you pay for shipping). You can’t beat that!

cheap business cards

If you’re taking up their free trial, they offer a decent range of designs to choose from and allow some personalisation. If you’re paying for a premium run, you can choose from thousands of designs, plus it’s possible to upload your logo and photos.

2. Moo

Moo has made quite a name for itself as a way of creating business cards from social media services like Facebook and Flickr. Moo specialise in creating unique cards for each customer, allowing everyone to design their own cards with their own photography and artwork or to work with templates. Moo also let you use different images on different cards, meaning that in a pack of 50 cards you can have different images on each one!

custom business cards

We’ve previously reviewed Moo’s quality, so we know it to be excellent. Business cards can be purchased for £10.99 for a pack of 50 and are offered in a variety of order sizes up to 600 cards for £101.97. If you want to check out Moo’s quality yourself, order a 10-card sample pack for free. It will be exactly like the premium product, but with a Moo logo printed on it as well.

3. Business Card Star

Using Business Card Star is more about the design process than anything. They allow users to design cards for printing at home, which is a real money-saver as you design and print your cards for free. Of course, they also offer a printing service with high quality cards, which will probably look more professional than the homemade variety.

custom business cards

There are plenty of designs to choose from, plus it’s possible to add your own photos and logos. If you’re printing at home, they charge a fee of US$10 to save a PDF of cards with your own photos and logos on them. If you are having your cards printed by them there is no extra fee for using your own images. Print runs start at US$22.95 + shipping and can be shipped to the US or Canada.

4. Business Card Land

Business Card Land works in much the same way as Business Card Star, as you can download free PDFs of your business cards for home printing or order professional printing via Business Card Star. The design process and the choice of templates are different though, so it’s worth checking out if you want a little variety.

custom business cards

5. Biz Card Creator

Biz Card Creator is yet another free online business card design company, but it has a more limited selection of card styles available. However, if simplicity is your thing, it may be worth trying. They do not offer printing services – in fact, they send you back to VistaPrint if you’re looking to print your cards.

cheap business cards

6. Virtual Business Cards

If virtual business cards sound perfect for you, take a look at these previous posts on easy ways to create virtual business cards, Cardflick, how to create business cards 2.0, and ways to send digital business cards on iPhones. They’re free and they look great. Why not give them a go?

Where do you recommend getting cheap business cards printed?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The post 6 Great Sources for Cheap and Beautiful Business Cards You Can Print appeared first on MakeUseOf.

25 January 2013

Twitter Launches Vine – A Service For Sharing Short Videos [Updates]

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve heard rumblings of Twitter launching some kind of video sharing service, and it looks like those rumors have come to be in the form of a cool new service called Vine. For the time being, using Vine to create videos is only available with the Vine iOS app, but Twitter has made it clear that Vine will be coming to other platforms soon.

In keeping with Twitter’s theme, videos created on Vine are very short. In fact, videos can only be six seconds or less. This will keep long-winded videos off the service, and just like tweets themselves, everything needs to get to the point. Between the short video clips, and the fact that the app is able to record sound, it should be easy enough for Vine users to get their point across in the time allotment.

Creating videos is as simple as holding a finger on the screen to record, and letting go to stop. You can stop as few or as many times as you want, so you can record one continuous six second video or a bunch of short clips. It only records while touching, so you can change the shot and tell a brief story though the videos without actually having to do any editing.

The videos are embedded directly in Tweets, just like a photo shared on a supported image service. Videos can be played on the Twitter website or on the Twitter mobile app. However, on the mobile application, the videos do not loop as they do on the desktop version of Twitter.

Here’s an example of a Tweet made with Vine:


One thing Twitter neglects to mention in its official announcement of Vine is that users can also share videos on Facebook. However, my Vine posts were not showing up on my Facebook Timeline. The app comes with its own social network, so users can share videos within the Vine network even if they don’t have a Twitter or Facebook account.

Source: Twitter

The post Twitter Launches Vine – A Service For Sharing Short Videos [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

7 Vital Google Image Search Hacks

Where do you go when you need to search for something? Probably Google. Where do you go when you need to find images? I’m guessing the same again. Google’s image search has been around for over 12 years, and in that time, it’s advanced from being a cute novelty feature to a powerful search tool, with billions and billions of indexed images.

With all these images right at your fingertips, how do you go about finding the one image you’re really looking for? Over the years, Google has added many useful features to its image search, some more advertised than others. In addition, many features which are not yet available natively can be found on third-part websites. With these vital Google image search hacks, there’s no way in the world you won’t find what you’re looking for.

Note: Yes, I know Google Images is about to change, it’s just been announced today. However, it will take a while before the change rolls out to everyone, and many of these tips will stay helpful even with the new design.

Use Search Tools & Advanced Search

This is pretty obvious, but I want to mention these tools before we go further just in case you’re not using them yet. Google Image Search has seen some significant upgrades in the past several years, and you can now fine-tune your search with just a few clicks.


Click on the “Search tools” button after entering your keywords, and create some quick filters for your search. For example, you can arrange your results by subject, add image-size indicators, look for images in certain colors or sizes, and focus your search on photos, sketches, clip arts and more.

As with any Google search, you can use the advanced search syntax to narrow down your search. For example, look for “chocolate –cake” to avoid any cakes in your results, “chocolate OR cocoa OR cacao” to find images containing any of these words, etc. To access even further options, choose “Advanced search” from the cogwheel menu.

Search For Specific File Types

Although available in advanced search, the file type filter is absent from the more accessible search tools, which is a shame. If you often need to look for specific image file types, you might not want to use the advanced search every single time. Luckily, you don’t have to. Want to find only PNG files? Enter “filetype:png” after your query.


By doing this, not only will you get only the file type you need, a new option will also be added to the Search tools, which you can use to switch the filter to other file types such as JPG, GIF, BMP and more.


You can use the filetype operator to look for any supported image file type.

Get The Old Google Image Search Back


Remember this? If for some reason you really miss this old layout, getting it back is surprisingly easy. All you have to do is enter a search as you normally would, then scroll the page all the way to the bottom. Once there, find the “Switch to basic version” link, and voila. You have the good old image search back.


While not as slick as the current layout, some people may still find the old layout easier to use, and it’s also not as heavy on resources if you’re using an old machine. As simple as it is to do this, Google’s done a pretty good job at hiding it, so most users aren’t even aware it exists.

Find Similar Images

This is another very simple trick, which many users (including me) still manage to miss. There are many add-ons and apps out there that help you find similar images, but this feature is actually built into Google’s image search, albeit somewhat obscurely. If you’re looking for a specific kind of image, and you find one that fits the bill, hovering over it will reveal two new options: More sizes and Similar.


By clicking “Similar” you can find dozens of similar images, which can go to great lengths to helping you find the right image. You can also look for the same image in different sizes.

Search Using Your Own Image

So you can look for similar images to those you found on Google, but what if you want to find similar images to ones you have on your own computer? This too is possible. While in image search, click the small camera icon on the search bar.


In the dialogue that opens, you can either paste an image URL, or upload your own image. Once uploaded, Google will search for any and all images that resemble your image, and will come up with some results.


While it’s very good at finding color resemblances, Google will not always do a good job deciphering the actual subject of the image. For this reason, you might get very accurate results at times, and at other times get images that are similar only in color. Try it out with several images to see for yourself.

Skip Source Website

Sources are important, but when you’re looking at dozens of images one after another, it gets pretty tiresome to have to go through the source website every single time you click an image. Instead of seeing an interesting image and getting to view it immediately, have to first see floating on the source website, and only when you click on “Full-size image” can you get to the actual image. This annoyance be overridden with a simple user script.


The script is called “Google Images direct links”, and you can install it here . All the script does is skip the source website part, bringing you straight to the image once you click it in search results. Some browsers require a script manager in order to install user scripts. For Firefox, download Greasemonkey. For Chrome, you might need Tampermonkey.

Use An Alternative Interface


Can’t stand the Google Images interface no matter how you tweak it? Try alternative layouts, such as Google Image Ripper . While not as feature-rich as the native Google image search, Google Image Ripper makes it easy to download images with one click, and also includes a slick slideshow view to browse through results.


If all you want to do is perform some simple queries, browse photos and download, you might find Google Image Ripper quicker and easier to use.

Bottom Line

Google’s image search is a powerful tool, and with the right tools and know-how, can be used to find pretty much any image you set your mind to. Know of more tips and tricks that help you find the right images? Share them in the comments!

The post 7 Vital Google Image Search Hacks appeared first on MakeUseOf.

8 LinkedIn Hacks You Should Use To Further Your Career

linkedin hacksIf you’re a jobseeker or just keen to move up in the world, you’ve probably set up a LinkedIn profile and started building a network there. You may have put a little thought into your profile at some point and then probably let it stagnate somewhat between moments of enthusiasm for career-building behaviour.

However, this need not be the case. There are a number of great hacks you can use with LinkedIn, some of which will help to keep your profile looking fresh for longer, and all of which will help to further your career in some way. It’s well worth taking a quick look at a few of them to see what you can incorporate into your regular activities.

Learn How To Create A Great LinkedIn Profile

To begin with, you will need to have set up a LinkedIn profile with as much care and attention as possible. If you haven’t already read our manual Learn LinkedIn: How To Build Your Living Resume, then download your free copy now and use that to start yourself off.

linkedin hacks

1. Update LinkedIn With Unique Content Via Apps

To encourage yourself to use LinkedIn more frequently, get a LinkedIn app for your smartphone or tablet. In particular, check out the new iPad app and Windows Phone app. Use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule updates to your LinkedIn Network. Please note, it’s not always advisable to link Facebook and Twitter accounts to LinkedIn as you are talking to a completely different audience.

By using multi-network scheduling tools instead, you are more likely to create unique content just for LinkedIn. Note that scheduling updates doesn’t have to be difficult as you can simply forward a link to a great article. Try to avoid blatant “hire me” posts unless it’s really necessary.

2. See Who’s Been Viewing Your LinkedIn Profile

While viewing your home page on LinkedIn, take a look on the right just under the “People you may know” section. You’ll see a section for “Who’s Viewed Your Profile“. As a free LinkedIn user, clicking on this link will show you a selection of people who have viewed your profile in the last three months. Paid users will see the full list of people who have viewed a profile, although sometimes they will be anonymised somewhat with a message like “One of these 10 people viewed your profile”.

If you can’t afford to pay for a paid account, or you want to narrow down which of those 10 people actually viewed your account, you can always take a screenshot of the list each day until you build up a better picture.

linkedin profile hack

3. Answer Questions Using Answers & LinkedIn Groups

An overlooked tool of LinkedIn is the Answers section, which you can access from the home page by visiting More > Answers. Here you can ask or answer questions, meaning that you can prove your expertise in certain areas. If you are one of the week’s top experts you will be featured on the home page.

linkedin profile hack

LinkedIn have thoughtfully provided access to professional groups via the site. If you want to make the best of your networking efforts, it does pay to give a little of your time to these groups. Focus your attention on a handful of the most relevant groups for your industry and see if you can answer a few questions a day. With any luck, people will notice you and want you to join their professional network, perhaps even recommending you for a new job.

4. Pay Close Attention To Your Network

Take a close look at the people you are connected to via LinkedIn. Pay close attention to the industries people are in, companies which are represented and who you are indirectly connected to. If there are people working in your dream company then make contact early on. Don’t wait until you’re unemployed and desperate for work.

linkedin profile hack

5. Follow Updates From Your Network Using Signal & BottleNose

One great way to see what your network is up to is to use Signal, which is the full LinkedIn feed of things your network has done. Signal is a little like what you see on the home screen, but you can filter it by company, location, seniority, industry or more. You can also expand it to show updates from 2nd and 3rd connections, which makes it really easy to find movers and shakers that meet your criteria.

linkedin hacks

Another idea for following your network is to combine LinkedIn updates from your network with news from other social sources and news with tools like BottleNose or HootSuite. It doesn’t matter what you use, rather that you see what people in your network are saying and are in a position to respond in a timely matter if relevant to you.

6. Build Up Your Recommendations

The best way to build up a collection of great recommendations is to give recommendations yourself. Every now and then, write a great recommendation for someone in your network. This may prompt them to return the favour at some point. If you do this regularly, then over time you will get a wide collection of recommendations from a variety of people in your network. Whatever you do, don’t wait until you need a job. This is a task that can only be done over time.

7. Frequently Update Your LinkedIn Profile

It goes without saying that you should always try to ensure your profile has current information about work roles and positions. Some things which may encourage you to frequently update your resume on LinkedIn are the vast number of resume-creating tools that you can use, which create beautiful resumes using data from LinkedIn. Some of the resume tools are quite visually appealing, so give them a go!

Don’t forget, there are always more LinkedIn tools and tips to check out. Some of these are really fun and will make you more likely to network on LinkedIn.

8. Back Up Your Network Contacts

Many people don’t realise it, but it’s possible to lose access to your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn will sometimes block accounts that are too active. There has also been at least one case where an employer deemed that the account was their property and demanded that it was handed over when the employee left the company. It only takes a few seconds to back up your network. Go to Contacts > Connections, then follow the link in the bottom-right to Export Connections. Easy!

What are your best tips for using LinkedIn?

The post 8 LinkedIn Hacks You Should Use To Further Your Career appeared first on MakeUseOf.

24 January 2013

6 Free Typing Tutors Online That Teach You How To Touch Type [Chrome]

free typing tutorBelieve it or not this is my day job. I get paid to produce content for the Web, writing mostly about technology in all its forms. This means my working day consists of two things – reading and writing. The reading part is easy. I just head online and consume information, some destined to be used for specific articles, more to act as background fodder lurking away in my subconscious to be pulled out when needed. But the writing, well, that’s a little tougher.

I’m not saying writing for a living is a difficult job. Writing in all its forms is an absolute pleasure. However, I’m not a natural typist, and have got by to this point without being adept at touch typing. I don’t quite hunt and peck, instead using a selection of fingers which have learned where the keys are despite my hands hovering far above the keyboard. This does make typos a rarity, but it’s not ideal.

It’s time to do something about this. It’s time to learn how to touch type. But how? By choosing an online and free typing tutor from the following list of six popular typing tutors listed as extensions in the Google Chrome Web Store.

Type Fu

free typing tutor

Layout: Simple and minimalist, with the option to remove extraneous elements. Everything is easy to find, easy to understand, and not crowded out by adverts.

Lessons: There are five sets of lessons, including letters, numbers, and quotes. Each has numerous lessons available, and they get progressively harder.

Levels: There’s a clear learning curve and the rate of progression is one that will encourage while still providing a challenge. There are also various ways of charting your statistics.

Overall: The polished feel, number of options, and extra little touches means Type Fu is a joy to use.


typing tutor

Layout: A little confusing, with the small box containing the quote you’re meant to copy being surrounded by unnecessary detritus. It works, but it isn’t pretty.

Lessons: There’s a distinct lack of variety with the lessons, as they all comprise of short quotes from famous people. This is great for measuring and improving typing speed, but not for learning how to touch type.

Levels: There are no levels as such, instead you choose a quote and type it out. You’ll then informed of the speed and the number and type of mistakes made.

Overall: It does what it says on the tin, but nothing more. Great as a one-off WPM tester, but offers little beyond that.

Type Scout

typing tutor

Layout: A lot of work has been put into how Type Scout looks and feels, but the changeable backgrounds are usually a hindrance rather than a help. The options are a little confusing to navigate.

Lessons: There’s a good variety of lessons, with various modes on offer. The highlight is Typetris (yet another Tetris variant), which sees you hitting the right key before it reaches the bottom of the screen.

Levels: There is a clear and defined learning structure in place, but sadly only registered users can save their progress between sessions. Making it hard to recommend to casual users.

Overall: Good for beginners but nag screens reminding you that you need to pay for the advanced features will put most people off.


typing tutor

Layout: The lesson select screen is laid out in a sensible order, and the actual typing screen removes everything but the keys you’re meant to hit and the fingers you’re meant to hit them with.

Lessons: There are 100 levels in all, split into sections by their difficulty. You begin by learning the position of each letter, before numbers and symbols are added to the mix.

Levels: You have to create an account in order to save your progress between sessions, which is annoying but not the end of the world. Various stats are then tracked, including your average and best WPM.

Overall: TypingClub offers a regimented lesson structure overlaid by fine design sensibilities. Which is all positive.


online typing tutor

Layout: The lesson select screen is clear, concise, and easy to navigate, while the typing screen is well laid out, if not a touch on the small side. The ads, particularly during loading, are annoying.

Lessons: The lessons are split into several sections to allow individual users to find their appropriate starting point. There are also specialty lessons to add variety.

Levels: Again, you have to create an account in order to save your progress and to see your skill level. Thankfully it’s all free, so it just depends whether you want to provide the necessary information.

Overall: While TypingWeb offers a good experience, it’s a little dull and by-the-numbers. Which will appeal to some more than others.

Typing Tutor

free typing tutor

Layout: Typing Tutor is about as simple as it gets, with one screen being all there is to it. You select your lesson and then begin. Unfortunately the animation is outdated, and the ads encroach on each side of the keyboard.

Lessons: There are 16 lessons in all, with different letters gradually being added until the whole keyboard is literally at the end of your fingertips. There’s a distinct lack of excitement or variety on display.

Levels: There are no stats tracking your progress through the course or revealing your WPM count.

Overall: This is an extension only for the purists who need a refresher course in where to position their hands for extensive typing sessions.


KeyHero is great for a quick fix of checking the number of words you type per minute, but as a free typing tutor it’s a toss-up between TypingClub and Type Fu. I’m personally going to stick with Type Fu for the time being because it offers a great user experience without any need to sign up for an account or pay a subscription fee.

If none of these touch typing courses is quite right for you then there are plenty of other online resources to try before you give up. Do you touch type or are you eager to learn how to do so? Is there a website, program, or app that has helped you gain authority over the computer keyboard? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Davidfordaus

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Mount Your Image Files On a Virtual Drive With WinCDEmu [Windows]

wincdemu mounterYour CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are rotting and optical discs as such are slowly disappearing from the market. ISO and other image file formats, however, are here to stay and are a good way to back up existing optical discs.

Once the original disc has degraded beyond repair, you can burn its image backup to a new disc. Or you could give your discs and your wallet a break and just read the data directly from the hard drive. But how do you read ISO files?

Enter WinCDEmu, an open-source CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray disc emulator, which allows you to virtually mount image files of optical discs on your computer, to use them as if the physical disc was inserted on a local drive. WinCDEmu is a Disc Image Tool listed on our Best Windows Software page.

Features Overview

  • Runs on Windows XP / 2003 / Vista / 2008 / 7, 32- and 64-bit;

  • can mount ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CCD, and IMG images with one click;

  • supports data, DVD-video, and BD-video images;

  • offers unlimited amount of virtual drives;

  • drive letters are available when not in use;

  • let’s you create ISO images via Explorer context menu.

Installing & Using WinCDEmu

This is probably the most simple tool you will ever install and use. Once installed, you can instantly mount image files. Double-click on an image file and WinCDEmu will load a small ‘mount disc image’ window with only a few options. You can choose a drive letter, select the disc type, disable autorun, reserve the drive letter (keep drive after restart), and let the tool manage drive letters automatically.

Once you click OK, the image will be mounted, meaning it will open as if you were running the original disc.

wincdemu mounter

You can further simplify the use of WinCDEmu. Launch WinCDEmu settings from Program Files or by clicking the button in the window shown above. Select Let Windows manage drive letters automatically and you won’t see the Mount a disc image window again.

If you do want to see it again, right-click the image file and click Select drive letter & mount.

cdemu how to mount

To increase safety, you can also check the option Require administrator rights (UAC) to mount an image.

To unmount an image, go to your Computer, i.e. where you see the list of devices with removable storage, right-click on a mounted image, and Eject.

To create an ISO image from an optical disc, insert the disc into your optical drive, right-click the disc in the list of devices with removable storage, and select Create ISO image from the menu. Choose a storage location on your hard drive and WinCDEmu will begin to save an ISO file. While the file is written, you can adjust some settings.

wincdemu mounter

How Does WinCDEmu Compare To Virtual Clone Drive?

I recently reviewed Virtual Clone Drive, a similar tool, which also made our Best Windows Software page. The two programs essentially do the same thing, but slightly different. Virtual Clone Drive differs from WinCDEmu in that it offers a System Tray icon, through which you can mount and unmount images.

Virtual Clone Drive also lets you pre-mount virtual drives without content to reserve drive letters. What Virtual Clone Drive does not support is creating ISO images.


WinCDEmu is a straight forward and simple tool to create and mount disc images on your Windows computer. Once installed, it simply works and you won’t even notice it’s there. If you still want to look into alternatives, have a look at the following articles:

How do you manage your optical discs? Have you discovered the benefits of image files and virtual drives, yet?

The post Mount Your Image Files On a Virtual Drive With WinCDEmu [Windows] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

23 January 2013

Springpad’s User Interface Makes It an Awesome iPhone Cross-Platform Notebook

springpad notebook ideasEvery user of iOS devices would do well to have at least one dedicated advanced notebook or journal on their device. Springpad, as well as Evernote, is one such notebook that I recommend.

I’ve already written about the advantages of the visual orientation of Springpad, and if you’re looking to use the service on your iPhone or iPad, Springpad‘s iOS cross-platform is well designed and straightforward to use. For the most part, it mirrors the user interface of its popular web browser platform.

Basic Layout

Springpad is highly useful for saving recipes, scanning barcodes to create wishlists of products, bookmarking articles and documents for reading later, developing personal to-do lists, collaborating with coworkers on a project with notes, planning your vacation, and much more.

springpad notebook ideas

It’s best to get started with Springpad using its online platform. All of your content of course will sync to the Springpad app on your iPhone or other iOS device. Springpad’s mobile app has a simple two column interface, with the left side listing all of your notebooks, and the right sliding column displays the content of selected notebooks.

springpad ideas

You can view content as a List or a Gallery. I personally think the Gallery listing has always been the advantage of Springpad’s user interface. Most people are visual readers, and the Gallery listing typically helps you to locate specific content faster.

springpad ideas

Adding Content

The nice size circled + button at the bottom of an opened notebook is what you tap to add new content to a selected notebook. In addition to regular text notes, Springpad can handle photos, audio files, task lists and checklists, bar scans, and event and contact listings.

springpad ideas

Springpad also has special listings for movies, TV shows, music, books, products, wine, recipes, and of course bookmarks. For example, tapping on the Movies icon will get you a listing of the most recent popular movies released. You can select a movie and “Spring It!” to a new or existing notebook, as well as post that listing to Facebook and/or Twitter.

springpad review

The Place icon will show you a list of nearby restaurants, and you can also do custom searches. The Contact listing is useful for adding contacts that you don’t want to go into your default iOS contact list. And Springpad’s Reminder feature also includes an alarm.

springpad review

Other Features

From within the Springpad app you can share links to individual notebooks, as well as items within. And like Evernote you can share entire notebooks with other Springpad users.

springpad review

The Explore feature allows you to view spotlighted Springpad notebooks, new “Springs” (new content added to Springpad), as well as the ability to search for particular topics. All of the public content added to Springpad can in turn be added to your own notebooks. You can also subscribe to the notebooks of other users, similar to how it is done in Pinterest.

The advantage of Springpad over Evernote is that Springpad offers a way to share notebooks publicly so they can easily be found and followed.


The Settings in Springpad includes a way for you to add the Safari Web Clipper that allows you to save things to Springpad directly from websites in the Safari browser of your iPhone. You can also install a Quick Add Shortcut that places a button on your device’s homescreen so you can quickly add new items to Springpad.

Evernote 9

The settings for each notebook allows you to customize the color, theme, and accent of each notebook, as well as select privacy settings, and category and tags.

springpad notebook ideas

I use both Springpad and Evernote, and personally I find the user interface of Springpad easier to navigate. However, Springpad does not have the popular third-party support given to Evernote. In other words, you can directly share selected content from many other iOS apps, as well as the web, to your Evernote account. Such direct sharing is not widely available to Springpad.

Let us know what you think of Springpad and how you’re using it.

The post Springpad’s User Interface Makes It an Awesome iPhone Cross-Platform Notebook appeared first on MakeUseOf.

Anonymous Group threatens UK Government

The hacking group, Anonymous threatens UK government to changed current systems. They warned government to assist their requests another they have declared war.

Greetings citizens of the world, we are anonymous.

Government of the United Kingdom, It has come to our attention, that despite our continued warnings, you have decided to disregard our requests to assist the people of this country, and have persisted in running a system which only benefits yourselves and the giant corporate bodies operating here.

We have asked politely on many occasions that you change your attitude towards leadership, that you serve the country rather than control it, that you maintain the rights and freedoms of citizens. Instead, you have decided to impose worsening austerity measures upon the people of the UK, increasing taxes for citizens and small businesses, making cuts to our National Health Service, education system, pensions and police force.

You have told the people that the only option out of the financial crisis is to make cuts and have made this humours joke of “we are all in this together”, while simultaneously giving tax breaks to the wealthy corporations, enormous bonuses to the bankers who are responsible for the financial crisis in our country, and increasing your own wages.

You have created to system which ensures the poor remain poor, and the wealthy remain wealthy. You continue to infringe on the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people, attempting to gain access to our private and confidential information. It is now very clear to us that you have no intention of running the country for our people, but you will continue to run it to benefit yourselves.

This system has failed us. We now have homeless people dying on the streets this winter, people unable to support their families. People can no longer afford their education; you keep the elderly in work for much longer, keeping jobs and opportunities for younger people out of reach. The number of unemployed has skyrocketed. In response, you force those on benefits into unpaid labour, doing more hours unpaid than those who are properly employed. You add insult to injury, we say enough is enough.

To the UK government, you have made an enemy of Anonymous, you have angered us considerably and we pose a significant threat to you. You disregard the requests of the people and continue to operate for your own selfish gain. Anonymous is not a small group of powerless people to ignore, we are an organised , globally active, collective of like-minded individuals and our message is clear, we declare war on this current system you have imposed on us. Your worst enemy is now your own people. The revolution has begun.

We are anonymous,

We are legion,

We do not forgive,

We do not forget,

Expect us and respect us

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Faking It: 8 Of The Best Spoof News Websites

spoof newsKeeping up with the news of the day, whether it be local, national, or international, is important. It’s never good to bury your head in the sand, unaware of what is happening around you. However, sometimes the news is too damn depressing, to the point that taking too much of it to heart could potentially leave you with little hope for the future of humanity.

It’s at this point that an injection of humor is needed, preferably straight into your brain. But as doctors are unable to prescribe laughter, despite it being the best medicine, you need to find other sources to get your fix. Amazingly there isn’t even a need to travel far from the news, you just need to choose news websites with less of a handle on reality.

What follows are 8 of the best spoof news websites that should lighten your mood and give you fodder with with which you can catch out your less intelligent friends.

The Onion

spoof news

The Onion is the daddy of all fake news sites, and with good reason. It’s always well-written, always topical, and, most importantly, always funny. It works so well mainly because it’s run like a proper news organization, with a front page full of the headlines, sections dedicated to different subjects, and even video clips with high production values. All in all, The Onion is an absolute gem that deserves to be bookmarked by all those who like to laugh.

The Spoof

spoof news websites

The Spoof may not be as professional as The Onion but it’s still home to some insanely funny fake news stories. A staggering number of writers have contributed to the site throughout its life, creating topical articles with eye-catching headlines. All of which are completely and utterly made up, obviously.

As well as newspaper-like sections dedicated to different subjects, there are jokes, caption competitions, and celebrity diaries, all of which add to the parody.

The Daily Mash

spoof news websites

The Daily Mash is for Brits or those from sunnier climes with a penchant for all things British. Even the weather. International news is featured, alongside sports and politics to name just a handful of the various topics. But the website is British and so most of the stories included on it have a British bent.

The Daily Mash even has its own dedicated agony aunt, and astrological horoscopes from Psychic Bob. Strangely these are often more accurate than those featured in real newspapers.

The Daily Currant

spoof news websites

The Daily Currant may not be as popular as others on this list, and it also suffers from a serious dearth of articles, but it’s still a must-see fake news website. The content is always topical and often cutting, covering subjects that other, more serious publications, won’t touch for fear of upsetting their readership.

There are sections devoted to both science and technology, two subjects of particular interest to our own readership here at MakeUseOf.

The UnReal Times

spoof news stories

The UnReal Times is the Indian version of The Onion, and is therefore likely to appeal most to those from India and the countries that border it. With over 100,000 people following the site on Facebook it’s clearly a big deal.

The UnReal Times is updated multiple times a day, with major headlines vying for your attention alongside Indian-centric topics such as cricket and Bollywood. There are also columnists and comics, as well as the fantastically named Fikileaks.

Borowitz Report

spoof news stories

The Borowitz Report is a little different than the rest of the entries on this list, being a column for The New Yorker written by comedian and author Andy Borowitz. This means it isn’t updated as often as the likes of The Onion, but the content that does appear is always comedy gold, being exceptionally well-written and researched.

Almost all of the articles are focused on the United States, but anyone interested in current affairs should be able to figure out the source being parodied.

Faux News

spoof news stories

Faux News isn’t Fox News… thankfully. Fox News is, well, Fox News. Without besmirching anyone’s particular political affiliations, Fox News is for people of a certain persuasion, with sensationalist headlines and certain biases. Faux News takes that model but turns it on its head, with spoof news stories presented in a headline-grabbing manner with little substance to back up the “facts.”

A clever feature is the addition of a link to the real news story that prompted the parody.

Derf Magazine

spoof news

Derf Magazine offers another spin on the genre, with a weekly format in the style of a lifestyle publication. Derf is based in Cincinatti, so there is lots of local content focused on that city, but most of the articles that appear in print and on the Web will also make sense to the rest of the U.S. and beyond. There are a host of different sections, such as sports, politics, and entertainment, as well as some extremely funny horoscopes and obituaries for pets… even goldfish.


There’s one crucial thing to remember when reading any and all of the spoof news sites listed above… the news isn’t real. I know, it’s pretty obvious to the likes of you and I, but there are some particularly gullible people out there who are willing to show off their stupidity by believing fake news stories to the point they share them on social networking sites. Which is where Literally Unbelievable (the perfect site to read when bored at work) comes in.

Do you have a favorite fake/spoof/satirical news site? Whether it made the list or not please let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. Or you could link to the best fake news story you’ve ever read… just don’t admit it had you fooled, even if it was just for a moment.

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