12 May 2013

Would You Pay To Watch YouTube Videos? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Last week we asked you how many devices that can connect to the Internet you own. Due to a slight glitch causing the poll to disappear from the post for a while, not many people had the chance to vote, but I highly recommend reading through the comments from some interesting insights on our connectivity!

Out of 250 readers who voted, 1% own 0 devices (that’s 2 whole people!), 15.5% own 1-3 devices, 35.5% own 4-6 devices, 23% own 7-10 devices, and 25% of the readers who voted own more than 10 devices that can connect to the Internet. Take that, 90s!

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

Don’t forget to check out last week’s best comment by Vishal Srivastava, who won 150 reward points for his interesting comment!

This week’s poll question is: Would You Pay To Watch YouTube Videos?

Want to make some extra MakeUseOf reward points? The most useful comment on the poll will be awarded 150 points!

One of the biggest things that happened this week was the launch of paid channels on YouTube. While limited in number and availability to start, this is not something that’s going to stay small for long. YouTube is a video platform that’s always been completely free, and although ads are becoming more and more common, asking people to pay for channel subscriptions is quite a leap of faith from Google. Or is it? Would you gladly pay a subscription for a channel you like, or do you prefer watching ads? Should YouTube stay free forever, or is this a good step towards making it a better place?

While the poll only includes three answers, you’re more than welcome to explain your views and full opinions in the comments!

The post Would You Pay To Watch YouTube Videos? [MakeUseOf Poll] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

Project64 – The Best Way To Emulate Nintendo 64 Games

nintendo 64 emulatorI still remember the exact day that I unboxed my Nintendo 64. I’ve always been a huge gamer and a bit of a nerd, and that console was a big step for me. Playing my NES, SNES, and Genesis every day became a thing of the past once I got my hands on Wave Race 64, Super Mario 64, and Diddy Kong Racing. I never picked those consoles up again.

With others titles like Super Smash Bros., GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and the amazing games in the Mario Party and Legend of Zelda series, it’s no secret why this console is so beloved amongst gamers my age. The Nintendo 64 is definitely one of the best gaming consoles of all time, and it’s great news that you can experience it again on the PC using an emulator like Project64.


Despite having been around forever, the Project64 Nintendo 64 emulator gets updated quite regularly. The latest version, 2.1, works on all 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows. You can download the binaries here, which is linked directly from the main page of the website. The installer is just a little over four megabytes in size.

Project64 does include some bloat in the installer that you’ll need to opt out of. To make sure that all MakeUseOf readers do this correctly, I’ll help walk you through it.

nintendo 64 emulator

To opt out of the Delta Toolbar, make sure you select the Advanced option and untick all of the checkboxes before proceeding to the next screen.

emulator nintendo 64 games

The Iminient Minibar is also something you definitely don’t want. Simply untick this checkbox and you can proceed with the rest of the installation as normal.

I definitely look down on installers that include optional toolbars and other garbage of that nature, but if you’re careful through the Project64 installation then it’s easily avoidable. Developers pack their installers with these in an effort to make money. Always remember that Project64 is completely free software, and you shouldn’t particularly hate them for it.

Configuring Project64

emulator nintendo 64 games

After successfully installing Project64, you should be prompted to select your preferred language. Afterwards, you’ll be taken to the main interface for Project64. Before we get into loading and playing ROMs, let’s check out some settings and features.

emulator nintendo 64 games

The Graphics Configuration is just as it sounds. On this screen, you can set your windowed resolution, full screen resolution, and syncing and filtering options.

emulate nintendo games

The Configure Input window allows you to change your key settings. You can play Project64 using either a keyboard or USB controller. Project64 supports the Nintendo 64 joystick and even the Memory Pak. I find it incredibly difficult to play most Nintendo 64 games without using a USB controller, so I’d really recommend it. The joystick is extremely difficult to mimic through keyboard keys, and it’s just very uncomfortable to do so.

Getting ROMs

As I’ve suggested in other articles regarding video game emulation, CoolROM is flat-out the best place online to get Nintendo 64 ROMs (or ROMs for any other console). Use it! Don’t rely on shady alternatives.

Remember, you are only legally allowed to download ROMs if you own a license for them and you will not distribute or attempt to profit from the ROMs. Use discretion and read the disclaimers!

Download the games you want from CoolROM and put them all in the same folder, anywhere you want.

Loading ROMs

The next thing you’re going to want to do, after getting your ROMs, is select the directory that holds all of them. You can do that under the Options menu.

emulate nintendo games

Here’s what the main interface of your Project64 may look like afterwards:

emulate nintendo games

Playing a ROM is then as simple as double-clicking it in the list. Be advised that not all ROMs you download are going to work perfectly, and under the Notes columns you can see any reported issues that your ROM may have.

Shown above, you can see that I’ve loaded arguably one of the worst games ever known to the Nintendo 64 – Superman!

nintendo 64 emulator

Saving your game state on Project64 is as easy as selecting to do so from the System menu, where you can also restore your saved states.

Project64 just does Nintendo 64 emulation correctly. There are Nintendo 64 emulator alternatives, but none as simple, smooth, and responsive as what Project64 offers. I’ve been using it for years and can’t find a single issue to complain about, and I hope my fellow Nintendo64 fans are able to find the same experience with it.

What’s your favorite Nintendo 64 game? What do you think of this emulator? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

The post Project64 – The Best Way To Emulate Nintendo 64 Games appeared first on MakeUseOf.

What Are The Best Gmail Plugins For Chrome?

gmail plugin chromeTweak Gmail to work exactly the way you want it to. Whether you want to integrate social media icons in your signature, see more information about your contacts, or deal with an email later instead of now, Chrome’s seemingly endless collection of extensions has you covered.

If you’re looking to get the most out of Gmail, you’ve come to the right place.

We take great pride in our list of the best Chrome extensions, and try to update it regularly. There are more than a few Gmail-related extensions to be found there, but they’re not all there – and there is no way to filter to only Gmail-specific plugins. This list is an attempt to remedy that.

Some of these extensions I use; some I hear about constantly from friends and colleagues. Everyone’s workflow is different, so not every extension will work for everyone. If you love Gmail, however, at least one of these tools is bound to make you happy.

Rapportive: Connect With Your Contacts

Email is, of course, only one way of connecting with people online. It makes sense, then, to integrate social networking sites with your email – if it’s done properly. Google knows this, so they integrated a single social network with Gmail – Google Plus.

If you need to connect with people who don’t work with Google, however, Rapportive is here. This browser extension shows you the social profiles – and recent activity – of anyone you’re communicating with online. It even gives you a quick way to connect with the people you’re contacting, if that’s something you’re interested in.

gmail plugin chrome

There’s a distinct chance this plugin could become terrible someday – it was recently acquired by LinkedIn. For now, however, it’s a pretty great Gmail extension for Chrome. Read more about Rapportive for Chrome (and know it works for several other browsers).

Boomerang: Schedule Emails For Future Reading

Email is overwhelming, and most of it involves people wanting you to do something. If you like to keep your inbox clean – and have a message you need to deal with at some point in the future – the aptly named Boomerang for Gmail is probably right for you. Thrown an email away only for it to come back to you later.

best gmail plugins

It’s particularly useful if you’re an Inbox Zero practitioner, but I think anyone can come up with a use for this one. Read more about Boomerang for Gmail

Use Gmail While Offline

Sometimes you’re simply not online. Many occasionally use third party email clients alongside Gmail for just this reason, but it’s not really necessary. If you’re a Chrome user you can use Gmail offline from within the browser – you simply need the appropriate Chrome app.

best gmail plugins

This simple, official Chrome app downloads as much of your email as you like. You won’t get the full Gmail experience – the interface is quite different. But you can read and respond to emails, knowing everything will be synced the next time you connect to the web. Read more about Offline Gmail.

WiseStamp: Create Fancier Signatures

Gmail, like most email clients, allows you to set a signature – but it’s boring. At least, that’s how many Gmail users feel, which is why WiseStamp exists. This Chrome extension allows you to easily add images, social networking icons and much more to your Gmail signature.

best gmail plugins

If you really want to spice up your email signatures this is not an extension to miss. Read more about WiseStamp.

Attachments.me: Explore Your Attachments Like A Pro

Gmail’s built-in search is great…if you’re searching for something within an actual email. If you’re trying to find text within a particular attachment you’d better remember the file name.

Unless, of course, you’ve installed Attachments.me. This extension adds all kind of extension-specific features to Gmail, including a better way to search:

If you struggle to keep track of attachments, this is not an extension to miss. Read more about Attachments.me.

Any.Do: A Better To-Do List

Find the default tasks service in Gmail too limited? You’re not alone. Luckily for you, popular alternative Any.Do is now available for Chrome.

best gmail plugins chrome

Okay, so this isn’t strictly-speaking a Gmail extension. It is, however, a replacement for a part of Gmail many find lacking – and as such worth mentioning here.

Gmelius: Make Gmail Minimalist

Love Gmail, but wish you could remove certain features from it? Gemlius lets you do just that.

gmail plugin chrome

The extension is basically a series of checkboxes you can turn off to remove particular Gmail features. It also allows you to remove formatting from incoming emails, and adds attachment icons to your inbox. This one is worth exploring if you’re the kind of person who loves to tweak – and because you’re reading this article, I’m fairly certain you are. Read more about Gmelius.

Anything Else?

Try as I might, I could never compile a complete list of the great Gmail plugins for Chrome. With our powers combined, however, this should be perfectly possible. So I ask you: which awesome Gmail extensions for Chrome did I miss? Point them out in the comments below, and together we can make this a real collection of the best Gmail plugins for Chrome.

Don’t like installing extensions? Check out Gmail’s Labs instead. It’s a collection of advanced features you can add to Gmail without any extensions.

The post What Are The Best Gmail Plugins For Chrome? appeared first on MakeUseOf.

Ubuntu 13.04: What’s New In Raring Ringtail? [Linux]

raring ringtail new featuresOn April 25th, the newest version of one of the most popular Linux distributions was released — Ubuntu 13.04, codenamed “Raring Ringtail”. Every new release of Ubuntu warrants the question of what’s new and whether people should try it out or upgrade from an older release.

Unlike previous releases of Ubuntu, 13.04 doesn’t bring extraordinary new visual features which may make some people even more skeptical about this release than others. So what exactly is new, and should you really upgrade?

Under-the-Hood Improvements

While Canonical wanted to include a major feature called Smart Scopes in Ubuntu 13.04, which would have enhanced the Unity Dash’s search capabilities to include more online sources aside from Amazon, it was delayed for 13.10. With this and other features being delayed for the next release, development on 13.04 quickly turned into a push for quality and polish. As such, plenty of software has been updated to help improve the overall quality of the release.

Although new versions of software is included in every Ubuntu release, this release especially adds some polish, with filesystem and graphics enhancements in the kernel, a faster LibreOffice, and others. Most importantly, the Unity desktop environment received plenty of love from Canonical developers, making it more stable and pleasing to use by reducing the amount of “papercut” bugs.


Because of the focus on polish in this release, the new release along with its updated software appears to run noticeably faster on a number of my systems. Startup and shutdown times have also improved quite a bit. This is pretty refreshing to see as Ubuntu’s speed has regressed over the last few releases after their strong emphasis on speed with 10.04.

Visual Improvements

raring ringtail new features

There has also been a lot of tiny visual improvements here and there. Window snap animations (when you drag a window to an edge on your screen to either maximize it or make it fill half your screen) are different; the popups along the Unity dock now fade in and out; there are new Unity dash preview animations; and a new, friendly, and translucent shutdown dialog. The icons for “Files”, Ubuntu Software Center, and Software Updater have been changed, and Nautilus has been updated and slightly renovated.

If you have, as an example, multiple Chrome windows open, you can now hover your mouse over the Chrome button in the Unity dock and scroll to switch between windows. You can also now control which installed applications can use which of your online accounts, and the Bluetooth dropdown menu has been updated to include on/off toggles.

Ubuntu One has also received a new Sync menu where you can turn the service on or off, as well as access other Ubuntu One functions. If the menu weren’t packed with Ubuntu One features, it would almost appear as if Dropbox could be integrated into the Sync menu as well, provided the Dropbox application receives an update to be able to do so. The workspaces feature is now disabled, but can be re-enabled in the system settings.

New Lenses

raring ringtail new features

Unity has also received two new lenses with 13.04 — the Photos lens and the Social lens. The Photos lens can pick up and search through images located on your online accounts or imported via Shotwell. Because Gwibber has been removed from this release (and possibly only this release), the Social lens is there to help people connect to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn directly from the dash.

Canonical’s Roadmap

While this release may seem a bit lackluster when it comes to features, Raring Ringtail is still a great release that doesn’t throw Canonical’s roadmap off track. Now that they’ve accomplished a lot of polish work, including speed improvements, they will have an easier time getting Ubuntu ready for their releases on smartphones, tablets, and TVs. Before, some core components such as Unity would have run far too slowly to be usable on a mobile device.

Should You Upgrade?

So, now that we know what’s new, should you try Ubuntu if you haven’t yet done so before? Absolutely! Ubuntu comes packed with plenty of great software, and it is now speedy enough for any user to enjoy on any system. For those already running Ubuntu, is it worth upgrading? Not necessarily. As Ubuntu 13.04 doesn’t come with a lot of new features, you may not get much out of an upgrade without having to do a lot of work and running the risk that something goes wrong during the upgrade process.

However, if you value polish and speed improvements, then I recommend that you upgrade. As there aren’t any major features, most packages will simply update to newer versions, making this upgrade relatively painless compared to previous upgrades. I went ahead and upgraded my computers without any issues, and I am definitely loving the polish and speed.

What’s your favorite feature in Ubuntu? What would you like to see Canonical do with Ubuntu 13.10? Let us know in the comments!

The post Ubuntu 13.04: What’s New In Raring Ringtail? [Linux] appeared first on MakeUseOf.