Netflix has launched a nice update for its iOS application that adds some useful new features, and brings a new look to parts of app. While it’s not a complete redesign like we’ve seen from apps such as LinkedIn recently , it definitely makes some useful changes. The first thing you will notice is a slight interface change: The new UI makes it possible to quickly flip through content you’ve already started watching, which will make it easier to go back to the things you enjoy most. This change should make getting through the interface and into the video content a quicker process, which at the end of the day, is what Netflix is really all about. The episode selector has been tweaked, and the iPad version of the app has received a completely new one, so choosing an episode should be even easier, whether you’re using an iPhone or an iPad. The next big change is best noticed while playing a movie or TV show. The audio and subtitle options have received a facelift, so adjusting them during playback should be a little easier. It’s not the biggest change, but it should come in handy. The update also includes some bug fixes and performance enhancements, as usual. The update is available now for free from the App Store, but a subscription to the Netflix service is required to watch the content on the service. Have you used the new version of Netflix on iOS? What did you think? Source: iTunes via Engadget The post Netflix 4.0 Now Available On iOS, Brings Better Controls & Easier Access To Content [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf .
Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool website round-ups delivered to your daily email, subscribe here . Add Your Website Here! YouTube Capture for iOS – Uploading videos to YouTube is something the iPhone and other iOS-powered devices can already do, but now there’s an app developed by Google themselves designed to shoot, enhance and upload videos to YouTube in record time. The app is called Capture, and it’s designed to be ready to shoot from the second the app is opened. Users can even opt to lock the device. Read more: YouTube Capture For iOS: Quickly Upload Videos To YouTube Freemore Audio Video Suite – It would be very convenient if media files of the same type came in the same file format, but each file format has its own flaws which makes the existence of other formats necessary. But here to provide you with functions of many conversion apps in a single package is a tool called Freemore Audio Video Suite. Read more: Freemore Audio Video Suite: All In One Media Converter MultiCleaner for Android – You may not realise it, but your Android smartphone creates a lot of logs based on what you do every day. Over time, these logs can accumulate, slow down your device or simply put your privacy on the line. If you’re looking for an app that will search for and destroy these logs then MultiCleaner might just be for you. Read more: MultiCleaner For Android: Delete All Your Phone’s Logs At Once Everbot – There are many note taking applications on the Internet. Of them all, Evernote is perhaps the most popularly used one. All sorts of notes are recorded on the site. Many of these notes include information that you would like to include while composing an email. Here to save you from the inconvenience of switching between your email and Evernote is Everbot. Read more: Everbot: Share Notes by Integrating Evernote into Gmail & Google Calendar FreeThePhotos – After the furor surrounding Instagram’s proposed terms of service changes, many users were quick to assume that their time with the retro photo filter app was over. Developers are quickly coming up with ways to save all Instagram account content and migrate it to rival Flickr instead. The tool is called FreeThePhotos. Read more: FreeThePhotos: Migrate Instagram Photos Over To Flickr With A Click Add Your Website Here! These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here . Or follow us via RSS feed . The post Cool Websites and Tools [April 21st 2013] appeared first on MakeUseOf .
Cool Websites and Tools [April 21st 2013]
With Spotify and similar music-streaming services on the rise, the run-of-the-mill stereo installation is starting to look more and more inadequate. Hook up your laptop or desktop computer — or even your phone — to your sound system, and you’ll have a stereo installation that’ll rarely leave you wanting more. The main problem with this setup is that if you’re sitting with friends, computer-stereo-hybrid blasting away at the other side of the room, it’s often a chore to play DJ. If you don’t enjoy the benefits of AirPlay , queueing a new album on that computer requires just as much work as it would on a conventional stereo. That is, unless you start involving your mobile devices and an app like Spot Remote for iOS. Spot Remote ($2.99) Spot Remote is a small application for your iPhone and iPad that allows you to remotely control your Spotify-equipped Mac OS X computer. Instead of crossing the room to access your computer, Spot Remote allows you to remotely manage Spotify’s music; skipping songs, queueing artists and even creating a Spotify radio station. In fact, Spot Remote looks very similar to the Spotify app for the iPhone or iPad. The main difference being that, instead of controlling the music that’s coming from your mobile device’s speakers, you’re playing DJ with the Spotify client hosted on your Mac. You may not have access to all the same features you have on your computer, but there’s an unmistakable benefit to being able to control a central music installation, no matter which device you hold in your hand. Installation and Setup Like many of the applications that make your computer and iOS devices play nice, Spot Remote is comprised of two parts; a desktop client and an iOS app. To use Spot Remote, you’ll need to install both. The desktop client can be downloaded from the website without charge. This also means there’s no limit to the number of computers you can control with the Spot Remote app on your iOS device. The iOS Spot Remote app will only set you back $2.99 for a universal app which works on both the iPhone and iPad, so if you buy one, you can use it on both devices. After installing the desktop client, your computer should show up in the Spot Remote app. If your iPad is unable to detect your computer, make sure your iPad and computer are on the same network and the Spot Remote desktop client is running. Restart the Spotify desktop client and go to Settings > Show available servers in the Spot Remote iOS app. Search As mentioned above, the Spot Remote iOS app feels mighty similar to the Spotify iOS app. There’s some overlap in functionality, too. You can search Spotify’s database for tracks, artists and albums as you would in the Spotify app. Select a song or album to play it on your connected Mac OS X computer. Although the search functionality in Spot Remote for the iPad works like a charm, sometimes the interface seems to be designed primarily for the iPhone and only starts to look good once you’ve browsed through several tabs, as shown in the screenshot above. Control Although queueing music will often involve using the Spot Remote’s search, you can navigate the Spotify library a number of ways. Any playlists you’ve created in Spotify or playlists you’ve found through ShareMyPlaylists are also accessible through Spot Remote. The top lists you see when you open Spotify — either music recommended for you specifically or music that’s popular in your region — can also be found in Spot Remote’s sidebar. More advanced features are available through Spot Remote’s pop-up menu. Press and hold any song in the search results or one of your playlists to show a pop-up context menu, as shown below. Similar to the Spotify application, here you can star and queue a song, add it to a playlist or even start a radio station. In the end, if you’re not looking for music, you’ll spend most of your time in the Now Playing screen of Spot Remote. This screen, shown in the screenshot above, can be opened by pressing the full-screen arrows in the lower left corner of the Spot Remote application. This simple, yet elegant screen allows you to skip through songs and toggle different play modes. More importantly, even if you can’t access the wide variety of Spotify apps , if you use one of these to start start a playlist through Spotify’s fully featured desktop client, you can still view and skip songs in Spot Remote’s now playing screen. Download: Spot Remote ($2.99) at the App Store How do you control your Spotify music installation? Give us a sneak peek of your Spotify workflow, and tell us about your tips and tricks in the comments section below the article! The post Control Spotify on Your Mac Using Spot Remote [iOS] appeared first on MakeUseOf .
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Control Spotify on Your Mac Using Spot Remote [iOS]
Social media has a reputation for serving narcissistic purposes, encouraging users to share minute details about their day that no one really wants to know. The fact of the matter is that social media tools have gone far beyond status updates. Twitter has become a heavyweight in the breaking news world , has become a way to track online trends, and is a creative outlet. You can also take your tweets offline with services that allow you to turn your tweets into a published book . Advertising agencies are at the front of the line finding creative ways to get more out of Twitter. Whether it’s with the use of hashtags, crowd-sourcing, or simply just finding creative ways to jazz up their Twitter account page, we’ve found 5 interesting Twitter marketing campaigns from around the world. To see just how much you can get out of Twitter and how useful a tool it can be for promoting a product, concept or event, read on: Metropole Tweetphony While it’s not hard to imagine Twitter being used as a creative tool for writers, you wouldn’t expect it to be used as a creative tool for musicians. But the Netherlands-based Metropole Orchestra managed to do just that with a recent campaign that not only showed just how far you can push Twitter creatively, but also managed to save their funding. They went about this by crowd-sourcing and livestreaming an 8-hour long concert . The music was crowd-sourced by allowing Twitter users to submit Tweet compositions to create a Tweetphony. Users visited the Tweetphony website , where they could compose a twitter tune on a virtual keyboard or listen to other users’ submissions. The mini-compositions were submitted using musical letters which were then converted into musical sheets. The orchestra playing out Twitter submitted compositions can all be seen on their YouTube channel . Smart Car Argentina Smart Car Argentina turned Twitter into a 21st century version of the flipbook. Instead of using paper, however, they used ASCII art and successive tweets. If you happened to already follow the Smart Car Argentina Twitter account the posts might not have made much sense in your Twitter stream. But if you go to the Twitter account and scroll down to their last tweets, you’ll find a moving image of a Smart Car driving through the city. Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Ben & Jerry’s launched a Twitter-based campaign to promote Fair Trade products. It did this in an incredibly creative way by encouraging users to donate their unused Twitter characters by promoting Fair Trade. Ben & Jerry set up a site – FairTweets - complete with a Chrome and Firefox extension. Users who participated were able to donate their unused characters to promote links or content about World Fair Trade Day depending on how much space was left in the tweet. So how successful was the campaign? Ben & Jerry’s managed to get over 500,000 characters on Twitter dedicated to the subject of Fair Trade. White House #40Dollars Campaign The White House launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #40Dollars. Twitter users were encouraged to tweet what they can buy with $40. This wasn’t the White House’s first attempt at using Twitter hashtags to get a DC-based discussion to go viral, with conversations on immigration, and more taking place on Twitter in the past. The #40Dollars campaign was an attempt to get a discussion going online on tax-cuts that the White House was fighting. In their own words, they described the Twitter marketing campaign as follows: “The White House called on Americans to add their voice to the conversation in Washington, DC about why we need to extend the payroll tax cut. If Congress fails to extend this tax cut, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck. Over the year, that adds up to about $1,000. Opponents of the payroll tax cut dismiss its impact by insisting $40 isn’t a lot of money, but that’s not the case for many families who are already working hard to make ends meet. Forty dollars buys a tank of gas or a fridge and pantry full of groceries. It covers a water bill or the cost of a prescription.” They storified people’s responses here . Twitter-Powered Vending Machine Campaigns encouraging users to tweet a specific phrase or hashtag to enter a giveaway or get a freebie has become incredibly common now. A South African advertising agency, CowAfrica, took this to a whole other level by giving Twitter users a free ice tea. How did they go about doing this? By tweeting #BOSTWEET4T to the vending machine’s Twitter account , and a Twitter-powered vending machine would pop out a free ice tea. Have you come across any interesting Twitter marketing campaigns? Be sure to share them with us in the comments. The post More Than Updates – 5 Creative Twitter Marketing Campaigns appeared first on MakeUseOf .
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More Than Updates – 5 Creative Twitter Marketing Campaigns
Facebook has recently been on a roll with updates, and it appears that the constant add-ons aren’t going to end any time soon. The newest addition from Facebook comes to Android users in the US, who have just received free VoIP voice calling for Facebook Messenger. The service already added free VoIP calling for Canada’s Android and iOS Messenger users in January, so stateside users haven’t had to wait very long. Messenger’s VoIP calling has extended to 24 countries, but based on the success of recent changes, it would be an unsurprising move for the company to make a global release. According to The Verge , a Facebook engineer stated that the US update for free calling was “only a blip” on the company’s servers. To make a call, all you have to do is tap the “i” button in a Messenger conversation and select Free Call. If you’re having a conversation using Chat Heads, you’ll have to move things over to Messenger in order for free calling to work. As mentioned in our last report about Messenger’s free calling in Canada, VoIP isn’t anything new — services such as Skype and Viber have been offering it for a while — but because of Facebook’s close social integration with its users and its recent development of Home for Android , its likely that this will result in more common VoIP usage. You can download the Facebook Messenger for Android app from the Google Play Store . This recent seamless integration of Facebook’s mobile features could be the start of a new social networking revolution — especially for those of you who are on Android. With that said, we’d like to know your opinion. Do you believe that Facebook’s free calling for Android is a good decision? Will you make use of Facebook’s VoIP? Source: The Verge The post Facebook Messenger Adds Free Voice Calling For Android Users In The U.S. [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf .
Each week, Sound Sunday introduces you to awesome music by talented artists from around the world. In this edition, we return to one of the most controversial genres in music: Hip Hop. Often misunderstood by those who need to listen most closely, Hip Hop is far more than what you expect. Come on in, discover new facets, and educate your ears. Note that name your price albums can be downloaded for free by entering 0 in the price field. That said, we strongly recommend you to donate a few dollars for music you enjoy! You are welcome to submit your music, send suggestions with free albums you have discovered, or request genres I haven’t covered in a while. For all Sound Sunday related inquiries, please contact Tina [tina at makeuseof dot com]. EP: Chase Moore – Shaken Not Stirred – A Beat Tape Of 007 Flips Genre: beat tape, cover, hip hop, rap Shaken Not Stirred – A Beat Tape Of 007 Flips by Chase Moore From his Bandcamp profile: Chase Moore is an artist/producer/engineer/battle MC from Sacramento, CA and originally born in Melbourne, Australia. He’s 1/3rd of production team Hippie Sabotage and credits include: Slug of Atmosphere, Raekwon, Rock from Heltah Skeltah, Mistah FAB, Glasses Malone, Papoose, Kid Vishis & more. Shaken Not Stirred – A Beat Tape Of 007 Flips is a free download from Bandcamp . BoomBaptist – The Lost Files Vol. 1 Genre: beat, electronic, instrumental, hip hop, trap The Lost Files Vol. 1 (2003-2005) by BoomBaptist From the album page: This is a collection of beats created on my first MPC from 2003-2005. It is the first of a four-part series that progresses through time up until the release of my beat tape in 2009. It is also a thank you for the overwhelming support I have recieved up to this point. The Lost Files Vol. 1 is a free download from Bandcamp . EP: The Grammar Club – Bioavailable Genre: alternative, nerdcore, hip hop, rap Bioavailable by The Grammar Club The Grammar Club are Shael Riley from New York and Ty Guenley from Washington. Bioavailable is published under a Creative Commons noncommercial, share-alike license, to be used in non-commercial projects. The band also provided an instrumental version of the album. Bioavailable is a name your price download from Bandcamp . MaG – freedom. Genre: alternative, hip hop, soul, r&b, lyrical, rap Mick + RCRDLBL.com + MaG present: freedom. by MaG MaG has been around. The rapper from the Bronx toured venues across the country and was featured on BBC Radio and several popular hip hop outlets. This present album is hosted by Mick Boogie and sponsored by RCRDLBL.com. If you enjoy freedom., please share it and help MaG spread his message of hip hop and soul music. freedom. is a name your price download from Bandcamp . EP: Milo – Milo takes Baths Genre: indie, hip hop, computerized soul, folk, glitch hop, rap Milo takes Baths by milo From his Bandcamp profie: I write songs for kids who think Spock > Kirk. Or kids who know what I was just referencing. Milo takes Baths is a free download from Bandcamp . shamik – Future Passed Genre: electronic, indie, hip hop, lyrical, pop Future Passed (free) – 2012 by shamik From the album page: I have been guilty of getting caught up in my own world without seeing how I can improve. I have thought of dreams and held back because I originally thought they were unattainable. Future Passed represents how I took a step out of trying to fit in and a step into fitting in with my own essence. I hope it resonates with you in some way, or you find inspirations to create something new for yourself. It’s been a labour of love, and it’s only fitting that we give it to you for free. Thank you. Future Passed is a name your price download from Bandcamp . LMNO – Overtime Genre: indie, hip hop Overtime by LMNO From his Facebook page: Hailing from Long Beach, California, LMNO has emerged as one of the most prolific artists in music today. Introduced to hip-hop in the early ‘80s, LMNO was a firsthand witness to the N.W.A legacy and birth of west coast hip-hop. (…) LMNO continues his daily grind at the studio, having added to his impressive catalog over a hundred songs in just the past two years. With a dedicated fan-base that spans Asia, Europe, and the Americas, LMNO’s conscientious sound influences and characterizes our global music community. He has never shied away from his duties as an artist to speak his mind and record music that listeners react to intellectually, emotionally, and loyally. Overtime is a free download from Bandcamp . ProperLyrics – Broken Patterns Genre: independent, instrumental, hip hop, rap Broken Patterns by ProperLyrics From the album page: ProperLyrics has a new mix tape entitled “Broken Patterns”. This mix tape has been cooked up for the real hip hop heads that loves music that inspires a generation. Broken Patterns is a name your price download from Bandcamp . EP: Kublakai – Lights for the Dark Nights Genre: independent, hip hop, rock, jazz, rap Lights for the Dark Nights by kublakai From the album page: Kublakai’s EP shedding light on the dark. Continuing his tradition of fun, funny, serious and thought-provoking. This time though, he spends more time speaking on matters of the heart. Lights for the Dark Nights is a name your price download from Bandcamp . Cookie Monster – GOOD GALAXY II Genre: alternative, instrumental, ambient, hip hop, soul, rap GOOD GALAXY II (Free Project) by Cookie Monster From his Bandcamp profile: Cookie Monster Galaxy, a Parisian 20 year-old who composes soulful instrumental hip-hop beats on his own. At the age of 17 years Cookie Monster taught himself how to play piano and at the age of 19 years he decide to create his own album. GOOD GALAXY II is a free download from Bandcamp . good neighbour – 126.96.36.199.0 Genre: experimental, beats, folk, hip hop 188.8.131.52.0 by good neighbour Artist from Belgrade, Serbia with some awesome beats. 184.108.40.206.0 is a name your price download from Bandcamp . mikedecline – ALL FALL/miniluv Genre: electronic, beats, instrumental, samples, hip hop ALL FALL/miniluv by mikedecline More great music from my favorite city in the world. ALL FALL/miniluv is a name your price download from Bandcamp . Keor Meteor – Sociology Genre: instrumental, beats, hip hop, sampling Sociology by Keor Meteor From his Bandcamp profile: Currently making plenty noise at Bonafide towers is 27 year old Parisian beatmaker Keor Meteor. Making beats since 2005, the funky Frenchman has not only adopted some of the soul-slicing style of Madlib, Dilla and Premo but also their prolific release rate. Sociology is a name your price download from Bandcamp . EP: Pawcut – The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of Genre: instrumental, ambient, downtempo, beats, hip hop, triphop The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of by Pawcut Simplicity in the form of music. Simple beats from Germany. The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of is a free download from Bandcamp . King Henry – X Genre: beat tape, hip hop X by King Henry From his Bandcamp profile: The New Mexico native gathers influence from Madlib to Jamie xx, giving King Henry a style that is constantly changing to encapsulate the current musical trends, while still maintaining his signature sound. From sample based thrift shop hip hop, to big room sound Top 40 R&B and pop, his inattention to one specific style is what fuels his versatility as a producer. X is a name your price download from Bandcamp . And More… Enjoyed one of these albums? Pay it back and share this article or the albums you liked. If you really appreciated a particular album, please donate to the respective artist, so they can continue releasing great music. New to Sound Sunday? Past editions of Sound Sunday are available here . Are you using ifttt? Check out these recipes for receiving notifications of new Sound Sunday releases to GTalk and Pushover for mobile devices. Thank you @Vampie ! Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below. The post 15 Free MP3 Albums & EPs: Hip Hop for the Masses [Sound Sunday] appeared first on MakeUseOf .
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15 Free MP3 Albums & EPs: Hip Hop for the Masses [Sound Sunday]
For most people, SEO consists of making sure your page content is compelling and the metadata accurately describes the page without keyword stuffing. But there’s another side to SEO – the world of blackhats. The dark enclave of the blackhat SEO is a fascinating place, and I took some time to talk to a friend who was involved in the blackhat SEO business for some time – here’s what we discussed. I know you can’t exactly MakeUseOf this, but I hope it’s interesting nonetheless. I should note, I’ve been waiting to publish this for a few years, for reasons of protecting their identity and ensuring the tools or practices are no longer relevant. Most of what is mentioned no longer works. In fact, it’ll get your site de-ranked faster than you can say Google if you touch any of them, which is precisely what happened to this particular network he was involved with. The sites being discussed are commonly known as “adsense farms”, specifically designed to make Adsense profit and not much else. Nevertheless, I’ve censored the names of the tools just in case. Play safe in your SEO journey! Can You Give Me An Outline Of Your Blackhat SEO Job? I create sites, load them up with pre-written content and lots of adsense blocks, make it all look pretty, then promote the heck out of them using some different tactics, like link spamming, hidden links etc. What Was The Motivation? It’s just a job for me, and I’m good at what I do. Not I’m the one who profits from any of the sites I promote of course – I’m just a salaried lackey. I’m not privy to exact figures, but I’m under the impression that the best performing sites make about $50/day in Adsense profits. There are a few hundred or so sites in the network (that I know about, at least), covering a big range of niche topics – anything that has a high Adsense payout is a potential target. Doesn’t matter what, but certain topics are just more profitable than others – so they pay more per ad click – things like pet insurance, plastic surgery and such. That’s how profits can be fairly high even without crazy traffic levels. I keep promising myself I’ll identify one of these niches some day and start building my own network, but it never happens. Can You Describe a Typical Workday? First off, I’d check on the status of the comment spam campaigns… Comment Spam? That’s The Kind Of Nonsense Comments With a Link You Commonly Get On Blogs? Yes, exactly. You start by scraping Google for a few hundred thousand links – from related keywords etc. You can then analyze each link for site PR – and manually target the high PR sites if you want. The automated comment engine would hit the rest, using what’s called “spin text” – an automatic way of changing words to prevent comments being exactly the same. The typical comment spam you get on blogs is just so amateur – a shotgun approach that uses an automated dictionary or no spin at all – and is completely ineffective. Crafting your own effective spin text is an art form – one thing I’ve found really works is to add an emotional story to it, like talking about how “my grandmother used to do X and this post reminded me of that, thank you so much for the memories” . Making the comments sound natural is the key, really. Sure, they won’t always be relevant, but it doesn’t really matter if you’ve sent it out to 100,000 blogs. Say you get 100 links – that’s pretty good. What About Blogs That Use a “Captcha” Service To Prevent Spamming? Most of those systems are worthless. The tools I use integrate with APIs from anti-captcha services, so anything that’s protected like that gets sent over to a human captcha solver for less than 1 cent each time. If anything, the blogs with captchas are easier, since they usually don’t bother with other spam protection. I guess they assume that if a human wrote it then it must be legit. There is NO reliable defence against spam honestly. Some bloggers are just so desperate and naive they’ll approve anything. I also check some SEO forums for information on the latest high profile blogs that are open for do-follow links – I target these manually because they’re worth so much. Occasionally you strike gold and find an .edu or .gov blog just wide open for the taking. Is It All About Spamming ? No – but I won’t lie, that was a big part of it. As well as comment spamming software that I ran on my spare computer, we would use third party services like XR**** that specialize in forum spam – they cost about $50 for 50,000 links of dubious quality. Still – a link is a link . More recently, I’ve been playing with SE***** - it’s a complex bit of software that aims to automate a lot of these workflows – and handles creation of thousands of fake social accounts at a time, submitting links from those accounts to various bookmarking services, as well as spin text article submission. It’s incredible, and you can even load in user-created workflows – the pyramid design is quite popular at the moment, with a first tier of articles pointing to a single money site, then a second tier of articles and press releases pointing to those, and finally social bookmarking links pointing toward those 2nd tier elements. It’s all about making the links look natural, and I’m pretty sure this software is going to change the industry forever. Can Google Detect “Fake” Links? Of course – and if they think the links might not be natural, you’ll be put into the “sandbox”, where the site is worthless for about 6 months, until it magically re-appears ranking high in the SERPS. So, The Articles On The Sites, Who Writes Them? The content costs anywhere from $3-$5 per 400 word article, and sometimes I write them myself if they need extra special care. We usually put at least 50 posts on something before promoting it. Mostly they’re written by outsourced labor from India, and the Philippines. But remember that the user isn’t really supposed to read it, they’re just supposed to hit the site, then click on one of the more interesting Adsense banners or link blocks. So we don’t really care if they stick around and read anything – that’s not the point. For most webmasters, a high bounce rate [percentage of users who immediately click a link to somewhere external] is a bad thing – for us, it means users are clicking on ads, which is good. Do You Feel Any Remorse For What You Do? Not really, it’s just a job. I find holes in systems and exploit them – but the sites I promote aren’t dangerous or hurting anyone – it’s not like we just publish lies. In fact, a lot of what I do is taking an existing site with really low quality content, and improving both the design and content of it to relaunch – sites that were once doing well, but have since dropped. Thanks For Your Time, Anon. I hope you found this interview with a blackhat SEO expert interesting. But remember – anything like this WILL get your site banned if you try it today. Google has made huge advances in the past few years, and retroactively fixing sites that have had this kind of blackhat work done on them is virtually impossible. If you are interested in SEO though, we have a lot of helpful SEO articles here at MakeUseOf by our own resident SEO Editor Ryan Dube . For more up to date information on making your blog or website pay, check out my own extensive Guide to Website Monetization . Image Credit: Shutterstock – hacker The post A Day In The Life Of a BlackHat SEO, Circa 2010 appeared first on MakeUseOf .
Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool website round-ups delivered to your daily email, subscribe here . Add Your Website Here! RESOPE! – Gone are the days of being required to carry around a dedicated handheld gaming device to kill time on the road. Instead, all the games we could ever want are on the devices we already have. A new game called RESOPE! has found its way to my phone, and it’s quite addictive. Read more: RESOPE!: A Fun And Addicting Puzzle Game [iOS & Android] Upshot – Screenshots of your computer serve an important purpose. They can be used to easily record what is happening on your screen, and are also used by app developers who are working in teams. Here to make screenshots more convenient for Mac users is a nifty desktop utility called Upshot. Read more: Upshot: Share Your Screenshots Through Your DropBox Account [Mac] SoundCloudNav – Sometimes you want to listen to music that you do not have saved on your computer. Fortunately, The Internet provides you with various audio music streaming sources. Of these sources, SoundCloud is one of the most popular sites used by people to stream music. Here to let you quickly access SoundCloud tracks while browsing other websites is SoundCloudNav. Read more: SoundCloudNav: A Keyboard-Based Track Navigator For SoundCloud Hike Messenger – The Internet has provided us with various means to communicate with our friends and family. Using IM clients, all you have to do is send a message and as long as the client is active on the other end, your message is displayed to the recipient. For smartphone owners, SMS serves the same function as instant online messages. Here to let you do that is Hike Messenger. Read more: Hike Messenger: Send Free Internet Messages & SMS [iOS] Kafoodle – While trying to decide where and what to eat, a person usually has a lot of restaurants to decide from and also a lot of dishes to decide from. If you are careful about your food or are a ‘foodie’ then you probably spend a lot of time weighing all the factors before you decide on something. This decision-making process is a lot easier if you use Kafoodle. Read more: Kafoodle: Let Your iPhone Help You Decide Where To Eat [iOS] Add Your Website Here! These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here . Or follow us via RSS feed . The post Cool Websites and Tools [April 20th 2013] appeared first on MakeUseOf .
Cool Websites and Tools [April 20th 2013]
When it comes to competitive online gaming, or eSports , League of Legends is at the very head of the class. It’s amazing to see how playing an online game can transform into an actual career now. We have people on the web who we literally regard as virtual athletes, and the eSports community can only grow from here. Dota 2, StarCraft II, and other games are in this same field. There are star players and names that many gaming enthusiasts follow and know of just as well as any basketball or football player. The great thing about online gaming is that there are no restrictions. If you learn the game and you own a computer, you have just as good of a shot as anyone at becoming a professional. You don’t need to know the right people. You don’t need some sort of scholarship or anything like that. You play, improve, get noticed, and essentially make a job out of entertaining others while playing this game . Who better to lead you on that sort of route than the people you know and respect already? In this article, I want to point out four of the best competitive League of Legends streamers that can help you improve your game. Voyboy Voyboy is a professional League of Legends player who currently plays with Curse Gaming. He plays the top lane and loves teaching others little tips and tricks. You can find his stream on Twitch. When you watch Voyboy play, he is constantly narrating his decisions and play style. During champion selection, he’ll take his time and analyze who to play and explain why. He’ll always outline his approach to the upcoming game and explain his runes and masteries to viewers. It’s a consensus community opinion that Dyrus and Voyboy are the two best top lane players in North America. The difference between Dyrus’ stream and Voyboy’s stream is that Voyboy puts a huge emphasis in making sure that his viewers learn something new. Dyrus streams to entertain and Voyboy streams to teach. If you’re looking to become a great top lane player (especially with Akali or Zed), you want to watch Voyboy. Scarra Without a doubt, Scarra is one of the most likable players in the competitive League of Legends community. He’s always happy, willing to share information, and enthusiastic about playing. He plays for Team Dignitas in the mid lane and has a huge pool of champions that he is comfortable with. His streaming schedule is very random, but it’s always a treat when you can catch him online on Twitch. What makes Scarra a very good streamer to learn from is the fact that he is almost always talking. Every single decision he makes is explained in detail. Though he is known best for playing his Katarina and Gragas, Scarra regularly pulls out a surprise or two during his solo queue marathons. I’ve seen him play a very effective Blitzcrank in the mid lane, and just watching and hearing him play that game makes me feel confident enough to give it a shot sometime. Scarra is a very positive player and loves seeing his teammates play well. If you watch Scarra play, you will learn! Doublelift Doublelift has been streaming less frequently, especially during the Championship Series and after own3D finally turned all of their streamers over to Twitch, but it’s a big deal when he’s online and playing. It’s no secret how Doublelift is regarded by the community. You either love him or you hate him. He is very arrogant and is one of the game’s best trash-talkers, but you have to respect his gameplay. In my opinion, he is the best AD carry in North America. That’s reason enough to pay attention to his stream. When streaming, Doublelift doesn’t go out of his way to teach anything about the game to his viewers. He is the type of player that you watch and pick tips up from as the stream goes along. He is often streaming as a duo with his support, Aphromoo, and you can learn a lot from the communication between those two. I credit Doublelift with teaching me the importannce of using attack move, rather than just right-clicking. If you want to be a better Vayne or Caitlyn, you better watch this guy when he’s online. Xpecial Xpecial plays the support role like it’s an artform, and he’s a very special player. Team SoloMid is probably the most popular League of Legends team in the US. Xpecial is their quietest player. He may also be their smartest. Right now is a great time to be watching Xpecial’s stream. Recently, Chaox was removed from the team and that means Xpecial has a brand new AD to support. Watching his stream means you’re going to be able to see how that AD-support relationship begins and you’re going to be able to pick up some great advice. I learned to play Janna, Sona, and a few other supports that I had no interest in by watching Xpecial. He calls out a lot of very important things to his lane partner while streaming, and he’s the perfect player to watch if you have a passion for the support role. These four players stream as often as possible so that their fans can learn and be entertained with their gameplay. If you want to improve, the best way may be to steal a few pointers from the best players in the game. These four are names that are definitely at the top of that list. Do you want to suggest an appropriate jungler to watch while streaming, or have any comments about these four players? Let us hear them in the comments section below! The post 4 League Of Legends Streams To Make You A Better Player appeared first on MakeUseOf .
Download the entirety of a website – or individual web pages – to your hard drive. Whether you want to do some work offline so you can really block time-wasting websites or do some research on the road, downloading web content locally means you don’t need to stop when your connection does. It’s increasingly rare, but still occasionally true: sometimes you just don’t have Internet access. Whether you’re on a plane or your grandparent’s place in the country, life occasionally brings all of us to places WiFi and 4G can’t reach. With a little preparation, however, you can have the data you need on your hard drive, waiting for you. There are three distinct ways to read offline: downloading an entire website, downloading recent blog posts or news stories, and downloading the content from a specific page or article. I’m going to touch on all three below, but feel free to skip to the section you’re actually interested in. Downloading Entire Websites This is the hardcore option: downloading the entirety of a single website for offline reading. Obviously how long this takes will vary depending on the web site in questions – Wikipedia could take days to finish, and will take up a lot of your hard drive when it does. If you just want an offline copy of something simple, however, like the ultimate Final Fantasy 7 database or a simple site outlining a few recipes you were thinking of trying, downloading an entire website might be right for you. The software I recommend for downloading an entire site is HTTrack, which Tina wrote about back in 2008 . Don’t worry: the software hasn’t changed much and her article is still solid. This open source program can be a little hard to use at first – especially if you’re not a Windows user. But if you’re looking to make a complete offline version of your favorite website – not an individual web page, an entire web site – it’s one of the simplest options out there. Tweak the settings if you run into problems and you should be fine. Only the Windows version comes with a dedicated GUI – Linux users will need to use a browser-based version of HTTrack instead. Don’t worry: items will be added to the menu so it’s easy enough to get started. Mac users can install the software using MacPorts, but many might be better off checking out Sitesucker , a free Mac app that functions similarly but is easy to install and has it’s own GUI. Downloading The Latest News Are you mostly interested in keeping up with the news? Downloading an entire site then is probably an overkill: you don’t need to keep a copy of the headlines from 2005 on your computer. Happily there are dedicated tools for reading the news offline. I showed you how to download entire newspapers or blogs using Calibre – it saves everything to the eBook format of your choice. This is a great way to condense the latest news into a format you can easily read offline, but be warned: paid subscriptions are required for some sites to work properly. You can also use NewsToEbook to download the latest news directly . It even supports Google Reader (though of course that ends in July when Google pulls the plug on Reader). Downloading Individual Web Pages This is the simpler option: downloading the entirety – or only the content from – an individual page. If you’re doing some research, or simply want to do some offline reading, there are tools out there allowing you to clip any particular page and read it later. My favorite is probably Evernote, a service that aims to become your personal on-and-offline repository of knowledge. You can use the service to “clip” articles from your favorite websites, which you can then read anytime using the desktop or mobile client. Check out the unofficial Evernote manual to learn more. It’s written by our very own Mark O’Neil, and like all our manuals it’s free of charge. Another simple way to save individual articles for reading later is Pocket, the ultimate digital bookmarking service . Apps for mobile devices sync articles you’ve saved for later, meaning you can read them anytime you want. There’s even a Mac version of Pocket for you computer (sorry, Windows and Linux users: not yet). Want an entirely mobile solution? Offline Pages Pro for iOS and Read Web Offline for Android both allow you to save any URL directly to your mobile device, allowing you to read them anytime. Conclusion Of course, this list is only the beginning: there are other ways to do this. Most browsers offer a “Save As” function, for example, and you can always print any page on the web as a PDF for reading later. Beyond that, I’m sure readers will point out plenty of other ways to save entire sites or individual pages for offline reading in the comments below. Unless, of course, they’re reading this comment offline – then they can’t leave comments. Oh well. The post How Do I Download An Entire Website For Offline Reading? appeared first on MakeUseOf .
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How Do I Download An Entire Website For Offline Reading?