Thursday, June 30, 2011

Share And ByPass Restricted MegaVideo Videos With Sheepser

Sheepser is a video streaming web service which allows you to watch restricted videos instantly without limitation. The supported websites include Megavideo, VideoBB & VideoZer. It works pretty much like the formerly reviewed MegaVideo 9 web service, however, Sheepser not only allows by passing 72 minute MegaVideo restrictions, but also provides mirror links for it’s numerous servers on which the specific video is hosted. This can be quite convenient for using alternative servers in case the current server is down. Moreover, it provides an embed code to allow users to embed the unrestricted video to their websites.

Using Sheepser is quite easy, just copy a MegaVideo URL and paste it in the available URL box. Click Submit to watch the video unrestricted on Sheepser servers.


The video will be played free of any imposed restrictions and you get the option to switch servers for viewing the video, via the alternative server links on the right sidebar. These can be used if the video is streaming slow or if the server is down. You can also use the embed code and URL given below the alternative server names for sharing the video.


If you would like to check our an extension for Chrome and Firefox, which allows bypassing MegaVideo, MegaUpload and Veoh restrictions, check out illimitux.

Visit Sheepser

Download Data From All Google Accounts With Google Takeout

When it comes to launching new web services, Google seems to be on a roll. After bringing forth Google+ and Winyl, Google has introduced another useful web service known as Google Takeout. As the name implies, Takeout provides the utility of obtaining your saved data from numerous cloud services offered by Google. It basically allows you to download anything from your saved contacts in a Google account to Picasa pictures.

Using Google Takeout is just a jiffy. All you need to do is to login with your Google account to view the available information that can be downloaded. For example, you can get your saved contacts, Google Buzz bookmarks, Picasa web albums and profile information.


You can either download data from all your Google accounts or head over to the Choose Service tab to select specific services to download data from. To download your data, click Create Archive.

Choose Services

You will be down a preview of the available information which is available for downloading, along with the size of each file. Click Download to begin downloading the archive.


All data will be downloaded in the form of a compressed Zip folder, containing separate folders for each kind of data. For instance, your Picasa albums will be located in the Picasa folder, whereas a separate folder will contain your save contacts in the form of contact cards.


If you would like to export your saved data from multiple Google Accounts in a snap, Google Takeout is there for you.

Visit Google Takeout

Add And Customize Tab Behaviors In MS Word, Excel, And PowerPoint

Even though MS Office allows user to cascade multiple windows under unified interface, it cannot open cascaded windows in tabs, nor does it offer a convenient way to switch between views of opened windows. Take Excel 2010 windows as an instance, in Excel you may find an option to save layout of opened windows to restore them with a single click but what if you’re working on multiple worksheets? How would you switch between views without having to first minimize the window and open those worksheets lying behind it? Office Tab is a superior alternative to previously featured OfficeTab add-in.

Apart from brining multi-tabbed MDI based interface to Office applications, including Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, it allows you to tinker around with Office application’s Style and Color settings as well. Moreover, in contrast to Office Tab, it contains a great a deal of tab font, position, and behavior specific settings to customize the way you want tabs to act, such as, drag/drop tab, show warning before closing multiple tabs, double-click tab bar to open a new tab, etc.

After installation, it will prompt you to configure tab color, appearance, positioning, shortcuts, and style. The main window shows configurations for Excel. Before you start, enable Tabs for Excel option and then start customizing the tabs settings.

office tab 1

Under Tabs for Word and Tabs for Powerpoint, you will see Style and Color window alongside General & Position Windows to enable tabs for respective application. Once you’re done with tabs settings, click OK to save the customizations.

tabs word 2

When launching Word, Excel, or PowerPoint next time, you will see tabbed interface enabled. From tab right-click context menu, you can open Office Tabs settings window for current MS office application, rename the tab, and access File menu options.

Microsoft Excel - DCOUNT.xlsx

Office Tab version is a stripped down version of Office Tab Standard, which costs $45. The Standard version has extra tab related functions, such as, close other tabs, change tab length, show/hide tabs, lock documents, etc. However, if you want to bring these tab functionality in MS Project and Visio too, you can anytime upgrade to Office Tab Enterprise version, which costs $83.

It supports Office 2003, Office 2007, and Office 2010.

Download Office Tab

The Three Best 3D Tower Defense Games For The PC

Tower Defense is one of the most popular game genres today, and it’s easy to see why. The basic idea – mowing down enemies as they approach your fortifications – is both satisfying and easy to learn. Yet, on the other hand, this formula can be twisted to create extremely complex gameplay.

However, many Tower Defense games are low-budget and/or browser-based efforts. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you have a PC capable of beautiful 3D graphics, why not put that power to work? Let’s have a look at some 3D tower defense games that go beyond the basics.

Defense Grid: The Awakening

Launched all the way back in 2008 for the PC, Defense Grid is far from the newest title that’s available for tower defense gamers. Yet it is, in my opinion, still the definitive tower defense title. If you’re interested in this genre, you owe it to yourself to play this game.

Defense Grid isn’t particularly unique, nor does it twist the genre in new or surprising ways. Instead, this game builds itself on a backbone of solid level design, great pacing, and good tower selection. The basics which are there are executed with masterful precision. Although most of the turrets and opponents are simple at first glance, the level design combines these elements in clever ways to create steadily more difficult challenges.

The game looks good even on old hardware, so you don’t have to fret much about system requirements. Any discrete GPU made within the last three years should run it, as will many integrated solutions.

Defense Grid is $9.99 on Steam.


Tower Defense is a genre that’s mature, and as a result it’s becoming more difficult for games to stand out, particularly when titles like Defense Grid are already available. Simply slapping together some levels, turrets and enemies isn’t enough.

Sanctum, a new 3D tower defense game released just this year, twists the concept by putting you in the first person perspective and handing you a gun. Now fighting off the bad guys isn’t just a matter of running them through your maze of turrets, but also shooting them yourself. Some of the opponents are designed in ways that make player intervention a necessity for success, and the included co-op mode is a real blast if you and a partner want to go toe-to-toe with the alien hoards.

As it’s new, Sanctum does require relatively new hardware to run well. A dual-core processor with a clock speed of 2GHz is recommended, and a discrete GPU will probably be required for smooth gameplay.

Sanctum is $14.99 on Steam.

Sol Survivor

Released in 2009, Sol Survivor is an indie tower defense game that came first to consoles but then hit the PC in 2010. In many ways, Sol Survivor is a basic but well executed tower defense game similar to Defense Grid. The single-player campaign offers a wide variety of turrets and opponents, and the challenge of the game comes from how these basic tools are combined to create challenging scenarios.

What sets Sol Survivor apart, however, is the wealth of multiplayer content. There are several co-op modes available including campaign and survival. There’s also a “wars” mode in which players send out their own creeps against enemy players while also defending against the creeps sent by everyone else.

Sol Survivor is the least attractive game on this list in my opinion, but it’s still not bad to look at. The system requirements only ask for a 2GHz single-core processor along with a video card on par with a Nvidia GeForce 8800 GS, which is ancient by modern standards. Most computers with a discrete GPU won’t have a problem with this game.

Sol Survivor is $9.99 on Steam.

Honorable Mention – Anomaly: Warzone Earth

Of the 3D tower defense games I’ve played recently, Anomaly: Warzone Earth is the best. So why does it only receive an “honorable mention”?

That’s because it’s a reverse tower defense game. In Anomaly you play as a group of soldiers trying to penetrate heavily defended alien anomalies. You use your commander’s various powers to keep your units from harm and destroy enemy turrets. It’s the traditional formula flipped on its head.

The gameplay is excellent, the graphics are astounding, and it is easily the best among 3D tower defense games. You do need a recent system with a modern video card to play the game at the highest detail settings, however.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth is $9.99 on Steam.


These games are all stand-outs in the genre, and should be picked up eventually by anyone who’s a fan. Even those who don’t consider themselves veterans of tower defense should have a look at Defense Grid and Anomaly: Warzone Earth – they’re both excellent games.

Let us know if you have a favorite of your own that we haven’t mentioned here.

10 Apps To Make Your Old Windows Mobile Phone Useful

A few years ago, I covered a list of Windows Mobile apps, like the 4 spy apps or the 6 useful apps for college kids. Karl also hit on a number of cool apps for Windows Mobile, like the full PDF guide, and his list of sites to get the best freeware for WM6. But I’ve now switched to a Motorola Droid. The Cingular 8125 running Windows Mobile 5 has been stored away in my bedside drawer since 2010.

Recently, I’ve been building a home web server that I have running in my office without a keyboard or monitor attached. I connect to it via VNC from my laptop whenever I want to work on it. The other night, I stumbled upon my old Windows Mobile phone and at that moment, my brain started turning. Why do I have this great device stashed away in a drawer, when it could be put to good use? Even though there’s no cellular service, it still has Wi-Fi capability, so it can still serve as a little mobile computer.

Realizing that there are probably a lot of other people out there with devices like this collecting dust, I decided to transform this seemingly useless phone into a highly-useful, productive mobile network device.

Accessing Music & Information

Basically, I wanted to transform this device into a bedside tool that I could use to get instant access to news, music, and of course the time and calendar. I also wanted the device to have constant connectivity to my home network, for troubleshooting and working on the server.

The first order of business was to load up useful Internet-ready content apps. The first choice I went with was OPENweb Radio. This application gives you access to streaming content from local radio stations all around the world. After installing the app and launching it, I found a few stations around here.

When you click to listen to the station, the streaming audio comes up in Windows Media Player. If you want to use the device as a bedside clock, having a radio is an obvious feature that it really needs.

I also wanted to make sure that the mobile device could also stream podcasts from around the web. I have a number of NPR (National Public Radio) podcasts that I really like, and being able to plug my headphones into my old WM5 phone and listen to them while lying in bed would be very cool. The best app for that is PPC Podcast.

You can choose podcasts from the list of categories included with the app, or you can do like I do and just manually type in the RSS link for your favorite podcast feeds from throughout the Internet.

Just like OpenWeb Radio, the content streaming takes place in Windows Media Player on the device.

Finally, I wanted to load the highest quality bedside clock app as possible on the WM5 device, and I discovered a pretty cool full-screen alarm clock app called WolfClock that works on Windows Mobile 5 just fine.

WolfClock is a fully customizable alarm clock application. You can completely change the color scheme and background of the display, and you can also modify how and when the clock runs, and what the alarm sounds like when it goes off. You can even set it to start the alarm soft and then increase the volume over time.

Network Monitoring Device

Even more than using the old device as a bedside clock and media device, I also wanted the ability to pick up the device and use it to access remote systems on my home network. One very useful app, particularly in a bedroom where you might have a computer running a video display across the room as a television, is PPC Remote Control.

As you can see from the image above, you can use this app to control just about everything the computer can do. This includes launching and controlling PowerPoint presentations, controlling Windows Media Player, and even remotely controlling the PC mouse and keyboard.

Surprisingly, mouse and keyboard control is very intuitive and easy to use, even on an old Windows Mobile 5 device with an old-style touchscreen that requires a little more pressure than today’s touchscreens.

The app that I was really looking forward to using was the VNC Viewer. All I needed to do was install a VNC Viewer on this old WM5 phone and I can connect to my web server just like I’m sitting in front of it.

Of course, when you’re network troubleshooting, you want the ability to quickly check out the integrity of your connections. Ping is required for that, and the perfect app to perform ping with your old WM phone is PingBox.

Just type in the IP to check, click on “Ping“, and the app takes care of the rest.

Finally, the last monitoring tool that I find nice to have handy is the PPC Interface tool which provides a graphical display of all traffic in and out of the Windows Mobile device.

As you can see, it seems silly to store away a perfectly good smartphone in the back of a drawer, when there are so many cool things you can still do with that device. The fact that it can still access the Internet through Wi-Fi means that it can become a fully-functioning mobile computer. All you have to do is install the apps above, and you’re in business.

Do you have any old mobile devices hanging around the house? Have you reused them as useful wireless devices on your home network? Share some of your own ideas and experiences in the comments section below.

Stream Torrents in Your Web Browser With Magic Player

While millions of people still use BitTorrent every day to download videos, increasingly streaming sites have become more dominant for online entertainment. Nearly every video file available via BitTorrent can also be streamed online somewhere, for a payment or totally free.

While BitTorrent was one of the first technologies to enable the easy downloading of very large video files, it now has some catching up to do. The masses want their video and music on demand, and if BitTorrent wants to remain the big player it is today it has to deliver just that.

To this end, during recent years many BitTorrent clients have introduced streaming functionality, and there are also a few web-based services that offer similar capabilities. The Torrent Stream Magic Player is a new streaming service that sets itself apart by offering a true video-on-demand look and feel through a browser add-on.

Developed by a team of Russian coders the free add-on, bundled with a windows streaming application, adds a “view torrent online” option to the browser’s context menu. Once the add-on and app are installed and configured all the user has to do is right click on a .torrent link and a fancy player slides into the browser.

Torrent Stream Magic Player

torrent stream

Providing the user has enough bandwidth and the torrent file is well seeded, the video or music track starts to play in just a few seconds. Additional controls also give the user the option to manage a playlist and pause the torrent file whenever needed.

The add-on is in an early stage of development and the developers told TorrentFreak that many new features will be added in the near future. Aside from obvious bugfixes users will get the option to style the player into a more personal look. The team is also working on decreasing buffering times to allow for even more instant gratification.

And then there’s another upcoming feature that will be a bit more controversial. The developers are working on an upgrade that will allows users to get relevant streams from various movie and music portals that don’t offer content themselves. This ‘magic button’ will appear when users browse a compatible site such as IMdB, and it will bring up suggested content to stream directly.

We tried the add-on and can confirm that it works as promised. Although the add-on can be improved on some small points it doesn’t have the clunky feel of some other browser-based torrent streaming solutions. It works well with both videos and music and is definitely worth a try.

Interested readers should be aware that aside from streaming, data is also saved on the local computer and has to be removed manually. More information, tips and tricks are available on the Torrent Stream Magic Player website.

Source: Stream Torrents in Your Web Browser With Magic Player

Mockup Builder Helps You Quickly Get Your Ideas On-Screen

So you have this incredible idea for a website. It’s kind of like LOLCats meets Star Wars, with a dash of Foursquare thrown in. It’s going to be bigger than Facebook. But when you try to pitch it to your friends or potential investors and show them how awesome it is, you run into lots of blank stares. What you need is a mockup, or a “dummy version” of your site, to help people understand your vision in clearer terms.

Another case where you may need a mockup is when re-designing an existing site, or extending it with a new section. Mockup Builder is a Silverlight-powered Web app that provides a very effective way to put those mockups together.

For this review, let’s start from the end. Here’s a mockup I made with Mockup Builder in a couple of minutes:


So we’ve got a headline, a subhead, a button and a video player. Anyone looking at this can see at a glance what these components are and where they sit on the screen in relation to each other. Now let’s see how I got them there:


So the interface looks a bit like the Ribbon in Office 2007/2010. It’s a horizontal menu up top, and then a row of large icons in every category. Not only is it similar to the ribbon, but it also gives a nod to Mac OS X’s dock:


See that zoom-in effect? Nice. Basically, all you have to do is go to the category of the item you’re looking for, find that item, and drag it onto the canvas. Removing an item is just as easy — just click it and hit Del. If that sounds basic, it’s because this is an app you’re supposed to be able to use instantly. Ideally, it should be as easy as drawing your mock-ups on paper.

Once you put your UI elements on the screen, you might want to align them. When you select more than one element, the sidebar changes to present a list of alignment commands:


Some of the icons are a bit similar, but if you hover over them, they show clear tooltips.

Next, let’s talk a little bit about the Screen Manager. You can use Mockup Builder to plan more than one screen. For instance, you can build a Wizard in an app, or a site registration process. Each step would take up one screen, and you can add as many screens as you need. But if it’s a Wizard interface, many elements repeat. The window always has to be in the same size, and you always have a Next and Back buttons. Mockup Builder’s developers thought about that, which is why you can create “Template Pages”.

A Template Page is just a basis for another page. You can create one page with your frame, and then use it as the template for all other pages. Here’s an example:


See how the background is greyed-out? That’s because I just created a new page, used my “main” page as the template, and added an alert box on top. That was easy!

But how can you switch between screens? Well, I’m glad you asked! Turns out you can select any element (button, label, whatever) and just link it to a screen. Here’s an example:


In this case, I linked a button to Screen 3, which is the Alert screen. So when you click that button, the presentation will jump to screen 3. That’s right – I said presentation, and that’s what we’ll look at next. After all, when the time comes to share your brilliant idea, you’ll want a nice way to show your mockup. Mockup Builder provides a Presentation View just for this purpose. It looks like this:


So your mock-up looks exactly the same, only it’s “static”, so to speak. In presentation mode, links work (so if I click Boom!, I get an alert box). Also, you can’t drag elements around just by clicking them. You get a host of other tools useful for talking about your creation (rather than directly changing it). Here’s the presentation-mode toolbar:


The first button exits presentation mode – they could have made this clearer. But the others are quite clear. You can point at things on the screen, doodle around them, erase other marks (not the mockup itself), add text, etc. Here’s my interface after I played with some of the presentation tools:


This is fantastic for showing things on-screen in a presentation, or even in a Skype screen-sharing session. Speaking of which, you can also invite other people to look at your mock-up:


The resulting email contains a simple link. In fact, let me share it with all of you right now: — simply click that, and you’ll be transported right into this cutting-edge self-destruct interface, which you can tweak and improve to your heart’s content.

Bottom Line

As a web designer/content author, I am often called upon to come up with new layout ideas. I have no doubt I will be using Mockup Builder for this in the future — it is a very capable, fast and free tool. Lovely. Have a go at it yourself and let us know what you think of it in the comments.

HealthVault: Free Health Monitoring Tool from Microsoft

HealthVault is free software by Microsoft that offers you tools and devices which are informative about your own health. The application is designed keeping in mind the importance of self management and education while you can monitor your own health. The freeware is simple and easy yet unique to users as you can easily track and manage your health conditions, medications and prescriptions with this free tool set.

The application is free to use and you just need simple sign in for using this freeware. The application requires you to sign in with your MSN or hotmail Id, OpenID and also Facebook user name. If you are undergoing some treatment or chronic condition that requires frequent monitoring and measurements required to be taken at any time, then you can use this free tool set for recording the measurements and prescriptions for free. With this free software you can find online health tools that connect with HealthVault to help you manage your emergency information from your mobile phone, as it offers personalized emergency identification so as to provide round-the-clock call center response.


Interestingly, with this tool set you can record your measurements and numbers in your computer. This reduces paper work and every time you need not searching for the note book where you previously noted your numbers. The application will help you store your numbers and information privately in your HealthVault account. This info can be shared with your doctor or health care provider by taking print out or email them. You can also find online health tools that can connect and work with your device data to help you generate reports, analyze trends, and receive education and recommendations to keep you at your best.


Track Prescriptions- If you are taking multiple medications, than you can track your prescriptions with this freeware. You can input your prescription details in this freeware manually and keep track of them as know what exactly you are taking in and whether it has some side effects. You can also import your medicine history if you are buying medicines from HealthVault-connected pharmacy. Additionally by entering your prescription details with this freeware you can easily keep your medication details at one place and share it with your health care provider. You can also connect with online health tools like Medication Risk Maps to check your prescribed medication plan for drug interactions and side effects.

Manage your health- If you are you are suffering from any such disease that requires constant watch on your health and frequent measurements and numbers than you may use this freeware by making use of compatible tools and devices that can easily connect with your system, and they can help you track and manage your condition, and communicate your results to your healthcare providers. With this freeware use a device to record numbers related to your condition, as number of devices get connected with HealhVault so that you can upload your data automatically: blood pressure monitors, glucometers, peak flow meters, and weight scales. With his stored info you can easily manage your condition in efficient way and interpret your health with yourself.

Store medical records- In many different ways you can feed data to this free ware. You can also use this freeware to record your medical report details by feeding data manually or upload your reports electronically. You can also ask your health care provider to fax your reports directly to this free software, where you can easily manage and organize your reports at one place avoiding arranging of physical reports. You can even connect with pharmacies, labs, hospitals, and clinics online to get existing information added to HealthVault, and use compatible devices like pedometers and blood pressure monitors to add data.

Manage your family records- The application does not only help you input one member record, but you can manage your family health easily by using one account and application. Input all your family member health details with this freeware and you can manage your family health using this free software. For this purpose, you are not required to sign up for new account. You can enter health records of multiple members in your family and organize the information from one single place. This helps you when you are required to provide health info about your family in schools, camps and hospitals. With this free program you can also stay prepared for emergencies with access and notification tools that work with your HealthVault records.

Tools and devices- The application offers wide range of tools and devices for your health care, which you can use and connect with your Health Vault and manage your health easily. You can access to online health tools and devices offered by this free software to get the important health information you’re tracking into your HealthVault record. Many tools let you analyze and manage that information to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

You can also check out other articles like Calorie Calculator, Skinnyo and eFit Calorie Counter.

The application is complete tool set when it comes to track, manage and organize your health care. The application is completely free of cost and you can easily get access to your health related information from this freeware from anywhere if you are away from your system. You can also keep yourself informed about your aging parents or travelling out. The information in this application is stored privately and you can avoid any leak outs with this software. Moreover if you are in the way to keep yourself fit with exercises, you can easily track and update your exercise regime with this software.

You can enhance your health plan by using an online health tool to set and analyze goals, then chart your progress over time. There are online tools for you, if you are planning for diet chart and exercise regime. Get detail info about the tools that offer custom meal plans and fitness routines designed to meet your nutrition and exercise goals. No matter what way you keep your health reports and records, you can keep your information in HealthVault for better tracking and managing purpose.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

7 Great Uses For QR Codes & How To Generate Your Own For Free

Quick response codes, or QR codes for short, have been used for a few years now to provide rapid access to URLs, messages or contact information. Marketing and advertising departments love QR codes, as with a simple scan, even more advertising related to their product can be delivered straight to your thumbs.

But why let the big multinationals have all the fun? It’s easy and completely free to generate your very own codes, and these can be used in a myriad of useful or entertaining ways. Of course you’ll need a smartphone with a QR reader to enjoy your own creations.

Creating & Reading Your Own

There are plenty of good, free QR generators out there with some offering more advanced options than others. Between them, the following four manage to cover most bases, including contact cards, URLs, text messages and even access to wireless networks (including security codes):

In order to read them back you’ll need an app for your chosen device. There’s plenty out there, but at the moment I’m using RedLaser for my iPhone which works a treat (and is fully Android compatible too).

  • Download Red Laser for iOS (4.0 required, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad 2)
  • Download Red Laser for Android (1.6 + required)

Business Cards

Not exactly original, but important nonetheless. Whilst you should always provide adequate contact information on your business card (email address, website, phone number and so on) a QR code might also be a good idea.

Your QR code could be used to store all of your contact information in vCard format, so that when it is scanned on a compatible device the option to add a new contact appears. With a scan all of the information stored on your paper business card is transferred to a digital device – effortlessly.

This could also work for posters, and is certainly not limited to just vCard uses.

Classified Ads (Offline)

Selling something locally? Too big for snail mail? For weighty electrical items, cars, hardware and so on QR codes could be used to help sell your item. If you are using an online merchant for the sale (such as eBay or AutoTrader) the QR code could be used to link directly to the item’s point of sale.

If you’re simply selling offline and advertising locally a QR code can be used to provide a web link to the manufacturer’s description, which will provide a lot more information than you can fit on a classified advertising card. Simply print out your code and glue it on!

Clothing & Jewellery

QR codes are on everything from rings to scarves to t-shirts these days, and getting your own t-shirt from somewhere like Cafe Press or Spreadshirt is easy. Why not advertise your brand on your back? If you’re a photographer, events organiser or musician (to name but a few) who doesn’t mind being scanned regularly then QR might be an effective tool.

You don’t actually need a valid use for QR codes in order to get some clothing or alternative jewellery made up though, and a t-shirt or bracelet that scans might make the perfect gift for the geeky girl or guy in your life.

Forum Avatars

Depending on the forum, a QR code as your avatar can act as a quick way of identifying you. Of course you won’t necessary want this for all forums, but it might help drive traffic to your site or increase your social media outreach with a simple scan.

Award yourself additional points if you can actually get it to look like something.

Starting A Revolution

Okay, so starting a revolution might require more than a scan of your mobile phone, but the ability to embed text, email addresses, URLs and so on within a code mustn’t be overlooked. If you’ve got something to say why not place codes around town and get your message out there? Many who know what QR codes are for will probably scan them out of pure curiosity (I know I would).

Bus stops, the subway, lamp-posts and even urinals (sorry, but it’s true) are all opportunities for this.


Will adding a QR code to your next job application land you that dream position? Possibly not, but it might set you apart from the rest of the crowd who simply didn’t think that far ahead. Employers love initiative and the ability to demonstrate understanding, so why not show off your forethought and get a cheeky link to your website in the process?

A must for social media types, programmers and techies alike.

Share This!

This could work pretty well on the street, especially if you’re an artist, street performer or (dare I say it) a graffiti writer. Simply stick a QR code next to your artwork/pitch/throw-up and link to a URL that tweets the scene. For example: “I’m currently in St. James Park, London watching The MakeUseOf Jazz Quartet” with a Google Maps link.

Add your own hashtag to monitor the success of your QR bombing. We could call it QRaffiti!


Remember there’s an endless number of applications for QR codes, especially considering it’s so quick and easy to generate your own! As more people switch on to the smartphone revolution, more people have access to these innovations. If you come up with any great unique uses then be sure to let us know!

Have you tried any of these? Do you scan QR codes on your phone? Any favourite scanners or generators? Add your thoughts below.

How To Find & Fix Bad Pixels On Your LCD Screen

Bad pixels often occur on brand new screens. Since a single bad pixel can become a great annoyance once you know it’s there, any new display with a warranty on it should be checked for bad pixels instantly. When you discover one however, you do not necessarily have to take the new display straight back to the shop. You may be able to fix it yourself.

In this article I will explain what a pixel is and for what reasons it can get stuck. I will then show you how you can identify bad pixels on your LCD screen and what you can do to possibly fix them yourself. Only after you have tried all your options, is it time to claim your warranty.

What Are Pixels?

Simply put, pixels are single dots in a raster image and all of them put together make up the entire image.

pixel image

What you are seeing on your computer screen right now, technically, is a raster image made up of hundreds of pixels. On CRT, LCD, LED, or plasma displays, however, pixels are not static, they display moving and ever changing images, therefore they must change colors. To achieve this, every pixel is divided into three sub-pixels, i.e. red, green, and blue. Each sub-pixel is powered by a transistor that controls the on/off state of the pixel.

What Is A Bad Pixel?

A bad pixel is a pixel that does not display the color you expect it to display. It is either stuck in a certain color, temporarily off, or permanently off, which equals a dead pixel.

Generally, what can happen is that the liquid crystal inside a sub-pixel is not evenly distributed, therefore that pixel never lights up. If all three pixels are affected, you get a pixel that is temporarily off. Another scenario is that a transistor is broken and consequently the pixel is permanently off (dead) or possibly also permanently on (burning). The latter is the worst case scenario as you cannot fix a broken transistor. You may, however, be able to fix problems with the liquid crystal.

How Can I Find Out Whether Or Not I Have Bad Pixels?

There are several online tools and applications you can run on your computer to identify bad pixels.


I have previously recommended the online LCD test tool from Flexcode. Since then, they have provided an updated version of the tool, which comes with a much better interface, making it easier to use. Simply run all five color tests (green, blue, red, white, and black) one after the other and check your screen for irregularities.

test lcd screen

Like the previous version, this one also includes a ‘massage the pixel‘ option, which may possibly fix a stuck pixel by over-stimulating it. So should you spot bad pixels or find darker regions on your LCD screen, run the ‘Fix My Screen‘ mode for a longer period of time (about one hour) to revive the affected pixel/s.

test lcd screen


IsMyLcdOK is a portable application for Windows. You can easily zap through the various test screens using number keys, as well as F2 through F5. F1 brings up the options overview.

find dead pixel

Mac users may want to try Pixel Fix, a Dashboard widget to cure stuck pixels on LCD screens.

I Found a Bad Pixel – How Can I Fix It?

The only way to fix a stuck pixel is to over-stimulate it and pray that it comes to life again. You can over-stimulate pixels in two different ways – you can either send rapidly changing signals to the respective pixel or you can manually apply pressure to the respective area on your screen.

I have described both methods in my previous article 5 Ways To Fix A Stuck Pixel On Your Screen. Briefly, you can use the ‘Fix My Screen‘ option of LCD2 (see above) to treat the entire screen. If you can’t have your whole screen blocked for up to an hour, you can also use the ‘undead pixel’ option of UDPixel (screenshot below), to locally fix a bad pixel. Finally, the most successful method appears to be the manual one, i.e. applying pressure to the area of your screen that has the dead pixel.

For a thorough description, please refer to my previous article.

fix stuck pixel

If none of the methods worked instantly, try again and try several times. As you can see from the comments to the first article, it is very possible to fix bad pixels!

For more information about LCD monitors and a huge selection of test images, check out The Lagom LCD monitor test pages.

Have you ever succeeded in fixing a stuck pixel and how did you do it?

Find Duplicate Files with Auslogics Duplicate File Finder

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is a free file utility that allows you to completely remove duplicate files stored inside your PC that are useless. You can free your disk space up to 50% by trying this free file utility. Our daily PC using activities can lead to accumulating duplicate files on your PC. You may download tons of video and music files or applications and documents from online and share them with your friends. But you don’t realize that such activity can lead to collecting same files on your hard disk. Now you don’t have to worry about these files as you have this free file utility to help you.

auslogics duplicate file finder

You might be wasting your valuable hard disk space by keeping unimportant duplicate files on your PC. But don’t worry as Auslogics Duplicate File Finder can help you to find and remove these files from your PC. Media files like videos, music, photos and images are considered as the main source of identical files. If you have a big music collection of thousands mp3 files, you might want to sort them properly to delete duplicate tracks. That’s where this free file utility comes to help you. It can help you to organize all your media files and increase your hard disk space.

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder comes with user-friendly interface. It’s extremely easy to use. This free duplicate file finder comes with MD5 search engine that can help you to find duplicate files by content. For example, if you have two identical video files or mp3 tracks with different names, this free duplicate file finder will be able to identify them. Once the scan is complete, you get the list of duplicate files found by this software. You can delete them or keep them if you want.

You can also try Fast Duplicate File Finder, FlexTk and CloneSpy reviewed by us.

Features of Auslogics Duplicate File Finder:

  • Find and Delete Duplicate Files: This free file utility helps you to find duplicate files stored inside in your PC and delete them. Once the scan is finished, you get the list of duplicate files. You can delete them or keep them if you want.
  • Organize Your Media Collections: You can sort all your media files like images, photos, videos and music files with this freeware and organize them in the way you want. It can detect identical music tracks or other media files and delete them.

Auslogic Duplicate File Finder is available for download at Auslogic’s official website. It’s only 4.35MB in size and supports Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2008 and 2003. Download Auslogic Duplicate File Finder Free.