LiveGo : Social Network, Email and IM at a Single Place

If the Internet could be summarized in 3 simple words in today’s life, then they would surely be Social Networks, E-mails and IM’s.

LiveGo is a website that takes this concept and offers the best of all the 3 to its users in a single place. With LiveGo, users can stay connected to their social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, Instant Messengers such as MSN or Live, Yahoo and Gtalk and email accounts as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo.

The home page shows you various sign in options. A good thing about this website is that uses do not need to create a separate login account. Instead, they can directly use their Facebook, MSN, Twitter, Yahoo, Gmail or AOL accounts to sign in.

When I logged in using my Facebook account, I was extremely pleased to see the overall interface. The majority of the space was rightly occupied with the news feed and the right sidebar showed me a list of my online friends. The left sidebar was similar to that of Facebook with options for Messages, Albums, Friends, and Notifications etc. An update bar on the top allows users to share their updates on Facebook and Twitter. A separate pop-up window opens for chatting when either you receive a PM or when you double click on any icon on the messenger window. A webcam icon on the top right of the PM window indicates webcam chat option. However, this feature is not yet available and hovering the cursor over the icon will only show you a “Coming Soon” message. One appreciable feature of the news feed was that taking the cursor over any picture automatically showed an enlarged view of it, certainly saving a few clicks and unnecessary page loading.

My next step was activating my Twitter account on the site. Clicking on the “Activate” link under the Twitter tab or the “Add Account” button on the left sidebar did the job pretty fast. Also the dashboard now included feeds from both the social networks. Separate Facebook and Twitter Tabs can let the users view feeds from either of the social network. Hovering the cursor over any display pic in the twitter feed will open a pop up giving you details of the user such as webpage, bio, number of followers, updates etc and the option to follow/unfollow, message or block the particular user.

Adding an email account automatically included my contacts in the messenger window and showed the online contacts by default. All options such as composing a new email or checking the inbox, drafts or sent items along with labels were available. Moreover, users can add multiple accounts for the same email provider and simultaneously access both of them. This way, if you have 2 or more accounts in Gmail or Yahoo, you no longer need to sign in and out of each account to access them. No doubt, this will come as a bliss for users with multiple accounts.

The overall layout of the site is impressive and users who still feel the need for more space for feeds can hide both the sidebars by clicking on the left and right arrows of the top of each sidebar respectively. Ads are placed on a thin bottom bar and are non intrusive in nature.

In a nutshell, LiveGo does what it promises, that is, it helps you stay connected with multiple social networks, e-mail accounts and send and receive IM’s at a single place. Users who find themselves wasting more of their time switching among various tabs and windows will find this as a felicity and a one stop solution for most of their online needs.

Two Search Engines To Find You Stuff Google Can’t – Part 2

Google may be the unanimous choice for searching the web but it isn’t very good when it comes to finding something very particular. Google is sort of the “Jack of all trades, and master of none”. We have earlier covered two amazing search engines, Quixey and Wolframalpha, in our post “Two Search Engines To Find You Stuff Google Can’t”.

Now, let’s take a look at two more search engines that do their job remarkably well.

Pipl

If you’ve pronounced it correctly, chances are that you’ve already guessed what it is about. In case you haven’t, it lets you find people on the web. Pipl promises to find anyone on the web, be it an old friend, lost relative, childhood crush, business contact or anyone else whose name you can remember. Even if can’t recall the name, don’t worry. You can still search using keywords like email id, username or even the phone number.

Traditional search engines, while searching for content, usually only search static web pages. However, details of personnel are often stored in databases rather than static pages and are not found by traditional search engines. This is where Pipl comes into play. It finds information from what it calls the “deep web” and yields highly accurate results.

Using the site is as easy as it could get. Visit the Pipl homepage and enter the detail of the person you are looking for and hit the search button. A list of all the matched contacts will be displayed, some even with a display picture. If you still cannot find the person you are looking for, try refining your search by entering a location, age or any other tag.

The picture below shows the search results for “Sachin Tendulkar”.

Depending on the availability, search results include details such as photo, address, contact number and profile links to social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Hi5, Myspace, Twitter and many more.

The search results are impressive and if you ever need to find someone, Pipl should be the first place you should be looking at.

SimilarSites

Hundreds and thousands of sites are created and launched on the internet every day. Even though many of them have great content and worth, it’s a tough job discovering them. Similarsites is a website that helps us find alternatives to the sites we know of.

All it needs is the name of a familiar site or topic from the user and it shows a list of the sites that are similar to it, along with its similarity score. The results are laudable.

Other than the list for similar websites, there are also tabs for “Also Visited” sites, “Keyword Density”, “Top Sites” and “Reviews”. The top sites tab, however, is particularly impressive as it shows the best ranked sites in several of the topics similar to the search term. No doubt, it’s a great way to discover new websites that are related to the users’ preferences.

Take a look at the results obtained when I searched for Youtube.com:

The site also provides extensions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari browsers. Installing the extension removes the need to visit the website each time to search for similar sites. Simply visit any site and hit the SimilarSite button on the browser to see the results.

If you are an avid surfer and like to discover new websites, then SimilarSites is a service that you certainly can’t miss out.

Do you use any specialized search engine for your needs? Do let me know in the comments below.

2 Great Sites for Movie Buffs!

If you ask any movie buff, Movies are serious business. Fanatics and aficianados discuss about the movies they love (or hate) and also sometimes brag about the movies they have seen. No wonder, sites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes have become so popular and successful. There are thousands, if not millions, of sites on the Internet dedicated to discussion and talking about movies. If you’re a movie buff, though, that obviously can’t be enough.

Take a look at these two websites that provide an excellent platform for movie buffs to hang out together and share their movie experiences online.

iCheckMovies

iCheckMovies is a simple and user friendly website that does lets you keep track of all the movies that you’ve ever seen. All you need to do is create your profile and start striking off the movies that you’ve seen till date. In return, you get rewards and rank depending on the number of movies you have seen.

An interesting feature of the site is neighbors, which are users having the highest movie compatibility with you. You can become friends, exchange messages and view the compatibility details of your movie neighbors  and of other users on the website. Another feature worth mentioning is the “Recommended for you” section. It lists down the movies that you have not yet seen but which the website believes that will interest you.

iCheckMovies has a huge list of movies and all the movies that I could think of were present. Movies are categorized into lists such as All time top 250, Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Horror, Crime, Romance, Sci-fi, 1990’s 2000’s, 2010’s and many more.

iCheckMovies is a great platform for those who like to discover new movies that might interest them and meet new people with similar film interests.

FilmBuffet

FilmBuffet is a one of its kind social network for movie lovers. It provides a great platform for movie fans to share their experiences online.

Users can either register with the site or login using their Facebook credentials. Once logged in, one can start adding movies to one’s collection, rate and mark them as Seen, Plan to See, Own it, Add to wish list or Add to favorites. Users can browse movies according to popularity and ratings, reviews, discussions or according to genre such as Drama, Musical, War, Mystery-Suspense, Comedy, Crime and more.

The home tab shows the most recent activity of the user and the recently discussed movies. A useful section at the bottom lists the Top Box Office movies, Opening This Week and Coming Soon films. You can even read reviews written by other users, rate them or write your own reviews. A groups feature allows you to create groups and to join other groups.

All in all, the site can serve as a great hangout for all movie enthusiasts and with an active circle of friends it might even become an addiction that is hard to resist.

Don’t forget to let us know how you fulfill your movie cravings online, and also how you found the above mentioned websites.

Use F.lux to Prevent Hurting Your Eyes From Computer Glare

Prolonged use of computers can sometimes lead to irritation in the eyes, particularly when the display is bright and the usage continues till late at night. Symptoms may include difficulty in reading, headache and sleeplessness.

The reason behind this is very simple. During the daytime, computer screens look good as they are designed to look like the Sun. But during the evening and night our eyes get tired by looking at the bright (sun-like) computer screen giving which leads to eyestrain.

F.lux is a simple, yet very effective software that handles this problem very well. It adjusts the colour temperature of your computer’s display according to what time of the day it is.

Color temperature is a term that describes how much red or blue, the light is. Natural light is more blue, whereas artificial light is warmer, i.e. more red.

During the evening and at night, F.lux automatically changes the colour temperature of computer screen to warm. This makes the computer screen look like indoor lights i.e. a fluorescent or halogen like warm color. As a result, our eyes don’t stress even if we are using the computer till the late dark hours.

Using the software is very easy. All you need to do is download the setup file from the  f.lux website and install it. Then fill in your location and F.lux will do the rest. It will automatically change the colour temperature of your display to warm depending on the local sunset time and revert it back to normal the next morning.

Users of F.lux might take some time to adjust to the new colour settings. If you find your screen too pink or orange you can set the color manually by clicking the ‘Change Settings’ button after clicking on the F.lux icon in the taskbar. For colour intensive work such as using Photoshop it might not be a good idea to keep F.lux running all the time. For this, there is also an option to disable F.lux for an hour after which it starts functioning automatically.

F.lux is available for Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X, Linux and iOS. Android users will need to wait to get the benefits of F.lux. Also if you are an iPhone or iPad user, keep in mind that you will have to jailbreak your device before you can start using F.lux.

All in all, F.lux is an amazing software that does it’s job and its makers have rightly called it as a software that will make your life better. Having used it for a few days now, I can strongly recommend it as a must have for your computer.

Please share with us your experiences using the software and if it helped you work longer hours on the computer without the eyestrain.

4 Websites To Compare Cameras and Cell Phones Online

Do you get confused while buying a new gadget, particularly mobile phones or cameras? With the number of new launches in the market these days, it is becoming difficult for consumers to differentiate between the various models of a product and decide which one suits their needs best.

Very often we wish if there was a service which would just tell us exactly how two or more products vary and thus make our lives easier in deciding which among them is better. Take a look at these two websites that we’ve dug up for you, that give you exactly that.

Compare Cell Phones

Gsmarena is a well known name for cell phone lovers and it lives up to its reputation with its cellphone comparison feature. The Comparison page shows two columns to compare two different cell phones. The comparison results are very detailed and include almost all the specifications of each of the phones such as size, display, sound, memory, data, camera, extra features, battery and price group.

However, if you are looking for a service that instead of just showing you the specifications, also tells you which one is better and why, then head over to compare-cellphones.org.

The interface is neatly laid out and shows various popular cell phones. Comparison results include specific reasons why either of the phones is better and in which department and by what margin. There is also a suggestion for popular competitors and the pros and cons as compared to recent cell phones. The bottom of the page shows the appearance of both the phones for a visual comparison.

Compare Cameras

dpreview is a popular photography and camera review website that provides an excellent camera comparison tool. Users can choose upto 20 different camera models for simultaneous side-by-side comparison. The results let users compare cameras by specs such as sensor, image details, optics and focus, screen / viewfinder, photography features, videography features, storage, connectivity, battery etc.

Since the results show only the difference in specifications, a newbie in this field might have difficulty in analyzing what the specifications mean and determine which camera is actually better.

And to solve that dilemma, head over to Snapsort.

Snapsort Comparison compares two cameras and shows the results in three different tabs namely High Level, Specifications and Score. The high level picks out a winner between the cameras and also pinpoints the reasons for buying either of the cameras. One handy feature is the performance section where users can cast their vote on the uses and features of the cameras being compared. The competitors section lists various competitors for both the cameras and mentions the advantages and disadvantages of each competitor. At the bottom of the page is a visual comparison of the two models.

Clicking the specifications tab will give you the detailed individual comparison of all the specifications. The Score tab shows the rank and score of both the cameras when compared to the best recent cameras in their category.

These are 4 of our favorite sites for comparing cameras and cellphones online. Do you use any websites to compare gadgets ? Please let us know your favorite websites in the comments.

 

3 Tools To Enrich Your Gmail Experience

With almost unlimited free storage, a simple and quick interface, Gmail has become the numero uno choice for users looking for a great free email service.

However, Gmail can do much more than just sending and receiving emails with the help of a few web tools and add-ons. Here we handpick 3 tools to make Gmail even more productive for you that it already is.

Rapportive

Rapportive is a free add on for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and the Mailplane browser that adds a sidebar to your Gmail window. Whenever you read an email, a sidebar on the right checks for the sender details and displays details such as phone number, email id etc along with social networking details including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts.

Users can also view recent tweets from the contact or the email messages exchanged with him/her recently. Another excellent feature is the ability to add personal notes on that contact which can be read only by you.

 

Create Multiple sub-addresses on your account

Gmail provides a feature that lets you create sub-email addresses on your existing Gmail account on the go with the help of the “+” sign. All you need to do is add a “+” sign followed by any text after your Gmail username and use it like your a regular email id. The new email address will be of the form “username+anyword@gmail.com“.

Sub email addresses can be used for signing up for separate services and can also help reducing your inbox clutter. You can choose to set up separate filters for each sub address and automatically move those messages to the trash, apply a label or star, make it skip the inbox or forward it another email address.

Follow Up Your Emails

Many times it happens that we receive an email which we do not need for another few days or weeks. Followupthen is a free web service that can send you scheduled emails according to your desired time so that you read your emails when you actually need to.

To use the service, simply forward the email which you want to schedule for a later reading date to followupthen.com in any of the time formats as mentioned below:

Time Interval

  • 1minute@followupthen.com
  • 2hours@followupthen.com
  • 3days@followupthen.com
  • 4weeks@followupthen.com
  • 5months@followupthen.com
  • 6years@followupthen.com

Day of Week

  • tuesday@followupthen.com

Common Scheduling Terms

  • tomorrow@followupthen.com
  • nextweek@followupthen.com
  • nextmonth@followupthen.com

Specific Date

  • mar30@followupthen.com
  • 2010-05-30@followupthen.com

Specific Time

  • 11am@followupthen.com
  • 1132am@followupthen.com
  • 1500@followupthen.com

Specific Date and Time

  • tomorrow9am@followupthen.com
  • 12pmAug25@followupthen.com

Recurring Reminders

  • everywed@followupthen.com
  • everymar30@followupthen.com

Paid members can also enjoy the benefits of receiving SMS reminders and including attachments in the emails sent.

Another alternative to FollowUpThen is Boomerang which has similar functionality but needs to be installed as an add-on before it can be used.

Please let us know if there are any other Gmail based services that you guys find useful.

10 Must Have Free Android Applications

One of the major reasons why Android phones are so popular (and still growing) is the huge number of free and paid applications available in the Android Market. The choice of applications available under each category is so huge that new users often have a hard time deciding between the many exellent options.

Here we have picked top applications from 10 different categories to give you a superior, all round Android experience. All the mentioned applications can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.

Home Screen Replacement

Go Launcher EX is one of the best home screen replacement applications available in the android market. It lets you make the most of your home screen with features such as a scrollable dock, gesture support, app drawer, resizable widgets etc. It also supports themes and several supported themes can be downloaded from the site for free.

Alternatives : LauncherPro and ADW Launcher

Messaging

Go SMS Pro replaces your default messaging app to give you enhanced features such as 3D transition effect, scheduler, encryption, backup/recovery, reminder, gesture support, personalized themes and lots more.
Alternative: Handcent SMS

News Reader

An award winning application, Pulse News, works as good as it looks. A mosaic grid shows news updates from your favorite websites or from saved keywords.

Alternatives: Taptu and Google Reader

Security

Lookout Security & Anti-Virus protects your phone against malware, spyware and phishing attacks. Added functions such as phone locator and backup and restore makes it a must have application for any android device.

Alternative: Norton Mobile Security

Dictionary

With a database of around 1.4 million words, Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus is an excellent source to find out meanings,  synonyms, antonyms, similar and related words, hypernyms and even hyponyms. It also has a fuzzy filter which can be used when you are not sure of the correct spelling of a word.

Alternative: Dictionary.com

Browser

Dolphin is an excellent browser for your Android phone with support for add ons, gestures, tabbed browsing, speed dial and themes.
Alternatives: Firefox and Opera Mini

Instant Messaging

eBuddy Messenger is an all in one chat client for  MSN, Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, GTalk, MySpace & Hyves that lets you chat simultaneously on more than one network.

Alternatives: Meebo and Nimbuzz

Application Lock

Smart App Protector protects the privacy on your phone by locking SMS, Mail, Photos, Contacts or any other installed application. Once you set the list of applications to be locked, an unlock pattern or password can be used to unlock and use the individual apps.
Alternative: Smart AppLock

Photo Editor

With over 3 million downloads, PicsIn Photo Studio is a free photo editor that is hard to resist. Various editing options are provided to play with the photos including Kaleidoscope, Drawing and Collage modes.

Alternative: PicSay


Games

This is one category where we could not hand pick any clear winner. Hence, we’ve listed down all of the 5 must play games on your Android phone.
  1. Angry Birds,
  2. Paper Toss,
  3. X Construction,
  4. Mouse Trap,
  5. Bubble Blast 2

Do let us know through your comments how you liked the above mentioned applications. Also, tell us your favorite apps and the ones you think we should have included in the list.

Top 5 Sites To Download Free And Legal Music

The words “free” and “legal” generally do not go together on the internet, especially when it comes to downloading music.

Statistics from the IFPI reveal that the piracy rate for music on the Internet is about 95%. When it comes to all things music, pirated music certainly makes up a bulk of the digital downloads.

While it may feel nice to get your music fix for free, think about it from the musician’s point of view. Wouldn’t you want to make sure that they make enough money to actually make the music you and I enjoy ?

Pirating music is definitely not the only way to listen to some good music. Here we present to you 5 sites for downloading free music legally so that you do not have to carry the guilt of wrongdoing (such as downloading pirated music) while listening to your favorite number.

 1. Mp3.com

 

Mp3.com has a huge collection of free music downloads which you can browse according to genre. They also feature a “Free mp3 of the day” or you can take a look at the “Top Downloads” section to get a taste of what others are listening to. Musicians can also upload their work and reach 40 million fans, if the site is to be believed. Users can also search songs from a particular artist and listen or download the desired tracks.

2. Amazon

Amazon, one of the largest online music sellers online, also offers free music to download. Visit Amazon Free Music and browse the list of over 2800+ songs or browse through songs in specific categories such as Rock, Blues, Classical, Jazz, Latin, Hip-hop and many more.

3. Jamendo

Jamendo currently offers 313,675 (at the time of writing this post) free music tracks and rightly claims to let you “Discover the true value of free music”. Users can search for music specific to their country and order the results by popularity, most downloaded, most listened, latest releases etc. Downloading tracks is as easy as clicking on the download button on any album or player.

4. Last.fm

Last.fm is a very popular music recommendation service but if you dig in a little into the website, you’ll  land up on the Free Music Downloads page. The number of downloads offered is large and users can find the songs based on its genre such as acoustic, ambient, hardcore, among others. Registered users get the benefit of music recommendatios from the site. For those who want to save time on signing up, a direct facebook connect option is also provided. 

5. Madeloud

Madeloud offers free music downloads from underground bands and solo artists. Users can filter songs according to pricing and/or by its genre. Songs are shown in a list with details such as number of times it has been played, downloaded, it’s rating and whether its content is explicit or kid friendly.

Bonus: Google Music

Although the Music beta by Google is only available in the United States, Google Music India labs can be used in India, and offers thousands of songs. The reason why it does not make the top 5 list is because the songs cannot be downloaded. They are available only for listening online. Nevertheless, an excellent collection of songs from sites such as in.com, saavn and saregama makes this a one stop solution for audiophiles looking for tracks in the continental languages.

Do you download music off the Internet? Which websites do you use to download your favorite tracks?

Two Search Engines To Find You Stuff Google Can’t

What do you do when you need to find an application for a specific purpose but you do not know its name? Or, if you need to compute a complex mathematical calculation and have no idea how to proceed? Popular search engines fail miserably in such cases as their search results are purely dependent on the keywords entered.

Because of their keywords based approach, regular search engines such as Google and Yahoo are not only easy to game, you cannot really trust their results completely.

This is where sites such as Quixey and WolframAlpha come to rescue.

Let’s take a look at Quixey first.

Quixey

Quixey is a search engine for finding applications. It introduces a new type of search, which it terms as “functional search”. Unlike other search engines, users do not need to know the name or the description of an application to find it. Instead, the users only need to answer a simple question “What do you want to do?”

Once the user has entered his need, Quixey produces a highly accurate list of applications based on results from blogs, forums and popular sites such as CrunchBase and TechCrunch.

Each application in the list contains its description, price as well as information about the developer of the application. Users can also filter and see only free applications by checking the “Free” radio box on the left sidebar.

Quixey covers applications for a large number of platforms such as Android, Blackberry, Firefox, IE, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Palm, Web, Windows and so on. Users can conduct searches across operating systems or for specific operating systems

Currently in beta, Quixey is a web tool for all application lovers.

WolframAplha

WolframAplha is a computational search engine. Instead of giving links to search results as in case of a conventional search engine, WolframAlpha gives the computed, highly precise and detailed answers to each query.

You can get weather forecasts, nutritional data, solve complex equations, query information about a chemical element, currency and unit conversion, historical or geographical facts, rhyming words, what happened on a certain date, population, density, unemployment rate and many more.

In my test, I entered the query, “When will the earth end?” and you can see the results yourselves:

My next query was “what is factorial of 1000?” and I was amazed with the result. Of course, I had no means to check the authenticity of the answer.

WolframAplha accepts plain English as input and shows you its interpretation of the given input. The amount of details fed into each result is highly impressive. Besides just viewing the results, users can also save the results as an image or download it in pdf format.

Overall, WolframAplha is an amazing tool and certainly one of its kind.

Do regular search engines like Google meet all your needs ? Do you know of any other specialized search engines ? Please let us know in the comments.

3 Ways To Download Bing Wallpapers To Your Computer

Bing, the search engine from Microsoft created a lot of buzz when it was launched because of its neat interface and relevant search results. But, arguably, the most striking feature of the search engine is the beautiful featured wallpapers/background images.

In fact the background images are so beautiful that a lot of users want to download them to their computers to use as their desktop wallpapers. Although the official website does not provide any download option, the background images can be easily downloaded manually or by using free software.

Bing Downloader is an excellent application that can be used to download daily wallpaper images from Bing. The application is less than 100kb in size and does not require any installation.

When you run the application, it creates a folder named “BingImages” at the location where the application is executed from. Bing background images from various countries for the day are stored in this folder.

One drawback of the application is that since the same background is sometimes used on the Bing webpage for multiple countries, the application downloads the same wallpaper more than once. That, however, is a small price to pay for the convenience.

Those who don’t want to download all the Bing wallpaper, should take a look at Wallpaper Downloader. The site features Bing wallpapers being used worldwide for that particular day. Clicking on any thumbnail opens up the full image which can then be saved with a simple right click.

Users can browse the wallpapers according to a specific country or by selecting any specific date. The site even offers free Wallpaper Downloader software that downloads Bing wallpaper backgrounds automatically and sets them as your default desktop wallpaper.

Download Wallpaper Downloader from here.

If the above two methods also don’t work for you and you only want to download wallpapers occasionally, you can download the Bing wallpapers manually without visiting any other website or downloading free software. The process to download varies slightly from browser to browser.

Firefox users can download the wallpaper images very easily. All you need to do is visit the website and right click anywhere on the image. You then need to select the “View Background Image” option.

The “Save Image” option can then be selected to save the wallpaper.

Unfortunately, Chrome or Opera do not give any direct right click option to save the image. However, users can download the Bing background with a little bit of tweaking as described in the following steps:

  • Press “Ctrl+U” or open the page source by choosing the “View Page Source” option (in Chrome) or “Source” option (in Opera) from the right click context menu.

  • A new tab will open showing you the source code of the page. Now, go to “Find” option (or press Ctrl+F) and type “jpg” in the search box.

  • The selected text will be found and highlighted on the page. Copy the entire text that is present within the bracket (or single quotes) in which it is found. The text to be copied will be similar to the form: /fd/hpk2/any_name.jpg and is shown in the image below.

  • Open a new tab and type www.bing.com and paste the copied text after this. It should look like: www.bing.com/fd/hpk2/any_name.jpg
  • Hit “Enter” and the image will open.

  • Right click anywhere on the image and choose “Save Image As” option to save the image and you’re done.

You can download Bing wallpapers using any of the above mentioned three methods. If you happen to know any more of ways for downloading wallpapers from Bing, please let us know in the comments.