Experience Web Apps On Your Desktop with Pokki

If you’re a regular internet user, you’d often find yourself visiting certain websites more frequently than others. Gmail and Facebook are excellent examples of such sites that users keep visiting from time to time to check for updates. This can sometimes get frustrating as users need to open new tabs or windows on their browsers every time they wish to check their account.

Pokki solves this problem by giving you a smartphone like app experience on your windows desktop. By installing Pokki, you can access and stay updated with all your web accounts right from your desktop – with just a click.

To install Pokki, all you need to do is visit the Pokki website and hit the download button on top. Installing Pokki does not take more than a few minutes. Once you have Pokki installed on your computer, the Pokki icon will appear on the taskbar.

All the web apps can then either be downloaded from this icon or from the website itself. An icon for every web app that you install keeps appearing next to the Pokki icon on the taskbar. Sign in and authorize each app to use it. A number next to each icon indicates the number of notifications and gives you real time updates for all your authorized accounts.

The ease of use along with the number of applications available makes Pokki a must have for your desktop. Popular apps include Google Search, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wikipedia and more. If you are still not satisfied with the number of apps and can code in HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, you can head over to the developers page and publish your own web app.

The design of Pokki is amazingly good and user friendly. Moreover, it provides users all the controls just like a web browser. This means that one can check mails, send or mark them into folders while viewing ones email account. Similarly, while checking Facebook account, you can view your news feed, notifications, messages, events and friend requests. Since all these and more are only a click away from your desktop, it saves both time and effort to check your account besides adding an eye candy to your work.

All in all, Pokki is an excellent software that brings the best of web experience on your desktop and the only limitation being that it requires Windows platform to run. Do let us know through your comments about how you liked the software and what other apps would you like to see in it.

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.

What Is Browser Hijacking And How To Recover From It

Browser hijacking is one of the most annoying problems that an Internet user can face. When you open your Internet browser to read the news – porn shows up. You try to check your email – porn shows up. You try to access Facebook – porn shows up. Browser hijacking software is very aggressive advertising software; it is downloaded to the user’s computer system when a website that contains malicious software is accessed.

This kind of software can alter the browser’s homepage address, so that when the user clicks on the homepage icon, he is redirected to another website. It prevents navigation to anti-spyware and other security sites, and slows down system operations as well.

If you are bombarded with endless popup windows and suspect that your browser has been hijacked, hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete and click on Task Manager, then select the Processes tab. If you’re using Internet Explorer, click on iexplore.exe and then hit the End Process button.

To prevent further popups, click on the Tools and select Internet Options. After that, go to the Privacy tab and tick on the box underneath “Pop-up Blocker”.

If there is still a problem, then you need to scan your computer in safe mode. Restart your computer, and press the F8 key repeatedly when the system starts up with a display screen. The Windows boot menu will come up. Select Safe Mode and hit Enter.

Once Windows has started in safe mode, open Microsoft Security Essentials (you should have this installed already), and run a full scan. It is useful for detecting and removing most malicious software on your computer.

Microsoft Security Essentials

You can also use multiple antivirus/spyware remover programs – one at a time – to identify and delete any remaining malicious software. Some useful ones include Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Ad-Aware Free Internet Security. Make sure to restart your computer in normal mode when you’re done, and scan it again to ensure that there is no malware left.

Should all those methods above fail, open the Start menu and type in ‘regedit’. In the registry editor, press Ctrl+F and type in the URL of the website that you are redirected to by the browser hijacker. If you find any entry, delete it and press F3 to continue searching. After deleting all similar entries, empty the recycle bin and restart the computer.

Don’t forget to update your antivirus regularly after this and never open or visit links online that you don’t trust.

This is a guest post by Dickey. Dickey is a software engineer and the owner of System Tool. He shares useful Windows applications and also Malware Removal Guides through his website.

PicYou – Add Instagram Style Effects To Your Facebook And Twitter Photos

Photo sharing apps are all the rage this season. There is the darling of the media, Instagram, that seems to be leading the charge right now but there are also others such as EyeEM, Color, Lightbox, PicPlz and a gazillion others. Then there are the social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ that offer photo sharing as an essential part of the whole social experience.

The essential difference, though, between Instagram and all of it’s competitors is that Instagram is hugely popular and successful while the rest are just, mostly, imitating it.

So, when I was contacted by a rep from a company last week about their latest photo sharing called PicYou, I was (rightfully) skeptical.

And how wrong was I !

PicYou is an online photo sharing website that also offers Instagram style filters and lets you share your masterpiece with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Uploading photos to PicYou couldn’t be easier. Login to the website using your Twitter or Facebook credentials, upload your photos and apply the available filters. That’s it.

PicYou

Play around with the various filters available and when you’re satisfied, tick the option to share your photo on Twitter/Facebook. PicYou also has the concept of followers, where other users can follow your profile if they like your photos interesting, so you don’t have to share your photos with all your Facebook and Twitter friends to be appreciated.

Now, let me be absolutely clear. PicYou is not better than Instagram and is not going to replace it for the majority of you. Hell, PicYou is, as far as I can tell, not even competing with Instagram. Instagram has a dedicated network of photo sharing (camera) trigger happy users that are not going to jump ship to any other similar social network unless all their favorite Instagram photogs do so.

PicYou users, on the other hand, are the kind of casual amateur photographers who would like to share their latest masterpieces instantly with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers. They’re not, necessarily, looking for appreciation. Their goal is to let their friends and family see their photos and the filters just make those photos look a lot more interesting. The big advantage, of course, is the fact that Picyou is accessible from a browser while Instagram is an iPhone only app. I’ve been told that a PicYou mobile app is also in the works, though, and that should make things interesting in this space.

Which is your favorite photo sharing app ?

 

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.

 

7 useful image sharing websites

The best part about online media and ever improving technology is that you can capture your memories and the time spent by you with your loved ones and at the same time easily share those memories with others.

The last few years have seen an explosion in image sharing websites and it is quite difficult to chose one over the other. In this post, we are going to list 7 of our favorite sites that allow users to share their images online.

Picasa

 

7 useful image sharing websites

Picasa is a popular image sharing site owned by Google. It allows users to store and share images online. You can chose to set different privacy levels for each photo or on a per album basis and the maximum  space that Picasa web provides for album and pictures is 1 GB. If you’re a Google+ user, though, and use the G+ mobile app to upload images to picasa, you have unlimited space available to share your mobile pictures.

Flickr

 

7 useful image sharing websites

 

Flickr is one of the top images sharing sites and is widely used by artist, painters and bloggers. Flickr is owned by Yahoo and it allows uploading photos, tagging and also creating new groups and joining them, but the maximum space that a free users gets to upload his/her images is limited to 300MB.

Imgur

 

7 useful image sharing websites

Imgur is one of the simplest image sharing websites around; the user interface can be used and understood by even a kid without any help. The maximum size for non-animated files is 10MB and for animated files is 2MB.

Photobucket

7 useful image sharing websites

Photobucket is not only an image sharing site but it also allows users to share their videos online. You can also share your media files on various social networks. One can also create photo albums and can share with others but the space allowed is limited to 500MB after which the user has to pay for extra space.

Fotolog

7 useful image sharing websites

This website can only be used for sharing images and users can create a photo blog and a diary and can share them with their friend and relatives without worrying about the space limit as Fotolog offers unlimited space.

ImageShack

7 useful image sharing websites

This website is one of my favorite as it not only offers image sharing in different formats but also offers option to convert all the uploaded images into .png format and gives you the HTML and BB code for linking the images from a website or a forum.

Shutterfly

7 useful image sharing websites

This website is also a great place to use for sharing your images. Users can upload their memories and keep them forever with the free unlimited space. Users can also create different photo books for their personal purpose or can make all photo books public.

These were some of our favorite media sharing websites. Did we miss any ? Which online websites do you use for sharing images and video online for free ?

 

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.

How To Remove The Noise From Your Twitter Timeline

Twitter is an amazing social network that can be a powerful tool in your arsenal if used properly. Unlike traditional social networks, that are meant for communication between real-life friends, anyone can follow anyone else on twitter and start receiving their updates in real-time.

The best part about twitter is that instead of being restricted to people in your regular social circle, you are exposed to millions of new and, potentially, interesting people who might be able to give you a new perspective on any topic that you wish to discuss. This, in my opinion, is what makes twitter so powerful.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. Since you follow people who might not share all the same interests as you have, there will be times when your timeline is full of tweets you have no interest in. If you’d like to filter out such tweets from your timeline and read only the stuff you’re interested in, you’ll thank us for recommending Slipstream.

Slipstream is a free extension for Google’s Chrome web browser that lets you filter tweets using filters that you define. Slipstream installs next to the address bar on your browser like all Chrome extensions and the first time you click on it’s icon, you’ll be asked to authorize slipstream using twitter’s authentication process and to let it access your tweets.

Now, let’s say there is an event happening somewhere that you’re not interested in and everyone on your timeline is tweeting about it and you’d like to hide all tweets with a mention of the event’s hashtag. Click the slipstream icon and click on the “Hide Some Tweets” button. You can now enter the hashtag or any text that you aren’t interested in and slipstream will not display any tweets containing that tweet to you.

You can also let Slipstream hide tweets by a certain user on your timeline or by anyone on each user’s timeline that you happen to take a look at.

If you’re too lazy to actually remember and type the text that you want to block, you can just point to a tweet when you see it on the twitter web interface and click the hide button.

Clicking the hide link will bring up the Slipstream window with the text of the tweet already entered for you. You can then keep the complete text or just parts of the text that you want to filter out.

Slipstream can prove to be an extremely useful tool for someone who uses twitter mostly using the browser. The only problem that I see is that it is only available for the Google Chrome browser, but that’s not really a problem since the browser is so good, right !

Have you guys ever wished to hide some tweets from your timeline ? Did you find any other tools for this task ?