Tuesday, December 15, 2009

53 Crazy Useful Services & Apps You Can Get for Free Online | Maximum PC

There's an untold bounty of awesome available on the Internet, and it's all free, free, FREE! From applications and games to movie tickets and mattresses, we'll show you what's safe and steer you away from the unsavory

As inhabitants of the Internet, we’ve become so inured to the hyperbolic advertising and questionable offers that we miss the incredible values that are ripe for the taking. If you know where to look, you can find all sorts of awesome stuff available for the low, low cost of $0. Whether you’re looking for a great image management app, free AAA games, or the proverbial free lunch, we can tell you where to find it. But wait, there’s more! We’ll also show you three things that seem free, but really aren’t.


Get Free Financial Advice

We know how it is. You want to get your finances in order but don’t know where to start. Well, try starting at Mint.com, a free, easy-to-use, and secure financial-planning website.
Mint.com offers all kinds of useful tools to help you track your spending, create a budget, pay down your debt, and save for your golden years. By analyzing all your banking, credit card, and investment account information, as well as your spending habits, Mint.com makes informed suggestions about how you can get more from your moolah.

Host a Hassle-Free Virtual Private Network

Need to access files on your home computer while you’re at the office? A virtual private network will give you a direct link to your desktop over the Internet, and the easiest way to set one up is with Hamachi (https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi2/). With almost no configuration required, Hamachi will connect two computers as if they were on the same local network, even if they are behind NAT firewalls. Use Hamachi to facilitate secure remote desktop sessions or even host LAN multiplayer games over the Internet.

Store and Share Your Files Online

We’ve touted this web storage service before, but Dropbox (www.getdropbox.com) deserves another mention. Its seamless synchronization and file-history tracking features raise it above other free cloud storage services. A Dropbox account entitles you to 2GB of free cloud storage for your files, which can be accessed on a web browser or with the cross-platform Dropbox client (now available as an iPhone app). Tip: Expand your free account’s capacity to up to 3GB by referring the service to new users.

Blog with the Best of Them

Microblogging has become all the rage these days, making our lives accessible to anyone who cares. But Twitter’s 140 character limit leaves us desiring far more room to rant. Fortunately, full-fledged blogging services like Tumblr (www.tumblr.com), Blogger (www.blogger.com), TypePad (www.typepad.com), and WordPress (www.wordpress.org) are free and easy to set up, so you can share your photos and daily goings on with the rest of the world, gratis.

Dial Directory Assistance without Paying a Cent

Remember when calling 411 for directory lookups was actually free? We do, and we want those halcyon days back. Both Google and Microsoft have set up toll-free numbers that provide directory assistance, each with unique features. 1-800-GOOG-411 will let you look up the address and phone number for businesses as well as nearby intersections (it can also text you a link to an online map). Microsoft’s 1-800-BING-411 offers similar directory information, but will also dictate turn-by-turn directions from wherever you are and provide local weather condition updates.

Claim Your Complimentary Annual Credit Report

Under federal law, you can claim one free credit report per year, but many people have been scammed into paying for credit reports under this entitlement. The only website that actually provides your one free report is Annualcreditreport.com. You’ll get a report from three nationwide agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Alternatively, you can call 1-977-322-8228 to request the service.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gillette limits Tiger Woods' role in marketing programs

Click to play
Woods admits infidelity
  • Grooming company cuts back on Tiger Woods' time after admission of "infidelity"
  • Woods admits to cheating on wife, plans "indefinite break" from golf
  • Woods: "I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness"
  • Nike, EA Sports, PGA Tour pledge support to Woods

(CNN) -- Gillette said Saturday it was "limiting" golfer Tiger Woods' role in its marketing programs to give him the privacy he needs to work on family relationships after disclosures of his "infidelity."

In a statement, the Boston, Massachusetts-based body grooming company said it supports Woods' decision to take "an indefinite break" from professional golf. On his Web site Friday, Woods admitted to infidelity and was taking a break from the sport to focus on his family

"In the midst of a difficult and unfortunate situation, we respect the action Tiger is taking to restore the trust of his family, friends and fans," Gillette spokesman Mike Norton said in the statement. "We fully support him stepping back from his professional career and taking the time he needs to do what matters most. We wish him and his family the best.

"As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," Norton said.

Woods' Friday posting said: "After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person." It was the first time Woods admitted to cheating on his wife.

"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods' statement said. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."

Woods, 33, who tops the sport's world rankings, crashed his car outside his Florida mansion late last month. Authorities issued a citation for careless driving, and he was given a $164 fine.

Video: Tiger takes time off
Video: Golf without Tiger
Video: Porn star dishes on Tiger
Tiger Woods' accomplishments

Woods was not required to talk to police about the wreck and declined to talk with investigators on several occasions.

In the week following the crash, Woods apologized for "transgressions" that let his family down. The same day, US Weekly published a report alleging that Woods had an affair with Jaimee Grubbs, a 24-year-old cocktail waitress.

US Weekly's report followed a National Enquirer article before the crash that the athlete was having an affair with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, an assertion she vigorously denied, according to The New York Post.

It was not immediately clear how Woods' hiatus would affect his other sponsorships, which include Nike, Gatorade and Electronic Arts.

"He is the best golfer in the world and one of the greatest athletes of his era," Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said in a statement. "We look forward to his return to golf. He and his family have Nike's full support."

The statement did not elaborate on whether Woods' announcement would impact his business relationship with the sports company, which has worked with him for more than a decade.

Woods has won three U.S. Open titles and the Masters tournament and the PGA tournament each four times. The PGA Tour said it supports Woods and looks forward to his return to the game.

"We fully support Tiger's decision to step away from competitive golf to focus on his family. His priorities are where they need to be, and we will continue to respect and honor his family's request for privacy," the PGA Tour said in a statement Friday. "We look forward to Tiger's return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right for him."

EA Sports, the company that makes Woods' video game, also said it is standing behind the golfer.

"We respect that this is a very difficult and private situation for Tiger and his family. At this time, the strategy for our Tiger Woods PGA TOUR business remains unchanged," said David Tinson, a company spokesman.

479 shares | 163 comments


Posted via web from jeffthomas posterous

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

10 Technology Enhanced Alternatives to Book Reports

10 Technology Enhanced Alternatives to Book Reports

10 Technology Enhanced Alternatives to Book Reports
Featured Author:
Mrs. Kelly Tenkely
Kelly Tenkely is a technology teacher in a private school. Kelly also trains teaching staff on integrating and implementing technology into the classroom. In addition, Kelly is the author of iLearnTechnology blog.
Add Kelly as a friend.
The opinions and statements made in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the opinions or representations of the University of Phoenix.
About University of Phoenix

Since 1983, the goal of the College of Education at University of Phoenix has been to prepare great teachers. The College offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that are designed to meet state-specific requirements in select states. We also provide a wide range of continuing education courses for teachers and administrators across the country.
Whether you are pursuing a teaching credential or seeking to enrich your professional experience, our distinguished faculty will provide the expertise and guidance necessary to complete your course of study.
University of Phoenix is the largest private university in North America with more than 200 locations, as well as a flexible online learning format available in most countries around the world. Although widely available, not all programs are available in all locations or in both online and on-campus formats. For more information, please check with a University enrollment advisor.
University of Phoenix is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (ncahlc.org). For more information regarding state licensure, please click here.
Kelly Tenkely | TheApple.com
The most dreaded word in school reading for students: book reports. Teachers assign them, viewing them as a necessary component of assessing reading comprehension. Book reports can be a contributing factor to ‘readicide’. “Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.” http://stenhouse.com/html/readicide.htm. So, how can we as teachers continue to monitor our students understanding of reading material without killing the love of reading? Enter technology. Technology can help bring some excitement and creativity to the traditional book report while still displaying students understanding of reading.

1. Let students create a cartoon version of the book they have just finished.

Use a tool like Creaza http://creaza.com, Piki Kids http://pikikids.com, or Kerpoof http://kerpoof.com to inject a little fun into the book report. Students can create a short cartoon or comic strip summarizing the book they just read. Encourage students to include key characters from the book as well as the problem and solution. If there are no appropriate background templates to fit the book they have just finished, students can tell the story in the form of an interview between two characters or choose a cartoon character to review the book. This alternative to book reports is particularly appealing to boys who are already excited about graphic novels.

2. Let students create a short video clip about the book.

Creaza http://creaza.com, Kerpoof http://kerpoof.com, and Xtra normal text to movie http://xtranormal.com are all great online tools that allow students to create short movie clips. Students can create an interview type show where they interview characters in the book, create a short movie trailer for the book, or actually have characters act out portions of the book.

3. Create a virtual poster advertising the book.

Think about movie posters, they give just enough information to give you a taste of what the movie will be about. They also contain information such as the title of the movie, the major actors, and a rating. Students can use Glogster http://glogster.edu to create an online book poster that acts as an advertisement for the book they just read. Students should include the title and author of the book, key characters, use pictures that support the story line, and create a tag line that will make others want to read the book.

4. Encourage students to create their own virtual bookshelves with Shelfari http://shelfari.com.

Shelfari is not only a great alternative to book reports, it is also a nice alternative to reading logs. Shelfari allows students to display books that they have read on a virtual bookshelf. This site enables students to connect with other students and teachers, sharing book recommendations and reading reviews. Shelfari provides the ability to create online book clubs and discussions. Inspire students with similar interests to start a book club where they read and discuss together. When students finish reading a book they can add it to their bookshelf, rate the book, and write a short review of the book for others to read. The collaborative component makes it easy to keep up with what students are reading and to measure understanding. It also allows teachers to recommend books to students based on what they are currently reading. This is a great way to keep your students engaged in their reading and ensures they will always have great suggestions for new books to keep them reading.

5. Book Adventure http://bookadventure.org is an online reading motivation program.

Teachers create student accounts on Book Adventure. In the student account students can research books based on their reading level, age, and interests. They get a convenient printable list of books that match their level and interests. The list includes the ISBN, Title, and author. This makes it easy for students to head to the library and hunt down new reading material. After students have read a book, they can log onto their Book Adventure account and take a 10 question multiple choice quiz based on the book they read. Students can take each quiz multiple times and must get 8 or more questions correct to earn points to purchase prizes from the Book Adventure store. Each students score is automatically sent to the Book Adventure teacher gradebook along with the number of times the quiz was taken. Students earn and save up quiz points to purchase fun goodies from the Book Adventure store. Students can get everything from a 6 month subscription to Highlights magazine to a chocolate bar from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. This is a completely FREE program for students and schools to participate in. Book Adventure has a great teacher area with ideas for encouraging reading as well as certificates to print out to recognize good readers and notes for parents with the students latest reading progress.

Continue reading on the next page.

« Previous 1

Computing: Here's what you need to learn to be computer literate | Computing | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Recently, I helped a very smart friend with a computer problem. She was having an issue with the program she uses most and asked me for some assistance.
The solution to her issue turned out to be simple and involved copying a file into a folder.
“How do I do that?” she asked.
At first I was a little surprised. As I said, this is a smart person, but she did not know how to perform a task that's Basic Computing 101. Like a lot of people — some of whom have used computers for years — she only knows what she thinks she needs to know and isn't interested in stepping outside that box.
That's fine until a user hits an issue that's easily fixed but can't fix it because of lack of basic knowledge.
With that in mind, I asked the folks who read and participate in my TechBlog to offer their thoughts on the basic skills needed to be computer literate. That request generated more than 70 responses, and I've distilled them into nine things required for basic computer literacy.
Files and navigation. You should know where the files you use are stored on your computer, as well as what they are. For example, when you download a file from the Web, do you know where it goes? Do you know that a file with a .doc extension was created by Microsoft Word, while a .jpg file is a picture? Do you know how to copy, move and delete files?
What things are called. When you're discussing something happening on your computer, you need to know the names of its various hardware and software components, particularly when asking for help. You should know that a computer's memory is not the same as its hard drive; that Windows Explorer is different from Internet Explorer; and that a Web browser is different from “the Internet.”
Mouse and keyboard. You should know basic keyboard commands — for example, Control C for Copy, Control V for Paste, Control X for cut, among others (you'd use the Command key on a Mac). You should also know how to highlight, copy, cut and paste using the mouse. Finally, you should know about right-clicking the mouse to bring up pop-up menus.
Basic hardware. While you don't need to be able to assemble your own PC, you should know that files are stored permanently on the hard drive; that memory is where programs run and data is created; that your video card is what generates the picture you see on your monitor.
How to get online. You need to know how to connect to the Internet and how to use the basic functions of your Web browser. If you have a portable computer, you should be able to connect to public Wi-Fi hot spots.
How to search. Once you're online, you should now how to search for something via Google, Bing or another search engine. That includes simple search techniques, such as putting multiple words inside quote marks to search for an exact phrase.
Security. You should know better than to click on e-mail attachments you weren't expecting (even from people you know), or random links in an e-mail. You should know not to use passwords that are easy to guess and not to share log-in information. You should also keep your antivirus and antispyware software updated, along with patches and fixes for your operating system and programs.
How to get help. You should know how to use the help features on your computer. There are help files for the operating system, as well as for each application. You should also know how to find support information on the Web site of your computer's manufacturer.
Program basics. You should know the basic functions in the programs you use most often. For example, can you attach a file to an e-mail? Use File > Save As... to save a Word document in a different format? Reduce the size of a digital photo before you e-mail it?
Want more? You can read the original blog post and the resulting discussion at www.chron.com/pcliterate.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zotero | Home

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.