Monthly Archives: August 2008

Top 10 YouTube Hacks

Written by lifehacker


Summer’s ending, and with it goes a certain sense of taking it easier, relaxing a bit at the office–you know, caching up on all that YouTube browsing you skip when there’s real work to be done. The popular video sharing site is a great resource (and source of entertainment) that gets better with the right add-ons, plug-ins, third-party tools, and clever usage. Let’s take a look at the best ways to get better video, download clips, and just find the video you’re looking for at YouTube, so you can get more from your guilty pleasure.

10. Paste together YouTube clips, no editor necessary.

Even without iMovie or another paid-for editor, you can use the ridiculously vast realm of YouTube videos to patch together funny/poignant/clever projects. Free tools like Yahoo’s JumpCut can take in the FLV and other format video clips you downloaded using the other tools in this list. Want to patch together your own clip-sing-along in the style of BarackRoll? Creator Hugh Atkin says he used Google’s political video search tool to find all the relevant words and copy them. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to pull it off…

9. Sort all your YouTube links in Gmail with Xoopit.

xoopit.pngIf your inbox is anything like ours, you get a regular stream of YouTube links from friends, relatives, friends-of-friends, friends-of-relatives-of-friends … and you only occasionally click through. Gmail add-on Xoopit lets you sort and run through all those links, playing them right from within Gmail. It’s an easy way to avoid hurting that avid linker’s feelings the next time they ask you if you saw that hilarious Amy Winehouse parody.

8. Get baked-in improvements with Better YouTube.

better_youtube.pngYou’ll have to excuse the horn-tooting, but we’ve put together a Firefox extension that combines some of the best JavaScript we’ve seen for YouTube and makes them all in check-on, check-off usable for any Firefox browser. The Better YouTube Firefox extension empowers you to keep videos from auto-playing, put clips in a wide-screen, no-distraction background, and embeds download links on every clip. If you’re a serious YouTube user, there probably isn’t something here you’ll find useful.

7. Download audio from videos.

vidtomp3.pngThere are a lot of great live performances lurking around YouTube, many of which have never seen the light of day in the recorded audio realm. To jump those jams into your playlist, use a web-based converter like VidToMP3, or follow one intrepid LH reader’s guide to recording and converting YouTube vids into MP3. It may take a few more steps, but Matt’s guide will still work, while many web-based hacks end up on the pile of dead-end links.

6. Get around international video restrictions.

youtube_restrict.jpgThis summer’s Olympics has been a good lesson in the necessity of working around networks’ and video providers’ often ridiculous restrictions based on location and timing. On YouTube, there’s often a simple work-around, as explained by the Google Operating System blog. Most YouTube links look like this:

You’ll find a string of characters where VIDEOID is. Copy that string, and paste it like so:

You’ll get a copy of the video meant for embedding, one that doesn’t care as much about where you’re watching from.

5. Search YouTube videos on a timeline.

timetube.pngFree video timeline creator TimeTube is one of those tools that you should never head to while on deadline. Those without willpower issues, however, can find fascinating looks at the evolution of trends, organize TV and news clips for a wider view, and even get a little research done on current or net-related topics. It also definitely helps narrow down your searching when the results list is enormously unmanageable.

4. Get videos delivered TiVo-style with Miro.

miro_google.pngYou could, if you wanted, keep track of all your favorite net-based video shows in a feed reader or just wait to hear about them a week after they’re released. Or you could use the free, cross-platform Miro player to turn your computer into a TiVo for net video. As Gina detailed in her look at Miro, the software keeps track of what you’ve watched, auto-recycles stuff you probably won’t get to, and otherwise does a smart job of handling video streams. And if you want to hook Miro up to your real TV, it’s got the chops to go full-screen with any format.

3. Turn YouTube searches into vidcast feeds.

itunes_youtube.jpgYouTube offers up a few RSS feeds of videos-“Recently Featured,” “Top Favorites Today,” and the like-but not for inpidual searches, the kind you’d make if you were keeping up with The Guild or keeping on top of the latest Xbox 360 hacks. YouTube Podcaster, a free service from (who also provide a nifty converter you’ll see below), makes YouTube videos as easy to grab and watch as podcasts. Enter in your search URL, copy the iTunes link, and you’ll get an on-demand feed of videos that meet your criteria. You’ll want to be specific, but skipping the comments and stream loading time are your rewards.

2. Watch YouTube on TV.

xbox_youtube.jpgMany web videos are perfect for quick desktop scanning, but YouTube also contains entire series and longer clips-especially those with higher resolutions available-that make for great couch fare. If you’ve got a classic Xbox or a Windows Media Center hooked up to the tube, you can flip your Xbox into a YouTube-friendly media center, or add YouTube capabilities to that Microsoft-built box with free plug-in Yougle. Now you can force your already-sitting friends to catch up on Chad Vader and all your other I-swear-it’s-funny-just-watch memes.

1. Make videos easy to download.

filehack.jpgIf you want to stash a YouTube clip away for editing or watching without the net, you’ve definitely got options. Internet Explorer users might appreciate YouTube File Hack, which grabs FLV files for you. The Better YouTube Firefox extension, crafted by our own site editor, adds a simple “Download this video” link to any YouTube page, and the All-In-One Video Bookmarklet is a nice cross-browser conversion tool. If you’re away from your own setup, and Viddownloader are your go-to sites for downloading clips. As for watching FLV files, we like and use the cross-platform VLC player.

What are your favorite tricks for getting the most out of YouTube? Post ’em up in the comments.

Adidas 2008 Beijing Olympics Ads

Collected by Toxel

Adidas 2008 Beijing Olympics Ads

Creative Adidas “Impossible Is Nothing” campaign for 2008 Beijing Olympics by TBWA advertising agency.

Adidas 2008 Beijing Olympics Ads 2

Adidas 2008 Beijing Olympics Ads 3

Adidas 2008 Beijing Olympics Ads 4

Adidas “Together” Olympics Ad

Adidas “Zheng Zhi” Olympics Ad

Adidas “Hu Jia” Olympics Ad

Adidas “Feng Kun” Olympics Ad

What is the best free email account? – Google’s Gmail

Written by Jacob Cass


Do you still use Microsoft Outlook or Eudora for your emails, or maybe something else? If you do, you probably are not having the most productive and user friendly experience that you could be having.

Up until about a month ago I had been using Outlook entirely for my emails, then I trialled Gmail (Google’s Free Email service) for 2 weeks and since getting to know Gmail, I have not turned back… there are just so many more features that make Outlook (and other similar email programs) seem just unworthy. Even Darren Rowse from Problogger has made the switch.

Although it may take a week or two to get used to gmail, over the many years to come, it will literally save you weeks of your time. I highly recommend to switch to Gmail and below I give 10 reasons why.

10 Reasons To Switch To Gmail

  1. Gmail spam filters block 99% of the spam that usually makes it to your inbox. Although Outlook 2007 had a good spam filter, I still usually got around 2 or 3 emails a week sneaking into my inbox… not with Gmail.
  2. With Gmail you get to keep your old email account, and all incoming emails will be forwarded to your new Gmail account . Also, emails that you send from your new account will have your old email account in the from area.
  3. You can create Word docs, PDF’s and spread sheets with Gmail via the use of GoogleDocs.
  4. Gmail allows you to schedule events with the Google Calendar that will notify you by email to remind you of an appointment or meeting. It can also send a reminder to the person or persons that you will be meeting with.
  5. Gmail has something called ‘Stars’ and which allows you to tag emails you find important. You can actually do a search for ‘Starred‘ emails and they all pop up, and as quick as a normal google search!
  6. Your emails are tabbed into a thread, which means you no longer have to look for old emails… it is more like a conversation window.
  7. You can archive old emails or whole conversations so that you can keep your Inbox clear.
  8. You can set up filters and labels to keep your Inbox organised and clutter free.
  9. It has a fast, easy search function which means you will never lose an email again. The search is as fast a normal google search which is ace.
  10. All your emails are online which means that you access your emails from anywhere, not just one computer.
  11. Update: Forgot to mention how much space there is with Gmail… you will never have to delete an email again.

Learn About Gmail

Below are some great videos to get you started with Gmail. If you have a website and an email related with your website you should be using Google Apps to set up your Gmail Account… the videos below will explain.

Using Gmail – Part 1 (5m 38s)- Learn about the basic features of gmail in this video.

Using Gmail – Part 2 (7m 50s)- Learn about how to retrieve other (ie. your old email address) email into Gmail, setup labels and filters, explain the Archive function and Gmail conversation.

Using Gmail – Part 3 (4m 39s)- Explore the more advanced settings options and some of the features coming out of Google Labs

Further Email Tips

Anyway I hope you give Gmail a try… it really is worth it. What other email programs / sites do people use and why?

5 Manga Movies We Want to See

Written by Jeff Lester

5 Manga Movies We Want to See After Akira Blows Everyone’s Mind

Just a temporal hop, skip and a jump away is 2009’s live-action big screen version of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, but if the American adaptation of the manga/anime phenomenon that launched a thousand otaku is a smash success, what treasured classics of Japanese culture will Hollywood choose to to adapt next? Below the jump, we put on our robe and cultural raider hat and pick five golden temples of science-fiction manga and anime for studios to pillage and plunder.

Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Well, yeah. Big ass robots are pretty much a given, what with the success of Transformers. And while the mecha of SDMF don’t transform into cool cars or panty vending machines, they have a secret weapon in the battle for big money franchises: this epic tale of war between humanity and an alien race was adapted as the first segment of the Robotech cartoon. That series, which ran in the U.S. in 1985, gave many Americans their first crucial taste of anime action filtered through a sweeping storyline. As if that wasn’t enough, Super Dimension Fortress Macross features a love triangle between two military officers and a pop idol, enough twists and turns to put Battlestar Galactica to shame, and characters with big, big hair. Like, “hey, I could skydive onto that,” big. Once he’s through having his way with Watchmen, we want to see Zack Snyder take Super Dimension Fortress Macross and make it the big screen franchise of cheesy awesomeness most of us have been waiting for without even knowing it.

Parasyte: Hitoshi Iwaaki’s manga is the strangely satisfying marriage of Spider-Man and Invasion of the Body Snatchers: a failed attempt by an alien invader to take over the brain of Shinichi Izumi has left it in control of his right hand, and teen and alien must form an uneasy alliance to avoid being found out by Shinichi’s culture or killed by the aliens that have infiltrated it. Blending paranoia, frenzied fight scenes, and meditations on what it means to be human, Parasyte takes the most painful subtext of puberty-that your body has become something strange and not quite in your control, and now you’re an outsider as a result-and serves it up as delicious, delicious crazy. (No wonder Del Rey’s current adaptation is the second time the series has been brought to the USA.) Rumors abound that Jim Henson’s studio and producer Don Murphy are already working to bring it to the big screen, but screw that noise: let Peter Jackson get his hands on the material, and make it as a bloody bookend to his adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lonely Bones (and a loose companion piece to his classic Braindead (or Dead-Alive, as it’s known over here)).

FLCL: An Original Video Animation (OVA) from 2000, FLCL has a lot in common with Akira: you’ve got people hollering and jumping off motorized two wheelers while strange growths shoot out of the foreheads of pained adolescents. But whereas Akira takes creator Katsuhiro Otomo’s memories of growing up during the turbulent period of 1960s Japan and transmutes it into a serious sci-fi epic, FLCL stems from the shock contemporary culture can bring to a lonely kid growing up in a small town, whipping the story into a wild-eyed froth of rampaging robots, crazy vespa-riding women, and bass guitar centered fight scenes. Benjamin Button, Shmenjamin Shmutton: we want to see David Fincher in full-on Fight Club mode try to match the brio of this series’ animated anarchy.

20th Century Boys: The toast of scanlators worldwide and a huge hit in its native Japan, 20th Century Boys is the most ambitious work Naoki Urasawa has undertaken, spanning more than forty years, dozens of characters, and twenty-two collected volumes. (His previous work, Monster, was no slouch either-a crime thriller set in Eastern Germany that reads like a cross between The Fugitive and Silence of the Lambs, Monster ran for six years and was collected in eighteen volumes.) While 20th Century Boys takes its name from a T. Rex song, its hook seems like a Stephen King novel on steroids: a group of old friends in the ’90s try to figure out the link between a destructive cult leader and their forgotten childhood fantasies. Meanwhen, in 2014, a young woman tries to figure out what happened to them. While Lar von Trier has the chops to keep so many characters and so many stories moving along, he lacks the warmth and affection Urasawa brings to his characters. Let Best of Youth‘s Marco Tullio Giordana give it a shot-his five hour epic from 2003 covers a similarly vast swath of time.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Finally, if Hollywood is crazy enough to tackle such a groundbreaking classic as Akira, why not let it try other works of manga that’ve had an indisputable impact on the medium? Hayao Miyazaki may rule the world of Japanese animation now, but his anime adaptation of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, his own manga, was only able to cover approximately the first quarter of his tale. As long as Hollywood wants to bite off more than it can chew (for the profit to be garnered by pre-chewing material for the masses), why not have it mount a Lord of the Rings style cycle, covering the entire tale of a princess’s adventures a thousand years after our modern-day civilization has destroyed itself. Epic battles, environmentalism, more opportunities for CGI than you can shake a fistful of sticks at-they’ll eat up Nausicaä in the cineplexes, particularly if you get Alfonso Cuarón on board. Having directed such diverse work as Chldren of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Y Tu Mama Tambien, Cuarón’s got the right amount of razzle-dazzle, hippie-dude humanism, and child-eyed wonder. To the extent such a thing can (or should be) attempted, Cuarón is the one to do it.

The 5 Most Underrated Simpsons Characters

Written by Yankee Pot Roast

article image

Recently, we noticed that our old friends from Yankee Pot Roast had written a book called Underrated: The Yankee Pot Roast Book of Awesome Underappreciated Stuff. At first we assumed that they’d misspelled overrated, and that their book making fun of lame stuff had an insanely ironic title. But as we got deeper into the book (or rather as our interns read more of it to us while we lifted weights), it became increasingly clear that they had gone and done something totally and utterly insane. They were writing about things they … liked. In a daring move that will probably break the internet (which is overrated anyways) we decided to let them try it on our website. Behold, for maybe the first time on the internet: nice things being said about stuff.

If you’re thinking Comic Book Guy or Moe are underrated, you’re obviously not a Simpsons fan. Wacky supporting characters of that sort are cult-classics, universally recognized and beloved. They’re rated exactly where they should be. We’re running down some of the truly underrated Springfieldians: those who remain underused and are still rife with potential for unexpected hilarity.


Gil Gunderson

Aw, c’mon, do it for ol’ Gil! Essentially a parody of Jack Lemmon’s desperate, beleaguered real-estate agent from Glengarry Glen Ross, poor old Gil is the ultimate sad sack: A salesman whose only asset is his expired charm. The poor guy’s an inch away from losing his job, wife, house (that is, his shitty job, cheating wife, and whatever roof he currently calls home). All he needs is one more sale–just one sale, please, pretty please?–but he is completely unable to seal the deal. He practically sweats desperation.

Gil is great because he makes you feel good about yourself. No matter how miserable your life, at least you’re not that guy. Like many of The Simpsons‘ finest characters, Gil fills a niche you didn’t even know was empty till he appeared. He’s like a grownup version of the Squeaky-Voiced Teen in that he pops up any and everywhere, never holding the same crappy job twice. He sells shoes, used cars, doorbells, even Coleco computers (“Now, let’s talk rust-proofing. These Colecos’ll rust up on ya’ like that, er … shut up, Gil. Close the deal … close the deal!”).

Gil is best when used sparingly; the perfect one-joke cameo. Pop up, make us laugh, disappear. Of course they gave him a starring episode–even Crazy Old Cat Lady is due her leading role–where he moved in with the Simpsons (and who hasn’t yet stayed at that house?), but we like Gil best when he’s tried to sell us something obsolete, failed, and limped away, dejected but eternally optimistic he’ll nab the next one.


Arnie Pye

If you’re saying “Who??,” Arnie Pye in the Sky is Springfield’s traffic-copter newsman with the perfect closed-nose news voice. (“Look out at the corner of 12th and Main because I’m going to be sick!”) Arnie is hilarious as a second-rate reporter with an inferiority complex and a chip on his shoulder; he’s jealous of Kent Brockman and so desperately wants his job. (In fact, Arnie once got to take over the anchor’s desk, whereupon he instantly dropped the nasally newscaster voice and adopted the smooth tones of trustworthiness.)

Arnie Pye’s best moment (fleeting as it was) was an early sign of the budding rivalry. Flying above Homer’s disaster with a van full of kids, Kent asks him “How are the children, Arnie?” to which he snaps “I can’t see through METAL, Kent!”–yes, it loses something on paper, but old Arnie Pye spits it out with such venom, such acidic hatred, you get years of professional and personal contention in those seven syllables. Kudos to Dan Castellaneta’s greatest vocal performance. We want more Arnie Pye in the Sky and we want him now.


Lou the Policeman

Springfield can be a dangerous place to live. Between the two-bit criminals (Snake), organized crime (Fat Tony) and the random shysters that swing through (monorail guy?), there’s a veritable Rogue’s Gallery of Villains inhabiting the town at any given time. And that doesn’t even include some of the normal citizens who seem to regularly commit felonies, like Homer, Moe and Mr. Burns.

Keeping the order and protecting the town is a woefully understaffed and ineffective Springfield Police Department. They’re essentially a three man show: Chief Clancy Wiggum, the rotund blunderbuss with extremely poor marksmanship and a talent for making clever, on-the-spot puns; Eddie, the white patrolman who barely utters a word, presumably there to make the Springfield Police Department look slightly more robust from a personnel standpoint and an underdeveloped recurring character if there ever was one.

And then there’s Lou: rock steady, the man that keeps the whole thing going. He’s fully aware of Wiggum’s incompetence and is constantly angling for his job, going so far as to write letters to the editor of the Springfield Shopper (under the pen name “Worried in West Springfield”) calling for the chief’s resignation. Lou has no reservations about making fun of the chief to his face either, insulting his poor deductive skills and making fun of his ill-fitting pants.


Luigi Risotto

He’s the chef that looks like he jumped off the pizza box, constantly belittling his staff and conversationally berating his customers, doing it all with a misleading smile and sing-songy Italian accent. Being an asshole isn’t confined to his restaurant, either: when Marge entered a cooking contest with her “dessert dogs,” Luigi sabotaged her oven with “how do you say, malice of forethought.” He’s a complete jerk, but he comes off as lovable because he sounds happy and he’s kind of roly-poly.

He pops up in episodes here and there. During the Springfield Mayoral recall election, Luigi threw his hat in the ring, promising to “make you the good government, just how you like it.” Luigi’s character works because he’s used often enough that you know who he is, but sparingly enough that his “Italian chef as Italian stereotype” act and his being a total dick don’t get stale.

But in the end, there’s only one thing to know about Luigi: his English isn’t bad because Italian is his first language. He doesn’t even speak Italian. Luigi’s first language is “how do you say, fractured English. It’s what [his] parents spoke at home.”


Lisa Simpson

Bart and Homer are the crowd-pleasers, no arguing that: their misadventures dominate the show, and their faces hog the merchandise. But it’s Lisa, the second-grader reading at a 14th-grade level, who is the heart and soul of both the family and show.

We love Lisa because she yearns for something greater. She wants to better herself, her family, her town. Sure, she’s a nerd–who among Simpsons fans isn’t? And without this little overachieving genius and hopeless do-gooder saving the day (on a weekly freaking basis!), our favorite family would’ve been killed a dozen different ways, the town of Springfield would’ve been destroyed, the very earth itself lost.

Let’s hear it for Lisa! Nobody’s favorite character, but the most UNDERRATED SPRINGFIELDIAN OF THEM ALL.

For an obscenely long rant on the lovable lil’ Lisa’s underrated quotient, check out the Underrated blog here.

Top 10 Cell Phone Etiquette Rules People Still Break

Written by Mobilecommandos

Do we really still need to talk about this? You’d think with over a decade of experience under our belts along with our inherent delusions of hyper sophistication that we’d have figured things out by now. But the sad truth remains: cell-phone douche-baggery is worse than ever! In terms of maturity levels, many of us rank amongst toddlers, interrupting anyone and anything with our loud nonsense, our little fingers obsessively pushing buttons with what’s left of our attention spans constantly distracted by various bells, whistles, and bright colors on tiny screens. This ridiculous need to be in touch with all people at all times is getting out of hand, and while we think we are staying more connected with each other, we are in fact treating those closest to us like China treated the Mongols. We’re building giant walls people! The following are basic cell phone rules of etiquette which people still can’t seem to follow. In fact, they should be called “How to use your common sense and remain polite in a human society.” Read them, learn them, and absorb them into your system as you would the vitamins from a mango smoothie.


1. Talking too loudly.

“YES! FOR THE LOVE OF BABY JESUS, WE CAN HEAR YOU NOW!” For some bizarre reason people feel the need to raise their voices while on their phones. I think we’ve come far enough, technologically speaking, to trust the phone’s microphone to adequately amplify and carry your voice. Your mouth couldn’t physically be any closer to the microphone, so unless you’re talking into it from a Captain Kirk distance or calling in an airstrike while under heavy machine gun fire, there’s no need to yell. Hell, even Kirk never raised his voice and he was communicating with an alcoholic Scotsman on a space ship!

Note: There are attention-seekers out there who speak loudly on purpose to “show off” recent accomplishments and victories to impress surrounding strangers. Do not hate on them too much, they were probably adopted and are cursed to constantly seek approval from anyone within earshot.

2. Holding inappropriate conversations in public.

No one needs to hear how wasted you were last night, or what color your boyfriend’s boxers were on the night the two of you, um, “played Scrabble.” Keep your personal conversations personal. If you don’t want people to see you crying in line at the bank or while ordering a stuffed-crust pizza, refrain from having emotional conversations in public. Offer to call the person back, step outside, or find a quiet place where you can openly and unabashedly describe your new foot fungus.

3. Rudely interrupting conversations.

Have you ever felt the only way to maintain a conversation with the person right in front of you is to give them a call? Ever arrive at the climax of a hilarious story, only to have the momentum ruined by “Sorry, I gotta take this”? Why is the disembodied voice of someone else more important than the flesh and blood standing before you? It’s very frustrating to stand around waiting while your “friend,” date, or family member gets into a phone conversation on your time. When this happens, I recommend simply walking away. Even when you’re sitting in a restaurant, if your date would rather chat with someone else, then you should get up and leave immediately to find someone else. Or, as I mentioned earlier, call them on their other line. “Hey, how’s it going? How’s your sea bass? Isn’t the wine delicious?” If you can’t beat ’em, call ’em.

4. Checking your phone at the movies.

Movie theatre announcements and people who are quick to “shhhh” have done a decent job of reducing reducing cell phone rings over the years. But people are still checking their calls and text messaging rfiends, silently, but equally annoyingly. There’s a reason why we spend an arm and a leg to watch movies in the theatre. When the lights go out and the screen lights up, we try to forget our everyday troubles and we submerse ourselves into whatever the hell world we bought tickets for. We escape. But when out of the corner of our eyes we see someone’s entire face light up while they check their phone messages, we’re yanked right back to reality and are reminded of how many jerks per square foot there are in the world. Turn your phones off, have a little consideration for the people around you. The world won’t stop spinning if you’re unavailable for 2 hours. “But what if there’s an emergency?” The odds of an actual emergency occurring are astronomical. Besides, if there was an emergency, it already happened. You already weren’t there, and chances are the people who could actually do anything about it, already have.

5. Texting while driving.


Somebody please get the “Darwin Awards” on the phone. Of course, if you’re driving when you do, make sure you’re on hands free or have pulled over before you start explaining how there are people who send texts while behind the wheel of a vehicle. According to a Harvard University study, cell phones cause over 200 deaths and half a million injuries each year. And that’s with eyes on the road! Laws are in place to make sure people aren’t talking on their phones, and yet people are typing?!?! (I very rarely use the double question mark with the double exclamation point at the end of sentences, but this is ridiculous) I would love to see the tombstone: Was LOL when he WCTTFW (Went crashing through the freaking windshield) Anyone caught texting while driving should be stripped of their driving license forever.

6. Texting while talking.

You ever have someone try to listen to your story while text messaging someone else? You want to give them points for making the effort as they clumsily insert “oh yeahs” and “un huhs” at all the wrong moments, cutting you off mid-sentence with a “no way” as they furiously thumb type in your face, but at the same time you want to volleyball spike their phone to the ground for being unbelievably rude. A third option is tell better stories.

7. Texting small talk.

Does our friendship mean nothing? Have we become so lazy and disinterested in each other’s lives that we’re asking people to sum up their days with a text? “How r u?” “What’s up?” “What’s new?” These arbitrary questions are annoying enough when asked in person, but at least we have the ability to fire back equally insignificant responses in one second or less. But expecting people to waste their time typing “not bad, u?” or “same sh*t” or heaven forbid “let me tell you about my day” is about as lame and pointless as your appendix.

8. Loud and annoying ringtones.

I was riding the bus to work one morning, when out of nowhere the silence was shattered with screaming. It was the type of scream a frat boy lets out when a serial killer is in the process of gutting him with a fountain pen. I just about had a cardiac arrest and many of the people on the bus jumped out of their seats. It was only when the repetitive screaming suddenly tripled in volume that we all discovered the culprit: a cell phone. Some jerk pulled the phone out of his pocket, embarrassed at how loud it was, and accidentally dropped it on the bus floor. The joke now on him, the whole bus watched in amusement as this dude’s face grew redder and redder, scrambling to pick up and silence the screams coming from his phone. While there are far too many stupid ringtones out there to mention here, the story makes the point: turn down your stupid ringtone! No one thinks you’re clever, or funny, or musically savvy when you’re little pocket jukebox interrupts their thoughts. That guy on the bus probably thought his scream-tone was hysterical, but the looks on everyone else’s face read loud and clear: “What a douche bag!”

9. Disturbing live performances.

Comedy shows, concerts, plays etc…Nothing boils my blood more than having art ruined by a ringing cell phone. I nearly gave a security guard a standing ovation when he grabbed a gentleman by the collar and escorted him out of a Cirque du Soleil show for having his cell phone go off during a particularly dangerous acrobatic stunt. You ruin someone’s comedy act or interrupt an actor on stage, in turn spoiling the experience for everyone around you who’s spent their hard earned money on a night out, and you’re an arrogant douche-monkey who should be put in the corner with the rest of the 5 year olds. But when you disturb a performer who’s very life depends on needle-point focus and concentration, you should be put in jail.

10. Location location location

There are countless locations where “taking the call” is inappropriate and extremely annoying to those around you. The first two off the top of my head as the most frustrating are in libraries, and fast food restaurant lines. One of the last places on earth, aside from an empty church or your own bathroom, where people can go to read, think, and study in silence, is under attack by people who refuse to disconnect from the outside world. Does the word SSSSHHHHH mean nothing to you? Take the call outside, before someone throws “War and Peace” or Stephen King’s “It” at your head.

While ordering food, there’s no need to explain how annoying a phone call can be for both the restaurant staff and for the customers in line behind you. Check out how one Subway restaurant dealt with this problem. Again, if people are going to act like children we need to treat them like children. Well played Subway, well played.


19 Most Essential Open Source Applications

Written by AN Jay

Today, we are listing here 19 Most Essential and useful open source applications that you probably want to know to use in your daily life. Most of them are top of the list projects that have an open source industry leading popularity and many of them are not listed here but over all the list has variety of projects for every one of you. Just take a look at them and share your thoughts here.

You are welcome to share if you know about any other open source project which our readers may like.

WordPress – Blog Tool and Weblog Platform


WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

ModSecurity – Open Source Web Application Firewall

mod security

ModSecurity is a web application firewall that can work either embedded or as a reverse proxy. It provides protection from a range of attacks against web applications and allows for HTTP traffic monitoring, logging and real-time analysis. It is also an open source project that aims to make the web application firewall technology available to everyone.

SteelBlue Open Source Web Application Server

Steel blue

SteelBlue is an open-source Web application server environment in which Web-database applications can be developed completely in an extended HTML language. Similar to ColdFusion and Story Server, session and user-associated data as well as SQL commands can be directly embedded into the HTML page. Therefore, no CGI programming experience is required to develop applications with SteelBlue, only knowledge of SQL and HTML.

Dolphin :: Smart Community Builder

Dolphin community builderYouTube, MySpace, Odeo, Flickr, Match and Facebook – all in one, customizable and under your full control. You’re limited only by your imagination – not by software. Dolphin Smart Community Builder is a universal, free, open source software that allows you to build any kind of online community. With a huge variety of features & options, you can quickly develop your very unique and successful website.

PURE Unobtrusive Rendering Engine For HTML


PURE is an Open Source JavaScript Template Engine for HTML. Truly unobtrusive, it leaves your HTML untouched. It is cross-browser (IE 6.0+, FF 2+, Safari 2.0+, Opera 9.0+).

Bugzilla – Mozilla’s bug tracking system


Bugzilla is a bug tracking system designed to help teams manage software development. Hundreds of organizations across the globe are using this powerful tool to get organized and communicate effectively.

Mindquarry DO – Free Open Source Software Download for Team Collaboration

Mindquarry Do

Mindquarry DO is an Open Source collaborative software platform for file sharing, task management, team collaboration and Wiki editing that is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Mindquarry runs as a web application with an optional desktop client for Windows, Linux and Mac OS that allows for desktop synchronization and offline work. As a result, you are able to connect with team members and share information from wherever you are, effectively improving team-work and increasing productivity within your team.

EPIWARE – A Open Source Document Management System


Epiware GPL project and document management, for those that like to be on the cutting edge of development. Take control of your information and content today.

jobberBase – The Open Source Job Board Software

Jobber Base

jobberBase is a great open source job board software for anyone. You can get online your job posting website with jobberBase. It’s easy to install and configure to start your job board.

Flex SDK

Adobe Open Source

Flex is a highly productive, open source framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops and operating systems.

Open source Ticket Request System

Open source Ticket Request System

OTRS is an Open source Ticket Request System (also well known as trouble ticket system) with many features to manage customer telephone calls and e-mails. The system is built to allow your support, sales, pre-sales, billing, internal IT, helpdesk, etc. department to react quickly to inbound inquiries. Do you receive many e-mails and want to answer them with a team of agents? You’re going to love the OTRS!

phpMyVisites Free Web Statistics And Analytics


phpMyVisites is a free and powerful open source (GNU/GPL) software for websites statistics and audience measurements. phpMyVisites gives a lot of information on websites visitors, visited pages, software/hardware utilization, etc… The GUI Interface is fun and practical. The installation is entirely automated and very simple.

LimeSurvey – The Leading Open Source Survey Tool

Lime Survey

LimeSurvey (formerly PHPSurveyor) is an Open Source PHP web application to develop, publish and collect responses to online & offline surveys.

dotproject – Open Source Project and Task Management Software

dot project

The original theme flagged dotProject as an open source alternative to Microsoft products and other expensive, commercial applications. Right from the start, dotProject had, as it’s core aims a number of simple requirements which are Clean, simple and consistent user interface; Project Management functionality – not another CMS, groupware environment or all things to all people collaboration tool, but a project management environment; Open source and free usage.

The Freeway Project


Freeway is the most advanced Open Source eCommerce platform and Freeway offers selling methods only previously available in enterprise class or niche bespoke systems. Without having to purchase a commercial system and then paying a developer to build a custom installation, Freeway does what you need out of the box. Of course Freeway is great for selling products but it also sells events AND services AND subscriptions. From appointments and time based bookings to event ticketing and subscriptions Freeway is the eCommerce platform.

AtMail Open – Redefining Open Source Webmail

At Mail

AtMail is an open source webmail client written in PHP. We aim to provide a elegant Ajax webmail client for existing IMAP mailservers, with less bloat and a focus on an intuitive, simple user interface.

OpenOffice – The Free and Open Productivity Suite

Open Office

OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

Open Workbench – Open Source Project Management and Project Scheduling for Windows

Open Workbench

Open Workbench is an open source Windows-based desktop application that provides robust project scheduling and management functionality and is free to distribute throughout the enterprise.

The SeaMonkey Project


The SeaMonkey project is a community effort to develop the SeaMonkey all-in-one internet application suite (see below). Such a software suite was previously made popular by Netscape and Mozilla, and the SeaMonkey project continues to develop and deliver high-quality updates to this concept. Containing an Internet browser, email & newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools, SeaMonkey is sure to appeal to advanced users, web developers and corporate users.

8 Opening Ceremony Moments That Made Me Crap My Pants

Written by Sara Schaefer


During the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies, we witnessed the sheer power and brilliance of what it looks like when thousands of inpiduals come together for one purpose: to blow your f*cking mind. Throughout the event, I felt a mix of wonder, awe, surprise, joy, inadequacy, terror, and self-hatred – in other words, I was either whispering through tears “It’s just so…beautiful!” or I was sh*tting my pants.

I’ll admit it, it’s a little frightening to see what a country as big as China can pull off when they put their minds to it. I wondered what was responsible for such perfection: a culture of teamwork and self-pride? Or an authoritative regime with significantly more control over their people than we realized? Either way, I had a hard time imagining the U.S. pulling off something with such human precision, and half the time I felt like a fat, lazy slob. In the end, however, there’s no doubt, I’m JAZZED ABOUT CHINA! Who needs human rights when you can have human LIGHTS?

Here are the most pants-crapping moments from the ceremony:



…this is what it might look like. As 2,008 drummers beat on drums that were thousands of years old (outfitted with some space-agey lights), Matt Lauer noted that the men were told to smile, because they realized this could be mistaken for a Persian-Army-esque battle cry.



The ceremony featured several light displays, screens, and electronic surfaces that seemed to flow as smoothly as silk. The grandest of all these was a giant LED screen that unfurled like a scroll. Do you think Circuit City will be selling these any time soon?



Remember those little Pin Art things we used to stick on our faces? Imagine it the size of a football field. While watching this, I couldn’t tell how on earth they were doing it – it didn’t look real. It was too fluid for machines, but I couldn’t comprehend how people could be doing this. Given what we’d already seen, I should never have underestimated them. At the end of this segment, thousands of men popped out from the boxes, waving happily.



From above, the 2,008 men doing Tai Chi in unison looked like crop circles. Because let’s face it, only aliens could make circles this perfect.



These guys lit up like Peter Gabriel’s light bulb suit from the Sledgehammer video. They moved around the floor like swirling beads of water, eventually forming a beautiful bird. Then, they came together and formed a replica of the Bird’s Nest stadium, all standing on each other, for at least 3 minutes, while a small girl flew above them with a kite. Seriously, how did they HOLD THAT FORMATION for that long??? Communism, that’s how.



These oars were probably over 12 feet long each, but they waved them this way and that as if they were feathers.



I kept wondering what the HELL was going on underneath the stadium – to house all these thousands of people, and giant structures like the globe. And I thought backstage at my college’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was chaotic! Then, during the song, pictures of children from all over the earth appeared above and on umbrella-like things held up by another hoard of people on the floor. Was it super cheesy? Yes. Was I sobbing uncontrollably? Maybe.



NBA star and Chinese Olympian Yao Ming walked alongside a tiny boy, who had not only survived the earthquake, but had saved two of his classmates from his school, where most of the children died. It’s just. Too. Much.

Needless to say, it was a grand, beautiful, and inspiring event that I’m pretty sure made London say “Well, f*ck.”

More pictures:


The torch bearer shows us a new sport: fly-running! Also, note that this happened at the 4 and a half hour mark on my DVR.


Wouldn’t it be creepy if your saw yourself on one of those?


The Tai Chi men do a move called “Collapse From Exhaustion.”


Last time you checked, little Fei Yen was in the backyard flying her kite…


I was at a party like this once in Prague.


I feel like I am at the Electric parade in Disney World!


Pop goes the army of two thousand men!


How did they know when to stand up, and just how high to go??? It boggles the mind.


At this point we heard the first of about 1 million references by broadcasters to the metaphorical “great wall” coming down in China.


The torch burns bright, symbolizing China’s firey passion for perfection and pollution.


We got the beat.