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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, James Bruce

James Bruce

Chief Technology Officer, Hardware Reviews Editor / Joined 12 November, 2010

James has a BSc in Artificial Intelligence, and is CompTIA A+ and Network+ certified. He's the lead developer of MakeUseOf, and spends his free time playing VR paintball and boardgames. He's been building PCs since he was a kid.

613 Articles
3709 Comments
When Reality Is Too Dull: A Look At Alternate Reality Games

Gaming

When Reality Is Too Dull: A Look At Alternate Reality Games

Alternate Reality Games are a curious subculture that attempts to bring the concepts of gaming into the real world. Does this mean running around an industrial complex with water pistols? Not quite. The game nomenclature is deceptive; they’re best thought of as a mix between role-play, puzzle-solving, team-building, immersive fiction and creative writing.

27-09-2012
When Reality Is Too Dull: A Look At Alternate Reality Games
Replace Windows Home Server With These Great Free Tools

Windows

Replace Windows Home Server With These Great Free Tools

Microsoft has been implementing big changes lately, and none of them are sitting too well with me. If you’re as jaded as I am about the $50 Windows Home Server being killed off – replaced by the $450 Windows Server Essentials – then fear not; you can get pretty much all the same functionality from these awesome free tools, and not give Microsoft a penny in the process.

23-09-2012
Replace Windows Home Server With These Great Free Tools
Create a Social Updates Wall in Your WordPress Blog With Socialist jQuery Plugin

Wordpress & Web Development

Create a Social Updates Wall in Your WordPress Blog With Socialist jQuery Plugin

Socialist is an incredible new jQiuery plugin that aggregates your updates on various social networks and displays them beautifully in a grid similar to Pinterest. Socialist is a jQuery plugin. I’ll be giving full instructions on how to implement this in WordPress, but a working knowledge of jQuery would be helpful to identify typos or errors in your code.

21-09-2012
Create a Social Updates Wall in Your WordPress Blog With Socialist jQuery Plugin
Forget Blogging: How To Power Any Website With WordPress

Wordpress & Web Development

Forget Blogging: How To Power Any Website With WordPress

Have you heard? Blogs are old news. I hope you didn’t jump on that particular bandwagon. Yep, static sites are the all the rage now. I’m joking, of course. There has always been the need for various kinds of sites, but the blog format doesn’t fit every requirement. However, Wordpress is more than happy to be moulded into whatever you want – blog or otherwise – and today we’ll be talking about making a basically static website with Wordpress.

19-09-2012
Forget Blogging: How To Power Any Website With WordPress
What’s New In The iPhone 5? Not a Lot

iPhone and iPad

What’s New In The iPhone 5? Not a Lot

Apple has announced the iPhone 5, the number increase supposedly signalling a major new upgrade (as opposed to the 3G,3GS,4S). So what’s new? Short answer – not an awful lot. Long answer – lots of incremental upgrades and a few notable new features, but nothing that’s going to blow your mind. Still, read on for the full lowdown.

16-09-2012
What’s New In The iPhone 5? Not a Lot
10 Of The Weirdest Japanese Pop Videos That’ll Make You Say WTF

Web Culture

10 Of The Weirdest Japanese Pop Videos That’ll Make You Say WTF

I know I explained last time that real life in Japan isn’t all that mad, but music videos is one area that they really excel (?) at. If you’ve ever seen a really weird music video and thought “WTF did I just watch?”, it was probably a Japanese pop video. And before you accuse me of not understanding a different culture and being utterly culturally insensitive: I’m not – they’re just geuinely completely weird. Here therefore, are 10 of the weirdest.

14-09-2012
10 Of The Weirdest Japanese Pop Videos That’ll Make You Say WTF
Who Owns That MP3? Rights & Ownership In The Digital Era

Internet

Who Owns That MP3? Rights & Ownership In The Digital Era

This is pretty new ground – what happens to your legally purchased MP3 collection when you die? When one of the least trustworthy British newspapers around reported that Bruce Willis was going to sue Apple because he couldn’t bequeth his digital music collection, the Internet at large jumped at the chance to spew their vitriolic Apple hate. The story was completely false of course – but it raised an important question worth considering – who does own that mp3?

12-09-2012
Who Owns That MP3? Rights & Ownership In The Digital Era
Are You Looking For The Best Free WordPress Magazine Themes?

Wordpress & Web Development

Are You Looking For The Best Free WordPress Magazine Themes?

One of the great things about Wordpress is it’s adaptability and ease of customization. Just download a new theme, and your entire site changes in an instant. It’s powerful, yet addictive; the search for the best theme is never ending – believe me – I have been known to spend literally days trying to track down that elusive theme that will make everything right in the world. Never fear though, because we’re here with a rundown of the best magazine themes.

09-09-2012
Are You Looking For The Best Free WordPress Magazine Themes?
Kodiak PHP IDE For iPad Lets You Write And Run PHP Code Offline

iPhone and iPad

Kodiak PHP IDE For iPad Lets You Write And Run PHP Code Offline

Plain text and code editors are certainly nothing new to the iPad – but the Kodiak PHP IDE brings to the table one incredibly powerful feature: the ability to actually run your code, offline, on your iPad. It’s also an incredibly slick code editor, as you’d expect. Let’s take a look at what makes Kodiak stand out. The app is on-sale for $4.99 for a limited time, before going up to full price of $9.99. This app couldn’t come more highly recommended.

07-09-2012
Kodiak PHP IDE For iPad Lets You Write And Run PHP Code Offline
Considering A Personal Domain? Here Are Some Cool Uses For It

Internet

Considering A Personal Domain? Here Are Some Cool Uses For It

Even if you’re not a fan of blogging and don’t have an amazing new website to launch, a personal domain can be an awesome tool to own for fun or self promotion: from a customized start page with your favourite services accessible in one click anywhere in the world, to a full on CV or résumé showcasing your talent.

05-09-2012
Considering A Personal Domain? Here Are Some Cool Uses For It
4 Things You MUST Do When Selling or Giving Away Your Old Computer, Phone or Tablet

Web Culture

4 Things You MUST Do When Selling or Giving Away Your Old Computer, Phone or Tablet

Here’s a fun thing I like to do: buy an old hard drive on eBay, then run recovery software on it. It’s a little data treasure hunt, and you’ll be amazed at what you can find. Even more amazing though are people who don’t even bother to delete data first; they just sell the phone or throw away the machine as is. If you don’t want to be one of those thousands of people who fall prey to privacy invasions and identify theft every day, then read on. Here are 3 essential steps to take before getting rid of a device.

02-09-2012
4 Things You MUST Do When Selling or Giving Away Your Old Computer, Phone or Tablet
3 Of The Best WordPress Forum Plugins

Wordpress & Web Development

3 Of The Best WordPress Forum Plugins

At some point, your WordPress blog gets popular, and then people start crying out for a community. I wrote before about BuddyPress, which is one approach to take that effectively turns your site into a social network; forums are another option. There are quite a few forum plugins out there, but I’ve distilled them down to the Top 3 to help you decide which will suit your as an admin and will be just right for your users.

31-08-2012
3 Of The Best WordPress Forum Plugins
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