Justin Pot is a technology journalist based in Boulder, Colorado. He loves technology, people and nature and tries to enjoy all three whenever possible. Check out chat with Justin on Twitter.
Web Culture Editor
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Justin's Latest Posts
Listen to century-old recordings anytime, thanks to the The Library Of Congress. An organization dedicated to preserving American and global culture lives up to it’s mandate with the National Jukebox, a collection of early commercial recordings which anyone can access online. Whether you’re into classical recordings or ragtime, you’ll find something to listen to here.
Manage your downloads on Linux, outside of your browser. SteadyFlow is a lightweight, simple piece of software that makes managing downloads on Linux a snap. If you’re downloading a large file, your browser may not be the right tool for the job. This is when download managers come in handy and SteadyFlow is a download manager for Linux that tries to stay out of your way.
Get a lightweight but not underpowered word processor. If you need a program compatible with a wide variety of file formats, Abiword might be the right fit for you. It’s not as powerful as Microsoft Word or Libre Office’s Writer, but it does have most of the features the average user needs. It’s still the best compromise between a bloated word processor and underpowered text editors.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s the idea behind BitDefender’s beta TrafficLight service, which lets you know when a given website is a security risk before you open it. It also blocks the dangerous elements of a particular website, leaving you with access to the safe pages.
Love Ubuntu, but feel skeptical about 11.04’s new Unity interface? Try Lubuntu 11.04, an extremely lightweight alternative to the main branch of Ubuntu. You’ll find the menu-driven interface familiar and the resources hit remarkably low. Lubuntu is based on a desktop environment that strives to use next to no resources while still being easy to use.
Find yourself collecting eBooks, but not sure how to manage them all? “Open Book: Your Guide to Calibre and eBook Management” is the free download you’ve been looking for. This guide, from author Lachlan Roy, outlines the best tools on the market for managing your (non-DRM) eBook collection.
Do emergency scans of your computer with Microsoft’s latest free download. Microsoft Safety Scanner, a portable application that can examine any PC, can’t replace a full-blown anti-virus program, but it is a great tool to have around should infections pop up. Best of all – because it doesn’t need to be installed, you can easily download it and stick it on a thumb drive.
Quickly find the exact RSS feed you’re looking for. Whether it’s a feed for a blog or a hard-to-find podcast, ctrlQ is the cleanest RSS search engine we’ve ever seen. It also sports a lot of advanced features, making finding even obscure feeds a snap. We’ve highlighted a number of RSS search engines in the past, but none as clean as ctrlQ.org.
Want to know what’s really going on? Read the documents behind the news. Journalists strive to summarize complex documents, but sometimes its nice to read source material in its entirety. Thanks to DocumentCloud, an web service partnered with various media organizations, now you can.
It’s here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided to develop the Unity shell to replace Gnome 3’s shell. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and I’ve felt nothing but impressed.
Paper costs money. Save both by printing your PDFs on half-pages. Whether you want a booklet or side-by-side copies, a free tool for Windows not only makes this possible but also simple. Stop messing around with printer settings and get the document exactly how you want it. If you use your printer often, this is a tool you should probably know about.
Send large files to your friends without any hassle. There are a wide variety of websites that make it possible for you to send any file without having to create a user account. If you’ve got a file to share, and email simply isn’t cutting it, you’ve found the right list. Keep reading to discover some more great tools for the job.
Don’t just shorten URLs; make the pages you link to easier to read. Readability’s new “rdd.me” service combines the function of a traditional URL shortener with the easy-reading functionality Readability is known for.
Check out the ultimate in fan-created Mario goodness: Super Mario Brothers X. This game combines elements from every Mario game ever made into one, and the result is a lot of fun. While the level design is far from perfect you shouldn’t miss out on this free download for Windows. It’s free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out.
Add 450 extra programs to the already extensive CCleaner. An unofficial program makes Piriform’s famous system maintenance tool even more useful, by vastly increasing the amount of software it supports. CCEnhancer makes CCleaner even better at its job. A collection of userscripts from around the Internet, it can add support for 450 programs CCleaner doesn’t support out of the box.