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It that time of year again when we take a look back at the past year and see just what articles you enjoyed the most. In total, we published an astonishing 4,600 items of news, tutorials, and reviews, but I’ve narrowed it down to 20, in descending order of popularity. What were you sharing in 2012? Read on to find out.

Note to bean counters: We’re using a combined total of number of comments made and number of times the post was shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon to calculate total popularity, using the awesome API available from SharedCount. The list does not include giveaways.

What You Need To Know About Securing Your Twitter Account What You Need to Know About Securing Your Twitter Account What You Need to Know About Securing Your Twitter Account Twitter accounts are juicy targets for scammers and malware distributors. Once someone compromises your Twitter account, they can send out tweets with links to scams and malware, bombarding your followers with their junk. Strengthen your... Read More

Published just a few weeks ago, Chris’ piece on beefing up your Twitter security naturally exploded on Twitter. For hackers, Twitter accounts can be an incredibly valuable prize – such as in the case of Mat Honan, a prominent tech journalist for whom a hacker’s virulent pursuit of his @mat Twitter account meant all of his iCloud data was deleted in the process.

Eating Only Dessert: Why Your Information Diet is Probably Terrible Eating Only Dessert: Why Your Information Diet Is Probably Terrible [Feature] Eating Only Dessert: Why Your Information Diet Is Probably Terrible [Feature] Email. Social networks. Blogs. Online video. People today consume more information than ever before, and typically only consume the things they really, really like. Clay Johnson compares this to a bad diet. "If you only... Read More

A feature piece from Justin in which he interviews Clay Johnson, and tackles the growing problem of a restricted information diet – how everything you learn in the news is becoming increasingly personalized to your own interests, leaving you bereft of important information you really ought to know; how our information consumption is full of spam and newsletters, yet most of us feel the need to be connected to that flow 24/7, for fear of missing something important.

It’s a must read, so if you missed that one, go do that now. Seriously.

Go Back In Time: How 10 Big Websites Looked 15 Years Ago Go Back In Time: How 10 Big Websites Looked 15 Years Ago Go Back In Time: How 10 Big Websites Looked 15 Years Ago The year was 1997. Apple was a struggling computer company, AOL was a booming Internet service provider, Microsoft was on the verge of releasing Windows 98, and the Web was a very different place. Through... Read More

Technological progress is astonishly fast nowadays – your average singing birthday card now has more computing power inside of it than was available in the entire world in 1950.

It’s easy to forget we’ve haven’t always had the Internet, but take a look back just 15 years ago and you’ll see just how primitive sites were back then. Join us for a trip down the Internet memory lane. Ahh, good old Geocities, home to my first ever website ;)

How to Use Google+ As Your Social Media Dashboard to Cross-Post to Facebook, Twitter and More How To Use Google+ As Your Social Media Dashboard To Cross-Post To Facebook, Twitter & More How To Use Google+ As Your Social Media Dashboard To Cross-Post To Facebook, Twitter & More If you're active on several social networks and run your own blog as well, chances are you're posting a lot of the same content in several different places. To make life a little easier for... Read More

Despite claims that posting on Google+ is a still a bit like screaming alone in a forest, the newest social network is actually growing at a faster rate than Facebook, and a number of features really give it the edge. If you’re a Google+ fan, you’ve probably tired of having to post everything to Facebook and Twitter too, so read this post where Nancy reveals all.

Create Your Own SmartPhone App With Infinite Monkeys: No Coding Knowledge Required Create Your Own Smartphone App With Infinite Monkeys - No Coding Knowledge Required Create Your Own Smartphone App With Infinite Monkeys - No Coding Knowledge Required It would be great if we all had the time, skills, and patience to learn computer coding, especially since technology pervades so many areas of our life. But thankfully, there are applications and web developers... Read More

Bakari showed us how easy it is for anyone to get on the app train without ever touching XCode. Don’t expect to be making the next Angry Birds, mind.

11 Unique Uses For the iPad You’ve Probably Never Thought Of Before 11 Unique Uses For The iPad That You've Probably Never Thought Of Before 11 Unique Uses For The iPad That You've Probably Never Thought Of Before The iPad is awesome. It’s great for games, it’s excellent for productivity, it can be used for sketching, taking notes, reading books and articles or as entertainment for children. All of these are pretty straightforward... Read More

In which Yaara showed us some of the whackier things you can do with an iPad, including pilotting a ridiculously awesome Parrot AR.Drone (which we also reviewed, and gave one away Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review and Giveaway Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review and Giveaway The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is the most expensive remote control toy money can buy; it’s a smartphone controlled quadrocopter with a 720p HD camera, and it’s ridiculously fun, but quite temperamental. What follows is... Read More ), and using your iPad as a dynamic cutting board (uh, no thanks).

5 Must-Know Critical Facebook Privacy Tips ROUNDUP: 5 Must-Know Critical Facebook Privacy Tips ROUNDUP: 5 Must-Know Critical Facebook Privacy Tips MakeUseOf has published countless articles on Facebook privacy and security settings. Facebook continuously updates and changes privacy settings and options. For this post I have revisited previous stories to collect the best tips and and... Read More

Unfortunately the screenshots are now outdated as Facebook have changed their interface (again), but the advice is still solid so do have a quick look through to see if you’re sharing things with the world or just your friends.

4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them When you work at any job that requires long hours sitting at a computer - programming, accounting, writing - it is very easy to stay in that one position for eight to nine working hours... Read More

If you haven’t already switched to a standing desk or have a rigorous routine for regular breaks, you might want to seriously read Ryan’s strong case on how sitting at a desk all day is basically going to kill you.

Credit Card Numbers Are Not Random: How To Read & Understand Them Yourself

While this probably isn’t going to benefit your daily life or make you live longer, it might make for an interesting topic down the pub.

5 Websites To Watch Educational Videos That Will Expand Your Mind 5 Websites to Watch Educational Videos That Will Expand Your Mind 5 Websites to Watch Educational Videos That Will Expand Your Mind Watching videos is a fun and entertaining way to pass the time. If we were to watch every video available online, we could spend a lifetime. If you want to do more with your valuable... Read More

Tina shows us 5 of the best sites to sit back, relax, and learn something; if your kids keep coming home and confusing you with their astrophysics questions. Read this and in no time at all you’ll be explaining your quarks from your gluons.

10 Tools To Get Kids Excited About Programming 10 Tools To Get Kids Excited About Programming 10 Tools To Get Kids Excited About Programming For the average kid, computers and smartphones are fun tools. Education comes much later. Getting a kid excited about programming might take some doing because logic needs a bit of time to develop. It is... Read More

Let’s be honest – information technology teaching is for the most part atrocious – in my day, they were content if you could write a half-decent Word document. No more. If you’d like to give your child that spark of excitement that comes from creating software, this article from Saikat has everything you need to get started.

7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player 7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player 7 Top Secret Features Of The Free VLC Media Player That VLC pretty much plays everything that you throw at it is old news. It is also a media genie when it comes to other things apart from playing movies. We looked at some of... Read More

The video player that handles anything you can throw at it, VLC is probably one of the first apps I install on a fresh PC. Here, Saikat walks us through some of the lesser known features that’ll make you love VLC even more, including how to use it to download YouTube videos. Whoa!

What’s Fake Tech Support & Why You Shouldn’t Trust Everyething You See On Google What's Fake Tech Support & Why You Shouldn't Trust Everything You See on Google What's Fake Tech Support & Why You Shouldn't Trust Everything You See on Google You’re sitting at home, minding your own business. Suddenly, the phone rings. You pick up, and it’s Microsoft (or Norton, or Dell, or …). Specifically, it’s a support engineer, and he’s concerned – concerned for... Read More

You’re sitting at the desk, when you receive a phone call from Microsoft saying they’ve detected a virus on your Windows. Prove it, you demand, and they walk you through a huge list of errors in the event viewer. Trust gained, they proceed to “fix” your computer, whilst secretly installing a trojan virus that’ll give spammers and hackers full access to your machine.

Days later, your bank account might be emptied. A nightmare scenario perhaps, but all too common. Don’t be a victim. This post probably isn’t for you, but if you have relatives or friends who aren’t so tech savvy, make sure they’ve read about it, as well as Tim’s experience of cold call technical support Cold Calling Computer Technicians: Don't Fall for a Scam Like This [Scam Alert!] Cold Calling Computer Technicians: Don't Fall for a Scam Like This [Scam Alert!] You've probably heard the term "don't scam a scammer" but I've always been fond of "don't scam a tech writer" myself. I'm not saying we're infallible, but if your scam involves the Internet, a Windows... Read More in 2011.

Personally, I spent 15 hilarious minutes on the phone to an Indian “Microsoft technical support” scammer before finally admitting to him I actually have a Mac. Fun times.

The Truth Behind Those “I Want To Stay Connected To You Privately” Update The Truth Behind Those "I Want To Stay Connected To You PRIVATELY" Updates [Weekly Facebook Tips] The Truth Behind Those "I Want To Stay Connected To You PRIVATELY" Updates [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook have on several occasions made big changes which made information more public than it had been previously. Users are now generally a little cautious and distrustful of Facebook's settings, which leads them to believe... Read More

Another day, another Facebook scam. Angela explained how this chain letter preyed on people’s Facebook privacy fears, offering a quick fix to ensure only your friends would see your updates. In fact, the steps outlined would actually block your status updates from being seen by them. Oh dear.

Google Will Share Your Browsing History on March 1st Google Will Share Your Browsing History On March 1st [News] Google Will Share Your Browsing History On March 1st [News] Read More

Earlier in the year, Google outlined plans to make your search history – previously restricted to use within the search product it offers – to be made available across all Google products, including YouTube. Bakari explained how and why you might want to turn this off.

The issue may have been somewhat overblown though; your search history is only shared internally with other Google products in order to enhance your experience – such as seeing relevant videos when you visit YouTube.

Top 5 Amazing Uses For Your Raspberry Pi The Top 5 Amazing Uses For Your Raspberry Pi Computer The Top 5 Amazing Uses For Your Raspberry Pi Computer I’ve recently received my Raspberry Pi after a long wait – and I’ve got quite a few plans for it. The problem is, I’m not totally sure which project I want to attempt first. While... Read More

2012 was the year of the hardware hacker, from 3D printers What Is 3D Printing And How Exactly Does It Work? What Is 3D Printing And How Exactly Does It Work? Imagine if you could print out three-dimensional objects straight from a printer in your home. When I was a kid in primary school, I thought it would be awesome if I could print pizzas out... Read More to Arduinos What Is Arduino & What Can You Do With It? [Technology Explained] What Is Arduino & What Can You Do With It? [Technology Explained] If you're like me, tinkering with electronics is something you'd really like to be able to do - in theory at least - but the realities of time constraints, lack of knowledge and few rewards... Read More , and the more advanced sub-$100 computer-on-a-chip Raspberry Pi. Here, Christian outlined just a few of the incredible things this little device can be put to work as, including an Xbox Media Center or as the brains of a retro gaming arcade cabinet running MAME.

4 Stock Video Websites To Catch a Glimpse Of History On Film 4 Stock Video Websites To Catch A Glimpse Of History Captured On Film 4 Stock Video Websites To Catch A Glimpse Of History Captured On Film There are quite a few other websites out there which host stock video footage from key moments in history. They playback not only eyewitness accounts, but also give us history lessons in video…as it happened.... Read More

Though every minute detail of life is captured on YouTube nowadays, historical video archives are a rare breed. Here, Saikat showed a few different places where you can get your media fix of how life used to be.

5 Of The Worlds Most Famous Hackers & What Happened To Them 5 Of The World's Most Famous Hackers & What Happened To Them 5 Of The World's Most Famous Hackers & What Happened To Them The term "hacker" originally referred to the coders who held absolutely no malevolent connotations. Only recently has the term been used to refer primarily to criminal masterminds. In this article, we will be talking specifically... Read More

A controversial post as people debated whether they should be rewarded or punished, Joel takes the time to remember some of the most skilled criminal hackers; from NASA to the FBI, credit card fraud and phone phreaking. A good read for anyone interested in Internet history.

Unfortunate Truths About Child Pornography & The Internet Unfortunate Truths about Child Pornography and the Internet [Feature] Unfortunate Truths about Child Pornography and the Internet [Feature] A small blank square and a blinking cursor. A window through which the entire world exists. You only have to say the right word – any word – and your every desire will be delivered.... Read More

A feature piece from Ryan about the people and technologies that police the Internet for child pornography, and those who prey on your children. A fascinating and surprising piece.

3 Best Websites To Get a University Level Education For Free 3 Best Websites To Get A University Level Education For Free 3 Best Websites To Get A University Level Education For Free The idea that you are never done learning has never been more true than today. The Internet has revolutionized the way we access information and knowledge - formerly a luxury accessible only to the rich... Read More

This year, I enrolled in my first ever free online course; Gamification, from the University of Stanford. Contrary to what I thought, it was actually really difficult; the tests were challenging, the material was engaging, and the marking was tough. I gained a lot from that course – more so than many of the courses I paid for at university – and in this article Tina shows you a few of the best places to sign up for courses that might interest you, too.

What are you waiting for? A university level education can be had for free!

Conclusions

Facebook security seems to be a pretty hot topic for many of you, and perhaps rightly so in a world where employers demand your Facebook password, and even Mark Zuckerberg’s sister finds the security controls bewildering. I think it’s safe to say you all love video too, from historical footage to science and learning. With this much media online, perhaps the TV is dead after all? Education also featured strongly this year, and it’s truly amazing what you can learn online.

Did your favourite post make it onto the list? The results of our user poll for favourite post What’s Your Favorite MakeUseOf Post of 2012? [You Told Us] What’s Your Favorite MakeUseOf Post of 2012? [You Told Us] A new year is upon us, with 2012 having morphed into 2013 before our very eyes. For MakeUseOf this passing of one year into another actually means very little. We'll keep producing content designed to... Read More are due any day now, so hopefully you made your views known there!

Thanks for making 2012 a wonderful year, from all of us at MakeUseOf. We’re looking to bring you even more useful Internet tips, tutorials and reviews in 2013!

  1. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    January 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hope for fresher posts this year.

    • Tina Sieber
      January 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      What do you mean with fresher?

      • Shakirah Faleh Lai
        January 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

        Worth reading and more amazing, MUO posts are great. Hoping for greater posts for years upward.

  2. Nicolas Loots
    January 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Nice list. There were some really interesting things this year.

  3. Scott Macmillan
    January 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for the few posts that I missed!!

  4. Ihtisham ul haq haq
    January 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    These posts are really amazing and yummy...:D

  5. Kulwinder Rouri
    January 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Very nice list, some posts are still fresh and useful to read. There are so many posts which are useful in MakeUseOf directory.

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