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Joel Lee

Editor in Chief / Joined 8 December, 2011

Joel Lee has a B.S. in Computer Science and over eight years of professional experience in writing and editing. He is the Editor in Chief of three media sites: MakeUseOf, WhatNerd, and Modern Ratio.

1635 Articles
3446 Comments
5 Tips & Advice To Help You Become A Successful Telecommuter

Internet

5 Tips & Advice To Help You Become A Successful Telecommuter

Working a job, no matter what you do, can be difficult, exhausting, and downright unrewarding. Waking up to the screech of an alarm, dragging yourself from your cozy bed, and making it all the way to work can be miserable, especially when the weather outside is grim and gloomy. So when you hear about people working from home, it sounds like a dream job. But is it?

16-04-2013
5 Tips & Advice To Help You Become A Successful Telecommuter
Take a Break From the Mainstream Music Apps and Try Rocket Player [Android]

Android

Take a Break From the Mainstream Music Apps and Try Rocket Player [Android]

When it comes to Android music players, there are a few big names that everyone likes to throw around – e.g., Winamp and doubleTwist – but popular isn’t always the best. Recently, I heard about a lesser known Android app called Rocket Player. I checked it out, the screenshots looked enticing, so I downloaded it and gave it a test run. The results were pleasantly surprising, but is it a contender for the title of Best Android Music Player?

15-04-2013
Take a Break From the Mainstream Music Apps and Try Rocket Player [Android]
Need a Custom Home Screen? Apex Launcher Gives You What You Want [Android]

Android

Need a Custom Home Screen? Apex Launcher Gives You What You Want [Android]

For many users, Android is the mobile operating system that revolutionized the smartphone market thanks to the level of customization it allowed. Don’t get me wrong: the iPhone and the Blackberry (and more recently, Windows Phone) all have their place in the market, but nothing beats the out-of-the-box capabilities for personalizing an Android. And what iconifies the smartphone experience better than the home screen?

12-04-2013
Need a Custom Home Screen? Apex Launcher Gives You What You Want [Android]
Faster, Leaner, Better – Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Android

Faster, Leaner, Better – Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Oh, the joys of having social media available to us at any time of day thanks to the advent of the smartphone. Facebook has always been (at least on the surface) about connecting with your friends and family and staying updated without having to meet up in person every few days. And in that sense, mobile Facebook apps have ushered in a new era of information convenience. But when it comes to Android, the official Facebook app is not perfect.

09-04-2013
Faster, Leaner, Better – Alternatives To The Android Facebook App
What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser?

Browsers

What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser?

If you’re like me and you spend a huge portion of your day browsing the web then you understand how frustrating it is to have a slow, bloated browser that seems to be on its last leg. While some of that slowness can stem from issues unrelated to the browser, like ISP and computer hardware, there are some steps you can take to maximize browser speeds.

08-04-2013
What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser?
What Is Onion Routing, Exactly? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Browsers

What Is Onion Routing, Exactly? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Internet privacy. Anonymity was one of the greatest features of the Internet in its youth (or one of its worst features, depending on who you ask). Leaving aside the sorts of problems that spring forth from anonymous interaction, such as the lack of consequences, Internet privacy and anonymity is important for preventing some serious crimes, like identity theft. And so when topics related to Internet privacy pop up, you’ll often hear of “private browsing” and “proxy servers”.

05-04-2013
What Is Onion Routing, Exactly? [MakeUseOf Explains]
Make Animated GIFs & Cinemagraphs [Android]

Android

Make Animated GIFs & Cinemagraphs [Android]

The GIF image format is one of the staples of the Internet, allowing for animations to be shared with other people who aren’t standing in the same room as you. It’s one of the oldest image formats to have become mainstream, but it’s still used regularly even today and creative people are pioneering new uses for GIFs, such as the cinemagraph. A cinemagraph is a GIF that is mostly a still image with one small section being animated.

05-04-2013
Make Animated GIFs & Cinemagraphs [Android]
Why USB Sticks Are Dangerous & How To Protect Yourself

Internet

Why USB Sticks Are Dangerous & How To Protect Yourself

USB drives are so pervasive in today’s world of technology, but when they first debuted, they revolutionized data exchange. The first USB flash drives had an 8MB capacity, which isn’t much by today’s standards, but a far cry better than the alternatives – the 1.44MB floppy or the CD that required permanent burning. Nowadays we have USB drives that are larger than traditional hard drives.

03-04-2013
Why USB Sticks Are Dangerous & How To Protect Yourself
How To Streamline Your Mouse Use [Windows]

Windows

How To Streamline Your Mouse Use [Windows]

Back in the first days of the computer, the only way to interface with a terminal was through a keyboard, no mouse. Of course, back then, most operating systems ran on a command line interface so a mouse wasn’t really necessary. But nowadays, when we have mice available, a question is raised – are you using your mouse productively? The mouse gives us a great deal of control in two dimensions – selecting, dragging, tapping, double-tapping, and more.

02-04-2013
How To Streamline Your Mouse Use [Windows]
Don’t Let Your Smartphone Take Over Your Life

Don’t Let Your Smartphone Take Over Your Life

Back at the end of 2012, just in time for New Year’s Resolutions, I wrote an article all about smartphone addiction. We created technology to serve us, yet so many of us – myself included – have fallen enslaved to our phones. Ever lose your phone for one moment and felt your heart jump out of your chest? That’s what I’m talking about. Don’t let your smartphone master you. Take control over your smartphone by avoiding these potentially harmful habits.

01-04-2013
Don’t Let Your Smartphone Take Over Your Life
Don’t Like Amazon? Alternatives To The Kindle eBook Reader App For Android

Android

Don’t Like Amazon? Alternatives To The Kindle eBook Reader App For Android

Amazon has its own set of flaws that send readers looking for an alternative that’s just as good. Looking to get away from Amazon, the Kindle, and DRM? Here are some of the best ebook reading apps that I’ve found on Android over the years. I’ve used each of them at some point in my life and I’ve been satisfied with all of them. Hopefully they work well for you, too.

29-03-2013
Don’t Like Amazon? Alternatives To The Kindle eBook Reader App For Android
How To Deal With Telephone Spam

Internet

How To Deal With Telephone Spam

The greatest aspect of the telephone? The fact that you can speak to anyone at a moment’s notice, even if they’re halfway across the world. Sit back and think about that for a second because it’s amazing. But there’s also a drawback: spammers can constantly attempt to reach you with texts and calls and you may feel helpless against the endless barrage.

29-03-2013
How To Deal With Telephone Spam
Word Processing In Google Docs? 5 Important Tips To Keep In Mind

Internet

Word Processing In Google Docs? 5 Important Tips To Keep In Mind

For the majority of my life, Microsoft Word was the word processing tool to use if you were going to do any serious work. Sure, there were alternatives like Corel WordPerfect and later on OpenOffice, but Microsoft Word held a pretty tight grip as leader in that field. Since then, Google Docs shifted all of that into a cloud environment and has been quite successful. In the future, I truly see Google Docs taking over traditional desktop word processors.

27-03-2013
Word Processing In Google Docs? 5 Important Tips To Keep In Mind
3 Fun Tools to Get More Out of Your Webcam

Windows

3 Fun Tools to Get More Out of Your Webcam

To be honest, I never understood the big fuss over webcams and video chatting. Sure, it’s nice to chat face to face every once in a while, especially when you haven’t seen your significant other or family members for long periods of time, but other than that, I’ve always thought webcams weren’t a justified purchase. Until I learned you can use webcams for more than just chatting.

26-03-2013
3 Fun Tools to Get More Out of Your Webcam
Quell: The Most Relaxing Free Puzzle Game for Mobile Devices [Android, iOS]

Android iPhone and iPad

Quell: The Most Relaxing Free Puzzle Game for Mobile Devices [Android, iOS]

There are many Android games that deserve praise, many of which are logic-based puzzle games like Move the Box and Unblock Me, although there are a few action games like Death Worm to seal the deal. I’ve found yet another fantastic logical puzzler that will calmly pick your mind and stump you regularly. It’s called Quell and it’s available on both Android (Free) and iOS ($1.99).

22-03-2013
Quell: The Most Relaxing Free Puzzle Game for Mobile Devices [Android, iOS]
Learn To Play The Drums With These Websites & Tools

Internet

Learn To Play The Drums With These Websites & Tools

Who doesn’t love a skilled drummer? Beats are the heart of music and a great beat by a great drummer can absolutely transform the spirit of a song into something transcendent. I’ve tried learning how to drum on a few occasions in the past but always ran into an obstacle: drums are expensive. Luckily for any of you readers in that same boat, there are now a handful of fantastic resources on the Internet

22-03-2013
Learn To Play The Drums With These Websites & Tools
Jango Radio: Like Pandora With More Customization & Fewer Ads [Android]

Android

Jango Radio: Like Pandora With More Customization & Fewer Ads [Android]

Who doesn’t love Internet radio? I was a slow adopter when it came to streaming online music, but now I’m a believer and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fortunately, the technology has been continually advancing and now we’ve got a number of great mobile music streaming services. Jango Radio is one of them and it most definitely deserves your attention.

19-03-2013
Jango Radio: Like Pandora With More Customization & Fewer Ads [Android]
Have a Hard Time Tracking Debts With Friends? Use What Do I Owe You

Internet

Have a Hard Time Tracking Debts With Friends? Use What Do I Owe You

Like most people, I enjoy going out to places with my friends. Restaurants, movies, overnight trips, amusement parks, paintballing – you name it and I’ll go. Going out as a group is great but sometimes there are complications, especially when it comes down to money. Fortunately, there’s a new website that aims to solve this problem. It’s called What Do I Owe You?

15-03-2013
Have a Hard Time Tracking Debts With Friends? Use What Do I Owe You
How To Debunk Online Rumors & Urban Myths

Internet

How To Debunk Online Rumors & Urban Myths

Have you ever seen a post on the Internet and your only reaction was “what? That can’t possibly be true”. It’s happened to me lots of times and I’m always sent on a wild goose chase, researching websites and articles from all over, just to confirm whether or not it really is true. Debunking an online rumor or urban myth takes time, but it’s quite satisfying. Keep reading to find out what makes these rumors and myths so believable.

08-03-2013
How To Debunk Online Rumors & Urban Myths
Use Music Pool To Broadcast Music Across Multiple Devices [Android]

Android

Use Music Pool To Broadcast Music Across Multiple Devices [Android]

I love it when MakeUseOf readers suggest new apps and programs to me. With every article I write, I’m just waiting for all of those comments that point me in new directions and expand my own library of cool software. That’s how I stumbled across this cool new Android app that will surely come in handy at future parties – Music Pool, an app that lets you sync up your Android device with other Android devices nearby.

08-03-2013
Use Music Pool To Broadcast Music Across Multiple Devices [Android]
Stay Safe & Private With These 5 Encryption Add-Ons [Firefox]

Browsers

Stay Safe & Private With These 5 Encryption Add-Ons [Firefox]

Ciphers have been used throughout history to maintain secrecy and security for sensitive pieces of data. Instead of leaving important information out in the open and available to anyone for reading, these ciphers kept knowledge and messages locked away behind puzzles. At one time, those ciphers may have been simple, but now we have extremely powerful forms of encryption. Think about all of the sensitive data you transmit on a day-to-day basis through your browser.

05-03-2013
Stay Safe & Private With These 5 Encryption Add-Ons [Firefox]
Ad-Aware Pro 10.5: Latest Update to the Quick & Powerful Security Suite [Giveaway]

Windows

Ad-Aware Pro 10.5: Latest Update to the Quick & Powerful Security Suite [Giveaway]

Security suites are a big deal. There are so many avenues of attack and you may one day find your computer buckling under the weight of malware and viruses. In the latter half of last year, I actually reviewed Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware Pro as part of MakeUseOf’s Rewards Program. But here’s our offer this week: we’re giving away 25 copies of Ad-Aware Pro 10.5 worth a total of $900 for FREE!

04-03-2013
Ad-Aware Pro 10.5: Latest Update to the Quick & Powerful Security Suite [Giveaway]