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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.

1644 Articles
3446 Comments
Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes When Buying A New Computer

Technology Explained

Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes When Buying A New Computer

I built a new computer a few years ago. I’ve always considered myself above average in the tech field, but looking back, I have a few regrets with the system I built – some of my decisions could’ve been much better. Even if you’re thinking of buying a computer, not building one, you could be making the same mistakes as I did. Most of these mistakes come down to a lack of knowledge.

11-01-2013
Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes When Buying A New Computer
Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows?

Windows Browsers

Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows?

Ask anyone about the best browsers in the web browsing market and you’ll likely get the following list – IE, Chrome, Firefox. Those who are more tech-savvy might list Opera as an alternative. Those are the 4 most popular browsers on Windows, but which one is the best? Perhaps none of them. Popularity can be an indicator of quality, but it doesn’t guarantee it.

08-01-2013
Are You Really Using The Best Web Browser For Windows?
Make Sure You’re Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows]

Windows

Make Sure You’re Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows]

It sucks to be constantly bombarded by computer-related threats, whether they’re spyware, malware, viruses, keyloggers, or whatever else. A popular way to combat this problem is to install an antivirus solution that sits in the background and keeps you safe. But no matter what resident solution you’re using, it might not catch each and every infection. That’s where the one-time-scanner steps in.

04-01-2013
Make Sure You’re Clean With These Free One-Time Scan Antivirus Tools [Windows]
$1 Per Song? No Way! 5 Cheaper Alternatives For The iTunes Store

Internet

$1 Per Song? No Way! 5 Cheaper Alternatives For The iTunes Store

The world of music is constantly changing. Vinyl, cassettes, CDs, and now MP3s – and that means that we’ve gone from analog to digital. The best thing about digital music, in my opinion, is that you can purchase it in full online without ever leaving the seat of your desk. But the latest question in online music purchases is – where?

04-01-2013
$1 Per Song? No Way! 5 Cheaper Alternatives For The iTunes Store
Which Is The Best Mobile Music Streaming Service?

Internet

Which Is The Best Mobile Music Streaming Service?

Online radio is picking up steam now that there’s a good bit of competition driving the technology. You might be familiar with services like Pandora and Spotify, but now that you can stream music on-the-go with your mobile device, it’s better than ever. Join me as I explore and compare the five best music streaming services available today.

01-01-2013
Which Is The Best Mobile Music Streaming Service?
Don’t Fall Victim to Keyloggers: Use These Important Anti-Keylogger Tools

Windows

Don’t Fall Victim to Keyloggers: Use These Important Anti-Keylogger Tools

In cases of online identity theft, keyloggers play one of the most important roles in the actual act of stealing. If you’ve ever had an online account stolen from you – whether it was for Facebook, Gmail, a forum, or a video game – and you couldn’t explain how it was stolen, then the likely explanation is a keylogger. They’re dangerous, and no one is safe from them. What exactly is a keylogger?

28-12-2012
Don’t Fall Victim to Keyloggers: Use These Important Anti-Keylogger Tools
Write More Good: 7 Free Online Tools To Ensure You Use Proper English

Internet

Write More Good: 7 Free Online Tools To Ensure You Use Proper English

Improper use of English is one of my pet peeves. I’m not a full-blown “grammar nazi” (a colloquialism for someone very strict with grammar) but it does irk me. An exception can be made for those who don’t use English natively, but blatant disregard for the rules of language can be seen all over the Internet – and it can be quite annoying. Language is meant to convey ideas through a common medium that obeys a set of rules.

21-12-2012
Write More Good: 7 Free Online Tools To Ensure You Use Proper English
Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone?

Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone?

At one time, landlines and payphones were all we had–and we survived just fine, thank you very much. But now, it’s almost laughable if you don’t own an iPhone or Android, and for some of us, we can’t even go a day without them. Smartphone addiction is a real issue for modern society and, like most addictions, people who are addicted don’t truly realize how addicted they are. And even if you aren’t addicted yourself, chances are good that you know someone who is.

21-12-2012
Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone?
Stream Audio to Your Phone With These 5 Apps [Android]

Android

Stream Audio to Your Phone With These 5 Apps [Android]

I’m a big fan of streaming media. Whether it’s YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, or whatever else is out there, I love being able to stream on demand. It opens up a lot of flexibility – especially in terms of access (streaming media that I don’t have) and schedule (streaming when it’s convenient for me). And now you can stream media directly to your Android device. Smartphones have evolved to a point where they aren’t just “smart phones” anymore.

18-12-2012
Stream Audio to Your Phone With These 5 Apps [Android]
Shoot The Apple: A More Skillful Alternative To Angry Birds [Android]

Android

Shoot The Apple: A More Skillful Alternative To Angry Birds [Android]

Talk to anyone about mobile gaming and the first game that pops into mind will likely be Angry Birds. So imagine my surprise when I downloaded Shoot the Apple, gave it a try, and saw that it was pretty similar in gameplay. You fire objects at a target, navigating or destroying obstacles that are in the way. However, Shoot the Apple has a 4.5 star rating on Google Play, and after playing it a bit, I can see why.

14-12-2012
Shoot The Apple: A More Skillful Alternative To Angry Birds [Android]
Discover New Android Apps With These Android App Finders!

Android

Discover New Android Apps With These Android App Finders!

How many apps do you use on a daily basis? Not that many, I’m guessing, but the ones you do use are pretty important. Now, how many apps do you have installed? A lot, probably. Yet even so, there are thousands of other apps out there – some of them just waiting for you to discover them. A few of them will change your life. But how do you discover them when you don’t have the time?

11-12-2012
Discover New Android Apps With These Android App Finders!
Save Time and Effort When Typing With PhraseExpander Professional [Giveaway]

Windows

Save Time and Effort When Typing With PhraseExpander Professional [Giveaway]

If you’re like me, you spend a good portion of the day typing on your computer — whether it’s responding to emails, writing up papers, researching on the Internet, or just chatting with your friends through instant messenger. Typing, typing, typing. And eventually, typing can become a repetitive process. We can fix that. PhraseExpander Professional by Nagarsoft is available for $139.95 USD on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8. It’s available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. For you, however, we’ve got a great offer that you just can’t pass up: we’re giving away 25 copies of PhraseExpander Professional worth a total of $3,500 for FREE!

10-12-2012
Save Time and Effort When Typing With PhraseExpander Professional [Giveaway]
Write Space: A Distraction-Free Text Editor Right Inside Your Browser [Chrome]

Browsers

Write Space: A Distraction-Free Text Editor Right Inside Your Browser [Chrome]

Distraction-free editors are all the rage these days, and I’m fully aboard the train as a raving fan. I love the fact that these editors block out everything else on the computer so that you can write in peace. There’s a lot that could be said regarding our culture, that we need distraction-free programs in order to concentrate, but that’s for another article entirely. In terms of software programs, there are a bunch of different distraction-free editors you can pick from.

07-12-2012
Write Space: A Distraction-Free Text Editor Right Inside Your Browser [Chrome]
Move the Box: A Logic-Based Puzzle Game With a Boxy Twist [Android]

Android

Move the Box: A Logic-Based Puzzle Game With a Boxy Twist [Android]

I love puzzle games. I love that I can play them on my Android and I love that there are so many puzzle games available on Google Play. Logic-based puzzle games are the best as my brain can use all of the exercise it can get. There’s always Sudoku and Unblock Me, which are classics, but here’s another classic that deserves recognition. Once you see Move the Box, you’ll recognize it immediately if you’ve been a casual gamer for any period of time.

07-12-2012
Move the Box: A Logic-Based Puzzle Game With a Boxy Twist [Android]
Is Your PC A Zombie? And What’s a Zombie Computer, Anyway? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Technology Explained

Is Your PC A Zombie? And What’s a Zombie Computer, Anyway? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Have you ever wondered where all of the Internet spam comes from? You probably receive hundreds of spam-filtered junk emails every day. Does that mean there are hundreds and thousands of people out there, sitting around sending them out manually? Unfortunately, no. The process is mostly performed by zombie computers. Whoa! Zombie computers? That sounds dangerous, scary, and a bit apocalyptic, doesn’t it?

04-12-2012
Is Your PC A Zombie? And What’s a Zombie Computer, Anyway? [MakeUseOf Explains]
The Scourge Of The Web: Fake Reviews & How To Spot Them

Internet

The Scourge Of The Web: Fake Reviews & How To Spot Them

“User reviews” are actually a pretty recent phenomenon. Before the prevalence of the Internet, user reviews were called testimonials, and you’d only see them on TV commercials and product pages. Nowadays, anyone can write anything on any product – and there’s no filter for what you can say. Enter the problem of fake and falsified user reviews.

30-11-2012
The Scourge Of The Web: Fake Reviews & How To Spot Them
What Is Doxing & How Does It Affect Your Privacy? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Internet

What Is Doxing & How Does It Affect Your Privacy? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Internet privacy is a huge deal. One of the stated perks of the Internet is that you can remain anonymous behind your monitor as you browse, chat, and do whatever it is that you do. However, did you know that your real life identity can be compromised based on your Internet persona? It’s called “doxing” and it’ll sneak up on you without your knowledge. Doxing can affect anyone. Nobody is outside the possibility of being doxed.

23-11-2012
What Is Doxing & How Does It Affect Your Privacy? [MakeUseOf Explains]
Are You Selling Your Android? Here’s How to Wipe It Squeaky Clean

Android

Are You Selling Your Android? Here’s How to Wipe It Squeaky Clean

Not so long ago, James wrote an article about all the things you should do before you sell or give away your computer or tablet. The general principles were fantastic, but what if you’re planning on selling an Android device? What steps should you take to ensure that every trace of you has been wiped clean before someone else takes possession? If you’ve never considered this before, you should.

23-11-2012
Are You Selling Your Android? Here’s How to Wipe It Squeaky Clean
EPubReader: Read .EPUB Books For Free Right Inside Your Browser [Firefox]

Browsers

EPubReader: Read .EPUB Books For Free Right Inside Your Browser [Firefox]

eBook popularity has been skyrocketing in the past few years and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. First the Kindle, then the Nook, then smartphone apps like Aldiko and Mantano–there are so many ways to read eBooks now. If your eBook format of choice is .EPUB, then here’s some good news – you can read them straight from your browser now.

16-11-2012
EPubReader: Read .EPUB Books For Free Right Inside Your Browser [Firefox]
doubleTwist: A Simple & Clean Music App With Desktop Synchronization [Android]

Android

doubleTwist: A Simple & Clean Music App With Desktop Synchronization [Android]

Ask anyone what their favorite Android music player is and you’ll get a dozen answers. The worst (or best) part is that each of those answers is perfectly viable. There are so many apps to choose from and they’re all great. So as I present you with doubleTwist Player, I just want you to know that it’s only one of the many powerful apps out there. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at this bad boy.

16-11-2012
doubleTwist: A Simple & Clean Music App With Desktop Synchronization [Android]
What Is The Easiest Version Of Linux To Learn?

Linux

What Is The Easiest Version Of Linux To Learn?

With each day that passes, more and more people are giving Linux a try. It’s free and it can hold its ground against both Windows and Mac, so why not? And maybe you want to give it a try, too–but you keep hearing about how difficult Linux is, how it’s a “geek-only” operating system, etc. Thankfully, there are certain versions of Linux that will help ease you into the process. But before you decide to switch to Linux, you should think about why you want to switch.

13-11-2012
What Is The Easiest Version Of Linux To Learn?
BoxCryptor: Keep Your Cloud Storage Safe With Powerful Encryption [Giveaway]

Internet

BoxCryptor: Keep Your Cloud Storage Safe With Powerful Encryption [Giveaway]

Cloud storage services can be a lifesaver, especially when you keep backups of sensitive data on those clouds. The downside to cloud storage is that information is constantly passing between you and the server, and that information is not always secure. Backing up important data is smart–encrypting that data is even better so others can’t snoop in on it. BoxCryptor Unlimited Business is the cloud encryption solution for you. It’s available for USD $99.99 on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8 as well as Mac. But this week, we’re giving away 25 copies of BoxCryptor Unlimited Business worth a total of $2,500 for FREE!

12-11-2012
BoxCryptor: Keep Your Cloud Storage Safe With Powerful Encryption [Giveaway]
Just Got Your First Android Device? Here Are Simple Answers To Your Everyday Questions

Android

Just Got Your First Android Device? Here Are Simple Answers To Your Everyday Questions

The popularity of Android has been on a slow but steady rise. If you aren’t using an iPhone, then your options are pretty limited: Blackberry for the business folk, Android for the everyday iPhone equivalent, then Windows Phone for the rest. Of those 3 alternatives, Android is the most popular. So if you’re just starting off with an Android device, you probably have a few questions on how to proceed.

09-11-2012
Just Got Your First Android Device? Here Are Simple Answers To Your Everyday Questions