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Joel Lee

Editor in Chief / Joined 8 December, 2011

Joel Lee has a B.S. in Computer Science and over six years of professional writing experience. He is the Editor in Chief for MakeUseOf.

1743 Articles
3447 Comments
Type Fu: Ramp Up Your Words-Per-Minute With This Chrome Extension

Browsers

Type Fu: Ramp Up Your Words-Per-Minute With This Chrome Extension

Want to increase your typing speed? I’m sure we all do. Not only can we save ourselves a lot of time over years of typing, having a high typing speed can be impressive to see. And while most typing improvement regimens are sluggishly boring, I’ve found a Chrome extension that makes the progression feel easier and more natural. It’s called Type Fu.

03-07-2013
Type Fu: Ramp Up Your Words-Per-Minute With This Chrome Extension
They Killed Reader And iGoogle – What To Do If FeedBurner Is Next

Internet

They Killed Reader And iGoogle – What To Do If FeedBurner Is Next

Google is commendable for being so willing to experiment with new potential products. Where would we be if they never fooled around with, say, Gmail or AdSense? Yet it seems like for every product that succeeds, a handful of others get the axe. Most recently, Google killed Reader. What happens if they come after Feedburner next? Do you have a backup plan?

02-07-2013
They Killed Reader And iGoogle – What To Do If FeedBurner Is Next
What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care?

Gaming

What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care?

In the world of games, Valve Corporation has recently grown into one of the largest and most consistent game publishers (with the skyrocketing success of their Steam distribution network) and game developers (with the international success of series like Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, etc.) in the world. In terms of game development, Valve’s Gabe Newell has always approached his titles by pursuing quality over quantity, and it really shows, especially in their latest work-in-progress, Dota 2.

01-07-2013
What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care?
Nightingale: A Faster, Cleaner Cross-Platform Fork of Songbird Music Player

Windows Linux

Nightingale: A Faster, Cleaner Cross-Platform Fork of Songbird Music Player

I’ve tried so many desktop music players that I’m starting to lose my mind. So far I’ve tried Clementine, Spider, GOM Audio, AIMP3, and a few more. How does Nightingale fare against its fierce competition? Before answering that, you should know that Nightingale is a fork of Songbird Classic. You’ll find a lot of similarities between the two, but also a number of differences – the main one being that Songbird has officially been declared dead. Whether you were looking for a Songbird alternative or a Songbird replacement, Nightingale might have what you need.

28-06-2013
Nightingale: A Faster, Cleaner Cross-Platform Fork of Songbird Music Player
7 Legal Ways To Watch Movies Online For Free

Internet

7 Legal Ways To Watch Movies Online For Free

With the advent of the Internet, media delivery has become so easy and so convenient for us. It started with music but quickly moved to include TV shows and feature-length films, and in the wake of Napster illegal piracy has skyrocketed. But what can you do if you want to watch movies online while staying within the confines of the law?

24-06-2013
7 Legal Ways To Watch Movies Online For Free
3 Android RPG Games That Rock

Android Gaming

3 Android RPG Games That Rock

Mobile gaming is known for puzzle games and casual games, but what about the other genres? Games like Angry Birds and World of Goo took the world by storm when they first came out and they pretty much set the stage for mobile games, but a new genre has been burgeoning: RPGs. They’ve been popular for the past few decades and it’s about time that good Android RPGs had their share of the limelight.

21-06-2013
3 Android RPG Games That Rock
5 Sites To Learn How To Write A Book And Get It Published

Internet

5 Sites To Learn How To Write A Book And Get It Published

There are millions of people all around the world who want to be professional writers, yet only a tiny fraction of them ever make enough money to write full-time. It’s a market that is saturated in terms of supply, so you need to be excellent or revolutionary to even be noticed. Fortunately, there are many resources out there that will get your feet wet. Here are five of my favorites.

17-06-2013
5 Sites To Learn How To Write A Book And Get It Published
RaidCall: Free & Hosted Voice Chat and Gaming Community Wrapped Into One Package

Windows Gaming

RaidCall: Free & Hosted Voice Chat and Gaming Community Wrapped Into One Package

Voice communication allows gaming to transcend to the next level. It’s one thing to play a multiplayer game with your friends – it’s something else when you can talk with your friends while playing. However, voice chat software can be a pain in the butt, hard to set up, and resource intensive. RaidCall may be the solution. Whether you’re a gamer with an extensive history with voice communication software, or you’re someone who has never used voice chat before, you should really check out RaidCall.

14-06-2013
RaidCall: Free & Hosted Voice Chat and Gaming Community Wrapped Into One Package
TeamSpeak 3: The Original Cross-Platform Voice Chat For Gaming Teams and Clans

Windows Linux

TeamSpeak 3: The Original Cross-Platform Voice Chat For Gaming Teams and Clans

I’m a big fan of voice communication when it comes to gaming. Wearing a headset while gaming adds a social element that makes the gaming experience that much better. While TeamSpeak may have started off as a solution for competitive gaming teams to discuss strategy and tactics in real-time, it has evolved into something beyond the bare essentials. It is used by casual gamers and fierce e-sports enthusiasts alike. TeamSpeak is a great program for talking with your gamer friends.

12-06-2013
TeamSpeak 3: The Original Cross-Platform Voice Chat For Gaming Teams and Clans
Razer Comms: A New Free Voice Chat For PC Gamers

Gaming Windows

Razer Comms: A New Free Voice Chat For PC Gamers

Voice communication is a fantastic bit of technology that truly complements the fast-paced nature of multiplayer gaming. It frees up your hands from typing out long messages, allowing you to chat in real-time without any sacrifice in game play. Established gaming brand, Razer, has recently come out with a great new voice communication program for free. Even though it is still in beta, Razer Comms puts up a formidable bit of competition even against the alternatives that have been around for many years.

11-06-2013
Razer Comms: A New Free Voice Chat For PC Gamers
Show, Don’t Tell! 3 Best Free Screencasting Tools for Windows

Windows Internet

Show, Don’t Tell! 3 Best Free Screencasting Tools for Windows

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be priceless – and there are times when a video is more convenient and effective than simple words. A screencast, also known as a video screen capture, is a recording of your computer screen outputted in video format. It can include the audio sounds from your computer, or a voiceover using a microphone, or both. It might seem like a difficult task, but screencasting is surprisingly easy thanks to the software available.

07-06-2013
Show, Don’t Tell! 3 Best Free Screencasting Tools for Windows
Shuttle Player: The Robust and Feature-Complete Music Experience [Android]

Android

Shuttle Player: The Robust and Feature-Complete Music Experience [Android]

Finding that one perfect music player can be tough. Finding one that’s free? Nearly impossible. Rocket Player has been my near-perfect choice for the past few months, but I recently found a successor: Shuttle Player. I would never have found this gem if it weren’t for MakeUseOf reader Jarrod Bush, so shoutouts to him. And wow, what a find. This may just be the most polished free music player available on Android.

05-06-2013
Shuttle Player: The Robust and Feature-Complete Music Experience [Android]
The Free & Powerful Video Player You’ve Never Heard About – GOM Media Player

Windows

The Free & Powerful Video Player You’ve Never Heard About – GOM Media Player

Not too long ago, I found myself impressed by the sleek functionality of GOM Audio for Windows. It turns out that GOM has its own free video player as well – GOM Media Player – and I knew I just had to check it out. I wanted to see if GOM could match the big players like VLC in performance and quality. GOM Media Player originates from South Korea and is the number one media player in that country. Join me as I explore this powerful piece of software to see what it can do.

03-06-2013
The Free & Powerful Video Player You’ve Never Heard About – GOM Media Player
Need A Lightweight Music Player Without Sacrificing Features? Clementine! [Cross-Platform]

Windows Linux

Need A Lightweight Music Player Without Sacrificing Features? Clementine! [Cross-Platform]

Sometimes you don’t really know what you want until you’re holding it in your hands. There are not-so-resource-intensive music players out there that are bland and there are monster RAM hogs that provide tons of eye candy and aesthetic pleasure. What if you want something in the middle of the road? Oh, hello Clementine! I recently stumbled across this music player and let me tell you: it offers the best of both worlds and there’s no other music player like it.

31-05-2013
Need A Lightweight Music Player Without Sacrificing Features? Clementine! [Cross-Platform]
Hack YouTube: Kill the Annoyances, Improve Your Viewing

Internet

Hack YouTube: Kill the Annoyances, Improve Your Viewing

YouTube is a revolutionary service, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without its flaws. There are many features on the site that are designed for convenience, other features that are meant to satiate legal requirements, and then there are features that are plain missing. Here are some ways to easily spruce up your YouTube experience.

29-05-2013
Hack YouTube: Kill the Annoyances, Improve Your Viewing
Is It Wise To Buy Blog Or Forum Comments From Freelancers?

Internet

Is It Wise To Buy Blog Or Forum Comments From Freelancers?

Last year, I wrote about identifying fake reviews. In the overall discussion about purchasing site activity (whether it be comments, posts, reviews, or whatever else you offer), it’s safe to assume that buying comments is pretty much the same thing as buying user reviews. There’s a lot of overlap between the two and they pretty much achieve the same purposes. But there are also a few subtle differences.

28-05-2013
Is It Wise To Buy Blog Or Forum Comments From Freelancers?
The Top 5 Firefox Plugins To Supercharge Gmail

Browsers

The Top 5 Firefox Plugins To Supercharge Gmail

Gmail has been around for almost a decade now and millions of users around the world still use it today. Yet, despite being backed by Google, Gmail is still a service that’s rather skimpy on the features. Fortunately, if you still want to use Gmail in your browser, there are a number of great plugins that will transform your Gmail experience right away. If you use a third-party client like Thunderbird or Postbox, you may want to reconsider.

24-05-2013
The Top 5 Firefox Plugins To Supercharge Gmail
The Tried and True Free Launcher For Android – ADW Launcher

Android

The Tried and True Free Launcher For Android – ADW Launcher

A confession: I’ve avoided ADW Launcher for the past two years and I don’t know why. Maybe it was the not-so-catchy name of the app. Maybe I just had a bad day once and decided to shun ADW forever. Nonetheless, I regret avoiding this launcher for so long because it’s absolutely fantastic and deserves a try no matter who you are. But sometimes, the mainstream solutions are mainstream for a reason.

22-05-2013
The Tried and True Free Launcher For Android – ADW Launcher
Internet Forums Reimagined: The Future Of Online Discussions

Internet

Internet Forums Reimagined: The Future Of Online Discussions

The latest iteration of online communication may indeed be social media, but it seems that the most popular avenue is still the old-fashioned forum. It remains today as an excellent way to structure a community on the web. While social media can be somewhat amorphous at times, forums provide order and a sense of home.

21-05-2013
Internet Forums Reimagined: The Future Of Online Discussions
Touch Up Your Photos With A Single Click Using Photo Commander 11 [Giveaway]

Windows

Touch Up Your Photos With A Single Click Using Photo Commander 11 [Giveaway]

Sometimes you just want to fix up a picture without all of the baggage and learning curves that come with powerhouse image editors like Photoshop and GIMP. Obviously, a program as primitive as Paint won’t do, and even middle-of-the-road programs like Paint.NET sometimes won’t cut it. Thankfully, Ashampoo’s Photo Commander 11 steps in to fill the gap. We’re giving away 10 copies of Photo Commander 11 worth a total of $500 for free!

21-05-2013
Touch Up Your Photos With A Single Click Using Photo Commander 11 [Giveaway]
Looking For New Music? Here Are 5 Of The Best Chrono Trigger OCRemixes

Entertainment

Looking For New Music? Here Are 5 Of The Best Chrono Trigger OCRemixes

OCRemix is one of many sites where you can legally get free music. The catch is that the songs on OCRemix are remixes of popular video game soundtracks. You won’t find Pink Floyd or Taylor Swift here; however, you might be surprised to find that there are still tons of professional quality tracks for you to enjoy – even if you don’t like video games! And they don’t necessarily sound like video game music. This list covers remixes for Chrono Trigger.

20-05-2013
Looking For New Music? Here Are 5 Of The Best Chrono Trigger OCRemixes
Everything You Need to Make Firefox Private & Secure

Browsers

Everything You Need to Make Firefox Private & Secure

When using Firefox – or any web browser for that matter – one of the best practices you can develop is to always be mindful of your privacy and security. You never know when someone could be snooping on you or intercepting your data. Indeed, being vigilant about this could mean the difference between a blissful browsing experience and maliciously stolen accounts. Encryption is great but there are other considerations you need to make.

17-05-2013
Everything You Need to Make Firefox Private & Secure
What Is HTML5, And How Does It Change The Way I Browse? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Internet

What Is HTML5, And How Does It Change The Way I Browse? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Over the past few years, you may have heard the term HTML5 every once in a while. Whether you know anything about web development or not, the concept can be somewhat nebulous and confusing. Obviously, it’s the next step in the line of HTML, but what exactly does it do? Why is there so much excitement around it? And why does it matter for you?

17-05-2013
What Is HTML5, And How Does It Change The Way I Browse? [MakeUseOf Explains]