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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.

1719 Articles
3445 Comments
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
What Is UPnP & Why Is It Dangerous? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Technology Explained

What Is UPnP & Why Is It Dangerous? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Technology in the computer age has been plagued with unsecured features, security loopholes, and general oversights in software architecture. Flash drives can carry keyloggers. Browsers might have open backdoors. Windows constantly updates with security fixes. We have to take the good with the bad and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is one technological advancement that, too, comes with its share of drawbacks.

20-03-2013
What Is UPnP & Why Is It Dangerous? [MakeUseOf Explains]
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]
Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote – Which Is Best On Android?

Android

Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote – Which Is Best On Android?

At one time, people actually had to carry around notebooks if they wanted to take notes – remember the once-big fad of Moleskine notebooks? Nowadays, smartphones have made most pocket objects obsolete. Why carry around a notebook when you can just take notes right on your phone?

01-03-2013
Springpad vs Catch vs Evernote vs OneNote – Which Is Best On Android?
Why Update Your Blog: WordPress Vulnerabilities You Should Be Aware Of

Wordpress & Web Development

Why Update Your Blog: WordPress Vulnerabilities You Should Be Aware Of

I have a lot of great things to say about Wordpress. It’s an internationally popular piece of open source software that allows anyone to start their own blog or website. It’s powerful enough to be extensible by seasoned coders, yet simple enough that tech-illiterate people can still benefit from it. We even have a mini-guide for starting your own Wordpress site. However, as with all Internet-related software, there will always be security holes that need patching.

26-02-2013
Why Update Your Blog: WordPress Vulnerabilities You Should Be Aware Of
6 Tips Prevent Internet Procrastination

Internet

6 Tips Prevent Internet Procrastination

I am a master of procrastination. Perhaps you are too. There are millions of people who suffer from crippling procrastination and it’s a real drain on productivity and efficiency. The weird thing is, many of us don’t want to procrastinate; we want to work at full capacity, but we just can’t. But with a few tips, I think you’ll be able to overcome this beast.

22-02-2013
6 Tips Prevent Internet Procrastination
Build Up Your Google+ Community With These Great Tips

Internet

Build Up Your Google+ Community With These Great Tips

Though there was a lot of hype surrounding Google+, a lot of people who tried it out ended up returning to their usual social networks, like Facebook. However, if you thought that Google+ was dead, gone, and buried for good, you may be pleasantly surprised. It’s still kicking and some communities are actually flourishing on the platform.

22-02-2013
Build Up Your Google+ Community With These Great Tips
How To Choose The Best Android Keyboard For Your Own Needs

Android

How To Choose The Best Android Keyboard For Your Own Needs

If there’s one reason to pick Android over any other type of smartphone, it would be customizability. Whether you’re looking for different kinds of apps, themes, or ROMs, you’re always just one click away from changing the way your phone operates. Did you know that you can also change the keyboard of your phone to something new?

19-02-2013
How To Choose The Best Android Keyboard For Your Own Needs
Delete Duplicate Files Quickly With These Tools

Windows

Delete Duplicate Files Quickly With These Tools

One of the fastest ways to clog up your hard drive is to store duplicate files. Most of the time, you probably aren’t even aware that you have duplicate files. They come from a variety of places: accidental copies, misplaced files, multiple downloads, etc. But one thing is for sure: they can really bog you down.

15-02-2013
Delete Duplicate Files Quickly With These Tools
Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins

Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins

In my opinion, one of the best things Facebook ever did was to let users “unfriend” each other without any notifications. There have been numerous examples where I’ve regretted “friending” someone, and I’ve avoided tons of drama thanks to this unfriend-in-secret feature. Now, there are apps and extensions that will let you monitor when people unfriend or unfollow you on Facebook or Twitter.

15-02-2013
Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins
How to Optimize Your DNS for Faster Internet

Internet

How to Optimize Your DNS for Faster Internet

“The Internet is just a series of tubes” as one man so wisely stated. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. There’s a complex architecture that supports the Internet, and data packets need to travel some interesting routes in order to reach you. If you can optimize the paths that your data takes, you can boost your Internet speed. Now, there are some limitations. Data packets are essentially light, and light has a fixed speed of travel.

12-02-2013
How to Optimize Your DNS for Faster Internet
The Best Ways To Send A Free SMS Online

Internet

The Best Ways To Send A Free SMS Online

In an era where smartphone ownership is becoming the majority, it’s hard to imagine someone who can’t (or won’t) send out text messages. When was the last time you knew someone who didn’t have a text messaging plan on their mobile? Or better yet, when was the last time someone told you “don’t text me because I’ve hit my limit!”? You probably don’t remember. And yet, there are still millions of people out there who don’t have access to free text messaging.

08-02-2013
The Best Ways To Send A Free SMS Online
Post This: 5 Fantastic Blogging Add-ons [Firefox]

Wordpress & Web Development

Post This: 5 Fantastic Blogging Add-ons [Firefox]

Growing up, I created dozens and dozens of blogs on nearly every subject that interested me. I’ve had software development blogs, video game blogs, religious blogs, mini-blogs for team projects, small blogs for my inner circle of friends. You might be running a blog right now, or you may be thinking of running one. If so, listen up! One of the best advancements in browser technology over the past decade has been in plugins/extensions/addons.

05-02-2013
Post This: 5 Fantastic Blogging Add-ons [Firefox]
What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Technology Explained

What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains]

“Open source” is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. You may know that certain things are open source, like Linux and Android, but do you know what it entails? What is open source software? How can you tell if a program is open source? And, really, who cares? How does the open source philosophy affect you?

01-02-2013
What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains]
Speed Up & Tweak Windows Explorer [Windows 7]

Windows

Speed Up & Tweak Windows Explorer [Windows 7]

For a long time now, Windows Explorer (the process on Windows that controls everything from the desktop to folder browsing) has had a poor reputation for being a clunky, slow, and arguably useless file navigator. More recent versions of Windows (namely 7) have improved upon it, but there are still a few options and features that are missing. Thanks to hobby programmers, there are a few options and tools that you can use.

25-01-2013
Speed Up & Tweak Windows Explorer [Windows 7]