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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.

1744 Articles
3447 Comments
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
Catch Notes: A Full-Featured App for Portable Note-Taking [Android]

Android

Catch Notes: A Full-Featured App for Portable Note-Taking [Android]

Portable notes have saved my life on more than one occasion. Not in the literal sense – thank God! – but in this day and age, when information is being thrown around at such high speeds, it’s hard to keep track of everything without forgetting bits here and there. Once I decided to start taking notes, it all became easier. But one question still burns: where should I jot my notes?

06-11-2012
Catch Notes: A Full-Featured App for Portable Note-Taking [Android]
How Do Spammers Find Your Email Address?

Internet

How Do Spammers Find Your Email Address?

Spam is the closest thing we’ll ever find to an Internet plague. No matter who you are, spam will one day find you and you’ll have no choice but to put up with its pestilence. It’s a pandemic that people have been trying to fight for decades, yet it’s still as strong as ever. But how do spammers find you in the first place?

02-11-2012
How Do Spammers Find Your Email Address?
3 Tools to Add Tabbed Browsing to Windows Explorer

Windows

3 Tools to Add Tabbed Browsing to Windows Explorer

Tabbed browsing is a feature that I first encountered 10 years ago in Firefox’s previous incarnation, Firebird. Since then, tabs have popped up in almost every realm related to user interfaces. They make it easy to view lots of data in specific, organized chunks and once you’ve grown used to them, there’s no going back. So why doesn’t Windows Explorer have tabs?

02-11-2012
3 Tools to Add Tabbed Browsing to Windows Explorer
7 Awesome Tools To Enhance Your Right-Click Menu [Windows]

Windows

7 Awesome Tools To Enhance Your Right-Click Menu [Windows]

The Windows right-click menu is a feature that we may often take for granted, but it can really make our lives easier. Advanced users probably don’t use it that much, having learned all the necessary keyboard shortcuts to do whatever they want in the blink of an eye, but what if you could spice up that right-click menu? What if it could do a bunch of awesome tasks that you couldn’t replicate with the keyboard?

30-10-2012
7 Awesome Tools To Enhance Your Right-Click Menu [Windows]
An A-Z of Linux – 40 Essential Commands You Should Know

Linux

An A-Z of Linux – 40 Essential Commands You Should Know

Linux is the oft-ignored third wheel to Windows and Mac. Yes, over the past decade, the open source operating system has gained a lot of traction, but it’s still a far cry from being considered popular. Yet though that may be true, Linux still earns new converts every day. Will you join them? The learning curve of Linux is what deters most users from even trying it in the first place.

26-10-2012
An A-Z of Linux – 40 Essential Commands You Should Know
Fed Up With eBay? Here Are Some Worthy (And Cheaper) Alternatives For Sellers

Internet

Fed Up With eBay? Here Are Some Worthy (And Cheaper) Alternatives For Sellers

When you want to sell your excess junk online, where do you go? For most people, the one and only answer is eBay. With millions of daily users, it only seems logical to use the number one popular online auction site when you have online selling needs. But what about all of the alternatives that are arguably better?

26-10-2012
Fed Up With eBay? Here Are Some Worthy (And Cheaper) Alternatives For Sellers
How We Talk Online: A History of Online Forums, From Cavemen Days To The Present

Internet

How We Talk Online: A History of Online Forums, From Cavemen Days To The Present

Let’s take a step back and think about the wonders of modern technology for one second. The web has made it possible to participate in near-instant communication on a global scale. Join me as I explore the evolution of online communication. How did all of this begin? Why did things become the way they are? The answers may surprise you.

23-10-2012
How We Talk Online: A History of Online Forums, From Cavemen Days To The Present
Try Before You Buy: 6 Emulators For Test-Driving Mobile Phones

Android iPhone and iPad

Try Before You Buy: 6 Emulators For Test-Driving Mobile Phones

It’s been about one year since I purchased my first smartphone. I remember having such a difficult time deciding which phone I wanted. Back then, I had no idea that mobile phone emulators existed. And boy, that sure would’ve made my life easier. Whether you’re looking to purchase your very first smartphone or considering switching from one type to another, these mobile phone emulators will definitely come in handy.

19-10-2012
Try Before You Buy: 6 Emulators For Test-Driving Mobile Phones
Predict The Future (Of Weather) With These 7 Awesome Weather Apps [Android]

Android

Predict The Future (Of Weather) With These 7 Awesome Weather Apps [Android]

Correctly predicting the weather is about as easy as eating a handful of screws, yet we keep attempting it day after day. Sometimes we get it right; most times we don’t. However, weather information is always pertinent and it never hurts to have weather data at the tips of your fingers. Yes, it’s true that predicting the weather is nearly impossible to do with any semblance of repeat precision, but that doesn’t mean that all weather information is useless.

19-10-2012
Predict The Future (Of Weather) With These 7 Awesome Weather Apps [Android]
NanoMusic: Extremely Lightweight And Simplistic Music App [Android]

Android

NanoMusic: Extremely Lightweight And Simplistic Music App [Android]

Earlier this year, I wrote a compilation of music managers for Android. The music players listed in that article are all great and useful in their own ways, but most of them are far too bloated for my tastes. It’s nice to have certain features, but I soon end up forgetting that they exist. All I want is a quick, painless, and resource-friendly music app that doesn’t hog battery power. And to my surprise, I stumbled upon NanoMusic.

12-10-2012
NanoMusic: Extremely Lightweight And Simplistic Music App [Android]
What Search Engine Poisoning Is & How It Spreads Malware [MakeUseOf Explains]

Internet

What Search Engine Poisoning Is & How It Spreads Malware [MakeUseOf Explains]

If you thought malware popups and relentless email spam were the worst of it, think again. There’s a new contender on stage and it’s spreading malware like butter in desert heat. It’s called search engine poisoning and hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people have fallen victim to it all over the globe. Here’s the thing about malicious intent: the worst forms of villainy occur when the bad guys take something that is good and use it for evil.

09-10-2012
What Search Engine Poisoning Is & How It Spreads Malware [MakeUseOf Explains]
5 Common Security Mistakes That Can Put Your Privacy & Money At Risk

Internet

5 Common Security Mistakes That Can Put Your Privacy & Money At Risk

How vulnerable are you? Ask any person who’s been robbed if it came as a surprise – I guarantee you it did. As the saying goes, the thief always comes in the night when you’re sleeping, when you’re least prepared. But even when you’re awake, you might be passively committing security mistakes, thus inviting hackers and crackers to fiddle with your things. Privacy and money are arguably the two most important things.

05-10-2012
5 Common Security Mistakes That Can Put Your Privacy & Money At Risk
WeatherBug – Even Better Than The Weather Channel [Android]

Android

WeatherBug – Even Better Than The Weather Channel [Android]

Up until about a week ago, I only knew of two legitimate weather sources: The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. Both of these services have apps on Android that provide information on the weather. Imagine my surprise when I hear a lot of people raving about the greatness of WeatherBug. As someone without a weather app, I knew I had to check it out.

05-10-2012
WeatherBug – Even Better Than The Weather Channel [Android]