close
Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Ryan Dube

Ryan Dube

Senior Writer / Joined 13 December, 2008

Ryan has a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering. He's worked 13 years in automation engineering, 5 years in IT, and now is an Apps Engineer. A former Managing Editor of MakeUseOf, he's spoken at national conferences on Data Visualization and has been featured on national TV and radio.

989 Articles
1442 Comments
4 Tools to Display RSS Feed Updates Directly on Your Windows Desktop

Windows

4 Tools to Display RSS Feed Updates Directly on Your Windows Desktop

You used to be on top of your readings. Then you got busy. What you’re suffering from is called “aging”. You have kids, your responsibilities grow, and it seems like the days grow shorter. Thankfully, RSS feeds are a way to sort of auto-browse all of those headlines without the need to click and read each one. This articles covers four of the best tools to deliver RSS feed updates directly to your desktop, either through RSS tickers, or from alert boxes that display feed information and scroll automatically.

28-08-2013
4 Tools to Display RSS Feed Updates Directly on Your Windows Desktop
Transform Google Tasks Into a Task Management Suite With Google Tasks Offline [Chrome]

Browsers

Transform Google Tasks Into a Task Management Suite With Google Tasks Offline [Chrome]

Using Google Tasks is like a love-hate relationship. The problem with using Google Tasks directly in say, Google Calendar or inside Google Mail is that the layout and the user interface is extremely simplified and not very flexible. In the normal view, it’s difficult to create subtasks, you can’t see all lists at once on one screen, and editing tasks or lists is cumbersome and not very intuitive. The best solution is really a client that is purely desktop, and which makes managing and navigating all of your tasks and projects as easy as possible.

27-08-2013
Transform Google Tasks Into a Task Management Suite With Google Tasks Offline [Chrome]
Create and Store Network Settings Profiles With Simple IP Config

Windows

Create and Store Network Settings Profiles With Simple IP Config

Do you frequently switch networks? Changing your IP settings still requires far more clicks than it should. You need to click through many windows to find and manually change your IP address, subnet, gateway and DNS settings. It doesn’t have to be so complicated, though! You can make use of a utility called Simple IP Config that lets you quickly tweak any of the IP settings mentioned above, and it can even manage IP setting “profiles”, which you can load up and enable on your laptop any time that you want.

23-08-2013
Create and Store Network Settings Profiles With Simple IP Config
Join These Today: 10 Of The Most Interesting Communities on Google+

Join These Today: 10 Of The Most Interesting Communities on Google+

To help you get started with Google+ Communities, I’ve decided to compile ten of the most intriguing or interesting Communities out there. These are ones that have at least over 10,000 users, and receive frequent updates every single day. Of course, these updates need to be unique or fun, and something worth coming back for every day. Turns out that’s a tall order on Google+ these days, but in the Communities section, it isn’t really as rare as you might think.

21-08-2013
Join These Today: 10 Of The Most Interesting Communities on Google+
Key Differences Between Google Adwords Tool And The Keyword Planner

Internet

Key Differences Between Google Adwords Tool And The Keyword Planner

The key differences between Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Keyword Planner includes a more organized workflow for researching adwords and keywords, a clearer presentation of data, quick access to some nice historical graphs, and the ability to download historical data in spreadsheet form. In this article, I’ll show you each of these new or different features and how you can make use of them in your own keyword or adwords research.

19-08-2013
Key Differences Between Google Adwords Tool And The Keyword Planner
Become a More Organized and Productive Leader With Wrike

Internet

Become a More Organized and Productive Leader With Wrike

Whether you’re heading up a single project at work, or you’re managing a small company, either role requires extreme organization and planning. This isn’t always possible with a traditional scheduler or planner. Enter Wrike, an innovative online project management solution that turns projects into groups of categorized tasks. It manages the tasks that have slipped through the cracks, so that when you do have some extra time, you know exactly where to look to catch up.

15-08-2013
Become a More Organized and Productive Leader With Wrike
7 Tips To Get A Great Deal Selling Your Unused Domain Name

Internet

7 Tips To Get A Great Deal Selling Your Unused Domain Name

Domain names can sell for anything from a few hundred dollars, to tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. There are even sales in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in some unique cases. The real valuation of a domain name comes from a number of factors, and by understanding those factors, you can increase the value of your domain before you make the move to sell it. A lot depends upon where you are in the process as well.

14-08-2013
7 Tips To Get A Great Deal Selling Your Unused Domain Name
4 Ways To Bulletproof Windows XP Forever

Windows Internet

4 Ways To Bulletproof Windows XP Forever

Windows XP is slated to be exterminated for good by Microsoft in April of 2014. It is the last stage of a multi-year effort to kill off the operating system. Windows XP is one of those Windows Operating Systems that built a very loyal user base of people who are not very willing to let go of it at the end of its life. In this article, I’ll help you set up that Windows XP system in such a way to reduce the likelihood of it getting hit by hacker lightning or a viral epidemic from the larger Internet.

12-08-2013
4 Ways To Bulletproof Windows XP Forever
Finding the Best PNG Image Compression Tool

Windows Browsers

Finding the Best PNG Image Compression Tool

Any image that has a smaller size will load on a web page faster, fit into an email message more easily, and transfer across the Internet more quickly. Compressed images can speed up the entire page load time of your site, and that’s really important when you’re looking to design a high quality web page that people aren’t annoyed to visit because the images take so long to load! In this article, I’ll test out four PNG compression apps, provide the results for each case, and then draw a conclusion as to which one performed the best.

07-08-2013
Finding the Best PNG Image Compression Tool
6 Best Netvibes Widgets for Bloggers and Journalists

Internet

6 Best Netvibes Widgets for Bloggers and Journalists

The growing volume of widgets and tools that are available on Netvibes makes it a useful tool for all sorts of great things. One of the uses that I’ve discovered myself is developing Netvibes into a sort of a dashboard that lets you monitor newswires, quickly keep track of interesting story notes or ideas, research those ideas, and keep track of all of your information for increased productivity while you’re blogging or writing your articles.

02-08-2013
6 Best Netvibes Widgets for Bloggers and Journalists
The LinkedIn Connections You Don’t Want — How Marketers Target You

Internet

The LinkedIn Connections You Don’t Want — How Marketers Target You

With the advent of the Internet, and particularly social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, Marketers now have a whole toolbox full of tricks to convert you into a buying customer. The reality for most people on social networks is that they want to spend time connecting with others, and maybe even landing a new job. LinkedIn in particular is a powerful tool that you can use to market yourself and your skills to the world. However, there’s a dark side to LinkedIn too, and that’s the sea of online marketers that are masquerading as regular users, and trolling the social network to find their next lead.

01-08-2013
The LinkedIn Connections You Don’t Want — How Marketers Target You
Google Algorithm Fail: 3 Examples Of Really Bad Google Results

Internet

Google Algorithm Fail: 3 Examples Of Really Bad Google Results

At this point, there have been over 25 Panda updates, with the latest reportedly occurring on July 18th. Some great websites we all know and love have suffered traffic loss, but at the same time, so have numerous content mills we’ve all grown to dislike. Are Google search results as high quality as they should be after so many algo tweaks? In this article, I’m going to take a close look at the results of three common search queries and see just how quality the results really are.

31-07-2013
Google Algorithm Fail: 3 Examples Of Really Bad Google Results
Can SEO Companies Really Guarantee a Top 10 Google Result?

Internet

Can SEO Companies Really Guarantee a Top 10 Google Result?

SEO is one of the most misunderstood aspects of web design, it is also a primary target for scam artists that prey upon unsuspecting website owners, willing to do anything for a piece of the search engine pie. Want to know the crazy thing about it? They aren’t lying. They really can get you listed in the “top 10” of Google results. I’m going to show you how they do that, and why it’s an outright scam.

26-07-2013
Can SEO Companies Really Guarantee a Top 10 Google Result?
Finally Get Two Functional Desktops With Actual Multiple Monitors

Windows

Finally Get Two Functional Desktops With Actual Multiple Monitors

Once you have tried working with a dual monitor setup, you’ll never go back. While two monitors give you double the workspace and boost productivity, I found the setup is never perfect. In the end, either the screensaver or backgrounds don’t work right or the software tool is very buggy and ends up freezing up the system. Then I came across Actual Multiple Monitors. This impressive software can transform your single PC into a dual display system that acts as though you’re running two independent computer desktops.

24-07-2013
Finally Get Two Functional Desktops With Actual Multiple Monitors
Interview With J.Dash – This Hip Hop Tech Geek Will Teach You To WOP

Internet

Interview With J.Dash – This Hip Hop Tech Geek Will Teach You To WOP

If you know the name J.Dash, then you know what I mean when I say that it’s time to WOP. I admit, I never would have considered interviewing J.Dash for MakeUseOf – I mean, we’re not exactly an entertainment blog. Curious about someone cool enough to break out of such stereotypes, I had to jump on this interview opportunity and see if it was just a marketing gimmick, or whether J.Dash could really tech talk with us.

20-07-2013
Interview With J.Dash – This Hip Hop Tech Geek Will Teach You To WOP
Make Facebook Work For You, Not the Other Way Around

Internet

Make Facebook Work For You, Not the Other Way Around

I’m a Facebook addict. Up until recently, if I had a browser tab with Facebook open and it showed a notification that there was something new to see, I had to check it out immediately. Sounds familiar? It can be solved. I tested a long list of browser-based and desktop-based Facebook apps, and finally settled on three solutions that I felt performed this task best. These three solutions let you keep using Facebook, without Facebook taking over your life.

19-07-2013
Make Facebook Work For You, Not the Other Way Around
Interview: Tiny Startup GlassUp Tries To Take On Google Glass

Future Tech

Interview: Tiny Startup GlassUp Tries To Take On Google Glass

By now, you’ve probably heard all about Google Glass, and the amazing future of augmented reality that they’ve introduced to the world. However, what if I told you that before Google ever introduced their innovative glasses to the world, that there was another company already busy at work developing its own similar invention – a pair of sporty looking glasses that could project digital images from your smartphone right onto the lenses before your very eyes?

18-07-2013
Interview: Tiny Startup GlassUp Tries To Take On Google Glass
Write Faster To Work Better: 5 Essential Tips To Improve Your Writing Speed Online

Internet

Write Faster To Work Better: 5 Essential Tips To Improve Your Writing Speed Online

How do you write things at work without wasting the entire workday doing it? How do you pump out even more articles as a freelancer, without sacrificing quality? In this article, I’m going to draw from 7 years of paid freelance writing work, and 13 years of professional engineering technical writing experience, to answer those questions.

12-07-2013
Write Faster To Work Better: 5 Essential Tips To Improve Your Writing Speed Online
Knowledge To Bank: How To Make Money On The Web By Teaching What You Know

Internet

Knowledge To Bank: How To Make Money On The Web By Teaching What You Know

These days, with declining job markets in different industries, there are a lot of people looking to change jobs, and sometimes changing a job means learning a whole new skill set. If you are a teacher, or an expert in any subject at all, you could very well earn a significant income from your knowledge by teaching other people online. There are many websites where you can do just that, and in this article I’ll list five of them.

10-07-2013
Knowledge To Bank: How To Make Money On The Web By Teaching What You Know
4 Good Ways To Disguise Yourself Online

Internet

4 Good Ways To Disguise Yourself Online

Why would it ever be necessary to disguise yourself online? Isn’t such behavior only for the likes of hackers, spies, and lowlifes? Well, not exactly. It isn’t always easy to fully disguise yourself in a way that is untraceable, but using the tools described in this article, you should be able to pull it off in fairly short order.

04-07-2013
4 Good Ways To Disguise Yourself Online
The Latest Tech That Everyone Is Searching For [Search Trends]

Internet

The Latest Tech That Everyone Is Searching For [Search Trends]

In this update, I’m going to take a look at Google Trend buzz searches from the past couple of weeks. Top buzz identified at Google Trends covers topics ranging from entertainment to politics and occasionally, yes, technology. It’s the tech news that I decided to hunt for. I’ve identified five new search terms that are exploding across the Internet, and may indicate stories that you could very well see in the news very soon.

03-07-2013
The Latest Tech That Everyone Is Searching For [Search Trends]
Instant Message Anyone On Your Home Network With LAN Messenger

Windows

Instant Message Anyone On Your Home Network With LAN Messenger

One of the worst things in a household full of poeple is when conversations consit of shouting throughout the house. More families are turning to instant messaging as a solution for in-home communication. Heck – IM is making paging systems obsolete at most workplaces, so why not in the home? The problem arises for parents of young children, who don’t want those kids to be plugged into the Internet on public IM networks – for those parents, LAN Messenger can serve as an excellent solution.

29-06-2013
Instant Message Anyone On Your Home Network With LAN Messenger
Convert Any Video Or Audio File To Any Format & Burn Discs With Format Factory

Windows

Convert Any Video Or Audio File To Any Format & Burn Discs With Format Factory

Not all video conversion software is created equal. Recently, I received a DVD copy of a TV show I appeared on. I was very antsy to use the content from that DVD as advertising for my online writing and research. Once I started trying to extract the clips and convert the video, however, I found that most of the video conversion tools ended up failing either with ripping the DVD or the video conversion. I was stunned. I nearly gave up until I recently stumbled across Format Factory.

27-06-2013
Convert Any Video Or Audio File To Any Format & Burn Discs With Format Factory
7 Captivating Websites To Read About Weird But True Stories

Internet

7 Captivating Websites To Read About Weird But True Stories

The truth is, we’re not alone. No, I don’t mean aliens. I mean – those of us that are interested in weird stuff. We’re not alone. There are people all around the world that devote a great deal of time and resources to collecting and investigating unusual stories that are based on witness testimony. The following 7 websites are just a few of the ones that I turn to when I’m on the hunt for an intriguing story or legend to investigate.

26-06-2013
7 Captivating Websites To Read About Weird But True Stories