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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
Using Binaural Beats to Improve Gameplay Concentration – Does It Work?

Android

Using Binaural Beats to Improve Gameplay Concentration – Does It Work?

Binaural beats are sounds of different frequencies that play in each ear. The premise is that the brain’s effort to sync up the two sounds into one perceived sound eventually “tunes” the brain to operate at a mental state within that range. The makers of binaural beat products tweak each frequency range to create a sort of “resonant frequency” in the brain that matches known frequencies for things like concentration, relaxation, and excitement. In order to test that theory, I decided to do a personal experiment of my own – completely unscientific, mind you – to see if binaural beats would improve my own concentration.

17-04-2013
Using Binaural Beats to Improve Gameplay Concentration – Does It Work?
Split Your Desktop Into Two Using DesktopCoral [Windows]

Windows

Split Your Desktop Into Two Using DesktopCoral [Windows]

People usually develop their own systems to keep desktops organized, whether it’s building “fences” around areas for certain types of shortcuts, organizing links and shortcuts into subfolders, or a long list of other ideas. Some work pretty well, but others don’t. For the most part, all of the usual approaches to desktop organization require constant maintenance and upkeep. If you aren’t careful, it’ll get away from you again.

12-04-2013
Split Your Desktop Into Two Using DesktopCoral [Windows]
Critical Strike Portable Brings First Person Shooter Mayhem To Your Tablet [MUO Gaming]

Android Gaming

Critical Strike Portable Brings First Person Shooter Mayhem To Your Tablet [MUO Gaming]

While not specifically marketed for tablets, let’s face it – to fully experience any FPS game, you really need the larger screen of a tablet. You can purchase from a long list of great first person shooters for an Android Tablet, but if you’re looking for the affordable option – aka free – Critical Strike is the way to go. The quality of the game jumps right out at the main window when you launch the game.

11-04-2013
Critical Strike Portable Brings First Person Shooter Mayhem To Your Tablet [MUO Gaming]
7 Awesome Uses For PhraseExpress Text Expander

Windows

7 Awesome Uses For PhraseExpress Text Expander

In my never-ending quest to find new ways to automate my activities in front of the keyboard, and to shave precious seconds off of my work schedule, I always appreciate new and creative technologies that serve that purpose. Sometimes, it’s the simplest-looking app that can make the biggest difference. Oddly enough, it was during a question of mine to find a spell auto-correction app for Windows that I stumbled across a cool app called PhraseExpress.

10-04-2013
7 Awesome Uses For PhraseExpress Text Expander
Experience A Wild West Shootout Up Close And Personal In Smokin Guns [MUO Gaming]

Gaming

Experience A Wild West Shootout Up Close And Personal In Smokin Guns [MUO Gaming]

Smokin’ Guns isn’t like the usual military-style shooting games like Call of Duty or Metal of Honor. It also isn’t like the surreal, monster-filled Doom-esque games that fill the gamestore shelves. No – this game is all about a gunfighter and his gun. Just trying to survive in a crazy, wild place where everyone else also has a gun with a bullet that has your name on it.

06-04-2013
Experience A Wild West Shootout Up Close And Personal In Smokin Guns [MUO Gaming]
Avoid Sneaky Online Marketing Scams By Popular Websites!

Internet

Avoid Sneaky Online Marketing Scams By Popular Websites!

You know that feeling when you are fooled into clicking on something on a website that you didn’t intend to click on? Maybe it was an order screen that fooled you into paying for extra shipping, an installation wizard that tricked you into installing some adware browser toolbar, or a “free” download that turned out not to be quite so free after all. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all been disappointed by the tenacity of marketers that are overly aggressive.

04-04-2013
Avoid Sneaky Online Marketing Scams By Popular Websites!
Make The Most Of Your Android Stylus With These Apps

Android

Make The Most Of Your Android Stylus With These Apps

I have to say that the first time I used a stylus with my Android tablet, I realized that I could never go back to using it with just my finger again. A tablet is an ideal vehicle for applications that are stylus-centric. That means big areas of the screen that you can quickly tap for a function, slider windows to flip between functions with ease, and of course the ability to sketch or draw to accomplish a task.

03-04-2013
Make The Most Of Your Android Stylus With These Apps
Transform Your Social Output Into Web Page Content With Tint

Internet

Transform Your Social Output Into Web Page Content With Tint

There is this fascinating service called Tint, and I actually struggle to accurately describe it – that’s how unique it is. Tint is 50% about promoting your social networks, but it’s also 50% about providing website content. It’s both. It should be a paradox that should cause the Universe to implode and create a black hole – but it doesn’t. Somehow, Tint pulls it off and makes it work – it brings social content and web content together in one place.

29-03-2013
Transform Your Social Output Into Web Page Content With Tint
Don’t Look Silly: 4 Tips For Taking Great Self-Portraits, And What To Avoid

Web Culture

Don’t Look Silly: 4 Tips For Taking Great Self-Portraits, And What To Avoid

By no means am I a male model. So, it is not without some hesitation that I embark down a road giving people advice on how to take a better self portrait. Then again, having spent more than a decade posting my mug on the Internet in various forms and on a variety of websites, social networks, forums, blogs and even on television – I’ve learned a few interesting things about what makes a really good self-portrait, and what doesn’t.

28-03-2013
Don’t Look Silly: 4 Tips For Taking Great Self-Portraits, And What To Avoid
How To Insert PHP Content Into the Loop of Your Blog Excerpts

Wordpress & Web Development

How To Insert PHP Content Into the Loop of Your Blog Excerpts

There are times when you realize that an ad or maybe some other content needs to go into an area of your blog that isn’t so easy to get to. Sidebar content is one thing, and usually fairly easy to modify, but when it comes to other areas of your website that might be dynamically generated by code, inserting single content isn’t so simple.

27-03-2013
How To Insert PHP Content Into the Loop of Your Blog Excerpts
Mount Your Remote Web Accounts As Convenient SFTP Connections With Swish [Windows]

Windows

Mount Your Remote Web Accounts As Convenient SFTP Connections With Swish [Windows]

How about a way to embed a connection to your own hosting account – whether it’s just a file hosting service or a web hosting account – directly within the Windows file explorer system? Wouldn’t it be cool to essentially “mount” your hosting account to your computer? Well, we can with a really cool free app called Swish.

22-03-2013
Mount Your Remote Web Accounts As Convenient SFTP Connections With Swish [Windows]
Save Online Videos And Audio to Check Out Later With 4k Video Downloader

Windows

Save Online Videos And Audio to Check Out Later With 4k Video Downloader

How many times have you discovered a cool video on YouTube and realized that you didn’t have enough time to watch it, and wanted to bring it with you to watch on your tablet while riding the train? How about that awesome video podcast that you’d love to listen to while waiting at the doctor’s office? 4K Video Downloader can make your whole experience with getting media off the Internet a lot simpler and more convenient.

21-03-2013
Save Online Videos And Audio to Check Out Later With 4k Video Downloader
Transform Microsoft Outlook Into a GTD Organizer With Jello Dashboard

Windows

Transform Microsoft Outlook Into a GTD Organizer With Jello Dashboard

I am always in search of a better email client. Don’t get me wrong, Gmail is great and everything, but there’s just something about a desktop email client that feels so much more powerful and functional. We keep trying to come up with new and innovative ways to make Gmail itself act as a desktop email client, but the truth is that there is nothing more powerful and full of features than true desktop email clients like Thunderbird and Outlook.

20-03-2013
Transform Microsoft Outlook Into a GTD Organizer With Jello Dashboard
Unraveling The Mystery Of The Missing Friend Updates On Facebook

Internet

Unraveling The Mystery Of The Missing Friend Updates On Facebook

There are a lot of things about Facebook that annoy people – not just the annoying things that people post. In my case, I got really frustrated at the beginning when there were certain friends that I realized I was missing updates from. These were really good friends, and I was interested in just about every single thing they posted.

15-03-2013
Unraveling The Mystery Of The Missing Friend Updates On Facebook
Clean & Optimize Your Computer for Better Performance With WinOptimizer

Windows

Clean & Optimize Your Computer for Better Performance With WinOptimizer

Over the last few years, I’ve tried quite a few applications that promise to clean up and optimize your computer. The thing is, there are a lot of different degrees of “clean” if you really think about it. You’ve got junk in the registry, junk in the hard drive like log files, old install files and Internet history, or even just poorly considered settings for Windows utilities. There are different programs out there that will supposedly clean up your PC, like BleachBit or CCleaner.

14-03-2013
Clean & Optimize Your Computer for Better Performance With WinOptimizer
Create a More Organized & Productive Workspace With Q-Dir [Windows]

Windows

Create a More Organized & Productive Workspace With Q-Dir [Windows]

I have to be completely honest here, I’ve never been completely happy with Windows File Explorer. I think the last time I actually liked the graphical layout of a Windows file system was Windows 3.1. Seriously. What I liked about it was how accessible everything was on a single screen. Everything was in well-organized squares of data, so productivity was better in my opinion.

14-03-2013
Create a More Organized & Productive Workspace With Q-Dir [Windows]
Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools

Windows

Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools

As Chris recently described, Windows has its fair share of annoyances. By far, one of those annoyances that bugs me the most is the file right-click menu. It’s a beast that seems to change and morph at will. It sometimes offers what you need, but most of the time it doesn’t. The right-click menu is also probably the one area of Windows that has the potential to offer a lot of productivity.

13-03-2013
Make Your File Context Menu More Useful With FileMenu Tools
A Day In The Life: Two Tech-Savvy Moms & Geeks

Web Culture

A Day In The Life: Two Tech-Savvy Moms & Geeks

With the introduction of ever more sophisticated smartphones and tablets into the market, and the availability of some of the most amazing apps out there, it should come as no surprise just how dramatically technology has transformed the family. Today, there may actually be more communication between parents and kids, even though much of that communication is via text messages. These days, women that are running a family are filling more roles than ever before.

08-03-2013
A Day In The Life: Two Tech-Savvy Moms & Geeks
Become a Pro Outlook User By Avoiding Common Mistakes

Windows

Become a Pro Outlook User By Avoiding Common Mistakes

If you work in a typical office environment, the odds are pretty good that the mail system is an Exchange sever and that the mail client of choice is Outlook. We’ve covered Outlook here at MUO from a few angles, including Outlook Journal and backing up your Outlook data. We even covered some cool VBA scripting in Outlook where you could export your tasks into an Excel spreadsheet. In this article, I’m going to take a closer look at the Outlook client itself.

06-03-2013
Become a Pro Outlook User By Avoiding Common Mistakes
Keep Your SEO Finger on the Pulse of the Web With PageRank Status for Chrome

Browsers

Keep Your SEO Finger on the Pulse of the Web With PageRank Status for Chrome

When it comes to promoting a website or a blog on the Internet, there are so many things to think about that it can feel a little bit overwhelming. Setting aside the entire field of SEO – even regular website owners that are not really SEO “experts” need to have a basic understanding of how and why one web page on the Internet may receive more “clicks” and more traffic than another, nearly identical page.

01-03-2013
Keep Your SEO Finger on the Pulse of the Web With PageRank Status for Chrome
How To Be a Better Parent In Your Child’s Online World

Internet

How To Be a Better Parent In Your Child’s Online World

There’s no question that growing up in today’s world is nothing like growing up over the past few decades. Obviously, computers and technology make a childhood of today nothing at all like a childhood of the last few decades. Instead of radio shows, kids have streaming movies on Netflix. Instead of drive-in theaters, kids have 3D cinema with digital surround-sound. Instead of ham radios, kids have mobile apps.

27-02-2013
How To Be a Better Parent In Your Child’s Online World
I Can’t Find a Single Productive Use For My Tablet [Opinion]

Android

I Can’t Find a Single Productive Use For My Tablet [Opinion]

First off, I have to say that like most of you reading this, I love technology. I love it. I dream about it so much that I just had to write an article about where technology is going to be in 20 years. I imagine a world where everyone is wearing augmented reality glasses, riding in anti-gravity vehicles that run on renewable energy, and everyone is telecommuting from home via a global high-speed wireless network.

23-02-2013
I Can’t Find a Single Productive Use For My Tablet [Opinion]
Lies, Lies, And Status Updates: 4 Facebook Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Internet

Lies, Lies, And Status Updates: 4 Facebook Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Why are myths started? At least one definition of myth is “any invented story, idea, or concept.” So why do such stories get invented? How do so many situations arise where people feel the need to keep spreading false information, without bothering to confirm whether or not it’s even true?

21-02-2013
Lies, Lies, And Status Updates: 4 Facebook Myths You Shouldn’t Believe