Fixing the Computer Reading Experience

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

A good bit of my day, every single day, is spent reading on screens. I’ll read news on my computer, and then save some interesting stuff to Instapaper to read while I’m on the subway.  I’ll read RSS feeds when I get to work, read blogs and news throughout the day, catch up on ESPN when I’m bored, and maybe end the day reading a book on my iPod Touch or my laptop while I’m sitting in bed.

All of that would be fine, except that computer reading is a nightmare. There’s the obvious problems, like “you’ll go blind,” as well as a host of other annoyances. Between blinking ads that pop up over the first nine paragraphs of the story, ads about some girl’s nasty yellow teeth I’d really rather not see, and the “hey there, want to subscribe to my newsletter?” notes that seem to be plastered all over most blogs, reading on your computer (or any screen) just sucks.

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How to Create Your Presence Online

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

I’ve spent the last few months of my life obsessively printing resumes, checking Craigslist, looking for openings, meeting people, and doing anything I possibly could to find a job. It was a long process, but was remarkably successful for me: I’ve got some great things coming when I graduate (which is, like, really soon), at a time when a lot of employees and employers alike are struggling.

I don’t tell you this to toot my own horn, but as a way of telling you why I got the chances and the opportunities I’ve been given. I’m absolutely, 100% convinced that it boiled down to one thing: I had a strong, active presence online that I was proud of, and that I could point employers to, and that acted as a resume for me in everything I did.

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7 Ways to Watch TV Online For Free

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

I’m a senior in college, and for the first time since I was about 6, I don’t have cable TV. Who knows why: some combination of cheapness, laziness, and some subconscious desire to actually do productive things sometimes. If you know me, you know that’s a bit of a problem: I have approximately 59 shows I must watch every week always, or people start losing limbs.

Believe it or not, though, I don’t miss cable. Thanks to these seven websites, I can waste every bit as much time watching TV, and never (ever) miss an episode of my favorite shows. Continue reading

Brizzly: A Facebook and Twitter Machine

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Being the super-cool guy that I am, I periodically get to try Web applications before the general public. And being the super-impatient guy that I am, I hate waiting when I don’t get to try them. But one app, which everyone’s been talking about recently, eluded my grasp until just a few days ago.

Brizzly’s a new Twitter and Facebook app, designed to help you manage your social networks from the Web in a way that just makes more sense. It’s only been released to the public a few days ago, and I’ve been playing with it non-stop since then. In only a couple of days, it’s become my default application for both social networks, actually taking Twitter and Facebook and doing both better than they do.

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10 Great Blogs for Food Lovers

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

One of the things I get asked all the time is what I read: the blogs, websites, and random web-itude that helps me waste the phenomenally large amount of time I spend online.

So, this week, I’m going to spend a few posts highlighting the best blogs out there, for all kinds of people. Blogs are emphatically NOT just for tech-heads, or Web-lovers. They’re for everyone, because they’re by everyone.

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How to Make Facebook Even More Useful

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

Facebook, with more than 300 million users, is now the third-largest country in the world. That’s nuts. It increasingly seems that Facebook is the first, and often last, stop for many people navigating their social spheres, doing everything from keeping in touch to planning events. It’s an excellent social network, and developers are turning into much, much more through applications, APIs, Facebook Connect, and more.

But  it’s still not a perfect tool. There are lots of little things about Facebook that could be improved, and luckily for us, many of the solutions have been found. These aren’t features built into Facebook (yet), but with the help of a few services and add-0ns, Facebook can be made even more fun and useful.

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10 Extensions That Make Google Chrome Rock

Post by Matt Brian, who writes the great Will I Need It? blog. He’s also on Twitter.

2819339876_55802a1eb5 About a year ago, Google Chrome threw a wrench into the Internet browser wars, giving Internet users a powerful choice aside from Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari. One of the biggest shortfalls of the browser, though, was its initial lack of support for third party extensions, something that Firefox had already perfected (and even Microsoft’s beginning to get in on the act).

That’s all changing – the developers at Google recently released developer builds of the Google Chrome browser that featured a few extra tweaks, one of them being the ability to install the extensions users had been asking for.

These extensions, whilst useful, aren’t quite to the standard of Firefox’s offerings, but the early development is showing that Chrome users can now enjoy superfast loading times and minimal footprints and enjoy third party plugins. In this article I’ll show you how to prepare your Chrome installation for extension installation, and show you some of the best ones out there.

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Stumble Through The Web, Installation-Free

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

First of all, if you don’t know what StumbleUpon is, then well, I’m sorry for your loss.

StumbleUpon is a web application that users submit pages to, and review. Then, when you click “Stumble,” you’re taken to a random website that might be interesting to you.

You can give sites a thumbs up or a thumbs down, or review them – the more you tell StumbleUpon, the more it knows about you, and the better the results get. It’s a great gateway to all the websites you might not see otherwise, but that you’ll probably like.

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5 Cool and Simple URL Hacks

Post by David Pierce. Find me on Twitter.

110428390_71faeb052a URLs are an overlooked feature of a webpage. We enter them, complain about how long and confusing they are, and forget about them.

But those words, slashes, question mark, and ~ things (what are those called, anyway?) actually mean a lot: They tell your browser exactly where to go, and what to do when it gets there.

A few neat tricks have developed around URLs, most often called “URL hacks.” They’re simple things you add to a URL that does, well, really anything – the sky’s the limit.

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15 Must-Have Web Apps for Students

This is a guest post from Karen Schweitzer. For more from Karen, check out her blog about Online College Courses, or follow her on Twitter.

466722575_14805b5826College students are increasingly reliant on computers – and, for many of us, that means spending tons of money software that we’d rather not use anyway. The reality, though, is that there are a ton of great, free alternatives out there for almost any purpose.

Using free web apps is an easy and cost-effective way to increase your academic productivity. A well-designed app can also replace expensive software products and free up space on your computer. Here is a list of 15 web apps that would prove useful to almost any college student:

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