Download any web video with Freemake Video Downloader

FreeMake Video Downloader is a free application to save YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo and any other embedded video meant to be viewed in your browser, supported video sites include LiveLeak, Flickr, PhotoBucket, and a huge assortment of porn video sites. The video will be downloaded with full sound and add free, all you have to do is to copy the URL to the clipboard paste it into FreeMake Video Downloader and the video will be saved to the folder of your choice as .flv.

You will be given very detailed information about the download, like resolution, encoding rate, size, download speed and remaining time, the download should take about the same time that it takes to watch the video in your browser, you can instruct FreeMake Video Downloader to convert the .flv file into a more watchable .avi, .3gp, .mkv after download, you can also choose to only download the audio and not the video, a perfect way to extract music and generate a podcast out of a video recording.

FreeMake Video Download downloads DailyMotion video
FreeMake Video Download downloads DailyMotion video

The only necessary requirement for the software to work is that you play the video in your browser while the download takes place, FreeMake Video Downloader funnels the browser streaming into a video file, it doesn’t matter what is showing on the screen, you can browse the Internet as the video plays on a different tab or turn off the sound and the video will still be saved with sound. I have tried to do this in Opera and Firefox with no problems but if you download dozens of  small videos there can be times when pasting a different URL will download a previous video, it is best to keep a little visual control on the video being streamed to make sure it has not stopped playing when FreeMake begins the download, if a problem occurs refresh the video page.

Private video sites requiring a registered username and password can be utilized entering the credentials in the options section, together with a proxy if needed, I have used FreeMake Video Download behind a VPN to download country restricted videos and it worked smoothly. I tried other video downloaders before (KeepVid, OrbitDownloader, YTD) and FreeMake Video Download is definitely the best one, it is simple to use and it includes a video converter, if the video site you want to download from is supported you are in business, the only few major sites that do not work are Hulu, ComedyCentral and MTV, a list of supported sites can be found in the help file.

The software is free but it will ask you during installation if you want to install additional sponsored programs, this is optional and pretty much the norm in every other free video downloader I have tried, that is how they finance their development.

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List of free antivirus programs for Mac computers

Macintosh users have to be as careful with viruses as Windows users, there might be less viruses for Mac computers but they do exist, the Apple Flashback virus is a good example. As Mac OS X market share increases so will the number of virus writers targeting the Mac operating system.

With some in the Apple Mac community spreading the false rumour that they can’t be infected by malware, it makes it easier for malicious hackers to install a trojan. As long as someone can make money stealing banking credentials and private data off Mac computer users, the risk of computer viruses for Macs will remain.

List of free Mac OS antivirus

Avast Mac Antivirus: It protects you from getting malware through Internet browsing, email or downloaded files. Automatic virus definition updates and a nice interface with screen alerts warning you of suspicious activies.

iAntivirus: Real time protection from Norton Symantec, very easy to use and simple interface, ideal for non geeks who just want to install something and forget about it, it hasn’t got too many settings to tweak.

ClamXav: Mac version of an open source antivirus engine, it serves as a frontend to Clam AV, Mac power users will like this antivirus for its high customization and detailed logs. It hasn’t got the easiest to manage interfaces but once you get used it you will feel at home.

ClamXav Mac OS X antivirus
ClamXav Mac OS X antivirus

Comodo Mac Antivirus: Real time protection and on demand scanner with extensive reports. Easy to use interface where you can drag and drop files for scanning. Full antivirus version for free, you won’t be asked to upgrade for more features as others do.

Avira Mac Antivirus: Automatic updates and scheduled scanned guarantees that your Mac computer is protected from ever changing threats. You can chose to scan the whole operating system silently in the background or pick a single file, folder or area for scanning. The antivirus includes heuristics and event logs.

List of online payment companies alternative to Paypal

Paypal, owned by eBay, remains one of the most used payment processing companies, they are particularly appropriate for small transactions due to their low commission in comparison to credit card merchant charges. Unfortunately Paypal terms and conditions can be restrictive or they might terminate your account unjustly, you might want to look at these other alternative payment processors:

Payza: With headquarters in Canada, the buyer can pay using a credit card or their own Payza account, after taking a commission the company will send the money to your online account, it can be withdrawn by international wiring, cheque or credit card.

WireCard: It can be used for accepting credit cards online, it supports all major currencies, pay outs can be made using a prepaid reloadable Visa card that can be used anywhere in the world or to your bank account.

2CheckOut: Worldwide payment processing company that bundles a merchant account with a payment gateway accepting credit cards, it can be used for single transactions or subscriptions. Easy integration with online shopping carts.

2CheckOut online payment
2CheckOut online payment

Stripe: Let’s you build a payment processing without needing a merchant account, Stripe handles subscriptions, bank account payments, credit card storage and security. You will need some coding skills to embed it on your website.

E-Junkie: It can be used to sell digital goods, from software to e-books and physical items on eBay or Craiglist. You are provided with a “Buy now” button, E-junkie handles all payments including adding the necessary taxes.

Mobile phone payments

ZayPay: Mobile payment processor, ideal for micropayments buying virtual goods in games. ZayPay can be used to make small international payments through SMS or a phone call, the buyer gets charged on his phone bill and the seller gets paid in his bank account.

Payments for free lancers 

PayoNeer: Payments solutions for affiliate networks and free lance payments. Affiliates are sent funds to their prepaid credit card, it can be used anywhere in the world and it is reloadable.

Paxum: Account can be used for adult entertainment affiliate payments, after account verification you can top it up using your bank account or a credit card and make payments to other Paxum users.

Paxum affiliate payments
Paxum affiliate payments

US only payment processors 

WePay: Payment processor to sell all kind of items (no pornography), accept donations and request payments from people that own you money. Accounts are funded using a credit card or your bank account.

Noca: Payment solution for online merchants with easy shopping cart integration, payment requests are re-routed through them without the customer even realising. There is no need to hold a merchant account.

Dwolla: It can be used to buy stuff online, sending money to friends and payments using a smartphone in participating retailers. It eliminates credit card fraud by not using it, the account is funded setting up a direct debit in your bank account.

Digital currencies 

PerfectMoney: This online currency can be funded using a bank wire, sending SMS messages charged to your phone bill or through other e-currencies. Withdraws are made using a prepaid credit card or bank wire.

BitCoin: Peer-to-peer digital currency with no central authority to regulate it, often used for private payments. You can buy BitCoins from an exchange or produce them yourself using the provided software, due to the time needed to produce BitCoins it isn’t feasible to make a huge amount, you are likely to have to buy them.

P2P electronic currency Bitcoin
P2P electronic currency Bitcoin

WebMoney: Based in Russia, this payment processing company  does not have to follow US laws on gambling, it can be used at Poker sites. They accept all major currencies, WM accounts can be funded through a bank transfer or prepaid credit card and money can be withdraw by wiring.

Secure personal journal and online diary Penzu

Penzu is a free web based private online diary that looks like a recreation of real paper and allows for optional sharing of your entries, the default is to keep everything private. Photos can be inserted directly from Flickr or uploaded from your hard drive, text is automatically saved every few seconds, fonts and background are highly customizable with no annoying banners to distract you when writing and if you would like to print everything out you can do so with a single click. Anyone able to use a word editor can use Penzu, including children.

All of the entries can be backed up locally exporting them as PDF, TXT or XML, thanks to this you won’t have to worry if Penzu ceases to exist in the future or you decide to cancel your account. It will be best for your privacy to encrypt the data backups after downloading them, DiskCryptor can help you do that and it is free, just Bing it.

Penzu online diary
Penzu online diary

Why keep an online diary? Writing down your thoughts can be beneficial for your health as a therapy, you can look back in a few years time and remember what you were doing, organise your life, students writing an essay, boost your memory, or to help you write your autobiography in the future.

A paid for version of Penzu allows you to use Penzu on mobile devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc) and encrypt online journal entries  with AES256, an unbreakable cipher used by the US Government to keep top secret data. Penzu staff is unable to access your encrypted data in the server, a great way to guarantee your privacy won’t be breached by accident. Make sure to remember your passphrase or use a password manager like KeePass to store it. If you are concerned that your Penzu account password isn’t secure enough, you can double protect all entries with a second independent password.

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Explore space online with Microsoft WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope is a free download that allows you to explore space using your computer. Everything is nicely organised in tabs and you can move around the cosmos by clicking and dragging the field of view (optionally use a Xbox360 controller for navigation) or chose one of the guided tours that come with a background narrative voice or music and written descriptions.  What I loved most was being able to get a 3D panoramic view of planet Mars.

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope brings a virtual 3D planetarium to your home with blow minding customization and filters, beginners can learn about the Universe by clicking on a specific planet and advanced astronomers are able to connect their own telescope to the computer for tracking a specific star. The software is Ascom standards compliant, any astronomical instrument that supports the Ascom platform will work with it.

Microsoft WorldWide telescope
Microsoft WorldWide telescope

Constellations, Splitzer, Hubble and Chandra telescope studies, Astrophotography, the Solar System, planet panoramas from landing robots (Apollo, Rover, etc) are all included, many of the images are in high resolution and can be moved around with the mouse. There is no end to the possibilities that this software to explore the Universe offers, its plugin system makes it possible to download new modules as studies advance. WorldWide Telescope consumes a high amount of CPU and RAM, you will need a modern computer to run it, I used an Intel double core E4800 with 4GB of RAM, less than that will slow down the space tours.

I highly recommend this program to all parents and schools out there on top of the obvious astronomers and cosmologists. This tool is the best celestial viewer I have come across, even better than NASA educative software. If you don’t want to install Microsoft WorldWide Telescope in your computer it is possible to use the web client with Microsoft Silverlight in your browser, but it has less features.

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How to come up with a cool nickname

If you try to use a short an easy to remember nick to register on an online forum it will likely have been registered by someone else before you. To get around this problem you can think of something very personal, extract a word and add a personal number, for example the name of a small town nearby and the first two digits of your date of birth.

Another easy way to find an online nickname that has not been taken yet is by choosing a foreign word different from the forum main communication language, or listen to a song and pick up a funny word from its lyrics, I sometimes use when I am lost for words too.

Websites to create cool nicknames 

Spinxo: It will ask you a series of questions like age, gender and hobbies, the  process takes just a few seconds, after which you are given a random nickname based on the answers. A list of nicknames is already visible on the screen before entering any detail.

Online-Generator: This website will allow you to generate random names that are divided by categories, you can specify you are looking for a name for a businesses, project, product, or yourself, you are then given more options like superhero, pirate or simply nickname.

Check if a nickname is already taken 

If you would like to use the same nickname on multiple websites you can check whether it has been taken or not with a people’s searcher. These websites are also useful to spy on other people’s online profiles.

Spokeo: It can be searched using a full name or nickname, presenting a list of matches at social networks, including video&music sites, dating sites, online shopping, review sites and blogging.

Hide a folder in Windows with WinMend Folder Hide

WinMend Folder Hide is an easy and simple way to hide folders in Windows, unfortunately it does not work with single files, these will have to be kept inside a folder to be hidden. After installing and launching the program you will be asked to enter a password to protect it from unauthorised use, every time you launch WinMend Folder Hide you will be asked for this password, it is necessary to make sure that nobody else can use the program to unhide the folders which is done using the interface with no other protection than a checkbox.

There is a nice tabbed multilingual interface, colours can be changed with a single click, there is no manual to read, it can not get any easier than this. The software is suitable to protect your data if you are sharing a computer and want to stop children from seeing or messing with what you store in your folders, this is not a high security tool, a knowledgeable IT person should be able to uncover your data in under a minute with something as simple as a Linux live CD.

WinMend Folder Hidden
WinMend Folder Hidden

If you would like to hide a Windows folder manually instead you can go to properties (right-click), Attributes section, check the hidden box and click on apply. To view the folder you would then have to tweak your Windows operating system by going to Windows>Start, typing: “Folder options”  selecting it and applying “Show hidden files and folders“, a program like WinMend Folder Hide makes your life easier.

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