AllMyApps – The App Store for PC owners.

If there is one word that sums up what people love about computers these days, that word has got to be apps.

Because apps are everywhere and for just about everything, apps for productivity, apps for the office, apps for games, apps for maps, and probably apps for laps, gaps, raps and naps.

But so far it is Apple who are synonymous with the rise of the planets of the apps and it was only a few weeks ago Apple triumphantly announced its 15th Billion app download.

Admittedly most of those have been for iPhones and iPads through the iTunes store, but Apple also launched a very successful dedicated App Store for its Mac computers too.

But if you don’t have a Mac and you ‘just’ own a PC with Microsoft Windows as your operating system, you may have been feeling a bit left out lately, where are all the apps for you?

Well I’ll tell you. They’re all collected on a website called AllMyApps, it’s the closest Windows equivalent of the Apple App Store there is and best of all…practically all of those apps are free.

AllmyApps logoNow of course as an independent website it isn’t quite as slick as iTunes or the Apple App Store but it’s all set out by category, name and icon and just by hovering over an icon a handy little dialog box pops up to tell you all about that App, along with its star rating. Actually that’s a better feature than what the Apple App Store gives you.

And also conveniently it places the most popular apps in any particular category first and foremost, an endorsement from all those before you that those are the Apps you really ought to consider downloading.

Apps like CCLeaner for instance, in the Utilities category, a brilliant way to regularly clean out the crappy unused files on your PC and generally speed it up.

And in Security, there’s the most popular free anti-virus program around in the form of AVG Anti-Virus. If you don’t have Nortons, Kaspersky, Mcafee or the like on your PC, hurry, download it while you still have a computer to use.

In fact whatever the app, if it’s made for Windows this is the perfect one-stop shop to find it, whether you looking for a specific app like Skype or just browsing for a particular task you need fulfilling and you want to see all the options in one place.

To top it off, AllMyApps is also its own app, which automatically collates all your other Apps or Program on your PC, whether downloaded from AllMyApps or not, will alert you whenever they’re updated, and install that update for you.

For yet more features of everything AllMyApps can do they’ve even created a video about it.

So I urge you, do have a look at AllMyApps and you can use the following link, Allmyapps App Store to take you there. It’s worth it just to see all the free goodies that are available for your PC, you don’t necessarily have to download anything now.

Because if this is the age of the app, this is one place you’re bound to enjoy many appy returns to.

Be Funky. The art of photography made simple.

Let me ask you this, have you ever felt like the frustrated artist.

That you know deep down inside you’re just bursting with creativity but the only thing you’ve ever really drawn successfully are the curtains.

Well, let me introduce you to a great little resource by the name of Be Funky, an entirely free browser based application that lets you unleash your inner Banksy by at least turning your photos into works of art.

For this is what it does, and brilliantly easily too. With one click of the mouse you can transform photographs into stencil drawings, cartoons, fine line sketches and dayglo half-tone Warhol paintings amongst many other inbuilt styles and then fine-tune them as well.

And not only that, you can access all sorts of other customisable goodies too, adding frames, speech bubbles, shapes, even a beard and devil horns to a picture of your Mother-in-Law if your creative muse so dictates…assuming she doesn’t possess either already.

Getting started is simple as well, you upload pictures via an elegant little interface and you can even select those images you already have online on social networks accounts like Facebook, My Space or Flickr.

Plus once you’re done, Be Funky is just as slick in allowing you to share your masterpieces, sending the finished results to your desktop, back to those same community accounts or you can just as easily email your work to your soon to be impressed friends.

Plus it does all this without need for registration, although it does only take a minute to create an account and then you’ll be able to save all of your prized creations.

I think Be Funky is terrific, it’s one of those websites which is part serious application, part frivolous fun but wholely ‘just one more go’ compulsive.

But don’t just take my word for it, visit Be Funky and draw your own conclusion.

No puppies were harmed in funking up these photographs

No puppies were harmed in funking up these photographs

Free Rice. Helping to feed the World and your vocabulary.

Right, I want you to stop what you’re doing and I want you to go to a website called Free Rice.

Well not right now obviously, first I want you to keep reading but afterwards I do want you to go to a website called Free Rice. In fact I implore you.

Because not only will you get a chance to test your intelligence and learn some stuff but in your own little way you’ll be helping to fight World hunger as well.

And I know how fanciful that sounds but it’s absolutely true. Let me explain.

FreeRiceFree Rice is a very neat little website that is run by the United Nations World Food Program and one which lives up to the name because its sole purpose is to provide free rice to some of the poorest people of the World in over 75 countries.

And it does this with your help using simple but fun vocabulary tests, alongside some other quizzes, that for every one of your correct answers the various large companies who sponsor the site donate 10 grains of rice.

Not alot obviously but when hundreds of thousands of people are taking the challenge every single day that’s a lot of bowls being filled.

On the day before I posted this, the site says 22,659,350 grains were donated and since Free Rice was launched in October 2007 a total of 66,691,160,670 grains of rice have been contibuted so far. That’s 66 billion, crikey, I wouldn’t want to count ’em.

But apart from the fantastic charitable aspect of the site, it’s just simple addictive fun. You’re given a word and asked what it means from a choice of four options. And oh they start off easy but begin getting harder and more obscure until you think they must be making the buggers up.

With 60 levels of difficulty as well, which for every 3 correct definitions you go up a level and for a wrong ‘un drop down a level, there’s a distinct sense of achievement when you beat your previous best. Of course that’s when they start hitting you with words like ‘dyspeptic’ and ‘vituperation’ to define.

And I was dyspeptic and hurled plenty of vituperation at the computer screen when those came up I can tell you.

Not that I knew it immediately, because then I didn’t know dyspectic meant bad tempered and vituperation meant verbal abuse. At the time they just meant I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was, but I’m a little bit cleverer for knowing them now.

So do the clever and charitable thing yourself, go to the Free Rice website by clicking this link and the first thing you should do before starting the tests is to select the Options Tab and click the button for it to remember your own tally of contributed rice. Trust me, you’ll be returning to the site plenty more times yet.

Tell your friends about Free Rice too, and if you know any kids definitely tell them about it, they’ll be the ones to benefit most other than those to whom a simple bowl of rice means so much. And if they object at first, make the little darlings visit.

Between a bit of coercive vituperation and helping to donate some food for the most needy, Bob Geldof would be proud of you.

Earth Album. Not just a pretty picture, there’s lots of them.

A bit of a variation on my previous theme with this one.

Because in the last blog post I told you of the new features of Google Maps and how I can see it being used for a bit of retro-tourism.

That is with its ability to provide photographs of any place that you’ve been to and want to revisit again, at least virtually.

Well if you’d like to view absolutely the finest and most evocative photographs of a favourite destination then I have an alternative for you, one that will have you cooing wistfully and planning your next visit back there.

Earth Album

There's no place like Rome.

It’s an application that combines the DNA of Google Maps and Flickr and from such a blessed coupling has been born a website love-child called Earth Album…a fantastic picture book of the whole World.

One that’s prefaced within the Satellite View we know from Google Maps but don’t usually see from such a heavenly perspective.

And just as in Google Maps you can zoom down, down deeper and down over your area of choice, or your own house for that matter, until you see your neighbour throwing some rubbish in your back garden. Well not quite but I know he did it. My cat does crap in his garden though so I let it go.

But the real eye candy occurs when you select a country to visit because now you will be presented with a strip of thumbnail images that you just click on to enlarge to absolutely captivating effect. For these are no ordinary holiday snaps, these are some of the most beautiful photographs you could ever hope to see.

Photographs that don’t just capture the places of that country but also it’s people and spirit. And as you would expect, further refinement can be achieved by clicking a specific city, or by searching for it, which will display only those particular images for you.

But Earth Album is so smart and selective that if you zoom zoom until almost the zoomiest of zooms, and then click anywhere on the Satellite View, a little yellow rectangle will appear and now only the photographs taken from that exact spot will appear. It is amazing.

It has to be a popular location mind you, don’t expect pictures of cat poo in your back garden to show up.

And you can even look by category of images as well, whether it’s mountain, sunset, city or even for some reason food, but whatever your selection it’s all a visual feast for the eye anyway.

So whether you want to revisit a favourite city, check out an intended destination or just want to view spectacular photography this is a great resource and click this link to Earth Album to see how good for yourself.

For if a picture is supposed to paint a thousand words, the thousands of pictures on Earth Album speak absolute bloody volumes.

Google Maps, all that’s missing now is a teleporter.

Have you seen Google Maps yet?

No, I know you’ve seen it, but have you seen it since it’s all changed?

Since they have added Street View, Videos, Photographs and even frickin’ Wikipedia entries!!!

It seems that gone are the days when maps were just a source of directions, now you need to feel you’ve already been to a place before you ever have.

Anyway, I’m not going to tell you how to negotiate Google Maps, you must know how to do get basic directions but to access all the funky new features you do need to click the ‘More’ button and check the boxes for Video, Photos and Wikipedia. And next to it there’s even a button to view live traffic updates or anticipated road congestion in that area as well.

Not that you’ll be able to even see your route anymore for all the tiny photo thumbnails, video screen icons and the Wikipedia logo covering the whole screen now, but they are easily toggled off from the same menu.

But the startling new feature is Street View, that is if you’re viewing one of the 25 cities in the UK that the Google camera van has so far trundled through, which allows you to swoop down for a 360 degree virtual tour of your location.

And you implement that uncannily enough whenever you see a Street View link or whenever the ‘zoomy-in-and-out-bar-thingee’, that’s the proper technical term, has a little yellow man displayed which you can drag to the part of the map you want to view in all it’s panoramic glory.

Then it’s just a matter of moving forward or back using the onscreen arrows, clicking and dragging the image to move the view around or doing the same with it’s circular navigational tool. But however you use it, you will surely be impressed with how seamlessly and quickly it responds.

Truly, Google Maps with it’s new features is an amazing use of technology particularly as the web becomes increasing mobile. It can be your means of orientation and your informative tour guide. And as it rolls out across the World you can check out an area to see if it’s worth visiting at all.

But I think the Street View will be used just as much as a nostalgic retro sightseeing device after you’ve already been somewhere. For instance, I’ve just enjoyed a weekend in London and I’ve been wandering down Memory Lane by clicking down Drury Lane.

Hold on though, when you think about it, that means using an application even when you don’t need it and you’ll be going from A to B via G even when you’re not leaving A. OMG!

Now can someone direct me to a psychiatrist, I think I just blew my mind.

Promotional Codes for your online shopping.

We all shop on the Internet these days don’t we.

And when we do, and you’re deep within your virtual shopping basket you’ll often see a form field asking the tantalising question ‘Do you have a Promotional Code?’

A frustrating little box isn’t it

Because no, I don’t have a expletive deleted Promotional Code and now I’m expletive deleted off because I’m paying full expletive deleted price and some other expletive deleted isn’t!

Sorry, I was having a momentary flashback there.

But it turns out that getting these codes isn’t difficult, it’s just knowing where to find them, and I have two websites for you to check out for the next time you’re at the checkout.

The first one is which is the UK’s largest website of discount codes and is a price comparison site of sorts as well. And the other one you should try is which isn’t quite so all encompassing but it is easier to navigate.

They’re both very good, with tons of participating retailers, and you can get codes for online shopping and printable vouchers for various high street stores and restaurants.

Of course another option your shouldn’t overlook is simply to go to Google and for example type in ‘Ann Summers discount codes’ and see what’s available. But often the displayed results are for offers that have expired by then so here’s something else you can do. (and could come in handy for any search query)

On Googles own page click the little Advanced Search link by the side of the input box and once there, expand an option under the sexy title +Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more and now you can refine your search to within a day or a week and Google will only provide the very freshest results.

But remember fellas, even if you’re not paying full price for that french tickler and saucy maids outfit just be certain to be home when your purchases are delivered.

If the wife takes delivery and she’s a size 18 when the outfit is a 12 and she doesn’t believe the tickler is a blow up novelty cheese grater you could end up paying a far higher price.

And I don’t think divorce lawyers do discounts.

Movie Louvre. Time wasting just became an art form.

Right then, time to get back to some hard hitting investigative journalism.

Let’s talk about doing bugger all.

Because for all of my ideals about bringing you the best of the web, I know that sometimes the greatest joy of the internet is doing absolutely nothing on it.

You think you have a spare few minutes (even if your boss would disagree) and you head over to YouTube to aimlessly but pleasurably watch videos of piano playing cats, talking dogs and an unlucky skateboarder castrating himself on a concrete step.

However I have an alternative for you, one that still uses YouTube content although in a new way so that you’ll still be doing absolutely nothing, but it’ll be absolutely nothing a lot more productively.

Once called Rhadio, it’s now been rebranded as Movie Louvre but despite this  lofty new name ( and it ought to have been called Video Louvre really) it still takes watching online content to frivolous new heights.

movielouvreThe easiest thing to liken it to is a visual jukebox, one where not just a few options are displayed but rather dozens and dozens of invitingly time-wasting little video thumbnails.

And thumbnails that by clicking on them will stack up into their own playlist which conveniently runs all the way through once you press play.

Also it’s a playlist you can share with others or even save for yourself if you like, because Movie Louvre can generate an individual clickable link that you can email and from which you can return to that unique playlist once activated again.

But it’s browsing through random videos which just catch your attention that makes Movie Louvre so compulsive and it even allows you to narrow your search by 16 diverse categories as well, like Comedy, Sports, Music, Entertainment and of course Pets & Animals.

If you like your music though, there is a fantastic facility to look for your favorite bands under the Music Discography category. Enter any artists name in the Movie Louvre search box, it returns with a smart thumbnail list of all their albums and once you click on any it reveals video instances of every track on that album in turn, including live versions.

I love it, and I will unashamedly say I’ve been gorging myself on some Meat Loaf.

Mind you, left to it’s own devices the videos hardly play in something that’s suitably Meat Loaf sized, just a small window in the corner but it’s easy to toggle a full screen view simply by hitting your Esc key. And if that makes them a little grainy you can re-size your own browser window into a more quality friendly display anyway.

And really there isn’t a lot more to explain, you’ll immediately catch on to exactly what Movie Louvre does as soon as your start exploring it

So go on, have a look by clicking on this link and decide for yourself, is Movie Louvre brilliant but pointless or pointless but brilliant?

But please come back here occasionally once you have time for anything else.

We7, the latest music for free, FREE!

Since my last post about Cooliris dealt with sight, let’s focus this time on the issue of sound. More specifically how to hear complete music tracks and the latest whole albums for FREE.

Because I want to introduce to you a website where you can legally access MILLIONS of tracks on demand, in full, and where they are adding up to 30,000 more songs to it’s library each day!

we7a6It’s called We7 and I love it.

But what’s the catch I hear you cry, didn’t the music industry nail Napster for doing the same sort of thing?

They did, but the reason this is legal and has the full backing of the record companies is that We7 are coughing up the royalties and are doing it the way most commercial companies provide free stuff…by advertising.

And that’s the catch but trust me, it’s a very minimal one.

These mini-verts are all placed between tracks, not during them, and last only a few seconds. If you’re playing a whole album from start to finish you might expect these very short messages every 3 songs.

To access all the tracks you only have to visit the we7 website but to really get the most from this free music bonanza requires completing the short registration process.

And once you have it’s like a mini iTunes interface mixed with a mini social networking site. You can browse by genre, search for specific tracks, get suggestions from others and create multiple playlists that We7 remembers and will even allow you to share with friends.

But what you can’t do without actually purchasing the tracks, although you can do that as well with We7, is add the songs to your MP3 Player…that would be asking for too much.

This is a streaming service so you need to be sitting in front of a web browser to play the music. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be at your computer it’s wherever you happen to be online.

Nevertheless as a FREE music source the amount and quality of the content is amazing, but it’s the acesss to new albums that’s the incredible bit.

I haven’t brought a new album for months because of this site, they’ve all been available for free on We7. Even with the advertising revenue I don’t know why the record companies are allowing it.

But that’s their issue, yours is only what to listen to next.

So to hear the new Kings of Leon album, you’ve been given a royal decree.

Aiming for the new Guns N’ Roses album, shoot straight to it.

Dying to listen to the new Killers album, dig in.

Or keen to hear the Same Difference album, not a problem…but I think you may have one.

To mine this free musical motherlode for yourself, just click on this here link