Nifty Clicks: BugMeNot, CoolIris, File Zipping, SpySweeper

By Andrew Lock | Posted March 30, 2009

Andrew Lock

I’m always on the lookout for useful Web sites, tools, software and products that benefit you. My friends have come to rely upon me as their trusted secret source for the latest and greatest productivity tools and resources. Without further ado, here are this week's gems for you.

BugMeNot.com

Do you hate being bugged by Web sites that demand that you register and login before you can access the information?  I do.  If it’s a site that I’m likely to use again then I’ll happily register, but if I’m in a rush or it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever need to access the site again, I resent having to go through a lengthy registration process.

Enter BugMeNot.com. A clever idea, it’s a Web site that shares logins of all kinds of sites that usually force you to register.  The site is clean, easy to use and very fast.  From the home page, within just a couple of seconds you can search and find the login you need.

CoolIris.com

This one is a real gem that I’m confident you haven’t come across yet.  One of the challenges of using image sharing / photography sites like Flickr.com is that the default views make the images small and difficult to browse.

CoolIris.com solves this issue with a simple plugin for Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. Once installed, a little button appears in the corner of each image, and you can select to see it full screen.

The software works with Flickr, Facebook, Google images, Yahoo images, Friendster and Picasa photo albums. There are plenty of other features that make this worthwhile and best of all it’s free.

File Zipping

Computer file sizes just  keep getting larger and larger, and I suspect you’ve experienced challenges sending files to other people.  Most e-mail providers limit attachment sizes to less than 5MB, which is often too small.

I’ve found a solution!  Here’s what you do…

Firstly, you need to zip all files that you plan to send.  WinZip, WinRar and Stuffit are probably the most common tools out there, and they make the process easy and painless.

‘Zipping’ serves two functions – it reduces the file sizes, and then packages the files in a format that is universally acceptable.

Next, sign up for your free account at YouSendIt.com. It’s not a requirement to sign up, but I recommend that you do, as more features will be available to you.

The YouSendIt.com service is super easy to use.  You simply select the file on your hard drive, enter an e-mail address where you want it sent, and type a brief message if applicable.

The file gets uploaded to the YouSendIt.com server, and a message gets delivered to the recipient you specified earlier.  The message explains how they can download the file, which again is very easy.

Bear in mind that files are only active (available) for 30 days, so it’s worth reminding the recipient to download the file immediately, before it gets cleared off the server.

This service is so easy that anyone can use it; you don’t have to be computer literate.  I hope you get as much benefit from it as I have.

SpySweeper Spyware Removal

The scourge of spyware is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s getting worse. If you use the Internet, you’re not immune from spyware, in fact stats show that nine out of every 10 PCs connected to the Internet are infected with some kind of spyware.

If your PC is running slow, or you’re getting a lot of pop-up ads, an unexpected homepage or unusual search results, your PC is almost certainly infected.

Trying to choose software to overcome spyware is no easy task, because there are so many to choose from. 

Well, I’ve done the research for you, and I can tell you that Webroot SpySweeper is one of the best utilities for getting rid of spyware.  It costs about $29.95 although you can sometimes find it cheaper on sale online.

It’s very easy to use, which is important, and in my tests it tracked down more spyware than the other spyware removal products I tried, so I have no hesitation in recommending it to you. If you’re on a budget, you could also try SpyWareTerminator.com, which is free.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks,a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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