Fun Fact: Most people would rather watch a movie than go to work... unless of course watching movies is one of your job functions, in which case you might be happier reading a book--It’s a strange world out there. Unfortunately, the majority of we worker bees aren’t able to take in a flick while on the clock, forced instead to keep our eyes on spreadsheets, assembly lines and work orders. Don’t fret: Hollywood’s just a set of headphones away, thanks to Listen to a Movie, our Cool Site of the Week.
Despite rampant privacy concerns, annoying ads, creepy stalkers and the aggressive time stealing demands of the games it offers, for many of us, Facebook is still a much-loved way to share our lives with the people who matter to us. While we might be willing to put up with the social network’s many quirks and eccentricities, there’s one thing that most of us won’t tolerate when it comes to Facebook: A change to it’s interface or functionality. If your blood boils every time you hear the words ‘News Ticker’ you’ll want to download Facebook Classic, our Browser Extension of the Week.
With movie theaters full superheroes this past summer and zombies currently dominating Sunday night television, it’s safe to say that comic books are once again en vogue. With geeks of all ages willing to spend their hard earned money on the graphic novels and monthly titles that they love, comic book creators and imprints are making it easier to snag their wares through multiple channels than ever before. One of our favorites of late has been Graphicly Comics, our Chrome Web App of the Week.
As of 2010, scientists have managed to find and catalog 1.7 million different species of life. Sounds like a lot, right? Not when you consider that the very same lab geeks feel it’s possible that there may still be another five million species out there that we haven’t stumbled across yet. Before depriving anymore of those lifeforms of their habitats for the sake of a new strip mall or a few rolls of toilet paper, maybe we’d do well to get to know them a little bit better (you know, just in case the planet finally decides to rise up and rebel against us). To this end, we’re declaring Encyclopedia of Life our Cool Site of the Week.
For most of us, the internet is a social experience. No matter what time of day it is, or where you are, the web ensures that there’s something to talk about and people willing to listen. With services like Twitter and Facebook, we’re glut with ways to get our messages and opinions out into the world. That said, with so many others taking the time to give their two bits on a given topic through the same channels, it’s getting harder and harder to filter those opinions in a way that makes them timely or meaningful. Fortunately, our Browser Extension of the Week is here to sort the situation out.
I love shooting things in the face. Monsters, aliens, mice, men – all are equal in the eyes of my trigger finger, which itches with such fervor that I should probably have a doctor look at it. But – even in the ammo-casing-coated world of videogames – there's a time and place for violence. (And no, smartasses in the audience, it's not “always.” Always isn't even a place.) More and more, I've noticed recent games tripping over their own feet because they choose to reign with unfaltering bloodlust instead of reining it in. In some games, it's but a speck-sized sticking point. Others, though, choose to live by the sword, only to fall flat on their faces and die by it in the most gruesome fashion imaginable.
Evidence A: Deus Ex. For the most part, it's an amazing game, but bring up its boss fights and watch as a room full of fawning admirers turns into a torch-flashing, keyboard-smashing angry mob. And why not? The game's bosses are horribly designed strategic dead ends that eat headshots and excrete pure, unfiltered sadness. To me, though, the biggest problem is that you have to fight them at all.
After paying for your admission and taking out a lien on your house so that you can afford the price of a few snacks at the show, there’s nothing worse than discovering that you’ve committed yourself to a predictable, poorly written wreck of a film. The same can be said for rentals. Whether you brought it home from the video store or queued it up on Netflix, no one wants to settle on the couch in with a bowl of popcorn for a two hour suck-fest. Fortunately, thanks to Flixster, bypassing feature length stinkers has never been easier.
Against all odds, you’ve got some extra cash on hand that you’re able to use to invest in a gadget, computer or other snazzy new piece of hardware. Unfortunately, thanks to the unscrupulous technobabble employed by marketers, similar feature sets and the constantly shifting topography of the technological landscape, shopping for the piece of hardware that’s best suited to your needs can be a nightmare. Fortunately, The Wirecutter is here to wake you up, stroke your hair and whisper that everything’s gonna be OK.
Since Google gifted the users of Google Calendar the ability to access the contents of their accounts even when there’s no internet connection to be found, many of us have come to rely on the reliable and easy to use service even more than we already did when it was still strictly an online-only affair. For anyone that relies on Google Calendar to help them navigate their day, The Google Calendar extension for Chrome will be a welcome addition to your virtual arsenal. We’ve found it so useful that we’re showcasing it as our Browser Extension of the Week.
When it comes to cloud storage, consumers have a lot of options to choose from. For many people, Dropbox is their go-to service. Others prefer SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive or Sugarsync. They’re all great ways to go, with each one offering it’s own particular perks and quirks. While it might be one of the newest kids on the file storage and sharing block, Minus has enough going for it that we felt it worthy of being our Cool Site of the Week.