Monday, December 19, 2011

Picture Collage Maker (Christmas Edition)

Picture Collage Maker Pro from Pearl Mountain Soft is a cool desktop application with which you can transform your pictures into unique and personalized greeting cards, picture collages, posters, photo books, calendars, scrapbooks and other fun projects.

The software is easy to use and making collages is simple, using hundreds of pre-designed templates which make it fun to use. If you're creative, you can design your own templates too. To create your picture collages or greeting cards:

  • Choose a pre-designed template; 
  • Upload your pictures, save; and 
  • Print or email your cards or collages.

Pearl Mountain Soft recently released their Christmas Edition of their Picture Collage Maker Pro which allows you to make cool Christmas cards and collages that you can be print and/or email to your family and friends. They will surely love the personal touch.

The short video below features many of the Christmas card templates available. Also, you can check out my full review on Picture Collage Maker Pro and try it for free.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas 2011

Christmas 2011 is just 27 days away and the 2011 Christmas shopping season is in full swing. With Black Friday behind us and Cyber Monday just around the corner, retailers are buzzing with shopping activity with special Christmas deals and discounts.

With so much of choice available, it's sometimes difficult to decide what Christmas gifts are unique and popular. Below I've compiled a list of Holiday Gift Guides to help you with gift ideas for the whole family.

Whether you're looking for gifts for him, gifts for her, gifts for boys, gifts for girls, unique gifts for teens, educational gift ideas for kids, gifts for movie lovers, gifts for fitness buffs, or gifts for Christians, you will find them here:

If you're looking for Christmas and Holiday Music, check this Top Christmas Albums for 2011. Some of the top Christmas Albums for 2011 are Justin Bieber's Under the Mistletoe, Michael Buble's Christmas, Tony Bennett's Classic Christmas, and Dean Martin's My Kind of Christmas.

Having said so, be sure to take precautions when shopping online. With the rise in online shopping, we've seen a rise in online fraud as well. You can check these Tips on Shopping Safely Online during the 2011 Christmas shopping season.

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has special Cyber Monday Deals available not only on Monday, but for the full week. Check out all the Amazon Cyber Monday Deals below ~ Happy Shopping!

Ultimate Christmas Song Collection Buy at

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kindle Fire Retails November 15, 2011

Amazon Kindle Fire is set to retail in approximately 1,600 retail locations in the US market on November 15, 2011. Amazon unveiled its first tablet PC in September 2011 at which point it was made available on pre-order.

Priced at $199, it makes the Kindle Fire very affordable to consumers who could not afford tablets like Apple’s iPad 2, RIM’s Blackberry Playbook and the like.

Since its launch, the Amazon Kindle Fire has garnered a lot of attention from the consumer and analysts expect sales during the Holiday season to be impressive. In fact, as per a survey conducted by ChangeWave and RBC Capital Markets, it is reported that 26 percent of Amazon Kindle Fire buyers plan to delay their purchase of Apple’s iPad 2.

So far, Apple’s iPad 2 has been leading the pack in the tablet market every since they launched their first generation iPad. Other competitor tablets like the Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook have not been able to gain any significant market share. Though the Kindle Fire can’t really be compared to the iPad 2, it’s in a class of its own and hopes to be a winner.

The Amazon Kindle Fire won’t be an iPad killer, at least in its current state for many reasons. You can read my detailed review on the Pros and Cons of Amazon Kindle Fire to see if it’s right for you. Once you’ve made your decision, you can pre-order the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Firefox 7.0 Review

Firefox Download ButtonThe new version Firefox 7.0 was released on September 27, 2011. This new version and release is part of Mozilla's rapid releases which started in March 2011.

Overall, there have been improvements and several thousand bug fixes since Mozilla started their rapid releases. This new version Firefox 7.0 boasts drastic improvements in terms of memory usage thereby providing speedier web browsing.

I've been using the new version Firefox 7.0 for a couple of weeks and have conducted some performance benchmark tests on Firefox 7.0 as well as Google Chrome.

Based on the tests, Firefox 7.0 performs better than its predecessor versions, however, it's still not comparable to Google Chrome's overall performance. The results of the peacekeeper tests are listed below. Please note that these benchmark performance test results will vary depending on various factors. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Lives On

The news about Steve Jobs passing away, on October 5, 2011, flooded the media waves all over the world. He truly was one of a kind visionary, entrepreneur and creative genius considered as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of our time.

Steve Jobs who battled pancreatic cancer, announced his resignation in late August 2011, as CEO of Apple Inc. He was only 56, but made a significant difference to all around him including his dedicated and loyal Apple fans.

Mr. Jobs received many awards and honors for his many accomplishments and contributions. But he will be remembered for his life filled with values, character, innovation and leadership. I’ve come across many quotes from Steve Jobs, but one that stands out to me is…”Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life”. There is much to learn from what this iCon has left us with.

Steve Jobs may have left us behind, but he lives on and will be remembered for a very long time. May Steve Jobs rest in peace and may his family and loved ones find the strength to bear his loss. Salute to an iCon!

If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences, Apple encourages you to do so at:

Info Research Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Google+ Public Launch

Google+ (or Google Plus) finally launched its new social network to the public on September 20, 2011. Google+ beta was initially made available, on June 28, 2011, to a select few beta testers and required G+ invites.

Quickly, beta testers piled up and in the very first month, Google Plus attracted over 25 million users. If you're new to Google+ and wondering what's the buzz (no pun intended), well, it's a social network similar to Facebook in terms of its "look and feel".

Having said so, it's got unique features like Google Circles, Google Hangouts, Google Sparks, Google Huddle and many more. Initially, it may take a little while to familiarize yourself with the platform and features, however, once you do, you will enjoy using it.

To learn more about Google+ features, visit Google+ Project which also includes video overviews of the platform. I would suggest that you take the time to understand how this new social network works in order to use it effectively.

Also, I've created a Google+ Setup Guide which will walk you through, step-by-step, on how to setup your Google+ profile and social network. In case you have any questions or need any help, feel free to contact me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Tribute & Reflections

9/11 TributesThe events of 9/11 changed the world forever and time seems to have flown by so quickly with the 10th anniversary less than a day away.

I wanted to take a moment and pay tribute to the thousands of victims and their families who experienced tremendous loss. As well as pay tribute and thanksgiving to the thousands of heroes who bravely put their own lives on the line.

I've put together a Squidoo web page titled "9/11 Tributes & Reflections" with touching video tributes. Take a moment to remember all those affected by this tragic event and share your thoughts on how the events of 9/11 touched your life.

May the victims' souls rest in peace and may their families be comforted as they remember their lost loved ones. Peace, blessings and love!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Google Chrome Review

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Google Chrome and Chrome OSGoogle Chrome is Google’s open source internet browser which was launched 3 years ago. Since its launch, Google Chrome has risen rapidly in comparison to its rivals, Internet Explorer and Firefox. In terms of overall usage share of the 3 web browsers, IE remain at the top, followed by Firefox, with Chrome gradually inching its way up.

I’ve used Internet, Firefox and Google Chrome extensively and have to admit that Chrome is very impressive mainly because of its speed. I’ve pretty much dumped IE, though still use Firefox for most of my web browsing. However, I’m starting to use Chrome more and more.

Some of the key reasons I like Google Chrome are as follows:

Speed: given that I do a lot of work online including blogging and building Squidoo web pages, I need a browser that is fast. I found Firefox quite sluggish in the past little while so turned to Chrome and I haven’t been disappointed with its performance.

Simplicity: I like my browser to be clutter-free and Google Chrome’s simple interface provides just that. In fact, when browsing web pages, you won’t even notice that you’re running Chrome. If you’re an Internet Explorer user, it may take a little while to get used to not seeing the menu items at the top.

Add-ons and Extensions: when Google Chrome first launched, they didn’t support any add-ons and that’s where Firefox had a huge advantage. However, that has now changed with thousands of Chrome extensions, though it may still take some getting used to if you switch from Firefox.

Tabbed Browsing: in Chrome is designed to withstand crashes. That is, if one tab hangs up or slows down, it will not drag the whole browser down, that because each tab is run independently of the other. However, this feature takes up more memory so if you have a slower computer it may not work as effectively.

Other Features: like the Omnibox allows you to use the browser address bar as a search box. Chrome allows private browsing, ability to translate web pages to over 50 different languages, cool tools for web developers and much more.

To get more detailed information on Google Chrome and video instructions on how to download Google Chrome, feel free to check my Squidoo web page on Google Chrome: Pros and Cons.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Firefox 6.0 Release

Firefox For DummiesMozilla released its latest Firefox 6.0 version of their internet web browser on August 16, 2011. Since early 2011, Mozilla has been making rapid releases to keep with the competition mainly Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.

With the new Firefox 6.0, you won't find much in terms of cosmetic changes, though they have enhanced the start-up speed in Panorama (Tab Groups). There were over 1,400 bug fixes from the earlier version, as well as some security and stability issues resolved.

Web developers will find the new Firefox version a little more appealing with additions like a ScratchPad, latest version of WebSockets, a new Web Developer menu item, to name a few, as well as improved usability of the WebConsole.

You can check all the Firefox Release Notes for the detailed listing of changes.

Firefox Download Button

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Plus Beginner's Guide

Google+ (Google Plus) is Google's Social Network that rivals Facebook, as you have probably already heard of by now.

As per reports, Google+ has over 10 million users since it's launch on June 28, 2011, even though itt is still in beta testing and not open to the general public.

It's a little too early to say how Google+ will fair with rivals like Facebook and Twitter, however, from the initial wave of public interest, rapid changes and improvements to the platform, and many more enhancements in the works, it looks very promising.

If you are on Google+ and find it a little overwhelming to understand, I've created a Google+ Beginner's Guide to help you setup your Google+ social network. This guide will help you create your Google+ Profile, manage your Google+ Circles, configure your Google Plus privacy settings, invite people to join Google+ and much more. It includes easy to understand video tutorials.

If you are not yet on Google+ and would like a Google+ Invite, feel free to contact me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Google+ Social Network Takes on Facebook

Google+ (Google Plus) is a brand new social network that I'm sure you've already heard of by now. Looks like the big G is ready to take on Facebook now, but it's too early to say how it will shape up.

The overall "look and feel" of Google+ is quite similar to Facebook, but it has unique features like Google Hangouts, Google Sparks, Google Huddle, Instant Upload and of course, Google Circles.

Google+ is still in its basic state at the moment because it's being back-tested with limited number of users. I've used Google+ for a few days now and one of the main features that I like is Google Circles which allows you to create your own cliques of friends. Circles are unique because they allow you to maintain privacy of your status updates, newsfeeds, etc. with only those cliques.

The other neat and unique Google+ feature is Google Hangouts which allows you to video chat with up to 10 of your friends from different Circles. I've created a Squidoo web page which provides a more detailed coverage of the key Google+ features with video overviews of each.

At the moment the social networking platform is not open to the public and is by invite-only. If you know a friend who is on Google+, you can request an invite. Though, I believe Google is still monitoring the influx of invites and rationing them out.

If you'd like a Google+ invite feel free to Contact Me and request an invite. Beware not to leave your email addresses on public forums and comment sections because unscrupulous people could harvest your email address and spam or scam you.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day (Celebrations in My World)Wishing all you Canucks out there a Happy Canada Day! Hope you enjoy your long weekend and take the time to appreciate what we have in this great country. Not perfect by any means, but nonetheless blessed.

I was reading a recent article from Reader’s Digest about some Myths About Canadians, one that I found relevant to post this blog on Canada Day was the myth that Canadians Are More Informed than Americans. The article highlighted that Canadians often accuse Americans of being ignorant, especially when it comes to their own country.

Apparently, Historica-Dominion Institute polled Canadians on some history questions and they didn’t fair too well. For instance, 39 percent of Canadians couldn’t identify the year of Confederation (1867). 47 percent of Canadians did not know the first line of the national anthem.

Canadian immigrants who apply for Canadian citizenship need to pass a knowledge test as one of their requirements to secure their citizenship. This citizenship test covers various aspects of Canadian history, culture, economy, geography, government, aboriginal peoples of Canada and the like.

I’ve created several short and fun QUIZZES to help you test your knowledge about Canada. Take these fun quizzes and learn more about our beautiful country, Canada.

Have a safe and enjoyable Canada Day ya'll!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wizzley: Make Money Writing Articles

Join WizzleyWizzley is a new online platform on which you can write articles and make money. It was launched in May 2011 and has attracted quality online writers and authors who write original content on the web.

This article writing platform is easy to use and provides a variety of modules to help you create unique articles. Some of these creative Wizzley modules include the Text module, Image module, YouTube Video module, Poll module, Link List module, as well as money-making modules like Amazon, Zazzle and AllPosters.

Wizzley shares a percentage (50% to 60%) of the revenue generated through the Google Adsense program with its authors. As well as members can earn income through sales generated via their affiliate programs mentioned above. Wizzley members can also earn an additional income by referring other members to Wizzley.

I joined Wizzley in June 2011 and have created a couple of Wizzley pages. Feel free to visit my Wizzley Profile and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

iWowWe Video Email & Conferencing

38201110711473300x250.gifiWowWe is a video email and video conferencing platform which makes it easy to create and send cool video email messages to family and friends.

The video email system is free and easy to use, yet very professional. You can customize your video email with hundreds of templates, from the iWowWe library, to suit your needs.

The iWowWe library has hundreds of video templates to choose from for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, invitations to parties, celebrating new born babies, religious holidays, or just a video email message to say "hello" or "thank you".

You can even create your own templates from scratch with simple drag and drop features. The iWowWe system also includes video conferencing functionality at a small cost, however, video email is free. I'm enjoying using it...try it for free!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Making Picture Collages

Capturing special moments and other events on camera is something most of us do regularly. Turning those pictures into beautiful collages is a great way to present them as well as share them with others. With so many collage making applications out there, it is now easy to create your own unique collages. I recently came across one such application called Picture Collage Maker.

Most collage making applications mainly focus on collage making and few of them are flexible enough to allow customization. However, Picture Collage Maker allows you to use their library of collage templates as well as create your own from scratch.

Also, other than picture collages, you can create scrapbooks, posters, photo books, as well as personalized calendars. There are hundreds of pre-designed templates available as well as a variety of tools to help you create your own customized masterpieces. I've used Picture Collage Maker and have written a review on this SQUIDOO web page. Hope you find it useful and enjoy creating your picture collages.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blackberry PlayBook Launch

Research in Motion (RIM) officially launches its first tablet PC, the Blackberry PlayBook on April 19, 2011. With the launch of the Apple's tablet PCs, the iPad first generation and subsequent iPad 2, RIM has struggled to keep pace.

The initial reviews of the PlayBook are mixed for many reasons. One of the big ones will be the availability of apps. as well as 3G connectivity. I don't believe consumers will receive the PlayBook as they did the iPad, that is with anxious anticipation.

The PlayBook scores well against the iPad on some features, but overall, it has a long ways to go until they are able to capture and broaden their customer base. I've done an in-depth review of the Blackberry PlayBook vs Apple's iPad 2 which also includes video reviews. Hope this comparison of the two tablet PCs is helpful.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Filing 2010 Taxes in Canada

101 Tax Secrets For Canadians 2010: Smart Strategies That Can Save You Thousands, Revised and Updated EditionThe April 30th deadline for filing 2010 taxes is fast approaching for most Canadians, unless of course you're self-employed, then June 30th deadline applies.

Filing taxes is not fun for anyone, but it's an important to file your tax returns on time in order to especially if you owe the government. If not, you could end up penalized in interest. If you are going to get a refund, then the faster you file your taxes, the better.

For the past 5+ years, I've filed my own tax returns using UFile. Prior to preparing my own tax returns, I used to use the services of an accountant. However, I decided to look into filing them myself and after some homework and calls to CRA, I found out that it's not all that difficult to file one's own tax returns.

Yes, it does take some time and effort, however, once you get the hang of it, it's quite simple if you use tax software like UFile. Some of the key features about using UFile are highlighted below:

  • easy to use and handles complex tax situations;
  • uses a step-by-step interview approach;
  • automatically checks for tax deductions for maximum tax refund;
  • highlights any anomalies before you're done;
  • allows you to go back and correct errors;
  • ability to file using NETFILE for faster refund.

And more importantly, UFile is the most competitive in terms of price. Also, you can file your tax return online or using a software-based application. You may also be eligible to file your taxes for free...check here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Send Video Emails

The trend of sending video email is slowly, but surely starting to catch on. Most people are bombarded with so much text email that it’s difficult to stay caught up. As per stats, people retain 10 percent of what they hear, but 50% of what they see.

Sending a video message by embedding it into email is not only a fun way to send email to your family and friends, but a very personalized way to do so. iWowWe, has created a unique video email platform to help you do just that.

The best thing is that it is for free. There are a few other video email platforms that are out there in the market, but they are charging a monthly fee for the service. With iWowWe video email, you can send unlimited video email for free and change the way you communicate.

Now because it’s a free platform, you may be thinking the quality is not so good, but I can assure you that’s not the case with iWowWe video email. They not only provide a quality video email platform, but one that is simple to use with hundreds of pre-designed templates for various occasions.

If you like to customize stuff, you can even create your own templates. You can take a quick peek at this short video below to see what I’m talking about and what iWowWe video email has to offer you. If you like it, you can sign up for free HERE and start sending video through email...enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Firefox 4 Internet Browser Release Candidate

Firefox For DummiesMozilla Firefox has been beta testing its version 4 for many months and finally after running 12 beta tests on it, they released Firefox 4 Release Candidate on March 9, 2011.

When compared to Firefox 3.6 and the first beta, they have made significant improvements with over 7,000 bug fixes, faster speed and better stability, crash protection, better “look & feel”, and some cool features for developers as well, like HTML5, WebGL, Web console.

I’ve had the chance to do some beta testing on Firefox 4 beta 12 and was happy with the improvements that they’ve made, especially in term of speed and overall stability. However, I still prefer Google Chrome for its speed. Also, I ran a Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark test to do a comparison and Google Chrome did better overall compared to Firefox 4.

Having said so, I still prefer Firefox over Google Chrome due to its overall versatility and have hope that will continue to improve. I’ve written an in-depth SQUIDOO LENS which covers all the above in more detail, and includes video overviews and the Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark results.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What's the Buzz about QR Codes?

QR Codes & Mobile Marketing for the Small Business Owner: Connecting Merchants With Their CustomersQR Codes are gaining popularity in the world of smartphones in US and Canada. They have been around for almost 20 years and have been widely used in Japan and Europe.

QR Codes are a type of 2D bar codes and are made up of black modules with a white background arranged in a square pattern.

They contain encoded information in them that, when scanned, will direct the recipient to a website URL, text message and the like. These codes are decoded by QR Code readers and can be easily downloaded to a smartphone for easy access.

QR Codes make it quite easy to access websites, download apps, browse maps, etc. by scanning them with a smartphone camera.

Businesses are using these codes for marketing and keeping in touch with their customers. As with any technology, the opportunity of fraud exists, therefore, be sure to be careful when scanning just any QR code.

I discuss all the above in more detail in my SQUIDOO WEB PAGE. Hope you find this useful!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Google Chrome Review: User Perspective

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Google Chrome and Chrome OSGoogle Chrome seems to be climbing up fast to be one of the most popular internet browsers. It was introduced in late 2008 and since then has gone through a lot of beta testing.

One of the main reasons most users like Google Chrome is because of its speed. There have been a lot of tests that have been done to compare Chrome’s speed with rivals, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Personally, I’ve found the performance of Google Chrome very impressive in most cases.

Given that I do a considerable amount of blogging as well as create Squidoo web pages, I find Chrome, especially outperforming Internet Explorer and FireFox in terms of speed. I still use Internet Explorer and FireFox as my browsers depending on what I’m doing. I’ve written a separate article on the Benefits of Using Multiple Browsers and you can feel free to chime in.

Though, I use Chrome for some of my online work, FireFox still remains my favourite browser so far because of its overall functionality. However, that may soon change given that Google is consistently improving it, including the introduction of a decent gallery of extensions (or add-ons).

I’ve written an extensive Squidoo web page on the Pros and Cons of Google Chrome, so feel free to check it out and provide your feedback and thoughts on using Chrome as your browser.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

PeopleString: An Alternative to Facebook

PeopleString is the next generation social network!

It is similar to Facebook, except that you get paid to do the things you already do like use the social network to interact with friends, check email, play games, shop online, etc.

Unlike Facebook, PeopleString shares 70% of its advertising revenue with its members so everyone benefits from it.

You not only earn income from your activity, but also from people that you refer. PeopleString has a multi-tiered affiliate program that pays you through 6 levels.

PeopleString is a publicly-traded company and its parent company BigString Corporation has been around since 2003.

Membership to PeopleString is FREE, so JOIN IN and be part of the new evolution of social network.