How Yelo Works Sponsored

Yelo: Call Worldwide, Call Cheaper

It’s happened to all of us. The end of the month comes, and with it the dreaded phone bill. Due to a slight overestimate of how many roll over minutes were left if our plan, the bill is $473.28. Don’t get me wrong. I’m an honest customer and don’t mind paying what I owe. But we all know the business model of the mobile phone industry doesn’t reflect the technology that fuels it. That is, just because we use the phone over our 600 minute limit doesn’t mean the overall cost to the mobile provider skyrockets. Quite the opposite, they do little extra work and really start hauling in the profits. Such overages have long irked cellular customers.

Some have found refuge in prepaid plans. With these you only pay for what you use. Others have found respite in private online networks. Friends of mine sometimes get together on Skype and play cards, for instance. It works well as long as everyone’s on the same network. There have also been a series of services that allow you to direct dial people from mobile applications rather than your mobile phone plan. These include SkypeOut, Rebtel, and Jajah. Such applications allow users to make cheap calls from their mobile phones over wifi connections and bypass the cell network. They also allow you to call real landlines and mobile networks. Upsetting the current providers with cheaper rates and quality service, is Yelo.

Yelo- Cheap Calls Worldwide

Yelo, found at yeloworld.com, is the newest provider of a mobile application worldwide calling network. It’s simple. Download their app to your mobile device. Create an account. Add a few credits to your account, and call any landline or mobile number in the world. The quality’s great, and the price is cheaper.

For instance, recently I was hailed to my partially computer literate parent’s house. They were preparing for a European vacation and were relying on me to figure out how they might make cheap calls abroad. As we all know international travel and phone calls just don’t mix. As soon as you pull out the visa, it’s best to put the phone away. No longer. With Yelo you can connect via wifi at any coffee shop and make cheap calls to anywhere in the world.

The true value of Yelo is in their rates. Here I found I can call that girl in Taiwan for 4.5 cents/min. Or when she goes back to grad school in Australia it drops down to 3.3 cents/min. But then I sometimes miss my friend in Brazil. For a clean 2.7 cents/min I can call her too. (These rates are to landlines and reflect pricing as of this publication.)

The first question we might ask is if the person we’re calling needs to have Yelo’s app installed as well. Thankfully they do not. Yelo connects to telephone networks so you can call them from your Yelo app enabled smart phone using a wifi connection. And wifi connections are relatively easy to find in the developed world.

How Yelo Works

The next question is how one get Yelo. It’s available at all major app outlets including iTunes and Google Play. It’s also available from Getjar, Handster, and Handango for those wanting to stay off the radar of the big app providers. The price for the download is free- you pay only for the calls you make. Currently iPhone, iPad, and Android are supported, with Blackberry coming soon.

Making international phone calls used to be the privilege of the ultra rich or financially irresponsible. The vast majority of us wouldn’t make a call except to confirm arrival, departure, or emergencies. With the advent of Yelo it’s safe to say this has finally changed. Not only have cheap calls been around for a while, but they’re now getting cheaper. And that’s something we can all call home about.

Sadly, I set my parents up with one of Yelo’s competitors as I hadn’t come across them yet. Another phone bill saving technique is to turn off data roaming while traveling.

Only2Click's Sample Start Page Startup

Only2Clicks: Unlimited Start Page Potential

Finding one’s way around the web is the secret to being productive. And like any search, where the journey begins is of utmost importance. For many of us this journey begins every day when we open a browser. Many start their journey with Google’s search engine. Others may set their home page to their email host. Some may give up altogether and set it to Justin Bieber’s home page or worse, Cyndi Lauper’s. I kid you not, I overheard Justin Bieber’s name used conversationally among tweens this past week. But I digress.

Browser wars are well known, but there’s a different war that’s been raging much more silently. It’s the start page war. There’s a lot of value in being the first page people look at when they start their day’s foraging throughout the web. Not surprisingly, Google has been a big player in this market with its staple app iGoogle. But given their recent concession that it’s being closed down during “spring cleaning” they’re leaving a void that others may fill. On a side note, some suggest that Google plans on filling the void with Google+. But we don’t think Google+ will succeed- ever. It appears Google’s on a spiritual journey trying to prove first hand that pride does in fact goeth before the fall. (We actually found one dedicated and confused fan taking the unique position that Google+’s total defeat is all part of its master plan of success. But we find the similarities between that and losing very very badly to be indistinguishable.)

Only2Click's Sample Start Page

This leaves us with no iGoogle, and still no reason to use Google+. Literally millions of people everyday are going to slowly start setting their home page to the latest teenage pop star unless something is done. Fortunately, a rescuer has come to the scene. Capitalizing on Google’s soon to be iconic demise, (we envision future executives saying let’s not do a Google), is Only2Clicks. It’s a start page that’s simple, easy, and convenient to use.

Lacking billions of dollars in funding and budget surplus, Only2Click’s main hope is in the quality of its offering. That is, you register for an account and begin setting up all your bookmarks. Then whenever you’d like to start or restart your browsing journey, you go to Only2Clicks. It’s intended to be set it to your homepage to make all your favorite locations accessible.

The main item of curiosity is the ‘two clicks.’ These are the categories and then sites that you would like to navigate to. The customizable page contains a navigation bar of categories, each of which contains a grid of sites. Users can add as many sites as they like to each category. They can also add or remove categories, move sites from one category to the next, or drag and drop sites to prioritize their order. As this is your home page you can customize it as much as you like. And when your browsing session starts you first click the category, and then the site you’d like to navigate to.

Adding sites is extremely easy. The first method is manual. Click the Add Link button, enter the site info, and you’re done. This gets tedious fairly quickly so you can also use their bookmarklet or Chrome extension. These install to your browser or bookmark bar so you can readily add any page you’re on to your Only2Click’s start page. There’s also an import and export feature so you can readily transfer your bookmarks. Once links are added you can arrange them in whatever order you like under their respective categories.

Quick Instruction Diagram for Only2Clicks

A few bells and whistles are apparent, with more in current development. The first is the ability to choose skins. In my demo above I used the Noir skin. In a future version it appears you’ll be able to add your own CSS for full customization. Another forthcoming feature is the ability to choose a permanent only2clicks.com web address. Another useful feature is the ability to set links to open in the same window or a new one.

The web is a rapidly changing place. The big players are sometimes driven more by the need to monetize and less by a desire to invent. Only2Clicks is both an upcoming site as well as an established charitable citizen of the internet. It provides a helpful start page service that the big players in their quest for glory, left behind. Once set up it only takes two clicks to reach all the sites you need. It’s this simplicity that we think will keep them around for years to come.

Facebook Cover Maker Airline Demo Sponsored

Facebook Cover Maker: The Ultimate Cartoon like Facebook Covers

Migrating to the new Facebook Timeline upset many a user. Not everyone’s quick to explore new horizons and new ventures. But for as much as I can tell, Timeline is here to stay. As of this writing every one of my friends has signed up for it. Along with a wealth of other changes Timeline introduced the new display background of the Facebook Covers. When someone arrives on your profile page they’ll now be presented with your cover image along with your profile pic. Below which are the rest of your life’s most intimate details.

Most of us simply pulled a picture from our albums. After a bit of centering it worked well enough. But like all changes it introduced new opportunities. Facebook Covers are an opportunity to tell the world something about yourself. Aside from your profile pic it’s the most prominent picture in your entire Facebook album. In our increasingly digital world it represents who you are.

Facebook Cover Maker Home

Not every one of Facebook’s users wants to use one of their pictures though. Some would very much rather be coy about their online personas. Which leaves them where? It leaves them looking for creative ways to create their cover images. What they need is a Facebook Cover Maker.

The first such Cover Maker we’ve come across provides stylish cartoon-like images for those looking for a different look and feel for their site. It’s the simplest of tools, really. Select the character to represent you. Adjust their accessories such as hair, mouth, nose, hat, eyes, and clothes. Then select a background to place them in, and you’re done. From there you either download the image locally or upload it directly to Facebook. As of this writing there are sixteen characters to choose from and a number of accessories. More are being added on a regular basis.

Emboldened by our newfound discovery of Facebook cover makers, we dug up a few alternatives. FirstCovers is one such cover maker that boasts the proud tagline “We Did it First, We Do it Best.” They certainly do provide a large array of covers one can choose from, along with a separate cover making tool. Timeline Cover Banner also caught our attention. It comes with what they label a “powerful editor.” In our experience and immediate observations, powerful editors usually have powerful learning curves as well. We quickly raced back to Facebook Cover Maker’s simple tool with understandable options.

Facebook Cover Maker Airline Demo (not to scale)

What Facebook Cover Maker provides is a tool that makes your profile different. It looks like a professionally graphic designed image that catches users’ eyes. I find that it is much more attractive than conventional picture based covers as it helps the profile picture stand out. What Facebook may not have thought through entirely was the fact that Facebook covers and the profile pics that overlay them, often clash. Most users aren’t graphic designers and may not select complementary images. Facebook Cover Maker’s custom characters in their graphical setting help highlight your personal profile pic. Since it’s a cartoon-esque type image, it’s much less likely to class with the profile pic.

Facebook now has over one billion users. Each of them can select one and only one cover image at a time. The selected image could be the difference between getting that girl to add you on Facebook or not. It could tell a potential employer that you take pride in your personal image. It can make your friends realize that you take your Facebook-ing seriously. But really, using Facebook Cover Maker is just a fun way to add a bit of flair to one’s Facebook profile page.

For the perennially curious, you can figure out how many friends are on Timeline by scrolling to the bottom of Facebook’s Timeline page. (while logged into Facebook.)

Ray Lewis- American Sports Influencer Sponsored

SportzHype: Welcome to Your New Addiction

I have a friend who disappears every fall. If you’d like to see him the only option is to stop by his house and sit with him in front of his large screen TV. He’ll be flipping through the channels and monitoring his four fantasy football teams closely. I humored him once and joined one. I almost won. Basketball and baseball seasons aren’t nearly as bad- you actually have a chance to meet up with him. But overall unless you’re a sports junkie then your options are limited.

Following the latest news in sports is a favorite pastime of many. They paint their faces, don their colors, blow their horns, all in support of their venerated and revered team. I live in a town where fans got so excited about a win they torched a public transit vehicle. Sometimes the love and passion for sports can boil over a bit. Saving public transit and providing a safer outlet for sports enthusiasts worldwide, is SportzHype. It’s the new channel for all news, thoughts, and discussions on sports related topics.

SportzHype- The source of your new sports addiction

SportzHype is a user submitted sports news aggregator. Its home page presents the latest news in three sports filled columns. Upon signup users can submit links to articles, photos, videos, or start new topics for discussion. Each of these becomes an item in the main feed to which all can view and comment on. Submissions include the woes of the Detroit Lions, a pic of the Miami Heat shooting bricks, or the latest Titleist wedges.

Right beneath the surface SportzHype is also a social network. You can follow various users to check out their latest content, or send them messages directly. Each submission gives you the opportunity to like them or comment. Submissions are categorized by sport so you can filter on your favorites. You can also create lists and add content to it. Lists will be displayed on your own profile so others can see your favorite submissions. SportzHype is also a contest of sorts. Each user accumulates points as they submit or create content. The more activity, including likes and comments received, the more points are awarded. On top of providing a view for the latest news, you can also view the top submissions. These are the most liked or commented submissions.

Submitting content from the web is made easy by installing the SportzHype HypeIt button. It’s a bookmarklet that allows you to quickly submit content to your account. This allows you to grab an image from any website and add it to one of your lists. Once posted submissions can be shared around the web. This includes posting on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. In fact, SportzHype can be likened to a Pinterest that specializes in sports.

Ray Lewis- American Sports Influencer

Whether you’re looking for football news, poker, or cheerleaders, SportzHype brings it all to you. It’s an outlet that rounds up all the news on sports related topics. Be it articles, videos, photos, or user created discussions, SportzHype is the place to go for sports. With it people like my friend will become even more lost in their word of sports. And people like my exuberant neighbors might find a more constructive environment to channel their enthusiasm.