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It was only six months ago that I was testing, and seriously enjoying the newly released Barley, and its intuitive take on website management. Featuring tag-based installation, editing that is almost entirely inline, and a beautiful admin area, it has been a hit with web designers looking for a client-friendly option.

Now, however, Barley wants to encroach on the territory of another CMS. But not just any CMS – it wants to take on WordPress, via a plugin.

Few in the web industry would describe WordPress as the leanest editing machine, nor as the friendliest environment for the hapless, technophobic business owner. But can a plugin really outdo the system it is plugged into?

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Internet forums and instant messaging would be nowhere without animated GIFs. They convey our shock, humour and disbelief, all in a series of crudely captured images — normally referencing movie scenes or TV shows. 4Chan would certainly be a much darker place, that’s for sure.

Due to the ‘Love it or Hate it’ viral voting system of the Internet, only the best GIFs are seen by millions.

Giphy is a large collection of GIFs created by a community of artists. Unlike more open communities such as Reddit, Giphy creations tend to be created from within the community as opposed to simply up-voted for popularity. Surely, the Internet has enough GIFs. Can this site offer anything we haven’t already seen?

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Microsoft purchased Skype back in May of 2011, but has been rather slow to integrate the communication service into its software. That, however, is beginning to change. For instance, the latest version of Office, 365 Home Premium, comes with 60-minutes of Skype credit and the there is a Modern-UI version available for Windows 8 (its built into 8.1), as well as Xbox Kinect integration, that will likely grow when the Xbox One finds its way to market later this year.

The latest Microsoft property to get the Skype treatment is Outlook.com — the web-based email client that recently replaced Hotmail, regardless if customers wanted it to or not.

The web-based version of the Outlook app produced by the software giant, and trading off of the name of its desktop-based brother, is a much cleaner and sleeker email than Hotmail or, for that matter, Gmail. It has a built-in calendar app and SkyDrive cloud storage integration.

While other Outlook.com features can be accessed from a drop-down menu at the top of the page, Skype is a bit more hidden, and there are some tricks to it.

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It seems as if everyone is rushing to switch to streaming music, replacing owning the songs and albums with the idea of renting them instead. The concept has many advantages, including the ability to listen to pretty much any song at any time, providining we keep making that small monthly payment. Plus, the old need for those huge CD racks is a thing of the past.

There are also a number of free sources from which you can pull your tunes — YouTube is a surprisingly good location to find music, some of it quite obscure, and there is the oft-maligned Grooveshark, which soldiers on in the face of near-constant threats from the record industry. Spotify too, allows for a free account, though you must hand over the cash if you want unlimited ad-free or the ability to use it on a mobile device.

You get the point — there are a number of places to get music, and sometimes what one does not have a song another will. That is great in one sense of course, but it also means you could be wasting a bit of time searching around. A service called OnePlaylist aims to change this, by letting you pull from these different sources to create a jukebox of your very own. (more…)

Crowdsource funding, like Kickstarter, has really started to infuse this idea that getting something no longer has to be done alone. It actually is a pretty genius idea when you think about, instead of having one person fork over $1000 to make a project happen, why not get 100 people to pay $10? The odds are better that the later will happen and you can actually get what you want accomplished.

Well, what has started to happen over the past year or so is a trend to now take this crowdsourcing concept and apply it to other areas, like gift giving. When I first started to see this concept, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Why get ten decent gifts, when you can get one amazing gift from those ten people? Not only that, but it brings a sense of community and meaning to the gift as well. So when I came across Givted, I thought I had to see what it was all about and how it takes the gift crowdsourcing platform and makes it their own.

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Aside from roaming aimlessly around the streets, the Internet is the most obvious way to find new places to eat, drink and relax. Yelp dominates the directory market in most countries but since 2011 Google have been building up a small acquisition of theirs: Zagat.

Zagat has just relaunched with an all new business model and apps to go along with it. The chic review site gained popularity in wealthy US cities such as San Francisco, New York and Washington DC. Now they’re taking things global by expanding into Europe, with London as their flagship city.

But what makes one jumped up directory site different from the rest? The new Zagat, for one, has added some cool features to embrace online communities and social networking, with quality multimedia content to boot. It’s definitely worth checking out.

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Recently, Google rolled out All Access to its year old Google Music service. But with so many streaming music services out there, should music lovers even care? Actually, they should. In fact, perhaps they should rejoice!

Having used the service since inception, I am now convinced that the search giant may just have found a way to steal this industry as well. Those are big words, given that the likes of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify would like to compete for your dollars in a fair market battle. But Google Music is great, and All Access just turns it up to 11.

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Money management has always been a daunting task for most folks, not just because it rarely works, but also because of the overwhelming amount of tools, apps and services that are available online. While multi-featured services like Mint or Pocketsmith are great tools that allows for detailed planning of your finances, some of us may want to take a simpler approach.

This is where Toshl stands out and carries out the task just as efficiently as its other weightier counterparts. If you’re looking for a fun, easy way to plan expenses, check this app out.

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Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting Beetil Service Management. The developer describes Beetil Service Management as an app that simplifies IT Service Management. Any business, small or large, who wants to follow service management good practices & deliver better customer service will love Beetil.

Beetil is based on the best practices of the ITIL framework and makes service management easy. So easy that your staff will be using ITIL best practice without even knowing it.

Read on for more information and screenshots!

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Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting MyRadioList. The developer describes MyRadioList as a free lean online internet radio player with playlist support. You can add your own mp3 internet radio streams and listen to them directly from your browser.

Read on for more information and screenshots!

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