Bob and Joy Schwabach
 

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Internuts    

December 2007, Week 3

 DealLocker.com has online discount coupons for 4,500 retailers and 18,000 products and services. For instance, there's a coupon for free gift wrapping at Nordstrom upscale department stores. A PR guy we know told us he saved $365 on 21 baskets of goodies from Mrs. Beasley's using coupons from DealLocker. This was a much better deal than we found going directly to Mrs. Beasley's site.

We have been pitched coupon sites before, but they didn't work well; this one seems OK. Not every coupon is a good deal, however. When we looked at Dell laptops, the coupon savings from DealLocker wasn't quite as good as the discount being offered by Dell itself on its Web site.

November 2007, Week 5

  • FSF.org  has free programs for users of the Linux operating system.

    Includes stock market trackers, crossword puzzle generators and many more.

  • Switched.com  is a subset of AOL News, and has odd stories. We learned of Best Buy stores faking a shortage of Nintendo Wii gameSwitched machines by having a clerk walk around with a unit held high overhead and the store's public address system stating this was the last one it had. This was done every half-hour with a new one for sale each time, the reporter noted.

November 2007, Week 4 : From the Silly File 

n  We have a Cubicle Doorbell for our office now. It comes with a Velcro or sticky backing and a button on the front. Push the button to announce your Cubicallerpresence and desire to enter. There’s a choice of sounds, from the classic “ding dong” to a foghorn, birds twittering and a dozen others. There are three volume levels; price is $12 from CubiCaller.com.

n  Saitek is offering a mouse with a clear plastic body that can display a photo inside. You cut out a picture, insert it into the mouse case,PhotoMouse and be reminded of something or other every minute of your computer day. We found it for $20 at Amazon.com; works with Windows and Mac.  

November 2007, Week 3

  •  iBakeSale.com  has made arrangements with more than 400 retail businesses to return a portion of an individual's purchase money to charity or community groups that register on the Web site. Most of the retailers are well-known, like Starbucks, Nordstrom, Macy's, Gap, Wal-Mart, Brooks Brothers, etc. As the shopper, you can list which organization you want the funds to go to, and then purchase things normally. You can elect to keep some of the cash-back reward for yourself. It takes 30 to 60 days for your cash-back to become available.

  • The FranceRadio.net site we recently recommended for downloading free music seems to be "hors de combat," as the French might say. In other words: it's not up there and working anymore. Was it something we said? Could be. Srkeemr Because within a couple of days of our reporting that you could download music here for free, boom, they were gone. We'll keep checking to see if the site returns. In the meantime, you might try Skreemr.com, using Real Player, which lets you download music.

November 2007, Week 2

  •   FormSpring.com  has a free, simple way to add a survey form to your Web site. It provides the templates and you fill in the fields and questions you want covered. Just click on the "Build" tab to build the form. You have to go to the FormSpring Web site to see the responses to your form in the free version. Paid versions have more form templates and send you results by e-mail.

  •   Economist.com/charts  is a section of the famous news magazine's Web site that presents extremely interesting charts that do not appear in the magazine. For instance, we learned that most Europeans hold a job for 10 Economist Magazineyears, while most Americans hold one for four years. We also learned that despite new cars being more fuel efficient, gas consumption in the United States is as high as it was in the 1980s. A large part of the reason is the increase in sales of heavier vehicles like SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles), vans and trucks, which get poor gas mileage.

October 2007, Week 4

FranceRadio.net  has free MP3 music downloads, and the choices run from rock to classical. You can also just listen. We listened to Beethoven's "Waldstein" sonata while we started writing the column and then turned to the Beatles. There are thousands of pieces listed here, all free.

PBS.org/wiredscience  is the Web site for a new show from public television, and it's excellent.The first episode looked at the cyber attack that shut down Estonia's computer system after the government moved a statue Wired Sciencecommemorating the Soviet Union's war dead. Another looked at junk floating in the oceans and found that there was an average of 46,000 pieces of plastic floating for every square mile. Some of the objects have been floating for more than 30 years.

ThinkFreeDocs.com  lets you search for the type of document you need: catalogs, spreadsheet reports, invoices, estimates, cookbooks, etc. Some are PowerPoint documents. But all, plain or complex, can be modified to make them your own. You can also contribute by uploading your own documents for others to use. (One we looked at was a "break-up" letter. It was allegedly done by a Marine in Afghanistan who got a "Dear John" letter from his girl back home. He sent back a composite of 57 photos of girls collected from other Marines, with a note that he couldn't remember what she looked like but she should feel free to remove her photo from the group.)

October 2007, Week 2

·     DigitalBhoomi.com  is a classified ad site similar to CraigsList.com, but restricted to cities in India. Choose a city and select a topic, like jobs, things forDigitalBhoomi.com sale, marriage proposals, etc. Marriage proposal ads may seem like an odd category but it’s quite common in Indian publications.

·     Amazon.com has entered the MP3 music download field with more than two million listings for 99 cents each or less. This all started with Apple but it is open season now and we can expect more listing services.

October 2007, Week 1

  • Podanza.com  is a free audio and video search engine with links to programs from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fidelity Investments, The Economist magazine, etc. You can watch and listen through your Web browser or download the programs to portable media devices like the Apple iPod, Sanyo Sansa and others.

  • Video.AOL.com has a tab that offers you a choice of a number of full episodes of popular TV shows. Examples include "Desperate Housewives," "Ugly Betty," "Dancing With the Stars," and many new shows making debuts in October. The service is free.

September 2007, Week 4

  • WhereIveBeen.com  is a web site that lets you click on places in a world map and add that graphic to your FaceBook  or MySpace profile as well as to blogs and other web sites. It’s sort of a picture of where you’ve been in the world. About three million Facebook users have chronicled their travels this way.
  • AudisseyGuides.com  offers walking tours with a jazz beat. You can download  tours for some major American cities  and  hear turn-by-turn directions on your iPod or MP3 player as you stroll. The narrative isAudissey Guides delivered by hip locals who seem to have been instructed to act really cool. There’s a jazz background and we found the whole thing rather too precious for words. Ah well, anything to be different.

September 2007, Week 3

  • Accuweather.com/astronomy  is a new feature with star charts and a sky photo of the day. Enter a U.S. location, and it gives you information on the night sky from there. You can also get free hour-by-hour weather forecasts for any U.S. location.

  • Body.AOL.com has tips on nutrition and fitness. Includes celebrity diets, memory exercises, a calorie burn calculator, etc.

  • MyPhotoAlbum.comMyPhotoAlbum.com  offers a free Web site with templates for making photo albums. There are many sites like this, but since it's free, there's no harm in taking a look.

 

September 2007, Week 2
  • Yoomba.com is a free service that lets you send instant messages to your e-mail contacts even if they do not use the same service. Ordinarily you can do this only if you are all on AOL, Gmail, Hotmail or whatever. You can also use Yoomba to make free Internet phone calls. Yoomba works only with Windows XP or 2000, not Vista or Mac.

  • Thumbplay.com has over 20,000 games, ringtones and wallpaper selections for your cell phone. We were skeptical, but in fact enjoyed downloading the Wheel of Fortunelocal college football fight song as a ringtone. Unfortunately, the "Wheel of Fortune" games we downloaded did not work with either of our two Internet-ready cell phones.  Thumbplay charges $3 for one download or a $10 a month for 10 credits.

  • Circleup.com helps you create online forms that you can e-mail to a list of contacts and then get a detailed report of their replies with summaries. You can try it out by sending yourself a form. There's no charge either way.

August 2007, Week 1

  Video.AOL.com is a new AOL service that delivers videos. In fact, it has 20 million of them, and the e-mail giant has already started drawing 8 million visitors a month. Check out the video of 1,500 prisoners in the Philippines doing a take on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance routine. We guess you could call it "The Thrilla From Manila."

   Lumosity.com  hahas three online games designed to improve your memory and reasoning powers. If you've had enough crossword puzzles Lumosity and Sudoku puzzles for the moment, you can have some fun with these new games. The bad news is the site wants you to sign up for $80 a year. But there is a free trial.

 ·  ConfidentialityWizard.com  creates nondisclosure agreements that match the specifications you outline by answering its questionnaire. Cost is $99 for as many as you want. (Our favorite nondisclosure agreement goes like this: If you don't tell us about it, we can't disclose it.) ts questinnare. Cost is $99 for as many as you want. (Our favorite nondisclosure agreement goes like this: If you don't tell us about it, we can't disclose it.)

July 2007, Week 5  

   Crackle.com  is a new Sony Web site with a pathway to fame. Opinions from the site's editors and responses from viewers will be combined to select the best video or taped comedy performance and move it along to the big time. Selected videos will win $15,000 and a sit-down with a Columbia Pictures senior executive. Animation creators will get to pitch their work and ideas directly to Sony. Comics will get a gig, as they say, at an improv theater in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. (So this reporter walks into a bar, and he says ...)Crackle

 Internut Pricing

   HeathPricer.com has lists of drug prices, supplements, contact lenses and other health products and where to get them cheaper from Canada. No trip abroad is required, since you can order them online. We liked the fact that the site gave you the price per package and per pill. All the prices we checked were cheaper than ordering the same things from Drugstore.com, a major U.S. online drugstore service.

  PriceGrabber.com nlhas a new "green" category that steers you to environmentally friendly products. Joy ordered a skirt made from hemp. Hemp fabric has been made since at least 8,000 B.C. There's also recycled office furniture.

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