The following list is made up of sites that are still flying under the radar, but are useful, funny, or interesting enough to merit entrée into the Web's public consciousness.
Obviously, you've probably heard of at least some of these sites before, and some have thousands of registered users. But we're betting that most of them will be new to a majority of our readers. If you've heard of some of these, consider yourself an active Netizen. If you're already familiar with all of them, please send us your resume because you are truly the master.
Apps - PC & Mobile
Consumer Electronics & Photography
Information, Search & Reference
Lifestyle, Entertainment & Fun
Oddities & Gaming
Shopping & Consumer Issues
It's a Web-based word processor that's free and that works (but only in Firefox).
If you're on the prowl for software, especially the kind you don't have to pay for, check out Concise Freeware, with its enormous collection of Firefox plug-ins, old PC games, and utilities.
The best things in the mobile world are free! Well, at least on GetJar.com. Browse or search the site's list of free software by title, device, or platform. We found the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary for Java and Arcade Park for Palm. Add your reviews or become a beta tester. And if you think your phone's too old or cheap to run cool apps, you might be surprised by what's out there. One note of caution: Some parts of the site may not be safe for work, as the site hawks mobile porn apps alongside all-ages fare.
It's fast, free, and secure. This DNS service offers speedier browsing (via smart caching and geographic distribution) and protection from phishing sites. The service will even correct typos that you punch into your browseryou didn't really want to go to www.googe.com, did you?
It's affordable enough for anyone to buy, small enough to fit in your pocket, and it holds all the data you need to get you through your day, including shopping lists, checkbook, and calendar. See what the PocketMod can do to improve your life.
Whether you're looking for money to pay off high-interest credit cards or you have some spare change that you'd like to collect interest on, the P2P lending model of Prosper is an intriguing one. Act as banker or borrower, depending on your needs, and the site lets you join up with other lenders to diversify your loans and diversify your risk.
Download Squad keeps you up to date on the latest happenings in the world of software and Web applications. The site is informative, witty, and graphical, and the bloggers post quite a bit.
This exhaustive Gmail tips site has all sorts of hints and tricks to help you get the most out of the free mail service. The site is run by Jim of Jim's Tips, and if it doesn't quench your thirst for shortcuts, go to his main page (www.jimstips.com) for more mobile- and Web-application tricks.
Got questions about Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition? The Green Button is the place to go. You'll find answers to all your MCE questions, forums to discuss the latest updates, and even some useful downloads.
StopBadWare is like an online neighborhood watch. The site keeps an eye out for malicious Web sites and catalogs sites and applications that have been reported. It has joined with Google to warn users about blacklisted sites before it's too late.
TechCrunch has news and reviews of Internet sites and services that you may not find anywhere else. Edited by Michael Arrington, the site keeps up with beta software, new Internet start-ups, and the whole Web 2.0 movement. Also, click the Jobs tab to go to CrunchBoard, a new job board exclusively for Web heads.
The regularly updated Techdirt brings you important news, analysis, and "dirt" about the tech industry, laid out in concise nuggets. Users can submit contentthe site counts on itfrom hard news to amusing tidbits. The site also offers targeted research services and a daily newsletter.
If your system needs a tune-up, TweakGuides.com is the place to go. The site has guides to optimizing individual games, browsers, and drivers, as well as a TweakingCompanion for getting the best performance out of Windows XP.
Think Best Buy has the latest tech gear? You're living in a low-tech U.S. bubble, my friend. For the real cutting-edge stuff, you'll have to head across the Pacific. Akihabara News lets you do just that. The gadget blog showcases new technology products that may never appear in the U.S., and the English translation is off just enough to remind us that these wonders are to be had only in foreign lands.
As the homepage suggests, iLounge is the place to go for "all things iPod, iTunes, and beyond." This site is a repository of iPod-related news and information: reviews, previews, feature articles, and even tutorials. iLounge also offers an iPod Book 2.2 guide, 202 pages of comprehensive iPod information, as a free download.
Filled with tips, tricks, and tutorials, Photonhead is a great resource for newbies and not-so-newbies to digital photography. Photonhead covers choosing a camera, taking photos, and photo editing, and has a cool "SimCam," which lets you adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO on a test image and see the results as if it were a real camera. Look elsewhere for camera and software reviews, though, as the ones on the site are ancient.
It can be tough to keep on top of the latest digital-camera news and releases, and that's without even worrying about lenses, flashes, and all the other accessories. That's what SLR Gear specializes ingoing beyond the camera body to test and review all the other stuff a photographer needs. Whether you're looking for a new lens for your Canon Rebel XT or a camera bag for your Nikon D200, SLR Gear can give you expert recommendations.
TechieDiva fills a void in the gadget blog arena by writing about technology for women. Here, females can satisfy their tech tastebuds with news and reviews on fashionable cell phones, laptop bags, Swarovski jeweled desk accessories, and more. Sign up for the newsletter to be included in giveaways automatically.
Crazy Meds is a helpful guide to psychiatric medications written by the people who use them, with blunt honesty, more scientific rigor than you'd expect, and a very dark sense of humor. Before you start popping Paxil (or anything else), go to Crazy Meds to check out the pros and cons.
A health question-and-answer site run by Columbia University's Health Promotion Program, Go Ask Alice! is a great place to ask embarrassing medical questions anonymously. Check out the especially insightful hangover tips!
Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics
Double-Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary
The Memory Hole
Sperling's Best Places
World Wide Words
Not all geeks are gawky, nor beauties brainless, but who'd have guessed that Britney Spears is a semiconductor-
physics whiz? At least that's the improbable premise of this site, which intersperses playful photos of hersuch as one in which she's in a bathtub full of diamonds (which the caption compares to semiconductor crystals)within an equation-dense hard-core physics text. Whether you're cribbing for your Ph.D. in laser dynamics, have a thing for that gal from Louisiana, or just enjoy a good reality warp, it's worth checking out.
So you have some extra cash and you'd like to give it to a good cause, but you're not sure which you can trust? Before you open your wallet, check out Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that evaluates and rates charities for you. Searching on the site is simple, and the top-ten lists, including "celebrity-related charities" and "inefficient fund-raisers," are a great feature.
The Double-Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary highlights words and phrases that you may not have heard before, with a specialty in slang and fringe English. Citations of usage in the media are included, in case you doubted that a word like "Septoctnocember" was ever really used.
Expert Village is a repository of all sorts of useful (or useless) info, put together by experts, freelance writers, and even a video team. Get help fixing your leaky faucet, watch a video on kickboxing technique, or become a better soccer dribbler.
You've got your choice of search engines if you're looking online for articles. Photos and graphics are easy enough to find with Google or Yahoo Images. But what if you're looking for sounds? Let's say you need to find the hoot of a barn owl or the grind of a jackhammer. FindSounds is designed for just that kind of search. Scouring the Web for AIFF, AU, and WAV files, the site provides a list of search results. Click on the speaker icon to hear the sound, or choose the Sounds Like icon to get a new list, with sounds that are related to the one you've chosen.
Head to Gullible.info for your daily dose of, er, trivia. The factoids are brilliant, but are they real? The site never divulges, but its name is Gullible.infoyou tell us.
The Memory Hole exists to bring hidden, lost, or forgotten info to light by way of posting documents on its home page. Check out reports such as the one detailing Pfizer's efforts to create chemical and biological weapons for the U.S. government in the 1960s, or another from the 1950s on evidence of ESP in animals. There's plenty of content on the site, so you're sure to find something that piques your curiosity.
NNDB is to world culture what IMDB is to entertainment: a database of notables. It is a veritable who's who, and we know it's complete because it features our very own John Dvorak!
Who's hungry for some stats? PollingReport.com is a survey aggregator, letting you quickly search through reams of surveys to find specific numbers or just browse around to see what your neighbors think. Want to see how your fellow Americans feel about the Israel-Lebanon crisis? Stem-cell research? Mel Gibson? PollingReport.com can tell you.
"Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved," said author D.H. Lawrence. So make sure you spend your time at QuoteDB. You'll find a database of over 4,000 famous quotations in 60 categories, from Dave Barry and Hunter S. Thompson to Emily Dickinson and Leonardo da Vinci. Get your daily fix with the Quote of the Day, peruse recently added quotes, or add quotes to your Web site with the Quote Generator.
Ever wondered how your town's crime rate compares with the national average? Or how much is spent per student in the city you're thinking of moving to? Get these and other answers at Sperling's Best Places. Just punch in a town name or ZIP code and get all kinds of information such as the median cost of a home, average household size, or even the most popular religions in the area.
This online reference lets you look up common definitions as well as medical, legal, computer, and financial terminology, along with antonyms, synonyms, and idioms. The fun doesn't end with looking up words, either. The Web site has plenty of extras, including news alerts, word games, RSS feeds, and a customizable homepage.
Remember those annoying word problems in math class when you had to figure out if one painter can paint a house in 12 hours and another painter takes 8 hours, how long will it take both painters to paint a house together? Now there's help if you're lost. At Webmath.com, you'll find solutions and tips for algebra, geometry, calculus, and more.
Where can you go to learn about the English language from a British point of view? Point your mouse to World Wide Words. Written by author Michael Quinion, the site serves up a large collection of his articles, Q&As, reviews, and explanations of topical words and weird words. For instance, you'll learn that the term "blue moon" didn't always mean something that happens rarely; it used to refer to two full moons in one month. The next years in which this will happen are 2018 and 2037. But you knew that.
Box Office Mojo
Comic Book Resources
Core77 Design Blog
Crying While Eating
Intuitor Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
I Watch Stuff!
The Ministry of Unknown Science
The Political Compass
We Feel Fine
Bookslut is a monthly Web magazine run by a pack of lit-savvy ladies (and a few fellas) that provides a constant supply of news, reviews, commentary, insight, and a healthy dose of opinions. The site covers poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and even comic books.
They say things happen in threes, but on 5ives.com, you'll find some of the oddest lists in fives. From "Five Kitchen Tools that Sound Kind of Dirty" to "Five People Who Are Much More Enjoyable if You Imagine Them as Pro Wrestlers," it's time to get your fives fix on.
Box Office Mojo has information about box-office stats past, present, and future. The site gives a rundown of the movie as well as its performance at the box office.
Get your sticky fingers on the keyboard and go to Comic Book Resources, a site that can give you all the info on your favorite spandex-wearing crimefighters and other freaks of nature. And since it's on the Internet, you don't even have to leave your mom's basement!
Concussion.org is like the outtakes from the X-Games, if the X-Games were held in your neighbor's empty swimming pool. Check out the surfing, skating, and snowboarding clips, or click on SLAM to see some gnarly, bloody pictures of what happens when skaters hit the pavement.
How many cookbooks begin by asking what you have in your fridge? That's precisely what CookingByNumbers.com does, surveying the contents of your kitchen before dispensing recipes based on what's already in your cupboard. Recipes range from simple grilled-cheese sandwiches to Mediterranean pork chops and even chocolate cake.
Core77 has been around for more than 10 years, catering mainly to industrial-design students and pros. But as design has gotten hotter and gone all mainstream, a Web site devoted to slick-looking things doesn't seem so niche anymore. Our favorite section is the blog, which keeps tabs on the coolest products and ideas coming out of the design world.
Coudal Partners is a "design, advertising, and interactive studio" in Chicago that uses its site, coudal.com, as "an ongoing experiment in Web publishing, design, and commerce." If that sounds too corporate for you, it's because you haven't yet seen the site, which features such attractions as the Museum of Online Museums, various film projects, and the Society for HandHeld Hushing, which aims to stamp out rude public cell-phone conversations.
Crying While Eating, a performance-art-type site, shows videos of just that: People crying about various things while eating various other things. For example, DJ is eating Spam while crying about poor chain-letter etiquette. Hank and Earl are eating pudding and peaches in a cup, drinking whiskey, and crying because NASCAR was preempted. Now that's entertainment.
They haven't done any serious scientific studies yet, but it might actually be possible for this site to make you die of cuteness. Cute Overload has your daily dose of adorable widdle puppies, kitties, duckies, and more. (Can a squid be cute? You'll have to judge for yourself.) It might just be the only thing to get you through those rough workdaysor the final annoying straw that sends your fist through your monitor.
Whether you're looking for sports scores, stats, or gossip about your favorite athlete or team, Deadspin has it. The blog's coverage is superb, with "About Last Night" recaps to use as water-cooler fodder, and "To Watch Tonight" listings so you'll never miss a game.
Movie blogs are a dime a dozen, but few tackle the subject with the humor and snarkiness of ericdsnider.com. And few have such a large catalog of reviewsclick on Movie Reviews to see the exhaustive list. The reviews are free, and as of last week, so is Eric's weekly "Snide Remarks" humor column.
Fancy yourself a film snob? Then Films101 caters to your sophisticated taste. Films101 is a movie database and resource for discovering rewarding films. To make the cut for films101, the movie must be strongly recommended by critics and filmmakers. Most of the site's titles come from all-time-best movie lists and major movie-award lists.
This site is packed with a weirdly entertaining blend of content authored by Mike Hanttula. It has hosted the Museum of Food Anomalies, a fact-based story guide to the ABC show Lost, a now-defunct Website Blessing Servicewhere you could get an ordained priest to sanctify your siteand a blog of funky products and sites that are sure to amuse.
Home Envy caters to the home-owning DIYer, with tons and tons of home-improvement content. Search for tips by room, by task, or by columnist, and get entertaining advice on your latest project.
If you love the earth but don't think of yourself as "granola," Ideal Bite has the info and the attitude you're looking for. The stylishly designed site offers relevant, down-to-earth advice and articles on practical ways you can go green. Click on the Tip Library tab to look for eco-friendly tips by topic, or on the Blog tab to read what's new.
It seems that everyone's a critic these days. Intuitor's nerds take movie criticism to the next level as they dissect, criticize, and argue the merits of movie physics to debunk what they call "Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics." The site includes an examination of general movie physics flubs, as well as movie physics reviews and ratings from "Good physics in general" to "Obviously physics from an unknown universe."
In this TV- and movie-obsessed age, sites are inevitably going to crop up espousing (and exposing) the most random trivia and observations about what's on-screen. That's not to say these sites aren't entertaining. Case in point: iwatchstuff.com. From info about the newest reality show to the latest Tenacious D trailer, the site dishes on the various pop-culture flotsam with an air of witty and often withering affection. You'll never look at the Today show the same way again.
Welcome to the Internet lodge of inventive nerd-rock musician Jonathan Coulton. You might know him from such hits as the acoustic cover of "Baby Got Back" or "Code Monkey" (sample lyric: "Code Monkey get up get coffee, Code Monkey go to job"). JoCo dot com is nigh overflowing with funny, creative, and Creative Commonslicensed music, which you can hear for free in the Thing a Week podcast.
It's just a small radio station streaming out of Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, but we're hooked on the blend of NPR news, informed talk radio, and eclectic music programming. Pick the shows that interest you or just tune in to the live feed.
All you DIYers out there might want to add this blog to your favorites list. Make's blog is chock-full of products and ideas you can tackle with your own two hands. These aren't just simple handcrafts, but high-tech projects and modifications such as making a touch-screen bar-code scanner or converting your tracker to electric power.
Metafilter is bare-bones in its design, but who needs flashy interfaces, anyway? Sometimes, simple is best. The site dishes out daily linkssupplied by the large and diverse user communityto anything and everything the Internet has to offer, from news stories to pop culture to esoteric trivia. You might just learn something (or, at the very least, kill some time).
One look at "Kung Fu F*** You," and we were hooked. But it's not all fun and fighting at the Ministry: For the most part, these "scientists" spend their lab time skewering those most likely to take offense, in a series of short films. Which aren't always work-safe, btw.
Led by National Geographic, My Wonderful World is dedicated to teaching parents, educators, and kids about geography. Test your global IQ, participate in family activities, print a wall map of the world, and more. You can even write to lawmakers to urge them to support education and educating students about the world.
The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager might sound more useful for soon-to-be-parents, but the site offers plenty of fun for other folks, too. Wanna see what percentage of the population shares your first name? Or what the most popular names are right now? Or whether "Pat" is a more common name for girls or boys? NameVoyager presents the info in a cool, fun-to-use graphical interface.
Make a paper model of everything from a Mercedes 320 SL to a Jimi Hendrix guitar to the Neuschwanstein Castle. PaperToys.com features cutout templates of those and a slew of other paper models you can download, print out, cut out, and fold on your own.
There are all sorts of kooky inventions in the works that we never hear about. Thanks to the guys at patentlysilly.com, the likes of the "Battery-Powered Illuminated Ice Cube" or the "Solar Powered Electric Candle" don't fly under our radar. The site archives real patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for some of the silliest inventions you would never hear of otherwise.
The familiar labels of "right" and "left" or "liberal" and "conservative" might be too simplistic for our times. The Political Compass offers an alternative, giving you a short questionnaire before placing you on a political grid that includes politicians and famous thinkers for reference.
Who will watch the watchers? How about Jay Rosen and his blog, PressThink? The journalism blog keeps a sharp eye out for media issues and trends, especially those pertaining to the reporting-versus-blogging debate. His latest project experiments with open-source journalism. Whether you're for, against, or in the MSM machine, PressThink is an interesting read.
Tired of listening to the same Web radio stations? Then grab your headphones and listen to other Web users' music on Radio.Blog.Club. Simply enter an artist's name or song title, click on the file name, and enjoy music from that user's playlist. And if you don't want to keep your browser open, click on Detach Radio.Blog for a standalone player. No registration required to play tracks.
You are the most frabjous Polo mint. Goodbye! (If you don't appreciate the preceding, you may not enjoy The Surrealist.)
Tastingmenu.com looks at food, specifically the appetizers of the world's great restaurants, and invites you to look at them too. You'll find pictures of table presentations and delicious plates of food in eateries that you may or may not live in proximity to or be able to afford. But sometimes it's fun just to look.
Tourfilter tracks concerts and shows in 12 major U.S. cities (plus London and Toronto) to ensure that you never miss your favorite band's gig. The site enlists trackers to keep tabs on artist lineups at scores of venues, whether small clubs or enormous stadiums. Check out the city pages for a list of upcoming shows in your area, or input your favorite bands' names to get an e-mail when they announce a nearby show.
When it takes longer to read the episode synopsis than it would've taken to actually watch the episode, you know you've found a good TV blog. TVgasm is detailed enough in its coverage of favorite TV shows that you no longer need to fret if you've missed an episode. We're split on whether it's better than Television Without Pity, but it certainly holds its own.
Valleywag reads like the celebrity blog Gawker, only take out the beautiful celebrities and insert venture capitalists, Web 2.0 geeks, and other Silicon Valley notables. The blog has the latest formal announcements and juicy gossip from deep inside the (apparently) sordid world of technology start-ups.
Wallow in other peoples' misery or revel in their victoriesWe Feel Fine lets you do both. The cool interface looks like thousands of bouncing balls, with each one representing a thought or sentiment from the blogosphere. Click on the balls to read what people are thinking, feeling, or expressing. Group hug!
By Errol Pierre-Louis
Fight the power! Indymedia, a network of more than 150 "Independent Media Center" sites, features grass-roots, non-corporate-media news from activists and journalists on every inhabited continent. Want to find the hottest protest spot? This is the place to look.
By Whitney A. Reynolds
The site's name is actually a bit of a misnomer; it's updated every weekday morning, but not always with news (though you will find the latest news headlines in the right column). The Morning News features short works of both fiction and nonfiction that range from the satirical to the serious. Highlights are the "advice" column "The Non-Expert" and the multiple "How-To" guides.
By Kyle Monson
Regret the Error is the site that takes the mainstream media to task, reprinting corrections and errors from newspapers, magazines, and other news sources. Funny headlines + media apologies = a great afternoon read.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
10x10 offers an hourly updated snapshot of the world, with the 100 pictures that matter most on a global scale. 10x10 scans a handful of reputable news sites to come up with the top 100 words and images. Clicking on the images lets you dig deeper and find the stories behind them.
Alien Loves Predator
Websites as Graphs
By Whitney A. Reynolds
His name's Abe; he's a xenomorph with acid for blood and a shiny black exoskeleton. And his name's Preston, and he's a dreadlocked killing machine with a penchant for cloaking devices. They share an apartment in New York City. Hilarity ensues! Alien Loves Predator shares the unexpected antics of this pair through action-figure-based Web comics three times a week.
By Kyle Monson
It's nothing too fancy, but this fun little flight simulator is a mash-up of Google Maps and a cartoony plane. Fly around various towns or even the Moon and Mars, and don't worry about strafing the terrain belowyour weapons have no effect.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
Couldn't make the cut for American Idol? Grab your webcam and embrace your second chance at superstardom. Gidol is an online lip-syncing competition that pits videos submitted to Google Video against one another. The winners are chosen by public voting, and if your video comes out on top you earn a spot in the Gidol Hall of Fame.
By Sarah Pike
In this fun and frustrating game, you're presented with a grid of 16 images that are the results of a Google search for images. Your goal is to guess the search term within 20 seconds. You get points for guessing right and quickly.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
The object of this addicting game is to guess the company or organization by a fragment of its logo. It's harder than it sounds. If you want to test just how well marketers have emblazoned their brand image into your mind, take one of the many tests, each with its own theme. Guess them all right and you get the honor of having your name immortalized in the LogoGame Hall of Fame. Want to improve your score? Watch more commercials.
By Kyle Monson
What does OEDILF stand for? Why, the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form, of course! Enter a word into the Limericktionary, and OEDILF returns user-submitted limericks containing the word (there are more than 30,000 in all!).
By Kyle Monson
Omnipelagos connects the dots between people, places, and even abstract ideas in a bizarre twist on the "Six Degrees of Separation" game. Enter two names or words and the site will find a link, no matter how much of a stretch. Anyone can connect Kevin Bacon and Uma Thurman, but what about connecting Kevin Bacon and the Mandelbrot set? That's tougher, but Omnipelagos.com can do it.
By Kyle Monson
Insert the URL of your favorite Web site and this nifty little applet spits out a visual representation, with different colored dots representing the Web site's various tags and links. It's not the most useful Web site around, but it sure does make some pretty conversation pieces for your cubicle.
Bad Business Bureau
By Errol Pierre-Louis
This is one discount online shopping site where you won't have to deal with any snail-mail forms and 8- to 10-week waiting times before your supposedly great deal kicks in. Antirebate.com brings you coupon codes, instant rebates, price breaks, free stuff, and other great deals you get without having to resort to mail-in rebates.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
If you've ever been victimized by a company, you know how hard and costly it can be to get retribution. The Bad Business Bureau gives consumers a way to get back at crooked companies. You can report companies who've cheated you and search thousands of other reports for free. You can also buy a DIY guide on sticking it to the scammers without hiring an attorney.
By Sarah Pike
At The Consumerist, "shoppers bite back" at businesses big and small . . . but mostly big. Amazon, Wal-Mart, and "Evil" have their own tabs at the top of the page, and AOL's been occupying front-page space quite a bit lately.
By Kyle Monson
ConsumerSearch aggregates consumer research and product reviews to give you recommendations for hundreds of product categories. Looking for the best hedge trimmer? Pickup truck? Electric toothbrush? ConsumerSearch can put you on the right track.
By Jennifer L. DeLeo
Dedicated to helping shoppers save money, DealCatcher offers online coupons and codes for DVDs, video games, and more from Dell, Amazon, Overstock, and many other retailers. You can also compare prices, receive deal alerts, and view Sunday ads.
By Whitney A. Reynolds
Finally, you can turn your knitting addiction into cold hard cash! Or, alternately, turn your compulsive spending habit into warm, fuzzy knit scarves. Etsy is a marketplace where creators and consumers of homemade crafts can easily do business.
By Erin Simon
Anyone who's wasted an hour on the phone sitting on hold or dialing through labyrinthine automated menus will appreciate the gethuman database, a simple but comprehensive list of major companies' customer-service phone numbers and the steps to take to get a real human on the phone. Press 0 and kiss that on-hold Muzak good-bye.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
Started by a group of indie rock fans tired of the iTunes and Amazons that ignore the underground scene, Insound is dedicated to the world of indie music. While you won't find the latest Justin Timberlake single, shoppers can find rare or just underexposed CDs, LPs, and even MP3s from bands and artists who break the mainstream mold.
By Jennifer L. DeLeo
Described as the "search engine for local classifieds," Oodle lets you search for apartments, electronics, concert tickets, pets, even babysitters! We found three 1950s comics for $75. Sign up for Oodle alerts to receive listings tailored to your needs. In addition, you'll discover volunteer opportunities and charities to give back to your community.
By Whitney A. Reynolds
Maybe someday you'll be brave enough to take your 100-count container of premoistened rectal pads proudly up to the drugstore counter for purchase. In the meantime, there's PrivateWay.com, a site specializing in discreet direct delivery of all of life's embarrassing necessities.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
If you love to read it, you might as well wear it. SnapShirts gives you a way to wear what you read and share it with others. Its custom shirts show off "word clouds" generated from the most frequently used words of your favorite blog, Web site, or author. The word clouds are then printed on a shirt, mug, or mouse pad of your styling, all for under 20 bucks.
By Errol Pierre-Louis
Zunafish puts a new twist on peer-to-peer sharing: Instead of swapping electronic files, you swap actual books, CDs, DVDs, and video games with other members of the Zunafish community. After creating a profile, put items up for trade and find items you'd like to trade for. When you agree to a trade, you mail the items to the address provided and your trading partner does the same, all for a dollar a trade.
Other travel sites may use Web crawlers to find the lowest fares, but Airfarewatchdog's allure is that it uses real people to bring you low fares, even ones from smaller airlines. View the Top 50 Fares, Fare of the Day, and find out the best places to sit on U.S. airlines. There's even a Travel Q&A section to provide tips on things such as rental cars, cruises, and health/safety.
Especially in these days of long airport delays and flight cancellations, FlightAware is a great tool for tracking your loved one's journey home. The site gives real-time locations for flights in the air, letting you quickly know when friends and family will actually be arriving at the gate. Or just browse to check out what today's skies look like.
Born on a flight between New York and Paris, Flight 001 aims to simplify travel shopping and planning so you can actually enjoy your trip. The site is a one-stop shop for all your travel needs, neatly organized by category: carry-on, tech-to-go, aerotherapy, and more. You can shop online or at one of its brick-and-mortar locationswhich are designed to look like the inside of a 747 cabin.
Forgotten-NY.com is your tour guide to the New York City of the past, from 18th-century cemeteries to nightlife neon. Rich photo essays and extensive info document the remnants of forgotten eras that remain just around the corner or down the street. There's no clean navigation here; just like the rambling walks it documents, the Web site is a luscious sprawl to get lost in for hours, whether or not you live in the Big Apple.
Lots of developers use Google Maps as the basis for creating new online tools. And as more and more sites publish these tools, one blogger is keeping track of it all. On Google Maps Mania, you'll find recent sites highlighted, and classics listed. So if you're looking for, say, a place to share favorite cycling routes, a mash-up using the New York City subway map, or an interactive BBC news map, you're in luck.
Gmail got off to a great starttons of buzz from the by-invitation-only beta policy and ridiculously high storage capacities that the other free mail services still struggle to keep pace with. And though it would be a bit silly to call it a beta still, the innovation hasn't stopped. Newer features such as the Gmail notifier, Toolbar search, and integration with Google Chat ensure that Gmail will stay youthful and useful for a long time to come.
Think of Handango as steroids for your phone or PDA. It provides thousands of apps, games, and mobile operating systems for download so you can soup up your mobile device with the latest software.
WebEx Meeting Center is still the gold standard in online videoconferencing, with scalable solutions for small businesses and large enterprises alike. Next time you need to meet with remote coworkers, save the plane fare and chat virtually with WebEx.
What if we told you there's a Web site that lets you send a file as large as 1GB, anytime, anywhere? Wait, don't answer. What if we told you that you could send as many copies of the file as you like? Wait, don't answer. What if we told you that it's completely free? Sound too good to be true? Toss your flash drive and check out YouSendIt.
If your job involves following markets, numbers, and charts on multiple monitors, chances are one of those monitors occasionally displays Bloomberg.com. The charts and tables on the right side of the screen let you follow the stock market in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, while the left side of the screen keeps you up to date with the latest business headlines.
BPlans is a resource for the would-be entrepreneur, providing solutions to help build and grow a business. You will find tons of practical business advice and tips, along with more than 60 free sample business plans.
We knowjust punching www.irs.gov into your browser can send chills down your spine. But the site really is useful, with FAQs, articles, and tax forms for both individuals and businesses.
It all started with pudding for the Gardner brothers; their zeal for the stock market began with their dad's chocolate pudding investment. Since then, they've spun that passion into the multimedia financial education company, The Motley Fool, committed to educating, enriching, and amusing individual investors around the world. It's all paid content, so the compelling headlines and article teases on the homepage won't take you anywhere unless you're a subscriber, but if you are, you'll be privy to some of the best financial tips on the Web.
Dice makes looking for technology jobs a bit easier, especially for tech newbies and those with less than ten years' experience in the field. And try the new beta version of Dice, with better search functionality.
Monster has an impressive number of listings, employers actually seem to receive the applications that are sent to them, and the site also has great referrals for job fairs and training events. Good thing, because it is still hard to make personal contacts through Monster.
Yahoo's HotJobs service is useful for finding jobs, saving your searches, and keeping track of your activity within each listing. And there are hundreds of thousands of jobs added daily, so there's bound to be something for you.
Windows Annoyancessounds redundant, right? Not so! This site is actually antiannoyance. Sound better now? With helpful answers and forums for Microsoft operating systems from Windows 95 through Windows Vista, Annoyances.org takes the d'oh! out of Windows.
This site provides information on high-speed Internet connections. Search for broadband connections in your area along with user reviews on the service. BroadbandReports also offers a wealth of FAQs to keep you up to speed on your high-speed connection.
A one-stop shop for technology news, reviews, blogs, podcasts, and videos, set against a mustard-yellow background. Their download page is an excellent resource for reviewing and downloading all sorts of software, music, and games.
DevX is a developer's paradise. Its tools, tips, and tutorials provide the needed resources for developers to apply new technologies and techniques, and keep projects moving smoothly.
Looking for your daily Linux fix? DistroWatch keeps you up to date on all the latest news about release announcements of Linux distributions. The site also has reviews, articles, and interviews with Linux developers.
eWeek is our sister site, bringing the same in-depth analysis, news coverage, and expert opinions to the enterprise technology industry that PC Magazine brings to consumer technology. If you're looking for info on IT, enterprise security, or how technology can improve your business, eWeek is the place to go.
What PC Magazine is to consumer tech and eWeek is to enterprise tech, ExtremeTech is to the modder community. Read reviews of the latest bleeding-edge components and PC hardware, and get info on how to make your PC faster, quieter, bigger, smaller, or anything else.
GetNetWise is dedicated to educating Internet users on how to keep themselves and their PCs safe. The site offers tips and video tutorials that teach you how to protect your privacy and keep your system clean of harmful malware. It also includes sections with information specific to kids and teens, so your whole family can be safe and savvy surfers.
Steve Gibson is the computer engineering genius behind Gibson Research Corp., which provides visitors with special projects: sophisticated software created by Gibson to strengthen your PC's security and improve system maintenance.
Billed as Google's "technology playground," Google Labs is the place to check out Google's new ideas before they enter the spotlight. Recent graduates include Google Maps and Google Desktop; current hits include Google Trends and the new Accessible Search for the visually impaired.
"Don't live to geek," says Lifehacker. "Geek to live." The part-tech, part-helpful-hints blog presents everyday tricks that will actually save you time in this computer-aidedand addledworld. Posts are always informative, however miscellaneous they seem; recent how-tos included finding a lawyer, taking good nighttime photos, and adding a Google map to any Web page in 30 seconds or less.
Please pardon us while we indulge ourselves for a moment. Thousands of articles, award-winning stories and columnists, and one of the hardest-working staffs (writers, editors, producers, developers, and more) in the businesshow could we not put ourselves in this list?
In case you didn't know, PC Magazine Online (PCMag.com) provides technology enthusiasts and buyers with the information and tools they need to make informed buying decisions based on in-depth reviews of thousands of products conducted each year in PC Magazine Labs. Our interactive site is enhanced by extensive product slide shows, product-finder engines for selecting products by attribute, and commerce links for finding the best prices. The site also features news analysis, opinion articles, and hands-on solutions articles. PCMag.com draws on the resources of PC Magazine to produce fresh content for the site and new and innovative presentations of technical information and buying advice.
SecurityFocus is a vendor-neutral PC-security site, reporting on computer vulnerabilities, the latest security threats, and how to stay safe. Click on the Vulnerabilities tab to bring up an exhaustive but timely list of the latest vulnerabilities from around the world.
More than geeks with an ax to grind (though there's plenty of that, too), Slashdot's tagline is "News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters." It's the technology blog of record, keeping the world's technorati informed of all the latest tech happenings.
SourceForge.net claims to be "the world's largest open-source software development Web site," and we can't think of any larger challengers. Browse through the enormous catalog of available open-source programs and code, and you're bound to find something useful, whether it's eMule or a MySQL admin tool.
This extensive online Web-building resource covers everything from basic HTML to advanced XML, and it's all free. Brush up on your coding skills or use its tutorials to teach yourself new Web-coding disciplines. The site also includes tips and stats to help optimize your new Web site.
Don't know the difference between SEO and SOE? Point your browser to Webopedia and look it up for yourself. Webopedia is a free online dictionary specializing in the alphabet soup of techie jargon. And click on Did You Know? to access a large collection of tips and articles for computer users of all skill levels.
Digital Photography Review combines breaking news from the digicam universe with incredibly exhaustive reviews of the latest models, from point-and-shoots to pro-level D-SLRs. The site also offers a useful buying guide to help you narrow your search to the digital camera that's just right for you.
Originally a mobile-phone news and information blog, Engadget has grown into a consumer-electronics-blogging behemoth. Besides posting the latest gadget news and rumors, the Engadget staff has become especially adept at live blogging of big events, such as Apple announcements.
Web 2.0 poster child Flickr is a sophisticated photo-sharing site with a social-networking bent. We can't decide which is our favorite feature: the ease of ordering prints, the integrated blogging support, Creative Commons licensing, RSS feeds, the intuitive navigation and clean design, or that the site offers 20MB of uploads a month and unlimited storage for free. We like it all.
The Web site for Popular Photography magazine is a veritable What's What and Who's Who in photography, with news, product reviews, and how-to articles for the photo novice and expert alike.
This photocentric site is beautifully designed, incredibly easy to use, and, in large part, free. Like other photo sites, Shutterfly makes its money by selling prints (for as low as 19 cents an image) and photo gifts, but its freebiesincluding online sharing and storage and excellent editing softwareare especially noteworthy. And Shutterfly Collections, which lets you create a free, personalized URL, is fly.
The CDC's site is a great starting point for information on diseases, allergies, injuries, vaccines, and even hypochondria. Searching is zippy and each ailment has easy-to-understand answers and statistical data.
eDiets is an online weight-loss resource that provides diet and fitness plans customized to your individual needs. The site offers tips on nutrition, mental health, and exercise, and includes community forums to support you in your weight-loss goals.
Worried that headache might be cancer? Being thirsty first thing in the morning must be a sign of something serious, right? WebMD is here to serve all you hypochondriacs out there, with information on diseases A to Z. If you actually are sick, the site also offers expert advice on treatments, finding the right doctor, and keeping yourself healthy.
The World Health Organization's objective is to help the people of the world achieve the highest level of health possible. The associated Web site offers comprehensive information on global health issues categorized alphabetically by topic, and alerts visitors of health crises in specific regions of the world.
Electronic Privacy Information Center
The Internet Public Library
Librarians' Internet Index
The Library of Congress
National Geographic Online
The Straight Dope
More practical than a typical reference site and more reliable and consistent than Wikipedia, About.com has a boatload of articles on a wide range of topics, and the whole project is overseen by a panel of expert contributors. It's easy to spend hours browsing the site and finding answers to questions you've always (or never) had.
Type in "sunscreen" and you'll be presented with not only its meaning, but also sun protection, history, translations, and buying links. Described as the world's greatest "encyclodictionalmanacapedia," Answers.com is a useful resource with over three million answers in categories such as health, technology, and history.
Need an apartment? A job? A date? All three? No matter what you seek, chances are you can find it on craigslist. Founded in San Francisco in 1995, the free online-classifieds site is now available in over 300 cities worldwide. The design is far from flashy, but function is all that matters when you've sworn off ad support. Gone are the days of circling ads in the paper. If you're looking for something, be it work or a workout buddy, check craigslist.
Impress your friends with synonyms for "grandiloquent," search the encyclopedia, or test your vocabulary with the daily crossword puzzleall at Dictionary.com. The partner site, thesaurus.com, is also worth checking out when you need that perfect adjective.
The EPIC aims to focus public attention on issues of privacy, the First Amendment, and other constitutional rights in the computer and electronic worlds. The main site provides daily updates on efforts to protect civil liberties and on measures that threaten them. Visitors can also sign up for EPIC's award-winning online newsletter.
FedStats saves you a bit of legwork by collecting the government's statistical resources into one place. You don't have to navigate through multiple government databases; FedStats narrows down your stats search to the agencies reporting the stats and key statistics you need, and you can access them right from the site.
It's the U.S. government's official Web portal, with links to, well, everything. Search for government info by topic, get answers to your business or nonprofit questions, and look up federal laws and regulations in the reference center.
You're reading PCMag.com, so it's probably safe to assume you're familiar with Google. Then again, it's probably safe to assume as much if you have a pulse. Indeed, the Internet search engine has become not only a household name, but a verb as wellMerriam-Webster added the term to its online dictionary in July. The definition? "To use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web."
From the mundane to the sublime: Learn how everything works, from batteries and Krispy Kreme bakeries to credit and debt, roller coasters, and Earth itself.
The IPL is the first public library for the Internet community. It has a huge collection of Web resources split into several broad categories, as well as the full text of over 20,000 books, available for free. And if you can't find what you're looking for, IPL's free "Ask a Question" service lets you ask its trained global staff, who will find the sources you need.
Librarians' Internet Index is a publicly funded content portal and weekly newsletter that points to an extensive collection of quality sites covering a variety of topics. You can read the newsletter by e-mail, RSS, or on its Web page, which also has a searchable database of over 20,000 entries organized into 14 main topics and nearly 300 related topics, all maintained by a stable of librarians.
The Library of Congress makes the resources of the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and world's largest library even more available to the public through its Web site. The site is organized into special feature sections covering different aspects of American history. It also offers resources to fit your specific needs and has an "Ask a Librarian" section to answer all your reference questions.
Whether it's a Mars Rover travelogue, the discovery of hydrocarbon lakes on Titan, or the latest on shuttle-launch delays, this venerable offering of the federal government remains your best personal wormhole to all of America's space-mission info.
Explore. Discover. Learn. The National Geographic Web site provides a wealth of in-depth and comprehensive information about our earthly home. Travel to ancient, once-powerful empires or learn about newly discovered plant species from the Amazon by using the site's interactive features and viewing the awe-inspiring photos.
Nolo provides do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses. The site helps regular people navigate through the legal system with easy-to-understand advice and information on topics including estate planning, retirement, taxes, housing, real estate, divorce, and child custody, as well as resources for starting and running a small business.
Wanna see if your local politician campaigns on the tobacco industry's dime? Or whom your union contributes money to? Head over to OpenSecrets, which is run by the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog that tracks money in politics and its effect on elections and public policy. OpenSecrets lets you track industries, candidates, and local and national politicians and parties so you can find exactly where the paper trail leads.
If PBS's 1,300 programs and specials haven't quenched your thirst for knowledge, PBS supplements its regular over-the-air programming with over 175,000 Web pages that allow you to delve deeper into the subject at hand.
Sick of getting ridiculous forwards that tell you some sick child will receive a dime every time you e-mail, or that the Swiffer WetJet might kill your dog? Snopes.com serves as the ultimate classy comeback. Just respond with one of the hundreds of in-depth debunkings and explanations of urban legends. And in the rare case that the legend ends up being true, you'll be keeping yourself informed on the facts.
Wondering why pigeons bob their heads when they walk? Or why prices always end in .99? Maybe you've got a burning need to find out how lava lamps work. The Straight Dope has an archive of over 30 years of answers to questions like these and more, plus an active and engaging user message board dedicated to fighting ignorance wherever it should rear its ugly head.
Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia that anyoneyes, anyonecan edit. This leads to astonishing breadth (for example, check out the page on neologisms in The Simpsons), but can introduce errors as vandals erase someone's hard work or earnest wikipedians overcorrect in search of a "neutral point of view." But so what? And so what if you'll find more information on Battlestar Galactica than on the Battle of Hastings? Sometimes you need to know which Cylon is which. As long as the good guys on Wikipedia outnumber the bad guys, it'll remain our online trivia trove of choice.
Think of anything you can use a Web site for and chances are you can do it at Yahoo!, the search engine that has burgeoned into the ultimate do-it-all portal. And the recent redesign has added a new level of personalization and Web 2.0iness to the portal's home page.
AMG All Music Guide
Arts & Letters Daily
The AMG editorial staff, along with hundreds of expert contributors, make allmusic.com one of the most comprehensive music reference sources on the planet, and one that supplies artist info and bios to some of the top music-download services. AMG goes beneath the surface to present a level of detail unmatched anywhere else and enough to keep any music fanatic satisfied.
If you're looking to nurture your intellectual side, Art & Letters Daily is the place to go. The site's bursting at the seams with links to articles, critical reviews, essays, and opinions, all with a scholarly slant. You may not belong to Mensa, but with this site in your Favorites, you can do a pretty good job pretending to be.
With over 4 million hours of TV and video content, blinkx.tv is the place to go for the latest news, entertainment, and humor clips circulating around the Web. But blinkx.tv isn't your typical search engine. It's fine-tuned to help you filter your searches, with a relevance slider to hone your search down to the exact clip you're looking for.
You can while away many a happy hour at über-blog BoingBoing, your one-stop shop for all things popular on the Internet (give or take a Goatse obsession). From goofy pictures of kids in robot costumes to erudite disquisitions on copyright and privacy, BoingBoing has its thumb on the zeitgeist, and it won't let up. And if BoingBoing's obsessions with DRM and robots start to grate on you, head over to www.xenisucks.com to indulge in a whole 'nother obsession.
Whether you're new in town or feel like rediscovering your city, Citysearch has the latest info on eateries, stores, and events across America. Find the best places to eat, drink, dance, or shop in your metro area, along with helpful insider tips from editors and users.
E! Online is total brain candy, with the latest entertainment news, photos, video clips, interviews, and polls. The site also has a database that includes any entertainment celebrity that ever walked the earth, much like IMDb. If you open The Vine, a series of trailers, interviews, and promos, you may never close it. It's a stream of entertainment that can keep you occupied all the livelong day.
Epicurious caters to every food lover's needs, with a massive database that walks you through recipes for a wide variety of delicious dishes. Aside from recipes, the site also offers cooking tutorials, tips, weekly and monthly newsletters, and feature-length articles.
When you think of sports, you think of ESPN. The cable TV network's Web site is one of the deepest and most feature-rich sports sites around. You'll find up-to-the-minute scores and analysis of your favorite sports, as well as clips, interviews, and access to fantasy leagues. Don't miss Page 2, which often focuses on the lighter side and humor in sports. Sign up with ESPN Insider ($39.95 for one year) and you get access to excusive content, such as blogs, rumors, breaking news, and more, as well as 28 issues of ESPN The Magazine.
Hungry for some Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, or Rachael Ray? Shop for branded cooking tools, view Food Network video clips, collect tons of recipes, even plan your next vacation on FoodNetwork.com. This site is sure to satisfy your cravings for delicious dish ideas.
Where can you go to watch TV-show spoofs, the latest music videos, or the 1984 commercial for Apple Computer? Now owned by Viacom, iFilm is an online video network that will keep you entertained (and maybe even grossed out) for hours. Upload your own videos if you dare.
The Kevin Bacon game (Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon) is no fun anymore, and we blame that on IMDb, the most comprehensive collection of movie and TV information online. One quick search yields all the info you need about almost any movie, TV show, actor, or director. The site also includes movie trailers, bios, memorable quotes, trivia, plot summaries, user opinions, and more.
Archiving more than just the Internet (archives are accessible via the "Wayback Machine" on the home page), the Internet Archive also includes tremendous collections of concert recordings, moving images, and much more.
McSweeney's does not bill itself as a Web site, but as an "Internet tendency," which should give you an idea of the kind of ironically erudite content you'll find here. New highbrow (or pseudo-highbrow) humor for the hipster set is posted every weekday; highlights include the lists ("Roller-Derby Pseudonyms for Literature Majors") and reviews of new food (no one likes Coke Blāk).
It's a sensory-overloading, seizure-inducing mess . . . for adults, that is. But for kids, it's like walking into a candy store. A great destination for children, tweens, or the young at heart, this active site will make any hyperactive kid look, well, calm. Nick.com is jam-packed with interactive features and games featuring popular characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants. Kids can even create their own personalized page to receive mail, news, and more.
The Web's public library, Project Gutenberg offers free e-book versions of public-domain works. A distributed staff of thousands of volunteers transcribe, proofread, convert, and translate the books, which now number over 18,000.
The Onion's parody news articles showcase a deadpan sarcasm of impressive depth and wit; odds are you've been forwarded more than a few. Though its Web site has gotten ad-heavy and publisher emeritus T. Herman Zweibel no longer editorializes on its pages, The Onion remains a stalwart provider of grade-A genuine humor.
The folks at ScienceDaily keep you up to date on a wide variety of scientific fields with the latest research news. They cover everything from recent medical findings to new cosmic discoveries, and the site aggregates gobs and gobs (and gobs) of content from the various scientific fields.
The Smithsonian Institution site has pages for its numerous museums and research centers, resources for children, information about exhibits and events, and interactive features on a wide range of topics related to science, art, and history.
Whether you're looking for tonight's TV lineup, a recap of yesterday's reality TV, or pics of post-rhinoplasty Ashlee Simpson, TV.com is a great destination. This site has local TV listings, show reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and entertainment news. It's great for all those who still harbor good ol' TV addictions.
Welcome to slang heaven. Definitions are contributed by usershence the site's slogan, "Define Your World." And there's a ton of them. On a Saturday in July, for example, the site claimed over 2,000 new entries. Go to this hilarious site, bone up on some new urban vocabulary, and then bust it out on your friends, family, and coworkers. Fo' shizzy.
There are lots of free Internet radio services out there, and even lots of personalized music services. But the customizable LaunchCast service on Yahoo! Music is accompanied by a great music download service and an incredible catalog of music videos you can stream for free.
BBC News features comprehensive, global coverage in quite a few different languages. Sort your news by continent, or just take in the loads of information presented on the site's news portal page. Read the page with a British accent to give the news that extra voice of authority.
As James Earl Jones so eloquently puts it, CNN is "still the most trusted name in news." The site is a go-to for national and international news on a wide range of topics with vid-eos, photos, and a list of the most popular stories of the day.
National news with a voice, literally. NPR.com includes audio clips of featured stories, as well as straight news coverage and blogs on national stories. Listen to archives, order transcripts, and link to your local NPR station for talk radio from your own area. The national radio cast can also be streamed online with Real Player or Windows Media Player.
A recent site redesign made the already user-friendly NYTimes.com much better by integrating blogs, video and multimedia presentations, reader feedback, links to the most blogged and e-mailed pages, and much more. With this redesign, the Times sets the standard for the electronic newspaper of tomorrow. Now if only they'd get rid of the TimesSelect program...
Even the horribly misguided site redesign and seemingly less copious content can't keep us away from Salon.com, even if we have to watch a brief ad first. The left-leaning site still shows flashes of brilliance, though these days, those are more often on the entertainment and lifestyle side than on the national and international news front.
Slate tends to take a contrarian, intelligent, almost-too-clever approach to hard news, soft news, and not-news-at-all news, and the formula makes for an enjoyable read on topics both important and mundane. The "related in Slate" links at the bottom of each article will keep you browsing the site all day.
1up is like the cool, hip big brother to other gaming Web sites. It has everything you ex-pect from a gaming sitenews, reviews, previews, cheat codes, walkthroughs, and bloated flash interface! What sets 1up apart is its large user community. You'll find blogs written by game journalists, regular gamers, and industry insiders, giving you a full picture of the gaming world.
Some genius applied the Netflix business model of home-delivery rentals with no late fees to video games, and lazy gamers everywhere rejoiced. GameFly offers game rental for all major consoles, including a back library of some older and more obscure games.
Everybody! Everybody! Use your powers for good and for awesome by checking out the short flash cartoons on this site. Come for the Strong Bad Emails, stay for Thy Dungeonman 3.
You're sitting in a coffee shop, minding your own business, when suddenly you hear someone at the next table over say "Quite frankly, I'd rather be pole dancing." You don't know the context, but you know you have to tell someone about this. Overheard in New York is devoted to this phenomenon, giving you all of the weirdness you'll hear in New York City with none of the actually-having-to-ride-the-subway stuff.
If you haven't checked out Yahoo! Games in a while, you might want to give it a visit. Ya-hoo!'s a lot more than solitaire and checkers. With Yahoo! Games you can entertain your-self with a whole slew of online fun: board games, arcade games, word games, as well as games you can download to your computer and phone. Check it out and see if you can school your coworkers in a round of Scrabble.
Chances are you already have a discarded brown box with this company's logo somewhere in your house. Amazon.com is not only the world's biggest bookstore, but it's quickly becoming the world's biggest anything store as well. And now you can even buy groceries! Who wants ham?
eBay is the biggest marketplace on the Web, putting you in touch with sellers from around the globe vending just about anything you could ask for. You can search for rare items, place bids, or set up your own online shop. Who knows, maybe the junk in your attic is actually worth something to someone!
Netflix is the popular DVD rental service that brings a catalog of over 60,000 titles to your home. There's no shipping cost or late fees. Create your list of DVDs, keep the ones you have for as long as you want, then return a viewed movie to receive the next title on the list. And besides the excellent service, the Web site is clean, informative, and able to guide you to movies you'll be interested in.
One company's overproduced products are another company's treasures. Overstock.com doesn't sell the stuff that fell off the back of the truck, though; this site offers brand-name merchandise, such as jewelry, apparel, and electronics, at up to 80 percent savings. Plus, orders always ship for just $2.95.
Shopping.com, a spinoff from eBay, is one of the pioneers of comparison shopping online. With millions of products, thousands of merchants, and millions of reviews, it gives you all the tools you need to make informed buying decisions.
Surprise.com is a collection of gift ideas categorized by recipient, occasion, gift type, hobbies, and party supplies, sold through hundreds of different online retailers. White-elephant gifts and quirky gadgets are well represented, and you're guaranteed to find a gift idea you wouldn't have thought of yourself.
Techbargains is the place to shop for high-tech systems without paying high-tech prices. The site provides visitors with daily updated listings of links to get the best deals on desktops, notebooks, digital cameras, iPods, and whatever else your tech-hungry heart desires but your wallet can't afford.
Your one-stop shopping emporium for all your geeky needs. If you find yourself needing a T-shirt covered in binary, a bar of caffeinated soap, a USB-powered beverage cooler, or any number of nerdy accessories, ThinkGeek is for you.
This travel site makes planning, researching, and booking your vacation a breeze. Its simple interface makes it easy to coordinate your flight, hotel, and rental car service for your trip, and the site offers great deals so you won't come home broke.
When it comes to online mapping, Google Maps is the best (true thatdouble true!) app on the Web. Faster than both Mapquest and Yahoo! Maps, which send slow-loading full-size maps from the server to your computer, Google Maps saves time by creating its clickable, draggable maps in pieces on the server, then assembling them on your screen. Each time you drag to a new spot on the map, it just sends another piecethere's no waiting for the page to reload.
Travel is expensive! Orbitz makes it a little less painful. This easy-to-use site features competitive pricing on flights, hotels, car rentals, and full vacation packages. Flight choices are displayed in an easy-to-scan table, sorted by price and number of stops. You can also sign up for convenient mobile alerts about flight delays and other information and share them with others.