Monday 30 November 2009

World Digital Library has a virtual museum of cultural treasures such as manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

It can be viewed in a variety of languages including Russian, Arabic and Chinese - click on the thumbnails to find details about each piece, videos and articles.

My only gripe is that there is no forward and back button on the details page itself, so use the browser back button to navigate the site.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Big Earth

From the producers of travel show Long Way Down, aims to serve as a stop-off point for adventurers.

The site is neatly divided along three fronts: Plan, Share and Discover. Each category is intended to aid travellers on their journeys, offering maps and information about vaccinations, vehicle maintenance and taking photos on the go.

There are also tips and advice from seasoned explorers and a growing community of travellers’ blogs from all corners of the world. If you’re planning something a bit more adventurous than lying on a beach, Big Earth is worth dropping by.

Saturday 28 November 2009

This Is My Joystick

Some gaming websites are too elitist to be enjoyable, but pushes all the right buttons.

It delivers daily news, reviews and in-depth editorials, which are written in an authoritative but friendly manner that conveys real enthusiasm for all things game-related. Particularly good are the podcasts, in which the team discuss the latest releases, reveal what they’re playing and gossip among themselves.

We also like the fact that the Twitter feed and user comments are integral to the site’s sense of community, rather than seeming like an afterthought. With a mobile version to boot, This Is My Joystick has plenty of potential

Friday 27 November 2009


Speedfan is a useful little application that helps you monitor the temperature, voltage and fan speeds inside your PC. Find it at

This app allows you to manually control the speed of the fans, so you can speed them up or slow them down depending on what you are doing.

Also, you can set your machine to look for events, such as CPU or GPU overheating, and to warn you with a beep or pop-up message.

Take a look at the Articles section for an in-depth overview of the features

Thursday 26 November 2009

Craftbits is a hobbyist's dream, crammed full of great projects, ideas and instructions. Project categories are listed on the left - or you can perform a search if you know what you are looking for.

They all use commonly available materials, and in many cases help you to recycle your old stuff into glorious gifts.

There are plenty of videos to watch if you prefer to be guided, and if you sign up for free membership you can save the projects you like and even submit your own ideas to help contribute to the site's content. It is a pretty popular place to visit with around 13,000 people clicking on these pages every day.

Wednesday 25 November 2009


This is a site we touched on briefly a while ago but since then it has become a wealth of informastion.

Take a look at and see for yourself that this leading health website has relaunched with a wealth of new information and advice, and an easier to navigate layout.

In addition to the existing content, NetDoctor has introduced a range of helpful features including informative videos, virtual health and wellbeing centres where you can quickly diagnose symptoms, and enhanced chat forums that give you a better chance of finding help with your condition.

The site continues to provide trusted advice from doctors and health practitioners across Europe and its fresh-looking, user-friendly redesign makes all the information more readily accessible. NetDoctor is an invaluable resource for everyone.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Coffee Cavern is where connoisseurs will appreciate the distinct aroma of this site, which sells a variety of specialty coffees and loose-leaf teas.

These include blends from Africa and the Caribbean, as well as English favourites such as Earl Grey and Darjeeling. The tasteful brown design is complemented by a simple ordering process that lets you select the grind and weight of your coffee and request a free sample of most teas.

Join the Coffee Club for £9.95 per month to get coffee samples too, along with access to a members’ discussion forum and discounts. And if you want to get more from your beverages, the site also sells a range of syrups.

Monday 23 November 2009

Simonseeks is a holiday community where travellers share information and advice about their favourite destinations.

This travel-recommendation service provides both expert and user-submitted advice about places all over the world.

Its star attractions are the guides penned by celebrities, such as Cliff Richard waxing about Barbados, and pieces from professional travel writers.

The style and tone of the site is friendly and accessible, and it’s a great source of tips and inspiration, although we’d like to see more photo and video content. Also, Simonseeks pays for the reviews it publishes to give you some cash towards your next holiday.

Sunday 22 November 2009


Is there ever a good time to run to the bathroom in the middle of a movie?

According to , there is.

With the latest releases listed on the homepage, if you are heading out to the cinema tonight you can log on here first and check when is a good time to "go".

There is a helpful graphic timeline with pee-spots marked and triggers supplied. There is even an explanation of what you will be missing in the box below, though you need to click "unscramble" to read it as there are obviously spoilers included.

Print out the timeline, or if you want to get really serious about your bathroom habits and you have an iPhone, you can download the app from iTunes for 59p in the UK, though I am not sure that having a pee calculator on your handset is the smartest thing to tell your mates about.

Saturday 21 November 2009


Things are not always what they seem. If that is true of life then it is especially true of the internet and at you will find oodles of examples, both classic and contemporary.

The way our brains process information can occasionally be misleading. Mighty Optical Illusions is a blog that lays bare those cunning cognitive confusions that have you blinking at the screen.

There is a breadth and variety of content on the site. We are not just talking about traditional illusions which fool the brain with spirals and squiggles and intersecting lines, there is also a good selection of pictures, images, animations and even audio files from all over the web which will make you go - eh?

There is a links panel with categories for ease of navigation, or you can just cycle through the illusions randomly. There is also a good explanation with all the illusions.

Friday 20 November 2009

TV Cream

After 11 years without a redesign, this television-nostalgia site was looking as dated as the programmes it covers.

Now TV Cream has been completely revamped to make it bigger, brighter and better than ever, with a new web address to boot. As well as browsing the comprehensive index of classic TV shows, you can read the witty blog, watch videos of ancient adverts and chat about Seventies and Eighties culture in the forums.

I particularly like the guide to former Radio 1 DJs and round-up of classic Blue Peter moments.

There are shiny new elements such as RSS feeds, Spotify playlists and user comments, this fantastic celebration of the past has a promising future.

We have reviewed this site before and it was well worth another review. The web address you need is . Go check it out

Thursday 19 November 2009

Maps of War

The creators of are clearly fascinated by how various historical events linked to the act of war are connected. To show these connections they have made a number of flash animation maps.

There are a couple of examples on the opening page, but you can click "maps" to get the full listing. It is really interesting to see the way world events have played out and it only took a couple of minutes. The maps are nicely made and really clear - even for the non-history buff.

As well as having its own selection of maps, if you click the link to the library section you will find links to many other maps of war from all over the web.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Good Beach Guide

Do the words ‘British seaside’ conjure up images of shingle, sewage and safety concerns, crying kids and dying sealife?

Take a look at this site could either confirm or disprove your preconceptions.

It’s been relaunched to deliver the results of a recent survey of UK beaches by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which it does in the form of a Google map. The 370 beaches recommended by the MCS for excellent water quality are marked with yellow pins; those that didn’t make the grade have red pins.

Each marker is accompanied by a description, photograph and details, such as whether the beach is lifeguard-protected. It’s an excellent idea but the execution is rather dull and there are glaring gaps in many of the entries.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

If you fancy getting your hands on a Sony PS3 for £25 or an iPod Shuffle for under a tenner, give a go.

At this reverse-auction site, the prices of lots go down rather than up. Bids are bought in bundles of 20 to 200, and cost from 25p each.

When you place a bid, the price of the item drops by a penny and another eight seconds is added to the auction time, which could seriously test your patience.

Ilike the site’s streamlined design, simple bidding system and free delivery, but it will need to add more auctions if it wants to compete with similar sites.

Monday 16 November 2009

I stop over is for people with a spare room can register on this site to offer accommodation to holiday makers, backpackers or even business travellers.

Lodgers set their rates and availability, and anyone interested can negotiate and make arrangements through the site.

The rental is only released to the hosts after the visit is over, and the site takes a 9% fee for the service.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Counter Measures

This well written blog will keep you updated on the dangers lurking around the internet, including the latest hacks, bugs and potential scams. is written by the CEO of an internet security firm, so it is on the pulse of all the issues we face online.

There is down to earth advice about how to keep your data safe, as well as broad-minded opinion pieces on anything and everything tech.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Wild Mood Swings

Internet users can now surf a multitude of different websites based on the mood they are in. Go to and there is an impressive number of moods with each one linking out to one other site.

Just pick a mood from the drop down box and an appropriate website to fit your state of mind will pop up.

There's not much to this site in itself, but whoever made it has really done a good job of hunting out some great content to put behind the moods.

Friday 13 November 2009

Cs4f was created by Queen Mary University in London to persuaded us that computer science is fun.

Content is king on this site, which likens programming to conjuring magic tricks. There is a really nice downloaded file of a book of tricks you can learn at home.
Plus, the blog-style entries listed by date or topic show you how to turn computer science into a game.

The site reinforces the idea that understanding computers is about understanding people as much as making the maths work.

Thursday 12 November 2009

InStyle is the magazine has given its website a makeover, bestowing it with a bolder, fresher look and expanding its content.

Notable new features include a dedicated Hair channel, which keeps you up to date with the latest product news and styles, and lots more videos.

These include beauty how-tos and behind-the-scenes footage of cover shoots and red carpet events. Clothes junkies will be pleased to know the site has kept its ever-popular Shopping section, with 1,000s of items available to browse through with ease.

You’ll also find competitions, fashion tips and celebrity interviews, all of which is now much easier to comb your way through.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Parentdish UK delivers a healthy dose of news, advice and opinions for mums and dads, covering such diverse topics as the best time to conceive, how to dress your baby and making kids earn their pocket money.

A busy, blog-like layout packs in a wealth of content and cleverly uses a baby-blue-and-pink colour scheme.

While it’s a shame that many of the articles and galleries have to be tied to celebrities, a glance at the list of most-popular posts suggests that’s exactly what people want.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

National Gallery

Squinting at JPEGs has never been the best way to appreciate works of art, but we're impressed with the National Gallery's online home.

|At You can browse the gallery’s entire collection of more than 2,300 paintings in high definition, using the full-screen zoom facility to examine fine details and brushstrokes. An interactive floor plan and events calendar let you plan a visit in advance, while a selection of 30 must-see paintings highlights such masterpieces as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Despite the addition of reams and audio and video content, including a monthly podcast, the site remains impressively quick and easy to navigate, and there’s even an iPhone app to give you a culture fix on the move. Sterling stuff.

Monday 9 November 2009


The media is often criticised for presenting a distorted view of society with fashion magazines and Sunday supplements crammed with images of impossibly beautiful people.
But they are not as perfect as they look. lays bare the tricks and chets used in photographic publishing, showing you what those picture perfect models looked like before the touch-up artist got involved.
Drawing from a number of online sources where before and after photographs are displayed, this site uses an open source tool called Processing to compare the images pixel by pixel and generate visualizations of the alterations.

Waists are sucked in, chests pumped out. Lines and shadows smoothed and removed.

There is even one lady who has had an eye shifted up - all in the pursuit of creating the illusive perfect beauty.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Cyber Mentors

The Internet can be a worrying place for children, especially when you hear stories about online bullying. is a UK charity and a community where children can get support and advice from other children, as well as trained professionals - whether they are experiencing problems online or out in the physical world.

The young volunteers who make up the cyber mentor fellowship have all been trained by the charity to be children's first port of call if they feel they cannot talk about their problems with a grown-up.

They will support and encourage youngsters - urging them to go to a parent or teacher - but there are also councillors available to deal with any serious issues.
Since the site went live a few months ago they have helped 70,000 children, and have just trained up their 1,000th volunteer.

Users need to register to talk to a mentor, and they do ask for some details about your mobile phone, which the site's creators say is not used for marketing purposes - just their own internal research.

Saturday 7 November 2009


Football fans can now discuss tackles, tactics and transfers Twitter-style at this kicking site. adopts the micro-blogging format, but expands the maximum length of posts from 140 characters to 500.

It also lets you rate other members’ updates by awarding them ‘respect’, with the most interesting posts promoted on the homepage for everyone to read. Despite its gloomy black-and-blue design, the site looks good and works well.

I particularly like the ‘pundit of the month’ league table, the option to filter content by team and the ability to reply and link directly to posts. Now all Goalpostr needs is a few more users.

Friday 6 November 2009

Just Eat is there if you can’t be bothered to cook but you’ve binned all your takeaway flyers, check out this revamped site. lets you order meals online from more than 2,500 UK restaurants, each of which now has its own profile page.

Here you’ll find details of opening times, minimum order value and location, plus user reviews and that all-important menu.

You can save your favourite restaurants and meals for future reference and collect loyalty points to turn into food vouchers.

As well as beefing up its content, has a tasty new design with a larger search box. It’s a site to savour!

Thursday 5 November 2009


Take a look at and as an online shopper should find this site an invaluable bookmark. Not only does compare the prices of products and services across the web, eComparison also sources the latest voucher codes and cashback deals from thousands of big-name online stores.

A colourful, well-organised layout gives you easy access to comparison categories such as Money, Gas & Electricity and Shopping, and there’s an alphabetical Brands Directory you can comb for discounts for specific companies. Although currently lacking customer reviews, eComparison certainly has bags of potential. You can earn £5 for registering with the site and £5 for each friend you refer.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

I Love Travel

Take a look at . If you want to go on holiday somewhere different but have no idea where, give this site a try.

It features a dedicated ‘inspiration tool’ that helps you find the perfect destination based on your travel preferences.

You can specify the type of trip you’re looking for, how far you’re willing to travel and the type of activities you’d like to engage in, and will tell you its recommendations.

Alternatively, you can choose a place from the drop-down menu to view more details. The site features some great deals on an eclectic range of destinations worldwide, but it’s a shame that you only submit enquiries rather than actually booking your dream holiday online

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Wix has some impressive flash templates that could help spruce up your own site.
View the templates before picking one, then change the text and pictures, and have a play around with animations and effects.

Preview the pages to check your creation, and hit publish to get a URL where people can view your site.

There are premium upgrades for cash if you want to rid yourself of adverts and get more pages and features.

Monday 2 November 2009

IrfanView is the address you need. Irfanview is a super-fast and simple freeware image viewer and editor which supports all major graphic formats.

We looked at the site at the start of 2008, but there have been some good additions to the software since.

As well as the simple and quick editing features, you can download the add-on pack with some free extras as long as it is for non-commercial use.

These include direct FTP, e-mail tagging from the thumbnail viewer, running slide shows and doing batch conversions.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Nasa TV

This site came back to my attention recently when it broadcast live coverage of the space shuttle Atlantis mission to upgrade the Hubble space telescope.

Take a look at The event had audio from the voice communication channel between astronauts and mission control, and some commentary explaining what was happening.
Clips and highlights from various NASA missions can be found on their website.

If you are a Twitter fan, you might be interested to learn that astronaut Mike Massimino has made history by sending the first ever "tweets" from space.