Websites of Internet Services

Web Tools

WebQuest: A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The model was developed in early 1995 at San Diego State University by Bernie Dodge with Tom March. The website provides training materials and a large collection of WebQuests.

Filamentality: This website, created by SBC Pacific Bell, helps teachers create and post a web-based learning page. You don't need to know any HTML and you can go back and edit it at any time. Filamentality helps you pick a topic, provides web searching tips, lets you use "fill-in-the-blanks" to gather good Internet sites, guides you with interactive pages that help you shape your ideas around whatever specific goal you have, and then, gives you your very own web page on the Internet.

Quia Web is one of the world's most popular educational technology websites. It pioneered the "create-your-own" concept, giving teachers the ability to create customized educational software online, built around their own course materials and made available to students over the Web. The idea proved so popular that more than 300,000 teachers have registered to use the service. Quia provides templates for creating 14 different types of online activities, including flashcards, matching, concentration (memory), word search, hangman, jumbled words, ordered list, picture perfect, pop-ups, challenge board, scavenger hunt, rags to riches (a quiz-show style trivia game), columns, and cloze exercises. Quia also includes a directory of thousands of online activities and quizzes in more than 50 subject areas.

Hot Potatoes is a suite of programs published by Victoria University and Half-Baked Software. Teachers use the Hot Potatoes programs to create educational materials, especially exercises and tests. The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, crossword, matching/ordering, jumbled-sentence and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is not freeware, but it is free of charge for non-profit educational users who make their pages available on the web.

Question Tools: Marking questions by hand is a time-consuming, expensive and sometimes inaccurate process. Question Tools will automatically mark tests and exams for you. Students and trainees can receive immediate and accurate feedback on their performance. Question Tools is a software suite that allows anyone with a Windows PC to create on-line tests and exams. The suite comprises: SimpleSet (a free and easy to use question editor), Exam (a free and secure alternative to delivering tests in a web browser), Editor (a professional’s tool for creating and editing questions), Results Analyser (for dealing with group results) and Server (for delivering tests over intranets and the internet).

Puzzlemaker: Puzzlemaker is a puzzle generation tool for teachers, students and parents. It includes Word Search (type in a list of words and the computer will hide them in a grid of letters), Criss-Cross Puzzle (your list of words will be linked together, numbered and formatted, ready for you to print and hand out), Number Blocks (creates a block of numbers that will challenge arithmetic and algebra skills), Cryptograms (enter a phrase and the computer will assign a number to each letter) and Math Square (math formulas are linked together to form a square).

Word Search Factory is designed to help you quickly and easily create professional looking word search puzzles to provide your students with the extra vocabulary and spelling practice they need in a format that they will find enjoyable. You can choose from a wide variety of grid sizes and word orientations for your word search puzzle. Then simply print as many copies of the puzzle as you require, along with the automatic answer key.

Webmonkey: This website has been teaching people how to build websites of their own since 1996. If you intend to create a website, then this is the right place to visit. Information is organised under Authoring (HTML Basics, Tables, Frames, Browsers, Tools, Stylesheets, DHTML, XML); Design (Site Building, Graphics, Fonts); Multimedia (Audio/MP3, Shockwave/Flash, Video, Animation); Programming (JavaScript, Java, ASP, PHP, ColdFusion, Perl/CGI); Backend (Databases, Apache/XSSI, Unix, Security, Networks, Protocols, Jobs).

InvisionFree: This website provides free notice boards to individuals, groups, or businesses. InvisionFree installs the board for you. You don't need to use ftp or know how to cope with MySQL. InvisionFree runs on custom server software built to run fast and run stable. InvisionFree is pop-up free and has no plans to ever use pop-up ads. InvisionFree's dedication to providing top notch support and the freedom to create the board you want make InvisionFree an interesting alternative even to paid hosts. Why pay for a service when you can find just as good if not better for free?

Quandary is an application for creating Web-based Action Mazes. An Action Maze is a kind of interactive case-study; the user is presented with a situation, and a number of choices as to a course of action to deal with it. On choosing one of the options, the resulting situation is then presented, again with a set of options. Working through this branching tree is like negotiating a maze, hence the name "Action Maze". Action mazes can be used for many purposes, including problem-solving, diagnosis, procedural training, and surveys/questionnaires.

IP Tools Course Journal: This course will enable students to create eLearning contents for their own students and after the course they will be able to use this material and contents in their own classes and courses. Participants can create their eLearning modules on any learning platform they have access to. For those who do not have any platform available will get access to eJournal and they also get training and guidance for implementing their eLearning contents. One of the objectives of the course is the introduction to ICT and international projectwork.

EMail

Mail2web: Recent research claims that 14% of emails contain viruses or spam. It is therefore sensible to delete offending items on the server. Mail2web is an Internet based email client that allows you to pick up your email from almost any POP3 or IMAP4 email server. You simply enter your email address and password to access your inbox. You can then read, reply and forward your messages. No registration is required to access this application that has been developed, maintained and supported by SoftCom Technology Consulting Incorporated, a global leader in reliable and cost effective Internet based services.

E-mail Anywhere: This free service lets you check your existing email account using a standard web browser. You can use it to keep in touch from anywhere with access to the Internet. You can read any messages waiting for you, send replies, and delete unwanted items from your Inbox. The only thing you need to use the service is an active POP3 email account. This includes virtually all email accounts provided by internet service providers, schools and universities.

Brightmail: According to Brightmail spam now accounts for 40 percent of all email, up from eight percent last year. The company’s statistics indicates that more than 5.5 million unsolicited emails were intercepted during November, three percent more than in October. The research also reveals that 15 percent of unsolicited email is of a pornographic nature, while financial services mail accounts for 32 percent of all spam. Product advertising accounted for 29 percent of all unsolicited email sent during November 2002, according to the filtering firm.

MailWasher allows you to preview multiple accounts and all aspects of your e-mails before you download them. It also allows you to delete and bounce e-mails back to the originator. The sender will receive an e-mail saying the address was unknown. Another feature helps identify and mark e-mail as normal, virus, possibly virus, possibly spam, probably spam, chain letter, and blacklisted, so you can deal with the e-mail as you wish. Other features are comprehensive customizable filters, use of MAPS RBL to identify spammers, multiple accounts, visual and auditory notification of new e-mail, minimization to system tray, and much more. It is compatible with POP3 servers. This is a full version with no restrictions, but donations are gladly accepted.

YouEMAIL is an email that provides good looking graphic emails that say who you are and what you like. All accounts are free and easy to use. If you register by the 27th September you will receive a free graphic. The graphics available cost no more than what you pay for mobile ring-tones and graphics.

Email Filtering: Imagine checking your email and only receiving messages that you want. No more junk and no more viruses. This is the service that Email Filtering offers. This English-based company scans your email and removes viruses and junk mail before they reach your computer, and you do not need to change your email address or install any software. The service costs £21 a year.

Message-Labs: It is estimated that each day 11 million spam emails are sent worldwide. That is a five-fold increase since 2000. Recent research by the email security company Message-Labs, suggests that the average employee spends up to 10% of the working day reading and deleting spam. According to the European Commission the problem costs £6.4bn a year in connection charges and lost productivity. The situation is unlikely to change as direct-mail costs 200 times more per person than an email campaign. The cost of email addresses is so low that these campaigns only need a 0.01 success rate to become profitable.

GLWebMail XT: Gordano LTD, an International Internet Messaging software developer, recently announced new features to its GLWebMail XT service. It now includes a program to eliminate spam at the user level and the addition of personal calendars and alarms. All message processing within GLWebMail XT remains active whether or not the user is logged on. When used as a consolidator, GLWebMail XT can collect mail from external POP/IMAP accounts. Thus, unwanted mail sent to those accounts can also be removed before reaching the user’s inbox.

Free eMail Guide: Free webbased pop3 readers are new online services, which allow Internet users with a pop3 or imap email account to read, reply, forward and create messages everywhere in the world. These free webbased pop3 readers give you the same functionality as your email program at home. One of the advantages of these services is that you don't have to create a 'new' email account to get access to your email on the web. This way your friends and business relations can reach you anywhere on the same email address.

SpamCop: Junk e-mail, also known as spam (inspired by the monotonous repetition of the word in the Monty Python song), is a growing problem for web users. SpamCop's original spam reporting service will help you report spam quickly and accurately. You can choose from a variety of filtering options ranging from the easiest web-mail account to advanced network-wide spam blocking.

Schoolzmail is Internet based, all you need to use it is Internet access and a browser (explorer or Netscape), no need for hardware or software updates. It is multilingual, allowing partnerships with other schools worldwide and giving eligibility for Comenius funding. The school has complete control over the level of monitoring & filtering for all students & within all areas. These can be changed as required during the year. The account price includes full e-community building tools such as chat, discussion and file sharing across the school, and even with other schools where required. Again the school itself decides whether these are set up and how to monitor them.

IncrediMail: Have you ever found that the common task of sending and receiving emails is dull, redundant and tedious? Ever wanted to send emails that look livelier than standard emails? Would you like to add some thrill and experience to your email, a message that goes beyond text? IncrediMail will easily give you all that and much more and it's free and can be downloaded from its website.

ASRG: The Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG) focuses on the problem of unwanted email messages, loosely referred to as spam. The scale, growth, and effect of spam on the Internet have generated considerable interest in addressing this problem. Once considered a nuisance, spam has grown to account for a large percentage of the mail volume on the Internet. This unwanted traffic stands to affect local networks, the infrastructure, and the way that people use email. The purpose of the ASRG is to understand the problem and collectively propose and evaluate solutions to the problem. The work of the ASRG will also include investigating techniques to evaluate the usefulness and cost of proposed solutions. Usefulness is described by the effectiveness, accuracy, and incentive structure of the system. The cost of the system refers to the burden imposed on users and operators of the communications system. These costs include any changes to the normal use of the system or actual changes in the monetary costs of using the system. The group will investigate evaluation infrastructures such as public trace data archives and research tools to measure and analyze the problem and the solutions.

CorpusMail: A web-based email service enables you read off the Web, using Internet browsers like Netscape or Internet Explorer. You can read your e-mail anywhere in the world, for example in airports, or in public libraries, any where you can access the Internet. You do not need to own a connection to the Internet to have a web-based e-mail, and there's no software to download, install or configure. This free service provides filters where unwanted or important e-mail messages can sent to a specific folder, to the trash or to a different address.

Yahoo Email: With Yahoo! Mail, you have access to your email from any Internet-connected computer in the world. Whether you are at a cafe, in a library, at work or at home, with Yahoo! Mail, your email address is the same and your account is accessible from all locations. In addition, you can use your Yahoo! Mail account to access mail sent to your other email accounts (such as a work or home account) by using our External Mail feature. Spamguard is a proprietary system is intended to radically reduce the amount of spam you receive in your inbox. Spamguard is designed to direct most spam to your Bulk Mail folder, to help you better manage your mail.

Mailwhiper: It is estimated that 70 percent of all e-mail today can be classified as junk mail or "spam", according to research firm eMarketer. The problem is that it's a huge waste of your time, it's an invasion of your privacy, and worse, some junk mail is plain disgusting and ugly. MailWiper carefully checks your incoming mail before it reaches your email program. MailWiper knows who your friends are and what mail you do want, by utilizing a highly sophisticated matrix of intelligent stealth email id's that cannot be processed by email servers or computers. All of this takes place in the transparent MailWiper software engine, so you don't have to lift a finger.

Singlefin: Founded in March of 2001, Singlefin is a leading provider of e-mail protection services. Singlefin offers state of the art services that block spam and viruses as well as protect an organization's entire e-mail infrastructure. The company has a 98% efficiency rate to block spam and 100% when companies opt to utilize their permission based e-mail system. Viruses are blocked at the gateway and junk mail is held offsite as to not affect the client's critical networks.

Colours on the Web: Knowing the names of the most common colours can be very useful, especially if you do web design more professionally. Clients usually do not tell you what colours they want as a hex or as a pantone (though sometimes the latter happens) but they give you names such as plum, tan or lavender. And though you think you know what those colours look like, you might find it hard to define them as an exact colour on a computer screen. This list is dynamic, and is updated constantly by users. If you wish to add your own definition to a colour, simply click on the 'add definition' button, and follow the instructions.

SUNET: The main goal of this website is to encourage the use of net-based meetings (simultaneous communication between two or more participants over an IP-based network). Created by the Swedish University Computer Network (SUNET) its aim is to enable people to use net-based meeting solutions (typically, but not exclusively video conferencing) as easily as possible. Much of what is presented is specific in nature, and applies to the SUNET environment.

Computer Viruses: This useful article by Graham Davies of Camsoft provides an introduction to the essential security measures you need to take in order to protect your computer against viruses and other intrusions. There are sections on Antivirus Software, Hoax Viruses, Attachments, Holes in Windows, Firewall Software, Antivirus Software, Known Viruses, Recent Virus Threats, Spam, Adware and Spyware. There is also information on useful articles on Internet security.

Gmail: As part of Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, it is testing an email service called Gmail. Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service that includes 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. The backbone of Gmail is a powerful Google search engine that quickly recalls any message an account owner has ever sent or received. That means there's no need to file messages in order to find them again. When Gmail displays an email, it automatically shows all the replies to that email as well, so users can view a message in the context of a conversation. There are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail, which places relevant text ads and links to related web pages adjacent to email messages.

Applications

Ask Jeeves Mini Searchbar: Ask Jeeves is one of the most popular search engines on the Web. Recently it launched its Mini Jeeves Searchbar. It claims it "is the fastest and easiest way to get the information you want, when you want it, from anywhere on the Web". The Mini Jeeves Searchbar is free to download and appears every time you open a new Internet Explorer window. The toolbar also includes a very good dictionary and thesaurus.

Google Toolbar: The new Google Toolbar increases your ability to find information from anywhere on the web and takes only seconds to install. When the Google Toolbar is installed, it automatically appears along with the Internet Explorer toolbar. This means you can quickly and easily use Google to search from any website location, without returning to the Google home page to begin another search. The Google Toolbar is available free of charge and includes several great features: Google Search (access Google's search technology from any web page); Search Site (search only the pages of the site you're visiting); PageRank (see Google's ranking of the current page) Page Info (access more information about a page including similar pages, pages that link back to that page, as well as a cached snapshot); Word Find: (find your search terms wherever they appear on the page).

GoToMyPC: Expertcity is a leading provider of Web-based remote-access and customer-support technologies. Expertcity's remote-access solution, GoToMyPC™, enables both consumers and enterprises to remotely access and work on their PCs from any Internet location. GoToMyPC is a consumer service that gives individuals unlimited access to their computers from any Web browser anywhere and enables them to conveniently and securely access email, files, programs and network resources from home or the road.

Sygate Personal Firewall: A firewall is a piece of software that monitors all incoming network traffic and allows in only the connections that are known and trusted. Without a firewall, your computer is operating under an "open door" policy. Port 80 is open so that you can browse web pages, port 1863 allows you to engage in instant messaging with friends whereas port 443 gives access to secure web pages used by online merchants to encrypt purchases. Sygate Personal Firewall is software that provides a multi-layered shield of network, content, application, and operating system security. There is a free version available from its website.

Zone Alarm is probably the most popular free firewall on the Internet. Bank account information, passwords, credit card numbers and documents are all available to anyone with bad intentions and basic computer skills. Hackers can get in, take what they want, and even leave open a "back door" so they can turn your computer into a "zombie" and use it to attack other computers. Every minute that your computer is connected to the Internet, either through a dial-up (modem) connection or through a broadband (DSL or cable) service, it is at risk.

Security Scan: The BlackCode Security Scan is an online tool which makes an exhaustive test on your computer or firewall searching for open ports. After completing the well known port numbers scan, the BlackCode Security Scan will proceed to scan your system for possible trojan infections. This scan is made using a Trojan database with more that 1500 different trojans and worms.

Cleanfeed is a high-quality, pre-filtered broadband Internet connection. It eliminates the problems associated with delivering the Internet to vulnerable users and public environments, such as schools, libraries and the workplace. Features include fast Internet, download at speeds up to 40 times faster than a modem; high-quality web content classification and blocking, built-in web page and download accelerator, core network technology - centrally hosted and managed, zero administrative overhead, delegated responsibility for web filtering, instant site updates and does not rely on periodic database synchronization.

Google Catalogs: Google has made it a lot easier to find the perfect present from mail-order catalogs that are not available online anywhere else. Google Catalog Search includes the full contents of hundreds of catalogs selling everything from industrial adhesives to clothing and home furnishings. Whether you're looking to buy for yourself, your business, or that special someone in your life, Google Catalog Search can help.

InternetSeer is the largest free website monitoring company in the world. It currently provides free website monitoring to over 1 million users worldwide. As part of your free web site monitoring service, webmasters receive immediate notifications when InternetSeer encounters problems accessing your website. It also provides weekly performance reports.

POP Peeper is a free utility that runs in your Windows task bar and alerts you when you have new email on any of your POP3, Hotmail, MSN or Yahoo accounts. You can also use POP Peeper to read and delete your email. POP Peeper supports HTML email, so you can see your email the same way as you would in your email client.

Web Ferret: The latest version of this popular software is designed to assist users in finding the information they need by utilizing several search engines. Helpful features include the ability to query a number of different search engines, along with the ability to validate selected results, save search histories, and filter out pornography and inappropriate language.

Google Monitor is a simple application that allows you to find and track the ranking of your website or any given URL in Google search results. It offers two modes of operation: you can enter a URL and a keyword to find the top results and where your site ranks among them, or select a URL and find its ranking for several keywords at once. You may store statistics for all URLs and keywords, and keep notes to further track search trends and the performance of your website.

Blogger: Blogger is a web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly - whenever the urge strikes. Blogger is the leading tool in the rapidly growing area of web publishing known as weblogs, or "blogs." A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically - like a what's new page or a journal. The content and purposes of blogs varies greatly - from links and commentary about other web sites, to news about a company/person/idea, to diaries, photos, poetry, mini-essays, project updates, even fiction. Blogger gives you a way to automate (and greatly accelerate) the blog publishing process without writing any code or worrying about installing any sort of server software or scripts.

Dave's Quick Search Deskbar is a tiny textbox that Dave Bau designed for search hounds with weary mouse-fingers. Unlike the Google Toolbar, this little deskbar lets you launch searches without starting a web browser first, directly from your Windows Explorer Taskbar. You type your search and hit Enter for a regular Google search. Now you can do searches no matter what you are doing (email, word processing, programming, etc.). With this quick search bar you're not a captive to Google. Do Yahoo searches, get Merriam-Webster definitions, get Bloomberg stock quotes and find Switchboard phone numbers. There is also a built in calculator. Click the button on the search bar or press F1 and a menu shows you all your choices.

Googlebar: The Google Toolbar was produced for Internet Explorer? The Googlebar project was initially created to address the widespread desire in the Mozilla community for the Google toolbar to support Netscape 7, since many users of mozilla enjoy having all of Google's specialty searches in one convenient location. The current release of Googlebar, produced by Jonathan Mendelson, emulates all of the basic search functionality of the toolbar, allowing users to easily access a number of specialty searches from their browser, including: basic web search, site search, the "I'm Feeling Lucky" search, groups, directory, image search, and restricted searches in BSD, Linux, Mac, Microsoft, catalog, news, and US government sites. Future plans call for the addition of support for highlighting all keywords, uninstall, and preference panel configurability for keyboard modifiers on a search.

Web Online Surveys is an all-in-one service which is especially designed for people who aren't computer experts and have the need to conduct web surveys or questionnaires by themselves. Its particular good because you don't need any special downloads or products to install as it all works via the web. You create your survey - enter the email addresses of people you want to invite and then click send. Once your email or web survey has finished you pick up your results from an easy to use report section - it even has the ability to download results into Excel for further analysis. The system doesn't have to be used only for surveys - you could create online web exams or even student checklist for the hockey team - the possibilities are endless.

Groowe Toolbar: This toolbar that gives you easy access to searching Google and many other search engines, as well. With a click, you can query Yahoo, Teoma, AllTheWeb, AltaVista, MSN Search and others. In addition, it makes it easy to perform specialized searches with many of the search engines it supports.

UCmore: This tool provided by UCmore installs into your browser and then shows information related to the page you are viewing. You don't search using it, but you may discover new sites related to those you like. UCmore sends you ideas for where to go next, wherever you are on the web. Its producers claim that "it is based on the way real people surf". It does this by organizing related sites into categories on your menu bar.

Movable Type is powerful, customizable publishing system which installs on web servers to enable individuals or organizations to manage and update weblogs, journals, and frequently-updated website content. Movable Type is widely recognized as the premiere choice for power users of weblogs, as well as organizations interested in nanopublishing, intranet knowledge management, and marketing or communications through weblogs. Movable Type's architecture is extremely flexible, allowing it to run on any major web server platform and to work with most common databases. In addition, its customizable code and the extensive library of third-party applications which extend and interface with the system mean that Movable Type can accommodate almost any custom requirement.

Microsoft Update: A number of security issues have been identified in Microsoft® Internet Explorer that could allow an attacker to compromise your Microsoft Windows®-based systems and then take a variety of actions. For example, an attacker could run programs on a computer used to view the attacker's Web site. This vulnerability affects computers that have Microsoft® Internet Explorer installed. (You do not have to be using Internet Explorer as your Web browser to be affected by this issue.)

Proxomitron: Do you dislike pop-up ads when you are surfing the web? This website allows you to download Proxomitron, a free piece of software that allows you to block pop-up ads, Macromedia Flash ads, banner ads, sound files, on websites.

Doxdesk: A large number of PCs now have unknown programs that have either been installed from a website or included with file-sharing software. Andrew Clover's Doxdesk website provides information on how to block or remove programs that have been installed without your consent.

Google Toolbar: Google has just released a beta version of its next generation Google Toolbar - a free browser tool that enables users to search with Google no matter where they are on the Internet. New features in this latest version of the Google Toolbar include a pop-up blocker: You can now turn off distracting pop-up ads from web pages you visit and let through only those pop-ups you want to see. Other features include AutoFill, a facility where you can complete web forms quickly and easily with information that's saved securely on your own computer.

Technorati: You can now get the Technorati Link Cosmos of any site, article, or blog with a single click! The Technorati Anywhere! Bookmarklet will open a new window or tab in your browser with the list of links to that URL. It is a whole new way of instantly checking sources and finding out the credibility of the page you're currently viewing. To install it, simply right click on this Technorati Anywhere! link and select "Add bookmark" (or Add to Favorites) to install it in your browser.

Eureka Toolbar: This new toolbar allows you to search throughout 40 different search engines at once. General tools include Web Catalog, Latest News, Spam Remover, Links Manager, Applications Manager, Language Translator, Dictionary, Clipboard History, Agenda with World Clock, Currency Converter, Quotes, SMS, Password Keeper, Password Revealer, Weather Forecast, Memory Defragmenter, Backup Utility, Popup Killer, Fill Form, Horoscope, Love Calculator, Dating Calculator and Games.

Cache Problems: Your ISP's network might intercept all attempts you make to connect to the web and route your request through a transparent web proxy cache, technically known as an interception proxy. For example, NTLworld uses Inktomi Traffic Servers. Your ISP does this in order to reduce the traffic on their backbone, and to reduce the traffic they exchange with other operators' networks. If a proxy cache works well, it can also improve performance for the customer, by supplying locally cached copies of web pages and graphics much more quickly than by fetching them from the remote original web server. You can often make it fetch a new version by Pressing Ctrl-F5. Robin Walker's useful website provides a guide to cache problems.

Watch That Page: This service enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and Watch That Page will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page. You can specify when the changes will be collected, so they are fresh when you want to read them.

OPEUS is a web-based content management system designed to give your school an anywhere/anytime learning facility accessible from home or school. OPEUS is used to create "e-portfolios" and dynamic websites based on content authored by students and teachers. The webpage editor is based on Microsoft Word and is extremely quick and simple to use. Using this software teachers are able to manage, develop and authorise the work of students to secure, individual e-portfolios in a streamlined and efficient way.

Vmyths: Established in 2000, the main objective of Vmyths is the eradication of computer virus hysteria. From this website you can learn about computer virus myths, hoaxes, urban legends, hysteria, and the implications if you believe in them. You can also search a list of computer virus hoaxes & virus hysteria.

SupaNames is an award winning business & consumer web host with over 17,000 active users from many countries around the world making us one of the largest independent web hosts based in the UK. Since being the first company in the UK to introduce low cost professional web hosting & domain packages in 1999 SupaNames has come a long way and is now a multi-million pound service provider.

Yahoo Companion Toolbar: This latest edition of the Companion Toolbar provides some new features and resolves some previous performance issues. The Toolbar functions with Internet Explorer and allows users to check their Yahoo mail account, access a variety of news sources, and store additional bookmarks. The Toolbar is compatible with all versions of Windows 95 and above.

Hot Lingo features a 75,000 word English dictionary, comprised of both American and British variants. Version 2.0 is even more user-configurable: including a customizable user dictionary that can now contain up to 32,000 user-defined words. Hot Lingo has applet support for Lotus iNotes, and Microsoft Exchange Server Outlook Web Access (OWA) 5.x and 2000 - the two most popular remote messaging products available today. Hot Lingo is compatible with all of the Windows operating systems.

HouseCall: Trend Micro is a global leader in antivirus and content security software and services. This free service allows you to give your PC a check-up while you surf the web. HouseCall is a real-life demonstration of the power of the web-based technologies that Trend is developing to make deployment and management of virus protection in corporate settings fast and easy. If this is your first time using HouseCall, expect to wait several minutes while the scanner prepares to check for viruses. This time will vary depending on your modem speed and current Internet traffic, and will be shorter the next time you visit.

Toolbars: Search engines have tripped over each other this past year in offering up toolbars. While the Google toolbar may be the best known - it was introduced at the end of 2000 - other companies had launched various toolbars even earlier. Google upgraded its toolbar last year, while AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, Teoma, Dogpile, HotBot, Lycos, and many others hit the market. These toolbars are free to download and install. They become embedded in the browser or the Windows taskbar and offer quick access to the search box, along with other helpful features such as highlighting search terms and blocking pop-up ads. In this article, Greg R. Notess looks at the advantages and disadvantages of using a toolbar.

Vivisimo ToolBar: Vivisimo was last year's Search Engine Watch winner for Best Meta Search Engine. You can now download the Vivísimo toolbar to get organized search results from many of the top search engines. It's simple to install, it's free to use, and the on-the-fly categories will make your life easier. The Vivísimo Toolbar is dynamically upgradeable - whenever new features are available they will be automatically added as options to your search bar. One useful feature is that it blocks annoying popup ads.

Digital Publishing: You've sweated for a long time over your book, it should be easy for you to see it published. Now, using the latest in digital print on demand book production and distribution technologies, there's a genuine alternative to traditional or subsidy publishing. Do it yourself publishing. On this website PABD provides a series of tools to help you create, publish and sell your book. The tools are provided free of charge and include your own personal on-line book store, a wide selection of professionally designed covers for you to choose from and the ability to set your own selling price, making royalties a thing of the past.

TrustToolbar: This plug-in is a free browser enhancement that integrates seamlessly into Internet Explorer. It provides you with a trusted, safe and easier way to surf the web. It provides you with realtime visual identity assurance of who your current website really is! Let's you surf to the website you want simply by entering their brand, company or product names - remembering complex URLs is a thing of the past! Let's you search for specific products and services offered within the validated and Trusted Commercial Web containing millions of companies selling the product or service you want! It also brings you the power of your favourite search engines right to your fingertips - simply search directly from TrustToolbar.

Alexa: This website allows you to discover details about any website. Type in the URL and it will tell you the site's world ranking, how many page impressions the website gets, total number of users, and the length of time visitors stay on the site. It also provides a traffic history graph of the site. Another useful feature is that you can compare the records of any two sites. You can also provide reviews of websites (placed on the Amazon site).

Advice

Ask Jack: Past editions of the Guardian's impressive computer supplement, Online, can now be found on its Net News website. As well as the latest computer stories that have appeared in the newspaper you can also access Web Watch, Weblog and the excellent Ask Jack column.

DLL Files: Have you ever installed some software but when you try to run it you get a message that a particular DLL file cannot be found? If so, it is worth visiting this Swedish website that contains a multitude of DLL files to download. Each file download comes with a Readme text, which states the proper place to install the file.

My Account: As an additional service to its catalogue of thousands of high quality social science Internet resources, SOSIG, the Social Science Information Gateway, now offers My Account. My Account is a feature that enables you to customise SOSIG to create your own, tailored SOSIG information services. This free registration service can help you to keep up-to-date with events in your areas of interest, develop your career through contact with like-minded colleagues and publicise your conferences and events. Specific features of the service allow you to receive weekly email notification of new Internet sites and to set up your own Web page on SOSIG that displays Internet channels of your choosing.

edu@guardian: Richard Doughty's edu@guardian is always full of useful information for teachers. In the edition published yesterday, John Davitt provides some advice on how to stop students from copying work from the Internet and handling it in as their own. As well as making use of the autocommand in Word (tools menu) Davitt suggests asking the students to turn the text into a one-minute talk. The Guardian supplement also includes articles on digital video, ICT and exam results, virtual learning in Scotland and tablet computers.

Ask an Expert: Each month the Ask an Expert section features a different theme. This month, you will have the opportunity to ask questions on the ICT resources that are suitable for the Foundation Stage. This stage is about developing the key skills of speaking, listening, collaborating, concentrating, persisting and about developing the literacy and numeracy skills that will prepare children for Key Stage One. From programmable robots to interactive whiteboards, from the Internet to CD-ROMs, this month's Ask an Expert feature aims to inform practitioners of the ICT resources that are suitable for the Foundation Stage. It also suggests ways in which these resources can best be used to meet the needs of the children and the requirements of the Early Learning Goals.

Windows Protection Errors can occur due to many different causes, including: virtual driver (VxD) problems, conflicts between real-mode and protected-mode drivers, a damaged Registry; a virus; Plug-and-Play malfunction; and hardware problems, including a malfunctioning cache, malfunctioning RAM, or a damaged motherboard. The articles on this website should be quite helpful in identifying and resolving these problems.

Hoaxbusters: Interspersed among the junk mail and spam that fills our Internet e-mail boxes are dire warnings about devastating new viruses, Trojans that eat the heart out of your system, and malicious software that can steal the computer right off your desk. Added to that are messages about free money, children in trouble, and other items designed to grab you and get you to forward the message to everyone you know. Most all of these messages are hoaxes or chain letters. While hoaxes do not automatically infect systems like a virus or Trojan, they are still time consuming and costly to remove from all the systems where they exist. At CIAC, we find that we spend much more time de-bunking hoaxes than handling real virus and Trojan incidents. These pages describe some of the warnings, offers, and pleas for help that are filling our mailboxes, clogging our mailservers, and that generally do not have any basis in fact.

Purportal: Internet hoaxes and chain letters are e-mail messages written with one purpose; to be sent to everyone you know. The messages they contain are usually untrue. A few of the sympathy messages do describe a real situation but that situation was resolved years ago so the message is not valid and has not been valid for many years. Hoax messages try to get you to pass them on to everyone you know using several different methods of social engineering. Most of the hoax messages play on your need to help other people. Who wouldn't want to warn their friends about some terrible virus that is destroying people's systems? Or, how could you not want to help this poor little girl who is about to die from cancer? This website enables you to check whether a message is a hoax or not.

Browser Hijacking: There is a despicable trend that is becoming more and more common where the browser settings of web surfers are being forcibly hijacked by malicious web sites and software which modifies your default start and search pages. Sometimes Internet shortcuts will be added to your favorites folder without asking you. The purpose of this is force you to visit a web site of the hijacker's choice so that they can artificially inflate their web site's traffic for higher advertising revenues. In some cases, these changes are reversible simply by going into Internet options and switching them back. Not always however. Sometimes it's necessary to edit the windows registry to undo the changes made. Sometimes there is even a combination of registry setting and files clandestinely placed on your hard drive that redo your settings every time you reboot the computer. No matter how often you change your settings back, they are changed again the next time you restart. This website will tell you how to solve the problem.

Dutch Lottery Scam: The emails arrive with the subject line "Our Lucky Winner!!!" or similar and purport to be from a Dutch Lottery on which you have won a substantial prize. The email may give you a reference number to quote and a phone number to call, the supposedly unique reference number is in fact often identical in every email sent! Research done on this suggests that the perpetrators are the same people who carry out the "Nigerian" 419 fraud and that you will be asked for your bank account details and/or an advance fee to facilitate the transfer. Either way you are likely to be ripped off.

Webber: Anti-virus vendors are warning of the mass mailing of a new Trojan program Webber which is capable of turning infected PCs into spam propagating zombies. Webber is the latest in a series of malicious programs that turn innocent computers into spam machines. It installs a proxy server at the command of the attacker. Once run, Webber clandestinely downloads its additional components from a remote Web-server and installs them on the now infected computer. Collateral damage attributed to this Trojan includes the sending of a list of passwords dug out of a victim machines in the form of URL requests to the Web site of the Trojan's presumed creator.

Spyware Guide: This website was created to provide an all inclusive and updated resource on spy ware applications, what they do and how they’re used. These resources include: which software applications can detect and defeat spyware, an extensive database of all known spy software and adware applications and contact information as well as other privacy related products. As the spy versus spy battle rages on we have decided not to take sides, but to merely document the battlefield.

Crimes of Persuasion: In-depth fraud coverage of computer crimes such as pyramid schemes make this crime library of internet crimes the cyber crime location for the schemes and scams that con artists perpetrate. White collar crimes such as prime bank fraud, pyramid scams, Internet fraud, phone scams, chain letters, modeling agency and Nigerian scams, computer fraud as well as telemarketing fraud are fully explained. This crime report on organized crime topics include credit card fraud, check kiting, tax fraud, money laundering, mail fraud, counterfeit money orders, check fraud and other who's who true crimes of persuasion.

W32/Sobig.f@MM is a High Risk mass-mailing worm. It arrives as an email attachment with a .pif or .scr extension. When run, it infects the host computer, then emails itself (using its own SMTP engine) to harvested email addresses from the victim's machine. In addition, when it propagates, the worm "spoofs" the "from: field", using one of the harvested email addresses. Sobig can also open up a user's computer port, making it vulnerable to hackers, who can plant dangerous Trojans. These malicious programs often let unauthorized users remotely take over a system, steal personal information or use the infected PC to send spam. Common subject lines, attachment names and message content associated with W32/Sobig.f@MM emails include: Your details, Thank you!, Re: Thank you!, Re: Details, Re: Approved, Re: That movie, Re: Your application and Re: Wicked screensaver.

Browser Hijacking: There is a despicable trend that is becoming more and more common where the browser settings of web surfers are being forcibly hijacked by malicious web sites and software which modifies your default start and search pages. The purpose of this is force you to visit a web site of the hijacker's choice so that they can artificially inflate their web site's traffic for higher advertising revenues. Once hijacked, there is no simple answer because several different techniques are used. However, this website provides comprehensive advice on how to completely remove most hijackers.

Newsletters

Scout Report: Published every Friday, continuously since 1994, the Scout Report is one of the Internet's oldest and most respected publications. It offers a selection of new and newly discovered online resources of interest to researchers, educators, and anyone else with an interest in high-quality online material. Every day professional librarians, educators, and content specialists filter hundreds of announcements looking for the most valuable and authoritative resources available online. Information about the best of what we've found is then summarized, organized, and provided to the Internet community in various formats, including email and the Web. The Internet Scout Project is located in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Lockergnome Newsletters: Lockergnome provides free technology newsletters. Titles include Windows Daily (PC tips & tricks, critical updates, jargon definitions and industry news); Tech Specialist (reviews for Windows and Linux users, troubleshooting resources, IT job assistance); Digital Media (MP3s, streaming audio and video destinations, online radio stations, DVD reviews); Penguin Shell (latest from the Linux community, open source projects, distribution news, cross-platform tools) and Apple Core (dedicated to the world of Macintosh products).

European Schoolnet eLearning News: The European Schoolnet's News site is for everyone working in education in Europe. The website will keep you up to date on events, research, practice, collaborative projects and more. If you have a newsworthy tip about eLearning, don't hesitate to get in touch with Alexa Joyce at news@eun.org.

Search Engine Watch provides up-to-date information on all the major search-engines. A recent report published by Forrester Research argued that search engines are the leading way people locate websites. Google currently carries out 130 million searches a day. Other important players include Inktomi (80 million), Alta Vista (50 million), Direct Hit (20 million), Fast (12 million), GoTo (5 million) and Ask Jeeves (4 million). Google also has the largest database of web pages indexed (2000 million). Others include Fast (625 million), Alta Vista (550 million), Inktomi (500 million), Excite (380 million) and Northern Light (390 million).

The Register: According to Hitwise the Register is the UK's No.1 UK IT Media website. Hitwise monitors the daily Internet usage of more than 7.6 million UK internet users to provide website rankings in over 150 industry categories. Q4 2002 figures from industry monitors Hitwise confirm that the Register had the lion's share of UK readers in this category between October and December 2002.

Stephen's Web is the online home of Stephen Downes, a writer and researcher in the field of online learning, online communities and knowledge management. OLDaily is a free daily email newsletter based on the site's constantly expanding knowledge base of research and information related to online learning (a weekly version is also available). A former philosophy instructor, instructional designer and information architect, Downes is now employed by Canada's National Research Council as a senior researcher in e-learning. Stephen's Web contains some important essays in the field, including 'The Future of Online Learning' (1998) and 'Learning Objects' (2000). Of most use, perhaps, is the knowledge base, a searchable collection of almost three thousand items culled from Downes's research in the field of online learning over the last three years. Because the purpose of OLDaily and the knowledge base is to spot trends and to assess the importance of news in and around the field, news items are listed with some commentary about the event's significance or its place in the wider picture. The reporting on OLDaily not unbiased and value-neutral. Each development is assessed, commentary is added and opinions voiced. Press releases and media spin are not given a free ride on OLDaily.

Search-Engines and Directories

Google: In 1937 H. G. Wells travelled around the world promoting his World Brain scheme. His plan was to create a vast repository that contained every piece of knowledge in the world. He argued that the World Brain would be freely available to everyone and would therefore eliminate the ignorance that sustained tyranny. His scheme never got off the ground but some observers have claimed that Google is on the way to becoming this World Brain. A recent report by OneStat reveals that Google now carries out 53.2 per cent of all web searches. Yahoo!, the second largest, has only 20.4 per cent. This is followed by MSN Search (9.1), Terra Lycos (3.7), AOL Search (2.9), Altavista (2.8) and Ixquick (2.2).

Google-Watch: Daniel Brandt is founder and president of Public Information Research (PIR) and programmer and webmaster for the organization's several sites including Google-Watch, a website that monitors the activities of Google. Brandt argues that Google's "crawlers" (software which creeps daily through the web to monitor and catalogue new and changing websites) are prejudiced in favour of larger and older websites. Brandt suggests that Google is now so powerful that it should be registered like a public utility company.

Scout Report: Published every Friday, continuously since 1994, the Scout Report is one of the Internet's oldest and most respected publications. It offers a selection of new and newly discovered online resources of interest to researchers, educators, and anyone else with an interest in high-quality online material. Every day professional librarians, educators, and content specialists filter hundreds of announcements looking for the most valuable and authoritative resources available online. Information about the best of what we've found is then summarized, organized, and provided to the Internet community in various formats, including email and the Web. The Internet Scout Project is located in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Open Directory: The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors and is the most widely distributed data base of web content classified by humans. The Open Directory provides the means for the Internet to organize itself. The plan is for well-informed individuals to organize a small portion of the web and present it back to the rest of the population, culling out the bad and useless and keeping only the best content.

Education Index Web: This website, created by Hobsons, an international college and career publisher, claims to provides a guide to "the most useful education-related sites on the Web." The website can be browsed by subject or by lifestage, from prenatal and infant all the way to college and continuing education. Since it went online in September 1996, the Education Index has grown to more than 3,000 sites in 66 different categories.

Google News Portal: A recent addition to the Google website is a news portal that will serious challenge market leaders News Now and Moreover. Everyday it groups together the interesting stories that are developing and then links you to the best news sites for those particular stories. At the moment the site searches 4,000 news sources but this will increase rapidly over the next few months.

NewsSeer: NewsSeer is both a straightforward news search engine and an adaptive tool that's constantly learning your interests to deliver personalized news tailored to your own needs. In addition to its search capabilities, NewsSeer will attempt to learn your interests by using several criteria from the material you select to view. This includes article selection, the text of the article, how long you looked at a story, the source of the material and the age of the story. This process is automatic. However, you can also choose to assist NewsSeer by rating your interest in the story.

Top9: This is the Internet's first Search Directory to use consumer intelligence to comprehensively rank the most popular websites by industry category on a monthly basis. The rankings are compiled by PC Data Online and are based on surveys with over 120,000 home users on the Internet. Currently in the Education Resources section the top nine are Spark Notes (2,647 unique users), Thinkquest (1,852), Pink Monkey (706), Blackboard (680), School Notes (457), Grade Saver (402), UMI (328), Educate (317) and Planet Papers (238).

Web 100: With reviews of sites and ratings by users, Web 100 makes it easy to locate the Internet's top sites. Rather than overwhelming you with listings of hundreds of thousands of Web pages, the Web 100 provides an easily accessible selection of 100 sites in areas such as education. Web 100 compile ratings and rank the sites from 1 to 100. The programs also select a featured site each hour and provide a tally of statistics, such as the sites getting the most votes and those moving up and down in the rankings.

Stephen's Web is the online home of Stephen Downes, a writer and researcher in the field of online learning, online communities and knowledge management. OLDaily is a free daily email newsletter based on the site's constantly expanding knowledge base of research and information related to online learning (a weekly version is also available). A former philosophy instructor, instructional designer and information architect, Downes is now employed by Canada's National Research Council as a senior researcher in e-learning. Stephen's Web contains some important essays in the field, including 'The Future of Online Learning' (1998) and 'Learning Objects' (2000). Of most use, perhaps, is the knowledge base, a searchable collection of almost three thousand items culled from Downes's research in the field of online learning over the last three years. Because the purpose of OLDaily and the knowledge base is to spot trends and to assess the importance of news in and around the field, news items are listed with some commentary about the event's significance or its place in the wider picture. The reporting on OLDaily not unbiased and value-neutral. Each development is assessed, commentary is added and opinions voiced. Press releases and media spin are not given a free ride on OLDaily.

The Internet Public Library (IPL): One of the most popular library sites on the Internet. IPL visitors can read online books, magazines, or newspapers; browse links to carefully selected websites for children and teens; and receive personalized assistance from an award-winning team of volunteer librarians. The website is operated by the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

WelshQuest: This search engine helps you find documents on this website and related sites (BritQuest, ScottishQuest, IrishQuest). You tell the search service what you're looking for by typing in keywords, phrases, or questions in the search box. The search service responds by giving you a list of all the webpages in our index relating to those topics. The most relevant content will appear at the top of your results.

Schoolzone School Search: Schoolzone claims that this is the UK's only complete listing of schools, colleges and LEAs (these organisations can amend or add to their details using a PIN). The Schoolzone website also has a collection of 40,000 educational websites, all hand picked for suitability and reviewed and categorised by UK teachers.

Cybercafe Search Engine: This website provides listings for more than 6,300 verified cybercafes, public Internet access points and kiosks in 169 countries. Results list the address of each cybercafe, and web site URL and email address, if available. Also offers specialized search function that let you limit results to public Internet kiosks, and terminals cybercafes on cruise ships. Just select the search field and then enter the name of the city or the state or country in which you wish to locate.

Singingfish: Looking for audio or video files from across the web? Singingfish is a multimedia search engine that helps you find audio or video files from across the web. The company recently signed a deal to power audio-visual searching in Microsoft's Windows Media Player client. The deal means that Singingfish now provides the multimedia searching capabilities for two of the web's largest digital media players and give the company a dominance as a multimedia search provider.

School History Internet Links: This site offers comprehensive Internet links for history teachers and students. It includes reviews of over 1,000 websites. The material is organized under the following categories: Primary, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, GCSE Modern World, Depth Studies and Additional Studies. A new post 16 section is currently being developed.

Searchuno is based on the Open Directory which has been modified and enhanced by Park Royal Media. Searchuno has come about as a result of the lack of a UK-focused web directory. Over the years, the number of web directories has shrunk from over a dozen to just a handful and of those left, search results given are populated with all manner of advertising before users can get the results they need. Another issue that Searchuno seeks to address is smaller sites that are unable to afford to pay to get their site into other web directories. With Searchuno there is no cost to add your website and in most cases the websites submitted are added within 48 hours if they meet the criteria for inclusion.

Colleges Directory: This website provides links to colleges in the USA and Canada. Several of these colleges are online colleges, which means that regardless of where you live, you can study at one of these colleges through the Internet. The colleges listed at CollegesDirectory.com are categorized by subject and location. You can easily find which colleges in your state or country offer degrees in the subjects you're looking for.

Info Search Engine: Info.com is a powerful meta-search engine that saves you time by displaying results with one search request from 12 search engines such as Google, About, Ask Jeeves, Teoma and Looksmart. Search engines display results from their own databases - which tend to be fully updated from the World Wide Web about once a month. This means that only a selection of results from the entire Web are available at any one time, and even then many could be out of date. By displaying results taken from 12 different search engines Info.com is far more likely to bring you results that have been more recently updated than by using one search engine alone. Info.com will also include results that some search engines have missed because each one has different criteria for displaying results.

Weblogs: Google is to create a search tool specifically for weblogs, most likely giving material generated by the self-publishing tools its own tab. It isn't clear if weblogs will be removed from the main search results, but precedent suggests they will be. Bloggers are likely to welcome their very own tab as a legitimization of the publishing format. But many others will breathe a sigh of relief as blogs disappear from the main index. Google has strived in vain to maintain the quality of its search results in the face of a blizzard of links generated by a small number of sources. Google currently searches over 3,083,324,600 pages. Assuming there are one million bloggers, and generously assuming they have a hundred pages each, that amounts to 0.032 per cent of web content indexed by Google.

Daypop Search Engine: Daypop is a current events search engine. Daypop crawls the living web at least once a day to bring you the latest information relevant to your searches. Daypop specializes in accumulating information from sites that update on a daily basis: newspapers, online magazines, and weblogs. Currently, Daypop indexes over 35000 of the best news sites and weblogs on the net every day.

Wondir: The premise behind Wondir is that there are thousands of organizations, corporations and service providers, and millions of individuals throughout the world who want to help others by providing information, guidance and expertise. The Wondir information service strives to be a simple yet effective way for people with an information need to ask a question and get a good answer from those sources who are out there, ready to help. Since a primary goal of Wondir is to open up the gifts of knowledge to people with fewer advantages, the service is free.

Turbo10 Search Engine: Traditional crawler-based search engines (e.g., altavista, google) only search static web pages - the 'Surface Web'. But the Surface Web represents only a small percentage of the available information on the Internet. A plethora of high quality information is found in dynamic pages that are inaccessible to crawler-based search engines. This vast ocean of mostly untapped information has been called the 'invisible web'. Turbo10 searches the invisible web by connecting to a multitude of specialist databases in all topic categories and languages.

OffRamp.US: Search engines can be a never ending battle for placement to a business because of their search criteria and algorithms in which search results are formulated. Key words and key phrases are only a small part of the battle to have your site listed among the hundreds of thousands of other web sites in the same business as yours. Then the never ending battle to keep placement for your site can be a full time job in itself. OffRamp.US has developed a search engine directory with a criteria and layout so that the most novice of users can locate any business online in their area within just a few short clicks of the mouse. Searches can be done on all category listings from A-Z, not just the popular ones. You may also enter other criteria such as zip code, area code, and mileage search area.

Blogging Headline: More than 500,000 people add one or more posts to a blog, or weblog, each day and this number is growing. There is simply a goldmine of information out there! For you to locate the best of the best, it would take you hours each day.Daily, BHN collects from across the Internet 20,000 posts, sorts them, sifts them and then presents to its human editors the robot's best guess. Then human editors work through the posts and pick the best of the best to serve up in Bloggers Headline News.

Best of History Web Sites is an award-winning portal created for students, history educators, and general history enthusiasts. Best of History Web Sites contains annotated links to over 900 history-related web sites that have been reviewed for quality, accuracy, and usefulness. Site content is well organized into thirteen categories, including: Prehistory, Ancient/Biblical, Medieval, U.S. History, Early Modern European, 20th Century, World War II, Art History, General Resources, Maps, Lesson Plans/Activities, Multimedia, and Research. Best of History Web Sites features annotated links to hundreds of history lesson plans, teacher guides, activities, games, quizzes, and more throughout its pages. There is also a special section on Teaching with Technology that features articles, tips, and links to current research and practice in classroom technology. Best of History Web Sites is the creation of Thomas Daccord, a history teacher and instructional technology consultant who has taught in North America and Europe.

Educationalists: The Educationalists website provides a contact database of educational resources, advice, consultancy and support organisations. The site is organised into over 1600 subjects, broken down where appropriate by key stage or category so that teachers can quickly get to the relevant information and contacts. Individual contributors self manage their listing and can also supply articles and event notifications.

UK Phone Book: This week the government privatised directory inquiries. Instead of paying 48p to BT you can now go to different companies, all charging different amounts, all applying different conditions. Why bother when you can get the person's number free at the UK Phone Book website. It will also supply the full address and a map of the area.

NewsSeer: NewsSeer is both a straightforward news search engine and an adaptive tool that's constantly learning your interests to deliver personalized news tailored to your own needs. In addition to its search capabilities, NewsSeer will attempt to learn your interests by using several criteria from the material you select to view. This includes article selection, the text of the article, how long you looked at a story, the source of the material and the age of the story. This process is automatic. However, you can also choose to assist NewsSeer by rating your interest in the story.

Cybercafe Search Engine: This website provides listings for more than 6,300 verified cybercafes, public Internet access points and kiosks in 169 countries. Results list the address of each cybercafe, and web site URL and email address, if available. Also offers specialized search function that let you limit results to public Internet kiosks, and terminals cybercafes on cruise ships. Just select the search field and then enter the name of the city or the state or country in which you wish to locate.

BrainBoost is a question answering search engine. It was specifically designed to answer questions, asked in plain English. BrainBoost queries multiple search engines to retrieve potentially relevant documents related to the question. It then downloads each document and analyzes its sentence structure, looking for the very best sentence(s) that answer the original question. BrainBoost outputs actual sentences extracted from web pages. The BrainBoost engine determines that these sentences are potential answers to the original question.

Nutch: Web search is a basic requirement for internet navigation, yet the number of web search engines is decreasing. Today's oligopoly could soon be a monopoly, with a single company controlling nearly all web search for its commercial gain. That would not be good for users of the InternetNutch provides a transparent alternative to commercial web search engines. Only open source search results can be fully trusted to be without bias. (Or at least their bias is public.) All existing major search engines have proprietary ranking formulas, and will not explain why a given page ranks as it does. Additionally, some search engines determine which sites to index based on payments, rather than on the merits of the sites themselves. Nutch, on the other hand, has nothing to hide and no motive to bias its results or its crawler in any way other than to try to give each user the best results possible.

WhittleBit: Have you ever searched for something and wished you could tell the search engine that it was totally on the wrong track and it should try again? Well now you can! WhittleBit works much like most other search engines, except it can help you to refine your searches by allowing you to give positive or negative feedback on each search result. Simply rate the search results by clicking on one of the buttons provided then click on Whittle to get a refined set of search results based on your feedback.

Webcactus is the first search engine with previews of all its search results. Webcactus believes that a multi-media approach would be a better way for a browser to find the most relevant website for their search. Webcactus began development in the second half of 2000. Refinement after refinement of previewing capabilities give it the high quality thumbnails it has today. In 2002 webcactus began a test launch to determine public perception of its approach to searching, which is basically search results matched by their thumbnails. At the time the technology was called SETS or Search Enhancement Thru Screenshots, it is now known as PlusPreview, which is a clearer, more descriptive name for the technology.

Froogle is Google's product search service and offers a great way to find information about things for sale online - especially now that it includes a way to sort your search results by price. Other enhancements to Froogle include the new "grid view" option, which enables you to view 20 product thumbnail images on each results page. Froogle is still in the development (beta) stage, so please send us your thoughts on how we can make getting information about products faster and easier.

Ezilon: This search engine was founded to allow individuals and companies around the world to easily access information with emphasis on Western Europe. Ezilon combines the power of search engine and directory that allow quick access to relevant information at the time needed. Its main focus on quality rather than quantity. The search engine only accepts website submission from the European Union Member countries and from any other websites around the world with information pertaining to Western European interests.

Schools Website Directory: This directory was first published on the web in 1996 under the SchoolNet UK banner. Later it became part of BT's Campus World website, and then part of Anglia Multimedia's AngliaCampus. Recently the directory has been re-engineered as a web enabled database and all data has been re-verified In the last two months, all 3644 school websites have been visited and catalogued. All English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish state secondary schools which have a website, have now been included in the database. The directory currently contains 5469 UK school websites.

Website of the Day: Miles Mendoza reviews websites for Steve Wright's BBC Radio 2's afternoon show. The websites are archived and appear under the categories: Computing, Lifestyle, Useful, Music, Nostalgia, Children, Entertainment & Celebrities, Fun, and Webcams. The computing section is particularly useful and includes advice on email, spam, firewalls, viruses and online security.

netTrekker is the award-winning trusted search engine for schools that saves educators' and students' time. Specifically designed for school use, netTrekker provides fast and easy access to over 180,000 relevant educator-selected online resources that enhance teaching and learning. netTrekker delivers results across the curriculum, and features an interactive timeline, famous person list generator, and easy-to-use collaboration tools. netTrekker integrates technology and standards-based curriculum resources into the classroom and daily education experience.

Un-Google: Some people believe that Google has been the victim of being spammed by commercial websites and fake pages that its search-results are no longer reliable. Un-Google (formerly known as PlanetSearch) attempts to solve the problem by metasearching multiple search engines including Google, AltaVista, FindWhat, Lycos, Yahoo, MSN and Dmoz. However, I am not convinced and Google is still my first choice search engine.

Seekscan: Another metasearch engine that fetches results from dozens of search sites, including Google, All the Web, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, AOL, HotBot, Teoma, Excite, GigaBlast, LookSmart, WiseNut, Alexa, Lycos, Yahoo, MSN and Dmoz. Putting it through a couple of test runs the vast majority of these search engines come up with results very similar to Google. The exception to this are the sites that charge for websites to be listed and are therefore totally unreliable as search engines.

Google: Google, like all search engines, uses a system called an algorithm to rank the web pages it knows about. All search engines make periodic changes to their ranking algorithms in an effort to improve the results they show searchers. These changes can cause pages to rise or fall in rank. Small changes may produce little ranking differences, while large changes may have a dramatic impact. Google recently made a change to its algorithm. The change has caused many people to report that some of their pages fell in ranking. These pages no longer please Google's algorithm as much as in the past. Some feel Google has dropped their sites to make them buy ads. In the short term, purchasing ads will be the only way they can be found. For some, it may even be the only long-term solution. In either case, it means more money for Google.

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