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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 15:51 GMT
Webscape
Kate Russell
By Kate Russell
Click Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

whichbook.net homepage

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Life is full of choices, some harder than others. But if you are stuck on what book to immerse yourself in, then you could do worse than to turn to our first recommendation for advice.

Like a well-designed sleeve, Whichbook does exactly what you would expect: it helps you decide which book to read next.

The concept and design are so simple they hardly need explaining but I will run through the basics to get you started. Using the sliders on the opening page, you can select the mood and style of the book you want to read. You can choose up to four of the mood selectors presented.

Using the button at the bottom to change character and plot will allow you to be more detailed about the genre you will be directed towards. Just click to expand a menu and then tick the boxes that apply.

Once you are happy, click Go and a list of recommendations with snapshot reviews and excerpts will appear on the right. Simple. UK users will also be able to click the link beside each book to see if it is in their local library and available to borrow.


New To Jazz website

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Looking to expand your musical tastes? New to the world of jazz? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then you need to point your browser towards New To Jazz.

The internet is awash with specialist interest and niche music websites, but I often feel a bit lost and naive wading through pages and pages of information for the enthusiast.

That is what is so refreshing about this site. As the name would suggest, the site's creators hope to offer a gentle and accessible introduction into the world of jazz appreciation, with no prior knowledge of the subject assumed.

Start with the guides in the left hand navigation panel. As well as covering the well-known greats like Miles Davis and Nina Simone, it will also introduce you to more obscure artists and styles of jazz. Each artist or style has a short description listed in the main section, with links to click through to learn more details.


NetSmartKidz website

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There is so much great stuff on the internet that it is understandable your children are going to want to join in the fun. But you also need to know how to stay safe in virtual space, and that is where our next website can help.

NetSmartzKids is the home of Nettie and Webster, two colourful characters who live inside your PC and are on hand with help and advice for the younger generation of surfers. This bright and colourful site is perhaps a little too over the top visually for an old fogey like me, but my brother's children love it and it talks to them in a style and language they engage with, so who am I to be picky about aesthetics?

With a broad selection of games, activities and movies, all designed to lead children towards safe and sensible surfing, your little ones will find plenty to amuse them here. Use the tabs across the top to jump to the various sections, then just dive straight in and enjoy the action.

All the games and activities are fully explained when you fire them up. You might want to get a pair of headphones attached though, as the soundtracks can be quite jarring after a while.


Bling My Sid website


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Talking of our younger surfers, here is another little gem that will have them giggling like a four-year-old, especially if they actually are four years old.

At blingmysid.com you will find a character from the popular movie Ice Age ready and waiting to entertain you. Select your language to start then wait for the main page to load. This took quite a long time on my machine, which is a fairly hefty beast connected to broadband, so anyone using an older PC on a dial-up connection might want to give this one a miss.

The idea of Bling My Sid is to dress up the character and make him unique. Click the link to bling your own sid, then choose a location to begin. Make your selections from the following screens then you can choose to either save it as a jpeg, or save and send it on as an e-card.

Enjoy.




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