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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
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.

Wink website

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

Ever wanted to find someone on the web? Maybe someone you know or maybe someone who shares your interests? Wink is one of the most straightforward ways to search for others on the 'net.

There are just three boxes to refine a basic search, using a name, interest or hobby, and location. The site searches all of the profiles on several of the most popular social networking sites like Bebo and MySpace as well as general pages from the web, which is a lot of people.

If your initial search needs refining the "more search options" link allows you to specify a gender, whether the person is single or not, and widen or tighten the geographical net around the location.

Wink says it is a good way to search across an ever increasing number of niche networking sites without having to visit lots of them. It is also a useful alternative to using 'groups' to find people with similar interests too.

The usual caveats about talking with strangers on the internet apply. Wink is well worth a visit, even if just to see how easy YOU are to find on the 'net!


Podcast Pickle website

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

If you would like to find a new podcast to listen to on the way to work but end up in a bit of a podcast pickle at the sheer number of them I may have the answer.

Podcast Pickle is more than just a directory of podcasts, it is a community of podcast fans. Covering more than 13,000 titles, including some videos, it is searchable by name and by several tabs under the "jump in the barrel" heading on the main page.

As well as identifying the most popular offerings, you can search by language, or just take a look at the newest ones available. On the left hand side of the screen is a summary of the forums hosted on the site, where podcasters announce new episodes and comment on each other's work.

Most of these podcasters do not get paid for their efforts so many use the site's "tip jar" feature - a bit like buskers might have - for downloaders who want to support their work. Nice touch that.


Parent Previews website

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

My next site is unashamedly targeted at parents who want to find a film both they and their kids will enjoy watching together.

Parent Previews is a US site but the advice is mainly on Hollywood movies and DVDs so it should be very helpful everywhere. It rates the movies in four separate categories for references or depictions of violence, sex, drugs, and the language used.

Clicking on a movie title brings up the storyline but look further down the page and you will find a review of what lessons the film tries to convey, suggestions on what topics you might like to discuss with your children after you have seen the film, and some alternative movies that cover similar areas.


Loki website

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

Finally, a really easy way for wi-fi users to find out where they are and what is around. Who needs GPS if you have got Loki?

It is not so much the website itself but the application that is worth a look here. Once you have downloaded and installed the Loki toolbar, clicking on the "Find Me" button takes you to a Google Map of your location. And, once you have found yourself, you can search the web for anything around you - restaurants, the weather, traffic information.

Wi-fi hotspots have a unique code which the makers of this app have been collating to create a database. By working out the signal strength between nearby hotspots a wi-fi enabled device can be located fairly accurately.

At the moment it works in around 2,500 cities, with the focus being the US. Unfortunately that concentration on the US market also lets this application down for the rest of us. For example, although the e-mail button will automatically create an e-mail with a map showing where you are, which you can then send to friends, the SMS button which does the same but for texts to mobiles did not seem to work for UK numbers.

The toolbar is still in Beta, which means it is still in testing so we can only hope its focus will become more global as it could become a super-useful application for anyone who travels.




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