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Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 17:22 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.


IDEE LABS (http://labs.ideeinc.com)

http://labs.ideeinc.com

There are many wonderful things to see on the internet, and a plethora of unique and innovative ways to see them. I discovered a set of tools while researching the nature of colour.

The Idee Inc website has three applications that showcase visual search technology, including a Multicolour Search Lab.

To use this tool, choose either the Flickr or Alamy set of images, then make a choice of up 10 colours to return an incredible array of pictures that match that colour criteria.

The display updates as you add more colours from the palette and you can click on an image at any time to view its source.

The Visual Search Lab only samples Alamy pictures, and here you can add search terms that describe the nature of the image, such as bright, smooth, fluffy etc.

And finally the Bring Your Own (BYO) image search gives you the option of uploading your own image and being returned a selection of pictures from the Alamy set that match the colour palette in yours.

These are three fascinating tools that will have you looking at images in a whole new way.

HORSESMOUTH (www.horsesmouth.co.uk)

www.horsesmouth.co.uk

Starting a new job or college course can be a daunting experience, especially if you are moving into an entirely new field.

Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who has been there before, and that is the premise of horsesmouth.co.uk.

This social enterprise website is all about connecting people up to mentors who can guide them through the trials and tribulations they will face.

You can either become a mentor and pass on your pearls of wisdom, or you seek the support of an understanding person who knows what you are going through.

There are almost 5,000 mentors registered with the site covering subjects as wide-ranging as family and relationships to vocational training and choosing a career. But if you cannot find a mentor on your subject, the website invites you to send out a call for help.

You can scan the website's categories, or scroll through the available mentors to read their profiles. To contact a mentor you will need to register, which requires a mobile number for them to send a verification code to.

The service is only available in certain countries, but there is a good global coverage.


GREATAMERICANNOVEL.COM (www.greatamericannovel.com)

www.greatamericannovel.com

One internet phenomenon I got into recently are Digital Epistolary Novels. These are stories told through a series of documents like e-mails, instant messages and other electronic communications.

On this website, you will be able to download and read Intimacies by Eric Brown, who is a former English professor and computer geek.

There is nothing to install. Just click the executable file to launch the book and you will be presented with a somewhat familiar-looking interface through which you access these fictitious communications.

It feels a bit voyeuristic reading someone else's e-mails in such a blatant way, but it is a really interesting way to unfold a story, despite the somewhat simple look of the interface.

The character development in this novel really works for me and I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

TALKING PETS(www.talkingpets.org)

www.talkingpets.org

Have you ever wished your pet could talk? Well my cat can, and I am sure yours can too.

Talkingpets.org houses a fun little widget that allows you to upload a picture of your treasured pet and make a fun talking postcard to send on to friends and family.

Just choose a picture, re-size and add an appropriate mouth. Then you can either type an original message or use one of the pre-loaded passages of text. The voice will change depending on which name you choose.

The voices are a bit scary to say the least, but it is a fun way to send a personal message. And you can even add your creation to your Facebook profile to amuse visitors with a funny message.



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