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Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

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.


A MESSAGE FROM EARTH (www.amessagefromearth.com)
BEBO (www.bebo.com/amessagefromearth)

www.www.bebo.com/amessagefromearth

Is there anybody out there? I mean of course life on other planets, in other galaxies, and solar systems far into the night sky. Many believe it is impossible for us to be the only sentient life forms in the vastness of the universe, and so the users of Bebo have sent out a message.

The users at amessagefromearth.com created messages, 500 were chosen and then beamed out into space on 9th October 2008. Their target destination was a planet 20.5 light years away, which has a sun not unlike our own. Scientists believe it could support life of a similar kind to Earth.

The messages will travel at the speed of light, passing the moon in just 1.7 seconds. They will leave our own solar system within seven hours, and finally reach their destination in the spring of 2029.

Once you have watched the movies to find out about this fascinating, interstellar project, point your browser at bebo.com/amessagefromearth. Here you can browse through the messages that were chosen, and track the progress of the transmission as it is beamed towards its destination. The big question is - will we get a reply?

GET SAFE ONLINE (www.getsafeonline.org)

www.getsafeonline.org

There is always something new and interesting to do on the internet, but some people worry about safety, and quite rightly too. The world wide web gives those with malicious intent a territory without boundaries to work in. But it is incredibly easy to close the door on them if you follow a few basic safety rules.

Getsafeonline.org tackles this thorny issue in a really palatable style without mess, fuss, or drama. It gives you straight-forward advice and tips about keeping your PC out of the hands of thieves and fraudsters.

A good place to start is the top ten safety tips link on the front page of the website which takes you to a 10-minute guide for beginners. I really like that they have separated the guide into PC, MAC and Linux, as the three operating systems are quite different and deserve to be handled in different ways.

There is advice for home and business users here, plus a handy test to see how safety savvy you are. Look under the highlights section for topic-specific articles, such as online dating and social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo.


FIREFOX ADD-ONS (https://addons.mozilla.org)

https://addons.mozilla.org

It is handy to know the local time when you pick up the phone to call other countries, or even play video games online with people from all over the world.

I used to find out times by using a search engine every time, but I have shaved minutes of annoyance off my day by installing a simple add-on.

It is called Foxclocks and can be found in addons.firefox.org where you can just click to download and install the application. I really love the way this browser has made installing add-ons so quick and easy.

Once you re-start your browser, you will see the clocks appear by default in the bottom left corner of your window. Right-click and choose options to fine tune the look, and then double-click the status bar to make adjustments on which countries you want permanently displayed.

I now know at a glance when it is time to start calling Asia, or when the American helpline of my favourite video game is open for business.

JIBJAB (http://sendables.jibjab.com)

http://sendables.jibjab.com

I love sending e-cards, especially ones you can personalise with your own unique touches, and hopefully make your loved ones laugh when they receive them.

At sendables.jibjab.com you will find a huge amount of brilliant cards that you can put your own pictures into.

Want to star in your own action movie? Fancy a 70s-style groove across the dance floor? Or maybe you want to take a starring role in the hugely popular High School Musical? There are some cards using political satire as well, but these are easily avoided, if they are not your style.

There are plenty of choices marked as free if you do not want to pay.

Once you have found a card you want to send, just click to personalise and then upload a photo from your hard drive. You can re-size the image and re-set the crop points so that the faces are perfectly cut out. Finally, click and drag the face into place and you are ready to watch and send your card.

You will need to register before you can send the card. But when you return to the site on the same PC, the faces you have cut out previously will remain in place for you to use again, even if you did not register yet.



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