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Tech Tips 224

Fifteen Cool Websites You Need To Visit

By Bryan Lambert - Sunday, June 28, 2009

pullquoteAll of us have our own personal favorite websites, and many of them may be the same favorites of many other people. However beyond the Youtube’s, CNN’s and Facebook’s of the world lay some other terrific websites. In this week's Tech Tip, we’ll be looking at fifteen cool websites that are a must visit. Some you may know about, and others may be new to you, so without any further ado we present (in no particular order) the fifteen sites!

1. Archive.org

Want to know what Geeks.com looked like back in 2001? How about film clips of “The Flintstones” hawking cigarettes? Maybe the old FDR Pearl Harbor audio clip? They can all be found on the Internet Archive at archive.org. Archive.org is basically a library in digital form – but open to the public 24/7.


2. Snopes.com

Has someone sent you an e-mail saying that Bill Gates is asking that you send it on to ten people to get a prize? Or maybe you heard about the urban legend that if someone died form drinking too much cola along with pop-rocks candy? Then check them out on Snopes.com. Snopes.com will take a look at a legend and try to determine if it’s true, false, a mixture of both or basically something that is undetermined. All of their research is referenced, so you too can go back to the source. On this site you can have hours of fun as you look at legend after legend.

3. WN.com

Tired of the US or European centric news feeds? Or how about an online newspaper full of nothing but AP stories? Then give WN.com a try. WN.com is a news network that looks at news feeds from around the world and presents them in regions. Cricket in India? There. Politics from Zimbabwe? There too. A must read site for news junkies.

4. The Force.net

This is a website for all you Star Wars junkies out there. Featuring fan films, fan art, fan fiction, many forums and other Star Wars centric things, this site is a must for all those who need to “get their geek on.” P.S. – definitely check out the fan films, you won’t believe the quality achieved by many of the “amateur” film makers.

5. Ancestry.com

This is one of those websites that likes to advertise a lot via banners ads, however it is also one that is a definite go to site. This genealogy site is a must for anyone interested in their family history. Super easy to use, the site will provide helpful hints and links to important documents as well as other user pages. This is a pay site, but they do offer a free trial period – and you can keep accessing, and adding on to your own family tree if you cancel your subscription. So if this is something that even mildly interests you, give Ancestry.com a go.

6. Cafepress.com

This is the website to make custom tee-shirts, coffee mugs, etc on the cheap. Simply upload your design, and away you go.

7. Kayak.com

This is a must go to travel website to find not just bargains but BARGAINS, especially on air travel. The nice thing about this site is that it not only checks the standard litany of travels sites, but the airlines direct website airfares as well – and gives them to you in a nice big, easy to read, understand and filter package.

8. Pipl.com

In quick need of a persons address and phone number – or wondering if a friend may have a social networking site, then take a visit over to Pipl.com. They claim to be, "The most comprehensive people search on the web."

9. Pandora.com

This is an easy to use and free streaming music site. Here you can “build stations” around a particular style of music or an entire genre. A must for any music lover.

10. Playlist.com

Another music site, but built differently. Here you can build playlists of very specific songs and then save then on playlists for your listening enjoyment.

11. TheMovieSpoiler.com

Want to take a look at an in depth, blow by blow storyline of a particular new release, or maybe something that came out in the last few years, then TheMovieSpoiler.com would be for you. Great for parents who want something more than a synopsis for looking over a potential “family” movie. Proudly displayed on their site: "Discover the endings to most current films and movies now playing in theaters!"

12. MSNGames.com

This is a website that lets you get your gaming hat on and waste, er, practice for hours on end with some of the most popular web-based games. Many are free to play over, and over, and over and over again…


13. Baen.com

The late science fiction editor and publisher Jim Baen was a huge proponent of non-DRM (Digital Rights Management) content – and he showed this by allowing a huge portion of his book catalog to be available free online at Baen.com. The hope is, of course, to get you hooked into a particular series or author and have you buying the latest releases. If you like high quality sc-fi and fantasy, then click on over to Baen.com.

14. FootballOutsiders.com

With US football almost upon us, no football geek would want to overlook this website. Full of advanced statistics and analysis, FootballOutsiders.com is a must go to site for the upcoming season.

15. Crackberry.com

A website dedicated to the wonderful BlackBerry series of phones, this is a site that no BlackBerry user would want to pass up. Filled with the latest news and goings on in the BlackBerry world and well as reviews, apps and accessories, CrackBerry.com is THE go to site for the geek who loves his BlackBerry phone.

In Conclusion

In this week's Tech Tip, we looked at fifteen cool websites that are a must visit for the Geek in all of us. It is our hope that we may have turned you onto some sites that you may not have heard of or seen before, or maybe that we highlighted a site that you absolutely love. We are also sure that we may have left some of your personal favorites out. If we have, please be sure to leave a comment about what your favorite “cool site” is – we are sure that many here would love to take a look at them along with the ones we have already highlighted that you NEED to visit.

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