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15 Dec, 2008

Marketwatch.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

Marketwatch.com is a global finance site that is part of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network. The site is awash with financial and economic news, commentary and trends. The site is well-designed with clearly marked links and an attractive white and blue color scheme. The right side of the homepage has a market ticker for all the latest information on the day’s trading.

Features

Marketwatch.com has a navigation bar at the top of the homepage that takes you to specific areas around the site. That works well if you know which sector of finance you’re interested in. If not, you’re better off using the search function for the quickest results.

The site is laid out much like a news site, with all the latest economic headlines at the top of the homepage. As you scroll down, you’ll find more topics such as real estate, Washington, entertainment, banks and European markets.

A multimedia section along the left side of the homepage contains all the latest economic and market news videos. The video and sound quality of the videos is very good.

The user forums are under the community section of the homepage navigation bar. A drop down screen will appear. Click “groups” to view the forums. Other users frequent the forums and discuss topics such as market trends, trading advice, politics and medicine.

Tips & Tricks

The tools and research section is the most fun component of Marketwatch.com. The tools include functions that track the best and worst stocks over the past year and the upgraded and downgraded stocks over the last thirty days.

Users can also register and enter the stocks, bonds and mutual funds from their portfolios. Then, when the log on, their daily portfolio performance is tracked and displayed on the homepage. This is useful if you’re in a hurry or at work at you want a quick look at how you’re doing on the market that day.

Pay special attention to note that the site’s search box is located at the uppermost right hand corner of the homepage.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Although Marketwatch.com is loaded with information, its clean design and simple layout make it fairly easy to understand and navigate. Like any site with such a vast amount of information on it, it will take some time to look through everything. Overall, we give Marketwatch.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 7.

15 Dec, 2008

Forbes.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

Forbes.com describes itself as the “homepage for the world’s business leaders. The site is professionally designed and fairly user-friendly, though not easy to navigate. This is largely because the homepage is huge, taking up three or four screens. This can be overwhelming to the beginning user.

However, getting acquainted with the intricacies of the site is worth your time. Forbes.com is a tremendous resource of the latest business and economic news from around the globe.

Features

The homepage is filled with equal parts content and advertising. Most of the ads are located on the right side of the homepage, so they’re fairly easy to avoid. The site’s homepage is where you’ll find everything. The center of the page contains links to all the latest business news, stock quotes and most popular stories currently on the site.

The navigation bar at the top of the page contains links to business news, market happenings, and personal finance and opinion pieces.

Users can register and then set up their own personal financial portfolios right on the site.

Some of the best content on the site are the feature stories. They are well-written and provide a glimpse into the inner workings of the financial world. You can find them divided by topic halfway down the homepage on the left side.

Tips & Tricks

The website features an awesome search function. Users can set the search to find stock quotes, news, videos and blogs. There’s even an advanced feature that lets you hone in on a very specific topic not generally found on the basic search.

Users can also sign up to receive a free copy of the Forbes magazine by filling out your name and address.

One of the most interesting parts of Forbes.com is the “Forbeslife” tab on the navigation bar. It takes you to compelling stories about how the economy and business world impact every sector of our daily life. This is a must see; the writing is outstanding and the stories are something you won’t find on other sites.

Newbie Friendly Rating

The new user has to take their time with Forbes.com. It’s a bit congested, especially on the homepage. Thankfully, the content is organized and the beginning user can use the search function if they want to bypass the information overload. Although the site may be a bit crowded, it more than makes up for it with tremendous content and special features. We give Forbes.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 7.

15 Dec, 2008

Brazzersnetwork.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

Brazzersnetwork.com is a subscription porn site that offers users 22 porn sites for one membership price. It offers nearly 2,000 scenes from various porn movies. The site provides members with exclusive content not found anywhere else on the Internet. Memberships are typically $24.95 a month but are currently being offered for about $7.95. For a year, the site costs just under $90. The site claims to be the most frequently updated porn site in the world.

Features

The site is filled with links to various movie scenes. With a subscription, the user has access to all the scenes. If you are just browsing, you’ll get a picture gallery of the scene instead. Each thumbnail can be enlarged to a half-page shot with a click.

Once you’re a member, you can access each of the 22 affiliate sites, including MILFs like it Big, Real Wife Stories, Big Tits at School and SexPro Adventures.

If you don’t join, Brazzersnetwork is not going to offer you very much. Without a membership, the site is basically an advertisement for dozens of movie clips. You can surf through some pictures, but if you’re looking for full-on porn content, you won’t find any without breaking out your wallet.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking for amateur content, Brazzersnetwork is not for you. The site is 100 percent pornographic movie stars. You’ll get a full dose of surgically enhanced women and generously endowed men. Judging from the pictures of the movie clips, the site features the heavyweights of the porn world. If that type of porn is for you, you’ll probably find the membership price a bargain and the site a great find. The site seems to provide quality content which is exclusive to their site, and most buyers will probably find the subscription a worthwhile purchase.

At the very bottom of the homepage, you’ll find a “contact us” link that takes you to a page where you can call or email the webmasters with any questions you might have. News users considering a purchase might want to try that before making their transaction.  

Newbie Friendly Rating

Navigation capability on Brazzersnetwork.com is relatively easy. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do with the site without paying at least $8. For that reason, it’s difficult to say the site is Newbie Friendly. We give Brazzersnetwrok.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 4.

15 Dec, 2008

Wowhead.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

Wowhead.com is a site dedicated to enhancing the gaming experience of the popular game, World of Warcraft. The site provides players with various tools, such as gaming patches. Wowhead.com is optimized for the Firefox browser, but worked fine for us with Internet Explorer. The basic contents of site, all linked at the top of the homepage, are database, tools, forums and blogs. Wowhead.com is an easy site to navigate and finding the specific gaming information you’re seeking is elementary.

Features

The most prominent feature of Wowhead.com is the database index. Its link is located at the top left side of the homepage. From there, you can access links to various parts of World of Warcraft such as quests, spells, pets, objects, zones and factions.

The forums are huge, with dozens of individual forums discussing Warcraft and the gaming industry in general. A simple registration process gives the user full access to the forums where they can give and receive feedback from other gamers.

The database of maps provides hundreds of World of Warcraft screenshots of maps throughout the game’s many kingdoms. The link is found under the tools section of the navigation bar.

Tips & Tricks

The homepage has a search bar located right in the middle of the page. The search is exceptionally quick and is the easiest way to find exactly which World of Warcraft application you’re looking for.

Under the “more” tab, you can find the contests section, where users square off in games of Warcraft prowess. This appears to be one of the more popular features of the site.

The item comparison is an interesting feature that compares various components of the World of Warcraft game. It’s located under the “tools” tab on the homepage.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Wowhead is an easy site to use. The homepage is plain, with links to the site’s primary features prominently displayed in the center of the page. One click takes you to many of the site’s fun features.  Overall, we give Wowhead.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

15 Dec, 2008

Springerlink.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

Springer is a publishing group that claims to ‘disseminate knowledge’. The company is the largest producer of books dealing with science, technology, and medicine. The company’s website, www.springerlink.com aims to give people access to its repository of journals, books, and other publications on science, technology and medicine.

 

Features

The website lets you register. You can customize the website by logging in. You can also translate the website into a number of languages. The home page of the website is simple. There is no need to scroll down as the home page fits right on your screen with a resolution of 1024×768.

 

The information available on the website is classified on the basis of the content type, subject collection, and the library it is stored in. Categories make it easy looking for information. Almost all the categories and information available on the website are listed on the main page. Adding to the convenience is a content search box available right on the home page of the website. Once you have selected a category from the home page and reached the results page, you have the flexibility to refine these results by searching further. Also, the results page has sub-categories on its right-hand panel.

 

Tips and Tricks

People may find a little difficult to locate the link for the frequently asked questions on the website. The link is located right at the bottom of its page. There is another link available at the bottom of the website’s pages called Impressum. Clicking this link will take you to the main website of the publishing group, www.springer.com. You will get more information on the company on this website.   

One can improve the way content is searched on the website by clicking the link that’s called more options. This link is located near the search box on the home page. Clicking the link takes you to a page with options for advanced search.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

Though simple, the website has not positioned the link for the frequently asked questions strategically. Also, the website has no Help or About Us section which makes it a little inconvenient for visitors. First-time visitors may be at a loss when they visit the website. However, because of the way the content on the website is categorized and organized, people will like the website. The good organization of content on the website makes it eligible for a rating of 8 out of 10.

15 Dec, 2008

Southwest.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

www.southewest.com is the official website of Southwest Airlines, one of the largest yet low-cost airlines in the United States. This airline has been operational since 1971. Its website aims at making online air booking and check-in convenient for consumers. The website also offers vacation packages to its patrons.

 

Features

The website of Southwest Airlines has a neat interface. It has clearly defined categories neatly placed on the home page. The tabs on the top of the website are: Book Travel, Special Offers, Travel Tools, and Rapid Rewards. Apart from these, the categories corresponding to only the flight booking are displayed vertically as follows: Book A Flight, Check In Online, Check Your Flight Status, and View or Change Your Flight. The clear segregation of categories makes it easier for people to access the information they are looking for

 

Apart from flight bookings, this website lets you book cars, hotels, and vacation packages. It is easy to make travel and vacation plans on the website. Other deals offered by the website are presented on the home page with a brief description.

 

The Book Travel tab will take you to a comprehensive web page that will help plan your travel. The website is visitor-friendly. One can make travel plans starting from booking the air ticket to renting a car, making reservations in a hotel to booking on a cruise in a matter of minutes.

 

Tips and Tricks

The About Southwest section will give you much more information than the company’s history. There are sub-sections like customer service commitment, safety commitment, investment relations, programs & services, careers, supplier information etc.

 

The Help section of the website will take you to a page full of helpful information. Apart from getting the answers to the frequently asked questions, you will get other information intuitively categorized. The categories present in the Help section are: Boarding Process, New Booking Process and Fare Products, Travel Tools, Southwest Policies, and Travel Tips/Airport Information.

 

If you are looking for Southwest contact information, you will find the Contact Us link at the bottom of the home page, on the About Southwest and Help pages.

 

The links displayed at the bottom of the webpage will take you to the relevant section without you having to look around.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

The website does not appear cluttered. A first-time visitor will not be lost here. The booking section is easy for a newbie. The website of the Southwest Airlines deserves a rating of 8 out of 10.

12 Dec, 2008

IBM.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Electronics

Introduction

IBM.com is the website of global computer giant, International Business Machines. As you would expect from a Fortune 500 company, the site is expertly designed and tremendously laid out. It’s a clean site and very easy for the beginner to use and comprehend.

The site registration process is quick and easy to complete.

Features

Basically, the site is for more than just the shopper looking for computer hardware. IBM.com caters to the shopper, businessman, educators, journalists and business administrators. Two primary methods of site navigation are available. A navigation bar on the top of the homepage has a drop-down menu that lists various site destinations. For example, educators can browse throw all the products IBM offers schools and colleges as well as any special deals.

The computer hardware and software can be found under the products tab. Users can browse the companies’ vast selection of computer products and place orders directly on the site.

Another useful feature is the case studies posted on each section that serve as testimonials about various products being used in different industrial sectors. The education section contains success stories of how IBM products are being used to facilitate educational programs around the world.

Tips & Tricks

The “support and downloads” tab contains a troubleshooting section where users can find answers to any problems they might have with IBM products. Users can also open a service request under that tab to get a specific response from an IBM technician.

The “About IBM” tab at the bottom left of the homepage contains a detailed history of the company. In addition to the company story, users can learn about IBM’s global initiative, the latest IBM news and their collaborative efforts with other businesses.

Newbie Friendly Rating

IBM.com is as professional a website as you’ll find on the Internet. It’s an easy site for the beginning user; the homepage is clean and easy to understand. The site contains a wealth of information and shopping for products on IBM.com is quick and the transaction process is simple. We give IBM.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

12 Dec, 2008

Pichunter.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

Pichunter.com is a free porn site packed with explicit photos and short movies from all the popular pornographic genres. The site is especially simple to use. Once you load the homepage, hundreds of pictures are a click away. The site is well-organized and the new user will find navigation self-explanatory.

Features

Pichunter.com is organized by category. Along the left side of the homepage, the site has an alphabetized listing of the various categories of porn, from housewives to younger models to celebrity shots and fetishes.

The picture and movie quality is very good. Some of the pictures load on your monitor a little smaller that a typical porn site, but overall this is a small issue.

One drawback is that clicking on a picture brings up and entirely new page, making download times somewhat slow. Surfing through the site is hindered a bit by this, but the volume of material more that makes up for this shortcoming.

Once you select a category, the center of the page fills with preview boxes for each group of pictures or movies. The box indicates “vids” in the preview for a collection of videos. Otherwise, the collection contains pictures. Most collections range from ten to twenty-four pictures each.

Pichunter also contains an extensive community forum, a feature not commonly found on most porn sites. The forum is located just under the community tab on the top of the homepage. It contains another vast collection of pictures and videos submitted directly to the site by users. This material is completely uncut and some of the best content on the site. You will have to complete a simple registration process before using the forums as the attached pictures there cannot be accessed unless you log into the site.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking for a specific model, take a look at the model index tab at the top left of the homepage. The listings contain hundreds of popular pornographic models from across the world of porn.

Be sure to check out the “extras” section on the navigation bar on the homepage. You can find various bonus features, including some live webcams.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Pichunter.com is an exceedingly friendly site to use. It’s easy to understand and the new user can find a wealth of pornography within minutes. We give Pichunter.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 9.

11 Dec, 2008

4shared.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Downloads

Introduction

Launched in 2005 by Alex Lunkov and Sergey Chudnovsky, 4shared is a free file sharing website. The users can upload, store and download photos, music, zip files, e-books, files and videos. It is a very user friendly site. For a start up company, it is doing very well and getting popular across the globe.

 

Features

The users can register and become a member at this site. One can share the files with members and the non members as well. File sharing limit is set at 5 GB per account and 100 MB for a single file. That means if your file is bigger than 100 Mb, then you will need to break it up. By using their multi load feature, users can upload any number of files in one click. User can either opt for a free plan or their paid plans which are Silver, Gold, Platinum and SBE solution.

 

When you click on the share button there are many options to choose from; like if you click public files then users can see your files; view sub folders allows users to have a look at any sub folders if present in the file;, public search allows users to download file. By clicking on the create folder tab user can create folders in your account. The thumbnail tab shows the files in thumbnail mode to the users. User can upload the file to the folder if upload files has been checked. Password protected folders ensure more security. In that case users access the file through an e mail link. 4shared uploader is a desktop tool that can handle the process of uploading without you going on the 4shared page.

 

If later you feel to go for paid plans you can update your plan. There is an ‘upgrade tab’ on your account page. By upgrading to silver, gold, platinum or SBE solution you can enjoy more features. For speeding up the file transfers, you can use FlashGet, ReGet, and GetRight softwares. While downloading files if there is any interruption, then the downloading can resume later from where it was left. If you are a paid member, there will be no advertisements in your account. These members can also use web grab feature to upload file from the web. These plans start from 48$ and go up to 500$ for one year.

 

4shared forums are a community to talk about movies, music, books, games and all.

 

By becoming a 4shared affiliate program member, you can earn money also.

 

Tips and tricks

Be careful about your personal information on public platform like the forums. Have a copy of the important data with you as you can not blindly depend on online storage. Anything can happen their servers can crash and suddenly they may go out of business.

 

Newbie friendly rating

It is a simple and easy site as the interface is similar to windows. Among the sites allowing free file storage facility, 4shared.com is highly recommended. Therefore it gets a newbie ranking of 8 on 10.

11 Dec, 2008

FT.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

FT.com is the electronic version of the well-known newspaper, The Financial Times. While the newspaper has an online and offline combined readership of 1.4 million across the globe, the website claims to have 7.1 million unique visitors. A website dedicated to world’s business news, views and opinions, FT.com ropes in quite a few business commentators for their comments and analysis.

 

Features

The categories of news on the FT website cover almost all aspects of the world business. The main tabs on the website are dedicated to the following categories: World, Companies, Markets, Lex, Comment, Business Life, and Weekend. Lex is a special column of the FT which they claim is an agenda-setting column on business and financial topics. Each piece of news displayed on the home page of the website has related links displayed below the headline.

 

The FT website lets you subscribe to the financial news, thus delivering daily news right in your inbox. The website’s homepage contains sections titled Interactive, Quick Links, Tools, Services, and Updates. These sections help the visitor explore the FT website thoroughly.

 

The website gives you up-to-date information on the markets around the world. The delay estimated between the actual market status and the FT status is said to be of minimum fifteen minutes.

 

The website lets visitors access videos and podcasts on financial topics. The website lets you register for free.

 

Tips and Tricks

In the About Us section you will get useful information for contacting the FT group and its media center, learning more about the FT group companies, the who’s who at the FT, its history and career opportunities at the FT.

 

Visit the Comment section of the website if you want views and opinions on financial news by the experts as well as the general public. The section is further divided into sub-sections such as Opinion, Analysis, Columnists, Editorial, Letters, Blogs, Debates and polls, and Ask the expert. The Ask the expert page lets website visitors get answers to queries related to business and finance.

 

You can get updates from the FT website on your mobile by selecting the appropriate option in the Updates section. The website also provides you a tool for currency conversion. This tool is available in the Tools section.

 

Clicking the Help link on the home page of the website will lead you to a page with a variety of information. Apart from a link for answers to the frequently asked questions, the FT website has organized website-related information in self-explanatory categories. The categories are: Markets Data & Tools, Search, Video and Audio, Subscription & Registration, RSS feeds, FT on your mobile, News by email, Business school rankings, FT Alphaville, FT Managed Funds, Contacting the FT, Security policy, and Browser Compatibility.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

The website’s intuitive categorization will help a newbie browse through the pages. However, the spread of the information on the home page may appear cluttered to a first-time visitor. The website’s proposed new look promises to cut down on the clutter by providing collapsible sections. The FT website should get a newbie friendly rating of 7 out of 10.