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05 Dec, 2008

Funny-games.biz

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Entertainment

Introduction

A website dedicated to free gaming, funny-games.biz has a large number of gamers frequenting it. The website offers on its platter a little more than 3500 games to choose from. This gaming website has more than 450,000 gamers visiting it everyday.

 

Features

The best feature about this gaming website is that all the games here can be accessed for free. Though registering on the website helps, one does not need to register to play games on funny-games.biz. Almost a dozen categories of games are available on this website, accounting for more than 3500 different types of games. All the free Yahoo games are also available at the website’s game store. For people who prefer thinking games over games that require hand-eye coordination, the website offers several puzzles and math-based games. Apart from offering games, the website has a large repository of jokes, cartoons, videos and pictures.

 

Tips and Tricks

Though the website does not require you to register, it is a good idea to register yourself for additional benefits. For example, after registration, you will be able to save your games and return to them later. You will also be able to record your scores and claim the highest score when you get it.

 

On scrolling down till you reach the end of the Funny Videos section, you will find a link for downloading full games. The website visitor is given the flexibility of changing the color theme of the website. So, if you do not like the yellow and pink interface of the website, change it to your liking. There are not many options to choose from, however, the visitor gets some kind of control over the look of the website. Furthermore, you have the flexibility of translating the website. You can choose from the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Greek, and Dutch.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

The biggest drawback of the website is that the graphics are extremely basic, thus making it unsuitable for competition with other gaming websites. There are too much text, visual elements, and color on the home page which may not appeal to the first-time visitor. The colors do not make for a relaxing view. The interface is cluttered to some extent. Visitors may not like the long vertical scroll. The website gets an edge over its competitors because it is free. Moreover, the range of games on offer will appeal to a new online gamer.

05 Dec, 2008

McAfee.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Downloads

Introduction

Headquartered in California, USA, McAfee, Inc. is a company dealing with everything related to computer security. Founded in the late 80s, the company gets its name from its founder, John McAfee. www.mcafee.com is the official website of the company. The website offers a neat interface for computer users. Irrespective of the number of computers or the size of the computer network you handle, you can buy the right kind of anti-virus or other security software through the McAfee website. The website categorizes its software based on the consumers’ needs. Thus, there are separate tabs for home and home office set-up, small business, medium business, and large enterprises, making it convenient for potential customers.

 

Features

The website’s best features are the sections dedicated to support and information. Need help and Support offer customers answers to their queries about security software in general and McAfee in particular. Sections like Threat Center and Security Insights help to inform customers about computer security. The Security Insights section gives netizens an access to a repository of security-related articles as well as a blog. The blog features several posts containing expert opinions. You can subscribe to regular feeds to the blog. A Security Insights Newsletter is also an important feature of the blog. The website is all set to not only sell but also educate people on computer security methods and concerns.

 

Each category of products, based on the customer’s needs, when accessed leads to a new page with a slightly different interface. The products on offer are explained in detail in terms of its features, benefits and system requirements, thus making it easy for consumers to make a decision.

 

Tips and Tricks

Each category represented by image and text on the website opens up a new page. The Contact Us link on this page is customized for the category. Thus, if you have chosen the Home and Home Office category, clicking on the Contact Us link on the page of the category will fetch you more relevant information. However, the same categories when accessed through the tabs on the top of the website will lead to pages different from the ones accessed through the image and text sections.

 

The best way to view the website is to customize it by choosing the country of your residence. Not only will the contact information will be local but the products on offer will also be available in your current location. The default location of the website is United States.

 

The Threat Center section provides information on all the latest malware and virus doing the rounds of the computer and internet world. The section also provides tips to avoid spams. There is also information on categories of spam and the common subject lines indicating spam.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating

A newbie may initially be dazzled by the website’s interface. Images, marquees, and splash may be too much for a newbie to handle. A little time looking around the website will make the newbie comfortable. With clear categorization of customers and their needs, the website will prove friendlier than it initially appears to be. Given its sections and the information it provides, this website deserves a rating of 8 out of 10.

04 Dec, 2008

Download-provider.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Downloads

Introduction

Download-provider.com is a virtual warehouse of downloadable movies, music, games, television shows and software. The site is not free. The site claims that memberships typically cost about $30, although special promotional offers allow a user access for $5. The site updates everyday and a quick look at the homepage shows that all the latest movies in theaters today are available for immediate download. Download speeds are excellent, with the homepage claiming a robust 978 Kb/sec.

Features

Just about anything from the world of entertainment is available on Download-provider.com. The files selected come straight from the site’s server ensuring the user an accurate download and nothing malignant like a virus.

The homepage displays the most popular downloads currently being used on the site. Downloading is as simple as a mouse click. The products are featured in their own box with a download button at the bottom of each box.

The “other” section contains downloadable products like books and magazines, adult content, ebooks and anime.

As content goes, Download-provider is unsurpassed. The site provides almost every downloadable product imaginable. A test download of a movie was completed quickly and the video quality was excellent. In short, it was a excellent experience for a newcomer to the site.

Tips & Tricks

Use the keyword search at the top of the homepage for a quick look at a specific topic. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for a song by a band but you don’t know the title or all the movies that feature your favorite actor.

The site provides an excellent user support feature on the left side of the homepage. From that, users can direct any question to a member of the site’s technical team.

A great way to get acquainted to the site is to use the “free tour” feature at the top left of the homepage. The tour takes the new user through each section of the site including how to register, download and even search for a particular product.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Download-provider.com is easy to use. The only negative is that the site is heavy on graphic content and you are flooded with covers to popular movies and television shows. That can be a bit distracting, especially when you are new to the site. Nevertheless, the site is about downloading material and, in that, it has no peers. Take advantage of the tour to quickly become acquainted with the components of the site and you will enjoy a smooth experience. Overall, we give Download-provider.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

04 Dec, 2008

Zedge.net

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Downloads|Electronics

Introduction

Zedge.net is a virtual warehouse of cell phone ringtones, games, videos, wallpapers and themes. The company refers to themselves as the “coolest mobile community site ever.” Zedge.net takes phone personalization to another level with fantastic downloads guaranteed to please everyone that tries the site. Currently, the site offers 2.5 million downloads for mobile customers.

Features

Zedge.net is relatively easy to navigate and downloads are easy to implement. Almost all the products on the site are free except for certain “send to phone” features.

Zedge allows users to create their own customized ringtones, wallpaper and mobile themes using their original “Zedge tools.” Users may also upload their own ringtones and wallpaper for others to use on the site. A navigation bar at the top of the page provides a quick link to all downloads on the site as well as the creation software and the user community pages. With a glance, you can view profiles of the top-ranked Zedge users and learn about their favorite downloads on the site.

The homepage has an easily visible “get ringtone” button that takes you to the specified download. Downloading times are relatively quick and the quality of the wallpaper and ringtones is good, if not spectacular.

Once you’re on the homepage, users should look for the cell phone icon at the top right of the homepage and register their cellular device. Once you’ve completed this process, the icon with your phone name will appear on the homepage and downloading will become much easier. Zedge delivers download capability to all phones, regardless of brand.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking for a specific ringtone, be sure to utilize the search bar at the top of the homepage. You can enter the song name, band name or a simple keyword to search the ringtone database.

If you are looking for an especially social experience at Zedge, make sure to register a profile on the site. Once you’ve done this, you can browse other profiles and become virtual friends with fellow “Zedgers.”

Newbie Friendly Rating

The site is easy to follow and downloads of all the fun products are easy to complete. A drawback to the site is the annoying pop-up messages you’ll receive as soon as you register your phone. The “messages” are actually elaborate pop-up ads and are quite annoying. Since the site is free, there is nothing you can do other than to tolerate them. Zedge.net is a mixed bag. It provides some excellent free content, but it’s not an especially friendly site for the new user, or any user for that matter. We give Zedge.net a Newbie Friendly Rating of 5.

04 Dec, 2008

Meebo.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Social Network

Introduction

Meebo.com is a user portal for all the popular instant messaging websites. The site provides users with a central location to log into IM sites like AOL, MSN, Yahoo and Google. The log in process is exceedingly simple and users can even centralize the process by registering a free Meebo user account. All told, Meebo provides chat rooms and IM service to over 35 million people around the world. The site prides itself on the fact that no downloads or installs are required to use the site. True to its word, Meebo.com is remarkably easy to use and friendly to the Newbie. Advertisements are virtually non-existent and the overall site experience is smooth and convenient.

Features

In addition to providing centralized access to the four major instant messaging components, Meebo offers its own chat room program as well, called Meebo Rooms. The registration process is free and easy to use. However, the Meebo chat room doesn’t really offer anything different than the four major providers. It’s a good chat device, but nothing unique.

Meebo Rooms offers users the opportunity to create and moderate your own private chat room where you can invite friends and watch over the proceedings.

Using the site is easy. The only requirement is that you have a preexisting username and password from the IM application you wish to use. Those can quickly be obtained from the homepage of each provider.

Logging in is exactly how it is on the home sites of each provider. Once logged on, the actually IM screen is similar to the brand it is using, if not an exact replica. From there, buddy lists and all the chat features you are accustomed to are at your fingertips.

Tips & Tricks

For the curious among us, be sure to check out the Meebo use sample from around the world. Click on the “About Us” tab at the top of the homepage. From there, look to the left of the screen to see a globe. Clicking on the icon providers users with a global look at Meebo use over the past 15 minutes.

If you’re in the mood to chat on a certain subject, you’ll want to check out the various Meebo Rooms where vibrant discussions on sports, music, relationships and school are just a click away.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Meebo.com is very easy for the beginning user. Once you have a username and password from an existing IM provider, you are good to go. Meebo is easy to understand and directions are clear and concise. We give Meebo.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 10.

 

04 Dec, 2008

Truveo.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Video

Introduction

Truveo.com has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “the best web-wide video search engine I’ve seen.” That’s exactly what Truveo is; a huge library of web videos from full-length movies, to television shows to sports highlights and music videos. A simple navigation bar at the top of the homepage takes the user to one of several video topics.

The quality of the videos is terrific. The videos are shown in a screen that takes up about one-quarter of the monitor, similar to what Youtube provides. What sets Truveo apart from other video search engines is the aforementioned resolution and overall quality of the videos. Other video sites may show videos that are grainy and distorted, but Truveo only archives videos of the highest quality.

Truveo started as a commercial video search engine that worked with companies such as Microsoft and AOL. In 2006, they made the site open to the general public and quickly become one of the top online video search sites on the net.

Features

Truveo presents a user-friendly format to the beginner. The homepage is easily navigated and a search bar at the top of the homepage makes finding a specific video painless.

Links at the far right of the homepage list categories of videos as well as specific television stations that are home to popular shows. If a user missed their favorite show last week, you are guaranteed to find it on Truveo.

The site also features a “popular today” section towards the bottom of the homepage. That provides users with quick links to the videos that are the hottest requests for that day.

The videos operate much in the same way they do at other video sites. The player clearly displays volume and play controls and allows the user to scroll forward and backward throughout the video.

Tips & Tricks

New users will want to check out the Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of the homepage. The section provides tips to parents on how to set filters to prevent underage users from browsing the site’s adult content.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Truveo presents a self-explanatory format and is very easy to navigate. Download times can be a bit slow at times and somewhat frustrating. Overall, the experience at Truveo is similar to using other video search sites. What sets Truveo apart from the others is the overall quality of the videos. We give Truveo.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 8.

04 Dec, 2008

Ehow.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction

Ehow.com is a site that serves as a vast library of how-to articles on any subject imaginable. Users can browse through the collection of articles or become free members and write their own articles for extra cash. In addition, Ehow has an extensive collection of instructional videos as well. The site is clear and easy to navigate, providing the new user with an enjoyable experience. Additionally, users that want to write for Ehow will find the registration process simple, although you have to provide your social security number for tax purposes.

Features

The homepage is well constructed and the beginner can quickly find their way to the collections of articles and videos. Clicking on the “How Tos” tab at the top of the page brings up a categorized list of all the instructional topics. This is the simplest way to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly.

The How To section covers just about any subject, and if a user can’t find what they are looking for, there’s an article request form at the bottom left of the homepage. Ehow writers take the requests and create the specific article you need.

Browsing through the “parenting” section of articles, you’ll find more than 2,600 essays on babies alone. The articles are reviewed by readers and the article rankings are posted just to the right of the article title. Since Ehow allows anyone to write for them, this is an effective way of sifting through the garbage and finding quality writing. Thankfully, Ehow lists the articles with the best reviews at the top, so you don’t even have to look at the shoddy articles.

Tips & Tricks

One of the easiest ways to browse the site is with the tab at the far left of the homepage. The tab is divided into sections that will take you to each section’s subdivision. Make sure to stick with the articles at the top of the list as the others have been found less informational to fellow readers.

Don’t miss the resources section which provides users with online product reviews and price quotes in addition to helping you find the resources you’ll need to accomplish your how-to tasks. The far right of the section features a user forum where Ehow users are busily discussing the Ehow topics of the day.

Newbie Friendly Rating

Ehow.com is an incredibly easy site to use. The site’s layout is simple and modest and the new user will feel comfortable immediately. Finding what you are looking for is quick and easy and a user can find a how-to article on any topic within minutes. We give Ehow.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 10.

03 Dec, 2008

Filehippo.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Downloads

Introduction:

Filehippo.com is an online software download site where you can find various free and paid software and tools for your needs.  There are very many software and tools available at File Hippo for download, which will be of immense use one way or another.  The best part of using Filehippo is that it actually filters out many of the software which has spyware, adware, popups and other malware and has only uploaded quality and clean software to download for our needs.  The software or tools available here are updated regularly and hence you get the option of downloading all the latest version of the respective software and tools without needing to wander around different sites to find them.  The main advantage of Filehippo.com is that you get to download all the software and tools at one place rather than searching them everywhere.

 

Features:

The best feature of Filehippo is that you get the option of finding the latest updated software or tool on their home page itself and hence you can immediately get update to them easily in a click of a button.  This is applicable for all the software and tools available for download at File Hippo.  There is also another added and exclusive feature available here and that is the most popular downloads section.  Here they have segregated all the top downloaded and most popular software.  Thus for those who are finding it hard to choose the right software on various categories can get to choose and download the popular ones.  Unlike other popular software download sites or portals, this site has a very easy to navigate and use option where almost all the categories and the popular software are put up for download on their home page and thus saving us time from searching them.

 

Tips & Tricks:

One very useful feature that is available here is the update checker software.  You can download this software for free on your PC and this will automatically scan all the software and tools available in your PC and give you a report of all those software which are outdated, so that you update them to the latest version.  While some sites offer this option for a charge, File Hippo offers it for free, so you can make use of it and get yourself updated to all the latest software and their respective versions at a click of a button.  One other trick or option you can find here is that you can find even the old versions available on each and every software tool that you download.  This would be useful if you did not like or could not use the latest version of a particular software.  One trick you can use for faster download is to use the alternative or mirror sites to download your softwares faster as sometimes the regular server for downloads would be too busy making it harder for you to download.  You can also subscribe to their site through RSS and get yourself updated on any new software or latest version released.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating:

Filehippo, apart from minor hiccup of slower downloads, can be given a rating of 7 out of 10.

03 Dec, 2008

Ancestry.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Informational

Introduction:

Ancestry.com is a site wherein one can find the world’s largest collection of the Jewish family history records. They have different records of all time categorized into photographs, holocaust, immigration records, memorials and many more. It features the collections of the family trees which have been submitted to them by across the world. Their collections includes Jewish family History, African American Family History, U.S Immigration collection, U.S Military collection and International records. The U.S. Census collections will take you way back in to the history of year post 1700. It also showcases the Birth, Death and Marriage records for anyone belonging to these family trees.

 

Features:

Best search features available on this site is that of type-ahead tool which has all the records saved and memorized, so if you type a particular name it will give you a list of options even before you finish typing. It has a very simple and easy to read format layout. One can save the already viewed content so that without wasting time you know if you are heading for the right content. One can also network on this site and stay connected to your long lost family members and relatives. One can merely find their ancestors by keying in simple facts about their family. It provides you access to the historical records of over six billion people all over the world. They are constantly making improvements on the site so that the search person has a pleasant experience searching for the information.

 

Tips & Tricks:

One can easily jump to the specified categories available on this site without wasting time. There are easy links available to help you find specific data related to your search. One can make use of links likes ‘The best way to find historical record’, ‘what to do after finding a historic record’ and many more. You can maximize your search by just keying the abbreviations or nick names as well. Make use of the categories which defines the content available in it like Newspapers & Periodicals, Court, Land, Will and Financial data, Immigration and Emigration and more to select from. All these categories have further sub categories and titles which will enhance your search.

 

Newbie Friendly Rating:

Ancestry.com is a published in a simple format and easy to understand. There are no slang words or usage of jargon on this site. It is a very helpful site which will provide you details on your ancestors. Ancestry.com is a very informative site and can be given a rating of 8 on 10.

03 Dec, 2008

Neopets.com

Posted by: Nick the Greek In: Uncategorized

Introduction

Neopet.com is a virtual pet website that was launched about ten years ago and eventually purchased by Viacom. Neopet.com essentially allows a user to create and play games with an online “virtual pet.” The pets travel through their online world, Neopia, and encounter various challenges along the way, including fighting with other Neopets. The site is filled with games such as puzzles and general chance contests. Primarily a children’s site, it also includes educational word games. The site is packed with features that will brighten any child’s day.

Features

Neopet.com is flooded with various components, from games to pet creation to shopping to a section featuring Neopet videos. To create a Neopet, a user must first complete a simple registration process. Creating a new pet is quite easy and the user is given a multitude of options to choose from. Children will certainly enjoy this feature.

One excellent feature of the site is the Neopedia, a Neopet Wikipedia of sorts. It contains a vast collection of articles, poems, short stories about Neopia and the virtual animals that inhabit it. The section can be found under the explore tab on the homepage.

Neopia Central, located under the “shops” tab on the homepage, is a one-stop shopping center for all things Neopia. There, users can purchase various items for their Neopet.

Tips and Tricks

Users will want to check out the “explore” tab located at the top of the homepage. A list of definitions is there that introduces the beginner with the world of Neopia and the various playing options.

Parents looking for the educational components of the site can check out the games section at the top of the homepage. From there, look for the educational section and click on “Spell or Starve,” a simple word game that incorporates the Neopet characters and spelling.

Parents will also want to check out the site’s safety tips at the bottom of the homepage which discourage users from giving away personal information to other users.

The new user’s best bet is to take advantage of the navigation bar at the top of the homepage. Everything you will want to do can be found there.

Newbie Friendly Rating

The site is rather congested and users will quickly notice the array of colors and general disorganization of the homepage. Finding exactly what you’re looking for can prove to be a bit confusing at first. The site is also filled with imbedded advertising, which distracts from the primary features of the site. Overall, we give Neopet.com a Newbie Friendly Rating of 5.