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Web's Eye View

Each month, ITadviser includes a feature where IT professionals describe their top web sites. Tanzarine director Neil Pellinacci wrote the feature for the January/February 2006 edition of the magazine.


Slashdot

www.slashdot.org: Subtitled "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters" this web site is an excellent way to keep abreast of the latest trends in science, technology, business and their social implications, as well as up to the minute news. Editors submit stories (based on reader's information) about useful articles seen on the web and forum members then discuss them.

The opinions of many of the readers are forthright, as is the language used to express them, but even if the ensuing discussions are put to one side, this web site is an excellent "alert" to technology news stories around the world, and frequently allows you to spot interesting technology reports on other news services such as the BBC, New York Times, The Register and silicon.com without monitoring all of them continuously.


O'Reilly Network

www.oreillynet.com: Well known for computer books, conferences and online publishing, O'Reilly runs a number of developer web sites which are essential reading for professionals in many disciplines. The sites cover .NET, Java, XML, Perl, LAMP (the combination of open source tools which is Linux, Apache, MySQL and your choice of Perl or PHP or Python) and also "environment specific" centres for Windows, Mac and Linux developers.


Joel on Software

www.joelonsoftware.com: Joel Spolsky, a software developer based in New York City, writes on issues in software development, management, business, the Internet, and more. As and when he comes across something significant to professional software developers and users of the web, he writes about it and invites discussion from readers. There are five years of archives there as well, see Big Macs vs. The Naked Chef for a good introduction.


Mozilla

www.mozilla.org: Home of the standards-based Firefox web browser and it's companion email client, Thunderbird, as well as the full Mozilla suite which also includes a newsgroup reader, IRC client and HTML editor. The Sunbird calendar application is under development, and an alpha release is now available.


Satire Wire

www.SatireWire.com: It's now over three years since Andrew Marlatt stopped producing new material for his popular satirical web site in order to concentrate on publicising his book "Economy of Errors", and some comedy projects for the BBC (he is co-creator of BBC Three's "The Comic Side of 7 Days").

Business, technology, religion and politics all fall under Marlatt's "dot.com.edy" microscope, and fortunately for those that missed it first time round, he has at least kept the site running. So, we can continue to enjoy "Interview with the Search Engine" (in which he conducts a Parkinson-style conversation with askjeeves.co.uk) and (the IP addresses of) Tim Berners-Lee's favourite web sites.


Business 2.0

www.business2.com: A monthly look at the drivers behind technology, media and business in the United States, looking forwards to what might be coming next, and backwards to what's gone wrong. Don't miss the annual "101 Dumbest Moments in Business".


Dilbert

www.dilbert.com: The official web home of Scott Adams' famous creation, where you can find all manner of Dilbert comic strips, games, wallpapers, screensavers, well, you name it, there's even a Dilbert blog. And of course, your boss will laugh at the Pointy Hair Boss, and won't get the real joke.


TV.com

www.tv.com: Although many fans miss the original, less commercial interface and the fan-driven editorials of tvtome.com, this site's predecessor before it was swallowed up by CNET, tv.com remains an excellent source of information about your favourite TV shows, with full episode guides, cast details, and discussion groups.

There's also a healthy selection of links to the latest celebrity news stories as they're reported around the web. Remember though that many shows air in the US well before the UK, and you might find out more than you really want to about what's coming next in Alias.


The Onion

www.theonion.com: Subtitled modestly as America's Finest News Source, this is an often hard hitting satirical look at life in the US and global affairs from an American standpoint, available weekly online and in print.


Tube Real Time Disruption Map

journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/im/RD-T.html: This is an excellent example of using something familiar as an interface to a technology system. The map presented is a standard tube map, with tubes lines and stations highlighted wherever there is currently a problem. Clicking on any highlighted area shows a full description of the problem.

Note that at the time of writing, Transport for London had made the map temporarily unavailable pending the new improved version of the service, which is now available.


Housing Maps

www.housingmaps.com: This is a web site which takes data from two other web sites and joins them together. It takes property listings from the popular and non-commercial classified adverts site craigslist and maps from Google Maps in order to show maps of the locations of properties which are available to buy or rent in a particular area. Click on a property which looks interesting and a brief overview (some with photos) appears. Click on a link and you are taken to the corresponding classified entry on craigslist.

Most of the major North American cities are covered, although there are a small number of properties in London listed on the site. There are some obvious problems, most notably that you can click on a property only to find that the craigslist entry has expired. You can expect problems like this to be solved as this site, and many others like it, evolve.