Corbin’s Top 40 Web Sites
(non-meeting industry related)
What are some of the best Web sites around? As keeper of one of the meeting industry’s largest online favorites files (www.corbinball.com/favorites.htm), I am constantly on the prowl for good ones. Here are my top favorite 40 general interest sites.
Corbin's Top 40 Web Sites (Non-Meeting Industry Related)
This site is both helpful and scary. You can search the phone books of the US by name or by telephone number (listed numbers only). It provides name, phone, and address information and even draws a map to the house! You can even reverse search by telephone number or even by street.
This is the best site around for information and links about virus hoaxes, email chain letter and other web scams. If someone sends you a message asking you to forward it to everyone in your address book, 99% of the time it is a hoax or chain letter. My general rule is to immediately delete these messages. But, if you feel compelled to forward them, check the messages out here for validity before you even think about sending.
The key to finding things on the web is understanding how search engines work. This site provides the most complete information on how to use them and how to increase your web site rankings.
This site is a meta-site for finding addresses, businesses, and people. For example, if you are looking for a business, type in the name once, and it allows you to quickly search all of the many of the major yellow pages sites at once.
This site provides comprehensive data and statistics on all of the companies listed in the New York Stock exchange and more. Eliminate the cold calls by doing research on the company before you ever pick up the receiver.
This site catalogues online web cameras around the world. For example, you are wondering what the weather is in London. See for yourself with real-time photos in 41 camera locations.
Search the largest database of Usenet newsgroups and other popular forums on the Internet. With more than 40,000 special interest groups, nearly any subject area can be found.
This is my favorite currency converter. Easy to use with the rates updated by the minute.
Have you received an email in a foreign language? This link, as part of www.AltaVista.com, will translate it to and from English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. It translates text or even web sites. The program is not perfect but gives a pretty good idea of what has been written.
This site provides basic words, numbers, shopping/dining terms, directions, places, time and dates in 70 languages in an easy-to-use format. You can even listen to the words and phrases with streaming audio.
This site tracks all US airline flights currently in the air and tells the location, altitude, speed, type of aircraft, ETA, and much more. Click on the “graphics” version to see a map with a little jet icon going over the terrain. Many other travel resources are also provided.
This site provides software that allows users to ALT-Click on any word in a Windows environment (a word processing document, a spread sheet, browser, etc.). This opens a small pop-up window with a definition, thesaurus, and translation for the word clicked on. It the word is a place it shows a map, description, and current weather information. If the word is a company, stock quotes, company bullet, and current company news are shown. This is especially useful for those with DSL or cable modem (always on) connections.
I almost never drive to a new address in a metro area without using Mapblast. This site accurately maps nearly any address in the U.S. and they can be printed out in excellent detail. The other major player is MapQuest (www.mapquest.com).
If you are driving, this site provides accurate, turn-by-turn driving instructions with estimated timing, between any two points in the U.S.
This is one of the best sources of news links on the web including directories of hundreds of newspapers, television stations, magazines, and other news resources around the world.
The most complete and easy-to-use measurement converter that I have found. If you want to know how many feet are in a league, or how many carats are in a gram, this is the place to go.
It is unfortunate for the Encyclopedia Britannica that it did not see the writing on the wall before their book sales dropped to nothing due to web-based ways of getting information. However, the good news for surfers is that EB has put their entire encyclopedia online for free. Extremely well researched and documented information can be found on nearly every subject.
Hundreds of reference subjects and links from A to Z are linked here. There are 23 links in the “A” section alone including: Airline Toll-free Numbers, Ancestry Genealogy Library, Area Code lookup, ATM locators, and Atomic Clocks.
This shipping site compares all of the major shippers (USPS, FedEx, UPS, Emery, Airborne, DHL and more) both nationally and internationally. Enter the weight and where the package/letter is to be sent. This site ranks them all, and finds the best deal. The site also contains tracking links, drop off info, and much more.
The U.S. Postal Service also has a helpful mailing/shipping site with many tools. Zip+4 lookup, stamp ordering, postal rate calculator, and online stamps. It even has on-line bill paying options demonstrating how the web is forcing even the postal service to reinvent itself.
If you are traveling (or meeting planning) internationally, this site has the national holidays for over 250 countries, religious calendars and more.
One of the two best air ticketing sites around – the other is www.travelocity.com.
This site is a great link to all of the web sites to all of the major and most of the minor air carriers in the world.
If it has anything to do with the Web, computers, technology, or software, you can find it at Ziff Davis mega tech site. One of my favorites sections here is Jess Berst’s AnchorDesk column.
Wilson Internet Marking provides hundreds of free articles that cover nearly any subject you can think of regarding marketing on the Web.
Can anyone crawl into your computer while you're connected to the Internet? You may be surprised to find out. I tested what I thought was my secure computer at this site, and site “welcomed” me by my name and details about my hard drive. Fortunately, it gives you step-by-step directions on how to correct Internet security problems. This site is a must for any DSL or Cable modem subscribers.
Zone lab provides a safe, easy-to-install, and effective firewall that protects your computer from being hacked into over the net. It is free for personal use. This site is must for any DSL or Cable modem subscribers not currently firewalls.
Anonymizer allows site visitors to send totally anonymous email to others – useful, for example, in a whistle-blowing setting. It also has lots of information about privacy issues.
Not only is this where you go to register your domain (i.e. corbinball.com), this site has a very helpful tool called WHOIS (www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois) allowing you to find contact information and other details about any web site. The database is searchable by company name, contact name and more.
Thomas Jefferson would have loved the Internet and its ability to provide information to the voters in the true spirit of democracy in action. This site has one of the best collections of links to our legislators, legislation, voting records, on a state and national basis. It claims to track the performance of 10,794 leaders including the president, governors, congress, and state legislators.
The Internet Movie Database has my vote for the best movie web site by far. Great information with tons of info on any movie you can think of.
The MySimon shopbot site provides good product comparisons and pricing from multiple vendors on just about any product that you would wish to buy on the Web.
Analyze and test your web site here. Plug in your web address and find out a great amount of information about site construction, speed, browser compatibility, load time and more.
This site allows you to download free software that assists in searching the web for information. It works like a meta-search engine (it checks and collates results from multiple search engines), but it is configurable, allowing searches to be saved, and has specialized search categories.
This is the perfect example of
mass-customization. Choose tunes from a catalog of over 165,000 songs, listen to
them, and put them in any order you want on your own, personally customized CD.
You can create the CD title; choose the CD cover art, gift-wrapping paper and
gift greeting. Enter in the
credit card number and it is on the way.
The Better Homes and Gardens site is a content-rich site covering everything on home improvement, gardening, food/recipes, crafts and a lot more. The “Home Improvement Encyclopedia” area has lots of great tips.
Put your health records online
in one centralized source. The site helps to analyze the user’s health status.
Also, as a registered user, you receive a free emergency card that can alert
qualified emergency medical personnel and prompts them on how to access your
Store up to 50 Mb of your key files on the web for free. If disaster strikes, you will be happy you did so. I put my PowerPoint presentation here before a speaking engagement. If anything happens to my notebook computer, I can then get the presentation from any computer with access to the web.
This is the best, searchable database of photos and images on the web that I have found.
Amazon sets the e-commerce standard for user-friendly and easy to use site. Viewers can search from the huge book selection, read cover notes, other buyers’ comments, reviews, and more. Once registered, you can order the book with a single-click. The site has expanded to selling music, software, electronics, toys, tools, cosmetics, art, auctions, and more.
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