From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: TOURBUS - 25 Apr 02 - Most Useful Sites (Part 3)


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings from seat 16D on an American Airlines 757 flying west from Dallas/Fort Worth to beautiful Orange County,
California ...

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

I want to give a special thanks to the folks at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC) for inviting me to speak at their conference in Savannah earlier last week. I have said this before, and I will say it again: GaETC is hands-down the best ed tech conference in the country. Imagine the Florida Ed Tech conference with half the attendees, *ALL* of the invited speakers, and a friendly, happy, all-volunteer staff who are the living embodiment of gracious, Southern hospitality.

Believe me when I say that if you are in any way, shape, or form involved in the ed tech community anywhere in the world -- especially the K-12 ed tech community here in the US -- you *REALLY* need make plans to attend the next Georgia Educational Technology Conference in Macon in April 2003.

On with the show ...

For those who missed my last two posts, I recently updated my list of my 21 favorite/most essential Web sites. So far, we’ve talked about the first 10 sites. Today, we’re going to talk about the next 5.

And, as always, you are welcome to hop on over to the classroom resources section of my personal Web site at

and download a two-page Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of my complete Top 21 list. The file's name is "tourbus_guide.pdf" and you can find it in the middle of the page. Look for "The Internet TOURBUS Guide to the Most Useful Sites in the World."

11. Webopedia

Six months ago, if you asked me to name my favorite online dictionary of technology terms, I would have immediately answered "" Regardless of what tech term I was searching for, could always define that term.

And then, about six months ago, went unexplainably dumb. Instead of showing me definitions for tech terms I was interested in -- things like "packet sniffer," "ping of death," and "defrag" -- kept telling me that it "found 0 results for your search."


Enter Webopedia. While its tech definitions are in no way as in-depth as the ones I used to get a, at least Webopedia returns *SOMETHING*.

If you hear a tech term somewhere and want to know what it means, Webopedia is the place to go ... at least until "unstupidify's" itself. :P

-------- 12. CNET

If you think I talk a lot about Google, you should have seen me back when I discovered CNET. Veteran TOURBUS riders will remember when practically every one of my TOURBUS posts talked about CNET in some way or another. Of course, that was back in 1995 and 1996. Now, I take CNET for granted.

CNET truly is the center of the digital domain, even more so now that CNET bought Ziff Davis' ZDNet. CNET is a conglomeration of dozens of tech sites and tools, including:

  •, CNET's phenomenal technology news site, updated
  • several times a day.

  •, an absolutely wonderful site that offers the
  • latest downloadable freeware, shareware, and commercial software for Windows, Mac, Linux, Palm, and PocketPC.

  •, an online price comparison engine for computer
  • hardware and software. [By the way, be looking for a future TOURBUS post that talks about and the other price comparison engines out there.]

    CNET also offers a wonderful site for Web designers [], computer gaming enthusiasts [], and even bargain hunters []. And CNET's mother site -- isn't half bad either.

    13. GMSV

    Yes, I know this address is about as long as a Russian novel. Trust me. It's worth it.

    Good Morning Silicon Valley (GMSV) is a daily tech news brief from the folks at the San Jose (CA) Mercury, Silicon Valley's newspaper of record. Each morning, the folks at GMSV find a dozen or so really important tech news stories and then write one paragraph summaries of each of those stories. Remember how the "What's News" section on the front page of The Wall Street Journal offers one paragraph summaries of the latest news stories from around the business world? Well, GMSV does the same thing, only with tech news.

    If your local newspaper's tech section leaves something to be desired, or if you don't have a whole bunch of time to read all of today's tech news and would rather see one paragraph snippets of today's latest tech developments (with links to more in-depth information), GMSV is for you.

    14. Yahoo Full Coverage

    I know that huge, multinational news organizations like CNN, BBC, and Reuters are all the rage. But when it comes to breaking local and regional news -- the elections in France, the train wreck in Orange County, the resignation of Argentina's economy minister -- I've often found that local news organizations beat the pants off of the multinationals.

    That's what makes Yahoo Full Coverage so cool. For each major news event that Yahoo finds, Yahoo creates a special page that contains links to

  • Latest developments,
  • News stories,
  • Related Web sites,
  • Opinion and editorial articles, and
  • Audio and video clips
  • related to that particular news event. For example, Yahoo Full Coverage's page about yesterday's train wreck in Orange County ( contains links to news articles from Reuters, the Associated Press, the LA Times, the Orange County Register, and many others. And that's just the links to news stories.

    If you want the latest, in-depth information about almost any news event happening around the world, skip the multinational news sites and head to Yahoo Full Coverage instead.

    15. Today's Papers

    Our last stop of the day is at Today's Papers. Every morning the President of the United States receives a security briefing informing him of the latest developments around the world. Today's Papers is a *news* briefing ... with a little attitude.

    Compiled from the major US newspapers, Today's Papers is a 1,000 word daily briefing that not only tells you what is going on around the world but also how each of the US' major newspapers is covering today's news events. Think of Today's Papers as part news summary, part critique. For example, after summarizing a front page USA Today article titled "AIRPORT WORKERS BREACH SECURITY," Today's Papers adds that

    Over the past six months, USAT has been doingsome of thebest reporting about airport security. But this article doesn't quite deliver. For example, it turns out some of the "lapses" had nothing to do with security. Summarizing one incident, the story says (in the 10th paragraph), "On March 17, a National Guardsman was removed from duty after a flight attendant reported that he had been sending her lewd e-mail messages to her home."

    Today's Papers is both informative and fun. And that's why it remains one of my top 21 favorite Web sites.

    15 down, 6 to go. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again


    TEFFONE (noun). A communications device. Usage: "Hey, Bubba ... what's Mary Bob's teffone number?"

    [Special thanks to Bryant Fry for today's wurd]

    .~~~. )) (\__/) .' ) )) Patrick Douglas Crispen /o o \/ .~ {o_, \ { / , , ) \ `~ '-' \ } )) AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K _( ( )_.' '---..{____} Warning: squirrels.

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    Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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