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Another year ends down under

 

Vol. 3, No. 20, 26/6/2002

BRIZCOMM

Discover new sites and the secrets to web success

Vol. 3, No. 20 June 26, 2002
________________________________

In This Issue:

1. Web content tip
2. Email tip
3. Readers Write
4. The Y Files (Q&A)
5. Surf Club - web site reviews
6. Reader's choice
7. Weekly chuckle

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* customised in-house workshops anywhere in the world can be arranged at discount rate
_______________________________

From the editor - Another year ends down under

Aussies throughout the land are busily checking their bottom lines in preparation for the tax man.

Our financial year ends this weekend on June 30, right in the middle of winter and flu season.

Clever tactic on the government's part - who could be bothered diddling figures when you have barely the strength to withdraw a tissue.

Sniff, sniff.

- Yvette


1.
Web content tip

Web sites and e-newsletters are not the only ones suffering from poor content and usability.

We've been tolerating bug-infested, badly designed computer programs with nonsensical help manuals for years.

A telemarketer interrupted me last week to suggest I upgrade my accounting software. Having spent days fixing errors created by a recent upgrade, I suggested the developers work on making their software more intuitive.

Taken aback, the telemarketer asked whether I'd taken a course in using the software. Why should I? With so many non-techies using computers these days, programs should be self-explanatory surely.

If I can't understand how to do simple tasks with the help pages, the program needs further development, not me.

This article agrees (you'll have to pay to read the lot) -
http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/mann0702.asp

"Any application is only as powerful as the person who uses it." That's the philosophy behind this site focused on usability engineering and interface design -
http://infocentre.frontend.com/servlet/Infocentre

2.
Email tip

Here's your chance to be a good Netizen and help reduce spam in your inbox by 75 per cent.

New Californian-based anti-spam company Cloudmark has launched SpamNet, which is enlisting the Internet community to rid the Net of junk email.

Simply download a free plug-in to operate in the background of Microsoft Outlook (the only program to use the plug-in so far).

You'll see a new file folder on the left for Spam and a toolbar at the top for blocking or unblocking spam.

Each time you check your mail with Outlook, the system automatically checks your mail against the SpamNet database of known spam messages. If a message is identified as spam, it goes to the Spam folder.

If an unknown spammer slips through, simply block the message and it will be reported to the SpamNet database.

The system relies on trust - each SpamNet user is rated on volume of spam reported, report accuracy and relevance. The more spam you report accurately, the higher your trust rating and contribution to the community.

Learn more at -
http://www.cloudmark.com/

3.
Readers Write

What do your drawers reveal about you? Pollyanna tells all in her wise weekly column while Pam Rushby reviews a free e-serial, "No Beer in Hawaii" -

http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp

* Email your book, film or software review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll be happy to publish it under your name or alias.

4.
The Y Files

Terese Morgan from Toowoomba offered this week's question -

Q: "When travelling overseas I was thinking of using a good digital camera but one of the limitations for a three-month trip is storage for the digital images. I had thought about some sort of web-based storage area that someone in Oz could regularly download then clear once I return. (i) Is there such a site? (ii) Can I easily upload from internet cafes etc? (iii) Do certain brands of digital camera suit this type of data transfer more readily than others? (iv) Can anyone share advice?"

A: The first three readers to answer Terese's question will win new books to review and keep. Email your answer or stumper to yvette@brizcomm.com.au.

5.
Surf Club

* previewed on ABC Radio Queensland with Andrew Lofthouse on Monday evenings

Meet Up
http://www.meetup.com/
If the Internet does one thing well, it connects people - by email, chat, message boards, web logs, newsgroups, newsletters and web sites. No matter how esoteric your interest, you'll find someone out there who shares your passion or cause. This free service helps you find like-minded people and meeting venues in your local area so you can link up face to face and discuss your shared topic, whether Corvettes or classical music.
In a net shell: Face time.

PapaInk - The International Children's Art Archive
http://www.papaink.org/gallery/home/index.html
PapaInk is a non-profit project dedicated to "collecting and preserving children's art and reinjecting children's creative spirit into human discourse". Children's artwork has not been valued throughout history yet young people see the world with remarkable clarity. View the collections, become an iCurator or upload art.
In a net shell: Through the eyes of babes.

My Daily Yoga
http://www.mydailyyoga.com/
When you're too busy for yoga, chances are that's when you need it most. Discover simple everyday yoga you can do at your desktop to alleviate computer stresses and strain on your body and mind. Animations show you how.
In a net shell: Ah, that's better.

myAstro
http://www.myastro.com/
How can your horoscope be real if a 12th of the world's population shares it? This site bases your horoscope on your actual birth data (date, place and, if known, time of birth), not just your sun sign. Sign up for a free daily, weekly, monthly or love reading tailor made for you, whether you want to know the best day to go on a first date or the lottery numbers.
In a net shell: Long sighted.

World Rock Paper Scissors Society
http://www.worldrps.com/
Who needs lawyers - resolve your disputes with a friendly game of Rock Paper Scissors (RPS). Learn the basics with the World RPS Society, swat up on strategies then challenge a friend or the computer emulator to a match.
In a net shell: Quick draw.

Food Reference
http://www.foodreference.com/
"At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely." Find food-related quotes, facts and trivia, who's who, humour, poems, recipes, articles, cooks' tips, links, newsletter and even a culinary crossword puzzle at this tasty resource for foodies.
In a net shell: Fill up.

6.
Reader's Choice

Web developer Simon Walter from London - http://www.simonwalter.com - sent in this site -

e-2: Word Perhect
http://www.e-2.org/word_perhect.html
Found this most amusing in an odd kind of way.

Send your brief site review to yvette@brizcomm.com.au and I'll send you a book to review and keep.

7.
Weekly Chuckle

Outside a pharmacy in a busy street, a poor man is clutching on to a pole for dear life, not breathing, not moving, not twitching a muscle, just standing there, frozen.

The pharmacist, seeing this strange sight in front of his shop, goes up to his assistant and asks, "What's the matter with that guy? Wasn't he in here earlier?"

Assistant replies, "Yes he was. He had the most terrible cough and none of my prescriptions seemed to help."

Pharmacist says, "He seems to be fine now."

Assistant replies, "Sure, he does. I gave him a box of the strongest laxatives on the market. Now he won't dare cough!"

ADVERTISE HERE FOR $AUD50 - email yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Yvette Nielsen, Editor
yvette@brizcomm.com.au phone 61 (0)41 771 8683
brizcomm - online content consulting and training
PO Box 2026, Bardon, Queensland 4065, Australia
2000-2002 Brizcomm Pty Ltd
brizcomm pty LTD accepts no responsibility and disclaims all liability for any incorrect information that may be contained in any articles or events mentioned in this newsletter.
To subscribe or read previous issues visit: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/extras/newsletter.asp
To advertise in this newsletter, request a rate card via director@brizcomm.com.au



 



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