Friday, 29 March 2013

Of passwords, Atari, Myspace, Goodreads and smiles!



IT’S been a funny old week this week. Every once in a while, you find yourself having a week of sorting things out online, and what do you face? Password after password that it may be years since you last used and that you spend an age wracking your memory to try and get right. Too many people, of course, fall back on using the same password for different websites – which is a security no-no. Step forward LastPass. LastPass is available in two different versions – a free version and a $12 a year version, and it aims to take the pain out of remembering online passwords. It works on all kinds of platforms – from PC to mobile phone and consolidates all your various passwords into one master key. The free version does the job well, the paid version also acting as an ad zapper if you want one.  Website: https://lastpass.com

Atari Arcade
While wrestling with all those online sort-outs, you do sometimes need to kill a little time – so how about a little bit of retro gaming fun over at Atari Arcade? There’s a fistful of classics here – from Pong to Super Breakout, Asteroids to Yars’ Revenge. My personal favourite? Lunar Lander, which brought back lots of memories. Although it’s probably only my favourite because the computer kept beating me at Pong! I think it cheated…
Website: Atari.co/arcade

Myspace
Hello? Website column, this is the Noughties column, it wants its recommendations back. No, seriously, listen for a moment. There was a time, back when internet dinosaurs walked the chat forums of the earth, when Myspace was a Big Thing. It was then bought by News Corporation and crashed and burned while being rapidly overtaken by Facebook. Now, however, it is back, having been bought up by, well, Justin Timberlake. The new-look Myspace is being pushed as a site for musicians to connect more closely with their listeners. Sort of a YouTube plus direct contact. You’ll find lots of free music here, and links to where you can go and buy it afterwards. You can see what your friends are playing, pass on recommendations and see what your favourite artists are up to. There’s lots of well-known bands on there already, and it’s a niche that could well see MySpace thrive once more! It’s not there yet – loading times can be awfully slow on videos, and you need to learn to find your way around a little – but it’s got potential again.
Website: www.myspace.com

Goodreads
While we’re on the subject of social websites, this is one for the book lovers out there. When I first signed up to Goodreads, it was tentatively and in a “probably won’t use it much” kind of way. But it’s wonderful. The more you use it, the more it opens up for you. You start off by keeping track of the book you’re reading, and rating how you thought of it and then, suddenly you find recommendations for other books you might want to try, you can see what your friends are reading and what they thought of them, they might pass on tips to you and chat about different book-related topics. There are lots of authors on there too – and many are happy to communicate with their readers. Yes, you will sometimes get messages from that nagging friend who demands to know why you haven’t read that annoying series they’re always banging on about, or take issue with your low rating of it when you do, but it’s a great way to interact with people who really care about books. Sci-fi and fantasy readers, feel free to look me up!

And lastly… when you’re all worn out by this buzzing around the internet… try The Nicest Place On The Internet. I don’t want to give too much away, but when you’re feeling blue, when you’ve had a rough day, just pop along to http://like.allmyfaves.com/like/site/name/thenicestplaceontheinter.net and smile.
Got any website suggestions? Tweet me @chippychatty

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