Useful Web Sites

A free service

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the internet with what's on offer? Not sure where to start? No need to worry as we have you covered with our selection of the better sites to visit, and some useful free tools to assist you in your life and work activities.

If you would like to see other information included in this section (whether to improve on this topic or suggest new areas worthy of discussion), don't hesitate to send us a message.


A

Aboriginal Artworks, KJC

Adobe.com

Compatible versions for M1 Macs as of December 2021:

  1. Adobe Photoshop 21.2.4 or 21.1.3
  2. Adobe Illustrator 25.2.3
  3. Adobe InDesign 15.1.3
  4. Adobe After Effects 18.2.1
  5. Adobe Media Encoder 15.2
  6. Adobe Dreamweaver 21.0
  7. Adobe Character Animator 3.4
  8. Adobe Premiere Rush 1.5.54
  9. Adobe Acrobat DC 20.013.20064

Although all these versions are Intel-based, meaning they must be run in the emulated form using Rosetta 2, they are the highest versions you can go as of December 2021. Newer Universal and arm64 native versions do exist and available for download. However, testing of those newer versions indicates various issues, such as applications quitting unexpectedly on launch or generating a message that they cannot run correctly because not all plug-ins and other components have been fully converted to arm64. Stick to the abovementioned versions (until 2024) to be safe. For Intel Macs and Windows users, the latest versions should work fine on your machine so long as it meets the minimum OS versions needed to run the Adobe software.

ADVICE AND TIPS

ADVICE AND TIPS

Airlines (See TRAVEL)

AI (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE) TOOLS

Technically not true intelligence. These are tools that generally rely on a vast amount of information stored in a database (whether it is the internet and/or an in-house storage device) and uses what are called tokens or markers in the "training" data you supply (which might be a question, or the use of your voice, or a sample of an image) to help the AI tools mimic or make a predictive and educated guess at the result(s) you are probably looking for. Nothing is ever perfect, but as computers get more powerful and can hold more data, machine learning tools can provide more accurate results over time as the amount of data it relies on gets bigger and the tools to make use of that data get more sophisticated. We should not see these tools as replacing humans unless, of course, the AI tools are being used to render real people in 3D and have the digital avatars do as we wish in an attempt to avoid paying the real person a fee or contract payment for their face and/or body, behavioural mannerisms, voices, or other forms of contribution, or to create new 3D landscape environments based on a photo or a series of photos (generally the more photos there are or the more angles you can get of a person, the more realistic the AI can render the scene or person in 3D). In fact, many actors, photographers, and film makers who would normally get contracted to go to a real-life setting or present themselves in front of the camera may no longer be needed except for true nature documentaries where you have to be there to film real animals, plants, landscapes, and people. It means you can technically save a lot of money with the help of AI tools. Imagine. No royalties to pay or worry about copyright if the scenes are unique or sufficiently different from an original. Should there be any legal problems in the future, AI tools can now produce life-like new individuals that don't exist in real life (unless permission is given from real actors to give away their facial details). A classic example is the full CGI-created movie Resident Evil: Death Island (released in July 2023). Although highly realistic, it is not perfect. For example, you can tell how the hair does not move properly in a watery environment; clothes do not flutter properly in the wind; and the movement, such as running, is a little odd but not far off from reality. Nonetheless it is truly a remarkable effort. It shows what is possible with technology and a fair bit of AI in action today. For an even better result, check out the young Harrison Ford shown in the opening "train" sequence of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (released in June 2023). As a result, some people whose livelihood depends on showing their faces, acting out scenes, and/or even doing voiceovers, or taking photographs and films of landscapes will face the prospect of having to find new jobs, or else the age of universal income will have to be introduced for everyone (and funded through taxes on the rich, which is going to be necessary as they are the ones who requested society to create more consumers to buy their products and services in such high numbers so they must take responsibility for the society they want). Leaving that controversial aspect aside, AI tools is still pretty much good for everything else. They are there to make life easier for people to do things, and do it quicker.

When it comes to using the increasingly complex software you may use on your computer, AI tools will be added as a top layer of interactivity that helps to simplify the UI dramatically. You simply tell it or type what you want, and the AI will look for the same or something similar from online and present to you various options. You select what you want, and the AI does the rest of filling in the gaps, or else let you move the data around and decide how you want things to look. The only time you might go back to the more complicated UI of extra buttons and menus is for finer manual adjustments. Or you may pay (now that's a thought for the 21st century) for someone to provide the human touch to ensure things are accurate and unique or make things do exactly what you want (which would require far less time and money to be spent thanks to the AI doing most of the work unless graphics artists raise their hourly rates to cover their increasing expenses).

Anyway, the main aim of such tools is to save time (and for others money, or to make more money from one's creation) to help humans focus more on being creative and thinking about the bigger picture, and presenting that picture in a realistic way that is both positive and helpful to the rest of society. AI tools are meant to be like buying a car. It can save you time to achieve your goals, and at the same time can be used for both good and bad purposes. Your job is to use the tools in a way that helps everyone, including making sure people are still needed to do various new kinds of jobs in the future.

Nothing like a bit of technological disruption to our lives to keep us on our toes and keep us wondering what's coming next.

AI FOR AUDIO

  • Voicely
  • Create voiceovers and narrations from a range of more than 500 humanized and realistic voices, both female and male.

  • Soundraw
  • Looking for background music to accompany your videos? No problems at all with Sounddraw. Set the genre, theme, feeling, instruments and duration of the song and let the AI system generate royalty-free tracks.

  • Beatoven
  • A good alternative to Soundraw.

  • Soundful
  • A better alternative to Soundraw.

  • AIVA
  • A better quality AI composer and music generator than Soundraw or Beatoven without so much emphasis on drums and bass.

  • Murf
  • Uses machine learning technology to create natural sounding synthetic voices based on real voice samples.

  • ElevenLab
  • Latest version as of April 2023 requires only a few minutes of sample recordings. AI voice generated sounds very much like the original voice. This AI system is powerful enough to capture nuance and emotion in your voice almost perfectly. As with all AI-generated voices, please use with care and apply for good purposes. Never use the voices to achieve negative outcomes in society.

  • WellSaid Labs
  • Create realistic speech from text in real-time using AI-generated voices captured from a few dozen humans, both males and females and with accents. Useful for creating voiceovers in videos.

AI FOR IMAGES

  • MidJourney
  • The best photorealistic image creation platform. Uses AI to create realistic illustrations and photographic images based on textual descriptions or keywords. If it can't find an existing image on the internet, it will create one. To gain access, you must register via their Discord channel. You will be greeted by a complicated user interface mainly designed to connect you to different users through chat rooms and there you can specify the command "/imagine [description]" to tell the AI to generate up to four images based on the text you have entered in [description]. Quite slow to generate the images due to the large numbers of users already online and testing the technology. Indeed, most people generally choose to log off and come back the next day, or spend lots of time chatting to others before the results are shown. Or, do as the owners of the AI technology will request: pay a subscription on the promise of a faster result.

  • Bing's Image Creator
  • An alternative image creation AI tool based on textual descriptions or keywords run by Microsoft. Uses DALL•E version 2 AI engine for a better image creation experience, but still not quite as good as MidJourney. However, it is much faster at generating images. And you don't have to pay a subscription (well, not yet anyway) other than to establish an account with Microsoft.

  • Canva Image Creator
  • An alternative image creation AI tool based on textual descriptions or keywords run by Canva.

  • Adobe Firefly
  • Adobe has created its own AI image creation solution called Firefly. The difference here is that it draws on all available licensed and free content to help create new image content that remains licensed or free to use, so you won't get into trouble with copyright issues for non-licensed images.

  • ClipDrop
  • This one is more a suite of AI tools for removing text, apply realistic lighting to 2D images, replace or remove background image while retaining the core image you want, image upscaler to help sharpen images and increase image size, and more. Take care of this one as once you pay for one month, the owner's assume you will want to renew automatically again and again (and hence retain your credit card details). Even when you do specify in the account that you don't want to subscribe again (as you will decide whether you want another month of Pro services), the next payment you make becomes an automatic assumption that you do want continuous renewal of subscription every month. Huh? Apart from privacy not being very good and retaining too much personal information (especially the credit card details and failing to respect your decision for no automatic payments), ClipDrop tools can be quite useful when you need them. Don't be surprised if Adobe decides to provide its own version of these tools in Adobe PhotoShop, or some other developer of graphic editing software programs. For example, the free background remover tool is available from Adobe right now. Other sites are also offering the tools either for free, such as PhotoRoom, or through a more flexible payment option, such as PicWish. For an alternative Image Upscaler, try Fotor. But beware, as many site owners may claim the tools are free until you begin to use one and discover it really isn't free. So, for a proper free Image Upscaler web tool, try I Love Image. Again we must stress that privacy is not a high priority for this web site as all images are kept for an indeterminate time in the DropBox of this website owner's account.

AI FOR TEXT

  • AI Content Detector at WriterAccess
  • Whilst some AI systems can generate textual content based on keywords or a sample of text you supply, it is not always perfect. WriterAccess can detect content created by AIs thereby permitting freelancer writers on WriterAccess to refine the text, makes sense, and remains original in its content. Please note that at WriterAccess, they have recently removed the option to Delete Account when you don't need the service anymore, which means the most they will do is deactivate the account. So, things like your credit card details will remain on the WriterAccess database ready to be hacked online and stolen or someone else could re-establish the account if the email address is a free public one and drain your credit card funds. If you ask to have your account deleted, they will still choose the deactivate option.

  • AI Content Idea Generator at WriterAccess
  • Looking for ideas on what to write to your target audience in order to keep them reasonably well engaged and interested? WriterAccess has an AI system developed to help you with this task. All you have to do is tell the system what it is that certain readers seem to like and let the AI give you suggestions for useful content ideas, some of which you may not have considered before until now. Worth exploring, but beware how the web site grabs new users and keeps them hanging on. They won't take no for an answer if you should decide to delete your account with them. Instead, they will deactivate the account on the assumption that you will return again and again. Privacy is not a high priority over at this place.

  • Grammarly
  • This one has evolved over many years to become a reasonably effective grammar checking tool and not just a spelling checker (which we all have). One big advantage of this system is the ability to detect plagiarism in the text and let you know in real-time if this is the case.

  • SpeechText.AI
  • Whilst there are a plethora of audio speech to text tools (also known as transcribing services) available on the internet (not least of which is the one available from Amazon), this one uses AI technology to work out how to turn a variety of different voices (some of which may run into each other) into text in a matter of seconds. Technology is advancing fast in this field, so don't be surprised if translation of different languages to your preferred language becomes integrated into this system soon.

  • ChatGPT
  • An AI system born out of a need to make humans redundant and save money to the web site business owners in not having a real human checking 24/7 for online chat messages from people around the world as they request advice or help on a variety of things. The AI is there to make sense of what it is people generally want to know about and to give relevant results together with an AI-generated text response that is human-readable and seems very close to the real thing. Indeed, some people are finding it harder to determine if a human is at the other end these days.

  • Jasper AI
  • An effective and unusually advanced AI writing assistant to help you write high-quality content for your blog articles, social media posts, marketing emails, and more. Not in your preferred spoken language? Worry no more as Jasper knows over 30+ languages. The content Jasper generates is from the entire public internet, and it extracts the knowledge from a variety of sources, so the text written by Jasper is word-for-word original and plagiarism-free. Costs a minimum of US39 per year.

  • Bing Chat
  • Microsoft's own implementation of AI for generating written results obtained from the internet. Instead of typing keywords, you can now write like a human by asking questions and the AI system can figure out what it is you are looking for.

AI FOR VIDEO

  • Synthesia
  • AI is used by Synthesia to generate realistic speech in no less than 65 different languages, including realistic application of accents and uses realistic human avatars to speak whatever text you write. Want a Chinese avatar to speak in German? Not a problem. It might even be a good laugh to watch just to past the time. For the more serious connoisseur of quality video-making, use it to create a personalised touch to videos via the range of remarkably realistic-looking humans to choose from and appearing to be speaking to you directly. As with all AI-generated human avatars and voices, please use this technology with care and apply for good purposes. Never use this technology to achieve negative outcomes in society.

  • Veed.io
  • Do you need subtitles to appear in your videos? The AI system used by Veed will recognise the voices in your video, transform them to text, and present the text as subtitles in real-time. May be useful for videos containing multiple languages that need to be converted to a central language of the video, or to help auditory-impaired people to read the subtitles.

  • Synths Video
  • Alternative video avatar creation AI tool that also relies on text you supply to be converted to speech and spoken by your choice of 40+ realistic human avatars. If all you ever need is a human speaking an entire article to your watchers throughout the video, you can make this video in a matter of minutes.

  • InVideo
  • A powerful AI system designed to turn any content or idea into video instantly. You can create professional videos from scratch or use a selection of templates. Otherwise, use your text or scripts to create the videos.

  • Pictory
  • Similar to InVideo, Pictory also uses AI technology to create professional quality videos from text, previously recorded footage, music and voiceovers.

  • WiseCut
  • Not so much a video creation tool, but a video editing tool. The difference here is that it uses your voice to command the software to perform edits on your videos. Thus things like making cuts to videos or adding subtitles can be done with remarkable ease without needing to click buttons or choose menu commands.

Amazon Books (Biggest online bookstore)

AMAZON KINDLE PUBLISHING

HTML Kindle Publication Template (SUNRISE)

Developed by SUNRISE for authors and publishers. Use this template to write your next "Stephen King"-inspired eBook on Kindle, ePUB or some other platform. Fully tested against KindleGen 2.9 with no errors to report.

Download KindleGen 2.9 for PC or Mac

If all you ever want is the converter engine, but no previewer. Use this tool to convert your HTML template source file (e.g., the link above) into the Kindle file format.

Download Kindle Previewer 2.72 (PC and Mac)

With built-in KindleGen 2.9 engine, just drag-n-drop an ePUB file to convert. Added advantage: You can preview the Kindle eBook file straightaway. You can ignore the above link in favour of this tool if you prefer.

Download Kindle eBook Reading App for All Platforms and Devices

ANIMALS

Answers.com

Searches through dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases, glossaries and encyclopedias for the answers

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Adobe Systems, Inc.

Alternative Medicine

Apple, Inc.

ART

Ask Philosophers, for responses to questions you may have.

AUCTIONS, ONLINE

AUSTRALIAN POSTCODES

see POSTCODES

AUSTRALIAN SERVICES, FREE

AUTHOR SERVICES

  • Book-Writers
  • As recommended by Amazon.com. This is the place for everything you need to get your book sold on Amazon and produced into any format required (e.g., ebooks as well as traditional print).



    B

    BABY AND CHILD SAFETY ADVICE

    BANKS (AUSTRALIA)

    • Aussie Home Loans
    • ANZ

      Bankwest

      Commonwealth Bank

      Good Shepherd MicroFinance

      Avoid those shady commercial payday loan centres such as Cash Converters and GoodtoGo Loans with their attempt to force people to pay excessive fees, very high interest rates, etc (see ABC television program, Four Corners, 30 March 2015). Good Shepherd MicroFinance are for people on low income who need small loans to purchase fridges, a second-hand car, furniture, or anything else, while ensuring people feel valued and in control of their finances and lives at all times. The truly ethical and moral approach to lending.

    • ING Direct
    • National Australia Bank

      St George Bank Limited

      Westpac

    BEATLES MUSIC

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES

    BILLS, PAY YOUR

    BOOKINGS, ENTERTAINMENT

    BOOKS

    BOOKS, CREATE YOUR OWN ELECTRONIC

    BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL, BUY OR SELL

    BUSINESS SERVICES, SMALL (AUSTRALIA)

    BUSINESS SERVICES, SMALL (INTERNATIONAL)

    • Alignable (North America)
    • A small business referral network (basically "I scratch your back, and you scratch mine!" kind of place) but you do have the option to promote and sell products to other businesses. So if your products are good, you will receive good referrals (and you should do the same too if you want more customers). A web site mainly catering to businesses located in North America. However, on the internet, who will know where you are located, right?

    • ExpressText, SMS
    • A competitive SMS sending service provider with different plans to suit your business needs. Comes with some interesting advice relating to marketing ideas, social media, brand marketing and understanding how SEO can help your business.

    BUTTON MAKERS, WEB (FREE)



    C

    CAMERAS, ACTION

    These are pocket-sized and solidly-constructed cameras that pack a punch and often above their weight in terms of high resolution images with accurate colours, and a swathe of excellent features, such as image stabilisation, HDR (High Dynamic Range), and now with AI (Artificial Intelligence) gestures, voice commands, and various special visual effects (e.g., make the hand stick disappear automatically etc.). In the past GoPro was considered the market leader in action cameras, but due to various problems and the slow nature of having them fixed in subsequent new models which only succeeded in making the manufacturer very rich, by the time the GoPro Hero 12 came out to almost eliminate all the problems, new entrants have entered the market and have upped the ante in features and quality. As of 2024, there are several very good action cameras from different manufacturers, but the standout product at this time has to be the Insta360 Ace Pro with its 8K resolution for video and still photos, and excellent sensitivity to low light at night. This has pretty much made all other products look a bit old and outdated. Otherwise, if you need the highest quality pictures taken, use a proper and professional digital SLR with the sharpest lens you can find. Get one with at least 36 megapixels and HDR capabilities in-built as standard.

  • Insta360 Ace Pro
  • CAPTURE, SCREEN

    • Web Capture
    • For capturing full length screenshots of web pages. For an alternative, try the freeware Paparazzi 1.0.

    CARS

    If purchasing a second-hand car online, especially if located some distance away, make sure you ask for plenty of pictures of the car (both inside and out). Don't hesitate to ask for pictures of wear-and-tear, chips in the paint, signs of rust, and any signs of hail damage or dents in the car body. It is in your right to ask such questions. Also, make sure a VIN is shown in the advert so you can always check online to see the status of the car. If you intend to purchase the car, get a remote car inspection booked to allow an expert to go to the location and check the car out thoroughly. Finally, before purchasing, it is always best to go there in person to see the car up close and personal, give it a test drive, and make a final decision. If you decide to buy the car, you can pay on-the-spot, get a signed paper confirming the original owner of the home address where the car was picked up and owner lives has sold the car to you (of whatever address you live at now). Ask for his/her driver's license number, phone number and name (as needed by some state car registration offices). Use your mobile phone to take a picture of you and the owner with the car as added proof, holding the signed paper, to confirm everything (smiles should be free and happily given). In the event anything does happen and the car is found to have been stolen, you will have proof of who sold it to you and you have done everything reasonable to check the car out (more of a reason to get the VIN and check online). Also, the photo can be extremely useful for the police to track down individuals who illegally sell cars to unsuspecting buyers.

    Cars sold by dealers and advertised on their web sites are often a safer bet. However, the prices can be higher than those of private sellers. Also, some of the better dealers will make an extra effort to repair issues and get the car to a reasonable standard of road worthiness as well as thoroughly clean the car (and hence you will receive a roadworthy certificate, an inspection report, and include some rego that lasts a couple of months), so that the quality is generally quite reasonable. Even so, always inspect the car in person, no matter how good the car looks in the pictures. Some cheaper dealers have been noted to quickly clean a car in the interior (but never a very good job — only enough to make it hard to see this situation in the pictures) and try to sell it at the highest price they think they can get away with (usually within the top range of the current market value). They may even find a way to illegally adjust the odometer to look like very little driving has been done on it, but a close look at the engine and rubbing off of lettering on numerous buttons in the interior would suggest that the car has been used for a lot longer. And, any problems with the car may or may not get fixed by the substandard dealer if identified by a customer.

    Does this mean the better dealers will do the right thing and sell you a quality car? Not always. Even the better dealers will do things to minimise costs to repair and get a car in reasonable roadworthy condition. For example, a car only 7 years old may look immaculate, inside and out, even right down to a very clean engine. Everything will look great, drives well. You might hear a slight noise when braking, but the dealer assures you it is just the disc brakes with a little rust that will go away with regular use of the car. However, after you buy it and within a couple of months, the dealer may tell you that the brake pads and disc brakes are well-worn and must be replaced (so that's what the noise is really about?). The dealer will use the excuse that this is a wear-and-tear issue (which it is), but will blame it on you for driving it so much and hard (even if you only occasionally drive it around and are a very careful driver, and the odometer reflects the short distance you have travelled). Reason? The dealer would have known about the condition of the brakes but have chosen to keep quiet in the hope of you, the consumer, paying extra for the car (expect to pay an extra $870 to replace all the brake pads and discs on the car to get the vehicle to where it should have been in the first place when it was sold to you) as a means of increasing the profits for the dealer. In general, most dodgy dealers usually prefer to sell the car in whatever condition it is in at whatever best market price the dealers think they can flog it for. Even if a roadworthy certificate is issued, it is no guarantee that it is. Just so long as a quick test shows that the car brakes seem okay, this does not give any indication of how much wear and tear may already exist in the car itself. Buyer beware.

    At the end of the day, go for the best dealership that understands quality and is not driven mad by excessive profits. The dealer should know a thing or two about the importance of a reasonable quality and safe car to drive and that there shouldn't be any obvious issues and problems left behind that will come back to bite you in a short time-frame you have had the car for, or make sure you are there to inspect cars from private sellers. And always get an independent car inspection report from an expert that will check all the critical aspects of the car, including the engine, braking system, and look for rust, dents and excessive wear-and-tear issues.

    Finally, be extremely careful of people who will scam you in some private car sales. For example, the following reply to a car advert from a private seller who was trying to scam people using a car whose sale price seemed a little too good to be true for the specs and year model of the car (i.e., very recent) was enough to frighten off the scammer and remove the car advert within an hour from the web site:

    "Thanks for the reply. Now that I have learned a little more, I do see a few red flags showing up that has me a little concerned:

    1. You have advertised on AutoTrader that you (and by implications, the car itself) are located in Victoria, not Darwin.
    2. A check on eBay (both in Australia and the US) does not reveal your car (well, at least not easily). Not sure if eBay is happy to keep an item if there is no indication it is being sold online on its web site. And for the item to have buyer's protection, it actually has to be selling on eBay.
    3. No VIN for verification.
    4. You are not with the car, so no further photos etc.

    I can't see a VIN in your advert. Could you send me this number and I'll check online to see its status."

    The person never replied and the advert disappeared in rather quick haste. Indeed, the key here is asking for the VIN. Scammers always hate people who ask for this kind of information.

  • AutoGuru's Top 10 Car Mechanics (Canberra, Australia)
  • Auto Trader (Australia)
  • Car History (Australia)
  • VINDocs (Australia for $25.00)
  • QuickRevs Car History Check (Australia for $9.89)
  • NICH VIN Check (USA is always free)
  • Car Sales (Australia)
  • Car Sales Australia
  • Cars Wanted (Fastest Way to Sell Cars)
  • CTP Insurance (Australia)
  • Drive.com.au (Australia)
  • Auto Guru (Australia)
  • Formerly Fixed Price Car Service, just mention your car make and model, the suburb you want it serviced, the type of repairs, and you will receive a number of fixed quotes for the repair.

  • Personal Property Security Register (PPSR)
  • An essential first step before purchasing a car. Use this web site to find out if the car is stolen.

  • Red Book - Market value of cars
  • Vehicle Visuals
  • A $30 per month subscription-based web site for viewing all available 3D animations of how your car works. Mainly helpful for car repair shops looking to show customers where parts are located and what they do.

    CDs, see MUSIC

    CHILD SAFETY, INTERNET ADVICE ON

    also see BABY AND CHILD SAFETY ADVICE

    Civil & Electrical Engineering

    For jobs, see Job Seeker (Employee Resource), International

    For education, see EDUCATION, CIVIL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

    CNN

    CLASSIFIEDS

    CLOTHES

    COMPUTERS

    Consumer Notice (USA)

    Product Safety Rules

    COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LICENSING SERVICES

    Covid-19 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS)

    What is Covid-19 and where did it come from?

    A variant on the SARS virus, Covid-19 (the shorthand form for the now correctly termed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) had its origins as early as September 2019 from either:

    1. a bat whose infected blood had somehow managed to cross over to humans, perhaps with help from an intermediary wild animal such as a pangolin (as the virus shows genetic material from the viruses found naturally in both animals); and/or
    2. something was going on at the Wuhan Virology Labs (which, just prior to the outbreak, was known to be studying the coronavirus) that led to an accidental release of the virus in the Wuhan food markets by one of the laboratory workers.

    The consensus is that the source for this outbreak was likely to be the former. Well, to be more accurate, such viruses do originate from certain wild animals living in the jungles of Asia. The real problem we have here is what happened afterwards and how the virus managed to mutate itself sufficiently to infect enough humans as it did in late 2019 and into 2020 (and still do to this day, especially in the colder winter months and in areas where the population levels are highly concentrated, such as the cities, in old age nursing homes, and on on). At the moment, any evidence to definitely show the origin of the virus has been remarkably well removed from the Wuhan marketplace (which may or may not have been the ground zero for the outbreak) and any work at the Chinese institute tasked with studying this type of virus has been hidden away to perfection.

    Without adequate information provided by the institute (and the Chinese government), most scientists have to accept the origin of the virus as probably from an infected animal sold in the Wuhan marketplace. For example, bats (and pangolins) are a delicacy in China and any "accidentally" uncooked bat meat used in a popular Chinese-style soup dish may have permitted the virus to make the transition to humans. Because of this situation, scientists certainly cannot categorically rule out the possibility that at least one person may have orally ingested partially uncooked infected meat as a way for the virus to make the jump to humans.

    However, scientists can neither rule out the possibility that a laboratory worker caught the virus and managed to let the virus get out into the human population.

    Indeed, the "laboratory" situation could still remain the most probable cause for the Covid-19 outbreak. There has been already disturbing insights into how the Chinese government had gone to a lot of trouble to keep a lid on how it happened, destroy much of the evidence of where the infection was first officially reported, and slapped on restrictions on information that can be published on the institute's web site that would have revealed the kind of work that had been carried out there in 2019.

    A detailed analysis of the virus shows a number of unusual genetic mutations have taken place to somehow make it more infectious to humans. The virus consists of the spherical backbone structure of the natural form of the virus found in bats, the spikes structure from the virus found in pangolins, and a connecting portion on the end of the spikes that is remarkably well-designed to adapt to the human host.

    How these mutations took place remains unclear. What complicates the matter is the fact that the institute was working on the natural version of the virus in 2019 and was interested in tinkering with its genetic code (the term used by the institute is called gain of function). The exact nature of the new function the institute had hoped to achieve from this work is unknown. In the midst of all of this, some people in America were funding the institute to do this kind of work because they didn't want to risk creating an infectious virus in the country and thought the institute in Wuhan was sufficiently far away and secure enough to carry out this work.

    Yet despite the study into this type of virus, there is no evidence to show that the virus was genetically modified at the institute. Only that the Chinese government went to unusual lengths to keep the institute quiet and follow a procedure of what to say to outside observers who were permitted to enter China on a fact finding mission. Unfortunately, the facts remained highly limited, and the evidence for the origin of the virus has long since been destroyed or removed to be of any use to anyone.

    So, the official line to be towed at this stage and the one preferred by the Chinese government is to see the entire outbreak as caused by nothing more than touching or breathing in the stale air from an infected wild animal in the marketplace and humans ended up accidentally touching their mouth, nose or eyes, or simply breathed it in at a time when the virus had already mutated sufficiently to be more infectious to humans. And just to make it seem like it was a totally natural cause, the wild animal responsible for carrying this highly human infectious form of the coronavirus was only days before living in the jungles of Myanmar or some other Asian location. So the origin of the outbreak wasn't even in China, but in another country. It is either that, or a number of laboratory workers were already infected by the virus over a period of time during their study of the virus. That was probably the time when a particular version of the virus suddenly emerged in the human host to make it much more infectious, and from there it eventually led to the pandemic as we know it today.

    Of course, from the Chinese government's perspective on this matter, it is best to blame the entire situation on an infected wild animal acquired from another country and sold in the marketplace in Wuhan. It is the kind of animal that emerged out of the forests and somehow managed to acquire the right combination of genetic mutations that made it highly adaptable and infectious to humans. Some virologists must call it a fluke of nature mutation to be so infectious to humans.


    What to do to avoid or minimise Covid-19 symptoms

    As containment of Covid-19 and its variants is no longer feasible other than to request people to stay home for a reasonable period of time until the virus has been eliminated from the body. This can last up to two weeks, and in about 10 per cent of cases can last 28 days. Potentially up to four months for a smaller percentage of mostly older people or those with low immunity responses, which are generally those who are malnourished, have a poor diet due to economic or personal reasons, or their genetic makeup prevents them from having an optimal immune system).

    Symptoms range from no symptoms at all or the slightest indication of feeling unwell, including a runny nose, a sore throat, and experiencing unexpected coughs and sneezing, right up to full-blown and serious damage to the lungs making it hard to breathe. If the virus is allowed to multiply further and run amok in the human body, blood clots can develop and certain organs will fail if you don't get a brain stroke. Certainly, if you develop a temperature reminiscent of a fever and there are signs that you have breathing difficulties and/or feeling fatigue or body aches, you need to call a medical clinic (don't visit your GP or hospital).

    As Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews said following a second wave of infections that spread in the city of Melbourne on 27 July 2020:

    "...[I]t doesn’t matter what you do for a job, doesn’t matter what industry, what sector you work in – if you are going to work with symptoms, if you are going to work when you’re sick, then you will inevitably be spreading this virus....if you are sick, even mildly, you just can’t go to work."

    However, the nature of this virus and how people get symptoms is more problematic. The thing is, it is also possible for people to show no symptoms. People may not know they are carrying the virus and could be unwittingly spreading it. In which case, you can still cause asymptomatic transmission of the virus to others. These are the people who are likely to carry the virus through to a wider number of people and, potentially, initiate multiple waves of infection if the right measures to controlling the spread are not implemented quickly enough. But as containment is no longer possible for the sake of maintaining the economy, the virus will remain with us for a very long time. If not, we will adapt to it and see it as no more different than the common cold.

    The only effective means to avoid, or reduce the severity of, the symptoms from Covid-19 are as follows:

    1. Keeping your distance from other people (dogs, cats and other pets appear not to get Covid-19 and should be safe to touch so long as they have not been touched by infected human strangers; however, the world's first Covid-19 infected animal other than humans, bats and pangolins has surfaced).
    2. Everyone wears an effective mask to cover the nose and mouth and preferably some kind of eye protection when going outside and in close range to other people.
    3. Eat a healthy diet containing plenty of vegetables (for vitamins and minerals, especially zinc from strawberries), short-term exposure to sunlight to produce Vitamin D for the body, some protein to build fighting cells in the body to help combat the virus.
    4. More to an area that has cleaner air, so that your lungs are not fighting for every breath because of the extra pollutants in the air and later made worse by a Covid-19 infection. The general consensus is that people with a strong immunity response and a healthy cardiovascular system and clean lungs have the best chance of dealing with this virus attack.
    5. Take the vaccine for Covid-19 every 6 months, or especially before the start of the winter period..
    6. Wash your hands regularly. When it comes to destroying the virus, the lipid surface structure of the virus has been found to be quite delicate. A bit of detergent or alcohol is enough to affect the surface structure and break it apart. Thus the viruses can be destroyed in a matter of seconds.
    7. If steps 1, 2 and 3 are not taken, the only remaining solution is to allow for herd immunity to take hold (which means 15 per cent of older people and a fraction of 1 per cent of young people will die, but will likely increase with each re-infection of the virus), while the rest of the population will survive and develop the natural immunity to the virus. It is only those with low immuno-response and damage to the lungs are the ones who will need the most help from medical professionals.

    For example, Vitamin D has been implicated in the control of respiratory infections (including those created by viruses). Reduce the Vitamin D intake or production in the skin (by keeping out of sunlight for too long), and the risk of lung infections increases.

    As another example in support of the above advice, as of 21 April 2020, the range of people who are likely to get affected the most by Covid-19 symptoms has expanded to those living in polluted areas. If there are high levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air and people breathe this molecule, the lungs deteriorate over time. Should these people also get infected by the virus, the lungs must fight harder to get the oxygen into the body.

    Actually, this poor or malnourishment theory seems to be pivotal in explaining a number of deaths from Covid-19, especially among North Koreans as this news article indicates, as well as older people.

    Other than that, it is highly recommended for you to wear a P2-class or higher filtration air mask, especially if you do travel to other countries.

    Never underestimate the effectiveness of wearing a good quality mask over the face for protection. The virus can survive for 2 hours travelling on very fine water droplets from a sneeze and even longer if the droplets do not dry up (such as in humid conditions). If a person is merely coughing without covering the mouth, you should be no less than 3 metres away when facing the individual. If the person is sneezing without covering the mouth, you need to be standing further back. An MIT study has shown slow-motion B&W film of droplets from a sneeze travelling a distance of 8 metres. So you need to stand more than 8 metres away. To allow for closer contact, the person doing the coughing or sneezing must cover his/her mouth by any reasonable means. Or, standing 1.5 metres behind or side-on to another person is usually sufficient protection. However, if an infected person sneezes or coughs, a quality air mask and properly worn and sealed around the face will stop the droplets. Even without sneezing, touching a surface by an infected person also requires care. You need to be aware that the virus can survive on a surface of door handles, tables, chairs and other surfaces for anywhere between 4 hours to 9 days (possibly longer if the conditions are colder and more humid in the air or there is moisture on the surface).

    When droplets from a typical sneeze lands on a surface, the lifespan of the virus varies significantly. A study published in March 2020 in the New England Journal of Medicine has revealed the following facts at a certain fixed temperature and humidity:

    1. Copper: The virus can survive on the surface for up to 4 hours.
    2. Cardboard: Up to a day (but other studies suggest up to 36 hours or as little as 12 hours).
    3. Plastic: Approximately 6.8 hours (but other studies suggest up to 72 hours).
    4. Stainless steel: Approximately 5.6 hours (but other studies suggest up to 72 hours).

    What seems to be important here is the moisture content of the air and on surfaces. If there is enough moisture lingering on surfaces, the virus can last a lot longer.

    For example, in a more recent study, scientists have determined that super fine droplets can be carried in the air and travel further than 8 metres. And if there is significant pollution in the air (such as in parts of India), the droplets can stick to the pollutants and travel further. While in dry clean air, the droplets should evaporate. However, in wet environments and highly polluted areas this could be of greater concern. These droplets can appear simply by breathing air (it does not matter if you are talking or not), and a typical sneeze carries a combination of large, small, and very fine water droplets for the virus to be carried. More of a reason to cover your mouth if you do sneeze. As the study reveals:

    "Transmission of COVID-19 may take place by fine droplets emitted by infected people with no symptoms when they speak or breathe without necessarily coughing or sneezing."

    If this is true, then it is vitally important people wear masks. No matter how unusual or disconcerting it may look, or embarrassed at some people in China might feel when the world sees it.

    COUNTRY MUSIC

    CURRENCY CONVERSIONS

    CYBER SAFETY

    Cyber safety is everyone's responsibility. The essential steps to good cyber safety are as follows:

    1. Think before you click
      If that link is unfamiliar to you or looks goobledygook, it may contain or link to malicious content. Look twice, click once.
    2. Never share personal information
      Always identify anyone or any link before releasing your personal information. Make sure the person or link is properly identified as genuine. And even then, do the people at the other end really need to know your personal information? If not just to benefit from a service or something, then don't provide it. Better still, consider faking your identity with a name like Mr John Smith. If in doubt, call the contact phone number and verify.
    3. Setup secure passphrases
      Use a wordstring, or a random phrase (and store on a personal password-protected database that is easier to remember) to create complex, or only "easy to remember to you" passphrases. But don't use your date of birth.
    4. Lock IT up tight
      If you leave your desk, lock your computer before you go using keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd L.
    5. Double your protection with MFA
      Hackers hate this one. MFA, or multi-factor authentication, will maximise your cyber safety. Can be a big pain in the arse, but it is an essential step to better security.



    D

    Darby Creek Trading

    Home decor, wreaths, fine art, tapestries and more

    DATE, FIND A

    DEAPPLISE

      The process of avoiding the privacy intrusive nature of Apple, Inc. in gathering information about you, your personal views, your business confidential information, and everything you do online (all under the umbrella of providing targeted marketing information to users and providing better services to you). Apple is almost as bad as Google in the way it gathers and keeps information on its servers (Apple achieves this via the push technology enabled on your iOS and macOS devices). And yes, law enforcement agents can gain access to this information no matter how Apple perceives to look like on the side of privacy. Basically, you have no control over the information once it leaves your computer and ends up sitting on a server (in this case, owned by Apple). There is no hiding this fact. The only good thing going for this company at the present time compared to Google is that at least future employers (other than Apple) and other people will not be able to access your personal and business confidential information from an Apple server to create a "profile" of who you are. If all this still sounds a little disconcerting knowing how much Apple likes to intrude on your private and business life, the following links will help you to improve your privacy. As for iOS devices, you may need to consider other similar devices from a different manufacturer since there is little difference between them (and all of them are going for AI technology to attract more customers to their platform).

    • Little Snitch
    • Arguably one of the most effective tools on the planet in blocking virtually any electronic information seeping out of your computer in a surreptitious way. No matter how cunning software developers are in grabbing information from you, Little Snitch will detect it, and you will be greeted with a pop-up message on the screen prior to the data being sent to help you decide whether or not to permit or deny the connection. The beauty of this little utility is that you have a choice (a term not common in the vocabulary of many software companies, developers, or whoever is keen to snoop around on your computer without your awareness). You decide if you want the information to escape your Mac, or not as the case may be for many situations you will find on your computer. More importantly, you have the power to "forever" deny the connection should you feel the company is asking for too much information (and being a pain in asking all the time). That's right. You will never be hassled again from Apple once you deny the connection forever. Even without using Safari or another web browser, you will be surprised by how many apps on your Macintosh computer will try to call Apple and send data. Most will be Apple-specific apps, including PhotoBooth.app, iTunes.app, and various system extensions. Even when you are not browsing on the Apple web site using Safari, this Apple web browser will still try to call Apple and send data. So look out for those Little Snitch messages, especially those that reveal in the server address a word like "apple" in it (or temporarily block unknown or unusual servers that you don't expect to see pop-up). Or you can sit back and watch what happens while the internet access is turned on and see all the Little Snitch messages suddenly pop-up before your very eyes and well before you had a chance to do anything on the internet. Apple is no exception. This is usually a sure-fire sign that Apple is looking for something from you, and in most cases the data it wants is not necessary to use your computer or software. Block them and discover a newfound sense of security and control you never had before. Little Snitch version 4.x is compatible with OS X 10.11 El Capitan and higher, and 5.x for macOS Big Sur. There is no real excuse for you not to have this utility running in the background.

    • Faronics Deep Freeze (Mac or PC)
    • The next most powerful tool, and one designed to stuff up Apple and any hackers out there looking to store or make changes to your data without your authorisation, is Faronics Deep Freeze. Use it to lock down the state of any hard disk. If you have multiple hard disks, you can choose which ones to get the lock-down treatment (usually the startup disk). Leave open those separate hard disks to store changeable (i.e., personal/business) information. And if you need to go online, you can temporarily eject unnecessary hard disks and use the apps on your startup disk to do what you need to do. Data is still stored. But on restarting your machine, the startup disk is returned to its original pristine state (giving you the feeling of a freshly installed disk). By following this procedure, it will be next to impossible for a hacker to store a virus and screw up your startup disk. Give those people the flick with a fresh restart using this tool.

    • OnyX for mac
    • The latest macOS is notorious for sending information about you and what you do in a surreptitious manner (mainly to Apple). If it cannot send the information straightaway, macOS and certain Apple apps are designed to quietly sit in the background pretending not to be launched (i.e., and at times hiding from the Dock) or claim the document was closed when, in fact, the data is still being retained in memory and the Apple app is still open. The same is true of various caches, log files, and even force the retention of multiple old copies of your documents in a fixed location that Apple chooses on your behalf (again without giving you choice) as part of Apple's preferred backup solution (and did we mention backups take place on the Apple iCloud automatically if you have established an account with this company?). If there is anything useful Apple finds in this information, and you can be sure there is a lot, unencrypted information can be sent to Apple servers on the pretence that it is there to be transferred to your iPhone or iPad, but in reality helps the company and other third-party entities to see what you are doing, gather business confidential information for their own advantages, etc. And, if you also use the App Nap feature, putting your laptop to sleep can still quietly send information to the servers. Whilst such a move may be nice for Mac newbies and youngsters unaware of the importance of backups and controlling where your information goes (and think Apple is reliable and safe), it is there to make people feel like Apple is thinking about them and working in their interest (cough!). Nothing can be further from the truth. In reality, this method of retaining old documents is one of the most effective means for the company to learn what you do, who you are, the apps you use, steal your intellectual property without you knowing (tweaka little here or there and claim it is an original idea from the company), and so much more. You see it everyday. You create a Yahoo disposal email address and choose an anonymous name for the email account, but as soon as you use it for a while, Yahoo picks up information from the email messages and decides that it thinks it knows your real name and put it in with the disposal email account to help make the link and create a profile. Apart from the fact that the information is wrong, Yahoo goes ahead and makes assumptions and tries to link information together for its own reasons. The same is true of Apple. And you are only making it easier for people to find out who you are and what you do by letting these companies store your documents and other information in particular locations set by Apple or reserved in memory. This is a sure-fire way of compromising your security; and this is before you even get hacked if the security of macOS is not great. To deal with this situation, use the abovementioned tools, and also Onyx. The latter is there to clear out the extra data collected on your Mac over a period of time. Go to the Parameters tab of OnyX and delete caches and log files for maximum protection of your personal data. Note that you may have to repeat this process every now and then until a developer can come up with an app to automatically delete unwanted files of your choosing on shutdown, and so make it feel like less of a chore. Or better still, there is a utility now available (see Faronic Deep Freeze) that can securely lockdown the startup disk and prevent changes from propagating on a restart (use another separate volume to change and permanently store documents). Until that day comes, OnyX remains a useful tool. As for Apple-specific locations for your personal files, create your own locations (including separate hard disk volumes outside of the startup disk) and store the files there. Don't rely on Apple's preferred approach no matter how nice your think the company is in looking after your data. Apple is there is make a profit and sell you what it thinks you want and the rest it is required by law to allow strangers to check the stored data on its servers to find anything they think may be useful to them.

    • Tor Browser
    • It would appear that Waterfox, Safari, and an improperly set-up Firefox and Chrome browsers (and even the latest Microsoft Edge) are lethal in leaking out your data and what you do (and some web sites will not respect the "Do Not Track Me" option in web browsers, not to mention the fact that the browsers can allow certain information to seep back into your computer through malware tools download from the internet (sometimes without your awareness). Indeed the problem is so bad that you are probably better off sticking to the only most secure web browser there is on the planet: TorBrowser. Not perfect, but TorBrowser in its most up-to-date form is the most secure browser you can you. To prove this security claim, we recommend visiting this Analyzer tool from Privacy.net to run some tests just to see how TorBrowser faired in the analysis compared to other browsers. The Tor browser is a popular choice among military officials, so the benefits to you are great too. However, keep in mind a few points: (i) Whistleblowers should not use Tor while on a work computer within their organisation. It is easy for the IT administrator to know who is using the browser. Always use an anonymous and public machine with TorBrowser running on it (or bring in your USB thumb drive with a copy of TorBrowser). Make sure there are no cameras in the area or on the computer (cover it if you must) before doing your thing; (ii) While there are some illegal dark web sites that benefit from the Tor network in performing their dubious activities (mainly to distribute illegal content), the actual people working on Tor are there to give you the privacy you deserve. How Tor is used is not their responsibility. Just like a car manufacturer selling a car has no responsibility how you use the car after you have bought it; it is up to you to use it for good purposes. The network is very secure and the only thing authorities can do to counteract this situation is to emphasise the existence of the dark web and over-estimate the number of illegal sites to the public in the hope people will be frightened off from using this browser. However, it should be noted that much of the activity people perform with Tor are there for the right reasons. People only use Tor to avoid the privacy invasive aspects associated with certain sites and in those browsers created by the more commercially-oriented software manufacturers. The true purpose of the Tor network and in using TorBrowser is to be anonymous. The only times you will not be anonymous is if you choose to login to your accounts online (unless the owners of those sites offer a privacy-protected option, such as Facebook users able to use https://facebookcorewwwi.onion/ for logging into their FaceBook with anonymity). Tor cannot protect you from this situation. The people providing those accounts will know it is you once you have logged in (duh!). Apart from some silly online services doing things to discourage you from using Tor (Google is notorious for this), such as an almost endless number of online puzzles to solve before you can use the services (e.g., often involving the clicking of squares containing traffic lights and repeating the puzzle at least 15 times), generally there is nothing wrong in using Tor for this purpose. All you have to keep in mind is that you will not be anonymous once you are logged in o an account. Only use Tor in a normal manner without signing into any account. And when you do need to send data to someone anonymously, use an anonymous emailer from a location that no one can identify who you are. We also recommend you use a VPN in conjuncrion with running Tor for maximising anonymity when browsing online.

    • Alternative PDF editors to Preview.app
    • The Apple Preview.app available freely on all macOS is a classic example where after a period of inactivity or when accessing another app, the Preview.app will disappear from the Dock and make you think it is not running. Well, don't be fooled. It is there running in the background. Just press Option Command Esc keys to see the app active. Furthermore, the app will not clear the memory set aside from a previously opened document even it has been closed. Not even trashing the closed document will work until Preview.app has been properly quit. This means you must use the Option Command and Esc keys to select the app and Force Quit it. Even after quitting, details of the document is still retained in memory (as you may discover when you re-launch Preview.app and try to drag n' drop a PDF page or file into an existing opened PDF document. Somehow the old data has come back again and you must undo and try again for it to work properly the second time around (really bad for legal professionals who are hoping for a reliable way to add new documents to an existing one). All this for the sake of Apple wanting to see what you are doing if you allow your Mac to be accessible on the internet. So if you use Preview.app for reading and manipulating PDF documents, use an alternative free or paid PDF editor from an independent and more trustworthy developer from the link shown above. For a reasonable PDF editor you could try iSkySoft PDF Editor 6 released in November 2017 with its new user interface and more efficient functions (upgrade price is US19.99, normally US$99.95). Don't expect Adobe Acrobat to respect your privacy too. It is only slightly better on quitting the app, but if you close a PDF document, Acrobat will not properly release the document. You will notice this when you try to delete the PDF document through the Trash can. Use another PDF editor/reader. Also useful in this regard are the numerous memory optimising apps, and choose ones that will auto clear inactive RAM after a document has been closed.

    DEGOOGALISE

      The process of avoiding the privacy intrusive techniques employed by Google in gathering information about you, your views, and your online habits while you browse online. Google is a personal favourite of secret intelligence organisations, your future employers, advertisers and anyone else that sees the value in your presence online doing certain things on Google. As they all use Google services to gather information about you (not to mention your (ex-)boyfriend, (ex-)girlfriend, and anyone else for that matter, even right down to your personal views on various issues). If all this seems a bit much for what should be a simple task of searching on the web for web sites and talking with friends, then check out the links below. We also cannot recommend more highly the benefits of not creating a Google email account or use an Android phone (Android OS is actually owned by Google). Yes, hard to do in this day and age (as we all use mobile phones, so consider resetting the phone after you have backed up your contacts, photos, videos and documents, and start fresh but do not create a Google account and don't use your real name or be more anonymous in the address book for who you are), but it will end up being the best solution for protecting everyone's privacy. Or else truly high-grade encryption software has to be produced, installed and activated as a standard feature across all sensitive personal electronic devices to beat all the spyware tools out there on the market (e.g., the technology called Evident from BAE Systems). Unfortunately, in this era of terrorism and the efforts by certain governments in the world to control their civilians, we feel this is unlikely.

    • DuckDuckGo.com
    • The search engine with the unusual feature of not keeping a history of your searching and where you visit. A truly innovative concept in today's hi-tech world.

    • Open Street Map
    • The online map service that does not keep a history of the places you search for. Definitely an organisation ahead of its time, and something others should aspire to.

    • TorBrowser
    • Forget the rest, just go for TorBrowser. Don’t use Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox/Waterfox. All will either retain information about you, including a remarkably detailed history of where you have visited for sending to their servers (even when you eventually delete your history, as it once occurred with an older version of Safari), or have various security holes to allow people to send and run malicious code on your computer. The most dangerous codes are those designed to quietly delete or encrypt (through ransom-ware) files in known locations setup by the OS manufacturers (a silly idea that has truly had its day, unless the manufacturers are there to also gather information about you, what you do, and the tools you use on your computer all the time). Otherwise, the code may be designed to quietly grab your personal files and send them to a server online (sounds like this might be a good idea to install something equivalent to Little Snitch to solve this pesky problem). If you must use an ordinary browser, set it to maximum privacy and with Private Mode on to ensure your history of sites visited is deleted. But as with commercial offerings, not all will do a perfect job. To do this job properly, always use TorBrowser.

    DEGOVERNMENTISE

    The process of avoiding the privacy intrusive techniques employed by your government in gathering information about you, what you do, and who you meet. Hard to do in this day and age with governments concerned about a few terrorists in our midst (the solution is simple: treat everyone well and with respect, and give everyone what they need to survive, a place they can call their home, and have equal opportunities to succeed in a worthwhile and positive area of life they wish to pursue), but at the end of the day it is a requirement for journalists in a truly democratic society to be free and independent in their work as well as to allow people the basic right to privacy. When governments get too much control over there citizens (we have heard that the Chinese people are experts in this field), the ability to reverse this power is more important for the citizens. Some governments will argue for some balance. But at the end of the day, a new world order that ensures people have what they need and can contribute positive things to the community is all that is needed for governments and the people to feel secure and happy (as for terrorists, it is time we all show a bit of love for one another for there to be true security for all). The choice is up to governments and people to decide. For those feeling the pressure of governments breathing down their necks for any smidgen of information they can grab from you, any means of keeping governments away will be a godsend . For a start, you should look at the techniques covered in DeMicrosoftise, DeApplise, and DeGooglise for a dramatic improvement in your privacy protection. Other than that, perhaps the best form of defence against the prying eyes of governments is simply to have no network connection to the internet (but then you do have cameras on every street to contend with, right?). Sounds like a revolutionary concept. But given how useful the internet can be, one has to be a little more realistic. For many people, it is hard to live without their mobile phones and internet connections (you would swear there must be a virtual umbilical cord attached to their bodies and the devices). Some network connections will be necessary, and probably unavoidable. Therefore, the first step is to consider establishing a Virtual Personal Network (VPN). This nifty solution is designed to hide your IP address, and if it comes with effective encryption, even better. As Maya Maceka, a cybersecurity researcher, wrote:

    "A VPN encrypts the user’s internet connection and reroutes it through another server [and hence a different IP address] to provide private and secure internet access. VPNs are especially crucial in regions like Russia and China, where access to politically disfavored websites is restricted." (Source: VPN Use and Data Privacy Stats)

    Use a VPN to by-pass Australian-based servers (if the VPN server is located overseas), and so open up a world of new opportunities, insights, and access to a much wider range of information on the internet (you get the best and the worse of what's on offer, but at least you should be a good filter of information, right? You understand why people do the things they do? So use your intelligence to decide the right information to go for, see what's most important and useful to society, and will help you to achieve good things in the world. Set an example for others to aspire to through the right choice of information). Indeed, a VPN is particularly important for people living in countries run by an authoritarian regime. As Maceka quite rightly pointed out in her online article:

    "In 2022, Russians used VPNs to access information about the Ukrainian war, Chinese used VPNs to bypass the Great Information Firewall, and Iranians used VPNs to avoid government censorship. (Source: VPN Use and Data Privacy Stats)

    When choosing a VPN, try to find one that offers excellent and robust encryption. This is the key to sending and receiving emails with anonymity. If you are looking for good VPN services, check out VPN Vanguard's recommendation here. For example, two VPN services that do not log details of what you do are ExpressVPN and SharkSurf. Also consider CyberGhost VPN. Of course, the best VPNs are those you don't have to pay anything (i.e., no record of who you are based on the financial transactions you provide when paying for the service), but could still be designed to see what you are doing. Some of the commercial VPNs, such as CyberGhost, use to offer a free subscription plan with no choice of VPN server but will hide your IP address, excerpt there were no obvious signs of encryption. This means that the company could create profiles of people and their information passed through their servers. Otherwise, paying for VPN and encryption may be the only option you have got. Following all the dramas of the pandemic recently, businesses are struggling financially, so don't be too surprised to find VPN providers expecting a payment. In return, encryption to a high standard should be part of the service if you are going to pay anything for a VPN. Finding VPNs that are genuinely free and privacy-protected are hard to come by, but they do exist. For example, you can setup your own free VPN for selected servers of your choice from a list shown at VPN Gate. However, we don't recommend watching Netflix using these VPN servers. They are a bit slow and not likely to offer you gigabytes of data per session. Also, you have to do your own encryption at your end to be truly secure. Another free service to come online very soon is China's LinkSure company, which will provide free worldwide internet coverage established by sending 10 satellites into orbit. When that happens, VPNs with encryption will be essential, if nothing else but to keep the prying eyes of the Chinese government away from what you do and who you are. Otherwise, the Western world will have to offer free encrypted VPNs to everyone to counteract the free Chinese offering. Just remember, the only draw back in anything that is free is that the people offering it are likely to want something in return. Usually it is by way of looking at your data and siphoning off useful information for their own activities (if not your identity by looking at the documents you send off). A popular choice for the Chinese government no doubt, which is why anything that is free almost always has a catch somewhere in the fine print. If you use anything free, make sure you also use encryption at your end and with the people who you communicate with. Don't rely on the middle-man VPN service to encrypt things, especially when their services are offered free. Those encryption services are designed to have a backdoor for people like the Chinese government or other entities to view your data. When it comes to your choice of encryption, don't compromise on anything less than 512-bits in the encryption level (and ideally you should keep the encryption/decryption keys on your machine, not someone else's especially for the decryption key itself). The standard nowadays should be the high-grade military-standard 1024-bit or higher for file and email encryption as used by military experts, and considered essential for journalists wanting to communicate with whisteblowers* or other people. Apart from a VPN service, we also strongly recommend that you do not advertise yourself on FaceBook, Twitter, or other social media sites. This is especially true if you are a journalist, and definitely do not show a picture of yourself (your family, the size of your bodily appendages etc.). Who really needs to know? If you do, any other accounts you may have for personal use showing pictures of yourself with friends, family and so on will be linked together through face-recognition technology, even if you decide to use an anonymous name and fake life biography. You are better off not being on these social media sites (your real life is your social media site and you should be promoting this aspect by just by walking around and being yourself, not the narcissistic approach of going online and telling everyone how great you are and asking everyone to like you all the time — we all should love one another, right?) to be truly free and independent. Also consider using a clean (i.e., not electronically bugged) old mobile phone or something that will not track your location. Or, at the very least, turn off location finder in your current mobile phone. Huawei is considered the least secure. Owned by a Chinese company with secret links to the Chinese government, Huawei phones are like the DVI drones made by another Chinese company. The devices all provide useful information for any socialist government wanting to see what people do, what they take as pictures, who the people are talking to others and taking the pictures, the location where you are, and so on. All this simply means that in order to get around these sneaky methods of third-party individuals and state-run organisations, you need to find phones with encryption capabilities and more secure apps and OS loaded on them. Of course, the Chinese government will encourage more users to see the value of a Chinese-made smartphone and network by offering things like a free world-wide internet access system by 2026 as well as amazing AI tools and all the rest. But don't be fooled. There is a reason why certain people will want to offer you free stuff. Nothing is truly free. Does this mean Western companies are better? Manufacturers of other countries are not a whole lot better either. For example, in South Korea, Samsung is not particularly secure even though the company makes claims of trying to do its bit to improve security. The biggest issue with Samsung smartphones is how the microphone that you use to talk to someone when making calls actually stays on all the time, even when you are not making a call. You might need this for controlling your phone using your voice (how many actually do this?). But when you don't need it, there is no option to turn it off. The microphone always stays on. You can detect this on Sumsung's S9, S9 Note and other newer models by plugging a stereo cable plug into the smartphone's headphone jack, and connect the other end to a computer's Line Input. Open up an audio editor app with recording capabilities and look at the audio level meter. Everytime you talk and/or tap the Sumsung phone, the microphone will pick it up and the signal displayed on the audio meter. No need to make a phone call or turn on anything else to accept voice commands to make it work. There is no Android app to properly stop the microphone from picking up sounds (it should only turn on when using the phone tlo make a call or if you decide you want to make voice commands to the phone), and there is a reason for it (just like internet-enabled TV connected to the internet with built-in microphones that never properly disengage from the world, mainly because manufacturers think people will always be talking to the TV to get the functions they want, such as changing channels, but can also be a double-edged sword). Apple iPhones are not secure for the reasons described earlier (see DeApplise). And to get away from Western internet networks altogether, you could try the Russian Yandex network, or the new China SureLink system to enjoy a bit of free internet access (but keep in mind the Russian and Chinese governments will have their own means of spying on you through these networks). So, encrypt anything that is important when sending information on the internet, and use a VPN. The other thing to be careful are the types of apps you download and use on your smartphone or computer. If the apps are not well-designed and have not gone through a rigorous quality-control check (you should leave new apps alone until they have had time to be properly tested and bugs/security issues fixed), they can leave behind loop-holes and security bugs. A classic example is the mobile app from PayPal. The poor quality nature of the app in the early stages of its release allowed third-party individuals to make unauthorised transaction on your PayPal account (if you have one). And also be careful about free WiFi hot spots for public use. Whilst they may be convenient at times, there is usually a good reason why they are free (mainly to attract people to shops, but also to see what you do, what you buy, who you talk to, and so on). Do not use public WiFi networks for sensitive work such as accessing your bank accounts. It is okay if you are merely browsing news sites or downloading some software. To be useful, these networks need effective encryption. If you don't, just use it for general purposes or create your own encryption on your computer before transferring data on the network. Finally, to complete the picture, we highly recommend that you check the following links and decide whether any of them might be worth implementing in your high-tech gadgets or life in general.

    • GPG Encryption Tools
    • The essential tools you need to encrypt to a high-grade all the files and email messages you want to send and receive. Works great with Windows and macOS (i.e., Mail.app). Check out this video on how to install and use the tools.

    • Guerilla Mail
    • Useful when quickly sending anonymously an email message to someone using a disposable temporary email address.

    • Mailmator
    • An alternative to Guerilla Mail.

    • Mailnesia
    • Just want to receive an email message, but don't want to give out your real email address (especially if it is a spammer sending you the message)? Use this free service. Delete the message once you are finished.

    • Password Hacked Checker
    • If you haven't changed your email password in the last few years, you might want to do it soon and use a more randomised and/or sophisticated password to bamboozle even the most hardened cyber criminal. The reason being is that hackers in the past have managed to find ways to compromise some online systems and grab vast numbers of email addresses, passwords, names, home addresses, and credit card details and distribute them on the dark web. Oftne they use brute force methods of throwing in passwords that are commonly chosen by the population with a probability that some passwords may work and give them access to sensitive information. At other times, intelligent approaches to hacking may reveal a security flaw in the programming of some web sites, databases and operating systems, allowing unfettered access to a range of information. Either way, the longer you stay stagnant in your passwords, the more likely someone out there will find out what this password is, or have found a way to bypass various weak security measures used by companies. If you know your password hasn't changed for a long time and you want to find out if your email account has been compromised, use this tool. It will search a public database that has collected this information and let you know if a password was found for it. It won't show you the password (for obvious reasons), but it will let you know whether your account(s) could already be compromised or face a high risk that cyber criminals may already be accessing your sensitive information as you read this. There is also an option to test certain passwords you may be considering to use to see if it is unique. If not, the number of times the password has been used in other accounts may increase the risk of your email account getting hacked. If you do not want to try this option, we recommend creating a proper randomised password. But I won't remember it? We hear your pain, and yes it is getting a bit tricky while everyone feels doing things online is secure (cough!). We recommend downloading our latest SUNRISE Contacts. The contacts database component is free, and contains a nifty password keeper under the Help menu when you launch it (which is linked to your web addresses that you visit to help keep login information related to specific URLs). All you have to do is enter an easily remembered general password once (this one can be really easy) and use it to access a multitude of complicated passwords you want stored for all your accounts. No one can hack this single password because SUNRISE Contacts is not on any online server. It is on your computer, which is much more secure. Once stored, you can click on the password and paste it into the field of an online login page. Simple. Finally, consider creating randomised passwords of your accounts every 12 months and store the new password in SUNRISE Contacts (always encrypted for your protection). SUNRISE Contacts will help you to randomise a password for you of a length and with specific characters of your choosing as you specify in the Preferences section.

    • 50 Key Stats About Freedom of the Internet Around the World
    • The Journalist Privacy Guide
    • TorBrowser
    • We can't speak enough about the usefulness of this browser. First developed by the U.S. Navy, the Tor browser helps to better protect your privacy while browsing the internet. It does this by "bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world" (assuming, of course, that the volunteers are not collecting information themselves!). Use the latest version to fix known bugs that have been exploited by governments. For example, governments had been exploiting a loophole in TorBrowser 8.0.5, but TorBrowser 8.5.1 is giving governments a hard time. Use it in conjunction with access to a wide variety of different public internet hotspots (i.e., don't use your real internet account), and only store a fake name on your computer, software, and contacts.app,. This should give you a high level of anonymity. Also, when the time comes to publish the results of your independent journalistic work online, use an anonymous web site hosted offshore to avoid any draconian laws in Australia preventing you from leaking important information that you believe is in the public interest and can hold governments, military, and/or businesses fully accountable for their actions (and don't use your real name as there are ways to figure out who you are).

    See also INTERNET: REMOVING GEOGRAPHICAL RESTRICTIONS

    DEMICROSOFTISE

      The process of avoiding the privacy intrusive techniques employed by Microsoft in gathering information about you, your views, your software, the questions you ask on AI Bing, and your online habits while you browse online. Microsoft generally follows quietly along the path of Apple, often watching the more controversial technologies introduced by its supposed competitor. When enough people seem to be unaware (mostly younger consumers who will go for just about anything new because they think new equates to being better and, therefore, a must have feature or product) or simply choose to ignore the problems (a natural reaction when those in a position of power with their products are not allowing enough choices to be made available for people to decide), Microsoft usually takes onboard the same technologies, and does it better and more refined (and thus trickier to detect). Therefore, deMicrosoftising your life is often the same as for Apple.

    • OpenSUSE Linux Leap
    • The simplest solution to dealing with Microsoft Windows is simply not to use it. Of course, one has to be practical about this considering people still have to use a computer. So consider downloading and installing Linux OS. It is a free, open source solution. More importantly, it is stable (really stable) and remarkably secure. Annual updates ensure Linux remains the best it can be. Indeed, if the available Linux apps are sufficient for your needs, why would you need Windows OS from Microsoft? Better to stay with Linux.

    • Glasswire Network Utility
    • This is touted as the equivalent to Little Snitch, but instead works for Windows 10. Use it to allow or deny Windows apps in connecting to servers on the internet. Available as a free and paid version, this useful app is definitely worth a closer look.

    • TorBrowser
    • Did we mention TorBrowser is the best and most secure internet browser there is on the planet? If you haven't, it might be worth your while having a look at our earlier discussions about this excellent browser. By the way, a Linux version just so happens to be available should you decide to go the Linux OS way.

    • DuckDuckGo.com
    • Recommended where the Bing search engine web site employs ways of identifying who you are and what you do. Setting up an account with Microsoft through the search engine also has its pitfalls. Indeed, creating an account means you might as well have your whole life sold to the devil at that point. Best to use a truly secure search engine. Use a VPN and/or TorBrowser if you need Co-pilot for AI responses from Bing.com. And if you must establish a Microsoft account, be anonymous as you can.

    DE-SOCIALISE FROM SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

    The process of getting away from social media accounts (or minimising their impact on your life) mainly because of the privacy intrusive nature of social media companies and of dubious world governments interested in tracking you down and gathering your personal information. Otherwise, they can sell your personal information to governments and/or profit-making companies to presumably sell you stuff, not to mention the recent security breaches on social media sites (see TechJury's excellent Infographic), the time-consuming nature of constantly handling the social aspects of having your own account and dealing with so many people, and the way other people can abuse their position of supposed anonymity by publishing nasty and often erroneous remarks about you (known as trolls), which if you can't handle it or have no techniques on how to deal with them, might be worth your while getting away from altogether. Seriously, do you need to have a social media account just to get a social life? Social media sites include Google Plus, Pinterest, FaceBook, Twitter, Skype and many others. To reverse the trend of joining a social media site, the first thing you must ask yourself is, "What is it that you need to do on a social media site that you cannot do in real life? What benefits will having a social media page do for you when you get one? How will your presence on a social media site help others should people decide to read and look at what you have on your social media page?"

    If you just need to make friends or find like-minded individuals with similar views to your own so they can like you and/or support what you stand for, remember that you can always make friends in the real world without ever needing a social media account. We have all done this sort of thing prior to the 21st century and for as long as humans can remember. It hasn't killed anyone, and it won't kill you now not to be on social media. It is not for everyone. So why should social media suddenly need to change this traditional approach of meeting people just to find some friends? Better still, broaden your thinking by listening to different views directly from meeting people. So much better. This is how you become more balanced and understanding of the diversity of people's life views and why people think the way they do. You can start to see how their experiences have formulated their views about the world. And it can be a transformative experience too for you if you let it happen? Of course you will always find similar-thinking individuals to support your view of the world. Big deal. What is more important is what you can do to improve the world and make this a better place to live. And, don't go on social media simply to rely on constant praise (occasional is fine, but not all the time). No need to have the constant reassurances of people saying they liked what you did or you as a person, or whatever views you may have. Everyone should naturally like you as a person no matter what you look like. We have all been brought into this world through love, and you should be entitled to feel that love. All you have to do is keep an open-mind. Listen to different points-of-views, and keep at the back of your mind that there are plenty of people who will always support you, whether or not you are on social media.

    Remember, you do not need to prove to anyone that you are a worthwhile and fantastic individual.

    Be sensible and realistic about it. You are not going to please every single person in the world. Even the most popular people on the planet will have their detractors. Just do your best in your contributions to society and be comforted by the fact that there are so many people out there who do care about you and want to see you succeed and do your best. Sure, you are going to find plenty of like-minded individuals out there who will like what you do and the way you think and believe. This is normal. Social media has a way of concentrating these people online. But if all you want to know is that you belong to some "group" because it gives you meaning to your life, just keep in mind that being on social media is not the only way to get that feeling of being a part of the "community". The community goes beyond the internet. And you can find people outside the internet to give you that sense of belonging.

    On the same token, you also need to learn. It is not always about reinforcing the same and potentially "old" views. The only way to know if the views are balanced is to read up and listen to a broader section of the community. having diversity and knowing all the opposing views can help you to understand the broader picture. And you will be able to make more informed and better decisions in your life.

    At the same time, do not take things on social media too seriously, especially when it comes to what others might say about you and/or the things you do. Apart from the fact that you can't please everyone all of the time, most of the time what people say is a personal view or opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So can you. And you should have control and what it is you want to hear. People can say things in a reasonably positive way, or maybe not. If it is valid criticism, accept it. Acknowledge we are not perfect. So long as you are trying to learn and be a better person, that is all that matters. But remember, it is not you that is the problem. It is often your views, your concepts, or the beliefs you hold that may need re-evaluating, or to change your actions, if you can see the harm created to others. Or perhaps the problem are the views of others and they are the ones in need of re-evaluating their own views.

    What matters on social media is what you are doing to help people. Or do you prefer to cause harm to someone else, even to those you might describe as your enemy? Really. What is the point? How is it going to improve the situation? Is it going to bring world peace? Is it going to help others become better people than they are today? Why must you treat certain people so badly? Because they have harmed you in some way? Or you just want to be a troll because you think it is funny and you are just having a little bit of fun. Sometimes you have got to think about the consequences in what you say. It can also reveal to others about your background and upbringing as to why you have to say negative things about others or how you see the world. Is it because you have been hurt and/or lacking in love? Do you need support? What is actually missing in your life that can change this?

    For others who are negative to you or other people on social media, you must remember that they are limited in the way they can solve a problem. They don't know of a better way. So why not show a better way yourself? Don't follow the herd or accept the views of others. Travel your own path in life and find a better way of achieving things that works for everyone. Or you can stick to what you believe. Fair enough. Just remember that you are here to improve yourself and become more balanced, and to help others to grow in a similar way as well. Consider all the variety of views from people. Your social media page and what people say is an opportunity to gauge what others think and to give you insights and thoughts that you may not have considered before and could help to improve yourself and see a different way of doing things. Don't worry if people do not like you or whatever. Personally? They obviously don't know you very well. And even if they do, just learn from the situation. Apologise if there is something you said that wasn't right. Acknowledge your limitations and need to improve. Beyond that, you have much to contribute to society. The fact that you are here means you are already a worthy and valuable person in your own right (and so should everyone else, unless they are lacking in love in their own lives, which would explain a lot for those who do the trolling). No one has to tell you how valuable you are to society and the great things you can achieve. You should already know this. Learn to be confident in the person that you are.

    As an added level of power and protection, especially if you are a little less confident, is use the features of your social media site to control which users can access your social media site. If they are not there to be productive and helpful to you through their comments, turn them off. And perhaps as a final piece of advice when considering on whether to join a social media site, do not use the technological platform to prove anything to others. It should be clear to everyone that we can achieve anything we want. And you are a valuable person in society. There is no need to prove this fact to anyone else.

    Finally, instead of focusing on yourself all the time, use your social media page to promote something that you are doing and believe can be achieved right now by anyone and will help others. Or consider sharing a funny story, image or video of something you have experienced, heard, or seen personally. This may help to give people a laugh, or to make them feel a part of your goals in achieving something great. However, never allow the page to ever dominate your life. There are far more important things to do than sit in front of a computer all day long. If you want to save yourself time and you can see there are plenty of people asking for the same advice or views on things, provide an FAQ section, and answer the most common questions in a way that is positive and helpful to others. Or if you wish to completely turn off all comments from others and avoid the security pitfalls of social media sites, consider setting up your own web site. And when you feel like it, create your own comment-making system and you can become the moderator of comments that are helpful and useful to your cause. Finally, if you do wish to maintain a social media account, don't get lazy to sign in to other web sites using your Facebook account. Other people will learn a lot about you when they check your account and see what you do and your personal views. Use an anonymous disposal email address to receive and send emails, and when you are ready, you can delete the email address. Keep in mind that these disposal email addresses will not carry personal information. With that said, if you still need ways to minimise or eliminate social media sites from your life, feel free to click on the following sites.

    DEEP FAKES

    A deep fake is essentially another term for counterfeiting although the result remains in digital form. It is the process of generating a digital copy of anything in real life, whether it is a voice or face of someone, and use it to achieve something that others find virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. If the digital information is converted to analogue, such as sending off the digital information to a printer, you are effectively creating counterfeits. Whilst there are some concerns by authorities that deep fakes can cause some problems, such as showing a video of a digitally recreated real-life world leader and made to look like and say things that could be disturbing, there are benefits in producing deep fakes. Just like driving a car has a negative and positive benefit to society, deep fakes have the potential to solve many problems, such as preserving the appearance of artworks and paintings which can later be re-created physically using 3D printers, as well as solve problems where an actor has died and it is necessary to finish off a movie production with sequences of the digitally re-created actor performing the remaining scenes. However, should digital re-creation involve sensitive and powerful people in real-life, it is important to watermark or embed security marks to help other people to know whether a video is a fake or not. For all other people, it is important to get their consent in having their faces and well-known voices used. Just like people lifting up a phone or iPad to take video of certain people, the same social etiquettes of seeking permission still applies. For all other purposes, there is no need. The positive benefits will almost certainly outweigh the negatives so long as people use the technology for good and helps society to grow and achieve greater things

    DESIGN NEWSLETTERS

    DICTIONARIES

    • Cambridge Dictionary
    • Macquarie Dictionary
    • Free Grammar Checker
    • A genuinely free grammar checker (as of 2023) for students or anyone who needs to check their writing. There are no signs up (a rarity these days). All you do is type or paste the text or upload the Word document, and it will highlight issues.

    • Free Thesaurus
    • Also comes with a standard English dictionary, a medical dictionary, a legal dictionary, a financial dictionary, and access to idioms and acronyms, as well as various encyclopedias (including Wikipedia).

    • Ginger Grammar Check
    • Touted as the world's number 1 grammar checker, you ahve the opportunity to find out if this is true. You be the judge by trying it. Is it really the best?

    • Ginger Spell Check
    • Ginger, is the leading contextual grammar and spell checker on the market today and is able to automatically correct all types of spelling and grammar mistakes, even the most severe ones, especially from people who use English as a second language.

    • Grammarly
    • Nothing beats a good human editor, but for a machine to do an awesome job of editing, this has to be the world's most accurate grammar checker available today. A subscription fee is required after testing it out on some sample text.

    • Online Dictionary and Thesaurus
    • OneLook Dictionary
    • Webopedia Tech Dictionary for IT Professionals

    DISADVANTAGED, HELPING THE

    • Gardhouse.org
    • Helping Charlotte college of students from the black community gain post-graduate employment through work experience and internships. You ask for what you need in your business, have one or more students work for you, decide on what you want to pay for their time, and most importantly students will have something to add in their resume to show to prospective employers. Or it can be an opportunity to employ the students with full-time employment through the internships you offer. If nothing else, you can always donate and mentors will help connect students with businesses and provide all the advice and coaching students need to become great employees.

    DOG FOOD

    • Purina Pro Plan Sensitive
    • Do you have a dog that seems to turn up its nose on certain dry dog food and at other times seem to have more stomach upsets than usual? Are you concerned about the type of ingredients that go into commercial dog food? Well, look no further than Purina's Pro Plan. It is the one used by veterinarians with their own dogs and is the most recommended. Dogs will eat it and they are happier for it too.

    DRONES

    All drones weighing more than 250g will need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Authority. Other than that, what you are looking for is a drone that can hover in the air even in a little bit of wind, stay in one spot using accurate GPS, have a three-axis gimbal for maximum optical stability of the images and video taken, a minimum 1080p HD camera (we recommend 2K or 4K camera, although some manufacturers simply reuse the same small lens from an older HD camera and put in a 4K light-sensitive chip which is no better than standard HD and may, in fact, slow down processing resulting in video that is not smooth, so make sure you get a large lens coupled to a 2K or 4K light-sensitive chip with no fisheye distortions unless you want this as an option, and also consider getting one with a Class 10 high speed and durable built-in memory card to help record the visual data faster to the memory), and a decent range the drone can travel (up to 7km, or 3.5km each way, is now considered the gold standard). If the drone is likely to be invisible to the naked eye at more than 1.2km, you should have a drone with a decent 30 minute flight time and ability to return home automatically and with enough battery power to get it back to the landing pad when out-of-range of the controller and/or certainly return home when the battery power drops to below a minimum level and needs re-charging.. There should also be enough power to maintain a signal for at least 15 minutes (or retain accurate GPS data on the controller) to help you locate the drone in the event that it needs to perform an emergency landing. Other than that, the rest comes down to what you are willing to pay (and potentially sacrifice if you lose or damage the drone, which is why it is essential to get one with the full array of sensors to ensure the drone can never collide into obstacles) for a reasonable quality drone.

    DRONES, BEST OVER $1,000

    • DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
    • DJI produces good quality drones and cameras, especially the DJI Magic 2 Pro with its 8km range and high resolution pictures and video. Unfortunately these products are used by the Chinese government to learn about international citizens who purchase any DJI drone product as well as spy on its own citizens in China. It does this by gathering information through your mobile phone and the internet, GPS coordinates from the drone, and camera information gathered from the drone to secretly build a profile of each user on the company/government databases. In fact, according to journalist Liz Hayes of Channel 9's Under Investigation and a team of top Canberra insiders and cybersecurity specialists discussing the latest on cyber threats televised on March 13, 2024, DJI is known to have direct links to the Chinese government. So, if you are happy to be spied on and your personal details shared with the Chinese government, you really can't go wrong with using a DJI drone.

    DRONES, BEST AT UNDER $500

    • Potensic 4K drone with gimbal
    • A good camera at under the $500 mark. Ideal for beginners and designed specifically for people who want the simplest way to control the drone and yet achieve excellent results from the camera, such as travellers going overseas. It comes with all the legendary stability when hovering, including a 3-axis stabilized gimbal that eliminates vibration when taking video as you would expect from a quality manufacturer. The only recommendation is that this product needs the full array of sensors to detect obstacles on the sides and behind. It also needs more battery power and reserve enough to allow the drone signal to be detected on the controller when you need to find it. Other than those minor points of criticism, if it could have the same quality camera as the ones used in the DJI Pro series, this would be the best drone at this price point, even for professional use.

    DRONES, BEST AT UNDER $200

    • JJRC X9 Heron
    • We are entering into what is effectively the beginners market, and quality of drones from manufacturers at this price point vary significantly. In fact, some manufacturers will take advantage of consumers by re-branding cheaper Chinese made drones and sell then at least 5 times the normal selling price in China and may even instruct Chinese manufacturers to use cheaper materials and electronics to ensure the products do not last and will break easily in the hope consumers are silly enough to keep buying the same product again and again. To avoid this situation, a quality and durable drone with a decent 1080p camera can be bought for as little as US$150, such as the X Drone HD (not the DroneXPro). However, to get the stability in the images and video taken by the camera, we recommend one with a 3-axis gimbal. Hence the above recommendation at the $500 price range. Or consider the JJRC X25 Aurora for that little extra stability and quality.

    DVD, FIND A



    E

    eBay

    EDITORS, TEXT

    Editing is broadly divided into three main areas: (i) a light edit called proofread (for fixing grammatical mistakes, such as mixing of plural and singular words in a sentence, inconsistent use of past, present or future tense words, spelling mistakes, making sure each paragraph focusses on one idea etc.); (ii) a more thorough edit combining a proofread as well as looking at sentence structure (with often the best suggestion provided by the editor based on his/her interpretation of the writing); and (iii) a highly brutal look (if it is required) of not just a proofread, but also a check of sentence structure as well as the logical and structural flow of the entire document. Generally, the more comprehensive the edit, the more you pay.

    There is, of course, a higher level of editing. In fact, strictly speaking it is not really editing, but called ghost writing. As the name suggests, it simply means another person does the writing and editing for you and you pay for the service while everyone assumes you were the author. The latter is only good if what you need to write is not in your native language (e.g., book translations) or you have the ideas but need someone else to write is down in a way that suits the audience who will read it.

    When asking for something to be edited, make sure you are clear with your editor about the type of document you are writing and who will read it (i.e., "the audience"). This will make a massive difference in the type of editing you receive. For example, if you mention the document is for a scientific audience, such as an article to be published in a scientific journal, an editor will remove a considerable amount of redundant and superfluous words that don't add anything to the meaning and main points of your sentences (have you noticed one in this sentence?). Irrespective of whether the sentences are grammatically correct and reads well, the aim of a scientific edit is to shorten the sentences as much as possible. And much of the sentences are made in the active voice with the item of focus on relevant facts brought to the front and any supporting evidence following it very quickly (as well as the usual proliferation of footnotes to show where the evidence came from, as is mandatory of any good scientific article). The result is a very compact document that is straight-to-the-point, rather matter-of-fact, but can be immensely dry and boring (which for most scientists, this is perfect as it shows that you are not trying to be emotive or influence the reader; but just stating the facts and letting the evidence speak for itself). However, if you are writing a book for the masses, it is important that your writing and choice of words and how they are strung together is engaging and will interest a wider range of readers (it can make the difference of whether you earn a little money to pay some bills, or you can afford to buy a house and anything else you might need —something that you can never do with selling a scientific "textbook" or "article" unless you suddenly win the Nobel prize, but then that would require incredible luck to land yourself in the lap of the scientific gods. If you need to sell more interesting books, then so long as it reads well and the picture it paints in people's minds is clear and engaging (and even a sense of realism or fires the imagination, and even emotive through humour or some other means), then it is fine. In this situation, you certainly do not want to cut back on too many words by an editor or else your fine entertaining writing piece could be mutilated and this could lose interest to your readers. And it can also lose your style of writing, which for many readers might be the very thing that interest them the most.

    Whichever type of edit you choose from your editor (choose one that will be sympathetic to the type of writing you want to see), you always have the choice of deciding which edits you accept and which ones to ignore. You will have the final say of what propagates into your writing. Over time and with experience, you should be able to see the obvious grammatical errors and fix them up with ease. For everything else, it is up to you to decide whether a little shortening of the sentences will read better and helps to get the point across more clearly without losing your style of writing and interest factor. At the same time, look at the bigger picture in your writing to ensure the sentences are not structured to read in a repetitive manner (easy to do in a scientific text). For a book designed for the masses, a few extra words won't matter in the whole scheme of things if it helps to make the sentences lift off the page and flow nicely as well as paint the picture clearly, and is all done in an engaging and entertaining way for your intended audience.

    EDITING TOOLS, TEXT

    EDUCATION, AGED CARE

    • Caring.com Student Scholarships (USA)
    • A chance within a growing industry to have a lifelong stable employment for those who enjoy caring for people. Scholarships up to US$10,000 are available for the right student.

    EDUCATION, BROAD (GENERAL)

    • Schools of Wellness
    • Promotes lifelong wellness skills, emphasizing activity and nutrition for students.

    • SUNRISE Information Services
    • One of the early web sites on the internet to offer free education since 1995. This one focuses on identifying and presenting the grander or more global/universal large-scale patterns acquired from a broad study of certain disciplines using the right side of the brain. A unique education web site sure to give you the bigger picture.

    EDUCATION, CIVIL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

    • NJIT Master of Science in Civil Engineering
    • The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has explained it perfectly when it defined a civil engineer as someone who leads "the teams that plan, design, construct, and operate the infrastructures essential to our modern lives". Of course, the course itself is a little more involved than simply leading a group of people. You do need to have some knowledge of science and mathematics, as well as the necessary communication skills to present your ideas and solutions to others. Fortunately, just like your ultimate pizza topping, this university will give you the lot (pepperoni, olives and the rest). So, go ahead and sink your teeth into this one.

    • NJIT Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
    • Do you get more of a buzz in electrical engineering? Well, the same university that offers you civil engineering just so happens to have a course catered specifically for budding new electrical engineers as well.

    • Ohio University Civil Engineering Resources
    • Of course, one can't always be biased towards the New Jersey offering for a quality education in civil engineering. The Ohio University is also a leading educator in this field. And it may even be closer to your home too. But then again, if you want to stay as far away as possible from your parents, try the New Jersey location instead.

    • Ohio University Electrical Engineering Resources
    • Just as capable as the people from New Jersey, the Ohio University will also give you a solid background in all things relating to electrical engineering. Perhaps at the end of this course, you might be able to build an electromagnetic spacecraft and start travelling to the stars to meet your new clients. Well, you have got to start somewhere, right? Fortunately, the course you need is ready and waiting for you. Later, you can change the world with your electrical insights.

    EDUCATION, HEALTH

    • Adventist University Online Health Courses
    • Don't let the word "Adventist" frighten you off. This is one place in America to receive the best education in all areas relating to the health sector (including nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, and radiologic sciences to name a few) from highly friendly and compassionate academic staff with real experience behind them.
       

      NOTE: Praying is optional, and once you have your degree, you can work in any hospital you like.

    • College Degrees Online (U.S.)
    • A reasonably comprehensive look at all U.S. Colleges offering health-related courses and degrees.

    • University of Cincinnati HIM Resource Center
    • Prefer the management side of things in the health sector? This university will teach you the latest and best practices in acquiring, analyzing, and protecting medical information held in digital or traditional format considered vital to providing quality patient care. Welcome to the world of Health Information Management (HIM).

    • University of Illinois at Chicago Health Informatics Resources
    • Health Informatics is just a fancy name for "information technology in the health sector" (or if you are keen to keep things nice and short, just called it HI). Seriously, if you think you can make a difference in the health sector with your brilliant skills in information technology, this university will give you everything you need to marry the two broad disciplines and give you the head start you need in this career path. A big plus is the very well laid out and easily accessible list of resources on a single web page with all the information you could ever want to help make your education decision a breeze to make.

    • Top Medical Assistant Schools (USA)
    • Hard to figure out from the bunch which is the best medical school to go to? This web site should sort you out in a jiffy. There is also the option of online training (if you are a bit squeamish in the early stages of seeing blood in real life). Study at your own pace and all within your lifestyle. When you are feeling ready, do some practical work, past the tests, and start kicking some ass in the industry. As the population grows, the demand for medical assistants will only grow.

    • University of San Francisco Nursing Resources
    • Do you have a panache for nursing? If so, this educational institution has a lot to offer. Between the Adventist University and this one, you are well and truly covered in this field.

    EDUCATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

    EDUCATION, LOANS

    • LendEDU — Private Student Loans (USA)
    • Updated as of June 2019, this site provides a fairly good round up of the best student loans from banks, credit unions and other lenders. As Andy Kearns, LendEDU's Content Analyst, said:

      "Our Editorial Team used over 30 data points for 23 different student loan companies to find which were truly the best. These recommendations and ratings are not influenced by compensation in any way and we only present the lenders who were rated the highest on this page."

    EDUCATION, MBA

    • US News on MBA Rankings 2023-2024
    • Nothing but the best for those looking to become masters of the business and management universe (we can only ask that you don't turn to the Dark Side of the Force with desires for unlimited wealth and greed as our planet is highly fragile). Management and Business Administration (MBA) courses are available from these top educational institutions as selected by the reputable Financial Times.

    • Forbes' Top Colleges in America
    • Another reliable ranking list from the people who publish the highly trusted Forbes business magazine. MBA courses can also be found among these selected educational institutions, or else broaden your horizons from a wider range of courses on offer.

    • MBAGuide.com.au (MBA Guide)
    • A free advisory site for people looking to choose the best suited MBA programs as either a postgraduate education option or to uplift your professional worth to employers.

    • Online MBA (USA) (also available by States)

    EDUCATION, ONLINE

    • Online Schools Guidebook
    • Want to know the benefits of online (or distance) education? Well, apart from keeping away from Covid-19 infected people. Have you ever wanted to figure out what's available online and whether you should ever need to attend a traditional "bricks-n-mortar" school? How much does it really cost to go online and get the education you deserve and need for life compared to the traditional approach? And will the education be just as good as going there in person to learn from the experts? For the answers to these and many other questions, we recommend visiting this web site. A useful resource for all students, parents and employers alike.

    • Context, Find Your
    • Education experts will help you to find the best places to study online bachelor's degree or master's degree through a unique and personalized approach.

      see also INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN TOOLS

    EDUCATION, PhD & MASTERS

    • Context, Find Your
    • Education experts will help you to find the best places to study online bachelor's degree or master's degree through a unique and personalized approach.

    • Online PhD (UK)
    • Free UK advice and guidance from university academics, about distance online Ph.D. courses.

    EDUCATION, SPECIFIC (GENERAL)

    • Khan Academy
    • Following the same principle with education as SUNRISE, the Khan Academy provides a not-for-profit free education to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. Focus on many specific types of knowledge as you would find at traditional schools for all years including maths, physics, chemistry, economics and finance, but in a much easier way (unless you have brilliant teachers in your traditional schools). For more holistic knowledge relating to the broader concepts of psychology, religion, evolution, astronomy, world problems, and technology, try SUNRISE.

    EDUCATION, SCHOLARSHIPS (USA)

    • EduBirdie College Scholarship Guide
    • First off the cab rank, and certainly no shortage of them, is this web site filled with goodies on how to find and apply for the latest scholarships. All good students looking to make a difference in the world should check out this site.

    • EduBirdie Scholarships for Women
    • Scholarships are hard to come by and even harder when men are around to compete for them. Hopefully this link will go some way to levelling the playing field and allow women to shine in their chosen profession or field of expertise.

    • Fastweb.com
    • An alternative place to access over 1.5 million scholarships to help you pay for college

    EDUCATION, TEACHING

    • University of Cincinnati Education Resources
    • The courses offered at this educational institution will develop the leadership skills you need to make an impact in the classroom, school, and community. If you love becoming a teacher and want to set the world on fire with your unique approach to educating the masses, you would do well to check this place out.

    EDUCATIONAL TOOLS (FOR ALL AGES)

    See also ENCYCLOPEDIAS, ELECTRONIC JOURNALS etc

    ELECTRICITY

    ELECTRONIC JOURNALS

    Emailer, Online and Anonymous

    EMAIL ENCRYPTION

    The open source free standard (PGP is the paid version) is known as GPG (a play on the PGP letters to help show to users that it is essentially the same as the paid version, except keys generated in the paid version will not be compatible with the open source GPG version, so carefully choose the tools you want to use — the free version is powerful enough, but do donate for the tools to be further developed and enhanced). The links below will give you military-grade encryption of your email messages (the best on the planet).

  • GPG Tools
  • GPG Tools Support
  • ENCYCLOPEDIAS

    ENGINEERING EDUCATION (see EDUCATION)

    ENGINEERING JOBS

    ENTERTAINMENT

    • TripBuzz.com (U.S.)
    • Find fun things to do within the United States, for Americans and visitors alike

    EXERCISE

    • Best Treadmill Reviews for 2017
    • Yes, that horrid "E" word has made a come back. But it need not have to be boring. There are many ways to exercise and we recommend getting into a workout class with friends at a level that won't kill you off (even if some world governments wish there were fewer older people in the world). Enjoy the class, we say! Better still, with fitness centres not able to play all your favourite latest music due to copyright restrictions (unless you are happy to listen to Les Mills' brand of music, which isn't the greatest on the planet), you should set up your own exercise class with friends. As soon as the aerobic room is free, bring in your own music, play it and you can all exercise exactly how you like it (and the fitness centres cannot get into trouble for it). As for exercising at home, the best all-round exercise is a good quality treadmill. The link above will give you good advice on the best treadmills to buy based on your budget, features, and durability. If you do buy a treadmill, we suggest setting it up in the living room (or separate entertainment room, which seems to be the in thing for new homes these days), watch your favourite music videos and before you know it, you have raised a sweat and burned off enough calories. And it doesn't seem like you had been working hard to achieve it. The way exercising should be.



    F

    FARMERS (AUSTRALIAN), ONLINE HELP FOR

    FAX

    • eFax.com - Receive free faxes
    • With the free eFax account option (yes, it is still available), you will receive your own fax number and a maximum of 10 inbound fax pages per month (used to be 20 pages per month in 2009) but no outgoing faxes are permitted (so use FaxZero.com). To increase the number of fax pages to 150 per month for both receiving and sending (used to be 130 pages in 2009 to help encourage free eFax account owners to upgrade their account), you need to pay for an eFax Plus service costing a minimum of USD$14.13 per month (with a USD$10 once off setup fee). if you exceed the limit, it is USD$0.10 per page. But if you can afford it and do a lot of faxing, there is no limit to how many faxes you can receive or send. There is also an eFax Pro service for serious bulk faxing activities (some people do love their faxes). This will give you 200 free pages every month at a minimum cost of USD$16.63 per month (with a USD$19.95 once off setup fee) and the same USD$0.10 per page if you exceed the limit. All faxes are received in the rather unique efx format and hence you must use a proprietary software tool to read them. You can download eFax Messenger software from the web site to streamline the entire process of reading faxes directly on your computer. However, for Mac users with Intel machines, incredibly the software has never been updated (only works with PowerPC machines). So most Mac users must login online and read the faxes in a web browser. The only one saving grace in all of this is the fact that you can still print the faxes, which means if you have installed a PDF print driver on your intel Mac computer you can effectively save the faxes as high-quality PDFs. So just a little more hassles to gather the faxes for Mac users. eFax is a service offered by j2 Global Communications based in Hollywood, California, Dublin, Ireland, and various other country locations. The free eFax service is offered on the basis that you are happy to receive and view advertisements. If not, you must upgrade to eFax Plus.

    • FaxZero - Send free faxes (with an advert on cover sheet)
    • Send doc, docx or pdf files as fax documents electronically via FaxZero. Simply upload up to 3 documents and send to a recipient (you enter the details). The free version comes with a small advert on the cover sheet, and you are limited to 5 faxes per day with each fax containing no more than 3 pages plus the cover sheet. To raise the maximum number of pages to 15 plus a cover sheet (and even that is optional) and be advert-free, it will cost US$1.99 per fax with no limits on the number of faxes you send off.

    • HelloFax

    FILE ENCRYPTION

    The open source free standard (PGP is the paid version) is known as GPG (a play on the PGP letters to help show to users that it is essentially the same as the paid version, except keys generated in the paid version will not be compatible with the open source GPG version, so carefully choose the tools you want to use — the free version is powerful enough, but do donate for the tools to be further developed and enhanced). The links below will give you military-grade encryption of your email messages (the best on the planet).

  • GPG Tools
  • GPG Tools Support
  • FILE SHARING

    • Binfer App
    • This is a secure way of sharing files with someone on the internet without an intermediary (i.e., a third-party file storage and sharing server known in the technical jargon as the Cloud). This app will turn your life sky-blue and free of any cloud service by using your machine as the file storing and sharing device. In that way, people can download the files directly from you (not someone else you don't know). Even better is the fact that the files are encrypted at the source (i.e., your machine). As the makers of the app stated on their web site: "There is a big difference between encrypted at source and encrypted at site. End-to-end encryption [using the Binfer app] prevents intermediaries from accessing your documents. It provides a stronger protection during transfers". That can only mean one thing for you: a more secure way of sharing your files. Please note that there is a subscription plan to activate the app. This is the way the developers of the app can get paid for their efforts.

    • Syncthing app
    • This is the free alternative to Binfer. Source code is provided free for developers to enhance the app.

    • Yandex Disk
    • Don't let this file sharing site frighten you off. Described as the Russian equivalent of Google Drive because of its location (the servers are in Russia), the largest search engine specifically catered for Russian citizens, and with quality servers, this is a surprisingly good file-sharing site so long as you are not too concerned about security. Or if you wish to make it harder for Russian hackers and government spies to figure out what you've got, use your own military-grade encryption. That should keep them busy for years. That said, if you have no intellectual property or state secrets to hide or whatever, you will be surprised by the storage capacity of the free and paid versions. Considered better than DropBox for the meagre 2GB of free space you get, you can have 10GB of free storage with Yandex Disk. And for a yearly price of US$20, you can bump it up to 110GB (i.e. the free 10GB + 100GB). Or for US$100 per year, you can enjoy 1TB + 10GB of storage space. Also, because it is based in Russia, it means that not even US government agencies (e.g., the CIA) can access the files on the Russian servers unless you provide an American government employee with a share link. Still not sure? Perhaps we should add the fact that the speed of the servers are the best you can find anywhere in Europe. Users outside Europe and Russia will have variable speeds depending on your location and internet speeds you have with your ISP. Also, keep in mind for international users that bottlenecks at Yandex end is a possibility since it must cater to the shear numbers of people living on the Russian/European continent (best to do it early in the morning Russian time).

    • Sync.com
    • If that whole Russian thing is still scaring the living daylights out of you, try this Canadian file sharing service. The good thing about the Canadian offering is that these people know a thing or two about good customer service, as well as offering a decent service for the price. For a start, you get 5GB free space just for signing up. Half of that offered by Yandex, but wait! It gets better. A tiny quirk is that each friend referral to the site who successfully sets up an account will earn you a free 1GB of extra space. Not in a sharing mood? No problems. Storage space and pricing are essentially double what the Russian version provides for the paid plans. So for the US$96 per year plan you will get 2TB. Don't worry, given how storage space doubles every two years for the same price, you can be sure the Russians will out do everyone else with something bigger and better.

    • pCloud.com
    • The alternative to Sync.com, and likely to be a direct competitor, is this file sharing site. The people who run this site boast a highly secure experience when storing and sharing files (see the makers of the Binfer app for their views on this), and the pricing for the paid plans and storage space are surprisingly similar to Sync.com. The only other thing setting pCloud apart from Sync.com is the chance to pay a once only lifetime price. For example, to have 2TB per month for the rest of your, or the organisation's, life, you only need to pay US$350 (assuming pCloud does not go under in some future financial crisis).

    • Filesharing.com
    • An unusual site in the sense that it requires no sign in or to pay for subscription plans. Everything is absolutely free, and you can upload and download in an unlimited fashion large files of any size. Forget storage space increasing every 2 years. The owner of this site does not know what this means, or sees no limit in storage capacity. You get as much storage as you can handle — the way file storage should be. And forget a lifetime once only payment to use the service. There is none. You just simply use it. The only caveat in using this site is to ensure you retain the share link URL in the email sent to you upon successfully uploading a file. If you should ever lose the email and hence the URL to download the file, you will have to upload the file again. No exceptions. Any files stored on this server will be automatically deleted after 20 days from the last download. To delete it at your own choosing, you will be provided with another link in your email. Just click on the link and the file will be gone. If you must use a cloud service to share a file with someone, this has to be the world's cheapest and simplest file sharing service you can find. Just don't expect top-notch security though. There is a reason why this server is free. Expect the files will be kept and inspected by the web site owner for whatever purposes he/she may find in secret. So never send confidential or sensitive files using this service. If you don't want the owner to snoop around, always encrypt the files.

    FILM SITES

    FINANCE

    FIRES

    FLATMATE, FIND A

    Flight Bookings (see TRAVEL)

    FLORISTS, ONLINE

    FOOD

    see also FOOD, RECIPES

    FOOD, RECIPES

    FREE

    FREE BARCODE GENERATORS

    FREE BOOKS

    FREE DIGITAL DESIGN TOOLS

    • Freebies Bug
    • Free web design content. But be careful as some will claim they are free, but really want you to name a price to pay for the stuff.

    FREE FILE CONVERSION

    FREE FONTS

    FREE FONT CONVERTER

    FREE FONT IDENTIFIER

    FREE FORM MAKER

    FREE ICONS (see ICONS, FREE)

    FREE LUNCH

    • Langar (or "community kitchen") for people looking for a free feed.
    • Langar is an essential part of Sikh places of worship (Gurudwaras). The kitchen is run entirely by volunteers through donations. It provides a free lunch for those who need it and for those who think there is no such thing as a free lunch (i.e., they just need to be reminded that not everything has to cost money, just a little of your time to help in the kitchen).

    FREE, DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS

    FREE, PATENTS

    FREE PICTURES (see PICTURES, FREE)

    FREE, SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)

      A problem with people helping you with any SEO-related activities on your web site is who to turn to and who will do a good job at a reasonable price. There are many scammers out there all claiming to spruik their alleged expertise in this field, but often do nothing but run off with your money, or else do a pretty bad job with their SEO work anyway. Even more embarrassingly, the so-called SEO experts' own web sites are riddled with worse SEO problems than yours. Time to run for the hills if you see this situation. Or better still, do your own SEO. Download the tools and understand the essentials of applying SEO to your web site by checking out the following links and useful tools. Of course, you shouldn't be totally put off by web sites that do offer SEO services. There are some genuine people who do provide a quality service. Finding them is often the hardest part. However, if you have a choice, download the tools and do the work on your own, and you can learn a lot yourself during the process and often making the best decisions in the interest of your own web site. But if time is limited and need help, consider some of the quality SEO online services. We will give some examples below.

    • XML SiteMap Checker
    • Apart from building the actual web pages to help publish your content online, your next logical step is to get noticed by other online users on popular search engine sites. To start this process off, you must create a thing called sitemap.xml. This file has to be placed inside your web site at the root level (where the index.htm file for the home page is located). By having this file, you are providing search engines a roadmap of where to go and which pages to look at and have it indexed for inclusion on the search engines database. Then, when people do a search, hopefully the information contained on those web pages will match the search criteria. It is the first essential step to telling search engines how your web site is structured. It is nothing more than a text file organised in the XML format (similar to HTML but more strict in how it should be written, so do go ahead and find an example from another web site to see the pattern to help get you started) and contains the paths to a select or all the web pages in your web site. These paths tell the search engines which web pages to start indexing, and to follow any links on those pages until there are no more links to visit. The bottom line is, if you don't have a sitemap.xml or if it contains errors (such as the wrong paths to web pages, or a malformed XML structure in the file itself), your web site cannot be indexed, and that could mean extremely low rankings in Google and other search engine sites, and so naturally the loss of organic traffic (that's "baaaaddd!!!!!").

    • Google Keyword Tool
    • The next important step is the right choice of keywords that best describe your content for each web page. The keywords mainly go inside the meta tag at the top of the HTML page that handles keywords (check a typical HTML page to see what this looks like), and those words should also appear sprinkled about in the content of the page as well (especially in h1 and h2 headers). When deciding on suitable keywords, do not always think of the most common and obvious ones. Try to think outside the box in terms of the more obscure or unusual word(s) that people might use to search on Google or other search engines. If you need help in broadening the range of related keywords, consider Moz Keyword Explorer. Or try the free Google Keyword Tool (useful in determining the volume and range of words people use in a search engine). Another source of keywords or choice of content or headings to use is AnswerthePublic.com. This one is focused on the sorts of questions people ask of voice assistance devices, such as Amazon's Echo. Whichever tool you use, your web site will benefit from a good selection of the right keywords related to your content. Actually, the better the keywords you use, the more likely your web site will have a high ranking in the search results. Another source of keywords is to look at the competition. What are the keywords they are using? Beyond that, you may have to pay Google to advertise your site. Generally the more you pay Google or other commercially driven search engines, the higher your site will appear in search engine results or as a random advert on the side of the search engine listings.

    • Online Meta Tag Generator
    • Having the right keywords is one thing, but not knowing where to put them can be a bit of an issue if high rankings for your web site in the search results are a must. You have to know how to add meta tags into web pages and do it the right way. Good meta tags do help to improve your search engine position. To help you get this part sorted, use this tool and you will be assured of the meta tags being generated the right way with ease.

    • Xenu Link Sleuth Tool
    • Nothing gets up the proverbial electronic nose of search engine spiders quicker than a web page with broken links. To solve this perennial problem, use this effective PC tool to find those little "broken link" critters. Also comes in handy for checking those pesky Alt tags, as well as generate the essential sitemap for your web site. Still want more? How about a check for backlinks to your URL? Certainly not a one trick pony, you can be assured of a useful multifunctional tool from Xenu. For an equivalent version on a Mac, try the free web link checker known as Integrity.

    • Google Analytics
    • Another useful Google tool for identifying how visitors reach a web site.

    • GeoTag Online
    • This will help to raise your search rankings. Use this free service to place geotags on images you publish on your web site. Google uses this information and displays a Google Map with a geotag icon showing the location and helps readers find where you or your business is located..

    • Alexa.com
    • Enter a URL for a web site and it will show your USA website ranking. The measure is from 0-10; a higher number reveals more quality backlinks for the web site and hence the better the site's rank. Why backlinks? Search engines employ a sophisticated algorithm to determine the likely probability that your web site is of high quality. Among the various tests performed and calculated by the algorithm is one where other web sites provide a link to your web site. Of course, the assumption here is that other people do find your web site of reasonable quality or is useful to them and their readers to go to the trouble of creating a link. Generally this can be unfounded, such as when people exchange URLs to add as a link to their web site as part of the normal business process of "I scratch your back if you scratch mine" so that both will benefit from a high ranking. But it isn't a guarantee that a site is genuinely of high quality. Since search engines are not sophisticated enough to know what is a quality web site, they can only go by how many backlinks exist to your web site from other people's web sites. The more backlinks there are to your web site, the likely your web site is of a higher quality than your competitors and, therefore, get a higher ranking in search engine results.

    • Backlink Checker
    • Want to know how is linking to your web site? Use this tool. It will tell you who and how many web sites have created a link to your web site.

    • Google Trends
    • Google Trends is another useful tool in getting the latest information about keywords and how the search trends for keywords change over time. It will give you insights into how online users may change their choice of keywords to find certain web sites.

    • Check Page Rank
    • Similar to Alexa.com, but with the broader experience of Google to give you an insight into where your web site sits among other web sites. Check the page ranking position at Google PageRank. The measure is from 0-10; a higher number reveals more quality backlinks for the web site and hence the better the site's rank.

    • Keyword explorer
    • As the name implies, you can do two free keyword searches per day.

    • Microsoft Keyword Research Tool
    • Check volume (or number) of searches performed on the Bing search engine for selected keywords entered by online users.

    • Wordtracker Free Keywords
    • UberSuggest
    • Wordtracker and UberSuggest provide more help to find a range of keywords related to a given keyword.

    • SEMRush
    • Find out the search traffic in real-time from Google to a web site and compare with four of your competitors.

    • SEOlium

      A site that emphasises accuracy in choice of keywords and ranking on the Google search engine. It is often a hard thing to determine just how accurate other SEO tools and web sites are in providing their results. This is one of the very few that attempts to focus on accurate results. There is a free option, and a pay-per-consumption for more keywords you may require. Check it out and let us know if you think the web site is good.

    • Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool
    • Pingdom Tools
    • Google Page Speed Insights
    • Pingdom and Google Page Speed Insights (includes a browser extension) measure page load times to help you identify pages in your web site needing a reduction in load times.

    • Majestic SEO
    • Backlink Watch
    • Checks backlinks by seeing how web sites link to each other.

    • Sitemap Maker
    • Make a sitemap for all the major search engines to use and index the pages on your web site.

    • Web Page Test
    • Test a website's performance. Enter other competitor's web sites to make comparisons. The advantage of faster web page loading is (i) a better user experience and more users visiting the site; and (ii) a higher ranking on most search engine sites (e.g., Google).

    • Web Site Load Times, How to Improve
    • A complete guide to improving load times for any web page. If you find the Web Page Test is showing sluggishness in your web site, then follow the simple guidelines suggested by this site.

    FREE, SERVICES

    FREE, VECTOR ILLUSTRATIONS

    FREE, WEB CONTENT

    FREE, SOFTWARE

    • AutoDesk TinkerCAD
    • This is the stripped down online "use your browser only" free replacement version to AutoDesk 123D Design for PC and Mac. Think of AutoDesk 123D Design as having features midway between TinkerCAD and AutoDesk's current flagship commercial software Fusion360 and you have an idea of what you get in the online version. You lose a little, but at least it is better than getting nothing. The company is aware of this and is offering a time-limited free version to the commercial version (maximum of 3 years for students of educational institutions who need to to learn how to use a CAD program) as an incentive to get users to move over to the best version. Otherwise, AutoDesk 123D Design is no longer supported by the company as it has gathered enough information to determine how users use its software. With the software no longer available from the company's web site (since January 2017) and with no further updates expected, you can still download the slightly better free version from some archived link sites, such as this one. If you have any performance issues with the Mac version of the app, read this Word document. Or create a virtual disk of your own running an older and right OS X version that solves the performance problem (the best way to go while the developer cannot finish the job properly — must be taking a page out of Apple's own software development book).

    • DAZ Studio 3D 4.7 (Free promo serial number: SDZSTND-040-0146949-WRW-001-VBVWRIV)
    • Free 3D modelling program for PC and Mac.

    • Free 3D Objects
    • Free 3D People
    • Free 3D Textures
    • Freeware Files
    • MachStudio Pro 2
    • Free 3D Visualisation and Animation Program for PC (normally worth $3,999). No longer updated, but works beautifully for PC users.

    • Vue Pioneer 11
    • Free 3D Landscape Creator for PC and Mac

    FREE, TRAINING



    G

    GAMES

    GARDENING

    GateKeeper (OS X), Disable

    GolfWeb

    GENEAOLOGY

    • Ancestry.com.au
    • Search online for your ancestry, grow your family tree.
      Username: fifapo8500@synevde.com
      Password: #izp6m8?+,kc

    GIFTS, ONLINE DELIVERY OF

    Gifts and gift ideas for any occasion search through our huge range of Australian Gifts. Safe and secure online shopping.



    H

    HEADPHONES, WIRELESS

    There are a plethora of wireless headphones on the market, making the choice of a good pair to buy a difficult one. Obviously the more you spend, the better the quality of the sound, and will include an effective noise cancelling technology and enough other features and adjustments (e.g., equaliser) to keep many people busy to adapt, learn and ultimately enjoy the best experience. Ideally, the best headphones will come with a wireless charging stand and a metal head band and lightweight but strong alloy body construction for durability and comfort together with large over the ears cushion cups. Otherwise expect a USB-C charging port to be a common feature of lower priced (or save money for the manufacturer on more expensive) headphones. It will be mostly a case of "you get what you paid for", although there are a few unexpected surprises in some cheaper and recently released models that will surprise and delight even the most discerning audio experts given their unusually low price point. With that said, the better models to go for, in increasing price, are as follows (updated as of January 2022): TaoTronics TT BH090 Hybrid, Sennheiser 450BT, Sennheiser 458BT (just adds more styling to its design looks with metallic red trimmings), JBL Live 660NC, Sony WH1000XM4 Wireless, Bose QuietComfort QC 35 II Wireless, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, and Shure Aonic 50 Wireless.

    HEALTH

    A WORD OF ADVICE: Before embarking on any suggested natural health remedy or exercise from the following web sites, always seek the professional advice of your family doctor. He/she will be able to assess your current health status and determine if the remedy or exercise is suitable for your circumstances or suggest alternatives. In particular, your doctor will always let you know whether the remedy or exercise may interfere with any prescribed medication you may be taking.

    • Aromatherapy.com
    • A naturally controversial area and if applied correctly can have some known medical benefits. However, its primary aim is to elevate your positive emotions (in other words, you will only get smells and liquids that you and your body will enjoy). Why? Because positive emotions are essential to improving your health over the long term by releasing the right hormones and other biochemicals into the body from places like the pituitary glands and helps to keep your mind thinking in a positive way. Placebo effect or not, if it works for you, you should try it. It is not meant to be the ultimate solution to all ailments known to humankind, but rather see aromatherapy as part of a complete plan to maximising your health and wellbeing.

    • Natural Therapy Pages
    • A great site on yoga for beginners and the more advanced students. Numerous free (although recommended you provide a donation to cover bandwidth costs for the owner) downloadable DVDs in HD format for you to download. Are these people crazy? Perhaps. But as the owners say, "there is not enough giving in the world". We can't agree more. Thank you!

      see also MEDICINE

    Health Direct (Australia)

    HEALTH FOODS THAT WORK

    • Nutritional Yeast
    • A strain of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae are prepared for human consumption by killing off the little critters so you do not have to experience the fermentation process inside your gut. Once dead, they can be consumed in small quantities (usually sprinkled like salt over foods to give it a slightly salty, nutty and cheesy taste) to provide a variety of known and proven health benefits, including joint pain relief, extra mental alertness, and release energy reserves of the body. It comes packed with all the essential amino acids needed to be obtained from food for protein building, and it is rich in B vitamins such as thiamine, naicin, and B6. Some nutritional yeast products may come fortified with extra B12, but other than that, nutritional yeast is a remarkably complete food. Minerals of magnesium, copper and manganese are found in trace quantities within the yeast to benefit the body in a positive way. Finally, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition claims the beta-glucan fibre derived from the nutritional yeast consumed over a 10-day period had physically increased the number of immune cells circulating in the blood stream. This paved the way for another study that showed beta-glucan can assist in reducing the chances of getting the common cold, and if you do get it, to recover from it quicker compared to those participants who received a placebo.

    • Vitamin C and Zinc
    • A well-known combination of an antioxidant vitamin and a mineral substance have been found to be effective in reducing the number of infections and lowering the likelihood of getting the common cold, and if you do get it, to reduce its severity and time to recover. The consumption of some vitamin C has been found to stimulate the production of white blood cells. Some of the white blood cells produced include phagocytic leukocytes which will release chemicals called interferons considered essential to combating viral infections. Another useful benefit of the vitamin is the production of collagen used in connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Also, there are different studies suggesting the vitamin can help to lower both triglycerides and bad cholesterol (known as LDL); and in one study it claimed that the vitamin helped to synthesize a neurotransmitter called synthesize norepinephrine considered of benefit in improving your mood. The only downside to ingesting vitamin C is never to take it in large quantities as it is toxic to the body. But in the right amounts, there is enough scientific evidence to show it has proven health benefits for the mind and body. As for zinc, it is an important mineral used in the production and functioning of many enzymes in the body needed to perform things like improving the immune system, and to convert vitamin A to retinol for a healthy functioning of the eye. Cell membranes also benefit from zinc by keep them strong and healthy.

    Henriette's Herbal Homepage

    HISTORY

    Homebrew for Mac

    The missing macOS utility that makes life easy for developers. To install Homebrew:

    1. Open Terminal.app from the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.
    2. Run the following command: /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
    3. Enter the administrator password to begin installation
    4. To confirm the installation was completed successfully, run the following command: brew help.

    HOME DECOR

    HORSES

    HOTELS

    HOUSE, BUY, SELL OR RENT

    HOUSE REPAIRS, RENOVATIONS & ADVICE

    HTML, LEARNING

    HUMOUR



    I

    ICONS, FREE

    IMAGES, FREE (ATTRIBUTION MAY BE REQUIRED)

    Below are links to free images you can use, even for commercial purposes. As the human population expands, there are a percentage of people out there who are happy to share some of their images online for others to use in their projects. If you do use these free images, the most you may be required to do in return is give credit in your solutions or publications to the original owners to show who produced them (or else you can share your own quality photos to the world for all to enjoy). As a result of the recent expansion into this popular space, the paid versions from people like ShutterStock have started to offer a limited number of free images per month to registered users as a kind of enticement for them to buy more images later in support of the service. Otherwise, if you can find the right image for free, why pay more? Your contribution to society using the help of such images can be valuable to others. Ifyou need advice on which web site to visit, you can read this article written by freelancer writer Rebecca Janacek.

    IMAGES, FREE (NO ATTRIBUTION REQUIRED)

    Images from the following links can be used for as long as you like for any purpose without attribution.

    INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN TOOLS

    • How big is my browser window
    • Apart from working out who the target audience is (e.g., age, number of users, etc.), it is also a good idea to know how large the window is of the devices that will be used for learning. Open a web browser to maximum size on those devices and let this web site calculate the size for you. Simple and sweet. Provides very useful information when deciding how to design your presentations in the optimal way for the students.

    • Adobe After Effects
    • If no interactivity from the user is required, this is a powerful tool to create professional instructional or documentary-style videos. We call this passive learning, but still very effective.

    • Adobe Captivate
    • This is a simplified version of Adobe After Effects with a focus on creating Flash (SWF) or HTML5 interactive video presentations. Contained at its core is the original Aldus/Adobe Persuasion app of the 1990s for creating slide presentations, but Adobe has now revamped the app and its interface and given it the ability to save as an SWF/HTML5 file. Captivate is not a perfect app. Things like viewing the page size as a portrait is not always faithfully shown and requires further adjustments in the Properties panel to tell the app to show the page properly. It is the newest app in Adobe's product collection, so expect more improvements to come over the next few years. Even without the improvements, Adobe Captivate is the tool of the trade for many instructional designers, and is often used to add moments where students can make choices of where to go in a presentation as well as adding multiple choice questions or "fill in the blank word" learning aids that will help students to test their own knowledge after viewing the presentation (which generally improves learning).

    INTERNET: ADVICE

    • 13 ways to Increase Your Download Speed (also available from here)

    • Cyberbullying, Stop (no longer published online)

    • Internet Safety at School and Home (also available from AllConnect at here)

    • NetSafe
    • Help with online harassment, cyberbullying and abuse, as well as advice on online scams and security.

    • Report image-based abuse in Australia.
    • Report unauthorised use of sexual images online for the under 18 years of age for Australian residents only.

    • What Internet Speed Do You Need?
    • As more and more people work from home and need to do more with their internet, it is important to get an idea of the sorts of speeds and bandwidth you may require to handle different types of digital information. Regular Zoom meetings, using a quality microphone to send your voice to others in the clearest way, and downloading visually-rich information from online streaming sites are usually much more taxing on your internet speed and bandwidth than, say, reading an email. To help you determine how much speed you require and the type of internet delivery systems available to handle this information, feel free to have a read of this article.

    INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS (FREE)

    INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS (WORKS WITH OLDER OS)

    INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS (ONLY WORKS ON NEWER OS)

    INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS REVIEWS

    INTERNET: FIREWALLS

    • Fortinet Fortigate
    • As Wikipedia says, "Fortinet is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It develops and markets cybersecurity software and appliances and services, such as firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion prevention and endpoint security". The company is now a leader in providing world-class security tools to the largest enterprise, service provider, and small business organizations around the world.

    • Corero SmartWall Network Threat Defense System
    • Strengthen your network security with real-time DDoS protection solutions using Corero SmartWall Threat Defense System appliances and services. When combined with the Fortinet Fortigate solutions, you will have a formidable defence system against rogue hackers and those state sponsored in China and Russia. Welcome to the future of internet security.

    INTERNET: IP ADDRESS

    INTERNET: DNS/IP ADDRESS LEAK TESTS

    INTERNET: REMOVING GEOGRAPHICAL RESTRICTIONS

    The links below are favourites for many users, but they are not the only ones out there.The services provided will hide your IP address with an anonymous version (thereby removing the geographical restrictions), and with added encryption using a supplied public GPG key for the highest security.

    INTERNET: SEARCH ENGINES

    see WEB SEARCH ENGINES

    INTERNET SECURITY, BUSINESS

    .

    If you have seen the French television drama The Bureau on SBS OnDemand considered the world's most realistic spy series of how a French intelligence organisation does its job, you will know that it does not matter how secure your devices and choice of people are when securing your business data. There are ways someone outside can get in and access data or find loopholes in the technology businesses use. It is far better to decide what kind of information needs to be secured temporarily and which doesn't. And even for the data that might be deemed sensitive, one should undertake a regular risk analysis on how important that sensitive data is to the business and whether it should be kept. The more you can reduce the amount of sensitive information you hold, the less of a desire there is for others to try to hack your systems and gain access to this information. However, if it is really that sensitive, important and must be kept, then you must decide how to secure this data to a reasonable degree. At the same time, you must be prepared to see it compromised at some point the longer it is kept secure, mainly because no system is a perfectly secure system and especially where people are involved (including the employees of a company). Limit the number of people who need access to the sensitive information. Also, set a time limit on how long such data should be kept. Delete the data after a certain timeframe, or release the data if it is meant to be released to the public or some other customer. Achieve your business aims of making a reasonable profit and let go of the data or delete it as soon as you are done. Ideally you should choose to keep only the data that you consider any loss would not pose a significant risk to the business. And only keep the essential information needed for a business to do its job, such as customer name and email address and nothing else if the sole aim of the business is to sell software digitally and need to send it to paying customers. Don't start profiling customers from FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media sites and end up with a range of other sensitive information, such as a home address, personal photos in compromising positions, and all the rest. What is the purpose of all this information? Such data, in the whole scheme of things, is irrelevant in the aim of a normal business that is suppose to be there making a profit. If the data you hold could be irrelevant and/or too sensitive, ask yourself why are you keeping such data? Delete it if it doesn't help in the business. Beyond that, a business should develop its own military-grade PGP encryption system. Never use third-party solutions for encryption, not even an encryption key supplied by Fuji-Xerox (even if it is stored and hard-wired in a separate chip away from the hard drive or SSD), as the Chinese government, the NSA, and even the Australian government will demand third-party suppliers to provide a backdoor to their products and encryption technology. Businesses should provide its own encryption key that can be changed regularly (also known as dynamic IT security changes). Also, if devices must receive sensitive data to perform a function, such as printing the information to a printer, as soon as the task is completed, the space where the data was stored to perform the task (e.g., built in SSD of a printer) should be immediately and automatically security wiped by the devices. Finally, pay and treat people working in a business well. There is nothing worse than a disgruntled employee willing to compromise security of a business.

    Here are some important terms you should know about and what to look for in your daily business activities:

    1. Botnet (Robot Network): A botnet is a bunch of several Internet-connected devices such as PCs, mobiles, servers and IoT devices that is infectious and controlled by a specific type of malware.
    2. Clickfraud: A botnet designed to artificially create bogus clicks as a means of manipulating the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. The idea behind this practice is to increase the number of payable clicks in order to generate revenue to advertisers.
    3. Dark Web: It is that part of the Internet that is not visible to regular users through standard search engines.
    4. Easter Egg: A relatively harmless or non-malicious surprise embedded in a program (usually games) or media which is entertaining and accessible to anyone.
    5. End-to-end Encryption: A method of protecting and securing communication that hinders third parties from accessing data when it is transferred from one device to another.
    6. Evil Twin: A fake Wi-Fi hotspot or access point that poses to be original and safe, but it’s actually set up to snoop on another wireless network.
    7. Exploit Kits: A package of automated threats that are used by attackers to launch exploits against vulnerable programs.
    8. Firewall: A defensive piece of technology available in most operating systems and in dedicated third-party add-ons or programs to help keep unwanted network access to your computer by unauthorised outsiders, and even to communicate to outsiders if a program is already loaded and running.
    9. Hacker: A Hacker is a term used for an expert computer programmer who tries to gain unauthorized access into a network or computer systems with intent.
    10. Identity Theft: Sometimes also referred to as Identity Fraud, it involves the unauthorized taking of someone’s personal possessions and then using it in an illicit way for their own benefits.
    11. Insider: A current or former employee, contractor, or business partner who has ot had authorised access to the organisation's network, systems, or data.
    12. Insider Threat: When an insider intentionally or unintentionally misuses access in a way that negatively affects the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the organisation's critical information or systems. The four main types of insider attacks are (i) the oblivious insider (this person is unaware of a security loophole that he/she has found because it was thought to be a normal part of the business process); (ii) the negligent insider (has been searching and is aware of security loopholes and exploits it without intending to cause any malicious damage but uses the loopholes to his/her own advantage); (iv) the malicious insider (the user not only knows about the security loopholes but is willing to exploit them to cause harm to the organisation); and (v) the professional insider (either paid to find security loopholes or someone has not divulged his/her professional knowledge of hacking, such as a CIA or ASIO agent pretending to be an ordinary employee and has managed to infiltrate the organisation; otherwise could be outsiders using sophisticated tools of the trade to exploit insecure systems). Points (i) and (ii) is usually due to a poorly set-up system that needs to be better secured (e.g., latest system and software patches, updating file and folder permissions, making sure old user accounts are removed, and so on) to prevent these types of insider attacks. The latter two types require gathering evidence and identifying the individual(s) in question as well as patching up the system of any loopholes that have been found and exploited, or else the insider(s) involved will need to be disciplined/sacked or reported to police. To get an idea how much humans contribute to security breaches, using data obtained for the July to December 2019 period relating to reported data breaches within Australia, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) noted 537 data breaches had occurred (up from 460 for the previous 6 months period, or an increase of 19 per cent). Of these data breaches, around 4 percent were due to system errors, 32 percent to human error, and 64 percent to criminal or malicious attack. Based on these statistics, it is clear that the weakest link in the chain is the presence of humans.
    13. IP Spoofing: A hijacking technique in which someone pretends he/she is a trusted host by the server. It is mainly designed to gain access to a network. Though it’s not illegal to spoof an IP address, if someone uses the technique to masquerades as someone else and indulges in criminal activities such as identity theft, then it is illegal.
    14. Keylogger: Keylogger is a computer program that keeps a log of your keystrokes on your keyboard.
    15. Malware: Anything considered unwanted on your computer and can potentially or actually perform surreptitious things behind the scenes without your awareness. It can include things like viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware, as well as software apps that provides unsolicited advertisements.
    16. Password Sniffing: A process of intruding between a transfer of data packets which encompasses password.
    17. Pharming: A malicious mechanism by which a user is redirected to a fake site (either through a malicious email message or web site). The term is based on the word "farming" in the sense that you are sowing the seeds and seeing which ones sprout (i.e., taken the bait).
    18. Phishing: It is where a hacker strives to steal your personal information such as passwords and e-mails. It usually goes hand-in-hand with pharming. The term is a play on "fishing" in that a hacker is effectively throwing hooks and bait out into the internet using various pharming techniques as they wait and see how many people get caught out (i.e., providing sensitive information, such as passwords and personal details).
    19. Ransomware: A type of malicious software that blocks access to your files or computer until a ransom is paid.
    20. Zero Day: A computer software vulnerability known to the hacker but is unknown to security professionalss.

    The typical warning signs that could indicate an insider threat are:

    1. Digital
      - Downloading or accessing substantial amounts of data.
      - Accessing sensitive data, such as payroll data or other business confidential data (either authorised or not).
      - Copying files from sensitive folders (either authorised or not).
      - Multiple requests for access to resources.
    2. Behavioural
      - Frequently in the office during off-hours.
      - Displays disgruntled behaviour toward co-workers or management.
      - Violation of corporate policies.
      - Discussions of resigning or new opportunities.

    To minimise the risk (apart from encrypting data) and make it harder for cyber criminals and hackers from getting access to the data:

    1. Review all your open folders and permissions (there are tools to list all files and folders and show permissions and allow the permissions be be changed and to propagate them across subfolders and their files), how often you patch and update software (including the operating system), remove old software or replace them with new (after a period of solid testing by ICT), and remove old user accounts of former employees.
    2. Look at all the data that the business uses and determine what parts are considered sensitive (there are tools, such as Veritas Data Insight and Trustwave DbProtect. Indeed, these tools can help you read files and highlight areas that could be sensitive. Among the areas the tools can highlight include possible credit card numbers, driver's licenses, people's names and addresses, CVs and resumes, tax file numbers, passports, email addresses, IP addresses, and so on, and will even OCR scanned files to allow the reading of such text when searching for the sensitive data.
    3. Do a risk analysis on the sensitive data to help determine how critical it is to your business.
    4. Delete all sensitive data that is not required to be held in the business or plays no role in its operation.
    5. Develop a more open policy with people working in the organisation and with customers to show that there is nothing sensitive or important that is worth stealing or cannot affect the business if a security breach should occur. Set time limits on when to release new products and so on (it is amazing how quickly the attempts of data breaches by outsiders drop down once the products are launched and revealed to the public).
    6. If there has been a security breach of any kind detected by the business, investigate it. Find out who was behind it and how it was achieved using forensic data analysis tools. If it is an insider threat, then there is a good chance of identifying who is a person(s) of interest. Finally, you must find solutions to fix the security loophole(s). Also consider implementing tools to detect and stop potential security breaches, such as an unexpected massive movement of data from sensitive folders, irrespective of whether the movement is authorised and legal.

    Assuming you have done the above risk analysis and you think you are secure, consider more specific tools to enhance security within your organisation. Never use tools that require you to always go online and exchange data with an online service just to get that supposed security. Everything should be done in-house with independent tools you can run on your own. For examples of these tools, check out the sections on De-Microsotise, De-Applise, De-Governmentise, etc. For further reading, you may wish to visit the links below.

    INTERNET SECURITY, CONSUMER

    INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS, COMPARISONS

    • AllConnect's Internet Service Providers Comparison (USA)
    • ISPs

    • Aussie Broadband
    • This ISP is recommended only because SUNRISE does not want to see more people on its preferred network provider. For those users already with this recommended ISP, we recommend that every time you see the ISP write to you in an email saying, "P.S. We love referrals at Aussie Broadband - if you have any friends or family members who would love our services, simply click here and fill out the form. We'll give you a $50 credit on your account when they sign up, and they'll receive a credit too!", just write back saying, "No thanks! Any more friends and family members will only slow down the network (it is already slow as it is. Even the 4G network is faster than wireless Aussie Broadband NBN)."



    J

    JOB SEEKERS, AUSTRALIAN

    JOB SEEKERS, INTERNATIONAL

    • ICE Recruit
    • ICE is the Institute of Civil Engineers, and is the place for UK and International job vacancies for civil engineers.

    • Job-Applications.com Scholarships for Working Parents (Canada)
    • A $1,000 scholarship is awarded once a year to a worthy working parent living in Canada to help with learning new skills in any course that will help them to gain employment in their preferred career. Find out if you have a chance to win.

    • Job-Applications.com (United States)
    • Jobs from the biggest employers in the United States are showcased on this web site. Comes complete with useful advice on writing job applications, how to prepare for job interviews and more. There are links to popular web sites that provide resume templates and builders to help put your best foot forward to employers.

    • JobLife (South Africa)
    • People in the South African market will be served well by visiting the combination of JobSpace, JobLife and Zigo for all local employment, training and internship programs. Job seekers can upload a CV to improve their chances of being employed, or to get extra training. Employers can post job ads and search CVs from job seekers. Can it be any simpler?

    • Jooble (International)
    • Jobs across the world. If you are living in specific countries or intend to make a trip or move to another country and need a job, Jooble is the place to visit.

    • New China Career
    • NewChinaCareer is the leading English language search engine for jobs in China currently offering 500,000 fresh career opportunities across China and Hong Kong. And don't think for a moment that those billion plus Chinese people living in the country have got all the jobs covered. China is always on the search for new and fresh talent from international (i.e., non-Chinese) people if you have the skills that Chinese employers are looking for.

    • Prepare your Finances when Working Abroad
    • WhatJobs? (USA) with Career Advice.

    • see also RESUMES

    JOB MAKERS (FREELANCERS)

    • Airtasker.com
    • Based on the same approach taken by Freelancer.com, Upload.com and others to link freelancers with any jobs/projects you may have, The only difference here is that whereas Freelancer.com and others rely on freelancers around the world to work on projects you may have, Airtasker physically brings local talent right to your doorstep. Need the plumber for those leakages you can't seem to get fixed right? No problems. Just post a job on Airtasker and be surprised by how many tradespeople are willing to help out and do the work at the right price. Again like other sites, you can compare and choose who you think is suitable from the available talent pool of skilled persons. No job is considered too small for Airtasker. If there is something you need to get done and don't have the time to do it yourself, get it done with Airtasker. Finally, if you are not sure who comes to your home is a genuine Airtasker job seeker, you will know from the unmistakable blue T-shirt with the words "Airtasker" written right across the front. Don't worry, you are in safe hands.

    • Fiverr.com
    • A new entrant in the freelance services market. Due to the large numbers of freelancers willing to do work for a fee, this one attempts to show more of the freelancer with a fancy picture, a minimum starting fee is shown, and sometimes samples of their work (such as voice overs) are provided to save all the time asking for such details. In fact, the aim is for you to select your preferred freelancer without bothering with publishing projects and waiting for bids to arrive. However, freelancers do reserve the right to decide on whether to accept jobs and at what reasonable fee to ask for.

    • Freelancer.com
    • A popular site for getting work done. Open up the range of people throughout the world to help on your projects, and be surprised at what you can get done. Even though it is an Australian-based job-creation and job-seekers paradise, practically anyone in the world can join. The only thing you need to be careful with are freelancers who are just starting out and actually don't have a lot of skills. Always check their portfolio and make sure they have done a fair bit of work for clients/employers using Freelancer. If the rating is very positive and people are making statements along the lines of "Bloody brilliant!", or "Geez, this guy knows what he is talking about", then you are on a good thing and towards a successful completion of your project(s). This is really the future of employment. But be careful not to exploit the freelancers. If you do intend to hire a person for a long-time, just employ them properly and give them all the entitlements they deserve for being a good worker. Nothing like a fair employer paying well to keep the employees coming back for more (and supports the economy too).

    • Upwork.com
    • Another popular site for getting work done. This is the American version of Freelancer.com. Expect quality freelancers to be available at this web site from America and across the globe.

    Juice Extractors (Everything you need to know)

    Just Answer (Ask for Advice on any topic)



    K

    Kentucky Fried Chicken secret recipe



    L

    Lawn Mowers, Electric (2019 Review). YouTube Review

    LEGAL ADVICE

    LIBRARIES

    LIBRARIES, WORLD

    LIBRARY DATABASES

  • Library of Congress (LC)
  • LIBRARY SERVICES

    Lonely Planet, The



    M

    MACINTOSH REPAIRS AND PARTS

    MACINTOSH TIPS

    MALWARE & VIRUS FILE CHECKER

    MAPS

    MASSAGE CHAIRS

      Niagara Massage Chair

      The world's most reliable and ruggedly-constructed massage chairs designed to outlast all other commercial massage chairs in the marketplace. Expensive at around AUD$12,000. However, the unique selling point is a high-quality leather chair that looks like a chair. The kind of chair you can fit into your home decor and not look out-of-place or overwhelm any other lounge chair. All other massage chairs will often be too big, obvious what it does, or look like a space-age over-sized three-quarter egg-shaped machine. Not so for this chair. Due to its solid construction and research into creating a quality massage chair with its tried and tested Cycloid Vibration Therapy, it has endorsements among many experts in the health industry, as well as professional athletes (and that includes rugby players, noted for their size and weight and thus need a strong, reliable and sturdy chair to relax on). All products tested to the highest International Medical Standards.

      Costway 3D Electric Zero Gravity Massage Chair with Shiatsu Kneading

      A more budget friendly massage chair at AUD$2,399. If you don't mind it looking large and obvious to everyone what it does, this is a highly rated chair with many good reviews. If you need the chair to kind of fit into the decor at home or in the office, you do have a choice of dark brown or black.

    MBA (MANAGEMENT TRAINING)

    • Online MBA
    • Get information from the best online MBA programs with free reports from top ranked US schools.

    MEDICINE

    MEMORY CARDS

      Delkin Devices Power V90 microSD Card

      This Delkin microSD card is simply the world's fastest and most rugged micro SD cards you can buy today. Expensive, but comes with a lifetime warranty. Maximum write speed of 250MB/s and read speed of 300MB/s. Uses the latest UHS-II support.

      Lexar Play A2 V30 microSD Card

      This is the best budget-friendly but fast micro SD card providing 150MB/s read speed and around 90MB/s write speed.

    MEN'S SERVICES

    • Men's Shed
    • Provides a place for men to socialise, network, make friends and share skills. Includes discussion forums, lifestyle and health information, events calendar and more.

    Microsoft Corporation

    Well-known for its Microsoft Office product, which is the most widely used application in history. For M1 Macs, the minimum version you should use is Microsoft Office 2019. All other versions should be compatible with Intel Macs and Windows machines.

    Minute your Meetings

    MORTGAGE, CHOOSE A

    MOVIES, CHECK TIMES FOR

    Reviews, previews and online trailers.

    • Reelgood Streaming Guide
    • Reelgood is a 100% free streaming guide that offers a wide range of Movies and TV Shows. It gives users a personalized view where they can see all of the shows available to them from different streaming services in one place.

    MUSIC AND VIDEOS



    N

    NASA

    NEWSPAPERS & ONLINE NEWS



    O

    Oxford English Dictionary Online

    OLD PEOPLE INFORMATION SERVICE

    Order Form with PDF Attach and Send

    If you have a copy of Microsoft Excel for PC, you can enjoy this versatile and easily modifiable order form with a built-in VBA script to create a PDF of the order form, attach it to your Microsoft Outlook message, add a message, and send automatically. Use it to record your favourite items in two main tables (title names are modifiable). Then all you do afterwards is specify quantity and click the Send Order Form button. Nothing could be simpler. Suitable for people who have suppliers with the facility to process order forms as a PDF in email messages. NOTE: Send To and Customer fields are used in the VBA to create the email message. Enjoy!



    P

    Patents, Free Online

    Poetry Society, The

    Plants of the World

    PARENTS, INFORMATION FOR

    • Raising Children
    • An Australian resource for anyone wishing to understand how to look after newborns right up to teens.

    PHONES, SMART

    PICTURES, COMMERCIAL

    • Can Stock Photo (Search and buy royalty-free images)
    • Can Stock Photo offers over 6 million professional royalty free stock photos. High-quality images start at just $1.00 and offers a generous license agreement to give you the flexibility you need. Free weekly downloads with thousands of new images added every week.

    • Foto Search Stock Photography and Stock Footage
    • Allows users to search from more than 7 million images and 65,000 video clips from 140 quality stock photography publishers at one site. Top footage vendors available include Artbeats, Corbis, Creatas Footage, Digital Hotcakes, Getty, Film Disc, National Geographic, Reel House, among many others. Users can also find royalty-free clipart pictures, illustrations, stock video clips and more.

    • Photographers Gallery, The (UK)
    • PhotoAccess (Australia)
    • PicScout
    • A free online tool for web site owners to check copyright and licensing information of image files. This tool will also help you to check against known images held in the Getty Images database and so avoid those infamous extortion letters from the lawyers at Getty Images that often like to demand highly inflated payments that do not represent the true and fair market value for similar licensed images elsewhere online.

    • TinEye
    • In case PicScout has found nothing to suggest an image might be copyrighted, you should confirm it through this website. TinEye is a free online tool that will show whether an identical image is being used elsewhere and with it details of possible copyright information. Otherwise, it can also be useful when finding the largest sized image of whatever you are searching for as well as who is selling the image commercially.

    PICTURES, FREE

    PODCASTING "BROADCAST QUALITY" MICROPHONES

    Whilst it is possible to survive with the standard microphone on your computer for sound pickup and let the computer record it for use in podcasting, the quality is atrocious. Let's face it, your voice is going to sound tinny like it came from a cheap transistor radio. You need either a condenser or dynamic microphone designed specifically to record sounds over a wider range of frequencies and can boost the frequencies in certain areas to help give your voice the richness and quality it deserves. Dynamic microphones are good in the sense that they cut out a lot of extraneous background noise while focusing on your voice, but you often need to be within three inches of the microphone with a decent strong voice that travels to get the most from it. Nevertheless, the quality of the sound coming through a dynamic microphone is outstanding. For an example of a quality low-cost dynamic microphone consider this one from Rode. Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are surprisingly good quality to the point where you wonder why you would bother going for a dynamic microphone. It can still do an excellent job at cutting back a lot of the background noise. However, more crucially, it is more sensitive to sounds coming in from a certain direction. You can sit back to, say, 7 to 12 inches, from the microphone and it will pick up remarkably well even if you are a timid and shy person with a meek voice or want to whisper sweet nothings to your romantic partner. When it comes to gaming, creating YouTube video podcasts, or anything else that requires your voice to be at its best, you are better off getting a decent microphone for the job. Below are links to the best low-cost condenser microphones (compatible with PC and Mac) that have been given the highest praise by users because of the quality of the sound, together with any other useful features to help make life easier in this area.

    • Antlion Audio ModMic
    • It is common for the average consumer to first look for a headset with a built-in microphone thinking that this is the only way to create a good audio for their podcasts. They will often be directed to the gaming section of the shop by sales people mainly because that is where most computer gaming enthusiasts go to pick one up. By the time you get there, you are quickly overwhelmed by the range of wired and wireless headsets to choose from. Unless people working in the store are gaming enthusiasts themselves, it is hard for them to recommend a quality headset and microphone combo other than stating that two or three companies do make some decent products, but within each one of them can be at least 5 different headsets to choose from. You can easily spend over $1,000 trying each one and discover 95 per cent of them are fairly ordinary. Sound quality from the headset's own speakers is one issue, but often the other biggest problem is the microphone. Now if you are looking for a quality headset and microphone combo that is the best, we recommend grabbing a quality headset dedicated to producing a rich sound costing $200 or more, and then putting on a magnetically attachable ModMic from Antlion Audio. The speakers inside the headset, if they are of good quality, will have strong magnets and this is the means by which the microphone is attached. The quality of the microphone from Antlion is the best available of this type. Any other microphone attached to a headset by other manufacturers sounds mediocre in comparison. However, for a higher quality microphone, you must consider looking at the more dedicated variety described below.

    • Blue Yeti Pro Microphone
    • A popular brand among podcasters and one that produces a quality result from its microphone. This "Pro" version is a little more expensive, but worth it for its features and flexibility, as well as the fact that the quality of the sounds picked up and processed by this product is exceptional. There are cheaper options, such as Blue Yeti X and the original Blue Yeti. Both are highly popular, and will provide the almost identical quality sound pick-up you would expect from this company, except they both use a USB connection. In this day-and-age where USB connections can wear down, you would expect by now that the manufacturers would have moved on to Bluetooth (or possibly WiFi although more extra information, and hence a high quality sound, is needed and is best done through Bluetooth). They don't because they are hoping that consumers will break or damage the connection and eventually buy another one thinking this is the way to maintain profits. If you can get a wireless version with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be recharged wirelessly using QI technology (and lasts at least 6 hours per charge) that would be the perfect solution (even if it is considered bad for manufacturers seeking a profit). As no microphone product exists that can do all these things, you will have to compromise. There is nothing one can do other than to plug a cable into the microphone. But when it comes to sending sound from the microphone to your computer, this can be made wireless. With Blue Yeti Pro, there is a USB port to get the power it needs (and send the sound signal direct to a computer) and a separate stronger and long-lasting XLR connector for getting the sound information to a separate unit before going into the computer. But that requires extra cabling. So to make it wireless, you can plug a Alto Pro BT TOTAL Rechargeable Bluetooth XLR Transceiver device into it. The aim here is to get maximum flexibility. Otherwise, the original Blue Yeti can be purchased for as little as $100 nowadays, and still remains to this day a great buy. To make this cheaper product wireless, you can purchase a USB to Bluetooth device. However, once again you are caught out by the fact that there is only one USB port and that is used to power the microphone as well. In fact, all microphone products available in the marketplace today (as of June 2020) will only offer one USB port. If you can live with one USB port, the Blue Yeti does offer some nifty features, including:

      • Omnidirectional (sounds are picked up from all directions thanks to the three microphones embedded in Blue Yeti).
      • Cardioid (sounds are picked up predominantly in one direction, which is usually one person talking).
      • Bidirectional microphones (mainly used for two people talking to each other without other noises at the sides interfering), and,
      • Stereo (sounds are picked up everywhere with greater sensitivity in the two directions needed to create the effect of sound moving from left to right sound channels and vice versa).

      If there is any drawback in the Blue Yeti product, it has to be a lack of a shock mount and a pop filter (used to reduce the unpleasant popping sound when you pronunciate words starting with the letter "p"), which is often essential to include.

    • HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone
    • The only thing missing with all Blue Yeti products is the lack of a shock-mount stand. What it does come with is a standard mount where the slightest vibrations and knocks of the stand are likely to be picked up by the microphone. Realising this shortcoming, HyperX has produced a modern and pretty-looking microphone using less power and modern electronics. The sound pick-up and quality of the output is comparable to Blue Yeti. But just as important is that it comes with a shock mount as standard. Pricewise it is a little more expensive than the standard Blue Yeti at around $150. In fact, being a more modern product, it is actually cheaper to build but has been priced to show the quality is just as good and solidly constructed as the Blue Yeti but with the quality stand it needs to make it a more attractive proposition, So by the time you purchase a compatible shock mount for the Blue Yeti and a pop filter, you will end up paying the same price. The HyperX QuadCast has essentially the same sorts of features as Blue Yeti, except it is better designed and has an added fancy feature of glowing red at the top when the microphone is turned on. This can be important in that some people have been caught out in not seeing the light turned on and end up saying things they regret later when people online are listening in. By having the red light glowing very clearly, there is no mistake the microphone is picking up sound and sending it to who knows where. There is no option to turn off the red light and still use the microphone. It must light up during normal use. There is a quick and convenient Mute touch button directly on top (and that's the only thing that will turn off the red light), and a volume/gain control at the base of the microphone. Like the Blue Yeti, the HyperX product is solidly constructed with a metal external casing.

    • Samson G-Track Pro Microphone
    • The Samson G-Track Pro is a very capable microphone. More expensive than HyperX Quadcast and comparable in price to the Blue Yeti Pro, the company has taken on a slightly different approach to the competitors. Instead of supplying a more expensive shock mount stand, it has relied on the weight of the stand to minimise vibrations and so keep the manufacturing costs down. However, to get consumers to see the advantage of buying this higher priced product, Samson has added an interesting feature that will allow you to add an extra sound source such as a musical instrument or a recorded instrumental version of a song and you can sing along and listen to the quality of your voice through a headphones attached to this microphone or direct to your computer. A useful idea that is bound to interest a number of consumers. Beyond that, the product is exceptional in the quality of the pick up and reproduction of the sounds. Generally, the more you pay, the richer the sounds. This product is no exception. However, if you are not an audio aficionado, you may not notice much difference with Blue Yeti and Hyper X Quadcast. So you will have to decide whether it is worth paying the $250 price tag for this exceptional product. If the Samson product did also come with an XLR connector, this would have won out over Blue Yeti Pro. But since it doesn't, most people will have to settle for cheaper options. And certainly if any microphone can have wireless charging and wireless sending of the sound signal built-in and as standard for under $200 and with the same level of audio quality, it will win out over any product in the marketplace today. Unfortunately no such product of this kind exists.

    • Rode NT-USB Microphone
    • Rode is an Australian-based company that makes low-cost but incredibly high quality microphones. The build of the microphones are second-to-none with a standard all-metal solid casing, and the sound output is as good as the Samson or even higher priced microphones. This recommended product is the one to compete with other USB-based microphone products mentioned above. At $149 from Rode for a comparable product, this is well-priced. However, you will need to buy a small stand for $40 to at least lift the microphone to about chin level and this will not be a shock mount variety. Or else you must carry it in the hand (feasible to do if you are a one-hand typist on the keyboard).

    POSTCODES

    PUBLISHER SERVICES

    • Book Data
    • IngramSpark (US, Australia, UK)
    • No special packages provided. It is assumed you have mastered the art of designing, editing, and promoting/marketing your books. This place just provides the lowest priced printing possible for both colour and B&W with a quality that is just as good as any publishing house on the planet. In fact, some publishing houses use IngramSpark to print their books. And yes, you can PoD as little as one book, or any number of books you need printed.

    • New Generation Publishing (UK)
    • Similar to CreateSpace in the U.S. with its various packages you can buy to help you self-publish your book to a professional level. Everything from editing, book cover design, to marketing your book. Whilst it might be based in the U.K., no book from overseas is overlooked (well, they are there to make a profit from quality books), and the services provided are second-to-none.

    • See also AMAZON KINDLE PUBLISHING, PRINTING SERVICES

    PRINTERS, 3D

    The ability to print 3D objects in resin, plastic or metal has gained popularity over the last decade thanks to the many uses this technology can provide. With the potential to restore old or antique products that are no longer manufactured and parts rare to find as well as build prototypes of new products to test ideas, 3D printers have pretty much taken the world by storm. Thanks to mass production and relatively simple technology, these printers are available to the home enthusiasts (except for the machines that produce metal objects). Below you will find recommendations on the better made and reliable 3D printers for resin and plastic models printed by these machines for under US$1,500. In summary, Bambu Lab X1 Carbon or the Bambu Lab P1S are competing with the older but tried and tested and still quite popular Prusa MK4 (this is the latest version of their already excellent product). The former is generally the better looking and well-made alternative to the latter and can supply up to 4 different plastic or resin based materials of different colours simultaneously to create your final 3D object. Bambu Lab's offering is priced to be the same in order to compete against Prusa's own machine, which, as of March 2024, is around US$1,200. For something a little cheaper, another good quality machine that looks clean and well-designed, and is easy to place on an office desk is AnkerMake M5. As for a 3D printer that makes metal 3D objects, it is hard to go past the Canadian-designed Rapidia Conflux 1. A truly outstanding metal 3D printer for 2024 and more expensive, but worth every cent. It is also the fastest printer of its type.

    PRINTERS (RESIN & PLASTIC), 3D

    PRINTERS (METAL), 3D

    PRINTING SERVICES

    • i-loveprint.com (China)
    • i-loveprint.com is a leading exporter and manufacturer of printing services in China. Major products printed are books, brochures, catalogue, folders, flyers, magazines, labels/stickers, and sticky memo pads, but can include any other printing materials.

    PROMOTION

    • Tomoson.com
    • Similar to UpWork.com with its variety of freelancers available to hire for their expert services, but this one is catered to freelancers who specialise in marketing and promotion. If you have any services or products you wish to sell in the marketplace (whether online or elsewhere) and need ways to promote them, there are plenty of freelancers at this web site willing to help you in your aims (for a reasonable price, of course). From blogging on various web sites to developing a advertisement brochure, you will be sure to find the right people at www.tomoson.com.



    Q

    Quotable Quotations

    Quotes for all occasions



    R

    RECYCLING

    REFERENCES

    RENOVATIONS, QUESTIONS ON

    see HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS

    RENT, HOME

    RESEARCH

    RESTAURANTS, SEARCH

    RESUMES

    • JobNexus Resume/CV templates
    • Surprisingly well-designed resume/CV templates you can download and use right now. No credit card or personal details to supply, or even an account you must set up. More importantly you can modify the templates from the privacy of your own home because they all come as Microsoft Word documents. Not even the paid variety of resume building and template download services of other sites can beat that. So enjoy! A TIP FOR JOB SEEKERS: If you see people asking you to fill in fields with your personal details on an online page just to download their allegedly free resume/CV template, always use bogus details. For example, First name: Any; Last Name: User; Address: Any Street, Any City, Antarctica, 0000. That is the kind of thing you should be doing. And if you see samples of text you could use to include in your resume, click all the options. Later, once you have downloaded the template, you can pick and choose which text suits your situation. Beware of the ones where they suddenly and unexpectedly spring it on you at the end that you have to pay even though they claimed at the start that the templates were free.

    • Novo Resume/CV/Cover Letters templates (free)
    • Resume Templates
    • Resume Templates has recently launched a new career development hub with tools to help you land yourself a great job and potentially a new career. But if all you ever need is to freshen up the look of your current resume, this could be the place to go. Touted as having nearly 100 free resume examples and templates in MS Word and Google Docs for you to choose from. Use these examples to get expert advice on what you should — and shouldn't — include in your resume, such as common key skills and action verbs for your desired job. Plenty of examples and great designs to choose from and tailor to your situation and stage in life. So what are you waiting for? Try it now and see where this web site can take you.

    • Resume Builder
    • School leavers' Resume Builder



    S

    Samsung Phone Debugger Mode

    In summary, go into Settings > About Phone > Software Information > Tap seven times on "Build number". Phone changes to Developer Mode. You can then unlock and open up the phone to allow for easier access to the phone's files via USB cable and other features.

    SCHOOL FRIEND, FIND A

    SEARCH SITES

  • Blinkx.com (Video Search)
  • Dogpile.com
  • DuckDuckGo.com
  • An open-source community-based search engine with an emphasis on security and privacy. Of all the search engines, this is the one to watch not just in terms of competing against Google, but is gaining popularity as the most privacy-protected and security conscious of all the search engines, and so carving out a unique niche in this market. This means there is no policy or effort by the people at DuckDuckGo to collect data about your personal details and web habits as commonly seen with Google Analytics (and now being used by other corporations and businesses, such as Apple when selling the Mac version of FileMaker Pro 15 to help the company find some way to identify you through Google if your computer happens to have anonymous personal details and you do not want to provide personal details to Apple). In fact, many of the biggest search engine corporations (including Yahoo.com) are quickly following in the footsteps of Google. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, is a refreshingly different approach and far better at protecting your privacy.

  • Find How (Solving Everyday Problems)
  • Geody (World Map Search)
  • Google.com
  • Google.com (Search Images)
  • MySpace (Search People)
  • Startpage.com
  • Startpage.com is the world's most private search engine. It fetches results from the Google search engine without saving the users' IP addresses or giving any personal user information to Google servers.

  • Yahoo.com
  • SECURITY ISSUES, CYBER

    • see INTERNET SECURITY, DEMICROSOFTISE, DEAPPLISE, DEGOOGALISE etc.
    • For education courses in cyber security, see EDUCATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

    Service Seeking - Get A Better Quote (Australia)

    SHOPPING

    OshenWatch

    World's best German-made smartwatch, considered by many experts to be better then Apple's own smartwatch. Built tougher, water proof, longer lasting per charge, more features including various useful health functions to monitor your body as well as taking phone calls and controlling music playing, and it is the cheapest. On special for AUD$49. Based on years of research and reverse engineering other watches (including the Apple brand), the Germans definitely know a thing or two about smartwatches as this product reveals.

    SOCIAL

    • Consumer World
    • eHarmony
    • The most reputable and trusted dating site for Australian people.

    • Facebook.com
    • The biggest social network on the planet.

    • Meetup.com
    • Events happening around your area in Australia brought together by dedicated organizers to suit your interests and meet new people.

    • Myspace.com
    • An alternative social networking site.

    SOFTWARE, 3D

    SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS

    SOFTWARE, FREE

    • Blender 3D
    • Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.
       

      Blender Instructions (5.9 MB) is a PDF document quickly prepared by SUNRISE on how to use Blender. It is designed for new users (but can benefit experienced users needing a quick refresher) to get started and be productive with this software.

    SOFTWARE, BEST

    • Adobe After Effects
    • There is nothing in its class in terms of the power and flexibility in designing motion graphics and special video effects. It is the world's most popular software. Once you have mastered the basics of Adobe After Effects, you will be creating outstanding presentations that make you think why you had bothered with Microsoft PowerPoint or any other slide presentation software. The only thing extra we would recommend in complementing this already top-quality software is a copy of Adobe Premiere for handling the editing of videos (although you can use open source software such as ShotCut) and a select range of powerful After Effect plug ins (e.g., Elements 3D).

    • Affinity Designer
    • The most complete and easiest vector graphic design software at a price that blows Adobe Illustrator away, and yet just as powerful. The only way Adobe can now compete is to offer low-cost monthly subscriptions to its flagship software to lure customers back to its brand, or else expect Adobe to make a takeover bid for Affinity sometime in the near future to reduce the competition.

    • Affinity Photo
    • The alternative solution to Adobe Photoshop, especially if you think Gimp is a little too geeky with its shocking user interface (some people have made Gimp look more Photoshop-like in its appearance and positions of buttons). There are many graphic editing tools out there on the market, but this is the better of the bunch, just after Adobe Photoshop. In terms of price for a tool you can own outright (i.e., no subscriptions), Affinity Photo wins over Adobe Photoshop any time.

    • Affinity Publisher
    • The alternative solution to Adobe InDesign. Beats Microsoft Publisher hands down and is more flexible in the export options. However, Affinity Publisher is not quite as refined as Adobe InDesign even with footnotes now added to the latest Affinity Publisher version (2.0 or higher). If you need a proper and best desktop publishing software solution used by millions of people and with excellent improvements and updates, you can't go past Adobe InDesign.

    • Sparkle One Pro
    • The most complete and easiest web page creation tool for web designers and serious web programmers. Best of all, you do not need to know any coding to create the world's best web sites. Things have moved on since the days when Macromedia and Adobe provided Dreamweaver as the only truly professional web page maker.

    SOLAR POWERBANKS

    As many portable electronic devices have a short battery life per charge with the potential situation of not having access to a power outlet if you are hiking in the bush or travelling to some remote settlement, a powerbank can be useful as it can charge one or more devices simultaneously several times over before the powerbank itself needs to be re-charged. In more recent times, manufacturers have decided to include solar panels to help with the charging in extreme circumstances and for emergency use. The better solar powerbanks tend to have foldable multi-solar panels for quick re-charge (which can make the difference between waiting for 3 or 4 days to fully charge up (assuming maximum sunlight falls on the panel through a 7 to 8 hour period of daylight time, to less than 6 hours of sunlight for a multi-solar panel configuration) and with a high-capacity latest LiPO4 lithium polymer battery providing 15,000maH or more power. Generally the higher the capacity, the more devices it can recharge or the more times you can re-charge a single device from a single fully-charged powerbank. Prices vary significantly between US$15 to US$200, but basically you are paying for a better higher-capacity lithium polymer battery, multiple solar panels, and use of sturdy materials for construction to help withstand shocks if you drop the powerbank on a rock or concrete floor, with some also providing a certain amount of water- and dust-proof casing as an added feature. The cheapest powerbank is one where you buy the solar box shell from China for as little as US$8 and add a lithium polymer battery yourself. You may be required to do some soldering of the battery wires to the powerbank unit. For a 8,000maH lithium polymer battery, you can buy one for less than US$15. Everything else is just having more solar panels added, adding a brand name to the box, and perhaps some extra USB charging ports might be provided. Finally, it is not recommended that you use powerbanks to charge up or power laptops unless they are very low-powered. That means the Apple MacBook Air and a selected range of PC laptops may work with powerbanks. But check with the manufacturers first to see whether re-charging is possible with a powerbank.

    Below is a list of the better solar powerbanks as of 2021.

    SPARE PARTS

    SPORTS

    SPEAKER, OPEN BAFFLE

    As people stay at home due to Covid-19, there is a growing interest in listening to music in high quality. Among the DIY projects to support people's listening pleasure is building an open baffle speaker system. Here are some resources to get you going.

  • Introduction To The Art And Science Of Open Baffle Speaker Building
  • Open baffle in a small room
  • Ready-made open baffle speakers (Just enjoy the music)

  • Speaker box enclosure calculator
  • The essentials of building and using an open baffle speaker system:

    1. The effectiveness and quality of the sound coming from an open baffle speaker system is depended on where it is located and what is in the area to absorb and reflect sounds, as well as the position of the listener. In an open stage with hardly any walls and other obstacles nearby, you can get away with very large sized quality speakers that will drive the sound to considerable distances and still sound surprisingly good. But in a small to medium-sized room, big speakers are not the way to go. Smaller is better but with enough grunt to give the necessary volume to be heard anywhere in the room. Beyond that, paying a premium for high quality "smallish" speakers will ensure that you receive the largest frequency range possible in your sound and minimise sound distortion.
    2. At https://redspade-audio.blogspot.com/2010/05/open-baffle-in-small-room.html, you will find a diagram of a room showing the position of the two open baffle speakers in relation to the listener (in a balanced or symmetrical design) and the recommended distance away from the wall they should be. If the volume is high, this distance from the wall may need to increase, but only if your room can allow for it.
    3. Some reflections off walls to reach the listener can be beneficial in the sense that if it is done right and there is enough delay in the sound reaching the listener, it can give the impression of good ambience to your sound in the room.
    4. Speaker sizes depends on where the listener is sitting in the room and how far you want the sound of the speakers to travel to get to the listener coupled with a decent amplifier. Another factor to consider is what is actually available from speaker manufacturers and their sizes. Also, you need to decide on the number of speakers that will drive the range of frequencies you want for that quality full frequency range of sounds you want to hear. A bass speaker, a mid range speaker, and a tweeter will provide optimum sound range. Positioning of the speakers is also important, especially in regards to the distance between the tweeter and the bass (or low frequency range) speaker, as this guy on YouTube has discussed. A waveguide from the speaker manufacturer can be useful in this regard when determining the recommended separation of speakers in order to send the sounds in an optimal way with respect to all other sounds.
    5. Assuming you have a small to medium-sized room, https://www.tweekgeek.com/blog-tweek-geek-speek/the-open-source-open-baffle-speaker-project/ gives recommendations on a set of two speakers — one low frequency range speaker, and one full range speaker — that this guy found was very reasonable and delivered excellent sound quality for his open baffle design. As he stated: "I chose 4 Eminence Alpha 15 drivers for the low frequency portion of the speakers. Two per speaker. They are well known to be great drivers for open baffle designs, and at 97 dB efficiency, are plenty efficient for this design. For the first full range driver, I chose the Dayton Audio PS 220 - 8 8" full range driver. It is rated at 95 dB efficiency." He gives a picture of what these items look like. You can check the manufacturers on their actual dimensions.
    6. Other factors to consider are things like ensuring the material you use to hold the speakers / drivers (i.e., the actual baffles) are solid materials and have reasonable weight. Any tiny cracks or parts that could loosen up (a common problem in cheap softwoods, such as plywood), can either vibrate and interfere with the sound quality, or could break off and cause structural integrity issues, especially when you crank up the volume. And if there is not enough weight on your open baffle design, the whole unit can vibrate. On a wooden floor this would be terrible. Carpeted is much better. But at the end of the day, make sure the design is made of solid hardwood of reasonable weight, or use solid metal frames to hold one or two or three (for the number of speakers you have) wooden boards.

    STOCK EXCHANGE

    SUBJECT GATEWAYS (OR PORTALS)

    SUPERANNUATION, CONSOLIDATE



    T

    TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES & SERVICES

    TELEVISION STATIONS (WORLDWIDE)

    TV GUIDES

    TELEVISION, ONLINE (WORLDWIDE)

    • Fandor
    • Watch 5,000+ Online Movies.

    • FilmOn
    • Watch 600 Live TV channels and more than 45,000 movies and shows free in SD, or subscribe for HD.

    • FirstOneTV
    • Watch Live TV channels from multiple countries. As of 2019 requires Adobe Flash Player and to temporarily disable ad blocker. When finished, uninstall flash player for greater privacy.

    • Hulu.com
    • Netflix.com
    • Sling TV
    • Use VPN to gain access to shows, movies and more. Without it, only United States viewers will have access.

    • TV Web 360

    TELEVISION, ONLINE (REMOVING GEOGRAPHICAL RESTRICTIONS)

    THIRD-WORLD AID

    TIMERS, ONLINE

    TRANSLATORS, ONLINE LANGUAGE (TRANSLATION SERVICES)

    • London Translations
    • A translation company based in London, England, serving businesses throughout the world. Whilst Google.com provides reasonable translations, for important documents, consider this agency.

    • Google Translate
    • Tormedes Translation Services (USA)

      Another agency providing translation services, including web sites and helping to localise products to certain markets.

    TRANSPORT

    TRAVEL

    TV, see TELEVISION

    TYRES (or TIRES)

    As of 2022, the top five recommended tyres are as follows:

    1. Nokian iLine (Scientifically formulated and patented tyre compound from Finland designed to handle both wet and dry conditions with uncanny ability, is quiet on the road, and has extra long durability. Best suited for winter conditions, but the manufacturer does sell a summer version more suited for Australian conditions even though it is mainly sold in Europe).
    2. Michelin Energy XM2 (Remains one of the most popular tyres. It has excellent mileage, quiet on the road, and exceptional handling in both dry and wet conditions for AU$112 on a 185/65R14 tyre, but not likely to be available for wider, low profile tyres. Now superceeded with the Michelin Energy XM2+).
    3. Goodyear Assurance TripleMax 2 (High mileage and fuel efficient tyre with excellent grip in the wet thanks to its new design tread and rubber compound for AU$123). Alternatively, try the Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres.
    4. Hankook Ventus V8 RS H424 (Excellent performance tyre for AU$123 on a 185/65R14 tyre, but now hard to come by).
    5. Continental SportContact 7 (Very similar characteristics to the Michelin Energy XM2, but more expensive at around AU$432. If you have a wider, low profile tyre, such as 215/40R18, this is the best replacement for the Michelin Energy XM2. Don't go for the SportContact 6 or early version. Version 7 has been reported by most road users and car enthusiasts to be a much better tyre in wet and dry conditions and with greater durability).

    Also, some tyres may be marked as "Sports" by the manufacturers on the assumption that you will be able to race in your car at higher speeds using these tyres because of the better grip on the road and the fact that you can make slightly tighter turns (mainly because the tyres are wider and/or have better grip). This may be true, but do keep in mind that tyre manufacturers use this "Sports" term mainly to cash in on those male drivers who understand good tyre performance on the road and are willing to pay extra for this. However, keep in mind that not all "Sports" tyres will last despite the higher prices you might pay. For example, the Michelin Pilot Sport 2, 3, 4 or 5 tyres are very expensive at $489 ($330 as of 2024) for each tyre, and the reviews are generally quite good in terms of grip on the road in dry conditions, and okay for wet conditions (but better for the Pilot Sport 5). However, the main problem with this tyre appears to be how quickly it wears down (roughly between 15,000 and 30,000km before needing a replacement). Compare this to the Michelin Energy XM2 which can last over 100,000km (even up to 130,000km for those drivers who drive in a normal way). Even the Goodyear Eagle F1 is generally seen as a better tyre for durability and excellent grip in both dry and wet conditions than the Michelin Pilot Sport. This expensive Michelin sports tyre is okay for city conditions over short driving distances, but not as a daily commute from the country to the city and back again. There are also claims that this sports tyre is a bit noisy, but the Pilot Sports 5 is an improvement.

    The general trend is that the more it grips the road, the more likely the tyre will wear down. The Michelin Energy XM2 is probably a rare exception as the tyre chemistry is different. If you want any tyre to last, try to drive the car "normally" without trying to be a racing driver. It will save you money in the long run.



    U

    UFOs

    • Rense UFO information
    • SUNRISE UFO Research
    • The first outside of the US military to provide the technological answer to UFO observations at close range from genuine UFO reports (those symmetrical objects that glow or show a metallic surface). Actual explanation of how the technology works (and reinforced by the observations, with further deliberate attempts by those who fly the objects to demonstrate the technology) requires a full understanding of Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory and knowledge of advanced electromagnetism. More specifically, the solution to the Abraham-Lorentz formula, which provides the required exponential acceleration for a charged object. All that it requires is official testing by a reputable laboratory.

    • The Majestic Documents Web Site
    • UFOSeek

    UNITED STATES POSTCODES

    see POSTCODES

    USGS Mapping Service

    Username: anyuser@mailnesia.com
    Password: anyuser2019AA

    US National Library of Medicine

    US Patent Office



    V

    Visible Human Project

    VPN Survey

    VOICE OVERS

    Check out freelancer sites for a range of quality human voice over artists. If you want to re-create your own voice or someone else who is happy to give permission to re-create his/her voice digitally, consider Replica Studio. However, with the advent in 2021 of highly natural AI voices, the need for a human voice over is becoming less and less necessary. To listen to some of the latest natural AI voices, consider Adcrew Natural Voices.



    W

    WALLPAPER, FREE (DESKTOP PICS)

    WEATHER

    WEB PAGE DESIGNING TECHNIQUES

    WEB DESIGNERS

    • Pebbled.io
    • A 15-day trial allows you to use any service offered (only limited by how much time it takes for the designers to create what you want). Unlimited advertising materials, unlimited logo concepts, social media designs and print designs with unlimited concepts and unlimited revisions! Anything that requires a designer is included in the trial package! While these people can do a lot of things, click here to find out what they won't do. Otherwise, if you are happy, then the price per month will depend on your choice of a plan, which could be either $79 for Core Plan, $249 for Plus Plan, or $499 for Enterprise Plan. Fortunately, you can cancel at any time after you have received the source code (in the paid plans) to implement on your own web site.

    WEB SITE ANALYSIS AND PERFORMANCE (SEO)

    WEB SEARCH ENGINES

    see SEARCH ENGINES

    White Pages, Australian

    WHAT TO DO, FUN THINGS

    Wildbear Entertainment

    Professional Australian commercial, educational and promotional video production company.

    WINE

    WOMEN'S SERVICES

    Wreaths, Autumn/Winter/Spring/Summer (Darby Creek Trading)

    Worldometers, global statistics about the world today

    WRITING SERVICES (AI-BASED)

    AI-based writing services are mainly there to help those people who are in a hurry to come up with short written articles as part of their daily job and just need a little inspiration to figure out a different sentence or come up with new sentences that are grammatically correct and reads well enough while still focusing on the main points. You will have a choice of conservative or flexible writing suggestions that will either be very concise in the wording, or get a bit more wordy through a fancy prose that hopefully will run off the tongue nicely. Various suggestions for sentences will be presented, and it is up to you to decide which one is best for your style and nature of the article you are writing, or gives you enough ideas on creating your own sentence(s). It is very similar to how a proper human editor will make suggestions on improving your sentence structure and general flow of a paragraph. AI writers will generate more suggestions for you to choose from, or give you ideas on an alternative sentence(s) you may wish to create for a little more originality and a better writing piece. And the cost to you to have these quick suggestions is a lot less than paying a freelance copywriter or editor. Even so, at the end of the day, nothing beats a proper human editor and/or yourself, especially when it comes to truly creative writing. Indeed, an enthusiastic, creative and experienced editor that is fully engaged in your writing and subject matter will always suggest the best improvements to your writing and will make every effort to ensuring the main points are clear and interesting. And anyway, only the author can produce the best crafted sentences and written in a truly creative way.

    WRITING SERVICES (HUMAN-BASED COPYWRITERS)



    Y

    Yahoo

    Yammer

    Part of the Microsoft 365 suite of tools, Yammer is one of the more secure and private collaboration tools available for talking with other people on a network. It is mainly used by employees within a company, but virtually anyone can create a secure network to talk to anyone with valid credentials. Only users with a valid and verified email address can join your Yammer network. Yammer data is always encrypted at rest with AES-256 bit key encryption.

    Yellow Pages, Australian