Useful Web Sites

A free service

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by what is available on the internet? No worries, here is our selection of the better sites to visit and some useful free tools to assist you.

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

ADVICE AND TIPS

DotDash.com

Provides advice, information and ideas for inspiration.

Advice from an Expert (Just Answer)

Money Security

Airlines (See TRAVEL)

Amazon Books (Biggest online bookstore)

AMAZON KINDLE PUBLISHING

HTML Kindle Publication Template (SUNRISE)

Developed by SUNRISE for authors and publishers, this is the template you should use when creating your next "Stephen King"-inspired eBook on Kindle, ePUB or other platforms. Already tested against KindleGen 2.9 with no errors to report, feel free to make use of this clean template to create your great novel.

Download KindleGen 2.9.app (Mac)

The essential tool from Amazon to create your Kindle eBook. Use it to convert your HTML template source file (e.g., the link above as an example) into the Kindle file format. The link shown here is for Mac users only.

Download KindleGen 2.9 (PC)

The essential tool from Amazon to create your Kindle eBook from your HTML template source file. This one is for PC users, so Mac users must use Terminal.app in the Utilities folder to run some basic commands (yuk!). Or better still, choose the app version above!

Download Kindle Previewer 2.94 (PC and Mac)

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

Download Kindle eBook Reading App for Mac

Download Kindle eBook Reading Apps for PC

ANIMALS

Australian Age of Dinosaurs, The

Dogs, Toxic Foods for

Evolution of Life on Earth (SUNRISE)

A compact no holds back view of our long evolutionary history. This will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly of what he have gone through on this planet, and what could become for all of us in the future. We hope this section inspires people to do the right thing for one another and for all living things in the universe just to show exactly what we have learned after all this time.

Snake bites, Management of

Snakes, About

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

The Louvre

Victoria and Albert Museum

Ask Philosophers, for responses to questions you may have.

AUCTIONS, ONLINE

eBay

eBay (Misspelled Auctions)

AUSTRALIAN POSTCODES

Australia Post

AUSTRALIAN SERVICES, FREE

ACT Legislation Acts

Free Superannuation Records Check

National Energy (Energy-efficient solutions)

Superannuation Information (ATO)

White Pages

Yellow Pages

AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

ABC

eBroadcast, Listing Guide

Your TV, Listing Guide

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

Baby-Proof and Child Safety Checklist (Various sources)

And if you are still worried this is not enough information, we can only recommend wrapping your child in cotton wool to solve all other safety issues (see picture!).

Medical Health Tests

also see CHILD SAFETY INTERNET 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 leanding.

ING Direct

National Australia Bank

St George Bank Limited

Westpac

BEATLES MUSIC

Beatles Music

Play Guitar Like the Beatles

BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES

Engineers Australia Database

First Search

HOLLIS Catalog - Harvard University

Ingenta - extensive science literature database

Harvard University's online database resources

National Library of Australia Catalogue

Open Thesis - Upload & Search Global Theses and Dissertations

The Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

BILLS, PAY YOUR

Australia Post - PostBill Pay

BPAY

BOOKINGS, ENTERTAINMENT

Show Biz (Australia)

Ticketek (Australia)

BOOKS

Abebooks, Used and rare books

Amazon Books

Collins Books, New books at

Dymocks, New books at

Net Library (Downloading e-Books)

Britannica, Encyclopedia (Full Online Volumes)

BOOKS, CREATE YOUR OWN ELECTRONIC

HTML Kindle Publication Template (SUNRISE)

HTML ePUB Apple iBook Publication Template (SUNRISE)

HTML ePUB Standard Publication Template (SUNRISE)

BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL, BUY OR SELL

businessesVIEW.com.au (Australia)

Commercial Property Guide (Australia)

commercialVIEW.com.au (Australia)

BUSINESS SERVICES, SMALL (AUSTRALIA)

ACT Business Gateway (Australia)

ACT Legislation Acts

ACT Work Safe (Australia)

Austrade - For Australian Exporters

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Fuel Watch

Australian Taxation Office

Business Entry Point (Australia)

Canberra Business Advisory Service (CanBAS)

Credit check of Australian businesses

Digital Marketing Guide (HubSpot)

Discount New Cars

Business mentor Mark Bouris gives his business advice

Small Business Resource

Private Fleet (Cars)

Workplace Relations Site (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?

Advice for Latino Entrepreneurs (U.S.)

Business Insurance Quotes (U.S.)

Expertise.com's Small Business Resource

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)

Freebies Bug

Free web design content.

Flaming Text



C

CAPTURE, SCREEN

Web Capture

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

CARS

AutoGuru's Top 10 Car Mechanics (Canberra, Australia)

Auto Trader (Australia)

Car History (Australia)

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

A Complete Guide to Internet Child Safety (Various Sources)

Overparenting (TIME magazine)

also see BABY AND CHILD SAFETY ADVICE

CellarMaster - An Australian Wine Specialist

Civil & Electrical Engineering

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

For education, see EDUCATION, CIVIL & ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

CNN

CLASSIFIEDS

OzBargain (Australian freebies)

Cracker Classifieds (Australia's Largest)

Trading Post

CLOTHES

Kelly Country (World-class business suits from Australia)

VIDA Collection (San Francisco, USA)

If you are bored of the basic and uninspiring designs for clothing you find at your local Kmart, Target, Big-W, Walmart or some other general clothing outlet store, you certainly won't be by the time you have browsed through this web site. Wow your friends and people in your town or city by wearing unique and smitten designs for clothing or decor items in your home that you won't find anywhere else in the world. Also, when you purchase an item from VIDA, a certain percentage of net sales goes toward sponsoring literacy programs for factory workers who work hard to print and produce the garments and other fashion accessories. Actually, did we mention VIDA is an ethical business in ensuring factory workers are given a decent wage and working conditions as well? Well, that is the kind of place you can expect from VIDA as it is there to not only make the world a more artful place, but a better place to live for everyone. And, by the way, if you just so happen to be an artist/designer yourself, you also have the option to sell clothing with your unique designs through VIDA (to register or login to your account and start selling, visit this site). In the words of Erica Carter, Head of Artist Recruitment: "[Here at VIDA] we produce, package, and ship every order on your behalf and, you’ll earn 10% of the net sales for every product sold featuring your designs, with no cap on how much you can earn."

Compare the Market (Australia)

COMPUTERS

Adobe Systems, Inc.

Apple, Inc.

Data Memory Systems (US)

IBM Australia Limited

Microsoft Corporation.

PC Pitstop - Free PC testing

see also SOFTWARE

Consumer Safety Guide

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LICENSING SERVICES

Verified Associates (Australia)

Covid-19 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS)

What is Covid-19?

China - Approach and Attitude

Covid-19 in Detail

Economic Impacts of Covid-19

Online Learning in the Brave New World

Future of Covid-19

CURRENCY CONVERSIONS

Oanda.com

Xe.com



D

Darby Creek Trading

Home decor, wreaths, fine art, tapestries and more

DATE, FIND A

Aussie Cupid

eHarmony

RSVP

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. Basically, you have no control over the information once it leaves your computer and ends up sitting on an Apple server. 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 to create a "profile". Furthermore, the information is not organised and presented online for all to see like FaceBook. A slight improvement you could say. If all this still sounds a little disconcerting knowing how much Apple likes to intrude on your private and business life for whatever purposes the company alleges to be doing, the following links will help you to minimise the company's presence in your life. As for iOS devices, you may need to consider other similar devices from a different manufacturer although there is little difference between them.

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 find on your computer. More importantly, you have the power to "forever" deny the connection too should you feel the company is asking for too much information on a regular basis. 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 and see what happens). 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 you even 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 when using your computer or applications. 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.

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 (from High Sierra onwards) 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., hiding from the Dock) or claim the document was closed when, in fact, the data is still being retained in memory. 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 on the Apple Cloud) and expects you to accept it. 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. IAnd 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 some business expect what they buy from Apple is reliable and safe), it is there to make people feel like Apple is thinking about them and working in their interest (cough!). But 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, 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 Onyx 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 below) 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 in this regard. 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. 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: Tor Browser. Not perfect, but TorBrowser in its most up-to-date form is the most secure. To prove this security, we recommend visiting this Analyzer tool from Privacy.net to run some tests just to see how Tor faired in the analysis compared to other browsers. The Tor browser is a popular choice among military officials. 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 Tor running on it (or bring in your USB thumb drive with a copy of Tor). 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 Tor in performing their dubious activities (mainly to distribute illegal content or sell drugs), 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 the browser itself from the more commercially-oriented software manufacturers. The true purpose of the Tor 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, such as almost endlessly solving online puzzles 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. That is the sad fact of life. It isn't perfect. And if you are logged into a work computer, you will be identified. 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 (the other is the latest QuickTime that has grabbed the same technology from Preview) after a period of inactivity or when accessing another app (especially if it has no documents opened) to give you the impression that it is not running. It is not on the Dock, so you assume the app has quit. 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 some 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. 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), 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., Evident from BAE Systems). Unfortunately, in this era of terrorism and the efforts by certain governments in the world to control their civilians who are looking for change (probably to restore balance), 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 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 Tor.

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 government concerns of 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 allow people basic rights to maintain good privacy. When governments get too much control over there citizens (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 and then society will repay in kind and will feel genuinely secure). 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. 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. 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). A VPN with encryption will also have the added benefit of allowing you to send and receive emails with anonymity. If you need examples of good VPN services, check out VPN Vanguard's recommendation here. For two examples that work and do not log details of what you do, try 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 from your financial transactions when paying for the service), but could 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.Following all the dramas of the pandemic, businesses are struggling financially. So expect most commercial VPN providers to expect a payment. Finding VPNs that are genuinely free and privacy-protected is hard to find, 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. But 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. At Any rate, once China's LinkSure company gets worldwide internet coverage established by sending 10 satellites into orbit, VPNs and internet access will be literally free to everyone. A major shake-up in the world of internet will soon be taking place, and with many Western ISPs facing even tougher times ahead. That is the only reason why commercial VPNs have a cost. The people running them still pay for internet access where they are, and a little profit on the side. When internet services become free for all by 2026, VPNs will have to be free also. Of course, 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. 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 any encryption offered by free VPNs/ISPs. Those encryption services are designed to have a backdoor for 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 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 doing the promoting privately 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 turn off location finder in your current mobile phone. Huawei is considered the least secure. So, to get around this, the Chinese government will encourage more users to see the value of a Chinese-made smartphone and network and its own free world-wide internet access system by 2026. Samsung is not particularly secure either 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 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. There is no Android app to properly stop the microphone from picking up sounds, 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). Apple iPhones are not secure for the reasons described earlier (see Applise). And to get away from Western internet networks, you could try the Russian Yandex network, or the new China SureLink system for free internet access (but keep in mind the Russian and Chinese governments will have their own means of spying on you through these networks). 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), 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. Although convenient at times, there is usually a good reason they are free (to attract people to shops, but also to see what you do). 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 are worth implementing.

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 and passwords and distribute them on the dark web. In that way, governments and criminal syndicates can grab files and see what you do. 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. There is also an option to test certain passwords you may be using 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. We recommend downloading SUNRISE Contacts. It is free, and contains a nifty password keeper under the Help menu when you launch it. All you have to do is enter an easily remembered general password once 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.

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, 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 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 this time it 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.

DE-SOCIALISE FROM SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

The process of getting away from social media accounts (or minimising their impact on your life) because of the privacy intrusive nature of social media companies in gathering your personal information and later selling them to governments or profit-making companies, not to mention the recent security breaches (see TechJury's excellent Infographic), the time-consuming nature of constantly handling the social aspects of having your own account, and the way people can abuse their position of supposed anonymity by publishing nasty remarks about you (known as trolls), which if you can't handle it or have techniques on how to deal with them, might be worth getting away from altogether. Social media sites include Google Plus, Pinterest, FaceBook, Twitter, Skype and many others. To reverse the trend of joining a social media site as a way of reducing the time you spend on it, 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 yours so they can like you and/or what you stand for, remember that you can always make friends in the real world without ever needing a social media account. We have done this sort of thing prior to the 21st century and for as long as humans can remember. It hasn't killed anyone. So why should social media suddenly need to change this traditional approach to finding these sorts of people (or better still, broadening your thinking by listening to different views can be a transformative experience too 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. Also, avoid relying on others to give you 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. You do not need to prove to anyone that you are a worthwhile and fantastic individual. And be realistic. You are not going to please every single person in the world. 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 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. We all need to feel like we belong in some small way. On the same token, you also need to learn, and at the same time not to take things seriously what others might say about you and/or the things you do, especially among those described as trolling. 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 they can say it 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. That is what it comes down to. Is what you are doing helping people? Or is it causing harm to someone, even to those you might describe as your enemy. Really. Why must you treat certain people so badly? Because they have harmed you in some way? It is probably because they were hurt and/or lacking in love and not some means to "get back at you". But they are limited in the way they can solve a problem. They don't know of a better way. So why not sure a better way? Don't follow the herd. 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 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 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 that should be bestowed on you by social media sites should you be a little less confident is the power to switch off users who are not there to be productive and helpful to you through their comments. 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. But if there are some people who feel limited in what they can do and are not sure if they can do it and you are in their shoes, show on your social media page what can be done, and how you did it. Show that anyone in the same situation can do it too. Other than that, there is no need to prove yourself or how valuable you are. You should not have to. 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. 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. Use an anonymous disposal email address to receive and send emails, and when you are ready, you can delete the email address. And 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.

Avoid Social Media Burnout

How to Delete your Social Media Presence

10 Tips to Delete Yourself from the Internet in 2020

Websites versus Social Media

TechJury's Online Safety Stats, including the most popular social media sites

Online Privacy — Myth or Reality? by James Herrin

DESIGN NEWSLETTERS

Fresh Fonts Revue

Product Disrupt

The Creative Factor

Yo!

DICTIONARIES

Cambridge Dictionary

Macquarie Dictionary

EssayOnTime's Free Grammar Checker

A genuinely free grammar checker (as of 2020) 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. Of course, you have the option to check spelling, and make citations for research-based documents. A worthy entrant to this listing. And just to set itself apart from other similar services elsewhere, it has made an unexpected addition to its range of services by assisting women and girls to find college and business scholarships. Hopefully this link will be helpful.

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

DotDash.com

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.

DIVERSITY

Cultural Competence Quiz

A way for you to understand how well your can adapt and understand cultural diversity.

DRONES, BEST

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 still 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 built-in memory card to help record the visual data faster to the memory), and a decent range the drone can travel. 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 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.

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro (replaces the highly popular DJI Phantom 4 v2, which is no longer in production but worth grabbing at under US$400 if you can find one on the market)

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Comparing DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, the DJI Mavic Pro is better priced (at around US$900) for its features compared to Mavic 2 Pro. And you still get a 7 km range drone with 27 minutes flight time and a proper 4K camera for video at 30fps, 12MP still photos with HDR, as well as create 32MP spherical panorama shots. Comes with an unusual assortment of autonomous features, such as avoiding obstacles within 15 metres of its flight path. Foldable design makes for easy carrying, and it includes two batteries, four replacement propeller blades, controller, recharging unit, instructions, cables and carrying case. However, if you want to pay US$1,500 for the Mavic 2 Pro, the main changes are a couple of minutes longer flight time, up to 8 km range, a 100Mbps higher video details (including over 1 billion colours) video compared to the 60Mbps (16 million colours) for the Mavic Pro, still photos of 20MP resolution compared to 12MP for the Mavic Pro, an ISO camera range between 100 to 12,800 compared to 100 to 5,000 for the Mavic Pro, and can move a little faster at 72km/h in still air compared to the 65km/hr of the Mavic Pro. The latter is despite the slightly extra weight put on the drone for a newer and heavier camera bringing the total weight of the drone to 907g, compared to 754g for the Mavic Pro. Essentially you are paying for a better camera. And that is why the Mavic 2 Zoom exists mainly because as it comes with an optical zoom. However, to make it cheaper than the Mavic 2 Pro, the camera itself is closer to being the same as the Mavic Pro in resolution, colour depth, ISO range,etc. And for all that money, it is more than suitable for high-quality and smooth-moving aerial photography work. Only the most discerning Hollywood producers of major movie blockbusters may choose a drone that allows them to attach their own higher quality camera, or use a manned helicopter to do the work.

DRONES, BEST AT UNDER $500

DJI Mavic Mini

A remarkably compact drone with an excellent 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 such as DJI.

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 can vary dramatically. in fact, some manufacturers will take advantage of consumers by re-brnading 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 this price range. Or consider the JJRC X12 Aurora for that little extra stability and quality.

DVD, FIND A

Wow HD

EzyDVD

Documentary Heaven

A web site you can subscribe to watch free documentaries in a wide variety of categories.



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.

Editage

EditMyEnglish

Enago

Kibin.com

PaperTrue

ProofreadingPal

Scribendi

Wordvice

Wordy (UK)

EDITING TOOLS, TEXT

Grammarly

Ginger Grammar Checker

Hemmingway App

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

Boston University Computer Information System Resources

A quality educational institution for anything relating to information technology, now offers online (or distance) education for anyone. On May 11, 2016, Boston University received the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning, making it among the top education leaders on the planet. This includes all the latest computer languages, how to build a supercomputer, as well as skills in cyber safety and the internet (now a rapidly growing field).

Cyber Degree Hub (Idaho, USA)

The foundation provides free educational information and support to those who are interested in learning about cyber security degrees and what they can do for you.

The Need for Cyber Diplomats

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

Financial Times' Global MBA Rankings 2012

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.

Finimpact's scholarships for businesses & students

Updated for 2021 for United States residents looking to startup a business and with advice relevant to the current pandemic situation. No less than 21 of the best scholarships on offer are covered in this latest list.

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 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, SPORTS

Ohio University Coaching Education Resources

If you think those pilots of the future who will fly the electromagnetic spacecraft will not be thin enough to make the journey times to the stars nice and quick according to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, your expert knowledge in sports and how to keep fit and trim will go down extremely well indeed. Or if you just want to help the latest and greatest athlete to win a mountain of gold at the next Olympic games, a sports education with coaching skills is the way to go. Or maybe there is a sports team who needs a coach to take the players and their club to the next premiership win? Don't want to aim that high? Well, remember that you can do anything with this course. But if you want something simpler, coaching is still useful at the grassroots level of your community when it comes to helping kids to learn how to play any sport.

Ohio University Athletic Administration Resources

Being trim and healthy is not essential, but would be highly regarded in this field of study. This course will explain all the ins and outs of handling the administration side of any sports, from the elite sports clubs, to the humble Physical Education department of every quality school in the nation.

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

The Best Scholarship Search Platforms

Reviews of best free scholarships

EDUCATION, SURVIVAL TIPS

Wild Scholar

Secrets, tips and advice for the prospective college student wanting to know how to survive the next gruelling stage of one's life. Still, life should not be boring for you, so read up and take away some great advice on how to make your experience at college the best it can be.

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)

Answers.com

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

Evolution of Life on Earth (SUNRISE)

Original research information from SUNRISE showing how life probably came to be and evolved on Earth. Also includes a look into the future in the evolution of human beings and the likely scenarios we will encounter.

Exploratorium — an education search site

Graph Paper, Print Free

Print your own free graph paper. For accuracy, make sure you don't select "Fit to Page" when printing. Actual size always works best.

Incompetech Graph Paper Generator

Graph Paper 1mm A4 (Ready-made)

Graph Paper 5mm A4 (Ready-made)

Graph Paper 10mm A4 (Ready-made)

Graph Paper 5mm A3 (Ready-made)

Graph Paper 10mm A3 (Ready-made)

Inside Story Flashcards

The world's easiest way to learn words. Great for kids, but even adults can benefit from learning new words. Utilises pictures to best capture the definition and meaning of words. Divided into Basic, Easy, Medium and Hard levels to help with word learning.

LearnThat.com

Maths Online

Molecular Expressions — views on our microuniverse

SUNRISE Contacts

A powerful educational and business tool to use for life. Apart from organising your contacts at a personal and/or business level, the lookup databases (e.g., infobase.fmp12, elearn.fmp12 etc.) expands the features and flexibility of your solution to handle a variety of information.

SUNRISE Finance Budgeting Tool.

A free software tool you can use right now for personal use.

See also ENCYCLOPEDIAS, ELECTRONIC JOURNALS etc

Einstein, Dr Albert (Resource Page)

Electric Library Encyclopedia

ELECTRICITY

Energy Watch

Go Switch (Australia)

Compare electricity and gas providers in your area.

Electronic Circuit Symbols

ELECTRONIC JOURNALS

FindArticles.com

Issues in science and technology librarianship

New Scientist

Scientific American archive

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

Encyclopedia Britannica

Electric Library Encyclopedia

Wikipedia (Open Source Encyclopedia)

Plants of the World

ENGINEERING EDUCATION (see EDUCATION)

ENGINEERING JOBS

ICE Recruit (U.S.)

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

CSIRO (Australia's top Scientific Research Organisation)

Farmers Info

Grain Growers Association

Pest Genie

Plant Net

Rural Assistance Authority

Weed Identification Tool

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 many years to come. 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).

Filehosting.org

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

Hollywood

Internet Movie Database (IMDB)

FINANCE

A Guide to Crowdfunding

Balance Transfer Credit Card Comparison Site (Australia)

Compare and Find the Right Credit Cards (Australia)

Infochoice Credit Cards (Australia)

My Credit File

Receive a copy of your credit file despatched within one working day. And while you are at it, check out the Australian-owned credit card comparison service providing 100% unbiased reviews and information to help consumers make the best decisions when choosing the right credit cards.

The Guardian's Money Unlimited

No fuss and free advice on financial planning.

Savings Account Finder Comparison Site

Veda Advantage

The largest and most sophisticated provider of business intelligence in Australia and New Zealand.

FIRES

All about fires and what to do to prepare and survive a fire

The free essential information you need to know, as prepared by SUNRISE.

Aus-emaps

The locations of major bushfires in Australia.

NSW Rural Fire Service (Australia)

A more detailed map of all known bushfires in the state.

FLATMATE, FIND A

Easy Room Mate

Flatmate Finders

Flight Bookings (see TRAVEL)

FLORISTS, ONLINE

Interflora.com.au

Roses Only, Delivered Australia-wide

FOOD

Tea Site

see also FOOD, RECIPES

FOOD, RECIPES

Recipe Source

CD Kitchen

Food Epicurious

FREE BARCODE GENERATORS

Terry Burton's Free Online EPS/PNG/JPG Barcode Generator

Free Online Barcode Generator

FREE BOOKS

Feedbooks (eBooks for download)

FREE FILE CONVERSION

Zamzar, online file converter

FREE FONTS

1001 Free Fonts!

Abstract Fonts

Download Fonts

Font Freak

Google Fonts (Login to your Google Account)

Pixelify Free Fonts

FREE FONT CONVERTER

Free Font Converter (TTF, OTF, PS etc)

FREE FONT IDENTIFIER

What The Font (Font Graphic Image to Font Name)

FREE FORM MAKER

PHP Form

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, PATENTS

Patents, Free Online

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.

1. 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!!!!!").

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Google Analytics

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

Rigor's free web performance report

Test a website's performance (similar to Web Page Test, see below), except this one provides details on problem areas within a specified web site and the methods you can employ to improve the situation. Performance simply means how quickly a typical web page in a web site loads to its fully completed stage (when all texts and images are visible and ready to be read). It is good and fine that online users can find your web site through a search engine, but if the pages load slowly, it can be a bit of a turnoff for the users. And some search engines employ sophisticated algorithms to reduce the ranking of web sites that are slow compared to other similar sites. It is best to maximise performance to ensure a high ranking on most search engines in existence.

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.

SEO Page Compare Tool

How does your web site fair on various search engines and competitors' web sites?

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.

PAID, SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)

1. Beakira.com

It is recommended that you learn and do your own SEO to see the results firsthand from your actions and decide what works and what doesn't. And it is likely to be the cheapest too. But if you must pay someone else to provide SEO services, high quantities of positive reviews have been made of Beakira.com, at prices that are more reasonable than the competitors. Results work best if you have a quality web site with something to offer and/or sell to online users.

SEOlium

If you only want accurate keywords from Google to use in your web site, the makers of this web site have made a special effort on this front. Check it and see if they are right.

FREE, SERVICES

ASP-Shareware Organisation (free information on PAD files)

Free.com

HTML indexer - a tool for website indexing

ReaderWorks - a compiler for generating e-books from HTML files

Flash to HTML5 Online Converter

Shop Free

FREE, VECTOR ILLUSTRATIONS

Control.rocks

DrawKit Vectors

Freepik.com

ManyPixels.co

Ouch!

Pixelify Vectors

UnDraw.co

FREE, WEB CONTENT

Apple Developer Resources

CoolText, Web text generator

Da Button Factory (Create your own free graphic buttons)

1000 Pictures Free Desktop Wallpapers

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 3D modelling program for PC and Mac.

Free 3D Objects

Free 3D People

Free 3D Textures

Free CD Software

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

Free IT Training from Microsoft

Free HTML Goodies



G

GAMES

Pogo - free online game site

His Core Arcade Games

Space Invaders, Play Now!

Free from http://www.neave.com/games.

GARDENING

Burke's Backyard

Plants of the World

Weekend Gardener

Yates

GateKeeper (OS X), Disable

GolfWeb

GENEAOLOGY

Ancestry.com.au

Search online for your ancestry, grow you family tree. (Username: ai_NatMuseumAU, Password: welcome5)

GIFTS, ONLINE DELIVERY OF

Gift Baskets Australia

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

Gift Sensations (Australia)

Hunter Valley Hampers (Australia)

Gift baskets and Hampers from Hunter Valley Wine Country)

see also FLORISTS, ONLINE



H

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

Yoga for Beginners

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

Evolution of Life on Earth (SUNRISE)

Timeline Index

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

ADS Painters & Decorators Limited (UK)

London's leading painters and decorators.

ConnectHome (UK)

Shop online for a wide selection of home and office furniture, kitchen appliances and gadgets at low internet prices and fast home delivery service.

Darby Creek Trading

Kitchenware Direct

Blinds and Curtains (UK)

HORSES

Monty Roberts Horse Breeding Farm

HOTELS

Booking.com

Global Hotel Alliance

Hotels Combined

Kayak

The world's second biggest hotel price comparison site (the biggest being Trivago).

Trivago

The world's top hotel price comparison site with over 700,000 hotels.

Wotif, cheap hotel deals in 36 countries

HOUSE, BUY, SELL OR RENT

All Homes (Australia)

Domain.com.au (Australia)

Finder.com (Australia)

Finder.com is a 100% free service for comparing the leading home loans and other products.

What price my house? (Australia)

Property.com.au (Australia)

Domain (Australia)

Real Estate (Australia)

realestateVIEW.com.au

HOUSE REPAIRS, RENOVATIONS & ADVICE

ConnectHome's Do It Yourself (DIY) Power Tools

Shop online for a wide selection of DIY power tools at low internet prices and fast home delivery service.

Everything you need to know about DIY

Expertise.com's Home and Garden Resource

Home One

Service Central (Find a Tradesperson)

HTML, LEARNING

HTML Goodies (for beginners and advanced)

HTML5 - The Ultimate Cheat Sheet (PDF version available here)

HUMOUR

Funny.co.uk

Most Popular Funny Websites



I

ICONS, FREE

Boxicons.com

DrawKit Icons

Icon Shock.com

Gradientify (Icon Shock)

Pixelify Icons

Pixelify Mock Ups

Remix Icon.com

TheMockup.club

Icon Finder

IMAGES, FREE (You only need to give credit to original owners)

Free Images

Gratisography

IM Creator

Morgue File

New Old Stock

Mostly antique images taken by government agencies.

Pixabay (General photos and pictures)

Unsplash (Attractive hi-res landscapes)

IMAGES, FREE

No attribution required and use for as long as you like for any purpose.

Getrefe

Natural shots by professional photographers travelling overseas.

Picjumbo

General photos you can use.

Picography

Public Domain Images

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)

Avira Antivirus

Sophos Home Edition

INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS (WORKS WITH OLDER OS)

Intego Mac Internet Security X9 (can run on OS X Mountain Lion)

ProtectWorks (can run on OS X Snow Leopard)

Webroot Secure AnyWhere Antivirus (can run on OS X Lion)

INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS (ONLY WORKS ON NEWER OS)

Avast Antivirus (for macOS Sierra or higher)

Avira Antivirus (for macOS Sierra or higher)

Kaspersky (requires macOS Sierra or higher)

Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac (only works on macOS Sierra or higher)

Trend Micro Internet Security Antivirus (only works on macOS High Sierra or higher)

INTERNET: ANTIVIRUS REVIEWS

Review of Antivirus software (2020)

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

Guardster

Free and paid anonymous web browsing services.

Hide your IP address

Pretend to be a German internet user for free

IP Tracer

Understanding Different IP Address Classes

x My IP

Check your IP number and other details while online.

INTERNET: DNS/IP ADDRESS LEAK TESTS

CyberGhost VPN DNS Leak Test

IP Leak

Perfect Privacy Check IP

IPx

Browser Leaks

Perfect Privacy DNS Leak Test

DNS Leak

Pixel Privacy's DNS Leak Guide

A good coverage of the importance of having a VPN as well as choosing the right VPN service provider to prevent Domain Name Server (DNS) leaks — the process of allowing unauthorised entities to monitor your internet activity. To test the quality of your VPN (or non-VPN) for DNS leaks, the author recommends running this IP Leak test, and to use VPNExpress as an example of a quality VPN service provider that passes the DNS leak test. Check this review for further details.

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.

Express VPN (Netflix-friendly)

IVPN (Malta)

LiquidVPN (Wyoming, USA, Netflix-friendly)

Mullvad (Sweden)

NordVPN (Panama, Netflix-friendly)

Windscribe (free and paid options that avoid US-based VPNs)

INTERNET SAFETY

see CHILD SAFETY INTERNET ADVICE

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dark Web: It is that part of the Internet that is not visible to regular users through standard search engines.
  • Easter Egg: A relatively harmless or non-malicious surprise embedded in a program (usually games) or media which is entertaining and accessible to anyone.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Exploit Kits: A package of automated threats that are used by attackers to launch exploits against vulnerable programs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Insider: A current or former employee, contractor, or business partner who has ot had authorised access to the organisation's network, systems, or data.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Keylogger: Keylogger is a computer program that keeps a log of your keystrokes on your keyboard.
  • 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.
  • Password Sniffing: A process of intruding between a transfer of data packets which encompasses password.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Ransomware: A type of malicious software that blocks access to your files or computer until a ransom is paid.
  • 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 — namely "Full Control", "Read Only" or "None" — and give you the opportunity to change the permissions and propagate those permissions to subfolders and files), how often you patch and update software (including the operating system), remove old software for 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 which part of it is sensitive (there are tools, such as Veritas Data Insight and Trustwave DbProtect, to 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 determine how critical it is to the 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 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 a 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.

Computer & Communications Industry Association

Protecting Yourself from Cyber Criminals

Security issues (SUNRISE)

Security measures (SUNRISE)

INTERNET SECURITY, CONSUMER

A Guide to Public WiFi Security# (Surfshark)

see also DEAPPLISE, DEMICROSOFTISE, DEGOOGALISE etc.

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)."

IT SERVICES

Managed Networks IT support (UK)

Managed Networks deliver proactive IT support to businesses across the UK designed and made to work, rather than just selling technology.



J

JOB SEEKERS, AUSTRALIAN

Adzuna (formerly mycareer.com.au)

Adzuna is Fairfax's primary online job listings brand in Australia. Its greatest strength lies in its ability to search hundreds of websites and delivers all current job vacancies on one site, making Adzuna a valuable time-saving and powerful online tool for all job seekers. Welcome to the future of job searching, the way Australians like to see it.

Australia's Fair Work System

Information on Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA) and other workplace relations issues and their related agencies, and advice regarding Freedom of Association provisions of the Federal Workplace Relations Act 1996. A useful site if you ever need to make sure your employer is doing the right thing and you are getting a fair wage for a fair day's work.

careerjet.com.au

careerone.com.au

centrelink.gov.au

gigajob.com

Gigajob.com is a free and easy-to-use job search tool established in 1996 to help people find jobs in Australia and other countries fast. You can do your own searching, or receive automatic email notifications of suitable jobs after signing up (you can cancel at any time). And you can post your own job ads in the most proactive method of finding jobs you can do today. Employers are not left out in the cold too with tools to enable you to create jobs for free.

manpower.com.au

Open College's Career and Jobs Advice

Receive professional advice from the net's top career experts about finding a job.

Recruit.net (Australia)

Recruit.net allows job seekers to instantly find millions of jobs across thousands of web sites within a single search. Job listings are displayed from corporate web sites, job boards, recruitment agencies and numerous other sources.

Seek Communications Pty Ltd (Australia)

wagenet.gov.au

Your Fair Work Rights (NSW)

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?

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.

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.

Novo Resume/CV/Cover Letters templates (free)

Novo Resume/CV/Cover Letters templates (free)

Prepare your Finances when Working Abroad

Resume Builder

School leavers' Resume Builder

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

Expertise.com's Legal Resource

Legal Aid (NSW, Australia)

Medical Compensation Legal Advice (Australia)

LIBRARIES, WORLD

British Library

Library of Congress (LC)

National Library of Australia

LIBRARY DATABASES

Library of Congress (LC)

LIBRARY SERVICES

FormSwift's English Lesson Plan Creator

FormSwift's Math Lesson Plan Creator

FormSwift's Science Lesson Plan Creator

Librarian's Index to the Internet (The IPL Librarian)

Virtual Learning Resources Center (VirtualLRC.com)

see also BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES, LIBRARY DATABASES, SUBJECT GATEWAYS, SEARCH ENGINES, ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIAS, DICTIONARIES, ELECTRONIC JOURNALS and SEARCH ENGINES

Lonely Planet, The



M

MACINTOSH REPAIRS AND PARTS

PB Parts

DTT service

iResQ

iFix It (The best)

MACINTOSH TIPS

iCloud, Turn Off

Improving macOS Performance

Remove Extended Attributes

MALWARE & VIRUS FILE CHECKER

Bitdefender QuickScan

Fast and free online virus scanner.

Jotti's free online virus scan

Free scan of any file using multiple online virus checking sites.

MAPS

Find-A-Street

Google Maps

Map Quest

MBA (MANAGEMENT TRAINING)

Online MBA

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

MEDICINE

Center for Adolescent and Family Studies

BioMedSearch

World's largest free biomedical search engine.

Doctors.net.uk (UK)

Europe's leading online medical community.

Lancet Global Health Network, The

Health Insite

Henriette's Herbal Homepage

Medical Health Tests

Medlineplus

Mood Gym

How to Meditate

US National Library of Medicine

WebMD, Comprehensive health database

Your Diagnosis

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

Microsoft Excel Viewer (PC) Installer for 97-2004 format

Microsoft Word Viewer (PC) Installer for 97-2004 format

Minute your Meetings

MORTGAGE, CHOOSE A

eChoice (Australia)

Mortgage Choice (Australia)

Mortgage Rate Comparison (Australia)

MOVIES, CHECK TIMES FOR

Urban Cine File

Reviews, previews and online trailers.

MUSIC AND VIDEOS

Sanity, New CD sales at

Incompetech's royalty-free music



N

NASA

Multimedia Page

NASA's Visible Earth Images

NEWSPAPERS & ONLINE NEWS

Frontline World PBS

New York Times (U.S.)

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

The Age (Australia)

The Guardian (UK)

The Nation (Pakistan)

The Press (New Zealand)

The Times (UK)

This Day in History (UK)

Times of India (India)

Washington Post (U.S.)



O

Oxford English Dictionary Online

OLD PEOPLE INFORMATION SERVICE

Hells Geriatrics

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

Forensic Flasher Boxes (also called Shoeboxes)

As used by law enforcement agencies, the Australian Tax Office, and anyone with an interest to hack your mobile phone and access all your personal data.

Unlocking services

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.

Expertise.com's Design and Photography Resource

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.

Free online EXIF tool to view hidden data in your photographs.

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 give a final check with this site. A free online tool that will show whether an identical image is being used elsewhere and with it details of possible copyright information.

PICTURES, FREE

Burst.com

Flickr.com

Freephotos.cc

Freepik.com

Moose.com

Pexels.com

Pixabay.com

Pixnio.com

Pxhere.com

Reshot.com

Stocksnap.io

Unsplash.com

PODCASTING "BROADCAST QUALITY" MICROPHONES

While 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 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 buye. 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. But to get consumers to see the advantage of buying this product, Samson has added a feature that will allow you to add and 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 the microphone or direct to your computer. A useful idea 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. Indeed, the more you pay, the slightly 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.

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 to choose 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).

PriceSpy, Australian hardware price comparison site

PUBLISHER SERVICES

Book Data

CreateSpace (US)

Helps writers of new books to become self-published authors thanks to a range of packages you can purchase to turn your manuscript into a worldwide global success (but make sure people love reading it!). Editing, illustrations, book cover designs, marketing is provided. And you have the option to set price for your book. Print on Demand (PoD) from one to any number of books comes as standard.

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. 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. While it might be based in the U.K., no book from overseas is overlooked. And the services provided are second-to-none.

See also AMAZON KINDLE PUBLISHING, PRINTING SERVICES

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 to help you in your aims. From blogging on various web sites to developing a advertisement brochure, you will be sure to find the right people at www.tomoson.com.

PROPERTY

iSeek Developments

Mainly for prospective property developers and investors seeking places in Australia with development potential. Now partnered with Homely.com.au, you can see which property will have development potential by clicking on a link to receive a free (and unlimited) feasibility report. Before embarking on any major project of this nature, do your own homework by checking the interest rate from the banks if you have to borrow money (this is expected to rise sometime in 2018), the location of the property, and whether the market is there from people willing to buy your property as well as the type of building you might decide to build on it.



Q

Quotable Quotations

Quotes for all occasions



R

RADIO

RadioTower.com (Internet)

RECYCLING

Cash-a-Phone

Get cash for your old mobile phone!

Green Eco Path

REFERENCES

Grammar, Online English

Online Dictionary and Thesaurus

OneLook Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary Online

Quotable Quotations

see also DICTIONARIES

RENOVATIONS, QUESTIONS ON

see HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS

RENT, HOME

TICA - Australia's Largest National Tenant Database

RESEARCH

CommerceNet - Latest technologies and surveys

US Patent search tool, free

US Patent Office

RESTAURANTS, SEARCH

MenuLog — Australia's largest restaurant guide



S

SCHOOL FRIEND, FIND A

Oz Reunion

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 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 in protecting your privacy.

Find How (Solving Everyday Problems)

Geody (World Map Search)

Google.com

Google.com (More secure)

Google.com (Search Mac Sites)

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

Service Seeking - Get A Better Quote (Australia)

For education courses in cyber security, see EDUCATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

SHOPPING

Shopzilla.com

Wal-Mart

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 will reveal.

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

Blender 3D

AutoDesk Maya 3D

Foundry Modo 3D

Maxon Cinema 4D

SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS

Apponic

BrotherSoft.com

CNET Downloader

Formerly VersionTracker.com was the most popular prior to 2009, now just a news and advertising site combined with a search engine to find software titles.

FileCroco.com

FilePlanet.com (for Gamers)

Freeware Files

MacUpdate

The most popular Mac software download site as of 2009. Only one problem: the people who run the site are not always willing to listen to software developer's requests for reasonable changes. So a lot of rubbish and old comments can remain about a particular software title even if improvements have been made.

MegaMacs, US second-hand software shop

PHP scripts for webmasters, free and ready-made

Hotscripts. Javascripts for webmasters, free and ready-made

Sofotex.com

Software Informer

The 500 most visited web site in the world specialising in software downloads for Mac, PC and Linux. A popular site with more than 700,000 unique visitors perusing its pages every day.

Picture

Typhoon Software Downloads

Windows 7 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 prepared by SUNRISE summarizing how to use Blender. It is designed primarily for new Blender users (but can be used by experienced users who need a quick refresher) to help get them started and be productive with this software. This summary has been updated for version 2.8. In fact, this latest version has so many improvements that it may now be able to compete with the likes of Maxxon Cinema 4D and 3DS Max, and without the hefty commercial price tag. At last, Blender may have come of age. And it is amazing what open source software can achieve.

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 would bother with Microsoft Powerpoint or any other slide presentation software. The only thing extra we would recommend in complementing this top-quality software is a copy of Adobe Premiere for handling videos 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.

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 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. Until the new MacBook Pro M1 series is released, you should stick to charging up tablets and mobile phones using a powerbank. Below is a list of the better solar powerbanks for 2021.

Bear Grylls 21W Solar Mat Approx.US$120

Blavor Solar Power Bank Approx.US$60 plus extra cost for additional solar panels

FEELLE Solar Power Bank Approx.US$60

GoerTek Solar Charger Approx.US$70

Panergy 28,500maH solar charger Approx.US$50

RAVPower Solar Charger 21W Approx.US$65

SOARAISE Solar Charger 26800mAh Approx.US$40 to 55

SPARE PARTS

Appliance Parts Warehouse (Sydney, Australia)

BigWarehouse Spares for Appliances (Australia)

Spare Parts Warehouse (USA)

For laptop parts and repairs

SPORTS

Basketball, NBA (U.S.)

FIFA Soccer

Golf (CBS Sports)

Motorcycle Online

Surfing Australia

SPRACI

World party rave and club information

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.

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  2. Michelin Energy XM2 (Excellent mileage, quiet on the road, excellent handling in dry and wet for AU$112).
  3. Goodyear Assurance TripleMax (High mileage and fuel efficient tyre for AU$123).
  4. Hankook Ventus V8 RS H424 (Excellent performance tyre for AU$123).



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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.



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