M@Gazette Recommended Sites

This Site is Recommended by the M@GazetteThe M@Gazette, Manitoulin's Best Source of News and EntertainmentThe point of this column is to introduce people to some of our favourite sites on the `net. So, what does a site have to do to get one of our recommendations? Well, it has to be either very funny, useful or just plain cool. We send out email to recommended sites that include the logo on the right, in case they want to include it on their site for bragging rights.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentWelcome to The M@Gazette’s Recommended sites for November. We’ve got a rather esoteric collection for you this month, so let’s get to it.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentI’m going to start off on a serious note this month. {Climbing onto my Soapbox} “I HATE SPAM EMAIL”. For those of you not familiar with Spam Email, let me attempt to explain. Spam is basically the junk mail of the electronic crowd. Computer technology has made it so that one simple jerk with a product or scam to push can literally get his message out to millions of people with one click of the mouse button. The practice, called “spamming” is generally regarded as a bygone method of advertising, but some people keep insisting on filling our email boxes with junk. The practice is frowned upon by most ISPs, because it wastes their bandwidth. Ever wonder why the ‘net suddenly burst into a fit of lag? It was probably some advertiser using your ISP’s mail server to mass mail some sort of spam. Spam differs from other email because it’s totally unsolicited– these people use electronic spider programs to sift the ‘net for email addresses.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentThere are several things you can do about spam. One is to have anti-spam filters on your email program, but these tend to be buggy and can erase important email without you ever knowing. Another thing to do is list your email address on pages like this: [email protected]. Of course not everybody on the ‘net knows about this little spider fooling trick, so they may not know to remove the NO and SPAM before they attempt to email you.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentI prefer taking a much more proactive role by actually fighting spam at its source, so that spammers get what they deserve. Which brings me to my first site of the month, a FAQ from Pobox called “How do I make sense of email headers?” The URL is http://www.pobox.com/readheaders.html. The FAQ explains how to dissect email headers. Most spam is sent without the ISP permission or knowledge. With the knowledge of email headers, you can figure out who sent it and what ISP was used to send it. Once you’ve figured this out you can email the ISP and let them know about the abuse of their system. Be polite, it’s not their fault. Most ISPs will be more than glad for this knowledge. Once the ISPs know who is abusing their systems, they can take action and ban the spammers from their system. There’s nothing like giving it back to the spammers.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and Entertainment{Getting down from my Soapbox} Time for something just a little more fun, here’s a trio of hilarious sites. First off we have Gwen’s Trailer Trash Page: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/5801/index.html. A fascinating look into one lady’s wonderfully warped sense of humor. Go on, take a peak into her diary, she doesn’t mind, and you’ll be rewarded with a pile of laughs. Don’t feel like snooping? Then check out her Trashy Romance Novel.

Next is LIFE IN THE FAST LANE with Polly & Esther Fleagleman : . This insane romp has to be seen to be believed, Polly and Esther are a hoot!

Next is one of my wife’s and my favourite sites. The Dilbert Zone : has us rolling on the floor every time we go there. Great for Dilbert fans and people like me that have just been recently introduced to his wacky but often too-familiar world of corporate politics. This site is actually banned by a host of huge corporations, so you know it must be good.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentThe next site is a real treat for any art fans out there. Martin’s Dream : http://www.atelier.co.uk/martin is a wonderful treat for one’s artistic senses. Fine music, facinating images and wonderful poetry combine in this excellent multi-media adventure. Don’t forget to check out the Artist’s Biography, it’s a very interesting insight into the true artistic mind that belongs to the creator of this wonderful site.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentI want to get semi-serious now. {Back onto the Soapbox} “I’M SICK AND TIRED OF WEBSITES THAT SUCK!” It seems nowadays that the more time I spend surfing the more time I spend looking at sites that really blow. Whether there’s things flashing and spinning everywhere, or they take forever to download, or they’re just plain ugly, created by somebody that must be colour blind, the ‘net seems to be filling with Sites that Suck. Well, there’s at least one person out there that agrees with me. Vincent Flander’s Websites that Suck: http://www.websitesthatsuck.com/ is an often funny, but very informative collection of information that’s plain amusing for people that are sick of crappy sites. It’s also very useful for anyone, from amateur to professional, thinking of or currently creating websites.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and Entertainment{Getting back down} Our next site covers two things that I’ve just been talking about, humor and spam email. It’s the The Alt.Folklore.Urban & Urban Legends Archive: http://www.urbanlegends.com/. Another kind of spam email that tends to clutter email boxes the world over are these darn urban legend stories. Whether it’s rattlesnakes in restaurant ballpits or losing your kidneys in N’orleans or the now infamous Mr. Gorsky, I think I’ve seen them all in my email at one time or another. Everted I get another one of these ludicrous stories I email the URL for urbanlegends.com to the person that sent it to me. So they can go debunk the story for themselves.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentOur last site this month is a great resource for anyone that’s interested in computer hardware. For folks like me that prefer to upgrade and build their own systems Pricewatch.com : is a wonderful resource. It’s basically a searchable database of hardware that sorts results by the lowest prices, so you always know that you’re getting the best price from your components. The database has information for the US and Canada.

The M@Gazette, Manitoulin's First Source of News and EntertainmentThat’s all for this month, don’t forget to email at [email protected] if you think know about a site you think others should know about.

– Dylon Whyte