Would you like to rule the web? Mark Frauenfelder's new book will help you do exactly that. I thought I knew about most of the cool stuff on the web, but thirty pages into this book it was clear to me that I was deluding myself.
Mark is the founding editor of BoingBoing.net and editor in chief of Make. His book is called Rule the Web. Here are ten things that I learned about by reading it. I am sure you will discover many useful and cool tips in this book. He's got a blog to keep up to date too.
1.Sizeeasy. This site enables you to compare the real-world size of things. For example, suppose you wanted to compare an iPhone to a Nokia E90 to a pack of playing cards.
2. RetailMeNot.com. Whenever I check out of an ecommerce site, I often see a place to put in a discount code, but I never have one. This site provides codes that might work -- for example, Old Navy. If you're an Amazon addict, try JungleCrazy.com.
3. BugMeNot. This site provides names and passwords for sites that require you to register to use. The New York Times is an example; BueMeNot provides a usernames and passwords that should work. Users report on how often they do, and the site displays the success rate.
4. Fake Name Generator. Let's say that you need a fake identity so you can rip a blogger. Or, you're from another country and the stupid web site won't let you sign up for an account. Or, you want to avoid giving out personal information at a site. Then Fake Name Generator helps you create a fake identity including phone numbers and credit cards.
5. PowerController. This software is an iTunes alarm clock. It integrates with iTunes, wakes your computer up from sleep, and never needs to be rescheduled across reboots. If you have to wake up in the morning, it might as well be to the sound of Barry Manilow, right? Sorry, but it's Macintosh only.
6. Etsy. This is a site for people who appreciate high-quality, handmade products. For example, it sells gifts like this flower power baby quilt or Puckish 3-way ballance handbag. (I have no idea what this means -- I thought it was something to do with hockey.) It's hard to imagine a gift from Etsy that won't impress the recipient.
7. OptOutPreScreen.com. This is the official site of the Consumer Credit Reporting. It enables you to opt out of offers for credit and insurance. Although if you like Etsy as much as I think you will, you may need more credit. At the very least, you'll know who's coming after you and when you can go into debt again.
8. AnnualCreditReport.com. If you over-spend at Etsy, you may to use this site to review your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Once you transfer over to these sites, there will be all sorts of offers for special services, but the fundamental premise of a free, online credit report is true.
9. Cellswapper. Suppose that you're stuck with a two-year contract with Verizon and want to buy an iPhone because you want a slow data network and long battery life. This site enables you to swap in and out of carrier contracts. They should display the ranking of most swapped out carriers--that would be interesting.
10. TidyUp! This software searches for duplicate files and packages. You can also search by the tag, duration and bit installments of MP3 and AAC sound files as well as clean up iPhoto, iTunes, iPod databases, and Mail mailboxes. I ran it and deleted 275 megabytes of duplicate photos alonee, and I felt as satisfied after a good teeth cleaning. Macintosh-only again.