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SEPTEMBER 22, 2008   

Why I love the Internet

Rarely a day goes by that I don't run across something interesting on the Internet (sometimes called the World Wide Web or WWW), but this morning was better than most. In less than an hour I found three new reasons to love the WWW, described below.


There's a new technology called e-Ink that can create thin, inexpensive B&W electronic displays like the Esquire magazine cover shown in the video.

It's pretty primitive and not particularly interesting except for the possibilities it suggests of graphic displays virtually anywhere.

This news came today via the Internet. Sure I could have read about it in the newspaper, but its the video that makes it so significant. I can actually see what the cover looks like without having to buy my own copy of the magazine (which I hope to do tomorrow anyway).

And of course then we can use the Internet to learn more about the Esquire cover and find a video of someone literally taking the cover apart, an article suggesting that the cover is an environmental disaster, and another calling it a 21st century flop. Lots to think about.


After resisting for years I'm finally going to break down and buy a cell phone. With quite a bit of traveling coming up in the next weeks and months I need to be able to stay in touch and find my way around. It's essentially a done deal that I'm getting an iPhone, but I felt that I should at least consider alternatives.

Screenshot from TryPhone.com showing side-b-side comparison of iPhone and HTC ShadowOne of today's Google Alerts tipped me off to TryPhone.com, a website that has big, clear pictures, specifications, reviews, and animated demos for more than a dozen phones.

It's the demos that make this site so helpful. You can choose a task like "Add a Contact," "Take a Picture," or "Check Email" and try it on different phones to compare ease of use. If you already have the phone the demos might be easier to follow than the Owner's Manual, which no one reads anyway.


After the seriously geeky stuff above, the site that won the Internet trifecta for me today is cute, silly, fun and a bit of an anthropology lesson.

Bzzzpeek home page showing pig shapes in the colors of various flagsBzzzpeek.com is a collection of (mostly) animal sounds spoken by children from various countries.

It's colorful and fun to click around and listen to. The anthropology comes with the difference between how children in different country make the sounds.

For whatever reason, only frogs in the U.S. and India say "ribbit ribbit," while pigs oink and snort in a wide range of styles.

You can even submit recordings made by your own 2-7 year old children for possible use on the site. What's not to like about this?


Two speech balloons Has anything on the web really caught your imagination lately? Add your comment by clicking below.

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