NASA Human Space Flight
Ever feel like shouting, "Stop the planet, I want to get off"? NASA's Human Space Flight will give you the lift(off) you need. This site uses real-time data to plot an image moving across a world map that pinpoints the location of the International Space Station, travelling at 27,360km/h. It makes beautiful use of Flash to depict the people and events of the most recent Space Shuttle mission. There's a list of spacecraft-sighting opportunities in cities from Houston to Hanoi.www.spaceflight.nasa.gov.
The next time you find yourself stymied, take a break and clear your head at Boxerjam, one of the oldest game sites on the Net. The site contains game shows, word games, and puzzles at various levels of difficulty. For instance, Know It All lets you match wits against other players in a fast-moving, real-time quiz show that covers art, politics, and culture. Crossword Plus is a well-designed puzzle that lets you enter answers easily from your keyboard and click for help letters and words when you get stuck. The site has plans to begin charging a monthly fee (perhaps $US3 to $US5), but when the charges will take effect is uncertain. www.boxerjam.com.
Streaming Media World
I've tried a number of cool and useful bookmarklets. One (available at www.bookmarklets.com/tools/misc/index.phtml#readck) instantly displays the cookies stored by the Web page I'm currently viewing. Another (available at www.bookmarklets.com/moreinfo.phtml) lets me highlight words on a Web page and dump them into a variety of search engines automatically.
But are they safe? When I try to add a bookmarklet to my Favorites menu, Internet Explorer 5.x warns me that it might be unsafe. One bookmarklet I came across reveals pass-words that a Web page has remembered but blocked from view. That might be handy at a site where you've forgotten your password. Still, if a bookmarklet can uncover such information, there seems to be a risk that another bookmarklet could transmit it to unsavoury observers.
Kangas says the chance that a bookmarklet will wreak havoc is relatively slim (you can read his thoughts at www.bookmarklets.com/about/safety.html).
Although there's little current danger in bookmarklets, you should still be careful. Learn what you can about the source of each bookmarklet before you bookmark it.
- Brad Grimes.