Monday, July 13, 2009

Online Health Websites and tools

Tracking your nutrition? Counting calories? Check out these sites for help.

The Daily Plate

Search for any food item's nutrition facts. There's a lot on here. You can subscribe to track all your meals through their site if you want. (Cost $)

My Pyramid
The USDA's Food Pyramid page. This is quite helpful to login and checkout what a balanced diet could look like for you. It customizes the serving sizes based on gender age etc.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Social Networking Web Pages

My suggestion is to sign up for some of all of the ones I list, and put in just what info you want available potentially to everyone. Check on them all at least 1 time every 6 months, that way if anyone is looking for you... You will be found eventually... Rating 7 out of 10
Great for finding old friends, relatives, etc. Geared to keep you in touch with people you know well, or people you barely know, or possibly even a friend of a friend. Avoids trying to connect you with complete strangers that are not connected to you in any way.
Lots of apps, pluggins and games.
Praises - Great for sharing vacation pictures / pictures of the kids etc. Great for finding long lost friends. 1 out of 5 people on the web is on Facebook now! (according to Wired Magazine)
Complaints - Interface is confusing, esspecially after recent updates. WAY too much annoying plugin nagging invites to stupid games. Facebook has had a large amount of money donated to them by Microsoft - and forming a partnership. They supposidly sell a lot of your data (Not like credit card info, more statistical about where you are from, who you communicate with, and what advertisements you click on...) This officially makes them part of the evil empire.
According to wired magazine... Many google employees are jumping ship and going over to facebook, hoping facebook will become the new central source for info on the web. I say good luck facebook. :P Google will crush you, and should ;)
Rating 5 out of 10
It's been around forever. Originally geared for small bands to share their music online. Most profiles are completely public. Good for sharing public media files like videos and music that you OWN the rights to and want to get out to ANYONE.
Complaints: This is well suited for extremely bored people who want to be flooded with bot advertisements (usually pornographic)... The openness of the profiles makes your info available to a lot of people by default... So be careful about what you put on here. Rating 7 out of 10
Twitter is designed primarily for people who want to shoot out comments or updates from their phones to their friends. Though it can be used to follow news sources or updates from a band or celebrity.
Complaints: It took me 5 minutes to get my first 2 porn advertisements once I signed up... So I would suggest you might want to make your profile private, and only allow messages from people you add. Rating 8 out of 10
Social networking site primarily geared towards business or school. Designed for finding old schoolmates, co-workers, and friends. Also has a neat feature that allows you to search for someone who works in a particular field and ask them questions. If you want you can set your profile up so that you are available to be contacted by people seeking advice in your field, or for collaboration etc. There is a feature for posting your resume and getting endorsements from other users. (Like a reference list attached to resumes.) Use this site if you are looking for business networking or don't want to put up with all the stupid games and crap on facebook and myspace. Rating 7 out of 10
An Online Radio site that customizes the music mix for you. You give it some info about bands you like, it makes up a playlist. As you rate songs it dials in exactly what you want. This is a good way to discover new groups that you will like, while you enjoy listening to online radio. :)
There is a social networking aspect to the site that allows you to chat with other people and view their playlists or stations they have created.
Complaints: Music will stop if you don't rate anything after playing several songs (1/2 hour?) So not great to play in the background if you don't want to be at the computer... Also you may get approached by random people with the networking aspect of this.

Barnes and Rating 7 out of 10
You might not think of this as a social networking site... But it is! Sign up for their web page, create a profile, and you can share what books, movies, CDs, etc you own or are reading. Rate stuff you've checked out and write reviews. View other's reviews to help you decide what to check out next. Suggest books or movies etc to friends. It's pretty slick! :)
Complaints: None so far. It just seems a little strange for there to be this much social networking built into a shopping website... But Hey I guess that's not a complaint! :) Rating 4 out of 10
This is a simple social networking site. I am not sure why you would join this one... It is like facebook but is missing a lot of features. It is simple and less annoying, but less people are on it. So why waste your time? This is basically a people search / classmate finder, and not much more. Rating 3 out of 10
Why use this when more of your classmates are on facebook? This site naggs you to sign up and to pay to use it. They get your info and then taunt you with a lie about someone who is looking for you and wants to communicate with you if you would just pay for the site to see who it is... I can not support a site who gets the majority of their users through dishonesty and cheap sales pressure tactics. Esspecially when there are better sites available for free. Instead... Sign up for facebook, and add the classmates application. (Not sure of the name...)

There are many others... Some of which are huge. See this Wikipedia Article for more popular social networking sites and specs:

Online Shopping Sites - My Favorites

Best Buy
Electronics, Movies, Games...
Tip - If you like BB, Join the Rewardzone and get free money back!
Great online discount website, especially for games, movies and electronics... But they could have anything you are looking for. I like to check the daily and weekly specials regularly. Many specials include free shipping. (Takes a week or so to arrive...)
Largest shopping site / company on the web. If you can't find it here... It's probably not out there.
Great for giftcards for anything. Great for books, CD's... Anything you are having trouble finding elsewhere, or just want a great deal on. Also can find deals on used items through amazon.
Website could be better, but better search than most home improvement stores.
If you own a home... You need to shop at Lowes.

Barnes and Noble
Great store for books, movies, TV shows, magazines. Prices can be high here... But sales can be a pretty good deal to. You can pay for a year membership, and recieve a discount on everything you buy + Monthly coupons for in store or online. Now B&N has a great addition to the webpage. You can log in and review books or music, and share what you are reading or what you like with other B&N Users. I highly reccomend signing up for this. This doesn't require B&N Membership or anything that costs money. :)
Woot usually has a deal of the day. The deal is usually a great price on whatever the item is. The page usually has silly commentary next to the item info that may or may not be related to the sale item. Every once in a while... The site has a "woot off" and runs a limited number of a particular item until it sells out, and then shortly after starts another item. This event lasts for a day, and the deals can be awesome! So check back regularly durring the day to see what is available! :)

1 Sale A Day
This is a lot like woot but more generic. The items are oftec lower $ items, and the deals can be good. I think a lot of their stuff is crap... But I check back daily and find some good deals on stuff I want. (Example - a wall mount for my 22" Monitor for free + 5.96 s&h... works great!)
One of the best sources for sweet deals. This site puts together a list of most up-to-date sales and cupon codes from around the web. This is primarily for tech stuff, but includes clothes, shoes, home related stuff... Etc. Check out the Rss Feeds too. :)
Another deal site. Has both a daily deal, and an hourly deal. A lot of it is crap, but the prices are cheap. Make sure you know what you are buying.

New Egg
Best price for online shopping for computer parts. Also have some electronics etc. I have done a lot of business with them and saved a ton of money. They are as good as I could hope an online sales company could be.

Musician's Friend - Stupid Deal of the Day
Daily special. Usually something off the wall and sort of random. But if you find something you're looking for it will be a good deal. :)

Norman Camera
Local Camera Shop in Kalamazoo (and other cities in Mi). Surprisingly competative with online bottom-dollar camera equipment. Take my advice. Buy from a camera expert at Norman Camera. They know what they are doing, and you'll get a good deal. :)