Kneebouncers

Kneebouncers >> Kneebouncers
Here’s a first for Website of the Day – A site aimed specifically at twos-and-unders. Every parent knows that babies love to hammer on a computer keyboard, so this site has been designed to make sure that a variety of colourful and noisy stuff happens whenever your small person hits the keyboard.
As parent your job is to get your baby in position, turn up the speakers, load up the site and select a feature – from Peek-a-Boo to All Aboard via Jump and Float. Then your baby takes control and the site bombards you with primary colours, cute characters and engaging whizzes, whistles and other noises!

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The Nationwide Access Register

Directenquiries >> The Nationwide Access Register This site was created to provide a single source of information regarding access and facilities for any building that is open to the general public. This reflects not only disability access, but also pushchair access, baby changing facilities or simply provision of public toilets. You can search businesses or buildings based on the facility needed, company name, business type or place name. In addition you can sign up for email updates which will inform you if a particular shop or restaurant changes its access facilities.

Fridge Magnets

Fridgemagnets_1 You’re probably wondering what we’ve got on our fridge at Website of the Day Towers… Here’s our top 5 magnets:

  1. A ceramic Felix the Cat
  2. A magnetic 2005 calendar to promote my sister in law’s rental property in the Dordogne
  3. A mini-aubergine cookbook
  4. A ceramic souvenir from Popeye village in Malta
  5. A fake plastic orange segment

Feel free to use the comments form to tell me about the best thing you have on your fridge. (And bear in mind that if you submit your email address it will be visible to anyone else who visits this site).

>> Frosty Welcome
This is one of my favourite sites for sending online greetings – The homepage is a virtual fridge door covered in magnetic letters of the alphabet. Drag the letters around to spell out your message and then enter an email address to send it to a friend

>> Wanna Spell
Similar to Frosty Welcome, but this one is is effectively a cross between a virtual fridge and a very basic chatroom … Several people can spell out words in real time on the same virtual fridge!

>> Fridge Magnet Challenge
It was only a matter of time before fridge magnets inspired a pointless bet/quest, so step forward one Matt Whitby who plans to collect a fridge magnet to represent each of the 91 counties in England, Scotland and Wales before the end of 2006.

>> BBC Fridge Magnet Poetry Generator
This virtual fridge is festooned with words rather than letters. Rearrange them to create your own Wordsworthian, Heglian or McGoughian poetic masterpiece.

We Will Follow (Lift sharing for football fans)

Wewillfollow >> We Will Follow
Here’s a useful resource for football fans who need to arrange travel to matches. Sign up for free, then search for your team to see a list of forthcoming fixtures. There’s a dedicated page for each fixture showing you whether any lifts are currently offered. You can contact any drivers offering lifts via the site, or post a message requesting a lift to a particular fixture.

Fuggy Fuggy: Ninja animation

Fuggy >> Fuggy Fuggy
I’ve said before that it’s difficult to do justice to online animations on the radio, but these highly entertaining animations which chronicle the adventures of a junior ninja-in-training are well worth a look.
Fuggy Fuggy must test himself against monsters, learn weapon-craft and spar with his Master to prove himself. What he lacks in technique, he more than makes up for in enthusiasm.

While we’re on the subject of ninjas, you may want to take this opportunity to broaden your ninja awareness:
>> Website of the Day (31/08/04) –  Ninja Burger

>> How to be a Ninja (tutorial)

>> Wikipedia: Ninja
>> How Stuff Works: Ninja
>> Ninja village and museum in Japan
>> Ninja museum in Iga City

>> The Sound of Vengeance (Ninja game)
(Thanks to the Brothers MacLeod for their extensive Ninja link research)

Every Hit

Everyhit >> Every Hit
I first discovered this fantastic guide to the UK Singles Chart a couple of years ago, but I’d forgotten how useful it is, until a friend reminded me about it recently. The site provides a searchable database of every top 40 hit from January 1952 to the present day. You can find out what was in the top ten when you got married, list all of an artist’s hits (alphabetically or by date), search for all the hits by Steves and Tims or check how many Top 40 hits feature the word fish or cheese in the title!

BopSpam – Website’s of the Day’s current anti-spam service of choice

Bopspam_1 >> BopSpam
I’ve recently been trying a newish anti-Spam service at home, and after a couple of months of use, I’m happy to give BopSpam a hearty recommendation.

While I’ve not been spam-free at home for several years, I had found that previously the problem was easily manageable using a free product like Mailwasher to identify and delete Spam emails before I downloaded them.

However towards the end of last year I noticed a dramatic increase in the number of spam messages sent to my home email address, which meant it was no longer practical for me to use a product which requires extensive intervention from me.

At work we have a pretty efficient spam filter which automatically removes spam messages before they reach my inbox, so I was hoping to find a similar product to use at home. I’d noticed some pretty glowing reviews of BopSpam in the webby magazines, so I thought that would be the one to try.

Bopspam is a completely web-based service (so there’s no need to install any software). It works alongside your existing Internet Service Provider (Wanadoo, Tiscali, Virgin etc) to filter your emails before they reach your inbox.

The service is preconfigured to identify (and remove) email from many known spammers. But for best results, you’ll need to take a week or two to train your account to recognise which messages you consider legitimate and which ones are spam. This is the key to the product’s success rate. A weekly email newsletter from your local health authority might be essential reading to you, but your neighbour might consider the same message to be junk mail.

BopSpam relies on a custom-built database of which messages you have marked as legitimate and which ones you have identified as spam. The more messages you “tag” the greater the chance of BopSpam automatically removing unwanted mail in future.

They boast that the product removes over 99% of spam from your inbox. Initially I found that it fell well short of that target, barely reaching 50% in the first week of use (in spite of my devoting 10-20 minutes a day “training” the service). I contacted Bopspam’s technical support and received a very quick and very comprehensive response. One small tweak of settings later and the service improved dramatically. After 3 months of use, BopSpam is successfully removing 95% of all the spam I receive, and now requires minimum manual intervention.

In summary this product repays a bit of time spent setting it up. If you’re not prepared to take some time training it to recognise which messages you regard as spam, it won’t do its job properly. But for those who don’t mind putting in a bit of time upfront, it’s a very effective tool that’s well worth a look.

Bopspam offer a free no-strings 30 day trial to all new users. After that you’ll pay between £30 and £50 a year dependant on the volume of mail you receive. Not cheap for home users then, but certainly worth considering if it saves you enough time and hassle in the long term.

I’m going to try some rival services over the coming months in order to see how BopSpam stacks up against its competitors for price and performance. Watch this space!