Earth Wallpapers

Earthwallpapers >> Earth Wallpapers
Longstanding listeners will know that I’m a great fan of Google Maps which is not only the easiest-to-use of all the map and route-planning sites, but also lets you switch between a regular map view and a satellite view of the same area. Earth Wallpapers is a collection of stunning satellite images of different global locations all culled from the satellite views on Google Maps. You can download any o the images to use as a background image on your computer desktop.
See also:
>> BBC Webwise: How do I save an image from the web?
>> How to change your desktop wallpaper in Windows XP
>> How to change your desktop wallpaper in Mac OSX

Ryder Cup links

>> Ryder Cup For Beginners
>> Virtual Caddy
I know nothing about golf, so hats off to the good people at Ryder Diary for trying to explain this particular fixture in words of one syllable!
More experienced golfists (I think that’s the correct description) like my esteemed colleague Tim Smith tell me that it’s always a good idea to “walk the course” before an important match, in order to familiarise themselves with the location of bunkers, rough and perhaps even the clubhouse!
Virtual Caddy provides animated virtual tours (complete with commentary) of many of the best courses in the UK and Ireland, including The West Course at Wentworth and The K Club. Anyone can access the current Course of the Month free of charge. You’ll need to pay to access any other courses – at £5 a year for one course and £30 a year for the whole lot!
See also:
>> Official Ryder Cup
>> BBC Ryder Cup Blog

YouTube and Video Sharing

Youtube Just as last week was a busy week for developments in the legal music downloads market, this week has seen extensive news coverage of video-sharing site YouTube.

Although the site is only 18 month old, its growth has been extraordinary – It is already visited by 1 in 8 of all UK internet users and its UK user base has grown by 478 percent since January this year.

Vimeo For the people who haven’t visited YouTube, the site does for short video clips what Flickr does for photos (Read Miles’ review of Flickr) – You can upload and share video clips, leave comments about any of the videos already published, and add clips to blogs and other websites.

YouTube users can save their favourite videos and “subscribe” to automatically see all new videos uploaded by other users with similar interests

Revver The site’s massive popularity ensure that your videos will reach the widest possible audience, but many experts consider some of YouTube’s less popular rivals to offer a more flexible or efficient service.

Well-established alternatives include Google Video and Yahoo Video, but among the best-reviewed are Vimeo (praised for speed and ease of use), Revver (who share their advertising revenue with site users) and Jumpcut (who let you edit and remix your online clips)

For more details of some of YourTube’s competitors read the following roundups:
>> Digital Video Guru: Ten video sharing services compared
>> Fabric Of Folly: Top 20 video sharing sites rated

Jumpcut And here are just a few of the last week’s headlines about YouTube:
>> BBC News: Microsoft to launch YouTube rival
>> Web User: Record industry threatens YouTube
>> MediaGuardian: The rise and rise of YouTube
>> BBC News: YouTube in ‘landmark’ music deal

>> More interesting YouTube links and coverage

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Talk Like A Pirate Day>> Talk Like A Pirate – UK branch
We first picked up on this excellent annual event in 2002 as a result of a fascinating feature in the Miami Herald. Four years on we’re delighted to see that Pirate Talk is now an international phenomenon with several sites devoted to Talk Like A Pirate Day. To participate in today’s celebrations, simply add a parrot and eye-patch and pepper your conversation with words like avast and references to plank-walking!
The US site offers pirate chat-up lines, personality tests, anglo-pirate translators and even some tips on Talking Like a Pirate … in German.
Meanhile the UK site has an event history plus free pirate ringtone downloads – boasting that

"If ye be sailin’ the high seas and’ve forgotten the finer points of yer accent, be pointin’ yer WAP-enabled mobile phone at, and ye can see our vocabulary guide on the go"

See also:
>> YouTube: Watch the trailer for a special Pirate edition of Wife Swap USA

Kosmix (Health Search Engine)

Kosmix >> Kosmix
This new(ish) specialist health search engine was designed to help you find the kind of useful and interesting content that wouldn’t always show up in the first page of results from Google or one of the other standard search engines.
Search for a condition like ‘Hay Fever’ and you search results will be pre-sorted into useful catgories like symptoms. treatments, support groups, blogs and pages aimed at doctors or specific groups of patients (like Children, Men’s Health and Women’s Health).

Cow Games & Stiff Records

Milkthecow >> Cow Solitaire
>> Milk The Cow
Thanks to Emma Mason for her email challenging me to find “a good cattle or livestock-related game for the weekend”.
Cow Solitaire does what it says on the tin – It’s Solitaire with cows instead of marbles. Milk the Cow challenges you to click on as many cows as possible in order to fill your virtual bucket with milk.

Also mentioned today:
>> Stiff Nights on BBC Four
>> Radio 2 Music Club: Beginners Guide to Stiff Records
>> Stiff Records (Official)

I Am Moving

Iammoving >> I Am Moving
This is a phenomenally useful timesaver if you’re about to move house. Enter your new address details online and they’ll contact your bank, building society, utility companies and all your other service providers to let them know your new address details. The service is completely free to use – It’s funded by the companies and organisations who want to ensure they don’t lose contact with their existing customers.

The Soap Show

Soapshow >> The Soap Show
If you’re hooked on any of the British or Aussie soaps – from Corrie to Neighbours via Emmerdale and Young Doctors, this is a fantastic resource. The Soap Show is a weekly online radio show jammed with interviews, episode guides and gossip about the biggest soaps. The makers seem to have excellent access to both UK and Antipodean soap stars and there are lively discussion forums and chat rooms where fans can get together to debate storylines and favourite moments.

Music Download News

Following last week’s news that social networking site MySpace is to start selling music downloads, this week brings news of a number of exciting developments in the legal downloads market.

Appleshowtime Market leaders Apple are holding a press conference this evening, where they are expected to launch new iPods (and possibly an iPod/mobile phone hybrid) and introduce full length film downloads to their market-leading iTunes Music Store.
>> Coverage of Apple’s Showtime Press Conference
>> iTunes Music Store

Napstercat_1 Meanwhile Music Download and Subscription service Napster have announced that new subscribers signing up to their £14.95-a-month Napster To Go service (for at least three months) will get a free MP3 player which is fully compatible with Napster’s unlimited downloads service. Full details will be available from Thursday on Napster’s UK site:
>> Napster

Emusic Today also sees the European launch of eMusic – billed as “the world’s largest retailer of independent music”. The service focuses on artists signed to independent labels and uniquely amoung the legal download services, all downloads are in MP3 format which will work on ANY MP3 player.
iTunes downloads won’t play on any portable devices except iPods and downloads from Napster and other Windows-based services won’t play on iPods.
There are a range of price plans available for eMusic, all of which work out considerably cheaper on a per-track basis than rival services. Artists available include Basement Jaxx, Paul Weller, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Bjork, The Fall and thousands of others.
>> eMusic

September 11 Web Archive

Wayback >> The September 11 Web Archive
This is one of the first attempts at creating a historical archive of how the web responded to a particular event. In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 the team behind the Internet Archive set about identifying sites which were documenting or reflecting the momentous events of that day.
A searchable archive of 2,300 sites was created covering the period between September 11 and December 01 2001.
You can search or browse the entire archive, read analysis of the online response to the attacks or click See What People Could Do On The Web to visit the archived version of a random site.