Radio Oxford links

Welcome to listeners of Tim Smith’s Boxing Day programme on BBC Radio Oxford. The following are some of the sites mentioned during today’s programme, plus a few we didn’t mention which may be useful at this time of year!

>> BBC Computer Tutor
>> Pricerunner
(Compare prices of books, dvds, household goods, electricals and much more)
>> Oxford
(Online version of Oxford Street)
>> Freecycle
(Give away unwanted Christmas gifts
>> Up My Street
(House prices, crime rates, school attendance rates, ambulance response times and much more information about your local community)
>> Knowhere Guides
(Warts-and-all guides to the local area)
>> Board Game Geek
>> Party Game Central
>> Trip Advisor

(find hotel and resort reviews from fellow travellers)
>> Muglets
(Online greetings – superimpose your face on a cowboy or disco diva)
>> Money Saving Expert
>> Blogs for beginners
>> Podcasts for beginners

Happy new year to all listeners of Radio Oxford, thanks to Tim, Natasha and the production team for having me on, and click here if you’re interested in finding out more about my Website of the Day book, or how to order a copy.

Norad Tracks Santa 2006

Norad2005 >> Norad Tracks Santa 2006
So I’ve been let out early for good behaviour, hence today is my last day of term.

Long-standing listeners will know that my absolute favourite site of all time is the Norad Santa Tracker – It always has pride of place as the last Website of the Day before Christmas. You may also have heard NORAD talking to Chris Evans last week, but if this is new to you, do make a point of bookmarking the site now and returning before you go to bed on Christmas Eve.

The NORAD Santa Tracker uses satellite technology to track the infrared signature of Rudolph’s red nose and follow Father Christmas’ progress around the globe from the first moment the sleigh takes to the skies above the North Pole.

Throughout Christmas Eve, the sleigh’s position is illustrated on the site’s special interactive map. As soon as NORAD’s SantaCams capture images of Santa and the Reindeer, the photos or video are immediately sent to the site and the interactive map is updated with a flashing line illustrating the route already taken.

In previous years it has been possible to see the sleigh flying over Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and (if you stay up really late) Big Ben.


Website of the Day will return with Steve on January 8th 2007. Until then, why not take a look at some of the other Christmassy sites featured on the show since 2004:

Have a fabulous Christmas – May Santa bring you everything you wish for – Perhaps even a Website of the Day Book!

Website of the Day: The Book

The shameless plug starts here.

The Book from Amazon

If I had a fiver for every time someone had said to me "You should do a Website of the Day book", I’d have well over twenty quid by now. Maybe even £25 actually. But once I’d given the idea some serious thought, I realised there might be some demand for a webby book that’s not remotely geeky.

So in my ongoing bid for multi-media super-stardom (or something), I spent the spring and summer turning the Website of the Day archives into a book.
The whole thing is cunningly designed to appeal equally to people who wouldn’t be seen dead anywhere near a book about the internet, and those who fancy themselves as webby know-it-alls. It’s got lots of lovely pictures and thousands of links (many of which have never featured on the programme).

Bigbookcover_1 I’ve tried to make it the kind of book you could enjoy on the bus or in the bath – It’s chatty and enthusiastic (like the on-air feature) and there’s stuff in it for your parents and for your kids as well as lots of fantastic sites you won’t have found for yourself.

You’ll find detailed guides to getting the best broadband deal, spambusting, legal music downloads, online DVD rental, family history research, eBay and route-planning.

The whole thing starts with 15 sites you can’t live without then moves onto sections on Online Shopping and Money Saving, Travel, Music, Film & Telly, Kids Sites, Extreme Sports, Retro Sites & Nostalgia.

And of course there are plenty of the kind of daft sites which have been the bread and butter of the on-air feature – games, diversions, timewasters, bets, quests and silly stories. Rent A Peasant, Skateboarding Bulldog, Big Whale on a Lorry, The MC Hammer Project and Banana George (the legendary nonagenarian jet-ski enthusiast) are all present and correct.

As you can probably tell, I’m really proud of it. I would say this, but it’s a fantastic Christmas present – and it’s in the shops now – Waterstones, Smiths, Borders, Tesco etc etc (and the BBC Shop of coure).

Please make my Mum happy and order a copy!

>> More info on Website of the Day: The Book

Online Charity Giftlists

OxfamunwrappedLast week I featured a couple of new sites which help charities benefit as a result of your routine online shopping (more info here). Since then a number of listeners have asked me to repeat the details of the sites I featured last year which allow you to create an online wishlist of charitable donations.

Charities including Oxfam and Sightsavers have their own sites which enable you to choose a value of donation and see exactly what your gift will be spent on .
The Alternative Christmas List lets you create a gift-list of donations to different charities including Barnardo’s, Help the Aged, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Save the Children and Farm Africa.

Attack of the Sprouts

>> Attack of the Sprouts
The aim of this vegetable-unfriendly game is simple – you have to stop a collection of evil-looking sprouts from jumping onto a festive plate. Hammer away on the keyboard to slam your virtual fists down on the unsuspecting sprouts and impede their path to the plate of festive nourishment.


>> Crackermatic
One of the most popular festive sites I’ve ever featured is back this year after a two year hiatus. Crackermatic is an animated site which lets you create a virtual cracker to send to a friend as a festive online greeting. You can choose your party hat, corny joke and even select the free gift (mini-playing-cards, nail clippers or screwdriver set). To send your greeting you’ll be asked to make a nominal £1 donation to a cerebral palsy charity.


Houseblinger >> Houseblinger
This one was particularly well recieved last year, so I’m more than happy to wheel it out again in the run-up to Christmas 06. Houseblinger is a celebration of all the houses extravagantly decked out in Christmas lights at this time of year.
1. (adjective) An all-embracing term for diamonds, jewellery and glitzy style.
Submit photos of your own blinged-up home, (or if you’re more of a bling-spotter than an active blinger, send a photo of any excessively decorated property). You can even pre-register on the site in order to use your camera phone to upload photos directly from your mobile. You’ll also find tips on getting the best photos and advice on environmentally friendly houseblinging.

Useful Christmas Shopping links

>> Last Posting Dates
>> Last Delivery Dates
The former site is self-explanatory. The latter is partiularly useful as it pulls together information from many of the biggest and most popular online shops about when you need to place your order in order to ensure that it reaches you in time for Christmas
>> GiftGen – Generate gift ideas according to budget and age of recipient
This is handy if you’re having trouble choosing a suitable gift for friends or family.  Start by choosing how much you want to spend,  then enter the age and gender of the recipient and finally choose from a list of hobbies or interests in order to get a list of present suggestions.
>> Retail Charity
>> Charity Checkout
By starting your Christmas shopping at one of these sites, you get to buy from most of the biggest names on the web or the high street knowing that they’ll donate a percentage of whatever you spend to the charity of your choice. It doesn’t cost you a penny extra, so you get the goods you’ve ordered with a side order of altruism and compassion!

Kayak UK

>> Kayak UK
Billed as the world’s largest travel search engine, Kayak has been a great success in the US, and has finally launched a UK version. The core of the site is a flight search tool which compiles results from over 120 sites featuring both scheduled and budget airlines (until now most flight comparison sites have specialised in one or the other, but not both).
To help you find the best flight deals Kayak also showcases the 100 best prices found by other Kayak users searching the same route over the past 36 hours and the lowest fares to the 25 most popular destinations from any airport or city found by other Kayak users.

Cold or Flu? (and Happy Days)

Fonz >> CNN: Cold & Flu Report
>> NHS Best Treatments: Flu
>> Wikipedia: Happy Days
>> Happy Days episode guide
On Sunday the Mendoza family are going to see Happy Days legend Henry Winkler in pantomime. In preparation, last night we watched an episode of Happy Days in which the Fonz had the flu, and was hallucinating that evil-doers were attempting to surgically remove his cool.
And all of that is why today’s sites encompass both Happy Days episode guides and how to tell whether you have a cold or flu, and how to prevent or treat either condition.
All together now – ‘He’s Behiiiiiiiiind You!!!!”