Cheap train tickets, Comedy videos and zoomy 3D photos

Something useful:

>> The Train Line Fare Finder

This new tool helps you find the cheapest long distance rail tickets for your chosen journey if you can be flexible about when to travel.

Something funny:
>> Funny Or Die

Will Ferrell’s hugely successful comedy video site
launches in the UK with support and exclusive clips from Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

Something whizzy:
>> Cool Iris

This is a small download which changes the way popular photo and video sites (including Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Photobucket) appear on your screen. With Cool Iris installed you get a very impressive full-screen 3D view of your photos which lets you quickly zoom in from a photo mozaic to a tiny detail on any photo. It’s a bit like Google Earth for your photos.

Money and Magic

>> Kublax – Keep track of all your finances in one place

A particularly timely launch for this new personal finance site. This is designed to help you keep track of all your bank, building society and credit card accounts in one place. Create a free Kublax account and enter your bank details once. The site will automatically retrieve transaction details from multiple accounts, categorise them and display them on a graph or pie-chart so you can see at a glance exactly where your money is going.

The site uses the same levels of security and encryption as online banks and will even alert you about unusual Merlintransactions which may indicate possible identity theft.  Additional features include a budget tool to help you track your spending against personal targets, plus links to deals which may save you money on the areas where your spending is currently highest.

>> Merlin’s Magic

A terrific all-animated site to tie in with the launch of BBC One’s new epic sword and sorcery series. If you have a fairly recent Windows PC and a webcam, Merlin’s Magic is a must-try and very cool feature. Download the free software and print out a copy of a ‘Merlinesque’ rune. Turn on your webcam, hold your printout up to the lens, and wait for the magic to unfold  on your computer screen.

Think A Link

>> Think A Link

Just in time for the start of the academic year, here’s a handy learning tool, which harnesses the power of corny punning to commit facts, details spellings and the occasional square root to memory.

For example, when memorising the bones of the body, you’ll know that a mandible is a jaw bone by practising this pithy refrain:

“I went out for a meal the other night. Man, der bill was jaw-dropping!!”

The site’s extensive database of learning links are organised into categories like the Meaning Of Words, Historical Dates, Squared & Cubed Numbers, Battles & Wars, The Periodic Table and many more.

You can rate each pun or link and add your own suggestions to improve on the links already published to help memorise a particular fact.

Boat Race, British Summertime and Free Online Photo Editing

Something Sporty:
>> The Boat Race
All tributaries lead to the Thames this weekend for the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. The event’s official site is a good ‘un with plenty of video and photos, tips on the best vantage points for spectators and links to reviews of all the pubs along the route.

Something Topical:
>> World Time Engine
Avert post clock-change transatlantic-call catastrophe with this definitive guide to what time it is in any city (or even village) worldwide. Just type in a location to find out whether their clocks have changed yet, or use the meeting planner to work out the best time to make that call.

Something Useful:
>> Photoshop Express
For over a decade Photoshop has been the tool of choice for professional photographers and designers for editing and enhancing digital photos. But at around £600 it’s not a realistic option for cash-strapped amateur photographers. This week Photoshop have launched a completely free online service which provides beginner-friendly online photo editing along with 2Gb of online photo storage for each user.

Yahoo Finds 2007

>> Yahoo Finds 2007
Search engine Yahoo’s selection of the most innovative and interesting sites of 2007 includes several past Website of the Day selections:
>> Move Me
>> Doggy Snaps (and Catster)
>> Do The Green Thing

Christmas How-To videos on VideoJug

>> Christmas How-To videos on VideoJug
We’ve featured VideoJug before on the show: It’s a YouTube style site specialising in handy short films teaching you how to do the stuff they didn’t teach you at school (get a perfect wet shave, tie a bow tie, carve a roast dinner etc)
They’ve created an excellent section of short films to help you cope with any aspect of the festive season – From dancing at office parties to removing mulled wine stains, curing indigestion, or wrapping unusually shaped presents. Indispensible!

Last Posting Dates

>> Last Posting Dates
One of the most useful sites you’ll find as you try to finish your Christmas shopping online: Last Posting Dates not only tells you the Post Office’s dealine to get your cards and presents in the post, but also 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 Eve.

Friday Quick Links

>> World Car Free Day
Tomorrow is World Car Free Day – so a good time to remind people about this excellent walking route planner. It currently covers London, Birmingham and Edinburgh with the rest of the UK to follow by late 2008.
>> Read Miles’ original review

>> Rugby World Cup on Five Live
>> Five Live: Drop Kick Rugby Trivia Game
Choose which country you compete as to determine the difficulty of the questions you encounter in Five Live’s new animated rugby trivia game.

>> How to activate the secret Flight Simulator feature in Google Earth
>> Marco’s Blog: Google Earth Flight Simulator >> Download Google Earth
>> Read Miles’ original Google Earth Review

Video Clip of the week: Virtuoso Scratching Demonstration

Win while you search

Wabbadabba_2 >> Wabbadabba: How it works
>> Sign up to search and win
This is nice. Wabbadabba is a new search engine powered by Yahoo! (so your search results here are exactly the same as if you search directly through Yahoo!). But by searching via Wabbadabba, all users are eligible for to receive a prize ranging from Amazon vouchers to TVs. Up to 15 prizes are awarded every day (at random time intervals) and you can recommend the site to friends and receive the same prizes as they win.

How to protect your privacy on Facebook

I haven’t talked about Facebook that much on air, but I can’t remember when I last found a site quite so addictive! Usually most of my peers have got better things to do with their time than mess around on the web, but Facebook seems to be the site which has changed all that, persuading loads of 40-somethings (as well as teens and twenty-somethings) that the web can as entertaining as it is useful.
But many Facebook memebers dont realise that their profile pages may be visible even to complete strangers, exposing them to the risk of identity theft.
There’s a really useful piece in today’s Telegraph which explains how to protect your privacy on Facebook – It’s well worth a read: