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Published 05-Oct-2000
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webDotWiz Online: 05-Oct-2000

  Hunger and Kids AIDS Sites  

webDotWiz has mentioned the Hunger Site in an earlier column. When you visit, with just one click you can make a donation to the world's hungry. As a result of your click, each sponsor of the site gives a small amount of money to buy food. The site has been receiving about 3.5 million hits a month which translates into being able to donate 200 tonnes of food per month to the world's hungry.

The Kids AIDS site works similarly - just one click results in 15 seconds of time being donated by the site's sponsors to the prevention and treatment of children with AIDS.

So when you're online, remember to visit both these sites - there's nothing complicated about helping and it doesn't take long to make a contribution. By the way, the Hunger Site's newsletter gives some ideas and examples of what's being done in schools and by aid organisations around the world.

Remember, too, that Canteen, the Australian Teenage Cancer Patients Society, has its annual fund-raising appeal during October. Visit their site if you'd like to offer more help.

  The Paralympic Games  

Hopefully we can all give as much support as possible to the athletes at the Paralympics 2000, the Games of the XI Paralympiad. There will be 4,000 athletes from 125 countries competing in 700 events over the 11 days from October 18 to 29 - that's more athletes than the number of Olympians who competed in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

ABC Online has a dedicated Paralympics site and ABC TV and ABC Radio will be providing coverage. ABC TV will be broadcasting the opening ceremony (Oct 18, 8:30pm to 11:30pm), highlights each day (usually 5:30pm to 6:30pm), the closing ceremony (Oct 29) and the parade of champions (Oct 30, 1pm to 2pm).

For the full daily schedule of events, visit the official Paralympics site ( and for ABC radio and TV coverage, visit the ABC Online Paralympics site (

If all goes to plan, webDotWiz is aiming to post daily results at the Everything at Sydney Olympics site.

  Opting Out  

Unknown to users of their software, several popular download utilities have been found to monitor users by reporting every file donwloaded from anywhere on the Net. One site using this type of "spyware" profiled the listening habits of its visitors by tracking music downloads; other tracking programs have been monitoring users' browsing habits for advertising purposes. have made available a small program for free download that will look at your computer to check whether any of these spyware applications are on your system. GRC's "Optout" program only takes a few seconds to download and will inform you if some application has secretly installed any spyware.

  Modem Speeds (again)  

webDotWiz has been recording some measurements of line speed when online using Central Computing's bandwidth tester. This is the type of information you can easily obtain and have on hand when you want to talk to your ISP or phone company about the performance of your modem and phone line.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman ( is the office of last resort and thus won't deal with your complaint unless you've taken the steps mentioned above.

  Content, Content, Content  

When webDotWiz decided to put up the Everything at the Sydney Olympics site, one aspect to work out was how to be able to provide up-to-date news. Fortunately there are a several sites offering free webfeeds. For example, offers about 1500 different feeds in 300 news categories. All you need do is select the news headline category you want from their site, perhaps customise colours and headings, and copy and paste some code to your site's page. Then whenever a visitor comes to your site, they'll see the latest news headlines on your page.

webDotWiz also wanted to post each day's results in as many Olympic events as possible. This meant some late nights, especially during the second week when track and field began. Usually, though, Everything at Sydney Olympics was updated well in time so that people on the USA west coast, for example, could wake and go online to get the latest results.

  webDotWiz Highlights  

Looking for a reference encyclopedia, thesaurus or a book of quotes? Great Books Online offers free and unlimited access to works of literature, reference and verse that have been published for the Internet, Works include the Columbia Encyclopedia, Roget's New Thesaurus, Simpson's Contemporary Quotes and Oxford Shakespeare.

A short while ago during U.N. World Space Week, the Australian Students' Space Association held its annual conferece, Space Futures 2000. After you visit their site, you may wish to have some real space on your desktop - download a N.A.S.A. screensaver and experience a tour of the planets while musing at your desk.

Other highlights this week include:

  • a site with spreadsheet jokes (yes, that's right) as well as some very useful downloads (some free) for Excel users
  • a new version of PCDJ - don't just play, mix!
  • the link to an online map that locates Rushworth (would be handy to include on your homepage)
  • Great Books for online reference (including encyclopedia, quotes, works of Shakespeare, thesaurus); and
  • a site for Mac gamers (not before time - Ed.)
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