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Everything about athletes at the Sydney Olympics  
Published 24-Aug-2000
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webDotWiz Online: 24-Aug-2000

This week webDotWiz concentrates on bringing you sites that talk about the competitors at the Olympics, shows you how you can have fun with translations, and has a page of links to all Australian University sites for your convenience. Have fun!


  Olympics - The Athletes  

The Olympics Games gives us all the opportunity to watch the world's best athletes compete against each other (assuming, of course, an interest in sport!). The performances achieved mean all the more when we know who are the current world and Olympic champions, who has the best performance so far this year or who has the ability to perhaps upset the most likely winners.

All this information is not easily found in the traditional media but the Web can give us all the news we want about our favourite Olympics sports. To familiarise yourself with the current champions, use the links at webDotWiz's Olympics Special to visit all the Olympics summer sports official federation sites as a starting point. webDotWiz's companion site, Everything At the Sydney Olympics, has news feeds from the best sports media sources to bring you the latest reports on an hourly or daily basis.

Remember that the Paralympic Games follow the Olympics and will be held in Sydney from the 18th to 29th October. Over 4000 athletes will be participating. You can keep up with the latest news on the Web at the offical site at www.olympics.com/eng/paralympics/.

  I Dial, I Browse, I Am  

Browsing the Web can just get to be too serious sometimes and that leads to boredom. How many of you have wondered about what to do to just fill in some time when online.

Well, what about looking for sites that might mention your name? Visit www.egosurf.com, enter your first and last names and sit back to see where your name appears on the Web. Don't be disappointed, though, if your name isn't found - that's not good for your ego! Of course, if EgoSurf finds your name, it may not be you a site is talking about or you don't want to know anyway.

  News Feed on Your Site  

As you know from earlier columns, webDotWiz Online has many features that anyone can put on their own site without cost: a site search, daily cartoon, discussion forum or email list, for example.

One other feature webDotWiz has added to the Sydney Olympics site at http://everything.at/sydneyolympics is a Web news feed of the latest stories about Olympics sports, including swimming and track and field. Once you've chosen the news category you want (there are over 300 to choose from), it's just a matter of filling in the details of how you want the headlines to appear, copying the code and pasting it into your Web page.

  Australian University Sites  

It's that time of year again for Years 11 and 12 students, but particularly for the Year 12s. They're poring over the VTAC 2000 guide, venturing off to university open days and putting a great deal of thought into what choices they'll make for next year's courses.

This week's sites include those for all Victorian Universities so they're all in one convenient place for you. At webDotWiz Online you can find the links to all Australian Universities to make the whole task of researching that much easier.

  What's New  

You may have downloaded some spoken word MP3s, such as speeches, short stories or poems. Now there's a program, TextAloud, that enables you to take any text and convert it into spoken words and MP3 format. TextAloud uses any speech engine, many of which are available as free downloads, and there are extra voices at the TextAloud website. If it's more convenient to listen rather than read some text, such as while you're travelling, then you can use the MP3 format in your portable MP3 player.

One of the biggest problems with reading any sort of text on a computer screen is the quality of the fonts used for display. Recall that the resolution of a screen is about 72 dots per inch. But if you're reading this in the Waranga News then the resolution on the printed page is probably at least 2000 dots per inch. So the first step to make reading electronic books feasible was the development of a new font technology. Well, that's been done and Microsoft's e-book Reader using Cleartype font technology is now available. Check the review and, if you've the patience, download the free reader (it's a 7Mb download so wait until it's available on the cover CD of your favourite computer magazine).

There are always new gadgets making an appearance and the Home Internet Appliance is one of these. It's aimed at being used in a household that doesn't have a PC. This internet device has just two connections: a power cord and telephone lead. A press of one button connects the user to the Web and their email. See what it looks like by following the link in this week's sites.

  webDotWiz Highlights  

Babylon 3 has been described as "like having a set of encyclopedias, an unabridged dictionary, global currency converter and language translator on hand whenever you go online". As well, there's a calculator, time and metric converter and a text-to-speech add-on. In short, Babylon is an information tool that gives you easy access to all types of information. It's a free download and may be just the type of utility you're looking for.

If you're not a sports fan, you'll probably be looking for something to do while the Olympics are on. Why not try some brain teasers at www.riddlenut.com?

It's always a bit of fun to use the online translators to see what happens when you feed it something in English, then translate it to French, then German, back to English, then to Portuguese, French and finally back to English. Try a sentence or two and if you think you've created a piece of art, why not email it to webmaster@webdotwiz.zzn.com to be mentioned a future column? And if you can't think of a sentence or two to try, here's one of webDotWiz's meaningless proverbs: It is folly to turn back your clock so as to get to work on time.

With the early introduction of daylight saving this year on August 27, there may be some surprises in store. In regard to Microsoft products, particularly Outlook, you're advised to check their site for any problems that may occur.

 
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