Ground Breaking Websites

These web sites are Chris B-J's picks from a selection made by Jamie Middleton - PCPLUS Magazine, Issue 136, (Christmas 2011)

When stuck…Ask a a friend

Join Me

Don't know how to do something on your PC ? Share your screen instantly with anyone. No registration required. There is a small (1.4MB) download for the person who wants to share their desktop. The programme then generates a code, which the other person (or people…up to 250!) type into their browser (or copy and paste if you send it via e-mail). You can pause screen sharing, swap over who is sharing their screen, "chat" -(via text message), hand over mouse control to the viewer. Only downside is no sound (in the US the programme links to a conference call number). Could try it with Skype.

Save web pages to read later

There are two, main competing apps.


A simple tool to save web pages for reading later. Easy to set up (username and password), Puts a "Read Later" button on the bookmarks toolbar. Just click it to save the page you are looking at. Note: you have to go to the Instapaper site to look at the saved pages, but can look at them and save them from any internet device, just by logging on to your account from the web site.

Has lots of extras which can be installed and linked to other services like Google Reader

Read It Later


Competes with "Instapaper".
Readitlater has to be installed into your browser (Firefox, Chrome Safari - and there are apps for Android, Apple etc.) So it's more suitable for personal devices.

This puts a button in the address bar in your browser. Just click it to save the page you are looking at. It creates a sidebar in your browser with a list of the pages you have saved.
If you have a number of internet devices (phones, laptop and desktop etc) you can synchronise the lists over all your devices.

Both are free

Never forget anything (though you had better remember your password!)


Record notes, pictures, web pages, web page clips into a searchable database of all your interests and memories.
You have to set up an account (and verify it via an e-mail address), then download a 69MB application programme on your PCs and other Internet devices. After that you can log on to your account from wherever and "Sync " backwards and forwards. The data are stored "in the cloud" and on all your devices.

Free Music



Handcrafted Internet Radio
Compilations made by people for people.
Sign up for a free account to make your own compilation to upload and share.



Listen to free music on-line. Find tracks you like. Make a play list and play it.
No need to register, though if you register you can save playlists of other peoples' songs or upload your own. Nice for creating background music while you work.



13 million licensed tracks
Lots of classical music as well as pop.
Deezer's founders feel that MP3's have robbed people of the feeling of browsing your shelves and listening to complete albums.
To listen to full tracks and albums you have to set up an account. On my PC it insisted I signed up with Facebook and told it my personal profile info. (I declined - but there's a lot of music there….)

Education and Knowledge

Open Yale Courses

Provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.

There are lecture notes, Audio and Video. Registration not required and you don't need to do exams (but no degrees at the end!)

This is not the only educational body to offer free courses: See

Worldwide Science

Combines national and international scientific databases into a searchable one-stop shop. Also enables translation of articles, and for people to search for subjects in their own language.

Get involved and change the world ! (or at least try)

Challenge Post

ChallengePost enables people and organizations to challenge the public to solve problems and accomplish goals collectively. A challenge can increase awareness, foster participation, and generate innovation.

Samsung Free the TV challenge - prizes worth $225,000 for Samsung TV apps.

…on a more mundane level…

e.g. Edinburgh Festival suggestions and Ideas



A no-risk way to raise funding for inventors, musicians, film-makers..explorers. Anyone with a worthwhile project in need of funds.

Perhaps your nephew has a brilliant band which just needs a little kick start… This may be the solution.
Click on the "Learn More" link on the top of the page to see how it works.




A kind of "" for flights and hotels. Compares all available flights by price, connections, time, departure. etc. Not sure if the "price" includes all the extras….


Something everyone should be using if they send long URLs to anyone

(Chris B-J's pick)


Are you sick of sending links to items you found on Amazon via e-mail only to have them break when they arrive because they are soooooo long ? Use TinyURL - this creates a short address that will not break in email postings and never expires. For ease of use, put a TinyURL button in your browser toolbar.


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