Miles Mendoza

Website of the Week ended its run on Friday 17 October 2008.

Every weekday from August 1999 until October 2008 Miles Mendoza scoured the web for the most useful, interactive, daft (and sometimes most pointless) sites and shared his latest webby discoveries on the Big Show.

You'll still find details of Miles' last few selections on this page. For an archive of all sites featured by Miles since May 2004, visit Miles' personal Website of the Day site, where links are organised by date and by category.

Friday 17 October

Something innovative:
>> 230 Miles Of Love
This is almost certainly a world first. 230 Miles Of Love is a sat-com; a series of comedy sketches about the M6 which are distributed by sat-nav.
Each sketch is an mp3 file, which you download from the site and add to your sat-nav in the same way as you install any map updates. Drivers on the M6 will hear each sketch automatically as soon as they reach relavant points on the motorway. (But you can listen on your computer or mp3 player even if you’re nowhere near the M6).
The downloads are available in pre and post-watershed versions. The fruitier language is bleeped out on the former version.
The site is free-to-use and is being used as a way to raise profile and awareness for disability charity Motivation. Listeners who enjoy the sketches are asked to consider making a donation to Motivation.

Something clever/fun:
>> Talking Pets
Upload a photo of your favourite cat or dog, choose from a range of voices, add accessories (like hats or sunglasses) and type in a short sentence. Then a bit of web-based sorcery will animate your pet’s mouth, and you’ll see and hear it speaking the words you have just typed.
You can email the results to a friend or just enjoy the results for yourself. For many of us, this is the closest we’ll ever get to an appearance on The Nation’s Most Talented Pets.

    Friday 10 October

    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 full screen view of any photo. It's a bit like Google Earth for your photos.

      Friday 19 September
      >> 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 transactions 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.

      • The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites
      Friday 12 September

      >> 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.

      • The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites
      Friday 05 September

      >> Young Bond: The Shadow War
      Free alternative reality online game based on Charlie Higson's novels about James Bond's school days at Eton College

      >> Google Chrome
      New from Google - a web broswer introduced as a possible alternative to Internet Explorer or Firefox and designed for maximum speed and simplicity when using video sites, web mail, or online office suites. Currently Windows only, but versions for Mac and Linux to follow

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