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By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 20, 2000
Sinuses of the times
Dry, itchy, watery eyes? Headache? Sinuses the size of airbags? You could be basking in the joy of allergies. Even if you printed this site out and made a face mask out of it, it's not going to do you a lot of good preventing those symptoms. That's why we have doctors. But it will give you a heads-up on when the pollen count is expected to be high -- either via e-mail or on the site. Pollen.com is brought to you by the sinister sounding Surveillance Data Inc., which manufactures a commercial device to count pollen. However, its privacy statement is good and the site and e-mail service are free.
eWork and no play
Are you one of those mondo-hip, cappuccino-swilling, cell phone toting free agent types? Do you live out of a suitcase and know the seat numbers of the exit rows on all models of aircraft? Then eWork might be right up your street. It's a freelancer auction similar to the more publicized Talent Market from Monster.com. But I found it much easier to use. While Monster is slanted toward employers finding contractors and employees, eWork makes browsing and finding gigs much easier for the little guy. Unlike a lot of start-up sites with a good idea and no content, this one is jammed full of companies hot for your talent.
It's not unusual
As a race, humans are nothing if not predictable. Every Monday, you pick up the newspaper and jump right to Tech Times to see what this wacky band of revelers has cooked up, right? Do you find your week spiraling down until you go home and collapse on Friday? Every week? Wait a minute, that's my life, not yours. Perhaps I can persuade the editors of the Journal of Mundane Behavior to follow me around and document my wildly predictable existence and hear me tell the same six jokes over and over. Seriously, this Adobe PDF format e-zine is a jolly good read. The inaugural issue contains some fascinating insight into Japanese culture and is a must-read for people watchers.
A site of wonder
The Wondermat is one of those sites where you can't quite figure out what it's about but you can't stop yourself from clicking around. I suppose it fills a semi-vegetative state somewhere between watching TV and playing video games. All three can be done on auto pilot and none requires a great deal of concentration. Here you'll find a whole section loosely based around the word "wonder," a bunch of pointless games and quotes presented in a retro, '50s pulp detective style. Very silly yet beautifully presented.
All Linux, all the time
Unless you've been under a Microsoft-sponsored rock, you will have noticed that Linux, the free operating system that could, is big news these days. So big that companies both large and small are betting the farm, or at least a cow or two, on its success. If your business has a strong Linux focus, it's a chore to wade through general news sites looking for free software tidbits to satisfy your open source cravings. Linsider.com has your name all over it if you can relate to any of this. It's a news and information site that tracks industry happenings and lets you keep an eye on stocks, upcoming IPOs and commercial software and hardware.
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