|ANIMATED SHORTS: ICEBOX
www.icebox.com/icebox/new_showcase.html Reopened for business and ready to
dish out some good anime. Creators of shows like The Simpsons offer cartoons
such as The Elvis and Jack Nicklaus Mysteries (the King and Golden Bear as a
crime-fighting duo). First episodes are free; 25 cents to 40 cents a pop after
www.bankrate.com Comparison shop for certificates of deposit, atm fees, home
and car loans, and more. The site collects financial data, which it sorts
geographically, so you can find the best and most accessible deals.
|BASEBALL: BASEBALL PRIMER
A lively weblog devoted to the national pastime. Posts the latest news (from
trade rumors to think pieces on Jason Giambi's hitting philosophy). Visitors
pitch in with their comments.
|CAR SHOPPING: CARSDIRECT.COM
www.carsdirect.com The end
game of most car-buying sites is to push you into the arms of a dealer. But at
CarsDirect.com you can select
a make and model, compare rebates and incentives, configure vehicle
specifications, arrange financing and make a payment, all in one fell click.
|CIVIC GUIDE GOVSPOT.COM
www.govspot.com Excellent gateway to a host of useful government and civic
sites. Check your Social Security benefits. Find out how much your neighbor paid
for that house five years ago. Learn how to change your name. Remove yourself
from junk-mail lists. E-file your taxes.
|CONSUMERS' REPORT: EPINIONS
www.epinions.com Magazine reviews are fine, but sometimes it's helpful to
read the opinions of everyday people who have to deal with the products every
day. Epinions' buyer reviews offer you just that
|from the mouths of complete strangers.
|DOING GOOD: NETWORK FOR GOOD
Finding a way to be of service can be a full-time job, but thanks to this site's
Volunteer Search, you can easily connect with a nonprofit that's near you and
needs your skills. A special section highlights timely crisis-relief efforts.
|DVD RENTALS: NETFLIX
www.netflix.com Rent movies by mail for a flat monthly fee ($20). Keep
flicks as long as you want before returning them in postage-paid envelopes. The
site lets you watch trailers and read reviews before you add titles to your wish
|EVENINGS OUT: CULTUREFINDER.COM
Useful for planning evening entertainment when you're out of town. Get listings
and program schedules for theater, dance, classical music and opera events in
more than 1,500 U.S. and Canadian cities. You can purchase tickets via telephone
with a credit card.
|FANTASY LEAGUES: SPORTSLINE.COM
A robust set of tools for fantasy-sports players is what separates this from the
rest of the sports-sites pack. Join a league to match managerial wits with other
webbies, or host a private, customized competition.
|FREE GAMES FLIPSIDE
www.flipside.com Play your favorite games against others. Flipside features
traditional pastimes, from bridge to backgammon to blackjack. Die-hard game
addicts will also want to check out
Pogo.com and Yahoo Games
|FUNNIEST SITE: THE ONION
www.theonion.com Dead-on deadpan satire of current events (MILITARY PROMISES
"HUGE NUMBERS" FOR GULF WAR II: THE VENGEANCE) and pop culture (BOOK-CLUB
MEETING DEGENERATES INTO DISCUSSION OF OSCARS). Warning: not for the irony
www.rootsweb.com Everything one needs for researching a family tree,
including a free database of 181 million ancestor names.
|HEALTH HUB: WEBMD www.webmd.com
Hard to beat for basic medical info. Get the lowdown on the condition that ails
you, locate a doctor in your area. You can also check out the drug and herb
directory for the latest news and discoveries. Or consult
|NET RADIO: SPINNER
www.spinner.com The free player program is a snap to download and easy to
customize, with plenty of channels to suit any musical taste, from new indie and
mod punk to bossa nova and jazz. (Owned by AOL Time Warner.)
|NEWS AND DISCUSSION: FARK.COM
www.fark.com Links to the day's strangest, silliest and scariest news
stories posted on the Web, with message boards inviting users to comment. Lots
|OVERSEAS-TRAVEL: HANDBOOK U.S. DEPT. OF STATE
Even when the U.S. isn't at war, it's a good idea to check whether the
government has issued any travel warnings for the country you're headed to. The
site also posts global crime rates, traffic reports and hospital ratings.
|PARTY PLANNING: EVITE
www.evite.com Take the headache out of organizing potluck dinners and other
casual get-togethers. Send out snazzy e-mail invites, post maps and directions,
and keep track of R.S.V.P.S. (Not recommended for weddings or formal dinners.)
|PC AWAY FROM HOME: GOTOMYPC
www.gotomypc.com For a monthly fee ($14.95 or $19.95, depending on length of
contract), this service lets you access and remotely operate your work or home
PC from any Windows computer with a Net connection. Try it for free for 60
minutes online or 30 days, whichever expires first.
|PEOPLE FINDER: CLASSMATES
www.classmates.com Locate former school sweethearts and chums by designating
the school you attended. Registration required but free.
|PHOTO SERVICE: OFOTO
www.ofoto.com Share your snaps online by mailing in a 35-mm roll or
uploading your digital images. Do some minor editing and order Kodak prints at
|RARE BOOKS: ALIBRIS
www.alibris.com Virtually no out-of-print book is out of reach for Alibris,
an emporium of rare, first-edition, foreign and otherwise hard-to-find volumes.
www.beliefnet.com Thank God: Here's a multi-faith community open to talking
about whatever's on your mind or in your soul without proselytizing. Religion
shopping? Key your credo into the Belief-o-matic to find the closest-fitting
www.bizrate.com Comparison shop online for everything from apparel to
electronics to housewares.
BizRate.com also provides user-submitted ratings of merchants. Also check
out DealTime www.dealtime.com).
|TECHSPEAK EXPLAINED: WHATIS.COM
encyclopedic explanations of all things tech, from general computing terms like
broadband to the more obscure jargon you come across in product manuals.
|TUNES OF THE TRADE SPUN
www.spun.com Think of it as a fantastic music store, minus the crabby clerk
in the Ramones T shirt. Buy new and used CDs, dvds and games; exchange your old
goods for store credit. If something isn't in stock, Spun will e-mail you when
|TV CRITICS: TELEVISION WITHOUT PITY
www.televisionwithoutpity.com It takes some time to read through each snarky
episode recap of popular TV shows like Dawson's Creek and Ally McBeal, but
you'll find yourself sucked in by the critics' love-hate relationship with the
programs they spend so much time analyzing. You'll also laugh out loud. The site
was formerly known as Mighty Big TV.
|URBAN LEGENDS: SNOPES
www.snopes.com Was a bound pair of hands found atop a building near ground
zero? (Yes.) Were a bunch of 9/11 domain names registered before the attacks?
(No.) Urban-legend hobbyists David and Barbara Mikkelson debunk non-WTC myths
|WORLD NEWS: BBC news.bbc.co.uk If international news is your bag, the Brits
do it best. In-depth articles on what's happening around the globe, plus cool
multimedia features. Coverage of the U.S., in partic-ular, is worth a look for
the BBC's detached perspective.
|'ZINEs: SALON www.salon.com
A fresh blend of news and features, from Washington politics to counterculture
book reviews. Some articles (including adults-only fare) require subscription,
but the comics are free. When you're done, you can head over to Slate
www.slate.com) for more.
The place to buy things.
|EBAY www.ebay.com The place
to auction things.
dailynews.yahoo.com Top stories throughout the day.
www.epicurious.com The Web's best recipe database.
|GOOGLE www.google.com Find
|INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE
www.imdb.com A movie fan's dream: archives include cast credits, actor and
director bios and movie trivia.
|PAYPAL www.paypal.com Web
money: send or receive payments via e-mail.
Best of the weather sites.
Manage your personal finances.
Driving directions galore as well as maps from around the world.