Technology Article, Issue X

TECHNOLOGY MINUTE…Web surfing is fun! Surely one can never get bored by it! At least that’s what I thought, however, of late, I feel I hardly “surf” so to speak. I mean I will go these websites that I visit daily, but other than that, I’m totally stumped as what else to do. Just like writer’s block, I guess I’m suffering from what can be coined as “surfer’s block”. It turns out – I’m not the only one. More and more people are experiencing this surfer’s block. They simply don’t know where to go and surf next. The highlight of anyone’s day is when someone sends them a URL link to visit “check out this kewl site dude!” is usually what the email says. Sure enough, if the URL is worthy to be propagated – it is. But coming back to the basic problem, why is that we are bored so easily and cannot think or discover exciting websites to visit? Turns out – its human nature. There are very few adventurers or excursionists out there. We rely on them to visit the far away land and other exotic places, so that we can read about them in magazines and on postcards and day dream about visiting them – albeit – very few actually do. The Internet operates pretty much the same way, we stick to our locale, maneuver and meander in, out and around it, but never straying too far, but at all times we are anxiously waiting to click and visit something interest, cool, nice, amusing, attractive, educating, humorous, silly, gripping, enthralling, compelling, stimulating, striking, magnetic, etc. website. Nomenclature aside, it just needs to be something “out of the ordinary”.

There are many ways to finding websites that will tickle your interests. Magazines are usually a good source to find websites to visit, presumably because when one is reading a magazine – it is already subscribed to one’s interest. However, most folks don’t end up remembering the website address, or may simply not want bother to turn their computer on and surf right away, we tend to file this task away, usually never bothering to look at it again. Next comes the television. TV these days offer an array of choices for the viewer. Most programs, etc. will show the website address, etc. but that’s just purely for the purpose of displaying it. Do you think anyone would realistically abandon the comfy couch, relinquish the temporary ownership of the remote control and visit “a” website? I think not. This leaves us with two choices, word-of-mouth (literally) and via email. Most of the time when I am prompted to visit a website is because a friend of mine has usually urged me to do so. This methodology usually yields websites of common interest with my source, i.e. the friend recommending me to visit. The last and most popular approach is that by way of emails. Emails by friends, family, colleagues, spam, IMs, mailing lists, etc. Net users cannot wait to be the “first” in their group to share cool websites. Presumably by sharing such websites address first, we would think of them any better! Not a chance. Just like good jokes, gossip, facts, myths, etc. ones friends love to share such digital trails – as perhaps they too heard it from elsewhere. But the most important point that I guess I should have stressed first is that when we are “already” sitting in front of the computer – surfing, any link passed along is going to have a very high probability that we are going to click on it and check the site out. Its not like we are going to have to remember the link or make an effort to be in front of the computer – we’re already there. As a personal hobby I send out an email every now and then to a small circle of friends – asking them to “check this website out!”. However, my core area of focus (if you will humor me) are weird websites. Websites out of the ordinary. Pretty much they are humorous, etc. with no learning value, but then again, if it makes me laugh and causes me to spend a few enjoyable moments on the net, then why not? And why not share them. But finding such websites is becoming harder by the day. Personally I feel there should be a company devoted to this – one that finds such ‘cool’ stuff from the billions of web pages out there – maybe Google ought to look at this idea. Lets face it, my friends are getting busier by the day (so they claim), soon enough the pipeline of such referrals – dries up. I can’t live with that, I need my daily dosage of such surfing. I tried the various search engines and clicking on “random” sites, but that exercise was futile. Don’t ask me why? Boredom is something we all universally cannot stand. So next time around you visit an interesting website, do share it with others – god knows we can use that link.

SECURITY
Mobile phone theft/snatching is becoming pretty common nowadays. If you’re using a GSM phone (which coincidentally costs more than your regular AMPS phone), you ought to do a little exercise and note down your IMEI Number. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, and is a 15 digit unique number assigned to each and every GSM handset. You can easily get this 15 digit number by simply dialing *#06# from your phone and you will be shown your IMEI number. If you phone ever gets stolen, chances are it will be resold again using a different SIM. The SIM can change, but the IMEI number cannot. If you’ve reported the IMEI number to all the operators – then the minute someone uses your stolen phone, your cell phone operator is able to trace the phone and possibly recover it for you.

DOT.COM
Shopping websites pretty much all look the same to me – boring! Hardly do I come across a website that would actually entice me to whip my wallet out, and charge my card. Well, luckily for me, a colleague of mine shared this website Shop Composition www.shopcomposition.com the website is beautifully designed and has a little bit of something for all of us. Why cannot other shopping websites learn from this site? the design is simplistic yet so elegantly put together, the navigation smooth and the quality of the pictures and accompanying description – just flawless. I’m not sure if they ship to Pakistan or not, but I tell you, its something worth finding out.

This Article was originally written for Money Magazine

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