Casually browsing the web is unfortunately, very much like channel surfing; a kind of digital anesthetic that distracts us from the objective universe. Two features of the web ensure that this will always be the case: Rapid expansion and lack of editorial review.
Every now and then however a website emerges from the dross of the net and stands like a shining monolith of purpose. A website which presents something that is not only original, but truly useful in a very real and practical way. Every time I discover one of these pearls, I add it to my list of websites that deserve their existence.
Since you are a reader of this blog, you are no doubt also possessed of a very refined sensibility and keen eye for value when it comes to the web. Therefore I’d like to share with you two websites from my February roster of cool websites that I have discovered:
beethere.net [image no longer available]
This web service allows you to build a profile of musical preferences, favorite bands and location. It will then notify you of any matching concerts or performances in your area. This is especially useful if you favor underground or local bands which generally don’t promote their shows through conventional mediums. You can even load artist names directly from your iPod.
Gadget Track Recovery System [image no longer available]
Have you ever had your gear stolen? I have, multiple times and anytime something of mine is taken from me I spend a solid week or so obsessing about the great satisfaction it would give me to discover the thief. (I’m reminded of a scene in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta is explaining to his drug dealer that someone “keyed” his car and how it would be worth having his car keyed if he could catch the person doing it. )
What if your stolen ipod, camera, PSP or other device could phone home? Gadget track offers an ingenious (and free) service that does just that. You register for an account and install “agent” files on your device that you wish to protect. If your device is stolen, you login into your Gadget Track account and report the device as stolen. The next time the thief plugs in their new toy to update the music library or erase your photos, the device will attempt to contact Gadget Track and provide data regarding the system it is plugged into. Information like:
- Public IP Address
- Location (Country, City, State & Zip)
- Computer Name
- Host name of ISP
- Internal network IP address
Possibly enough information to identify the thief and maybe even recover your stolen goods (Even if recovery isn’t possible, there may still be value in knowing whodunnit. Remember John Travolta?). There will soon be a paid version of the service available GadgetTrak™ Pro, which will offer:
location accuracy, active connection reports and mapping, firewall workarounds, custom agent feature selector, GadgetTrak™ labels/stickers to be put on your device to assist recovery and more.