20 Fantastic Time-Wasting Web Sites

Warning: Reading this story may be hazardous to your productivity. The Web sites within may divert you from the dull tasks in need of your attention and may cause you to goof off for hours instead.

Oh, who are we kidding? You weren't going to get any work done today, anyway. So you might as well waste time in style--and these sites will help you do it. Figuring that you're already familiar with the Facebooks and YouTubes and Onions of the Net, we decided that any further serious undermining of your motivation to labor entailed digging up some obscure nuggets to commingle with the more familiar destinations. Our only criterion: Every site should be entertaining and habit-forming. And we found 'em--40 of 'em. Now just put up your privacy screen, kick back, and start clicking. Caveat: If you get caught, it won't do you any good to tell your boss that we're the ones who suggested it. And let me say for the record that I didn't waste any time on the organization of this list!

1.Stripgenerator

Hey, get your mind out of the gutter--Stripgenerator is about comic creation, not clothing removal--though we wouldn't claim that the two paths have never crossed. The site lets you build your very own customized comic strip in a matter of minutes. Choose from an array of characters and objects, and then bring your strip to life, one square at a time. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, sign up to start your own "strip blog" and have your content featured on the site's home page.

2. FMyLife

FMyLife (the site isn't entirely clear about what the "F" stands for, but "Flee" wouldn't be inappropriate) encourages people to send in anonymous real-life stories of worst-case scenarios that came horrifyingly true--things you'll just have to read to believe. The stories aren't always G-rated, so visit at your own discretion.

3. LivePlasma

A must-try for any music or film fanatic, LivePlasma helps you find new movies and music by building interactive maps around your current favorites. It's like six degrees of separation, customized to your cultural interests.

4. Cracked

The onetime competitor to Mad Magazine has reinvented itself as a Web site for all things funny. Cracked has an array of amusing lists, stories, and videos that'll keep you laughing for days.

5. BeFunky.com

Add some pizzazz to your profile pic with BeFunky.com. The site's Web-based application lets you easily morph any photo into a cartoony character or Warhol-like painting.

6. Funny Typos

Grammar geeks will delight in Funny Typos, a site devoted to ridiculing the language-challenged among us. Why people cant menage to reed there writhing batter is simpy a misery to me.

7. Safety Graphic Fun

Do park visitors generally need to be told "Please do not sit on crocodile"? Must employees at a company parking lot be reminded "Do Not Sleep Below the Vehicle"? Silly as these things sound, they're actual warnings posted on public safety signs. Safety Graphic Fun works to compile the most ridiculous placards, outlandish announcements, and attorney-inspired posterior papering from around the world, some of which are astonishingly absurd. My favorite: "Touching wires causes instant death. $200 fine."

8. Virtual NES

Go old-school and play dozens of original Nintendo games online. Once you get accustomed to the keyboard-based commands, even the most determined Koopa Troopas won't be able to pull you away.

9. Pogo

Find a wider selection of time-wasting games at Pogo. See if you can spell success in Scrabble, dominate at Dominoes, or ride the Reading Railroad to a sweet Monopoly victory.

10. Omegle

Interact with total strangers in the strange new world of Omegle. This simple site pops you into a one-on-one chat room with a random person, and there's no telling where the conversation may take you.

11. Lifehacker

Losing track of time is all too easy at Lifehacker. The blog teaches you tricks for navigating the complexity of life with fewer bumps, serving up advice on topics ranging from cooling a scorching car to clearing up circles under your eyes.

12. Answerbag

Answerbag is all about interesting and instant information. Post a query about almost anything and get answers within minutes, or browse through other people's Q&A to be enlightened, disgusted, and entertained

13. FailBlog

"Fail" is the blogger-adored modern stamp of disapproval for anything that falls below whatever arbitrary standard a critic feels like imposing. The proprietors of FailBlog.org open the "fail" doors to the world, encouraging readers to submit images of people, places, or things that in one way or another didn't work out right, and then inviting all visitors to vote on how many thumbs down the depicted blunder deserves. Whether the specimen under the FailBlog microscope is a poorly designed building or a curious case of inconsistent pricing, the site's findings are sure to generate some laughter wins.

14. Slashdot

Slashdot is the granddaddy of all tech time-wasters. Pursuing its mission of delivering "news for nerds," Slashdot posts a cornucopia of geeky information, complete with snarky comments and community discussion.

15. Fark

When you want a tantalizing tale with a sensational twist, turn your browser toward Fark. The site collects the Web's hottest and strangest stories, pointing you to standout content as well as to obscure local items that you might otherwise have missed.

16. Popurls

Popurls makes it easy for you to keep up with all of the Web's headlines. The jam-packed aggregator presents the most popular content from social media sites, news sites, and even video sites in a simple-to-use single page.

17. Fuzzwich

Step into the director's chair with Fuzzwich, a fun site that lets you build your own video animations. You pick the setting and the characters, and then customize them with faces cropped from your personal photos. Then, you use the site's editing program to move the characters around and have them interact. Once you get tot he stage of adding music and text bubbles, you'll be hooked. Fuzzwich even offers embed codes so you can show off your creation all over the Web.

18. Parents Joined Facebook

Parents and social media don't always mix. See sidesplitting screenshots of what happens when generations collide at My Parents Joined Facebook, a blog about uncomfortable family encounters in the virtual world. Remember, you can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives.

19. Passive-Aggressive Notes

Oh-no-she-didn't. Indulge your inner Springer with a visit to Passive-Aggressive Notes, where you can take a long, leisurely inside look at other people's petty, infantile squabbles, all laced with not-so-subtle passive-aggressive undertones and innuendo.

20. Break.com
Videos that are just itching to go viral await you at Break.com. You'll find more funny, sexy, and scandalous clips here than you would in Paris Hilton's entire home-video collection--and that's saying something.

How to Improve the Picture and Sound on Your HDTV

Once your new HDTV is set up and connected to your home theater, it might seem that you can just power up and watch your favorite shows. But not so fast. You'll first need to calibrate your set to get an optimal picture. And as for the sound, you'll need to make sure that your speakers are put in the proper place to ensure immersion in high-quality audio. These tips will walk you through those steps, so you can finally relax and enjoy all your HD content.

Calibrate Your Picture
Now it's time to calibrate your picture to make sure that it's accurate. The right color, contrast, and brightness settings can vary widely depending on your particular viewing environment; they can also vary depending on your source material, such as movies, games, or TV. Using standardized test patterns can help you optimize these settings for the best viewing experience

For quick and easy "free" calibration, you can use pretty much any disc with a movie recorded in THX audio. THX DVDs and Blu-ray discs have calibration tools in the DVD setup area. Just click on "THX Optimizer" and follow the on-screen instructions. Before you start any calibration, though, adjust room lighting to your normal viewing level; turn sharpness down to normal; and make sure the color temperature is set to 6500 degrees Kelvin (the video standard, sometimes referred as D65). Some TVs offer Warm, Normal, and Cool color temperature options; check with your manufacturer as to which setting comes nearest to 6500K. For example, on Panasonic plasma HDTVs, Warm is the closest setting
The THX Optimizer will then lead you through five test patterns for adjusting settings. Onscreen instructions for each will tell you what to look for, and what parameters to adjust. It's best to go through this procedure while standing close to the screen. (As you might expect, the THX Optimizer also includes surround-sound setup tests

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Data Warehousing


Data Warehousing and Data Mining for Telecommunications (Artech House Computer Science Library)
By Rob Mattison


Publisher: Artech House Publishers
Number Of Pages: 273
Publication Date: 1997-08
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0890069522
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780890069523
Binding: Hardcover


Product Description:
Through dozens of case studies and real-world examples, this clearly written guide shows telecommunications managers how to build more effective data warehouses without wasting time and money on impractical, untenable approaches. The book provides practical, step-by-step instructions on how to engineer and implement a warehouse/mining strategy that reduces costs, maximizes profits, and supports long-term corporate goals Pub: 8/97.

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Encyclopedia of Data Warehousing and Mining


Encyclopedia of Data Warehousing and Mining
By John Wang


Publisher: Idea Group Publishing
Number Of Pages: 1348
Publication Date: 2005-07-08
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 1591405572
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9781591405573
Binding: Hardcover


Product Description:
Data Warehousing and Mining (DWM) is the science of managing and analyzing large datasets and discovering novel patterns and in recent years has emerged as a particularly exciting and industrially relevant area of research. Prodigious amounts of data are now being generated in domains as diverse as market research, functional genomics and pharmaceuticals; intelligently analyzing these data, with the aim of answering crucial questions and helping make informed decisions, is the challenge that lies ahead. The Encyclopedia of Data Warehousing and Mining provides a comprehensive, critical and descriptive examination of concepts, issues, trends, and challenges in this rapidly expanding field of data warehousing and mining (DWM). In addition, this authoritative publication offers in-depth coverage of evolutions, theories, methodologies, functionalities, and applications of DWM in such interdisciplinary industries as healthcare informatics, artificial intelligence, financial modeling, and applied statistics. Numerous contributions from researchers from all around the world make this encyclopedia a single source of knowledge and latest discoveries in the field of DWM.

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Data Warehousing and Data Mining Techniques for Cyber Security


Data Warehousing and Data Mining Techniques for Cyber Security (Advances in Information Security)
By Anoop Singhal


Publisher: Springer
Number Of Pages: 159
Publication Date: 2006-12-13
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0387264094
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780387264097
Binding: Hardcover


Product Description:
Data warehousing and data mining provide techniques for collecting information from distributed databases and for performing data analysis. The ever expanding, tremendous amount of data collected and stored in large databases has far exceeded our human ability to comprehend--without the proper tools. There is a critical need for data analysis that can automatically analyze data, summarize it and predict future trends. In the modern age of Internet connectivity, concerns about denial of service attacks, computer viruses and worms are extremely important.
Data Warehousing and Data Mining Techniques for Cyber Security contributes to the discipline of security informatics. The author discusses topics that intersect cyber security and data mining, while providing techniques for improving cyber security. Since the cost of information processing and internet accessibility is dropping, an increasing number of organizations are becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks. This volume introduces techniques for applications in the area of retail, finance, and bioinformatics, to name a few.
Data Warehousing and Data Mining Techniques for Cyber Security is designed for practitioners and researchers in industry. This book is also suitable for upper-undergraduate and graduate-level students in computer science.

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Oracle Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions


Oracle Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions
By Robert Stackowiak, Joseph Rayman, Rick Greenwald


Publisher: Wiley
Number Of Pages: 408
Publication Date: 2007-01-10
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0471919217
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780471919216
Binding: Paperback


Product Description:
Up-to-date, comprehensive coverage of the Oracle database and business intelligence tools
Written by a team of Oracle insiders, this authoritative book provides you with the most current coverage of the Oracle data warehousing platform as well as the full suite of business intelligence tools. You'll learn how to leverage Oracle features and how those features can be used to provide solutions to a variety of needs and demands. Plus, you'll get valuable tips and insight based on the authors' real-world experiences and their own implementations. Avoid many common pitfalls while learning best practices for:
Leveraging Oracle technologies to design, build, and manage data warehouses
Integrating specific database and business intelligence solutions from other vendors
Using the new suite of Oracle business intelligence tools to analyze data for marketing, sales, and more
Handling typical data warehouse performance challenges
Uncovering initiatives by your business community, security business sponsorship, project staffing, and managing risk

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DW 2.0: The Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing


DW 2.0: The Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing (Morgan Kaufman Series in Data Management Systems)
By William H. Inmon, Derek Strauss, Genia Neushloss


Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Number Of Pages: 400
Publication Date: 2008-07-03
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0123743192
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780123743190
Binding: Paperback


Product Description:
Data Warehousing has been around for 20 years and has become part of the information technology infrastructure. Data warehousing originally grew in response to the corporate need for information--not data--and it supplies integrated, granular, and historical data to the corporation.

There are many kinds of data warehouses, in large part due to evolution and different paths of software and hardware vendors. But DW 2.0, defined by this author in many talks, articles, and his b-eye-network newsletter that reaches 65,000 professionals monthly, is the well-identified and defined next generation data warehouse.

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Data Warehousing And Business Intelligence For e-Commerce


Data Warehousing And Business Intelligence For e-Commerce (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems) (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)
By Alan R. Simon, Steven L. Shaffer


Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Number Of Pages: 312
Publication Date: 2001-05-18
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 1558607137
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9781558607132
Binding: Paperback


Product Description:
You go online to buy a digital camera. Soon, you realize you've bought a more expensive camera than intended, along with extra batteries, charger, and graphics software-all at the prompting of the retailer.

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Oracle DBA Guide to Data Warehousing and Star Schemas


Oracle DBA Guide to Data Warehousing and Star Schemas (Prentice Hall PTR Oracle Series)
By Bert Scalzo

Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Number Of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2003-06-14
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0130325848
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780130325846
Binding: Paperback

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