Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Theme for this week: sports websites

The six nations might be over, but the Heineken Cup is just around the corner. This is the site for all things rugby, including breaking news and streaming media clips.

Google news
Wit the Grand National coming up, Google News has all the latest stories from news sources around the world. You can also sign up to get an email when any new stories about the Grand National appear.

There are dozens of online betting sites available, but Paddy Power is a simple place to start and caters to absolute beginners as well as more seasoned punters. They also have a good "Novelties" section where you can bet on things like when men will land on Mars, or who will win the 2004 US elections.

If you fancy yourself as a bookie, this site lets you lay your own odds on all major sporting events, and take bets from people across the Internet.

Almost GAA season, and here's a site to get you in the spirit. It provides links to all the local clubs, as well as news and an online discussion forum for each region.

Monday, March 22, 2004

The topic is Connecting to the internet. We'll cover the types of Internet connections available (dialup, broadband, and wireless); what you need to connect; and the best deals available.

Dialup connections

For light users, we'll cover Eircom's free dialup service

For heavier users, the IOL Netsmart package offers better value


DSL is available from all the major telcos. One example is Netsource, my favorite. Packages start from
36.30 inc vat/month. They specialise in home office/telecommuters

DSL isn't available in all areas, so some people can use a wireless broadband solution like this one from Irish Broadband.
Prices start from 36.30 +120 install

For business travellers with modern laptops, "WiFi" access in hotels, coffee shops and bars is all the rage.

Bitbuzz (my own company) is the leader in WiFi in Ireland (but I would say that!)
Eircom also has a similar product.

Next week we'll be talking about how you can protect your kids when they're online.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Today's topic: buying (and selling) online

Many people will have heard of Amazon.com and some of the larger
online retailers, but we're talking about some of the lesser-known
and useful sites to buy (and sell) things on the web. (Only 5 sites
this week since eBay merits a couple of minutes to itself).

The world's largest auction site. 42 million users; 10 million items
for sale. Buy and sell just about anything online. This site is such
a big marketplace that many people make their livings exclusively
selling and buying on eBay.

The cheapest place to get CDs, videos, and computer games online.
Most chart CDs under 14 euro.

Online version of the paper mag. You can search, place ads, etc.

A great example of how the Internet enables specialised markets to
flourish. This is the leading place to find secondhand books,
including collectors' editions and out-of-print books. 12,000
independent sellers from all over the world. One great feature is the
"Booksleuth" that helps you find books even when you can't remember
the name or author.

One of the more "specialised" selling sites on the web. Sells
refurbished US underground missile bases. 45,000 sq feet under
Colorado, anyone?

Monday, March 01, 2004

This week: personal finance sites (did I miss any? Let me know! alex at bitbuzz dot com)

A great introductory site on all aspects of money & investing. Somewhat US-centric but explains things like bonds, funds and interest rates really clearly.

Tax Calculator
Irish tax calculator; works out all the details of your PAYE, PRSI etc so you can check your payslips and figure out what a raise would mean to you.

Irish discussion board where you can discuss personal finance, PRSAs, SSIAs etc. A very friendly site where you can ask questions and expect to get a clear and simple answer!

The Vice Fund
Recently all sorts of "ethical investments" have sprung up, where the companies are carefully vetted. This is the opposite: they invest in gambling, alcohol and tobacco companies -- and make 25% a year doing it!

Quick & easy way to save yourself some money: check the latest prices at petrol stations around the contry, as reported by the public.

The Bill Gates Wealth Clock
Finally, compare your personal finances to those of Bill Gates, the world's richest man. Updated 24 hours a day!