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Entertainment online
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First Published: Thu, May 14 2009. 08 51 PM IST

Updated: Thu, May 14 2009. 08 51 PM IST
1.Fascinated by pod hotels? Check out The Pod Hotel on New York’s 51st Street. The rates start from as little as $89 (around Rs4,430) a night and the rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, an iPod dock and free Wireless Internet. London’s easyHotel offers futuristic first-class cabins which add another dimension to the concept of pod hotels. The rooms come with or without a window and are not serviced daily, but they will be cleaned if requested (though there is an extra charge). EasyHotel also offers special needs rooms and standard rooms. A 6 sq. m small room with no window starts at around $60. At London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, Gatwick South Terminal and Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, you can check out the Yotel.
Here, cabins can be booked from £25 a night (about $38), or you can book it for a four-hour block. In a premium cabin, for £40, you get an iPod or MP3 player port, a workstation, flat screen LCD TV with surround sound, free Wi-Fi or plug-in Internet, mood lighting and toiletries. There’s also a 24x7 cabin service menu. If you are in Amsterdam or Antwerp, check out Qbic Hotels. For €69 a night, you get a four-poster bed, LCD TV, in-room safe, high-speed Internet and Philippe Starck design touches. Japan’s Asakusa Riverside Capsule Hotel charges about $31 for a capsule room and they even have a separate ladies floor. It offers separate baths and changing rooms for men and women, and complimentary toothbrushes, towels and razors (for men) and robes (for women).
2.Say cheese. Want to try your hand at editing your digital photographs? Before you go deeper into it, hone your skills with these almost free editing software: Picnik , Splashup , Pixlr , Fotoflexer , and Photoshop Express.
3.Want to build your own website? Try these three sites: Havingmyownwebsite (seven steps to setting up a website), Virtually Ignorant (an online web design course for beginners) and Web Spawner (a free and easy way to get started on your web page).
4.Why bang your head against the overstuffed bookshelves trying to find a recipe? If you have an iPhone, download the Chef’s Little Helper app from the Apple store. Or get an Epicurious widget at Apple. The Apple store also has an assortment of apps and widgets for recipe management, menu planning, grocery and budget tracking for the iPod, iPhone and Mac over at itunes.com/appstore
5.Speak (and hear) in silence, and brighten someone else’s day by learning sign language. For the hearing disabled, it makes all the difference between having a voice and not (it also helps in crowded, cacophonic spaces, such as a bus, a club or a fairground). Most of all, a small effort from you can make a world of difference to those who haven’t the choice. You can learn the basics at one of these (since Indian sign language is based on the British norms): British Sign Language or British Sign. However, for local dialectal help and advanced learning (yes, as with English, there is a British and an American version, as well as vernacular colloquialisms and idioms), contact the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI) in India: Signasli
6.Need to get off the beaten track and find a new travel idea? Visit the Laboratory of Experimental Tourism online at Latourex, or explore Lonely Planet (the latter also has books you can buy).
7.Free your mind and lose your prejudices…but you’ll have to confront them first. No matter how emancipated, liberal or politically correct you think you are, chances are you haven’t escaped or overcome your environment entirely. You disagree? Take a demo quiz here.
8.Chances are, neither the work you do nor the games you play require 100% of your computer’s resources. And what about those idle times between checking for that long-awaited mail? Meanwhile, there are problems going unsolved for lack of computing power, though the answers would benefit all of humanity. An example is climate prediction (www.climateprediction.net) on which future policies and technological development may depend. You can help by joining a distributed network and downloading some software which will run in the background as long as you are connected to the Net. Projects range from a search for extraterrestrial life, to mapping the World Wide Web, to exploring cures and treatments for AIDS, cancer, Alzheimers and more. Find one that speaks to you at DistributedComputing.
9.There’s a tiny island nation out there which you’ve likely never heard of. And it’s sinking (or will find itself underwater as global warming causes seas to rise). How can you help? By getting yourself a ‘.tv’ website. No, it doesn’t stand for television. It’s the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Tuvalu, which consists of a group of tiny islands in the Pacific. The Tuvalu government leased the domain out for royalties, so your registration (through Verisign, www.verisign.tv) boosts their economy, providing amenities such as electricity. And it costs you about Rs1,250 per year (other such domains include .me for Montenegro, .fm for the Federated States of Micronesia, .am for Armenia, .cd for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, .dj for Djibouti, .mu for Mauritius…).
10. And when you’re quite done with the Web and need to switch of, visit this site: End of the Internet.
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First Published: Thu, May 14 2009. 08 51 PM IST