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Sree Tips
A free monthly newsletter of Web tips and tricks
Nov. 2005 :

From Sreenath Sreenivasan
Columbia University journalism professor
Tech Guru" on Thursday & Saturday mornings in NYC area
[Tech Guru archives at ]

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Dear Friends:

Welcome to the latest edition of the SreeTips newsletter - tips and tricks
for using the Internet better + three NYC tech events. As always, I look
forward to your feedback, suggestions and questions. Your friends can add
themselves to this list by e-mailing

This newsletter is an offshoot of my SMARTER SURFING workshops - - taught around the world, as well as the newer
FIGURING OUT BLOGS & WHATEVER'S NEXT workshops [ ]. If you would like to discuss my teaching
a specially-tailored session of either of these for your company, newsroom,
school, organization or hamlet, let me know. And don't forget to catch my
WABC-segments if you live in the NYC area (6:20 am on Thursdays and 7:45 am on
Saturdays) - or on wherever you live:
(the web versions are also now appearing on LA's

Now, on to the tips.

NEW TO ME: See my blog, filled with useful and/or fun sites that are new to me
at (items added several times a week)

Recent additions:
MAPS: Virtual Pedometer
A terrific new site that uses Google Maps to help calculate walking distances
and estimate calories burned. Zoom into the map and find your starting point.
Then hit "start recording" on the left-hand pane. Then double click on your
starting point, followed by double clicks as you mark your walking or running
route. Your will see the distance traveled displayed. If you turn on the
calorie counter and put in your weight, it will give you a guess about your
calories burned as well. Am very excited about this.

The free home inventory software on this site from the Insurance Information
Institute is very useful. It's a great way to know what's in your home.
Everyone should get this and use it, especially after seeing all that happened
in New Orleans.

FUN: Flashface
Know those police sketch artists who help witnesses identify suspects? Now you
can play one, through this site. It allows you to create faces with innumerable
variations and fine detail, then save and share them. Try making the face of
someone you know well.

BOOKS: Time's Top 100 Novels
Time magazine critics' list of the 100 top novels in English from 1923 to
today. Such lists are always controversial, but always worth a look. You can
rate each title yourself and suggest titles they might have missed. You can
also read excerpts from original Time reviews of many of the books (eg, "Grapes
of Wrath" from 1939)

- - -

POYNTER WEB TIPS: I write a regular column, with my friend Jon Dube of,
aimed at media professionals, but the tips are useful for most folks. All 300+
tips are collected here: - you can sign up for a
weekly e-mail that has our columns:

Recent additions:
I HATE E-MAIL: Live by e-mail, die by e-mail. You can read about my recent
troubles and learn from several Poynter readers how to manage your e-mail
better... Part I:
Part II:

GIVE ME GMAIL: You can find my review of Gmail, Google's e-mail service with
more than 2,500 MB of free space, at If you'd like a Gmail
invitation, go to that column and scroll down to the Gmail invitation pool.
Click on the link, put in your current address there and you will automagically
receive an invite. Or just write to me at with "Give Me Gmail!"
in the subject line.

CREATING FREE PDF FILES: I am often asked for cheap ways to create PDF files.
Even though the PDF reader, Adobe Acrobat Reader, is free, the official PDF
creator is not. Here you will find my tip on creating free PDFs (if you have a
Mac, the software is free an built-in):

SEARCHING BLOGS: Jon's handy guide to searching blogs is here:

- - -

SREE'S TOP THREE: Each Saturday on WABC-TV in the NYC area, I list my three
favorite items in various categories:

Recent additions:
* New-to-me Car Sites -

* Business-related Sites -

* New-to-me Travel Sites -

- - -

the NYC-area about these public events.

* New York Academy of Sciences and Science Writers in New York present Believe
the Hypertext: Science Blogs and Communication
The popularity and influence of
blogs - online journals that are updated daily - have already made an impact on
politics and society. But does blogging have a place in science journalism?
Tuesday, Nov 1, 2005, 6:30 PM-9 pm New York Academy of Sciences, 2 E. 63rd. St.
between Madison & Fifth Aves; COST: $15 - Light cocktail reception Details at

* "Figuring Out Blogs, Podcasting, Wikis, RSS, & Whatever's Next" - Wed., Nov.
2 from 9:15-11:15 am at HQ of American Society of Magazine Editors at 810
Seventh Avenue, 24th floor. For the third year in a row, I am a doing a tech
session aimed at folks in the magazine business, but open to everyone. COST:
$110 for ASME members; $150 for non-members. To register, please contact

* "Columbia Journalism Dialogues: The Changing Media Landscape, 2005" - Wed., Nov. 2 from 6:30-9:30 pm at Columbia Journalism School, 2950 Broadway (#1 train to 116th St) - presented with the Hearst Foundation. Meet Craig Newmark,
founder of Craigslist and four veteran journalists: Len Apcar, editor in chief,; Jeff Gralnick, NBC News special consultant; Andrea Panciera,
editor,; and James Taranto, editor and columnist,
I am moderating. COST: Free; no registration required. More info:

That's it, folks. Keep in touch. Your friends can add themselves to this list
by e-mailing

Cheers, Sree
Sreenath Sreenivasan | | 212-854-5979

Dean of Students, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism |
New sites blog -
DOS blog - > newsletters > Nov. 2005

See text archives of my Tech Guru appearances on Channel 7 -- in NYC area
Thursday mornings at 6:20
Saturday mornings at 7:45