Tech Buzz 04/05

Improving online map services, expert web surfing and more
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the April 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Street Smart

Before you hit the road, chances are, you'll go to or Yahoo! Maps, plug in your starting point and destination, and print out directions. That's one of the great free capabilities the web has made available to mobile warriors. But it doesn't stop there anymore.

Yahoo! has added a traffic feature to its maps service. For many major metropolitan areas, from Albany, New York, to Washington, DC, you can get traffic updates and incident reports. That includes construction sites and speed of traffic. Mouse over the little warning signs, and you'll get more details like the nature of construction projects.

Whether you're preparing for the morning commute or navigating a new town, the traffic updates can help keep you out of a snarl. It's not so easy to check when you're out on the road, unless you navigate through the site on your mobile or smartphone's tiny screen, but it's worth checking before getting behind the wheel.

Snip and Tuck

There's an overwhelming amount of information on the web, so it pays to be as efficient as possible when using it as a resource. Net Snippets is a free software program that lets you exert more control over what you find while you're out surfing. Its tagline is "Capture. Organize. Share." We downloaded the program and tried it out.

Net Snippets works with Explorer, FireFox, Mozilla and Netscape, but we tried it with FireFox. The program can be handily minimized, leaving a convenient tab available to reopen it to size. The drag-and-drop approach for text and images makes it easy to get started. You can also add material from other programs in addition to your browser. Net Snippets has a straightforward organizational structure and lets you edit your snippets and add highlights and formatting. Some small features, like highlighting the snippets you've taken from the page you are viewing, are available only with Internet Explorer.

The e-mail feature lets you send snippets via your e-mail program. Individually, the capabilities aren't earth-shattering, but together they're convenient for dealing with all the bits of information you find online. More advanced, paid Standard and Professional editions are available for those looking for more options.

Blog readership shot up by


in 2004.
Statistic Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
PCs running Linux are predicted to reach about


market share and

$10 billion

in sales in 2008.
Statistic Source: Open Source Development Labs

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