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Tags: Knowledge

Some extremely useful but not so popular single-purpose websites

The ability to do more than one thing at a time is often perceived as the difference between competence and excellence. We live in an era where all devices want to do and be everything. Take a mobile phone, for example. Calls and SMSes aside, it can shoot pictures and video, fetch your mail, surf the weplay music, show video, record voices, keep you entertained with gaming, monitor fitness, bring you the internet, allow you to chat over IM, become a fortuneteller, or weather station, or newspaper... and a lot more. A media player too too can emulate all of the above and makes calls (through Skype or Fring). Similarly, TVs serve up the internet, accommodate USB drives, display photos from your camera, show you your event schedule and local weather info, allow you to play games, et al.

Yet, websites still skirt this muddy, medley of multipurpose multitasking mould. Therefore, single-minded, single-purpose websites lurk in various nooks and crannies of the web. Some are famous, but the majority are little-known, unsung, unknown squatters in cyberspace. Here are some extremely useful but not so popular ones that you can point your browser to when the need arises.

Reverse image search

If you ever want to trace the source point of an image, or find out if an Facebook account photo is fake, or if someone is misusing a photo of yours, w-w-wing down www.tineye.com. This reverse photo search engine allows you to upload an image (or point it to a url) to seek out where that particular pixel-package came from. Not just that, TinEye will also report how the image is being used and if any modified renditions of it are around on the internet. It will also help you sniff out higher resolution versions of the picture. Even though TinEye has indexed 4,559,885,821 images from the web, it is far from foolproof. But it’s better that the others for sure.

Hey, your zip is open!

Ever been stuck with a compressed zip file that you don’t know how to open? Try Wobzip at www.wobzip.org, an online tool for decompressing files. All you need to do is upload your file to the site and enter the password for the compressed file, if it has one. The site handles an alphabet soup of formats, including 7z, arj, bzip2, cab, chm, cpio, cramFS, deb, dmg, fat, gzip, hfs, iso, lzh, lzma, mbr, msi, nsis, ntfs, rar, rpm, squashFS, tar, udf, vhd, xar, xz, z, and of course zip. Size-wise, it can tackle even a 200 meg file.

Burn after reading

Want to send a super-secret confidential message — not necessarily a love note, it could a confidential message to someone at work or in the family--that you don’t want passed around? Go to https://privnote.com. Create a note and copy the generated web link. Send the link to the person for whom the note is intended via mail or instant messenger. And forget about the link. The note will self-destruct after it has been read. You can even receive a notification on when this note gets read. No user registration fuss. No passwords. No messing around later. The note is read-once. If the recipient tries going to the link a second time, a “this note was read before” error message is all that is visible. The reader can of course copy the message and keep it but there is no evidence that you’ve sent it in the first place.

Wait, watch, fly

Frequent business flyers across the world have one thing in common: they want to waste minimum time waiting around at airports. There is nothing they value more than flight time statistics and status updates. An excellent global flight tracker and travel planning website and mobile app, FlightStats gives such jetsetters real-time flight status reports, departures and arrivals, airport delays, and airport information. You also get to know security wait times as well as weather details. Apart from the scheduled departure and landing times, the actual take-off and projected landing timing are also displayed. You can chose to receive e-mail or SMS alerts about flight status changes, if the airline you have selected doesn't offer such a feature. Then there’s information about airports, frequent flier programmes as well as fares. The site has a wealth of information for travellers that is also easily available though the FlightStats mobile apps (Android, iOS, Windows) for checking on your air chariot on the go.. zz

(The author is a personal tech writer)

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