Trick #1: See Where Your Friends Are Right Now
Google just doesn't let up. Now they're out with an Orwellian new gadget that allows you, along with friends and family, to keep track of each other's meanderings.
Once set up with Google Latitude, you can view your friends' locations and status messages on a full screen map in real time - either from your desktop or your cell phone. You can quickly contact them with SMS, IM, or a phone call. To top it off you can get directions that will lead you to your friends - wherever they are.
Orwell never had it so good.
Trick #2: Make Your Photo Talk
Want to have some fun with a photo of your favorite person -- or maybe your most un-favorite person. These folks have set up a neat site where you can easily and quickly add bubble captions to your photos and images - just like you see in the newspaper comics.
Just upload the photo of your choice, drag and drop a bubble onto your photo, enter some text and you're ready to regale the world with your entertaining work of art. You can add your creation to family albums and online social network places like MySpace -- or wherever you decide to share your captioned photo.
And like most everything we discuss here - there is no cost to use this unique service.
Great Place #1: No Strings Attached
Here's the place to go when you want to give away things you no longer need -- or look to see what others are offering to give away with no strings attached.
This extensive network is made up of over 4,600 local groups with over 6 million members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their home towns. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer and there is no cost to belong. The network keeps over 300 tons a day out of landfills by turning trash into treasure.
Stop by and see this in action. Do a little search - who knows you might pick up some good stuff.
Great Place #2: How Secure Is Your Computer?
Most of us now protect ourselves online and when using e-mail with a myriad of programs to keep the viruses and malware at bay. However other vulnerabilities are always lurking - particularly in the form of un-patched software.
These folks give you a fast way to scan your PC for the most common programs and vulnerabilities, checking to see if your PC has at least minimum security protection against known patched vulnerabilities. It first checks for insecure versions of common programs installed on your PC. Then the program can assist you with updating, patching, and protecting your PC. It runs through your browser. So no installation or download is required.
And best of all it's on the house.
Copies of all previous "Real Estate CyberTips" columns complete with all direct links are available HERE .