Sex Offender Notification Service

Safe Community Networks recently launched a web service called, "HomeWatch" allowing you to set up an account indicating where you live. It then notifies you whenever a registered sex offender moves into your town.

HomeWatch allows you to monitor up to two locations, while a premium service called, "HomeWatchPlus" allows you to monitor up to five.

Notification matching services have long been used by websites to send notices to their users whenever any content changes have been made. In this case, users don't necessarily perceive this to be the same thing. Even though HomeWatch is effectively a database of registered sex offenders, users don't really perceive this to be content, but as a service. Hence, they are more likely to pay.

HomeWatch sends notifications to is users via e-mail.

Initially, HomeWatch will be available in Florida only, with nationwide rollout coming later on.

FindPetCare.com - Book Kennels Online

FindPetCare.com, Inc. announced their new online service for pet owners allowing them find and book pet-day care facilities online. Both pet owners and travel agents can use FindPetCare.com to locate kennels and day care centers for dogs and cats.

The system works just like other online travel booking sites, allowing you to pick the accomodation dates, the number of pets, and the distance from your home. The results show all the available facilities. Some will allow you to book online, while others require you to call directly.

The company is looking to add more pet day care facilities to their listings.

Internet-Connected Washers & Dryers

Boy if this ain't a social commentary on the state of American youth! Now college kids can check on the progress of laundry machines at campuses across the USA.

LaundryView is a web service from Mac-Gray Corporation, a company that operates coin-op laundrymats all over America. The system involves washers and dryers that send information to a Wi-Fi network, which is connected to the campus' Wi-Fi network, allowing students to track their loads on their laptops and handhelds.

When a machine finishes, it can send an alert via e-mail, or text message.

The system also alerts the facility service department when a machine malfunctions.

Now, if they can only develop something like this for parking structures that can display all the available parking spaces on your PDA.

Photo-Sharing mixes with Google Maps

Here's a fun way to share photos, link them up on Google Maps.

SmugMug, a popular online photo-sharing site has integrated itself with Google Maps, allowing users to associate their photos to a geographic location, either via street address, or GPS coordinates.

The new feature, called "smugMaps", allows visitors to scroll across a map of the United States, and then zero in on a specific location to see the photos attached to that location. Great for posting photos of scenic locations or family vacations.

One person, dubbed "The Striking Viking", is using the new smugMaps to chronicle his motorcycle travels across the world.

Audio Atrocities

"Rugburn For Your Eardrums"

Audio Atrocities is an online museum of bad voice-over acting in video games, covering game systems from Turbografx to present day systems. And there are some pretty bad ones in here. What's cool is that you can actually listen to them, because they recorded them as MP3 files.

Castle Shikigami 2 is a great example, of not only bad voice-over acting, but of poor English writing skills that Japanese people have become famous for. In this case, some of the lines end up with unintentional sexual innuendos...

"Don't come yet! Don't soil your hands..." [listen]

"A gentleman's come ... Oops! ... Not even a man" [listen]

"I'm beating down Evil. I'm not taking excuses. I'm beating you down. You're a real hot head, I like that. It'll be a honor to beat you." [listen]
Oh Baby, Baby! Beat me, Beat me!

Check out Audio Atrocities for plenty more audio funnies.

Nip/Tuck Goes Under the Knife

When the popular television show "Nip/Tuck" began airing on FX, it created concerns from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for what they dubbed, "inappropriate representation" of their trade.

Dr. Grant Stevens, director of Marina Plastic Surgery Associates, and a well-known and respected surgeon himself, launched his own website, "Nip/Tuck Goes Under the Knife", where he and his staff critique the storylines of each Nip/Tuck episode, dispelling the myths portrayed, and explaining what would have happened in the real world, along with discussing the procedures featured on the program and addressing ethical questions raised.

The idea to create this website came after people started coming into his office asking about the procedures they saw on Nip/Tuck. He found himself having answer questions about each episode, and explaining what his patients saw, just to make sure they knew what they were getting into.

The website features a critique of each episode. Visitors wanting answers about something specific they saw on an episode can submit questions to Dr. Stevens.

My Black Book

It seems there isn't anything that can't be duplicated on the Internet!

My Black Book is basically the online-version of the familiar old gentleman's journal. After setting up a free account, you can log all the women (or men) you've had romantic involvements with, and keep your personal reference within reach from any Internet-connected PC.

You can even upload photos to make your dossier complete.

The advantage to using My Black Book over a real book, is that no one knows about it. Unlike an actual book, you won't have to worry about someone accidentally finding it. In addition, it provides statistics, charts, and graphs, so that you can measure your performance in ways you never thought of.

The website also sports a discussion forum, so that after you've entered the details of your latest conquest, you can go brag with the guys.

My Black Book seems to be monetized through advertising banners on the top, and text ads on the side. Based on how it's being marketed, it looks like monetization is going to come from adult-oriented ads.

Road Rage Database

Everyone who has driven the roads the freeways has been the victim of road rage in one way or another. RoadRagers.com allows those people to vent their frustration by reporting a road rager to public scrutiny.

If someone cut you off, yelled an expletive at you, swerved too close to you, or did something to threaten to you, you can post a report on RoadRagers.com.

When filling out a report, you can describe the angry driver in full detail. There is even a field to capture their license plate number. You can even search their database for a specific license plate number to see if you're in it!

The website also provides all the other usual materials and resources, such as a message board, tips, news, etc. But its database of reports seems to be its main draw. RoadRagers.com appears to have new reports posted almost everyday coming from around the country, indicating that is has managed to pick up some traction.

It's revenue appears to come from ad banners. They also sell t-shirts, bumper-stickers and other branded items through a Cafepress store.

RoadRagers.com appears to have a lot of potential for becoming an even bigger success. All of their content is provided for free by the public. Each report is published on its own unique URL. It could do a better job of optimizing each report for search engines, mainly with the <TITLE> tags. Perhaps even law enforcement could query this database by licence plate number to build cases against a dangerous driver, or even determine where a driver was on a specific day and time.

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