A better mapping tool, a game that takes only seconds

John Gushue
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A mapping site that uses a compare-and-contrast model and produces better results, a gadget-loving site that’s designed for women and a game that will waste just seconds of your time … if you’re good, but hours if you’re awesome at it.

Dual Maps


This is a site that adapts competing mapping technologies (for Google and Bing) and presents them side by side, and proves that combining them makes them stronger.

There are actually three views, as you’ll see upon loading and whenever you type in any address.

On the left, you will see two: the street view and map view of Google.

On the right is the “bird’s eye” view that Bing offers, showing an aerial view of your subject at an angle.

With an extra three-dimensional view, your map searches will probably seem richer.



I landed on this site to read a story about comparison-shopping for light bulbs, especially with the move to energy-saving options. I poked around the site and found it helpful.

It also has a target audience: women.

This is probably a sensible move in the rather crowded market of websites all about gadgets and tech; if you haven’t noticed by now, a great many of them are not only designed for guys, but young guys at that.

The focus is still pretty sharp, with updates on current products … just minus the salivating, “we got it first” breathlessness that mars some tech blogs.

Also missing: a lot of the jargon. I think a lot of men can get behind that too!

Chain Reaction


Time is often tight when you’re at a computer, so a game that can be played during a very brief break is much valued.

I like Chain Reaction for that reason, although I’ll caution that it can also be addictive.

The point is to release a ball on the screen so that it will be struck by ricocheting dots, that then form the chain reaction of the title.

When hit, they form a larger ball, but one that doesn’t last long, so aim is important.

Well, you’ll figure it out, quickly.

Killing Kennedy


Last November, to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the National Geographic channel televised a film starring Rob Lowe as the ill-fated JFK.

The companion website is about the actual story, not the dramatization, with an emphasis on how the very different lives of Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald unfolded before intersecting in Dallas in November 1963.



A good part of the Internet is that it allows anyone with a visual flair to post their work.

The downside? There’s just so much of it.

The value of a blog like Pondly is that photographs, drawings, de­signs and other nice things are curated and described, and rather well at that.

A chance encounter a few days ago turned into an extended visit.

Knowledge Nuts


There’s a vogue on the web now for short, fact-packed little essays along the lines of “bet you didn’t know this.”

Mental Floss, one of my favourite magazines and websites, specializes in it, but there are many others, and here’s one.

Knowledge Nuts collects small pieces on a pretty eclectic range of topics, such as the unsung scientist who created the artificial diamond used in countless everyday devices, to the neo-Nazi past of the man who created the Josey Wales character made famous by Clint Eastwood. The best part? Links to the evidence at the bottom.

John Gushue is a digital producer

with CBC News in St. John’s.

Blog: johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Google, Time, National Geographic CBC News

Geographic location: Dallas

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