10 Websites Geeks Of All Stripes Should Bookmark


websites for geeksWe geeks know what we are and revel in our existence as our place in society grows ever stronger. We are geeks, we are proud, and we’re not going anywhere. As the Internet becomes a bigger part of everybody’s lives, we are the ones who they, the non-geeks, will turn to for help and advice. And we will offer that help and advice without hesitation.

There are some fantastic resources on the Web for geeks, of all ages and all kinds. Be it computer geeks who like to mess around with the insides of machines or those more mainstream geeks (as I consider myself) who approach things from a more basic angle but then delve as deep as they need to in order to understand. The following are 10 websites for geeks that you should bookmark.

Lifehacker

websites for geeks

Lifehacker is a website which does exactly what its name suggests – provide life hacks. These are anything which can help solve an everyday problem in a new way, or aid productivity and efficiency. Within those boundaries, content on Lifehacker is diverse, with everything from personal finance to health, from cooking to photography. This is geekdom for those who want to better themselves.

How-To Geek

websites for geeks tech

How-To Geek is completely dedicated to computers and how they work. There is a constant stream of articles related to the topic, as well as forums with sections dedicated to all the major operating systems and specialized topics such as building your own PC. This is geekdom for those who know a little but want to know more.

TechRepublic

websites for geeks tech

TechRepublic is a vast resource with sections dedicated to blogs, downloads, galleries, and discussions, amongst others. Content is also segregated by the field of technology it belongs to; development, IT support, networks, etc.

This isn’t a site for everyone but rather those who already have some kind of connection to the tech sector. This is geekdom for professionals.

Ozzu

websites for geeks tech

Ozzu labels itself simply as ‘Webmaster Forum‘ and that’s a fitting description. This is news, information and resources for developers, programmers, and designers. There are forums for those with a passion for each of these professions, with a considerable amount of crossover included. A marketplace offering job opportunities in this field also features. This is geekdom for webmasters.

Neowin

geek websites

Neowin has tech news, reviews, features, and forums. It was once all about Microsoft and its products, but it has now evolved to cover Mac and Linux amongst other things.

It’s fair to say there is still a pro-Microsoft bias on the site though, which isn’t a bad thing considering all the pro-Apple bias on other sites. This is geekdom for fans of Windows.

Protonic

geek websites

Protonic is a site offering an invaluable service. If you need technical support for your computer, be it hardware- or software-related, then you can get it for free on Protonic.

You simply ask a question and a volunteer will answer it for you, offering assistance completely for free. This is geekdom for those in need.

ITProPortal

geek websites

ITProPortal delivers “24/7 Tech Commentary & Analysis.” This is around-the-clock news with a British bias, with different sections dedicated to different sectors of technology.

What differentiates ITProPortal from so many other sites is the added commentary, with a different spin often put on stories you may have already read elsewhere. This is geekdom for tech news junkies.

Gizmag

Gizmag is the place to spy on invention and innovation. While we all know about the new iPador Windows 8, we don’t always get to hear about the slightly zany, out-there gadgets in development. Which is where Gizmag comes in.

We’re talking flying cars and suction-cup shoes. Things that we may or may not all be using in the years to come but which are already out there now. This is geekdom for those who love gadgets.

Stackoverflow

Stackoverflow is a constantly updating stream of programming-related questions. If you’re the kind of person who likes reading questions about programming and on topics completely incomprehensible to ordinary people then Stackoverflow could be your nirvana.

I’ll be honest and admit I haven’t a clue what most of the questions on Stackoverflow are pertaining to, but James Bruce may well do. This is geekdom for those who are bigger geeks than me.

MakeUseOf

websites for geeks

MakeUseOf is awesome, obviously. If you’re reading this then you already know MakeUseOf is THE place for geeks to hang out. With more than 20 writers, all of whom have different interests and expertise in different fields, MakeUseOf will have something for everyone.

I myself,consider ” makeuseof ” the best!

There are Best Of Apps for a host of platforms, Guides and Cheat Sheets, a vast Directory of websites, and a forum for Questions and Answers. This is geekdom for the masses.

Conclusions

The 10 websites above represent geek heaven. These are where all geeks or would-be geeks should be hanging out on a daily basis. When combined with the 10 websites where cool computer geeks reside you should never be left needing a place to visit on the Web to gain your geek credentials.

As always we want to hear from you. So please let us know your thoughts on geeks, geek culture, and websites for geeks. If there are you visit on a regular basis that you feel should have made the list then link to it in the comments section below.

What’s A Cookie & What Does It Have To Do With My Privacy?


Most people know that there are cookies scattered all over the Internet, ready and willing to be eaten up by whoever can find them first. Wait, what? That can’t be right. Yes, there are cookies on the Internet (technically, the World Wide Web), and yes, they really are called “cookies”.  But they aren’t delicious and they can affect your privacy, so you should know what they do.

Whether you’re browsing Google search results, logging into Facebook, or just innocently chatting away on an online forum, you’ve encountered cookies. They aren’t inherently harmful but, just like passwords or email addresses, they can be exploited when placed in the wrong hands. Keep reading to learn how you can protect yourself.

What Are Cookies, Really?

In simple terms, cookies are just files that reside on your computer. Cookies are created when you visit a website. They are used to store bits of information about your interactions with the website, which the web server can use later when processing your sessions. The cookie is specific to you and it can be read by the web server (when interacting with it) or by programs on your computer.

To be technical, your browser is the program that mediates cookie control between your computer and the website. These cookies used by a website to present different types of content depending on who you are in relation to that website. Cookies can expire after a given time period (usually determined by the website issuing the cookie), but if necessary, they can be manually deleted.

Why are cookies used? Because they’re convenient and efficient. If a website wants to service thousands of users without cookies, it would have to store all of that interaction data in its own storage and it would have to be processed on its own. By offloading that work to the user, it becomes a faster and less strenuous procedure.

What are cookies used for? One reason for a cookie is to identify you. If you log in to a website and close your browser, then open it back up, the website knows it’s you because that cookie exists (it was created when you logged in). Cookies can store all sorts of information, like your preferences, your browser type, your location, etc. and this information can be used to better your experience.

How Do Cookies Affect You?

For the most part, cookies are NOT harmful. They’re just another protocol used on the Internet to facilitate communication between users and servers. Worried about viruses and malware? You can relax. Cookies cannot carry viruses or malware, nor can they transfer such things to other users.

Cookies are a necessary part of the Internet experience and they shouldn’t be feared. For example, deleting your cookies will log you out of sites like MakeUseOf and Facebook. If you like convenience and personalization, then you should learn to embrace cookies.

But what should you worry about?

The worst possible scenario would be the interception or forgery of one of your cookies, which would allow another user to impersonate you on some website. This could result in them eavesdropping on your user data OR hijacking your account credentials. However, don’t be too alarmed. Cookie security mostly depends on the website and your browser; a cookie encryption feature, for example, can help protect you from hackers.

A more prevalent issue is a specific type of cookie called the “tracking cookie.” These cookies aren’t used to better your experience. Instead, they keep track of all of your actions on certain websites. These can be used to build browsing history profiles, which can be used to target specific ads to you. This is where invasion of privacy comes in.

Protecting Your Privacy

Here’s what you need to know about cookie privacy: they cannot know any information that you don’t personally provide. In other words, just because a website has a cookie on you doesn’t mean that they know everyone in your family and which schools you’ve attended–unless you entered that information to the website.

The biggest problem with tracking cookies is that an advertising agency can view your browsing history (since that’s what they use to target ads relevant to your interests). You can prevent them from doing this, of course, by playing with your browser settings and disabling cookies.

If you don’t want to disable ALL cookies (which would keep you from enjoying the legitimate features on legitimate websites), certain browsers let you disable specific cookies from certain domains. Some more advanced browsers let you synchronize with black lists; these are maintained by people or communities to keep out domains with shady cookie practices.

Ultimately, when it comes to cookie privacy, it’s all about trust. Do you trust that website to log every interaction? Read their privacy policy and terms of use–they’re usually linked on the website near the header or footer. If you don’t trust them, you can always wipe your cookies later.

Want to test a website’s cookie integrity? Try “Cookie Checker”. Want to see what sort of cookies are on your computer and what websites are tracking with those cookies? Try Cookie Spy.

By Joel Lee makeuseof.com