Keeping kids offline these days is quite the uphill battle. Just because they have access to the Internet on their phones, tablets, and computers doesn't mean they're mature enough to take take advantage of everything the Web has to offer. Even Facebook, after all, is meant to be used only by teenagers and adults age 13 and older. Thankfully, some developers have designated sites for tweens, too. Here, experienced moms recommend seven terrific sites for tweens.
Headed back to school? While you've likely registered for classes and tackled your Summer reading list, the next item of concern may be your professor. You don't have to be in the dark about the ins and outs of your instructor, thanks to a little help from your peers.
A number of online resources are available to solve the mystery of your professor's personality, teaching style, and grading curve. Use these sites to your advantage when preparing for coursework and tests this Fall. At the same time, take everything you read with a grain of salt; often, negative reviews are a result of a poor grade that may not have much to do with the professor's competency.
- Koofers — It's free to sign up for Koofers, which boasts not only hundreds of thousands of professor ratings, but practice exams, flash cards, and internship and job listings as well. To help you balance your course load, the site lists how often each professor assigns homework, tests, and projects.
- RateMyProfessors.com — As the largest online site for professor ratings, with over 1.7 million professors already on this site and over 7,500 schools in its database, Rate My Professors is your best bet to get the scholarly dish. The best part about this site is the range of qualities taken into account for a professor's performance: helpfulness, clarity, and, if you're interested, attractiveness. Since there are two sides to every story, the professors are allowed to rebut any ratings.
- In-School Ratings Systems — If all else fails, turn to your own school for ratings and advice. Many universities have created their own online rating system, like UC Berkeley's ULoop or Cornell's CourseRank. Many students are willing offer advice to peers, rather than an anonymous outside source. Don't forget your can stop in and speak to your major advisers, the true professionals, for honest opinions and direction.
Booking blind can be a little frustrating, especially when you don't get the hotel you're hoping for. But the savings might just be worth it. You might be happy to know that you can arm yourself with BidGoggles, a free web tool that will lower the risk of booking an unwanted hotel by doing its best to reveal the mystery hotel you're looking at on Hotwire.
All you need to do is plug in the hotel's amenities, star rating, and neighborhood, and BidGoggles will run through information compiled from people who have made recent Hotwire purchases to make an educated guess on the unknown hotel.
Don't have time or too lazy to do chores? Business Insider found 10 websites that will do the work for you.
Life is short, so why waste your time on boring chores? Especially if you can pay someone else to do it.
Whether you're chained to your desk or feel too lazy to lift more than a finger, we've picked out 10 sites that do the dirty work for you.
Get ready to kiss laundry day, dog walking and more buh-bye.
- Why you want it: After a long day of getting chewed out by your boss, the last thing you're up for is a trip to the grocery store.
- What you'll get: Just like it says, "groceries delivered to your door."
- What it costs: A minimum of $30, plus a $5.99 or $6.99 shipping fee, depending on your area.
- Why you want it: Your shoe game is looking more LiLo than Diane Kruger these days.
- What you'll get: After taking the 3-minute style quiz, users get a "personalized showroom" of high-fashion accessories and shoes to choose from. From there, they can pick what they like.
- What it costs: From $29.99 and up, plus shipping.
Virtual Dating Assistants
- Why you want it: You're too shy to write about your favorite color and dog breed.
- What you'll get: ViDA will write a profile that makes you sound cooler than you are, and email matches for dates.
- What it costs: From $360 a month on up to $1,440, depending on the package.
- Why it's convenient: Fido's not going to walk, clean, or board himself.
- What you'll get: Someone to walk Fido, and ways to find quality pet sitters, groomers, boarders, etc.
- What it costs: Varies by service.
The latest buzzed-about technology mash-up? Pingram, a cross between Pinterest and Instagram. With Pingram, users can share their Instagram photos on a site that looks very similar to Pinterest. This isn't the first of its kind, though — there are several sites dedicated to Instagram feeds. Curious? Take a closer look at Pingram, plus four other sites that allow you to view Instagram photos without using the app.
- Pingram — The Instagram-Pinterest mash-up allows you to like, comment, and repin photos from different users, plus add your own pictures with the hashtag #pingramMe.
- Visual Grub — It's your Instagram friend feed, right on your Mac. Open this scrolling window alongside your chat application to read and interact with your photo feed all day.
See more ways to view Instagram after the break.
We've given you the 411 on how to buy an engagement ring and told you how much the average person spent on an engagement ring, but it's now time to tell you where to get one! Here are some websites that will help you on your savvy quest to find the perfect ring:
- Diamond Search Site: PriceScope.com is a site that lets you compare the prices of over 350,000 diamonds from retail and Internet vendors. All you need to do is type in the specifics of what you're looking for, and it'll take you to a full list of retailers, which you can filter through by city.
- Diamond Wholesalers: Internet retailers like BlueNile.com or WhiteFlash.com don't have to pay the price of having a brick and mortar store, which lowers a lot of their overhead costs. That in turns lowers your cost too!
- Brand Sites: Although you'll be paying much more for the brand, perhaps buying a ring from a well-known retailer will give you peace of mind, and you won't have to worry about the quality. Check out sites like Tiffany.com, or if you're looking for less costly options, you can also take a look at Zales.com.
Do you have any other sites to recommend?
You've got a hobby on the side that you spend hours on, so why not start raking in some dough for your efforts. Generating a side income will be a great safety net if you ever (knock on wood) find yourself unemployed. And who knows, work hard enough to grow your side biz, and you might actually get to leave your day job for it. Here are some sites that will help you get a head start on making extra cash.
I can't tell you how indispensable my smartphone and laptop is to me. I no longer organize my life on little bits of paper (that have a high risk of accidentally being thrown away), but instead rely on the best organizing tech tools on the web. Find out what apps to download or sites to visit that will keep your life and wallet organized to a tee!
The new site, Karl.com, was created mostly to sell the masstige line he designed for Net-a-Porter, and it will also host his higher-end Karl Lagerfeld Paris collection when it debuts this fall. The best non-shopping part of the site is the "World of Karl," where you can find out things like where he gets his glasses or what project he's working on next. But the most fun posts are the ones that simply quote Lagerfeld directly. A sampling of his musings, below:
On scheduling: "If someone gives me a to-do list, I say, "Thank you, this is nice." One needs things to throw in the wastebasket."
On his temper: "I know how annoying, impossible and hard to please I can be. I wouldn't recommend myself as a guest to anyone."
On where his inspiration comes from: "The best things I've done in my life, I saw them in my sleep. This is why I have a sketch book in my bed."
On cleanliness: "If you put things away in a too tidy way, then you will only find what you are looking for. You will never be surprised, nor delighted by fortuitous discoveries."
Tax season is never a fun time, but there is no end of online programs that want to make it as easy as possible for you to file. There are many e-filing options to choose from that offer free federal filing (with state filing costing an additional fee), guarantees on their calculations, and fast refund checks, but with all the similar names and features it can be hard to pick the right one for you.
Of course, if you are a homeowner, are self-employed, or invest, simple free filings may not be for you. But curious to know the basics of popular free tax software compared? Find out the major similarities and differences between five such programs after the break.