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 Extra Good WebSites 

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Elsewhere on this site, there's a sophisticated and refined list of investment, government, and financial news websites. 

Here, we present offbeat, extra good web references that can help you grow your investment knowledge, find vital information about anything, or have an electronic adventure. A few of the sites are good fun. What's a world wide web for anyway?

Quick-Link Index of Featured Websites
Atomic Clock & Worldwide Time Barra S&P Index Research Briefing.Com's Latest Market News Bob Brinker Talk Show & Newsletters Broadband Security & Speed Tests
Consumer Product Opinions College Saving Plans (Section 529) DailyStocks Stock Analyses Encyclopedia, Bible, Thesaurus full texts Indexing Facts and Products
 Inflation Calculator Date-to-Date Identify Theft Avoidance/Cure

NEW.gif (1154 bytes)Municipal Bond Prices and Definitions

Novels - Full Text of Classics
Pop-Up Ad Stopper NEW.gif (1154 bytes)Spyware Detection Urban Legend Protection Word & Fact Reference Databases
Enter any word or phrase into Answers.Com's single entry box and the program will define the word [including medical, technical and legal names]; give you a short encyclopedia explanation if appropriate; provide alternative search phrases if your term was ambiguous; give a stock market quote and investment data if your entry was a ticker symbol; provide biographies of natural persons; explain historical events and geography; or identify quotations, movies, songs, weather.
DailyStocks provides free stock analysis through "VectorVest", complete recent news searches, a "Guide" that lists websites in 60 investment subject categories, "neural" stock evaluations based on technical factors, and extensive market index and market segment statistics.  
Barra is best known for its research on "risk" and its statistical work with market indexes. The free parts of this site include up-to-date statistical arrays of stock characteristics for the companies in the Standard & Poor's (Large Cap) 500, Mid Cap 400, and Small Cap 600 Index universes. The on-line archives of Barra's Newsletter also contain interesting commentaries.   
"Section 529" College Savings Plans are well-described, compared, and rated on the Saving For College site. There are also links to information on every State 529 plan as well as to on-line Application forms. This free site was developed by a CPA who's also selling a book on how to finance a college education.   
Radio talk show host and newsletter publisher Bob Brinker appeals to people who believe in timing the stock market. His website has audio and print transcripts from his radio shows.  
Indexing Enthusiasts will find many articles in this Journal of Indexing link.  
Have you ever been snookered by a hoax? Before you believe that McDonald's makes burgers from cow eyeballs, or that failing to delete a certain computer file will erase your hard drive, check if you're the victim of an Urban Legend.   
Looking for the "stories" moving today's market and the stocks most affected? Get the scoop from Briefing.Com. Once there, check the lists of broker up/down-grades, stock split calendars, sector ratings, stock "RiskGrades", bond market and Fed news, and an economic calendar. All of this 'delayed' info is free; real time service requires a $10 /month subscription. 
Got always-on, broadband Internet? Then you'll want to measure your transmission speed and test the security of your firewall [surely you've installed a firewall!]. 
Click DSL Reports for free speed testing. Despite the site name, these tests apply to all Internet access types... DSL, cable, satellite, or dial-up. 
Get a free "no risk audit" test of your firewall at Security Space up to once a month. Their server will throw Internet "data packets" at the "ports" of your web address for several hours, then give you a synopsis of your vulnerability to hacker attacks. [For $49, they'll give you full details about your vulnerabilities and suggestions about how to close them.]   
Would you like opinions about books, movies, cars, home appliances, office equipment, hotels from current owners before you buy them? Check Epinions and you'll often find useful comments. Of course, caveat emptor ["buyer beware"] applies -- opinions might be posted by a shill or competitor.   

Ever looked for one of these classic reference works: Columbia Encyclopedia, Roget's Thesaurus, Bartlett's Quotations, Strunk's Elements of Style, King James Bible, or Gray's Anatomy and couldn't put your hands on it? All these and dozens more are available in full text for free in the Bartleby on-line center. Bartleby also features a collection full-text works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. 

Another source for hundreds of free, full-text, classic works of fiction downloadable into any text reader (including free, low-flicker "book readers" from Adobe Software and Microsoft) for use on desktop, portable or palm computers, or playable through commercial text-to-audio software, is Project Gutenberg.   

A third source with two thousand full-text classic books, plays, poems and stories is Bibliomania.

If you received an inheritance of $10,000 in 1990 and held it through the "low inflation" decade that followed, what could it purchase now? What income would you have needed when you were 25 to buy what your programmer daughter's $80,000 income buys today? All United States inflation/deflation questions from year 1665 to the present are answered at the Inflation Calculator.  
Is your computer clock set to the correct time? Would you like to reset it to a US Government "atomic clock" at the touch of a button? Want to know what time it is in any decent-size city on the planet? World Time Server does all that. A free download program lets you "ping" a National Institute of Standards time server, reset your computer clock, and learn how far your clock has drifted since the last reset date [a possible warning that the battery backing up your CMOS memory is failing].   
Going crazy when you surf the Internet because of all the "pop-up" and "pop-under" advertising windows? Install this free Popup Stopper shareware download from PanicWare and find inner bliss [available for PC machines only].   
If a scam artist buys your stolen wallet, if a "discarded" sales receipt is retrieved by a corrupt busboy, if the credit card statement you tossed in the garbage is found by a dishonest trashcollectorperson, you could be in for the horror known as "identity theft." It gives new meaning to the phrase "losing yourself." Learn prevention techniques and the responses to make if you are victimized at FightIdentityTheft. Think it won't happen to you? Read Jenny Bader's 2001 N.Y. Times article... click on Paranoid Lately?, then use your browser's Edit|Find feature to find the title word "Paranoid", about one-fifth down this webpage. Prefer reading Federaleze? Check the Federal Trade Commission's March 2002 report on Identity Theft. This article also gives FTC hot-line phone numbers and websites for reporting ID theft.   
It's difficult getting good information about bond markets, especially for municipal bonds. Basic debt security definitions can be found in some places and some websites have today's Treasury and Corporate price quotes. SEC pressure on the industry has led to the creation of InvestingInBonds.Com and MunicipalBonds.Com. At these sites, you can view yield curve data for municipal as well as taxable bonds, read a bond buyer's primer and glossary, get one-day-delayed municipal bond trade prices aggregated from all US transactions, and make interactive calculations on municipal bond yields, durations, and cash flow. The industry had promised the SEC it will move toward 15-minute-delayed, same day reporting of municipal bond trades later in 2004.
Some websites you visit leave "spyware" on your computer that track your activity on the web and report it to third parties without your knowledge! Often the information is aggregated and not personally identified. Other times it's used to target your computer with advertising that complements your browsing history. Occasionally spyware has malicious purposes, like capturing all your keystroke entries so that PINs and passwords can be stolen ("encryption" only protects your passwords in transit over the web, not at your keyboard!). Ad-Aware is a free program (for personal use) that finds spyware and deletes it. This program was written by Swedish programmer Lavasoft and works like an anti-virus program... you download the latest (free) "spyware signature file", then Ad-Aware sweeps your entire computer in search of rogue spyware. If you're an active web surfer, consider running Ad-Aware every week.

[Note: American Superior Company receives no compensation or consideration of any kind from the operators of the sites listed above for their inclusion. We do not endorse any products or services these operators may sell or provide free from their sites. Any and all consequences of visiting these sites, and of using or responding to any site content (including downloadable content), are entirely your responsibility and undertaken entirely at your own risk. If you have an unfavorable experience at any of the listed sites, or if there's an interesting site you think we should add to this list, send us an e-mail.

Updated 2012

 

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