Written by: Jasna Sýkorová
The news goes hand in hand with your morning coffee. While newspapers and magazines have internet counterparts, there are also news reporting projects that don’t devastate our forests, producing news on the spot purely electronically.
A selection of news from Czech dailies and specialized magazines. The site is well arranged but somewhat impersonal. News reports are up-to-date, relevant, and divided into chapters (for example, “From this Country”). By clicking on a title, the visitor arrives at full texts even in periodicals for which files fees are normally charged. Unfortunately, when searching for old reports it is impossible to learn how far back the database goes, and results are incomplete. After registering free of charge, one can arrange to have news according to key words sent to a mobile phone, or modify the appearance of the site.
Original news, up-dated by the minute. Although ČTK does not issue its own newspaper, its web site comes close – in terms of graphics and the amount of information. Topics have their own complete sections, such as traffic and news reports. The crowning jewels are Coming Events and discussion forums on topical themes (e.g., war in Iraq). For those looking for more than reading material, there are on-line interviews or travel logs. There is also a ranking of the most-read articles. Some news reports are in audio format, so you can listen to them. Not surprisingly, searching is notable poorer than with the paid version.
The Newton group’s news portal is one of the leading Czech administrators of electronic news files. Compiled news reports are standard, relying mainly on dailies. Although the sections are cleverly thought-out and offer a selection of the most-read articles or topics, the site design is a bit sterile and not very well arranged. Searching, which is the strong point of Newton’s paid services, is nothing special either. A professional-looking web site, but lacking in pizzazz.
Britské listy – at the beginning of the day it can lift your spirits or dash them. It contains characterful commentaries that don’t strive for elegance. The site, guaranteed by publicist Jan Čulík, who lives in England, cooperates with many correspondents from all points in the political spectrum – that is, anticommunists. This year the site has been made more attractive in appearance, and in addition to commentaries, it also features on-line interviews and tracks various topics, from political to general.
This project of writer Ondřej Neff, who has assembled an online community of writers and readers, stands out with its propensity to politics, dogs, and science. The site opens with updated news in brief that later expands into larger commentaries. These are serious even despite the humorous tone of the site. Content is supplemented by translated BBC news reports from abroad. Users will find many links to other projects, either the site’s or associates’.
A printed encyclopedia adapted for the internet. The user can search brief entries in Otto’s Encyclopedia, the Small Czechoslovak Encyclopedia, and the Universum Encyclopedia. Complete results are available for fees on the order of hundreds of crowns (according to the extensiveness of the search).
Health care supplies should be available even without searching. This new internet shop, connected with an information portal on health care, tries to resolve this problem. So far the assortment is very limited, confined mainly to therapeutic mattresses and barrier-free access products.
A rather interesting project that offers the option of placing orders for jewelry over the phone for pick-up in person or delivery by the Czech postal service. The jewelry, except for wedding rings, is quite simple, costing from a few hundred to two thousand crowns. A competitor, www.sperky.cz, will arrive on the net in January..
This site’s motto could be “internet radio against xenophobia”. Broadcasts are organized by Romanies for (not only) the Roma community, and feature a hit parade, astrology, news, and topical programs focused on, for example, asylum homes. Software for free listening can be downloaded from the site.
|word of the month:
– Long winter evenings can be spiced up with a pleasant, nearly never-ending flow of music. You can get this thanks to the compressed format for music files – MP3. If you want to set up your own disco program from your favorite CDs, first you have to convert them to this format. This process is called grabbing. There is a program for using it usually called grabber or ripper (i.e., Audiograbber, free of charge for a limited time). You can mix play lists from grabbed CDs right in your computer on virtual players like WinAmp, or you can burn your own CDs to play on your stereo.