Early adopter itch, headlines in a pinch in latest Net Notes

Techno-anxiety part two, a great site for a global view of what’s in the news and online contests fill today’s edition of Net Notes.

Although fear of new technology is the most recognized definition of techno-anxiety, another school of thought addresses the flip side. It’s the fear that you aren’t keeping up with the latest-and-greatest gizmo craze and the compulsion to act on it.

You probably know someone who fits this bill. It may be you. If you just have to have the newest i-thingy, no matter what the cost or what the prerelease reviews are saying, you have the disease. I call it early adopter syndrome, and I try like heck to avoid wearing that club’s lapel pin.

I’m in a unique position to oftentimes get my hands on the phone, software or other whiz-bang gizmo without having to dish out the hundreds of dollars the gotta-have-it group pays. Of course, the manufacturer wants me to write a review of their electronic breakthrough, and I often do. Some are good, others not so much.

The beauty of the Internet is the community aspect, so it never takes long for a critical mass of people to speak their minds by reviewing gizmos, books, movies, cameras, cars and anything available for sale anywhere. By paying attention to user reviews on sites like Shopzilla, Yahoo, Amazon or any of the plethora of similar consumer feedback sites, you should be armed with plenty of information to make good purchase decisions.

Several years ago I was shopping for a new truck and did endless research on many automotive sites. I’d narrowed my choices to two, then headed for a local dealership to meet with their "Internet expert." He knew I was coming, yet couldn’t hold back his feelings that "online shoppers know too much." I didn’t buy from that dealership, which is no longer in business.

The Web is the greatest research tool ever created. Learn to use it.

Newseum

(www.newseum.org)

All news junkies will want to bookmark this site. Front pages from more than 600 newspapers from across the globe are just a click away.

Most of the pages are legible enough to read the stories on the screen, and navigating from newspaper to newspaper is very easy. Start at the home page and follow the "Today’s Front Pages" link.

Contests, contests

Help us find the cutest pup on the Web. The reviewjournal.com and viewnews.com sites are sponsoring the Polished Pooch contest. Start at either home page and follow the links for voting.

We’re also sponsoring a set of college basketball tournament contests, a NASCAR contest and several others.

The best part? All are free!

Share your Internet story with me at agibes@reviewjournal.com.

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