Welp, there goes my evening ...
October 12, 2021 7:40 AM   Subscribe

What useful unknown website do you wish more people knew about? This Reddit Thread Of The Most Useful Websites That Most People Might Not Know About Will Make You Fall Down The Ultimate Internet Rabbit Hole. via digg

This *will* cause interrupt in even the strongest, most disciplined online citizens. Click at your own risk.
posted by dancestoblue (75 comments total) 356 users marked this as a favorite
 
This Reddit Thread... via digg

Internet Different
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:49 AM on October 12 [37 favorites]


My answer would be Logical Increments, a vital resource when building out PCs to determine just what budgets and specs map to optimal component purchases.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:50 AM on October 12 [25 favorites]


Lots of good suggestions in that thread (and I didn't know Tineye was still around). Thanks for posting it!

I didn't see it after a brief scan/search, so here's one of my favorites: OnlineConversion.com. I use its percent calculator all the time, but it also covers everything from length to international clothing sizes. And it gets bonus points for its extremely old-school design.

Two more while I'm at it: PayPal Fee Calculator does what it says, and replacementdocs is a handy archive of video game manuals.
posted by May Kasahara at 7:59 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]


This Reddit Thread... via digg

I guess while we're at it, digg's own One Main Character column is useful for understanding Twitter
posted by Wobbuffet at 8:14 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


I didn't know Digg was still around!
posted by Braeburn at 8:15 AM on October 12 [14 favorites]


Some single serving sites I have bookmarked:
Portmanteau & Rhyme Generator - Perfect for taking two words and making them work together
Routeshuffle - Generates different length routes from a starting point for running/biking
Safety Sign Generator - Make hazard signs for fun!
Punchfork - Recipe only search engine with rankings and diet filters
posted by msbutah at 8:18 AM on October 12 [20 favorites]


OSINT Framework is a tidily organized list of investigation tools. I mainly use it for genealogy and checking for bullshit, but there's a lot there.
posted by tavella at 8:28 AM on October 12 [12 favorites]


CyberChef is a very useful text-slicing web tool, put out by GCHQ (but it's verifiably client-side, & is OSS and can be downloaded if you don't trust them).
It's saved my bacon more than a couple times just being there & easy to iteratively explore "ok, I have this text, how do I get it into a useful state?"
posted by CrystalDave at 8:33 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Time and Date is a veritable Swiss Army Knife of time and date manipulation resources. How many days from now is X? How many weeks? How many business days? And one I use very regularly: the International Meeting Planner.
posted by scolbath at 8:34 AM on October 12 [15 favorites]


justwatch.com - find out what show/movie is available on what streaming/rental service
seterra.com - learn geography with a minimal UI
shortcutfoo.com - learn keyboard shortcuts for a variety of apps/tools (free tier/paid tier)
text only/low bandwidth CNN | text only/low bandwidth NPR
wildflowersearch.org - search for local flora (most useful feature is you can limit search to geographic region, time of year, elevation, etc.)
posted by gwint at 8:34 AM on October 12 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: I didn't know it was still around.
posted by Nelson at 8:43 AM on October 12 [20 favorites]


Garage Compilation Database - see which of the 100s of garage rock compilation LPs issued in the last ~40 years contain a particular track, or tracks by a particular artist.

Court Listener - metasearch covering millions of US court decisions w/alerts feature.

Newspaper Navigator - image search companion to the Library of Congress' Chronicling America project.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank and Scopus Preview - free tools for assessing the impact factor of scholarly journals.

Time Travel - metasearch for cached web pages.

Open States - search and get alerts on state-level legislation in the US.

Just the Recipe - converts recipe pages cluttered with foodie lifestyle bloviation to a clean, easy to read recipe.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:46 AM on October 12 [9 favorites]


Pretty niche but I use epoch convertor all the time. It's the site that tells you that the current time is 1634053468, or that the Javascript timestamp for the Y2K rollover is 946684800000. Default site is the Unix epoch but it has support for other epochs like the weird one MacOS uses.
posted by Nelson at 8:46 AM on October 12 [8 favorites]


A few more:

lichess - by far the best chess site (play,practice,learn) free, no ads
ev-database.org - easily get info and compare electric car models
"Secret" Neflix genre codes
naturalearthdata.com - free vector and raster maps
museo.app - keyword search across multiple museum databases, returns images
flim.ai - like the above but for movies
posted by gwint at 8:46 AM on October 12 [8 favorites]


The comment thread referring thistothat.com turns into a very interesting discussion about the nature of various kinds of plastics. thistothat can be useful about using adhesives on many materials, but can be deceptively vague about plastics, which can react quite differently depending on the composition.
posted by ovvl at 8:52 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


acscdg.com - a simple and lightweight tool to plot great-circle distances on a map.
posted by teraflop at 8:52 AM on October 12


Just the Recipe - converts recipe pages cluttered with foodie lifestyle bloviation to a clean, easy to read recipe.

Someone in the thread mentions it, and someone else responds with my own favorite - Copy Me That, which lets you copy and save the recipe (and JUST the recipe) into a database you can access at will. They also have menu planner and grocery-list generator functions which I've never used; but I've been using the free web-based version of Copy Me That for a couple years now and just copying and saving the recipes alone has been a boon (99.9% of the time I'm using it to pull up recipes for foodstuffs I already have and am all "what was the recipe for the plum cake again? Oh, here we are.").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:55 AM on October 12 [11 favorites]


IT ME
posted by lalochezia at 9:03 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


Oh - an added benefit to the aforementioned Copy Me That: It also automatically bypasses the paywall for the online NY Times Food recipes. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been tempted by NY Times Food section actually showing me a recipe online, but the second I try to bookmark it or print it or do anything other than just stare at it in that one moment, it throws up a paywall. But I have the Copy Me That browser extension now, and now when I am looking at the NY Times recipe, one click on the Copy Me That extension and it grabs the recipe, copies it to itself, and opens up the copy for my review in a separate tab so I can make any notes before closing the NY Times tab, the recipe safely clipped.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on October 12 [14 favorites]


RoadSideAmerica
posted by gottabefunky at 9:19 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]




I love these kinds of lists but I generally forget the existence of all these handy dandy sites. Old age.
posted by jcworth at 9:25 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Well, close MeFi down I guess.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:27 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


CardBear.com aggregates and compares sites that sell/resell gift cards. (I have used maybe six of these referred sites and they were all legit.) Going to the movies at AMC? Get yourself a gift card for 26.3% off and then pay with that. It's also nice when you have a relative you need to buy something for who you know favors some kind of corporate chain or other. I sent my brother $50 of Lowe's gift cards once for like $39.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:29 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


I love these kinds of lists but I generally forget the existence of all these handy dandy sites.

Pinboard - cheap [$11 US/year] + very useful cloud bookmarking / tagging / annotation tool.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:31 AM on October 12 [10 favorites]


Soap Calc isn't the only recipe calculator for home soapmaking, it does have a weight of ads on the side -- but it's always worked well for me.
posted by gimonca at 9:57 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


This is part of TINEYE, but their Color Search lab app is SUPER fun.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 10:28 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


So, I am going to add a tangential "I'm looking for a site that does [x]" thread in hopes.

I have in the past seen that it's possible to take a bunch of pictures of different people and feed them all into some kind of AI program and it generates a single image that is some kind of amalgamation of all of the input - not that it takes the eyes from one picture and the nose from another, but it sort of....averages everything somehow.

Is there a site that does that with user-provided uploads? I'm looking for a site that will let me take five photos of five particular people and sort of combine/synthesize/whatever them into a compiled image.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on October 12


It's pretty niche, but the Lorem Ipsum generator is useful for generating "lifelike" blobs of text for layout design.
posted by SPrintF at 10:34 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


SPrintF, I see your Lorem and raise you: Bacon Ipsum
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 10:38 AM on October 12 [9 favorites]


Without having read the OVER9000 reddit comments, these are some of my goto’s:

DeepL - best free online translations

Outline - article-unclutterer

Downsub - save captions/transcripts from YT et. al.

Forecast - darksky.net’s weather web app

Biodiversity Heritage Library - a veritable treasure trove of digitized nature sciences manuscripts and vintage/ancient texts

Mapchecking - agile crowd-size estimator

Falling Fruit - not sure how updated the site is, just an idea I loved (available as mobile apps, now)
posted by progosk at 10:50 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]


Zome Calculator.

In case you want to build a zome.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 10:58 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


I discovered a site yesterday that seems useful. I was watching "Euphoria" (the HBO tv series) and was wondering what one of the songs on the soundtrack was and did a googling, which led me to tunefind.com, which from what I can tell is crowd-sourced like a wiki and just lists all the songs that appear in various episodes of TV shows. Good idea.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:05 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


I am always using The True Size of.. to realize not only how small European countries are but just how enormous Africa is, among other things.
posted by vacapinta at 11:08 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


Linguee. Machine learning translation has gotten quite good, but sometimes nothing beats seeing how your word or phrase has been translated by other actual humans in translated documents.
posted by solotoro at 12:00 PM on October 12 [8 favorites]


usefulwebsitethreads.com is a collection of the best "useful website threads"

Or it should be, anyhow
posted by etherist at 12:12 PM on October 12


Which leads to... This site can't be reached
posted by y2karl at 12:23 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


How useful
posted by wheelieman at 12:31 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


I still use Rome2Rio to compare plane vs. train vs. automobile.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:33 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


The Internet Pinball Database is a comprehensive, searchable encyclopedia of virtually every pinball machine ever commercially made. Includes images, player guides, user manuals, EPROM files, lots more.
posted by mookoz at 12:58 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter:MetaFilter
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:09 PM on October 12 [20 favorites]


Well, I’ve learned everything I know about the Internet from Metafilter. I am not plugged in or jacked in or whatever you kids say. So, I can only offer up something I found here, on an Ask thread, I think. Anyway. I heartily recommend chesstactics.org, a free e-text of Predator at the Chess Board, an awesome—absolutely awesome!—primer on chess tactics and strategy. The e-text is a joy to use too. Really thoughtful, helpful people worked on this project.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:28 PM on October 12 [9 favorites]


It's mentioned in the big subreddit thread too, but I love to give a shout-out to https://mynoise.net/ any chance I get. Of all the noise apps and services, MyNoise is absolutely the best. It's difficult to describe, but there's a depth of expertise and execution here that I haven't seen anywhere else:
  • Site owner and main developer Stéphane Pigeon is a "a signal processing Ph.D. engineer with a strong passion for sounds"
  • The vast majority of the over 200(!) sound generators on MyNoise are field recordings made by Pigeon, and he regularly collaborates with other field recorders and sound design pros to make new sounds.
  • The coolest innovations of MyNoise are the mixing panel and the ability to make "super generators" (basically, a bunch of premixed sounds combined into a new generator...I think you have to have donated to access this feature)
  • Bonus: I can't vouch for the Android app but the MyNoise.net iOS app has been a mainstay on my phone for about 6 years now. There's a one-time in-app purchase to access all the sounds from the app, it's like $5 USD and worth every cent.
  • The FAQ/about page (https://mynoise.net/about.php) is actually helpful!
My favorite sounds? So glad you asked lol: MyNoise is one of those websites/services from "the good old days", a passion project run by one person who happens to have deep knowledge in their field. It offers plenty of free goodies for casual users, and the service is monetized through a very simple donation system that unlocks some pretty sweet extras.

That said, for a one-time donation of $5 USD you get lifetime access to all of these features:
  • easy access to all generators (for the regular visitor, the main index page only lists a selection of our best sounds)
  • animation control, slider randomizations and tape speed control on each sound generator page
  • Super Generators and their ability to play multiple sounds simultaneously or sequentially
  • Magic Generators and their ability to surprise you, always
  • ability to tag your favorites generators on the index page
  • instant access to the myNoise community page, offering you a lot - A LOT - of new sound combinations!
  • the ability to post, vote and comment on the myNoise community page
  • the fallback network, should you have problems accessing the website from our public servers
  • cloud storage (transfer your settings from one computer to another)
  • multiple calibration curves (via cloud storage)
  • mp3 downloads (the actual number of downloads allowed will depend on your donation level)
  • free access to Calmy Leon (another sound app that's pretty good)
  • an access to our private discussion board on Slack (for monthly donors only)
  • easter eggs and undocumented surprises...
Well I think I sound like I'm shilling for myNoise.net, but honestly I'm just a huge fan. I can't listen to music during work (too distracting) so having access to high quality drones and rain noise is a big deal for me. It's one of the few sites other then MeFi that I regularly donate too, because if it ever goes away I'll be incredibly bummed out.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:01 PM on October 12 [53 favorites]


You can do anything at Zombocom. Anything at all. The only limit is yourself.
posted by ambulocetus at 2:10 PM on October 12 [17 favorites]


Get your rockin' chair, pipe and slippers out, as we're going back to the early and mid 90's for a couple of places on Ye Olde World Wide Webbe...

1. While MetaFilter is a bit of a Johnny-come-lately site, the Scout Report started over half a decade earlier (April 1994), producing a weekly sort-of formal "Best of the Internet" roundup. To quote:

Each week, the Scout Report's editors select and annotate five websites or online resources in each of two categories: General Interest and a Theme section. Websites in the Theme section are united by a subject or diciplinary focus that varies from week to week, while those in General Interest span a range of STEM, arts, humanities, and curiosities.

It's still going.

2. Jessamyn West is a librarian of some repute who resides in Vermont, a state in the NE of the USA. Jessamyn has been blogging and online diarying since the mid-90s, and her website was an influential one for many in the LIS (Library and Information Science) community. The line from her 1997 online bio, "I just got my Master's Degree in Library Science which got bent in half by the mailman in its Do Not Bend envelope." was one I highlighted in a presentation to the UK Library Association and a government minister later that year, which as I type this I realise is very nearly a quarter of a century ago oh god a quarter of a century

Jessamyn's many skills include snapping up domain names before anyone else thinks to, and moss.
posted by Wordshore at 2:17 PM on October 12 [15 favorites]


I guess while we're at it, digg's own One Main Character column is useful for understanding Twitter

This is a fantastic column and something I've been looking for for a while. But they don't seem to have an RSS feed, because the internet is stupid and nobody wants to make it friendlier. Oh well.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:26 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


https://neal.fun/deep-sea/ is a favorite! simple stats on what can dive in the ocean, and what lies beneath. it's all in the presentation.
posted by eustatic at 3:02 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]




Pixlr.com: The most capable, headache-free Photoshop rip-off I've found. Free and online, and my ad blocker eliminates the big horrid ads that used to clutter up the interface. (Note that for some unfathomable reason they recently did away with the pop-up that asked if you really want to leave the site without saving your work, so the "reload page" button has become a landmine again.)
Remove.bg: Upload a jpeg or paste in a URL, and they'll instantly remove the background so only the humans in the pic remain.
Unscreen.com/upload: Instantly remove the background from a gif or video. Variably effective, but it can save a lot of work. You can also superimpose your subject over the background of your choice.
EZgif.com: Make a gif, crop a gif, reverse a gif, add text to a gif or tweak the colors, speed it up or slow it down... pretty much anything you can think of doing to a gif, you can do here.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:25 PM on October 12 [21 favorites]


As a person who very often has to copy and paste things like headlines for work, I am obsessed with convertcase. Turns all caps or sentence case into title case with the click of a button.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:32 PM on October 12 [6 favorites]


Define the Internet.

This thread and that reddit thread.

Done.
posted by filtergik at 4:15 PM on October 12


The Internet Movie Cars Database has the cars that appear in movies. What were the cars in Kiss me Deadly? Got ya covered.
posted by nothing.especially.clever at 4:57 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


There’s an Internet Movie Firearms Database, too, which isn’t usually relevant to my interests (although I’m occasionally curious about some goofy-looking gun in like a John Wick movie or something), but might be relevant to somebody’s.
posted by box at 5:07 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


A couple of mathy sites, since the OP already mentioned wolfram and geogebra. The Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS) has around half a million interesting lists of numbers. Try the WebCam. The Knot Atlas has links too.
posted by TreeRooster at 5:08 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


FantasticFiction is a great site for hunting down everything your favorite authors have published.
posted by Beholder at 5:13 PM on October 12


There’s an Internet Movie Firearms Database, too, which isn’t usually relevant to my interests (although I’m occasionally curious about some goofy-looking gun in like a John Wick movie or something), but might be relevant to somebody’s.

There's a site like that for cars in movies, but I really wish there was one for clothes.
posted by Beholder at 5:15 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


justwatch.com - find out what show/movie is available on what streaming/rental service

So useful these days. They cover channels you didn't know existed.

everymac.com - All the Macs (and iPods and c.) in detail.
comicvine.com - Comics database. Find , e.g., what comics Chip Zdarsky appeared in as a character in two steps. Has an API.
photopea.com - Photoshop in a browser. Even works on iPads. (N.B. distinct from Pixlr.com mentioned above, which I only just heard of so I can't compare.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:27 PM on October 12


Someone in the thread mentions it, and someone else responds with my own favorite - Copy Me That, which lets you copy and save the recipe (and JUST the recipe) into a database you can access at will.

To clarify, what you’re doing here is taking content that an individual created and removing that content from an environment that generates revenue for that person and moving it to an environment that generates revenue for someone else instead. So you can easily find their words and efforts and instructions and ensure they don’t get as much as a single pageview from you.

Copy Me That has extensive instructions for bloggers to request removal of their content; these forms exist because of high demand. It’s a shit deal for anyone who has actually created the content.
posted by kate blank at 5:58 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


Maintained by the Fish & Wildlife Service, The Feather Atlas can identify what kind of bird and where on that bird a feather came from.
posted by workerant at 6:02 PM on October 12 [7 favorites]


Oh thought of another! If you enjoy text-based adventures/interactive fiction, you probably already know about it, but if you are less familiar and you want to explore lots of great works in that genre, from well-known authors and undiscovered ones alike, check out the Interactive Fiction DataBase (IFDB), which doesn't only collect as many works as it can, it also offers tons of community-generated curation options to find exactly what floats your boat.
posted by solotoro at 6:13 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't say it's unknown, but if anybody isn't familiar with Diagrams.net/Draw.io and needs an exceedingly capable free diagram editor, you're in luck. It's really an excellent product.
posted by ropeladder at 6:56 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]


Copy Me That has extensive instructions for bloggers to request removal of their content; these forms exist because of high demand. It’s a shit deal for anyone who has actually created the content.

I would suggest that who have created the content would do well to reflect upon why sites which allow people to do this exist, and to perhaps think of an alternate approach for how to create content that doesn't piss off a considerable number of the people they are seeking for their target audience.


In other words: people wouldn't be using Copy Me that or Just The Recipe if food bloggers DID post just the recipe, as opposed to 973 photos and an essay about how their kid said it was "scrum-tummy-licious" and how it was so cute because they got that word from their best friend in Kindergarten or what the hell ever, I don't care I just want to know how to make the damn cake or whatever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:24 PM on October 12 [10 favorites]


Yeah but all that extra stuff is there to provide ad space to try to make a buck in order to keep writing recipes because the internet is a hellscape.
posted by rewil at 11:19 PM on October 12 [11 favorites]


All that extra stuff is also there for search engine optimization—Google won't rank "thin content", and without all that prose and description, it'll be missing the keywords to get it to show up in searches. Also because just a plain recipe is of questionable copyrightability unless accompanied by "substantial literary expression".

Or, in (kinda jerk-ish) song form.
posted by JiBB at 12:44 AM on October 13 [7 favorites]


When you have an existential crisis OneZoom has your back. Knows where that Western Red Cedar is too. And shows that whales are closer to cows than either are to pigs. MetaPrev.
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:35 AM on October 13 [4 favorites]


Yeah but all that extra stuff is there to provide ad space to try to make a buck in order to keep writing recipes because the internet is a hellscape.

Just like the paywall sites put up paywalls and put ads up there, but I don't see any sniping in here about the site that gets you around those. Why are you singling me out?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:56 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]


Wordoid is a generator of novel company or website names - it will also check whether the generated name is available as a .com etc. Want some more novel 10 letter domain names starting with "meta" and pronounceable in English and French - they have you covered.

Fake name generator: Do you want the name, address, credit card number, blood type, car owned and favourite colour of a ... Finnish... female (or even a bulk list of such people) - this site has you covered.
posted by rongorongo at 5:05 AM on October 13


Outline - article-unclutterer

You can also use Outline to bypass leaky paywalls (e.g. the New Statesman) when your article limit is up.
posted by rollick at 5:29 AM on October 13


Before I had a phone that could copy/paste to my laptop, I used cl1p.net a lot. It’s an internet clipboard. You create a unique cl1p.net URL and you can save stuff on that page to go back to another time.
posted by Night_owl at 6:52 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Archive.org bookmarklet for getting around article paywalls

Theoldreader, or just RSS readers in general.

Pinboard.in for online bookmarking. Are.na is another pretty good one (and fancier design), but it costs more. It has a lot of social features though.

If this, than that (IFTTT) is the backbone of the social internet, I'm not sure enough people know about it.

ILXor.com, the best music discussion board online.

Mastodon and dreamwidth, but they're nice social networks (depending on the section) **because** no one knows about them so then again, maybe not.

Metafilter, of course.
posted by subdee at 6:59 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


StillTasty can help with your "can I eat this?" questions.

Papago offers surprisingly accurate machine translation between Korean and English. (Machine translation from Korean is notoriously terrible.)

Mirinae Korean Language Explorer parses and explains the grammatical elements in Korean sentences. It's very useful if you're studying Korean. Here's a video explaining how Mirinae works.
posted by Lexica at 1:36 PM on October 13


If you ever wondered what pressure to inflate your bike tires to, the Silca Professional Tire Pressure Calculator has got you covered.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:01 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Another one: World Time Buddy is very useful if you're trying to deal with time zone conversions.
posted by Lexica at 4:44 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


Bond Lifestyle tells you the identity of pretty much every item of clothing, location, gadget or accessory - associated with any James Bond film.
posted by rongorongo at 7:08 AM on October 14


explainshell.com - takes linux shell commands and tries to match the relevant man page section for each portion. So, if someone tells you to run
dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall > "packages_$USER"
you can quickly get an idea of what it is doing. It's not perfect--especially with non-standard man pages--but it gives you links to the actual (ubuntu) man pages if you need to dig further.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:59 PM on October 14 [4 favorites]


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