There's always something interesting going on with technology.

I was interested to see a new development in LibraryThing - now there are fields to add more information about authors and books. For books, there are editable fields for character names and significant places and - this one's interesting - editors. For authors, you can put in various biographical bits of info, including agents. If you are an author and your book(s) are in the catalog, you can edit your own. It's pretty neat. (Your books aren't in the catalog? Sign up and add them! Then send Abby an e-mail about becoming an LT author.)

Also today, I found out several more cities are now included in its amazing (and sometimes slightly creepy) Street Views. Now you can virtually stroll down streets in Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tucson and Pittsburgh as well as the previous cities included in the program. These are pretty cool if you're trying to remember what a street corner looks like. Or whether your neighbor was caught on camera scratching in an embarrassing place.

As readers or writers, are there technology tools or websites you can't live without? Ones that are enormous time sinks?

Yeah, we know - Crimespace fits the bill. Others?

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STOP, You're Killing Me is one I check, mainly to make sure names aren't overused. You can't be absolutely certain nobody else is using a surname, but for my protagonists I like to check.

I also refer to a few Baby Names sites (one of which keeps historical information so that you can pick appropriate names depending on the age of the characters).

There are a few blogs I'm pretty addicted to. I guess I'd have to say Crimespot is very helpful in guiding me to the latest updates.
Neat! I use SYKM for checking series, but never thought of checking against it for character names. The name site I often use is from the US Social Security Administration because you can see popular names by year of birth and also by state. Don't know if there's a Canadian equivalent.
Damn, that's a handy site. I've added it to the resources section.
I just discovered a new site: Street Peeper. Snapshots of people on the street in various American cities. Their clothing and accessories are described. I'm not real knowledgeable about female clothing, so this helps to dress my characters. Just put a six-foot five transvestite in "ballet flats" thanks to the site. :)
Now, that's cool. I would need help, too, choosing footwear for a six-foot five transvestite, though I might just ask Donna's advice.

The Millions is new to me, Margot. Holy moly, more reason to whip out the credit card.

I just discovered Random House's Book Widgets. I'd heard of them, but didn't realize you could actually embed a bit of java code in your website and make books full-text browsable! Better than Amazon's Search Inside.

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