Games, Apps

Are there any better web browsers for mobile phones?

Question: I have My Portfolio set up at iGoogle and can see it fine on a PC. But when I go to iGoogle using my Blackberry it does not show up - everything else on the iGoogle home page I have does. How can I see My Portfolio? (I used to have it at my Excite homepage but they no longer offer that service of showing your personal portfolio.

Answer: The default web browser that comes with Blackberry mobile phones is just "ok", but not great. It doesn't do a very good job of showing complex web pages, and usually strips them down to a more mobile-friendly smaller screen size.

Opera has a web browser that's completely free called Opera Mini, that runs quite a bit better on a wide variety of phones. It lets you view web pages in full view, and let's you zoom in on the areas that you want to see.

Here's the iGoogle page in full screen view:

Notice the rectangle on the screen? That's the zoom viewfinder, and watch how it zooms into that area of the screen when I click the scroll button:


Are Webkinz Safe For Your Kids When They're Online?

Question: My kids love their Webkinz toys and collect them - they each have several of them, and they play with them online a lot. Are they safe though, or should I be concerned?

Answer: My kids have tons of Webkinz too, and so do all of their friends. They even gave one to their 5th-grade teacher for a Christmas present this year!

Webkinz are completely safe, and are one activity that I am completely comfortable with my kids doing online. Believe me, I checked it out thoroughly and had them walk me through the things you can do online with their Webkinz.

Webkinz are fluffy stuffed animals that come with a unique ID on each one's collar tag. That ID lets them log into the Webkinz web site where they can do fun things like play games with their pets, buy their pets toys, and feed their pets.

They also can interact with other Webkinz owners in a controlled instant messaging chat environment. They can initiate chat sessions or reply to IM messages, but they're only allowed to select from a list of predefined topics.

There's no free-handed typing allowed, so there's no need to worry about exposing your kids to inappropriate adult conversations.