The Portal

A Guide To New And Cool Stuff

December 16, 2008

* Frustrated about the difficulty of keeping their hands warm while texting, two British designers devised the Etre Touchy gloves - with only the tips of the thumb and index finger exposed. They're billed as "part normal pair of gloves, part fingerless pair of gloves," which cover your middle, ring and little fingers completely. They're available for about $22.50 at etretouchy.com.

* Kidthing.com, a learning and entertainment platform for children ages 3-11, is another reminder that kids are growing up in a world much different from their parents'. It's a free, downloadable, digital media player, like iTunes, filled with games, digital books, activities and videos from favorite companies and brands, most for between $1 and $7. Parents and kids can visit the kidthing store to preview, purchase and download digital versions of books from Dr. Seuss, Paws Inc. (Garfield) and others. Some come with animation and sound, so you can see, for example, Horton pawing through the clover searching for a dust speck. Some free games are currently offered in a Countdown to Christmas.

On the Web

* Videoclimb.com bills itself as having "the best climbing videos on the net." The site - a YouTube-style layout that allows users to register, rate and post videos and even categorize videos according to channels like "big wall" and "movie trailer" - does take its self-appellation very seriously.

* Care.com is an online resource that helps connect consumers with the right care provider - from baby-sitters to tutors to pet providers. These days, it's tackling questions such as how much to tip at holiday time and should the economy change the way you reward?

* Savor the Success offers a combo of online networking and monthly in-person events at savorthesuccess.com. It's designed to help women reach their entrepreneurial goals.

The site was founded by Angela Jia Kim and Marc Stedman, a wife-husband team in New York. Kim is a concert pianist and founder and CEO of Om Aroma & Co., a luxury organic spa and skincare line. Stedman is a Web developer specializing in social media network Web sites.

* Thepuppychannel.com recently relaunched with new technology, free video players and White House dog nominations. It bills itself as a Web site dedicated to "all things puppies." Besides giving users an opportunity to upload puppy videos, photos, art and audio, the site lets puppy fans meet one another and share videos and commentary.

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