I have to confess to being in two minds about short URLs. On the one hand they’re awesome for delivering compact web addresses in email messages and suchlike, but on the other they basically break the web. For one thing if the company or domain goes away, so does a big chunk of the web’s links, and for another they can be used to shield some pretty nasty sites and malware delivery mechanisms.
Which is why this LongURL is a great little service to bookmark. The premise is simple. When you come across a short URL, just add it to the box and the service will automagically expand it so you can see where the destination is. Very handy for checking whether you’re going to Fordmotorcompany.com or trojanGotcha.net.
The service supports tinyurl.com, bit.ly and a goodly selection of the major link shortening services out there. As well as a website, there are also plugins available for the major web browsers, although the Firefox one doesn’t seem to work with the latest version, sadly. Still, definitely worth a bookmark or two.