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Sunday, July 31, 2005

 
Ariadne has just been published, and follow the link to read the Ariadne Issue 44 | Contents. Lots this time around on accessibility, news from all the regular columns (my article is about Google and Search: Some of the Latest Developments), and reports on a number of different conferences. All good stuff - take a quick look.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

 
Real Tech News - Independent Tech 16 Things that Really Annoy Most Web Users is a report that won't surprise many people. Pop-ups are way out in front on 34.9% and second is a need to register and logon before viewing the site at 16.7%. If you want to know what the other 14 are, follow the link!

 
Google Fight : Make a fight with googleFight is mildly amusing. Type in two terms, see which one wins! Actually, there is some value in it if you're trying to see which is the most used term, for webpage content design.

 
I finally got around to adding in my Blogroll, as I view it from Bloglines - they have a nifty utility to call it up and pop it into the page. If you can't see it, scroll down the page a tad and it'll be there.

 
beenmapped.com - Bookmark the Earth! is another nice little utility to share places of interest with other people using Google maps.

 
BBC NEWS | Magazine | From the editor's desktop covers some interesting points - the use of photographs and video of events taken by members of the public - should the BBC ask for/use them (yes is the answer) and the idea of the BBC using blogs. No is the answer for that one. The editors says 'until our kit can produce a blog that behaves properly I've banned us calling anything on the site a blog. And when we can do them technically, I have identified only one as a priority - this column.'

 
This Is Broken is an interesting site. People email in and talk about things that are broken. Odd signs, things that don't do what they should do etc. What's of particular interest to me however, are references to websites that don't work properly, which is useful for the courses that I run.

 
An article in eWeek.com called Firefox Builds on Its Success gives a few facts and figures on the growth of Firefox. It's zoomed past the 75 million download mark, and should reach the 100,000,000 mark by early October. It's got almost 12% share of the browser market in the US and in Europe is up to almost 15%, which I think is excellent news.

Having said that, it's still got a long way to go. I was speaking at an event the other night and took my laptop along with me. The technician who was plugging it into their network looked at Firefox as I started it up and had no clue what it was. I spent 5 minutes or so running her through the basics and she went off to download a copy. But what interested me was that she didn't know about it in the first place. Her problem or Firefox's? Both, I suspect.

 
Big Brother Enters Top Search Term List In UK links to a SearchEngineWatch article. Tops terms for the last few weeks are ebay, argos, big brother, amazon, easyjet, autotrader, ryanair, bbc, ebay uk and tesco. What gets me is that for the majority of these terms you just go to the address bar and whack a www and a .com or .co.uk on the end!

Friday, July 29, 2005

 
Really informative article from Wired entitled We Are the Web. It looks at the near past, and then goes onto 2015 in a visionary moment. I don't know if what they say is going to happen, but there's a really nice line:

There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born.

You and I are alive at this moment.


Now if that doesn't send shivers down your back, nothing will!

 
OmniMedicalSearch.com - MetaSearch the Medical Search Engines is a multi search engine for medical information. It searches 32 databases including authoritative medical search engines, image libraries and health/medical news. Databases include Medline Plus, Pubmed Central, CenterWatch, NHSDirect, HealthFinder and the National Library of Medicine. You can also limit searches to Web2, that is to say, only .gov, .edu, .org and .ac.uk domains.

 
This is a clever one. View Virtual Earth and Google Maps, side-by-side

Thursday, July 28, 2005

 
Fun toy. Make yourself a logo ala Google. Follow the link to Phil Bradley-logogle click on Google Logo Maker and do your own!

 
start.com is an unofficial MSN type experiment. I suspect that the experiment is to see how close they can come to looking like Google without getting sued. The link goes to a personalised home page (just as Google has). You can add in a whole bunch of information, such as various news channels (just like Google) and you can also add feeds (Just like Google). However, if you prefer MSN to Google, take it for a spin!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

 
MSN Virtual Earth has now come online. The emphasis is very heavily on the US at the moment, though doubtless that will change. Nice scroll facilities, but I don't like it as much as the Google offering - yet.

 
Google has added the opportunity to add more content to your personalised version. Over on the left is a link to add more content. This then opens up to allow you to choose from a slightly wider selection of News, Business, Technology, Sports, Lifestyle or Fun sections. You can also create a section, and here is where you could add in a RSS feed or two. I was quite interested to see the ability to add bookmarks as well. But it's only one at a time!

So, as far as I'm concerned, Google still needs to do more work. I need to be able to import my entire bookmark collection, and to add rss feeds more easily - stuff that will come I'm sure, and how about putting it as toolbar options?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

 
OK, it's a sunday, so I can be silly. Amusing places close to you is a fun site. Type in your post code and it'll return places that are reasonably close to you that have odd/rude/funny place names.

 
Google Maps have now added a third option - hybrid. It allows you to view the satellite version overlaid with extras, such as street names or numbers, underground stations, areas, one way streets and so on. It's far more effective than either version on their own and certainly the one that I'll be using in the future.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

 
The Devilfinder Image Browser is a search engine that's particularly good for images and video. Not one that I've seen before, but it's pulled up a lot of stuff that I've not found elsewhere. Worth trying.

Friday, July 22, 2005

 
The A2A - Access to Archives site catalogues over 8 million records from 391 record offices and other repositories.

 
Internet resources Newsletter: Issue 131 is now out. Comments, new and notable websites, nice website of the month, blogorama, go and read it! You know it makes sense.

 
Dropload is a nice little utility if you want to share large files with someone else. Any type of file, mp3, movies, docs, whatever - up to a limit of 100MB each. Your friend gets an email, and they can then come and pick up the files. The files are automatically removed after 7 days, regardless if they have been picked up or not.

 
doiop.com is another of those shorten URL services, like tinyurl or digbig. Nothing special about that, except that you do have the ability to choose your own keyword, rather than having something assigned that makes no sense at all. Consequently, I took the URL for Pinakes (excellent listing of virtual libraries with an insane URL) which is:

http://www.hw.ac.uk/libWWW/irn/pinakes/pinakes.html

and turned it into:

http://doiop.com/pinakes

Neat.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

 
According to Emojo the Harrods catalogue is, not to put too fine a point on it, pretty dire. There's an interesting comparison with the offering from John Lewis.

 
Over 300 people have been arrested in Spain for running lottery and 419 scams. It's a seriously large business! However, we can expect, for at least a while, the number of scam emails to reduce. The Register has the story.

 
Top five engines attract nearly all search traffic is a short article pointing out share traffic. The details are:

Google 37% (up from 35.3% last year)
Yahoo 30.4%
MSN 15.6%
AOL 9.2% (down from 12.9%)
Ask Jeeves 6.1% (up from 3.1%)

Consequently their share is now at 98.3%, up from 94% previously.

 
Interesting short article in the Guardian Unlimited | Online | The greater good which slates www.london.gov.uk. Makes a lot of valid points, and the designer is probably in hiding at this moment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

 
This is kinda interesting. H2O Playlist is basically lists of different websites, articles and such like that people create to share with others. RSSified which is nice. Useful for providing information on coursework, lists of useful sites that you've found and so on.

 
I'm very pleased to have been asked to join the Advisory Board of xrefer and honoured to be in such august company!

 
After Google Earth, we now have Google Moon. Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites. I never realised that the landing sites were so close together. Don't get too excited though, because it's only a small segment - NASA wouldn't give Google the whole thing. Try and zoom really close - you'll be in for a surprise!

 
Bridges to Understanding should have school teachers and school librarians going 'wow!'. It's a project to get middle school children to share their worlds with each other by digital story telling and photography. It brings children together from the developed world with those in indigenous communities. Very clever idea and one that is worthy of publicising.

 
Search Tuna is a multisearch engine that is worth a look. It takes a while to return results - 3 minutes or more (it can email them to you), but it displays results in a really interesting way. It shows what it regards as the top hit, related concepts and then 'the best websites' in various categories, such as 'Outstanding', 'Excellent', 'Good' and 'Valuable web resources'. You can also limit searches to Medicine, Science, History, Society, People and I don't know. It's very neat and great if you only need a small number of high quality results.

 
Something I should have mentioned before, but I don't use Ask Jeeves very often. They have a 'narrow your search' and 'expand your search' option. The link goes to a search on elbow, which gives some nice examples. Ask Jeeves Results - elbow

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

 
I've added a page to my site - Phil Bradley: Google Earth, Google Maps. Resources Utilities Information which looks at the resources that are available if you're interested in using Google Earth or Google maps. It covers how to get access to additional information, how to add your own material, the competition and other similar resources. Mainly links with short commentary; it's just something that I knocked out quickly. However, if you're interested in either Google Earth or Google Maps, you might want to take a quick look.

Monday, July 18, 2005

 
Yet more on the 'Google is too powerful' front. This one is an article from the Boston Globe.Some fear Google knows too much

 
Google Print For Libraries Proves Challenging is a good overview of the problems facing Google with regards the Digital Library.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

 
Seems that we're on a roll here. Another interesting article regarding privacy concerns and Google. Read it at: Google's Growth Prompts Privacy Concerns - Forbes.com

 
Google balances privacy, reach | CNET News.com Another article on the potential dangers that search engines know rather too much about us than we should be comfortable with.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

 
There's a very interesting article from the The Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier Online! regarding the amount of information Google can or could know about you. Interestingly, it's just the subject that I was talking on yesterday at the Architectural Librarians conference. The slides for that should be up shortly - I'll point them out when they are.

Friday, July 15, 2005

 
43 Places is another in the ever growing list of geographical resources. This one simply allows you to add photographs and talk about places that you love. Nicely done - useful if you're planning a holiday!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

 
I finally bowed to the inevitable and got a Flickr account. Flickr, for those of you who don't know, is a photograph sharing/storage facility. You can upload your photographs and tag them (assign keywords), and share them with everyone, or selected friends.

Flickr is ok. No more than that, and in many ways it's not even close to Fotopic. It's got a smaller upload facility, and Fotopic allows you to store up to 2,500 pictures which are all available. Flickr (from what I've seen of the freebie account) only allows the latest 200 pictures to show. I also prefer the statistics package that you get with Fotopic. Flickr seems to have 2 main advantages - tagging, which is a good idea and poorly executed (no type of controlled vocabulary for example), and the fact that it's much more widely used, with the ability to add more information and interact with other programs.

I've still not decided which one I'll use as my primary collection of photographs; I suspect that I'll end up using both for a while and seeing how it goes. However, if you've got a Flickr account and want to add me as a friend, feel free!

 
Not much from me today and tomorrow; I'm going to be in Dublin at the ARCLIB - Architecture Librarians Group conference giving a talk. It's entitled 'Google - great and glorious or grim and grisly?' which should be quite fun.

 
Google Video Search is great fun, but all too often you just view stills/images of video that you can't play. Bit like a restaurant offering a menu when they know that most of the stuff on it is off. However, we now have radio buttons! We can search all video or just playable video. Makes sense to me.

 
Pixsy is a new image search engine that 'finds unique photos the other search engines miss' by looking in blogs, social networking services and so on. Could be a useful tool if you spend a lot of your time searching for images. Thanks to Gary for this one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

 
BBC - Statistics about bbc.co.uk on 07/07/2005 is very interesting reading. Apparently at peak times during the day there were 40,000 page requests per second from News. (Yes, I did say 'per second') and total bandwidth reached 11.1 Gb per second. Amazing figures.

 
Not sure if I've mentioned this one before but Ari Paparo Dot Com: Big List of Blog Search Engines is a good listing of some of the major weblog search engines. Useful both if you want to read weblogs, but particularly if you want to add your feed to weblog search engines.

 
Highest lowest biggest smallest tallest deepest oldest youngest Continents Countries Cities Dependencies Deserts Islands Lakes Mountains Oceans Provinces Rivers Seas and more list by World Atlas This site provides a large number of factual details about the planet. It's worth visiting if you need quick facts. Not entirely sure who has put it together, so you may want to check the data against a known source.

 
SpamBob.com - Free Disposable Email Addresses to Block Spam This is a nice little utility. It comes in 3 flavours - @spambob.com, .net and .org. It allows you to set up a fake email identity and replies are either posted on the site, forwarded to you, or deleted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

 
Google Help : Advanced Search Scroll down to Numrange search and you'll see the details. Basically you put in the two numbers with 2 stops between them, like 1900..2000 and Google will run the search including any figures between those numbers. You do need to specify a unit of measurement however. The example given is:
DVD player $250..$300

Monday, July 11, 2005

 
Yahoo! Mobile is the unsurprising offering from Yahoo, trying to match the Google version. They also have a demo version that looks remarkably like the Google one as well. The main drawback however is that it's only available for the US, unlike the Google offering, which covers the UK as well.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

 
Is Google Shutting Out The Blind? is an interesting article, claiming that Google is making it hard for the visually impaired to sign into their various services because the 'captcha' (the visually distorted letters you need to type in to confirm what you want to do) cannot (as yet) be read by screen readers. It also refers to what other major search engines are doing.

 
Google Earth Hacks - Lots of downloads, information and hacks for Google Earth. If you like Google Earth, this site has a whole bunch of different hacks that you can add onto it.

 
A Virtual Library of Useful URLs Arranged by Dewey Decimal Classification does exactly what it says on the tin.

 
Gigablast is now offering a blog search option.

 
A good article from the Guardian Unlimited that talks about the power and importance of weblogs at the time of the London bombings.

Friday, July 08, 2005

 
If you're a Firefox user, Google has now produced a version of the toolbar for the browser. Features are listed from the link: Google Toolbar Help

 
Blogs blocking up search results. The author of this piece records that there are now over 13 million blogs available online. They get high rankings because they're updated frequently, focus on a subject so are keyword rich, static HTML and don't have a lot of images. I don't actually view this as 'blocking up' search results, unless you see the purpose of a search engine being to provide links to pages, rather than information. However, if this growth continues, I could easily see Google splitting blog results off into a different section, the way they've done with news, groups and images.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

 
NewsNow: London Explosions Very good website for providing links to news reports and commentary on the bombings.

 
Flickr: The London Bomb Blasts Pool has 300+ images.

 
WSJ.com - Bloggers and Photographers Chronicle Chaos in London Helpful roundup of sites and comments.

 
If you're having problems viewing video from Google because you can't identify video clips, rather than those that are just thumbnails, SearchEngineWatch has details of some hacks that might work for you.

 
As you might be aware, there have apparently been a series of bombs going off in London. The BBC site is pretty much unavailable, so if you want information try Sky news, which is up and running: Sky News : Explosion At Liverpool Street Station

Alternatively go to Google News as another useful resource.

 
Google now allows you to do currency conversions as well. The format follows the syntax of:

3.5 USD in GBP
currency of Brazil in Malaysian money
5 British pounds in Spanish money

Details in the Google Help : Search Features

 
Google Maps Transparencies is a very nice thing. It allows you to overlay a Google map, with roads and suchlike onto the satellite view or vice versa. You can choose US, Canadian or UK cities, or enter your own location of interest.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

 
MSN Search for Ireland. Does pretty much what it says on the tin, really.

 
Google Globe - Put yourself on the Globe! This is a fun site. If you've downloaded and installed Google Earth you can add your own favourite places, or take a look at those that other people have a particular fondness for.

 
Moteur de recherche - Mozbot France is a new French search engine (little use if you don't speak the language), but US and UK versions should be coming out later this year. Has some interesting features as mentioned by Gary, such as personal black list, links to the Wayback Machine, related searches, definitions, send pages/results by email and so on. I wonder if it's worth doing a search for 'Olympic Games 2012'?

 
NewsResearchUK is an interesting weblog that I've been informed about (Thanks Graham!). It's a daily update of newly published reports, briefing papers, surveys and the like that fall in the remit of relevance to news and current affairs.

Recent entries cover things such as Climate Change, United States & Drugs, International Immigration and so on.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

 
A very interesting article calledGoogle Time Bomb - Will Weblogs blow up the world's favorite search engine? - Microcontent News, a Corante.com Microblog which covers Google bombs - what they are, why people do them, how to create them and so on.

 
Compare Desktop Search Products Matrix email search tools This is a nice matrix of desktop search/email search tools. It has links to downloads, costs, O/S, computer requirements, what each indexes and if it's designed for home/business use.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

 
Sayings and Phrases - meanings and origins Fun little site. Over 2,000 phrases and sayings, popular fallacies, 'did you know', phrases from shakespeare, misheard song lyrics... it's the kind of website that you could really use when you're in the loo!

 
A9.com Maps (Beta) are now getting into the mapping business as well. Not a great deal to interest us in the UK as yet, since it just seems to be the US that has been mapped. All the usual stuff that you'd expect, but what is interesting is that they've done what they call 'Block View' images. In certain cities the A9 people have driven down main streets and photographed them. You can take a virtual tour from picture to picture to see what the place looks like. It's a nice idea, and I wonder how long it will be before they let other people into the act 'This street sponsored by XYZ' for example.

A few things I didn't like - the scroll bar zoom in/out wasn't terribly impressive, and I wasn't sure where on a particular road I was when looking at the photographs, but it's an interesting new wrinkle on the whole mapping business.

Friday, July 01, 2005

 
Home Town News provides you with links to 2,600 daily and weekly US newspapers. Arranged by state.