and welcome to the latest issue of the "Sree Tips" newsletter. As
you may know, the newsletter started as an offshoot of the "Smarter Surfing:
Better Use of Your Web Time" workshops I teach around the U.S. and abroad:
I look forward to YOUR tips, feedback and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Among this month's tipsters: Mervin Block, Jonathan Dube, Mindy McAdams,
Abhijit Roy, Al Tompkins.
Cyberjournalist.netReporter's Supersearch -- multiple searches http://www.cyberjournalist.net/supersearch/index.htm
This is the latest addition to Cyberjournalist.net, a site run as a
labor of love by MSNBC technology editor Jonathan Dube. It brings together
on one page most of the search boxes that journalists (and others) find
useful. The distinct searches you can conduct include Web search engines,
U.S. government statistics and medical dictionaries,
among others. Bookmark this site and it will save you time when you
need to find information in a hurry. You can also sign up for a mailing
list for site updates: email@example.com
Site Update: In May, I wrote here about FindSame.com,
a free online plagiarism finder. Turns out the site, run by a company
called Digital Integrity, died a dot-com death last week. I am now in
the hunt for another free service that does what FindSame did: confirm
whether certain content can be found elsewhere on the Web. Sites like
Plagiarism.org and Plagiarism.com
charge for their services. If you know of a free plagiarism finder,
please tell me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
o o o o o
NEW-ISH FUN sites...
(proof "fun" is a subjective word)
Zeitgeist - track Web trends http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html
Curious to see how your fellow Web surfers use search
engines? Google.com offers its new Zeitgeist service, which gets its
name from the fact that the Google folks believe it reflects the general
cultural climate of our times. Once a week or so, Google publishes lists
of the 10 "most gaining" search terms and 10 "most declining"
search terms. For this week, hot topics included the Code Red virus
and MTV, while celebrities like Anna Kournikova and George Harrison
lost momentum. The Lycos 50 -- http://50.lycos.com
has been featured in this newsletter, is similar. It provides in-depth
analysis about the Lycos search engine.
Museum of Hoaxes -- examples of hoaxes through the ages http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/
A guide to hoaxes of various kinds, providing background information
on famous and not-so-famous ones. The oldest are from before 1700s and
there are more recent, Web-based hoaxes as well. Try the "gullibility
test" to see if you are the kind that can be fooled easily.
Weekly Quiz -- test your knowledge of the news http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/quiz/
There are plenty of Web quizzes around, but the one on
the New York Times site is the best one I have seen. Each Friday, NYTimes.com
runs a 10-question quiz based on the past week's news. What makes it
better than the others is the style with which it is written and the
explanation of the answers. It taught me without making me feel (too)
MY DEFAULT SUCH
(my starting points for various things; may change monthly)
The best search engine out there. 'Nuff said. But here's Walt Mossberg
of The Wall Street Journal on Google: "...simply the best search site
I've ever used." If you know Walt's work -- and you should be following
it religiously at http://ptech.wsj.com/
-- you know that he doesn't hand out such praise often. Be sure to download
the free Google toolbar; it will change the way you search: http://toolbar.google.com/
Excellent reference site. Don't just take my word for it. U.S. Secretary
of State Colin Powell told The New York Times this is his favorite Web
site. Run by Bob Drudge, Matt's dad (though Refdesk doesn't run rumors).
The Encyclopedia Britannica on the Web -- basic info free of charge (the
full-access version, which used to be free, now costs $5 a month, or $50
National Geographic's Map Machine http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/
Leave it to National Geographic to make the best online atlas with these
dynamic maps that will take you to any spot you choose and allow you to
change what kind of map you see, on the fly. Did you know there are three
towns named Santa Claus in the U.S. or that my grandfather's village in
India is an easy find? (For U.S. driving directions, MapQuest <http://www.mapquest.com/>
remains the best site.)
In offices, dictionaries grow legs and walk. Hence an online dictionary
is a must. This one addresses a major problem I have had with traditional
dictionaries: You need to know how to spell a word before you look it
up. Not here. Just punch in an approximation, and it will give you a suggested
list. And nice etymology.
Jim Romenesko's Media News http://www.medianews.org/
Hosted by Poynter.org, this is news-junkie heaven. I read it more often
and more closely than any other site.
o o o o o
Must-Sree TV http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/technology/
My "Tech Guru" segments on WABC-7 in the New York City area run every
Thursday morning on Channel 7 at 6:45 (yes, that's the a.m.). This is
a link to archived Web versions of my segments.
Tips -- the Web page http://www.sree.net/tips
Links to my tips and thoughts on various items, including digital cameras,
freelance writing, Web production and more.
Surfing" Workshops http://www.sree.net/web
Smarter surfing for people of all skill levels. Interested in scheduling
a class for you and your colleagues? Learn more.