Sunday, December 13, 2009

File converters

The Google docs version table has dotted lines dividing it and the bullet points are much simpler. Because the font is larger the layout is also different. I will need lots of practise with this before I am comfortable showing someone else

Specialist search engines

Blinkx is the best! It contains Youtube but also has other video sources. My search was for gentoo penguin (there is a great clip of a gentoo escaping from a pod of orca into an occupied inflatable boat) both sites featured this clip. Youtube had two versions of different lengths.
Blinkx had 'live' thumbnails and more hits matching my serch. Youtube produced clips of other penguin species and diverged into clips of other polar animals doing 'cute' stuff. Irrelevant! Both gave duration and indicated time elapsed. Blinkx showed the clips in reverse date order.

Magazines on Google book search would be good for students looking for contemporary secondary sources of an event or a person from years ago. (As long as they were american!) It is different from magazine indexes in that you choose the title first, not the topic. It is more historical, and the whole content of the magazine issue is displayed.

Google and other search engines

the wonder wheel of google would be good to refine a search and to generate new search terms. the timeline was intriguing but maybe should be used with care as interest in an event (and thus web activity) might bear little relation to when the event happened. Even limiting a search seams to bring up amany unwanted hits.
I used the search string "mile a minute" weed to compare the search engines. I belive that there may be several plants with this common name and was interested to find the proper botanical name for them. Bing produced the most hits 93,000. Bing and Google both anticipated my search and bought up alternative ending to the search string. Google and Yahoo produced 22,800 and 20,400 hits respectively and Exalead only 2,434. Google, Bing and Exalead produced Wikipedia as the first entry. All featured gov. and edu. sites and images early in the result page. They were all heavily U.S. based. Early entries informed me that Persicania perfoliata was once known as Polygonum perfoliatum, many of the entries on Exalead used only the old name indicating older sites. Only Yahoo gave me an alternative weed Mikania micantha which is troublesome on Pacific Islands. Based on this Yahoo is my prefered search engine, but I will probably still continue to use google as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

library twitters

I liked rodney libraries' twitter, a nice mix of reviews and notices of future events. They have links inc. video informal and written by 2 staff.

You can limit a search to exclude books that you've already read? Taken from your reading history... not your whole life.


NZ history online uses twitter to hook the viewer into images with a short intriging sentence.
Cookbook on twitter gives whole recipes! using understandable abbreviations, amazing!
Some of the other twitter's tweets are replies and without context are mystifying.

Open ID

Yes, I would use Vidoop as an open ID providor. I already have a plethora of passwords and PINs which I can generally remember. Any extra ones I need for signing into new websites I would do through Vidoop. P.S. I really like the whiteboard/cartoon video.