[AI] search services a waty forward

Rajesh Asudani rajeshasudani at rbi.org.in
Mon Jun 30 01:20:58 EDT 2008

30/&prd=biz&30/&prd=biz&                  Search services: a way forward

                        Present a set of tools for navigating an article with ease

 Despite the availability of effective search services (like Google and several others) new search services appear regularly. After a short spell, NetSpeak
takes yet another look at the latest offerings from the Net's ever-active search services segment. When mainstream search engines fail to obtain relevant
output, one takes recourse to domain-specific search tools. People from all walks of life use Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia, extensively.

Those of you who visit Wikipedia to obtain in-depth information on specific subjects may find the search service Powerset (
), which searches Wikipedia articles, convenient.

When you invoke keyword/key-phrase search for a topic of your interest, Powerset brings to you all the Wikipedia articles with this query-word/phrase.

Further, when you explore a specific article, the service presents a set of tools for navigating the article with ease. Powerset comprehends simple questions
too. This means you can frame good questions and obtain prompt answers.

The search service, Qwika (
), which indexes content from Wiki sites, is another special search tool worth a test.

As mentioned in the past, several search engines, meant for providing information on health issues are in place. IMedix (
) is one such search service worth a trial, when a disease troubles you/your acquaintance.

An innovative feature of this service is the facility to interact/share information among people with similar health issues. Another vertical search service
worth navigating for health information is the site 'Health Revolution' (
). Of late, blogs are acknowledged as an important content dissemination/discussion tool. Irrespective of your profession, blogs provide you the latest
trends in your area. One way to keep up with blog content is to enlist the service of a blog search engine (like Technorati).

In this regard, you may take note of the entry of a new blog search engine called Twingly (
). This blog search tool, projected as 'spam-free blog search engine', allows a user to enrich its index by voting on the links she visits.

Appropriate discussion forums or bulletin boards are excellent means for eliciting answers to questions pertaining to various subjects.

Discussion-board web pages are less likely to appear in the beginning of the search output from a popular search engine. Search engines that solely index
discussion board content could help us solve this issue. The discussion board search engine Twing (
) is a product serving this premise.

Most books and documents are now available in PDF format. Before visiting your favourite search engine to find a link to an e-book on a topic, a few minutes
stay at the search service 'PDF Search Engine' (
) could fetch you rich dividends.

For instance, if you wish to find books on a topic say, 'theory of relativity,' initiate a search with the word 'theory of relativity'. The service will
immediately present links to numerous books on this subject. Once the link to a book is found, the site allows you to preview it before downloading. If
instruction manual for a product is missing, the search service 'SafeManuals' (http://safemanuals.com/) could come in handy.

Hitlinkz (
) is yet another site made for providing us quality content links. This service hosts relevant links pertaining to categories such as Text editors, File
sharing services, PC downloads and so on.

Though a plethora of search tools are vying for your attention, it is difficult to remember all of them. To get around this issue, search tool aggregation
sites that display links to various search services have come up.

Many tech oldies are still happy working with command-line interface (similar to the old DOS or UNIX-shell). Now, do you want to use Google via a command-line
interface? If so, have a look at the innovative service, Goosh (http://goosh.org/). Once you are on this site, it presents you a command prompt from where
you can start entering different commands for searching with Google. For example, to invoke a Google web search for the keyword economics use the command
'web economics'. In response to your query you will get an advertisement-free Google output. To get a list of available commands just enter the command

Firefox3 (
), the much-hyped version of Firefox, has been launched. One advantage of this faster version of Firefox is that you can easily retrieve the sites you visited
in the past. As soon as you start typing a letter on the address bar, Firefox displays links to pages with this letter (in the title or URL) from the browser's
history. Also, the address bar provides a button (star button) for book marking with ease (just click on the 'Star' button). A download manager that can
resume the download after a crash is yet another feature worth a mention. Of course, NetSpeak is yet to explore this browser fully.

 5mins videos

Video content creation has become an easy job, thanks to the widespread availability of a variety of video generation tools. Capitalising on this favourable
context, several video sharing services have emerged. '5min' (
), the latest one encountered by this author, is one such service. Here you can find 5-mins duration instructional videos (created by its users) on a variety
of subjects that include business, science, technology and the like. If you are keen on educational documentary videos take a look at the site Johnlocker
(http://johnlocker.com/). This site hosts a variety of documentary videos on subjects such as science, religion and politics.

                                                              J. MURALI

                                                          He can be contacted at:
jmurali at gmail.com

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