Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.
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Fossick Links to Thousands Of Search Engines
Fossick ( http://fossick.com/index.htm ) gives you millions of ways to search the Web! Okay… over 3,000 ways to search the Web. Picky Picky. Anyway, this nicely-designed site divides its links into categories — science, shopping, library, multimedia, etc. Once you’ve selected a category, you’ll be taken to a page with “buttons” for each of the resources listed. This sometimes makes for a slow load, and there is very little annotation for the links.
On the other hand, the link collections go beyond search engines. The news section, for example, links to NewsMaps.com, PaperBoy, and Northern Light current news. Because of the lack of annotation this is not a good place to go when you’re trying to quickly zero in on a specific search engine. However, if you want to get an idea of what’s available in certain categories, this is worth a look.
Get Business Census Information By Zip
The Census has a cool utility at http://tier2.census.gov/zbp/index.html . Enter in a zip code and you’ll get a page of information of businesses in that zip code, including business sector and business size.
Clicking on the “Detail” button beside any of the sector names breaks the sector down further — for example, clicking on the Detail button beside the construction sector gives you information on paper hangers, stonework firms, carpenters, etc. You can click on the “Compare” button beside those sectors to compare the number of firms in one zip code to firms in other zip codes. To get the zip codes, to use for this resource, you’ve got two options from the USPS. You can look up zip codes for addresses at http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html , or look up the zip codes for cities at http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_ctystzip.html .
Historical Financial Data? No Foolin’…
If you’re looking for REALLY historic financial data, check out the Global Financial Database at http://www.globalfindata.com/ . A lot of this information is available for a cost, but there are some samples here as well.
Their free stock market data (downloadable in PDF reports) includes the annual high, low and close for the Dow Jones Industrial Average back to 1914 and the the annual close for the S&P Composite and its predecessors for the past 130 years. There’s a free exchange rate file that includes annual, end-of-the-year exchange rates for the British Pound, French Franc, German Mark, Japanese Yen, Italian Lira, Swiss Franc and Euro against the United States Dollar. You can get a full list of the samples at http://www.globalfindata.com/samples.htm .
You can subscribe to the company’s entire data set for $7500 a year, but there are subsets available for less. You can get a guide/listing to what’s available at http://www.globalfindata.com/guide.htm , and pricing information at http://www.globalfindata.com/ordering.htm .
Another Option For Searching Legal Databases
Another Option For Searching Legal Databases Quicklaw America, Inc. ( http://www.QuicklawAmerica.com/ ) has announced transactional pricing for more than 1,900 databases. Topics for these databases include agriculture (“all of Title 7, Agriculture, and provisions of Title 21, Food and Drugs, relating to food inspections and standards, with corresponding regulations”), environmental (“provisions relating to insecticide and pesticide control, global climate, air and water quality and pollution, noise control, toxic substance control and nuclear waste policy, with corresponding regulations”) and tech law (“provisions relating to the Office of Technology Assessment, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, high-performance computing, fraud with computers, technology for education, and contracts for scientific and technological research, with corresponding regulations.”) You can get their product and database information at http://www.QuicklawAmerica.com/prodinfo/prodinfo.html .
Special Searches on General Search Engines
All the search engines seem to be talking about nowadays is how big their databases are. Yet a lot of these same big ol’ search engines are taking the time to make very specific searches available. For example, Check out Google’s about page ( http://www.google.com/about.html ) and look in the left hand column. You’ll see links to several specific search databases, including the US Gov’t, Linux, BSD, and several universities.
AltaVista has search guides, and boy are some of them topical. They have a Harry Potter search guide, how to find the perfect pet or research a university, and more. These are not data collections so much as guides to making the best use of the search engine. Check them out at http://doc.altavista.com/search_guide/index.html .
In between the full index search engine and the pointers to using a search engine is a link list, which is much of what Northern Light’s Special Editions at http://special.northernlight.com/ . The Editions, which are generally one densely-filled page of information and perspective, include links to Northern Light Special Edition documents, news, organizations, companies, and more. The topics themselves have run the gamut, from the Microsoft Lawsuits to Congress, to Genetically Modified Foods.
KeeBoo Launches KeeBook-it
Business Wire: June 27, 2000. KeeBoo has released KeeBook-it, software designed as a toolbar that plugs into a Web browser and enables users to find, annotate, enhance, and send individual Web pages. This free download is equipped with a core annotation feature that allows users to highlight important text and post sticky notes with personal comments onto Web page content before e- mailing it. It also allows users to identify and organize needed Web content in a virtual, multimedia Web book and to keep multiple “books” on their “bookshelf.” It’s a windows program and you’ll have to have IE to use it. Check out the press release at: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000627/ca_keeboo.html
About.com goes to the UK
About.com has expanded its properties to the UK at http://about.co.uk . Currently this site is much smaller than its American sibling, having only about sixty sites, but it’s growing. Some of the sites by their title have an obvious UK flavor (British Theatre, London) and some of them don’t (photography, vegetarian cuisine.) Those interested in About’s regional properties may want to check out About Canada at http://www.about.ca . About promises that more are on the way.