BIG USER TIP

If you type almost any computer problem into Google’s search box — just literally type it in — you will almost always get a solution. This also works for searching newspapers and magazines online. Google’s search works better than most publications’ built-in search function.

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YOUR OWN SEARCH SCREEN

ShinySearch.com used to be called “PimpMySearch.com.” What it does is change the look of your Google search page. Put your own name at the top, or any other text, and choose some nice graphics. One of the examples was a Mickey Mouse screen; looked great.

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WHICH SEARCH ENGINE MAKES THE BEST CONTESTANT ON JEOPARDY?

IBM is building a computer to challenge the best contestants on the TV show “Jeopardy.” But how would ordinary search engines do in comparison? Stephen Wolfram, founder of the company that makes Mathematica software and the calculating site WolframAlpha.com, did an analysis of 200,000 Jeopardy clues to find how quickly and correctly the leading search engines find answers. As you can see from the chart, Google wins by a nose, except against Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings, who blows them all out of the water. You can read Wolfram’s analysis here.

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NOW RELEVANT

How to search for items just from the past two weeks or past two hours, etc.

(CLICK ON UNDERLINE BELOW HEADING FOR INFO.)

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GOOGLE INSTANT COMES TO MOBILE PHONES

If Google Instant is on when you go to Google.com, just start typing in the search box and Google will predict what you’re searching for, so you don’t have to type out the whole word. Google Instant now works on iPhones and Android phones. For example, start typing “Tha” in the box at Google.com.  You’ll see “Thanksgiving 2010,” “Thank You Letter,” and “Thailand.” If one of those is right, click on it to get more results in that category, rather than typing the whole word or phrase. To try it out, go to google.com on your computer or in your phone’s browser  and tap the Google Instant “Turn on” link beneath the search box. Google Instant is available for Android […]

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BING GETS MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK

Bing’s new Entertainment link has lots of free games and movie trailers. We also review Springo.com

(CLICK UNDERLINE BELOW HEADING FOR MORE.)

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PARK’N FIND

Park’n Find from Affinicore is an iPhone app that helps you find your parked car.

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GOOGLE STUFF

Google’s Fast Flip gives you thumbnail images of a variety of magazines and newspapers. Flip through them to decide what you want to read. Google Goggles (on Android phones only, for now) let you perform a search by submitting a photograph. It then looks through its database of billions of images – including landmarks, logos, places, books, album covers, artwork, etc., to give you info about that photo. Google plans to extend Goggles to computers with the new Chrome operating system, coming in 2010. Coming in 2010: Live Translation: You’re standing on a street corner in Granada, Spain, and you ask a local, in English, “Where’s the nearest Flamenco restaurant?” Your Google Android phone turns the question into Spanish text […]

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TWO NEW IPHONE APPS

Tungle.com and Wolfram Alpha for the iPhone.

(CLICK UNDERLINE BELOW HEADING FOR MORE.)

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HOMEWORK DAY AT WOLFRAM ALPHA

Homework day shows you how to use the free Wolfram Alpha to solve problems.

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