Posts tagged ‘google’

You May Have Helped Translate Books Without Knowing It

By Chad Upton | Editor

If you’ve created a website account with Facebook, TicketMaster, Twitter, CNN, Craigslist or thousands of other sites, then you have helped translate text from old books and newspapers.

Websites that offer free accounts try to ensure that every account is created by a real human being instead of a computer “bot” — computer programs written to automatically create accounts and then spam those websites with ads. One way to protect against bots is to have people do something that is easy for a human but difficult for a computer: read distorted text.

That’s why you are frequently asked to solve these simple word puzzles. Although it’s a bit annoying, it helps make the website better by reducing spam and other abuse. There are many variants of these puzzles, called captchas, and if the website uses the reCAPTCHA system, your work can also benefit society. (more…)

September 29, 2011 at 2:00 am 10 comments

Google Search Tricks

By Chad Upton | Editor

Google is an amazing search engine. Most of us use it to find websites with information, but it can do so much more than show you websites with answers. There are hundreds of built in features that can give you the information directly, without having to go to another site.

Movies Times

Enter “movies” followed by your town/city/postal or zip code and you’ll see some movie times for a couple popular movies along with a link to get the full list of movie times for your area.

Track Packages

Just type in a FedEx, UPS or USPS tracking number and Google will give you a link to see the shipping details.

Track Flights

Enter the airline and flight number and search. No more clicks, the info will be right there.

Find the Best Price

Enter the model name or number of a product you’d like to buy. Then click the “shopping” link at the top and Google will show prices at online retailers. To ensure you get the lowest price, you can sort by price (including shipping). There will likely be some retailers that you’ve never heard of, so you can read retailer reviews and sort by their rating as well.

Define a Word

Lets say some fancy pants uses the word “noetic” and you don’t know what it means. You could go to your favorite dictionary site, or you could type “define:noetic” into Google search. It’ll give you a list of definitions from various sites.

Unit Conversion

Whether you need to convert cups to gallons or go between metric and imperial units, Google’s conversion engine can help.

Currency Conversion

Just type in the value and the currency to convert from and to, example: 100 Euros in Australian dollars

Time

You think you’re doing a nice thing, calling somebody far away to make sure they’re well and give them a familiar voice to talk to. Then they answer the phone as if you woke them up in the middle of the afternoon, but you forgot that’s 4am in Tokyo. You can easily avoid this by checking the local time before calling.

Weather

Should you pack shorts or pants for your weekend getaway? Get a 5 day forecast in seconds (and easily switch between F/C).

Stock Quotes

Just enter the stock symbol and search.

There are many more of these features and I’ll be sure to share more later.

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Search a Specific Site

Some websites do not have good search functions on them. Sometimes I’ll read something on a site and then I go back to find it later and the site search is horrible. Otherwise, you might use google as your homepage, so it could be easier to initiate the search from there.

For example, you may remember reading why some knives have serrated blades on BrokenSecrets.com. But, you want to read it again or send the link to someone who was interested in it. You can type in google, “serrated site:brokensecrets.com” and it will only show results from BrokenSecrets.com.

Using Google as a Time Machine

Because Google’s spiders are constantly crawling the web, storing pages of data so they can resolve accurate and timely information for your search requests. Google actually lets you view the last set of data that was captured.

This information is helpful is a website cannot be reached, but you still want information from it. It’s also useful if information has changed, moved or been removed, you can potentially look at a previous version of the information.

October 13, 2010 at 2:00 am 5 comments

Google Provides Free 411 Searches and Connections

Google has a lot of cool services that most people don’t know about. One of my favorite Google secrets is Google 411.

Just dial: 1-800-GOOG-411

It is just like your local telephone company’s 411 service, except it’s free and it automatically connects you to the number for free. It works from US or Canadian phones and can be used to find US and Canadian business listings.

It also has some cool features. When you find a listing, you can say “text message” and Google will instantly text you the phone number, address and a map link for the address that opens in Google maps on a capable phone.

There are even cordless phones available with a dedicated button for Google 411.

Remember goog-411 the next time you need to make dinner reservations or order takeout — it couldn’t be easier or cheaper.

BrokenSecrets.com [available on kindle]

Photo: morrowplanet (cc) | Source: Google 411

January 8, 2010 at 1:14 am 5 comments

Web Browser Secrets

Based on the results in the video below, I should start by clarifying that a web browser is a piece of software that you use to view web pages. The top three browsers are: Internet Explorer (Microsoft), Firefox (Mozilla) and Safari (Apple). Google’s browser (named “Chrome”) is a close fourth. There is a 98% chance that you’re using one of these browsers to view this page right now.

Browsers are commonly confused with search engines, which are just web pages that you view using your web browser software. That’s obviously not a surprise to some of you, but like it says in the Google video below, it is a secret to almost 90% of people.

Knowing some browser tricks will make this tool work much better for you.

Modern browsers have tabs, which promote easier multitasking. There are a few ways to perform the tasks listed below, but here are a few of the best (and least used) tricks for managing tabs in the top three browsers mentioned above.

Managing Tabs

  • Open new tab: double click on empty area of tab bar
  • Close tab: middle click anywhere on the tab (does not work in Safari)
  • Open link in new tab instead of replacing current page: middle click on link (instead of left click)

Because we spend a lot of time reading text in our browser, there are a couple of features built in to make reading easier. Try these keyboard shortcuts right now.

Reading

  • Scroll browser down exactly one page: spacebar
  • Scroll browser up exactly one page: shift + spacebar
  • Full Screen Toggle: F11
  • Zoom In (make text larger): ctrl + scroll mouse wheel up
  • Zoom Out: ctrl + scroll mouse wheel down

If you know other really useful browser secrets, leave a comment so everyone can enjoy.

BrokenSecrets.com

December 30, 2009 at 1:18 am 4 comments


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