Tuesday, October 2, 2007

another youniverse

Law & Order SVU, Avatar and Alternate Youniverse

I just caught part of the Law & Order SVU episode called Avatar, that centered on a virtual reality called Alternate Youniverse, I believe, they referred to it as AY most of the time and I thought I heard the female lead call it Another Youniverse, but, I’ve been wrong before. The similarities to Second Life were all over the place, they referred to it as AY, like we refer to Second Life as SL, the avatars were pretty similar, they could create, control, buy, and sell, just like in Second Life, although, I don’t recall seeing many inworld clips to see how the avatars moved around, etc. They had a video from the kidnapped girl in AY talking about her stalker and fearing for her life, guess what she did in AY? She ran a prostitution ring/strip club, and had virtual customers from around the world.

What I saw of the show was pretty good, it didn’t seem to make fun of the AY members, at least that I saw, which was a plus, although, the residents they did show weren’t cream of the crop, but, what can you expect on a show called Special Victims Unit? They are bound to be dirt bags and people that lean in that direction. The show wasn’t spectacular, but it was interesting.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Amazon Killing Web Services Access From Mobile Services?

"Amazon recently has changed their policy and has unexpectedly all mobile companies from using their data. We are working hard to find other data sources and appreciate your patience in the mean time"

This is coming in late on a Saturday, so we only have one side of the story so far. But Canadian startup TXTReviews, which allows people to get book and movie user ratings via text message, says they’re being shut out of Amazon web services.

In a message on their website, the company is actually saying Amazon has banned all mobile startups from accessing web services, but I can’t find any statement by Amazon on this, and the web services forum has no mention of it that I can find.

I’ve got a couple of emails in to Amazon to see if they’ll comment. As we’ve seen in the past, there are often two sides to these stories. Until we’ve heard from them, I’m not going to speculate any further on this.

TXTReviews founder Hussein Fazal says he’ll look for other data services to replace Amazon.

Other services we’ve covered roughly in this area are a rumored Toshiba service that would push blog reviews to shoppers who take a picture of a bar code and send it in, and a number of services that give pricing information via text message.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Firefox has 10 critical bugs but Opera is not better

Firefox has only 1 opportunity above Opera - it has the logo at the "About" page :)

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Turn Google into your own (free) iTunes

Free music download with google help

Google is good for so many things, among which is searching for all sorts of files, including

MP3's. Here's a quick example:

* -inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory"

+description +size +(wma|mp3) "Rihanna"

Just substitute the term "Rihanna" for any band or singer you might be looking for, and your

search will lead you to open indexes that contain downloadable music files.


In addition to the basic AND, OR, and quoted strings, Google offers some rather extensive

special syntaxes for honing your searches. Google being a full-text search engine, it indexes

entire web pages instead of just titles and descriptions. Additional commands, called special

syntaxes, let Google users search specific parts of web pages or specific types of information.

Specifying that your query words must appear only in the title or URL of a returned web page is

a great way to have your results get very specific without making your keywords themselves too


Here are some of the common keywords that you can add to your query in Google
intitle, allintitle

Restricts your search to the titles of web pages. The variation, allintitle: finds pages

wherein all the words specified make up the title of the web page. It’s probably best to avoid

the allintitle: variation, because it doesn’t mix well with some of the other syntaxes.

Eg: intitle:”george bush”
allintitle:”money supply” economics
inurl, allinurl

Restricts your search to the URLs of web pages. This syntax tends to work well for finding

search and help pages, because they tend to be rather regular in composition. An allinurl:

variation finds all the words listed in a URL but doesn’t mix well with some other special


Eg: inurl:help
allinurl:search help
intext, allintext

Searches only body text (i.e., ignores link text, URLs, and titles). There’s an allintext:

variation, but again, this doesn’t play well with others. While its uses are limited, it’s

perfect for finding query words that might be too common in URLs or link titles.

Eg: intext:”yahoo.com”

Searches for text in a page’s link anchors. A link anchor is the descriptive text of a link.

For example, the link anchor in the HTML code O’Reilly and Associates is “O’Reilly and


Eg: inanchor:”tom peters”

Allows you to narrow your search by either a site or a top-level domain. AltaVista, for

example, has two syntaxes for this function (host: and domain:), but Google has only the one.

Eg: site:loc.gov
You can also use site: operator to exclude certain domains from a search

Eg: google -site:google.com
This is particularly useful for ego searches. You can find out all those sites which mention

your name expect your site.

Eg: bill gates -site:microsoft.com -site:wikipedia.org

Returns a list of pages linking to the specified URL. Enter link:www.google.com and you’ll be

returned a list of pages that link to Google. Don’t worry about including the http:// bit; you

don’t need it, and, indeed, Google appears to ignore it even if you do put it in. link: works

just as well with “deep” URLs-http://www.raelity.org/apps/blosxom/ for instance-as with

top-level URLs such as raelity.org.

Eg: link:www.google.com

Finds a copy of the page that Google indexed even if that page is no longer available at its

original URL or has since changed its content completely. This is particularly useful for pages

that change often. If Google returns a result that appears to have little to do with your

query, you’re almost sure to find what you’re looking for in the latest cached version of the

page at Google.

Eg: cache:www.yahoo.com

Searches the suffixes or filename extensions. These are usually, but not necessarily, different

file types. I like to make this distinction, because searching for filetype:htm and

filetype:html will give you different result counts, even though they’re the same file type.

You can even search for different page generators, such as ASP, PHP, CGI, and so

forth-presuming the site isn’t hiding them behind redirection and proxying. Google indexes

several different Microsoft formats, including: PowerPoint (PPT), Excel (XLS), and Word (DOC).

Eg: homeschooling filetype:pdf
“leading economic indicators” filetype:ppt

Finds pages that are related to the specified page. Not all pages are related to other pages.

This is a good way to find categories of pages; a search for related:google.com would return a

variety of search engines, including HotBot, Yahoo!, and Northern Light.

Eg: related:www.yahoo.com

Provides a page of links to more information about a specified URL. Information includes a link

to the URL’s cache, a list of pages that link to that URL, pages that are related to that URL,

and pages that contain that URL. Note that this information is dependent on whether Google has

indexed that URL or not. If Google hasn’t indexed that URL, information will obviously be more


Eg: info:www.oreilly.com

Will get the definition of the term that you have entered. This syntax can be used to get the

definitions of words, phrases, and acronyms

Eg: define:dreaming
This query will get you the definition of the word dreaming

If you want to search for a range of numbers then you can use two dots (without spaces) to

represent a range of numbers

Eg: inventions 1850..1899
This query will get you all the inventions between 1850 and 1899

If you include safesearch: in your query, Google will exclude adult-content.

Eg: safesearch:breasts
This will search for information on breasts without returning adult or pornographic sites.

If you start your query with stocks:, Google will interpret the rest of the query terms as

NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, or mutual fund stock ticker symbols, and will open a page showing stock

information for the symbols you specify.

Eg: stocks:goog
This will show information about Google’s stock. Specify ticker symbols not company names. If

you enter an invalid ticker symbol, you’ll be told so and given a link to a page where you can

look up a valid ticker symbol.
The Special Syntaxes
Currency Conversion

Google makes it easy to calculate money conversions from one form of currency to another.

Eg: $5 in yenThe above query will let you know that five dollars is worth about 566.599846 yen.

If you’re not sure of the name of a currency, use nationality instead.

Eg: 25 Australian money in Italian money
This may sound awkward but it does the job.

Eg: $5 in indian money
This will let you know that 5 US dollars is worth about 224.477976 Indian rupees

You can even convert units in this fashion.

Eg: $2.85 per gallon in British money per literThis query will tell you that it is about 42

pence per liter and provides an international basis for discussing gas prices at the pump.
Check Airfares

When you google for the names of two major cities, Google automatically offers to search for


Eg: Denver Fort Lauderdale
In the form labeled “Flights from Denver, CO to Fort Lauderdale, FL”, enter a departure and

return date and choose whether to search using Expedia, Hotwire or Orbitz. Do not use quotation

marks in your initial search. Denver “Fort Lauderdale” will not bring up the flight search

Find Song Lyrics

If you are looking for the title or lyrics of a song then you can use Google search phrases and

wildcards to find them.

Eg: “Friday I am in love” lyrics
Or use the wildcard operator to get lyrics with certain words in them, like this

“Friday * love” lyrics

This compilation is just a tip of the iceberg of the features available in Google’s search

syntax. If you come across any other special syntax, then do let me know so that I can add it.

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I'm exchanging Technorati favorites

Favorite my blog by clicking here and then please leave your Technorati username as well as a similar link to your blog in a comment.

I will add your blog to my favorites at technorati as soon as possible, otherwise leave a comment at this post.

I suggest using a Technorati favorite link or button. You can get the buttons and links easily at this Technorati page.

As well the same exchanging is going at "Making Money with Dosh Dosh's" blog.

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