ME and Ophelia

Friday, March 04, 2005

Online dictionary, encyclopedia and much more ...

British blogger Bob Piper often sprinkles some neat web pointers between his political posts. As I still need to be on a blogging break and start working on some drafts for my blog Sudan Watch, I am sharing Bob's latest find here so readers can check out online dictionary, encyclopedia and much more ...

For example, go to and type in the name of your home town. It will give you information which is cross-referenced to other parts of the Web. See the left hand sidebar refers you to blog postings that use the word you have searched for.

On seeing if I could find people, other than myself, suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) - aka Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) in the US - I found a list of well known people with cancer. The bottom of the page, points to a list of well known people who are HIV-positive.

If I recall correctly, Liberace, the entertainer, spent most of his life keeping secret the fact that he was gay and, towards the end, sufferering from AIDS. Like Rock Hudson's, Liberace's death and funeral were a circus because of the media frenzy for details. Just ike the OJ Simpson escapade years later, the media used cars and helicopters to chase Liberace's hearse, forcing it to travel at top speed. Look how times have changed: Liberace is on a list for the world, and his ex-lovers/families, to see.

Who knows, maybe one day there will be a list for everything on the Internet: child abusers, killers, criminals, fraudsters, confidence tricksters, etc. Perhaps each individual will be listed like the sellers and buyers on e-Bay who get star ratings to help identify and guard against predators seeking opportunities to take advantage and do us harm.

As I'd spent only ten minutes at I would need to spend more time on it to try and figure why the British names I typed in came up with information for me here in England but did not provide anything on the few American names I searched on. I hope fences are not being built in cyberspace for us by commercial opportunitists looking to stake their claim - or control the web that was given to us, the people, by its inventor, the British physicist Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
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Google Toolbar 3 and Guide blogs

Here is what Jack Schofield at the Guardian's web watch has to say today about
GuruNet was pretty good at answering factual (who is/what is) questions, but you had to pay for it. Now you can go to, which is powered by GuruNet, and get them free. The advantage over searching Google is that you don't have to pick the right answer from millions of links that include masses of rubbish. just searches "150 authoritative, credible reference works: premium dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, almanacs, glossaries, etc," including The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia. Windows users can also download the 1-Click Answers software that gets an answer for any word on the screen. You may already have used, because if you click on a blue underlined word in Google's Results line (next to the search time), it now sends you to
Note too, what Jack says in the following about Google's new toolbar auto-linking for U.S. users [why separate them from us?] plus Quacktrack and Bloggernity that lets visitors review and rate the sites listed:

Toolbar 3

Google is beta testing the third version of its popular popup-blocking toolbar. The new features include a spelling checker that works on web forms, a word translator, and an auto-linking feature for US users. WordTranslator will translate single words from English into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, German and Spanish. It won't translate the other way into English. Toolbar 3 requires Microsoft Windows 98 or later, and Internet Explorer 5.5 or later.

Guide blogs

I have previously mentioned Quacktrack, a Yahoo-style directory of weblogs. Now there's another at Bloggernity. Both are somewhat primitive, and Bloggernity's lack of structure is a bad sign, but it does let visitors review and rate the sites listed.
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Technorati Tags and Automatic translation of blog posts

David Sifry's blog, along with the latest news at Technorati, keeps us up to date with the latest developments and tools for searching the blogosphere.

David is the founder and CEO of Technorati. Blogging would not be the same without Technorati. Because of Technorati, the blogosphere feels like a place to which we bloggers belong. If you ever have any ideas or suggestions on how to make it better, feel free to email David who is friendly and approachable and always appreciates feedback from bloggers.

To explain Technorati tags, David points to a great introduction by a female blogger in London, UK who goes by the name of Improbulus at a great blog called A Consuming Experience that I have just put into my easy to use newsfeed at NetNewsWire Lite which is perfect for mac users and featured at Ranchero Software weblog.

Note another great post by Improbulus helpfully explains how she used Google's language translation tools to provide automatic word for word translations of her blog posts into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese - all the languages for which "From English" translations are provided by Google.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 3/04/2005
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