Entries Tagged as 'Search'


Wikipedia is an incredible place to find information; if you’ve never used it, you should try it out.

That said, you should always question the accuracy of any information you get off the internet (really you should question the accuracy of any information you get period).

When you read something on the internet, it’s best to confirm the accuracy of that information by visiting a web site that should be authoritative one it.

For instance, if you’re gathering medical related information, check out the medical web sites provided by major medical schools and clinics; and the government.  Compare what’s there with what you’re reading on another site, and don’t take anything as being factual if you can’t corroborate it.

I’m not trying to diminish the value of Wikipedia, I’m just pointing out that all the information there probably isn’t correct; and you should double check anything before using it.

Wikipedia Funding

I’m a big fan of Wikipedia— that should be clear from my previous posts on Wikipedia and my frequent use of Wikipedia as a reference tool (and to link to from my posts).

Wikipedia rose from the ashes of failue much like a phoenix… and currently operates one of the largest (if not the largest) repositories of human knowledge.

Wikipedia is freely accessed by anyone with an Internet connection (provided their provider does not block such access), and is currently funded completely through donations.

While I applaud the dreams of Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales to keep the site free of advertising, my feeling is that advertising might well be a better way to sustain the site.

My concept is that those who do not wish to see advertisement donate, and are free from advertisements as long as they have “credits”… when they run out of credits then they like those who choose not to donate see advertisements.

Since Wikipedia is one of the heaviest traveled sites on the internet, advertisers will likely pay top dollar, and there’s likely no need to work through an advertising network…

Dynamic Sitemap

About two years ago I wrote a program that created a sitemap from a local copy of my web pages (I also wrote an automation wrapper so that I could do all my web sites along with other mundane tasks reliably).

When I installed WordPress over a year ago I really liked the fact that the sitemap plug in was capable of dynamically creating a sitemap when a request was made; and I set it as a goal to implement that on my web site.

Well, yesterday that goal was realized.

I wrote a simple PHP script that takes some meta information and creates a sitemap, either uncompressed or compressed based on what is requested.  I used a rewrite rule in my .htaccess file to allow search engines to continue to request the familiar sitemap.xml and/or sitemap.xml.gz file.

Now I don’t have to worry about creating and deploying a sitemap file when I change a file; I only have to make sure that the meta information is updated when I add or remove pages.  Plus, I incorporated the concept of dynamic pages, so that the sitemap can accurately report fresh content.

At the moment I haven’t decided if I’m going to “publish” this code or not.  It’s likely I will once I clean it up and actually test it more completely.  Like I said, it isn’t rocket science – it just takes a little knowledge of what a sitemap is, and you can get everything you need from sitemaps.org; a little ability in PHP, and a basic understanding of how to write a re-write rule for Apache.

All the news fit to print…

Hmm… maybe that should be all the bs that can be gotten away with!

When you read news articles or when people relay to you “facts” be sure and do your homework; read accounts of the same events on multiple un-related sources.  In fact it’s often good to get a perspective from an international source.

Take a look at any of the facts, figures, and claims — try and verify those against an authoritative source.

If the information reported is important to you; check to see if any of the “facts” it’s based on, or claims it makes are updated over time.

Most journalists report the news impartially from their perspective; but it is from their perspective.  Many journalists and news organization like to sensationalize the news or majorly spin it to suit their agenda.

Question everything.

Another milestone…

The Alexa Traffic Ranking for my site, world wide, is now 1,746,730 and in the US is now 655,754 (that’s current as of 6-Sep-2011, you can click the link to see what it is now).

Yeah, 1.7M is a big number, but considering how many sites there are on the internet my little corner of the world wide web is getting quite a bit of foot traffic, and I just wanted to thank all of those of you who’ve encouraged me to keep ranting and raving — and yes, I will get back to publishing more technical reviews.

I’ve got a fair number of pieces of software for Windows and OS-X I’ve  evaluated and a great deal of hardware I need to follow up on — plus my “new car” buying experience I want to share with everyone.

As always, you never know what you might find from day to day on my web log (BLOG), but you can be sure that it will be something that makes you think, or helps you out.

Also, keep in mind, you can always search my BLOG for past articles — there’s a growing number of helpful tid-bits on here (of course, search engines will find them for you as well).

You’re always free to make suggestions for articles — and I’m always happy to share how to get your own BLOG up and running with a minimum of hassle (and it can be done totally without any cost).

Microsoft Live Cashback Search

So Microsoft has introduced a new product search feature on live to compete with PriceGrabber, PriceWatch, etc… they call it Cashback.

And the reason they call it Cashback is because they pay you a small amount as a “rebate” when you purchase some items through the service.

Check it out; obviously the engine with the lowest price (overall) wins.

Live Cashback