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Google Maps API: “Create real-world, real-time experiences with the latest Maps, Routes, and Places features from Google Maps Platform. Built by the Google team for developers everywhere.”

Apostrophes and Google Don’t Mix: When phrase searching in Google (and most likely plenty of other places) it might be better if the phrase does not include an apostrophe. If a typographical or “smart” apostrophe is used in the original then it might be missed in the index.

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google: A free PDF of the book by Philipp Lenssen is now available.

Google SMS:
“Google SMS (Short Message Service) enables you to easily get precise answers to specialized queries from your mobile phone or device. Send your query as a text message and get phone book listings, dictionary definitions, product prices and more. Just text.

I’ve used this a handful of times and it is a great service. The message comes back in a few seconds — it can be faster than looking up an address in a phonebook. Once you have texted “10002 pizza” and gotten back a list of slice vendors on the Lower East Side you will be hooked. (I wrote these notes on Google SMS in an earlier epoch. Not as amazing now that smartphones are everywhere. But this still works on dumb phones, as far as I know, and should also work when there is no data connection.)


Google Scholar:“Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports.”

Elicit is a new service that uses AI to find papers that answer your research questions. Requires a free account. Warning: I signed up for an account and they spam me constantly. AVOID. Uses a crude program to make random false statements about authors, presented as fact. Useless garbage.

Internet Archive Scholar: “This fulltext search index includes over 25 million research articles and other scholarly documents preserved in the Internet Archive. The collection spans from digitized copies of eighteenth century journals through the latest Open Access conference proceedings and pre-prints crawled from the World Wide Web.”
OpenAlex: A database of papers, authors, and related information about scholarly publications. The web interface is under construction, but they provide an API and a database snapshot for downloading.
Free Access to Scientific Articles: Resources for the independent researcher.


Creative Commons Search: Find CC-licensed images, with a good set of filters.

Bing image search is better than Google’s, which (like every other type of Google search) has gotten rapidly worse in the last few years.


Kagi Search: “100% free of ads and tracking.” $10/month and probably worth it. Public database.
About the Runnaroo Search Engine: This is an interesting, new search engine that integrates results from “deep search” sources.
How Git Could Help Save the Open Web: I’d love to see something like this happening. I don’t think there’s much chance of that, however.
How to add ISSN metadata to a web page: Specific to the UK, but contains generally useful information.
uptodate: Medical information with a search interface. Aimed at clinicians but generally useful. Free excerpts from papers, with more available with a subscription.
Google Big Query available for public use: Various and interesting data in a big database.

Etymology Dictionary

Free Online 1911 Encyclopedia: “The LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia is based on what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written.”

Amazon Book Search: You can search not only for book titles and keywords, but for actual contents.

People searches: Zabasearch; Spock; Spokeo

Newspipe: “Newspipe is an RSS/Atom aggregator with a difference: It allows you to keep track of your feeds through e-mail”

Dowser: “Dowser is a research tool for the web. It clusters results from major search engines, associates words that appear in previous searches, and keeps a local cache of all the results you click on in a searchable database.”

Public Radio Downloads: The 43Folders website maintains a list of places where you can go to download public radio programs.


The Wikipedia “is collaboratively developed using wiki software”.

Wikipedia Reputation and the Wemedia Project

In this Wikipedia healing experiment Prof. Halavais introduces errors into the Wikipedia and discovers that they are corrected within hours.

Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism: I agree with everything in this essay by Jaron Lanier. Wikipedia is his big example. There is a follow-on interview on the Philosopher’s Zone program from ABC radio (Australian national radio) that’s pretty engaging.

Democritizing knowledge.

Wikipedia Antics: Public criticism of the “croudsourced” encyclopedia leads to childish retaliation by its editors.
I Have The Power: Eloquent rant about the problems with the Wikipedia concept. “In opposition to the spirit of Wikipedia, I believe there is such a thing as expertise.”
Hoax article on India-Portugal clash fools Wikipedia for 5 years: A reminder on the only safe way to use Wikipedia: as a pointer to references, rather than as an actual source of information.
Wikipedia Medical Information Unreliable: 90% of articles in a sample contained erroneous information. It wouldn’t matter, except that too many people believe that Wikipedia is a reliable source.

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The best tool for CVs with publication lists.