Archive for the ‘Net’ Category

Microsoft + Yahoo vs. Google

Microsoft Yahoo Merger

Despite massive advertising and numerous contests, it unlikely that Microsoft’s Bing can buy enough users to threaten Google.  Bing’s beautiful pictures are a welcome relief from the barrage of ads found on it’s predecessor MSN.  In fact, the search results are formatted almost exactly like Google’s (though they both look better with Adblock).  Also, Bing does a great job with pictures and certain specific shopping searches–try this one for shopping flights.  The only problem with Bing is that you’re more likely to get results using Google.

7 Clever Google Tricks Worth Knowing

1.  Find the Face Behind the Result – This is a
neat trick you can use on a Google Image search to filter the search results so that they include only images of people.  How is this useful?  Well, it could come in handy if you are looking for images of the prominent people behind popular products, companies, or geographic locations.  You can perform this search by appending the code &imgtype=face to the end of the URL address after you perform a standard Google Image search.

2.  Google + Social Media Sites = Quality Free Stuff
– If you are on the hunt for free desktop wallpaper, stock images,
WordPress templates or the like, using Google to search your favorite
social media sites is your best bet.  The word “free” in any standard
search query immediately attracts spam.  Why wade through potential
spam in standard search results when numerous social media sites have
an active community of users who have already ranked and reviewed the
specific free items that interest you.  All you have to do is direct
Google to search through each of these individual social media sites,
and bingo… you find quality content ranked by hundreds of other people.

3.  Find Free Anonymous Web Proxies – A free
anonymous web proxy site allows any web browser to access other
third-party websites by channeling the browser’s connection through the
proxy.  The web proxy basically acts as a middleman between your web
browser and the third-party website you are visiting.  Why would you
want to do this?  There are two common reasons:

  • You’re connecting to a public network at a coffee shop or internet
    café and you want privacy while you browse the web.  You don’t want the
    admin to know every site you visit.
  • You want to bypass a web content filter or perhaps a server-side
    ban on your IP address.  Content filtering is common practice on
    college campus networks.  This trick will usually bypass those
    restrictions.

There are subscription services and applications available such as
TOR and paid VPN servers that do the same thing.  However, this trick
is free and easy to access from anywhere via Google.  All you have to
do is look through the search results returned by the queries below,
find a proxy that works, and enter in the URL of the site you want
to browse anonymously.

4.  Google for Music, Videos, and Ebooks – Google
can be used to conduct a search for almost any file type, including
Mp3s, PDFs, and videos.  Open web directories are one of the easiest
places to quickly find an endless quantity of freely downloadable
files.  This is an oldie, but it’s a goodie!  Why thousands of
webmasters incessantly fail to secure their web severs will continue to
boggle our minds.

5.  Browse Open Webcams Worldwide – Take a
randomized streaming video tour of the world by searching Google for
live open access video webcams.  This may not be the most productive
Google trick ever, but it sure is fun!  (Note: you may be prompted to
install an ActiveX control or the Java runtime environment which allows
your browser to view certain video stream formats.)

6.  Judge a Site by its Image – Find out what a
site is all about by looking at a random selection of the images hosted
on its web pages.  Even if you are somewhat familiar with the target
site’s content, this can be an entertaining little exercise.  You will
almost surely find something you didn’t expect to see.  All you have to
do is use Google’s site: operator to target a domain in an image search.

7.  Results Based on Third-Party Opinion
Sometimes you can get a better idea of the content located within a
website by reading how other websites refer to that site’s content. 
The allinanchor: Google search operator can save you
large quantities of time when a normal textual based search query fails
to fetch the information you desire.  It conducts a search based on
keywords used strictly in the anchor text, or linking text, of third
party sites that link to the web pages returned by the search query. 
In other words, this operator filters your search results in a way such
that Google ignores the title and content of the returned web pages,
but instead bases the search relevance on the keywords that other sites
use to reference the results.  It can add a whole new dimension of
variety to your search results.

Bonus Material:

Here is a list of my favorite Google advanced search operators, operator combinations, and related uses:

  • link:URL = lists other pages that link to the URL.
  • related:URL = lists other pages that are related to the URL.
  • site:domain.com “search term = restricts search results to the given domain.
  • allinurl:WORDS = shows only pages with all search terms in the url.
  • inurl:WORD = like allinurl: but filters the URL based on the first term only.
  • allintitle:WORD = shows only results with terms in title.
  • intitle:WORD = similar to allintitle, but only for the next word.
  • cache:URL = will show the Google cached version of the URL.
  • info:URL = will show a page containing links to
    related searches, backlinks, and pages containing the url. This is the
    same as typing the url into the search box. 
  • filetype:SOMEFILETYPE = will restrict searches to that filetype
  • -filetype:SOMEFILETYPE = will remove that file type from the search.
  • site:www.somesite.net “+www.somesite.net = shows you how many pages of your site are indexed by google
  • allintext: = searches only within text of pages, but not in the links or page title
  • allinlinks: = searches only within links, not text or title
  • WordA OR WordB = search for either the word A or B
  • “Word” OR “Phrase” = search exact word or phrase
  • WordA -WordB = find word A but filter results that include word B
  • WordA +WordB = results much contain both Word A and Word B
  • ~WORD = looks up the word and its synonyms
  • ~WORD -WORD = looks up only the synonyms to the word 
  • More info.

…from marcandangel

Big Brother is here

The FBI is now in the spyware business.  No warrant required.

    FBI agents trying to track the source of e-mailed bomb threats against a Washington high school last month sent the suspect a secret surveillance program designed to surreptitiously monitor him and report back to a government server, according to an FBI affidavit obtained by Wired News.

    The court filing offers the first public glimpse into the bureau’s long-suspected spyware capability, in which the FBI adopts techniques more common to online criminals.

    The software was sent to the owner of an anonymous MySpace profile linked to bomb threats against Timberline High School near Seattle. The code led the FBI to 15-year-old Josh Glazebrook, a student at the school, who on Monday pleaded guilty to making bomb threats, identity theft and felony harassment.

    In an affidavit seeking a search warrant to use the software, filed last month in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington, FBI agent Norman Sanders describes the software as a “computer and internet protocol address verifier,” or CIPAV.

    Sanders wrote that the spyware program gathers a wide range of information, including the computer’s IP address; MAC address; open ports; a list of running programs; the operating system type, version and serial number; preferred internet browser and version; the computer’s registered owner and registered company name; the current logged-in user name and the last-visited URL.

    The CIPAV then settles into a silent “pen register” mode, in which it lurks on the target computer and monitors its internet use, logging the IP address of every computer to which the machine connects for up to 60 days.

    Under a ruling this month by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, such surveillance — which does not capture the content of the communications — can be conducted without a wiretap warrant, because internet users have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the data when using the internet.
…From Wired