LLRXBuzz - October 9, 2000

Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.



In This Issue:

Find Your Chemicals On The Web

Pac-Info Adds over 150 Links 

Database of Best Practices Available 

One Stop Shopping For All Of Your Government Needs

Go Beyond the Fish with Foreignword.com

MagPortal Makes Feeds Available

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Find Your Chemicals On The Web

Business Wire: October 3, 2000. The Q3 update of the "Organic and PetroChemicals on the Internet" database profiles 2,301 Web sites for the chemical industry. These "CATsites" provide users with immediate access to the Web sites of 569 organic and petrochemical manufacturers, 174 distributors and brokers, 784 support companies, 118 industry associations, 141 industry journals, 184 databases for industry information, and 331 additional chemical sites of interest. Get the press release here: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/001003/tx_competi.html

Pac-Info Adds over 150 Links

Pac-Info (http://www.pac-info.com/) has added over 150 links, with a grand total of over 2080 links to public record databases. Recent additions include:

Connecticut - City - Willington Property
Indiana - Marion County (Indianapolis) Employees 1890-1926
Indiana - Utility Regulatory Commission Orders
Massachusetts - City/Town - Natick Property
California - Regional - Silicon Valley Business Directory
CA - Los Angeles County Codes and Ordinances
CA - Marin County Code
Rhode Island - Statutes
SC - Edgefield County Code of Ordinances
South Carolina - Code of Laws
TN - Nashville & Davidson County Code of Ordinances
West Virginia - Court Rules
WI - Dane County Code of Ordinances
Wyoming - Statutes

Database of Best Practices Available
 
Epicenter, at http://www.nationalservice.org/resources/epicenter/index.html , has developed a database of "best practices" related to "education, environment, public safety, and other human needs, along with service-learning and common program management topics (such as recruiting, volunteer management, sustainability)." The site has an overview available (recommended to get an idea of what's available) and a search form available through "find a practice."

A word about the frames before we talk about the search form. The page has three parts: a menu at the top left, an explanatory window below that, and the framed page to the right. The explanatory window is usually gray but will periodically pulse red. The red pulse is to let you know there's new material in that frame. The pulse is rather disconcerting at first, but all it means is that you should look in that frame for new content.

Now on to the search form. (Click the "keywords" or "topics" link on the search form if you want to see the red pulse.) There are two ways to search the materials. The first way, with the top form, is with keywords. There's a keyword list available. The second way, on the bottom form, is for six pre-defined searches. Results are presented with an icon (definitions of the icons are acquired by clicking on them; the definitions appear in the red pulse window), a brief description, and the topic area where that practice appears. Clicking on one of the results gets you a summary, more information on where the best practice comes from, and related sites if available. (There's also information on how to get materials in formats appropriate for the disabled if necessary.)

This site could do with more contributions; it seems like the selection is a bit skimpy. But on the other hand, the design is good, and the red pulse interesting once you get over wondering what the heck the red pulse is. Worth a look.

One Stop Shopping For All Of Your Government Needs
Imagitas has just launched HiCitizen.com (http://www.hicitizen.com), an all-in-one source for government forms and information from the federal, state or local government.
This site is organized by topic and is far, far friendlier than firstgov.gov. 

You can easily find zip codes, postage calculators, forms for getting social security cards, registrations to vote, and more. Not all links lead to forms. For example, if you want to get a form to register to vote in Florida, you'll get plenty of links and addresses of Florida voting resources. However, you won't get a form at this site. Searching worked pretty well, but the pages to which results point could be better annotated. For example, searching for WIC leads to one result, but the page itself doesn't make it clear which is the WIC resource. There should be more visible annotation to make it clear that the nutritional assistance link is the appropriate one for those interested in the WIC program.

This site is not one for heavy-duty researchers looking for information on the gray hairstreak butterfly. However, for consumers looking for government information at both state and local levels will find this site easier to use than Firstgov.gov.

Go Beyond the Fish with Foreignword.com

If you need more than Babelfish for your online translation work, check out http://www.foreignword.com/. This site provides over 160 dictionary link for 61 languages, machine translation for 19 languages, links to over 1000 glossaries, and a directory of over 1800 translators.

This site provides over 160 dictionary link for 61 languages, machine translation for 19 languages, links to over 1000 glossaries, and a directory of over 1800 translators.

The first page has a JavaScript-powered single word translator if you only need one or two words translated. It covers a variety of languages from Afrikaans to Yiddish. You can also make this translator available on your own site through Foreignword's affiliate program. Lots of great information here. Worth a look.

MagPortal Makes Feeds Available

MagPortal has announced that free data feeds are now available from their site. Details on the feeds are available at http://www.magportal.com/help/free_feeds/what_is.html. Currently 200 feeds are available in JavaScript, XML, and RSS formats. Unlike Moreover, MagPortal's feeds include brief descriptions and a link to find similar articles. Worth a look.