LLRXBuzz - January 15, 2001

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:

US Helsinki Commission Launches Updated Site

Company and Industry Information in One Enormous Package

All The Area Code Information You Could Possibly Want

Yahoo News Adds New(?) Features

News for the Newbie

Find Those NonProfits

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US Helsinki Commission Launches Updated Site

The United States Helsinki Commission has launched an updated version of its web site to update information and to make searching easier. The Commission's web site "provides instant access to the agency's latest press releases and reports on recent hearings and briefings.
" You can access the site at http://www.csce.gov/helsinki.cfm.

I never visited the other site, so I can't tell you what it looked like before. But this site provides a image map of portions of the world along with a keyword search box. Clicking on the map (essentially the Americas or not the Americas) brings up a more detailed map with a pulldown menu of individual country choices. Choosing a country brings up the country, a small undetailed map, a flag, and the name of the country's capital. Beneath that are available reports about the country, in categories including press releases, reports, and briefings.

Report counts vary; Poland had seven items available, while Russia had dozens. Reports are listed by date. Clicking on items will bring up the reports, except in the case of PDF files, where a pop- up box says something like "File Not Available Electronically." I think what they mean is it's not available to view in a browser because it's a PDF file. It's be nice if that were a little clearer.

Company and Industry Information in One Enormous Package

CorporateInformation (http://www.corporateinformation.com/) is vast, and I'm annoyed that I didn't discover it sooner. This is a nice site.

The front page offers research by company, industry, or state (and a couple of other things), currency rate information, and a list of the largest companies in the world. It looks like this site is essentially a well-designed meta-search engine. Do a company search, for example, for Duke Energy. You'll get profile links from several different places.

That's not to say that this site doesn't have its own useful aggregates of information. Choose to search for information on the glass industry in the United States, and you'll get links to several different sources of information on the glass industry (ceramics, glass, and optics) as well as links to books and reports for sale. Occasionally the pages also have facts about the industry, but all the facts I saw were sourced and linked.

The state information pages are a mix of good and bad. The newspaper links are nothing special, but the other stuff -- largest companies in the state, corporate climate overview, property database links, etc -- are quite good. If you do any business research at all, this site is a must-see.

All The Area Code Information You Could Possibly Want

Once upon a time not too long ago, phone numbers were simple. But with the advent of ten digit calling within local areas for some folks, it's not simple anymore. AreaCode-Info (http://www.areacode-info.com/) aims to make dialing at least clearer, if not simpler, with lists of area codes and news stories about dialing changes.

The menu is in a frame on the left side of the site. Check out Code Lists. Those available are active codes (codes that either assigned or are currently in use), all assignable codes and their status (and thislist is HUGE) and area codes by geopolitical boundary. The US list shows a state and its list of codes. Click a code and you get its current status and the area it covers, as well as its history. This site also has current news on code assignments, as well as historical information like an area code map from 1947 (back when CA only had three area codes).

There's also a history section with information on the implementation of new codes from the 1940s to now.

One last thing, though it isn't really relevant to librarians: this site has no ads. None. I was browsing through it, thinking that something was a little off, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I finally realized that it was because nothing was blinking at me.

Yahoo News Adds New(?) Features

Hello, my name is Tara and I'm a dailynews.yahoo.com-aholic. When I was getting my fix yesterday I noticed what may be new features. I'm not sure. (Yahoo didn't answer my e-mail by "press time.") First is a "corrections" page at http://news.yahoo.com/h/corrections/. It lists corrections from Reuters, AP, and a photo wire. Looks like the corrections go back 30 days. Now if they also included a list of the releases that have been withdrawn from BusinessWire and PR Newswire, I'd be a happy camper.

The second thing is a list of newspaper top headlines. The sources here are skimpy but well-known (Wall Street Journal, LA Times, USA Today, etc.) It's accessible at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/US/FrontPages.

News for the Newbie

Even if you're on the Internet, that doesn't mean that you're comfortable with your computer. These things take time. And besides, computers -- those plastic and metal beasties -- can be incredibly contrary at times.

If you still need some hints on getting the most out of your computer, check out Wiredguide (http://www.wiredguide.com/). The site is divided into several areas. They include instruction (a huge link list outlining many different sites for all types of instruction, like downloading, security, and Internet phoning), Tips (several links to "tip of the day" type sites), and Terminology (links to computer dictionaries.) A handy bunch of links if you need some extra learning time with your computer.

Find Those NonProfits

GuideStar (http://www.guidestar.org/index.html) is a searchable database of over 700,000 nonprofits. There are a couple of search options -- a basic keyword search on their front page and an advanced search. Type in a keyword search for the basic search and you'll get a list of nonprofit names, city/states, and description. Click on the name and you'll get a page of summary information (EIN, description, contact information, financial information, etc.) On the left side of the page are links to more information, including financials, missions and programs, and a link to a PDF version of the program's 990 form. The advanced search allows you to expand your search to name, keywords, financials, category, type of nonprofit, and more.

If you're looking for just general current information on nonprofits, this site also has a news link and a "NonProfit Center," which provides tutorials for using the site and information for nonprofits who may want to register at the site.