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of America Pronunciation Guide
The Voice of America has launched a pronunciation guide
at http://www.voa.gov/pronunciations/index.cfm, for names of people and places in the world news.
Search methods include text search, a lookup list,
country of origin, or an option to browse the full list of 2225 names. These options are available through a
series of drop down boxes on the front page. Once you've chosen an option, you'll get a list of words
with the word, origin, phonetic pronunciation, and a hyperlinked graphic. (Sometimes there are also notes
about the pronounced word. Most of the time I saw those it was for place names, like rivers and mountains.)
Select a name and click on the hyperlinked graphic to
listen to the RealAudio pronunciation.
This site also features a Pronunciation Key, a Methodology Guide for pronouncing unfamiliar names, and a short list of names most recently appearing in the news. And of course there's News Now, with live updates and several categories of news.
The Policy Library Publicizes Public Policy
The Policy Library, at http://www.policylibrary.com/, serves as a gathering place of research and analysis dealing with public policy, most often that of English speaking countries. It aims to guide people toward important research information and "away from the insubstantial or self-serving government puff."
Its database consists of over 1000 research and policy papers searchable by author, country, institution, title or policy subject. Special reports and resource pages offer information in the areas of social policy, economic policy, international issues and political thought. Once you've searched (the search box is on the right side of the main page) you'll get a list of results with the subject, title, author, date (all the dates I saw were just years) and country.
Beneath that is a link to the paper itself. Papers were listed ten at a time.
Canadian Lawyer Referral Service
If you happen to find yourself in need of a lawyer in Canada, the Canadian Lawyer Index (http://www.canlaw.com/index.html) offers access to the
online version of its 2001 Directory of Canadian Lawyers for a credit card charge of $5.00. The site also sells Canadian Legal forms and offers information on such issues as hiring a lawyer and what to do about
Its search engine offers searching on the site, as well as the entire Web. Members of the Parliament are listed with contact information and more. Legal
services, non-profit services, lawyers, and expert witnesses are invited to register on the site. The Canadian Lawyer Index Open Forum is open to anyone who would like to enter a discussion -- or post a lawyer
National Hazard Statistics Site
The National Weather Service's Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services has a National Hazard Statistics site at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.htm. Drop- down boxes supply 1995-2000 state by state statistics on injuries, fatalities and property damage losses caused by weather-related hazards including lightning, heat, floods and storms.
Statistics are also included for Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Another drop-down box in the top right corner provides map-detailed outlooks, and a general public option which offers additional facts, including weather forecasts and watches broken down by state, county or city. Interesting.
Google Adds Image Search Beta
A reader clued me in on this several weeks ago, but Google swore me to silence until the rollout. Maybe they just swore. I don't remember.
Google's image search can be accessed from the advanced search page at http://www.google.com/advanced_search. Currently they claim an index of over 150 million images. The image search is simple; just add search terms.
You can subtract them, too: hawk by itself gets very different results from hawk -tony. Special syntaxes seem to work: hawk site:edu worked, as did
allintitle:hawk hawk. (Remember, put the "allintitle" special syntax FIRST. hawk allintitle:hawk won't work.) Hmm. I just went and looked at a few pages pulled by the title search search method, and "hawk" wasn't in
the title of all these pages. Yet there's a definite count difference between searching for hawk and searching for allintitle:hawk hawk.
The announcement said the results were divided into "20 images per page," but I think it retains the preferences you set for the search engine; my search
results came in images of 100 per page, as I've set my preferences for the search engine. Each picture comes with image size (in pixels and K) and URL. Click on the picture and you'll get a framed page with the thumbnailed image on top and the page from whence it came on the bottom.
The FAQ for the search (http://www.google.com/help/faq_images.html) addresses, among other things, the issue of removing copyrighted
images the owner does not want displayed in the search engine.
Pumatech Releases New Mind-it Version
Pumatech Inc. has announced the release of the latest version of its Mind-it software for wireless devices. By offering real time notifications, Version 5.1 gives businesses a way to manage and distribute information within the workforce, while monitoring external information sources. Additional features include a protected page detection, multilingual usage and WAP alerts. Check out the press release at http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/010619/0031.html.