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LLRXBuzz - July 3, 2000

By Tara Calishain, Published on July 2, 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:

Google's Hidden Special Syntaxes

Loislaw Releases Two New Products

Browsing Hits Warp Speed With Opera's New Release

Online Lawyer Finder Service

New Translation Services Available Live On The Web

 

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April 3, 2000

 

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Google's Hidden Special Syntaxes                                                       
If you've heard about Google's new claim of a billion pages (about half of them fully-indexed pages) you may have decided it's time to take a look at Google. Before you head over to http://www.google.com, though, take a look at the secret hidden syntaxes. Google will say in its help file that it currently supports only one special operator, the link: operator  (http://www.google.com/help.html#special). I know of at least two more.

One is called cache:. If you use cache: and then a URL, you'll get the currently cached version of the URL that Google has in its search engine. For example, the query cache: http://www.cnn.com at this writing will give you CNN's front page from May 19th. The second is called site:. The site: syntax works like the host: syntax on AltaVista. For example, if you wanted to find every instance in Google's index where Jimmy Buffet was mentioned on the MTV website, you'd enter the query "jimmy buffet" site:mtv.com. You'll only get five results. Doing the search without the site:mtv.com gives you over 11,000 results.

Loislaw Releases Two New Products

Loislaw.com, Inc. has released LOIS Federal District Court Opinions and LOIS Bankruptcy Court Collection which compliment the LOIS Professional Library series of state and federal primary law databases.

The LOIS Federal District Court Opinions offers Federal District Court cases which have been cited over the years by the US Court of Appeals, the US Supreme Court, any of the appellate courts in the 50 states, or otherwise cited for its precedental value. Other historical cases will be added over time. The Bankruptcy Court Collection offers selectively compiled US Bankruptcy Court opinions dating back to 1979 which have been cited by the US Court of Appeals, the US Supreme Court, any of the appellate courts in the 50 states, or otherwise cited for its precedental value. It also includes selected bankruptcy forms, US Supreme Court Reports, Rules of US Supreme Court, opinions from the 13 US Courts of Appeal, the US Code, Federal District Court Rules, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Practice, and LOIS Federal District Court Opinions. See the press release for the new products at: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/000629/ar_loislaw.html.

Browsing Hits Warp Speed With Opera's New Release                 
Opera Software has released the full version of Opera 4.0 for Windows. This version features an e-mail news client, support for plug-ins, 128 bit encryption, TLS 1.0, SSL 2 and 3, CSS1, CSS2, XML, HTNL 4.0, HTTP 1.1, ECMAScript and JavaScript 1.3. (Did all those abbreviations make your eyes water? Here's the important stuff: XML, JavaScript, and cascading style sheets.) Opera also experimentally supports WML, which is the markup language used for wireless phones; Opera's support of WML lets you surf WAP/WML pages and sites directly from your browser.

You will get the most from Opera if you're running a lower-end machine that gets sluggish when using the latest IE or Netscape. Opera will run, happily, on systems as minimal as a 486. A few of the things I like about it include on-the-fly page resizing, a button for toggling image loading on and off, a print view button, and -- well, look at it this way. Opera works very well when you want to both view the web and extract content. It's not a "surf and see all the pretty pictures and load all the nice multimedia" program. It's a tool for us happy textcrawlers.

There are a couple of downs. I have on occasion had problems using forms with Opera. And Opera is not free. A personal use copy is $39 (educational users get a cheaper deal.) However, there is a 30-day trial version you can download from http://www.operasoftware.com/download.html. If you've only used Netscape or IE before, I urge you to give this a try. It's got some neat features I think you'll really like.

Online Lawyer Finder Service                                                             
The Illinois State Bar Association has launched IllinoisLawyerFinder.com to help people find a qualified attorney. Attorneys listed on the site must agree in writing to carry and continue to carry professional liability insurance, authorize the ISBA to determine from Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission that they are members in good standing before the Bar of Illinois, and accept a suspension from the directory while a complaint against them is pending.

In addition to the directory, the site offers information about Illinois law, featuring more than 20 topics. This section of the site is layman-oriented, looks like, and it's not categorized like Yahoo, but is more divided into topics, like "Your Money," "Your Car," "Your Estate," etc. with subtopics (Adoption, Newlyweds, etc.) Currently more than 700 Illinois attorneys are represented. A basic listing is free to ISBA members, but a premium listing is $50 a year. Read the press release at: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/000626/il_state_b.html.

New Translation Services Available Live On The Web                     
LiveLanguageNow.com is a new site offering live professional interpreters and translators in more than 140 languages (from Afrikaans to Zulu). The site (http://www.livelanguagenow.com) offers two options: Live Interpreter Now! lets you enter a name and phone number and have an interpreter call you for help interpreting a phone call or other dialogue. That rate is $4.50 a minute. They also offer Live Translator Now! in which you can send them a document and they'll translate it usually within two business days. Pricing on that varies by language; you can get the pricing information at http://www.livelanguagenow.com/trans_price.php3.