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LLRXBuzz - January 29, 2001

By Tara Calishain, Published on January 29, 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:

FreeERISA.com Announces New Resources

Government Offers Food Recall Information Site

NY Times.com Launches New Sections

Another Legal Research Newsletter

What Does That Extension Mean, Anyway?

Microsoft Offers Local Business Information Through Portal

Track New Additions to the ODP

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FreeERISA.com Announces New Resources

FreeERISA.com has added new resources to its Web site of pension and welfare reports. First is a database of more than 1.3 million employer identification numbers, EIN FINDER.

EIN FINDER also provides legal entities related to an EIN. Second is a Tax Exempt Funds database listing of more than half of its organizations. FreeERISA.com Tax Exempt Funds database is reported to be the only source of such Internal Revenue Service information.

The site is available at http://freeerisa.com/. Normally this is the part where I tell you about using the resource and how it worked for me, etc. Unfortunately I can't do that this time. I had to register. I registered. Next I was told I would be mailed a special password to start using the site. I never got anything. But if you want more information about the new features you could access the FreeERISA press release at http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/010122/dc_freeeri.html.

Government Offers Food Recall Information Site

There's so much news nowadays about recalled food that it's not too surprising that the government offers a regularly- updated site to track those recalls. The site, at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/recalls/rec_intr.htm, offers a FAQ about food recalls in addition to listing information.

Listing information is divided into two sections -- state and federal. The federal section is divided into active recalls and all recalls (back to 1994 in some cases.) The active recall tables contain the recall number, brief description of the recalled item, the date, and a link to the recall press release. The state section has active recalls only, with no archives, and press releases for those recalls are not available.

The site warns that recall information for state agencies may not be complete (it sure doesn't look complete from this list) but offers links to individual states' health and agriculture agencies.

NY Times.com Launches New Sections

NYTimes.com has announced they are launching a new section for Health  (http://www.nytimes.com/health) and an updated Science section (http://www.nytimes.com/science). Both will feature multimedia tools, interactive archival material, and Hypercosm technology to animate 3D models.

The Health section also includes an extensive news section (obviously), information on health-related subjects, a Health Navigator for searching other Web sites, and a searchable HealthStreet directory. There's also a "doctor finder" that allows you to search by name or specialty with some pretty extensive options. For example, you may search for a pediatric surgeon in Decatur, Alabama. Some pretty good tools here, and the news is excellent.

Another Legal Research Newsletter

Does LLRXBuzz not give you enough resources? Can even LLRX not keep up with your legal research jones? Are you a little more of a "newbie" than these pages sometimes allow for? You might want to try the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter, then. The site is at http://ilrw.listbot.com, but there's not much there except the archives of the newsletter and a form to subscribe. The newsletters contain a variety of information, including questions new Internet users might have ("I need to find Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations regarding schools that teach non-immigrants. Do you know of a search engine without cost that I could download?"), an Internet news update, a look at Internet trends, (Ask-An-Expert Sites), graded reviews of sites relevant to legal researchers, and a "just for fun" section, which lists the irreverent, irrelevant, and occasionally weird site for your perusal (just to keep you on your toes, the editor, Tom Mighell, occasionally sticks a useful site in there too.) Worth a look.

What Does That Extension Mean, Anyway?

.doc. .dll. .vbs. What do all these file extensions mean, anyway? Now you can find out with the ExtSearch, the file extensions search engine, at http://extsearch.com/ . This site lets you search through a database of over 1600 file extension.

Using the search engine is simple. You just put in the file extension your interested in, using any case, without the dot. I tried hqx. The search results will give you basic information about the file extension. The HQX result, for example, gives information about the extension and what program is used with it. Sometimes that information isn't immediately helpful (the fact that DLL means dynamic link library and it's a file used by Windows is sometimes less information than you need) but it gives you enough information that you can extend your search elsewhere.

Microsoft Offers Local Business Information Through Portal

Microsoft's business portal site, bCentral (http://www.bcentral.com) has teamed up with American City Business Journals to offer business news denoted by city name. From the site's front page, choose a city from the drop-down menu. You'll be taken to a page which has both local business news and business news from MSNBC. These pages offer a lot of news, but if you're feeling overwhelmed or are only looking for one or two things, you can set up a "search watch" that will review all the news in all the markets for news in which you're interested. You can set up as many searches as you like.

Track New Additions to the ODP

One of my complaints about DMOZ.org (the Open Directory Project) is that there's no way to get listings of new additions to the index (like there is with Yahoo.) Apparently I'm not the only one who has a problem with this, as Axie 
(http://axie.com/index.php3 ) aims to provide those listings. After completing the free registration (and if you're looking for the privacy policy, it's buried in the About section) you'll be able to specify Boolean searches you want Axie to monitor. You can receive your weekly notifications of new sites in HTML or plain text, and there's an "adult block" which can help keep your search alerts free of inappropriate content. I haven't gotten an alert yet, so I can't speak to how the report looks, but I'm looking forward to seeing it.