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:
The Latest on Legal Research
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Greetings! We’re back to a regular format after a tour of the states. We will be going back in coming weeks and highlighting sites that readers suggested from different states, as well as providing coverage of D.C. In the meantime, keep those suggestions coming, and thanks for reading!
CCH Incorporated sponsors this site providing information pertaining to State and Federal employment law. The site features law summaries on both levels and research survey tools. HR LegiState (http://www.hrlegistate.com/) is a subscription based service, but does offer a trial test drive.
New developments are listed each month and by state. You can click on topics under such headings as Employment Discrimination, Workplace Privacy and Workers’ Compensation. Summaries are shown by time period since the beginning of the year.
If you like what you see with the test drive, you have several different subscription options. All subscriptions are based on federal information and access to a certain number of states. You can subscribe to federal information plus one state for $150/year, with more levels of access all the way up to federal information plus all states for $700 a year.
Freeanswers.com (http://www.freeanswers.com/) provides answers to computer questions relating to software by Microsoft, Intuit or Adobe.
The interface on the front page is a “natural language” one; just enter the question in “plain English.” A series of checkboxes to the right of the query box allow you to specify whether you want answers about Adobe, Microsoft, or Intuit products. There’s also an Ala Carte button that allows you to narrow your
question to specific products.
I asked “How do I turn off auto-correction in Word?” while limiting my results to Word only. I got 87 answers, which while extensive was a little overwhelming. I revised my question to “How do I turn off spelling autocorrect?” and got 21 answers, which is much more manageable. Each answer gives you the question, the beginning of the answer, the relevance, and the product to which it applies.
Clicking on the Reports tab will display a breakdown of the number of questions asked about each Vendors products and a list of the ten most frequently asked questions. There is an option to view the FAQs Reports detail, but AnswerWorks Analytics only supports Internet Explorer.
The site is planning to add more material over time, but even as it stands this is worth a look if you’re using “typical” PC software.
SecSt.com, at http://www.secst.com/index.html, provides links to all the Secretary of State Web sites. Select a state from the states map or the states
Each state’s portal is headed by a link to the Secretary of State’s Web sites. Different states offer different things, of course. For example, the Idaho
page offers a link to the Idaho Secretary of State, as well as online search of corporations, download of corporate forms, and help for corporate information.
There was also Uniform Commercial Code search, form download, and help. California, on the other hand, has no UCC search link.
The design of this site is very sparse but there’s plenty of information here. Worth a look.
Anyone following legislation is the state of Michigan will find this portal, at
http://www.michigancybercourt.net/, of interest. Link directly to legislation and history of the Cybercourt, and to articles about state governor’s plan for developing a Cybercourt to speed business dispute resolution and make the state tech friendlier.
There are also links to Michigan Court and Legislature sites, including Governor Engler, and legislative analysis. Some of the materials here are in PDF so be sure to have your Acrobat Reader handy.
SearchShots, at http://www.searchshots.com/, is a “visual search engine” that returns screenshots in its search results. The site can be searched by keyword, or through a menu of search categories which opens to more menu options.
Here’s how it works. Choose a category or search by keywords. Your search results will for the most part include the name of the site and a screenshot of the site. On occasion you’ll get a “Picture coming soon,” and once I even saw a 404 error message in the place of a screen shot!
It looks like most of the information is taken from the ODP, but SearchShots gives it a couple of new twists. As you perform searches, the searches you
perform are gathered in tabs at the top of the screen. I wish there were some easy way to do delete them; you can delete them by using the customize search options link, but I’d rather the ability be more prevalent.
The search preferences link has a couple of other interesting options. You can include or remove bidded results, specify the number of categories to return in
a search, specify the number of categories to return in a search, and specify the number of results to show per page.
Worth a look, especially if you’re “skimming” the Web prior to searching it.
“Oil and Gas on the Internet” has announced the release of its 3Q 2001 issue. The new update contains nearly 6,000 oil records, including more that 3,000 for the upstream industry and over 2,500 downstream profiles. Get more information in the press release at:
Iff’n you can’t get enough of that bloggy goodness, check out Daypop at http://www.daypop.com. This engine, a Googlesque search engine, indexes news sites and Web logs.
From the main page you can enter a query and optionally specify whether you want to search news sites, Weblogs, or both (Daypop says it indexes over 1,000 news sites and Weblogs each day.)
Search results include the title of a site, brief excerpt, and a cache link WITH THE CACHE DATE! THANK YOU, THANK YOU DAYPOP!
There are lots of materials here. Searching for compaq hp found 175 results. Searching for vegetarian found over 100 results. For thoughtful fun run a query on the “News” pages, then try the “Weblogs” pages. It’s amazing the different flavors you get. (Each item that shows up in your search results has a little icon that marks it as News or Weblog, but the colors of the icons
are too similar, making it hard to distinguish at a glance.)
Absolutely worth a look.