Tales from the Terminal Room

December 2012, Issue No. 106

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Tales from the Terminal Room ISSN 1467-338X
December 2012, Issue No. 106
Editor: Karen Blakeman
Published by: RBA Information Services

Tales from the Terminal Room (TFTTR) is an electronic newsletter that includes reviews and comparisons of information sources; useful tools for managing information; technical and access problems on the Net; and news of RBA's training courses and publications. Many of the articles will have already appeared on Karen Blakeman's Blog at http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/

Tales from the Terminal Room can be delivered via email as plain text or as a PDF with active links. You can join the distribution list by going to http://www.rba.co.uk/tfttr/index.shtml and filling in the form. You will be sent an email asking you to confirm that you want to be added to the list. TFTTR is also available as an RSS feed. The URL for the feed is http://www.rba.co.uk/rss/tfttr.xml

In this issue:

  • Blog now available for the Kindle

  • Search tools

    • Another reason to say no to Google+?
  • Search Strategies update

  • EU launches public beta of its open data portal

  •   ICAEW's gateways and guides to business information

  •   Information on companies in Israel

  • Twitter Notes

Blog now available for the Kindle

I have had several people ask me if my blog was going to be made available in a version for the Kindle. At last, I have got around to setting it up and the good news is that you can now subscribe to it via Amazon. The bad news is that although the web based version is free the Kindle version costs £0.99/month with an initial two week free trial. I would like to make it free but the price is determined by Amazon. In fairness they are hosting, reformatting and distributing it. Kindle Publishing for Blogs is still in beta and it seems to be working fine so far, but if you subscribe and start having problems do let me know.

Search tools

Another reason to say no to Google+?

One of my Twitter network complained today that when they went to run a Google search a Google+ reminder for someone's birthday popped up in top right hand corner. Google did the same to me prompting me to wish them a Happy Birthday. Does that remind you of a certain social network beginning with F? Yes, we were both signed in to our Google accounts and I have confessed on several occasions that I have sold my soul to Google. I have even gone as far as to sync all my data between my devices and my Google dashboard via Chrome. I made that decision knowing how much information about me that would give Google but I decided it would be worth doing. I can access my maps, bookmarks, searches etc. when I'm on the move and using my Android smartphone; and if my laptop dies all my Google and web browsing stuff can be quickly restored to a new machine.

I still have another Google account that predates even Gmail but on the few occasions when I use it Google doesn't so much suggest rather than demand that I upgrade to Google+. It requires a lot of effort, ingenuity and many clicks to say “NO!” Many of Google's services and search features now require you to have an account and by default it may soon have to be a Google+ account. A reminder that someone in your Google+ circle has a birthday may seem a minor issue but as my Twitter correspondent said “function creep”. And there's been a lot of that going on in Google search recently.

Search Strategies update

“Five things you need to know about Google” has been added to the subscribers' area of Search Strategies. Direct URL to the page is http://www.rba.co.uk/search/subscribers/GoogleFiveThings.shtml and the PDF (8 pages) is at http://www.rba.co.uk/search/subscribers/GoogleFiveThings.pdf

A list of free and subscription content is at http://www.rba.co.uk/search/

Free content includes:

  • Top Search Tips - List of search tips contributed by participants of my advanced search workshops.
  • Selected Google Commands
  • Google Search Tips - List of tips for taming Google that have been recommended by people who have attended my Google workshops.
  • Search Tools Summary and Comparison Table summarising and comparing a selection of the advanced search commands that are available in Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo.
  • Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) -how to set up a Google CSE to search selected sites.

EU launches public beta of its open data portal

The EU has launched a public beta of its new open data portal at http://open-data.europa.eu/open-data/. Open data is information that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone. The EU portal covers all the information that public bodies in the European Union produce, collect or pay for. At present it has 5,811 datasets of which 5,634 currently come from Eurostat (http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/), the statistical office of the EU.

You can search the datasets by keyword and refine your results using the keywords and publishers listed on the right of the screen.

Alternatively there are options for browsing the datasets using tags and keywords. This may be easier if you are not sure of what terms to use.

Using the tags also seems to be more reliable. A search on coal production gave me one relevant dataset but the rest of the results only had production as a keyword. I was seeing sets for carrot production, production of butter, sunflower production etc. I assume that ‘coal' had been dropped because there were so few results containing both terms. Searching on just coal reduced the number of results from around 5000 to 7, one of which was highly relevant (Primary production of coal and lignite). The other 6 covered energy production in general including coal. Browsing and narrowing down the sets using the tags does seem to be the best way of navigating the data at the moment.

Once you have identified a relevant dataset additional information such as time span and date last modified are provided together with links for downloading the data. It's then up to you to find a way of viewing and analysing the data!

ICAEW's gateways and guides to business information

There are many excellent business resources on the web but finding them is not always easy, and Google does not always come up with the best and most relevant. This is where gateways such as the ones compiled by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) come into their own. Their Library and Information Service have pulled together a number of guides on topics such as international company registration, SMEs, startups, country resources and industry guides.

The International company registration page is at http://www.icaew.com/en/library/subject-gateways/business-management/company-administration/knowledge-guide-international-company-registration

The guides cover official and unofficial information sources from the print collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service and recommended websites on the internet. Some resources are for members only but many sections are open to all. It is worth spending some time working your way through the menus to get an idea of the range of information that is available.

The Library and Information Service main page is at http://www.icaew.com/en/library

Information on companies in Israel

All compaies in Israel must register with The Registrar of Companies at the Ministry of Justice (http://www.justice.gov.il/MOJEng/) and the tax authorities. The register can be searched at http://havarot.justice.gov.il/ using part or all of a company name in English or Hebrew, or by entering the company number.

The search interface and the results are in Hebrew but if you are using Google Chrome the built-in translator does a reasonable job of translating the text into English.

Free information on a company includes type of company, address, legal status and purpose of the company.

Additional information such as details of directors, total authorized capital, division of share capital, shareholders, charges and liabilities is priced. It is at this point that the Google translation starts to fail, so if you need more than just confirmation that the company exists it is best to use a commercial service that can run your search and translate the documents. One such company is IsraelBizReg (http://www.israelbizreg.com/).

IsraelBizReg is a division of KYC Israel , an Israeli due diligence firm. They offer English translated company reports in three formats: basic, detailed, and a full company file. You can search the database free of charge to see if your company is in the register. If you cannot find it IsraelBizReg will perform a company search free of charge. The basic report costs $50, detailed is $100 and the full company file is $150.

Another company that provides similar services is UK based 7Side (http://www.7side.co.uk/). Like IsraelBizReg it is pay as you go and they offer a translation service.

A summary of what is available and the costs involved for International Registry Documents and Reports all available in 1 hour is at http://www.7side.co.uk/moreinfo/International_Registry_and_Documents_Service.pdf

The price list for English translated International company overviews is at http://www.7side.co.uk/moreinfo/marksales/7Side_ICO_Reports.pdf

Twitter Notes

The following are some of my recent tweets and retweets. They are selected because they contain links to resources or announcements that may be of general interest. I have unshortened the shortened URLs

3rd December

RT @Philbradley: Pure search engine DuckDuckGo sees usage soar http://macdailynews.com/2012/11/12/pure-search-engine-duckduckgo-see-usage-soar/

RT @dogsbodyorg: Yay, I just correctly used a semicolon in an email thanks to reading http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon last week :-) [Neat explanation]

4th December

From Boolean Black Belt-Sourcing/Recruiting: What's the most effective way to X-Ray search LinkedIn? http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2012/12/whats-the-most-effective-way-to-x-ray-search-linkedin/

"News Corp.'s The Daily is dead, long live The Daily?" paidContent http://paidcontent.org/2012/12/03/news-corp-s-the-daily-is-dead-long-live-the-daily/

5th December

No wonder we get so many weird results "Just Testing: Google Users May See Up To A Dozen Experiments" http://searchengineland.com/just-testing-google-searchers-may-see-up-to-a-dozen-experiments-141570

7th December

Nooooooo!! Not more communities..... Google+: Communities and photos http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/google-communities-and-photos.html

10th December

RT @pidginizing: RT @danijellap: PDF Compressor Can Make Your Files More User and Web Friendly http://www.iceni.com/blog/pdf-compressor-can-make-your-files-more-user-and-web-friendly/ via @InfixPDF

14th December 

Brings back memories - not all fond ones! MT @Philbradley: This is what Google wld have looked like in 'the old days'. http://www.masswerk.at/google60/ [This is brilliant!]

18th December

Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos | Politics and Law - CNET News http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57559710-38/instagram-says-it-now-has-the-right-to-sell-your-photos/ The next day (19 th December) Instagram denies having right to sell users' photos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20777616 claim "confusing" choice of language.

MT @theREALwikiman: I am VERY excited to have a new column! Marketing with Video: Essential, & Easier Than You Think http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/12/marketing/marketing-with-video-its-now-essential-and-easier-than-you-might-think/

20th December

RT @sengineland: Google Running Feedback Experiment That's Similar To Human Quality Rater Test by @mattmcgee http://searchengineland.com/google-feedback-experiment-which-result-142872

RT @CharlesOppenh: Government announces its intentions over copyright exceptions. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/response-2011-copyright-final.pdf

Unemployed to be forced to sign up to Universal Jobmatch website http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/unemployed-to-be-forced-to-sign-up-to-universal-jobmatch-website-at-the-centre-of-security-concerns-8427546.html And what if they don't have access to the internet?

23rd December 

RT @EFF: Experimenting with your privacy: Facebook begins selling access to your inbox https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/12/experimenting-privacy-facebook-sells-access-your-inbox via @lukask

RT @aarontay: RT @rafaelsidi: #altmetric #mendeley #wos http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/12/what-were-the-top-papers-of-2012-on-social-media.html Really interesting comparing popular based on 3 diff measures.

RT: timeshighered Live tweeting at conferences. Impolite and plain rude? Also, how to exploit a Twitter Wall for reasons of cricket: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=422153&c=1

30th December

RT @KathHudson2010: "researchers who write book chapters might as well bury the paper in a hole in their garden" http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2012/08/29/how-to-bury-your-academic-writing/

BishopBlog: How to bury your academic writing http://deevybee.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/how-to-bury-your-academic-writing.html

TFTTR Contact Information

Karen Blakeman, RBA Information Services
Twittername: karenblakeman (http://twitter.com/karenblakeman)
UK Tel: 0118 947 2256, Int. Tel: +44 118 947 2256
Address: 88 Star Road, Caversham, Berks RG4 5BE, UK


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Tales from the Terminal Room by Karen Blakeman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Unported License.
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This page was last updated on January 7th, 2012 Copyright © 2012 Karen Blakeman.