Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta

Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta

Yahoo has updated its Desktop Search and now supports Thunderbird email. Although previous versions of YDS did index and search Thunderbird files you had to search them under the “All files” category. Now you can chose just “Email”. The number of file types supported in the main program has been considerably reduced, though. If you want the full range of 300+ file types you have to install the expansion pack.

For me, Yahoo Desktop is still by far the best with Copernic’s offering coming second.

Google Toolbar for Firefox

Google Toolbar for Firefox

Google has at last launched a version of its toolbar for Firefox. It seems to have all the features of the IE version but appears to be missing several of the “special” searches that are incorporated into the separately developed Googlebar, such as Scholar, Print, Video, Dictionary and Glossary Search. Googlebar is also experimenting with adding Google Labs “Google Suggests” into the toolbar, although the version I tried froze on occasion.

I shall stay with Googlebar for the time being.

Gigablast Launches Blog Search

Gigablast Launches Blog Search

Gigablast has added a blog search to its home page covering nearly 16.5 million pages. I have not had time to test it thoroughly and compare results with tools such as Feedster and Technorati, but it seems worth adding to my blog search toolkit. There are the same advanced search features as in the web search and the usual Giga Bits that suggest related terms and searches to add to your strategy. For example, I typed in ‘climate change peak oil’ and it came up with quite a lengthy list including ‘oil production peak’, ‘oil depletion’, ‘action on climate change’. You click on a suggestion and it adds it to your existing search string. I find this a very quick and easy way of coming up with different pages of results on a topic.

SPG Media RSS Feeds and Industry Web Sites

SPG Media RSS Feeds

This is a really neat site from UK based SPG Media. RSS news feeds, compiled from news sources world-wide, are organised by sector for example energy, telecoms, transportation. The emphasis is on technologies and the companies that supply them. Feeds are available as both ATOM and RSS.

In addition to the news feeds, there are 28 sector specific technology web sites. Each site provides information on industry projects in production or under development, an A-Z company index of contractors and suppliers, a catalogue of companies by product or service, a diary of relevant exhibitions and conferences, and a list of industry organisations.


lazytom’s FeedJumbler is a web-based application that allows you to merge several RSS or Atom-based feeds into a single RSS and/or Atom feed. You can also convert an RSS or Atom-based feed into RSS, Atom and/or HTML and JavaScript. You enter the URLs of your source feeds and it generates a link to your merged feeds, which you can put into your feed reader. Alternatively you can register with FeedJumbler to get a personalized page where you can keep track of your merged feeds.

It is similar to RSSMix but there does not seem to be any limit to the number of headlines in your merged feed – with RSSMix it is 20 – and no limit to the number of feeds that you can combine. Any more than 4 or 5, though, and I think the resulting mega-feed would become rather unwieldy to scan.

Google Video Search

Google launched its new Video Search just over a week ago. Its collection includes videos from news channels and web sites. Searching is relatively straightforward but it is quite difficult to find a video that is freely available for playing. Those that are, have a triangle icon next to their entry in the results list. Google suggests a number of terms you could use, including greenpeace, AdWords and breakdancing to find free videos. One searcher also managed to find William Shatner’s version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

In order to play the videos, you have to first download and install Google’s Video Viewer. It is supposed to be compatible with IE and Firefox but there have been problems reported with both. I cannot get it to do anything at all in IE. In Firefox (version 1.0.4) it is very temperamental. One minute it plays and in the next goes into a sulk, even with the same video. I have yet to see and hear Captain Kirk’s rendition of the Beatles classic, but perhaps that is just as well!