Chipwrapper – Search UK newspapers


Chipwrapper is a Custom Google Search Engine that searches across the UK’s major national newspapers: The Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sun, The People, News of the World, The Scotsman, Daily Star, The Telegraph and The Times. It also searches the BBC News web site, ITN and Sky. It carries out a Google web search of these sources, not a Google News search, so although you cannot sort the results by date you do pull up older, archival material that is not included in the standard 30 days of Google News. As many of the newspapers give the date as part of the text of the stories you can often limit your search to a year and sometimes a specific month by simply including the month and year in your search. Also available are RSS feeds for the top headlines, general sport, rugby and football headlines, and a Chipwrapper browser search plugin is available for IE7 and Firefox 2.

I ran one of my standard test searches on Richard Budge the UK coal magnate, and included 2007 in the search strategy to limit the stories to the current year. It worked impressively well but the FT was conspicuous by its absence, and I knew that there had been at least two articles about him in the FT this year. I went direct to the FT site, ran a similar search and found three articles. I then did a Google Web search using my Chipwrapper strategy but added Again three results. Back to Chipwrapper with some different searches, and it did pick up FT articles. Obviously there is something about my Richard Budge search that it does not like.

Comparison with Google News Archive

Of course Google News is probably the service that most people will use as the benchmark and this is where it becomes really interesting. Back to dear old Richard and a search in the Google News Archive. I went into the Advanced Search screen, entered the phrase Richard Budge, typed in 2007 for the year and selected Show Timeline. Unlike the Advanced Search in current Google News you cannot specify a country of origin for the source so I had to resign myself to the possibility of wading through a substantial number of articles. Google Archive News does, though, give you an option to home in on a specific month via the Timeline (see below).

Google Archive News Results with Timeline

It came up with 94 results, about twenty of which claimed to be from the Financial Times and dated Jan 1 2007. I clicked on a few of the links and they took me to the “Access My Library” site where I was repeatedly told that the articles had been deleted. I gave up after eight or nine, but I think we can assume that the FT has decided not to play ball. Three links with $$ signs next to them took me to Press Display but I was told that the items had been “removed from the back issues access”. A minority of the links took me direct to the news source, for example The Telegraph, BBC, Doncaster Today. The articles from the Guardian, Independent and Times that had been picked up by Chipwrapper were nowhere to be seen. I can only think that like the FT they have declined Google’s offer to be part of the Archive.


I have to confess that this is the first time I have analysed the results from Google News Archive in any depth. I was not surprised to find the FT absent but amazed that so many of the other UK daily papers were not there. Even worse, Google still has in its index links to stories that were carried by third party services, such as Access My Library and Press Display, but which have now been removed. The Timeline is still a good way of looking at major stories relating to a company or person but be aware that some of the key resources are not included.

Despite the glitch with the FT in my test search, and that there is no date sort option, Chipwrapper is a great tool for searching new and archival stories appearing in the leading UK papers. I recommend that you give it a go next time you need to research a UK story.

Note on the name Chipwrapper for non UK readers

A favourite take-away food in the UK is deep fried, battered fish with chips (mushy peas are optional but an essential component as far as I am concerned). Today, EU and Health and Safety regulations dictate that these have to be placed in grease proof paper (in practice not grease proof at all) and then wrapped in large plain sheets of off white paper. I recall that in my dim and distant youth newspaper was regarded as the superior wrapping material. Some connoisseurs claimed that the ink, which dissolved in the presence of the salt and vinegar, gave extra flavour.

PNC — The True Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas…

Cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas

PNC Wealth Management and institutional investments have released their annual report The True Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas. PNC have been monitoring the cost of all the items gifted by True Love in the popular Christmas song since 1984. The 2007 Christmas Price Index showed an increase of 3.1% over 2006. The five gold rings rose by a whopping 21.5%, reflecting the general trend of increasing commodity prices in the Consumer Price Index, and geese-a-laying are up by 20%. Maids-a-milking cost 13.6% more because of an increase in the federal minimum wage. In total the cost of all Twelve Days of Christmas, including the repetitions, comes to USD 78,100.10.

Interestingly, shopping on the Internet is not cheaper mainly because of the shipping and transportation costs involved particularly when it comes to livestock. Agency fees and travel expenses probably contribute to the USD 11,283.23 for the 10 Lords-a-leaping hired via the Internet, compared with USD 4,285.06 for hiring them through more traditional channels.

What the report does not cover is how True Love might be expected to fund this annual extravaganza. Taking out a new credit card or increasing the credit limit on existing cards is going to be more difficult in the current economic climate. House prices, in the UK at least, are at best static but starting to fall so re-mortgaging is not going to be a sensible option. There is also the question of air miles and green-house gas emissions generated by this giftfest. One source estimates that the total comes to 54.4 tonnes. Perhaps True Love should play the green environmental card and not send anything this year, thereby reducing his carbon foot print and doing his bit to help combat global warming.

Santa in breach of UK laws and EU directives

Santa could be spending Christmas behind bars. According to, part of Pinsent Masons an international law firm who advise on IT and e-commerce, Santa’s trading practices break several UK laws and fail to comply with EU directives.

Santa’s crime sheet includes:

  • Failing to comply with the European Union’s Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment Directive, which from this year made producers of goods responsible for their environmentally sound disposal. “Santa and the elves, as producers of electrical and electronic equipment, will have obligations in relation to goods placed on the market, together with responsibilities for financing the treatment, reprocessing and environmentally sound disposal of them,” said Kirsty Isla Cooper, an environmental law specialist at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind There is some question ats to whether or not the elves are separately responsible because The Grotto has not disclosed whether elves are employees of Claus or are independent contractors.
  • Santa’s use of a sleigh drawn by nine reindeer in England, which has had outbreaks of of foot and mouth and bluetongue disease, could be a safety breach. “Claus’s bringing of reindeer in and out of restriction zones could be a serious threat to the industry.” say A spokeswoman for the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) told Out-Law.Com “The Bluetongue exclusion zone is still in operation and applies to reindeer. There is a 150km surveillance zone around the exclusion zone. You wouldn’t be able to go in there with reindeer and leave with them alive.”
  • UK employment laws broken: restrictions on the number of hours worked (it is suspected that the elves work for more than 48 hours a week all year round) and race discrimination laws (Claus’s elf-focused employment practices)
  • Work at Height Regulations 2005: Santa should make sure his sleigh has guardrails to prevent a fall and a fall arrest system installed so that if he does fall he is protected.
  • Alcohol restrictions for pilots: the current UK limit is 20 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. One brandy would probably exceed that limit and Santa has a glass of spirits in each of the UK’s 25 million households in one evening.
  • Flying height restrictions: aircraft must not fly lower than 1,000 feet in major conurbations. Santa flies well below this height as he goes from roof to roof.

Santa is also accused of possible breaches of Data Protection and Distance Selling Regulations.

Full details are at:

Looks as though they will be locking him up and throwing away the key :-(

Live link and linkdomain comands gone again

As Greg Notess and others have already noted,’s link and linkdomain commands are in a mess again. After they had been disabled in their original form, they reappeared as +link: and +linkdomain: commands. I noticed last week, though, that the +linkdomain was generating some very strange results. Much as I would like to believe that I am very popular I do not honestly believe that over 500,000 people/pages/sites link to my web site! Yahoo’s result of 2895 seems more realistic. Now Live’s commands have gone AWOL again.

Using Live’s Advanced Search screen I can still use the links option, type in the URL of the page and the syntax that it comes back with is link: But that only gives me 7 results and two of those are internal links on my own site. So I guess it is back to using Yahoo for identifying incoming links.

Live’s ‘linkfromdomain:’ is still working.

Yippee! – It’s Online Week!!

Well, here I am ensconced in the Kensington Hilton Holland Park, trying to get my brains together for the next four days of the annual online information jamboree at Olympia. Those of us who have done this event in full before know that by Thursday we will be feeling the strain and the fixed grins will appear on our faces at around 2.30 pm. Even so there is a feeling of excitement about ‘Online’ – there is always something new, something about which we can wax lyrical, something on which we can do the thumbs down, always a lot of somethings that we need to follow up, and interesting people we have met.

My ‘Online’ week starts off tomorrow (Monday 3rd December) with a workshop on Blogs, Wikis, RSS and other web 2.0 ‘stuff’. All the notes and demos have been prepared but Mondays are bad for live Internet demos. All the search engines and other web 2.0 providers have had the weekend to revamp and reload their web sites and services. Even if you get away with the morning session a UK afternoon session hits the time when the US services flick-the-switch and make you look a complete idiot if you are demoing live :-(

For the rest of the week my free exhibition seminars are:

Tuesday 4th December: Searching without Google in Theatre E at 11.45.
Thursday 6th December: Tricks and tips for better web search in Theatre E at 12.15

For the rest of the time I shall be mooching around the conference and on the UKeiG stand (number 734).