Askboth Search Engine

Search Bing, Google, & Twitter Together

When I first tested it only searched Bing and Google.  I didn’t like the Google ads that cluttered-up the page.  Now the ads are gone and Twitter appears in the centre column of the search results.

If you use NoScript, then select Temporarily Allow This isn’t the only search engine that requires scripts. is a very useful tool for comparing the ranking of a query on both engines at the same time.  This often aids in the creation of a more precise search statement when you go directly to the individual search engines and Twitter search tools.

Google Power User Tips

With the demise of the unary operator, + in Google search, I went looking for a reliable list of query operators.  (In a unary operation, in a mathematical system, one element is used to yield a single result.)

Query Operators List

Google query operators must be entered in lower case. The best list I found is at Search Engine Land.  The query operator list was compiled by Stephan Spencer. This article was written before the demise of the + operator.

Google SERP URL Parameters

Google SERP (search engine results page) URL Parameters are are name/value pairs placed in the query string portion of the Google search URL.  The URL parameter most used in our office is the strip parameter in a cache search to eliminate any trace of your pageview in the visited website’s analytics.  The SERP URL Parameters article was written before the demise of the + operator.

Google Search Syntax has Changed

Google has removed the “+”  search operator.  Now if you try adding a + sign in your query, Google will ignore it.  You must now use the quotation marks operator instead of the “+” operator.

Normally, using double quotes around a single word turns off stemming/synonym searching.  I am not sure how this will replace the + operator that told Google that “this word MUST to be on the page”.


Today’s Front Pages

Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays these front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form.

Roll over the cities you are interested in and double click when you see a front page that interests you to get a larger image than the thumbnail that appears to the right of the map.

This is something I just found and I think it is a great idea to keep track of what is the main story in other cities.

Money Laundering on the High Seas

I never underestimate the creativity of crooks.  This ingenious scheme illustrates how crooks are always looking for a weakness to exploit.  In this case, the criminals insured a marine vessel and then they made a claim against that policy each month.  The claim was always lower than the premium, and the insurance company did not become aware of the fraud as they were making a profit.

The crooks had found a sure-fire way to launder money.

Local News on Twitter

If you provide a location in your Twitter profile settings, then following @topix_local will get you tweets about the location.  To stop getting alerts, simply stop following @topix_local.  This needs a city name in your profile settings to be effective so that it picks-up the hashtag (#city).

UPDATE: You won’t get very many Tweets using @topix_local compared to using TweetDeck and creating a column for #City.  But of course, in TweetDeck, you will get everything with the city hashtag, whether it’s news or not.

Dunning-Kruger Effect

There is a saying that “you can’t know what you don’t know”.  This might be tautological, but it is also true, as it might be impossible to identify gaps in our own knowledge.  In other words, you can’t teach yourself what you don’t know.  Without instruction and training, you’re very likely to think that you do in fact know “everything” you need to know, when in fact, you don’t have the ability to recognise your mistakes.

Typically, the unskilled rate their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities.  Confidence is no substitute for skill and knowledge, while skill and knowledge must be used with confidence to ensure a positive outcome.

How to Find Out Where a Picture was Taken

Most of the time, there isn’t much information available within the picture itself. However, certain smartphones (iphone) and high-end cameras have GPS built in, and geo-tag pictures. Advanced cameras also store metadata such as the model name, exposure settings, etc. Even without the location information, the Exchangeable Image File format (EXIF) info stored on the image is still useful in the evidence gathering process.

In Firefox, right click on the image and select Copy Image Location.

Go to and paste the image location into the Image URL box. Now click on the View Image at URL button.

The next page displays EXIF info, or information on the Camera, and, if available, the GPS-based location where the picture was taken. Scroll down for the GPS info or click on the map service link in the box on the left side of the page.