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Techtonic

Seek and ye shall find

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Websites that help you refine your internet search.

When it comes to search on the web, most of us tend to use Google, Bing or Yahoo!, and for good reason too. Indeed, each of these three are wonderful tools to carry out generic requests. But did you know that there are specialised engines that are fine-tuned to help you find more refined results? Here's a list of some of the best sites to help you scour the web;each worth a spot in your browser bookmarks. 

>> Boolify


Search engines work on Boolean logic. This involves the use of 'And', 'Or' and 'Not' in queries. Indeed, these three 'logic operators' allow you to combine words and phrases in web search to help you sift through vast amounts of data and retrieve only information that is relevant to you.
Still, many people are not aware of how to use Boolean logic. Boolify helps rectify that. This engine is an educational tool that helps users perform effective web searches. The resource provides you with graphical Boolean logic operators that you have to drop into the search bars along with your query. And as you use these tools, you see your query getting fine-tuned in real time, helping you understand the knack of effective searches. www. boolify. org

>> Addict-o-matic


This is easily one of the best web resources to seek out what's hot and trending. Key in your search term and it extracts data from over 25 'live' resources including blogs on Google Blog Search, Wordpress. com, Friendfeed, Ask. com News, Bing News, YouTube, Blinkx Mainstream Vid News and Delicious Tags.
Results - whether in the form of latest news, blog entries, videos or photos - are displayed in individual boxes for each of the properties - and you can reposition, add or delete boxes to create a custom dashboard for your queries. After that, you can even bookmark your customisation so you can return to that page at a later date. www. addictomatic. com

>> Zanran


Charts and graphs are a necessary evil, especially if you work extensively on presentations and reports, but how do you find the right information when you're looking for it? Zanran to the rescue. This tool trawls non-traditional file formats -PDFs, spreadsheets, HTML Tables and images - on the web and uses complex algorithms to extract the numbers you want. Results appear in the form of a preview thumbnail with a description and a link to the files for download. www. zanran. com

>> Qwick Up


QwickUp is a service that lets you access all your favourite online dictionaries and reference sites from one page. Type your word, and you are provided with dictionary meanings, synonyms, word roots, translation of the word, and definitions from sites such as Collins, Wikitionary, Wikipedia, Free Dictionary, WordNet, Dictionary. com, Google Translate, Longman, Forvo, BeeDict, Urban Dictionary, Howjsay, Bing and Thsrs. qwickup. com

>> Ice Rocket


If you want to limit your search results to blog posts, tweets, Facebook entries and Flickr photos, then Ice Rocket is the engine for you. It ploughs through user-generated content to give you the dope on what people are talking about. In the blog section, you can sort results by date, plot trend graphs by counting the number of mentions for your search term and even compare trends for two queries. In the Twitter section, you can opt for results with embedded links, search for mentions, or seek by hashtags. And when it comes to Facebook, your results are posted along with time stamps from the most recent entry.
Besides, on the main page, it also shows you what other people are searching under its 'Ice Spy' features. www. icerocket. com

Kiddy Search Engines


Not all content that's available on the internet is appropriate for children, which is why there are engines meant specifically for kids. Ask Kids (www. askkids. com), for instance, is designed exclusively for youngsters between the ages of 6 and 12. Besides the search box, the main page carries three links: Movies, Games and Answers, each leading to content that's kid-safe. Other services that are also great for child-related stuff include Dibdabdoo (www. dibdabdoo. com) and KidRex (www. kidrex. org), both of which use a customised 'Google Search' as its back end. KidRex, for example, uses Google SafeSearch technology that screens sites for adult content and deletes them from your child's search results. Besides, KidRex also maintains its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords.

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