Blog Archives

Olympic Data Meets Music

For sports whose winners are determined by time (the fastest participant wins), here is a fun example of how data can be represented both audibly and visually.  The New York Times put together this fun little interactive “Olympic Musical” that shows just how close top athletes end up placing in proximity to each other.

This resource does an excellent job of showing how raw data can be represented in new ways.  It also shows just how diverse information can be interpreted, disseminated, and used. The screen shot below shows how the various Olympic results for Alpine skiing (this only gives you a taste of what this resource does & how information (raw data) can be represented). The Men’s Downhill results is in mid-process of playing–the yellow dots are where the piano note hits within milliseconds.

Go to NY Times article

Alternative Search Engines

Hongkiat.com posted a list of 100 alternative search engines.  The advantage of using one of these niche-specific search engines is that is zeroes in on the specific content you want, and excludes much of the irrelevant & excessive info you don’t need.  Below are the major areas in which these resources specialize.

– Ebook & PDF Search Engines
(Highlights in this genre include Comic Seeker, Free Ebooks, Google Books, )
– Audio & Music Search Engines
(Highlights in this genre include BeeMP3, Find Sounds, and SkreemR–I like the names of these!)
– Video Search Engines
(Highlights in this genre include Hello Movies, which searches NetFlix, Hulu & more simultaneously, Blinkx, and ClipBlast)
– RapidShare Search Engines (file sharing)
(Highlights in this genre include Rapid Share, Files Pump, and RS Finder).

Read more from Hongkiat.com
Read more from Read, Write, Web

Wolfram Alpha and other Search Engine

You might want to look before you leap, especially if you plan to use this for professional research, specifically the terms of use before using some of these new search engines. A faculty member at Willamette University pointed out the interesting term of use for Wolfram Alpha Search Engine, which was released on Monday.

Apparently, Groklaw, the Illinios-based company does not claim to be a search engine, but rather a number crunching machine. However, they “claim copyright on the each results page and require attribution” because the answers that are being created may not actually exist until the question had been asked.

Some sites, like Twine and hakia, try to personalize searches, separating out results you would find interesting based on your web use. Searchme offers an iTunes-like interface that lets users shuffle through photos and images. Kosmix bundles information by type—from Twitter, Facebook, blogs, the government—to make it easier to consume. Wolfram Alpha is more of an enormous calculator than a search: It crunches data to come up with query answers that may not exist online until you search for them….

Read the terms of agreement for Wolfram.

Read more about discussion on the terms of agreement for Wolfram.

Read more about complimentary search engines.