SocialGrep a search-engine of a sort for Reddit. ‘Grep’ being a techie word for search, rather than hipster slang for a trollish ‘gripe’. The Reddit-only aspect makes it not that useful at present for gathering hard timely information. But it is fast, timely, and well-designed. It will be interest to see it expanded to Twitter, Instagram, WordPress blogs etc.
Google News is becoming ever-more picky about what it will display in search. A special problem is its growing lack of full-coverage in terms of timeliness (i.e. it defaults to old news after just a few timely items, when there should be many more present). A clear example: apparently no outlet in the entire world has once mentioned Staffordshire -police -dog in the past three days. Yet Bing News has the ‘missing’ news stories, and from the same search… so why doesn’t Google News?
Another major problem is its seeming inability to weed out all the ‘market reports’ pseudo-news spam. There are so many of them because I presume they’re an entry-point for scams involving sales of worthless stocks and shares. If you’re gullible enough to buy one of these reports, then you set yourself up as a ‘mark’ to be conned.
What then are the search-box alternatives to Google News at the end of 2021? There are not many, but here they are.
Bing News. This is by far the best bit of Bing. Also the best news search service for timeliness, with ‘sort by date’, and the ability to pick up and display news even from the last few minutes. Also has very good coverage of local and regional news here in the UK, able to pick up the Bogglinton-on-the-Wold Bugle class of local news-sheets and more. Though they have recently started including ‘local classified ads’ as news, which is slightly annoying. The search box accepts two -knockouts, e.g. comics digital -nft -nfts and respects these in results. A third -knockout keyword will be ignored.
Proquest. UK public library members can get free home access to this, and can get full text from it (though no pictures, which some may consider a pleasing feature). Search major newspapers and selected magazines by multiple keywords, with many facets. Speed is reasonable for something that’s not a proper search-engine. Can re-sort results by date and narrow by date using a simple slider. Does not respect -knockout words, but does appear to accept NOT as an operator. Very little timeliness, but good for trawling the last year, especially in the UK and the major corporate U.S. newspapers and magazines. In the UK it gets down to the Bogglinton-on-the-Wold Bugle level.
Knewz. A self-proclaimed “Google News competitor” from heavyweight publisher Rupert Murdoch. A few sources reported it was “killed off” in summer 2021 and Wikipedia now claims it’s dead and gone. But it obviously isn’t dead, and Knewz is still working fine for me. I had no idea it even existed until now, so the first PR team on it obviously did a very bad job. It can’t re-sort results by date, but a timeliness indication is given on results. Has a definite bias toward US sources, with the main UK corporate newspapers and BBC News seemingly the only British sources. Supposedly favours conservative sources, but curiously it can’t find last month’s headline stories from The Spectator (UK) or Reason (USA). Possibly it considers them magazines rather than news, yet it does index magazines like Esquire and Wallpaper. Has a horrible yellow colour (which I guess might be fixed with a CSS tweak), but at least there are no blaring photos on results…
NewsNow. A useful ‘at a glance’ timeline for your search terms or phrases, and can surface things that might have gone unnoticed… e.g. “Wiley buys Open Access firm Knowledge Unlatched” — who knew? Only the British book-trade journal The Bookseller and the Library Journal, it seems. Sadly NewsNow does not respect -knockout keywords, and instead adds them. Pop-ups and overlays. A search for digital comics gives only two results, confirming the feeling that the range of sources is actually rather limited. Still, the trade magazines and original press-releases it indexes may make it useful to some.
DuckDuckGo News. You get to this via a standard search and then switch to the “News” tab. Basically, it’s identical to Bing News, though with what seems to be less sources and less timeliness. So it’s better just to use Bing News instead.
Yahoo News. Has several major problems. No ‘sort by date’. Does not respect my -knockout keywords. e.g. comics digital -nft -nfts gets a wall of stories from hucksters touting comics and NFTs, and artists warning against buying NFTs of stolen art. Still, these results are at least relatively timely.
Yandex News. Difficult to control for timeliness. Search for just one keyword, and you’re fine in terms of timeliness… but results are incredibly scattergun. Search for two keywords and you get nothing at all from 2021 and lots of way-back items. Search for a phrase in quotes (e.g. “digital comics”) and you get one story from 2019 and lots from 2010. Bizarre. Also, you need to translate.
Baidu News. Slow. Does not respect -knockout keywords (see the same problem with Yahoo, above). Appears to cover only approved Chinese sources. You need to translate.
Gab Trends. Has a strange political bias, supposedly to the right, which appears to exclude genuine conservative magazine titles and yet includes Russian propaganda outlet RT and fruitcake sites. Still, it offers search and if you know what to ignore you might get some mileage out of it, as it’s obviously capable of timely coverage.
New and possibly useful for some is Remove ScienceDirect spam links…
“removes the annoying spam links (e.g. ‘Learn more about Micro-Organisms from ScienceDirect’s AI-generated topic pages’) which are scattered throughout all articles on the site.”
ScienceDirect still appears to = Elsevier.
Al-‘Usur al-Wusta (Middle Eastern Medievalists)
Archipelagos (Caribbean cultures)
Waxing Moon (Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Columbia University)
Linked Archive.org’s run of Thoreau Society Bulletin 1941-2016 on Directory.
Athanor (art history)
Journal of Art for Life (art therapy and related)
HEAL : Humanism Evolving through Arts and Literature (medical humanities)
ItaliaNoles (Florence, Italy)
Selbyana (Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Florida)
Currently being loaded to Archive.org, from microfilm, The Classical World 1907-2015, aka The Classical Weekly.
My 2019 Carrot2 search – multi-column results fix has updated, with a new Stylus CSS for 2021. The new fix gives this innovative clustering engine a working multi-column look, useful for widescreen researchers using desktop PCs.
Scroll down the original post to get to the new CSS. You need the Stylus browser plugin for your Chrome-based browser to use it. May not work in Firefox or Pale Moon.
is building a platform cooperative bringing together independent open access academic publishers and a community of scholars and institutions willing to provide them with financial and in-kind support.
Nice. If that extends to support services too, then send along the $500 PayPal donation to JURN whenever you’re ready…
OSMIA : Journal of Hymenopterology (wild bees)
Oryx : International Journal of Conservation (OA from January 2021)
Trello is known for its long side-scrolling window, and this window can get very long when planning a substantial project. How to take a quick horizontal screenshot of such a Trello window?
The only screenshot software that hints it can do this is SnagIt. But here’s how to do it for the Opera browser without any additional software. It’s very similar for other Chrome-based Web browsers.
1. Visit Trello, allow your board to load. Position the scrolling frame at your starting point.
2. Menu | Developer | Developer Tools. This brings up the scary Developer console.
3. Ignore all the scary bits and on the console just click here…
This gives you a ‘mobile device view’ of your page, in this case the active side-scrolling frame which is the ‘meat’ of a Trello board. The view appears above the Developer console.
4. Up top you now have your mobile device preview and above this are two inputs for Dimensions, in pixels.
Change the left-hand setting to 9999. This is as high as it can go, but should be long enough for most larger Trello boards. Give it a moment to load up the entire frame, after you’ve increased the Dimensions. You should then see a mini overview of your board, as if on some crazy 6ft-long mobile device(!). It won’t be blurred, as here, but you get the idea…
5. Over in the top-right of the screen, notice the mundane three-dot icon. Click it and from its menu choose “Capture full-sized screenshot”.
6.Then click anywhere non-active in the preview. Any ‘grey bit’ should do…
A screenshot will be created and saved. It may not be a perfect capture in terms of near and far edges, but should be good enough for ‘snapshot’ archival purposes.
7. Unclick the ‘mobile device view’, and then back out of the Developer Tools panel. After a moment your browser should return to its normal view.
You’re done. You should now have a huge ‘side-scrolled’ capture of your Trello board, as a .PNG in your usual downloads folder.
The same process should work for other long horizontal frames on websites.