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                             Free Pint
         "Helping 23,000 people use the Web for their work"
                    http://www.freepint.co.uk/
ISSN 1460-7239                                     10th June 1999 #40
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                            IN THIS ISSUE

                              EDITORIAL

                         TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
                   "Weather Sources on the Web"
                             by Anne Ku

                              BOOKSHELF
   "Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy"

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
      "Searching for Mammon - Search engine business models"
                          by Arthur Weiss

                     FREE PINT FEEDBACK AND BAR
                        "Online tutorials"
                  "Languages resources on the Web"
                   "Lack of image alternatives"
                  "Favourable Free Pint Feedback"
                      "Other Bar discussions"

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

              ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            http://www.freepint.co.uk/issues/100699.htm

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DOING RESEARCH - YOU GET THERE IN THE END, BUT COULD IT BE QUICKER?
Whether you need health care, environment or business information,
to use a real library or a virtual one, the British Library training
courses can help. We're now taking bookings for our summer programme 
of one day and evening courses. Prices from 25 pounds. 
The British Library, St Pancras, London. Contact Maureen Heath, 
tel. 0171-412 7470, e-mail: maureen.heath@bl.uk,
Web: http://www.bl.uk/services/stb/seminars.

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     >>>  We've now sent over HALF A MILLION FREE PINTS!  <<<

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                             EDITORIAL

Things have really taken off online after the announcement in the
last issue of the launch of the Free Pint Bar and Guide.  

The Bar has been hosting some great discussions and I have summarised 
some of these in the Feedback section at the end. If you have a
research question or want to discuss something Web-related with other
readers and the Free Pint team then why not join us online now ...

                   http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar

The Free Pint Guide (subject access to past issues, reviews, Web 
sites, etc.) has also proved very popular. To maintain the momentum I
would like to ask you to submit details of a Web resource you know 
about if you think other readers would find it useful.  To do this 
simply navigate to the relevant section and click on "Add a site". 
We will consider all submissions but will only add top quality ones.

                  http://www.freepint.co.uk/guide

We had fun in a London pub on Tuesday night with the Institute of
Information Scientists where I gave my Internet publishing tips 
gleaned from producing Free Pint. The free pints (yes, real free 
pints) seemed to go down especially well and I think everyone enjoyed
it. If you would like to get together with other Free Pint readers in
your town or city (wherever you are in the world) then why not post a
message at the Bar.  We'll try to arrange some get-togethers.

We have some more super articles for you in this issue. We start with
the far reaching subject of weather and this is followed by a
fascinating look at the business models that search engines employ.
The feedback section is also once again packed with your letters.

As always, we're relying on you to spread the word about Free Pint. 
Why not let us send a colleague a courteous note and sample issue by 
entering their email address at http://www.freepint.co.uk/reco.htm.

Lastly, just to let you know that it's Half Pint's first birthday 
tomorrow (my daughter Imogen!). That's right, it's been a year since 
the birth announcement in issue number 16 ... time flies.

Kind regards,
William

William Hann BSc MIInfSc, Managing Editor
e: william@freepint.co.uk
w: http://www.freepint.co.uk/
t: +44 (0)1784 455435
f: +44 (0)1784 455436
                                        "Free Pint" is a trademark of
                              Willco Limited http://www.willco.co.uk/

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LOOKING TO RESEARCH OR ANALYSE BANKS OR INSURANCE COMPANIES ANYWHERE
IN THE WORLD? BankScope and ISIS contain very detailed information and
sophisticated software for all kinds of research and analysis. Scanned
annual reports are also available. Call us for us free trial, or click
for more information on banks or insurance companies.

              Bureau van Dijk, Telephone 0171 549 5000
       Email marketing@bvd.co.uk, Web http://www.bvd.co.uk/

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                QUICK TIP ... INTERNET CONSULTANCY

Use a proper domain name from day one.  I had a nightmare weekend 
about a year ago transferring the Free Pint site (and all the 
associated scripts, search engine listings, etc.) to the new domain. 
Do it from day one, it makes life a lot easier.          William Hann
                                             http://www.willco.co.uk/
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                  >>>  WHY NOT PRINT IT OUT?  <<<

Many readers still tell us that they print out Free Pint to get the 
most use from it. Also, having a highlighter pen to hand means you 
don't lose all those nuggets of information.

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                         TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

                   "Weather Sources on the Web"
                             by Anne Ku

The greater your business or personal pursuits depend on the weather,
the greater your need to know. Fortunately, weather information is not
only abundant on the web but also freely available. These sources of
"free" information fall into four categories:

1) Weather-specific sites
2) Meteorological offices and weather/climate research institutes
3) News and travel sites that contain weather information as part of
   the "need-to-know" package 
4) Internet directories and Internet service providers.

Before listing the guru links in these categories, it is worth
pointing out what "free" information does not offer.

As with other kinds of web sites, free information serves to
demonstrate competence of the provider and entice users to return
repeatedly. "Free" implies no guarantee of accuracy, accountability,
reliability, completeness, regularity of update, timeliness of update,
frequency of update, wide range of weather parameters, long period of
forecast, or wide range of locations. Most commercial weather sites
also describe and offer paid services. By paying for these services,
you should hopefully get the above guarantees as well as better
quality data and judgement, improved organisation and arrangement of
information, more specific parameters, less popular locations, longer
period of forecast, better historic data, customisation, and your
preferred method of delivery.  Nonetheless the number of "free" web
sites greatly exceeds subscription or paid sites.

Most users want to know what the weather will be for a given location.
Some need to know what it is now, and others how it has been in the
past. Few web sites provide all three.  Weather Underground at 
http://www.wunderground.com provides historic, current, and forecast 
conditions for most locations in the world. Their Fast Forecast search 
engine may be copied to your site - a powerful marketing tool for
them, as it simply opens their forecast page in a new window.  The
historical database allows you to query the weather conditions for a
specific day in the last few years but not for the most recent
observations (e.g. yesterday, this month, or previous month).

Historical monthly statistics is available at Reading University's 
http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~brugge/cgi-bin/worlddatafind.cgi
going back a few years. Monthly long term averages, typically over
twenty to thirty year periods, tell us what to expect under normal
conditions. These "normals" can be found at
http://www.weatherpost.com/, http://www.worldclimate.com/
and http://www.usatoday.com/weather/waverage.htm. These sites
provide monthly normal temperature, relative humidity, precipitation,
and wind speed. Various monthly summary statistics are also located at 
http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/Data/world95.html going back to 1995.

For current conditions, the US National Weather Service provides an 
extremely useful database that is updated hourly at
http://tgsv7.nws.noaa.gov/weather/ccworld.html.  The raw parameters
include temperature in both Fahrenheit (F) and Celsius (C), dew point
in F and C, pressure in inches and hPa, wind direction, wind speed in
miles per hour, and a short description of weather condition.  These
hourly observations may be used to calculate the actual highs and lows
of the day.  However, only the last 24 hours' data are displayed.

Text, data, charts, maps, and satellite images are all used to
describe the dynamics and uncertainties of weather forecasts.  As
such, weather web sites vary greatly in terms of presentation,
coverage, and queriability. Close to 400 North American weather web
sites are listed at http://cirrus.sprl.umich.edu/wxnet/servers.html.
This list contains http addresses in alphabetical order without
further description or discrimination.  New sites are marked as "New".
Allentown Weather Center goes a step further to categorise over 1,000
links at http://www.ugems.psu.edu/~owens/metlink.html.  If you wish
to search by location, Reading University's 
http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~brugge/stations.html provides web
addresses of weather stations world-wide.

Although many American based web sites have international coverage,
you may also want to check the meteorological office of the country in
question. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) lists its
members at http://www.wmo.ch/web-en/member.html. It would be even
more useful if it contained WMO IDs, which are often used as a
short-cut to data-intensive searches for weather conditions elsewhere.

For those with a deeper interest in weather, visit university weather 
servers listed at
http://www.ugems.psu.edu/~owens/WWW_Virtual_Library/university.html.
The University of Birmingham lists many weather links at 
http://www.bham.ac.uk/geography/met/methome.htm. The University of
Reading keeps a list at
http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~brugge/index.html with
links to European weather sites.

Web sites of TV and radio stations, newspapers, and other broadcast
media contain weather information as part of the "news" package. Many
of these are included in the earlier guru lists.  Alternatively, check
out any popular news provider, such as http://www.cnn.com,
http://www.bbc.co.uk, http://www.usatoday.com and
http://www.foxweather.com.

Many sites provide useful conversion tools, such as Fahrenheit to
Celsius. Probably the most comprehensive collection of conversion
utilities and formulae are found at
http://nwselp.epcc.edu/elp/wxcalc.html and 
http://snowball.frogspace.net/js/. The latter also contains
programming code for the real enthusiast!

Finally, popular Internet directories such as Yahoo! and Excite have
weather as a category.  Weather is also part of portal pages of many
Internet service providers. In other words, weather can be found
easily everywhere.

Given the drawbacks of free information as mentioned earlier, can we
really base our mission-critical decisions on it?  One way to
intuitively validate free information is by use of a multi-sourced
approach. In other words, compare information about the same location
and time period from different web sites. An example of this approach
may be found in my own web site at 
http://www.analyticalq.com. The multi-sourced approach applies the 
complementarity of information provision (one web site offers what
another does not) towards completeness of information. The
"agreement" of several sources tames our view of the uncertainty in
forecasts given, thereby increasing our confidence in using them.

How accurate are the forecasts? I have not come across any study that 
compares the accuracy of weather forecasts on the Net. Although some
sites have tracked their own forecasting performance, comparing across
web sites would be difficult for the following reasons: 

1) Comparability requires forecasts to be made at the same time and
   the same specific location.
2) Web sites do not always give the time of assessment nor the
   specific location - whether in the city centre or one of its
   airports.
3) A fair comparison also requires synchronisation, i.e. same
   regularity of updates.  
4) Forecasts must be compared against actuals.  However, historical
   actuals that have gone through quality controls do not come free of
   charge.
5) Finally, a proper comparison should be made for a range of
   locations on a daily basis for at least an entire calendar year.
  
All of the above difficulties are not insurmountable but rather
pose a challenging study worth undertaking (to improve standards of
free information on the web). Anyone interested in sponsoring this
study please email the author!

This introductory article has discussed free as opposed to paid
weather information and listed guru-links under various categories. A
natural follow-up would be to compare web sites on content, coverage,
display, and search facilities based on the following criteria:

1) Ease of use: how easy and quick to get to the location whose
   weather you're seeking. This includes upload speed, ease of
   navigation, speed and ease of query.
2) Content: the number and types of parameters and range of locations 
   available. 
3) Display: the way the information is organised and presented to
   allow the user to quickly assimilate the facets specific to
   weather.
4) Useful tools such as conversion utilities and other value-added
   content.  

If you have seen a recent comparative study of weather web sites or
would be interested in a follow-up article to this, please email the
author.

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Anne Ku started researching weather web sites in 1997 for an energy
trading company.  The resulting weather intranet became a useful
centralised decision support system, removing the need to hire
meteorologists. Currently as a consultant to the energy news and data
provider Standard and Poor's Platt's http://www.platts.com, she is
responsible for the product development of weather information as an
integral part of the newly launched European Power Daily and Power
Markets Week Europe newsletters. Anne holds a PhD in Decision Sciences
from the London Business School http://www.lbs.ac.uk. She may be
contacted on fortepiano@excite.com for comments on this article.

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To make a comment about any aspect of this article then please join
the Editors and author at the Free Pint Bar ...

                   http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar

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    >>>  ADVERTISE HERE TO REACH 23,000 KNOWLEDGE WORKERS  <<<
                http://www.freepint.co.uk/advert.htm

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                     BUY MAILING LISTS ONLINE
Mailing lists for direct mail and telemarketing purposes now available
online from more than a dozen databases (e.g. Dun & Bradstreet, 
Learned Information) with more than 3 million addresses. Make your 
selection and get matching records instantly. Purchase by credit card
or account, download immediately or print formatted labels. No 
minimum quantities, with libraries & resellers receiving 20% discount.
         http://www.mailing-labels.com/default.asp?refer=39

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                        FREE PINT BOOKSHELF
                http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf

   "Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy"
                     Reviewed by William Hann

"If you think you can apply traditional economics to the new
information economy, then you are ... right.  That is the message
from the economist authors of this informative and readable book from
Shapiro and Varian.

The book uses a range of products from the network economy to outline
strategies for pricing information goods.  These range from the
obvious (introductory pricing, competitive upgrades, basic versus
deluxe) through to more complex strategies such as versioning
(producing different versions of a product for different groups of
customers - and charging different prices accordingly). 

The book is full of examples, ranging from HDTV and railroads
through to the computing industry. For me, some of the most 
interesting examples come from the content side, and this includes 
Encyclopaedia Britannica's move to supplement its hard copy business 
with digital delivery ... [continued]"

       ... read William's full review on the Web site at ...

             http://freepint.co.uk/bookshelf/rules.htm

Find out about the other great Web-related books we're reading at
http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf and send your comments or
suggestions to bookshelf@freepint.co.uk.

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          >>>  WANT TO MEET OTHER FREE PINT READERS?  <<<
            Don't forget to visit the Free Pint Bar ...
                   http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar

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                  QUICK TIP ... INTERNET TRAINING

It may sound trivial, but having name cards for delegates (and you)
can transform a day. Get them to write their name (using a marker pen)
and you'll get much more interaction throughout the day.
                                                         William Hann
                                             http://www.willco.co.uk/
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                          FEATURE ARTICLE

      "Searching for Mammon - Search engine business models"
                          by Arthur Weiss

Those readers with children will be familiar with the speed at which
babies change into toddlers. In no time at all, that innocent baby has
metamorphosed into a teenager looking for different ways of raising
extra cash. And so with the Internet.

This article looks at how the leading search tools have developed over
the last five or so years - and some of the business models adopted.
Search tools are an integral part of most of our Internet experiences.
Knowing how they make their money can help us understand why they have
changed over the years. The development of different models is also an
object lesson in how the Internet is growing up.

Some readers may wonder why I use the term "search tool" and not
"search engine". Simply - some search tools are not actually search
engines - which use bots to search the web, but are in fact just
directories or lists of sites. Using the term search tool may seem
pedantic, but I believe that it is more accurate.

The first search tools were mainly experimental - exercises in text
retrieval software - or compiled by hobbyists (Yahoo! for example).
The services were mostly free, and the search facility was their sole
aim in life.

Quickly, however, some companies realised that the technology could
bring in money. Excite, launched in October 1995, aimed to use their
search technology as a showcase for its software. Infoseek, was even
earlier off the mark - and appeared in late 1994. Initially, Infoseek
limited the number of hits available, but also included a subscription
service giving unlimited hits, and offering data from commercial
database producers such as Hoovers. This model did not last long -
Infoseek soon dropped the "pay for search hits" model and formed
alliances with other providers such as Netscape. It also moved into
banner advertising.

Infoseek claims that it was the first company to introduce the CPM
(cost per thousand) pricing model used for Internet advertising.
Infoseek also allowed advertisers to tie advertisements to particular
search terms. Although this idea seems simple, there are pitfalls.
Excite, Webcrawler and Netscape are being sued by Estee Lauder and
Playboy for trademark infringement. A company called the Fragrance
Counter bought the rights to the keywords "Estee Lauder" and a
hard-core porn company tied itself to Playboy. So, a search for
Playboy magazine was accompanied by a banner ad for a hard-core porn
site. One can understand Playboy's objection. After all, Playboy wants
Internet users who are searching for Playboy magazine to be tempted by
its articles and not hard-core porn.

The next few years were fairly stable - as the Internet grew, and
grew. The business models established by Infoseek and Excite dominated
- with advertising and search engine technology sales being the key
sources for revenue. Although there are country specific search tools,
the leading search tools were US based - and the banner ads reflected
this. However by mid-1997 a number of regional sites also appeared -
for Infoseek, Excite, Lycos and Yahoo! - with Lycos France
http://www.lycos.fr, Excite UK http://www.excite.co.uk or Yahoo!
Korea http://www.yahoo.co.kr as examples.

There is another model that has been adopted by some companies - that
of the parasite. Users are always scared that they may miss a key site
by limiting searches to a single search engine. (A justifiable fear -
as estimates suggest that no single search tool indexes more than a
third of available web pages). The meta-search engines created tools
that aim to alleviate this fear. They allow users to run searches on a
number of different search engines from a single site. Such tools are
parasitic, in that they share none of the database and indexing
development overhead, and instead take away advertising revenues from
the search tools they use. As a consequence the major search tools
take a dim view on the usage of these sites. Northern Light blocks
access, and Infoseek restricts access. (Apple Computer's Sherlock
software is an exception. This meta-search tool allows searching on a
number of sites simultaneously - but the software shows the
advertisements from each search tool's site alongside each hit.)

In August 1997 Northern Light launched. Not only did Northern Light
offer a different approach to web-searching, with the automatic
categorisation of sites into folders, but it eschewed advertising.
Northern Light aims to make money by selling content - through its
"special collection". This offered users access to articles taken from
newswires, magazines and databases - a business model more akin to the
older commercial online host databases. This was also the original
subscription model used by Infoseek and the defunct library search
tool, NlightN, which also combined pay and free searching. In
hindsight, this move towards content was a watershed in the
development of the search tool business model. The other search tools
realised that they needed to differentiate themselves from each other.
Looking the same was no longer a commercially viable option - the
search tools had to add services.

Different approaches were taken. Alta Vista and HotBot - with the two
largest search directories, held out for a time. Their argument was
that they would attract visitors because of the size of their
databases. But the other tools added new features. Yahoo! launched
versions targeting specific sectors - for children
http://www.yahooligans.com or senior citizens
http://seniors.yahoo.com. Excite offered topic based channels -
allowing users to focus on their own specific interests. The different
companies also formed alliances with other providers - Amazon, for
example. They purchased stakes in other web related companies - search
directories, free e-mail and web-space companies being typical
targets. However this was not enough - and by mid-1998 it became
evident that if the smaller search tools were to continue to attract
visitors other solutions were needed.

Over a period of months, with the exception of Northern Light, all the
major search engines embraced a "portal" model - with the aim of
keeping visitors on the site. The search boxes, which previously had
taken centre-stage were displaced to smaller and smaller areas. At the
same time, the directory of different channels and services offered
became dominant. But even this may not be enough to ensure survival.

The major search tools (Yahoo!, Alta Vista, Lycos, Hotbot, Infoseek,
Excite and Northern Light) always emphasised that their listings were
independently ranked on relevance to the search terms. In February
1998, GoTo - a small search engine brought this concept into question
- by selling search terms. The highest bidder would become the first
company listed. GoTo argued that this approach was similar to that
used in the yellow page directories - where the larger or more active
businesses pay for a display ad. GoTo claims that these sites would be
more relevant for most users. GoTo also pointed out that the other
search engines' top results were frequently the result of web-site
designers' skill in tricking the search engine relevancy algorithms.
The acceptance of the GoTo model showed how the Internet has changed.
GoTo's business model is not new - and was initially attempted in 1996
by OpenText. However in August 1996, the prevailing view was that the
Internet should be free - and OpenText's experiment lasted only 3
months.

The other search engines have not missed the lesson that paying for
placement is now a viable model. In April 1999, Alta Vista decided to
allow companies to pay for a "top position". Alta Vista claims that
companies receiving a top position will be highlighted so that users
know that they have paid for their ranking. As one of the top Internet
sites, the revenue potential for Alta Vista is enormous - and it is
unlikely that this model will be ignored by the other search engines.

The real question for the future is whether there is enough room for
seven market leaders. There is a business concept that as competition
heats up a shake-out occurs, with weaker or smaller competitors
disappearing. Eventually, only three major companies, and a number of
niche competitors, remain. This can be seen for numerous industries -
and there is no reason to believe that the Internet will be different.
In fact it looks as though the competitive pressures are starting to
hit-home.

Lycos is one of the earliest search engines. It also has the
smallest index of the leading tools. In a bold move, Lycos recently
announced plans to switch to being a directory service, using a
company Netscape had purchased and offered to all - the Open
Directory. Apart from putting Lycos head-to-head with Yahoo! in the
top directory stakes, this may provide a lifeline to Lycos. An
advantage of directories over search engines is the human editorial
aspect - users can have a greater confidence in the quality of listed
sites. By switching, Lycos has indicated that it accepts that its
index can no longer compete with its search engine rivals' larger
databases. Instead, it will emphasise the quality of its search
results.

This will not be the end of the story. New search tools - with new
approaches are appearing. However, to date, none of these receive more
than a small percentage of the hits achieved by the leaders (and so
have been ignored in this article). Unless they succeed in doing
something really different, they will not topple the leaders from
their positions. If asked to predict the situation in five years time,
I would guess that many of the current players will no longer be in
the search tool business. Others will have been swallowed up by
competitors. I believe that of the seven current leaders, only three,
or perhaps four, will still offer comprehensive search facilities.

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Arthur Weiss is managing partner and founder of AWARE, specialising in
competitive intelligence, business information and strategy. Interests
include the development of the Internet as a business tool - the
information industry, and predicting future trends. Arthur is a
chartered marketer and MBA and regularly gives talks and workshops on
using the Internet for competitive intelligence. He is currently
developing a workshop on scenario planning - to be launched later this
year. Arthur also writes on competitive intelligence and marketing
related issues, is a fan of Apple computers and supports his wife,
Susy, who sells Dorling-Kindersley books. He can be contacted by
e-mail: ArthurW@marketing-intelligence.co.uk.
Web site: http://www.marketing-intelligence.co.uk.

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To make a comment about any aspect of this article then please join
the Editors and author at the Free Pint Bar ...

                   http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar

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                 QUICK TIP ... INTERNET PUBLISHING

I'm only just starting to realise this, but publishers get certain 
priveliges. Access to press rooms at exhibitions (free coffee, 
somewhere to sit, and access to your email), free entry to 
conferences, free books for review. This is wonderful.
                                                         William Hann
                                             http://www.willco.co.uk/
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                   >>>  IS THIS YOUR COPY?  <<<
  If you don't automatically receive your regular copy of Free Pint
    then simply email subs@freepint.co.uk or visit the Web site.

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                    FREE PINT FEEDBACK AND BAR

This issue's feedback subject index:

  * Information on online tutorials (Free Pint No.39)
  * Languages resources on the Web (Free Pint No.39)
  * Lack of image alternatives (Free Pint No.38)
  * Favourable Free Pint Feedback
  * Other Bar discussions

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Subject: RE: Information on online tutorials (Free Pint No.39)
From:    Various

In the last issue of Free Pint, Simon Collery asked:

"I have always looked out for sites or sources of information on the 
Web itself, its capabilities, past and future.  I have not found good
sources of information.  Do you know any online tutorials or courses,
free or otherwise, or anything like this?"

We had a whole raft of help and information on this one, with letters
to Feedback and postings to the Bar.  Here is a summary of the main
resources identified ...

NetLearn
  http://www.rgu.ac.uk/schools/sim/research/netlearn/callist.htm
  A non-profit directory of resources for learning and teaching Net
  skills, including resources for WWW, email and other formats.

Ziff-Davis University 
  http://www.zdu.com
  Pay about US$13/month but can take as many courses as you like.
  Free fortnight trial available.

'New to the Web' page - Manchester Metropolitan University
  http://www.mmu.ac.uk/h-ss/dic/resource/help.htm
  Links to a variety of excellent tutorials such as TONIC and 
  Internet Detective

'Search Tools' page - MMU
  http://www.mmu.ac.uk/h-ss/dic/main/search.htm
  Links to key web searching advice like Search Engine Watch, Web 
  Search and Search Engine Showdown

The Internet Guide - University of Toronto Faculty of Information
Studies (FIS)
  http://conted.fis.utoronto.ca/tig/demo/default.htm
  Canadian online training programme offered in six monthly 
  subscriptions. Levels from beginner to advanced. Courses include 
  "Mastering Web Searching" and "Current Awareness Services".

Bullseye Report
  http://www.freepint.co.uk/cgi-bin/webbbs/config.pl?read=73
  Read the output from a report produced by a Free Pint reader using 
  Bullseye.

E-netiquette and List netiquette
  http://www.ualberta.ca/~pletendr/e-netiquette.html
  http://www.ualberta.ca/~pletendr/list-net.html
  Very readable pages from a Free Pint reader.

webTeacher
  http://www.webteacher.org/
  Tutorials on Web browsers, EMail, FTP, searching, etc. American 
  and aimed at K-12 Education.

Many people have helped on this one, but thanks especially to Mike 
McConnell, John Elliot, Richard Eskins, Maggie Weaver, Pita Enriquez 
Harris, Pat Letendre and Stuart Randall

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           Send your letter to feedback@freepint.co.uk
      or discuss it online at http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar
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Subject: Languages resources on the Web (Free Pint No.39)
From:    Various

"I am new to Free Pint which was forwarded to me by a friend. As a
professional translator for 30 years and owner of a translation 
company for ten years, I found Emma Thompson's article a brilliant 
piece of research.

Everyone should learn a foreign language, and it does not matter 
which one. Every time I hear English families in Wales complaining 
that their children are forced to learn Welsh at school my blood 
boils! A woman was on the radio the other day complaining that her 
children had to spend two and a half hours a fortnight learning Welsh.
That is not nearly enough! For a thorough grounding in a foreign 
language, a child should be studying one hour a day - plus homework. 
That is how we learned foreign languages at the French Lycee and that 
is why Russians are amazed at my Russian accent and knowledge of the 
language although I have never been to Russia.

I hasten to add that I am not a Russian translator. I personally 
translate from French and Hebrew into English but we have lots of 
in-house translators, especially Chinese and German, if anyone out 
there has a need for "real" translation.

Emma points out that she is "not convinced" of the efficacy of 
machine translation. You might think I am biased but I can tell you 
that machine translation is a joke. If the amount of money spent on 
developing machine translation over the past 20 years had been spent 
on, say, cancer research, the disease would have been abolished by 
now. Professional translators use a tool called a language memory 
program, which also creates glossaries and helps those whose command 
of the language is not up to veteran level to speed up their work by 
not looking in dictionaries (Emma is right, paper dictionaries are 
by far the fastest and most reliable tool). However, these programs 
have severe drawbacks the worst of which for me is that they are
not available on Macintosh, the computer I am most at home with.

Much of our work is done for publication, we work with many publishers 
and for that we need to use Quark on Mac. This makes it impossible to 
use translation memory software."

   Josephine Bacon
   Chanterelle Translations
   bacon@langservice.com


"I'd like to commend you on the article  "Lingo on-line - Languages
resources on the World Wide Web" by Emma Thompson. I've learned a 
whole slew of languages at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 
When it comes to langauge learning, it is safe to say: the more the 
means available to learn a language the better. The Net is becoming 
an almost unbeatable language learning tool. 
Congrats on a splendid article!"

   Kenneth Selin, Canada


"I'd like to give thanks to every staff of Free Pint (Hann, et al.) 
for everything you've so far put into the newsletter -- to be more 
specific, I got really excited when I read the portion on on-line 
lingo (*Applause!*). I say, your approach will be very helpful for
everybody since information comes directly to our inbox(es) and this 
same information facilitates our using the net with all the links and
explanation of the links. *Cheers!*"

   Randall A. Evangelista, Makati City, Philippines

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           Send your letter to feedback@freepint.co.uk
      or discuss it online at http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar
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Subject: Lack of image alternatives (Free Pint No.38)
From:    David J. Morris, "Geek-wanna-be" and "IT aficionado"
Date:    Monday 31st May 1999

Just a quick comment on a fellow reader's laments about browsing with
"Images Off" and the ensuing frustration he feels. He's quite correct
in his analogy of book covers / CD jackets versus web pages ...
unfortunately he seems to have missed his own point. The Net IS 
designed to provide the fullest experience possible on each and every 
web page. The limitations from THEIR end is time, money, inclination 
and ability. The limitations from the viewers' end is usually that 
delicate combination of CPU speed, modem speed, RAM, Monitor, etc, etc.
(Read as $$MONEY$$ ... and desire.)

So with all due respect to the individual for a reasonable set of
opinions ... throw the 386 out and buy something from this decade!
Information research and/or searching should not be devoid of the
aesthetics provided by the human mind, but rather embraced.

Make the knowledge come "alive" not merely "there".

Don't just uncover information ... absorb knowledge!

It is the Net's (and human's) ability to "dazzle" that makes learning
"worth it!"

Happy Surfing.

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           Send your letter to feedback@freepint.co.uk
      or discuss it online at http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar
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Subject: Favourable Free Pint Feedback

Here is a selection of the wonderful letters we receive from readers
on a daily basis. They certainly gives us a boost.


"I have only been receiving Free Pint for a couple of months, but I
think the articles are some of the best I've read on the net.  I have
never considered myself a computer nerd or web surfer, I am a lawyer 
prone to writing boring pleadings for court.  However, the writers 
that contribute to Free Pint certainly know how to educate in the 
fewest words possible -- quite a remarkable skill.  And, they know 
how to keep the subject interesting. Perhaps, it's your judicious 
editing.  At any rate, you are doing a wonderful public service with 
your publication.  You should be nominated for a MacArthur genius 
award.  Don't ever stop!

   Mary E. Reyna, Los Angeles, California, USA


"I'm full of admiration for the additions to the Free Pint Web site, 
namely the Free Pint Guide and the Bar. The proof that you have 
managed to get a real community together is the speed with which the 
Free Pint Bar has taken off.  The Guide makes it a lot easier to find 
half-remembered sites buried in back issues. So, well done team and 
keep going!"

   Dr. Pita Enriquez Harris, The Oxford Knowledge Company Limited
   http://www.oxford-knowledge.co.uk/


"Like all of your subscribers I look forward to each new issue of
Free Pint. I don't think you can be beaten for ease of use plus
information that really is useful. I quite happily recommend your site
to all of my friends. Keep up the good work."

   Dominic Webb, Corporate Account Manager, Demon Internet Ltd


"I've been judging newsletters, and so far there is no other 
newsletter service that can match Free Pint's. There is one big 
advantage: this newsletter is not made for gimmicks, rather than a 
collection of helpful information. It is highly recommended to those 
people who want to have the right information in a fast, easy and 
organized manner, which makes it more than a newsletter but
also a tool. And for that thankyou!"

   Christopher O. Buzon, Philippines

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           Send your letter to feedback@freepint.co.uk
      or discuss it online at http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar
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Subject: Other Bar discussions

A number of discussions at the Free Pint Bar have been producing
some very interesting comments.  Here is a summary of the major ones
which you might be interested in.

Content versus design
  http://www.freepint.co.uk/cgi-bin/webbbs/config.pl?read=19
  Interesting discussion and opinions on this crucial subject

Statistics of web site visitors
  http://www.freepint.co.uk/cgi-bin/webbbs/config.pl?read=61
  Information on analysing Web site access logs

Databases for formatting web pages
  http://www.freepint.co.uk/cgi-bin/webbbs/config.pl?read=58
  The advantages of having Web pages generated from a database

Advertising issues
  http://www.freepint.co.uk/cgi-bin/webbbs/config.pl?read=29
  Discussion of the effectiveness or intrusiveness of advertising, 
  banners, webfomercials

Other issues (some summarised here in the newsletter) including 
online tutorials, netiquette, IT contracting, reproducing material
from Free Pint, and designing Internet training. Catch up now at ...

                   http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar

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             DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION, COMMENT OR REPLY?

Let us know your feedback or favourite site by sending an email to 
the Free Pint team now to feedback@freepint.co.uk or post your
message at the Free Pint Bar http://www.freepint.co.uk/bar.
Remember to include your name, title and company or organisation, and
let us know if you wish your contact details to be withheld.
Please note, if you write to us we may publish your letter in whole 
or part for the interest of our subscribers unless you request 
otherwise at the time of writing. 

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              >>>  EASY ACCESS TO ALL PAST ISSUES  <<<
 You can read past issues (or have them emailed to you) by visiting
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We're all done for another fortnight.  If you've enjoyed this issue
then don't forget to pass it on to others who might also like it.

                       See you in two weeks!

                           Kind regards,
                   William Hann, Managing Editor
                      william@freepint.co.uk
                    http://www.freepint.co.uk/

(c) Willco Limited 1999
http://www.willco.co.uk/

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                   FREE PINT FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

    * Archaeological Sites * Rubber and Plastics * eCommerce *
* Intranets * Toolkits for web online services * Unified messaging *
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                                                        [Provisional]

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                        CONTACT INFORMATION

William Hann BSc MIInfSc, Managing Editor
e: william@freepint.co.uk t: +44 (0)1784 455435 f: +44 (0)1784 455436

Rex Cooke FIInfSc FRSA, Editor
e: rex@freepint.co.uk t: +44 (0)1784 455435 f: +44 (0)1784 455436

Jane, Administrator e: jane@freepint.co.uk

Address (no stamp needed)
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Free Pint (ISSN 1460-7239) is a free email newsletter for anyone who
uses the Internet to get information for their work in any business
or organisation. The newsletter is written by professionals who share 
how they find quality and reliable information on the Internet.

To subscribe, unsubscribe, find details about contributing, 
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The opinions, advice, products and services offered herein are the
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FreePint Topics
Sources: Staying informed and aware
Sources
Technology: Improving information work with technology
Technology
Value: Maximising value for information work and investment
Value
 
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Newsletter 397
24th April 2014

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