From the government search engine usa.gov, you may want to buy your ornaments this year from the Federal Government; featured are White House and Capitol Building Ornaments, as well as the 24-karate Treasury Department ornament for the tree. More
After reading Slaw recently, I discovered Google Trends. This is a graphical interface showing Google search terms logged and news items indexed over the last four years.Here are some trends I found interesting:
...so writes Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn, responding to the new Pew Internet and American Life Project survey that shows only 47% of Americans have searched for their names using Google or another search engine. The practicing of Googling oneself has been widely termed "ego surfing," but it's no longer about ego. Zorn proposes we replace that term with "identity monitoring" or "information control searching" and notes
It's downright irresponsible not to Google yourself
every so often just to check what might be out there -- some scrap of
false information, a baseless rumor, a misappropriation of your
identity... you never know.
Eweek Careers reports that 83% of recruiters now use Google to research prospective employees, up 9 points from two years ago. Even more striking is that the number who report having eliminated a candidate based on web search results has risen from 25% to 43%.
The article goes on to explain ways you can use the rules of Google's page rank system to improve the quality of results that your name generates. One that can be implemented in a number of ways is to be proactive, creating positive pages and links that will show up high, pushing less desirable results lower. If you use Facebook and MySpace for personal contacts and keep your profiles private, sign up and configure a public profile at professional networking site LinkedIn.com, which has a high page rank. Get out there and comment intelligently on websites and blogs in your field using your name with a link to your own website, blog, or your LinkedIn profile.
For more about the pitfalls of social networking with links to additional tips for cleaning up and managing your web reputation, see this Novalawcity post.
Google has released a new patent search tool, called Google Patent Search available at http://www.google.com/patents. Search over 7 million patents using key words. The advanced search page at http://www.google.com/advanced_patent_search allows for searching by patent number, patent assignee, by inventor name, by U.S. classification codes or by International Classification Codes. For more on the announcement see this CNET article.
Several companies already let you create your own search engine using their technology. Now Google has developed the same capability with Google's Custom Search Engine. In short, you can create your own list of web sites that you or your friends can search. Google's custom search engine has many features to play with and allows for collaboration. Google ads are included in the results, but not if you use it in a university, government or non-profit setting. Rollyo.com has been out there for a while, but you are limited to 25 sites. Gigablast also offers a "custom topic search," which is a little more difficult to create than Google's. Gigablast allows up to 500 sites to be added, while Google's custom search engine lets you add as many sites as you want. One note about an experiemental Gigablast creation: foreign sites that were not a part of the list began to creep into the search results.