If you've ever searched for an image, you've probably been at least a little frustrated with the quality of your results. I know I have! However, many search engines have rolled out some pretty useful advanced image search options. Let's look at three of them:
Google. Google has a great advanced image search option. Search for an image, click on the "Images" tab link, and you'll be taken to a page of image results. In the top left-hand corner, you'll see a link for "Options". Click on that, and you'll be able to specify what size of an image you're looking for right down to the last pixel, the type of image you're looking for, and the dominant colors you're looking for.
Yahoo. Yahoo's image search is also available from the tab link options. A search for "puppy" brings back tons of cute nubbins, with options suggested such as "cute puppy" (is there any other kind?) and "golden retriever puppy". Advanced image search is available by clicking on the "More Filters" link. Now, you can sort image results by size, color, type, and reuse permissions.
Bing. Bing, while relatively new, brings a pretty impressive advanced image search option to the table. Click on the "Images" tab, type in a query, and you'll see a page full of your results. The filters you want are to the left-hand side: size, layout, color, style, and people, an interesting search filter that winnows out images based on just face, head and shoulders, or more.
More on advanced image search
When does a disposable email address come in handy? Mostly, they're good for when you need to give an email address to a website and you'd like to avoid further emails (aka, spam). Basically, they are useful for protecting your privacy on the Web (for more on protecting yourself online, read How to Guard Your Web Privacy). Here are four sites that offer free, disposable email addresses:
- Guerilla Mail: Get a temporary random email address generated by GuerillaMail, or set up your own personalized email address (i.e, firstname.lastname@example.org). The service expires after sixty minutes; you can read and reply to emails sent to this address at the GuerillaMail website.
- MyTrashMail: Create an account (no sign up required), forward emails to your private account, and protect yourself from spam emails.
- Mailinator: No registration, no sign-ups, just send your mail to a temporary account.
- 10 Minute Mail: For quick email needs, like a confirmation email so you can subscribe to something, this is perfect - only ten minutes worth of email time, but just right for those kind of situations.
More about email
- Top 18 Free Email Accounts
- The 26 most important rules of email etiquette
- How spammers get your email address
image courtesy sxc.hu
Ever try to get to a Web site and see one of those cryptic error messages; you know the ones that alert you that something has gone awry, but don't really give you any actionable information? I've written up seven of the most common Web server error messages that you'll encounter on the Web, along with ideas for getting around those messages and getting to the site you want. Here we go:
- 503 Service Unavailable
- Network Connection Refused
- 404 File Not Found Error
- Host Unavailable
- Unable to Locate Host
- 403 Forbidden Error
- 400 Bad File Request
More Web troubleshooting resources
Google's image search is one of the best sources for finding an image online. Learn more about this service and read Advanced Image Search with Google. You'll learn:
- Basic image search
- Advanced image search
- How to view and filter your search results
- How to keep your image searches safe
Whether you're looking for DIY ideas for a birthday party, killer recipes for a potluck, or hairstyles of the rich and famous that you can duplicate at home, you'll find it all and much, MUCH more at Pinterest, an extremely fast-growing site that has become the go-to place on the Web for gorgeous images from all walks of life.
Feel like a walk down the virtual memory lane? Try The Internet Archive, a great site that has been archiving web pages since 1996.
Go back to the future: Okay, Marty McFly, here's some more historical stuff for you:
- Online Archives: I've put together a good, basic list of online archives for you, with everything from the National Archives to Papyrus Archives (ancient Egyptian hieroglypics!) to Simpsons Archives.
- The Worst Software Bugs in History: a look at some pretty serious viruses through the years.
- Ancient Egypt History on the Web: amazing sites all about Egyptian history.
- This Day In History: fascinating way to look at history.
- A Short History of the Internet: Internet history is interesting, if for nothing else than it's fascinating to see how far we've come in so short a time. Read this short history of the Internet, and learn more about the Internet history timeline.
There are millions of Web sites online, and you have a lot of choices as to what you want to visit. Here are a few sites that will help you figure something out, learn something, or simply help you get a bigger picture of something:
- National Geographic Photo of the Day: National Geographic is known for its amazing photos and photojournalism, and the Photo of the Day definitely does not disappoint.
- FactCheck: From the Annenberg Public Policy Center; FactCheck follows prominent politicians and news stories and checks content for accuracy.
- Popular Science: The latest journalism on gadgets, scientific discoveries, and all sorts of really fascinating technologies.
- SmartPlanet: Creative, thought provoking insights from top thinkers in a variety of different fields, especially technology.
- PBS: We all know and love public television, but the PBS web site offers fans a much deeper look at the background and content for all their shows: timelines, in-depth research, etc.
Do you have a favorite site that you visit that inspires or educates you? Please share it with us!
More smart sites
There are a lot of websites out there that do such a great job at what they do. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather hub, aka NOAA Weather, is one of those. Here is just a sampling of what you can find here:
- Doppler Radar National Mosaic: Not only can you see updated Doppler imaging, but you can also take advantage of Warnings & Forecasts, Graphical Forecasts, and Air Quality information.
- Warnings: Get the latest (and usually most reliable) information on severe weather coming your way.
- Forecasts: NOAA Weather doesn't just provide your average 7-day outlook. You can get Local, Aviation, Marine, Severe Weather, even Fire Weather forecasts here.
- Past Weather: NOAA Weather looks at the big picture, which includes Climate. You can learn about Past Weather or get future Predictions here.
- Weather Safety: Many people look to NOAA Weather as their go-to spot when hurricanes, tornadoes, or some other kind of scary weather situation is occurring. They've got a Weather Radio for constant updates, as well as information on how to be StormReady or TsunamiReady.
Do you have a favorite weather site? Please share it with us in the comments.
There are a TON of different ways you can look up weather conditions that might be affecting you, including:
If you've come to a dead end with something you're looking for on the Web, you might want to try reverse engineering your search. Basically, the old adage of "three steps forward, two steps back" actually becomes quite useful! Learn more in this article titled The Art of Reverse Searching.
If you'd like to learn how to navigate the Web more efficiently, then you'll want to read Web Help 101, a comprehensive guide to some of the top issues that beginners face when they're getting online. You'll learn:
And much more! Check out The Ultimate Web Help Guide for Beginners and you'll be surfing the Web like a pro in no time at all.