Friday, July 30, 2010

Still chugging and chuffing...

I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.

Erma Bombeck (US humorist 1927-1996)

Having once again got myself way off track, spending time fruitlessly going around YouTube, my mind truly feels like it is on overload and almost ready to blow up. Nor do the frustrations of an incredibly slow broadband help the situation. While it has been fun exploring again, it makes you so aware of how much time you can all too quickly fritter away as you seek here, there and everywhere through the invisible ether. Sometimes you don't end up any the wiser, either. Blinkx is nice to use and I like the way they categorise and display the various sources, although I didn't have any success trying to view the full clips of several I tried. They feature an impressive selection of news organisations, although weighted rather heavily towards US sites. The major international players are present, but a wider global lineup would improve the balance. I can certainly see myself doing more exploring in Blinkx, though.

I'm not convinced about the usefulness of magazine searching in Google Books. As most magazines have their own sites anyway, I really can't think why you would want to use Google to search for a particular article? Databases such as Proquest would be a more useful option, and more up-to-date. It is nice to be able to browse through some of the magazines though, to get a "feel" for them - advertisements and all - to see if maybe you would really like to subscribe to a title. I'm looking forward to stumbling across more "happy accidents" as I continue through Google Book Search, though.

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