Two Search Engines To Find You Stuff Google Can’t – Part 2

Google may be the unanimous choice for searching the web but it isn’t very good when it comes to finding something very particular. Google is sort of the “Jack of all trades, and master of none”. We have earlier covered two amazing search engines, Quixey and Wolframalpha, in our post “Two Search Engines To Find You Stuff Google Can’t”.

Now, let’s take a look at two more search engines that do their job remarkably well.

Pipl

If you’ve pronounced it correctly, chances are that you’ve already guessed what it is about. In case you haven’t, it lets you find people on the web. Pipl promises to find anyone on the web, be it an old friend, lost relative, childhood crush, business contact or anyone else whose name you can remember. Even if can’t recall the name, don’t worry. You can still search using keywords like email id, username or even the phone number.

Traditional search engines, while searching for content, usually only search static web pages. However, details of personnel are often stored in databases rather than static pages and are not found by traditional search engines. This is where Pipl comes into play. It finds information from what it calls the “deep web” and yields highly accurate results.

Using the site is as easy as it could get. Visit the Pipl homepage and enter the detail of the person you are looking for and hit the search button. A list of all the matched contacts will be displayed, some even with a display picture. If you still cannot find the person you are looking for, try refining your search by entering a location, age or any other tag.

The picture below shows the search results for “Sachin Tendulkar”.

Depending on the availability, search results include details such as photo, address, contact number and profile links to social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Hi5, Myspace, Twitter and many more.

The search results are impressive and if you ever need to find someone, Pipl should be the first place you should be looking at.

SimilarSites

Hundreds and thousands of sites are created and launched on the internet every day. Even though many of them have great content and worth, it’s a tough job discovering them. Similarsites is a website that helps us find alternatives to the sites we know of.

All it needs is the name of a familiar site or topic from the user and it shows a list of the sites that are similar to it, along with its similarity score. The results are laudable.

Other than the list for similar websites, there are also tabs for “Also Visited” sites, “Keyword Density”, “Top Sites” and “Reviews”. The top sites tab, however, is particularly impressive as it shows the best ranked sites in several of the topics similar to the search term. No doubt, it’s a great way to discover new websites that are related to the users’ preferences.

Take a look at the results obtained when I searched for Youtube.com:

The site also provides extensions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari browsers. Installing the extension removes the need to visit the website each time to search for similar sites. Simply visit any site and hit the SimilarSite button on the browser to see the results.

If you are an avid surfer and like to discover new websites, then SimilarSites is a service that you certainly can’t miss out.

Do you use any specialized search engine for your needs? Do let me know in the comments below.

4 Skype Alternatives That You Can Use For Free

SkypeIf you rely heavily on Skype for your work or to keep in touch with your friends, I’m sure you’re anxious after reading this morning’s news of Microsoft buying Skype. To be fair, Microsoft has not really said that they’d curtail usage of the free skype-to-skype calling functionality, but this is Microsoft and they’re not really known for their free services.

I’ve always believed that the real reason why Skype is used by millions of people everyday is because everyone and their neighbor have a Skype account. It is true that when Skype launched about 8 years back, the audio quality of the service was miles ahead of any of their competitors at the time but with time (and increased Internet speeds) Skype has lost that edge and now there are a number of services that offer equivalent, if not better, quality than Skype.

Today I’ll feature some alternatives that I feel offer a much better experience than Skype, both in terms of functionality and quality.

iChat

iChat

If you’re a Mac user, there is no reason for you not to try out iChat. iChat is bundled with Mac OS X for free, works with AIM or Mobile Me accounts and has support for audio and video conferencing. The quality is excellent too. The only problem is that iChat is only available on Macs and unless your friends have an AIM account, there is no way for you to talk to them using iChat, although you can configure iChat to work with Facebook Chat. If you have a newer version of OS X, iChat now also supports Google Talk out of the box.

Google Talk

Google Talk

Google Talk is the big G’s, admittedly, very popular instant messaging client that integrates with Gmail better than any other IM client on the planet. And that is the biggest feature of Google Talk. You don’t even need to download client application to start using GTalk. Just login to your Gmail account and you’re logged in to GTalk. Audio and video calling is supported using a plugin that works on most modern web browsers. The quality is not so great but then if you’re going to be spending your day in Gmail anyway, you might as well start using GTalk for your communication needs also.

Oovoo

Oovo - Free Video Calling

Oovoo is not a traditional instant messaging service. Instead, Oovoo focusses on getting video calling right. All you need to start using Oovoo is a webcam, a microphone and of course, a broadband Internet connection. Video conferencing with upto three participants is free but you have the option to buy credits if you need more.

Fring

fring

Among all the services that I’ve mentioned so far, Fring is my personal favorite because of the simple fact that it doesn’t require a computer to use, is cross platform and has excellent quality. Fring works on Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Symbian phones. Calls between fring users are free and if you need to call a landline or mobile phone number, you can do that too at very low competitive rates.

These were some of my favorite Skype alternatives. Do you guys use any alternative VOIP service ? Would you consider using any of these Skype killers ?

4 Video Sharing Sites that are better than YouTube

YouTubeFor a long time the Internet was a text only medium and the first browsers weren’t even capable of displaying anything but plain text. Then came browsers that could display static and animated GIFs and while it was a major change back then, text was still king and that was the medium in which most content was consumed.

The text only world of the Internet took a while to change but now with all the video sharing sites around, it does look like video is going to rule for some time to come. Video sharing really took off on the Internet after YouTube came on to the scene. In a way, YouTube was actually the pioneer and the others just followed it.

Over time, though, as YouTube stagnated and became a haven for spammers and such, other Video sharing sites have come up that offer a much better experience for the end user. In this post today, I’ll tell you about some of my favorite video sharing sites that I feel are better than YouTube.

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5 Alternatives to Mininova and The Pirate Bay

Mininova and The Pirate Bay2009 will go down in the annals of history as the year when two of the biggest names on the movie piracy file sharing scene went down. Well, they’re both actually still up, but I’m sure you’d agree that they’re just not as useful anymore.

I’m also quite sure that web searches for alternatives to these two services must be going through the roof right now and so keeping you, my dear reader, in mind I’ve compiled a list of Alternatives to Mininova and The Pirate Bay that still work. Make hay while the sun shines … or something like that.

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Quub: A Better Take On Micro-Blogging

Picture 1 At first glance Quub may appear to be just another twitter-like service, but it’s actually much more than that. George Ruan and Dr. Donald J. Patterson created the service because they thought that existing micro-blogging services requires too much time and effort on the part of the average user, which ultimately meant that the users would update the status rarely or give up on the service. Instead of participating in the community, most users would become a mere observer. And I can tell you from my own experience that that is the case.

Picture24

Coming up with a status message that provides value to your followers, something I always try to keep in mind, is not a trivial problem. Except maybe retweeting news, I gave up on tweeting. But then again, even with my very small follower count, my followers are not my actual friends interested in what I’m up to – they’re geeks looking  for useful information.

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