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January 29, 2004

Searching for Truth and News

Recent issues of ResourceShelf have pointed to some interesting new tools worth bookmarking. is like Dogpile for hoaxes and scams. From one page you can search Snopes,'s urban legends page, the CIAC Hoax Database and two virus engines. This is a handy link to have the next time some well-intentioned friend includes you on a massive list of people to be warned about the dangers of aspertame, a dying child wishing for postcards or a new proposed bill to tax email.

Another cool new tool for searching the news: The database includes content from 3100 sources organized into over 150,000 topics. Over 30,000 of these topics allow you to browse news by geographical location. So you can type in a zip code and find out what's in the news near that location. For example, here's what's going on in the places I've lived in my life:

Topix is still in beta and the coverage seems a little idiosyncratic, but it might become a useful way to tune in to a place.