Make your own free website on
Useful Links of the Day

Have your own suggested link? Please let me know!

Have some grammar/usage questions and don't have a CW copy editor handy? This grammar site put together by a technical college in Hartford has some useful explanations of all sorts of issues, from abbreviations to wordiness. Find it at

The "11 Rules of Writing" -- Guide to the some of the mostly commonly violated rules of grammar and punctuation.

Roget's Thesaurus is now online, you can look up a word on their Web site to get synonyms. It's at

From this week's Economist -- Caught in the Web: The Internet is bound to do serious damage to the newspaper business.

Confused by tech jargon? Our very own Web guy, John Pallozzi, recommends to get definitions of technical terms, relating not only to the World Wide Web but other computing areas like mobile computing, standards, data and graphics.

Ever wonder, when reading earnings stories, where that information comes from when the stories report that "18 analysts polled by First Call estimated...." Well, First Call has set up a special Web site just for journalists who need that info, at However, you need to request access. Contact Faye Fardshisheh, 617-856-1158, or Kim Devine, 617-856-1258, to ask for a user name and password.

Excite has developed a free "clipping service" that will scour news sites on the Web for keywords. It's not unlike CNN's personalization, but seems to have more local/regional newspaper sources. You've got to be a registered user at Excite (free), then head to to create your own search topics.

Yes, someone claims to have actually indexed more than 2.4 million words in 500 dictionaries, at one site where you can look up a single word across multiple online general and specialty dictionaries. It's at

Looking for information on a computing standard? A guy in Switzerland maintains a very thorough computing standards site, with links to everything from ANSI to the World Wide Web Consortium, at

Need a country code for anywhere in the world? Want to know how to call home from Bosnia [some of us do!] or the Bahamas? Check out the AT&T Business Traveller site at

Can't find that dictionary you packed up for the office move and haven't unpacked yet? The Merriam-Webster dictionary is online, free, on the Web, at

If you'd like to see what other computer publications are doing online, there's a whole list of links for them at The News Directory home page at claims to have links to more than 8,000 newspapers and magazines worldwide that provide English-language content online.

"Elements of Style," by William Strunk Jr., is actually on the Web! You can find it at

Looking at a Web site in German wondering what it means? Have a sentence in French you can't figure out? While far from perfect, a couple of Web sites have launched free services that will translate either a full Web page (you type in the URL) or text you've typed in. Current supported languages: English to or from French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. As far as I can tell, all three of these use the same technology, so pick any URL you like: [Go Network], (AltaVista) or (Systran, the software company that developed the automatic translation technology).

Many of us may know where to go to look up technology acronyms like ISDN. But what about the alphabet-soup of other industries we might write about? The Opaui Guide to Lists of Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Initialisms on the World Wide Web has links to vertical-topic acronym explainers, covering everything from accounting to veterinary medicine. It's at

Use it while it's free! That "one-stop" federal Web search service Pat wrote about yesterday has temporarily suspended its fee while government officials deicde if the charge violates federal policies on access to information (Pat filed an update for PM feed). The site indexes about 4 million Web pages from more than 20,000 government Web sites and databases, at

Northern Light is a fee-based service offering searches through many publication databases. However, they also have a free section that lets you search for keywords through 33 newswires at once, at

The Information Please Almanac has a Web site, which allows you to do an electronic search of the data in their print book. The encyclopedia portion is somewhat old (1993), but the almanac entries are up to date. It's at The computer industry listing is at

Looking for a media organization online? Editor & Publisher has a rather exhaustive, searchable worldwide database on its site at

Need to find some in-depth tech information about a subject such as operating systems, networking, groupware and the like? If there's not a free book hanging around the newsroom on the subject, you might actually be able to view one online -- for free! Macmillan Publishing offers its Computer Reference Personal Bookshelf free to registered users, allowing people to view up to five books to view online. (When you're finished with a book, you can return it and add another).

If you're looking for any statistics from the federal government, try FedStats, maintained by the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy at

If you're trying to research a public company and want to find multiple sources of information, Wall Street Research News has links to dozens of financial sites on the Web. You just enter the company name or stock symbol, and this site will come up with links to news about that company on multiple sites. It's at

From Paul G. comes this handy site, which features links to top daily newspapers, business magazines, news wire services and Internet search sites. You can also customize your page there if you register.

Looking for a local newspaper online somewhere? The Internet Public Library Reading Room has links to online newspapers around the world, including U.S. papers broken down by state. It's at

I haven't actually tried this myself, but Yahoo calls it one of the 25 most useful tools on the Web. NetMind promises it will automatically monitor URLs you register for any changes -- you can even register to have only portions of a page checked, or be notified only when certain keywords pop up. They claim they don't resell any of this information, although the old security reporter in me still can see some privacy issues. Nevertheless, for non-critical, non-sensitive monitoring, you can check it out at

Need to find some in-depth tech information about a subject such as operating systems, networking, groupware and the like? If there's not a free book hanging around the newsroom on the subject, you might actually be able to view one online -- for free! Macmillan Publishing offers its Computer Reference Personal Bookshelf free to registered users, allowing people to view up to five books to view online. (When you're finished with a book, you can return it and add another).

If you're looking for any statistics from the federal government, try FedStats, maintained by the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy at

From Johanna comes the Acronym Finder, with 83,000 acronyms in its database. Need to know what ISDN or NATO stand for? Head to (caution: they often have more than one result for a search, you need to select what's appropriate among several choices).

Experts 'R Us ... desperate for an academic type to put a story into perspective? The University of Wisconsin Madison has a searchable database of its staff members who have (allegedly) agreed to talk to the press about specific topics. And yes, computing is one of the subject matters.

Another interesting site for technology news (besides our first choice, is NewsBytes, which has rather extensive coverage of industry news. You've got to subscribe to read most of the stories, but the headlines and top stories of the day are free.

Writing a story about Y2K [and who isn't this year? ;-) ] and need some background or sources of information?? Don't forget the extremely useful set of resources that our own Mari Keefe compliled, which you can find on our site at

Looking for the definition of a technology term? The Lively [and Lovely! if Lotteryless] Librarian Laura Hunt graciously passes on this recommendation: To search for a term, use the search option along the left-hand side of the screen. If they don't have what you need, they'll propose links to some other technolgy dictionaries on the Web.

Mari Keefe suggests this extremely useful site, Infojunkies, which compiles links to important news stories of the day from various major sites. They've also got a separate technology page. Their main page is at and the technology news page at

A number of people here recently, knowing of my interest in and personal ties with Bosnia, have been asking questions about the situation in Kosovo. With the help of a bibliographer at Harvard University and contributions from our own Mari Keefe, I put a Kosovo Web resource list together yesterday for the group I Webmaster for (Bosnia Action Coalition). It's at

Thanks to Pat T. for today's suggestion, which he calls a good collection of tools for untangling a spam address. It's particularly useful if you're trying to figure out whether a spammer has used a corporate domain to relay traffic, he says. Go to:

If you don't want a whole bunch of bookmark clutter and are looking for a one-stop reference site, you can try (Research-It!). They've got links to a dictionary, technical dictionary, phone and area-code lookup, stock quotes, maps, foreign-language translations and more on a single page.

CW likes to focus on readers in the Fortune 500 market (well actually the Fortune 1000, but that ruins the link :-) ), but who IS in the Fortune 500? Go to
for a list. You can also sort the list by industry at

Interested in finding press releases about your vertical beat? Or maybe you like to scan the press release wires on a slow day looking for interesting technology announcements -- without plodding through the dividend announcements and new grocery stores in Des Moines? Business Wire now allows you to select only specific industry groups (like computer/technology) or vertical areas (financial services, entertainment, telecom, travel, etc.) by registering for their free Media Press Pass. Go to and sign up; you can get your information on a custom Web site or by e-mail. This also allows you access to their "experts database" with sources who can comment on various news events.

Wondering who's behind the Web site you've surfed to ... or who might be involved in running a corporate Web site? Network Solutions, the company now in charge of registering .com domain names, has put a search right on their home page. Just go to and use the "Get a Web address or search for availability" option.

That message left on your voice mail with the 972 area code, where is that, East Coast or West Coast? What's the new area code again for Sudbury? You can look up area codes by code or city and state at

If you're working on a big story that the general press has covered also, it can be helpful to get some background from a news wire service. You can search the past 14 days of Associated Press stories, by headline or any word in the article, on the Washington Post site at

Looking for some initial PR contacts at a company? If it's public, try's convenient search engine that scours through both Business Wire and PR Newswire for a company by its stock symbol. Go to and head down to the bottom of that page. Don't know the company's stock symbol? You can easily check on Quicken at

If you need to find the phone number for a company, but you don't know where they're located, you can go right to's "search by name" page for businesses [no city or state needed] at

This is a search engine with a twist. Instead of figuring out what keywords and Boolean expressions to use for your Web search, you just type in a question in plain English, such as "Where can I find the current stock price for IBM?" A lot of the answers miss the mark, but usually there's at least a couple that give you what you want.

Need to find something from the federal government on the Web? Villanova University's Federal Web Locator has links to sites from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government.

Trying to find out whether a company's financial results are in line with analyst forecasts? Go to Yahoo's stock quotes section at  and request a stock quote with the research option (the default is Basic; change it to Research). You'll get how many analysts have recommended the stock for buying or selling; and under earnings per share, you'll see "consensus estimates" (meaning average Wall Street estimates).
Or, you can go directly to First Call (which compiles analyst estimates) at and request a "First Call Snapshot" by ticker symbol.

What does ASDL stand for? What is Ethernet, anyway? If Bob Wallace isn't around, tet some technical acronyms spelled out and explained by searching the Dictionary of PC Hardware and Data Communications Terms, published by O'Reilly & Associates, at

If you're looking to find out where a company is headquartered, their main phone number, brief background, or the dreaded fcn [full company name], try

Nedstat Counter