Is Research It really necessary?


Adrian Spratt
 

I recently came across a list of Google search suggestions that ought to
save JAWS users from getting agitated every time Research It breaks down, as
it invariably does. Below is a list of search functions that I've just
tested. I am based in the US, so some suggestions will be different for
versions of Google in other countries. For example, we in the US will need
to add a state or country after the place name "London," but users of
Google.co.uk won't when searching for the capital. Unlike Research It,
google isn't US-centric.

1. To find the weather in a particular location, type the city's name
followed by the word "weather." Thus:

san francisco weather

Note. I avoid using uppercase when doing Google searches.

the first Google result lists today's conditions and those for the days
upcoming.

Here are the terms I entered to find out the weather in Prague, Czech
Republic:

prague czech weather

2. Time works in much the same way. Type the location followed by the word
"time" (not in quotations). Thus:

san francisco time

3. For a word's definition, type the word "definition" followed by a colon
and immediately by the word in question. Thus:

definition:arbitrary

An advantage google has is that if you misspell a word, it automatically
offers a correction.

4. For currency conversion, the crucial word is "in." Beyond that, Google is
flexible. I obtained conversions for the following search terms:

$1 in sterling

1 eur in usd

These are just two examples.

5. Google will perform math operations, thus saving you from having to open
a calculator. The article gave as an example a sine problem. For my test, I
typed the following in the search field:

(2+3)*5

Google promptly reported the correct answer, 25.

6. As for sports, the article's author is based in India, and the examples
he gave involved cricket. Through a bit of tweaking, I tested Google's
ability to produce baseball results. The terms

baseball scores

produced all of yesterday's results. It's morning here, so today's games
haven't been played.

Note. The list of results I got begins with one result from Monday, April
23. A glitch, but a tiny one.

7. I know from past experience that entering just the tracking number of a
UPS shipment in the google search field will provide the information I need,
although I add "ups" as a second term to make sure.

This list is hardly exhaustive. Other simple searches for other functions
can be interpolated from these examples.

Conclusion, and relevancy to this JAWS list: FS should divert its resources
from Research It to applications needed for the workplace.
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