Is Research It really necessary?
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
Here are the terms I entered to find out the weather in Prague, Czech
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:
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:
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
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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