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Bing’s new features, Windows 7, Apollo 12 re-enactment – webDotWiz Online column Nov 19 2009

Updates coming to Bing Search

image Remember that the aim of searching for information on the web is to actually find the information you want. It’s all well and good to see a huge list of links on the screen but that doesn’t help much. That’s why Bing search is more aptly described as a decision search engine to help you find, for example, the best deal for a plane ticket from Melbourne to Sydney (www.bing.com/travel) or to browse the latest video offerings (www.bing.com/videos/browse)

To see how Bing helps your decision making, imagine you’re looking to purchase a new digital camera. You want to compare prices, brands and features. So start at bing.com by typing in digital camera. Now look at the left-hand pane on the screen for a breakdown of headings that help you focus on a particular aspect, for example, price. If you’re not happy with the Australian version of Bing (since it’s still in trial mode), go to the top right of the screen, click Australia, and from the subsequent page, choose United States – English. Now you have more options on the left-hand side of the screen to narrow down your search and find the information you want.

By the time you read this, other features should be available including nutrition and fitness information and calculations using the Wolfram|Alpha computational engine. For example, you’ll be able to ask Bing to calculate your body mass index. As well maths enthusiasts will be able to ask Bing to plot a mathematical curve or ask for the properties of a dodecahedron.

Bing Maps updates

There have been imagery updates to Bing Maps in the last couple of months, the first focusing on a certain city which will be holding a major Olympic event in the near future. The November update concentrated on Eastern Europe so you can do some exploring.

image The UK has its own version of Bing Maps which was just updated the other day and you can now instantly obtain a map of the London Tube lines and stations with one click. Try out Bing Maps UK at www.bing.com/maps/?mkt=en-uk.

Bing Maps has also a more flexible driving directions feature. Once you’ve got the driving directions, by dragging the route line you can make changes to your journey (give a few days for the Australian version to be updated).

Installing Windows 7

Windows 7 certainly has plenty of features that make it compelling as upgrade from Windows Vista. However one stumbling block many people run into when upgrading an operating system is that they haven’t been backing up their important documents, photos and videos.

Many people purchased Windows Live OneCare and that purchase prompted the importance of a backup plan. Windows has its own built-in back up feature but we tend to forget about backing up until it’s too late, or almost too late.

Do yourself a favour and go out and purchase an external hard drive onto which you can backup your data both as insurance against your hard drive failing or when the day comes to upgrade your version of Windows. Prices for external hard drives are cheap and a hundred dollars or so now gives your more relief than you’ll ever know.

Apollo 12 re-enactment

As he did with the Apollo 11 re-enactment in July, webDotWiz is posting the major events that took place forty years ago on the Apollo 12 mission to the moon.

webDotWiz uses his Twitter account (www.twitter.com/webdotwiz) to post these major events. He’s linked his Facebook account (www.facebook.com/webdotwiz) to his Twitter account so tweets automatically are added to his Facebook wall.

As well, webDotWiz has used the Windows Live web activities feature to bring in his Twitter and Facebook entries so those people on webDotWiz’s Windows Live network are automatically informed of what posts he’s made on their Live What’s New page and they can follow the Apollo 12 mission without any extra effort.

A reminder that you can now add your YouTube account to your Windows Live activities so you can easily let your friends and family know when you’ve added a movie online that you created in Windows Live Movie Maker.


Bing’s new features

Windows 7

For all the sites listed with this week’s webDotWiz Online column see www.webdotwiz.com/sites-191109.htm


Follow webDotWiz on Twitter.

Posted using the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer.

webDotWiz Online at www.webdotwiz.com

webDotWiz on Facebook at www.facebook.com/webdotwiz

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