Get the Best out of Bing

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Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine which was launched few months back is slowly picking up its share. I have been using google for long, was reluctant to use Bing. However as tech savvy i thought i should give it a try. To my surprise it performed pretty well. There are some bing features that Google lacks. Still i use Google as my primary search engine, since its the best 🙂  however i use bing also depending on what im searching.

Here are some cool things about Bing

First of all to get most out of bing, change your local settings to US. Most of Bing’s mash-up functionality is embedded in the US version of the site. All you need to do is click the country link at the top right of the main page. In the UK it will say “India” by default. Choose “United States” instead. Done.

Search for wallpaper

Using Bing Image search to find desktop wallpaper? Do your search by keyword, then click “Size > Wallpaper” in the sidebar. Not only is the search narrowed to desktop wallpapers – it’s narrowed down to your computer monitor’s current screen resolution. If it’s set to 1280 x 1024, for example, it only returns images with those dimensions.

Find Instant Answers

This is like Wolfram alpha. Try “define computer” for a dictionary definition or “$20 into pounds” to sample Bing’s conversion capabilities. Want to know the weather in your local area? Try the term “weather” followed by your nearest town or city.

Save results for later

“Save and Share” is an experimental feature powered by Silverlight. Click “See All” in the Search History section of the sidebar – then “Save and Share”. Select the search query you want to save in the list then click “save to”. Choose “Saved searches” or create a new folder. Searches can also be emailed or published to you Facebook wall. If you decide you no longer want to use the service, click “return to your history”.

Convert Search to RSS

An RSS feed of a search result is a handy thing to have – whether you’re keeping tabs on a developing news event or want to track the performance of your web site. Like Windows Live Search before it, Bing results pages can be saved as RSS feeds.

On your results page, click the RSS symbol in IE then click “Subscribe to this feed”. In Firefox, you can choose to add the feed to Google Reader instead. To add to other feed readers, select and copy the URL in the address bar, paste it into your RSS reader and add “&format=rss” to the end of the address before saving.

Bing  Search history

You can Turn on Bing search history to start remembering your searches. This feature is different from Google, you don’t even to login to use this cool feature in Bing.

Watch Video Preview in Bing Video Search and Search Results

If your search is related to some videos or use Video search, bing will show you Video Preview in Search Results. When you hover the mouse over the video thumbnail images, it will automatically play a short preview of the video so you don’t have to visit the website where the video clip is hosted.

Find Web Pages That Link to Documents, MP3s, Videos, ZIPs or other file types

The contains: operator in Bing Search helps you find web pages that link to other online documents and multimedia files like music and video. This is different from Google’s filetype: search operator (which is also available in Live Search) that looks for content inside PDF and Office documents.

For example, if you are looking to download a Microsoft Word report from MSDN site that is about SQL, just type: site:msdn.com contains:doc SQL

Similarly, if you like to find all pages on Wikipedia that link to MP3 files, type “site:wikipedia.org contains:mp3″

Google finally has some competition. I doubt people would sacrifice google for this, but still having a healthy competition is a win for everyone.

Digg takes the time to study the pain of IE 6

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It is getting funny day by day that web applications starting to give wierd and humrous messages when people open web apps through IE6 browser. I had these when logged into Filttr.com No doubt lot of people still use IE6, but giving those messages is bad. A web app is supposed to be diversified acrosss the browers. Im a developer, i know the pain of testing on different browers but the point is about losing customers just because you can’t provide a decent app on IE6.

It is good to see that sites like Digg are looking at how to push forward. If you add up the time spent by Web developers on keeping IE 6 working on the site… well, I am sure it is a few bucks.