From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus -- 18 May 03 -- Google 201 / 10^813 Monkeys

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOP: Google 201 / 10^813 Monkeys

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, home of historic Wrigley Field.

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On with the show ...

Google 201

Hidden in a corner of my Web site at is something called "Classroom Resources," a free collection of zipped PowerPoint presentations you are more than welcome to steal. You can find my Classroom Resources page at .

The PowerPoint presentations on this page cover topics including guidelines for good Web page design, maintaining your PC or Mac, and using instant messaging as a tool for active learning.

So what does all of this have to do with you? Well, if you hop over to my Classroom Resources page you'll find a brand new PowerPoint presentation titled "Google 201: Advanced Googology." This new presentation introduces you to some secret Google tips, techniques, and tools -- stuff that NO ONE ever tells you about (or, if you are an English major, "stuff about which no one ever tells you.") From pipes and stop-word workarounds to full-word wildcards and query modifiers, Google 201 shows you how to work Google to your advantage.

Oh, and the Google 201 PowerPoint presentation is absolutely free.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the Google 201 PowerPoint file is a tad bit gargantuan (3.30 Mb), so it's going to take a little over 8 minutes to download over the fastest dial-up connection. As I have often said in the past, patience is a virtue.

Also, keep in mind that all of the PowerPoint presentations on my Classroom Resources page are -- surprise! -- Microsoft PowerPoint files. [GASP!] To open and view these files, you'll need either a copy of Microsoft PowerPoint (which is part of Microsoft Office) or a copy of Microsoft's PowerPoint viewer which can be downloaded for the PC at

or for the Mac at

> .

Both versions of the PowerPoint viewer are free.

All of my PowerPoint presentations have also been "zipped" to make them easier for you to download. If you are unfamiliar with how to unzip a file, hop on over to .

Enjoy! I'd love to hear what you think of my new "Google 201" presentation. :)

10^813 Monkeys!

Speaking of English majors, you've probably heard the maxim that if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters they would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare [or the complete works of Bacon, for the conspiracy theorists out there.] Some British researchers decided to test this "infinite monkeys" adage, giving six monkeys a computer for a month.

What happened? Well, the monkeys defecated on the keyboard and tried to destroy the computer with a rock. [Hey, YOU try explaining spam to a monkey!] Wired News has the story at,1284,58790,00.html

There is no word on whether or not the monkeys have accepted the invitation to write the next manual for Microsoft Windows.

Spam Update

Speaking of "make monkey fast" emails, here are the latest numbers from my ongoing Spam study [baseline = 29 April; the numbers for the subsequent weeks show the effect of my following the unsubscribe instructions in the 29 April spams that contained instructions on how to unsubscribe via email]:

Total emails received 29 April: 730 5 May: 706 13 May: 794

Personal emails 29 April: 22 5 May: 16 13 May: 16

Viruses (detected by Norton AntiVirus) 29 April: 2 5 May: 8 13 May: 2

Spam Error Messages - error messages generated by spammers spoofing my email address 29 April: 3 5 May: 0 13 May: 0

Spam with instructions on how to signoff via email 29 April: 89 5 May: 64 13 May: 55

Spam with instructions on how to signoff via a URL 29 April: 366 5 May: 436 13 May: 525

Spam with no signoff information 29 April: 239 5 May: 175 13 May: 189

Nigerian investment scam emails 29 April: 9 5 May: 7 13 May: 7

Hmm. I'm not sure WHAT these numbers show. I guess we'll have to wait until the 20th to see if the upward trend in spam with instructions on how to signoff via a URL continues. :(

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That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon. :)

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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