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December 20, 2005

Word Up

What's in your stocking? New language tools on Ask.com to help find what you are looking for faster.

1.  Page Translation is now available on Ask.com. Why haven't we had it in the past? Because we didn't have many foreign-language pages in our index. As we approach site launches in Europe next year, the index has taken on a more international flavor. Voila! We need a codebreaker for those who do not speak seven languages (like most of the folks on our international team). Look for the “Translate this page” link.

Translate This

Give it a try:

* Voila
* Angela Merkel
* Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero


2.  For traditional Definitions, we have upgraded our Dictionary Smart Answers to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:

* Define intuitive
* Define underdog

Smart Answers are always good, but dig deeper and you'll find the new, full Reference Pages for each given term: http://www.ask.com/reference/dictionary/ahdict/53302/word

You may also notice Web Answers (which we introduced earlier this year) working behind the scenes, in the first "blue link", for definitions:

* Define thesaurus


3. This nifty tool also works for Synonyms thanks to our integration of Roget's Thesaurus:

* Another word for brilliant
* Synonyms for useful
* Fast synonyms

There are Reference Pages for Synonyms, too: http://www.ask.com/reference/thesaurus/roget/3277/robust


4. Never get caught off guard by random words again. Where possible, we offer direct access to audio pronunciations as well as word meanings…our own little Search and Speak if you will. Look for the sound icon Sound icon:


* Define magnificent
* Define grand


Happy Holidays,

Hope Hackett

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December 07, 2005

Firefox 1.5 Toolbar Now Live

firefox toolbar update

Hey everyone.  We just released an upgraded toolbar for Firefox 1.5, so if you're a Firefox user please give it a whirl. You can save locations for personalized news, maps and weather, as well as save pictures and searches right from the toolbar. Users that have tried it so far seem to like it: it's rated a 4.7 out of 5 on Mozilla.org.  It would have gotten 5 out of 5 but we got dissed by the East German judge.

Sam Nunez

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December 02, 2005

Acting Globally

My name is Saqib Mausoof and I am a Business Intelligence manager here at Ask Jeeves. I recently took time off from work to help in the relief effort in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that hit Pakistan on October 8th.

Muzzafarabad disaster relief   Balakot

I left on Halloween night and spent sixteen days in Kashmir and Balakot working with an organization called Sungi, who partner with Oxfam in providing shelter and food to the refugees. My task was to visit far off villages to do need assessment on a household basis as well overseeing distribution. I also helped in data gathering and shelter engineering.

A full blog of my experience can be found at Mission Kashmir. Here's a sample entry:

Camp Life
Today is a big day for us. The Sangi engineer has finally installed a Latrine. There is no running water, but it is nice to be enclosed in a sheeted area. However, the Army folks are still using the Kunhar River as a natural toilet. Thank God we are upstream to them.

The camp is comprised of eight tents. They are weatherproof, so even when it rains, we are pretty much dry. However, it is getting cold now. We are living like the refugees, in tents, using nice woolen blankets made in Spain. Now we have an intrepid cook named Yonus, who was using my REI quick-drying towel as a cooking rag.   Not his fault – I left it hanging to dry – and it blew away and he thought it was a very useful rag. Last night he made us rice and lobia (red beans). Needless to say, the seven people in my tent were very audible. I am sleeping with a volunteer from Sargodha, a teacher named Ihtisham from Abottabad, who was interviewed by the BBC as the first man to climb up the Makra (Spider) mountain (because it sits between Balakot and Kashmir like a spider), Gert from Belgium who reminds me of a kind hearted bumbling Knight (I am reading Crusades through the Arab eyes by Amin Malouf). He is 6 feet 5 inches tall with wild curly blonde hair and has cut his hand twice in food distribution efforts. In addition, we have Tim and Kathleen from Melbourne, Australia, my friend Jawad from San Francisco, Tony Halliday from Oxford, England and Sakuma from Tokyo, Japan.  Read more>>

Hitching ride

Saqib Mausoof

Editor's Note  - Additional Links
* Save The Children
* Oxfam America
* Sungi Earthquake 2005
* Earthquake Activity Smart Answer

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