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September 28, 2006

How's The Weather Down There?

Our Ask.com office is a very busy place. This week we have two feature enhancements to alert you to.

We've revamped some of our Weather Smart Answers and Weather overview pages to provide you with even more info.

For a deep example of our new features, try a search for weather Washington DC.

Our new and enhanced page offers a new cleaner look, satellite and radar imagery, a seven day forecast, and real time alerts.

So, let's say Washington DC is undergoing a weather advisory, it will be listed (in real time) either right within the initial Smart Answer result or within the Ask.com Weather channel up on the left side of the page.

Of course, all of our other weather-related Smart Answers remain available.

For example we offer:

* Current weather
* 12 month climate info (search by city name or Zip Code)
* Detailed Weather Reports provide not only a quick forecast but additional weather data. Again, search by city name or Zip Code.

Lots of our weather data is available on a global scale. So from Stuttgart, Germany to Regina, Saskatchewan to Christchurch, New Zealand, we have the information.

Now here's the scoop on the second feature we've launched today.

For quite some time Ask.com has provided a real time feed of earthquakes happening around the world. A simple search for earthquakes brings up the latest earthquake info with location, date, time, and magnitude. You'll also spot a box where you can limit your search. For example, earthquakes Indonesia. Of course, you could also do this from the main search box. You'll also see links for "all earthquakes" (in a list form) and weather conditions at or near the location you've searched.

So, what's new today?

Now when you run a basic search for "earthquakes", click on the Area Earthquakes Activity link and in very short order, you'll have a map with each earthquake visible on the map as a red circle. On the left side of the page, a text list of each quake is provided. The location is hyperlinked. You can also get info about the quake by clicking the various numbers on the map.

Check these new features out and let us know what you think. We think they are pretty cool.

The Ask.com Team

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September 19, 2006

Avast Ye Searchers

Talk Like A Pirate Day

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we bring you a very special episode of our Top Searches.

Top 10 Searches That Pirates Performed on Ask.com

Scurvy Be Gone
Grog chaser
Shipwreck news
Landlubber translator
Eye-Patch Be-dazzler
Parrot recipes
What yarr be callin Metal Detectors
Treasure maps
Which side is port?


The Dread Pirate Ask

Related Ask.com Posts: Last Year's Talk Like A Pirate Day

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September 12, 2006

9/11 Tribute Image

We've had a tremendous amount of feedback about our 9/11 home page tribute yesterday. We've even had requests for the image of the remembrance. Thanks to everyone who wrote in.

To download the 9/11 Tribute image:

For Firefox: Right click here & choose the "Save Link As..." option
For IE: Right click here & choose the "Save Target As..." option

Image Disclaimer:
Copyright of IAC Search & Media, Inc. This image may not be used for commercial purposes or in connection with any pornographic or illegal content or purpose.  

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September 11, 2006

In Memory of 9/11

In case you missed it, Ask.com's homepage tonight features a special tribute to the victims of 9/11, portraying the lighted memorial seen in New York City on the evening of the first anniversary.

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September 07, 2006

Ready Reference for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season for the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico typically runs from June 1 to November 30. Ask.com has recently made some Smart Answer additions to assist in tracking this seasonal storm-related information.

A frequently used phrase in the library and research world is "ready reference." Its meaning deals with having resources to answer certain factual types of queries easily and quickly accessible. In the web age, this can also mean having specific web sites or pages at the ready.

Many of you probably keep frequently used and reliable information resources at your fingertips for quick and easy access. They might be on the bookshelf sitting right behind you at this moment or they could be bookmarks to important sites you use and have come to count on.

So, in essence it's about:

* Saving you time and effort. We could all use more time.

* Having some understanding of the quality, scope, currency and reliability of the resource often before using it.

To a certain degree this is what the Ask.com Smart Answer and Smart RSS programs are all about. Quality resources, easily accessible, saving you time.

Those of you who read our blog know that we are rolling new Smart Answers out all of the time. Today, is no different.

It's hurricane and tropical storm season and now Ask.com offers a hurricane and tropical storm Smart Answer at the very top of search results pages where our algorithm thinks it will be useful. If you type in hurricane warnings, you get both resources on the same page.

Ask.com has built a ready reference shelf for users with key and direct links from authoritative sources about hurricanes and tropical storms. A real time saver.

In a single location you can find everything from definitions from NOAA (National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration) to a storm tracker to direct links to the Red Cross, FEMA, and a great set of authoritative frequently asked questions also from NOAA.

That's not all.

A few weeks ago we also introduced RSS Smart Answers. These take real time feeds and place their content directly on web results pages when specific trigger terms are entered. Today, when someone enters the phrase "National Hurricane Center" not only get the web links they're expecting but also receive a real-time feed (at the top of a web results page) of news and advisories direct from these hurricane and tropical storm experts in Miami.

The Smart Answer Team

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Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of IAC Search & Media and may not have been reviewed in advance.

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