MyFive: Where to Find Answers…

This article was written on May 17, 2008 by CyberNet.

Often times, the Internet is used for answering questions. A user goes to their search engine of choice, types in a question, and receives links that may direct them to the answer. Using this method doesn’t always work though, and so where is someone to go when they need an answer to a question? It doesn’t always take a professional expert to get an answer that you’re looking for, and so turning to a dedicated “answers” site is a often times a good solution. There are several answers sites out there, and most of them work by users submitting their questions and other users answering them. Today we’re taking a look at five different places you can go to find answers to your questions.

Yahoo Answers (link)

Yahoo! Answers.png

The first answer site that came to mind is Yahoo, because it’s actually my answer site of choice. I’ve never been one to ask or answer a question there, but I do browse through the topics that have been submitted and the answers that users have offered. You’d be amazed by how much you can learn. They originally started in 2005 and now they currently have over 500 million different answers available on the site. There’s a wealth of information that can be learned there!

Askville (link)


Before writing this, I hadn’t heard of Askville which was started by and opened to the public in late 2006. Just like Yahoo, it’s a place where the public can go to ask questions, answer, or discover. To help out with credibility, users can either gain or lose “experience points.” People are able to rate the answers that have been given, and eventually one answer is officially rated as “the best” based upon a five-star system.

Google Answers (link)

Google Answers.png

If Yahoo has an answers service, of course Google has to have one, right? Actually, Google came out with theirs first and Yahoo followed, but Yahoo’s has been much more successful. Google answers originally launched in 2002, but by November of 2006, Google had decided to permanently shut it down. It was quite a bit different from Yahoo in that whoever was asking the question would pay someone to get the answer or perform a search. The person asking the question would offer a price to get the job done and Google Answers Researchers found answers. While new questions can’t be submitted, they still make the archive of questions that had been asked and answered available to the public. Rumor has it that Google is even planning on bringing it back, but perhaps with a different business model. (link)

While I wouldn’t say is the easiest site to navigate, they do have millions of topics available. Yahoo is the most popular answer service out there, but comes in a close second. What’s nice with is that if you go to ask a question, you will be directed to WikiAnswers (owned by If the question you submit has been asked before, you will be directed to the page that has a list of questions that have been asked previously that are related and you can see if there’s one that answers your question. Overall, tends to be for the more practical questions.

WikiAnswers (link)


WikiAnswers is owned by and provides a place where you can enter in your own question and have people respond. Those who respond aren’t experts, per say, they’re just people who want to contribute. As their logo says, it’s Q&A the Wiki way! Did you know that WikiAnswers used to be FAQ Farm until it was acquired in 2006? The mission of the site is “to enable anyone, anywhere, to ask a question on any topic in their own words and get a cooperatively written human answer.”

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Flickr is now Integrated into MyBlogLog

This article was written on January 29, 2007 by CyberNet.

It was just the beginning of January that Yahoo acquired MyBlogLog for an estimated 10-12 million. We were wondering how long it would take Yahoo to  integrate some of their other acquired services like Flickr. Well, that question has been answered because Flickr has been integrated into MyBlogLog.

Now you have the option of adding your Flickr photo stream to your MyBlogLog account. Mashable also points that integration with other Yahoo services is inevitable like posting links, or even the ability to log into MyBlogLog with your Yahoo Account.

All you have to do is click on the button “click here to automatically show your recent Flickr photos” from the view/add pictures page. From there, Flickr will display your 10 newest Flickr photos(only the public photos). It’s a simple, but nice integration to get the ball rolling with Yahoo!

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Microsoft Teams with HP to Boost Live Search

This article was written on June 02, 2008 by CyberNet.

hp and windows team up.pngIn an attempt to gain market share in the search arena, Microsoft has just announced a partnership with HP that will make their Live Search the default on Hewlett-Packard computers that are shipped in the United States and Canada. For first-time Internet users or casual users in general, they may not take the time to change the default to something else which could help Microsoft gain some ground in search.

The deal that Microsoft just made is by no means new. Those of you who recently purchased Dell computers know this first-hand because Google has partnered with Dell. Similarly, Yahoo has an agreement with Acer to provide various tools to the users and make Yahoo search the default. Previously Yahoo also had a deal with HP but now Microsoft is coming in and likely paying more than Yahoo to snag HP away. And here we thought there was going to be more computer companies moving away from installing bloatware. Anything for a buck, I guess…

For HP buyers in the U.S. and Canada that purchase a computer starting in January, here’s what to expect. First, Live search will be the default search engine in the browser on the computer. Secondly, and probably more annoying is that a custom version of Internet Explorer will come pre-installed that has a Live Search toolbar installed. The toolbar will make searching “more convenient” and it will also have links to some of HP’s services like Snapfish (digital photo service).

In the official Microsoft Press Release, Kevin Johnson who is the president of the Platforms and Services Division said, “This is the most significant distribution deal for Live Search that Microsoft has ever done, and we are very pleased to be partnering with HP to help bring live Search to millions of consumers across North America.” Significant it is because Microsoft has struggled to gain search users. This could certainly help…

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Yahoo Adds Drag and Drop to Maps

This article was written on December 19, 2007 by CyberNet.

Back in June, Google Maps got a new drag and drop routes feature which allows someone to tweak the route that Google provides them so that it’s just the way they want it to be. Following in Google’s footsteps, Yahoo has added a drag and drop rerouting feature which can come in handy when you’re planning a trip and you prefer to go a different route than what it gives, or if you’re planning stops along the way.

To use this feature, just go to and enter in your starting and ending destinations.  Yahoo will calculate the route and then a map will appear with the route highlighted in purple.  Just bring your mouse over the highlighted line and then at any point you can drag the mouse to adjust your route.  Once you do that, it will recalculate your route and give you a new trip distance and a new time.  It’ll also pop-up with a box that compares the two routes as shown below (click to enlarge): 

yahoo drag and drop

Adding the drag and drop feature wasn’t the only change though, Yahoo also made a few minor improvements to the business listings that will appear on the map. New additions include photos and users ratings which they gather from Yahoo Local. While both changes are nice to Yahoo Maps, I’m still a fan of Google Maps and the features and layout that they offer.

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Yahoo Says They’re Not Ready to be Microhoo

This article was written on February 11, 2008 by CyberNet.

It’s been a little over a week since news broke that Microsoft offered to acquire Yahoo for $44.6 billion. Their offer translated out to about $31 dollars per share which many people had said was too low for a company that was trading at that price not long ago. Sure enough, Yahoo felt that the offer undervalued them and formally rejected Microsoft. In a document filed with the SEC, they said that Yahoo’s Board of Directors “carefully reviewed Microsoft’s proposal and has unanimously concluded that the proposal is not in the best interests of Yahoo! and our stockholders.”

So will Microsoft come back with a more lucrative offer? If they do what analysts expect them to, they’ll be coming back with an offer of around $35 to $40 per share. Another route they could take would be to do some heavy lobbying directly with the shareholders. If they really wanted to, they could take their original offer directly to the shareholders. The Associated Press said that “if it goes down that route, Microsoft might have to antagonize Yahoo by trying to oust the 10-member board that rejected the original offer.”

It sounds like this is just the start of what could be an extremely long and drawn out process.  Microsoft isn’t going to give up, and if they do finally manage to come to an agreement with Yahoo’s Board of Directors and/or shareholders, they’ll still have to deal with the Department of Justice.  Remember, the DOJ has already said that they are “interested” in looking into this deal for possible antitrust issues. It looks to me like Microsoft is going to have a lot of work ahead of them if they want all that Yahoo has to offer for keeps.

For now, Yahoo says no to becoming “Microhoo.”

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Flickr Focusing on Geography with “Places Pages”

This article was written on October 19, 2007 by CyberNet.

At the Web 2.0 Summit going on right now, Flickr’s co-founder Stewart Butterfield will be demonstrating two changes that will debut over the next several weeks to the popular photo sharing service.  These new features will focus on geography and allowing people to discover places around the world using photos. With the millions upon millions of photos that have been geotagged, Butterfield is hoping that the new user interface will allow for discovery of photos instead of flipping through pages upon pages of photos. The first change will be updates to the Geotagging feature, and the second will be a completely new feature called “Places Pages.”

It was a year ago in late August of 2006 that Flickr first introduced geotagging using Yahoo Maps to their service. Now that more than 29 million photos have been publically geotagged, they’ve decided to make some changes to the results page for these photos to enhance the experience. Instead of displaying little circles like what currently happens, with numbers indicating how many photos have been tagged at a particular location, the map will display actual descriptive tags. There will also be changes to the navigation process.

“Places Pages” is an entirely new feature to Flickr and according to TechCrunch, they are “dedicated pages that provide users with specific information about places.” Every photo that is ever uploaded is taken at a “place” which means there’s a lot we can learn from locations all over the World.  On these pages, not only will you be able to view photos, you’ll also be able to see the weather, local time, and even any relevant Flickr groups pertaining to the page as seen below in the example of the “San Francisco Places Page.” TechCrunch says that overtime, this new feature will get even better by allowing users to make adjustments to the page. For example, if you were viewing photos of New York City, you could adjust the season so that you could see pictures of New York City only in the Fall, or only in the Summer, depending on what season it was.


Both the updates to geotagging and the new way that Flickr is putting a focus on geography through the Places Pages sounds interesting. I could see people using a combination of these two features to help them decide where they want to take a vacation, or teachers using it to teach their students about places all over the World. There are so many posibilities when you incorporate geography and photography, and I can’t wait to get a hands-on experience with it once in launches in the next few weeks.

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Yahoo Messenger for Vista Beta Coming Soon…

This article was written on March 07, 2008 by CyberNet.

Back in December, Yahoo released a preview release of Yahoo Messenger for Vista. That preview release affirmed to us that this special version just for Vista actually was coming and they hadn’t forgotten about it. At that point, it was just a preview and nothing more. The good news today is that Yahoo Messenger for Vista is finally headed for Beta. Sometime today Yahoo will be announcing that their beta version of this messenger will be coming sometime in the 2nd quarter this year which makes the release window between April and June.

What makes this version special to Vista is that the interface takes advantage of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and the Vista sidebar. New features that we can expect with the beta launch include Voice Visualizations. Ina Fried over at CNET says to “Think of the visualizations in iTunes or another jukebox and you have the basic idea.” They’ve also incorporated voice messaging which means you can leave messages PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone. There will also be the option to send SMS messages.

It sure would be nice if more applications took advantaged of all that Vista has to offer in terms of graphics. Even Microsoft doesn’t have a version of Windows Live Messenger just for their Vista users that takes advantage of the sidebar or WPF which is surprising. You’d think they’d be the first to launch applications for Vista seeing as they developed the technology in the first place!

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Yahoo! Web Hosting Goes Unlimited

This article was written on February 06, 2008 by CyberNet.

yahoo web hosting

Yahoo is opening up an “all-you-can-eat” buffet and on the menu is web hosting.  There’s unlimited disk space, unlimited data transfer, unlimited email storage, and 1,000 email accounts available. And it’s cheaper than many buffets out there at $11.95 per month! What a deal, huh?

Of course just like Yahoo’s unlimited email service which they started to roll out back in May last year, there is no such thing as truly “unlimited” because there’s no such thing as unlimited hard drive space. If you read their disclaimer, you’ll find what the unlimited web hosting really means:

  • Constraints will be placed on how fast you can grow (add as much content as you’d like but not at once)
  • In regards to data transfer: “in certain circumstances, our server processing power, server memory, or anti-abuse controls could limit downloads from your site”
  • When it comes to the unlimited mail storage for your web hosting account: “the purpose of unlimited storage isn’t to provide an online storage warehouse.  Usage that suggests this approach gets flagged by Yahoo! Business Email’s anti-abuse controls.”

The other really big constraint is that you cannot use an account “primarily as an online storage space for archiving electronic files.” In all reality, users should have no issues with the constraints that they put on the unlimited web hosting accounts. For small business owners, the unlimited account will be convenient because they won’t have to worry about how many times their site is visited and whether or not an increase in traffic will cause them to hit their limits.

If you’d like to sign up for Yahoo! Small Business web hosting, click here.

Source: Yodel Anecdotal

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Watch the World Live with Yahoo! Live

This article was written on February 13, 2008 by CyberNet.

It’s been a few days now since Yahoo launched their experimental live video service called Yahoo! Live. It launched with such quietness and without fanfare that many of you probably haven’t even heard about it yet. In a nutshell, it’s an “experiment in live video from the Advanced Products team at Yahoo.” Isn’t it ironic that Yahoo launches a service called Yahoo Live right around the time that Microsoft is trying to acquire them? I guess the difference here is that Yahoo’s Live service actually has to do with something “live” whereas Microsoft’s doesn’t.

Unlike services like YouTube, Yahoo Live is all about live video versus pre-recorded content you find elsewhere. Other sites that stream live video haven’t really been able to hold-up when it’s been needed most.  One example I can think of is Macworld when many sites were trying to stream the Steve Jobs keynote while thousands of people tried to tune-in.  Sites got bogged down and weren’t able to keep up with the demand. Other sites limited the number of people who could be viewing the content just to prevent a crash. If Yahoo does it right, given their resources, they could become the “go-to” place where people go when they want to watch something live, like the Steve Jobs keynote.

 yahoo live


Above is a screenshot of what the site looks like when you’re viewing a broadcast. It actually looks pretty slick if you ask me. One the main page, for easy navigation they display “Popular Live Channels” along with “Recently Live Channels” so that if there’s not anything in particular that you’re looking to watch, you can “channel surf.” Using your Yahoo I.D., you can create a profile where you can have you very own channel. Each time you are viewing a broadcast, you’ll be able to see how many people are tuned-in and you’ll also be able to chat with other viewers. Additionally, you can get the code to embed the video into your own site.

Overall, I’d say that for an experiment, Yahoo Live is not bad at all. With all of the election events going on in the United States, I could see Yahoo Live as a great place for rallies to be streamed to. The possibilities are endless and it could turn out to be a great place for people to go to get live content, assuming that they are able to keep up with the demand and provide the necessary bandwidth when it’s needed most. Check it out and let us know what you think.


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How to Stop Google, Yahoo & Bing from Tracking Your Clicks

This article was written on October 21, 2009 by CyberNet.

In 2008, Google said there’s no such thing as complete privacy. You’re being tracked all over the web by their AdSense ads, by sites that use Google Analytics and – probably the most important – their search engine. But Google Search isn’t the only search engine that tracks your behavior. Concerned about your privacy? In this article, we’ll show you how you can get rid of click tracking in search engines.

The secret redirect


google tracking-2.png

Whenever you click a link in Google Search, your click is redirected through a secret URL. If the site you’re going to is, Google will do a secret redirect through a URL that looks similar to In some cases, you can reveal the secret redirect by right-clicking on a linked search result. If that doesn’t work, your last resort is an HTTP sniffer.

There are several Firefox add-ons that claim to get rid of Google Search’s click tracking. CustomizeGoogle is one of them. Among other tweaks, it promises to remove click tracking and disable Google Analytics cookies. If you just want the anti-tracking feature without the bells and whistles, there’s a Greasemonkey script you can download called Google Tracking B-Gone. To use Greasemonkey scripts, you need to install the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox. Also, if you use an international version of Google such as, you have to change the script’s URL range from http://** to http://*.google.*/* to ensure that the script is allowed to operate on your local Google site.


yahoo tracking-1.png

Unlike Google’s redirect, the one Yahoo uses is always easy to find. Right-click on a link and look at your status bar to reveal an intimidating garglemesh of strange characters originating from You can get rid of that by installing this Greasemonkey script. However, my HTTP sniffer revealed that Yahoo does some additional click tracking from a URL that starts with To disable this, add* as a filter to Adblock Plus.


bing tracking.png

Bing seems to have a very subtle click tracking mechanism. The only fishy thing Bing does is call some URL’s that start with whenever you click a search result. Again, Adblock Plus can help you deal with this if you add* to its filter list. Turning off JavaScript on seems to help too.

Shutting off the HTTP referrer

Although the tips listed above can help you stop search engines from tracking your clicks, it does not keep websites from gathering information about your web search. This is done through the HTTP referrer. Any page on the web can retrieve information on how you stumbled upon it, i.e. which URL referred to their web page.

The referrer is also known to be used by site owners to retrieve information about the search engine you used and what your search query was. On rare occasions, some sites alter themselves if you found them through web search. For example, I’ve seen sites display “Welcome, Googler!”-esque messages and even sites that highlight your Google search terms on the page you landed on. Although this rather creepy practice is not widespread, it just shows how much a site really knows about you.

Fortunately, you can disable the sending of the HTTP referrer to the websites you visit. While it is possible to disable the HTTP referrer entirely in Firefox’s about:config, this can break certain functionality on some sites. There’s a Firefox add-on called RefControl that does away with this issue by allowing you to add exceptions for sites that need the referrer.

Other browsers

It is possible to use the Google Tracking B-Gone and Yahoo Click-Tracking Disabler scripts in other browsers. So if you’re really serious about extending your tinfoil hat protection to other browsers, you can check out these resources:

To disable the HTTP referrer, follow these instructions:

Since I’ve only tested this with Firefox, I cannot guarantee that the content from these resources is accurate.

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