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Best Internet Research Sites

By apotheon ·
I'm looking for the best Internet research websites -- I want the site name, the site URL, and a short description of what's good about the site if possible. Here's an example, showing some of the best resources I've found over the years, in alphabetical order:

Answers.com
http://www.answers.com
This one is great for general-purpose research on a specific topic with a specific term in mind. It tends to start with a definition or two of the term, and get progressively more general and descriptive with results further down the page.

BitLaw
http://www.bitlaw.com/index.html
It's a resource for technology-related legalities. Sometimes, it's very handy.

FOLDOC
http://foldoc.org
It's the Free OnLine Dictionary Of Computing, and it does exactly what it says.

Google
http://www.google.com
It's the search engine that has become a verb. It is excellent for getting a start on finding the information you seek when you're not exactly sure what terms should be used in the search. Throw related terms at it, though, and it will quickly lead you to relevant results that help nail down the actual terminology you need -- and you can search for things by specific, rare phrases that might appear within a given document by putting quotes around the phrase in the search string.

IMDB
http://www.imdb.com
The Internet Movie DataBase is far more than information about movies. It's information about actors, books, TV shows, cartoons -- basically, most of modern entertainment culture. It has proven indispensible in this regard many times.

ESR's Jargon File
http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/index.html
This is probably the most "official" online Jargon File at this time, though it's not the original. It's useful for the essays and explanations attached to it, as well as the glossary. In fact, I recommend using this one for the peripheral essays and using Ursine's Jargon Wiki for the glossary.

TechRepublic
http://techrepublic.com.com
Yes, really! TechRepublic isn't the first place I go to search for stuff: I mostly read what comes to my inbox from the newsletters. When I can't find a howto or piece of news in Google or another likely resource, however, TR turns up some surprisingly good articles on just what I need sometimes. It's definitely worth keeping in your repertoire. The same goes for builder.com (sort of TR's sister-site).

Ursine Jargon Wiki
http://ursine.ca/Jargon
Have you heard of the infamous Jargon File? Well, this is the Jargon Wiki, sort of a jargonfile++. When you just want to look up terms, I recommend this one over ESR's catb.org version of the Jargon File.

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org
What can I say? I love these guys. I used to work for the Wikimedia Foundation, and I miss it. It's truly encyclopedic in the breadth and depth of knowledge, and then some. I've learned more from editing it than I have from reading other, supposedly more "authoritative", sources -- and in less time. Surprisingly, it also serves as a sort of targeted search engine for the Web with regards to finding some of the most relevant (and often least biased) documents related to a given topic: just scroll to the bottom of an article and start looking at the related external links.

I'm not talking about my favorite news sites: I'm talking about my favorite research sites. I'd like to add to the list, so offer up your suggestions now, along with some reasons I should consider them, please. Feel free to tell me why my suggestions suck, too.

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Don't forget Snopes

by maxwell edison In reply to Best Internet Research Si ...

A good site to identify all the myths going around.

www.snopes.com

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good one

by apotheon In reply to Don't forget Snopes

I've noticed a touch of bias in some of the stuff on Snopes over the years, and the site's design is actively user-hostile, but it is unfortunately the best of its kind on the Internet as far as I've been able to determine. It should indeed go on the list of best research sites.

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Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to Best Internet Research Si ...

www.m-w.com

Not as good as a native spell-checker (so I'm told), but I find this one helpful quite often. I prefer the built-in Firefox extension for Webster's, actually.

You've already named most of my primary soruces. My typical MO is to start with a Wikipedia entry, then use Google to find corroboration.

Can't be too vigilant, of course. Otherwise, there would be no quibbles!

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Dictionary . . .

by apotheon In reply to Merriam-Webster's Online ...

I actually prefer onelook.com over m-w.com -- for one thing, onelook.com gives results for the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, whose definitions tend to be more accurate and precise than m-w.com's definitions.

If I feel up to spending the time, though, I prefer looking stuff up in http://en.wiktionary.org first. If I find the definition lacking in some way, I visit http://www.onelook.com and do some research, then fix the entry at Wiktionary (or add one, if it's missing entirely).

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The best digital camera site I've found

by OnTheRopes In reply to Best Internet Research Si ...

http://www.steves-digicams.com/default.htm

Check "Our reviews".

The links at the site also lead to other good information.

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not the easiest to use but...

by j.lupo In reply to Best Internet Research Si ...

I have found codeguru very useful - www.codeguru.com.

Until Expert's exchange started charging, I used to ues them for looking for examples to code/programming related issues since they cover just about every language and/or software package.

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