Google hacks and Microsoft Photosynth

Powerful new tools let you search for free software and music, zoom in on landmarks and buildings, and add comments to news stories.

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Powerful new tools let you search for free software and music, zoom in on landmarks and buildings, and add comments to news stories.

Hacking with Google

I don't know what Google was thinking when it allowed Google Hacks to be posted on the Google Code site. But it's a sure bet most people won't abide by the "Please do not use this program for illegal uses" disclaimer you'll find.

Google Hacks is a front-end graphical user interface (GUI) you can use as a stand-alone application or as a browser toolbar. It performs searches you can already do - if you know the syntax. For instance, if I wanted to search for Dave Brubeck, I could pop the following into Google's search field:

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(.mp3|.wma) "Dave Brubeck"

But it's obviously a heck of a lot easier to type Dave Brubeck into Google Hacks and choose the music category.

Google Hacks lets you search in any one of 12 categories - music, applications, video, books, lyrics and others. But there's a catch. The searches are indexes - website directories that haven't been protected. Translation: you have to sort through lists of files and some, if not most, could be unrelated to what you're searching for.

At the same time, you might hit the jackpot - loads of files with just the content you're looking for. The showstopper is that the content belongs to someone else who doesn't know how to hide it from prying eyes. (And yes, I know, that person may have downloaded the music illegally as well.)

BTW, credit for this masterpiece goes to Jason Stallings, the author of Google Hacks. Jason doesn't work for Google, but his program was released using Google's free code hosting service. You can find more of Jason's code on his website.

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