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Cool Things You Can Do With Google

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You know how to work a search engine like Google, Yahoo or MSN to find the websites you're looking for but did you know Google can find a lot more than that? Check out all the cool stuff Google can do for you!

Translation & Book Search

You may never have to head to the library again if Google has its way! Google's new Book Search index will match your search words with related books, sample pages of their content and local bookshops where you can buy them. Google's translation feature means that you'll be able to read web pages en Francais, en Espanol or in a bunch of other languages. Just remember that since different languages have different grammar - and Google translates word-for-word - it's not a good idea to try to get this function to do your Spanish homework for you.

Maps

Never get lost again! Google's interactive maps allow you to find a specific address or hunt down the closest Pizza Hut. The maps are draggable, which means you to scroll to areas off-screen. You can also toggle between the street maps and actual satellite images of your 'hood. If that isn't enough for you, you can also choose the hybrid option, which shows you a fusion of a map with corresponding satellite images. And once you've nailed down where you want to go, you can send the map to your cell. Is there anything Google can't do?!

Calculator & Converter

Go ahead and ditch that pocket calculator - all you need is Google. Instead of typing in keywords in the Google search box, try typing in a math equation like 5+2 and it will tell you that equals 7. Don't worry, it can handle much more complex math too. Just remember to use the * symbol for multiplication and the / symbol for division. But that's not all! You can also use the feature to convert measurements, distances and even currency. Try typing in "half a cup in teaspoons" or "five British pounds in Malaysian money" and see what happens!

Movies & Music

When you type "movies", "showtimes" or the name of a film into the Google search box, it will give you reviews and showtimes. Make sure you've saved your location in Google Local so it can give you showtimes at your neighborhood theater. Same goes for music - type in the name of your favorite artist and, along with your search results, Google will give you info on their songs, albums and where to buy their stuff.

Definitions and Q&A

What does quixotic mean? Why did Grandma call you a wunderkind? Google Definitions will find the answer. Just type "define", a colon and then the word you want (with no spaces) defined in the search box. Google will bring up a list of various definitions of the word. If you're looking for an answer to fact- based questions, Google can help with that too. If you want to know the population of, say, California, just type "population of California" into the search box. The answer will appear above all the search results, so there's no need to click links or go hunting for the answer. Too easy!

Parcels, Planes and Other Tracking Numbers

If your mom is waiting for her latest eBay purchase (how many ceramic cats can one woman have?!) or Grandma is FedExing you a batch of cookies, Google's Search by Number feature makes it easy to find out when they'll arrive. Just type in a US Postal Service, FedEx or UPS tracking number and Google will tell you its status. Same goes for checking the status of US flights - just type in the flight number (for example "United 134") and you'll get real-time flight tracking. No more waiting around the airport for your cousins (who you never really liked anyway).

Documents

Want to work on your group project even when you're grounded? Google Docs let you create, save, share, and publish all kinds of documents like word processing docs, spreadsheets, and even presentations. Not only can you store the documents online (there goes your I-left-my-essay-at-home excuse), but you can allow others to view, comment on or edit your documents! It's the ultimate collaboration tool.

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