Finds of the Week: 100+ Alternative Search Engines / International Space Station Live Feed / Free Wallpapers from Microsoft / Google 'Speed Test'


Finds of the Week100+ Alternative Search Engines You Should Know
This comprehensive list of search engines can help you target specific areas when doing internet searches. There are search engines for many areas,  including regional, kid safe, social media, image and icons, metasearch, people, news, and blogs. Pretty handy when a regular search engine just won't do.

Live Feed of the Earth from the International Space Station
View a live stream of the Earth from the ISS. The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment places four commercially available HD cameras on the exterior of the space station and uses them to stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific housing and are exposed to the harsh radiation of space.
Want more? NASA also has live video from the International Space Station that includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During "loss of signal" periods, viewers will see a blue screen. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below. You can find it here:
Live ISS (International Space Station) Stream

Free Wallpapers from Microsoft
Microsoft has a small section of free Desktop wallpapers you can download for free, but they have an even larger selection of wallpapers in the Desktop Themes gallery. You don't have to install the themes if you just want to use just the wallpapers. To use the wallpapers without installing a theme, download and install 7Zip, a file compression program. There's a portable version available. Then, download the theme with the wallpapers you want, then use 7Zip to unzip the file. You'll find all the wallpapers in the theme inside the unzipped folder. From there you can move them to whatever location on your PC you'd like. The amount of themes and wallpapers has diminished significantly over the last year or so, but there are still some nice backgrounds to be found. Most backgrounds are 1900px x 1200px.

Test Your Internet Speed From The Google Search Page
Here's a nifty little trick you can perform from the Google Search page. Type 'speed test' (minus quotes) into the search box and the first result will be "Internet Speed Test". Click Run Speed Test and Google performs an internet speed test and displays the results. Full details at the link above.

You can find more Tech Treats here.


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I would like a search engine that only returns hits that exactly match my search criteria.
If I place a string in quotes, that exact string must be present in every hit.
If I place a word in quotes, that word must be present in every hit (Google has Advanced variant on that, but I am sure it pays scant lip service to my instructions)

Windows Free Wallpapers is another Microsoft foul up to capture you! As in other cases, like Restore Point Creator, Microsoft deleted the app My Wallpaper Downloader which provided 60,000+ wallpapers for free download when they pushed theirs. Unlike genuine wallpaper downloaders, Windows photographs the whole screen with task bars, and the pictures do not correspond to screen size. The selection is very limited and not that attractive if you like to make jigsaw puzzles.