Friday, June 29, 2007

Google translate

Here's something to supplement last month's post about Google translation services; provides some nifty translation buttons that you can install on your toolbar. If you're working in one of the major languages (not Norwegian), this can come in handy. Eg. if you slide the "English to Russian" button to your toolbar, highlighting a word and pressing the button returns a translation into the specified language. The "Russian to English" button does the opposite. There are currently buttons for:

Arabic to English
Chinese to English
Chinese (Simplified to Traditional)
Chinese (Traditional to Simplified)
English to Arabic
English to Chinese (Simplified)
English to Chinese (Traditional)
English to French
English to German
English to Italian
English to Japanese
English to Korean
English to Portuguese
English to Russian
English to Spanish
French to English
French to German
German to English
German to French
Italian to English
Japanese to English
Korean to English
Portuguese to English
Russian to English
Spanish to English

Uncle Sam's Photos

Uncle Sam's Photos is a directory of more than 190 free USG photo galleries, arranged by subject.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Here's what Marylaine Block at Neat New Stuff has to say about this great site for opinion information:
"A statistical heaven for political junkies, with charts, tables, and maps
showing the ever-changing preferences of voters as the 2008 presidential
election approaches. Also check out the Pollster blog, whose blogroll
includes poll links to public pollsters, academic surveys, survey
research organizations, and other poll blogs and sites."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Internet Statistics

Internet World Stats features worldwide internet usage statistics for more than 233 individual countries and world regions.

Link search

Link Harvester is a very powerful tool for analyzing the sites that link to your page.


Press release from the Sunlight Foundation, June 14:
"WASHINGTON, DC – The Sunlight Foundation today launched a new search engine called LOUIS – the Library Of Unified Information Sources – to improve public access to federal documents through an all-inclusive, catalogued and cross-referenced collection of official documents from the executive and legislative branches of government." Read the entire press release

Thursday, June 14, 2007

DOS/USAID Strategic Plan

Embassy speakers asked to explain what the State Department does might find the DOS/USAID Strategic Plan useful. It is a handsome, illustrated publication that explains the objectives of U.S. foreign policy and the State Department's role in simple terms. The pdf version of the 2007-2012 plan is available at

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


By adding &imgtype=face to the url generated by a google image search, you can refine your search to include only faces...might (I say might) come in handy some time. You can also add &imgtype=news to the end of a search to limit to images in the news.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New PD strategy

Caroline Walters at the USC center for Public Diplomacy writes:
"After extensive input from various government agencies, private sector communication professionals, and over thirty independent studies of U.S. public diplomacy, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes unveiled her new national strategic communications plan on May 31. The plan is a result of more than a year of effort by Hughes and her staff, and is considered the first comprehensive national strategy ever developed for public diplomacy.

Strangely, the document is not to be found on the or sites - even the public diplomacy and public affairs page at State, and its "public diplomacy update" section, fail to mention it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Another fine reference tool, and companion to Nationmaster mentioned in post below, is Statemaster
It describe itself thus:
"...a unique statistical database which allows you to research and compare a multitude of different data on US states. We have compiled information from various primary sources such as the US Census Bureau, the FBI, and the National Center for Educational Statistics. More than just a mere collection of various data, StateMaster goes beyond the numbers to provide you with visualization technology like pie charts, maps, graphs and scatterplots. We also have thousands of map and flag images, state profiles, and correlations."
Perhaps you're wondering if they have statistics on toothless residents? Read on...
"We have stats on everything from toothless residents to percentage of carpoolers. "

Friday, June 1, 2007


Thanks Bill M. for the tip about the new FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) website. Below is its definition of FARA, and here's a May 31 CQ/NYT article about the website..

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938. FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterespionage Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.