Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Refreshed Challenges

As information gets relocated online, links break. When this happens it is usually a simple task to find its new home.

This happens all the time, but today's example comes thanks to a reader who discovered bad links in two of our Search Challenges: The Air Race Challenge and Freezing Milk Challenge (now not in Flash).

It took a lot longer to edit the coding and upload the changes than it did to find new answer pages (the examples we had cited led to 404 errors).

In the case of the Air Races, we changed the challenge because sites like wiki.answers provided a correct answer, short-cutting the Deep Web search process. The specialized database we referenced proved difficult to go back before 2007, so a new challenge was in order.

For the Freezing Milk Challenge, the ownership of the information changed and consequently the url. Following links to the new home, it required a pretty simple query on the new site to find the original article. Information doesn't typically disappear online; it gets relocated.

Try the new Challenges. Both require Deep Web searching. They may not be ideal for novice searchers, however. Air Races is intermediate; Freezing Milk is advanced, due mainly to experimentation required to find an effective query.


Arno said...


just some short notes on the frozen milk challenge:

* The URL of the help file is incorrect: the flash files refers to, but the real URL ist
* In my search I came across the paper linked from help page ("Show me an answer"), but it doesn't contain any information on the breed. So I don't think that the linked answer is helpful.

Eventually, I cheated and looked "inside" the flash file for the breed. Even though I now know the answer, I'm still unable to come up with a meaningful search.

Carl Heine said...

The Flash version has been replaced by a javascript version, so the help link does work now. Thanks to your post, I discovered that I had included an article that didn't solve the challenge. I've fixed that now. This is a moderately difficult challenge due to first having to find the right database to search, then scanning articles to see if relevant results are found.

Anonymous said...
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Carl Heine said...

I inadvertently deleted a comment that made me change the wording of the challenge. An anonymous reader questioned the answer, thinking it represented the highest freezing point, not the lowest (first to freeze). Upon further investigation, highest freezing point equals lowest temperature, so the reader was right. Good catch!