Some small news on the copyright front

As many have found out, posting a video on YouTube can be perilous if it contains material that you do not own copyright to. Currently Google (Youtube’s owners) will remove videos if they receive what is known as a ‘takedown notice’ from the entity claiming to be the copyright owner. In a case I blogged about several years ago, a video that NASA uploaded was automatically taken down because a news website had pointed to it.

Now Google has decided to provide some defense for those who are engaging in ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material. Fair use permits material to be posted if it is parodied, transformed or used for educational purposes (the exact details are rather more complicated and can be found on a WSU library website).

Google has announced it will legally intervene on behalf of these users, keep the videos up online, and even cover the costs of defending against copyright claims. You can read the juicy (and somewhat political) details in this article.

It will be interesting to see whether Google takes any flak on this.

More Search Tricks in Wayne Connect 365

Last week I provided some tricks for searching through email messages in the new Wayne Connect Powered by Microsoft. Following a question by one of my colleagues, here are some additional keywords and other pieces of search syntax you might find useful.

Binary Operators

You can use AND, OR, and NOT to join search terms. AND means that both items must be present, OR means, of course, either item. NOT excludes the term that follows. Note that these words must be in ALL CAPS. So all of these are legal searches:

elephant AND castle finds messages that contain both ‘elephant’ and ‘castle’.
Jones OR Smith finds any message that has either of those terms.
rutabagas NOT turnip finds all messages that have ‘rutabagas’, but do not also have ‘turnip’

Date Restrictions

It is possible to specify date ranges within searches. You use the operators :< to mean ‘before’, and :> to mean ‘after’. So to find messages between January 1 and March 1 you could write

received:> 1/1/2015 AND received :< 3/1/2015

You can also restrict your search to a particular mailbox by highlighting that mailbox after you search.

Using the minus sign

Finally, for at least some of the keywords, you can place a minus sign – immediately before it, and it will exclude whatever follows the minus. Thus

from:Jones -attachment

will find all messages from Jones that do not have an attachment


from:Jones -to:Smith

will find all messages from Jones that are not also to Smith.

More complex searching

My colleague also asked about selecting multiple hits in a search result. Unfortunately this is not quite so easy. Theoretically you can click, then shift-click at the end of a long list, but that seems not to work reliably. The only easy way to select a large number of email messages (in order to drag them to a different mailbox, for example) is not to use the web-based client, but instead to use the Outlook desktop app, which has a very powerful, and very quick search engine.

How to find stuff in Your Office365 Email

Lately I’ve heard folks complain that it’s hard to find back emails in the web interface version of our new email system, because only a few messages are displayed at a time. If this is a problem for you, you can do two things.

1. You can change the display so that the message list is on the left and the message you are looking at is on the right. This looks like this:

Box on right

Do this by going to the gear (top right) and choosing Display Settings, then Show reading pane on right.

2. There is a powerful search engine that allows complex queries. You can just type a name into the box (upper left, labeled ‘Search Mail and People’). That will find all email from and to that person and all messages that mention them.
But you can also type From:Snerdwell and it will only display messages with that name in the ‘From’ field. Similarly for To: and Subject:, although the latter is a little more subtle. If you want subjects that are more than one word long, enclose the words in double quotes: Subject:”Elephants castles” The important point is that you can concatenate (i.e. string together) successive search items. So to find all messages from Snerdwell that contain the word ‘rhinoceros’ you can type From:Snerdwell rhinoceros To find messages with attachments, type hasattachment:yes. If you know the name of the attachment, you can type attachments:presentation.pptx

There are far more subtleties, and you can read about them on the C&IT Knowledgebase.