Did you know that some of the full-length presentations that Commission staff give are recorded and posted on the Commission’s blip.tv account? You can find these videos at http://nlc.blip.tv/. Additionally, you can subscribe to them via RSS or directly into iTunes.
I’m not going to get into public access policy issues here but I’m a firm believer in the fact that there is absolutely no reason any library to keep any browsing history on a public access computer. That being said, turning off things like the browser history or clearing it out regularly, can either slow down the browsing experience and take staff time respectively. So, why not take advantage of Firefox’s private browsing mode. According to Mozilla.com, here’s what private browsing does and doesn’t do:
What Private Browsing will not retain
- Visited pages: No pages will be added to the list of sites in the History menu, the Library window’s History list, or the Smart Location Bar‘s address list.
- Form and Search Bar entries: Nothing you enter into text boxes on web page forms or the Search bar will be added to the list of entries for Form autocomplete.
- Passwords: no passwords will be automatically filled in during the your Private Browsing session, and no new passwords will be saved.
- Download List entries: No files you download will remain in the list in the Downloads window after you turn off Private Browsing.
- Cookies: Files created by websites, that store information on your computer, such as your preferences when visiting that site (when a website has a “remember this” checkbox, it is using a cookie) will not be stored. For more information on cookies, see Cookies.
- Web cache files: No temporary Internet files or cached files from web pages will be saved until you turn off Private Browsing.
- If you create new Bookmarks while using Private Browsing, they will not be removed when you stop Private Browsing.
- If you save files to your computer while using Private Browsing, those files will not be deleted when you stop Private Browsing. However, any files you open in an external application will be cleared from the system’s temporary folder, and none of the files you download will appear in the Downloads window list.
It can easily be turned on and off under the Tools menu but why not permanently turn it on for your patrons? To automatically start Firefox in private browsing mood just follow these three simple steps:
- Run Firefox and type about:config into the address bar.
- Type browser.privatebrowsing.autostart into the Filter field at the top of the page.
- Double click the entry to set its value true.
From this point forward, Firefox will automatically start in private browser mode.
The folks over at Lifehacker have done it again, this time offering The Definitive Guide to Finding Free Wi-Fi. Suggestions run from “Easy: The Most Likely Places You’ll Find Free Wi-Fi” to “Medium: Employ Wi-Fi Scanner Apps and Look-up Tools” to “Desperation Level: High”. Software suggestions include Windows, Mac, and iPhone platforms. A totally enjoyable and easy to understand read for those of us looking for that free connection in desperate times.
Looking for a different search engine to play with? Try spezify. Results come from Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter, Digg, eBay, MSN, and Flickr and are presented in a very graphical way. In fact, you can “browse” the results by dragging with your mouse. It may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely something you should play with at least once.
Think about it, attaching a multi-megabyte file to an e-mail isn’t exactly the best way to send a file to someone. E-mail just wasn’t designed to handle files of that size. Instead there are plenty of different services today that will allow someone to upload that file to a temporary, or permanent, location, thereby giving the file a URL that others can use to retrieve it. But, which of these services to use? Box,net? Drop.io? Yousendit? Each has unique features that may, or may not, make it appropriate for your situation. If you’re looking for the right one for you, check out TechCrunch’s article 16 Apps That Make Sharing Large Files A Snap. Each of 16 services are briefly described but the best part is their comparison matrix which displays which features are covered by which service.
Mozilla Labs has released their new Test Pilot add-in for Firefox. For now it installs a small icon in your status bar that will flash when new tests are available. Additionally you can suggest tests for new Firefox features back to the program. Right now there isn’t much to do but I’ve got it installed just waiting to see what they do with this.
The next time you’re searching the Net for something you’re already familiar with, yourself for example, try using Blind Search. Just enter your search terms and you’ll get back the results from three different search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo!. The catch, you don’t know which results list is from which search engine. You can browse the results then click on the “vote for this search engine” button for whichever results list you think is the best. You’ll then be shown which one you chose. The results are also being tallied and the first eight weeks of results are viewable through a link near the bottom of the page.
The site does contain the following disclaimer:
“I work for Microsoft. This site is not affiliated with my employer, it is not a Microsoft initiative, it’s simply me having fun in my spare time.”