Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

Zotero | Home

Eight days ago, I had no idea what Zotero was. Now it is an integral part of my life. First, a description:

A personal research assistant.Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content and adds it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you’re searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites.

Aside from blog posts, I had never really had a reason to do a lot of research. Hence my complete ignorance of this extension. Now, however, I am working on graduate courses, and research is mandatory. A lot of research, including a lot of resources from a lot of different sources.

Enter Zotero. Zotero makes it surprisingly easy to add a source to your personal research library. You can then add citations to a document (using flawless plugins for LibreOffice and Word) with a couple of clicks.

Then there’s Zotero’s jaw-dropping killer feature: bibliography, generated with a single mouse click. The¬†bibliography¬†is output in the format you require (in my case, APA). All text is formatted appropriately – including italics and underlining – and all fields are put in the correct order with correct punctuation.

This is basically a researchers perfect tool.

Zotero used to be a Firefox extension with the word processing plugins. The newest version – Zotero 3.0 beta – was released recently, however, and the game has changed. Zotero itself is now a stand-alone app, avaialbe for Linux, Windows and MacOS. There are connectors for various web browsers, including Google Chrome. And there are the word processor plugins.

If you are doing any type of research that requires keeping track of sources and citing them in documents, you need this application. Trust me on this one. Get it. Now!

via Zotero | Home.

Facebook revealing your mobile numbers

(From my post on Google+):

Yeesh. Okay, so I am not one to beleive the numerous “Facebook is stealing your phone numbers!!!” status message memes that get passed on every now and then. Most of them are hoaxes at best, attempts to get you to run malicious apps at worst. I ignore them and never paid those a second thought.

Turns out I should be more cynical about Facebook, too. I mean, I know that Facebook is the privacy equivalent of a sieve. I’ve spent a lot of time setting up my privacy/sharing settings, and have it fairly locked down.

Or so I thought. Turns out there are a lot of settings that I still don’t know about (like an option turned ON by default that pesters all of your non-FB friends every two weeks to join FB). And it turns out that the Facebook phone number stealing thing is actually legit!

I don’t know many times when I’ve been more wrong about anything this important.

[sigh]

Read through this article about the mobile phone number issue on Facebook (via nakedSecurity). Follow the links in that article for links to lock down your account more. And don’t use Facebook for anything – nothing at all! – that you wouldn’t want a complete stranger to know.

Google+ will have me for life if they keep their security settings transparent and easy to figure out. Or, in other words, if they are the anti-Facebook.

- M

When Patents Attack!

Software patents are bad, really bad. It can sometimes be difficult to explain in what way they’re bad, though. And sometime’s it is hard to come up with examples. Fortunately, the folks over at NPR did a great job of dissecting the issue on This American Life. Including interviews with those involved, along with a cute story about how the term “patent trolls” was coined.

When Patents Attack! | This American Life.

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

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