Posted in Uncategorized

What’s Next For Firefox?


When historians look at the history of the Web ten or twenty years from now, chances are they will point to Firefox as one of the most important products of the last ten years. But right now, it’s hard not to look at Firefox and worry a little bit about its future.

At the height of its success, around 2010/11, Firefox owned more than a quarter of the browser market in the U.S. and almost a third in Europe. Today, those numbers are much lower in most regions (though Germans still love Firefox more than any other browser). The exact numbers always depend on who you ask, but the trend is the same everywhere — and it’s not looking good for Mozilla’s browser.

Google’s Chrome launched at a time when Firefox development felt stagnant. I remember firing up Chrome for the first time back in 2008 and…

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Penguin Hatches A Cloud Reader For Pelican Books


It likely hasn’t passed you by that traditional book publishers aren’t having the best of times these days. Indeed, when it comes to reading you could say it is the best of times and the worst of times. (TC’s Jon Evans — also a published author, so in a prime position to comment on the matter — made just that Dickensian point, in fact, in a TC post earlier this year.)

Best for the consumption of the written word, given the proliferation of information online — much of it entirely free to read. Worst for traditional book publishers, with their paper-based, price-tag-carrying medium so disrupted.

Book publishers also have the voracious leviathan Amazon and its war on books to contend with. Sure, Amazon may be a huge seller of paper books but shipping dead tree costs Amazon dollar. Dollar Bezos would rather not spend if he can render the book medium back to its informational essence and fire pixels directly into customers’…

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Bullying The Bullies


Humans haven’t quite gotten the hang of human rights, let alone social media. Combined ignorance of the two leads people to spew hate from the safety of an Internet connection, writing their bigotry into the public record.

Now these moments are being put display for public shaming by a Tumblr seeking justice against racists. It’s a form of cybervigilantism. But is there a more effective, and compassionate way of stopping racism?

Disclaimer: Some of these post contain highly offensive langauge

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 9.54.21 PM Racist Twitter user gets suspended from work. Their Twitter account has been shut down.

On, sequences of screenshots show racist comments posted by people in response to the Michael Brown case, then other citizens reporting the commenters to their employers, and finally evidence that the commenters had been fired.

The site encourages people to track down where outspoken racists work and then post details of their hate speech to the…

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Facebook, Google, And Twitter’s War For App Install Ads


[tc_dropcap] An unexpected consequence of our love apps is that now there’s just too damn many of them. The app stores are overcrowded, leaving developers desperate for a way to get their games and utilities discovered. That is why the app install ad has become the lifeblood of the mobile platform business.[/tc_dropcap]

Big brands aren’t the only ones to suck up to anymore. No one buys a car or Coca-Cola on their phone, at least not yet, so proving the return on investment of mobile ads to these businesses is tough. There is one thing people will instantly plop down a few bucks for on the small screen, though: Apps.

Too Many App[tc_rr_related_video] [tc_rr_crunchbase]

Lured by billions in app install ad spend per quarter and hoping to grow that pie, Facebook, Twitter, and Google have stepped up. But to win those dollars, they have to buddy up to developers.

Facebook and Twitter really have…

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Posted in information literacy

Research Tool: The Ultimate Research Assistant

I learned about this tool during the summer.  This research tool, appropriately named “The Ultimate Research Assistant” does more than list websites on a specific topic.  This tool “reads” the information from each website and extracts the main points or themes from each link, and creates a report summarizing the information from each website.  Once the report is generated, a student could export the report and begin to write his/her research paper using the results from this report.  A word of caution:  the report summarizes the information from the website.  I would recommend the student visit each website and read the entire content for him/herself.

Advanced searching allows the user to refine his/her search to only internet sites, educational sites, governmental sites, and other subject specific sites.

This tool is free and easy to use and understand.

For additional information on how this tool works, click on this YouTube video:

Explore The Ultimate Research Assistant.  It can be a useful tool for research.

Posted in information literacy

Have You Heard About Sweetsearch?

When I ask my students the above question, I get strange looks and responses like who? what? I then explain to them that Sweetsearch is a search engine for students that provides credible, authoritative results on any topic.    Howevever, community college students could use this source as well. searches only 35,000 web sites that have been evaluated by the Sweetsearch staff.  Thus, students can be assured of receiving reliable, authoritative, credible sources for their topics.

Sweetsearch4Me is especially designed for elementary students. “Only the best sites directed at elementary school students are included, and many of the results on the first page were created exclusively for kids.”

SweetSearch2Day is another feature of Sweetsearch. “It offers a daily curated assortment of the best content on the Web for history, language arts, science, news, culture and other topics. It was developed in consultation with leading educators to help integrate timely topics into daily lessons, and lead students to research and explore the best content online.

Sweetsearch Biographies profiles more than 1000 people and provides students with credible information on well-known people.

Web Guides “provide a road map to exploring hundreds of topics online, with links to the best resources, ordered logically, and woven with narrative, insights, and research strategies. Web Guide categories include dozens of academic subjects, as well as health, technology, careers, and other topics.”

Sweetsearch offers a variety of tools for students and teachers.  Take the time to explore Sweertsearch for yourself.