In like a lion

A few notes from my first few days:

– Safari is out; Firefox is in. The switching costs were not terribly debilitating, most of my work was to retool my bookmarks and to play with the various add-ons and search options that Firefox offers.

– Along these lines: Google has infiltrated several of the add-ons. For example, the Firefox WebSearch Pro has an option (that I turned off) for “Use Google Suggest to offer suggestions as you type.” This was the first I had heard of “Google Suggest.” other search engines seem to offer a similar service; are they using Google Suggest, or their own version of this feature?

– I also was excited to finally explore hyperwords after seeing the enthusiastic support of people like Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson. It could be enormously useful, once I get used to it. But, unfortunately for my experiment, it is keyed in to Google so closely that I wonder if turning off the Google options in the preferences (which looks possible upon brief inspection) will be totally debilitating to its search features of hyperwords. Stay tuned.

– I have a few other concerns about my experiment. First, YouTube.  I can’t quit you.  I get my political news from Wonkette, which relies extensively on YouTube clips.  And one of the greatest sources of laughter in my life at the moment is Special1TV, a puppet show that parodies the personalities of English and European soccer. Since the Setanta Sports website insists that I use Silverlight 2.0, and that doesn’t run on my Mac, I instead go to YouTube to watch the latest episodes. Perhaps the episodes are available elsewhere.

– I have grown to trust Google Scholar, and I don’t like the alternatives. JStor is, of course, far superior if one wants actually to read articles orbook reviews or what have you; but one needs a user account at a large university library in order to enjoy the full benefits of JStor. More on this in a seperate note. I do miss using Google Books, although, again, my March has pushed me to investigate other options.

– Finally, along these (academic) lines – hakia.com, recommended to me last March, has a nice section of its search results that it refers to as “Credible Sites.” Definitely food for a classroom discussion on the reliability of information on the web.  It also breaks search results into categories that may or may not be useful  for students. See for example the search results for “pyramids.”

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