This Week on the Web, 8/27/08

Roll up your sleeves.  It’s a big week.  I think it might have something to do with the start of the school year; or maybe it’s the upgrade to Firefox 3 that has the technoblogophiles abuzz.  Either way, there is a lot going on.  I actually scaled this down.  Maybe I’ll include the entries this didn’t make this week’ cut to next week’s report.  We shall see.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite finds this week:

Immune Booster SoupI know it’s still technically August, but Fall will be here before we know it.  In some areas, it already IS Fall, so how about something to set the mood?  Perhaps a little comfort food?  Maybe a little soup and sandwich?  Lifehacker suggests instituting a soup and bread night to save a little..uh….bread; and the Simple Dollar describes how this method has saved the author over $300 a year.  This got me thinking about a favorite soup recipe of mine: Immune Booster Soup.  The ingredients are simple.  Preparation is minimal; and the rewards are substantial.   It calls for exotic mushrooms so it’s not quite going to help you save any cash, but it will make you feel good about yourself.  Could be especially good with a grilled tomato and cheese.

Movie Love in the FiftiesMovie Love in the Fifties by James Harvey was featured on NPR this week.  It’s not just about drive-ins and McDonald’s, but, as reviewer Anthony Giardina writes, Movie Love is “about who we were as a country 50 years ago, a country where onscreen relationships – like those between the very white Lana Turner and her black maid in Imitation of Life; Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun; and Janet Leigh and her various bras in Psycho – all tweaked a postwar nation into thinking more deeply about race and sex and fashion.”  Makes me want to update my Netflix queue.

ACRL 2009 National ConferenceACRL has two announcements: registration for ACRL’s 2009 National Conference in Seattle will open in September.  The 14th iteration of this conference promises to implement eco-friendly practices, allowing you to help make the conference more environmentally sustainable.  Discounted housing rates, scholarships, and exciting tour options will also be available.  Complete details are available from the ACRL events website.  Also, for the LinkedIn folks out there, ACRL now has a profile.  Not sure how exciting that is, but…thought you should be aware.

Ultimate StealAccording to a Microsoft press release, the folks in the PNW are once again offering their Ultimate Steal program.  Office Ultimate 2007 includes the entire Microsoft Office toolset: Word 2007,  Excel 2007,  PowerPoint 2007, Outlook 2007, Access 2007, Publisher 2007, OneNote 2007, Groove 2007 and InfoPath 2007…all for $59.95.  The Steal site states that eligibility requires a “.edu” email address and course enrollment.  A NYTimes report, however, states a senior MS VP confirmed all one needs is “.edu” email address.  Comments from the blogosphere seem consistent.  Most universities offer the package to students at an even better price so the student verdict is split; but this could be a good deal who university employees who aren’t eligible for a local student discount.  Ahem.

Firefox 3.0And now for the Firefox fun.  When I got to work this morning and opened up my Firefox, it automatically upgraded to version 3.0.  Maybe you noticed the same.  Well, there are some tweaks you can do to the configuration.  You can view richer color profiles in digital photos.  You can change the URL bar’s behavior and more.  The most useful tweak I’ve found is switching the ‘mailto’ link from Outlook to Gmail.  No more right-click, copy email address, open Gmail, compose, paste…no.  No more.  After this configuration all you have to do is click on the mailto link and a new compose message Gmail window appears with the mailto email address already in place.  Lifehacker has some instructions on how to do it, but I found my own instructions a little more precise:

  1. Open Gmail in Firefox
  2. In the tab where Gmail is open paste this script into the address bar: javascript:window.navigator.registerProtocolHandler(“mailto”,”https://mail.google.com/mail/?extsrc=mailto&url=%s”,”GMail”)
  3. Firefox will ask for your permission to Gmail as a default mailto.  Click the ‘add’ button
  4. Hit the Tools button along the top, then Options, then the Applications box.  Scroll down the alphabetical list of applications to ‘mailto’.  Next to it there will be a pull-down menu.  Select Gmail, click OK, and you’re done.

There are also some pretty cool add-ons you can consider too.  One that caught my eye in particular is called “Read It Later” from Idea Shower.  Read It Later is an extension that allows you mark a news story, blog post, video..whatever.  The item gets added to your reading list with the click of a button.  Then, when you have the time, open your reading list, click an item to read, mark it as read, and it’s gone.  (Or you can permanently bookmark it).  Sounds like a great solution for someone like me who has a lot of trouble organizing all of the stuff I want to….read later.

Till next time.

Megan P.

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