Work with Files Across the Internet

Why waste the time to set this up? Why not just work with your files via FTP? Trust me, if you are a Mac user and do any work on fileservers / web hosts across the internet [such as accessing your University of Michigan IFS space] this tip can save you lots of time. And its free.

If you do any web design / development you are likely very familiar with juggling files via FTP and your editor of choice. Some editors have very nice integration with some form of file handling. I will commend Dreamweaver and Coda for this. My choice however is TextMate. TextMate has no integrated file handling. What is a guy to do.

After some digging I came across MacFUSE and Macfusion.

Macfusion is an open source Mac application that allows you to work with files on servers across the internet, as if they were sitting on your computer. – Macfusion’s web site

This means that it is now possible to mount your web hosted drive as a local disk. Continue reading

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EmbedPlus Adds Extra Video Controls to YouTube Embeds

Embedding YouTube videos is a pretty useful feature, but it only gives you basic player controls. With EmbedPlus, you can start your videos at a certain time, skip self-defined chapters, add annotations, zoom, and more to tweak the video to your liking.

If you’re sharing your own video, you probably don’t need anything extra, but when you share other people’s videos, sometimes you want to tweak the video—start it at a certain point, ignore more boring parts of the video, or just add notes to the video to get your point across. YouTube doesn’t let you do this, but free service EmbedPlus adds these and some other pretty neat features to YouTube embeds.

To embed a YouTube video with EmbedPlus, just grab the YouTube link of the original video you want to share, paste it into EmbedPlus, and tweak the size, start time, and scene markers for your video. It’ll give you a new embed code that you can paste into your blog, PowerPoint, or another social network. Hit the link to check it out.

[via lifehacker]

Models and Best Practices for Using Clickers

i>clicker inventor, Tim Stelzer, presents “Models and Best Practices for Using Clickers” at the University of Michigan on September 1, 2010.

iDevice Bookmarklets

If you’re a fan of bookmarklets (as I am) and also have an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch (which I do), this may interest you!

First, what exactly are bookmarklets?

A bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program that can be stored as a URL within a bookmark in most popular web browsers, or within hyperlinks on a web page. Because Microsoft Internet Explorer uses the term favorites instead of bookmarks, bookmarklets are also less commonly called favlets or favelets.

Bookmarklets can be saved and used like normal web page bookmarks. Therefore, they are simple “one-click” tools that can add substantial functionality to the browser. For example, they can:
▪ Modify the way a web page is displayed within the browser (i.e., change the font size, background color, etc.).
▪ Extract data from a web page (i.e., hyperlinks, images, text, etc.).
▪ Jump directly to a search engine, with the search term(s) input either from a new dialog box, or from a selection already made on a web page.
▪ Submit the page to a validation service. [via wordiQ]

If you sync your bookmarks from Safari onto your iDevice, you can simply add the bookmarklets that way.  For those of us who do not sync Safari bookmarks, technologist Chris Bray has a solution.  From his site:
I took a few minutes to copy the Javascript from all my bookmarklets and made this iPhone/iPad formatted page with all the Javascript in a selectable textarea for each bookmarklet. This way I could open up the page on my gadgets, and in about 5 minutes have all of my important bookmarklets loaded into Safari on both my iPad and my iPhone.

I know this is far from ideal, and even further from anything resembling a solution, but until some smart person comes up with a way around this, or until Apple adds some better bookmark management or add-on capabilities to mobile Safari this will have to do for now.

To access the javascript and read the step-by-step instructions, visit his webpage using Safari on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch:

They are relatively easy to add and will always be available until you delete them.  This way, you have an incredibly easy way to share a page on Facebook, add a note to Evernote, or shorten a URL with bit.ly!

Eight Great Tips for Traveling with the iPad

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg works on an iPad in a lounge at Newark airport, Wednesday April 14, 2010, before his flight to Oslo from the United States was diverted to Spain because of the cloud of dust from a volcanic eruption in Iceland hanging over northern European air space. (AP Photo/The Prime Minister's Office, ho)

The iPad is an almost perfect travel computer. It’s easy to carry, works as a guide, a map, a book and it’s crazy-long battery life will let you sit back and watch another movie while your laptop-toting companions search for a power outlet. But as convenient as it is, a little preparation will make things even smoother. Here are some things you should do before you leave the house.

Go Offline

A 3G iPad is a wonderfully useful machine, but outside of your home country, unless you’re willing to pay extra for roaming or a new, local micro-SIM, you’ll be back on Wi-Fi. Get ready for this by preparing a few apps.

Continue reading

New Google Docs

I don’t know how we missed this update, but on April 15th, Google debuted an updated Google Docs editor with real-time collaboration!  One of the biggest issues people have had with Google Docs is that it takes a little while for the edits to show up on the collaborators’ screens.  Not anymore!  It now updates in real-time, similar to Google Wave.

Check out Google’s blog for more information and instructions on how to enable this and other new features: A rebuilt, more real time Google documents

Readability

As we browse the internet, often pages come up that are cluttered with advertisements, links, and other unnecessary items.  This can make it difficult and distracting to read the content you wanted in the first place.

This is where Readability comes in.  Readability is a web site that will let you easily strip down the information on any web page to just show the basic content.  You first choose the options you prefer: style, size, and margin.  It then creates a custom bookmarklet that you can easily add to your bookmarks or bookmarks toolbar.  Once the bookmarklet has been installed, just click it on any web page.  It will get rid of the clutter and allow easier reading.  Those with poor eye sight can also use this tool to enlarge the displayed text.

It’s free of charge so I recommend checking it out!