Tag Archives: tips

Wikinews: The unsung news source

240px-Wikinews-logo Anytime I want to look up a wikipedia article, I usually just Google it…or more recently, Bing it. Yesterday, I decided to go to Wikipedia’s home page, to see what’s new. I noticed something I was seeing for the first time – wikinews.

Wikinews? Ok from my knowledge of wikis, I should believe this “wikinews” is user-generated. I don’t know what surprised me the most. The fact that a user-generated news site exists, or the fact that users actually ‘generate’ news on this news site. I fired up TwitterFox and posted this “and how exactly does wikinews work” hoping someone would be kind enough to explain. A little over 2 hours later, the official English Twitter account for Wikinews responded and the following conversation started.

@en_wikinews: Wikinews works much like any other wiki. Collaborative journalism min this case. Plus we add an editorial review before publishing.
@xolubi: I’m surprised people actually submit news stories. And on time too.
@en_wikinews: We do have a policy about stale news. Many people contribute to Wikinews because they want to help provide Totally Free News.
@xolubi: How do you handle cases where news is submitted without the ‘actual’ source getting proper credit?
@en_wikinews: In order for news to be published on Wikinews, it must go through a 5 point independent review. Part of which is a copyvio check. (copyvio is short for copyright violation).
@xolubi: Care to share what this 5-point independent review comprises of?
@xolubi: Here’s hoping you don’t mind my questions.
@en_wikinews: Don’t mind at all, happy to explain. Wiki’s are open to all. The review process is documented in a template: http://enwn.net/9A37
@xolubi: Ok. Noticed a “post your opinion” link but no opinions posted yet. What will you say about traffic and how people see it as a news source?
@en_wikinews: There are “Opinion” pages for each article, welcoming comments from readers. Some articles get many comments http://enwn.net/cA24
@en_wikinews: As for traffic/news source: We’re not the biggest, but we’ve got a following. In July we had 5.9m page views http://enwn.net/3229
@xolubi: On a side note, look like wikinews has a URL shortener (from your tweets). Is it open to the public or for internal use only?
@en_wikinews: It is open to the public, but for WMF url’s only: http://enwn.net/bookmark.php – The instructions/interface are a work in progress. (I’m sure WMF is short for Wikimedia Foundation)

Whew! Sounds interesting to know a “user-contributed” news source exists and that it is actually active. I’m certain that as more people embrace it, the contributing community will grow and Wikinews will be inching a step closer to being a de facto news source. I may be wrong, but don’t say I didn’t say it. :)

And yes. We have yet another URL Shortner. Altho this works much like Digg’s digg.com or Stumble Upon’s su.pr in the sense that its specialized.

Now Playing: Linkin Park – Bleed it out

Search & highlight text in a RichTextBox control

screenshot

A while ago, I needed the ability to search for text in a RichTextBox control and have all occurrences of the query highlighted simultaneously. I thought this was going to be an easy task but soon discovered I was terribly wrong.

Ok, maybe its just me but I wonder why some basic functionalities weren’t just built into these controls from factory by default. Why cant I just call a method such as rtbSample.HighlightInstances(“query”); and have all instances of “query” highlighted?!

Long story short, I modified this example into what I needed and thought to share with everyone. Feel free to also modify it for your projects. And maybe I’ll come up with my custom rich text box control that has this functionality built in someday :). Hmm, before I forget, its in .NET.

Download: RichTextSearch.zip

Now Playing: The Corrs – Runaway

Make your Firefox look like IE7/8

ff-vista

Kudos to Lifehacker’s article here, I found a quick way to bring Aero transparency to Firefox. You would have to install the following to achieve the effect in the image above.

1. Glasser. The recent versions of this extension are not compatible with Firefox 3.0.x so you would have to install version 1.0.16.

2. Vista-aero. This theme adds the visuals of IE7/8 including IE8’s colored tabs.

That’s it. Enjoy your Firefox. ;-)

Update: I forgot to add, you will need to install the Hide Menubar extension as well.

Now playing: D12 – Purple Pills

Firefox extensions I use (and cant do without)

Mozilla Firefox

Image via Wikipedia

Of course I can do without them. Life on the web may not just be as interesting and informative as it is now. The list is quite exhaustive so its best to start without further ado.

1. Firefox Environment Backup Extension
A complete Firefox profile data backup utility. It makes it possible to move your Firefox settings, addons, themes, etc. from one installation to another, or between your work and home PC. It supports scheduled backups which could come in handy incase your computer crashes. It can automatically backup your data to the cloud if you have a box.net account.

2. Firebug
This is a must have extension for frontend web developers. JavaScript debugging has never been better. My only problem with this extension is that it doesn’t retain its errors after a page refresh. I usually have to test my code on the ‘onclick’ event of a form’s submit button rather than the ‘onsubmit’ event of the form itself. The version I currently use is a nightly build which can be found here.

3. Flagfox
Isn’t it a nice idea to have the flag of the country in which the web server of the site you are currently viewing displayed somewhere on your screen? Whew! That was a pretty long sentence. I suck, but you get the message anyways.

4. Ghostery
This is a nice little extension that displays what analytics service the website you are currently viewing uses. It’s not surprising that most sites (the ones I visit :) ) rely on Google Analytics.

5. Gmail Notifier
A ‘notifier’ for Gmail accounts. Need I say more?

6. Google Preview
This cute little add-on grabs and displays a thumbnail of the page linked to in a search result entry.

7. Greasemonkey
This is one plug-in that works wonders. Its a plug-in that allows users to make changes on the fly to most web pages using special scripts. Changes can be such as adding new functionality to a page (like the Endless Tweets scripts for Twitter), combining data from multiple web pages (I have my twitter search integrated with Google search), and numerous other purposes. Greasemonkey scripts can be found at http://userscripts.org

8. Personas
Plug-in that makes you change the look and feel of your browser without requiring a restart.

9. Right-Click-Link
This extension lets you select text and open as a URL in an separate browser tab. Useful for cases where the text is a valid URL but not hyperlinked.

10. Stylish
Stylish is best defined as Greasemonkey for CSS. Users can download or create their own styles to customize the look and feel of specific websites. Custom styles can be found at http://userstyles.org

11. Tab Mix Plus
I love this extension’s session management feature. The progress bar it places on individual tabs isn’t a bad idea either.

12. TabRenamizer
Ever found yourself in a situation where you are on a page you really shouldn’t be looking at for various reasons? Switching tabs isn’t enough. Your wife could still stay behind you and figure out that one of your tabs’ title says something about sex toys (or perhaps, your boss could figure out you’ve been facebooking all day). What do you do? Install this extension and happily hit ‘F2’ to rename the tab and even change it’s favicon anytime someone walks in through that door.

13. Twitterfox
A complete twitter client that runs within Firefox. Probably the best Firefox-based Twitter client out there.

14. Twitterbar
This extension lets you post to Twitter from your address bar. I used this before I discovered Twitterfox. Haven’t uninstalled / disabled it tho.

15. Web developer
This extension comes as a toolbar. I rarely find myself using it although it has features that should be interesting to a web developer.

16. Xmarks
Formerly known as Foxmarks, this plug-in backs up your bookmarks to an online service and allows you share them across multiple computers and multiple browsers including Internet Explorer. Cool.

17. Yahoo Mail Notifier
This extension sits in my status bar and reminds me of how much junk I have in my Yahoo mailbox. I barely pay attention to it.

18. Zemanta
I just installed this today. It helps improve the way you blog by displaying links, excerpts, and images relevant to your blog post. It support over 10 popular blogging platforms and is also integrated with Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

19. Download Statusbar
I cant believe I almost forgot this one. This extension helps you keep track of your downloads in an unobtrusive status bar.

Do you know of other extensions myself and other readers could benefit from, sound off in the comments.

Now playing: Celine Dion – Skies Of L.A.

Hard-reset your N82

Has something weird happened to your device, or is it behaving strangely – unlike when you first got it? Then re-installing the OS might be the last option. But what about your messages, contacts and all the goodies you have installed on it?

Yes, your messages contacts and everything on your phone memory will be lost. And I mean it – erased. You might want to back up to your memory card though, as that will remain intact. Using the backup to memory card utility is advised, or better still backup your stuff to your PC using PC Suite.

When you’re done, you have to do the following.

  1. Type *#7370# from the standby screen while your phone is on.
  2. It will ask for the lock code which is 12345 unless you have previously changed it.
  3. Wait for the process to complete
  4. Re-install all of your applications and themes.

This should correct any problems you may previously have. Except some hardware has gone haywire :).

[via then82blog]