Category Archives: Software

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DIAGRAM Center Provides Guidance on Accessible Images

Here at ProfHacker we’ve written several posts over the years about accessibility of digital resources for all people, including people with disabilities. Right now, my campus is engaged in a 3-year plan to get all of our digital pedagogical resources to adhere to federal regulations regarding accessibility. One issue that has been the subject of many conversations is the use of images and how best to make them accessible while still fulfilling their function in teaching.

I’m a big fan of WebAI…

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Searching Multiple Libraries with the Chrome Library Extension

The Chrome Library Extension in action

Several weeks ago, I was reading through my news feeds, and came across an interesting post at LifeHacker. That post described Library Extension, a very useful Chrome extension1 that works with Amazon’s site (reports in the comments section of the LifeHacker post indicate that it works with the Goodreads site, too, though I’ve not tested it).

You can see the extension in action in the screenshot at the top of this post. The extension allows you to add whatever libraries you’d like (they curre…

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Simplifying Timeline Creation with TimeLineCurator

Editing a TimeLineCurator timeline

Timelines are a useful visualization tool, and we’ve written about them a lot over the last several years. In addition to Billie’s overview of timeline apps for PCs, we’ve also covered specific applications such as Bee Docs, Dipity, TimelineSetter, and TimelineJS. Of these, TimelineJS is the one I’ve used most frequently, and like the best. The timelines it outputs look great, and are easy to navigate. The tool does, however, require creating a Google Spreadsheet and entering the timeline inf…

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Switching to Atom for Web Coding

As a web developer I am in many ways a creature of habit: I started making websites back when the “blink” tag was still cool, under construction GIFs were all the rage, and every site declared with images whether it was designed to land on the Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator side of the browser wars. At the time, there weren’t many options of great tools for working with HTML and JavaScript: WYSIWYG, or “what you see is what you get” editors, produced convoluted and messy code if used f…

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How to Simplify Flickr Photo Attribution

We’ve long been fans of Flickr here at ProfHacker. For example, it’s where we get most of the lead images for our posts and we’ve recommended using Flickr photos to make better slides for presentations. A great feature of Flickr is the wealth of images that have been licensed for re-use — thank you, Creative Commons! — but many people will re-use the Flickr images they find without providing the necessary attribution. This is not cool (and often a violation of the license under which the image …

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Alternatives to Storify (Revisited)

Over six years ago, Ryan first introduced ProfHacker readers to Storify, an online tool for curating information from a variety of sources and presenting it to your audience in a user-friendly format. I’ve enjoyed using Storify over the years, but it has it’s problems.

For example, back in October of 2012 I wrote about a Storify problem encountered by my students that prompted us to generate this list of alternative web services that function similarly to Storify. Although this was a useful exe…

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Using Text Analysis to Discover Work in JSTOR

grounds in coffee

JSTOR have just announced the JSTOR Labs Text Analyzer, a clever tool–still in Beta–that will analyze any document you upload (or text that you copy and paste) and find suggested matches in the JSTOR archives. It’s an interesting proposition–if you click that link on a phone, you can even take a picture of text and the Analyzer will process that.

You can find out more about how it works at this link, but I thought it would be fun to run it through a paper I published a while back. The paper was…

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Data Security and International Travel

I just found out that I’ve been accepted to present at this summer’s Digital Humanities Conference in Montreal. I’m really excited to be able to talk about the Digital Liberal Arts and Infrastructure, as well as the opportunity to be able to go back to Montreal, where I’m from. Except this year, going “home” isn’t going to be as simple.

We’ve written before here on ProfHacker on securing out data, but our most secure passwords won’t protect you if you are required to hand over said passwords …

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Cemmento Addresses the Problem of Preserving Digital Annotations

Here at ProfHacker, we’re interested in digital tools for annotation. Over the years our authors have covered such tools as Google SideWiki, CommentPress and digress.it, Reframe It and Diigo, Scrible, and Hypothes.is. And as the comments to this post asking “How Do You Annotate in Your Class?” reveal, our readers are very interested in digital tools for annotation, too.

One sticking point with such tools, however, is that the annotations that are made on a published online may become useless if…

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Firefox Focus Browser Provides Privacy and Content Blocking

For a few months now I’ve been intermittently using Firefox Focus to browse the web on my iPhone. It’s a free web browser for iOS, created by the Mozilla Foundation, the same folks behind the Firefox browser. What makes Firefox Focus different, however, is the fact that it’s designed to be “a dedicated privacy browser with tracking protection and content blocking.

In other words, if you don’t want your Amazon shopping history (to cite one potential scenario) being communicated to the other webs…