30 May 2011

Google Advanced Image Search

Many bloggers use Google image search engine to find suitable images for their blog posts but in some cases it takes a long time to find and filter the appropriate results from the amount loaded for your search terms. You may significantly save time if you use Google Advance Image Search instead of Google Image search. You can also switch interface from Basic Search to Advanced Search from the main image search interface by clicking on small hyperlink to advance search under the Search button, if needed.

Google Advanced Image Search is both powerful and easy to use. Following are some simple instructions on how to use Google Advanced Image Search.

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Step 1. Visit Google Advanced Image Search at the following link: http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search. If you plan to use Google Advanced Image Search in the future, it is a good idea to bookmark the site now.

Step 2. Familiarize yourself with the interface. Google Advanced Image Search is extremely intuitive and looks like Google’s advanced search for text information. There are ten easy ways to maximize your image search results – some empty fields in which you can easily enter text, others drop down menus, and others radio buttons. Here is a listing of each of the fields and how to maximize your results with them:
  1. Find results related to all the words- in this field you can easily enter keywords that relate to the image you are looking for. At any time you can go ahead and click on Google Search to begin your search for images.
  2. Find results related to the exact phrase- in this field you can narrow down your search by including phrasal keywords that relate to your search.
  3. Find results to any of the words- for a broader search in which there may not be lots of images available, you can easily add non-specific keywords.
  4. Find results not related to the words- this field can help you to remove ambiguity when a search term may have several meanings.
  5. Content Types: return images that contain- this search field is a radio button that gives the user three different options which are all self explanatory (1. any content, 2. news content, 3. faces)
  6. Size: return images that are- this field is a drop down menu giving the user five different size choices to choose from. The choices are any size, small, medium, large, and extra large. There is no way to input the exact size of an image you are searching for.
  7. File types: return only image files formatted as- this field is a drop down menu where the user can choose the type of files that he or she is looking for. There are five different choices that can be selected: any file type, JPG files, GIF files, PNG files, and BMP files.
  8. Coloration: return only images in- this field is a drop down menu where the user can choose from the following choices: any colors, black & white, grayscale, and full color.
  9. Domain: return images from the site or domain- this is a field that can be inputted with a domain of your choosing. For instance, if you would like to search for an image on Wikipedia, you can easily include the full domain in the box.
  10. Safe Search: Safe search allows a user to ask Google to filter your search. For instance, if you are at work or searching for an image at home with your children, you can use the radio buttons to choose the level of filtering to reduce the chances that unsavory material will appear. There are three choices for Safe Search: no filtering, moderate filtering, and strict filtering.

Step 3. Once you have filled in the criteria that you think best supports your image search, simply click on the Google Search button on the upper right hand corner of the page. If you find that your search has resulted in either not enough or too many listings, you may want to change you criteria and try again.

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22 May 2011

How to make links open in new windows for Blogger blog?

If you design your blogs with lots of links to other blogs and web sites, you probably like to make the links to the other blogs and web sites open in a new browser tab or window (depending upon reader preference). That helps with reader retention (for you), and increases convenience (for your readers).

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Unfortunately, in all of the Blogger GUIs, there's no selection for "Make links open in new window". If you want all links in your blog to open in a new window, you can do this with a simple template change as described below. If you want specific links to open in a new window, you will have to manually code each link individually.

To make all links open in new window is amazingly simple. Just sign into Blogger DASHBOARD > DESIGN > EDIT HTML to open template editor

Use keyboard shortcut ctrl+F to find <head> and immediately after that, add a single line
<base target='_blank' />

so that it become

<base target='_blank' />

Save the edited template and all links in your blog will now open in new tabs or windows.

If you prefer selective links not to open in new window/tab but to open in the same window, as you have now, add the attribute target="_self" for those links you want to open in the same window/tab.

Blogger who have multiple internal links, might not find the presented solution as acceptable since they might not like the idea to open ALL links in a new window, or to edit each link manually. The target is open in the new window just external links from your blog (what happens if the user clicks on your archives, or on the title, or on comment links, or on a javascript link?)
Here is a vanilla javascript solution, that you want to paste into your template just before the end of the body (if you're old-style template), or paste into a javascript widget:

Replace XXXXXX with the appropriate URL prefix.

<!-- code for turning all non-blog links to new page links -->
<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">
   var arr = document.getElementsByTagName("a");  //get all links in the page
   for(var i = 0; i < arr.length; i++)
      if(arr[i].href.indexOf("XXXXXX.blogspot") < 0 //not links that are 'inside' blog
         && arr[i].href.indexOf("javascript:") < 0) //not javascript links
         arr[i].target = "_blank";

10 May 2011

How Anonymous is Anonymous Blogging?

There is a feeling that when you are online, you are anonymous, you are free to say, to do, or to blog anything. Partially, that is true. Mainly because there are so many online records, that nobody really cares about what you say. Definitely, unless you blog about terrorist activities and create guide on how to make a nuclear bomb at convenience of your home. But in case somebody really cares of what you say and who you are, your anonymity might be really stripped, and you may face the organization or the person in public, whom you never expected to meet other than through virtual pathways of Blogosphere. Presenting an article from ArsTechnica on the topic.

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US courts have historically looked on anonymous bloggers and commenters with a sympathetic eye, but there are exceptions. A Tennessee judge denied a blogger's motion to quash a subpoena to reveal his identity last week, and he also denied a motion to dismiss the case. With few other options available to him (or her), the blogger in Swartz v. Does looks likely to be revealed.

Even on the Internet, anonymity is never absolute... especially when you're accusing someone else of arson and tax evasion.

Critical blogging

It all started when a "prominent" couple in Old Hickory, Tennessee found themselves the target of an entire blog called Stop Swartz. Donald and Terry Keller Swartz were involved in local politics and maintained an active real estate business, in addition to operating a halfway house for those recovering from substance abuse. 

The blog in question, however, painted the Swartzes in a very unflattering light—the anonymous blogger(s) heavily criticized their real estate activities and, among other things, accused the couple of committing arson, failing to report property sales in their local registry, and of being drug addicts themselves.

If this was all false, it would be considered defamation, which made up one part of the Swartz's lawsuit against the blogging Does when it was filed in February 2008. The other part of the lawsuit centered around privacy—the Stop Swartz blog had called out to readers to report back any time they spotted a Swartz anywhere inside or outside of town.

"It sends a clear message to Don and Terry that their actions are not being ignored . . . . We will tolerate their crap no longer," the blog said.

The Swartz's subpoenaed Google to reveal who was behind the Stop Swartz blog—a common tactic in cases like this. While many other anonymous bloggers don't show up in court, John Doe #1 filed a motion to quash the subpoena. In March 2009, the court denied Doe's motion but granted a temporary Protective Order to keep him or her anonymous until further review.

Doe then filed a motion to have the case dismissed. At that time, Doe tried to argue that the Swartzes had failed to prove that he was a real person who could be sued in a state court, that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act would protect him against liability of any comments made by his readers, and that the First Amendment protected users' rights to criticize public figures.

The CDA claim might have meant something if the blog itself didn't induce readers to start spying on the Swartzes and report back—if users (and only users) had merely posted the comments on their own with no invitation, it would practically be an open and shut case.

As for whether Doe is a human being who can be sued, well... we suppose there's no obvious way to prove that, but the court decided in its judgment last week that it did have jurisdiction over Doe thanks to a past blog post indicating that he owned a home in Old Hickory.

While the court agreed with Doe that the Swartzes had failed to produce evidence of defamation in one of the claims, it denied his other claims. "[T]he court recognizes that anonymous speech is entitled to First Amendment protection. [...] However, just as other forms of speech are limited by defamation or privacy considerations, Internet anonymous speech is not entitled to absolute protection," wrote the court.

Ultimately, the court said that the Swartzes have the right to discover Doe's identity. In similar cases—such as one involving anonymous donut shop critics, a blogger critical of a local police department, and a blog commenter who targeted a Massachusetts real estate developer—the courts felt that commenters were within their free speech rights. If Doe actually gets unmasked, it could set a precedent for future cases regarding anonymous speech.

Doe has one last chance before his or her name gets splashed across Internet headlines. The judge said that his decision would be subject to interlocutory appeal, meaning that a ruling from a higher court could overturn his decision even before the case itself is over (most appeals can only be made after a trial is concluded). Doe might still get lucky with such an appeal, but at this point, he or she looks likely to show the rest of the anonymous Internet just where the limits of anonymity lie.

02 May 2011

Zoundry Raven Open Source Desktop Publishing

On the RateItAll Rating List of the best freeware desktop blog publishing utilities the Zoundry Raven got to the top 5 programs on the list among 39 reviewed applications. Since February 2009, this program has been release as an Open Source and is available for free distribution for any purposes. It is a simple to use WYSIWYG blog editor that helps to arrange posting to your blogs convenient and fast. It has been designed with simplicity of use as a word processor, with additional tools to add links, tags, photos, music and video files to your posts.

It was also included by PCMag in its respectable collection of the best freeware utilities for blogging for year 2011.

Main Features

  • Tabbed WYSIWYG Editing: Powerful XHTML editing is embedded inside the intuitive user interface so you can be sure that what you create is what others will see online.
  • Multiple Blogs Made Easy: If you have multiple blogs for different audiences, you will enjoy writing and publishing your posts to separate blogs all with one editor.
  • Improved Content Management: With the powerful indexer, you can browse all of your previous posts across all of your blogs by tags, links, or images.
  • Manage multiple media storage services: Set up different media services (Picasa, Image Shack, Ripway, custom FTP) for different blogs. Share single media service with multiple blogs.
  • Portable Application: You can install Raven as a Portable Application on your flash/thumb drive, not requiring installation on the hard drive and not affecting any registry settings.
  • Supported Blog Platforms: Blogger, Movable Type & TypePad, Windows Live Spaces, WordPress, and more...


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