Friday, July 29, 2011

Google+ Tip: Bring +1 with You

Google's new +1 button is undoubtedly becoming familiar. It shows up next to search results, next to adds, and next to posts and comments in their new social network Google+. It means simply that you approve, like or recommend the site, article, post or comment in question. Google has a description of the +1 button on the web.

It is important to note that if you +1 a site or article on the web (but not for posts and comments in Google+), it may show on your profile. There is a tab devoted to +1's. You have control over whether this tab shows on your profile. Edit your Google profile, go to the +1 tab, and uncheck "Show this tab on your profile" if you want a little more privacy.

The real reason for this post however is that there are a few helpful extensions for +1. Not every news site or blog has the +1 button yet. The Plus One extension for Chrome gives you a +1 button for any website you visit. For those still actively using Facebook, the +OneFB extension for Chrome gives +1 buttons on Facebook. If someone shares a link on Facebook, you can Like it and +1 it. Finally, the 1-Up for Google+ extension for Chrome turns the +1 button on Google+ into a Mario Brothers style 1-up mushroom.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Google+ Tip: Use RSS for Twitter

My Twitter account languishes mostly unused. It's a funny story. I was stranded in Texas last Christmas trying to make it to the northeast. So I signed up for Twitter to follow the timely news from the airlines. That was immensely useful. Since then a few friends have joined Twitter, but they're mostly on Google+ now. So I asked myself what do I need twitter for?

In fact, there's only one stream of updates I would really miss: NY_NJairports, my favorite source of New York area airport information. I also occasionally find the AmtrakNEC stream useful, but I don't know that I'd miss it.

Here's the trick: you can follow Twitter feeds via RSS. I regularly check Google Reader, so that's perfect!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Google+ Tip: Bring Your Photos

Do you want to move to Google+ but have a lot of Facebook photos you don't want to lose?

Fear not. Download the Move Your Photos extension for the Google Chrome browser. It gives you the option to download all your Facebook photos to Picasa, from which you can share them on Google+. I have used it and it works well. The only downside is that the extension doesn't download others' photos in which you are tagged.

The other option is PhotoGrabber which has downloads for Windows and OS/X, but also works on Linux. I also tried this, and it does allow downloading all Facebook photos including other users' albums containing pictures of you. You then have the burden of re-uploading them to Picasa. However, there is one caveat: those other users must be friends. Facebook allows others to have you tagged even if you aren't friends, and will happily show you their photos even if you aren't friends. Those photos you can see but PhotoGrabber can't download. This is probably not a burden for most people, but caused me some problems.

If you use Firefox, you may also be interested to know there is this Firefox add-on. I haven't tried it, so I can't share any firsthand experience. However, rumor has it that this extension is slower than the above Chrome extension.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Facebook: A Retrospective

As we as a society slowly migrate away from Facebook, it is important to remember why we embark on such a large undertaking. If you ever find yourself in doubt, here are some compelling reads:
And if you still don't believe it, here are some highlights from Facebook stories over the years:

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Polynomial Odyssey

Classify all polynomials with real coefficients which map rational numbers to rational numbers and irrational numbers to irrational numbers.