The Download YouTube Videos add-on for Firefox puts a download button underneath the YouTube video which allows downloading videos as MP4 and FLV formats while selecting the quality level at which to save the file.
Most extensions and add-ons that say they allow downloading YouTube videos don’t really work, this one does. If you are using e Chrome, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer, you need to install the Greasemonkey script.
The extension, Turn Off the Lights, darkens everything around the YouTube video. Clicking on the small lamp icon on the toolbar makes the surroundings go dark. This is for making screen clips of the video. This extension works in most browsers and also works on other popular video sites such as Vimeo, Justin.tv, and Dailymotion.
Watching YouTube videos is tiresome due to the ads around each video. The YouTube Options for Google Chrome browser extension hides the ads, annotations, disables autoplay, and hides the comments. It also allows you to change resolution, display size, optional flash pre-buffering, looping/replay, and video audio volume. It has a very useful feature to create a RSS link to the owner of the YouTube video or Twitter author.
If you have to work with a lot of YouTube material, then this thing is a necessary part of your Survival and Sanity kit. It takes some time to find and enable all the setting you need but it is worth the effort.
It’s apparent that Google believes that its search algorithms are capable of determining the searcher’s intent. It is also obvious that Google filters out explicit image content, regardless of user settings. If you don’t believe me, just search for a few sex acts in the image search without any filtering and witness the effectiveness of the over-riding search restrictions.
This leaves the researcher wondering what words are on the “restricted” list. With all the euphemisms for sex acts it is easy to see that searches not related to sex acts might be restricted by Google’s all-knowing, all-seeing, algorithm.
Search Site 3.2 allows you to search within the current site from the search bar, or from the context menu, or by drag-and-drop into the search bar. This makes it easy to do a website-specific search, using the search engine currently selected in the search bar, if the site doesn’t have its own search box. If you use the search bar, type the search terms into the search bar and then click on the Search Site icon that appears in the search box or press Ctrl+Enter.
Searching the current site can also be done by using the right-click (context) menu. Just select the word or words you want to search and select Search Site for selection in the context menu. Unfortunately, the search results do not automatically open in a new tab, you must hold down the ctrl key as you select the Search Site for selection context menu item. Using the ctrl key will move the results to the foreground tab or if using the search bar, hold down Ctrl when clicking on the Search Site icon to display the results in new foreground tab.
I also recommend selecting Enclose the selected text in quotes when searching from context menu in the Options Dialog.
I have written about the site: command in Google before.
The site: command in Google is an invaluable tool for doing Investigative Internet Research (IIR), especially in combination with other advanced operators.
Google site: Tool
Google site: Tool only works Firefox 14 or later on Windows 7.
It allows you to add site: or -site: to modify your Google search results. To limit your query to a particular site in the results, or to re-run the query excluding that site from the results, click the green URL below the result header. This works best on Google.com rather than the country-specific versions of Google. It also works on the encrypted version of Google.com.
This addon requires Greasemonkey.
Boounce is a simple browser add-on available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome that helps you bounce between search engines, topical databases, and searchable websites. It mercifully eliminates duplicate results from Google, Bing, and Blekko.
This works quite well if you need to search through a lot of sites quickly. However, you should only use uncomplicated search terms containing words that are not likely to be filtered-out of the results by the default porn filters of the sites you are searching.
If you copy a lot of material while searching, then in the addon’s options deselect “Use text selection as search term”. This is particularly annoying if you cut and paste to MS OneNote as you conduct your research.
One feature I really like is the ability to right-click on webpage search box to add it to the list of boounceable sites.
The list of search sites included with Boounce may be found at http://www.boounce.com/search-engine-list/
Serious searchers need a proximity search operator. In Google, it’s an undocumented feature.
The Google proximity operator is AROUND(x) which MUST BE IN CAPS. The number sets the maximum distance between the two terms. To make the operator work properly, you must write it in all capitals and place it between the words. It will return results with variables of the words such as plurals, etc., as is normal for Google.
This operator is handy when the combination of search terms is dominated by one term, but you’re interested in the relationship between two query terms. This is particularly important when searching names. A person’s name may appear with a middle initial in some instances and without it in other instances. This operator will find both instances. It will also be very helpful is the person’s last name is common or also used by another prominent person.
Occasionally, we get a request to search for ownership of real property throughout Canada.
The provinces have been granted power over “property and civil rights in the province” in Section 92(13) of The Constitution Act, 1867. As the provinces control the land registry systems, the type of searches available, and their costs, varies by province.
The four maritime provinces (PEI, NB, NS, NL) can be searched by name.
Searching by name in Quebec is not permitted.
In Ontario, searching by name must be done by searching each land registry office. The Province of Ontario has 54 Land Registry offices. First, we search by name to locate possible properties, then we do the sub-search of each property to get the abstract of the title.
In Manitoba, about 85% of the titles are in the system. They can be searched by name, then we have to order documents.
In Saskatchewan, we can search by name. Document costs apply if we find a property.
Searching by name is not possible in Alberta.
We can search in British Columbia by name. There may be additional document costs if we find a property.
Finding Online Communities
- A community of interest is a community of people who share a common interest or passion. These people exchange ideas and thoughts about their common passion.
- On the internet, these communities share their common interest through forums, blogs, and social media.
The Investigator’s Problem
Investigator’s often need access to experts. The problem is:
- finding the right expert
- finding an expert who will talk to the Investigator
- finding an expert who doesn’t overcharge.
First in the usual search engines search for the following:
- topic and community
- topic and forum
- topic and blog
- topic and board
- topic and expert
In Twitter search by:
- topic and expert
- topic and community
Once you have located some sites and experts, ask some very broad questions about the topic that interests you. Evaluate the responses and engage the authors of the best replies in a conversation that will lead you to an expert willing to help you.
Federal Political parties in Canada are only required to report the identities of contributors donating over $200 to one riding association or the central organization. For donations of $200 or less, receipts must be kept by the individual riding associations, but Elections Canada doesn’t record of them. Completely anonymous contributions of $20 or less are permitted.
Elections Canada confirmed in 2007 that individuals could contribute as much as $60,500 over the $1,100 limit – simply by donating $200 to each of a party’s 308 riding associations and Elections Canada would never know about it. Contributions of $200 or less are reported in aggregate, without a break-down by contributor to allow cross-checking across the riding associations.
However, we can search the Contributions & Expenses Database and other databases maintained by Elections Canada.
To find a Google Custom Search Engines (CSE), I usually search the broadest search topic, ie. Economics followed by “google custom search engine”.
Here are two examples of CSE’s found in this manner:
- The Economics Custom Search Engine “searches over 23,000 economics websites and utilizes yolink to mine results and retrieve keyword-rich content” at http://ese.rfe.org/
- OpenDOAR for freely available academic research information at http://www.opendoar.org/search.php
Sometimes what I find is useful, sometimes not. Sometimes you don’t know what the CSE is searching. There is a directory of CSE’s at http://www.customsearchengine.com/ but it isn’t very good.
If you use Add to Search Bar for Firefox, add the CSE’s to the search bar for future use.
Keeping track of sites that don’t offer RSS feeds or email updates can be a problem for Researchers and Investigators.
As of September 30th, Google Reader will be turning off track changes. Track Changes allowed you to create a custom feed to track changes on pages that don’t have their own feed. Page2RSS seems to be one of the few alternatives available to replace this.
Page2Rss will convert any web page to RSS feed. You can even add a button to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar that will create Page2RSS feed for the page you are currently viewing.
Another alternative to Google Reader’s Track Changes is in the bottom left corner of the FeedBlitz home page. Insert a URL and get email updates from a website or blog that doesn’t offer email subscriptions.
Copernic Tracker – automatically looks for new content on Web pages, forums, and Social sites. When a change is detected, our Web site tracking software can notify you by sending an email, including a copy of the Web page with the changes highlighted, or by displaying a desktop alert.
WatchThatPage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page. You can specify when the changes will be collected, so they are fresh when you want to read them. The service is free!