The dark side of the web

Congratulations on reaching week twelve of learning 2.1.

This week we are looking at the dark side of the Internet and specifically how to be a street-wise Internet user.

Malware is defined as computer software that is malicious in nature. It is generally understood to be software created to disrupt, damage or collect information from you without your knowledge.

An example of malware that is disruptive is popup advertising. You have all seen the annoying ads for pharmaceuticals, mortgages or legal services that popup as you use the Internet. They are easily controlled by enabling the popup blocker in your browser.

Trojans and worms are examples of malware that can damage your computer. These programs get into your computer by attaching themselves to programs or files that are frequently downloaded. They can also attach themselves to web pages and email messages. Once in your computer, they can release a virus or gather up information and send it back to the hacker that wrote it. Reputable anti-virus software packages will effectively block worms and Trojans.

Keyloggers, spyware and phishing scams are examples of malware that is designed to collect information about your or from you, without your explicit knowledge. Once they have gathered your information, usually usernames and passwords to your financial accounts, they allow criminals to access your accounts and help themselves. Defending against keyloggers and spyware can be done primarily by not opening email attachments from unknown senders and using one of the commercially anti-spyware products. Websites that off "free" software or music downloads are great places to get infected with spyware - try to avoid them.

Phishing scams are much more difficult to defend against because their target is you and not a computer component or system. The hackers that create phishing scams are using psychology and social engineering to gather the information that they need. As a result, you have to be very aware and almost suspicious of every email you receive and website that you visit.

You can see a current state of virus and other threats here.

Blog points
Have you ever been the target of a phishing scam? Did you recognize it as a scam right away? What tipped you off? Blog about your experiences with malware or phishing attempts - do not provide any information which may lead to a phishing attempt.

Which web 2.0 tools would you like to find more about?

Before you finish please fill in this evaluation of this course.

Congratulations on finishing this course. There is just one more thing to do. Add this blog to your rss feeds as we plan on adding posts about other tools of interest in the coming weeks.

Ellen and Mylee

Mashups revisited

This week we are revisiting mashups, because they keep changing and expanding.

There are thousands of mashups out there. Popular services like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and GoogleMaps have thousands of mashups.

Try a search on the name of one those services (or any other service you like) and use the name and mashup and you will have an avalanche of results.

Many Web 2.0 sites like those mentioned above encourage people to develop mashups. They make their Web development tools or APIs (Application Programming Interface) available to outside developers. Here are Flickr's and Twitter's.

Here are some other interesting mashups for you to explore:
bkkeepr is a Twitter mashup that lets you track your reading and bookmark on the go, via the web and SMS.

BookTour makes finding when a favorite author is coming to your town (if you live in the US) as easy as checking the weather. Has features for authors, too.

LibWorm-Mashes up updates from 1400 RSS feeds+ from library sites. The contents of these feeds are then available for searching & search results can be output as an RSS feed that the user can subscribe to in his/her aggregator.

LibWorm is intended to be a search engine, a professional development tool, and a current awareness tool for people who work in libraries or care about libraries.

Visual Headlines is a Flickr mashup that pulls in images that relate directly to current headlines from CNN.

Interestingness provides a daily dose of interesting photographic inspiration from Flickr.

Flickr Memari-Create, customize, and send a memory matching game from your Flickr images.


Let Me Google That for You does what its says. Proably one not to use for library clients, as you are supposed to be helping them.

CrimeReports-A Google Maps mashup that lets you search crime reports by location in near real-time. Note this is US location data

Walkable-Find the "walkability" score of over 2500 neighborhoods. Note this is US location data

Australian mashups
Mashup Australia was a government competition held last year. Have a look at some of the winning mashups here.

1 Explore some of the mashups above and add one or more to your blog--or blog about it.

2. Search the Web and find a few more mashups that look useful.

3. Share what you've found.

4. Make a Mashup-These sites let you find and combine info to make a "custom" mashup. Embed it in your blog.

Ellen and Mylee

Instant communication

Many of the web 2.0 communication tools allow you to communicate with
people at times totally of you choosing, you can blog when you like,
post to Flickr or tweet at times which suit you. There are also good
options for when you are online at the same time as other people you
want to have a discussion with.

Instant messaging
Instant messaging is chat communication over the internet. Many web
2.0 tools have instant messaging (or IM) included in their range of
services (Yahoo and Google to name a few).

Quite a few libraries offer IM as a way of contacting them for example the University of North Carolina library and Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Both of these examples show a range of IM options.

Most online games have chat communication as well as does Facebook.

Most IM have a audio and video chat option as well as a typing option so you
can talk with the person online as well. You need a webcam and microphone for this.

With any kind of IM you have to be online at the same time as the person you are
talking with (typing with).

Try Instant Messaging You will need to line up someone to do this
with you - feel free to contact to chat.

Skype is telephony over the internet. It needs a registration (free) and some software installed on your computer. You might light to try it out. Feel free to contact me on skype (ellen_forsyth)

Twitter discussions
Twitter discussions are focused interactive twitter posts, usually
based around a #tag. This allows people to respond to comments and
ideas, and have their responses replied to in turn. This social chat
is an example of this .

Some conference tweeting also merges with this as people respond to the
ideas raised in a session.

Blog points
Try some of the instant messaging tools.
What did you like about them?
How would they be useful in a library?

More with Google docs.

We looked at Google docs in learning 2.0. From feedback received people really enjoyed the wide range of possibilities offered by this tool. Because there are so many options we are back to look at it again.

Please share any of your Google docs hints and tips in the comments at the end of this blog post.

If you have not used Google docs for a while you might like to watch this video about Google docs in plain English
and even if you are a regular Google docs user it will probably be of interest).

Need to find an earlier version of a document?
When you are logged in to your Google docs you can do this by going to File > See revision history. You can then edit from an earlier version or compare an earlier version.

Backup and synchronisation
Did you know you can back up your google doc - offline? See point 5 on this helpful list for information about how to do this

You can even synchronise your online and offline documents - see point 6 about how to do this.

Have a look at the Google docs help information. You can search for information
or you can ask a question in a forum. If you are using a forum it is a really good idea to have searched for the information first.

Try using the help information to create a form.

Looking for more ideas?
Have a look at this helpful list of 100 great Google doc tips. This Google docs guide may also help.

You can browse to find the tip which is of most interest to you.

You can also listen to this talk Advanced Google docs for journalists which has been presented by Columbia University.

Keeping up to date
You might like to add the Official Google Docs Blog to your rss feeds.

Blog points
What google doc tips did you find the most useful?
What google doc tips would you like to share?

Ellen and Mylee

Getting organized : customised home pages and Google tools

I-google is a tool to bring all your Google applications together in one place, your Google docs, your rss feeds (if you are using Google reader), your gmail and so on.  You can also add in other widgets for news, weather and a range of other uses.  You can see an example here.  You can customise the header, as well as the layout.  

 Using i-Google can be a handy way for you to have your own private webpages bringing information of use to you together in one place.  You can have several pages - all using i-Google so that all the key sites you use are in one place in a way which looks a bit different to delicious.

Go to i-google.

Signing in with your existing gmail account (the same log in you use for your blog) will allow you to customise your i-Google page.  You can add themes, news, and useful widgets.  Does this help you organise your tools?

Other similar tools
Ping allows you to bring different social network tools together so that you can post to many sites from the one place.  There are other sites which can also help you manage your social networks.

43 marks is a homepage for many social networking tools.  All my favs works in a similar way.

Some blog points
Was i-google easy to customise?
Do you find it helpful?
You may want to share a sceenshot of your i-google page on your blog.
Did you try any of the other tools as well?  How did you find them?  Do you have any similar tools to share?