Apr 9 2012
Status updates. Gaming. Photo sharing. These are all part of the Facebook experience online. They’re important parts of the Firefox browsing experience as well!
Here are some tips and tricks for optimizing your Facebook experience on Firefox.
1. Get the latest Firefox. The most important thing is to make sure you’re running the latest version of Firefox for the best experience. Download it now.
2. Optimize plug-ins for Facebook games. If you’re running your mafia, tending your farm or finding words with the highest point value, you’ll want to make sure that your Firefox plug-in settings will allow you to load games.
Make sure your Flash plug-in allows third-party content. Here’s how: Open your Adobe Flash Player Global Settings panel, and make sure “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer” is checked. For other Facebook troubleshooting tips in Firefox, be sure to read our support page.
3. Set an App Tab. If you find yourself typing the Facebook url over and over again, save your fingers and set Facebook as an App Tab, which allows you to always keep it open and just a click away. App Tabs are small, can’t be closed accidentally and open automatically when you start Firefox. Here’s how: Control-click or right-click on the tab you want to turn into an App Tab and select “Pin as App Tab” from the menu.
4. Install a Firefox Facebook Add-on. Firefox has a number of Add-ons that can enhance your Facebook experience. There are many, but here are a few highlights:
– Yoono is a powerful but easy-to-use sidebar for Firefox that helps you simplify your online social life by connecting you to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, GoogleBuzz, Flickr, Yammer, AIM, Yahoo IM and more…all in one place.
– Facebook Translate lets you translate status updates and comments on Facebook, so you can stay in contact with your friends around the world, even if they update their status in their own language.
Our Facebook fans also have some more Add-ons that they recommend for daily use on FirRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
‘Mark Zuckerberg admits in a New Yorker profile that he mocked early Facebook users for trusting him with their personal information. A youthful indiscretion, the Facebook founder \ says he’s much more mature now, at the ripe age of 26.
“They trust me — dumb fucks,” says Zuckerberg in one of the instant messages, first published by former Valleywag Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider, and now confirmed by Zuckerberg himself in Jose Antonio Vargas’s New Yorker piece. Zuckerberg now tells Vargas, “I think I’ve grown and learned a lot” since those instant messages.
And yet the old quote resounds precisely because Facebook continues to stir up privacy controversies at regular intervals. Zuckerberg justifies his privacy rollbacks by saying the social norms have changed in favor of transparency, but, as tech executive Anil Dash tells the New Yorker, that sort of change is much more appealing for a privileged, Ivy Leaguer golden boy of Silicon Valley like Zuckerberg than for his half a billion users, many of whom work for less tolerant bosses and socialize in more judgmental circles.
The dichotomy between Zuckerberg’s philosophy and the lives of his users makes revelations about the Facebook CEO’s own private life all the more interesting. It seems natural to figure that this forceful advocate for transparency is ready to test his own informational boundaries a bit.
And Zuckerberg does open up a little to the New Yorker, admitting that he’s red-green colorblind, and explaining the Mandarin lessons he’s been taking: They’re for a scheduled vacation with girlfriend to Priscilla Chan to China. And Chan, it turns out, is finally moving in with Zuck.
Then there’s Zuckerberg’s defacto unfriending of Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter behind Zuckerberg’s least favorite Facebook movie The Social Network. The CEO had listed Sorkin’s TV show The West Wing as a “favorite” on his Facebook profile, only to remove it under questioning from Vargas. Now Zuckerberg’s re-favorited the West Wing. Curious. Apparently living under the new social norms can lead to old school regret. Even if you’re Mark Zuckerberg.
[Photo of Zuckerberg at an August 10, 2010 press conference at Facebook via Getty Images]
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150,000 College Students to Save $12 Million Using Flat World Knowledge Open Textbooks for 2010/2011 Academic Year
Transformative New Publishing Model Gaining Traction With Faculty, Students, Authors
IRVINGTON, NY–(Marketwire – August 23, 2010) – Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of commercial, openly-licensed college textbooks, today announced another dramatic increase in the number of colleges and classrooms adopting its textbooks. This fall semester, more than 800 colleges will utilize Flat World textbooks, up from 400 in the fall 2009 and up from 30 colleges in the spring 2009.
With Flat World’s textbooks saving the average student $80 per class, the company is on track to save 150,000 students $12 million or more in textbook expenses for the 2010/2011 academic year which begins this month.
Flat World’s year-over-year growth is fueled by the company’s innovative “free and open” textbook publishing model that allows students to acquire complete, high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks at prices ranging from FREE for online access to only $30 for a softcover print book. Other formats include PDF downloads, audio and e-reader versions for the iPad and Kindle, as well as digital study aids.
“It’s gratifying to see the tremendous response to our textbooks and publishing model across a wide range of academic institutions,” said Jeff Shelstad, Flat World Knowledge CEO and co-founder. “By preserving what works from traditional publishing and changing everything that’s broken, our open textbook publishing model is providing substantial benefits to students, faculty and authors.”
For the 2010 fall semester, more than 1,300 educators representing 800 major state and private research universities and community college systems have adopted Flat World textbooks, including the University of Maryland, University of Texas, Carnegie Mellon University, multiple California State University campuses, the Foothill DeAnza Community College District in Calif., as well as institutions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
With a growing roster of top authors and more than 24 published titles and 50 more in the pipeline, Flat World expects to publish textbooks for the 125 highest-enrollment college courses in the next few years. New subjects in the immediate pipeline include algebra, psychology, chemistry, statistics and English composition.
Textbook Pricing Crisis Threatens College Affordability, Graduation Rates
Many students cannot afford to spend $1,000 or more on textbooks each year; a new college business textbook can cost $200. Prompted by concern that textbook costs were rendering higher education unaffordable to students, Congress enacted legislation that went into effect in July as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
In a Public Agenda research report published by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 60 percent of students surveyed said the cost of textbooks and other fees contributed to their decision to drop out of college. If students do stay in school and don’t buy textbooks due to costs, they are at a learning disadvantage.
With fewer students buying new texts, publishers have responded by raising prices and bringing out new editions faster to combat used books. This leads to more sticker shock for students and more work for instructors to rewrite syllabuses.
Flat World Knowledge’s business model and online publishing platform stand in stark contrast to the practices of traditional higher education textbook publishers who’ve fueled the textbook affordability crisis. By eliminating high textbook prices as a major financial barrier to college, Flat World’s unique business model has attracted a growing number of students and faculty converts who have grown frustrated by spiraling textbook prices.
Breaking the Rules to Build a Better Publishing Model
Flat World’s approach begins by keeping what works in traditional publishing. The company signs top scholars and successful authors to write exclusive, high-quality textbooks using industry-tested product development best practices.
But instead of adopting the industry-standard “all rights reserved” copyright license, Flat World publishes under an open Creative Commons license. The open license, combined with a highly-automated publishing platform that keeps costs low, transforms a static text into a dynamic learning resource that is automatically available in multiple low cost formats.
Students Free to Choose Price, Format
“The future is about creating better value, not making it more cumbersome and expensive for students,” said Kyle Blake, a returning business student at Minnesota State University Moorhead. “Flat World understands that students want to be treated as consumers who deserve really good books in any format they wish.”
While many students take advantage of the free online option, more than 50 percent purchase a physical book or other format that fits their individual learning style. To date, the most popular choice is a black-and-white softcover book for $30 — significantly less than most textbooks. Online and interactive digital study aids are also top-sellers at $1.99 per chapter or $14.95 for a subscription.
Softcover books are printed on demand and sold directly to students or through their campus bookstore, minimizing conventional manufacturing and inventory costs.
Flat World has agreements with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Follett Higher Education Group, and NACS Media Solutions to distribute their open textbooks to more than 3,000 college stores across the US.
The company anticipates that more of its sales will transition from print to various digital formats over the next few years.
Faculty Free to Make the “Perfect Book”
Since publishing its first commercially available books in 2009, Flat World reports that one third of its faculty adopters have used the online platform and customization tools to modify their textbooks to reflect their individual approach to their subject — something they can’t do with a conventional text. The open license approach gives them freedom to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the book — the 4 R’s that define open — so long as they attribute the author and publisher and don’t engage in commercial activity.
Flat Word anticipates that 50 percent or more of faculty will customize their textbooks by the fall 2011 semester. This growth in faculty customization will follow the release of enhanced customization tools later this year. Faculty will be able to edit at the sentence level, creating the potential for a richer learning experience for both students and educators.
This semester, Dr. Scott Hunt, professor of economics at Columbus State Community College, and his colleagues created their own version of Principles of Macroeconomics by rearranging content and writing new sections.
“In all the years I’ve been a professor, we’ve never had the perfect book,” said Dr. Scott Hunt, professor. “Now we do, and it’s affordable.”
Why would authors give their books away for free?
Authors have been hurt by the textbook industry’s broken business model. Royalties are dwindling from fewer new book sales. And non-royalty-paying used book sales, book rentals and online piracy sites take a greater share of the market. Authors also face internal competition with titles in their discipline from the same publisher. And many authors are kept on a treadmill of minor revisions for new editions that are coming out at a faster rate.
Flat World is attracting top scholars and best-selling authors by offering a different experience: a new model that allows for faster market entry and a better royalty rate for a bigger return over time combined with a rigorous editorial development process and sales and marketing support. Flat World authors earn 20 percent royalties (the standard is 12 to 15 percent) on all revenue generated around their work, in all channels, sold anywhere in the world. In the open model, authors can benefit from a consistent revenue stream over time since sales don’t drop off dramatically after the first year due to used books sales and rentals.
“I have full confidence in this model because it makes so much sense for students, faculty and authors,” says Steve Barkan, professor of sociology at the University of Maine and author of Sociology: Understanding & Changing the Social World, soon-to-be published by Flat World. “Students, many of whom work part-time jobs, can finally get low-cost access to knowledge. As an author, I feel good about ‘doing the right thing’ and I stand to be well-compensated for years to come.”
A sustainable model for the future of publishing
While the textbook publishing industry struggles to adapt to the Internet’s impact on the way learning materials are consumed, Flat World has seized on the opportunity to bridge the value gap with a sustainable and profitable revenue model for publishing in the 21st century.
“The future of textbooks is all about choice,” said CEO Shelstad. “By giving educators and students high-quality, affordable choices, Flat World Knowledge is helping thousands of students gain access to the education and knowledge they need to realize their potential and succeed in the global economy.”
About Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
Founded in 2007 by senior textbook industry executives, privately-held Flat World Knowledge is a leading publisher of commercial, openly-licensed college textbooks. Written by the world’s top scholars, Flat World books are peer reviewed and professionally edited and developed. Educators have the freedom to use the books as-is, or they can customize them to suit their course requirements. Students can access the books for free online, or purchase low-cost softcover print books, PDF downloads, audio and e-reader versions, as well as study aids at a fraction of the cost of traditional textbooks. More information is available at: http://www.flatworldknowledge.com.
Flat World Knowledge
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SOURCE: Flat World Knowledge
As parents and as social media enthusiasts we have different needs for privacy. As a social media enthusiast you do want your name out there, and maybe even your business address, but certainly not your home address. Right? Jason Calcanis doesn’t trust Facebook, and Jason is kind of a big deal.
Not everything can be controlled, but as Peter Shankman so aptly points out, we are the ones adding the content, so we do have the ability to control some of it. This is a good thing. Here are five easy ways you can begin to safeguard your privacy online.
1. Do not enter your private information online. Really, not for anything, not for Classmates.com, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, resume building sites… everywhere. Either make up an address, don’t enter one, or use a business address. No one really needs your address, they aren’t sending you gifts in the mail.
2. Remove your information from WhitePages.com. Unfortunately WhitePages.com doesn’t follow best practices, it is opt out, as opposed to opt in. You’ll need to search for your name, and then click on each search result to remove yourself from their directory. The very bad news is that both my children were listed at WhitePages.com with our correct address and phone number, the good news is that removal was almost instantaneous. Here’s an example with my friend Lolita’s data. Click here to watch the how to video.
3. Remove your information from Intellius.com. According to Intellius this is how:
In order for us to suppress or opt out your personal information from appearing on our Website, we need to verify your identity. To do this, we require faxed proof of identity. Proof of identity can be a state issued ID card or driver’s license. If you are faxing a copy of your driver’s license, cross out the photo and the driver’s license number. We only need to see the name, address and date of birth. We will only use this information to process your opt out request. Please fax to 425-974-6194 and allow 4 to 6 weeks to process your request. We will only process opt out requests received by fax and no request will be processed without complete information (i.e., name, address and date of birth). Requests for opt out will not be processed over the phone or via email.
4. Use Private registration for your websites. Anyone can go to WhoIs and search for the registered domain owner of any site. When you buy a domain name, you must enter a name, address and phone number, for an extra couple of dollars each year you can hide this information. If you don’t want to make the registration information private, then I suggest a PO Box and a cell phone number.
For the most part we have overshared our own data. Taking it back bit by bit is difficult, but worth doing.
Part of iolo’s ongoing series exposing malicious software
With iolo’s Security Spotlight series, you can read about the various malicious programs that infect computers, destroy data and steal personal information, and get some valuable pointers on how to protect yourself.
Knowledge is power—knowing more about what the high-tech vandals are up to can give you a powerful defense against their tactics.
This part of the series takes a closer look at a stealthy type of malware often used in financial cybercrimes, keyloggers.
What is a keylogger?
A keylogger, also called a keystroke logger, captures all of the keystrokes you make on your keyboard. A criminal can see your passwords, bank account information, credit card numbers, personal email and instant messaging conversations—any and every thing that you type is covertly captured.
How it works is that as you type, all of your keystrokes are saved to a small file that is then silently sent to an email address, web site or waiting server. The hacker can then sift through the data, pull out all the private information needed to access your financial accounts and begin the theft.
A little history
Early keyloggers were designed for legitimate monitoring purposes, such as for parents wishing to track their children’s computer activity (and legitimate keyloggers—software that is intentionally and knowingly installed—are still in use today). However, it didn’t take long for criminals to see the potential of this technology; malicious keyloggers first began to appear in the early 1990s.
Keyloggers of today
Today’s malicious files are more and more often being designed with a profit motive, and keyloggers are a perfect example of this growing trend—the creators of modern keyloggers don’t want to destroy data or cause havoc; they just want to steal money.
Some infamous keyloggers
- From 2005 to 2006, a large criminal ring in Brazil captured people’s bank user IDs and passwords through the use of keyloggers. Before the group of 55 thieves was caught and arrested, an estimated $4.7 million was stolen from 200 different accounts.
- In 2005, Joe Lopez, the owner of a small computer supply company in Florida, sued his bank after hackers stole $90,000 from his business account through the use of a keylogger. Initially the bank refused to return the stolen money, asserting that the theft was due to a security breach of Lopez’s computer, not the bank’s. The case was eventually settled out of court.
Where do keyloggers come from?
To install keyloggers, cyber criminals typically exploit the tools we use to communicate over the web: email, instant messaging and social networking sites are the most common ways these malicious programs are distributed. The thieves send attachments or links that, if clicked, install the keylogger. Keyloggers are also often hidden inside of malicious trojans—and it’s easy to be tricked into installing a trojan because it disguises itself as program that serves a beneficial purpose. (Click here to read more about trojans.)
Another common source of keylogger infections are peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks. These networks allow users to share their own digital content and download the content of others, but unfortunately hackers often use P2P networks to “share” keyloggers and other malware that appear to be useful but in reality are very dangerous.
What do keyloggers do?
Keyloggers are designed to steal—your login credentials, your personal data, and ultimately your money. Once your name and login information are known, it’s easy for hackers to begin the theft; keylogger-based crimes typically involve setting up wire transfers from people’s back accounts or making online purchases with stolen credit card numbers.
While other types of malware can waste system resources, conflict with valid programs and generally just slow your PC down, keyloggers are much more stealthy and are designed to hide themselves unobtrusively: you can’t tell when a keylogger is installed. The infiltration may only be discovered when mysterious charges appear on your credit card or your bank account is emptied.
How you can protect yourself
- Think before you click. Many keyloggers are sent through email, social networking postings and instant messages. And the more sophisticated criminals know better than to use an unknown name—often these malicious messages will arrive under the guise of someone you know. Avoid the temptation to be “click happy”: think before you click and if anything looks a little off, check with your contact to make sure they sent it to you.
- Be cautious of peer-to-peer sites. There are dozens of file-sharing networks out there that offer free access to files. And every one of them is full of keyloggers, viruses and every other form of malware that exists. Either avoid these sites or use them with caution: you’re not getting something for free if your bank account ends up getting wiped out.
- Use anti-malware software. Even with the most diligent preventative measures, malware can still find its way onto your computer. Install and run anti-malware software and turn on the program’s “real-time” feature: this will detect and block a keylogger from sending information from your computer.
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