Cortana-Edge-Bing integration

Microsoft has taken some action to limit users of Cortana, the digital assistant in Windows 10, to using the Edge browser and Bing search engine. These three are tightly integrated – something that may very well annoy people.

Danny SUllivan writes about it in Microsoft blocks Google Chrome & other browsers from Cortana in latest Windows 10 release, Search Engine Land (Apr 28). Sullivan offers a way to hack the search engine setting, but it still seems pretty locked down. Competing digital assistants – Google Now, Apple’s Siri, etc – do the same.

Directions at DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo now offers maps and directions in a very handy, and meta, way to local services. It is described in the DDG blog post  Directions! with an example from the US. This works in Canada (in Toronto), although Apple Maps is not one of the map choices  –  Bing, Google, Here, and OpenStreetMap. Select the service you prefer and carry on. OpenStreetMap doesn’t have a public transit .

In running the query it can help to include directions! ( although not essential). This search feature is mostly for restaurants. It worked for Queen’s Park, the legislature for Ontario, but not for Art Gallery of Ontario.

DuckDuckGo screenshot of search for Paramount restaurant in Toronto

DuckDuckGo shows maps and directions

ntario or Archives of Ontario.  This limitation seemed true in US cities too.


Google Translate and other services

Google has several translate functions- now available by text, by speech, and by image – plus some other tricks.

Found in Translation at the Reference Desk , Irene E McDermott, Online Searcher (Jan-Feb 2016)

Article has more about translation services being used in libraries and being provided by the librarians to their clients.

“Translation, whether it is human or machine-generated, facilitates free access to information. And that is what public libraries are all about.”

Read it later

If you like to save articles to read later, this article compares Pocket to Instapaper.

Read It Later Showdown: Pocket vs. Instapaper, Thorin Kiosowski, Lifehacker (Jan 31)

When it comes to “read it later” services that let you save articles today to read when you have time, you only have two serious options these days: Pocket and Instapaper. Both are great, but they’ve diverged a bit over the years and play to different strengths.

Reference Management Software

If you need to manage references for your research, you’ll get good use from this review of eight reference-management tools.

Eight ways to clean a digital library, Jeffrey M Perkel, Nature (Nov 2)

This article focuses on eight tools — colwiz, EndNote, F1000Workspace, Mendeley, Papers, ReadCube, RefME and Zotero — all competing in the reference-management market (see ‘Reference-management software’ or download this Excel spreadsheet for a fuller comparison of the software ). Some excel at streamlining the process of browsing and building literature libraries, whereas others focus on creating bibliographies, aiding collaboration through the use of shared workspaces or recommending papers.