Digital Overload and the Inbox

The Globe and Mail ran a series on digital overload. Erin Anderssen writes that our addiction to email, web browsing, social media is adding stress and distraction. It very likely is affecting health.

Digital overload: How we are seduced by distraction, (March 29)

“We have been seduced by distraction,” says psychologist Daniel Goleman, the author of Focus: the Hidden Driver of Excellence. “We are being pulled away from paying attention to the things that enrich our lives.”

E-mail inbox stressing you out? Here’s what you can do about it Add to … (March 30)

Email is not dying; it’s predicted to increase from 191 billion in 2014 to 206 billion by 2017. There can be real stress in dealing with email – not to mention interruption.  Article has suggestions for reducing email stress. I like the idea of deleting old emails and starting again.

E-mail is not just a work hassle, but a health hazard. New research suggests the stress of dealing with over-stuffed inboxes shortens our breath, speeds up our hearts and spikes our blood pressure – often without us noticing.

Browser protection

Here are 6 extensions to use with Firefox for hiding your identity and protecting you from bad things – and 5 of them work for Chrome also.

Use These 6 Extensions To Improve Privacy & Security On Firefox, Mihir Patkar, Make Use Of (April 2)

Adblock Plus is on the list because it will also block “worms, trojans and other types of malware.” Just a matter of subscribing to Malware Domains.

Disconnect Search is mentioned – search Google but without being tracked or recorded.

Online marketing in Canada

Canadians are spending more time online more through mobile devices. There aren’t hard figures yet, but the shift to smart phones and tablets is clear.

How Canadians are using the Internet differently , Susan Krashinsky, The Globe and Mail (Apr 1)

The challenge to advertisers is clear: adapting their advertising to stay in touch with people whose online media habits are becoming even more fragmented than before.

Open Access update

This article describes the growth in acceptance of open access journals and repositories and the economics of open access publishing.

Open Access: Progress, Possibilities, and the Changing Scholarly Communications Ecosystem By Abby Clobridge, Online Searcher (March/April 2014)

Of interest: “Their study, produced for the European Commission DG Research & Innovation, found that by the end of 2012, nearly half of all peer-reviewed, scholarly research published in 2008 was freely-available on the web in some form.”

BIng and Entity Search

Bing is driving forward with entity search. While Google wants to be an “answer engine”, Bing is saying it is a “do engine” for helping people take action – book that restaurant reservation.

Microsoft Has Big Plans For Bing’s Entity Engine, Frederic Lardinois, Techcrunch (Mar 30)

Microsoft clearly has big plans for using entities in Bing and products that rely on it; the company plans to open up a part of this entity engine so more third-party sites will be able to highlight some of their features on Bing.

Chrome custom search

Use the Chrome address bar for running specialized searches by setting up own custom search engines. This goes beyond adding a favourite site to search such as IMdb. This article shows how to set up very specific tools such as Google Translate, Yahoo Finance, Facebook search, whois, and many more.

How To Create Custom Search Engines In Google Chrome To Boost Productivity by Mahesh Mohan, Minterest (Nov 7, 2013)