Morning Toolbox – October 9, 2012 – Standards, Privacy, Copyright and Money

Morning Toolbox is a daily digest of interesting tools and techniques that skeptics can use online.

Web developers often have to run from site to site to check on specifications, bug reports and so on while developing websites that work correctly in all browsers. The top browser vendors and several other technology giants have gotten together to collect all that info in a single site called

The Sophos computer security blog confirms that story from Friday about URLs in Facebook private messages being counted, and agrees with me: “It means that sharing a link that outrages, disgusts or appalls the sender will result in that website’s Facebook Like counter going up.”

On a related note, if you are concerned about privacy of your activities on Facebook and other sites, a new Chrome browser plugin called PrivacyFix was released today. It covers Google, Facebook and about 1,000 other websites. I wonder how skeptic web sites will fare, in general? Are we good at honoring our users’ privacy?

Twitter has added a new alphabetic directory of user profiles. It’s not all that useful for humans (no search function, for one thing) but it should help search engines find all Twitter user profiles more easily.

Also at that same site, some tips on link-building. I’ve also written about how skeptics can build links.

One advantage to free blog hosting at Blogger is you can now easily run ads using Google AdSense and make some money. Google just extended this ability to the UK as well.

After some unfortunate copyright scuffles, SurlyAmy has decided to release a bunch of her art under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. This allows other skeptics to make use of the art, as long as they give Amy credit and also freely license what they create. Bravo!

Congratulations to Seth Kalichman, who received a grant earlier this year from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a project entitled “Establishing an Anti-Vaccine Surveillance and Alert System”  It will be “an internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting misinformation communication campaigns regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts.” There’s a skeptical tool we need badly! (Hat tip to Orac for mentioning it in a blog post).

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One thought on “Morning Toolbox – October 9, 2012 – Standards, Privacy, Copyright and Money

  1. Pingback: Morning Toolbox – October 11, 2012 – Legal Threats and Fair Use « Skeptical Software Tools

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