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Microsoft told users to switch browsers due to flaw in IE Wednesday, 17 December 2008 3:44 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week.
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If you haven’t switched to Firefox (or other better Web browsers), you should!

Microsoft is releasing a patch for the Internet Explorer flaw which has affected more than 2m computers worldwide.  (The flaw lets hackers gain access to your computer and your personal data if you visit certain web sites that have been infected with the malicious code.)  The patch should be available on the Microsoft Update website at 6pm GMT today.

Read more on the Guardian Web site (or other major news sites):
Microsoft to release patch for IE flaw

IE users told to switch browsers over flaw


Installation Wiki Wednesday, 26 September 2007 5:08 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, free/Open Source Software, wikis.
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The Installation Wiki provides comprehensive and free guides to installing software and it’s an open wiki.  The front page has a variety of categories, including open source, content management, Web development, databases, Java, PHP, Microsoft and .NET, and Networking and Telephony.  Choose a category and you’ll get a list of software.   I checked on some of the open source software like Moodle, it has very detailed instruction on how to install and configure the software.

via ResearchBuzz

New in Google Scholar: finding “Related Articles” Tuesday, 22 August 2006 3:13 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, What's new at Google?!.
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For every Google Scholar search result, you can now see a list of articles that closely related to it by clicking on the “Related Articles” link that appears underneath each result. The list of related articles is ranked primarily by how similar these articles are to the original result, but also takes into account the relevance of each paper.

This is extremely useful when authors/scholars in some fields (esp. those new fields) use different terminology for the same concept.

Finding sets of related papers and books is often a great way for novices to get acquainted with a topic. However, we’ve found that even experts can sometimes be surprised to discover related work in their area of expertise.

Read the whole story on the Official Google Blog.

Doing math (and more) in Google Saturday, 27 May 2006 2:15 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, search engines, What's new at Google?!.
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When I gave the presentation (see my post on this) to Amy's Math Research Group, I noticed the students don't know much about many functions that Google search provide except keywords search, so decide to blog a bit about these tips, such as:

calculator function: e.g. type "1245^3" (without the quotes) in the search box, you'll get the answer in no time. For more about the calculator function, check out this on Google Help Center, or the complete instruction.

units conversion: Those of us that are familiar with the metric system (SI) would go nuts with the units such as inches, gallons. With Google, it's easy. For example, type "5 inches in cm", you'll get

  5 inches = 12.7 centimeters

in less than 1/2 second.

number search: You can type specific numbers (patent number, FedEx tracking number, etc.) in Google's search box. If you type FedEx tracking number, you'll get the latest info on the package that you're tracking (cool, yeah?).

site search: say you're search something related to CofC but found the college's website search just doesn't work that well, you can add "site:cofc.edu" (without the quotes) after your search terms. You can also use this to do domain search, say add "site:gov" to your search will find only those government sites that related to your topic.
Here's a one-page cheat sheet "Better searches, Better results" that you may find useful.

Also remember, as almost any other search engine, Google has an Advanced Search interface that would serve many of these advanced search features and more (and you don't have to memorize these techniques!).

hack Google Maps to find your library’s (or any location’s) latitude and longitude Thursday, 4 May 2006 5:11 pm

Posted by Dongmei in API, featured IT of the week, Web 2.0, What's new at Google?!.

While playing with Google Maps and trying to incorporate Gmaps on my web site (or my blog), but no success so far, however, learned a new trick to find out a location's geocoding (you do need to know the physical address), here's how:


  1. go to Google Local (Google Maps: http://maps.google.com)
  2. enter the address you want to search in the search box
  3. click and hold on the map and move it just slightly (a few pixels if you can manage it), then release
  4. click “Link to this page” in the upper right hand corner, look in the address bar (URL), you should see &ll=xx.xxxxxx, xx.xxxxxx
  5. everything that follows &ll= is your Lat & Long (Lat, then Long separated by a comma).

e.g. for Addlestone Library: 205 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC 29424

using the steps above, you'll find its

Lat (latitude) = 32.793408

Long (longitude) = -79.940386

Cool, huh?