Maybe I should start visiting Reddit more often and posting on my blog to drive page views. Then again it’s likely that I’ll pick up the chickpea farming stories:
And then an hour or two — or 12 or 24 — later, there’s a really good chance you’re going to see that popular Reddit post repurposed on Gawker or BuzzFeed. Well, the silly or controversial stuff, at least. (The random nerdy/newsy topical stuff that Redditors upvote — like last Wednesday’s front-pager about chickpea farming — tends to stay in the Redditverse.)
I then remembered that Privoxy is a local proxy server used to filter ads & web pages in general, & it could be used as a local proxy with the authentication added for the main proxy. However, while looking at the Privoxy page on wikipedia, I came across another program called Proxomitron (the developer has unfortunately passed away, but the program lives on) that does pretty much the same thing & is primarily GUI driven (Privoxy has quite a few config files with a frontend, but not as simple to use).
So, here’s a step by step guide to setup Proxomitron as a local proxy to take care of the proxy authentication problem faced by many programs:
1) Start Proxomitron and uncheck the filters (you could leave them checked if you want to use the filtering capabilities, but that adds an overhead to your system) & check the “Use remote proxy” option
2) Click the “Proxy” button to configure your internet proxy server (format – <proxyname>:<port>) and right click on the text field to bring up the advanced proxy settings menu
3) In the advanced proxy settings, enter your username & password for the authenticated proxy & you’re done with the setup
4) Open the “Internet Options” in IE & put in localhost as your proxy & port number as 8080 (unless you’ve changed it)
That’s it and you should now be able to use the programs that make use of the IE proxy settings to connect to the internet. In case any program has its own proxy settings without an option for entering the proxy authentication, just use the same settings as in step 4 & it should work. In fact, you can also use this setup for your iPod Touch/iPhone – you’ll just have to replace the “localhost” address with the IP of your computer, and of course have them both on the same network – to make your net connected Apps work.
Giveaway of the day and Game giveaway of the day are pretty interesting sites wherein they give away a commercial software for free for a period of 24 hours, periodically. The software installers are encapsulated within the giveaway of the day software that connects to their servers to check the validity of the giveaway period. One of the limitations of this software is that it does not work behind authenticated proxies, i.e., proxies wherein you need to enter your userid/password to access the internet (quite common in education institutions).
It seems to use the “Internet Option” settings of Internet Explorer to detect the connection settings. So, the simplest way to use the software behind such a proxy is to use a HTTP tunnel client that creates another proxy layer with the userid/password settings already entered. HTTP-Tunnel Client is a useful software in this regard and can be used to serve the purpose (something I had used earlier to make the State software work behind an authenticated proxy). Just follow the instructions to configure the proxy in the software and change the settings in Internet Options.
Once this is done, the installer should run fine and connect to the server without any errors. It may fail the first time, in which case just try once more.
This is a pretty useful workaround and should work for other software that use the Internet Options connection settings, but do not support an authenticated proxy.
Now that many companies have adopted wikis internally and are beginning to understand their power, why should education institutes be left behind. After all, the knowledge density in education institutes is bound to be as high as, if not higher, than in most companies. Moreover, content creation is part of any education process, and a wiki is an ideal medium for refining the content and making it available to a wide audience. So, what are the stumbling blocks in the widespread adoption of wiki or any knowledge/content management system for that matter?
IBM has WikiCentral, an internal deployment of the Confluence wiki, and I was one of its 125,000+ users. We had wikis for our project, our team and various initiatives. In fact most of the documentation, FAQs etc of our project were on the wiki. So, we could easily refer to them and keep them up to date at the same time.
However, I have found a couple of limitations in wikis during my stint with IBM. Firstly, a wiki (barring wikipedia) is not the reference source (no prizes for guess the first) which means that even if we manage to aggregate a wealth of information, not too many people are going to actually refer to it. This can be tackled in some ways through publicity, which is precisely what was done in IBM. The second and biggest problem is the content creation part which is due to the lack sufficient contributors. Even wikipedia faces this problem (different scales though). I have ended up being one of the handful of contributors to quite a few wikis.
Wiki for SJMSOM
Finding the critical mass of contributors to sustain a wiki is the toughest challenge, and it gets even tougher with a tiny user base. However, I have not yet given up on wikis , and now that I am back to being a student, I find that a wiki is an ideal fit for this environment. There is a lot of information that is exchanged among students, and most of this would be of value in the future too. However, this information in the form of emails and verbal communication which makes the persistence quite low. So, a wiki with its persistence and ease of editing is an ideal medium to store all this information.
I did some exploration of different wiki options on the internet, and found two that were well suited: Wikia and Zoho. In fact, Wikia already has a section for students. However, Zoho has better access control (supports domain level access control), and I chose it as the platform for my b-school wiki. Of course an internal wiki deployment would have been ideal, but I’m just doing this as an experiment to see if it works out.
I have been doing some work on it, and the support for HTML embeds is quite handy for adding different widgets on pages. I have currently kept the wiki visible to the public with the ability to add comments. However, editing is restricted to students from SJMSOM (my b-school). It is currently a work in progress, and I am still trying to find the tipping point of contributors . So, if you have any comments or suggestions, do share them with me.
P.S. My father has blogged on a similar topic “How Important Is Technology For Knowledge Management?”, and it doesn’t seem to be very encouraging for my experiment
I had posted on my online bookmarking dilemma a couple of months back, and had decided to try out two services – diigo and del.icio.us – based on a basic evaluation of different bookmarking services. I tried out both services for about a month and a half in parallel, by using the diigo extension for Firefox to post simultaneously to diigo and del.icio.us. Last month I switched over to the del.icio.us extension for Firefox to post solely to del.icio.us, and I have continued with this primarily due to its better Firefox extension.
Following is a run down of my observations during the trial run with the two services:
I found the del.icio.us extension more handy to use with its suggested tags (your own plus from other users when available) for the bookmarks. The diigo extension on the other hand only had tag auto-completion from the list of tags already used, with no suggestions from tags used by others (it did show other users’ comments when available). Also, the del.icio.us extension provides a button to bookmark the page (something built into the browser Flock by the way) while diigo requires you to either use its toolbar which results in loss of screen real estate (similar to the StumbleUpon toolbar) or right click on the page and choose the bookmark option from the menu (also provided by the del.icio.us extension).
In addition to the ease of bookmarking, the del.icio.us extension also provides a sidebar to search through your bookmarks without having to visit the site.
Currently, the diigo site is easily better than the del.icio.us site which has not undergone much of a change in recent times. diigo provides a much better interface. Also, the del.icio.us site is quite slow.
That said, this is due to change soon with both services running private betas for their new sites. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten an invite to either site though I put myself on the waiting list almost 3 months back. However, from what I’ve seen online, the new del.icio.us site looks similar to what is currently available on diigo. See if you have better luck getting into the beta sites:
Truth be told, I have not had to visit the website of either service much other than to bulk organize some bookmarks and make some setting changes.
diigo has a much larger feature set than del.icio.us, like text highlighting, posting to other bookmarking sites (something I used throughout to keep in sync with del.icio.us), page caching (this seems to the USP for some users if you look at the TechCrunch post comments on the del.icio.us preview) etc. However, on last try, some features like posting bookmark list to a blog (I discovered that diigo was running on Rails due to the error pages I saw when trying to access this feature), seemed to be buggy. I gave up on the post to blog feature on diigo and switched to del.icio.us which seems to work quite well (though the site leaves much to be desired – the password is in plain text).
Final thoughts (at least till the previews are released)
del.icio.us seems to be serving my online bookmarking requirements quite well (too well if you look at my daily bookmark posts) for the time being. diigo has its uses especially if you are collecting bookmarks for some kind of research – the highlighting can be very useful for annotations (you can also see others’ highlighting if present) and the page cache (available but done manually) should ensure that the page is still available in some form even if the source goes down.
I’ll probably give both services another parallel trial run once the previews are released. And the fact that the import/export feature on both services is quite good, switching back and forth between them shouldn’t be much of a pain (though repeatedly typing “del.icio.us” like I did in this post is).
Just came across a list of the first 100 .coms to be registered via this blog post. IBM just missed out on the first 10. The list is comprised of the usual suspects, barring Microsoft (not surprising considering that the period is between early ’85 to late ’87). Here’s the top 15 from the list: