Sunday, January 6, 2013

Use Wolfram Alpha to Create a Strong Password

The next time you need to create a strong password try Wolfram Alpha. If you enter "password" or "generate password" into Wolfram Alpha it will give you a random eight character password as well as some alternate passwords.
Obviously, I'm not going to use any of these passwords and you shouldn't either.

I picked up this little tip from Tekzilla Daily.

Handy New Diigo Browser Extension Features

Over the last month I've started using Diigo as my primary tool for bookmarking links. Yesterday, Diigo released a new version of their browser extension. The updated extension includes some features that are quite handy.

The most significant of the updates is a streamlined screenshot process. Now you can click the browser extension to take a screenshot of the page that you're viewing. You can capture all or part of a page in your screenshot. Your screenshot can be annotated with the integrated Diigo drawing and typing tools. All screenshots can be saved as individual files in your Diigo account or attached to the URL that you're bookmarking.

The updated Diigo browser extension now includes the option to save images that you find on the web as stand-alone files or attach them to a URL that you're bookmarking.

Why I'm now using Diigo more often than Evernote:
I'm sure that some people will be wondering why I've started using Diigo more than Evernote. The answer is simple, over the last month Evernote was annoying me with little quirks like significant lags in synchronization time and the browser bookmarklet not opening correctly on the first try.

If you've never tried Diigo, watch the video below for an overview of its features. Click here for a list of the browser and mobile tools that Diigo offers.

Diigo V5: Collect and Highlight, Then Remember! from diigobuzz on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
I've always thought that Diigo's group options were great for sharing bookmarks with students and colleagues. The screenshot option in the updated browser extension could be great for highlighting a portion of an article and sharing it with students. Annotating screenshots is also a great way to create how-to documents to use when you're introducing students to a new web tool.

Strategies for Getting Things Done in 2013

Last week I discovered two new-to-me strategies for getting things done.

Put One Fun Thing On Every To-Do List
This came from the description of a to-do app for iOS that I was trying. I decided not to write about the app because it wasn't that great, but the description of it inspired me to start putting one fun thing on my to-do lists. The idea here is that my to-do list won't be just a list of chores. I'll also have some incentive to get the chores done quickly so that I have time for my fun thing(s).

Write an Accomplished List
This idea came from a notepad that I found in my room at a Marriott hotel. Writing the list of things that I accomplished in the day is a lot more fun than just crossing items off of a list. I'm even listing simple things like "read one chapter in my new book." And I'm including my "fun thing" on my accomplished list too.

Bonus: Make a "fun" New Year's Resolution
This is a variation on an idea that Norm MacDonald (yes, the Canadian comedian) shared in a Grantland article. We tend to think of New Year's resolutions in terms of things that are difficult to change. What if we had a fun corollary to each difficult resolution? When you do one, do the other too. (Of course, I'm talking about fun resolutions that aren't bad for you. Norm MacDonald wasn't using it the same way in the article of his that I read which is why I didn't directly link to it).