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August 29, 2012

Slim Down Bloated Links from Google Search Results

Ever tried to copy a link from Google search results and ended up something messy looking like this:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CEwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.makeuseof.com%2F&ei=wSArUPj0E5Gu8QSd1IGYDg&usg=AFQjCNET_hI9VptfwU-R4oSaJjjI-f0jgA&cad=rja

The messiness is because Google changes the URL to help them track who is clicking on which links. That's fine for Google, but it's frustrating for people like me who want to save or share those links with others.

But there is good news - Makeuseof describes a couple of simple plugins/userscripts which you can install to solve this. I used the Google/Yandex search link fix for Firefox and it works beautifully.


August 17, 2012

The Bluebook Goes Mobile

The Bluebook, a Uniform System of Citation, is now available via the rulebook app for iPhone and iPad. The app allows users to search, highlight, bookmark and take notes. Content is automatically updated when changes occur.

Other legal content is also available for purchase through the rulebook app, including the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence rules.

The rulebook app is free, but once inside users will be given the opportunity to purchase the Bluebook content for $39.99. By way of comparison, the print edition of the Bluebook costs $34.00. (Note that LTN reports that on August 22nd the federal rules will be available for free on rulebook and content will be kept current through the end of the year.)

If you like the idea of accessing the Bluebook electronically, but would prefer to do so on your computer rather than a mobile device, a web-based subscription is also available. Prices for an individual subscription are 1 year for $32, 2 years for $42 and 3 years for $50.

August 6, 2012

Guide to Searching on FDsys - basic search tutorial

GPO has recently released a new series of training video modules on its Federal Digital System (FDsys). The first video introduces the basic search in FDsys and I must say that I was quite impressed.

The basic search is actually very powerful. It allows you to use Boolean operators (and, or, not) as well as quotes to search a phrase, proximity operators (near, before, adj) and parentheses to group searches.

The search results page features some very nice filtering options which allow you to narrow your search by collection, date, author, organization, etc.

The video is on the longer side for a tutorial (11 minutes), but if you search for federal government materials on a regular basis, it is well worth the time.