The Office for National Statistics Postcode Lookup map for the UK. Postcodes are the UK equivalent of the U.S. Zip code system. The service is fast, offers pinpoint precision, and has none of the clutter and label-spam of Google Maps. But there’s no “placename to approximate postcode” conversion widget.
A new paper, “Completeness and overlap in open access systems: Search engines, aggregate institutional repositories and physics-related open sources”. It tests the coverage of papers published from 2001-2013 by Nobel Prize winners in Physics. ‘Not all that many papers, then…’ you might think, but apparently 6,094 items were searched for.
96.8% Google Scholar
96.5% Astrophysics Data System
91.6% Microsoft Academic (current version)
Firefox version 55 was the last to support a number of vital “power searcher” addons such as Element Hiding Helper, Greasemonkey, Google HitHider and GoogleMonkeyR. Since none of these show any signs of updating (and, in the case of Element Hiding Helper, explicitly can’t update due to the new Firefox engine), I felt it was time to try to make a move to a new browser.
The options for the move were:
* Pale Moon, a Firefox fork with good support and development. It seemed to be most seamless in terms of supporting the existing configuration of Firefox extensions.
* Opera. I like Opera, and it would be a lot more hassle to switch to it as a main browser because it only supports Chrome extensions. I don’t want to switch to the Chrome browser itself.
* Brave. I like Brave a lot, and it installed fine on Windows 8 despite only officially supporting Windows 7. It’s definitely “the future of browsing” circa 2019, as well as the future of Patreon-like micro-payments, and I’m keeping it installed. But it’s not yet at version 1.0, and as such it mostly lacks extension/add-on support while in the development phase. Though it already has adblockers and password managers built in, and support for things like Paper.
Eventually I tried (and failed) to make a move to Pale Moon.
Auto migration? Nope. Circa 2014 there used to be a really simple official Profile Migration Tool which would port all your Firefox settings, cookies etc to Pale Moon, but it appears to have been abandoned and withdrawn. Restoring settings Firefox -> Pale Moon via FEBE backup now seems impossible, even for simple backups such as Passwords and Bookmarks. Which means that transferring would be a slog, involving hours of work rather than seconds. I tried it anyway.
Firstly, passwords transfer? I found that Password transfer is fairly easy. Installing Password Exporter for Firefox in Firefox and Password Backup Tool in Pale Moon enabled easy and quick transfer of passwords. Make sure you securely wipe the backup .XML file once the passwords have transferred.
Element Hiding Helper. It’s possible to run Element Hiding Helper but you need the Pale Moon version of AdBlockPlus, Adblock Latitude. Then go into its Preferences and “Enable button”. This button shows up in the left hand bottom corned of the screen, rather than being the usual icon in the top right. If you have Element Hiding Helper installed with this, from this tiny button you get the usual “Select an element to hide”, and then things work as before. Then go to Firefox | Addons | AdBlockPlus | Filter Preferences | Backup. Export your AdBlock settings, and import. Everything gets restored including the subscriptions and Element Hiding Helper settings.
(Remove it Permanently seems to offer an alternative for Pale Moon, albeit with having to start from scratch in terms of your personal blocking of items).
Greasemonkey: Then I tried the most vital UserScripts. The first roadblock here was that scripts enabled by the standard Greasemonkey are not editable. You can’t even tell the script which URL they should apply to. “Edit this User Script” can’t launch, and the Add site can’t write the new URL to the script. The problem there is having the Firefox version of Greasemonkey. What’s needed instead is the Greasemonkey for Pale Moon. Once that’s installed the scripts become editable and writeable.
GoogleMonkeyR: For the script GoogleMonkeyR, you need to explicitly enable multi-column search results on Google (DuckDuckGo multicolumn is handled by this script for Stylish in Pale Moon). This is done via: visit Google, run a search | top-right corner of the browser | Greasemonkey icon | UserScript Commands | GoogleMonkeyR preferences | set three columns on Google Search results.
Google Hit Hider by Domain: For the script Google Hit Hider by Domain, run a Google search back in Firefox and then run the Manage Hiding tab. Block | Export will get you a plain-text list of blocked URLs that can be imported in Pale Moon. Only… there’s nowhere to import it in Pale Moon! Greasemonkey for Pale Moon appears to run Google Hit Hider by Domain… but it can’t place the all-important interface UI at the side of the screen or anywhere else. Which means several years worth of URL blocking can’t be imported.
That last point was the deal-breaker in terms of my transferring to Pale Moon and making it my main browser, regrettably. I also found that Facebook Purity (F.B. Purity) could only run in Pale Moon as a Greasemonkey script, which seemed clunky and I also wasn’t sure if Greasemonkey for Pale Moon would have the same problems with it as it had with Google Hit Hider by Domain.
Ah well, so… no move to Pale Moon. But the other information and links, given above, may be useful for those trying to make the long and laborious move from Firefox to Pale Moon.
A useful tip for long 40-60 minute lecture videos on YouTube, where you’re already somewhat familiar with the topic: simply press “2” or “3” on your keyboard to skip the video to the 20% or 30% point in time — when the setup and preambles are over, and the speaker is likely to be getting around to the main point of their lecture.
CORE is now stated as locally holding 9m OA items in full-text, with 1.83m of those said to be newly-added full-text OA articles extracted from “Elsevier, Springer, Frontiers and PLoS”. Interestingly, the 9m total is described as being made up of both “full-text articles” and other “research outputs”. As such it would be useful to have a pie-chart of the relative proportions. What proportion of the headline 9m are “research outputs” in a form other than full-text articles, and what types predominate among those “research outputs”?
Update: two weeks later at the end of the December the final figures were tallied, and CORE’s blog announced a total of 10.03m in “full text” for 2018…
Six months on, here’s another haul of my picks from the Unsplash CC0 Creative Commons collection, with batch reduction to manageable sizes. My previous picks were on themes of libraries and archives and the creative industries. Below is another round of creative industries pictures. Credits are embedded in the file-names…
Traditional folk culture performance:
Bugler / marching band:
Pen monitor (paint on the screen):
Composing classical music:
Performing classical music:
Hand-carved wood design:
Lacking: people engaged in comic-book page production / hand-on-screen re: painting on pen monitors / field-recordings for radio production.