Nerino Petro points us toward a new Firefox extension that is designed to help make public records freely accessible. The extension works by saving a copy of each document you download from PACER into a free database. This is an interesting concept and I am wondering how well it will succeed.
You can find out more information about the extension (called Recap) here.
Also, if you have not been to Nerino’s website recently, you should stop by. He recently updated the site with a new theme that looks absolutely great. I find it much easier to read than the old design.
Bonnie Shucha of WisBlawg recently pointed her readers in the direction of a great new Firefox add-on called CiteGenie.
CiteGenie describes itself as being able to:
Automagically copy text with correct citations from Westlaw and other websites
Cite Genie further explains:
Cutting and pasting when doing legal research using your browser is simple. But having to construct the citation for what you pasted is not so simple. This is especially true with legal citations from sources like Westlaw. You have to stop and copy the case name separately, determine the pinpoint page numbers, and adjust the date and court name format.
So I decided to write a browser plugin that would automatically add a pinpoint citation to the text I copy and paste. Thus CiteGenie was born.
* * *
When CiteGenie is installed, it adds a new option to the browser’s right-click menu to “Copy with CiteGenie.” To use CiteGenie, simply highlight the text in the court opinion, right-click and select the “Copy with CiteGenie” option (or just press Ctrl-Shift-C). Then you can paste the text into any other program, such as your word processor, and the text will be pasted, along with the pinpoint citation for the selected text from the court opinion.
This sounds almost too good to be true. However, a review of CiteGenie on LLRX.com reveals that it may work as easily and accurately as promised.
I have not yet had the opportunity to use CiteGenie in a brief. However, I have installed it in my browser and am ready to take advantage of it.
As I have said before, one of the reasons that I love Firefox is that it allows you to install add-ons to make the browser work the way that you want it to work. The newest extension that I have fallen in love with is WebMail Notifier.
WebMail Notifier checks your webmail accounts (including GMail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and others) and lets you know when you have new mail and how many messages you have. For my work email, I use Outlook. However, I have a variety of other email accounts that are aggregated into my GMail account. Before installing this add-on, I often forgot to check my GMail account. Since installing the add-on, however, I have remembered to check the account on a daily basis.
The add-on simply puts a small envelope on your bottom status bar. When you have mail, the envelope lights up. It’s very unobtrusive, yet effective.
If you have a webmail account, I recommend WebMail Notifier.
I downloaded Google Chrome today just to play with it and see what it was like. My initial thought is that, had it been introduce three years ago, it would be really cool. Right now, however, it ranks a shoulder shrug from me. Maybe it has some hidden jewels that I haven’t found yet. Unless someone points them out to me, I will not be switching my default browser from Firefox.
Despite my ambivilence at this point and given Google’s other successes, I would not be surprised to see myself using a Google browser 18-24 months in the future.
I love the various extensions that you can add to Firefox to make it work the way that works best for me. Tom Mighell at Inter Alia has identified another great Firefox extension Picknik.
Picknik allows you to easily capture graphics and webpages right from within Firefox. Picknic is easy to use. Simply right click on a photo or web page and the graphic is opened in a new tab with editing functions such as rotate, crop, resize, etc.
Also you can easily save the graphic or post it to a variety of websites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr. I recommend you add this extension to your Firefox browser.
This is something that I have found that many people do not know. When you are in either Internet Explorer or Firefox, if you want to page down the website, simply hit your spacebar. It has the same effect as hitting the Page Down key, but it is a whole lot easier to hit the spacebar.
A few posts ago I knocked TinyURL Creator (a Firefox extension) for the fact that it made me go through an unnecessary mouse click everytime that I used it. Because of this, I named Shrinkify my favorite URL shrinker.
Today I admit my error. Yes, in its default mode, TinyURL still makes you click a box everytime that it generates a tiny URL. However, stopping the extension from doing this is a simple as selecting: Tools > Add Ons > Extensions > TinyURL Creator > Options. In the Options dialog box, select the box next to “Do not show confirmation dialog apon [sic] TinyURL creation.” Once you have done this, you no longer have to deal with the annoying dialog box again.
Now TinyURL Creator is back to being my favorite Firefox extension that shrinks URLs. The main reason that it moves back into first place is that the extension has been updated to work with Firefox 3. Shrinkify has not yet updated its extension.
If you are still using Firefox 2, either extension should work fine for you. If you are using Firefox 3, I would go with TinyURL Creator simply beacuse you can install and use it without any difficulty.