An Interesting New Extension for Firefox

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.

Citations the Easy Way

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 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.

WebMail Notifier: Another Great Firefox Add-on

FirefoxAs 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.

Google Chrome: My Initial Thoughts

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.

Another Great Firefox Extension

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.

TinyURL Creator Rocks (Again)

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.

Favorite: Shrinkify

I have written before that TinyURL Creator is one of my favorite Firefox extensions. That is no more. I have a new favorite: Shrinkify. Both of these extensions do the same thing. Namely, they take a really long web address and convert it into something that is short and easily used.

For example, if you search for Shrinkify on Google, the search results web address is:

That same address shrinkified is Similarly, the same address in a TinyURL is

Given that both of these do the same thing and both are accessed in the same manner (right click on the web page), one may wonder why I prefer Shrinkify over TinyURL Creator. That answer is simple. When I shrinkify a web address, I temporarily get a black band across the top of my screen telling me what the URL is. When I use TinyURL Creator, I get a box that tells me the URL. With TinyURL Creator, however, I have to click the box closed to make it go away. With Shrinkify, the information goes away automatically. Thus, Shrinkify saves me an entirely unnecessary mouse click.

If you aren’t using anything to shrink your URLs, I encourage you to try one or both of these services. Both work fine and will make your URL life much more simple.

Google Docs Bar

Do you use Google Docs? If so, you might want to check out the Google Docs Bar for Firefox.

According to the extension website,

gDocsBar is a sidebar extension for firefox, a perfect companion for Google Docs.

With gDocsBar, you can drag and drop multiple files into the sidebar to upload documents.

You can search and filter documents right from the sidebar.

Your Gmail credentials are sent to Google directly over SSL. Your passwords are stored in Firefox Password Manager.

If you use Google Docs, this extension seems like a great idea.

Undocumented Firefox Tips

PC WorldPC World gives us an article with 15 undocumented Firefox tips. If you use Firefox (and you should), this article is definitelyFirefox worth a read. The article contains tips things such as keyboard shortcuts, easy searching of pages, purging your private information, and optimizing Firefox for broadband.

The tips are well written, easy to understand, and even easier to implement. Check out the article and start improving your browsing experience immediately.