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Friday Five – March 25, 2011

#1 – AP Stylebook Finally Changes “e-mail” to “email” [Mashable]

The AP Stylebook, the de facto style and usage guide for much of the news media, announced on Friday that the abbreviated term for “electronic mail” is losing a hyphen, and with it, a relic of a simpler time when Internet technology needed to be explained very carefully.

The move follows the AP Stylebook’s decision to change “Web site” to “website” last year, at which time we wrote, “[We] hold our collective breath for other possible updates, such as changing “e-mail” to “email.'”

For those of you that do a lot of online writing, congrats on saving yourself a keypress!


#2 – What’s New and Awesome in Firefox 4 [lifehacker]

Firefox 4 is officially out, and it’s got a lot going for it, including a more minimalistic interface, synchronization, and a serious speed increase.

The browser wars are heating up once again! Firefox 4 just dropped, and it is hot! Huge performance improvements over FF3, and some great usability improvements like tab grouping, permanent application tabs, and more usable screen real estate. IE9 is also out, but only if you’re already off of Windows XP. For the Firefox aficionados, you may also want to look at How to Fix Annoyances with Firefox 4’s New Look, although I don’t find all the items they list to be annoyances. I suggest trying it as is out-of-the-box first.


#3 – Understanding social computing: SharePoint 2010 New Features from lynda.com [YouTube]

“Social” may be the biggest buzzword of the day, and social features are coming to SharePoint in the 2010 version, which IT will begin rolling out later this year. This video gives a decent overview of some of the new features available. You can also get more info direct from Microsoft.


#4 – Netflix is getting into the content biz[engadget]

The rumors are true, instead of simply offering old content from others, Netflix is jumping back into the content business by licensing David Fincher’s upcoming drama House of Cards for Watch Instantly streaming in the US and Canada before it airs anywhere else, or has even been produced. In a blog post and interview with AllThingsD, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos justifies signing up for the series sight unseen by pointing out the popularity of the earlier BBC miniseries on which it is based among Netflix members and the collective skills of both the director and lead actor Kevin Spacey.

It seems that if the cable companies (or major networks) aren’t going to start offering a la carte channel offerings themselves, companies like Netflix are going to force them into it. We’re heading down the road of subscribing to individual content providers for new programming. On the plus side, this equals more choice. On the downside, this could mean free programming options could diminish. But the fast changing world of TV/video creation and delivery is one of the most interesting to watch develop.


#5 – Radiation Chart [xkcd]

There’s a lot of discussion of radiation from the Fukushima plants, along with comparisons to Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Radiation levels are often described as “<X> times the normal level” or “<Y>% over the legal limit,” which can be pretty confusing.

Infographics are all the rage these days, and this one does a good job showing why – they have the ability to take concepts that are difficult to get your arms around and put them in a nice, visual medium. With all the meltdown hysteria in the news following the Japan earthquake, this infographic puts radiation doses into perspective.


That’s all for this week!

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