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Copy Before Submitting Web Forms

Filling in Web forms (like the one used to submit this tip) can be a bit of a gamble - you put in your pearls of wisdom, perhaps only to lose them all if the Web page flakes out or the browser crashes. Instead of losing all your text, "save" it by pressing Command-A to select all and then Command-C to copy the selected text to the clipboard. Do this periodically as you type and before you click Submit, and you may "save" yourself from a lot of frustration. It takes just a second to do, and the first time you need to rely on it to paste back in lost text, you'll feel smart.

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Larry Leveen

 
 

Aaron Swartz, Who Helped Free Information, Is Dead

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The coder, activist, and open-access advocate Aaron Swartz died 11 January 2013 by his own hand. From the age of 13, when he won a prize given to youth who created non-commercial Web sites that were “useful, educational, and collaborative,” Swartz dedicated his life to writing code and sites that allowed information to flow more freely and advocating successfully against efforts to restrict access.

Swartz provided the code and technical underpinnings for Creative Commons at its formation, joined the founders of Reddit early on and created the software to run it in its early days (which he later released into the public domain), built Open Library with the Internet Archive, and founded Demand Progress, one of the groups instrumental in rallying support against SOPA and PIPA copyright legislation. Swartz also worked on RSS 1.0 (not the original RSS developed by Netscape and adapted and popularized by Dave Winer that resulted in RSS 2.0), which led him to help put together the Resource Description Framework (RDF) specification at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

More recently, Swartz became a vociferous advocate of freeing information from behind paywalls that was outside copyright protection or that he thought should be outside such protection, including court records and, more controversially, academic articles. His latter effort led to federal computer crime charges that were unresolved at his death. A trial was slated for April 2013, and could have led to years in prison.

Swartz is remembered not just for each of these and many other projects he was involved with, even though most have significance in the evolution of the Internet. On top of his contributions to the public good, he will also be remembered for his early genius, his keen insight, his warmth, and his generosity. BoingBoing has assembled an ongoing collection of tributes to and articles about Swartz, including a remembrance by one of its editors, Cory Doctorow, who was one of Swartz’s friends.

 

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Comments about Aaron Swartz, Who Helped Free Information, Is Dead

Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-01-14 11:52
File this under the category of "That's big of them!": the prosecutors have dropped all charges against Aaron Swartz now that he is dead.
Cf. http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-aaron-swartz-20130114,0,212826.story
Catherine Ratliff  2013-01-15 06:05
Heartbreaking, such a waste. Permanent solution to a temporary problem. Prosecutors tend to be aggressive; defense lawyers are supposed to provide support and reassurance, besides legal representation. I wish someone had done this for Aaron.