Lately I’ve discovered that several people are using the Chrome feature Incognito when browsing the web. Incognito is a browsing window that can be opened in Chrome that allows some privacy by not keeping certain files while the web is searched. Edge and Firefox offer a similar private browsing feature. A common assumption is that one is searching in a truly private manner and thereby preventing visited websites from tracking. However, that is not the case. Incognito or private browsing does not keep visited websites from tracking. What it does keep private are some of the files that are typically stored on a specific computer or device during browsing. Examples of files that are not kept often include the search history and temporary internet files, along with some others depending on which browser is used to access the internet.
So, what information is private and from whom? Usually the only thing not being collected and stored is the evidence on the specific device being used that a site has been visited. Meaning that possibly a search history would not be kept on that device. So, if someone is looking for a gift for another person online they may want to search using incognito if other people have access to the device and could see visited website by going through the history. Using incognito would prevent others from seeing that history. However, the fact that the site was visited will not escape the attention of the site that was visited if they are set up to collect information about their users. In essence the only one being kept from seeing some types of information are the persons using that specific device. Everything else is pretty much fair game as usual.
For specifics of how the different browsers operate and information on what they are helping keep private, visit the link to their Help section below.
Chrome help: Provides instructions on how to open an incognito window in Chrome.
Mozilla help: Provides instructions on how to open an incognito window in Mozilla.
Edge help: Provides instructions on how to open an incognito window in Edge.
A friend of mine works for Google. He was in town recently and was telling me about one of their new projects called Google Arts & Culture. Since that conversation I have spent a lot of time exploring Arts & Culture and want to share it with you as well. It’s incredible!
With Google Arts & Culture you can “explore art collections from around the world; discover inspirational moments, iconic people, and artistic wonders. Search by time or even color.”
Essentially, Google has partnered with museums from all over the world; captured and cataloged their collections and them posted them online, for free, in hi-res images. You can zoom in on the work of your favorite artist to reveal the secrets of a masterpiece. Take virtual, 360 degree (essentially Google Street View-style) tours of the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, National Theater of Korea, Museum of Natural History in Venice, and so on. It really is amazing.
On the Google Arts & Culture homepage there is a menu on the left – select any of the options to explore by Artist, Medium, Movement, Historical events, Historical figures, and Places. No matter what you click you will find something beautiful. Select Artist and you can browse high resolution art from hundreds of artists – Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, Raphael, Freda Kahlo, and so on. Select a piece and zoom in close enough to view brush strokes:
Fan of modern art? Gothic? Minimalism? Post-modern? Whatever you like select Movements from the menu and start exploring. I clicked on the Street Art option and spent about an hour browsing all the images.
Select Medium and you can browse hundreds of different options – oil painting, ink, textiles, metal, brick, diamond, canvas, clay, wood, etc. Select a medium and view hundreds of high resolution art works in that medium.
Most of Google’s products are kept behind Google’s account wall – meaning you can’t use them unless you are signed into a Google account. This is not true for Arts & Culture – it’s open to anyone. No need to sign in. The only benefit I notice from signing into a Google account was to keep track of your favorite artworks – each piece has a little heart on it. Users can click that heart to mark it as a Favorite – to bookmark it and revisit quickly and easily or to share on social media.
It’s available as an app as well. Free from both the Apple and Google Play stores. And the app is Cardboard-ready too – meaning you can use it to take virtual reality tours of places too. Another benefit of the app: the experimental feature called the “Art Recognizer,” which lets you point your phone at an artwork in a museum and have Google instantly deliver some information about it. Google says it plans to roll the feature to museums around the world, though the company hasn’t specified when this will be completed.
Arts and Culture has so much to offer it’s difficult to even begin describing it. Basically just go there and start clicking – I guarantee you’ll find something you love.
The My Bookshelf of the SCDL Mobile app is a quick and easy way to keep track of the items of all formats that you have borrowed from the library. It can also be used to renew physical items and return any the digital items borrowed.
To access My Bookshelf, tap on the My Bookshelf icon found on the opening screen of the SCDL Mobile app.
NOTE: You may need to drag the blue bar found at the top of the page to refresh the list of items.
Tap the Renew button to renew a single item borrowed from the library.
Tap the Renew all item to renew all physical items borrowed from the library.
Tap the Read now button to read your digital item in the SCDL Mobile app. Note: WiFi is required to use this feature.
Tap the Return button to return the digital item to the library.
Coming Soon: Look for more “at a glance” information and instructions for the SCDL Mobile App.