Posts filed under ‘Computers and Internet’

The Twitter Bird is Named Larry (Bird)

Twitter’s bird logo can be found on almost every website that’s been updated in the past five years. Despite its ubiquity, most people don’t realize the bird is named Larry.

twitter_logo

Larry the bird is named after former professional basketball player Larry Bird. Drafted in 1978, Larry Bird played professional basketball for the Boston Celtics for a better part of 23 years.

twitter larry bird

So, it’s no surprise that Boston native and twitter cofounder Biz Stone named the company’s bird after an iconic local hero.

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Sources: today.comtwitter.com, wikipedia (Larry Bird), boston.com

July 18, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Netflix Accounts for 29% of North American Internet Traffic

By Chad Upton | Editor

YouTube was once the king of online video bandwidth. They still make a significant dent, especially in Europe where they account for more than 20% of peak downstream mobile traffic.

In North America, Netflix is the largest single consumer of bandwidth. At peak, they’re tasked with 33% of downstream internet traffic. Off peak, they’re responsible for about 28.8% of downstream bandwidth.

As Netflix continues to expand into South America and Europe, they will certainly impose a bigger footprint on networks in those regions. Interestingly, they may also have a calming effect on other local internet traffic. Analysis shows that bit-torrent traffic, sometimes used to pirate movies and tv shows, actually decreases when Netflix is introduced into a market.

Since some Internet Service Providers slow down the internet for users running bit-torrent clients, Netflix may be something they’re willing to pay for.

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sources: sandvine.com, wikipedia (Netflix), torrentfreak.com

May 8, 2013 at 2:00 am 2 comments

YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

By Chad Upton | Editor

The youtube.com video player only has a few buttons on it, making it hard to freeze a video on a specific frame. But, using the keyboard shortcuts, you can control the video frame-by-frame or quickly expand it to fullscreen mode.

My favorite is probably the fullscreen shortcut; it’s much easier to hit the F key than move the mouse and click the fullscreen button. Here is a list of some other shortcuts:

Playback Controls:

  • K – Play/Pause (spacebar does the same)
  • J – Jump back 3 seconds when playing / jump back one frame when paused (Left Arrow Key does the same)
  • L – Jump forward 3 seconds when playing / jump forward one frame when paused (right arrow key does the same)
  • 0 – Jump to beginning
  • 1-9 – The number keys can be used to jump to a relative point on the timeline. For example, 5 jumps to the 50% mark on the timeline, half way through the video. 1 jumps to the 10% mark and 9 jumps to the 90% mark.

Volume Controls:

  • M – Mute
  • Up Arrow – Increase Volume 5%
  • Down Arrow – Decrease Volume 5%

View Control:

  • F – Fullscreen (ESC to exit fullscreen)

This is great if you’re trying to spot a secret in a video or just cue up a clip to show a friend. From my testing, these keys work in Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

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April 11, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Page Up and Page Down Shortcuts in Mac OS X

By Chad Upton | Editor

Unless you’ve specifically bought the full size Mac keyboard, you’re missing dedicated page up and page down keys.

Page Up Page Down Mac

But, you’re not missing out on the functionality; here are the shortcuts: (more…)

March 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm 3 comments

How to Maximize a Window in Mac OS

By Chad Upton | Editor

One of the most annoying Mac OS traits is the inconsistent behavior of the maximize (aka “zoom”) button.

Some native apps, such as iCal, Mail, iPhoto, behave as you might expect and completely fill the screen when the maximize button is clicked. But, many other applications do not fill the screen, instead they the button maximizes the height of the window, but not the width.

But, there is another trick that maximizes some other applications, such as Chrome. Holding down shift while clicking the green maximize button, will maximize the window to fill the screen.

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November 13, 2012 at 2:00 am 4 comments

The Dropped Call Rules

By Chad Upton | Editor

No matter which mobile phone carrier you use, you’ll eventually drop a call with somebody. Even if you don’t have a cellphone, you still have to deal with dropped calls when you’re talking with people who do.

Sometimes you both try to call each other at the same time and get each other’s voicemail. Other times, you try to call the other person and they’re still talking away, oblivious to the fact that the call was dropped.

Rule #1: Whoever initiated the call, initiates the call back after a dropped call.

To some, this rule is obvious. But, it needs to be stated to remove any confusion and prevent the double voicemail dilemma.

Rule #2: Whoever was listening when the call was dropped, remembers the last sentence the other person said.

This is less obvious, but since the listener is the only one who knows exactly when the call was dropped; they need to remember the last sentence or at least the topic — this may be the same person who needs to call the other person back.

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Photo: addicted eyes (cc)

December 8, 2011 at 2:00 am 3 comments

You May Have Helped Translate Books Without Knowing It

By Chad Upton | Editor

If you’ve created a website account with Facebook, TicketMaster, Twitter, CNN, Craigslist or thousands of other sites, then you have helped translate text from old books and newspapers.

Websites that offer free accounts try to ensure that every account is created by a real human being instead of a computer “bot” — computer programs written to automatically create accounts and then spam those websites with ads. One way to protect against bots is to have people do something that is easy for a human but difficult for a computer: read distorted text.

That’s why you are frequently asked to solve these simple word puzzles. Although it’s a bit annoying, it helps make the website better by reducing spam and other abuse. There are many variants of these puzzles, called captchas, and if the website uses the reCAPTCHA system, your work can also benefit society. (more…)

September 29, 2011 at 2:00 am 10 comments

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