Snippets & Questions answered

By | April 1, 2013
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Happy Easter!

A few bits and pieces this time – it’ll be a bit of a quick one as with it being Easter Monday the boys are calling for me to go and play with them – if the weather holds we might even have a trip to the beach…

Why YouTube have some of their base in Belgium

A few of you spotted that the email I sent out recently with a link to a video on YouTube had a bit of an odd link:  http://youtu.be/f6hM7lEG48A

The bit that’s odd is the start: instead of youtube.com or youtube.co.uk it’s youtu.be

A few even wondered if it had been hacked in some way, or whether it was a fake that didn’t actually come from me.

It’s sensible to be cautious but in this case, it’s genuine.  YouTube have done this to make the web address shorter.

It’s clever – they’ve simply based these particular servers in Belgium – and just like in UK you have .co.uk and in Australia you have .com.au, in Belgium you have .be

So by basing them there and calling the website itself just youtu, they end up with a web address of www.youtu.be

An interesting comment from a reader

The video I just mentioned includes a bit where I talk about mending a train with Sellotape (it’s relevant, honest!) – well, that triggered this reply from one reader.

Whilst watching your video I noted the comment about the Sellotape and chuckled because it reminded me of the old Put a Sock in it saying.Apparently this came from the days of the very first horn gramophones which obviously had no volume control till somebody had the brainstorm to roll up a sock and place it in the neck of the horn thus reducing the volume!!!
Funny how some of the old technology is still valid.
Best regards
Malcolm

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know where the phrase came from, so I found it interesting!

Two quick snippets

I don’t know if you know what an Easter Egg is – I don’t mean the chocolate kind that Alastair’s enjoying as I type!  There’s also a meaning for computers – to do with Easter Egg Hunts.  It’s where programmers hide some extra little feature into a program that’s nothing to do with the main point of the program, just for fun.

As an example, try going to www.google.com and type in do a barrel roll.

You might have heard about the new “4g” mobile phone signal that lets phones (and touchscreen tablets) use superfast broadband.  The first statistics on how it’s used were released the other day.  As you might expect, the most popular use is watching videos.  But a full 1% of the use is running a speed check to see exactly how fast this superfast broadband is…

A question answered:

One question I’ve been asked a few times about the new videos is exactly what are the bonus videos.  You get them if you order both sets of videos on a free trial – and you can keep them even if you decide against the videos and send them back.

There are four:

  1. Connecting your Laptop to Your TV – if you watch TV online and would like to see it on a bigger screen, you can usually plug your laptop (or a desktop PC if it’s in the right place) into your TV – here’s the simplest way how.

  2. How to Boost your wifi signal – If you use a wifi connection and you sometimes find it’s a bit slow, it might not be the internet connection to your house, it could be the connection between the router that plugs into the wall and your laptop.  There are a few things you can do to speed it up, including one particularly important one that can also improve the range (after doing this I can now use my laptop at the kitchen table)

  3. Different Kinds of Touchscreen Tablet – a comparison of the most popular different tablets, what’s good and bad about them and which I’d recommend for you depending on what you want it for.

  4. Security – Online security is important for PCs but also for tablets and even for modern mobile phones – here’s what you need to know.

You can read more about the videos and (if you like) order here – including the chance to win a Nexus 7 Touchscreen tablet. www.helpfulbooks.co.uk/befuddled.htm

The entry into the prize draw only runs until 5pm on Tuesday, though, so best not hang around.