September 9, 2020 |

CAPTCHA – what??

privacy-card-3x2We have seen it a million times, but what does CAPTCHA actually stand for?

It is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” and is basically a test to see whether the user is a human or an automated software application known as a bot.  bots are “bad” when they are programmed to break into user accounts, scan the web for contact information for sending spam, or perform other malicious activities.


You’ll come across a CAPTCHA request when registering new accounts and or submitting information on online. CAPTCHA is based on the premise that humans can more easily recognise highly distorted, rotated or skewed characters, can more easily visually separate overlapped characters and are able to draw on context to understand visually distorted characters, for example, identifying a character based on the full word that it appears in.

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September 11, 2018 |

Acronyms Used Online Part 1

SLANG: Secret Language

WHIPs: short for Women who are Hot, Intelligent and in their Prime.

Prancercise:  another one I came upon by accident, Prancerising is having its 5 minutes of fame on YouTube (go and do a search, I know you want to!). Wikipedia bills it as a holistic fitness method based on “a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation”.  It was created by an American woman, Joanna Rohrback and has been compared to the low-impact aerobics that were popularized by 1980s workout videos.

ELI5: Used when someone gives a complex explanation for an event and you need them to make it simpler, you ask them to “explain it like I’m 5 years old”, or ELI5.

PAW: used by teenagers to indicate that parents are watching.

TIL: When you come across some information that isn’t new but is new to you, so you share it then add the tag TIL – “today I learned”.

TIA:  thanks in advance.  Personally, I really dislike the use of this one as if you can’t be bothered to write it in full then you don’t come across as being thankful.

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August 18, 2017 |

Google Chrome and Internet Handy Hints

zoomTip 1 Google Chrome only:
Pressing Ctrl, Shift and B keys will toggle the browser’s Bookmarks Bar in and out of view.  Any site you’ve saved into the Bookmarks Bar folder will appear along the top of the screen and when you repeat this key combination it will hide them.

Tip 2 Chrome and Internet Explorer: 
Did you know that pressing the F11 key will change Chrome into full-screen mode, hiding all the regular browser elements and everything else on your screen?  (useful to know if you’ve accidentally pressed the F11!!).  Extra tip – F11 works the same way in Internet Explorer ;-).

Tip 3 Chrome and Internet Explorer – I like to zoom it zoom it
  If you hold down the Ctrl  key and the plus + on the keyboard will zoom out (make the webpage and its elements grow bigger), while Ctrl key and minus – on the keyboard will zoom in (making the webpage and its elements smaller).

Need to go back to the default 100% size? Easy-peasy, just hold down the Ctrl key and press the zero (0) to snap you back to the default view.


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April 26, 2017 |

Zooming in or out on webpages

Here are two very simple keyboard shortcuts you can use if you want to make text or images on a webpage larger (zoom in), or smaller (zoom out):

  • Make everything larger by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the + on the keyboard.
  • Make everything smaller by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the on the keyboard.

This works equally well in Internet Explorer or Google Chrome!

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May 21, 2015 |

New Words in the Oxford Dictionary

As technology becomes more and more a part of people’s everyday lives (think Facebook, Twitter, email, texting Google searching and Netflix watching); there has been a rapid change in language trends, prompting Britain’s Oxford Dictionary to add some of these new words to their 2014 edition.


An eye-catching or provocative link on a website intended to encourage people to read on and usually paid for by the advertiser.


Fear of missing out.


showing off online.


researching and then broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual online.


modest or self-deprecating statement intended to let others know how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor.

Side eye

a sidelong glance expressing disapproval or contempt. Common saying on Twitter expressed as *side eye*


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February 21, 2013 |

Http or https – which is better and are they different?

It’s a tiny difference but hugely important in keeping our sensitive information secure.

In your internet browser, HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol; the language that the internet uses in order to communicate.  However this language can be intercepted and the contents can be copied, which makes it useless for transmitting data that is sensitive.

But the good news is that when you see the extra “S” which stands for secure (i.e. it looks like this – https), it means the HTTP language will be encrypted when it is sent along the internet to its destination, allowing you to feel confident that no malicious third party will be able to intercept its content.

So the difference between HTTP and HTTPS  is that one is open for potentially everyone to see and the other is not.  Given that piece of news, when you need to enter your credit card details on a website  you should check that the start of the address has changed to HTTPS, if it has not you should not enter your details – because it isn’t safe!

While knowing the difference between HTTP and HTTPS will help you understand whether or not a site is secure it will not be able to tell you if the website itself is a scam or malicious, so it’s always best to conduct a general Google search to on the site and get some positive ( or negative!) reviews beforehand.

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April 13, 2012 |

Easy Fix for Hard to Read Websites

I’m sure most of us have had that frustrating experience of visiting and a website and whether by way of poor web design or just a background image that didn’t load correctly, you are faced with dark text on a dark background, which is difficult to read for most folks.

However…there’s a really easy keyboard command that remedies the situation:  hold down the Ctrl key and press A.

This is actually the command to highlight, so doing this turns the background colour blue and the text white – with the added extra benefit of  making it instantly easy to read!


March 1, 2012 |

Cloud Computing Explained

Mike Webb, who hosts the blog www., has done an excellent explanation of what cloud computing is all about in a post entitled  ‘To Cloud or not to Cloud: that is the question:

The latest IT buzz word which has been promoted to death is Cloud computing, which is about as new as AOL (which isn’t really new at all).
For those that have been bombarded by the marketing people and still don’t have a clue what they are on about, Cloud Computing is basically being provided with services such as email, CRM systems or online backup storage without having to buy the hardware…you just share someone elses.  This means that for the good providers you get a small chunk of some really good hardware with first rate support, for others…well you should be able to guess.  It’s the old adage of you get what you pay for!

The concept of Cloud computing is about as old as the internet, if you’ve ever had a home broadband connection, or used dial up with your modem to access your emails in Outlook Express, then you’ll be familiar with downloading your emails which are stored in your own little mailbox out on the internet.  That’s essentially where it started, but with the  improvement in internet connectivity speed, and the greatly reducing price to provide high speed access, then there are a lot of companies jumping on the bandwagon by setting up with a couple of servers in a cheap Data Centre and calling it Cloud Computing.

… his full article here:

January 18, 2012 |

Saving a Webpage for Offline Reading

Someone emailed me this question yesterday: how do you easily save a webpage for offline reading?

– and the solution is simple:

In either Internet Explorer or Firefox: click File and choose Save Page As.

However after that, the Save as type drop box is slightly different. Read the rest of this entry »

August 3, 2011 |

Open Multiple Websites at Once

Lots of folks have a routine when it comes to browsing the Internet, going to the same sites every day to check out news, Facebook, Twitter or various blogs.If you use Internet Explorer you can have IE start all of your favourite daily sites  in their own tabs!

  1. Open Internet Explorer 8 and click Tools>Internet Options. (In Internet Explorer 9 click the cog icon in the upper right-hand corner.)
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected and under Home Page type in all the addresses of the sites you want to open up when you start Internet Explorer.
  3. click OK and restart Internet Explorer.  All requested sites now come up in their own tabs.