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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June 3, 2018 |

Latest data on social media use

Latest research from the Pew Research Center shows that since the Center began surveying the use of different social media in 2012, Facebook remains the primary platform for most Americans. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) now report that they are Facebook users, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

But the social media story extends well beyond Facebook. The video-sharing site YouTube – which contains many social elements, even if it is not a traditional social media platform – is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.
Read the full findings here:

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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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March 15, 2010 |

Search Engine Optimisation

Just to follow on with my notes on Online Marketing, MycroWebDesign has some notes on it too.

October 29, 2009 |

Internet Explorer Shortcut Keys

Internet Explorer has a Favorites Center,  which is where your favourite bookmarks are kept.  As well as using the mouse  you can work with the keyboard, using these easy shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + I – Open Favorites
  • Ctrl + Shift + I – Open Favorites in pinned mode
  • Ctrl + B – Organize Favorites
  • Ctrl + D – Add current page to Favorites
  • Ctrl + J – Open Feeds (For RSS Feeds)
  • Ctrl + Shift + J – Open Feeds in pinned mode
  • Ctrl + H – Open History

October 18, 2009 |

Google has competition

Google has long ruled supreme in the world of internet search and has become so much a part of our daily lives has that we no longer ‘search’ for things, we ‘Google’ for them. However there is a new kid block. In June this year, Microsoft released their new search engine known as Bing. It is a different interface in terms of presentation: where Google is the straight-forward predominantly white and plain window, Bing ( provides a different picture daily, cycling through beautifully photographed and extremely vivid shots of natural scenes. In addition to the eye-catching colours, you can also mouse over points in picture to get facts based on the photo itself. But it isnt about who looks prettier, it is about who provides the better search result. There are many articles on comparison and if you would like to read about some of the differences from a more technical point of view try doing an Internet search for Google versus Bing, or try this article as a startpoint.
My personal choice is to stay with Google, as I feel Microsoft has enough of a monopoly on what we all do online.

My personal choice is to stay with Google, as I feel Microsoft has enough of a monopoly on what we all do online.