Thursday, 17 April 2014

Not all YouTube videos are shared equally. When uploading your masterpiece, you can tweak the settings, so it's only viewed by people who you really want to see it.

The YouTube Generation.

There are three options:

  • Private - only you can see the video. Why are you uploading a video you don't want anyone else to see? We use this option to check all the details before releasing a video on the day of a campaign. It can only be seen by a maximum of 50 people if you send them a special URL, and they log into their YouTube accounts.
  • Unlisted - only people with the link can see the video: it will not show up in search results. This is a good option for videos you want to share, but keep private. My ukulele band uses this option to share videos of strumming patterns and harmonies taken at practise. It wouldn't be a disaster if one of those videos got out (unlisted videos can be passed on and viewed by anyone with the link), but it we would much rather keep it quiet!
  • Public - everyone can see the video, and it will show up in search results. Oh, and it will automatically be posted to Google+. 

You can change the privacy settings of your videos here.

The best way to control privacy online? Don't put anything online that you wouldn't mind others seeing.

The internet is real life.

As much as we pretend that it isn't, the internet is real life. If you wouldn't say it to someone's face don't put it on the internet. 

Context is everything, because you talk differently to your boss than you do your best friend - I'm for honesty and transparency over Best Behaviour at all times. But if you'd spew vitriol in the comments section that you wouldn't say to your worst enemy, you're being bad at internet.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about my obsession with advice columns. Some of the advice columns I listed then are no longer with us, so here's an updated list of the 10 best advice columns online today (according to me).

Advice Shop
  1. Captain Awkward is super into having Scripts and Boundaries. A must read. 
  2. Carolyn Hax is one of my favourite reads. Refreshing, personal, and with a loyal readership.
  3. A Queer Chick on The Hairpin. Let's not talk about how The Hairpin has failed us as a website in so many other ways. A Queer Chick is still updating monthlyish, and it's still great. 
  4. That Bad Advice takes questions from other columns and gives the advice the letter writers were hoping to hear.
  5. Ask Polly mixers experience with her own life in with the answers. Long, but lovely. 
  6. Ask E. Jean belongs to Elle Magazine, but it's refreshing, pithy advice.
  7. Friendzone is hosted over on Jezebel (speaking of lady websites which have failed us). It's fairly solid, and updates regularly. 
  8. Dan Savage's podcasts are entertainment masquerading as advice. Dan's been roundly criticised for being problematic but I listen anyway. (NSFW.)
  9. Miss Information answers sex and dating question for kids these days over on Nerve. It's interesting, how differently things are handled in the States. It seems more complicated.
  10. Dear Prudence is great for absurd, probably fake, questions, and not so great for helpful advice on "modern" issues. Puts out the most content, three updates (plus a video!) per week.
Those are my favourite advice columns! Did I miss yours? Tell me in the comments.

Go to Italy, be a cobbler.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tweet This!

Save earth! It's the only planet with Twitter!

Adding a twitter button to your website is one of those things which sounds like it's going to be hard. Fortunately it couldn't be simpler.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

3D printing isn't futuristic. It's here.

In case you've somehow missed it, 3D printing is

...a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.

Layers of molten plastic are laid down over one another, to form more or less any shape. It reminds me of crochet: once you have a foundation chain, you can move in just about any direction, but you're always building a layer on top of the one below it.

If you have the time and inclination, you can 3D print a kayak, a human skull, a ukulele, or a house. You couldn't crochet those things.

You can also print another printer.

Most printers print in plastic, but you can also get ones that print metal - or even food.

If you're in Auckland, you can head along to the Central Library, and try out their 3D printer. (Yeah, the library has a printer.) I did today.

The MindKits 3D printer at Auckland Library.

I downloaded the files I was interested in from Thingiverse, and the team at the library popped them on to their computer, and started the machine printing.

The printer bed is a sheet of glass, which is prepared by slathering it with Pritt Stick. Apparently, it has to be Pritt Stick, not just your generic glue stick.

A close up of a 3D printer's nozzle, printing something yellow.

The printer head shifts back and forth, building up the layers. It's surprisingly musical, especially the circles.

Turn your volume way up if you can't hear that. "Every 3D printer sings a different song," I was told.

I printed a feather:
A yellow 3D printed feather on a chain.

It took about five minutes: that's only about two layers of printing.

Me, smiling, wearing a 3D printed feather on a chain.

If I had a 3D printer of my very own, this is what I'd use it for: new necklace and earrings every morning. I've been looking at examples of 3D printing, and in my opinion, the most interesting and sculptural interpretations of the medium have been in jewellery design. 

Follow Rachel Rayner's board 3D Printing on Pinterest.

Let's be practical though. I also printed a bottle opener.

A yellow bottle opener, with a copper coin inserted in it.

That bottle opener promises it's for an "Australian coin," but a New Zealand ten cent piece fits perfectly. It took about an hour to print.

It needs the coin, because the 3D printed material is on the soft side. 

A yellow 3D printed bottle opener, posed as if opening a bottle of beer.

It's biodegradable, so I can compost it when I'm done. It's the same stuff that's used to hold in the insides of capsules and pills, apparently: I'm sure my vitamin tablets are covered with the same stuff.

How much did this all cost me? A grand total of seventy cents. Auckland Libraries charges ten cents per gram to print. They have a bunch of different colours you can print with, and you can just wander up to the MakerSpace during their advertised hours, and they'll help you print just about anything.

I'd love to see 3D printers become household items, but they're not quite at that stage yet. They're fiddly, and kind of expensive to buy. 

Still, 3D printing's really cool, and if you've got the chance, I'd encourage you to have a play with a machine. 

If you're interested in 3D printing in Auckland, or New Zealand, check out these links: