Computer Group Meeting – 28th April: YouTube/Vimeo & TED – Sites worth a look

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    Ifor asked me to take a look at a faulty Laptop. I diagnosed a faulty hard drive and fitted a spare I had and installed Windows 7.  All went so well so I thought I‘d solved his problem.  However on trying it out at Computer Group the keyboard revealed another fault and intermittently stopped working. As a rule if your device has one fault (and is not too old) it is worth repairing, however if multiple faults reveal themselves the cost of repair will rocket and with technology constantly moving on it is better to upgrade.

    The main theme of this month’s meeting was to take a look at the two Video storage sites, and the fascinating content of TED.

    Two platforms clearly stand out when it comes to hosting online videos: YouTube and Vimeo.

    YouTube's definitely the big dog. At 800 million unique visitors per month, with roughly 72 hours of content being uploaded each minute, it's by far the most used video-sharing platform on the web. (It doesn't hurt that it's owned by Google, either.)

    But upload statistics alone don't necessarily make it the best platform out there. Vimeo, while on a smaller audience scale, has plenty of advantages over the streaming giant — especially for someone who's looking to receive helpful feedback or showcase their work to a community of fellow filmmakers.

    Not to knock on YouTube. It's a great platform as well, and it overall depends on what type of video you're uploading and what sort of audience you're trying to reach. But, if you're struggling to decide between the two, check out our list below of reasons why Vimeo — not YouTube — might be your best fit.

    1. The Community of Professionals
    Unlike YouTube's massive audience, Vimeo's is a more small, niche community of film enthusiasts. It's not nearly as large — it gets roughly 70 million unique visitors each month — but its modest size creates an intimate and fully engaged community. It's a network of people who are genuinely interested in film quality, too, so you know your work is being seen by people who will appreciate it.
    Plus, you're more likely to get constructive criticism in the comments section. (On YouTube, even a video of a baby owl stretching its wings for the first time is guaranteed to launch a string of off-topic, mean and flat-out racist comments.)

    2. There's Less … Fluff
    Don't get me wrong — there are plenty of gems on YouTube. But the problem with a site where more than 70 hours of video are uploaded every minute is that not every hour is going to be something you'd like to watch. Haters may hate, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a 30-second clip of a man dancing in a penguin costume on Vimeo.

    3. The Cleaner Layout
    Aside from the difference in video genres, Vimeo offers a cleaner aesthetic than YouTube. Videos are larger and there's limited clutter around the frame, so it really feels like the primary focus of the website is on the video, and nothing else.

    4. No Advertisements
    No distracting banners or 30-second commercials before your video starts — a huge perk for the viewer.

    5. Password Protection
    Lastly, Vimeo allows you to password-protect your videos, so you can share them with friends before setting them as public. It differs from creating a “private” video on YouTube in that you don't need to be logged into the video's account to view it — you just forward the video to your recipient and make sure they know which password to type in.

    TED “Ideas worth Spreading”
    TED is a non-profit website devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


    Changing ISPs The New System (June 2015 Onwards)
    A single switching process is obviously easier for consumers and this in turn should promote more competition.  This is long overdue, having already taken over 5 years to reach this stage (mostly due to industry concerns over costs, security, technical problems and general bickering). Otherwise the new process works as follows.
    The New Switching Process (Approx. Length: 10 Working Days)
    1. A consumer contacts their new / chosen (gaining) ISP and requests to switch. By starting this process the consumer is also beginning an automatic cancellation of the old service with their existing provider.
    2. The gaining ISP begins the order process by using the customer’s existing telephone number and postcode, which is sent to an electronic gateway for validation.
    3. At this point if the postcode and phone number details are incorrect (i.e. they must be an EXACT match) then they won’t be validated and the order would be rejected (Openreach performs this test on BT’s national UK telecoms network.
    4. The old (losing) ISP is notified of the switch via the electronic gateway mentioned in no.2.
    5. The gaining ISP sends out a Notification of Transfer letter to the customers address. This letter will be sent by normal post, unless the customer has explicitly agreed to receive the correspondence electronically (e.g. email).
    6. The losing provider sends out a similar switching letter to the customer, albeit one that includes information about any exit fees or other issues that may impact your service (e.g. the possible need to return your old ISPs bundled broadband router). Ofcom states that there is a “prohibition on marketing statements / representations” during this period, which means the losing provider cannot use special offers or discounts to entice you into stopping the switch.
    7. Should the consumer change their mind then, with effect from the start of this process, they will have a minimum of 10 working days to contact the new (gaining) ISP and stop the switch.
    Meanwhile consumers who fear that they’ve become a victim of slamming (i.e. being switched without your knowledge or consent) should instead contact their existing (losing) provider, which will use Ofcom’s Cancel Other process to stop the order going ahead. Consumers are also advised to contact the gaining provider too.
    8. If no cancellation is received within the 10 day transfer period then the service is officially switched.
    The new process, which is broadly the same as the current system, also requires that your new (gaining) provider obtain a “direct record of consent” for your request to switch, which might be a written signature or, in the case of telesales, voice recordings. Gaining providers must retain records of such consents for 12 months.
    In our opinion it’s also wise for consumers to contact their existing ISP, particularly if you’re still under contract, before you start this process in order to check what, if any, leaving or exit fees might apply if you choose to leave. Savvy consumers can also use this as a tactic to extract a discount on your current service, but if you do intend to do that then do so before starting the switch (see no.6 above).

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