Archive for the ‘Websites’ Category

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How to get the parts of a YouTube video using JDownloader

March 12, 2021

I was testing out JDownloader2 (an open source download manager) the other day for a completely different purpose when I discovered that it can split a YouTube video into its component parts, which you can then download individually or as a group.

Depending on what was uploaded to YouTube, the component parts may include the audio only (M4A format), the video (MP4; includes audio), the title image (JPG), the description (TXT), and/or the subtitles (SRT file).

It’s certainly an easier way to do it than to use a conversion program—just open JDownloader, copy the YouTube URL to the clipboard, and it will automatically get added to JDownloader, ready for you to expand the entry and then download one or more, or all, parts.

 

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Finding high resolution artwork from Apple TV, iTunes etc.

February 24, 2021

My husband collects information about music, musicians, and songwriters, and one of the things he uses to find and confirm metadata is album covers. However, the default size of artwork on iTunes is quite small and low resolution. He has all sorts of workarounds he uses (e.g. view the page source, search the HTML code for JPGs, change the pixel size in the URL, etc.). It’s cumbersome at best and adds a lot of overhead in hours to his research.

Until now.

Someone on one of his forums alerted him to a very cool website from a UK developer, Ben Dodson, that extracts just the album art from iTunes (and artwork for Apple TV shows and Apple movies) and allows it be be viewed at various resolutions. It isn’t an app and only works in a browser, as far as I can tell.

For artwork from all sorts of Apple media, including iTunes, for a particular title, go to: https://bendodson.com/projects/itunes-artwork-finder/  Once there, select the type of media (1), enter the title you’re searching for (2), select the media’s country of origin (2), then click Get the artwork (4). Wait a few seconds and the artwork matching your search criteria will display. You have the options of Standard or High Resolution (it will take a few extra seconds to display the artwork at high resolution). If the album, for example, has various covers or the title has been used by various artists, then scroll down to see each.

If you want to search by the iTunes web address instead, go to: https://bendodson.com/projects/apple-music-artwork-finder/

If you want to search for artwork related to Apple TV shows or Apple movies, go to: https://bendodson.com/projects/apple-tv-movies-artwork-finder/ Once you’ve found what you want, click the resolution and artwork you want to see from the list on the right.

NOTE: Ben Dodson has made this website free but there are some caveats, so read those on each of the web pages above. The main one is that this ONLY works with media products available from Apple, and not any other source.

 

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Facebook and FB Purity

October 29, 2020

Facebook (FB) and FB Purity (FBP) are having a bit of a war at the moment. Since FB introduced the ‘new look’, which most people seem to hate, FBP has been trying to revert to the classic look via one of their options. It initially had some some success, and then not, and then again, and then not, as FB closed loopholes in its code.

One of the things I noticed when viewing FB via Chrome on a desktop was that if I had classic look turned on in FBP and even if it wasn’t displaying the classic look because of this skirmish, the screen would refresh and jump OFTEN, and I’d get duplicate posts from some people.

Then this morning when I deliberately refreshed FB in Chrome, FB redirected me to the mobile site (GRRR!) and told me I was using an unsupported browser!!

I figured all these issues might relate to the FBP skirmish, so I turned off the classic look option under the FBP toolbar icon in Chrome (it wasn’t working anyway), and all of a sudden I could get the usual FB desktop site, the auto refresh thing disappeared, and I don’t see duplicate posts.

I’ve still got that horrible new look—I can live with that for now, and hope that FBP can figure out how to get the classic look back.

Meantime, I hope this post helps someone else who has had the same issues.

(As an aside, you don’t want to ask me how much I HATE the new block editing stuff in WordPress.com—I just want to write a blog post, perhaps add a screenshot or two, not sell hipster dude coffee!)

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Word: Add a web link to a document — quickly

February 26, 2020

In the category of “I didn’t know I could do this (or if I did, I’ve forgotten!)” comes this tip that I spotted in a forum post (https://superuser.com/questions/1024583/copy-link-location-keyboard-shortcut-in-windows-10).

Did you know that you can drag a link displayed in a browser into your Word document? Or into other text editing software? (my quick tests indicate that it DOESN’T work with Notepad)

There are several ways:

  • Click and drag the linked text into an open document. If the link is abbreviated or hidden by explanatory text (e.g. a link for ‘how to xxxx’), it will resolve to the full URL.
  • Select the URL in the browser’s address bar then drag it into the open document.
  • Select anything in a text field of a form on a web page, then drag it into the open document.

[Link last checked February 2020]

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Monitoring bushfires

January 29, 2019

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Update February 2021: As a result of the devastating fires in eastern Australia in the summer of 2019-2020, some people got together to create an all-in-one real-time map and app: https://www.bushfire.io/. This map include things such as emergency warning areas, firefighting aircraft, wind speed and direction, and other useful information in a bushfire. I highly recommend it.

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Nowhere in Australia is immune from bushfires, but some places are deemed safer than others. The block of land I live in south-western Western Australia is relatively safe (no trees near the house, lots of hardstand surrounding the house, etc.), but nearby (within one kilometre) are high-risk areas of bushland and homes on hilly land that is just covered in trees, grasses, and native plants. I have a fear of bushfires, so over summer I listen for aircraft activity beyond what’s normal (‘normal’ is maybe a couple of light aircraft a day) and check various websites etc. to assess the danger. The risk on some days is worse than on others—particularly those days with strong easterly winds and high temperatures, and if there’s been no rain for weeks. Once the wind swings around and comes from the west, I start to breathe easier as the danger to my property from that direction is much less.

Here are some of the local and national sites I use to check various conditions and situations, in case it helps others who live in Western Australia:

  • a weather site (wind speed and direction, temps)
  • the Emergency WA website (https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/) for all sort of emergency reports in the state (the zoom-in feature is great)
  • the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (dfes_wa) Twitter feed for updates and links to emergency situations (https://twitter.com/dfes_wa)
  • occasionally the MyFireWatch website (http://myfirewatch.landgate.wa.gov.au/) and the Sentinel website (https://sentinel.ga.gov.au/)
  • FlightRadar24 (https://flightradar24.com; there’s an app too), which is a plane spotter’s goldmine, but which I use to identify planes and choppers going overhead (most are just standard light aircraft, the RFDS planes, and the rescue chopper), but occasionally they are firefighting aircraft.

This sort of monitoring was not possible just 20 years ago. Google Maps and the ability for services to overlay other satellite data and create instant warnings has changed the game. Technology working for good!

The image below is a screenshot I took from FlightRadar of two firefighting aircraft battling a bushfire near Collie on 20 January 2019. By clicking on the aircraft icons on the map, I get the information on the left about the aircraft and the flight paths for the past hour or so.

Flight paths of two firefighting aircraft helping put out a fire near Collie, Western Australia

Update 5 February 2019: We had a bushfire close to our place (within 5 km — too close for comfort!) and I found that the FlightRadar24 website gave me accurate, real-time information on what the firefighting aircraft (including the massive air crane, ‘Georgia Peach’ [N154AC]) were doing. The Emergency WA website was only being updated every few hours, but with FlightRadar24 I could see what sorts of resources were being deployed to control this fire. And from the flight tracking I got some questions answered, like whether ‘Georgia Peach’ could refill from the ocean (she could)—she actually refilled her 7500-gallon tank at least 10 times (it takes her about 45 seconds to do this, which is pretty amazing). In the first screenshot below, you can see ‘Georgia Peach’ heading down from Perth and taking on her first load of sea water just off Myalup. In the later screenshot, you can see that she’s made the first of many sorties to refill off Binningup. The two Dunn Aviation aircraft (yellow water bombers) can’t take on sea water, so had to return to Bunbury Airport each time to refill with their fire suppressant, adding precious time to their ability to be effective. The Rotowest chopper circled the whole time—I suspect it was the spotter aircraft guiding the others where to best deploy their loads.

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Dropbox login not working

January 18, 2019

I’m not sure why, but my Dropbox.com login wasn’t working on a particular computer. I tried several browsers, cleared the cache etc. but it just didn’t want to work. It was fine on another computer. Off to Google…

The solution was simple enough—once you know how! After you type your username and password, do NOT press Enter or click Sign In. Instead, hold down the Alt key then click the Sign In button.

For some reason that worked and I was able to log in to Dropbox on that computer.

Hope this helps someone else!

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Find the date a web page was last updated

May 3, 2018

Here’s a neat trick for finding the date the content on a web page was last updated if it’s not clear from the page itself:

  1. Open the web page in a browser window.
  2. In the address box, type Javascript:alert(document.lastModified) then press Enter.
  3. The date and time the page was last updated is displayed in a pop-up window (NOTE: The date is mm/dd/yyyy format).

NOTE: This trick DOES NOT work with content that’s generated dynamically — for that content, you’ll always get the current date and time displayed. But for a static website, you’ll get the actual date and time the content was last updated.

(This trick is courtesy of Gerri Berendzen’s presentation — ‘Is this resource reliable?’ — at the ACES conference in 2018. Thanks Gerri! And thanks also to Dave Gash who added the ‘alert’ bit to create a pop-up window and not overwrite the web page.)

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New look website

March 17, 2018

I bit the bullet and revamped my website to be fully responsive, and to cut out some of the old stuff that’s no longer relevant. A few people tested it on various devices, browsers, and operating systems, with no issues (thank you!).

I must say I held my breath as I uploaded it and then deleted all the old files (yes, I have a backup!!!). But it ‘just worked’ right from the get-go, with no delay in what got displayed in the various browsers on my PC. Phew!

Same URL, new look: http://www.cybertext.com.au

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A geoblocking variation

December 30, 2017

Spotted when I tried to go to a website the other day. This takes geoblocking to a new level, though at least it very quickly tells you that they don’t sell their products outside the US/Canada! Would I even consider their products? Based on this, NO WAY!

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Finding accurate bibliographic details for a References list

February 19, 2015

References. The bane of anyone writing a document that cites information from others. Gathering all the required bibliographic data for a reference can be painful, as well as formatting it according to the ‘house’ style.

However, one way to shortcut the process is to use a (free) internet service that searches out the information for you AND formats it to your house style, or close to your house style. All you need are a few words of the title, perhaps an author name, and the name of such a service.

The instructions below show how to use the WorldCat service to grab the complete bibliographic details of items in your References list. You won’t find everything in WorldCat, although with more than 2 billion catalog records from libraries around the world, you should find many. What you won’t find on WorldCat are your internal corporate documents and perhaps some of the more specialized documents from government departments etc. But if you’re looking to confirm the bibliographic details of published books, articles etc., then WorldCat is a good starting point.

  1. Go to http://www.worldcat.org/.
  2. Optional: Click the tab of the type of item you’re searching for (e.g. Articles); the default is Everything, but narrowing your search to a type of material will give you more targeted results.
  3. Type the title, or part of the title (try to include enough keywords so that you don’t get hundreds of results to skim). If it’s an article, you can add part of the journal’s name too, if you know it.
    worldcat01
  1. Press the Enter key.
  2. Optional: On the results page, you can further refine your search by selecting options from the left sidebar or adding words to the search field (e.g. an author’s name).
  3. When you find your reference, click its title.
    worldcat02
  4. Confirm that it’s the item you want, then click the Cite/Export link near the top of the page.
    worldcat03
  1. A popup window opens allowing you to select the referencing format.
  2. Click the + sign for the formatting style you want to use. Check them all to find the one that most closely matches your house style.
    worldcat04
  3. Select the details, then copy them (Ctrl+C) to the clipboard and paste them (Ctrl+V) into your References list in your document.

Note: You can view some articles etc. listed in WorldCat in their entirety if you need to check the reference further — these are indicated by a small orange circle with a white ‘e’ inside it.

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There are other (free and paid) services available that also provide this sort of information (I’m aware of http://www.citationmachine.net/ but feel that it has more limitations in its reference formats than WorldCat). If you use any other free services, let me know and I’ll add them to this post.

[Links last checked February 2015]