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Internet 101 – Answers to Ten FAQs

internet

Have you ever wondered what some Internet term/acronym actually meant, but were afraid to ask?

No need to fear. Here’s our list of 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that might provide answers…
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What are QR Codes?

QR codes (or quick response codes) are a type of 2D bar code technology that can be decoded using a smartphone (and some mobile phones) with a QR code reader installed.

QR codes began their life in Japan as a method to track auto parts. Today QR codes can be seen on marketing materials such as movie posters, bus ads, billboards, newspaper ads, business cards, flyers and other everyday things.

There are two main things that you have to have when you deal with QR codes:

  1. A mobile phone with a camera and Internet connectivity
  2. A QR code reader application

Where do I get a QR code reader?

Many smartphones coming out nowadays have a QR code reader already installed or you can easily download and install a reader from your phone’s app store. Try searching for ‘QR code reader’ or ‘QR code scanner’.


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Flash War – Adobe Hands Win to Apple

A war between Apple and Adobe was declared long ago over whether Flash should be on mobile devices. Apple took a stand that proprietary Flash would cause slowdowns and drain batteries and the future was delivering video using HTML5. Apple mobile devices powered by iOS continue to fly off the shelves in record numbers. Even though they can’t run Adobe Flash content and Apple device owners are still able to enjoy playing online games and video. Other devices such as the BlackBerry Playbook have bragged about their ability to handle Flash content, but it looks like Adobe has admitted defeat to Apple – at least on delivering mobile video.

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Is Flash Bad Technology?

Adobe Flash is not all bad. It is an older technology that has many problems, but it still does do a few things better than anything else.

The Good

  • Flash can help you use any font you want on a website without copyright issues.
  • Flash is the easiest way to offer games on the web.
  • Flash has been extending the limitations of HTML since its release and has offered a richer web experience by allowing for animations, transitions and music handling.
  • Flash offers exactly the same content across all web browsers and platforms, without any additional code. It’s the most widely adopted web browser plug-in in the world.
  • Flash has made it easy to show video on websites (YouTube, Vimeo etc) because of its compressing and packaging abilities, and is a great way around common video codec issues.
  • Flash is supported on some mobile devices such as Android.

The Bad

  • Flash does not run on iPhone, iPad and many other mobile devices!
  • Many websites with Flash elements tax performance of the processors of visitor’s computers.
  • Flash will never be as good at search engine optimization as pure HTML. Even if you do everything right with Flash and Google gets better at reading Flash content – you still need to have fallback HTML content.
  • Most Flash animations can be replaced with similar animations created with Javascript. In addition, developing Flash animations is often more expensive that using a JavaScript library that will do the same thing. I’m still shocked every time I see a photo carousel/rotator that uses Flash.
  • Flash runs stand-alone outside of the web browser. The effect of this is that if you focus the Flash movie, all web browser keyboard shortcuts and focus is lost, and you need to click outside of the Flash area to re-focus.
  • Overusage of Flash by bad designers and advertisers has forced some people to turn it off, refuse to update their Flash player or install extensions such as Flashblock.

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