Actrix Online Informer – January 2016
The Actrix Online Informer is published each month to help keep
Actrix customers up-to-date with what's happening on the Internet, and to
help ensure they have every opportunity to benefit from it.
Welcome to the January Actrix Online Informer
Welcome to the Actrix Online Informer for January 2016. This month we look back at 2015 to find out what New Zealanders have been watching on YouTube.
We also take a fun look at Wikipedia, and discuss some of the strangest and most unusual entries that you've probably never heard of!
This month's YouTube feature is of a very unusual sporting tradition from the USA! More than 28,000 teddy bears are tossed onto the ice during a hockey game, when Jordy Stallard of the Calgary Hitmen scores the 'teddy bear toss' goal. Have no fear... these teddy bears are being used for good, not evil and none were hurt in the making of the video. All the bears were donated to several charities, ensuring they will find a good home over the holiday season. So if you've never seen how much fun a hailstorm of teddy bears can be, now is your chance!
Holiday wishes and help desk hours
In case you missed our earlier announcement, we would like to take this last opportunity to thank you for your custom during the year and to wish you a safe and relaxing break.
Some customers will require assistance and support over the festive season and we will continue to offer our personalised service from 8:00am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week. The only exceptions are Christmas Day and New Year's Day. We will also be closing early on Christmas Eve.
On these days when your Actrix team is enjoying time with family and friends, our After Hours service will be in place, so any support calls will be logged for follow up the next day.
Stuff, 10 December 2015
Dance videos, film trailers, children's shows, pranks and movie parodies are dominating the videos Kiwis are choosing to watch online.
Video sharing platform YouTube has released a list of New Zealand's top trending videos for 2015, showing which clips attracted Kiwi eyeballs over the last year.
Leading the pack is Peppa Pig - 9 Episode Compilation 2, squashing clips from nine different episodes of the popular kids show into a 43 minutes long video.
The top ranking video has been viewed more than 61 million times.
Australian dance video maker Jayden Rodrigues was the second most popular video maker of the year, with a dance video to Silento hit Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) watched just shy of 70 million times.
Rounding out the top three is Air New Zealand's collaboration with the All Blacks, a Men in Black themed inflight safety video which has amassed more than four million views.
American talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden also proved popular with audiences here in Aotearoa.
Corden's Carpool Karaoke stunt with Justin Bieber, where the pair sing along to the popstar's biggest hits while driving around Los Angeles in a car, was the fourth most viewed video in the country this year.
That was followed up by a Jimmy Kimmel segment where celebrities read out mean messages they had been sent on twitter.
Late Night's Jimmy Fallon finished in sixth place with a lip sync battle he performed alongside comedians Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
A trailer for new franchise instalment Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a prank video scaring newly hired driving instructors, old men busting a move in collared shirts and jumpers on an episode of Britain's Got Talent, and a real-life remake of Let It Go from Frozen close out the list.
The videos have been ranked based on the amount of time people spent watching, sharing, commenting and liking the clips.
In music videos, Wiz Khalifa's See You Again had a rapid climb to the top of the year's most viewed, reaching a billion views in just six months.
Maroon 5 took the second most popular spot with song Sugar 912 million views, and Taylor Swift's celebrity littered video for Bad Blood made it to number three with 660 million views.
Justin Bieber's dance video for song Sorry, directed and choreographed by Kiwi Parris Goebel ,and performed by her all Kiwi girls dance crew, took the fourth spot.
Despite Adele's Xavier Dolan-directed video for Hello only being released at the end of October, the British songstress clocked up enough views in that time to comfortably go to number 10.
NZ's Top 10 Trending Videos of 2015
NZ's Top 10 Trending Music Videos of 2015
On 1 November Wikipedia announced a mind-boggling milestone: Its English edition has logged 5 million entries since its launch in 2001.
That's a profound accomplishment – but also overwhelming, as far as such things go. At 2.5 billion words and almost 30 terabytes of information, the largest repository of human knowledge is far too large to ever be read in its entirety by any individual. (If you started reading, continuously, today, it'd still take you 19 years, plus change.)
So a group of journalists, Wikipedians and Wiki enthusiasts was asked to nominate the highlights: the Wikipedia articles that they find the most informative, the most entertaining or – frequently! – the most comically trivial. The result is a pretty killer list of what brilliance results when the Internet's nerds put their collective minds together.
Helicopter prison escapes
Because it makes life seem like a little more like a 1970s New Hollywood action thriller, one that's partly set in France, with exciting scenes involving helicopters and prison escapes.
A ghost cat, 3m high, which haunts the Washington DC Capitol Buildings. Its home is supposedly the basement crypt of the Capitol that was originally intended as a burial chamber for President George Washington. It explodes when startled.
"The society's version of the story states that a security guard was once licked by a cat when he was lying down. Being drunk, the man thought he was still standing at the time and was frightened by the apparently giant cat."
Lists of lists of lists
Look no further than this page's description: "This article is a list of articles that are themselves lists of articles that are also lists on Wikipedia."
It takes a few reads to comprehend what you're actually looking at, but this is the epitome of Wikipedia. This web page, I believe, is where the internet starts to devour itself.
The prospect of writing an encyclopaedia entry on someone who is indisputably one of the most important figures in history is daunting to say the least. This article is one of the most-linked and most-edited in Wikipedia and is a magnet for virtually every agenda that you can imagine.
In spite of this, the article was promoted to Featured status – indicating that it is the highest quality in Wikipedia. Getting to that point required a wealth of the two most fundamental principles of Wikipedia: collaboration with others and good scholarship.
For the political junkie, this page is like a flash card version of some of the most memorable political catchphrases, gaffes and misspoken statements in world history. You have several well-worn sayings, like the imperial "Veni, vidi , vici" from Julius Caesar to Obama's "Yes we can."
But you also find how volatile foreign politics can be. Ireland has four famous phrases with f-bombs in them. During Ontario's 2003 general election, then-Premier Ernie Eves called his opponent an "evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet."
And nothing beats what former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange said when asked by a journalist for "a brief word" about Australia: "Wombat."
What Wikipedia is not
People go to Wikipedia to find out what things are, and I love that an encyclopaedia is self-reflective enough to decide what it contains but does not embody.
Inventors killed by their own inventions
This list is so ironic. The point of invention is to improve the human experience. For the inventor to be killed is the last thing one would expect or want to do. This says something about the relationship between humans and technology. While lots of good is created, there are downsides we don't always foresee.
This is actually a thing!
Every month we've been bringing you ten new and exciting websites. This month we take a quick look back at 2015 to share with you again the websites that our readers found helpful, interesting and funny.
Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents.
Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers?
Click here to e-mail and let me know!
Cyberspace news snippets
What's been happening in the online world?
No Uber for the regions?: Passenger service Uber may halt its New Zealand expansion if a government proposal for the company to operate under the same regulations as taxis goes ahead. Click here for more.
Wellington app creation company PaperKite triples revenue but curbing growth to keep quality: A Wellington tech company has turned down three times as much business as it accepted last year, and despite tripling its annual revenue, its owner is in no rush to grow further. Click here for more.
Vodafone Supports Young Kiwis with Technology Scholarships: Vodafone is offering young kiwis an opportunity to develop a career in cutting-edge technology, with a $160,000 boost to its national scholarship programme. Next year Vodafone will offer eight two-year scholarships up to the value of $20,000 each, to school leavers who will be able to study in either Christchurch or Auckland. Click here for more.
Track Your Kids Flying Air New Zealand: Air New Zealand have unveiled a world-first new kid-tracking wristband called Airband, which will provide peace of mind for parents letting their kids travel by air on their own. Click here for more.
Kiwi designer creates flags for the 103 fictional planets in Star Wars: While New Zealand's flag debate has intensified in recent weeks, with a Kyle Lockwood blue and black design with a silver fern judged the preliminary winner, a Kiwi designer has shifted his gaze to the regalia of lands in a galaxy far, far away. Click here for more.
Smartphone claims to last 15 days on one charge: A new smartphone that is due out early next year claims to have a battery life of between 10 and 15 days. The 5.5-inch Oukitel K10000, which is made by a Chinese company, has not been independently tested to verify its performance. Click here for more.
Music festival adopts world-class visual technology: New Year's music festival adopts world-class visual technology. More than 5000 partygoers will be treated to the ultimate experience of light, sound and optical illusion when state-of-the-art video mapping technology comes alive at the South Island's biggest New Year's party, Rhythm and Alps (R&A). Click here for more.
Exploring the Internet of Things: The age of the Internet of Things where everyday items like your fridge or bed are connected to the web is approaching. Click here for more.
Contactless payments growing worldwide: Several major Australian banks will accept payments from Google's Android Pay when it launches next year, in a step forward for the contactless payments industry that Apple is struggling to crack. Click here for more.
Santa expected to deliver 1 million drones this Christmas: The Los Angeles Convention Center sounds like an apiary. The buzz and whine is the non-stop soundtrack of the International Drone Expo, the largest of its kind in the world. Click here for more.
What Apple could buy with $200b: Christmas is days away, but that hasn't stopped people from drawing up Apple's shopping list for 2016. Click here for more.
Giphy app update makes sharing GIFs easier: There are so many ways to express your emotions online. Raise your voice BY TYPING IN ALL CAPS, insert a simple smiley face or take it a step further with the always-popular emoji. Click here for more.
Google 'gravely disappointed' by proposed driverless car restrictions: Google says it's "gravely disappointed" by proposed rules from California regulators that would restrict the use of driverless cars and would ban them from traveling on public roads in the US state without a licensed human driver aboard. Click here for more.
Facebook testing changes to its strict 'real name' policy : Facebook has changed a lot since it first went online, but at least one thing has remained pretty much immovable: The site requires users to use their "real" names, and not a pseudonym, on the social network. Click here for more.
Could Facebook's new 'dislike' button lead to more cyber-bullying?: Facebook has confirmed it is looking at a "dislike" button – raising fears that more users could find themselves unwittingly exposed to peer disapproval or cyber-bullying. Click here for more.
How technology and social media play a role in 'The Jungle Book': Disney is going beyond the bare necessities in promoting its live-action film The Jungle Book. Click here for more.
You can now call an Uber without leaving Facebook Messenger: The latest target? Transportation, with the messaging app launching a new transportation platform inside of the app. Facebook's first partner on the platform is Uber, and, beginning Wednesday, people who live in cities in the U.S where Uber is available can arrange rides directly from the app. Click here for more.
Top 5 worst social media brand blunders of 2015: As long as brands are on social media, there will be gaffes, goofs, and outright mistakes. This year was no exception. The following five social media blunders are funny, awkward, offense, or ill-conceived. Click here for more.
Apple vs. Android vs. Amazon vs. Microsoft
Microsoft Builds Android App Store For Its Own Android Apps Inside Of The Android App Store: Microsoft has a new app out called 'Microsoft Apps' on Android that contains a list of its Android apps that you can download on the Android app store. Click here for more.
Amazon Rolls Out A Referral Program To Encourage More Customers To Shop On Mobile: Amazon already has the number one Shopping app in the App Store, but the company believes it still has room to grow. Now, to incentivize more customers to install its app and shop from their phones, the online retailer is pushing out a mobile referral program that's paying up to $10 for each new mobile app user. Click here for more.
Facebook's Fast-Loading 'Instant Articles' Hit Android: Facebook Instant Articles are rolling out to all Android users following a public beta test. Click here for more.
Microsoft pushing Waikato as a technology hub : The Silicon Valley of New Zealand is right here in the Waikato. The region has earned a reputation for producing New Zealand's best technologists at the university and is ideal for many businesses because of its geologic stability. Click here for more.
How the iPad Pro changed my computing needs: Apple's iPad Pro is the perfect tool for my work as a freelance journalist. It's light, powerful, has a battery that lasts all day and a good keyboard. Click here for more.
Security and Privacy
Kiwis overly confident with their online security: Kiwis are increasingly aware of cybercrime, but are overconfident in their ability to avoid it, a study shows. The Symantec survey showed that 83 per cent of New Zealanders worry that they may become the victim of online crime, and 65 per cent believed that their credit card was more likely to be compromised online than stolen from their wallet. Click here for more.
Online Crime Costs New Zealand Consumers $257 million: The report found that 83 percent of New Zealanders worry they will be a victim of online crime, and 65 percent believe it is more likely their credit card information will be stolen online than from their wallets. Click here for more.
The Weird, Wide Web
The top 10 things you CAN'T have for Christmas 2015: This is how it's supposed to work: You pen a note to Santa outlining how wonderfully well behaved you've been throughout the year and put forward a wishlist of all the goodies you deserve in recognition of your exemplary performance. Click here for more.
The weirdest stories of 2015: Every now and then a story comes along that is so outrageous it can cause you to do a double take. There were a few such stories in 2015 – such as the Swedish stripper who claimed to have six ribs removed in an attempt to look like Jessica Rabbit or the new trend in Russia of women riding on the back of motorcycles wearing next-to-nothing. Here, we take a look at seven of the weirdest stories of the year. Click here for more.
Each month we dredge through our archives to pull out stories from the Actrix Newsletter of exactly five years ago. Sometimes these stories will show just how much the net has changed in such a short time, and sometimes they'll be included just because they're interesting.
Census officials boost online option: Statistics New Zealand is hoping a third of the population will use the internet to fill out their forms next year. Click here for more.
Quakes, Paul Henry and Bieber top Google searches: Earthquakes, Paul Henry and, of course, Justin Bieber have been revealed as the top topics capturing Kiwis' interest this year. Click here for more.
First ultrafast broadband cities named: New Plymouth, Hamilton, Tauranga, Whangarei and Wanganui will be among the first cities hooked up to ultrafast broadband under the Government's $1.35 billion scheme. Click here for more.
Homeless pets join Facebook: A new breed of user has joined Facebook to make friends - they're homeless, furry and often have a penchant for Postman Pat and the music of Lil' Bow Wow. Click here for more.
Virtual walk around Wellington's highlights: Start-up company Beek is giving the world a virtual peek at Wellington tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels. The company creates virtual walkthroughs of sites and buildings for the web to provide prospective visitors with an interactive destination guide. Click here for more.
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