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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.


Questions and comments about the Actrix Online Informer can be e-mailed to editor@actrix.co.nz
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to support@actrix.co.nz.

Actrix – best little ISP in New Zealand

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!

YouTube feature

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.

The top ten YouTube videos to make it big New Zealand this year

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

  1. Peppa Pig - 9 Episode Compilation 2! - theofficialpeppa
  2. Silento - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn - JaydenRodrigues
  3. Men In Black Safety Defenders #AirNZSafetyVideo - airnewzealand
  4. Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke - TheLateLateShow
  5. Mean Tweets - Music Edition #2 - JimmyKimmelLive
  6. Lip Sync Battle with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon - latenight
  7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2 - starwars
  8. Fast & Furious Nerd Shocks Instructors - mxmantv
  9. Old Men Grooving bust a move, and maybe their backs! " Britain's Got Talent 2015 - BritainsGotTalent09
  10. Frozen Let it Go - In Real Life - therobster1992

NZ's Top 10 Trending Music Videos of 2015

  1. Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth
  2. Maroon 5 - Sugar
  3. Taylor Swift - Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar
  4. Justin Bieber - Sorry (PURPOSE : The Movement)
  5. Silentó - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) (Official)
  6. Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do (Official Video)
  7. Rihanna And Kanye West And Paul McCartney - FourFiveSeconds
  8. Omarion Ft. Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko - Post To Be (Official Video)
  9. Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On (feat. MŘ) (Official Music Video)
  10. Adele - Hello

View the videos.

The most fascinating Wikipedia articles you haven't read

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.

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_helicopter_prison_escapes.

Demon cat

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."

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_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.

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lists_of_lists.

Jesus

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.

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus.

Political catchphrases

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."

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_catchphrases.

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.

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not.

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.

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_inventors_killed_by_their_own_inventions.

Extreme ironing

This is actually a thing!

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_ironing.

Interesting sites: A look back at 2015 

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!

Letters of Note
www.lettersofnote.com – If you still believe in taking the time to write a real letter to people who matter and take great pleasure in receiving one in kind, Letters of Note will hold powerful appeal. The site scans and posts letters from celebrities, which range from the mundane to the outright hilarious. Each scanned missive comes with a transcript, in case the handwriting is hard to read. It's a wonderful reminder of the power of the written word.

StumbleUpon
www.stumbleupon.com – Experiencing boredom? Experience the endless amazement of StumbleUpon. It's similar to flicking TV channels. You select the categories you want to see and then can rate what they show you. It's a great place to explore when you need to kill time in a waiting room.

Not Always Right
http://notalwaysright.com/ – The saying goes, "the customer is always right," which is obviously not true, as anyone who's ever worked retail (or watched anyone else go shopping) will tell you. This site is filled with the best anecdotes of those on the shopping front lines. Prepare to be shocked (or maybe not) by the craven acts and utter stupidity of your fellow humans. And check out the sister sites about family, romance, school, and the workplace.

White Whine
http://whitewhine.com – If you think those of privilege have nothing to complain about, visit White Whine, the globe's finest collection of First World bellyaching about trivial problems. From loathing the colour scheme on an iPhone to limos that don't have partitions to thinking the Grand Canyon view is "just ok," these are the people who'll make you want to yell at the world.

Batman Maths
www.desmos.com/calculator/mfozq1hikr – If you can think back to your mathematics classes during your schooling days, you might remember something about having to create formulae to represent curves on your page. Well this site uses these formulae to create a series of curves and lines that combine to make some pretty neat pictures – like this one of Batman. Very nerdy, but very cool!

FlapMMO
http://flapmmo.com – The Flappy Bird craze hit its peak around February of this year, but you'll still find a fair amount of people playing FlapMMO – arguably the game's cleverest spin-off. It's just like the original game, requiring you to tap a button to flap between vertical pipes, except there are dozens of other people controlling their own birds, trying to survive for longer. It's funny to see all these birds engaged in this hopeless struggle – and kind of sad when you get good enough to leave them behind.
Background Burner
www.bonanza.com/background_burner – For those without serious Photoshop skills, Background Burner does a surprisingly good job of removing background images from photos. You just pick the image you want, and the site automatically figures out what's in the foreground, presenting a few different levels of background removal to choose from. It's great for joining the latest Photoshop battle even if you can't wield a lasso tool.
The Internet Arcade
https://archive.org/details/internetarcade – If you need to take a break and have some fun, the Internet Archive has gathered over 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s through the 1990s and made them all playable in your browser. Games included in the collection range from early black and white games all the way up to 90s staples like Street Fighter II. The games are emulated in your browser and you can control everything with your keyboard. Just head to the link below, pick your favourite game, and relive some memories.
FileThis
https://filethis.com/ – Connect FileThis to the various services you use each month – banking, credit cards, utilities and the like – and it'll automatically pull in your statements and paperwork from each one, storing it all for you online, on your computer or in one of several popular cloud-based storage services. There's a free plan that connects to six services, with 12- and 30-connection plans running between $2 and $5 (USD) per month.
SuperfoodsNZ
www.superfoodsnz.co.nz/ – SuperfoodsNZ is complete and comprehensive online health products shop. It's owned and operated by a qualified naturopath and herbalist with 25 years experience and who just happens to be an Actrix customer. SuperfoodsNZ specialises in hard to find, best quality products. Its range includes health supplements, weight loss and diet products, herbal medicines, healthy food, teas, skin care products and sugar free sweets and drinks. Might be just what the doctor ordered after the sweet and savoury excesses you've probably enjoyed over the Christmas break.

Cyberspace news snippets

What's been happening in the online world?

New Zealand

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.

General

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.

Social Media

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.

It was five years ago today

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.

 

Bringing it all back home

Thanks again for reading the Actrix Online Informer. Feedback can be sent to me via the e-mail address listed below. Please limit this to comments/suggestions regarding the newsletter. The best place to send requests for support is the Actrix Help Desk (support@actrix.co.nz) or to the Accounts Department (accounts@actrix.co.nz).

Take care through January!

Rob Zorn
editor@actrix.co.nz
http://editor.actrix.co.nz 

 

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