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Website performance and the hidden environmental impact of the internet

It could be easy to assume, given its intangible nature, that the internet’s environmental impact would be trivial. Unfortunately, the ever-growing volumes of traffic and the data centres and servers required to handle that traffic have grown to account for an estimated 3.7% of global carbon emissions. This is equivalent to that of the worldwide…

30 March 2020Technology

What is a GIF file?

If you’ve scrolled through any social media feeds today, it’s likely you’ll have encountered a few GIF files (pronounced JIF…although personally I’m in the hard ‘G’ camp).

14 June 2019Technology

What is a JPEG file?

If you’ve ever moved photographs from a digital camera to a computer before, you’ll have encountered the JPEG (pronounced jay-peg) file format. These files will end with .jpg or .jpeg. What is a JPEG? A JPEG is a standardised lossy compression mechanism for digital images. Digital cameras compress raw photographs as JPEG images to make…

8 April 2019Technology

The new University search system

During the week beginning 17 December 2018, the University search system will be replaced. The current search system, Google Search Appliance (GSA), will no longer work after 31 December 2018 as Google no longer provide support for this. Instead, we will launch a new system called Funnelback provided by a company called Squiz. The Funnelback…

6 December 2018Technology

5 of the best international calling and texting apps

Ring, ring. Remember these things? You probably don’t since they were so last century. Smartphones have completely revolutionised the way we communicate with one another over the past decade, subsequently rendering cord-tethered landlines a thing of the past — for better or worse.

31 January 2017Articles and resources Technology

Why we have code standards and style guides

Code standards and code style guides are like two sides of the same coin. They essentially tell programmers in a team, or across a larger organisation, how to best write their code. Code standards are the rules and conventions at a high level, whereas code style guides are specific to a particular coding language. We have…

1 December 2016Resource archive Technology

Which technology is being used to access the University website?

Understanding which technology is being used to access the University website is very important as we need to ensure an optimum experience for as many users as possible.

14 October 2016Technology

Google tag manager introduction

I first heard about Google Tag Manager at IWMW when Martin Hawksey gave a  workshop on Google Analytics.  Since then I have been experimenting with Google Tag Manager to see how we can use it to track specific events on a web page. For example, tracking the number of clicks on a tab or link.…

8 September 2016Technology

Singing the praises of Opera’s new privacy features

Singing the praises of Opera’s new privacy features I have long been a fan of everyone’s favourite “other other other browser”, as The Register put it this week, Opera. Opera uses the same rendering engine as Google Chrome, which means that webpages work just as well in Opera as they do in Google. Opera really deserves…

20 May 2016Technology

The new BBC micro:bit computer

One million school children in the UK will soon be receiving their own computer without having to pay a single penny. The BBC, in collaboration with 29 partner organisations, has recently begun the delivery of its new microcomputer, the BBC micro:bit, a pocket-sized computer which will be given to every school child in year 7…

4 May 2016Technology