Ask Dr. Webbie
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? Email your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.
To assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible, be sure to include the following: the name of the browser you are using (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, etc.), the name of the email software you are using (i.e. Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0, OS 10.4 Mail, etc.), and the version of your system software (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
QUESTION: Why does buffering sometimes happen when I'm streaming? How can I prevent this?
Buffering refers to downloading a certain amount of data before starting to play the video. One common form of buffering occurs when your internet connection is too slow to stream a video in real time. Your device will buffer the video data and start playback when there is enough to prevent video lag. If the streaming video reaches the point where it has to wait until more information is available, it will pause, and you'll again see the loading screen. Once the video stream catches up, it plays again.
This process can take just a few seconds or might last several minutes. If the video is long, you might encounter several buffering sessions during your viewing time.
If you experience buffering often and are frustrated by it, you may want to upgrade your internet speed. A slow connection will delay the delivery of audio and video information, in which case you will see the loading screen. A fast connection can stream movies and TV programs virtually without interruption and easily accommodate high-definition or 4D video. For an optimal streaming experience, many internet service providers recommend an internet speed of 25 Mbps or higher.
An additional consideration is how fast your router can send the video and other information to the computers, media streamers, smart TVs, and internet-enabled Blu-ray disc players connected to it. Routers designed to work with streaming video, sometimes called AV routers, can stream more data, reducing playback interruptions. When looking for wireless and power-line adapter accessories, check the speed ratings; they indicate whether they're optimized for AV so you can stream high-definition video and audio.
QUESTION: Is there a rule of thumb with email about using "Reply All" versus "Reply"?
Yes, there are general guidelines to help you decide whether to use "Reply All" or "Reply" when responding to a group email. The reason this becomes an issue is that people in group messages get annoyed when they get a bunch of unnecessary replies in their inbox.
Use "Reply All" only when your reply truly needs to be seen by the original sender and all people in the "To:" and "Cc:" fields. For example, "Reply All" is appropriate for a group discussion about a work project that directly involves every single recipient in the group.
Do not "Reply All" when:
- Only the original sender needs to know your reply.
- Your comments will be crucial to know for the original sender and a few other recipients. Do a normal "Reply" in this case, and then add the select other recipients manually.
- Your message is simple like "Thanks" or something similar.
It all boils down to this: Be mindful of other people's time and don't send your reply to 15 people when only one of them needs to see it. Managing spam messages is bad enough. Don't add to the irritation by using "Reply All" when "Reply" will do.