How to screenshot YouTube videos [Firefox]

Screenshot tools are absurdly common both for the desktop and for browsers. In fact, you can even find tools that let you take screenshots of your desktop and entire websites from the terminal/command prompt. If you have a very specific screenshot need i.e., you need to screenshot YouTube videos, and you need an easy way to do it that other tools don’t give you, you can try the¬†YouTube Screenshot Button add-on for Firefox.

Screenshot YouTube videos

Download the YouTube Screenshot Button add-on, and then visit YouTube. Select a video to play, and next to the closed caption button, you will see the ‘Screenshot’ button. Click it to take a screenshot.

You will see the Firefox download file dialog box which gives you the option to open the image or to save it. This is where the add-on shines. It saves the screenshot with the same name as the video that you’re taking a screenshot of, and it will also append the time from the video that the screenshot was taken on to the name.

The add-on saves screenshots as a PNG file however the file is in fact a JPG file. If you try to open it, it likely will not open unless you change the file’s extension from PNG to JPG.

The size of the screenshot depends on the size of the video player. The add-on works in all three video player sizes including the full screen player. It doesn’t work in the PiP mode but for all other player sizes, the Screenshot button will be there.

If you’re having trouble figuring out the best size for the player and the Firefox window, it’s best to take a screenshot in full screen or, you can resize the Firefox window to the correct resolution. As for the little bug with the file extension, there’s no option to change the file extension when you download files through Firefox’s download box. Your only option is to rename the file after it’s been downloaded. If you have an image viewer that can correctly display the file even if the extension isn’t correct, you don’t have anything to worry about but most image viewers will likely throw an error.

You can use IrfanView to view these images. It not only detects the correct extension for a file, it can also fix it. All you have to do is allow it to make the fix and it will take care of the rest.

Read How to screenshot YouTube videos [Firefox] by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check if Xbox Live is down or not

Xbox is a popular gaming platform and Xbox live is a service that you can’t really avoid. It’s owned by Microsoft so even if you don’t play games on an Xbox, you can’t really escape it though Xbox live may not be as unavoidable on a PC. Xbox live may be a great service but like all services, it’s prone to technical problems where it may go offline. If you’re unable to sign into Xbox, or are having other problems with the service, it might be because Xbox Live is down. Here’s how you can check.

Xbox Live – down or not

Since Xbox and its services are a Microsoft property, you can imagine how slow a response there normally is and when there’s a response, it normally only acknowledges a problem with the service without giving you too many details. If you need to keep a close eye on the service, consider using a website called DownDetector.

There’s no shortage of monitoring services for Xbox but¬†DownDetector offers you a live coverage map which, in case of regional and/or intermittent outages, is more useful. The web service lets you view a history of outages and it also has apps for Android and iOS, and an Alexa skill.

By default, it will tell you if there’s currently an issue with Xbox but if you want to see a live coverage map, click the little thumbnail next to the 24 hour graph depicting outages and how extensive it is.

The indicated areas have problems with Xbox live. You can use the zoom in controls to zoom into parts of a map and see if your particular area is also affected.

Often, the outages can take a long time to actually show up and be acknowledge however, if it’s a global outage you can expect a quicker response from Microsoft. Regardless of how quickly an outage is acknowledged, it is nevertheless fixed as fastest possible. The Xbox is an exceptionally popular platform and Microsoft pushes it onto its users even if they’re using a PC so it’s highly unlikely that resolving an outage will take too long.

If you’re having problems with Xbox live, and there are no detected outages in your area, you might need to troubleshoot your device as well as your internet connection. It’s also a good idea to make sure access to the service hasn’t been blocked on a router level. ISPs aren’t going to block access to the service but other users who can access your router might have made the change for whatever reason.

Read How to check if Xbox Live is down or not by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to create and share collections on Facebook

Facebook added a bookmarking feature a few years ago to both its web and mobile apps. This feature, known as ‘Saved’ allows you to save anything from links, photos, pages, to places and events. It’s useful for when you need to recall something. After 4 years, the feature is finally being updated. You can now selectively group items from your Saved list into collections. You can then share collections on Facebook with your friends and invite them to contribute to them as well.

Collections on Facebook

You can create and share collections on Facebook from both the desktop web version and from the apps.

Facebook Web

Visit Facebook and from the column on the left, click Saved. On your Saved page, you ought to see a New Collection button. Click it, give your collection a name, and you’re done.

Once you’ve created a collection, return to the Saved list and you will see a ‘Add to Collection’ button next to every single item in the list. Click it, select the collection you want to add the item to, and it will be added to the collection.

To share a collection with a friend, and invite them to add items to it as well you’re going to have to go to the Facebook apps. The collaboration feature has not been added to the web interface.

Facebook app

Make sure your Facebook app is up to date. Open the app and go to the hamburger tab. Tap Saved, and on the Saved screen you will see a Create a Collection button. Tap it, name your collection, and you can start adding items to it.

Collections on the Facebook app are far better designed compared to the web interface. You can add collaborators from the collection’s page by tapping the Invite button, and you can add items to it by tapping the Add Items button. On the app, you can add items from your Saved list and also from outside it.

This feature is going to be handy. The Saved list allows you to retrieve pages and posts you’re interested in and Collections will allow you to collaborate with your friends if you’re planning an event e.g., a lunch.

It certainly beats sharing links and pages over a chat thread where you have to constantly scroll through it to find something. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to how many friends you can invite to a collection or how many items can be added to one.

Read How to create and share collections on Facebook by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to compress images with Google Squoosh

Image compression is a tricky thing. When you compress an image, you want the quality to remain more or less the same but the size to be reduced. In most cases, an image is compressed to save space however a reduced size almost always means a reduction in quality. There are loads of different services and apps that you can use to compress images and Google has one in the mix too. It’s called Squoosh and it’s fairly good.

Compress images with Squoosh

Squoosh works in your browser and can also run offline. The app is an experimental one and it supports OptiPNG, MozJPEG, WebP, Browser PNG, Browser JPEG, and Browser WebP. You can use it in any modern web browser.

Visit Squoosh and add the image you want to compress. Once you add the image, you have to select which format it is you want to convert it to after compression.

You should know that both JPEG and WebP are lossy formats. Each format has its own compression settings that you can customize.

When you add an image, the app displays it across two panes. The left pane shows you the original image, and the right one shows you the image after the compression has been applied. You can click and drag the image to view other parts of it, post compression. To select the compression format, open the menu at the bottom left and under the Compress section open the dropdown. In addition to converting and compressing an image, you can also resize it and reduce its color palette. Reducing the color palette will obviously result in a less sharp image.

The control box at the bottom left will show you how much the file size has been reduced. To download the compressed image, click the download button at the bottom of the control box on the right.

With the brief tests we did, the compression isn’t bad at all. In fact, there was no noticeable drop in quality for the photos that we tested with. It is possible that for images that feature more drastic changes in lighting e.g., a photo of a sunset against a city skyline, there will be more dark areas after compression. For indoor photos, the results were fairly good.

Compression is always going to result in loss of quality however, developers have been striving to limit how much quality is lost when an image is compressed and compared to a few years ago, there’s been reasonable progress.

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How to fix Steam too many login failures from your network error

Steam is a gaming platform and you might think that security doesn’t matter much on it. After all, what’s someone going to steal? Your in-game achievements? If you buy games on Steam, and everyone does, your billing information not to mention your phone number are two things potential hackers might be interested in. That’s why, if you have one too many failed long in attempts, Steam locks you out. You see the error message “There have been too many login failures from your network in a short time period. Please wait and try again later”.

The problem with this error message is that it doesn’t define how long the ‘short time period’ ought to be. Here’s how you can fix the Steam too many login failures from your network error.

Wait 30 minutes

The ‘short time period’ is 30 minutes long. If you have that time, wait it out and then log in to Steam. The error will disappear though you might still be prompted to enter a CAPTCHA code.

Different Network

The main problem, other than that you forgot your password and made one too many attempts to guess it, is that the attempts all came from one network. Steam is now suspicious of that network and has placed a soft ban on you from using it to sign in. The quick solution is to use a different network to sign in.

Now, no one has a second internet connection available on hand in case Steam places a soft ban on their network so you have two alternatives; a mobile hotpot, or a VPN.

Mobile Hotspot

Everyone has a phone and most, if not all, modern Android phones and all iPhones allow you to create a hotspot. You can connect your PC or laptop to your phone’s hotspot and login to Steam. Use Steam with the hotspot for thirty minutes after which you can switch back to your main connection. This will consume your mobile data so think carefully before you opt for this solution.

VPN

You need Steam to think you’re connecting from a different network than the one you made so many failed attempts from. To do that, consider using a VPN. The VPN will mask your IP and allow you to by-pass the soft ban. If you’re already using a VPN, disconnect it and connect to the internet directly. The end-result will be the same. Once the 30 minute ban expires, you can use Steam the way you normally do i.e., with or without a VPN.

Make sure you choose a good VPN if that’s the route you go with. Some VPNs don’t do a good job at masking your IP while others don’t encrypt traffic. We recommend using ExpressVPN if you’re in the market for a service. It’s fast and reliable, and also as secure as they come. AddictiveTips readers can also get the first three months free if they purchase an annual plan.

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