From The Tips Box: New Apple Products, Embedded Videos

Readers offer their best tips for trying out new software before upgrading, playing embedded YouTube videos, and hiding Facebook's new chat bar.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Test New Software at the Apple Store Before Upgrading

Photo by Matt Day.

Jord.graham lets us know how he makes his upgrade decisions:

If you are uncertain about one of apple's new products, like lion or Final Cut X in my case, go to the apple store and play around with it. This convinced me to save $US30 and stick with snow leopard.

Try Web Videos on Their Original Page if Embeds Don't Work

Teknophilia shares a handy tip for watching online video:

If an embedded YouTube video is taking a while to load, I've found that watching it YouTube itself is faster (maybe they give priority to those over embedded ones). I'd really like to know if this has been conclusively proven.

I haven't noticed this much with YouTube myself, but I have noticed much better reliability with other players (like Vimeo) on their sites as opposed to embeds.

Hide Facebook's New Chat Bar by Un-Maximising Your Browser

Calebhudson88 finally gets rid of Facebook's infernal new chat bar:

For those of you who are still frustrated by Facebook's new chat window, there is a way in windows to make Facebook revert back to it's old chat pop-up box in the lower right corner. Just put your internet browser in a resize window (or click on restore down next to the close button if you maximized your window. Voila! That annoying sidebar should be gone. Sadly, there is still the randomness of people that shows up in your box, but it's better than nothing.

Personally, I don't mind the chat box when I have Firefox maximised (after all, it's only taking up what would otherwise be white space). However, this was a welcome change to the new chat layout, and a good enough workaround if you'd just rather not look at it.


    I adblocked the living crap out of the chat box. Apparently by clicking on the gear in the corner you can hide it but it didn't work for me, so I went nuts and set an adblock to hide the entire chat system (including that little "Offline" box at the bottom. My Facebook is now usable!

    The better facebook chrome plugin restores the previous chat bar, amongst many other things

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