Alex Jerez is an artist, developer and musician from Huntington, New York. His most recent projects include and Crosshatch.
Follow Alex on Twitter: @notalexjerez

'Speed-Read' Through a YouTube Video with the New HTML5 Speed Controls

After hearing that Youtube officially changed their default player to HTML5, I thought I'd point out an incredibly useful new feature that I've been using with the new HTML5 controls: changing the video speed.

Sometimes when I want to learn about something new, I check YouTube to see if there are any recent video instructionals that I could invest my time into for the next hour or two. The best videos tend to be on the longer side (over 50 mins). Of course, it's also important for the video to be relatively recent, especially if you're looking up tech videos, which seem to have a very short life-span before going obselete.

With the new speed controls, I can finish a 60 minute course in 45 minutes or less. With the speed bumped up to 1.25x or even 2x, I can still hear everything clearly (albeit a little fast), and I can 'slow it down' back to normal for things that may require a bit more attention. Once you find your pace and get comfortable with the new speed, There's almost no need to stop and go back. I find 1.25x to be a comfortable speed, so I tend to stay there for the most part. The talking might sound a little funny, but that's about the extent of it. Of course, you may want to adjust your speed based on what you're learning.

If used regularly, adjusting the video speed can prove to be a real time-saver, especially if you're a visual learner like me.

I consider this to be the video equivalent to speed reading with an app like, So if you're into life-hacking or learning to make the most out of your free time, this is right up your alley. The new controls allow you to increase the speed of a video to 1.25x, 1.5x and 2x the original speed, as well as slow it down 50% or 25%.

Sig Written in Light

A photo posted by Alex Jerez (@notalexjerez) on


My Christmas gift to dad and @jcaroljerez. Last work before 2014 ends #acrylic #acryliconcanvas

A photo posted by Alex Jerez (@notalexjerez) on

Update your Firefox Flash Plugin on Linux Mint 17

If you're getting Firefox prompts to update your Flash plugin, but you already have the latest plugin in the repository, Try installing the Pepper Flash player on your system by running:

$ sudo apt-get install pepperflashplugin-nonfree

Lion #1

Fixing Shellshock Vulnerability on Linux Mint 14 Nadia

Linux Mint 14 MATE is no longer supported, but if you have no option to upgrade, running this should upgrade bash and make your system safe from the 'Shellshock' vulnerability (CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169).

This worked for me. Your mileage may vary:
  • Download this file, or make a shell script with the following text:
  • Mark it as executable: $ sudo chmod +x [filename]
  • Run it as root: $ sudo ./[filename]
  • Check for vulnerability by running: env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' bash -c "echo this is a test". If you see 'vulnerable' in the output, your bash didn't update. Check to make sure you followed the instructions correctly.
  • Also test this command: env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' sh -c "echo this is a test"
  • If all you see is 'this is a test' in the output, Congratulations! you're all patched up.