Pro-Tip: Duolingo’s “Double Or Nothing”

Cropped screen shot of Duolingo's Double Or Nothing Store Item

Some folks spend 20 lingots every week on Duolingo’s “Weekend Amulet” feature, to protect their streak if they forget to do a lesson or story on a Saturday or Sunday. That’s cool– I used to do the same, until I became low-key obsessed with “Legendary Levels.”

The thing about “Legendary Levels” is they cost 10 lingots per attempt, unless you are a member of Duolingo Plus. This makes the “Weekend Amulet” equivalent to two “Legendary Level” attempts, and suddenly I decided I needed to stop “wasting” lingots and make more of them.

This is where the “Double Or Nothing” feature comes in. Basically, at the start of the feature’s purchase, you’re obliged to participate for a seven-day streak. If you miss a day, you lose the 5 lingots purchase price. But if you nail all seven day’s participation, you get 10 lingots back as a reward. For me, it’s a no-brainer because I know I’m doing Duolingo every day, and why would I pass up the opportunity to get 5 “extra” lingots back in my pocket every week?

But here’s the catch– unless you buy “Double or Nothing” as the first activity of Duolingo in your day, the 7-day count starts on the following day.

In other words, if you:

  1. Do a lesson and/or story to maintain your current streak
  2. Buy “Double or Nothing”

You’ll be on “Day 0 of 7” until you do a story and/or lesson the following day.

But if you do this instead:

  1. Buy “Double or Nothing” first thing
  2. Then do a lesson or story

then Congratulations! Because you’ve just completed the first day of your seven day wager.

I know. Earning 5 lingots in 7 days instead of 8 isn’t the life changer you were likely hoping for when you started reading. However, if you internalize this habit and perform it consistently every week, in two months you’ll be 8 days/5 lingots “ahead” of anyone else who is doing the “Double Or Nothing” as the second thing in their Duolingo activities.

And when you’re aiming to take the #1 Spot in the Diamond League, sometimes being able to unlock one or two more legendary levels more than your competition in the final moments for the League cutoff can be what puts you over the top.

Twitter, Chrome, and .jpg_large files

I know, it’s 2018– who uses the Twitter website in the Google Chrome web browser any more, when you can do so much of your Twitter experience in mobile apps? Well, have you ever tried removing a member from a list on the Twitter Android app?

I rest my case.

So, if you’ve ever tried to save a Twitter image file in Google Chrome, you’ve probably noticed it gets saved with the peculiar file extension of .jpg_large, rather than plain old .jpg.  This has been a known issue on Chromium’s Issue Tracker since 2013, and closed with a status of “Won’t Fix” because the Chromium developers felt this was Twitter’s problem to solve.

Fortunately, the folks behind the “Refined Twitter” Chrome Extension didn’t feel the same way.


CSS Media Queries Device Breakpoints vs. Windows Display

Windows 10 Display Settings, with text size at 125%.
Windows 10 Display Settings, with text size at 125%.

Ran into an interesting problem last week, and wanted to share it here while it was still fresh in my mind.

I’d received a support ticket from a client who was seeing the mobile version of our website, even though she was viewing it on a desktop with Google Chrome’s zoom level set at 100%. If she decreased Chrome’s zoom level to 90%, the website would suddenly transition into the desktop version.

It turns out there were two factors contributing to this issue:

  1. Her older monitor supported a maximum screen width of 1280 pixels.
  2. Her Windows Display settings had a “Change the size of text, apps, and other items” feature set to 125%.

Since the 125% setting effectively removes 25% of the total screen width (1280 – 320 = 960 pixels), Google Chrome fell beneath the 1024 pixel width for the desktop media query, and was displaying the tablet/mobile version.  Changing Chrome’s zoom level down to 90% was an effective increase of 10% screen width, increasing the effective screen width to 1056 pixels– which caused the CSS media query for desktops to suddenly come into effect.

With the higher resolutions on newer monitors and/or laptops, you’re less likely to encounter this issue because it would take a greater percentage to drop a higher resolution below the 1024 pixel threshold.

Hope this helps someone else solve this issue, if they encounter it.