Google

Chromebooks Becoming Popular Choice for Students

Episode 1214

Chromebook

Leo says that this year is becoming the year of the Chromebook thanks to it's low price, ease of use, and the fact that everything has moved to the cloud. The Powerwash feature enables it to start over if something goes wrong.

Leo says that while he was initially skeptical about them, he's come around to the point where he recommends them to many basic users. The Chromebook was made for students in mind. Sales are higher now than they were last year, showing that the Chromebook is really catching on as we become more linked to the cloud.

Google Announces New High Performance Router

Episode 1213

Google announced a new router called OnHub, but it's not cheap at $200. It has 13 antennas in it to guard against congestion. It looks at each of 11 bands periodically and switches to the best, uncongested band for best performance. It also has "Quality of Service" so users can prioritize web traffic. And you can control it via your Android or iOS device. It runs on 8.2.15.4 and Leo has a hunch it's for home automation.

Find out more at on.google.com/hub.

Where can I go to build a new website?

Ted from Mizzoula, MT

Episode 1212

Ted wants to create a new website for his business after parting company with his partner. Is GoDaddy a good option? Leo says it's not his first choice because they use a site builder app that tends to be a bit out of date and makes no provision for mobile devices. Leo suggests SquareSpace. They have more modern site templates and can offer eCommerce. They also support mobile devices, and are very affordable. Google also has some nice site building tools.

How can I get Picasa to work in Windows 10?

Ronald from Laguna Nigel, CA

Episode 1212

Ronald is having problems migrating his photos from Picasa to Google Photos. Leo says that PicasaWeb will eventually become Google Photos. The chatroom suggests going back to Picasa version 3.8, and then let Picasa update itself. But Leo says that getting software from a third party is a dicey affair. So if Ronald can get it directly from Google, then he's in good shape. Google doesn't say that Picasa is compatible with Windows 10, and it may not be. Leo suspects that the compatibility issue could be with Windows Edge, their new browser.

Top Security Tips Prioritized by Regular Users Vs. the Experts

Episode 1205

A recent study done by Google on its security blog comparing the security practices of regular users versus the security experts. Regular users said antivirus topped their list of security priorities, followed by using strong passwords, changing passwords frequently, only visiting websites they know, and not sharing personal information.

Security experts' say installing software updates is the number 1 priority, followed by using unique passwords, use two-factor authentication where its available, use strong passwords, and use a password manager.

How can I block unsolicited calls?

Heath from Clayton, Georgia

Episode 1205

Heath gets a lot of calls he doesn't want throughout the day. How can he block calls from people that aren't in his contact list, or send them directly to voicemail? Until recently, the FCC didn't allow carriers to do that, but carriers now have the ability to block calls. So the carrier could do this. But to block them himself, it isn't possible with an app because Apple doesn't allow alternate dialer apps. There are options for this on Android, however.

Is Google Photos really unlimited?

Jonathan from Florida

Episode 1202

Jonathan was watching Google I/O and he has to admit that Google Photos blew him away. Leo says that it is incredible that they have unlimited photo storage. Leo says Google has nailed it with unlimited storage of photos under 16MP. Anything above 16MP, it will either compress them slightly or it will give you 25GB to store photos at full resolution. But even with the 16MP compression, Google uses their own proprietary compression algorithms, and professional photographers say it's outstanding.

Why do car companies put touch screens in cars when they want us to keep our eyes on the road?

Mike from Maine

Episode 1202

Mike says it's ironic that cars with computer touch screens make it impossible to keep our eyes off the screen when adjusting the radio. They want us to keep our eyes on the road, but they include touch screens and that's nuts. Leo agrees with Mike. Leo says that car companies, and even Apple and Google are looking for hands free solutions including voice operated directions, which work with a smartphone. But Leo doesn't know if that will make things better or worse.