Unless you get an Android phone that's advertised as a "pure Google experience," chances are your Android phone has some pre-installed software that often is referred to as "bloatware." This means it has extra programs or features that are installed over top of Android, and in many cases cannot be removed. Samsung's recent phones have particularly suffered from this. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to at least hide these unwanted extras.
Quartz published an article this week declaring that 2013 was a terrible year for technology and that innovation was albeit over. Leo doesn't agree, though. First, the story of Edward Snowden blowing the whistle of how prevalent the NSA's eavesdropping on Americans was a huge story in technology. Google's Project Glass was an interesting story that may be the beginning of wearable computing.
As 2013 comes to a close, Leo says that privacy, or the loss of it, should be viewed as the topic of the year. As the NSA has spread its reach further into our lives, even the major tech companies have taken out a huge ad campaign to say "stop spying on us." But there's also some nice things about a lack of privacy. Google has created Auto-Awesome Movies, a year end movie of all the photos posted to Google Plus. Leo says it's a great document to show the year, but it's also a horrendous invasion of privacy.
Dana has been using Weebly for storing documents and she's discovered that it isn't very secure. What options are there? Leo says that there's often educational software that she can get to run on her own servers.
Frank has found a folder on his computer that seems to be part of Google, but also has the word malware in it. Leo says that it's Google's anti phishing file folder that's been saved from running Firefox or Chrome. It's a database of sites that are blocked when he's surfing the net. This folder is safe, but it's a good thing that Frank suspected something.
Aaron is having an issue where all of his computers get redirected to "CloudFlair.com" when he tries to access Google. Leo says that Aaron's ISP is doing that. It's a service that specializes in protecting people against attacks. Could he change to OpenDNS? Leo says sure, but he may end up getting a different, but similar message. This is something browsers do with expired or mismatched certificates. Leo says that Aaron should try using Google's DNS, which is 22.214.171.124.
Google bought robotics company Boston Dynamics this week. This is the company that makes the Cheetah robot that can outrun Usain Bolt.
Google Acquires Robotics-Design Company Boston Dynamics (Mashable)…
Carrie is having issues with Google Chrome not loading properly, and reload doesn't really work. Leo says that it sounds like her internet connection is erratic. A loading error usually means the computer can't make a connection. The website may be down as well.