After the story about Target discovering a woman was pregnant and made the information public, a college professor decided to try and hide her pregnancy from "big data" to keep it private. She did everything she could to be private, including routing her online traffic through Tor (an anonymity network), using an alternate Amazon account, and having items shipped to an alternate location. She also quit using Google in favor of the Duck Duck Go.
Alan bought an 80" Sharp Aquos LCD TV, but he says it doesn't work very well. Every time he loads a movie, it takes forever to load. Leo says that while the TVs are so-called "smart TVs," the apps that they include aren't really that good. Leo advises buying a Roku box. Apps on a TV are really an after thought. Roku specializes in the apps they offer and they do a great job.
Dave is being censored by Google AdSense. Leo says that usually Google does that to prevent click fraud. Dave says the specific word is the name of the cartoon that he features on his site. Leo says to try and appeal it, if he can. It's almost impossible to get a human at Google for help. But Leo advises going to the Google Webmaster site for help. Google also has a phone number at google.com/contact.
Michael has noticed that he gets a warning that some websites are suspect and it won't let him in unless he agrees to take the risk. Leo says that is a function of Google and Microsoft which searches websites and flags them as being at risk for malware. Leo says it's a good service, and helps prevent malware from poorly designed websites from infecting users, especially on the Windows platform. Forums are frequently bit because they are written in open source and rarely updated. They should fix it, because if Michael is having issues, then everyone is.
The latest version of Gmail's iOS app will not only support background app refresh, but also will provide for sign in across all Google apps. This means that once a user signs into gmail, he or she is automatically signed into all Google apps. This also works for signing out. This is leaving users up in arms over the fact that Google is even more intrusive in their daily mobile lives. Users are also complaining that the app refresh will eat up more battery power. In Europe, countries are investigating Google over privacy issues as a result.
John was using Microsoft's built in voice recognition to dictate in Word. He uses the Logitech G35 USB headset and it learned his voice fast. But it won't work at all with chat windows like Skype, or others. It just won't function at all. Leo says that some applications don't support it dictation. Leo suggests doing a test call on Skype to be sure he's getting a good connection. If he has a good connection and dictation still doesn't work in Skype chat, it may not be supported.
Neil got the Motorola Moto X and he loves it. Leo says that from a functional point of view, it's a great phone. The voice controls are great. Neil says that the Google Now's capability of always listening freaks him out, though. Leo says that there's no worry about that. It's very passive. It's not sending what he's saying up to the server, that would be crazy. It just listens for him to say "OK Google Now." When it gets that, it knows to wake up.
Trevor signed up for additional storage on Google Drive and wants to encrypt his data. Leo says that a lot of the value of Google drive is lost if he encrypts it. But many people are concerned with hackers and the NSA seeing everything. Leo says that encryption is a good way to give him peace of mind. TrueCrypt is a free program that allows him to scramble any file and then move it to Google Drive. It will be unreadable to everyone, as long as he uses a good strong password.
Google announced Android Wear this week; an operating system for wearable devices. Already Motorola and LG have announced watches based on Android Wear, and one of the watches is actually round in shape.
Google announces Android Wear, a Nexus-like platform for wearables (Engadget)…