Violet Blue from ZDnet put out a very strongly worded opinion piece blaming Google's Sergey Brin about the woes of the world. She says that in 2011, Brin was telling all of us that Google+ was the future of Google. But just earlier this week, Brin confessed that his involvement in anything tangentially related to social media was a mistake to begin with. She goes on about how Google sees the users as a "little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of salable data."
Sandra wanted to know if Leo recommended using Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer. Leo says he doesn't really like Internet Explorer, and uses Chrome instead. If she's using Internet Explorer, she should make sure to have version 11 or later to stay secure. Leo prefers Google Chrome because it has Flash built in, it sandboxes each tab, and is generally a more secure browser.
Jay wants to know if a Chromebook is a good option for kids. Leo says absolutely. Great for school work because Google docs is all online. But will it be good for a college student or should he get a low spec MacBook Air? Leo says he can get great deals for students with 10% off, plus Apple just dropped the price $100. So a MacBook Air is ideal for a college student.
Avery has been using SquareSpace for his podcast. Leo says that the best thing for every person interested in podcasting and blogging is a website. And use social media to get others to link to him. That's how he can get the word out, and that's how people will find his site when they search for him. Check it out at AveryMiller.org
Google has bought the app Word Lens, which allows users to hold up their smart phone and translate the words on signs. Google plans to incorporate the technology into Google Translate, which Leo says is a great addition.
On Friday, a federal court overturned the Google vs. Oracle decision about Google's use of the Java API in Android. The Android operating system is based on Linux and something called Java, a programming language written almost 20 years ago by Sun. Oracle acquired Sun in 2010, and now is the owner of the Java programming language as well. Java has nice advantages -- it's a clean language and can run on a variety of platforms. This means Android could run on a variety of different hardware.
Joe got a VOiP box from Obihai which lets him have phone service. But now it won't let him use third party apps like Google Chat. Leo says that was always a hack that Obihai used in order to use Google Chat. Google has taken the XMPP servers down, which means Obihai can't use it. And as such, they've created alternatives. But they won't necessarily be free when they do.
Diane's Android phone had the Android Kit Kat update pushed to her and now all her passwords are gone. Leo says that if she has the setting checked that allows Google to restore her settings and passwords (under "Backup and Reset"), then she can reset them. If it isn't, then she's unfortunately out of luck. So moving forward, Leo recommends having that box checked, plus the box for automatic restore.
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.