Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Gina tried to change her Windows account to a limited user, but now she has no internet connection. What happened? Leo says that sometimes a program won't operate properly unless it runs as an administrator. So that may cause the issue connecting to the Internet. She also has DSLExtreme and it may be that downgrading may have broken her connection to them. Leo says she should double check her connections as well. But at this point, Leo advises contacting DSLExtreme to ask them for help.
Mary has Earthlink and for the last three days, they've been down in L.A. Leo says that's terrible! She wants to know if they've been bit by heartbleed. Leo says it's probably more serious than that. Heartbleed can be fixed with a simple server upgrade, but this sounds like a cascading failure where fixing one thing impacts more things. Leo thinks it's time to get a new ISP. DSLExtreme is good. Leo advises asking them to move Mary and request an estimate of how long it will take, because it could take several days or even weeks to make that switch.
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.
Jay is having trouble with the design of his Twitter account. Leo says that Jay is using the new Twitter interface that's being gradually rolled out, and it looks more like Facebook. If he doesn't like it, he could still use a third party twitter client. Leo likes Tweetbot.
Bob has been getting warnings that he's "overdrawn" on his MiFi data plan and wants to know if he's been struck by the Heartbleed virus. Leo says no. Heartbleed attacks servers, not mobile devices. More likely, Bob has an app that is active and downloading everything. Someone may have also commandeered the system and is using it.
OpenSSL is a widely used protocol for providing secure internet traffic. The "Heartbleed" bug takes advantage of a hole in OpenSSL to peer into the memory of SSL servers. It can allow a hacker to ping 64K of random memory repeatedly, thereby allowing them to glean usernames and passwords, and even fake a server certificate.
David would like to use a URL shortener when he tweets. How can he do that? Leo says that Twitter usually does it automatically. But if not, Leo advises using Bit.ly. Then he can input the URL and add it. He can also customize it.
However, the disadvantage is that it's not apparent where the link leads to, which can be risky.
Marie got the FBI Virus Scam popup that has locked up her computer. Leo says it's highly customizable by the hacker who sends it out and in Marie's case, it demands she call to address the issue. So Leo thinks that it may be an offshoot of the cyrpto locker virus. Or just a malicious website. Regardless, her system has been compromised. The only real way to handle it is to backup her data, wipe the drive and reinstall Windows from a known, good source. She can also run the system restore discs, then update the OS completely.
Ralph creates 3D characters and then carves them out of foam for Disney. He's employing the same technology and starting a new business where he uses a cat scanner and laser 3D scanner, then 3D prints it to create accurate miniature dinosaur skulls that he casts in precious metals. Check out Ralph's Kickstarter campaign. Leo says it's a shameless plug, but he loves it and has to have one.
Johnny is joining us from the Italian Lake District, and he wants to talk about the opportunities that arise to rent apartments. There's a site called AirBnB, which allows you to rent a house or apartment. But in San Francisco, they're cracking down on renting apartments and houses without paying hotel taxes. Johnny says you can get some great places for prices lower than a hotel. There's also couchsurfing.com.