Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Virtual Reality Is Popular at South By Southwest 2018

Episode 1469


With Ready Player One set to come out later this year, Leo says there are a ton of virtual reality exhibitions at the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival this week in Austin. Leo also saw a mockup WestWorld outside of Austin. Tickets sold out in minutes.

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Photo: 2017 SXSW Conference & Festivals | Photo by Samantha Burkardt

'MOOCs' Offer Online College Courses for Free

Episode 1468


Lately, Leo has been taking advantage of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. These are college and university courses that are available online for free. There are a lot of ways to do this — iTunes U is a great way to find free courses on the Mac or iOS device. MIT has its CourseWare, and there are even courses provided by Yale and Harvard. There are also commercial MOOCs like Udacity and Kahn Academy. A lot of high school students looking for help on difficult subjects like Calculus and Physics can go to YouTube and watch Kahn Academy videos.

How can I extend my Wi-Fi range to the back of my home?

Episode 1467

Nichole from Los Angeles, CA
TP-Link Powerline Gigabit Wi-Fi Kit

Nichole is having problems getting a clear Wi-Fi signal in the back of her home. Leo says that's largely due to congestion. Everything from a mobile phone to a tablet, to even a microwave are using that 2.4 Ghz band, and so there's a lot of congestion. One way to fix that is to get a dual-band router. The 5.0 GHz band is a lot less congested, but it doesn't have as good of a range. So she can use it for some of her traffic, and use the longer range signal for the back of the house. Or she could use a mesh router.

Why is my streaming video quality so bad?

Episode 1467

Arthur from New Hampshire

Arthur uses YouTube and he says that it's so compressed, it's absolutely unwatchable. Leo says that when he's streaming video, it's largely dependent on his bandwidth. The less bandwidth he has, the lower his resolution is going to be. He can adjust the quality he's getting in the settings, however, but at the end of the day, he may need to just get more bandwidth.

Apple to Store iCloud Keys in China

Episode 1466

Tim Cook

In a move that is causing concern with privacy advocates, Apple has announced it will store iCloud recovery keys in China. Leo says that it's really no different from what Apple does here, but it will make it easier for the Chinese government, or any government for that matter, to gain access to someone's data. Apple does protect your privacy from selling to advertisers, but if the government really pushes, Apple will cave to what they consider an "appropriate" law enforcement request.

Why do I get popups in my browser?

Episode 1466

Barb from Rancho Mirage, CA
uBlock Origin

Barb keeps getting a popup that says she needs to update her drivers, and it wants her to pay for it. Leo says that Barb is right to be suspicious about it. Drivers are free from the manufacturer. The popups come from the browser and websites can use that to try and get her to buy stuff. Chances are, her granddaughter went to a site triggered popups. Can she get rid of them? Leo says she can use a popup blocker in her browser to do it. It's in her browser settings.