Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Johnny Jet

Episode 1177

Johnny Jet

This week's travel website ... Dream Cheaper. You send them your existing hotel reservation and they will continually shop around and if they find a cheaper rate, they will rebook you automatically and save you money. You'll sleep in the very same hotel room you initially booked but pay up to 60% less! And they'll keep doing it until 24 hours before you check in.

What are my options for broadband in remote areas of Florida?

Gary from Panama City, FL

Episode 1176

Gary lives out in the remote areas of Florida and he uses cellphone access for his internet. But are there other options? Leo says that WISP, which uses Microwaves is an option. There's also satellite. It can be expensive, and the bandwidth caps, speed issues and latency is tedious. It wouldn't be good for Skype or Gaming. But if that's not important, Leo suggests checking out Wild Blue by Excede.

Johnny Jet

Episode 1175

Johnny is calling in from Lake Louise in Banff, Canada today. Johnny has been Periscoping and Meerkating and he likes it, especially because they don't record it. It's like Snapchat for video. This week's travel tips:

Apps - GasGuru. It shows gas prices all around the country, and is easy to use. You can get the best price, and it's great for road trips. Available in iOS and Android.

ToyTalk Working on Wi-Fi Barbie Doll

Episode 1174

Hello Barbie

ToyTalk, a company that creates conversational characters for kids, is working on a Wi-Fi Barbie Doll that can analyze a child's speech and produce relevant responses. This will actually be able to talk to kids. This means that increasingly, children will be expecting their devices to talk back to them. This all started with Apple's Siri and Google Now, along with Microsoft's Cortana, which all respond to you.

ToyTalk says that 'Hello Barbie,' coming out this Fall, will have thousands of things to say and kids will be able to talk to her for hours.

Can email senders track when I've opened their messages?

Episode 1174

Hank from Santa Ana, CA
Email

Hank always gets unsolicited emails and he suspects that when those emails are opened, they send a confirmation of it being read. So he disconnects before reading to prevent that from happening. Leo says he never opens spam because he wants to discourage the practice. Spammers often put beacons in messages, which are actually links to invisible image files that are 1 pixel in size. Those images are actually on their servers, so when a message is opened and the image is loaded, it hits their servers.

Can someone find my home address from my email address?

Anthony from Depot Bay, OR

Episode 1174

Anthony wants to know if someone can track his email address to where he lives. Leo says no. It can list the servers it's been through, but not the physical location. If the server was in his house, then maybe. But if he's not running his own mail server, then he's OK. Unless he's broken the law and the authorities can find him through his internet address.

How can I get traffic to my self published book?

Martin from Mesa, AZ

Episode 1174

Martin has a book on Amazon Kindle and wants to know how he can generate more traffic to it. Is there software that does that? Leo says that Google would let him buy search terms, or "adwords." He also should have an affiliate link for his book on his website. But he should beware as a self publisher of being lured in by SEO firms. Leo doesn't like SEO firms because they make snake oil claims about putting you number one in the search results. He should ask himself if he's never used what they are offering, would anyone else?

Why do I get popups when using Wi-Fi at Burger King?

Susie from West Covina, CA

Episode 1174

Susie was at Burger King, using their Wi-Fi and she started to get pop up ads. Leo says that Burger King is offering free Wi-Fi and they're paying for it by intercepting customer traffic and inserting ads. And that's troubling. Lenovo did something similar on their consumer computers with Superfish. The good news is, they aren't modifying the computer, they're just modifying the traffic. The good news is, there's probably a McDonalds or a Starbucks just down the street that aren't doing this. Choice solves problems like this.