Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
App of the week - ZocDoc. When you need a doctor, this app can find you one anywhere in the US and let you know if they take your insurance. You can even make an appointment through the app.
Site of the week - On the Snow. If you love skiing, this is the site for you. Sign up for the powder alert newsletter, see snow totals, and see webcams.
Travel Tip of the week - Keep a photocopy and a scan of your passport. You can keep it up on Evernote.
Wikileaks has announced Vault 7, a massive collection of documents that show how the CIA uses malware and other hacking techniques to spy online. Some of the techniques includes using smartTVs as a spying device since they use cameras and microphones built into the TVs. Samsung warned of this in their terms of service for their TVs last year. But Leo says that the CIA doesn't really have a switch to turn on all TVs, and if they did, the data they'd receive would be so massive and 99.9% of it would be useless. It could be used for targeted eavesdropping, though.
Steven manages a band for a living, and he got snookered into adding someone to be an Admin on their Facebook band page. Now the real admins have been removed from the group and they lost ownership to the page. Leo says that all you can do is contact Facebook and ask them to restore ownership to the page. It's important to remember that hackers will use urgency to trick you. So when you get unexpected messages, take a deep breath and confirm the source. You should also check and deauthorize any apps associated with the page.
Larry has an android phone and sometimes he gets an email message that comes out vertically, rather than horizontally. Leo says that sounds like a bad html format. Leo suggests trying another Gmail app called Inbox. Leo likes it better anyway. If it's not happening there, then it's fixed. If it is, then look in your accessibility settings. It could also be so many indents from replying that it's causing bad formatting.
Howard's Windows computer thinks he's in China when he uses Skype. Leo says to go into your Windows region settings and check the location setting. By default Skype will self populate the location for you. There could be a problem with his IP address. There's probably a batch of IP addresses that used to belong to an ISP in China and it's associating with it. Your ISP should be able to fix that if you request a new IP address. You can also just unplug your router and then plug it back in and it will get reassigned. Check out MaxMind.com. They provide IP Address Geo Location.
Darryl is getting messages to upgrade Adobe Flash on his Mac. Leo says do not reply to any message to upgrade your Flash, do directly to Adobe and get the update there. Hackers can compromise websites to include a bit of code to get you to click on a link. It's called a Phishing scam. Flash auto updates now. Or you can use Google Chrome and it will auto update as well. So never click on a link that offers to install an update to flash for you. It's a scam. Another thing you can do is redownload your browser, delete them and reinstall. That will renew certificates.
This week's website .... Award Hacker. It let's you figure out how to use frequent flyer miles, and what programs work best.
This week's app ... Memrise. How to learn a language while you're playing a game. iOS and Android. Learn five new words a day.
Travel Tip of the week - If there's a weather issue like a snowstorm or volcano, and you can't get through to your airline call center, jump on skype and call the international number. You'll likely be put right through.
Jimmy wants to know if the Fix Me Stick can remove viruses from his computer. Leo says don't get since it won't provide you with anything additional that you can already download from the internet. The most important thing to look for in antivirus software is the frequency of updates. You can also make your own "fix me stick". Antivirus software gives you a false sense of security. Windows existing security software is adequate and updated often. It's best to practice safe computing. Don't click on links and don't take candy from strangers. Be smart online.
Greg wants to know if he can use a Chromebook to record and edit audio recordings. Leo says that newer ChromeBooks support the use of Android apps from the Play Store and that would give you access to audio recording apps. There's also multiple cloud-based audio editors where you save in the cloud and edit through the Chrome browser. Here's good list here. Soundcloud. Twisted Wave.
Marcello has noticed since Spectrum bought TIme Warner, he has trouble connecting to the internet. They disconnected his router and it works, though. What happened? Leo says that when Spectrum took over, they probably enabled the router side of his modem and that put it in conflict with his router.