Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Sherry is concerned because her personal information from public records show up in Google search results. Leo says that if it's public information, the only thing she can do is go to each site and demand they make her information private. But these days, it's easy to harvest that information from government sources online. And new sites pop up all the time. Privacy is really an illusion now. That's why celebrities usually create holding companies and make all their asset purchase through them, so that the paper trail is minimal.
Website of the Week - The cheapest place to find a rental car is AutoSlash. You can get a quote that is based on membership in organizations or club memberships to get better discounts. If you book, it'll keep pricing out every day until the price drops and then they will rebook you until you leave. You can also forward your existing reservation to them and they will track it for a better deal.
The news came out this week that Kaspersky AntiVirus may be linked to Russian spying of both the Russian Government and the FSB. Kaspersky has responded by offering free antivirus in the hope that people will see that as a legitimate solution. Leo wants to know if anyone will use it. It could contain time released malware that could wreak havoc.
Ken is tired of having to weed through fake news stories while online. Leo says that fake news is more than just a problem in politics. Click Bait is another version of fake news designed to drive traffic to a website to make money. Ken would like to see a fact checking plugin for the browser that would fact check an article instantly when a user clicks on it.
The Chinese government made using a Virtual Private Network a crime this week. Microsoft and Apple moved quickly to remove any VPN software from their Chinese App Store. These companies have to obey the law in China if they want to do business there. So both are supporting the censorship, whereas Google still leaves things wide open.
This week was the annual DefCon hackers convention in Las Vegas and Leo says that hackers are now more interested in creating hacks for the government, where they can make more money than hacking online. They also created a 3D printed robot that was able to crack a safe in 30 minutes. Leo says it's not super practical, but still cool.
Mike has written an ebook and he wants to know if he should copy protect it. He's going to be giving it away for students to see if they like it. The LA Sparks want him to copy protect it. Leo says he's not a fan of DRM because it simply doesn't work. He needs to figure out a way for a limited amount of students to be able to access his book as part of a 'beta test.' Leo says he'll need to have an authentication server to verify it. Lock Lizard is one option that uses an open source DRM scheme.
Sue wants to start a website at geekyoldbroad.com. She already has the domain name, and now she can connect it to anything she wants. Wordpress.com is an easy-to-use site where she can set up a site for a low monthly cost. Another site that will do this is SquareSpace.com. She can just go in, pick a template that works for her needs, and start publishing content. Wordpress has a free tier with ads. These are the easiest ways to do it.
We've been talking a lot about Net Neutrality, which is the idea that bits should flow along the "information superhighway" without being artificially impeded by an internet service provider. If the internet is an information superhighway, then the internet service provider is the exit ramp. It's how that stuff going back and forth across the world gets to your home. But wouldn't it be annoying if there were toll roads across town, and you'd need to pay a toll to get the internet to your house? If in order to get access to certain websites, you'd need to pay an additional toll?