Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
John says that when he watches video online, it buffers and the quality devolves a lot. Leo says it's amazing how we expect streaming video to have the quality of television now. And often it is. But data doesn't arrive in order and on time like a broadcast signal is. It's transmitted in packets and sometimes those packets arrive out of order, and has to wait for the missing packets to be received in order to play them back. If it doesn't arrive, then it stutters to the next available packet. The computer John is using may not be fast enough, though.
Johnny Jet joins us after having spoken at the LA Times Travel Show. He's been talking about getting the best travel deals on airlines, hotels, car rentals and more. Johnny got to meet Henry Rollins, who also spoke at the Travel Show. The goal of this show is to show people how to get out, travel to other countries, so that more people will be able to see the world affordably.
Andrew isn't thrilled about the latest Net Neutrality ruling. Leo says that he thinks the media used a bit of gloom and doom reporting it. All the judge said was that the FCC didn't have jurisdiction over the Internet. The FCC has jurisdiction over common carriers, and broadband providers haven't been declared as common carriers. Leo says that we'll have to fight against discrimination of data. Bits are bits and it should stay that way.
Naomi wants to change her router name, and is wondering what else she can do to secure it. Leo says to avoid personal details, and avoid using the name of the router. Leo uses the names of rock stars. She can really name it anything, even "FBI Surveillance Van." If she configures it properly, it's as secure as wired, just not as fast. For pure performance online, she should use a wired connection through Ethernet. If she doesn't need the wireless, then just disable it in the settings.
Leo's list of what to do to lock down your Wi-Fi router:
Mike wants to know if there is any one service that can offer all his entertainment needs: music, movies, tv shows, eBooks, audio books, etc. Leo says that Apple and Amazon would probably be the closest, but the entertainment world is pretty fragmented between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Audible, and others. Leo says that people are basically used to the idea of paying several smaller fees a month instead of one large cable bill. The irony is, people aren't really saving anything, which was the main force driving cord cutting.
Georgia Tech has accepted 375 candidates to take their first online Masters Degree course in Computer Science in a partnership with Udacity. Leo says it'll be a fifth of the cost of going to the campus, and that the internet is revolutionizing education.
Degrees of Value: Making College Pay Off (WSJ)…
Torri says that Outlook won't allow her to send out mass mailings anymore. Leo says that's a security feature to guard against Spam. He suggests a service like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. They're commercial services that can bypass the restrictions by Outlook or her ISP, and will allow her to keep contact with her clientele. Mail Chimp is free for a certain number, and then they charge. Constant Contact is a paid service. Both are excellent.
Jim had a hard drive crash and now that he's restored his data, his file sharing is horribly slow. Leo says that could be due to a problem with the file sharing servers, but if they're working OK with other computers, it may be a bad restore. Leo says it could also be a security issue in Windows or even the router itself. Jim should try bypassing the router to see if it works better. If so, a reset of the router may fix the issue.
This week, the US appeals court struck down the FCC's net neutrality rules. Louis says that the Net Neutrality was executed like a mob hit in a Scorsesse film. Leo says we're seeing a movement of closing the Internet to prevent it from relying on the free flow of bits. Leo says that Verizon and other carriers would like to control access and profit from it, which is a bad thing. Leo says that the battle may have been lost this week, but the war is far from over.
Thomas wants to host a Minecraft server for his friends. Is port forwarding secure? Port forwarding is where you tell the router to send traffic coming in from a specific port to a certain machine. This limits a little bit of the potential damage from opening up a server to the outside world, but it will ultimately depend on that Minecraft server to be secure. It's important that Thomas keeps his Minecraft server secure and up to date. If someone can figure out how to get around his network via the server, he could infect his network.