Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Websites of the week - DIGIT.co. It will analyze your spending and take money out for savings up to $50 a week. It even offers overdraft protection. Similar to Bank of America's "Keep the Change" initiative. If you avoid buying coffee at Starbucks every day, you can save enough to go on vacation each year. And depending on where you travel, you can travel pretty affordably.
RadioGarden. Streams over 8,000 radio stations from all over the world.
The Russian hacking story is now all over the news, especially after the joint agency report about the hacking. Many security experts aren't basing their assessment on that report, and it was most likely misdirection for public consumption having nothing to do with the actual information. In the report, they listed about a hundred IP addresses that they believe were used by Russian government hackers. The problem with those IP addresses is that a lot of them are TOR exit nodes, which could have been used by anyone.
A local TV news segment told the story of a girl who talked to Amazon Echo and accidentally ordered hundreds of dollars in toys and cookies through the automatic ordering feature. In doing so, the radio station triggered homes all over San Diego that have Amazon Echo to do the same thing. Leo says it's important to make sure you have parental controls on to avoid this, and to train yourself to not use the "A" word when talking about things it may mistakenly use to order for you.
New app - Tunity. Listen to the audio for any TV that's been muted. Great for being in lounges and bars where you can't really listen to the audio. iOS and Android. All you need to do is use your camera to sync with the video image and Tunity will give you the audio for it. You can even fine tune the sync.
Jennifer's computer has been displaying a message that her computer has been blocked unless she calls a number. Leo says it's probably a popup from the browser. There's nothing wrong with her computer -- it's a scam. She should just clear her browser cache, then reboot the computer and it should be fine.
David is worried that his account may have been hacked as part of the big Yahoo hack. Leo says it could have, and he should change his password immediately. Yahoo is notoriously terrible with their email security and no one knows if it'll improve when Verizon buys it. Leo advises opening up a GMail account and then set it to get his Yahoo Mail. He can then move all his old email over, disconnect Gmail from Yahoo, and delete everything from his Yahoo account.
Ann got an email notification from Yahoo in her inbox. She had a hunch it was bogus but didn't do anything with it. Can she still get hacked if she opens it but doesn't click on any links? Leo says that a bad guy has to get her to run a program. Leo says that opening the email is relatively harmless, so long as she doesn't click on any links.
Artie is getting his son a Chromebook for Christmas. How can he keep it safe from computer viruses? Leo says that Chromebooks are relatively virus free, so he won't have to worry about that. To keep his kids safe online, Leo advises OpenDNS and their parental filters.
Word on the street is that employees on British Airways are threatening to strike over Christmas, and if they do, it will pay to have a backup plan.
The Wynn Las Vegas is planning to put the Amazon Echo in all 4900 rooms. The Marriott was the first to do it. The future seems to be voice activation.
Travel App of the week - PassportBooth for Android and iOS. It has tips on how to take your own passport photos with your smartphone, print them, or send them to a local printer to print.
Mary bought an Acer RT-AC3200 and she's having trouble with it. All her devices were disconnected from the 2.4Ghz band. The 5Ghz band is OK. It isn't congestion either because she lives out in the country. She's rolled back her firmware and Asus even sent her another modem. Leo says that sometimes the antennas may loosen and that could cause connection issues. Leo has had similar issues and it may be that the band gets overloaded and drops out everything. It could also be interference from the house itself.