Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Johnny just got back from a 48 hour turnaround to Japan. He says that in Asia, they are busy converting business hotels into resorts, and right now it's a really great time to travel to Asia because there are plenty of deals to be had.
Airlines are now banning smart luggage, being powered by unremovable lithium batteries. If your battery can be removed, they won't ban it, though. So be advised.
Phil is having issues with Google Voice, missing text messages, and voicemails. Leo says that Google has let Voice fall in quality since it bought it and may be moving away from it as a viable service. Even Hangouts isn't what it used to be. Leo used it when it was originally called Grand Central and it was great. But over the last year or so, it's really gotten hit or miss. Nowadays, Leo just uses it as a call forwarding service. But it may not be Google's fault. It may also be phone carriers who are engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
Brian is trying to play Leo's Tech Guy podcast using the Amazon Echo, but it keeps playing an old episode from TuneIn. Leo tried it, and it does indeed pull up an old episode. Leo suspects it's the fault of TWiT that may not have uploaded the most recent episodes. Or there's an issue on TuneIn. Another option could be to ask Echo to play it via YouTube or straight from TWIT.tv.
Ray uses a Chromebook and after a recent update, it won't play videos on YouTube. What happened? Leo says it sounds like the update didn't really install properly. A "power wash" of the OS may fix the problem. There could also be an ad blocker that's preventing the video from playing. Ray should also turn off hardware acceleration in the settings.
Paul has Spectrum internet and is using an Eero mesh router. His bandwidth was upgraded to 100 Mbps down, 12 up, but he hasn't noticed an improvement in speed when streaming. Leo says that he'll want consistency over speed when it comes to streaming. Every device wants to be first on the network to get priority and "shape the bandwidth." It's all about quality of service. He may want to look at his cable modem. If it's older, it could be the weak link in the chain.
Though Monday is known as "Cyber Monday," the day people take to the internet to find great online deals for Christmas, Black Friday sales figures show a rise in online shopping, including a double-digit increase in using mobile devices to buy goods. The average order was $135, up from last year.
Phone sales were also big this year, with deals on the iPhone X that offered gift cards if you bought one. Walmart gave a $300 gift card.
Cyber Monday is expected to be even bigger, by 10-20%.
Michael is trying to shuffle his playlist using RhythmBox, but it keeps playing artists back to back. Leo says that if the playlist is small enough, it could end up doing that, but if it's a large enough list, it is more likely an error in its random number generator. It's open source so it's probably just faulty code. Amazon Play seems to do the same thing, though. Unfortunately, there's no real fix for it other than filing a bug report and waiting for a fix.
Chuck would like to do what Leo does and create an online video show. Leo says it's not cheap, but it's a lot easier and more affordable to do it now than when Leo started out ten years ago. He started a YouTube channel and his channel got flagged as violating community standards even though he's got no content yet! What can he do? Leo suspects that it was flagged by a competitor looking to shut him down before he gets going. Leo says he should just appeal it, and tell them there's no content yet. YouTube will overturn it.
Orly has an invention that she's patenting. She needs to create a website to market it, but she doesn't understand how to get going. Leo recommends going with SquareSpace because they not only have a good blogging style content management system, but they also have e-commerce options if she's going to be selling online.