Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Ed wants to know about the Netflix and Comcast deal and how it will affect users of the services. Leo says that Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for access to it's customers without buffering. Suddenly, over the last few months, the service was unwatchable on Comcast because of constant buffering. Leo wonders if Comcast intentionally slowed down Netflix traffic to blackmail them for extra money. Comcast is now double dipping, getting payment from users, and from providers for the same traffic. This is pretty anti competitive.
Between Leo and Kevin Smith, Josh is now inspired to start his own podcast. Leo says that Kevin has his own empire much like Leo does with multiple shows that the world can enjoy without having to invest heavily in radio transmitters. Leo says he needs to be realistic because he really won't make much money from it, and that shouldn't be his focus. He should focus on what his passion is. Do it for fun, and he can build an audience bit by bit. Leo also says he can partner with people who need his skills that he shares a passion with. Then he can expand his reach.
A few days after Facebook spent $19 billion on the smartphone app WhatsApp, a possible denial of service attack (DDoS) threw it off line for several hours. Leo says that the cost of WhatsApp is "stupid money" that Facebook has, and they can spend on dumb acquisitions and not suffer for it. Meanwhile, former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said the deal is "everything that is wrong with our economy." Leo says that Reich really doesn't understand technology or the Internet.
Brett bought a Google Chromecast and he loves it, but it needs more apps. Leo says that the SDK has opened up and he expects apps supporting Chromecast within six months. Patience, It's coming. But even as it is now, for $35, it's a bargain.
Johnny Jet uses WhatsApp and it was created by the founder of a website called FlyerTalk. This is why it's so popular internationally, because it handles languages quite well. With the Winter Olympics going on, Johnny has a few more apps to check out - Ski and Snow Report. Available in iOS and Android.
Leo says that the domain name server (DNS) is basically the phone book for the internet. When you type in an address, the DNS then takes that address and looks up the actual IP address of the website. It's numbers separated by periods. Tom can change his DNS on his computer quite easily. On the Mac, it's in the network settings of OS X.
John has a PC that runs Windows XP and he can't view videos that are sent to him through email. Leo says that it's likely a codec issue. He recommends downloading VLC Media Player. It can play pretty much anything. But the real problem is that after April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting and updating Windows XP with security patches. So John's computer will be vulnerable to attacks. Leo says that's a cause for worry and John should take it off the Internet before April 8.
Jim's having trouble with PhotoStream on his Desktop. It works fine on his mobile devices, though. Leo wonders if Jim turned it off on his Desktop by mistake. This is not unusual for Apple to have problems with their online service. He recommends enabling it through iCloud. He should also turn it off and turn it on again on all devices.
Jay says his wife's computer will make the "swoosh" email sound frequently when there's no email being sent or received. Leo says to make sure there's no sent items in the email sent folder. Also, check in the settings to see if that sound is being played for other things the computer does. There's an option called "play sounds for other mail actions." Make sure that's disabled. Also, Leo advises using a program called "Little Snitch" for the Mac that will advise him if any nefarous activity is making an outbound connection, but it's probably not that.
Russ uses a Windows XP machine at work, and his contacts are in an old HandSpring Visor PDA. Leo suggests exporting the data to the CSV (comma separated value) format and then inputting them into Google contacts directly. He can also do his Calendar data that way. Then it really doesn't matter what phone he uses or if he changes phones. It'll be there automatically.