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Internet and Web
Edward has been trying to learn more about HTPCs (home theater PCs). He wants to make an old PC into a DVR. Leo says that copy protection is often an issue with this, and cable boxes are encrypted to prevent people from using their signal that aren't paying. A computer can descramble it with a cable card, but cable companies aren't that helpful with using them. They have to give you one by law, but they don't like it. The cable company pretends they don't know anything about it, even though it's been the law since 1993.
Dave has started his own radio station online via Radionomy. He has a TuneIn station and is trying to create an iPhone app, but he doesn't have a Mac new enough to make use of the Apple Developer kit. Leo says that a 2007 version Mac will work, and he can use XCode if he doesn't want to pay for it. The $99 Developer Program fee gives him access to the Software Developer Kit.
Johnny Jet says he can often play the "bumping game," which means you volunteer to get bumped off a full flight and even get paid for it. It's a nice way to extend your vacation. You can check to see if your flight is full online by pretending to make a reservation. Then when you get to the airport to check in, offer to volunteer to get bumped. You can even do it online if you're on Delta. You can get up to $400 for a domestic flight or up to $1300 for an international flight. Johnny says to hold out for cash (more likely an airline credit). You can also ask for an upgrade.
John wants to know if the software available at the Internet Archive is legal to download. Leo says that the Internet Archive is a very interesting project. A record of life in the 20th century. It saves websites, audio, video, and even computer software. It's fantastic. But it may not be legal to download software from it. Since it's archival, Leo says it's probably safe to enjoy since the industry basically ignores it. Sooner or later, it'll have to be addressed by both parties, though.
Today marks ten years since the Tech Guy Show premiered on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles. Leo says that Robin Bertolucci, the program director at KFI for over 10 years, contacted him and asked if he wanted to do a tech show. Leo says it's because the suit fit. And he's been doing it ever since.
Pablo wants to have a single spreadsheet that can be accessed by multiple people. Leo says that's tough because Excel doesn't know which version to save and which to ignore. Google Docs is a good option because it offers version locking.
Office 365 is Microsoft's new online version and Excel can work that way. He can buy the Personal or Business version.
Morris clicked on a link from an email that got sent to him, but Firefox won't let it open. Leo says that's a security feature designed to protect him from being taken over by hackers. Leo says that it's likely that Morris may have gotten lured by a bad email and Firefox saved him from it. Leo says it can be disabled, but it protects him and is for his own good.
Georgeanna has an RV and a satellite dish. She's thinking about using Slingbox and a Hotspot with her cellphone, but that'll impact her data plan. Leo says that will definitely hurt the data plan, and the quality won't be all that great even over 4G. Slingbox is a good option though if she can get Wi-Fi connected to it. There are self aiming satellite antennas, but they aren't cheap.
David wants to know if a streaming movie in Netflix would have to download all over again each time he'd rewind to rewatch a scene. Leo says that it depends, but if he's just rewinding to see a scene that he just saw, it won't have to redownload that. Netflix does cache the movie as it plays, but if he wants to go to completely different part of the video, it will probably have to download that part again.
Quartz published an article this week declaring that 2013 was a terrible year for technology and that innovation was albeit over. Leo doesn't agree, though. First, the story of Edward Snowden blowing the whistle of how prevalent the NSA's eavesdropping on Americans was a huge story in technology. Google's Project Glass was an interesting story that may be the beginning of wearable computing.