Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Johnny Jet is in Europe crusing around the Mediterranean near the island of Elba. And he didn't want to miss the show, so he called in on a satellite phone!
Johnny's found a great website called BoatBound.co. You can rent boats. You can also rent out your own boat. Over 13 million registered users. So if you want to go boating but don't want to buy one, check out BoatBound!
Amazon has removed a company from their site for threatening to sue a reviewer who posted a review which Leo says could be libelous because his comments can't be proven. Leo says that the company MediaBridge, may have had a case, but Amazon's decision to take MediaBridge's products off the site seems to be a hefty penalty. Leo says posting an opinion is protected and just fine. But to make statements that you can't factually prove open you up to libel. So the moral of the story is, when you write a review, be accurate.
Bob is having trouble with Internet Explorer and switched over to Google Chrome. He also dumped Adobe Flash Player and Reader. Leo says that those are two apps that are a target for hackers. The nice thing about Chrome is that Flash is built into the browser and is always up to date. It's also sandboxed so it can't get to the rest of his data.
Stan is on the local village council and wants to set up free Wi-Fi at their local parks. He doesn't know where to start, though. Leo says what Stan wants is a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider). When cities do public Wi-Fi, they go to a company and contract with them to do it for free in exchange for advertising. So that may be an option.
Google has a program called Google Community Wi-Fi. Local companies would be better than larger corporations.
Thomas uses Skype a lot and it drives him nuts that the video will suddenly go into widescreen, and the audio degrades in quality. Leo says that's by design as Skype will see how much bandwidth he has and then adjust the video accordingly, even if it degrades the audio. Leo says he can get a program called WebCam Settings in the Mac App Store which will give him more control. It's about $8. But it may not overrule Skype.
Mark is a bit frustrated that he can't automatically backup videos using Carbonite. Leo says that is by design, because videos use up a lot of bandwidth. It would kill his internet access for days, weeks, or even months just to backup videos. It's fine for documents and images, but he really needs to do the math in order to do video and then determine when he wants to do it. Leo says that's why he recommends backing up to a hard drive that he can take off site.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)
Neil built a killer desktop computer, but he's now finding his needs are simpler now. So he's thinking of getting an iPad. Leo says it really comes down to what he wants a computer for. He wouldn't write a novel on it, but for surfing the internet, doing email, and documents, it's ideal.
Neil says it lacks external storage, though. Leo says that is an issue. The iPad does come in an 128GB model now, but most of us store our data in the cloud, where he can access it any time. So he really won't need that external storage on the iPad.
After the story about Target discovering a woman was pregnant and made the information public, a college professor decided to try and hide her pregnancy from "big data" to keep it private. She did everything she could to be private, including routing her online traffic through Tor (an anonymity network), using an alternate Amazon account, and having items shipped to an alternate location. She also quit using Google in favor of the Duck Duck Go.
Rusty makes video games and he's concerned with the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules. Leo says that the FCC is now taking public comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Leo says that latency through buffering would kill video gaming, as players would be too frustrated with it. So a free and open internet would be vital for gaming. The big guys would be able to pay for unhindered access, but the individual developers won't be able to. Innovation doesn't work that way.
Naomi is looking to add a Wi-Fi security camera to her home. What does she need? Leo says that DropCam has worked for him, but Leo didn't realize how much bandwidth it has to handle. He ended up giving the DropCams their own router. She would only have to pay a subscription to DropCam if she wants to store the video. Leo says she can do it herself if she has old computers and web cams lying around. He also suggests capturing stills every so often, and not stream to video live.