Amazon

Can I renew an Amazon order automatically?

Amazon

Episode 1609

Eugene from Cartwright, Oklahoma

Eugene wants to know if he could have an automatic reorder or his pet's medication on Amazon. Leo says that there is a feature called SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE, which will enable you to sign up for renewing things over and over. But it depends on the company that is offering the product. Those pet meds may or may not be available. But you can set it up and forget it, and get a 15% discount as a result. But it may not be since it's medication. There's also a version called RECURRING DELIVERY.

FedEX Caters to Major Companies like WalMart

FedEx

Episode 1599

FedEx delivers for Walmart. Amazon delivers to UPS.  Are major companies taking sides? Amazon says that customers don't really want choice because there are too many choices out there. So they offer "Amazon's choice" to make it easier for shoppers to buy what they want. The technique is called Dark Patterns and it causes changes in the algorithm. Once you order Amazon's choice, you start getting more results like that.

DOJ and FTC to Investigate Google and Amazon

FTC

Episode 1597

After Google was slapped with a $5 Billion fine from the EU, the US Department of Justice has said it will open an anti-trust investigation on Google. Meanwhile, the FTC may be signalling the same for Amazon. But Leo says that it could do more harm economically than good, and maybe the best thing would be to break up both companies into smaller concerns that can compete.

Sam Abuelsamid .... Electric Audi

Sam

Episode 1589

Sam is going to be driving Audi's first electric vehicle this week. Sam is also looking at Amazon's secure delivery service, which is being tested. Through a special lock, Amazon delivery will be able to deliver your packages when no one is home, by placing the package in the garage or into a locked car. Amazon will send a signal, that can open the garage or car door, and then drop off the package, locking it automatically behind them. Leo says that the next thing will be drone delivery, where it'll just drop the package into your yard.

Is the Fire TV Stick Great Alternative to Satellite Service?

FireTV Stick 4K

Episode 1583

Gloria from North Hollywood, California

Gloria wants to know if the Fire TV stick is a good deal for cutting the cord. Rich recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K because it's the best option and it's only $10 more. Then he recommends also picking up the Fire TV Recast for the local channels. However, Gloria will need an antenna or subscribe to DirecTV Now for those local channels, minus KTLA. 

Buy a Home Automation Hub from a Dedicated Company

If you're going to buy a hub for home automation, Leo recommends purchasing from a tech company that's dedicated to IoT. Samsung SmartThings is a good, safe choice, and they use the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. Apple is making it difficult for companies to support Homekit, and Google has its own items that they may pull the plug on anytime. Unfortunately, a company like Lowe's just isn't big enough to support the breadth of the internet-of-things, which is why their IRIS service is being discontinued.

Is there an advantage to using an Apple TV instead of a Mac Mini as a set top box?

Apple TV 4K

Episode 1555

Bruce from Las Vegas, NV

Bruce upgraded to an LG C7 TV, and it's been the best TV he's ever owned. He has an older generation Apple TV, not the new 4K version that's out now. He's wondering if it would be better for him to get a Mac Mini instead. He wants to know what the difference would be between Apple's tvOS and macOS. Leo says the new Apple TVs support UHD and high dynamic range (HDR). One of nice things about using an Apple TV is that it's automatic, Bruce would just have to plug in the HDMI cable and everything would work. The other thing it does is Dolby Atmos sound.

Top Tech Stories of 2018

Facebook

Episode 1552

1. Facebook had a terrible year, starting with leaked information to Cambridge Analytica of up to 87 million users. It lost 19% value, up to $100 billion, the biggest loss in the history of the stock market. Mark Zuckerberg lost $40 billion personally. And there was congressional investivations. All told, Facebook had 21 scandals centered around privacy violations. It was as bad a year as Facebook could get.

2. Apple lost 20% of its value. It went from being the first trillion dollar company to no longer holding that title.