Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Telecoms Are Trying to Prohibit City-Run Broadband Access

Episode 1114

Autumn small town America

There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.

Can I split off my internet and phone modem?

Episode 1114

Jim from Woodland Hills, CA
Modem

Jim wants to buy his own modem and send back his Time Warner modem. But they say he has to keep it because of his telephone service. Leo says that may be true, since cable phone service uses VoiceOver IP and the cable modem box may require it. So if he is going to use his own modem for internet, then he'll need a splitter to divide the internet traffic. And that's why Leo hates cable monopolies. His only choice is his cable company. He'll get about 1-2 Mbps with Netflix at best. And that likely means a downgraded quality of Netflix.

How can I get the word out about Google Helpouts?

Episode 1114

Renzo from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Google HQ

Renzo says that he is using Google HelpOuts, which uses Google Hangouts, to provide counseling services. Leo says that this is a great idea for those who wish to help others and Google doesn't seem to publicize this enough. Users can learn to play an instrument, get psychotherapy, and tons of other options through HelpOuts.

Find Renzo's Counseling/Therapy Session here.

What computer should I buy?

Episode 1113

Jane from Redding, PA
Acer Chromebook

Jane wants to know if she should fix her old computer or buy a new one. Leo says that every computer is fixable, but is it worth spending the money to do so? Leo says that often repair men charge a fee to evaluate the computer because more than likely the person will decide not to fix it, and that's the only money they're going to see.

Jane says her computer has been overheating. Leo says that's a typical problem and could indicate the computer will die soon, so it's a good idea to keep her data backed up. She should make two copies and keep one off site.

Johnny Jet

Episode 1113

JohnnyJet

Johnny Jet is in Cambodia this week and he says that they require fresh US dollars to pay not only for your visa, but also cab fare. If they're torn, they won't accept them. Leo says that if he's only traveling for a week or less, they just stay at one site and see it all, rather than try and waste time traveling around the countryside.

Cathay Pacific Round Trip Boston to Hong Kong - $750.
New York to Copehagen - $363 round trip luggage or food not included. Available in November. Check out JohnnyJet.com for details.

Study Finds People Are Remembering Things Less Because of Google

Episode 1112

Brain

Our memory may be negatively impacted by the instant access of information online. The authors pose one simple example: Ask yourself how many countries have flags with only one color. Regardless of the answer, was your first thought about flags? Or were you thinking about where you could find the answer? In the old days, you may have thought about all of the flags that exist and which ones have one color. Now, you may be thinking about your Google search term. This is called "transactive memory" and it's been going on long before the internet.

What's a good, low priced laptop?

Episode 1112

Tina from San Diego, CA
Acer C720

Tina is a software instructor and her Dell Laptop is dying. So she bought an Asus 10" laptop and now her Asus is being recalled. She's returning that and now she's got no backup laptop to do her job. She's looking for something small that she can use.

Leo says that an ultrabook is ideal for Tina. It's thin and light, and has a decent sized 13" screen. It's also great on battery life. Tina's budget is $500, so Leo advises Lenovo's business class laptops.

What's a good internet option for a boat?

Episode 1112

Joe from Port of LA, CA
Boat

Joe wants to put his DirecTV on his boat. DirecTV says they can do it, but he doesn't believe them. Leo thinks that if he's in the harbor and there isn't a lot of movement, then it could be possible. But since boats move up and down according to the tides, Joe will likely lose that satellite connection often. It's not a good idea, especially for internet access.