Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Can email senders track when I've opened their messages?

Episode 1174

Hank from Santa Ana, CA
Email

Hank always gets unsolicited emails and he suspects that when those emails are opened, they send a confirmation of it being read. So he disconnects before reading to prevent that from happening. Leo says he never opens spam because he wants to discourage the practice. Spammers often put beacons in messages, which are actually links to invisible image files that are 1 pixel in size. Those images are actually on their servers, so when a message is opened and the image is loaded, it hits their servers.

Can someone find my home address from my email address?

Anthony from Depot Bay, OR

Episode 1174

Anthony wants to know if someone can track his email address to where he lives. Leo says no. It can list the servers it's been through, but not the physical location. If the server was in his house, then maybe. But if he's not running his own mail server, then he's OK. Unless he's broken the law and the authorities can find him through his internet address.

How can I get traffic to my self published book?

Martin from Mesa, AZ

Episode 1174

Martin has a book on Amazon Kindle and wants to know how he can generate more traffic to it. Is there software that does that? Leo says that Google would let him buy search terms, or "adwords." He also should have an affiliate link for his book on his website. But he should beware as a self publisher of being lured in by SEO firms. Leo doesn't like SEO firms because they make snake oil claims about putting you number one in the search results. He should ask himself if he's never used what they are offering, would anyone else?

Why do I get popups when using Wi-Fi at Burger King?

Susie from West Covina, CA

Episode 1174

Susie was at Burger King, using their Wi-Fi and she started to get pop up ads. Leo says that Burger King is offering free Wi-Fi and they're paying for it by intercepting customer traffic and inserting ads. And that's troubling. Lenovo did something similar on their consumer computers with Superfish. The good news is, they aren't modifying the computer, they're just modifying the traffic. The good news is, there's probably a McDonalds or a Starbucks just down the street that aren't doing this. Choice solves problems like this.

How can I get my domain back up?

Sean from Orlando, FL

Episode 1174

Sean made the mistake of transferring his domain name in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign. Now he is struggling with time outs. Leo says that Sean needs to talk to the domain registrar. But it takes time moving nameservers from one host to another. He might have to contact the original host and get them to release the domain name so the other host can pick it up. If he's hosting the site at home, then he'll have to run a domain server. This is the main reason why he shouldn't host the site at home.

How can I watch Netflix in Bolivia?

Fabio from Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Episode 1173

Fabio has moved out of the country and he still wants to watch Netflix, Hulu, etc. He can't watch directly because they block him, and VPNs are just too slow. What about SmartDNS? Leo says a Proxy Server fools Netflix and Hulu into thinking he's from the US. It's also a violation of the terms of service of Netflix, though. Both VPNs and Proxy Servers are illegal, unfortunately.

Are Lithium Ion batteries getting better?

Episode 1173

Mike from San Diego, CA
Battery

Dave has seen a website that promises upgraded Lithium Ion batteries for better safety and to increase battery life. Leo says that once he sees a study that verifies the claims, he'll buy into it. Leo has seen a lot of promises on the internet over the years and very little in the way of delivery. It's definitely something that users want, but the proof is in the pudding.

What service should I use to sell tickets online?

Andrew from Murietta, CA

Episode 1173

Andrew is going to be doing a non-profit concert soon and wants to know the best online ticket broker to sell tickets through. H-Bomb says that Brown Paper offers ticket sales for non profits as well as others. There's also Ticket Fly that will also help with promotion. Leo says that's a great idea.

Andrews concert is Night of Hope, for GodsKids.org - Orphanages around the world.