Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
James has heard about the Dark Web. What is it? Leo says the "Dark Web" is part of the internet that isn't available to search engines. It's websites that can't be picked up. This includes Tor websites that don't allow for identity on the net. Originally it was used by universities to protect academic and research information. Now it's become a bit more nefarious with use for criminal activities via Tor. How can the Dark Web be accessed? By knowing the web address of the location that is hidden.
Russ is having trouble buying things online. The site he's using won't take his payments. Leo says that's likely due to the browser Russ is using that doesn't support the current SSL encryption standards. Leo recommends using another browser like Chrome. Since Russ is using Vista, Chrome doesn't support it either. It may be time to get a new computer if he wants to shop online.
Lanny wants to be able to record webinars he's watching online. How can he do that? Leo says a screen recorder is the best bet. Windows 10 has a screen recorder built in called the Screen Recording Utility. It's designed for recording gaming, but it should work for webinars as well. The chatroom suggests OBS Studio, the Open Broadcaster Software. It comes with a built in editing utility as well.
Website of the day: Flight Aware. This site will tell you how often a flight is on time and how long the trip actually is. Johnny says to stay away from regional jets during the holidays. They have different rules, and Johnny says they aren't as safe as major carriers. Even flying out of regional or smaller airports, you can usually get a flight on a major carrier.
Paul says ever since he upgraded his router, his Mac's NAS doesn't connect. Leo says to drag the NAS out of the Finder side bar, and then remount it. Then he can add it back to his Finder. Paul should also look for "Connect to Server" under the "Go" menu. He can figure out his IP address for the server by browsing to it. It may also mean that the router is blocking it.
Seth is hearing that some cities want to tax streaming services. Leo says that is horrible. Pasadena is charging 9.4% on each streaming service starting in January. The argument is that cities are losing revenue due to cord cutting. 9.4% is a high percentage, and isn't it taxing citizens twice? They already tax the internet access, so why would people have to pay that tax twice because of streaming? It's also highly problematic from a net neutrality aspect. Will they pick and chose what services to tax? All bits should be treated equally.
In the aftermath of this week's election, people are blaming Facebook for not taking down fake news reports that could have impacted it. Leo says that Facebook can't vet every single post to verify if it's accurate. That's just unrealistic. And according to Facebook, the fake news posts this year was only a very tiny percentage of the posts that were put up. Leo also says that the most important thing we can teach kids today is to develop critical thinking, to verify what they read themselves and not to take things without a grain of salt.
Pam's internet and email is with Cox, but Cox only keeps mail on the server for more than a month and it keeps disappearing. Leo recommends going with Gmail instead. They don't have a time limit and she can have it grab her email from her existing account. It makes it a much better option. Also, Cox is using IMAP for email, and that's why they're taking the email off. She could set her email for POP and it will download all the email to her computer. FastMail is another option.
Paul wants to buy a hotspot. Leo says that the Karma Go is one he uses. He can pay as he goes, or pay monthly if it is to be his primary subscription. It uses Sprint, so he should check the coverage map. T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T offer similar devices for around $10 a GB. No rollovers.
Julio has an internet enabled refrigerator and he can't get to Google Calendar online with it. Leo wonders if it's one of the first refrigerators. Leo says that Google changed the way the calendar works and Samsung probably hasn't updated the firmware to accommodate that new standard. Since his fridge is out of warranty, they have little incentive to fix the problem. There's a technote about it at productforums.google.com.