Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Greg is part of an RV club and they'd like a good web-based database to manage contacts, offer invoices, and get out information. Leo says that Capterra is a directory of business software. A really good resource to find the right app for the need. Also, check out Monday.com
Ruben is looking for an alternative to Evernote. They've raised prices for the Premium version. Leo says that he can still do the free version, and he may be able to get by, but it's not encrypted. Leo's alternative is Microsoft's ONENOTE. Leo says it's free on everything and he won't have to have an Office subscription to use it. Another good one is Google Keep. Keep is interesting because it's like a bulletin board.
Johnny Jet says that before you book your flight, always look at what birds they're using for that flight. You can find that out online as you book. Not all planes are created equal. Johnny Jet uses Google Flights but also goes to the airline website to find out what plane is flying on his flight. You want a wide body whenever possible.
And if you fly American, when you fly, you can get free upgrades in the offseason.
Tom is watching TV and he gets pixelation while streaming. When he switches to an antenna, he gets the same problem. What gives? Leo says that's due to the digital broadcast. Digital signals don't degrade gracefully. It just gets bad. And it could be a host of things from the antenna, to bandwidth, to the streaming box. Leo has a hunch it's the service that's streaming the programming to him.
How is YouTube getting such a clean signal? Leo says they may be using fiber directly from a network.
Facebook has launched Libra Coin, and already many countries have banned its use. The US will investigate Facebook over it, and banks will refuse to accept it. But companies like MasterCard, Paypal (of course) and others will be accepting it. Leo says that if governments hate it, it's a maybe a good thing. But only time will tell. The real problem is, Facebook wants to tie your account to your banking information, and even though Facebook says all transactions will be private, with Facebook's fantastic record of security and privacy, what could possibly go wrong?
Jim ran GRC Shields Up scanner on his router and he discovered that port 443 was open, not stealth. Is he vulnerable? Leo says you have to have port 443 to run on the internet, but it should be in "stealth mode." You'll also want to find out what's using it. NetStat will help you determine that. Wireshark will also do that. His fan is also running a lot. Leo says that may mean your computer is getting hotter. Probably needs to have the dust cleaned out of it.
Based on deals with Mastercard, Visa, Uber and others, Facebook is poised to launch their own cryptocurrency. But the Global Coin Consortium has bowed out. Leo says it should be nicknamed "Zuck Bucks," and the major problem is, that Facebook users will have to tie their bank accounts and other financial information to their Facebook account, and considering their security challenges, that's not going to end well.
Target's computerized cash registers went down yesterday, leaving customers left holding the literal bag with no real way to pay for them. Some employees got around the problem by using their personal phones to check out using the online interface. Target assures it wasn't a data breach, but Leo isn't so sure about that. It has happened before.
Valerie is having issues with her email, she can receive but she can't send. Leo says that's due to a validation issue since her email provider doesn't support standard protocols. Google will block email IP addresses due to spam. Leo recommends using Gmail or other well-known email providers. So get a new email provider!
David needs to extend the WiFi in his apartment building. Will an extender do the job? Leo says it will, but at the cost of cutting bandwidth speed in half, because the base station is relaying the signal and spending half the time talking to the router. Leo recommends going with a MESH router. Eero is a good one, as is NetGear Orbi. But there are plenty more. Just about every router company makes a mesh model now.