Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Why are cities levying extra taxes on Internet access?

Episode 1068

Mike from El Segundo, CA
Tax

Mike says that city governments are levying extra taxes disguised as internet modernization efforts, when in reality, they're using it for other purposes. Leo says that TWiT isn't a political show, but users should always pay attention to what goes on in their home towns. All politics is local. A greater impact is the monopoly on internet access that companies have, and we've seen that in the recent net neutrality issue resulting in Netflix having to pay.

Shouldn't we back up people as well as data?

Episode 1068

Louis from Hollywood, CA
cloud backup

Louis says that he thinks in addition to backing up our data, we should "back up" people. What he means by that is redundancy of capable people so that companies aren't reliant on just one person to solve problems, especially in IT. Leo says he agrees, which is why he does things like show notes, and the TWiT Wiki. In fact, he's also trying to put together a Wiki of what everyone does at the Brickhouse Studios. Leo is breaking ground on running a TV station on the Internet, and as such, things often go awry.

How can I protect myself online with my new computer?

Episode 1068

Billy from Redondo Beach, CA
Windows 8

Billy is getting a new Windows 8 desktop and wants to be sure he sets it up with the proper security. Leo says that Microsoft is now bundling Windows Defender (formerly called Security Essentials) with Windows 8, so he'll be protected as long as he keeps it up to date. There are other things he can do to protect yourself more, though:

Netflix Wants Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

Episode 1068

ISP

Explaining that he had no choice but to pay Comcast's "toll" to allow users to stream Netflix content, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blasted the cable company for anti-competitive behavior. "The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don't restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make," wrote Hastings on the Netflix blog. "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient."

Why am I having so much trouble with Netflix streaming?

Episode 1067

Steve from Los Angeles, CA
Netflix

Steve loves watching Netflix but he's not getting a consistent connection. Leo says that consistency is the key for Netflix streaming. Steve's provider may be artificially slowing down the service in order to make him want to buy their competing services. That's what Comcast did. He could try using a wired connection instead of than Wi-Fi. Steve can also try using AppleTV. The streaming is far better because Apple routes the streaming through their own data center.

Johnny Jet in Dodger Blue

Episode 1067

Johnny Jet flew Down Under to Australia to watch a special baseball that matched the LA Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Johnny has a fun app called Quiz Up, which helps wile away the hours while traveling. Leo says he loves Quiz up and gets thousands of challenges. Leo also says you have to make sure you have a good internet connection, so it may not be ideal for traveling. Leo advises 2048 and Rails. Both are fun, but addicting.

How can I keep using Windows XP safely after April 8?

Episode 1067

Mark from Indio, CA
Microsoft Windows XP

Mark hears that XP will stop being supported. Leo says yes, on April 8th Microsoft will release it's last security update. So what would be his options after that? He's on a budget and can't buy a new computer. Leo says that Linux is a good option, and it's often more secure. Leo says that Mark could also just continue to use XP if he takes steps and knows what he's doing.

Here's what Mark can do:

Can I use my tablet's data plan with other devices?

Episode 1067

Jerry from Santa Ana, CA
Nokia Lumia 2520

Jerry is looking at the Nokia Lumia 2520 for about $90 plus activation. Will he be able to use his other devices with it? Leo says that the deal will only be for internet access to the tablet, not any other option. Jerry would have to hotspot that, which would cost extra and blow through his data cap. One option though is a MiFi wireless access card. That would allow for sharing data to up to 5 different devices. Generally speaking, they're faster, more expensive, and more consistent.