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Internet and Web
Marie wants to know an alternative to Gmail. Leo stopped using Gmail because of their invasive ads, but the other side of the coin is that Gmail has the best spam filters of all. Leo moved to FastMail, so Marie can use Gmail to initially filter her emails, and then forward the rest to FastMail. Then she can run the secondary SPAM Sieve there.
Scott uses Google Hangouts on his iPad Mini, but when he used it today, the little phone icon is missing. It's been removed from his personal account. What gives? Leo says Google has announced that it is eliminating Hangouts to all but Google Fi users.
Facebook had another security issue hit this week, as the social media company admitted that millions of Instagram passwords were stored in a plain text file that could be easily accessed from anyone on the network. But they swear that it wasn't accessed or maliciously maligned. Since they initially stated thousands, then admitted millions of accounts were at risk and that it has happened many times now, Leo says that Facebook's priorities are out of whack. They don't really care about protecting user data.
Wayne got an email from a realtor about taxes in his neighbourhood. It had a PDF attachment and he can't print it. Rich says that if it's a PDF, his computer is probably opening up the file directly, without using a PDF reader. Right-click to see what options to open it with.
Gloria wants to know if the Fire TV stick is a good deal for cutting the cord. Rich recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K because it's the best option and it's only $10 more. Then he recommends also picking up the Fire TV Recast for the local channels. However, Gloria will need an antenna or subscribe to DirecTV Now for those local channels, minus KTLA.
Greg's wife has an iMac running El Capitan, but now the Safari app just goes to Yahoo Safefinder no matter what! Rich says that there's some malware on the browser, likely an extension. Rich recommends Malwarebytes, and give the iMac a scan. Also, go through the apps and see if there are any that are unrecognizable. CleanMyMac is a program that can also clear out malware. Greg can also look for a browser reset in the settings, which will wipe out everything and start over.
AT&T has launched its 5G service in 17 cities around the country, but Rich says good luck trying to use it. First, you can't find a map of 5G coverage to see where it's available, plus you need a $500 hotspot device to use it if you do. Also, 5G doesn't travel very far, requiring even more towers.
Meanwhile, Verizon has launched in Chicago and Minneapolis for everyone, but in very small areas. Rich says that while 5G is the future, it's just not the future now.
Christie wonders about Google Duo, the Google version of Facetime. Could Google be recording those? Rich says not likely. The video and audio are encrypted, so that would be difficult to do. However, the metadata is fair game. Who she called, how long she was on the call, where she is, etc. But the reality is, free services still cost "something", so it comes with the expectation that some monetization is going on to pay for it.
Disney+ launches November 12th, for $6.99 a month. This will include more than 25 original series and 10 original films, plus the entire Disney catalogue of 7500 TV episodes and 2500 films, content from National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, ESPN, and more. Rich adds that Disney will also probably offer a bundled deal with HULU, which offers LiveTV as well.
Rich says that by comparison, that will put tremendous pressure on Apple and Netflix who are charging more.