Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Website of the week: Johnny Jet says that cruise experts say that the best time to buy a cruise is 12-18 months in advance or 6-7 weeks before sailing. Check out CruiseCompete.com for the best rate. They send your cruise requests to travel agents and cruise lines to bid on, and you can get deals and upgrades that you can't find anywhere else.
George needs to create a central bulletin board that can allow two universities to communicate and share data out of the public eye. Leo says that a website is probably the best way to do it because he can set up authorship and commenting privileges. He could password protect it, too. Websites have superseded BBS because they are a lot easier. Doctor Mom runs a special space for her medical society and they use LinkedIn. They can even make it a closed group.
According to a new study, social media is making us miserable as we compare our lives to those posting online. Leo suggests trying to search the beginning of a phrase in Google, such as "I always," and Google will finish the phrase using search data from other people. You'll immediately find out that everyone else's lives are not as glamorous as they seem on social media.
Mark wants to do a podcast and his partners say Podomatic is great because it's free. But he's thinking of going with WordPress and their podpress plugin. Leo says that either would work. The difference is that doing it on his site will mean he absorbs the bandwidth costs. Podomatic uses ads inserted into the site to cover bandwidth costs and profit. But they handle the burden of scaling it up if his podcast gets very popular.
Mass can't get Wi-Fi on his PC. It's about three years old and he hasn't used it in awhile. Leo says it may be that the computer needs to reacquire the network and password. If he can, he should choose to "forget the network" and then reboot. It will then see the network again and he can input his password.
Mike is frustrated because one of the government real estate websites he visits requires Microsoft Silverlight, and they don't support it anymore. Leo says that everyone has moved away from Flash-like players that require a plug-in in favor of HTML 5. But it's not unusual that government hasn't caught up to the new thinking. Leo thinks government should never require proprietary plugins.
Mike is frustrated that his internet access is going through a lot of buffering, especially when he's streaming. Leo says a router needs to control his ethernet connection, not a modem. It's the one assigning IP addresses. Then he can put routers all over the house, but have them set in bridge mode so that they just pass the bandwidth along. Mike should try using different names for his routers, too. That way, he can join the nearest ones directly. Getting a mesh router is also be a good idea. They aren't cheap, but they definitely solve the problem.
Val is interested in LifeLock and wants to know if it's safe. Is it? Leo says yes. They were a bit over confident in the early days, but they are dedicated to getting in between you and identity thieves by putting fraud alerts on your credit history. But now they can't do that because of lawsuits. So now they own companies that are built to target fraudulent credit activity so that if anything unauthorized occurs, you get wind of it and they can shut it down. They will also help you fix your credit record should you be a victim of credit card fraud.
Johnny Jet is fresh from a trip back east to attend the travel related "Freddy Awards." Alaska Airlines received top honors as the best airline. Meanwhile, United settled with Doctor Dow after they beat him and dragged him off the airplane. The settlement is undisclosed, but Johnny Jet guesses it was at least $10 million. The incident also prompted changes in their policies to bump passengers, including offering up to $10,000 to get you to give up your seat.
A hacker by the name of "The Dark Overlord" broke into Netflix' servers and released the new season of "Orange is the New Black," after demanding payment not to. According to TDA, he also has shows from ABC, IFC, and other channels. Leo says that is a childish act that probably was perpetrated by an ambitious teenager and Netflix did the right thing by refusing to pay up.