Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Mark hears that Public Wifi may not be safe. Is that true? Leo says yes and no. When we're on a public network, people can see our connection. We can see other people's computers in our browser. We may not be able to see everything, but a hacker can use what's called a "WiFi pineapple." So there is a potential risk. But with a secure connection via HTTPS, they can't really see anything. That's why Google is pushing hard for every website to be https. That's why it's Leo's opinion that we're mostly safe. When in doubt, just use a virtual private network while on a public wifi.
Pamela is so inundated with spam, she wants to get rid of her Gmail account. How can she back up the email she wants? Leo says the concept of cleaning out your inbox is called INBOX Zero. It's basically spring cleaning for your email account. Leo says that the archive is designed to remove all the email you don't want to see, but still have access to it by a searchable database. That's much better than throwing it away and realizing you lost something important.
Jim lives in a congested area and wants to be able to pick up his wifi signal from anywhere in the neighborhood to talk to his yard sprinkler unit with his smartphone. Leo says if you can talk to the control unit, you can talk to any individual unit within WiFi distance. But that's a call to your manufacturer support.
NEST has officially become Google NEST, and will solely become a Google Product. Leo says that while Google has owned NEST for a while now, it had kept it largely autonomous, including the data it collected. No longer. No Google owns all the data it collects and will use it. Even worse, Leo says that Google is already phasing out support for other IoT devices and will solely be supported by Google Assistant. Leo says it's annoying when a company encourages you to deep dive into a product's ecosystem and then changes it so that it can't be used with other products.
Vic says that Google Voice has a setting to turn off Caller ID. But you have to do it from your web browser. Spectrum also has a special Roku app to get local channels through the internet.
Taylor operates his own 100 watt FM radio station so they can stream via TuneIn. He's had complaints that TuneIn is charging them $100 for premium service in order to listen to him. Is that legit? Leo says NO! They do have free and paid levels for streaming, but he can listen to anything free on Tune-in. They do give a one-week free trial, but TuneIn is billing automatically via Apple Pay. Leo says to complain, and they will refund it.
Jeff has a 10-year-old HD TV and he's thinking of upgrading to 4K. A TCL 65" with Roku built in. A good buy? Leo says he'll likely need a decoder box to work with the cable subscription. But will he get 4K? Well, that depends on his cable. And even then, no live channels really broadcast in 4K anyway. He can stream it through Netflix and others, but it requires a faster internet connection. One thing he can do is get a 4K Bluray player.
Johnny Jet was supposed to fly out today, but his flight was delayed. Fortunately, I had alerts from his airline, and TripIt Pro in order to get notified. He was also able to rebook through Dallas in Business Class for almost the cost of coach. He used miles, though. Johnny also recommends renting your car through Costco Travel. The prices will drop as you get closer to your travel date, and you can always cancel and rebook. But stay away from the prepay guarantee. That locks your rate in.
Focusing mostly on their Cloud applications, Microsoft didn't even mention Windows at their latest event. Leo says that Microsoft has acknowledged that the Internet has become operating system agnostic, and as such, it really doesn't matter what OS you use. So Microsoft focused on their Cloud services like Azure. Could the end of Windows be near?
John Paul is having a hard time recovering his Gmail account. What can he do? Leo says it's very difficult to recover your Gmail because there's really no one to talk to. Gmail is a free service and doesn't offer support. If you had the paid version, GSuite, you'd have support. But since this is free, you're really at the mercy of the support documents. One way to prevent this is to turn on 2-factor authentication. That way you get a text message with a code that you input, or you use an authenticator.