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Episode 1735 October 10, 2020

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bonnie from California Comments

Bonnie is having issues sending texts via Google Voice. It's been intermittent lately. Leo says that Google Voice is an internet-based text messaging service. That requires a gateway, usually provided by carriers to send out the actual text. Not every company will pass Google Voice texts along consistently. It depends on who is supporting it and who isn't. Since Bonnie is a teacher, it may be that new parents are using a service that doesn't support it. The chatroom recommends https://freecarrierlookup.com/ for seeing that services support it and who doesn't. Leo also recommends MySudo.com. It's similar to Google Voice, but it uses a different system that could be more supportive.

Carriers are now also blocking spam and getting more aggressive about it. So that could be an issue too.

Watch Josh from Denver, CO Comments

Josh wants to know if there's an alternative to SONOS that can broadcast music to each room in his house. Leo says that used to be the sole domain of SONOS. It's difficult to do because of latency. Now, other products are capable of doing it thanks to Google's Speakers. NEST Speakers do the same thing as Sonos, but so does Amazon wireless speakers. Leo really likes the Google Nest Speakers. They're ideal. NEST Audio Speakers are about $100 per. 

Ultimate Ears UE Megabook speakers also do the same. But Leo says that Nest Audio is the way to go.

Watch GJ from Snohomish, Washington Comments

GJ has a Google gift card that Google says is expired. But in his state, there is no expiration for the gift card. What does he do? Leo says it sounds like Google is trying to avert the law by saying the card is damaged and refuses to refund GJ the money. There's also a federal law that says there's at least a 5-year window for Gift Cards. Here's a site that will tell what the law is in a state - https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/gift-cards-and-certificates-statutes-and-legis.aspx

They may think they can get people to just give up.

From the chatroom - https://support.google.com/googleplay/thread/7885035?hl=en

At the end of the day, Leo recommends logging a complaint with the state and federal consumer products' department. But that's about all one can do. Leo says it sounds like Google just doesn't care, and mostly because they don't have to.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bobby from Park City, UT Comments

Bobby remodels homes and creates professional before and after images. He'd like to have a cloud-based solution to showcase the work with privacy, but also be able to share the images when interested. Leo says that Google Photos has that ability and it can be private and secure, but allow for sharing with a link. Easy and free. If Bobby is doing this commercially, G Suite is the way to go, and it offers a considerable amount of storage. Alternatives include Microsoft OneDrive. 

Watch Steve Martin from New York, NY Comments

Steve Martin also uses a Windows computer and an iPad, and often they don't talk well together. He's also been getting a lot of his emails being routed into SPAM. He's had to physically move them back to the Inbox, and he's worried that he'll miss an important email from business or friends. Leo says that the SPAM filters have gotten so good, that they're now starting to get false positives as ISPs get really aggressive with the spam filters. Leo recommends adding the sender to the contact list in Google, and that will teach Gmail which email is legitimate for Steve and which are unsolicited. 

Steve has also been having issues with his Synology NAS. He bought a second unit and started having the same issues. Leo says it sounds like some issue with the data that Steve has been backing up. Perhaps a corruption. How does he destroy the hard drives on a bad NAS? Leo says that it depends on how the drive is built. Physically, he can use a huge magnet, drill holes in the platters, or if they are glass he can shatter them with a hammer (make sure to wear safety glasses). 

Steve recently starred in a 30-minute sequel to Father of the Bride called Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish) which was filmed on ZOOM. It's available on Netflix' Youtube channel.

Steve also has a new show on Hulu called Only Murders in the Building, about an elderly couple who solves crimes in their Manhattan apartment building. He's also making a comic book with Harry Bliss for the holidays called "A Wealth of Pigeons."

Watch Tom from Riverside, CA Comments

Tom's son is moving to a rural area and they use rather slow radio-based ISPs. Leo says that the benefit of living in a rural area is the beautiful area. The downside is, that if there isn't a lot of people per square mile, broadband companies simply won't provide connectivity. So they end up with satellite, cellular, and radio-based alternatives. Cellphone internet is getting faster thanks to LTE and 5G. And it'll get faster. And thanks to Elon Musk's Starlink program, Satellite wifi is coming. Starlink has already launched nearly 1000 satellites and has started BETA testing in the northern US and Canada. Initial reports are very promising. Musk says that the Beta will expand to throughout the US within a year or two as more satellites get launched and go online.

Meanwhile, cellular may be the best option.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dee Dee from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Dee Dee is going to buy a new RV called the Thor Outlaw, and it comes with a WiFi booster. What does she need in between her computer hardware? Leo says that it's a Weingard WiFi extender and 4G hotspot. So she won't really need anything in between it and the computer. But she will need her own internet access that the Weingard will act as a gateway to. Leo says Dee Dee's choices are basic cellular carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. Then she will put the SIM in the Weingard. Watch their videos though, to see. She will also want to find out what the best carrier will be for where she is going.

How can she disable the motion locks so her mom can watch TV? Leo says that if she is using satellite, she'll have to be able to move the satellite to connect to it and that won't work while driving. So Leo recommends maybe getting a DVD player instead. Disabling the motion lock wouldn't be safe.

How much bandwidth will she need, especially since she'll also be putting on a RING Video Doorbell on her home while she's away? Leo says that can use up to 1GB an hour. So that could blow out the bandwidth caps. Leo recommends getting a camera that streams only when there's motion. Wyze does that. 

Watch John from Newport, Florida Comments

John doesn't remember his username for Facebook. How can he recover his account? Or better yet, deactivate it completely? Leo says to check out DeleteFacebook.com. He can go to the Facebook login page and use the "I Forgot" option, and that will help John recover it. Then he can choose to delete it.

Watch Ed from Henderson, NV Comments

Ed is looking to cut the cable and is looking for options for the internet. DSLReports.com is where he can go to see what's available in the area. Leo recommends checking out AT&T U-Verse. They use fiber and it's very fast. Avoid Satellite. The latency and bandwidth caps are too great. Sadly, cable has no competition due to being granted a regional monopoly. But he can go with fiber or even wireless. DSL may be an option, but it gets slower the farther he is away from the central office. But in a few years, Elon Musk's Starlink Satellite Wifi will change everything. 

Until then, once he gets the service, he can sign up for YouTubeTV and get all live channels by streaming.