Google

Is My Chromebook Safe to Use if It Doesn’t Get Updated Anymore?

Chromebook

Episode 1822

Anne from Studio City, CA

Anne wants to know why her Chromebook isn't getting updates anymore. And can she keep using it? Leo says that the older your Chromebook is, the more likely Google will stop updating it. But it'll be fine for a while. Chrome is very secure. The issue though will be if your browser is still updated. If your Chromebook is one of the first, and as such, its end of life, then it may be time to get a new one.

Should I Use an SEO Company?

SEO

Episode 1819

Dave from Temecula, CA

Dave has a business and he wants to know if it's worth doing SEO to get better search results on Google. Seems like snake oil. Leo says that there are legitimate SEO companies. But there's a lot of snake oil there, as well. A LOT. And an overly aggressive SEO could actually cause Google to delist him. SO if they make nonorganic suggestions that could "game the system," run away!

Why Can’t I Log Into YouTube Through Steam?

Steam

Episode 1816

Gabriel from Lake Elsinore, CA

Gabe is having trouble logging into YouTube using Steam's Overlay browser. He gets a browser not secure warning. But if he uses a different Gmail account, he can get in. Leo suspects that the Browser is using a format that YouTube no longer supports.  It turns out that YouTube has made a change that doesn't support the Overlay Browser. Here's a Steam note on it, and another here.

Machine Voices Getting More Human

Bourdain

Episode 1813

Companies like Amazon and Google are doing to great lengths to make their assistant voices sound more human. Even going so far as to bring celebrities in to record random sentences and then use artificial intelligence to fill in the gaps. Known as "prosody," the technique is starting to put voiceover artists out of work since a computer can fake recorded sounds that are indistinguishable now from the human voice.

Google Installs App without Asking on some User Phones

Massachusetts

Episode 1806

Up in Massachusetts, users of Android phones discovered this week that Google had installed the Massachusetts State app without their knowledge or permission. The app is designed to provide citizens with the latest Covid-19 information, as well as a QR code if you have been vaccinated. Leo says it's not a good thing to force an app, and how easy would it be to forge a QR code anyway? People have always sought to "game" the system, and it's even more so in the age of the Internet.

Can Congress Reign in the Tech Industry?

House

Episode 1805

With five bills before the House, Congress is poised to reign in Big Tech, and a breakup may be required for Big Tech to continue to do business in the United States. The Big Nine - Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google, and IBM, plus Ali Baba, Tencent/TikTok, and Babu are so dominant in our society, that Congress is starting to be concerned that Big Tech has too much power, and they may require some of those firms to break up into smaller companies. 

How Can I Get My Docs Back from Google Docs After They've Been Erased?

Docs

Episode 1804

Bobby from San Diego, CA

Bobby's homework assignments have gone missing from Google Docs. It's a school account using Canvas. Leo says to talk to the IT guy at the school.  He did that and the school said to "call Google." But Google doesn't have that kind of support. What would be more helpful is to contact the developer of Canvas. 

Lackluster Google I/O Offers Lots of Features, Few Products

starline

Episode 1798

From Google Photo's Patterns to Fitbit returning under Google Wear, this year's Google I/O wasn't really much to talk about. But Project Starline has some promise. It's a 3D technology where you don't have to wear special glasses. It uses a special light field projector that essentially creates a 3D version of someone on the other side, It promises to make it look like the person you're talking to is right there beside you.