Google

Why Do Some Sites Block My VPN?

BBC

Episode 1632

Dan from Orange County, CA

Dan signed up for a VPN recently, and he can't use it with his banking, Netflix or other apps. Leo says that the bank is probably blocking it. VPNs can break IP-based authentication. BBC iPlayer, for instance, blocks VPNs, because you're not paying for the TV license fee. Netflix does it because it doesn't want another region to be watching content that isn't available for licensing reasons. Banking activity is encrypted, so you don't really need a VPN for it. Google has also been pushing for HTTPS encryption with every site, so if every site is encrypted, there's no real need for VPNs.

Will Restoring My Phone Fix My Problems?

moto g4 plus

Episode 1628

Terry from Los Angeles, CA

Terry is having an issue on his moto g4 plus phone that won't let him remove an app, and now his camera is crashing.  He's leaving in a week for Japan. Leo says that it's time to get a new phone because his phone is older. He recommends going with Google Fi because it's a great international travel phone. But if he wants to keep the phone, then Leo recommends backing up the phone on Google, and then reset it. Then, when restored, Google will restore all apps. Or, he can go into the Google store and see what he has downloaded and restore them manually. 

Why Can't I Send Email?

Gmail

Episode 1600

Valerie from Agoura Hills, CA

Valerie is having issues with her email, she can receive but she can't send. Leo says that's due to a validation issue since her email provider doesn't support standard protocols. Google will block email IP addresses due to spam. Leo recommends using Gmail or other well-known email providers. So get a new email provider! 

What should be my next Android phone?

Samsung Galaxy S10

Episode 1599

Richard from Sonoma, CA

Richard recently came across his old Google G1, the first Android mobile device. Now he's at the Google Pixl2 XL and he wants a phone with an SD card for storage. Leo says that SD card slots are on a lot of phones, but they are notoriously difficult. The operating system doens't trust them to install apps. But Samsung seems to have gotten a handle on it. Leo recommends the Samsung Galaxy S10. But understand that Samsung does modify the Android OS a bit to make everything work the way they want. Some things are great, some aren't. Which is why Leo roots his and uses a custom launcher.

DOJ and FTC to Investigate Google and Amazon

FTC

Episode 1597

After Google was slapped with a $5 Billion fine from the EU, the US Department of Justice has said it will open an anti-trust investigation on Google. Meanwhile, the FTC may be signalling the same for Amazon. But Leo says that it could do more harm economically than good, and maybe the best thing would be to break up both companies into smaller concerns that can compete.

Huawei's reputation for Chinese Spying Causes Google to Suspend business

Huawei

Episode 1593

Recently, after the US banned sales of Huawei cell phones due to spying, Google has suspended all business with the Chinese telephone manufacturer over genuine concerns that Huawei phones have spying issues. Google will not be updating Huaweii phones, give access to the app store, or any other product support. Huawei has also been added to the US Department of Commerce trade blacklist. Leo says it's a shame because Huawei makes some great hardware. 

Are Google Ad Algorithms racist?

Google Ads

Episode 1593

Talya O'Shea has done some research, and she's found that African Americans are more likely to see clickbait with the term "arrested" next to it than whites. And what the bias is from, is Google's Algorithm, which the advertising is based on. Leo says that O'Shea wrote a book about it, concluding that Google needs to improve that algorithm to be accurate, because it can cause a lot of harm to people's online reputation.