Mike watches YouTube off his laptop and he keeps getting popups requiring him to log into his Google account to watch videos. What gives? Leo says that Google is starting to get restrictive on some content, and it may be that you have to log into YouTube in order to view sensitive or explicit videos. That doesn't mean anything other than topics that aren't advertiser-friendly. Leo also says it enables Google to collect data on you, so they can monetize it. Get ready, that's the future.
Doug has a podcast called Headline Minute on Anchor.FM. He wants to know if it will play using SIRI. Leo says that SIRI is as dumb as a box of rocks, but the Amazon Echo would likely play it, as will Google Assistant. More people have Echos and Google Assistants anyway.
Patti listens to the Tech Guy with her Amazon Echo and noticed that she gets commercials from San Diego, not LA. What gives? Leo says that when listening to the stream, the radio station sometimes uses specially sold ads for the internet stream that are more regional, or national in design. So that's likely why she heard ads from San Diego. Her device may also not really know your location, so if she can go into the app, she can add the location and get more accurate ads and weather forecasts.
Michelle wants to know of a secure way to listen to podcasts and live audio streams. Leo says that if you're listening to TWiT, you can go to twit.tv/live. It's secure from every source. Leo says to check to be sure your browser is up to date. That could be the issue. But streaming should be very secure. In fact, Google is pushing for all sites to be https compliant. So if the site isn't https compliant, that could be an issue. Those certificates are based on dates, and if your computer's date is off, that could indicate a certificate is out of date when it really isn't.
Len listens to his podcasts through Amazon Echo. Leo says that Echo and other home assistants are a boon for podcasters and streaming radio from all over the world. He says the problem though is that it'll completely play live, but if he listens to it pre-recorded, he only gets about 20 minutes. Leo says it all comes down to advertising. If you're listening to a podcast in Cleveland, but you're in San Diego, ads are no benefit to you or the advertiser. And they probably don't pay to have an ad on the download. It's all about economics. Podcasts are like magazines.
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.
Jody is having an issue of an annoying hissing sound when he's streaming video through his Roku. Leo says that he thinks it's a decoding error in the Roku. Try using another Roku device and see if the noise is replicated. He can also try different sound settings, but it sounds like that 5-year-old Roku just needs to be replaced.
The big news this week was the pivotal battle of Winterfell on Game of Thrones, and the problem was it was so DARK and badly lit. Scott says that it's almost as if the filmmakers didn't take into consideration that those who are streaming would be dealing with a heavily compressed image, that would crush the details in dark areas. Add the fact that it was the most watched episode in HBO history, it had to deal with congestion as well. The episode will no doubt look better on Blu-ray and in UHD. But with the heavily compressed signal of a 4K stream, it simply didn't.
Gary wants to know if it's worth buying the G Suite from Google. Leo says it makes a lot of sense for companies, but for $10 a month, Gary won't get anything new. Google is replacing Google Hangouts with Meet and Chat, so he may have the opportunity to use that. It also offers Google Voice for new users. Look around. Check out Grasshopper, Mighty Call, or Line2. Leo uses Ring Central.
Gary also found out that PlayOn, his DVR service online, is going up to $50 a month. Leo recommends YouTube TV as PlayOn requests a password apparently to access some services to record to the DVR.