Alan wants to know if Zoom is still a security risk? Leo says he's becoming less and less trusting of Zoom because they are giving law enforcement backdoor access to user accounts, and has canceled the account of an American activist. They have also done little to fix the security issues that have been cropping up, short of just requiring a password. Leo prefers JITSI, an open-source video conferencing solution that's free and you can start your own server for even more privacy. It's very easy to do.
Don is trying to use both Skype and Zoom for his music rehearsals. But the latency is terrible. So he's been using another option called Jamulus. Why does that work, but Skype doesn't? Leo says that distance is a factor, but there's also networks, bandwidth, the kind of network, network connection speeds, ISPs, switches, all contribute to latency. Jamulus is nice because it's open-source and free. But there are also commercial options like Jammr.
Chef Guy agrees with Leo that the so-called "Zoom fatigue" is setting in. Could it be due to bad audio quality? Leo says that could definitely be a contributing factor. The better quality audio you provide, the better. But most people Zoom using their computer laptop microphones. Would a lav and earbud microphones help? Leo says that a better choice is a Plantronics Model 540 or 478 USB headset. But good luck getting them these days.
Leo spent the week having Zoom meetings with friends, family, and business associates. He even had a virtual college reunion, and at the end of the week, he's all zoomed out. Effective, yes. But he's eager to get back to talking to people face to face.
Jason wants to know if the Facebook Portal is safe to use for Grandma keeping in touch with family. Leo says that the Portal is very easy to use and comes in three models. It's also really easy to make calls. You just say "call [name]," and it calls. It will also zoom in on the speaker and follow them as they move around. Great for talking to grandkids. And if everyone is on Facebook anyway, it's a great way to keep in touch.
Michael wants to know how to video conference with his computer and Chromebook. Leo says that Skype will work just fine with it. They have their own plugin for Chromebooks. But Leo also recommends a new open-source utility called JITSI, which will set up an unlimited number of callers in a grid and it's very easy to set up your own JITSI server. Secure. Fast. And yours. You send your callers a web address, they go to it and they're talking. Nothing to install.
Lene has a Zoom account for video conferencing at work, and she will be setting up meetings while isolating at home. She's worried, though, about using a personal ID for the meeting and giving that ID to other colleagues for creating meetings. Leo recommends creating a separate user ID and pass that along to your colleagues to create other meetings. Leo also says that each user should have their own IDs.
Susan installed Zoom to handle her physical therapy sessions online. She discovered though, that her computer has no camera or microphone built-in. So what should she get? She doesn't want to spend a lot in a limited amount of time. Leo says if she doesn't have a laptop or a smartphone, then she needs to be looking to buy a webcam. Leo likes Logitech's webcams. The Logitech C922 or C910 is great. They have built-in microphones as well and plug into your USB port.
Chris wants to talk about using video conferencing and how to do it the right way. Everyone is using Zoom or Facetime to stay connected, but there are some things to avoid. Placing the Camera: try to avoid your camera being at desk level. That will give an unflattering look up your nose. So stack up books for your laptop, or use a cheap smartphone holder for your mobile device. Attach that to a mini tripod. Mute yourself when not talking. Look at the room you are in: What's in the background? You want a background that isn't too distracting.