Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
In one of his first acts as President, Joe Biden will be elevating the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy into a cabinet-level position, and he's chosen a geneticist to be the first Secretary.
Hellabyte is the latest term for the largest quantity in computing, but it's getting challenged by the terms BrontoByte and RotoByte. Leo says that the mass of the sun could be viewed as 2.2 HellaTons in weight, and releases .3 HellaWatts. Leo says at some point, you just go 1.2.3. Many.
Dave wants to be able to save locations in his browser. He used to be able to do it, but now it won't let him. What gives? Leo says that most sites automatically do it if you permit them to do so. It uses a file called a cookie. To do it, you can delete the cookies or even block them, though, and if Dave did that, it could be why he can't save the location data. Leo recommends going into your browser and look at your privacy settings. You can then change them to allow cookies to be saved.
Paul doesn't want to use Zoom unless he can prevent it from accessing his personal information. How can he do that? Leo says that Zoom has a web interface now so that you can log in as a guest for your Zoom calls. And it's got new security features to keep your information safe and secure. Zoom has spent a lot to secure its platform. But understand that the company is based in China, so it's likely that everything that goes through their service is viewable by the PRC.
But if you're concerned, get everyone to use Jitsi. It's open-source.
Peter wants to be able to make calls over the internet. Leo says that's called voiceover IP and a good way to do it is with Google Voice. And it's free.
Chris wants to know if there's a TWiT show on coping with turbulent times using technology. Leo says mental health is important, and just about everyone has been affected by it. And this year has been tough. We all need resources to cope, but a radio show isn't really the best way to go about it. Leo does recommend the US government's MentalHealth.Gov website, which offers resources to get help. Your doctor can also recommend a good therapist or mental health professional.
Brad set up his parents' new Windows computer with bookmarks so they can easily visit their favorite websites. Is that secure? Leo says, unless someone else has physical access, it's secure. He's also had it set to go to sleep and require a password after 10 minutes of inactivity. Leo says that's a good idea. But Leo also recommends giving them a basic user account, not an administrator account. That way they can't install anything or give someone remote access, or even privilege escalation. Based on what Brad has laid out, their computer is pretty locked down.
Steve wants to know if he can scan something and fax it digitally. Leo says he can with eFax, but it's a monthly service. He can send as many as he wants, but most people don't fax much anymore. So a pay-as-you-go service, like Fax Zero, maybe a better option. But it won't be "HIPPA" compliant. The WireCutter recommends HelloFax.
Johnny Jet joins Leo to talk about travel. Leo says he was supposed to be on a Singapore cruise this weekend. But he was forced to cancel. Luckily, he got his money back.
LAX now has a Covid19 testing lab with a 3-5 hour turn around time on site. You need to make a reservation, but it's a great step if you need to travel. The cost is $125. Canada and the UK are now requiring negative Covid19 tests and require 14-day quarantine to travel to their country.
Rod joins Leo to talk about the latest news in space exploration. And there's more alien news, as more alien radio signals keep getting picked up by radio telescopes. But the thinking is that most technological civilizations have probably destroyed themselves. But there could be species that are just as young as we are that could be out there, and that's where the signals are coming from. The problem though, is that they are probably not as technologically advanced to get here. In the end, we're pretty much alone in our backwater corner of the galaxy.