Internet and Web

Your internet connection, web sites and services.

Rod Pyle and the Space Cowboys

Rod Pyle

Episode 1814

Rod is back to talk about the billionaire space cowboys who have recently gone up into "space." Not even orbiting, mind you, just going up in a popcorn-like trajectory. Both Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have gone up in their own developed space ships, while Elon Musk is busy creating his spaceship to go to Mars. But are they really astronauts? The FAA doesn't seem to think so, having released new specifications of how high you have to get to be considered an astronaut.

Why Do Streaming Sticks Overheat?

Roku TV Stick

Episode 1814

Steven from Tustin, CA

Steven is suddenly getting a warning on his TV that his Roku Stick is getting too warm and could shut down. He unplugged it and cooled it down, and has now added an extender to keep its distance. Leo says that he stopped using the Roku stick because they tend to overheat and crash. It's the same with the FireTV Stick and others. They overheat normally, and that's not good for electronics. Using an extender is a good idea, but Leo prefers using the stand-alone Roku Ultra 4K box.  If you like a stick though, the Google Chromecast is the way to go.

Is a Public Apartment WiFi Network Secure?

WiFi

Episode 1814

Rudy from Montreal, Quebec, CAN

Rudy wants to know how secure public apartment wifi is if everyone is using the same password? Leo says it's not secure at all. What it means though, is that anyone who knows the password can use the wifi. But it also means that if someone is malicious, they can use hacking tools to gain access to other people's computers and data. That's why Leo says that a VPN is a must for a situation like this. Or at least only surfing to HTTPS websites only, so the traffic is encrypted. Another option is to use a travel router. It's designed to join a public network and provides a barrier like a VPN.

Johnny Jet ... if I had to live on an Island

Johnny Jet

Episode 1813

Leo tells Johnny that Hawaii isn't accepting just any Covid test to enter the state. The tests must be PCR-based. Some think it's political, but Johnny says it's only political if you make it that way. This is a public health crisis, and as such, the state makes the rules. While in Hawaii, Leo visited the Arizona Memorial and was struck by the number of Pearl Harbor survivors whose remains were interred in the ship as a last request of the Arizona survivors. Very touching.

Scott Wilkinson ... Totally Hip

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1813

Scott joins Leo to talk about how to watch the Tokyo Olympics. This year, you can watch the games in 8K in Tokyo (though it's upconverted from 1080p), or if you have Comcast, you can watch it in 4K HDR through Xfinity, as well as through the NBCSports app. But only if your cable provider is a part of their network. YouTubeTV is also offering live streaming the games in 4K HDR, but you have to pay an extra $20 a month for the privilege after a free 30-day trial.  So you can do the trial, watch the games, and then cancel. Others, including NBC, are broadcasting in 1080p.

Why Can't I Log Into My SBC Email Account?

SBC

Episode 1813

Cheryl from California

Cheryl is having trouble logging into her SBC email. Leo says that Cheryl has a "legacy email," with SBCGlobal, which was sold to AT&T and then outsourced to Yahoo. As such, Leo just thinks that the SBC log-in has expired and is no longer working. So Cheryl will likely have to transition to ATT.net for all her email needs if she wants to stick with that company. Try going to AT&T's web portal and try signing in with the same credentials.

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.

Why Is My Wifi So Slow?

WiFi

Episode 1812

Bill from Sallisbury, MD

Bill works from home. Lately, he's been running into interference on his wifi network. Leo says that's probably just congested as just about everything now in your home connects to the internet, especially security. And when you multiply it by all the houses in your neighborhood, and that WiFi band is dealing with rush hour. How to keep them all secure? Leo says the best you can do is keep all your devices updated. But change the name of your router and make sure it's using encryption.