Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Stacy lives in rural Michigan and she has really slow internet. Leo says that broadband companies don't want to install high-speed internet into rural areas because there aren't enough customers to justify the cost. Will satellite be a good alternative? Leo says that thanks to Elon Musk's Starlink network it will be. But it's $99 a month and costs $600 in equipment. And the more satellites they put up, the faster it will get. They've only put up 10% of the satellites they want to so far.
Another option is LTE and 5G if she's close to a tower.
The deadline for TikTok to cease operations or sell to a US investor has come and gone, leading Leo to conclude that the Trump administration has bigger fish to fry. TikTok sued, and Oracle won the bid to buy TikTok. But the deadline to complete the sale has passed as of Friday. The government has chosen to do nothing. So Leo thinks that TikTok may be in the clear. At least for now.
Meanwhile, TikTok downloads have surged during the pandemic, second only to Zoom with 23 million downloads.
Johnny Jet joins Leo to talk about Delta Airline's contract tracing, which will be enacted for travelers. It won't be mandatory, but Delta will pass on the information to the CDC. But Leo says as much as 70% of people lie when talking to contract tracers. So that won't work.
Troy has been working with his church to stream services every week. What they need is a live stream audio solution that they can lock down and protect. A password that grants people access to the stream when invited. Leo says that in reality, there's no solution that can be used that can't be cracked. One good solution would be to require listeners to visit a portal or website first. But even that can be bypassed with a link. Byta can encrypt a stream. You could try them.
This week, Scott joins Leo to talk about how Warner Brothers and Apple have upgraded the Lord of the Rings trilogy to 4K HDR and high frame rate. And the thing is, it looks too real. You can see too much detail and that means you can tell the prosthetics from the real thing. And it's really noticeable. Leo says it'll take time, but filmmakers will have to adjust how they make a movie to return the dreamy look that makes cinema so great.
Dean wants to know if there's a future for Flash. Leo says that Flash has been steadily dying since Apple decided to abandon it a decade ago. Now almost nobody supports it anymore, especially YouTube and Google, which now uses something called HTML5. Even Adobe stopped supporting it. To use flash now would be more work, not less. And any site that is still using it is few and far between. No need to worry. Everyone is moving away from it.
Rod Pyle joins Leo to talk about the latest Space news. Rod has joined the TWiT family as our official space correspondent. Rod got hooked on space during the Gemini program. Leo says it was hard not to, growing up with the Apollo program. But after, it seemed that NASA practically "went out of business." But we're now in a new space age thanks to SpaceX and getting a new launch just about every week. Rod also says that the new approach that includes reusing launch boosters, makes it cost as much as half or even a tenth of what it used to cost to launch a payload.
Kurt has a three-year-old Dell XPS laptop that he calls a "marvelous" computer. But he's been having trouble lately after a recent update and Microsoft Outlook. He waited to update to make sure that the updates were OK. 2004, for instance, was a nasty update. 20H2 has been a good one, but Kurt had to update 2004 before updating. But now he's getting send/receive errors requiring reinserting passwords for AOL, even though LastPass does it. Leo says that there are two servers he uses for checking email ... inbound and outbound. SMTP servers (outbound) will require a different port.
Wanting to offer a neighborhood-based wifi network, Amazon has announced Amazon Sidewalk, which uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) radios to connect everyone from house to house. You can get motion alerts from your security cameras, track your pets if they should run away, and even notifications when the mailman leaves you mail. As long as one device sees the other, it can pass along connectivity with a promised small amount of bandwidth.
Daisy is having trouble with slow internet. Leo says to run SpeedTest by google and see how fast your connection is. There's also Fast, which is a connection test for NetFlix. Also, make sure you're not too far away from your router. If you're more than 100 feet away, that's going to slow things down. Also, too many walls between your router and your laptop can cause issues.