Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Citing the Covid-19 pandemic and a changing business landscape, electronics retailer Fry's has announced it will be closing down. The drawdown has begun this week and after 36 years, the retailer will close forever.
Taking advantage of over 1.2 billion in stimulus grants, the state of Mississippi funneled a portion of the funds to create broadband internet access in the rural areas of the state. Leo says that will create co-ops that will benefit every from the individual to the business. A good use for the funds.
DW has preordered Starlink satellite internet and is waiting for his turn to get installed. Leo says it won't be cheap, at $500 for the gear and $99 a month for internet access, but Leo says that it's supporting SpaceX, and that's a good thing. Eventually, as more people come online, it'll probably go down in price. It's going to have to. But nobody really knows how fast it will be.
Jamie can't stand that Netflix streams previews while you're looking for something to watch. Leo says the good news is that you can turn that off on the website.
Carmen's WiFi is terrible and she's been told it's because of "firewalls" in the house. Will a WiFi booster help her problem? Leo says it's more likely the crappy router she's been given by her ISP. She can try moving it around, and up to a higher position. That could help. The higher the router is, the better the reception she'll get. So if Carmen's router can be above her head, that would be better. She also wants to ask the ISP for a newer WiFi modem. Call Spectrum and demand the latest box. Ask for a WiFi 6 router.
Johnny Jet says that there are dozens of great travel deals right now and no matter where you find them, he recommends going directly to the source to actually buy the airline ticket. You can use third parties to search but buy from the airlines directly. That way if there's another lockdown, you can be sure to get your money back with a minimum of hassle.
In other travel news, the TSA is hiring up to 6000 new agents. They're expecting summer to be a huge travel time after people get their vaccinations.
Steve ordered internet service to his house and he had to sue them in small claims court because they didn't show up to install it. He won a judgment of $600 plus court costs thanks to a California state law that provides for such relief. Leo says that it's likely the technician had a choice to either fix a complicated install and stand up the next guy, or stop the install and move on. Either way, a customer gets left in the lurch. But not showing up at all is bad customer service, and $600 is about right for a wasted afternoon.
Google has made a deal with the Australian government to pay royalties to media companies for providing search results that drive traffic to their content. Meanwhile, Facebook has decided to turn off news links altogether. The result is that all traffic going to media sites in Australia will disappear overnight. Leo says it'll be interesting to see who blinks first.
Jessica runs a gym and uses Pandora to play music. Does she have to pay ASCAP fees? Leo says that Pandora has a commercial service, which is probably what she uses. The reason is that playing Pandora for free can be considered piracy and can incur fines for the unauthorized playing of music in the public eye. Pandora's commercial service also covers all license fees from ASCAP. But they aren't the only ones. There's also Mood Media, Spotify for Business, Cloud Cover, and others.
Rod joins Leo to talk about mutant space plants. Plants that have been sent up to the ISS for testing have mutated, and when planted, they have discovered that they become hardier and can withstand harsher weather conditions. As such, plans are now in the works to create orbital greenhouses to change the environment in desert areas and increase farmland.