Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Joe was thinking of getting a NEST thermostat, but he doesn't want to pay a fee. Rich says the only fee you pay is for buying the device. NEST uses WiFi to connect to the internet, where you can control it using your mobile device. But you don't have to pay a subscription fee to use it. Can you control it using your computer? Rich says you should. But the NEST doesn't have to be programmed since it uses machine learning to learn how you want it to operate. Also check with your energy company. NEST also offers a $50 rebate.
Jeff's company missed the domain renewal date and then lost the domain. It keeps getting bought up automatically by holding companies. Rich says that cybersquatting is a real thing, and sadly, there's not much that can be done if the domain expires. The only thing one can do is keep an eye on it and hope they forget.
Bill has lost control of his business website and wants to know how to get it back. He paid a guy to build the websites, and now he's disappeared. Rich says that trusting a web guy to register your website is problematic because of situations like this. Most often, the guy you pay will register them in his name because he controls them. It's better to make sure your domain is owned BY YOU first and foremost. The best way to find out contact information is to do a WHOIS search on whois.net. Just type in WHOIS and the website domain and it should give information.
App of the week ... Waze has new audio voice features including the Cookie Monster. If you're on a road trip with kids, they'll get a kick out of it.
Travel Tip of the Week.... take a trip with your fiance before you get married. You don't want to ruin your honeymoon without an understanding how your potential spouse reacts while traveling.
Website of the week - ResortFeeChecker. Find out what your hotel's resort fees are, and what they cover.
José would like to be anonymous online. How can he minimize his online footprint with Mac addresses? Rich says that most systems are encrypted now, and Google is pushing all websites to update to https. So your traffic gets more encrypted. If that's not enough for you, then randomizing your Mac address is a good way to do it. In iOS 13, for instance, Apple devices generate randomized Mac addresses while online. That's a good way to keep yourself protected. You may try using a VPN, or you can browse privately.
Joe has switched his parents over to Comcast for internet access and TV, and he's having a hard time opening ports through the router for their alarm system. What can he do? Rich says to try what Xfinity recommends here - https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/port-forwarding-xfinity-wireless-gateway. If that doesn't work, then it may be that the port forwarding capability of Xfinity is limited. Rich also says to make sure the firmware is updated.
Manny wants to know why he can't stream using his streaming device from a hotel when he's traveling. Rich says that if you're traveling internationally, many streaming services are region coded, preventing you from watching content that isn't local. As a result, people are using VPNs when traveling to get past that. So try a VPN.
Johnny Jet joins Rich to talk travel. Johnny Jet says that the Companion Pass on Southwest is one of the best deals in travel, where you can bring a companion for only the cost of tax and fees. But you need 125,000 travel points to qualify effective Jan. 1.
Von recently cut the cord and would like to use an antenna with a DVR. What can he use that doesn't require the internet? Rich says that Amazon Fire TV Recast can be set up with the internet and then disconnected. Trouble is, he has to do it over and over again every few weeks. TIVO may work for weeks without connecting to the internet. Rich says that TMobile has a new Internet for everyone's service.
Leo usually recommends ChannelMaster.
Ron wants to know how he can find Rich's feature on facial recognition online. Rich says that facial recognition is happening everywhere and in China, they use it to gauge citizen's social credit score. Very draconian. Rich says that any tech segment on KTLA can be found on their website.