Your internet connection, web sites and services.
Internet and Web
Johnny Jet says that during the outbreak, American Airlines has been one of the best airlines in helping refund canceled flight fares to their customers. United, by contrast, had to be forced by the DOT to start refunding fares. They are being sued, along with Air Canada, for only offering travel credits. Check out his article - My Experience Calling 5 Different Airlines for Refunds.
Due to security issues, Google has banned the video conferencing software ZOOM from all employee computers. While Zoom is much easier to set up and use for most people, it does install a web server on your computer, that ends up being left active after you uninstall it. Leo says that Zoom has hired some new security experts in order to shore up their security, and Leo says that's the right move. Until then, Leo recommends JITSI. It uses the browser's WEBRTC feature, so there's nothing to install
Mark's mother in law has failing eyesight and still wants to use her email. Is there a program for that? Leo says that Windows has a text to speech option. Look in the accessibility settings for it. But the easiest for Gmail is an extension for Gmail called READ ALOUD.
John's friend is trying to log into mail.yahoo.com and he can't sign in, but his wife can. Leo says that Yahoo wants to do two-factor authentication now, so it may be that he has to change his password and update his settings. There may be issues with his Verizon.net email, which is preventing him from accessing his Yahoo account. Verizon also owns AOL. What Leo recommends is getting the hell away from Yahoo and going to Gmail. What Leo suspects is that Yahoo deactivated his account due to suspicious activity.
Harold's father is tired of paying $200 a month to watch TV on cable. So he wants to cut the cord. He's looking at the FireTV with Sling. Leo says that the FireTV is fine, but they are engineered to encourage buying stuff from Amazon. Leo prefers the Roku player. There's also the Apple TV. Leo also recommends YouTubeTV for his local channels and other streaming options. Sling is another that's good; AT&T has one, but Leo's favorite is YouTube TV. It's $50. But that, on top of the internet, and you're already over $100.
While Zoom is helpful in keeping people connected during the Covid19 isolation, it also has huge privacy issues. Firstly, Zoom installed a web server on the background of Apple computers that would stay even if you uninstalled the software. Apple has fixed that, but Zoom was very slow to respond. There are also security issues with "Zoom bombing" where trolls are crashing meetings and posting offensive material.
Doug is in the market for a microphone. Leo uses the Heil PR40. It's great for video conferencing. But there's a vast variety of setups out there.
Joe wants to know what would be better for doing a virtual choir practice, Jitsi or Zoom? Leo says that the real challenge is latency, the delay between all the connections. Regular video conferencing doesn't work for rehearsals. They don't' prioritize for latency. Leo says there are some music-centric services like Jammr.
Johnny Jet joins Leo to talk about the recent determination by the Department of Transportation that airlines are now required to refund customers if flights are canceled due to the Covid19 outbreak. If they don't, they face prosecution. Check out the Cranky Concierge for his Refund Hunter service.