Roll them dice, and I get the dog. Monopoly time! (10/10/20 Part 1)

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Its Monopoly time! Google, Amazon, and Apple have been said to have abused their monopolies in their various spheres of influence. Tech Monopolies! Now who says it? The House! So, lets talk about that… https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/10/house-amazon-facebook-apple-google-have-monopoly-power-should-be-split/ https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/10/microsoft-thumbs-its-nose-at-apple-with-new-app-fairness-policy/ https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/10/08/app-store-fairness-caf-interoperability-principles/ https://9to5mac.com/2019/03/06/microsoft-store-revenue-share/

Sigh…. CONGRESS. (8/1/20 Part 2)

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So, Congress has been having tech hearings as of late. Are Tech Giants Monopolies? The trick with hearings is sometimes they’re nothing but pro-wrestling and “look how tough I am” chest beating for an election year. But sometimes there’s real substance to what’s going on. So, what’s going on? https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/07/big-techs-big-day-congress-grills-ceos-over-competition-bias/ https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/07/telegram-files-eu-antitrust-complaint-against-apples-app-store/ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-spotify-tech-eu-idUSKBN1QU18G https://www.businessinsider.com/australia-to-make-google-and-facebook-pay-for-news-content-2020-7

The right to be forgotten (but not US)! (9/28/19 Part 1)

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Its nice to be remembered. Except when its not. Right to Be Forgotten The EU’s Court of Justice has decided that Google and other search engines should comply with some requests by citizens “to be forgotten.” But, what does that mean? And why? And what could possibly go wrong? https://www.npr.org/2019/09/24/763857307/right-to-be-forgotten-only-applies-inside-eu-european-court-says Additionally, Tracy the Librarian joins us for the show!

Books have Chrome! Chrome of Books! (9/14/19 Part 1)

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Today we talked about Chromebooks! They’ve come a long way over the past few years. Tune in as we  talk about: Is the ChromeBook for me? Chromebooks pros: Websurfing and webapps! Android apps! Chromebooks can run Android apps now! Relatively inexpensive for modest machines, although better machines in terms of build quality and specs are available (even up to $999!) for serious/professional users. Chromebook cons: You can’t buy and download big, full-professional programs like Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro, FULL Microsoft Office, etc. You’re stuck with web apps or Android apps. You can’t buy and download Windows or Mac games. You’re stuck with web games and Android games. Chromebooks generally do best with wifi or an internet connection. Without internet access you lose access to a lot of functionality. Things to consider Design. Is it a laptop or a convertable/2-in-1? Touchscreen? How well is it made? Stylus support? What sort of ports? USB? HDMI? How much RAM? 4g is minimum recommended for light use. 8g or more for heavier use, demanding Android apps/games, etc. 16g is going to be overkill for most users. CPU. Many will have Celerons or similar low-end CPUs which is okay for casual browsing and light use (Celerons, ARM, m3’s), but the nicer ones can have i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. Storage! 32g is probably a safe starting point, but if you want to keep files locally, download Android apps, etc., consider 64gb to 128g. If you plan to do photo editing or video editing then look for more. Budget. Be …

Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? (8/17/19 Part 1)

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Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Hey Google are all great voice assistants. This is a good thing, and a very useful feature of modern computers, smartphone, and more! However, your voice doesn’t stop with you. It goes from your device to the internet and onto a cloud server somewhere “out there,” only to return back with instructions the device understands and executes. Listening Up! Oh, and sometimes people listen. Computers can’t figure us humans out entirely. How to stop Alexa, Siri, and Google: https://slate.com/technology/2019/08/how-to-stop-alexa-google-siri-recording-human-review.html (thanks Alert Internet Surfer Perry!) How to stop Cortana: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-configure-windows-10-to-protect-your-privacy-1716204024

But do you own it? DRM and you 101 (7/13/19 Part 1)

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When you buy something digitally, do you actually own it? Are you sure about that? Do You Own It? Wouldn’t it be a shame if it went up in a puff of smoke? Many digital things you buy can get Digital Rights Management (DRM), be it eBooks, music, software/apps, movies and more. While its understandable for renting or borrowing, what about something you’re buying? We talk about this and offer our thoughts on the matter! https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/ultraviolet-is-shutting-down/ https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3k3wkk/microsoft-ebooks-will-stop-working-because-its-shutting-down-a-drm-server https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/12/cant-stream-that-christmas-movie-you-bought-on-amazon-blame-disney/ https://io9.gizmodo.com/amazon-secretly-removes-1984-from-the-kindle-5317703

Lock boxes and Gambling… uhm… (5/18/19 Part 2)

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So, your friend plays a game. And in that game there are these boxes that show up. And they’re just a dollar (or so) to open. You could win some cool stuff if you’re lucky! No big deal, right? Loot! Well, it turns out they’re big money. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/05/senator-hawley-announces-bill-banning-loot-boxes-pay-to-win-mechanics/ https://massivelyop.com/2018/09/17/international-regulators-co-sign-declaration-to-investigate-lockboxes-and-skin-gambling/ https://www.polygon.com/2019/5/7/18534431/fortnite-rare-default-skins-bullying-harassment

Windows? Mac? Chrome? What’s the right fit for me? (4/27/19 Part 1)

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Would you wear a pair of high heels for a hike in ‘Iao Valley? Or go ballroom dancing in steel-toe construction shoes? Ever saw someone tap-dance wearing diving fins? Which Fits? – Part 1 Even if its the best of what they are, the wrong shoes are simply the wrong shoes. Computers are no different, believe it or not! Today we’re talking about Windows, Macs, Chromebooks plus tablets and phones! What do you need? Well, sit right down, and let us listen! Oh, and if you’ve not seen Avengers Endgame yet? You might want to read this article by PC Magazine on how to limit spoilers! https://www.pcmag.com/news/368011/how-to-avoid-spoilers-online