Where’s the best spot for your wifi? (2/29/20 Part 1)

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So, you got a nice wifi router. You spent a bunch of money on it. But, are you setting yourself back with bad placement? WiFi tricks! What’s the best way to get the best bang for your buck on your internet? And can you reuse old routers to improve your network? https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/02/the-ars-technica-semi-scientific-guide-to-wi-fi-access-point-placement/ https://www.howtogeek.com/104469/how-to-extend-your-wi-fi-network-with-simple-access-points/ https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-turn-an-old-wi-fi-router-into-an-access-point/ Jonathan really likes Ubiquiti access points if you want to get yourself an easy way to expand your network! Q&A can also set these up for you!

Be secure on your phone! (2/22/20 Part 1)

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Got a smart phone? Did you know its pretty much a computer? You probably take security seriously on your computer, so you should take it seriously there too! Mobile Security! So, tips and links to help you out! Use a PIN, Pattern, or Fingerprint reader.  PINS and Patterns (android) are nice because you can change them, let other people know them if you need them to get into your phone, and you can change them.  Fingerprints and biometrics are convenient, but aren’t foolproof. Also, whether or not they’re protected by the 4th and 5th Amendments is unclear right now.   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/01/feds-forcing-mass-fingerprint-unlocks-is-an-abuse-of-power-judge-rules/  https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/01/court-rules-against-man-who-was-forced-to-fingerprint-unlock-his-phone/  Encrypt your phone.  Its an easy way to protect your data, photos, contacts, and more.  It doesn’t incur much performance hit these days.  If you want to sell your phone, just resetting it doesn’t make your data unrecoverable. Encrypt THEN reset.  https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-reasons-encrypt-smartphone-data/  https://gizmodo.com/why-you-should-be-encrypting-your-devices-and-how-to-ea-1798698901  Don’t jailbreak/root your phone.  This is often done to add customizations or run pirated apps.  You can break the security of an iPhone doing this, leaving you with little or no protection.  Pirated apps from outside the official stores run significant risk of having malware.  If you use wifi a lot or travel a lot, get a VPN service.  https://www.pcmag.com/news/what-is-a-vpn-and-why-you-need-one 

Looking a little more at Web Email! (2/15/20 Part 1)

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So, webmail. Webmail – A comparison Its easy to get, easy to use, but is there more to consider about it? Do you have to move a lot? Are you getting ready to change ISP? Do you have special features you need? Yeah, there’s lots to think of! https://itsfoss.com/secure-private-email-services/ https://thatoneprivacysite.net/email-comparison/ http://blogs.mdaemon.com/index.php/2017/02/09/email-safety-tips-for-end-users/  

Yu-Es-Bee See? Whuzzat? (8/10/19 Part 1)

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USB, short for Universal Serial Bus, came about in 1996 because computers used to have WAY too many different plugs/connections. From USB 1 to 2 to 3 to… C! Wait, what? USBisms USB-C is the newest member of the USB family, but its a different looking plug! In exchange for this small headache, do you get anything in return? You bet! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C https://www.howtogeek.com/211843/usb-type-c-explained-what-it-is-and-why-youll-want-it/ https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-usb-c-hubs-and-docks/ https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/understanding-usb-cable-types-one-use/  

Do you leave your house key under the mat? (7/27/19 Part 2)

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So, your local police department want help catching the bad guys. You want to help, right? But, to do so, they insist that you always leave your house key under a door mat so they can always have access to your house “when they need it.” They promise they won’t tell anyone about the key, and promise nobody will ever abuse it. Back Doors, and Why They are Bad Sounds great, right? Law enforcement has been asking for weaker encryption and “back doors” in encryption for decades. They insist it’s only to get “the bad guys,” won’t get abused, and doesn’t really pose a risk to the public. Bologna, you say? We agree. Join us as we talk about that! https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614003/trumps-justice-department-calls-for-encryption-backdoor-law/ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/fbi-weaker-encryption-is-a-worthwhile-tradeoff-for-law-enforcement-access-to-data/458622/ https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/05/caleatwo   This podcast is brought to you by Audible!

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

Free! Free! But is it? (5/18/19 Part 1)

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Its been said, “if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.” Its also been said, “the first one is free!” How Free Is it? When things are free or even cheap, is there a price you’re not seeing up front? How are they making their money? What’s the real cost? We talk about that this hour! https://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2015/04/29/7-examples-of-freemium-products-done-right/#59c610646f15 https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/mobile-privacy-apps NOTE: Due to a tech glitch, part of the show is missing.  Hey, they even happen to us, sometimes!

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