A crash course in how the internet works

Way back in 1995, I was a freshman at university. I had this new thing called “The Internet” at my fingertips.

It was cool, but I wanted to know how it worked. I asked someone, and they wouldn’t answer the question – mostly because they couldn’t answer!

Today, everyone knows and uses the internet, but people keep asking me questions about the basic concepts that make it go.

So, I figured it was about time to give a basic intro to how the internet actually works, including a simplified discussion of networks, IP addresses, ports, protocols, DNS, bandwidth, latency, and more!

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How to choose a dumbphone: It ain’t easy!

If you decide to ditch your smartphone, then you have to pick the right dumbphone.

“You must choose, but choose wisely.”

There are many factors that come into play, like where you live and what wireless provider you’re using.

But it gets way more complicated than that…

2G, 3G, or 4G? And then, will 2G be around much longer with the release of 5G? What about 3G networks? How long will 3G be sticking around?

And then we have 4G dumbphones: There aren’t very many (at all), and they aren’t as Google-free as we might hope. SIGH

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How to turn off those annoying notification popups in your browser

Will you allow this site to send notifications?

NO! And stop asking me, dangit!

For ages now, I have put up with these silly popups. Then, one day very recently, I asked myself why.

Why was I putting up with them?!

In the absence of a good answer, I figured out how to turn them off. I’m guessing that if I never bothered to figure it out, you might not have, either.

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Censored on Social Media? What else is new…

Here we go again! From Alex Jones to Diamond & Silk to Telesur, suddenly social media is penalizing certain voices rather dramatically.

The majority of the people I talk to think that the whole thing’s ridiculous, and I tend to agree.

Most people are even afraid to say anything, or if they do, they excuse themselves by also declaring that they don’t necessarily agree with everything the censored person is saying.

But that’s totally messed up!

You either have free speech, or you don’t. Whether or not we agree is irrelevant.

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How to turn down your home WiFi’s transmit power

Your average home WiFi router or access point often has a setting so that you can reduce its transmit power level.

This is pretty handy to know given what I talked about in my earlier video, Are WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G, and 5G bad for you?

The typical range for 2.4GHz WiFi is 150ft (46m) indoors, and 300ft (92m) outdoors. For 5GHz Wifi, it’s more like 50ft (15m) and 100ft (30m). The lower you set the power, the shorter the range – but the less you are blasted by the WiFi signal!

There’s no reason to leave the transmit power at maximum if you don’t need the range… As an added bonus, lower range means increased security since it’s less likely someone else will “see” your WiFi network.

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Are WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G, and 5G bad for you? Hold on to your hats…

5G is coming, and people are worried. Well, should we be?

To answer that question, we need to know what studies have been done on the safety of microwave-frequency digital radio transmissions.

We need to look at WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and 4G studies, as well!

After all, much of the concern about 5G is based on the results of those studies.

It turns out that there ARE a ton of studies out there that indicate that yes, it looks bad.

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Make any LCD computer screen high-end

Much ado has been made about certain brands and types of puter displays and how this kind or that kind looks so much better than the average LCD screen…

It turns out that much of this hoopla is quite often mostly just marketing.

In fact, some displays from certain fruity computer manufacturers in the past were actually technically inferior, yet they still looked really good!

How did they do it?

Easy! The displays were fine-tuned – calibrated, if you will.

Lucky for you, it’s a piece of cake to calibrate your puter’s display yourself.

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Why “Big Brother” can never win

Well, it’s that time again.

Some recent news items – and people’s reactions to them – have once again compelled me to foam at the mouth about Big Brother.

Every time one of these “revelations” like the Facebook data breach occurs, everyone gets all fired up…

And then many people usually do exactly the wrong thing in response!

Sure, the privacy thing is a problem. It’s prolly going to get worse before it gets better.

But here’s the thing: YOU help to decide how and when that happens.

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Lightning surge protection that works

Most of us have “surge protector” power strips. They are supposed to protect against power line surges due to lightning and certain power line faults.

But do they?

Well, yes… To a small degree.

But if you want some serious protection, you need a whole-house surge protector.

From a brief intro to lightning, to how surge protectors work and how to install them safely, this episode has everything you really need to know…

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