Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

privacy

Your Privacy on the Internet

In case you haven't been paying attention…

This happened on December 2, 2016 to protect your privacy on the internet.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/02/2016-28006/protecting-the-privacy-of-customers-of-broadband-and-other-telecommunications-services

Then this happened on April 3, 2017 to stop that from happening.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/34/text

Read it. Understand it. Then contact your Representative or Senator to let them know if you are happy with that or not.

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

HomePod, buy or not?

My thoughts on HomePod:

The market is crowded. Alexa is winning at the moment. I see her in more and more homes I go into daily. And I see people using it. The sound is ok. It is what it is. A small cylindrical speaker that sits in your kitchen or wherever, pushing out minimal sound. Alexa is not for an audiophile, a purest. It's an item of convenience. There is no necessity to this market. But they are popular. Apple knows this and they're late to the game. The first generation of HomePod will be expensive and not have nearly the features of its competitors, but it will have the word "apple" on it. And that's usually enough to make it a hit in the long run.

It sounds better than Alexa but will do less. It's first and foremost, a really nice speaker. It will never beat out my dedicated Bose 501s from the 1980's that I still use on a daily basis but it's not meant to. That's not it's competition. Apple is pushing the ambient room technology that's inside. It has the ability to discover the room shape and acoustic signature then form it's audio output to best suit its environment. Sounds cool. But it does't yet integrate with Spotify and I can't order toilet tissue from Amazon with it yet. First world problems.

I'd look at it like the first Apple watch. The people that buy one will convince themselves its great but deep down inside they'll wish they hadn't spent so much money on it. Then 2 years later the HomePod 3 will be mature enough, everyone will have one, and the original first gen owners will upgrade. The current Apple Watch 3 is cool and useful. But it's the 3rd gen. It takes a while to mature. HomePod 1 will have a way to go.

I will help lots of people with them but I won't consider buying one myself until about 2 more years from now.

Now, with all that being said we need to understand one very important thing about Siri, Alexa, HomePod, GoogleHome, etc… If you plan on using any of these technologies you need to plan on giving up your privacy. But you did that the day you started using a smart phone anyway.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/34

How to block someone from contacting you.

Hi, hope you are doing well. I'm having some difficulty with an old acquaintance and I'd like to block him from calling and from sending text as well as emails. I've googling it but it is very confusing. Is this something you could help me with? I'd pay for your time.
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I understand the sensitivity of the situation. In order to do this as effectively as possible you’ll need to set up a few rules. First, on your iPhone you can choose to block the caller completely. It’s built in to the operating system and is relatively easy to do. From either the text messaging app or voicemail app you’ll notice beside the contact in question, the letter “i” in a small circle. Select that small “i” and on the next page you’ll see “Block this caller” at the bottom. By choosing to block that contact, you’ll no longer receive phone calls, messages or FaceTime from that number.

Now to email. You can set up a rule in your mail program that will automatically delete any emails coming from a specific email address.
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Now as you probably already know, some people just don’t get the hint and they’ll sometimes go to great lengths to stay connected. They’ll make new email addresses, they’ll block their own caller ID, they’ll spoof their number, on and on. So nothing’s full proof but hopefully this will help a little. Good luck.
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