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CalendarApril 1, 2018

Poll Results: 100% of Facebook Users Don't Actually Care About Privacy

Poll Results: 100% of Facebook Users Don't Actually Care About PrivacyIn recent weeks, Facebook has been under fire for sharing user data with the UK-based analytics company Cambridge Analytica. This data is said to have been used for targeting political ads during the 2016 US presidential election. While Facebook has been doing damage control since the news broke two weeks ago, a recent poll is now providing a new perspective on the scandal.

The poll results? 100% of Facebook users do not actually care about privacy.

The poll, published on Facebook, was closed after receiving 15,000,000 votes from users in 150 different countries. It asked a simple question: "Do you care about privacy online? Yes or No."

A stunning 14,999,903 users answered No. The 97 votes for Yes were deemed statistically insignificant and were possibly responses from bots.

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CalendarMarch 23, 2018

Wi-Fi on the Hurtigruten MS Fram

Wi-Fi on the Hurtigruten MS FramA few years ago, if you asked someone about their experience on a cruise ship, you might ask about the food, the activities, and the friendliness of the staff. Now a common first question is, "How good is the Wi-Fi?"

Cruise ships are notorious for slow and unreliable Internet connections. This is because of two primary reasons: 1) many cruise ships were built before Internet access was an expectation of travelers, and 2) they only have a satellite link to the Internet. After all, it's hard to find wireless access points floating in the middle of sea.

With that in mind, I had low expectations for Internet connectivity before beginning my recent journey to Antarctica on the Hurtigruten MS Fram. I thought I might have to wait until I returned home to post any of my pictures on Facebook or Instagram. Fortunately, this fear was unfounded and I was able to use the Internet for most of the trip.

I signed up for the "VIP" Wi-Fi package, which provided Internet access for the entire journey, which was nearly 14 days. Hurtigruten offered a few other options, such as 24-hour or 72-hour access, but I did not entertain those options. The receptionist also told me that the VIP Internet access was the fastest so it was a no-brainer. I don't know how the VIP package compared to the other access levels, but at least I can say the VIP Internet access was great.

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CalendarMarch 20, 2018

Wi-Fi in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Wi-Fi in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaI was in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago and did my usual survey of Internet connectivity in the city.

The airports (both EZE and AEP) had readily accessible Wi-Fi and surprisingly fast data speeds. However, once I got outside the airport, it was a different story. In the few days I was in Buenos Aires, I did not find one free wireless hotspot. I didn't even find a free Wi-Fi connection where I had to sign up with my email address (which was common in London).

Each hotel I stayed at provided Wi-Fi, though the experience differed widely among the hotels. The first hotel provided free Wi-Fi with a standard password used by all guests. The connection was reasonably fast, but nothing like my cable connection back home. The second hotel provided Internet access with a custom login for each room, but with a maximum of three devices per room. That is a problem when you have two travelers, each with a laptop and smartphone. The third hotel provided Internet access with a universal password (that was way too long) and a very choppy Internet connection. It only worked about 20% of the time, which was problematic when I was trying to load Google Maps before I journeyed out into the city.

Fortunately, most restaurants and coffee shops in Buenos Aires provide Internet access to patrons with a custom Wi-Fi password. (It helps to know a little Spanish when requesting the password, since many Argentinians do not speak English.) I attempted to make my usual Starbucks stop to see if I could get free Wi-Fi without a password, but this was how the Starbucks near my hotel looked in the middle of the day.

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CalendarJanuary 22, 2018

Wi-Fi in London, England

Wi-Fi in London, EnglandI do my best to provide updates on Internet access in all the places I travel. As 2018 began, I realized I forgot to provide an update after my recent trip to London. So... better late than never.

Overall, Wi-Fi is readily available in England, but still not as ubiquitous as in most large cities in the United States. Free Wi-Fi was particularly hard to come by, even in busy areas. The norm seemed to be the "sign-up to access the Internet" option, which I've never liked. In all my years using the Internet, I've never signed up for a "fake" email account. For me, it's usually not worth providing my personal information to a random company for a few minutes of Internet access.

Even Starbucks, recognized internationally for their free Wi-Fi more than the quality of their coffee, often required me to create an account in order to access their Internet connection. At least some Starbucks locations offered free Wi-Fi with no hassle.

The popular British coffee/pasty shop, Pret A Manger, which can be found on roughly every street in London, provided Internet access at every location. But... only after signing up with a valid email address. I suppose if I had been in London for an extended period of time, signing up for Pret's free Internet would have made sense, but for my three-day stay, I refrained.

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CalendarDecember 6, 2017

Looking for a laptop this Christmas season?

Looking for a laptop this Christmas season?The most popular question I receive at PC.net — by far — is:

"What laptop should I buy?"

I'm not sure why this question is so popular, but perhaps having a domain name like "PC.net" draws some PC-related questions. While I have an affinity for desktop computers, I know quite a bit about laptops as well. So if you're looking for laptop recommendations, you've come to the right place.

I just published my Christmas 2017 Laptop Recommendations.

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