Podcast 2150 – Alexa is Santa, Java awareness, Google Drive Policing.

This week on the Internet Advisor we have conversations about Java issues on the back end servers and the security fixes. Google is enforcing it policies on the content that you can have on a Google Drive. Alexa is Santa and how to get Siri to stop listening to everything in your home. Ed tells us about some of the best USB C docks and the advantages of owning one. It’s going to be fun as usual on the Internet Advisor!


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Reported By CNet.

Best USB-C hub in 2022

A USB-C hub or docking station can save you from constantly swapping dongles and relying on Bluetooth. A multiport adapter or powered USB hub has way more to offer than an extra USB port — it can turn a single USB-C connection on your laptop or desktop into the hook up for a monitorkeyboardmouse and Ethernet. It can also let you read and write to memory cards or other external drives.

Narrowing down your many options and finding the best USB-C hub comes down to knowing how portable you need it to be, your desired data transfer speed and exactly what connections you need. Here are some of our favorite USB-C docking stations that we’ve tested. We’ll continue to update this list as we find new USB hub models to recommend. And if you’re looking to charge your USB-C devices, here are the best options we’ve tested.

Also see: The best USB-C PD chargers of 2021

Is a USB-C port the same as a USB port?

The USB port most are familiar with is USB Type-A. Sometimes called a standard or regular USB port, it is rectangular and requires you to plug in your cable with the right side up so tabs inside the connectors are properly aligned. The newer USB-C port is a small oval that uses a reversible connector so that you don’t need to flip it around to get the correct position. However, while the port might appear the same from device to device, not all USB-C ports are the same. For instance, Thunderbolt 3 or 4 devices will only be fully supported by a computer with the corresponding Thunderbolt USB-C port. Unfortunately, you can’t just look at the port and know exactly what you have. Check with your computer manufacturer for what your laptop (or desktop) model supports before you buy a USB-C dock or adapter.





Reported By Toms Guide.

Alexa just got Santa Claus as a voice — how to try it now

Keeping with the spirit of the holidays, Amazon has introduced a brand-new novelty voice for its popular cloud-based voice service Alexa, and it’s none other than Santa himself.

In order to get Alexa to change to the voice of ‘Ol Saint Nick on any one of the best Alexa speakers, you’ll simply need to speak the command, “Alexa, enable ‘Hey Santa.’” After doing so, you can get straight to engaging with everyone’s favorite bearded gift-giver in a variety of funny and unique manners.

As for precisely what all you can do with Alexa’s festive new voice, there’s actually quite a lot. You can ask Santa to sing you holiday songs, or he can tell you some interesting stories. If you make a request for it, he’ll even pop off a few jokes to get you laughing. Of course, you can also have him do all of the things you’ve already come to rely on Alexa for, but it’s obviously extra fun to set a timer when you have a jolly voice confirming it on the other end.

Other popular Alexa voice changes have included celebrities like ShaqSamuel L Jackson and Gordon Ramsay, but they typically come at a cost. Luckily, Amazon has opted to give us all a holiday gift this year, as you can get Santa talking at no additional charge right now.




New Google Drive policy could make your files inaccessible — what you need to know


Google’s about to make some changes to the way you share Google Drive files. The search giant has announced a new policy that will restrict access to files violating its policies, and prevent them from being shared in the process.

Google announced this change in a blog post, revealing that restrictions may be put in place on files that violate Google’s Terms of Service or abuse program policies. While the owner will still have full access, this move means sharing privileges will be revoked — even if someone already has a link.

According to Google file owners will receive an email when files are restricted. Not only does that alert them to the fact it’s happened, it will also give them the opportunity to appeal the decision and request a review.

Google also noted that after policy violations, Google may then review the content and take further action. The results of that action include “restricting access to the content, removing the content, and limiting or terminating a user’s access to Google products.”


If anything, let this be a reminder that cloud backups are controlled by third party entities. Entities that can and do enforce rules about how their services are used. On top of that, the privacy and security of files you store will always be in doubt — certainly compared to keeping them on a hard drive somewhere in your own house.





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