Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mike from Portland, ME Comments

Mike can buy a new modem and avoid the monthly charge from Time Warner. He can get a Motorola SB6141 modem from Amazon for about $80, but he's also having to pay for his phone service through Time Warner. He's thinking about using Ooma instead, but he currently has 7 items on his phone line, and he's wondering Ooma will be able to handle the REN, or Ringer Equivalency Number. Leo says it will do that, but the main issue is e-911. VOIP won't give him regional 911 (E911), it gives him statewide 911, which usually routes to the State police. So, 911 won't know his location unless he registers his address with them.

The other issue though, is if power goes out, so does his phone. This is why Leo also recommends getting a local phone service through the traditional line, which can run about $10 a month.

Watch Jim from Talahassee, FL Comments

Jim is frustrated with the state of search on Explorer. Is there any program he can use to tweak results and filter out nonsense? Leo says the easiest thing to do is use Windows Search. There are third party file viewers including Everything Search Engine and Total Commander, which formerly was Norton Commander.

Watch Louis from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Louis has a new laptop and wants to know if he should partition the hard drive to make a separate drive for data and a separate drive for the OS. Leo says that's a good idea because if he needs to reinstall Windows, he can nuke the partition that has the OS without bothering the data drive at all. Fragmentation tends to happen more on data drives than the OS drive also. Fragmentation doesn't happen at all on an SSD drive, though.

Louis also adds that while security systems are great, they have an achilles heal in that they rely on phone lines that can be cut, killing the monitoring. This is why it's beneficial to also have Wireless monitoring through a cell tower. Leo says that's what they have at Brickhouse Studios for TWiT.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mike from San Antonio, TX Comments

Mike went blind about 3 and a half years ago. Since technology has increased his quality of life so much, he's become much more interested in it. He also has started a podcast, and wants to know how he can have more than one RSS feed on his Wordpress site. Leo suggests using a plugin called Podpress.

He also wants to know if there's software that would allow him to mute guests when they're on his show. Leo says to use a mixer for that, but it can get complicated quickly. Leo's former engineer Colleen set up something called the "Skypeasaurus", which had a separate PC for every Skype guest. It also had four monitors on it so each guest had their own monitor. All of these Skype PCs would then come in on their own channel on a mixer. Then he'd need to send each guest a "mix-minus", which is the entire mix except for that guest. That way, each guest can hear all of the other guests without hearing themselves echoing back. Leo was using an analog Mackie mixer to do this. Then he could mute each guest using that.

The show is called "How To Be Blind", and it can be found at htb2.com.

Watch Julian from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Julian got the Google Nexus 4 pure Android smartphone, and he's ready for a new phone. Leo says that the HTC One is a better option, but it doesn't have removable batteries. He can tweak it for better battery life, though. The Samsung Galaxy SIV has removable batteries, but Leo's not much of a fan of the additional junk Samsung put on it, and the terrible camera.

Should he get LTE/4G? Leo says that since he's on T-Mobile, HSPA+ is almost as good. Also since not as many people are using T-Mobile, HSPA+ is often just as fast as LTE on other networks. So Leo recommends the HTC One on T-Mobile. Another good choice is the Motorola Moto-X.

Watch Steve from Malibu, CA Comments

Steve lives 30 miles outside of LA and he's stuck using Dish. All he watches are movies and Network news. Leo says that he could cut the cord, but he doesn't have great Internet access. He has DSL that's fast enough to stream, so he wants to know if he needs anything else but the Chromecast to stream content. Leo says that Chromecast has an app. He can turn his TV to the Chromecast player and then enter the Wi-Fi access configuration information. Then he can stream a tab from the Chrome browser on his computer to the Chromecast.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ed from Hollywood, CA Comments

Ed needs to replace his LCD screen on his laptop. Leo says that in most cases, it isn't hard to replace it. He just needs to find the part. It has to be easy to open and connect to the motherboard via the ribbon cable. If it's soldered in, that's a bit harder. Leo suggests iFixIt.com. They have great repair guides and and parts. He can also check on YouTube. The Chatroom says to make sure the screen is actually the problem. Plug in an external screen to verify before going through with the repair.

Watch Scott from Seattle, WA Comments

Scott would like to backup the 50GB of photos he has. He has an off site backup option, but he'd also like to backup to other computers. Leo recommends DPBestFlow.org and its 3-2-1 philosophy. Three copies, on two different mediums, one off site. Online backup would take forever to upload 50-GB of data, so Leo recommends using a local backup option on a centralized network attached storage. He can buy an NAS or build one yourself. Leo recommends Synology.

Watch John from California Comments

John would like to use his smartphone as a WiFi hotspot. Leo says he can, but he'll have to check with his phone provider to determine if they have an extra charge or not. If it's Verizon, they're legally not supposed to charge extra. Does he need a special app? Probably not. If he does pay for it, it's a usually a monthly fee and has a separate bandwidth cap.

Watch Leon from Gardena, CA Comments

Leon is blind and would like to use his Android phone with voice commands. Leo says that TalkBack is a great screenreader for Android. Google Voice's dictation is quite good too. Android has really caught up in the realm of accessibility and users like Leon can take advantage of smartphones just as well.

Watch Jeff from Salem, WA Comments

Jeff knows about Apple's upcoming announcement on September 10th, and wants to know if it'll be announcing a new iPad Mini. Leo says it's anybody's guess. There's been plenty of speculation, but Apple has confirmed nothing. Here's what we're probably going to see - a new iPhone 5 and a new iPad. We really don't know for sure, though. Still, updates usually come within a year. Leo does like the Mini though, even though it doesn't have a retina screen.

Watch Jeff from Salem, WA Comments

Jeff wants to change the default search engine to something other than Yahoo, Bing or Google. He can choose between those three in the Safari preferences, but to use a different one, he'll need to install an extension with a bit of a hack. The Chatroom says plugins like GLIMS will work. There's a Duck Duck Go DDG extension, but Leo advises to be cautious about how he alters his browser settings. That's how exploits happen.

Watch Steve from San Diego, CA Comments

Steve wants to add voiceovers to his dog when he takes pictures of him to make him look like he's really talking. How can he do that? There's a software called Syncro-Vox, which is used to sync static images to moving images. Now it's called Crazy Talk. They used to do similar stuff on the animated TV show Klutch Cargo, but they used moving lips.

The Chatroom found an iPhone app called Jabbermouth.