Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Andrew (Andrew08) from Dayton, OH Comments

Andrew wants to know the benefit of using a VPN. Leo says that a VPN would protect him from local attacks, but it also allows him to burrow a hole though the internet and create a very private, heavily encrypted conversation that no one else could see. Leo also says, though, that the NSA is collecting everything including encrypted activity and storing it should they figure out how to decrypt it in the future.

Encryption works by sharing a public key that can be distributed from one person to the other. That encrypts the data. Then you use your personal private key to decrypt it. Once it's decrypted, the NSA could easily grab it. So the VPN can't really protect you from the NSA. Leo suggests PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). GPGTools for Mac and GPG4Win for Windows.

Andrew says he just doesn't feel safe on the Internet. Some think if you do nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about. However, Leo says that not everything people do should be out in the light of day for the government to see either, even though law enforcement and the NSA are patriots protecting us. There's a reason why the Founding Fathers put the 4th amendment in the Constitution.

Watch Ron from Kansas City, MO Comments

Ron needs to produce a video for his Shriner group. What program on the Mac can help him do that? Leo says that iMovie comes with the Mac and it's a great video editor which can include stills, titles, and more. Then he can burn it to DVD. It's a great all-in-one solution for basic video editing.

Watch DJ from Las Vegas, NV Comments

DJ has a 1080p Plasma TV and all of his HDMI inputs have all died. According to his research, it's a common issue and it's going to cost him up to $500 to repair. Leo says it was likely a lightning strike that shorted out the controller. So DJ wants to know that since he has to buy a new TV, should he future proof and get a 4k TV?

Leo says there's really no need to buy 4k since there's no content in 4K at the moment. If the TV is 3D it could be of benefit, but he won't see any 4k content over broadcast or even streaming for a few years. The Playstation 4 and the XBox One will be 4k capable. So it may be worth it if he's a gamer. Leo says to just buy a 1080p TV and make sure he has a good surge protector on it. And if there's a lightning storm, unplug everything!

4K TVs aren't really 4k anyway. It's "Ultra High Definition," but not really 4K. The only affordable 4K TVs right now aren't very good, either. There's going to be a point where it makes sense to get one, but we're not there yet.

Watch Mike from New Albany, MS Comments

Mike has several mobile devices and would like just one charger that can handle all of them. Leo says that the Charlie Charger does that. It's a commercial charger that handles up to six phones. Unfortunately, with Charlie Charger the more devices he connects, the more the amperage drops.

Mike needs one that can devote a certain number of amps to each port. Scosche makes a 10 amp charger, giving two amps for each of the 5 ports, which should work great for Mike.

Watch Mike from New Albany, MS Comments

Mike is also vision impaired and likes to use his tablet as a phone, but often the high-resolution screen makes it hard to read. Leo suggests going into the accessibility options in Android to change the font size. However, a poorly programmed app won't support it. So if it doesn't, then he should try a different app. There's also magification in the settings he could use as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from Southbend, IN Comments

John has an old Vista laptop he's going to put Ubuntu on. Before he does, he wants to backup all of his photos. What drive should he buy? Leo says he'll want an NTFS drive that also handles FAT32 for Mac and EXT3 for Linux. Everything can read FAT32, so he can just leave the format that way. Macs have trouble with NTFS. The downside of FAT32 is that none of his files can be larger than 2GB.

Watch Jay from Providence, NC Comments

Jay wants a router that can access the fastest DNS on the net. Leo says that would be a great feature. Steve Gibson has a program that can find them, but Leo doesn't know of any routers that have that built in.

In order for the internet to work, you essentially need a giant phone book. When you enter in a web address, the browser needs the IP address (the equivalent of the phone number) of that particular server. So when you enter in the website, the browser starts "asking around". It first asks the operating system, and if it knows, it will give it the address to get there. If it doesn't, it will next go to the router, and if the router doesn't know, it will query the internet service provider. It will eventually query one of the 13 master domain servers spread out all over the world. This is called DNS, or domain name system. Not all DNS are created equal either. Some may be slower than others, and some may even send you to advertising pages when you type in an address that doesn't exist.

Leo recommends running the DNS Benchmark at grc.com on Windows, or Namebench on Mac. Then he can decide which DNS he wants to use. He could use the DNS from his ISP, or he could choose something else like Google DNS or Leo's choice, OpenDNS.

Watch Ben from Stafford, UK Comments

The Samsung Galaxy Mega is not out in the United States yet, but is available in the UK, and has a 6.4 inch screen. This is not the only giant phone, Leo points out. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy Note Tab have phone capability in some countries, but not in the United States. Ben has the Asus PadFone, which is about $250, and is a 7" tablet that makes phone calls.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch George from Georgia Comments

George's wife is into photography and has 700 GBs of pictures and it's growing. Leo says it's very hard to "cull" photographs, but Leo's made a practice of going through all of his good shots the evening after he takes them. What can George do to back these all up? He also needs a larger drive for his MacBook Pro.

Leo says to leave only the current crop of shots on the laptop and move everything else onto an external drive. Leo says that Lightroom is a great option for organizing his photos and cull the ones he doesn't need. Then, Leo saves them to an external drive, but he buys two and keeps them in sync. When traveling he takes them both and keeps one in his checked luggage and one on his carry on. The key is to keep his current photos on the laptop and get the rest off of there and backed up.

Read Peter Krogue's digital asset management book called The DAM Book and check out his website DPBestFlow.org.

Watch Graham from Townsend, MA Comments

Graham has a Samsung Fascinate and is looking to upgrade, but the latest Android phones are just too big to use with one hand. Leo says that his current favorite phone is the Motorola Moto-X. It's great for one-handed cellphone operation, has a gorgeous 4.7" screen, and doesn't come with bloatware since it's a Google phone.

There's also the HTC One. It's a little bigger, but just as elegant.

Watch Peter from Brooklyn, NY Comments

Peter is looking at the Motorola Moto X but is wondering whether or not to wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note III? Leo says it largely depends on if he wants a huge screen or not. The Motorola Moto X has only a 4.7" screen, but the Note III is an inch bigger.

There's also the LG Optimus G2, which is also huge, and is getting great reviews. Leo prefers the Moto X because it doesn't have a ton of kruft or bloatware on it. Samsung has started loading their phones up with stuff people just don't need and it's taking up too much room on their phones. The Moto X is a pure Google experience.

Watch Dominic from Bloomindale, IL Comments

Dom has 10 terabytes of movies and TV shows. Could he use Carbonite to back them up? Leo says that Carbonite backs up very slowly. 10TB would take years to upload, and Comcast would likely cut Dom off. It would be expensive to store all that in the cloud. That doesn't mean Dom shouldn't have an off site option. He can use several hard drives, back them up, and swap them out every week. Back up the drive, wrap it in bubble wrap, and then store it somewhere other than his house. Hard drives are really cheap. Or, he can get network attached storage that has multiple hard drives on it and saves in a RAID 5 configuration.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)

Watch Jackie from New York, NY Comments

Jackie is considering making "the switch" to an iMac. Leo says he prefers the Mac, but there's really not that much difference now between Mac and Windows. It's largely a matter of taste. Buy business grade hardware and it'll last. Not all PCs are business grade - a lot of them are low quality consumer grade computers at low cost.

All Macs are business grade, which is why they tend to be more expensive. It's more elegant, easier to learn, and more secure. Leo believes that Microsoft has taken a wrong turn on Windows 8, and it tends to be more frustrating. So at the end of the day, while Leo says there is really not much difference, he advises getting the Mac. If she needs to run Windows, she still has that option, too.