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Episode 1040 December 15, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Marylin from Highland Park, NJ Comments

Marilyn is getting a new computer and now wants to get broadband at home. She's wondering what the best ISP would be: Verizon FIOS or Optimum by Cablevision? Leo says that either is excellent, with FIOS likely being faster. Optimum is #2 in the country right now in service. So both options would be excellent.Marilyn should look beyond the teasing first year "tease" rate, and find out what the cost will be afterwards.

Cable may be less reliable than fiber and Cable also has to deal with the sharing of the bandwidth with everyone in the neighborhood. So it'll slow down in the evenings when everyone is watching Netflix. If she goes with Verizon, tell them specifically not to cut the copper. She may even need to watch over them to make sure they won't. Copper is the only thing that really works in an emergency when power is cut, so she'll want to keep those phone lines intact. Leo also says that since Marilyn is vision impaired, she may be able get a reduced price through the Foundation for the Blind.

Watch Brian from New York, NY Comments

Brian is thinking about getting a second TV, his first was a Pioneer Kuro, which he loves. Leo says that plasma is still the best, but sadly all TV manufacturers are getting out of the plasma game. Leo says that the Pansonic ST60 is the best on the market. It's an amazing product.

Watch Don from Culver City, CA Comments

Don is planning on starting a blog. Should he use Wordpress.com or Wordpress.org? Leo says they are the same, except that WordPress.com is a hosting site and it will limit his options based on templates. If he has his own server or separate hosting, then WordPress.org will give him what he needs to install on his server. If he doesn't want to learn how web hosting works, then he should go with WordPress.com and let them do the heavy lifting.

Leo also suggests SquareSpace. They have great templates that are easily customizable. It's not free, though. Another free option is Google's Blogger at blogspot.com.

(Disclaimer: Squarespace is a sponsor).

Watch Alan from Honolulu, HI Comments

Alan had AT&T, but recently switched to T-Mobile. He's thinking of getting his wife the Nokia Lumia 1020 or the Lumia 1520. Leo says both are beautiful phones, but T-Mobile doesn't offer the Lumia. Leo says that T-Mobile would let him bring in his own unlocked GSM phone, so he can go out and buy one unlocked and bring it to the service. He can have AT&T unlock his Samsung Galaxy S3 if he's in good standing. He'll want to be sure that the phones he wants to use are on the frequencies that T-Mobile supports.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Paul from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Paul got an email from his Cable company saying he's been upgraded to 50MBPS, but he'll need a new modem. Leo says that they're probably moving to the DOCSIS 3 standard, which is considerably faster. Leo also suggests buying his own modem because $7 a month to rent one adds up over time.

Leo likes ARRIS modems. The chatroom likes the Motorola Surfboard SB6141.

It'll pay for itself in less than a year. It doesn't even really matter what brand of modem he gets, as long as it's DOCSIS 3. Leo also suggests getting a model that doesn't have Wi-Fi built in. He should get a separate router to handle his Wi-Fi traffic. The only exception is with AT&T Uverse, since they require customers to use their modem and router as part of the Uverse package.

Watch Aaron B from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Aaron is having an issue where all of his computers get redirected to "CloudFlair.com" when he tries to access Google. Leo says that Aaron's ISP is doing that. It's a service that specializes in protecting people against attacks. Could he change to OpenDNS? Leo says sure, but he may end up getting a different, but similar message. This is something browsers do with expired or mismatched certificates. Leo says that Aaron should try using Google's DNS, which is 8.8.8.8.

Watch Raymond from Highland, IN Comments

Raymond cut the cable a year ago and is relying on an antenna for local broadcast channels. But his reception isn't that great in the basement. It's much better on the third floor. Leo says that a smaller antenna in the basement isn't going to give him as good of reception than a higher antenna that's on the roof. It's better to have that and wire it through the house. Leo advises going to AntennaWeb.org and see what the best options are for his area. Another option is TVFool.com.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Carol from San Diego, CA Comments

Carol bought an AT&T phone but can't unlock it without a phone number to use it on Straight Talk. Leo says it's not likely that she'll be able to get AT&T to unlock it. Leo said that Carol bought it at the subsidized price, so she'll have to go with AT&T for two years. Unless it's a used iPhone, in which case Leo says that Carol can get it unlocked. If she's an AT&T customer in good standing, she can. But since Carol isn't, then she'll have to go to with AT&T Straight Talk in order to use it. Leo also says to go to a local independent cellphone dealer and see if they'll be willing to unlock it for her. They may charge her, but it may be worth it.

Watch Charlie from Lakeland Village, CA Comments

Charlie and his wife are starting a bakery website, but he's having trouble cleaning up the images he took with his camera phone so they look nice and clean. Leo says that the artifacts he's seeing may be due to low light or highly compressed images. He recommends trying to take photos with a better camera. Or, take the subject out of the image using Photoshop.

He doesn't see the artifacts in Photoshop, though, only on the webhost. Leo says that means the images are being recompressed to make them as small as possible. That's something he'll have to take up with his web hosting. Leo suggests switching to Squarespace.com for hosting.

(Disclaimer: Squarespace is a sponsor)

Watch Karen from Diamond Bar, CA Comments

Karen is using the NEAT Desktop scanner and she's not getting support on the scanner software. She wanted to put them up on DropBox but NEAT doesn't support that. NEAT's email support isn't very helpful either.

Leo says he has a hunch that the files are in a format that's similar in PDF so if she can open them, she can export them. But Karen says that software has stopped working, so she can't open it. Leo says that's the problem with using a proprietary software. Leo advises writing the CEO and mention she complained on Leo's show and let him know she needs help. Leo also points out that DropBox isn't HIPPA compliant, so as a doctor, Karen shouldn't use that option anyway.

That chatroom suggests using a different computer. She should install NEAT on that and then copy the database to that. Then export it. If it still won't open, it's probably corrupt. The good news is, she can probably choose a rebuild database option to rebuild it.

Is there an open source office option? Leo says yes, there's Open Office, Libre Office, and even Google Docs.

Watch Karen from Diamond Bar, CA Comments

Since Microsoft Office is now a $10 a month subscription, Karen wants to find a free alternative. Leo suggests Open Office, Libre Office 4.1, or Google Docs. These all can open and read most Microsoft Office documents, but lack some functionality that Microsoft Office may have.

Watch Frank from Carlsbad, CA Comments

Frank has found a folder on his computer that seems to be part of Google, but also has the word malware in it. Leo says that it's Google's anti phishing file folder that's been saved from running Firefox or Chrome. It's a database of sites that are blocked when he's surfing the net. This folder is safe, but it's a good thing that Frank suspected something.

Watch James from California Comments

James found a list of serial numbers for Sony Vegas. Are they legit? Leo says no. Vegas is a $700 software package and if he downloaded the trial version and put a serial number in that he found on the internet, then that's piracy. This isn't really something James will want to do, especially if he's starting his own video business. There's also the risk of getting malware from downloading software from unofficial websites.

Leo recommends looking for a lite version or a student edition if all he wants to do is learn it. Another option is Adobe Creative Cloud, since they have a student membership.

Watch Peter from Redlands, CA Comments

Peter wants to know if Linux will run Windows or DOS apps. Leo says it can't run Windows or DOS apps natively, but WINE is an emulator that can work with some software. He also could run Windows virtually in Linux to run those apps. There's also a lot of free equivalents to Windows apps for Linux.

Linux is a great option for older computers since older Windows operating systems like XP aren't being supported anymore.

Watch Dana from Grand Rapids, MI Comments

Dana has been using Weebly for storing documents and she's discovered that it isn't very secure. What options are there? Leo says that there's often educational software that she can get to run on her own servers.

Leo recommends Blogger or Wordpress to post resumes and other information. If she needs something password protected, then Leo suggests having everyone use a Google account and then store them on Google Drive. Google Sites can be used to create a password protected website.