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Episode 1041 December 21, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Larry from Simi Valley, CA Comments

Larry is thinking of getting a Samsung Galaxy S4 or a Galaxy Note.

Leo says that the problem with Samsung phones is that they're filled with junk or "bloatware." Leo recommends the Motorola Moto X or Moto G. They're as good, if not better, than the Galaxy S4. The one lacking feature is that the camera isn't all that great.

Watch Greg from Canoga Park, CA Comments

Greg was one of the victims of the Target credit card compromise. Leo says he wants to know how he found out. He said he found a bunch of small charges on his Target Debit Card. Leo says he uses American Express and he gets a "physical card not used" alert every time an online purchase is made. That's a nice feature of AmEx. Leo says that if we as consumers start calling our banks asking for increased security measures, they may start implementing that more. Chase bank will send an email or text whenever the credit card is used, according to the chatroom. Bank of the West says they'll call for any unusual activity. But it seems like banks could do a better job of protecting against these sorts of attacks.

Watch Johnny from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Johnny has a new Windows 8 computer and made his Windows icons larger. He doesn't like it that way, but when he tries to revert to the previous size, it won't let him do that. He tried to refresh it, and it not only didn't work, but he lost everything! So it's even worse. Can he just reinstall Windows XP?

Leo says that would cause a serious mess, so he shouldn't do that. The Chatroom says that it could be that the resolution of the monitor had been changed. Hold down the CTRL key and scroll the mouse wheel. That could adjust the screen resolution. It's easy to do by accident. He can also right-click the desktop, create the screen resolution, and then select "recommended." Leo also suggests creating a new user to see if the issue persists.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chuck from Tennessee Comments

Chuck is a retired engineer and his computer won't run any programs he wrote in Basic or Visual Basic. Leo says that the DLLs aren't supported in Windows 7 or Windows 8. An XP machine would run these, but Microsoft won't be supporting it after March 2014. That means it won't continue to be safe to use online, but if it won't be on the internet, he should be fine running it. Leo suggests running Windows XP virtually on a Windows 7 machine, along with Visual Basic. It'll run just fine that way. He recommends Virtual Box which is free, or VMWare.

Watch John from North Hollywood, CA Comments

John bought a new Vizio TV a few weeks ago and the remote control has died. Leo says to do the obvious things like replace the batteries first, and reset the TV. It just could be a bad remote, though. Leo recommends bringing it back since it's only been two weeks since he bought it.

Watch Phil from Orange County, CA Comments

Phil has an eBay store and his store name was East Bay Store, with the handle "E_Bay_St." Now eBay is forcing him to change the name. Leo says that makes sense. They don't want him to be misunderstood as being an official store for eBay. Leo has the same policy with chatroom names. Since it's eBay's portal, it's their rules. Sure, it took them six years to notice, but eBay is pretty massive. Leo says to just change Bay to some other letter with "-ay" in it.

Watch Chris from Pittsburgh, CA Comments

Chris users Window's Bitlocker encryption, and wants to know what he would do if Windows crashed and he'd have to plug the drive into another computer. Leo says to save out the certificates so he could still unencrypt the drive. TrueCrypt would require a password.

Watch Thomas from Vancouver, WA Comments

Thomas has a Windows 8 machine and he wants to set up a home group for file and printer sharing. But his machine doesn't appear. Leo says that Microsoft has a technote on it, and it may depend on what version Windows he has. Some versions would allow him to join a home group, but not start one. Secondly, he should look at his security settings to make sure all machines are sharing. Add the machine name to the user name as well.

Watch Mike from LaQuinta, Ca Comments

Mike is using an HDFlow wireless HDMI connection. Leo says that is pretty bleeding edge and wireless is pretty tough with HDMI. Hardwire is much better for carrying that much digital data.

Watch Mike from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Mike wants to know if it's beneficial to buy a blu-ray and sound bar with the same manufacturer so he could use just one remote. Leo says that may be the one reason for buying from the same manufacturer. On the other hand, mixing and matching Blu-ray players and receivers doesn't hurt in any other respect. Often times, one of the remotes will work for all of the components anyway. He could also get his own universal remote like the Logitech Harmony.

Watch John from Wisconsin Comments

John's favorite game "League of Legends" on the Windows platform. But he's getting the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) frequently. Leo says there's a discussion on the League of Legends forums about that very issue.

Leo suspects it may be an issue with the computer overheating, though. Hardware crashes aren't usually a result of something in software. He should make sure the fans are operating. A good cleaning won't hurt. It could also be a video card problem. Leo recommends updating the video card drivers. He'll want the WHQL certified drivers, and he should be sure he has enough free space on his drive.

Leo also says that since he's running Windows 8, he should upgrade to Windows 8.1. This will allow him to boot into desktop mode and it fixes a lot of bugs.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Rosebud, AR Comments

Jim's computer drive can't be read by Windows, but it can be seen by a Mac as read only. He can see it on a friend's windows machine, too. If he plugs it in, it asks if he wants to format the drive. Leo says there's a software error that is preventing the computer to read it. The good news is that it can be fixed, but it's often too expensive to go to a specialist. GRC's SpinRite is a good utility but it's also not cheap. It does work if he absolutely needs the data. If he can do without that data, it's probably easier to just get a new hard drive.

Watch Mark from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Mark wants to know how he can keep his daughter from losing her iPhone. It either gets lost, broken or stolen and it's breaking him. Leo says that there is the Zomm leash, which sounds an alarm when she would walk away from her phone. It works, but if the phone is stolen, the last thing he'll want is for her to chase after the person who stole it. That's where Find my iPhone comes in handy. She would just call the police and let them know where it is.

Watch Steve from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Steve was a victim of identity theft after applying for a home loan online. Leo says that all it really takes to steal your identity is your date of birth and social security number. What can he do? Lifelock is one solution. Leo says it's very frustrating and the credit reporting agencies aren't sympathetic at all. He could pay them a monthly fee, sure. Leo also says there's so much ID theft that police are drastically undermanned and just can't keep up.

Fraud alerts are very useful, and he can sign up with the three agencies to reject without contacting him first. Credit holds are good, but it takes 90 days and he'd have to redo it. The pity is that the government says to not use the SSN as a form of ID, but it is. Vigilance is the only solution and that's unfortunate. Sadly, credit card companies have no interest in protecting him because it's a profit center for them. It's not going to get better, either.

Watch John from Ottawa, IL Comments

John just bought a powered subwoofer for his home theater and when he plugs it in, it makes a humming noise. Leo says that's called a "ground loop" and there's ways to fix that. The plug isn't properly grounded, or could be loose. Or the stereo itself is causing it. John should go to RadioShack and get a magnetic ferrite coil that snaps onto the wire. That will eliminate it. If it doesn't, then an electrician may need to check his wiring and power. The Chatroom says for $8 he can get a Ground Loop Isolator from Amazon.

Watch John from California Comments

John bought a 60GB hard drive to rip VHS tapes and digitize them, but they won't play on most of the computers he's tried. Leo says that file size could be an issue. There's a 2GB and 4GB barrier and he'll need the most recent version of Windows 7. The other problem could be the codec John used to encode the videos. Leo recommend VLC VideoLan Client. Leo also suggests reformatting the drive to NTFS so he can play the larger file sizes.