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Episode 1047 January 11, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ashley Witt from TWiT Comments

Ashley's having an issue signing up for Obamacare. His daughter signed up for the insurance through Covered California, and they sent her a letter saying they don't believe she really is who she says she is. They want her to scan her birth certificate and email it over the Internet. Leo says that authentication is one of the core problems with a lot of things, and is the target for identity thieves. Leo says that if it's being sent through the Covered California website, chances are it's encrypted and safe. Any insurer would need to have that information, but Leo advises making sure she's uploading it through "https." Leo says that isn't a guarantee and what we need to do is rattle the cages to make sure the data is secured.

Ashley Witt is a good friend of the show, and actually is the composer of the original theme song for The Tech Guy.

Watch Mary from Sherman, TX Comments

Mary has a lot of photo negatives that she wants to scan herself. Leo recommends letting ScanCafe do it, because they'll also clean the negatives before scanning.

Epson makes a scanner, the Epson Perfection V500, which has a negative attachment. It's $150. There are plenty of others like it, too. Nikon makes the best slide/negative scanners, though. Then once she scans them, she can use Photoshop Elements for $79.

Truckee from the chatroom says he prefers the Wolverine Scanner.

Watch Suzanne from Vista, CA Comments

Suzanne got bit by a scammer calling from "Microsoft." The worst part is that she's a security analyst. Leo says that Suzanne shouldn't feel so bad since chances are that they are actually off duty tech support staff moonlighting as scammers. They social engineer victims and scare them into installing something on their computer. The CLSID is not unique. Then they show the user the "Event Viewer" which logs all errors. It looks worse than it is and the scammers rely on that. If she gave them a credit card, they also have that now and she really won't know what else they may have done.

Suzanne should cancel the credit card, then backup her data to an external hard drive, and format her computer's drive. Then she can start over by reinstalling Windows from a known, good source. She should also change all of her passwords online.

The chatroom also says to challenge the charges with her credit card company and get them to charge it back!

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bob from Riverside, CA Comments

Bob's 2006 iMac needed updating, so he installed OS 10.6 as a clean install, but the updated files didn't seem to install. Can he revert back and find his data? Leo says he could because it doesn't touch the data. Unless he erased the drive, and in that case he would need a file recovery utility.

Bob says he did copy the files over to an external hard drive first, but he says the newest date on the files is 2010. Leo says not to worry about the dates on the files. They could be creation dates not modification dates.

Watch George from Paris, Texas Comments

George listens to TWiT with his Roku. He says he knows the Chromecast doesn't have a lot of apps on it, but he decided to try one to stream websites from his browser to the TV. He wanted to do that from a cheap Android tablet running Jellybean, but Google won't let him into the Play Store. Leo says that's because it's not an "AOSP" version of Android. That's what makes it cheap.

He can get it to cast YouTube, and Leo says that Netflix and HBO Go will also work. In order to do it from the Chrome browser (called TabCasting), he'll have to have the special Chrome extension installed. That extension is only for desktop computers though, he won't be able to use that with the browser on his tablet. Leo says that Chromecast is wonderful and it's still in its early days of app development.

Watch Elijah from Murietta, CA Comments

Elijah wants to know if he should get the iPad Mini Retina or the Kindle Fire HD. Leo says it depends on what he uses it for. If iTunes is used for music, then Leo says he can't use that on the Kindle Fire HD.

However, since Apple no longer has copy protection, Elijah could just put the music he downloads onto Amazon Music. The Kindle Fire HD is cheap and there's a lot he can do on the iPad that he won't be able to do on the Fire. So if he can handle the difference in price, then the iPad Mini is probably the better move. But if he's on a budget, the Fire HD would be OK too.

Watch Steve from Nashville, TN Comments

Steve got the Dell Venue Pro tablet for Christmas and he says it's great and very fast. He's blind and uses JAWS. Leo didn't know you could use JAWS on a tablet! It supports some touch gestures, but not all. Is a tablet better or worse for a blind user? Steve says it's worse. Far more challenging, but for the size and battery life, it's worth the challenge. Does he have to install Security Essentials? Leo says no, Microsoft has included that with Windows 8.1, and it's called "Defender."

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Anthony from Houston, TX Comments

Anthony is wondering what will happen for gaming with screens that are surpassing even the retina display resolutions. Leo says that the more resolution there is, the more power it will need to process it. So it makes sense that if there's four times more work, the computer will need more power to push it. Leo says that for gaming, from the perspective of the user, higher resolutions won't necessarily look any better. So it's likely that gaming will stay at 1080p for awhile. Once the resolution is high enough that the user can't see the pixels, then any resolution higher than that is just wasted. Refresh rates also won't make things any smoother either.

Watch Michele from Corona, CA Comments

Michele spent some time in the Microsoft Event viewer and she's seeing a lot of registry errors that she's worried about. Leo says that's perfectly normal. The event viewer is just a log of errors and it really doesn't mean anything. So she shouldn't fall for the scam that uses the event viewer to get her to buy something. If she wants to, she can clear it out.

Since Michele is having trouble installing updates and drivers, it may be that the drive itself is flakey. Leo advises trying a thorough format before installing Windows again. If she continues to have more problems, then she should replace the hard drive. It's cheap to do.
But if she's having trouble installing stuff, the hard drive may be getting flakey. Leo advises trying a thorough format before installing. That should refresh the hard drive. And if you continue to have problems, then replace the hard drive. It's cheap.

Watch Todd from Freedonia Comments

Todd has been having a lot of problems getting his 2009 iMac to boot with Mavericks, and he's been having problems with audio cutting out when watching videos. Leo says that Mavericks seems to have a lot of bugs, and since most of them are not consistent on every machine, it's hard for Apple to fix them. We put Apple up on a pedestal, and expect more from them, but there are bugs and problems nonetheless. Leo says that his installation sounds particularly bad, so he should try reinstalling Mavericks. If the problem persists, it could be that he has a failing hard drive. The chat room says that many 2009 iMacs have defective hard drives, so that could be the issue.

With iOS 7, he's been having trouble with Wi-Fi on his iPad. Leo says it's a known issue. There's still no fix, and Apple hasn't been willing to replace his device for him. Unfortunately, he may just be out of luck at this point since it's likely a hardware issue.

Watch Ben from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Ben wants to know what Leo thinks is the best Android phone. Leo loves the Motorola Moto X. How about that T-Mobile "get out of jail free" card that was just announced? Leo says it's a great thing and we want the cellphone companies to fight over our business. But he'll have to make sure coverage is good in his area first