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Episode 1055 February 8, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Orlando, FL Comments

Joe just got a new iMac and wants to know what external hard drive would be best use as a back up, USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt? Leo says that Thunderbolt drives are few and very expensive. He doesn't really need that. USB 3 is more than fast enough and very affordable. And they're formatted to be read on Mac and PC.

This Western Digital 2TB is perfect. He should get it with separate AC power, since Bus powered or PC powered externals will be slower. Leo also advises using SuperDuper as his backup option that can be used in concert with Time Machine. The benefit is that with SuperDuper, he can make a bootable backup just in case.

Watch Mike from Portland, ME Comments

Mike can't get his computer to go into power saving mode. Leo says it could be a bad install and recommends installing from scratch, rather then upgrading. It may also be that Windows Installer doesn't see that his computer supports ACPI. Sometimes the installer gets it wrong and doesn't install the feature. There's not much he can do besides reinstalling Windows. He has to be sure to install the right kernel, and that's the problem because it's automatic.

Mike should look in the BIOS setup to be sure that ACPI is enabled and configured. Also, he should turn off "Wake on LAN" in the BIOS as well. The mouse or keyboard may also be generating stray signals or there may be something running in the background. He should try using AutoRuns by Microsoft and it'll tell him if there's anything running in the background.

Watch Joe from Austin, TX Comments

Joe is thinking of getting either the 13" MacBook Air or the 13" MacBook Pro. He also wants to get an external drive. The 13" MacBook Air has far better battery life, but the MacBook Pro has a much better retina display. So it really comes down to what he wants most. The MacBook Pro also comes with a 256 GB SSD. Leo says he should only use an external hard drive if he finds he's running out of space on the laptop. It's best to keep what he can on the internal drive, so he doesn't need to always rely on having an external drive plugged in.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Randy from Seattle, WA Comments

Leo said that NBC spent a lot of money to get exclusive control of the Olympics and to see it online, Randy has to verify who his cable or satellite subscription is with. The only way to complain about this is to complain to the Olympic Committee, but they're making money hand over fist. The BBC, by contrast, is streaming it live and some people run VPN software to log in and watch it live as it happens. It's an illusion that the Olympics are a great public spectacle. They really aren't. It's a commercial enterprise now.

Watch Chuck from Manchester, NH Comments

Chuck uses his media center computer as a TIVO. His video plays fine, but the audio drops out or is out of sync. Media player doesn't work either. What can he replace it with? Leo says that Windows Video Player can be replaced by VLC Media Player. This may not help if the video is copy protected, though.

Watch Marshall from Albequerque, NM Comments

Marshall was on the LA Weekly music blog and it locked up Safari. Leo says being on a Mac, it's unlikely to be a browser hijack. Marshall says he can't even reset it, though. So he force quit and went back to the site and it's still the same. This was probably trying to install a Windows program on his Mac, because these attacks don't target Macs.

The chatroom is saying to hold down Shift while opening Safari. That will keep it from opening the previous session, which had the site that was causing him problems. He should still reset his Safari browser from the menu, though.

Watch Thomas from Vancouver, WA Comments

Thomas has ad blocker turned on in his Chrome browser, yet still sees ads sometimes. Leo says that ad blocker doesn't actually block all ads. It now has something called the "acceptable ad initiative," where companies can pay ad blocker to not block their ad.

Thomas says he also has an extension for preventing pop-ups. Leo thinks that Chrome does a pretty good job by itself when it comes to blocking popups, although one of the problems we've seen with Chrome, is that there were a number of Chrome extensions that were sold. Then the people who bought them used them to replace the ads on websites with their own. Google has continued those extensions and will continue to do so when it comes up.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bill from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Bill saw an ad for long range WiFi antenna that will enable him to pick up signals 1000 feet away. Should he be concerned with security? Leo says no. A receiver won't extend his Wi-Fi signal. For that, he would need a Wi-Fi extender. There are several of them.

If he's looking to "borrow a cup of WiFi," it won't work, and would be rather unethical without the permission of the Wi-Fi Host. Leo recommends FreedomPop. He'll have to buy the hotspot, but after that, the data is free.

Watch Martin from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Martin got a popup that says that Microsoft suspects malicious activity that's causing "system breakage." Leo says it's a scam. A popup doesn't mean he's infected, but if the grammar is bad, then it's likely a scam. Since Martin is using Internet Explorer, Leo advises updating to IE11 and run his updates. Leo also suggests using Google Chrome instead. It's far safer. He'll never see those popups again with Chrome.

If Martin is using Windows 8, then he's got Windows Defender built in. If not, then he should download Microsoft Security Essentials.

Watch Alan from San Diego, CA Comments

Alan says his friend got a new Android phone but he can't iMessage him now. Leo says he has to turn it off in the contact entry. Once he does, he can send him text messages via SMS. He should also change his entry to a regular mobile phone, instead of iPhone.

Watch Mary from Vista, CA Comments

Mary's son upgraded her Mac to OS X Mavericks and now it's running slower. Leo says Mavericks has bugs, but slowing down the computer isn't one of them. Leo says it could also just be coincidental, and that the hard drive is starting to fail.

Mary probably doesn't have enough RAM to run Mavericks. She should double the RAM to 4GB and that will make a big difference. She should also try a clean install, rather than a basic upgrade. She should just make sure to backup her data, erase the hard drive and then start over. Leo also advises taking the Mac to the Apple Store to talk to a Genius.

Watch Satvir from Victorville, CA Comments

Satvir is getting notifications from Windows to backup his hard drive, even though he uses a third party backup program. Leo says that's a setting in Windows Security Center. He should click on the house with the pennant in the tray, go into the settings and then turn it off.

Watch Bill from Thousand Oaks, CA Comments

Bill bought a Seagate 4TB hard drive and wants to do a mirrored backup with two different computers. Leo says to just make four folders and do the mirror into each folder. No need to partition, but he should just remember that he'll need to periodically back it up to make sure he's getting the new data.

Imaging options include:

Watch Michele from Orange County, CA Comments

Michele's daughter is going overseas and she has an iPhone 4S. How can she use a local SIM while she's there? Leo suggests upgrading to the iPhone 5, 5C or 5S through Verizon. It's a world phone and she can then use a local SIM when she gets to where she's going. Asking Verizon to unlock the 4S may not work because it wasn't a GSM phone. And that iPhone 4S wouldn't work where she's going anyway. So upgrade and then you can do what you want.