Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Chino Hills, CA Comments

Jim just got a new LCD TV but doesn't get the cable service until Tuesday. He'd like to watch the Oscars. Leo says that ABC is going to stream the Oscars live, but only for those who subscribe to cable or satellite. He would have to log in to watch it over the Internet.

The other option is to get an antenna. He should check out AntennaWeb.org to see what channels are available in his area. The benefit is that broadcast high definition is less compressed and actually is the best quality. Another website to check is TVFool.com. This will give him information on what channels are available in his area as well.

The Chatroom says the Weingard Flatwave Amped Antenna does an amazing job getting channels that other antennas simply can't get. It's available at Costco for about $40. SolidSignal.com is another good source.

Watch Todd from Laguna Beach, CA Comments

Todd has heard about a new app that will allow others to listen in on phone conversations. He heard about it on Coast to Coast AM. Leo says that's utter nonsense. It's not possible and it's a totally bogus story in order to drive listeners.

The app he's talking about is called CrowdPilot and it allows users to stream their phone calls to people they invite to the call. So people can't listen to phone calls unless they are given permission. It's essentially a party line call app. Otherwise, it would be highly illegal. Of course, that doesn't stop the NSA from doing it.

Watch George from Houston, TX Comments

George wants to know if there's a free program that will allow him to print his Windows directory tree? Leo says that Norton Commander used to be able to allow that, but there are plenty of alternatives. He can check out AlternativeTo.net for options.

PadreSJ says that Karen's Powertools has a free utility called Directory Printer.

George can also print it from a command line with this commend: dir /a:d /w > prn:

Watch Paul from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Paul has several interviews on his iPod of World War II vets and the iPods are dying, so he needs to get them off. He'll need a computer to do this. Paul will have to be careful not to erase the iPod, since that's the first thing iTunes will prompt him to do when he connects it. Then he can get a third party program that will get the files from the iPod.

Leo says that iExplorer is the best. There's also Senuti and Sharepod. Leo says that Paul should get these out right away and then burn them to a data CD. Leo advises using a 3-2-1 backup strategy: Three backups, on two different formats, with one off site.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sean from United Kingdom Comments

Sean would like to know how to best secure his computer. PadreSJ of our TWiT Netcast "KnowHow" and "This Week in Enterprise Tech joins in to give him some tips.

First, run the computer as a limited user account. This will prevent the installation of software. Never run as an administrator. PadreSJ says that the #1 cause for all the bad stuff is the user, so if he could take himself out of the equation, then he doesn't need to spend money securing the system. He also should make sure his modem isn't plugged straight into his computer. Use a router in between.

Sean can go to GRC.com and run the SHIELDS UP! App. It will test his network to see what parts are vulnerable to attack.

Sean should make sure to install updates and patches. Every Tuesday is Patch Tuesday for Microsoft and he should always have automatic updates turned on.

His behavior is a very important aspect of this as well. Sean will be the last line of defense in keeping his system safe, so avoid things like clicking on unknown links, opening attachments, and going to untrusted sites.

Watch Joe from Bellflower, CA Comments

Joe's computer is slowing down and he'd like to buy HP's speed up program. Leo says that Joe needs to be sure he's getting it from HP and not a third party because it could be malware. Leo says even a utility from HP is just a way to sell him something he doesn't need. The best thing to do is just do an annual format and reinstall. It will refresh the drive and get rid of all the "cruft" or bit rot that builds up over time. So John should backup his data, format the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and update it completely.

Another idea is to check out his Task Manager and AutoRuns from Microsoft. These are great tools that will help him see what's slowing down his PC. CCleaner can clean up his hard drive by deleting temp cache files and it can also clean his registry. The registry cleaning could come back to bite him as it can often delete registry keys the computer needs to operate.

Watch Richard from Crawley, UK Comments

Richard is trying to back up about 300GB of photographs and videos. He's using Dropbox and it's expensive. He's also tried Carbonite, but it takes too long. Leo says that's because his upload bandwidth is really slow. Amazon has a more affordable option called Glacier. It costs pennies per GB, but it's cheap because he won't have access to it immediately.

Leo suggests getting a pair of external hard drives. Then he can just copy his photographs and videos over and then take the drive off site, swapping them every other week or so.

Watch Derek from Petaluma, CA Comments

Derek is having problem with Google Chrome in Windows XP playing video. Leo says it's important to make sure Chrome is up to date. He should go to Help > About Google Chrome, and make sure it's green and checked as "up to date." He should also clear out his extensions. Extensions are great, but they can slow down the browser. Chrome uses it's own version of Flash, so the version of Flash he installed may be corrupt. Derek should make sure he has an updated video driver. Windows XP did something odd with video using hardware acceleration. That could be causing the issue, so he should disable that.

That chatroom says to go into the Flash control panel and delete the cache.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Tim from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Tim is looking at new cameras and wants to know about megapixels. Are more pixels better? Leo says no. It's not how many pixels he has, it's how large the sensor is. The larger the sensor, the more light he'll have and the more detail he'll be able to get. The more megapixels he has on a smaller sensor, the more noise he'll get. So the key is a large sensor. Going from 8MP to 12 isn't going to make that much difference.

Watch Mike from Bitteroot Valley, MT Comments

Mike is getting his first smartphone and wants to know what he should get. Leo says that for a first timer, iPhones are popular, but it's not necessarily the best choice. Leo says that a Windows Phone is a good option because it's very easy to use. It doesn't have all the apps, but it has everything a beginner needs.

The Nokia Lumia Icon has a great camera, a huge screen, and bold icons. But Mike also has a Mac, so in that case he Leo suggests the iPhone because they'll work together well.

Watch Midnight Rider from Unknown City Comments

Midnight Rider works for a city that runs on Windows XP. They are going to be running antivirus on their computers after Microsoft ends support for Windows XP, and he's wondering if that's going to be adequate. Leo says the antivirus, including Microsoft's own antivirus program will still be kept up to date. However, it won't protect against a user installing software that could be malicious.

Leo says that any Windows XP computer that's connected to the internet after the April 8 support deadline will be a security nightmare, and is at grave risk. But if it's absolutely necessary to run Windows XP, Leo suggests making sure every computer is in "standard user" mode, not administrator. They should also be running behind a secure firewall, which they may be doing already. They should also make sure not to run Internet Explorer, and use Google Chrome instead.

Watch Jean from Venice, CA Comments

Jean uses a program called "Familiar," which would upload her pictures and allow her to share them easily. However, they are shutting down.

Leo says that there are a lot of free ways to do this: Path, Facebook, Yahoo's Flickr, Google+, Instagram, and Microsoft's OneDrive. Apple's Photostreams could also work for this. All of them will automatically upload and share, but everyone she's sharing with will have to have an account. Leo also suggests saving to other places and also copy them to an external hard drive. The Chatroom says kee.ps is another service.

Watch Jack from Liverpool, UK Comments

Jack wants to know if an SSD will make his MacBook Pro perform better. He's noticed that it takes longer to open websites. Leo says it absolutely will. SSDs are very fast and it's likely that Jack's regular hard drive is starting to fail. So now is the right time to make a change. The other thing to do is reset Safari, which will clear out the cache, cookies, and website history. He should also remove his extensions. That can slow things down as well.

Watch Bob from Warren, PA Comments

Bob says that Windows 8 has changed the way make a user run as "limited user." Leo says it's frustrating that Microsoft doesn't make it easy. Apple makes it really easy to create a limited user, and Windows should do the same. Installing software should be something that only an admin can do, but it should also be easy to escalate to Admin in order to do so. Apple requires an admin password challenge, rather than a yes or no clickbox.

Here's an article on how to configure Windows User Account Control to require a password challenge.