Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Rob from Laguna Beach, CA Comments

Rob bought an old church and he's remodeling it. He wants to install Ethernet to create a network in home. Leo says that if Rob wants Internet everywhere, the ideal time to lay down ethernet cable is when the walls are open. However, pretty much everything we do now is wireless. For music, he'll want to do wirelessly. A simple Wi-Fi analysis will show him whether Wi-Fi in his home is crowded or not. If it is, then going back to wired connections is a great idea. Putting a wireless adapter at the end of each wire would give him the best of both worlds, especially if he has an Ethernet jack in each wall.

Leo recommends going with Cat5, which is the old copper. It will transfer 100mbps. Cat5e is enhanced and there's even Cat6, which is gigabit Ethernet. It just depends on what he can afford. Cat6 is really good for video. Rob could also bundle coax-Ethernet, or even go with fiber. Leo put Cat6 in the Brickhouse studios, but it wasn't cheap. Another good idea is to run conduit at the same time he's running cable so that he won't have to tear out the walls to upgrade later. He can just route the new wire in the conduit when he's ready. Leo also recommends using a licensed electrician to avoid noise contamination.

Check out this site about running "Smurf Tubing."

Watch David from Harbor City, CA Comments

David has a Blu-ray player in his home theater that can run Netflix. When he switches back to TV, he's getting audio issues, though. Leo says that he has a similar problem and it's the TV set that tells the receiver what audio to play. It's a fault in the hand shaking and Leo says it's very common. Leo also advises making sure his HDMI cable is secure. Often it can get loose, causing connection errors. Make sure everything is plugged in solid. There's also issues in shifting from 720p-1080i-1080p. Scott thinks it may be a fault in the cable box.

Watch Adam from Bakersfield, CA Comments

Adam is in the military and he's going to be heading to Texas while he leaves his daughter behind with her mother. He'd like to keep in contact with her via the Internet, but she doesn't have it where she's going to live. Leo says there's always the Library or a free public Wi-Fi hotspot. If her Android tablet has an SD card slot, he could send audio/video on an SD card and share it that way.

A Mi-Fi unit is a good option if her NextBook tablet supports it. Virgin Mobile has one for $30 a month. Adam can get a Nexus 7 tablet and pay $30 a month for 4G access. He should also call the Wireless companies and ask for a military discount.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

Po isn't thrilled about the trend of surveillance in this country and how easy it could be for them to listen in on cellphones. Leo says that the courts have held that metadata (where he is or who he's calling) isn't subject to a warrant. So the government can make a request for a "pen register," pay a fee and then they can know someone's exact whereabouts.

They can also obtain a warrant from a secret court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The NSA collects this data and keeps it for three years. The problem is, the NSA has capabilities far beyond what the law gives them. So Po is right to be concerned. But we asked for all of this after 9-11. Had we known just how pervasive they'd get, though, we may not have been so eager for the security.

End to end encryption is possible, where one party would encrypt the message and then send it to someone who has the key to decrypt it. This is the only way to have private conversations. It doesn't work for phone conversations, but it does exist for texting with an app called Secure Text. It also exists for email with PGP or SMIME. Leo recommends using OpenGPG at gpgtools.org. The problem with this is, both ends of the conversation has to understand it and use it for it to be effective.

Watch Nathan from Beaumont, CA Comments

Nathan's car doesn't have a radio and he wants something portable that he can use. Leo says that CCrane makes a lot of great radios. The CC Pocket Radio is only $60.

Watch Carlos from Southern California Comments

Carlos would like to buy a new TV and wants to know whether he should get plasma or LCD? Leo says that plasma has the best quality, but with it's reflective screen, it's best to use in a darkened room. Companies are getting out of plasma, though, because everyone is buying LED TVs. Backlit LCDs have gotten so good that people are choosing them because they look better on the show room floor.

Leo says that Vizio is rapidly moving into the top tier with excellent quality at a low price. TCL and HiSense are coming into the market in the second tier, very aggressively, but it isn't clear just how good they are yet.

Watch Carlos from Southern California Comments

Leo says that the US hasn't "controlled" the internet for awhile. It's free, public, and open. What it did do is pull out of ICANN, the naming organization that provides all domain names and URLs. Leo doesn't think that's a big deal, though.

Watch Maria from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Maria wants to get a Mac because of its security benefits, but she needs to use Microsoft Office. Leo says that Mac supports Office, and although it's more expensive, a quality PC will cost about the same anyway. Another idea is the Google Chromebook, with costs ranging from about $200 to $500. She can then use Google Docs which is just as good as Microsoft Office and she wouldn't have to buy it. A great choice, but it's a very simple computer.

The lowest cost Mac is the Mac Mini, or the MacBook Air. Leo says not to just buy a Mac because of security. She could run Windows securely just by running as a limited user.

Watch Steve from Finland Comments

Steve wants to download flash based videos from the Internet and he's having trouble finding a good source. Leo says there's a number of options. Leo recommends Applian's web video downloader, called the Replay Media Catcher. It's free to try and downloads almost every format. VLC Media Player can also do this. KeepVid.com is a good web based option.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Theresa from Scotts Valley, CA Comments

Theresa's boss gets a lot of spam and wants a spam blocker. Leo advises against them, especially for a business because they cause people to jump through hoops. Spam blockers send emails back to the sender, asking them to validate that they are not spam. This will let spammers know that this is a good address, so once she starts using it, she would never be able to stop. Leo recommends using gmail, because it is a brilliant anti-spam solution. She could have her email forwarded to the gmail account.

If she still really wants a better spam filter, she could try OnlyMyEmail.com.

Watch JR from Detroit, MI Comments

JR's mom wants a laptop to write her memoirs, but she's not very computer savvy. Leo says that at 76, a laptop may be more problematic because of the small screen. A large desktop screen could be more beneficial. She also wants to dictate, but Leo says that Voice dictation is only about 90% accurate and that means she'll still have to go through and fix it all. Leo says that recording it and then having it transcribed is a better option, especially for someone who has trouble typing. She also wants a printer. Leo says she doesn't really need a printer anymore, but if she wants one, a laser printer is a good choice.

For Windows, Leo likes the Acer Aspire S7. Leo also says that there's a great website called StoryWorth, which will send a question every week for her to record an answer to, and then it compiles it. She can even phone in her answer. This is great for generating answers and getting her thinking of what she wants to write about.

What about Chromebooks? Leo says they're great, and Google docs will do dictation soon. Leo advises giving it a try first. If it works, then that's all she'd need. Meanwhile, in Google's Chrome browser, Dictation.io does a good job with dictation.

Which Chromebook is best? Leo says that Samsung's new Chromebook is ideal. Google's dictation is as good, if not better, than Dragon.

Watch David from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

David bought an old HDTV at a garage sale and he's noticed a lot of yellow marks on it. Leo says that the projector is built in the back of the TV and the screen is obviously damaged. If a smoker owned it, it could be nicotene stains.

Watch Geri from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Geri is having trouble with software she bought. When she tries to send in for the activation code, it says her "machine ID" keeps changing. Leo says that there is no such thing as a "machine ID." Often, copy protection has to phone home to authenticate it, and if the company website is down, it won't work properly. Geri should call them. If there's no answer, and the company has gone out of business, she should contact her credit card company and get them to charge it back. She may have been scammed.