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Episode 1067 March 22, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

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

Mark got a new Android Phone with T-Mobile and wants to know if he can use Google Voice instead and avoid using his minutes. Leo says no. Google Voice would still use Mark's minutes. Voicemail uses only data, though. Options for data only usage include include Tango, Skype, and Talkatone.

There has been recent talk that Google Voice will soon be merged with Hangouts. This could even mean that Google Voice as we know it will go away.

Watch RJ from California Comments

RJ is looking to upgrade to his first smartphone. He has an old Apple Computer running Snow Leopard. Leo says that since RJ is in the Apple universe, the iPhone is probably the best option. It's certainly the most popular for Mac users. But for someone who has never used a smartphone, a Windows 8 phone is also a great option. It doesn't have as many apps, but as someone just starting out, he won't miss them. Nokia makes the best ones. Android may be a bit too much for a beginner, but that's the third option.

The only issue he may run into is with his older Mac running Snow Leopard. Apple could stop supporting iTunes on older versions of OS X, so RJ may need to upgrade. The good news is, he doesn't really need to sync his phone with a computer at all.

RJ's options include the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 5C, which is essentially last year's model in a colorful case. Leo recommends an iPhone 5S. It starts at $199 with a two year contract.

Watch Tom from San Jose, CA Comments

Since Leo was talking about Neil Young's Pono player earlier in the show, Tom wanted to know if Leo had heard about Bob Weir's Tamalpais Research Institute, or "TRI." Bob Weir has built a beautiful state of the art streaming performance studio in Marin County in California. The Greatful Dead have always been huge supporters of high quality audio. They were notorious for having the best stage sound system anywhere. Bob is continuing the tradition by broadcasting live video and audio concerts in high quality. It's at tristudios.com.

The point of Pono, and this from Bob Weir, is a movement going on from musicians who know how good music can sound. They also know how bad the compressed audio from earbuds sounds, and they're trying to get us back to the high quality sound.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Paul from Palmdale, CA Comments

Paul has a lot of movies on an external hard drive for the kids to watch, but the drive accidentally got formatted. Can he recover it? Leo says a simple erase doesn't really erase the data, it just makes the sector available for re-use. A format is more complete, though. That doesn't mean it's unrecoverable. Leo recommends Recuva. If it can't save it, nothing can. It's free, but he should make sure to get it from the original source. He should also be sure to enable the deep scan option. Since it wasn't a thorough format, it should work. But if it doesn't, a day of re-ripping the DVDs is in Paul's future. He should also make sure he recovers the data to a second hard drive.

That Chatroom says that the Linux program "Test Disc" is another option. This is why backing up is so vital. If he only has one copy, he's at risk for this kind of pain.

Watch Olivier from Newport Coast, CA Comments

Olivier is about to buy an 80" TV. He's trying to decide between two LED TVs, one is a Vizio. There's quite a price difference. Leo says that Vizio had made it's mark by offering high quality TVs for the money, and Leo says that it's good enough for the money. Leo says there is one flaw with any LED LCD: they're slow. Manufacturers have added frames to make up for this, which is why there are 120hz and 240hz options. The result is a plastic-like picture. So he should make sure to turn "interpolation" off in the settings.

Watch Derek from Petaluma, CA Comments

Derek has been having trouble with his browser not going into full screen, but he discovered that Google no longer supports XP and that prevents it. He found a plugin called FullScreen Anything in the Google Chrome extensions.

Watch Vlad from California Comments

Vlad wants to know if there's anything he can do to get his data on his computer and print a hard copy of it. Leo says that Vlad should use Google to sync everything. That way he'll have a copy of it everywhere: on his phone, online, and on the desktop. Google will sync it seamlessly, and it's by far the easiest way to do it. But Vlad doesn't want to give Google all that information. Leo says that using the S4 gives Google everything anyway, as does Vlad's ISP, so it's a moot point.

Samsung has a program called "Keys," which would allow Vlad to bypass users, but then he's giving the "keys to the kingdom" to Samsung instead. So there's no difference, really. The chatroom says Companion Link is an option. It allows syncing from a wide variety of OS's, utilities, and platforms. Another one is AirDroid, but it won't really prevent Google from seeing it since it's from Google.

Watch Chris from Irvine, CA Comments

Chris' Network Solutions email account has thousands of emails and he's having trouble with them getting to his iPhone. He wants to clear them all without having to delete one at a time.

Leo says chances are, Chris' email is being handled via POP3. That means once the email is downloaded, it gets deleted off the server. So Chris can delete the account, then download all the mail from a separate computer. Or just leave it alone. One other thing is that the iPhone isn't downloading it all, just a set amount. Chris can uncheck "leave mail on server" and it'll delete the mail automatically.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Derek from Palm Springs, CA Comments

Derek runs fiber optic cable from his receiver to his TV, and he's wondering if that's better than HDMI? Leo says they're identical in terms of quality over a short throw. Receivers have a delay capability for audio which can sync with the video. He just has to look in the settings of his receiver.

Watch Jerry from Santa Ana, CA Comments

Jerry is looking at the Nokia Lumia 2520 for about $90 plus activation. Will he be able to use his other devices with it? Leo says that the deal will only be for internet access to the tablet, not any other option. Jerry would have to hotspot that, which would cost extra and blow through his data cap. One option though is a MiFi wireless access card. That would allow for sharing data to up to 5 different devices. Generally speaking, they're faster, more expensive, and more consistent.

Watch Mark from Indio, CA Comments

Mark hears that XP will stop being supported. Leo says yes, on April 8th Microsoft will release it's last security update. So what would be his options after that? He's on a budget and can't buy a new computer. Leo says that Linux is a good option, and it's often more secure. Leo says that Mark could also just continue to use XP if he takes steps and knows what he's doing.

Here's what Mark can do:

1. Stop using XP as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote your existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
3. Don't click on links in email.
4. Only get software from original vendors.
5. Keep antivirus software up to date.

If he does these five things, he'll be fine moving forward after April 8th.

Watch Steve from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Steve loves watching Netflix but he's not getting a consistent connection. Leo says that consistency is the key for Netflix streaming. Steve's provider may be artificially slowing down the service in order to make him want to buy their competing services. That's what Comcast did. He could try using a wired connection instead of than Wi-Fi. Steve can also try using AppleTV. The streaming is far better because Apple routes the streaming through their own data center. It really bites because Netflix already paid up to Comcast and now it looks like AT&T is expecting the same treatment.

Other things he can do is go to speedtest.net and pingtest.net to see how good his connection actually is. But with Steve's 18MBps speed, there shouldn't be any problem.