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Episode 1116 September 7, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Max from West LA, CA Comments

Max had a Blackberry Curve with Verizon and it just died. He can get the iPhone 4S for .99, and is wondering if that would be a good deal. Leo says they should give him .99 for the iPhone 4S! It's fine for what Max is doing, but it's three generations behind, and will be the last model that he can install the most recent OS on. Max will be able to install iOS 8, but it will be really slow. If he doesn't care, then sure, it'll work. Leo also says that within days, he's likely to see a similar deal for iPhone 5.

If Max is happy, though, then he could keep it. Leo also says it's OK to not have to have the latest and greatest. All too often, people think there's something wrong with you if you don't keep up, but who cares? The only thing Max will miss out on is the fingerprint reader and the ability to make mobile payments with his phone.

Watch Ollie from San Diego, CA Comments

Ollie has a Sony computer with a motherboard that went bad. His brother has a similar model and he's wondering if he can put it in his computer or take the hard drive out. Leo says that Windows will see it as a different computer and he'll have to reactivate Windows. He'll also need to install new drivers.

Watch Norman from Talahassee, FL Comments

Norman wants to make his phone calls over the internet instead. Here's a list of apps that would let him do this inexpensively, or free:

  • Skype
    It's free to call other Skype users, but if he wants to call regular phones he'll have to buy Skype Out. If he wants to receive phone calls through Skype, he can get Skype In.
  • Google Voice
  • Tango
  • Viber
  • Ooma

Leo says that it's hard for services to make money when they're offering a free service, so don't be surprised if it isn't around very long. If there's a pay option, then that's actually a good choice because it won't be as likely to disappear.

Watch Dave from Ayersville, OH Comments

Dave is looking to get into App development. He'd like to make apps for multiple platforms, and wants to know if there's a cross platform environment that makes it easier. Leo says that developing natively is always the best option, but cross platform is very popular with developers who don't want to triple their effort. Different platforms use different languages, though.

PhoneGap.com is an option. Unity is a good one for gaming. Xamarin is pretty robust platform that can also incorporate .NET.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jonathan from Hollywood, CA Comments

Jonathan just picked up a Samsung Galaxy S5. He wants to know if Android has a backup option similar to iCloud. Leo says there's no way to backup everything, but Android will backup apps and settings, which include Wi-Fi Passwords, to his Google account. That way when he logs into his Google account with a new phone, it'll restore his apps and settings automatically.

Samsung has it's own backup solutions as well. But Leo says Titanium Backup is a great solution if he truly wants to backup everything. He would need to root his phone in order to use it. Rooting gives him administrator privileges and that can be risky, but it is useful.

If Jonathan doesn't want to root, there's an excellent solution called Helium that will do what Jonathan is looking for. Google will also upload his contacts, photos, and music. Leo says he prefers to download new copies of apps, rather than restore old ones and then have to upgrade.

Watch Michael from Buffalo, NY Comments

Michael says that this year is the 30th anniversary of Windows. And he says he thought it would be cool if Windows would give users the ability to "skin" Windows back to the original Windows look to celebrate. Leo says that they did that for Windows XP and he hated it. But it's just software, so he could. Microsoft wants to push users forward, and as such, they're annoying users with their heavy hand.

Michael wants to know if there's a service that will rip and capture older media and digitize it. Leo says yes, but the older his media is, the more likely he'll lose stuff and it may even be unreadable. But the good news is that there are places where he can play old games online. GOG.com (good ole games) offer those old games for him to play.

For console games, he'd have to emulate them using MAME. The downside is that many game companies have been suing people who emulate those. Leo says that they should just back off and let people enjoy a trip down memory lane. But if he searches games and ROMs, he'll find tons of options.

Watch Dan from Temecula, CA Comments

Dan wants to know what alternatives there are to Adobe Reader. Leo says there's tons of free alternatives and he's happy to recommend them because Adobe Reader has such poor security. Here are a few Dan could try:

Google's Chrome browser also has a built in PDF reader.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Louis wants to create a website about camping. Leo says Louis first should secure a domain name. This is essentially the address in the phonebook. It's also what people will enter into their brower to navigate to it. He can secure his domain name at a wide variety of companies. Leo uses Hover, but even Google is doing it now. He can search for his choice and it'll show him options, and there's tons of extensions. The reason for all the extensions is that most .com domains are already taken.

(Disclaimer: Hover is a sponsor).

Watch Clark from Puerto Rico Comments

Clark just bought an HTC One M8 Android phone, and his widgets have somehow vanished. There's no widget tab. Leo says go into settings and make sure his apps and settings are backed up. Once that's done, he can to do a factory reset. But then he'll have to download all of his apps again. At least he'll have it back to normal, though.

The chatroom recommends going into the apps system settings, and go into nova launcher and clear the cache. He can even uninstall the third party Nova launcher if he doesn't like it.

Watch Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA Comments

Steve upgraded Picasa to 3.9, but he can't authenticate it. It says it needs Internet Explorer to do it. Steve can't upgrade beyond Internet Explorer 8, either, because Windows XP won't support it. Leo thinks it uses the default browser to authenticate, which happens to be Internet Explorer in Steve's case. The way Google does authentication is that it goes out to a browser where you'd log into your Google account. The browser then gives you a chance to authorize, then it gives that application a token that it's been authorized. Leo suspects it's just calling upon the default browser to authenticate the app.

Steve says that Google Chrome is his default browser though, not Internet Explorer. Leo says he might try making Internet Explorer the default browser again, but Steve says he can't find it on his machine. Leo says to search for "iexplore.exe", but Steve still says it can't be found. Since IE is so tightly wound into Windows XP, it should be there. The fact that he can't find it may indicate a problem with Windows XP.

One possibility is that Steve's on an unsupported operating system, and Picasa may not support Windows XP anymore. Leo suggests going into the Chrome browser, and clearing the cache and history. It should work fine in Chrome. Another option if he can't find Internet Explorer is to run a Windows repair with his XP disk. It should fix all the problems Steve is having with XP.

Watch Dave from Chatsworth, CA Comments

Dave wants to get a backup camera that has infrared and 180 degree scope. He's seen them on Amazon for $250 down to $39. Leo says that most of them are made by Chinese companies and sold to American companies. Amazon fulfills it, so it's a good idea to buy from them, and they'll stand behind them. Dave should check the reviews from Amazon and he'll see how good people think they are.

Watch Adam from The Bronx, NY Comments

Adam has been keeping his bank information and passwords in the notes section of the iPhone, and he's wondering how secure that really is. Leo says that having different passwords for every account is a good thing and using a password manager is the best way to handle them. So take that next step and get LastPass. He should also turn on second factor authentication on every site that supports it.

Check out TwoFactorAuth.org. This lists all sites that support it. If his sites don't, he can click a link and tweet them to do so!

Watch Sue from Running Springs, CA Comments

Sue says it's time to get a new phone. Leo says it's a good time to buy one. The iPhone makes a really good first smartphone and with a new one being announced next week, the time is perfect to get deals on them. Another good option is the Motorola Moto G if you want Android.