Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Addy from London, ENG Comments

Addy needs a recommendation for wired, in-ear headphones with volume controls. Leo says that it all depends on the device he'll be plugging it into, and Addy will be using a Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini. Leo says he'll want a headphone with a three ring minijack. And even then, he doesn't know if the phone will understand the volume controls.

Here are some options Addy can consider:

Addy can also check out Wirecutter article of the Best In-Ear headphones for under $40. Leo likes Etymotics earphones, but they are quite a bit more expensive than Addy's budget. They are very high fidelity, and isolate outside noise really well.

Scott Wilkinson suggests going to InnerFidelity.com and looking at their "Wall of Fame." He recommends the following:

Watch John from Moorpark, CA Comments

John has to replace his A/V receiver. He's lost two in the last few months. Leo says that sounds like an indication of "brown power" that's surging or spiking. Scott agrees, and says a power conditioner would be a good thing to get. It's not cheap, but it could help. Scott also says that if speakers are designed to use a specific receiver and he tries to plug them into a different one, it could strain the receiver more than it should.

Leo also recommends making sure the electrical plugs are properly grounded. It may pay off to get a good electrician out to look. It also pays to have an uninterrupted power supply in between your system and the wall. APC makes them.

Watch David from Las Vegas, NV Comments

David is going to China for a honeymoon and he needs a phone that he can use. Leo says he'll want an unlocked phone that works best with the radio bands that China uses. Xiaomi is the best and make some great phones like the Mi 4. It has the best battery life of any phone in the world. Xiaomi has its own version of Android that runs well also. It uses SnapDragon 810 processors, and they're pretty fast. Huawei also makes phones that would work in China. There's several brands that are affordable. The key, though, is to get the proper radio bands.

Johnny Jet offers some good advice for when David passes through Thailand. He says that Phuket is too crowded. He should drive to Khaolak, there's a gorgeous national park and a great Marriot hotel there with great Pad Thai. AnaTara hotels and the Four Seasons are great as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jay from Providence, NC Comments

Jay wants to know if removing viruses is the same between Mac and Windows. Leo says that there's a debate that Macs are either more secure, or are a smaller target because there are fewer of them. Leo says that malware writers are going to write for the largest segment of computers. But OS X is based on Unix and that's more secure than Windows. OS X also has an administrator requirement when installing software.

There's few of them out there and the OS makes it harder to get one installed in the first place. There are some antivirus companies for Mac, and Intigo is the best, according to Leo. But at the end of the day, it's highly unlikely that he'll ever get a virus. It's more likely that Jay is dealing with a failing hard drive.

Watch Johnny from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Johnny is getting an error of "no operating system found" on his Windows 8 machine. Leo says that could mean that the master boot record is damaged, but more likely, the hard drive has died. It could also be just recovering and reinstalling Windows. It depends on how dead the drive is.

If it's a bad master boot record, then formatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows should work. But even if he could resurrect Windows, he's going to want to replace the hard drive since it sounds like it's failing. Leo recommends trying to format it first and then reinstall Windows. That's where he'll want to start.

Watch Patrick from Santa Monica, CA Comments

Patrick needs to get a new smartphone for his e-commerce business. He uses email with Roundcube. Leo says that Roundcube is IMAP and it'll work with any mail account. Leo recommends having GMail go get his Roundcube mail and then use Google Calendar, Tasks, and other services with it. Leo says he should avoid Outlook. It's old and the UI is terrible. Google Apps is the best option across the board. It's very low cost and works everywhere.

For task apps, Leo recommends a few options:

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch David from New York, NY Comments

David is planning a new podcast and he wants the best audio quality he can get interviewing over regular phones. What's the best option and is there a better option than Skype?

Leo says that there is a great difference in quality from one caller to another and a plain old telephone system (POTS) was designed with the lowest quality audio possible in mind. Microphones in phones have improved, but the best idea for improving quality is to get off the phone. Skype quality is light years better. In fact, most of TWiT guests use Skype because they've been able to tweak it to improve performance. Given enough bandwidth, it sounds fantastic.

Here are some tips on how to tweak Skype like TWiT does. One thing he'll want to do is change the "echo cancellation" to avoid "gating." Here's how he can turn that off - http://thepodcastersstudio.com/skypeaudiocontrols/

JK Audio makes an interface that will make it sound as good as it can. Leo used them when he first started the TWiT network. Telos and Getner make "Hybrids," that allow both to talk at the same time (called "full duplex"). The real key though is good bandwidth and a good digital headset mic. It makes the guest sound like they're in the same room.

Watch Bren from Riverside, CA Comments

Bren is having trouble updating music on an iPod. He tried to connect it and the Windows machine wanted to erase it because it was formatted on a Mac. Leo says he can buy a program that adds the capability to read HFS formatted hard drives. MacDrive from Media Four is what he'll need. There is a free five day trial, too. It's essentially a driver that runs in the background and translates the HFS formatted data so Windows will read it.

Watch Don from Cypress, CA Comments

Don wants to be able to cut off access to the internet with a touch of a button. Leo says that some routers allow him to do this by MAC address (called an "access control list"). They can set the internet to go off at certain times. He can also go to OpenDNS.com and use their DNS system to filter out unwanted websites. This will work for smartphones as well.