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Episode 1206 July 26, 2015

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chris from Florida Comments

Chris wants to get a domain name for a specific country. Leo says that the international organization called ICANN approves registries and country codes for all domains. Leo suggests Google searching for the domain registry for his country code. Any registrar will work if they support registering the country code he wants.

AmericaRegistry.com is a good place to start. But he may run afoul of laws pertaining to that country. Brazil, for instance, requires a Brazilian tax ID to buy a domain with their country code.

Chris also wants to get a cheap Android tablet. Leo says going really cheap can be a false economy. First off, those cheap tablets don't usually support Google Play services, so that means he can't really add apps. Leo recommends the Google Nexus 7, if he can find it. Pantech makes an inexpensive one as well.

Watch Mark from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mark is having trouble encrypting his hard drive in Windows 8.1. He's told it's encrypted by default, but Leo says if he can't get it turned on, then his hardware probably doesn't support it. Mark should look for TPM 2.0 support. Users also need support for Windows connected standby feature. So if he doesn't have all that, he'll have to get a third party encryption utility. TrueCrypt is free and open source, but unfortunately, they've given the government a back door.
If Mark can find an older version of TrueCrypt, that's the way to go. Steve Gibson has a great write up on why it's still safe to use TrueCrypt.

Mark should also check out this article at ArsTechnica.com.

For turning on BitLocker, go to GPEdit.MSC to turn it on with a PIN. But remember, he'll have to save the certificate. He should back it up in case he loses it.

VeraCrypt is a good option as well. It's based on TrueCrypt.

Watch Mark from Grand Rapids, MI Comments

Mark has a new laptop that has a fan that is constantly blowing, rather than monitor the temperature and then turn on when it needs to. Is there any way he can control the laptop fans through software alone? Leo suggests checking out SMCFanControl by EIDAC. Otherworld computing also sells a cable for the InLine Digital Thermal Sensor.

Watch Gordon from Long Island, NY Comments

Gordon wants to know how to find out how much space he'd need on a thumb drive, can he do it on a drive that has other data on it already, and what is the process for doing this? Leo says that the process of making the recovery disk will wipe all the data from the drive. It will tell him in the beginning of the process how much space he'll need, but typically it's 8GB. The process is very simple in Windows 8. If he hits the Windows key and types "recovery", it will take him to the Control Panel where he can do this. Everybody should have a clean boot disk for their operating system so they can start over if things get messed up.

Watch Gordon from Long Island, NY Comments

Whenever Gordon opens up LastPass, he gets a warning about an unresponsive script and it won't let him continue. Leo says it's damaged. Like a lot of things, LastPass uses JavaScript for the local scripting. Leo suggests uninstalling it and removing the extension, then re-downloading and installing the latest version. He doesn't have to worry about losing his passwords because it stores the passwords encrypted on LastPass's servers.

Gordon can check out this LastPass forum discussion on this issue.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch David from Venice Beach, CA Comments

Dave has a 4K Video Camera from Panasonic and there's a slight lag when he's looking at the viewfinder. Is that normal? Leo says yes, there is a lot of data going through that camera as it's writing and it just takes time to process the signal. But that shouldn't be an issue when he's recording.

Watch David from Salt Lake City, CA Comments

David has several email addresses from multiple domains and wants to know if he can send emails from a master Gmail account and choose different email account options to send from. Leo says that's called "delegation," and he can find the account option in Gmail settings. He could also just change the 'reply to' in his email client.

Watch Earl from Lakeside, CA Comments

Earl's daughter lives in China and wants to get a new Android phone. She wants a Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that she should probably wait and get the Xiao Mi Note 4 in China. There's a different Galaxy S5 for every region, and if she gets an S5 in the US, it may not work in China. So if she wants an S5, she needs to get the G9009D version to be supported in China. The iPhone would also work.

Watch Ben from Omaha, NE Comments

Ben wants to know if we can ever move beyond second factor authentication. Can we move on to fingerprint reading? Leo says that is also second factor authentication. It's not just something you have, it's also something you are.

Windows Hello is a new type of two factor authentication, which uses a special depth sensing webcam for facial recognition and will log you in based on your face. But we can surely get rid of passwords, it's really a terrible system.

Watch Clyde from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

Clyde heard about the Jeep that got hacked and worries that it could happen to his car since he connects his phone to the car with USB. Leo says that simply connecting the phone to the car stereo isn't sufficient for this. The Jeep hack involved using the car's built-in 3G access. The real flaw is that the entertainment unit of the car and the computer running the car (braking, ignition, etc), are not physically separated. They are connected in many cars through the CamBus, or internal car network. So if a hacker could find a vulnerability in the entertainment system, he might be able to cross that software only barrier into the car's electronics.

Car manufacturers will be addressing this, but it could take some time for it to make its way into production. This isn't something to panic about, though. Someone would still have to target Clyde in particular, which is highly unlikely. Clyde was concerned about terrorism, but Leo says they aren't just looking to get individuals. The bigger concern is something like our electrical grid, for instance. If there's cyber terrorism it will happen on a much larger scale.

(Photo credit: Rudolf Simon)

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Diane from Norco, CA Comments

Diane is getting odd phone calls from her VOiP system at work. And the caller ID has only a few digits. Leo says it could be the provider upstream. But with VOIP, she could also have a security issue. Leo recommends finding a consulting IT guy who can lock down her system.

According to the chatroom, there is a hacker tool called SIP Vicious, which exploits the SIP protocol that VOiP phones rely on. It scans the internet looking for SIP phones and seeks to break into the phone network to place long distance calls. RingCentral has a good tech note here - https://community.ringcentral.com/ringcentral/topics/annoying-ip-calls-from-1000-1001-120-etc

(Disclaimer: RingCentral is a sponsor).

Watch Benny from Pasadena, CA Comments

Benny got a $50 Polaroid Android Tablet. Is it secure? Leo says that mobile devices are inheritently more secure because they were developed long after we became aware of security issues. So they are sandboxed to prevent a lot of exploits. They're also very limited in what they can do -- they're more "dumb" than a desktop.

But Benny can do some things to further protect it. He shouldn't use it on an open network like a coffee shop. He should be using two factor authentication and LastPass. He should stick to the Google Play Store, and not use any other apps than what came on the tablet. That will keep it safe. And he should update the OS when updates are available.

Watch John from Los Angeles, CA Comments

John has an iPhone and the connector broke inside the phone. Can it be repaired? Leo says it could be. John should find a good iPhone repair store and they'll be able to pull it out. Or if he has a pair of really fine tweezers, he can turn off the phone and then try and pull it out.

Watch Richard from Placentia, CA Comments

Richard's daughter has a Dell Inspiron 5000 and the fan never stops running. Leo says that is usually a BIOS issue and a BIOS update could solve that. Those issues usually get repaired over time. But he should also see if her use is extremely heavy, causing it to run hotter than expected. Open apps may cause it. But chances are, it's an overzealous fan and a firmware update will fix it. Richard should call Dell. CPUID has a great program that will tell him exactly what the temperature is.

Watch Greg from Tampa, FL Comments

Greg needs a five bay network attached storage device (NAS). He's used Drobo, but is wondering if there's something better. Perhaps Synology?

Drobo uses a proprietary system and Drobo is really good at massive amounts of data. But it can't do much else. Synology not only is good for data storage and backup, but also works as a media server and other features that can be used through plugins. So Synology is a great option. But even though it's a great idea to have a backup solution like Synology, it shouldn't replace an off site backup.

Leo also likes the File Transporter, which would allow Greg to have drives that stay in sync with each other in multiple locations.

Watch George from Encino, CA Comments

George needs a computer that has a full audio system included that can run speech recognition software, and show the audio on a wearable device like Google Glass. Leo says he doesn't think there's anything like that on the market, but he should check Sweetwater or bswusa.com.

Watch Peggy from Balboa, CA Comments

Peggy wants to know if LastPass can change her password automatically? Leo says no, she'll have to do it manually, but LastPass does provide a one touch button option to do that.