Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Barry from Tustin, CA Comments

Barry is locked out of his Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and doesn't have a backup. What can he do? Leo says that if Barry had enabled the Android Device Manager, he can change his device's password remotely, along with a host of other security features. That's really his Hail Mary. If that doesn't work, then a factory reset may be his only option.

Watch Sharise from Lancaster, CA Comments

Sharise's husband has Cortana on Windows 10, but it can't understand him. Leo says some microphones aren't Windows ready, and a special driver may be required for the microphone. They shouldn't be too far way from the microphone either. But they don't want to be too close, either. And make sure the volume isn't too high. They can train Cortana by reading sentences to it. That can be found in the settings. Cortana will get better over time.

Can Vista get updated to Windows 10? Leo says it depends on the hardware. Sharise should run the compatibility checker to see, and if so, $49 is a great deal to upgrade it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jenny from California Comments

Jenny's granddaughter needs a new computer because hers is about 7 years old. Leo says before she looks to buy a new computer, she could try reinstalling the operating system. It's probably free for her and it would make her computer faster. But at the end of the day, it sounds like her granddaughter wants a new computer. Leo believes that Apple is going to announce new laptops in October, so if she can wait, it'll be worth waiting for. Apple doesn't really raise prices with new computers, they just improve performance. Leo also believes that the MacBook Air will get a Retina display this time around. So the update will be huge in the fall.

If she can't wait until the fall, then perhaps a MacBook Pro would be a better option. It comes down to what's important - portability or performance. She's probably going to spend about $1000 for a 13" MacBook Air. A Pro will be about $300 more. Leo recommends getting the MacBook Pro with Retina display. It'll serve her better in the long run. If she goes to the Mac Education Store at Apple.com, she'll save a few hundred dollars as well.

Watch Dave from Riverside, CA Comments

Dave wants to know more about Microsoft accessing user data in Windows 10. Leo says that Steve Gibson refuses to ever use Windows 10 because of the security features. But Leo has read the Microsoft EULA and it's no different than an ISP or any other online service. Microsoft is at least disclosing it. We have a 4th amendment right to privacy, but we also live in a dangerous time of terrorism and we have to make a provision for fighting it. There must be a balance and that's the debate that's raging. Microsoft is saying that if the government wants information about a user, they have to provide it. And they're just letting users know that. The only option to really ensure privacy is to encrypt data.

For encryption, Leo recommends GnuPrivacy Guard. They're developed by the guys who created PGP back in the 90s and Leo uses them all the time. But it's pretty hard to use. Do they have a tablet or smartphone option? Leo says no, they don't. Just Windows. It's free and open source, and that's the best kind. But because it's hard to use, it's not available for mobile devices at this time.

Watch Tim from Moorpark, CA Comments

Tim wants an email service that's free, but doesn't read his email. Leo says that there has to be a way to pay the bills. Someone is paying for that free email and they do it by looking for keywords in email and then tailoring advertising to match it. There's really no such thing as a free lunch, and Leo would be leery of a service that promised free email that's 100% secure. They're either not going to be around long or they're going to monetize his activity without him knowing it.

ProtonMail.CH, a swiss company, claims to do this and even offers end to end encryption. They're doing it with venture capital and crowdfunding. So somewhere down the road, there's going to be some monetization.

The only real solution is to encrypt his mail himself. It's a hassle, because he'll have to share keys with the people he emails. But end to end encryption is really the only way.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

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

Paul wants to use Google Voice, but they're running out of numbers in his area. Leo says that can be an issue, but as far as he knows, Google Voice is the only free game in town. And it's a great service.

Leo suggests checking out Anveo.com. It's a sosphisticated pay service, as is Grasshopper.

Watch Scott from Hysperia, CA Comments

Scott would like to clone or image his hard drive. Here are some programs that will do this:

Watch G. Scott from Minnesota Comments

G. Scott has a client who wants to monitor their cabin from their home, including temperature, humidity, and if their septic tank isn't working. Leo suggests SmartThings. They can put the hub into the cabin and the hub talks wirelessly to the sensors installed in the house. The problem with home automation, though, is that there are no standards for it. It's really new. But SmartThings is very good place to start.

He also needs a hardware based VPN, and Leo recommends HotSpotVPN.

(Disclaimer: SmartThings is a sponsor)

Watch Glen from Rolling Heights, CA Comments

Glen wants to split his TV signal via HDMI. It works for a minute and then it gets really dark. Leo says the challenge is that Glen is splitting the signal and then transporting it over a greater distance. So chances are it's dropping bits due to interference. That's why Leo says a Balun is a better choice. He can then send HDMI over ethernet and the signal is amplified over both ends. It's much better and not very expensive. Glen can check out HDMI Extenders or Baluns at monoprice.com.

Photo Credit: Petr Kratochvil