Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from San Diego, CA Comments

John is frustrated with the program called AirDroid to sync files back and forth from his mobile device and his PC. Leo says that there was a security flaw that would allow an attacker to intercept user data, so they changed the program to eliminate the bug. Unfortunately, as a result, it made the program pretty useless.

Leo says that Pushbullet may work, but there's also BitTorrent Sync by Resilio. It works from just about any platform back and forth. It uses a QR Code to sync the phone to the desktop. Another option is a cloud storage sync like DropBox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.

He could even just sync with a USB cable, or use an OTG cable to plug in a hard drive.

Leo uses a Synology Network Attached Storage (NAS) and software called Cloud Station to do it.

Watch Pat from San Pedro, CA Comments

Pat has been trying to find an application that will allow her to customize ringtones for her mobile phone. Leo says that Ringdroid will do it on her Android device. Or she can simply copy her music to the ringtone folder and it will allow her to select it from there. She doesn't need any software at all.

The issue, though, is that Android's file structure is confusing, so the trick is to know where she's sending it to. A file manager called Astro will work. Another one is ES File Explorer. She can even use it to make a ringtone and it will do it automatically. She'll start playing the song from ES File Explorer, long press on it, and select "Make Ringtone."

Watch Robert from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Robert wants to know how he can build a bright light to blind a perpetrator if someone tries to attack his sister. Leo says that police LED flashlights are blindingly bright and they will work great. The Lume Cube is small (1 1/2" sq), and is extremely bright.

Here's some suggestions from the chatroom:

Watch Doug from Hollywood, CA Comments

Doug is confused how iTunes works with backups. What is the "other" section of his iPad? Leo says that "other" in his iPad is cache files and other stuff that can't be deleted unless he does a restore. The trouble is that a lot of stuff gets saved there and it can build up over time. Leo recommends backing up his device, then erasing it and restoring it. It will then remove all those temp files. This is really the only way to do it.

Watch Bob from Pennsylvania Comments

Bob's friend has a computer who's Windows 7 update is taking forever to install. Leo says that Microsoft has patched it seven times to try and and speed it up and in 2016 they finally fixed the issue. Chances are, an update failed and that's what caused the logjam. It also could be malware that disabled the update utility without his knowledge. Leo recommends clearing all the updates and starting over.

He should Google "Windows Update Troubleshooter for Windows 7." He should download it and it will run him through a process to clean it all up. Then he'll need to rerun the update. He can also download the updates offline and install them. Microsoft's official site is at catalog.update.microsoft.com. There's also technet.microsoft.com.

Image: "Windows Update" by Christiaan Colen [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Flickr

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Vernon from Pennsylvania Comments

Vernon was told by his insurance company that they would be sending him documents via email, and the first two times, he didn't receive it. The third time they sent it, it arrived. They told him the document was encrypted, but he could put anything in the password field to open it. He's now concerned that his personal information could be out in the wild.

Leo says that they should be using second factor authentication to do this, and it sounds like they just don't understand encryption. Many companies use DocuSign for this type of thing. The company does have a tech note on how they do this.

Image by Kārlis Dambrāns [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Watch James from Montana Comments

James has downloaded Windows Vista updates and he wants to keep them around in case he needs to update it again. Leo says Microsoft's official site is catalog.update.microsoft.com. There's also technet.microsoft.com. He should do them soon because Vista's end of life is in April. James could actually update to Windows 7 or 10 and it'll run lighter and better on that older machine, though.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mike from Newport Beach,CA Comments

Mike bought a Slingbox about six years ago and it worked great as he traveled the world. But now with iOS 10, it doesn't work. So now he has to bring along another iPad with the old version of iOS 9 on it. Leo says that's likely going to be the only fix. Dish bought Sling and converted it to a TV service. Now it's effectively 'end of life' for the previous hardware because they want people to spend $10 a month to stream it.

While Leo is a fan of Slingbox, times have changed. There are other way to do it now via KODI, Plex, and others. There's a great Reddit thread here that talks about this and how he can work around it.

Watch Richard from Sonoma, CA Comments

Richard had Seagate Lyve, which would enable him to backup all of his photos to a Seagate hard drive or its Lyve unit. Then Seagate shut it down in December. Leo has moved to Synology and it works great. It even has a photo station program that does exactly the same thing as Seagate Lyve. There is even an Evernote server. It's not cheap, though. A good open source option is FreeNAS.

Watch Alexia from Whittier, CA Comments

Alexia wants a better camera to shoot pictures in low light. Leo recommends the Canon PowerShot. They're inexpensive, work great in low light, have a higher resolution and it's very compact. Several have 10x zooms and are very compact.

Nikon's Coolpix line have articulating viewfinders. There's also the Sony A6000. It has a great zoom with an APS-C sensor.

Alexia should check out DPReview.com for great camera reviews.

Watch Ron from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Ron has a Quicktime movie file that stopped working after an Apple update. He has the original. Leo says that Handbrake can transcode it and Leo recommends MP4. He can even do it lossless. MP4 will also get played by anything and is cross-platform. EXFAT will work for the file structure, too.

Watch James from California Comments

James is in the process of building a home theater/recreation room combination. He's still building the walls, so wiring right now will be easy to do. Leo recommends not doing wireless, he should have everything wired. He should have wired internet to all of those devices as well. The room is 17' by 13', and the 17' wall has a fireplace in the middle with a TV above it. He plans to keep the TV there. The only negative to it is that it forces people to look up higher, but he has a reclining chair, so that makes it a little easier. The chatroom recommends checking out mantelmount.com for mounting the TV. The biggest TV he could use in that room would be a 65". At that size, he'll be looking at a 4K TV, and he should also make sure to get a TV with the UHD Premium spec. That's an industry standard that will give him HDR and guarantees he'll be compatible going forward with the content developed. He'll want to also get a UHD Blu-ray player.

Since he'll have a 4K TV, everything else should be 4K compatible as well. His A/V receiver should be able to handle 4K as well. Leo would look at a Denon A/V receiver for a reasonably priced option. James was looking at a Yamaha receiver with Dolby Atmos, and Leo says that would be excellent. He should just make sure that it can handle 4K.

As for speakers, it's a very subjective thing. Leo recommends listening to them first to see if he likes them before he buys. Even then, it's hard to tell because they might not be broken in, and he might end up listening to them in a showroom. James likes RLS speakers, so Leo says that would be a good option. Since his A/V receiver will have Dolby Atmos, he'll be buying many speakers. He'll have side speakers, back speakers, and a sub or possibly 2 subs. James says he might limit it to a 5.1.2 system. Leo says the really important speaker is the center channel one, so the dialog won't be buried.

James is thinking about putting the receiver in another room, or in a closet. Leo says he can do that, but then he'll need a different remote that isn't infrared line-of-sight. He'll need an RF based remote control. James is looking at a Logitech Harmony remote.

Scott Wilkinson really likes the LG OLED TVs, and Leo bought the B series which doesn't have 3D. He can get the 2016 model, but there may be a 2017 model coming out in the Spring. The LG OLEDs are far better than any LCD TV out there.

Leo recommends getting the Roku Ultra, which can do 4K. Roku has access to all of the major streaming platforms except for Apple. If he has any content from iTunes, he'll have to also get an Apple TV, although that is not currently 4K compatible.