Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from Menifee, CA Comments

John recently switched to the Android platform. He's liking it, but there are a lot of differences. Is it secure? Leo says that it is, but it is open source. He doesn't need an antivirus for his phone, but it's important to keep the phone updated. John should make sure his manufacturer and carrier is consistently making updates every month. Apple doesn't have that issue because Apple users always get the latest updates pushed to their phones with no middlemen. Android isn't that way, so some updates will be delayed by the manufacturer and some by the carrier. That's why Leo likes pure Android phones like the Pixel. They don't have that issue. But chances are, they are secure. If he's concerned, Leo recommends using a Tiny Hardware Firewall when traveling.

Watch Scott from Orange County, CA Comments

Scott is worried about Vault 7 and the CIA's hacking. He's heard from Edward Snowden's tweets that the CIA has left a huge vulnerability in our mobile devices. Leo says that was the problem with the Feds wanting to crack Apple's iOS since once cracked, it's available to anyone. But the reality is, the hack is 3 years old and Apple has worked to close those vulnerabilities. So it's likely that unless Scott's phone hasn't been updated for three years, he's safe.

What this should do is give him a call to action to make sure all his devices are updated and patched consistently. It shouldn't be shocking that these tools exist. In fact, our government should actually be actively cultivating them -- with oversight. Currently, there's no indication that these exploits are being used against US citizens without legal cover. The shock isn't that we're hackable. The shock would be that we aren't doing anything to make sure we aren't. Apple works hard to prevent that.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Darryl from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Darryl needs a good, affordable smartphone and wireless carrier. He's thinking of the Apple iPhone SE. Leo says that the SE is a great option when trying to save some money. As for the carrier, none of the carriers provide great customer service, but it will come down to who has the best signal in his area. AT&T and Verizon will be the leaders, but Sprint and T-Mobile are very aggressive in giving out deals. Smaller carriers like MetroPCS may also be a good option, but the devil is in the details for data. So he should read the fine print on overages and base it on how much he uses. Some will also give him a low price with low data, or they'll promise unlimited data but it'll be throttled after 1-2 gigs.

Another option is prepaid pay-as-you-go plans. T-Mobile has one. They also have a very cheap $30 a month plan which is hidden in the bowels of the internet because it doesn't give you much talk, but a lot of data. Google has a prepaid plan as well with Google Fi. It uses both T-Mobile and Sprint and switches to whichever carrier has the best signal. Darryl would have to buy one of their phones, though, and they aren't all that cheap.

Watch Chuck from San Diego, CA Comments

Chuck has a 7 year old Plasma that doesn't power up anymore. Can it be fixed, and is it worth it? Leo says it could be, but since no one makes plasmas anymore, it may be harder to find the parts. If he doesn't know what's wrong, it could be going down a rabbit hole. But that also means his plasma TV could be worth more for parts. And he can replace that TV for a few hundred dollars and it will look pretty good.

What about putting a TV outdoors? Leo says that LCDs are best outdoors because they're brightest. If he wants a high end TV, then an OLED TV could be an option. They really are the best available. They aren't cheap, though. LCD will definitely give him the most bang for his buck, especially outdoors.

Watch Kirk from Anaheim, CA Comments

Kirk created an administrator password and has forgotten it. Leo says that if he created it with his Microsoft account, he can recover it. But if he didn't, then there are ways to crack a Windows 10 login. He can use OphCrack or ConBoot to get around it. Here's a few articles to can show him how:

https://www.howtogeek.com/222262/how-to-reset-your-forgotten-password-in-windows-10/
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2988539/windows/if-you-forget-your-windows-admin-password-try-this.html
http://www.ghacks.net/2014/11/12/how-to-enable-the-hidden-windows-10-administrator-account/

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dana from Georgia Comments

Dana is vision impaired and he's excited that Windows new Holographic edition will have a talking installer. Ctrl + Windows + Enter will enable the narrator.

He also has an Acer computer with 500GB hard drive. After ejecting the hard drive, the computer shut down and wouldn't turn back on. Why didn't it work with the AC adapter? Leo says that if he has a bad battery, most laptops won't work even if it is plugged in. It may be part of a power conditioning system.

Watch Reb from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Reb is a PC technician and he wants a piece of software that can show how custom changes can affect the system. Leo says that a Dashboard app is probably the best option. It can read data and then display it graphically. Leo says there used to be an app called Demo that used to do just that. But what Reb is looking for is likely a highly customizable app that he'd need to have written.

Reb could use Excel and Powerpoint together to try it. Other options include SimuL8.com, Visio, and VB. Google Sheets plus Google Data Studio will also work, according to the chatroom. Reb can also check out Work in Progress at barcodestore.co.uk

Watch Bill from California Comments

Bill broke his phone screen and wants to know how he can get his text messages off it? Leo says that if it's an Android phone, he can connect a USB cable to it and it will act as a drive so he can get the data off it. Here's an option from techpluto.com. But if he doesn't have screen access, it could be hard.

androidphonesoft.com has an article on how to do this. ADB is a software development tool for Windows that will enable him to access his phone and enable USB debugging, which will then allow him to download the contents on the data drive. They also have a program called Android Data Recovery that will enable him to get it off without enabling USB debugging.

Watch Hugo from San Diego, CA Comments

Hugo got the Windows Anniversary update and he finds that the PC runs at 100% all the time and that it runs hotter. Leo says that has been a common problem for many users, and once you've upgraded to a new OS from an old OS, it may inherit some issues. Leo advises using Microsoft's Media Creation tool and backup his data, format his hard drive and reinstall Windows using the Windows Install he just created. That'll definitely fix it. He can think of it as Spring cleaning. There could also be some bugs in it that is causing some services to run even after he's closed a program out. It could also be malware. But reinstalling Windows should fix the entire thing. His PC will run faster, too.

Watch Victor from Oxnard, CA Comments

Victor has an external drive which shows up as a drive, but Windows doesn't read it. Leo says to right click on the start button and select "Disk Management." It may be that the drive isn't formatted or partitioned properly.

Watch Anna from California Comments

Anna has an old Sony Vaio laptop that won't turn on anymore. Leo says that the battery may have finally died. Her laptop is pretty old and the battery may not be able to keep a charge. She should try taking the battery out and see if the laptop will turn on with the AC adapter. If it can't, she may need to get a new battery for it. They're about $90. That's a lot to spend on an old machine, though.

She should also try pressing and holding the on/off button for about 10 seconds. Then release and press again. This forces the computer to reset itself and turn it back on. if that doesn't work, then she should pull the hard drive out of it. She can then get the data off it that way.

Time to get a new computer. Leo recommends Dell or Asus, but she should also take a look at Chromebooks. They are less expensive, easier to use, and far more secure. Most people need only that.