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Episode 1373 March 19, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Larry from Petaluma, CA Comments

Larry has been asked to submit his tax returns electronically, which has a clickable link to electronically sign. He's hesitant, especially since a similar attempt was a phishing scam a few years back. Leo says that Right Signature, Docu Sign, and others give you a secure link to digitally sign. The problem is, how do they verify it's him that clicks on the link and digitally signs? They should be requiring a PIN code, or second factor authentication.

Watch Gene from Louis, DE Comments

Gene has a refurbished iPad and it's getting slower, so he's thinking about going back and getting the iPad Pro. Should he get the 9.7 or larger? Leo says he should wait. The new iPads are going to be announced in about 3 weeks. We expect three new iPads with a new Pro-grade iPad Mini. There will also be a 9.7" that has a bigger screen with a smaller bezel.

Leo says not to be be fooled by four speakers. Only two work at a time depending on how the iPad is held (portrait vs. landscape). The pro models are really not going to help an average joe, though. But it will be better to wait until the announcement to see.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Cody from Loma Linda, CA Comments

Cody got a commercial version of the Chromebit for Christmas and he can't install Android apps to it. Leo says not every ChromeOS device can do it and it's likely that the Chromebit he has can't do it because it doesn't have touch. It may also be that he hasn't gotten the update yet and once he does, he'll have access to the Play Store.

Leo also explains that it's possible to code with ChromeOS. There are several websites that would allow Cody to code within the Chrome browser. Cody can check out Bootstrapworld.org. He should also check out WeScheme.org.

Cody also wants to know if he can root his dad's old Android phone and put a new version of Android on it. Leo says yes! He should go to XDA-Developers.com and look up the exact model of the phone and he'll get directions on how to do it. If there is one, he'll be able to. He may need to use a Windows machine with the Android SDK to do it, though. But it's definitely doable.

Watch Brittany from Anaheim, CA Comments

Brittany has heard that the Android phones are having battery life issues. Leo says that the iPhone 7 Plus is one of the best phones for battery life. Apple is also very aggressive about controlling apps on the phone to prevent them from running in the background. The Android phone that Brittany's boyfriend has probably has an ill behaved app that's sucking the battery power out of it. Facebook, for instance, is a battery hog.

Brittany can check in her phone settings to see what apps are using battery life. She can do this on the iPhone as well. A bad cell signal could also be a culprit as the phone is constantly searching for a better signal. Brittany's boyfriend's phone is not going to get anywhere near the battery life of the iPhone 7, though.

Watch Tara from Menifee, CA Comments

Tara is going back to college to become an electrical engineer and is trying to find the right computer for the job. Should she get a tablet or a MacBook? She'll be doing coding as well. Leo says that if there's specific software, then she'll likely need to use the platform that supports it. She should talk to an advisor and ask them. Since she's doing electrical engineering and not computer science, then a Linux computer may actually work for her. She should get any laptop she likes and then she can put Linux on it. Most coders prefer it anyway. A Windows PC that she can dual boot with Linux would also work. That would help with CAD work. She should get a laptop. The current Windows laptops can be convertible to a tablet, but she won't get a lot of use out of that.

Leo recommends Dell and Lenovo. Dell has a whole division supporting Linux as well. A Mac would give her the option to run Windows and Linux as well, but Leo says they are overpriced. The HP Spectre is very thin and light, and would be good for running Linux. The Dell XPS 13. The Lenovo Thinkpad. She should check with her school bookstore for a good student discount as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jeremy from Ventura, CA Comments

Jeremy has a Lenovo 11S and the power supply died. So he replaced it along with replacing the motherboard. It runs great, but he'd like to increase the RAM as well. Leo says it depends on the motherboard and the amount of room inside that laptop. Leo says it's odd that he was able to replace it. Laptops are highly customized, so that is likely a problematic endeavor. Laptops tend to not be upgradable by design. Jeremy can check with crucial.com and kingston.com. If it can be done, they will tell him.

Watch Rene from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Rene has an old video iPod and she has a lot of music on it. How can she play it on her stereo? Leo says she'll need a minijack to RCA jack adapter. She may also get a 30 pin dock that can work with it as well. More modern devices use wireless, but since her old iPod doesn't support that, she's stuck with doing it the old fashioned way.

At 7 years old, Rene may want to be sure to back that music up, because sooner or later it will die. So she should make sure she backs it up.

Watch Clarence from Chesapeake, VA Comments

Clarence is concerned about the new trend to have irreplaceable batteries in devices, like the new Nintendo Switch. Leo says that iFixIt says the battery in the Switch can be replaced with the right tool and replacement part. It's doable. But there's no user serviceable part for the battery in the iPhone. It's all glued in now. Apple will repair a battery for you, but it can't be done by the user. Clarence's battery should last around 500 complete charges. Once that happens, they are dead.

Clarence is wondering if it can be overcharged. Leo says no. There's circuitry designed to keep it from overcharging. He just should make sure not to completely drain the phone. In general, he should keep it plugged in when he's not mobile. He shouldn't let the phone drain unnecessarily.

(Disclaimer: iFixIt is a sponsor)

Watch Don from Anchorage, AL Comments

Don recently upgraded his Windows laptop to Windows 10 and he's regretting it. There's a popup keyboard that he can't get rid of. Leo says that the computer thinks it's a tablet and is in tablet mode. All he needs to do is go into his settings and disable tablet mode. He can disable it permanently, too.

He should just go to Control panel and search for Tablet Mode Settings. Then click on the pull down menu and select "Use Desktop Mode." Then he can tell it not to switch, or prompt him to switch, to tablet mode. There's also a button on the side panel that he can press. He'll also want to go into Accessibility settings and see if it has been triggered there. It may be the keyboard for assistive features. So he should check there as well.

Don also wants to upgrade his iPhone. Is the iPhone SE a good move? Leo says it's the same as the 6S, but in a smaller case. So it's a great deal, especially if he wants a smaller phone.

Watch Jerry from Torrance, CA Comments

Jerry is a long time Mac user and he's going back to school for Aerospace engineering. Now he has to get a Windows machine. What's the best for him? Linux? Leo says he'll most likely need Windows. He should get recommendations from his teachers, but most of the stuff he'll need is on Windows. It's pretty solid and rather "Mac-ish." The biggest differences are relatively insignificant.

The sky is the limit for options and manufacturers. Leo recommends the Dell Precision machines -- they're perfect for high end applications. Those are desktops. For laptops, Leo likes the HP Spectre and the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. Asus and Acer have great laptops as well.

Watch Steve from Trabuco Canyon, CA Comments

It's time for Steve to upgrade his phone and he wants to know what to get. He hears that Nokia is releasing a new phone called the Six. Leo says that the new Nokia smartphones are quite nice, with a mid range price. What about the Windows Phone platform? Microsoft has pretty much given up on it and nobody is really supporting it anymore. Steve is wondering if he can put Android on his old Lumia? Leo says probably not. He should try going to XDA-Developers.com to see if it's possible. That new Nokia Six is an Android phone, though.

Leo says the best Android phone out there is the Google Pixel or Pixel XL. It's not cheap, but it is pure Android, and pretty sturdy. There's also the ZTE Axon 7 which also has great build quality.

Watch Eva from San Diego, CA Comments

Eva has a MacBook and it's running out of storage and she doesn't know why. Leo says to get the program Disc Inventory X. it will show what's using space in color coded sectors and whether she can safely delete it.