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Episode 1382 April 22, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Art from California Comments

Art opened his computer and something took control of Chrome and wouldn't let him shut down the app or his computer. Has he been hacked? Leo says not to panic. It's likely a javascript instruction that hacked a website. He can always force quit his browser to get out of it. He can do that by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete to open the task manager for Windows. On macOS, press Option-Command-Escape and Force Quit the app.

The worst case scenario is that he'll have to reboot or turn off the computer. However, it's a good idea to use this opportunity to make sure the OS is up to date. It may also be that he typed the URL wrong, just by one letter, and that led him to a malware site. Also, he can disconnect it from the internet and turn it back on just to see if he can do things.

Watch Manny from Ashtabulah, OH Comments

Manny is a long haul truck driver and he has a lot of gadgets that require AC, so he needs an inverter. What's the best one that will provide power without overheating his gadgets? Leo says that in theory, the gadgets won't take more wattage that they can handle and if they are getting warm or even hot, that's just normal. Well made devices have circuitry that prevents overcharging.

If he's using a cheap device, it may not have that circuitry and could overcharge the battery, which could cause it to explode. It's highly unlikely, especially via USB which is 5 volts and 2.2a of charging for 11 watts total. So unless he's getting a bad third party power adapter from a truck stop, he won't really know where that came from. So he should stick with name brands.

C J Cowie at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Mike from Portland, ME Comments

Mike finally installed Linux Mint into his old Dell laptop. When he was partitioning it, Windows wanted 2/3 of the drive for XP. He's not planning on using it that much, so he made it as small as he could, but it won't let him. Leo says he doesn't even need Windows if he's not planning on using it, so he can just delete the Windows partition altogether.

Partitioning is always a bit risky and the partition utility probably deleted more than he thought. It's not very accurate. So it can happen if he plans on a dual boot system. Mike should try rEFInd Boot Manager. It's the best one these days. If he doesn't want Windows, though, he doesn't have to leave it on.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Melissa from Encinitas, CA Comments

Melissa's Wi-Fi is really slow of late. Leo says that everyone is experiencing bad Wi-Fi these days because we're doing more with it and dozens of devices are typically connected to it. Congestion is a serious problem. To eliminate her ISP as the problem, she should connect directly to her router and see how it performs. If it's just the same, then she'll know that the ISP needs to fix the problem. But if it improves, then it's her Wi-Fi network.

One way to solve it is through a Mesh router like the Eero, Ubiquity, and the Orbi. These are all good Mesh routers. They choose the best channel and frequency automatically. Plume is Leo's current favorite. They also have little plug in receivers that Melissa could put in every room to create little "pools" of 5 GHz Wi-Fi. It's expensive, but it works.

If she wants to save money, the TP-Link Archer C7 or Archer C9 are very good routers which could overcome the problem.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Watch Patrick (MacMan) from Indianapolis, IN Comments

Patrick has a PS4 Pro and he would like to know how to play those games on his computer. Leo says he can link his computer to his PS4 with an HDMI cable, but he shouldn't go over 30 feet to do it. There may not be degradation issues, but spanning an HDMI cable over 30 feet can cause more interference problems.

Watch Patrick (MacMan) from Indianapolis, IN Comments

Is powerline networking a decent option these days? Leo says that it's improved a lot since it was introduced 20 years ago. It was horrible back then. Now it's much better. He won't get the full throughput, though – Only about 60%. And he'll have to be on the same fuse box. Leo also recommends the Plume routers because they have ethernet connections as well, so he could plug in there.

Watch Ron from Hemet, CA Comments

Ron wants to know if it's worth the money buying a 4K Blu-ray player. Leo says only if he's planning on buying a 4K TV and only if he's planning on getting one over 55" in size. Then he'll want not only a UHD Blu-ray player, but also a 4K TV that supports HDR.

The other issue is content. 4K HDR Blu-ray titles aren't widespread. His AV Receiver will also need to be upgraded to handle 4K as will his streaming devices. It's a cascade effect of upgrading components, so he shouldn't do it unless he's willing to get that 4K HDR TV. There's no 4K over the air or cable/satellite in 4K either. It's all streaming and optical.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Vladimir from Orange County, CA Comments

Vladimir is thinking of renting an office and his ISP is offering 1 Mbps. Leo says that won't work, it's too slow. He'll want at least 10-15 Mbps, which is a typical internet speed. He also may be stuck with bandwidth caps and that could add up, so he should look in the rental agreement. He may be better off using his cellphone internet in hotspot mode. It'll be faster, especially with unlimited data plans that are now popular, and overages are much cheaper. He can also use a MiFi card, which will enable him to connect up to five devices to it.

Watch Vidac from Sacramento, CA Comments

Vidac wants to buy a good pair of headphones for radio work. What's a good pair? Leo says the most comfortable and accurate are the ones that Leo uses – AKG K240s. They're very affordable at only $50. He can even buy replacement earpieces when they wear out.

Watch Marty from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Marty has a Samsung Galaxy S5 with 16GB of RAM and a 64GB memory card. When the apps update, however, they install back onto the internal storage. Leo says that SD card storage is an issue on Android. They can't put apps on an SD card if it uses widgets. So some apps will move back. It's probably why Apple doesn't mess with it.

The chatroom says that the S5 update to Android 6.0 solves that problem, if he can update. It's called Adoptable Storage, but it was really only a Google feature. The SD card is really meant for media and storage, not for apps. He should get a new phone.

Watch Caesar from San Bernardino, CA Comments

Caesar and his family all use iMessage because they all have iPhones. When he shares videos, though, the quality is terrible. Leo says that the network is trying to save bandwidth. It's better to upload the videos to YouTube and then share a link. He could also share a link via iCloud. The better solution would be to get everyone to use WhatsApp.

Watch Mike from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mike wants to get a Chromebook. Can he use it to digitize video? Leo says no. It's just a browser and keeps everything in the cloud. As such, it can't do specialized applications like video conversion, because it doesn't have the hardware and software to do it. Chromebooks don't have a lot of storage, either. So what he'll want is a regular PC like a Windows or Mac. He'll also need a Firewire converter. The best laptop makers are Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Acer. Those are the top five.

What would be a good photo scanner? Leo says that the Epson Fast Photo Scanner is what he'll want. It has a feeder and can scan up to 1 print per second, but it's not cheap. It does a great job, though. If this is a one time only thing, another option is to pay to have them converted. ScanCafe is a good option.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Watch Howard from Murrieta, CA Comments

Howard got a used computer from work and he's getting a popup when he checks into his email asking for his user name and password on Gmail. If he replies, it doesn't take it and he gets a note from Google someone has his password.

Leo says that two factor authentication could solve this, but he should clear out all his settings. There may be an Exchange server still attached for the email settings in Outlook. Leo also says to check his date and time. It's possible that the time and date is not accurate since it's an older computer and that's causing an issue.