Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Paul from Houston, TX Comments

Paul and his wife are traveling to Croatia Saturday and he's worried about data roaming charges. Leo says that international data is rapidly changing thanks to T-Mobile's free Edge data plan that started last year. As such, AT&T has changed from offering an expensive data package to a "day pass."

Google Fi is a solid option, because they would pay as they go at $10 a month. If they have a Google phone, then they'll be in good shape.

They could also get a local SIM, which would be cheaper, but then they'll have a local Croatian number. Since Paul is staying for a month, that may be the best option. They should check out prepaidwithdata.wikia.com.

Photo by Jeff Kubina / Flickr, CC-By-SA-2.0

Watch Brian from Nashville, TN Comments

Brian wants to know if there's a good third party utility that will allow him to tag his email. Leo says that MailMate allows tags. It's like a power tool for geeks.

He's also looking for a good file vault. He wants one that will allow him to be the only one who can encrypt the files. Brian likes Tresorit, because he's the only one who would have the key. Unfortunately that limits what he could do with it. It also uses a "patented encryption," which makes Leo nervous. If it's proprietary, that's a bad thing if they go out of business. But no one would else would have the key and it will sync over a variety of devices.

Watch Brian from Nashville, TN Comments

Brian is having issues typing because of nerve damage. Can he use the Amazon Echo to dictate what he types? The Echo has over 15,000 skills, so there's bound to be something that it can do for him, and he can always write his own skills as well.

But for general purpose dictation, the Echo may not be good for Brian's IT needs because he'll need to use specialized vocabulary. Dragon Dictate may have a specialized vocabulary add-on that would work.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

Marty worries that bringing his phone overseas will cause him to rack up thousands in cell phone bills. Should he just keep his phone on airplane mode? Leo says no, that turns off everything. Marty can go into his data settings and turn off data roaming, though. Then he can just rely on local Wi-Fi hotspots and download Google Maps and cache them. That way he can still use maps for travel.

What about texting overseas? Verizon is the worst for international travel, but he can call them and set up an international data plan for texting and limited data. He should check out this page at verizonwireless.com for more information. (Thanks to Scooter X).

Marty could also just get a local SIM for local data, but he'll have a local number. That may not be a big deal, though. Marty should check out prepaidwithdata.wikia.com for the countries he's traveling to and what services are offered.

Photo by Jeff Kubina / Flickr, CC-By-SA-2.0

Watch Ron from Boston, MA Comments

Ron has a bunch of Echos all around his house but he can't use the intercom feature. Leo says he'll need to use the command "Drop in." He'll have to be sure they're enabled on each Echo and choose who can drop in as well. That's done in the Echo app. Leo says he'll need to sign up for Echo's calling and messaging as well, which is also in the app. His contact list will not sync with Echo, either. Leo says he'll have to sync his contacts to Google and then log into Google through the app.

Watch Leif from Winnipeg, Canada Comments

Leif wonders if the Apple HomePod will be worth it. Leo says it's too early to tell, so it's a good idea to wait and see.

How can Leif watch TV using his Mac? Could he use TOSLINK? Leo says to use an AppleTV, and then he can AirPlay from his mobile device. It's easier and will see iTunes on the network.

Another cheap way is Chromecast Audio, which costs $35 and doesn't require an Apple ecosystem. He should just make sure he has Home Sharing turned on. Leo says he can connect directly via USB to audio out as well.

Watch Roy from Pasadena, CA Comments

Roy has a high resolution 4K monitor, but his friends say if he adds a second video card, it could give him better resolution. Is that true? Leo says no. A newer one with more RAM could help, but if he's driving the monitor at its full resolution, then it's not going to get any better than that. A second video card would give him the ability to add more monitors, though.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from North Hollywood, CA Comments

Jim's computer slow down to a crawl at the top of the hour. Leo says it could be a time based issue in Windows. Leo recommends rebooting it in Safe Mode and see if it still happens. If it doesn't, then something is running in the background that's causing it. He could also try another browser and see if that fixes it.

If that doesn't fix it, then he should look at Windows Services by pressing Windows Key + X. That will show him what is running on his system. Leo also recommends using SysInternals: Process Explorer and AutoRuns. They are free and will show him what tasks are running.

It may also be "cruft" slowing it down while the computer is indexing — especially if his hard drive is old. A new hard drive or reinstalling Windows will speed it up.

Watch Tom from North Carolina Comments

Tom is having issues with Google's DNS server not responding. DNS is the phone book for the internet. It takes the URL and converts it to the unique IP address for that website. It will look in local memory first, then the router, and then the Internet Service Provider for the address. It can even go beyond that to the master servers that house all domain names and DNS lookups. If it can't find it, you get an error message that there's a kink in the chain. That could mean there's something broken on your PC, or even your ISP's servers.

Leo recommends that Tom change his DNS server settings. He can use Google's instead, or he can try OpenDNS, which is Leo's favorite.

It may also be that his router's settings are messed up. He can try resetting them.

Watch Steve from Denver, CO Comments

Steve doesn't know if he's getting the latest version of Android or not. Leo says there's so many approvals that are required with Android updates. Google puts them out, but that doesn't mean his ISP or his his phone's manufacturer has released them to his phone. Few have made the pledge to promptly put updates out. What's important, though, is that he gets all the security updates. If he's not getting those, then he's vulnerable and nobody other than Google really cares. That's why Leo prefers to use Google's phones. They get updated automatically.

Steve has also noticed that apps are opening on their own. Leo says that usually indicates a damaged digitizer. It could be a software issue, so he can try resetting it first. If it still happens, he'll need to replace it, and there's a good chance that his carrier or manufacturer will replace it for him. He can also enable a feature in the developers setting that will turn on a dot when it thinks it's being touched.

Watch Reed from St. Louis, MO Comments

Reed needs an audio solution for watching TV that doesn't bother anyone else. Leo says that Sennheiser makes a pair of wireless headphones that he can plug in with an audio adapter. The SR120 Mk. II is what the chatroom suggests.

He can also use a Roku box that has a wireless plug on the remote. Latency issues can be solved by connecting by wire. There are also hearing aids that can connect to a smart tv, but Leo says that they don't offer the full sound amplification, just the dialogue.

Watch Kayla from Long Beach, CA Comments

Kayla's niece went to "coding camp" and now wants to be a computer programmer. Leo says that's very exciting! Leo says to get her a computer. She can get a Raspberry Pi and she can learn to program with it. Small projects will build her confidence. Kayla should do it with her. She'll love that.