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Episode 1412 August 12, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Johnny from Atlanta, GA Comments

Johnny is a Microsoft developer and he has noticed that his laptop battery has expanded, creating a bulge and warp. So he had to get it repaired. But Microsoft wants $600 to repair it!But there's a silver lining in that Microsoft replaced the laptop for free instead. But it took a few months. Leo says that's irresponsible because a laptop with a bulging battery is basically a bomb waiting to go off. Leo says it's stories like that which led Consumer Reports to ding Microsoft for its terrible long term reliability.

Watch Bobby from Plymouth, MA Comments

Bobby has Windows 7 Home Edition and he's getting a BSOD. Leo says the blue screen is what happens when something goes terribly wrong and Windows can't go on. There's only two ways to get a blue screen these days: 1) A hardware issue failure, or 2) A Ring Zero failure in software, like a driver issue. Leo recommends updating all his drivers first. That's the easiest thing to troubleshoot. There's a wireless driver that Windows installs automatically that causes the crash, so that could be the culprit.

Can he create an image on an external drive? Leo says yes. That's a good idea so if the drive goes down, he can get back up in minutes. Imaging options include:

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Matt from Maine Comments

Matt wants to get rid of his cable modem/router and get his own. Leo says that's a good idea. He'll most likely have to keep the modem, but he can disable the router in the firmware and use his own instead. Leo recommends an ASUS 3200.

Matt could also consider getting a mesh router like the Netgear Orbi or the Eero. It'll be much better than setting up a second router in bridge mode because that would cut his bandwidth in half.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Watch Cathy from Laguna Nigel, CA Comments

Cathy is looking for a monitor that she can use with her laptop when she's at home. Leo says that any modern laptop will have an HDMI port and that will connect to an external monitor. In fact, some can support up to three monitors!

What size should she get? Leo says to go with the Dell 27". It's very affordable and the color quality is really good. ASUS also makes monitors, and they are very wide for gaming. It would be great for what Cathy needs as well.

ScooterX in the chatroom says that The Wirecutter has a great review on the HP Z27n here.

If Cathy is on a budget, Beatmaster in the chatroom found the LG 34" for $399.

Leo also recommends a laptop cooling pad like this one at Amazon.

Watch John from Santa Monica, CA Comments

John wants to know how he can limit the number of calls on his mobile device to only his contact list. Leo says that's called White Listing and since we're now being bombarded with spam and robo calls, that would be a very good idea. Google Voice can do it, but he'd need to get a new number. He can forward his number through it and Google Voice will then filter out unwanted calls, though.

Apple wouldn't do this because they won't allow third party access. But on the iPhone he can set it for Do Not Disturb, and it will block all calls except favorites and those who call twice. He can even set up a whitelist in the settings. So perfect!

On Android, Leo recommends the Truecaller app.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chuck from Pacoima, CA Comments

Chuck's internet bill started to get really expensive so he's thinking of jumping over to Spectrum. Leo says we should all shop around to get the best deal and then get our ISP to match it. Also, Chuck should play hardball and ask they waive installation fees and upgrade his bandwidth.

The problem he's having is that Frontier won't release his phone number. Leo says that the FCC requires they release it by law. They have to do it within 24 hours. If they don't, he can lodge a complaint with the FCC. Leo also says the Public Utilities Commission should also get a letter.

What if he wants to go back though? He doesn't much care for Spectrum and if he ends up going back, then what? Doctor Mom says to call the office of the President at 866-511-1523 to lodge a complaint. The office of the executive has more power to address his complaint.

Watch Carla from Orange County, CA Comments

Carla's Google account has been hacked. She sees things in her Gmail account she doesn't recognize and her YouTube watch list has things on it she never watched. Leo says Google has a security checkup that she can use to see if she's being hacked and she can disconnect any device she doesn't recognize. Carla should also engage 2 Factor Authentication. Obviously, Carla is going to want to change her password as well.

Leo thinks that maybe she accessed her Google account on a public computer and that opening was left there in the form of a cookie. She can check the latest account activity on Gmail through a link at the bottom right of the window.

Leo also suspects that Carla's computer has been compromised and it's not Google at all. She may have malware, like a keystroke logger, that is accessing her account remotely. At that point, he advises she back up her data, wipe the drive and reinstall Windows from a known source.

Watch Diane from Chicago, IL Comments

Diane wants to know if she should jump into the new Windows 10 Creators Update when it's available in the fall or if she should wait. Leo says that the Creators Update has very nice features, but big service pack style updates can be problematic. Leo usually advises waiting for a few days to see if any bugs show up. She should be patient and wait until she gets the notification that the update is ready for her computer. Then defer it a few days or week and see if any problems occur. If everything seems OK, then she can go ahead and install it.

Watch Dan from Fresno, CA Comments

Dan can't get her Apple TV to wake up. Leo says she'll have to use the remote to wake up. If that doesn't work, there is a reset button that she can enable in the settings that will wipe the memory and then reboot it. That could help.