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Episode 1417 August 27, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch George from Santa Monica, CA Comments

George uses his iPad to call Uber, but they don't know where to pick him up. Leo says that's because the iPad doesn't have GPS. The app just has to ask for the address of where he is in order to find him. With a mobile phone, they would have his coordinates in the app. Without GPS, the app has to use other means to find his general location, usually it uses "WiFi triangulation," and that's not always very accurate. The app puts a pin where he is, and if it's using WiFi triangulation, the pin just goes close to where he is. The good news is he can move the pin in the app.

Another option could be that if he's getting Uber regularly from his home, he can set his home address in the user settings. The other option is to get an iPad that has a cellular data subscription, because that has a GPS chip built in. It'll cost him another $129 over the price of a WiFi iPad, but it may be worth it.

Watch Jim from Irvine, CA Comments

Jim has a Chromebox and it he keeps getting an error message that his Chrome browser isn't up to date. Leo says that doesn't make much sense because Chrome is always up to date. He also gets a message suggesting to go to another channel. Leo says that's a different version of Chrome that he can change to.

Leo says that doing a power wash will at least get it back to how it was when he first bought it. It's also possible that Jim bought an old Chromebox, though. If he bought one from 2015, it may be too old to update. It's possible he didn't realize that he bought a discontinued product. Leo recommends contacting Amazon and returning it for a newer model.

Watch Cindy from Santa Ana, CA Comments

Cindy wants to know what the best mesh router is. Leo says there's a bunch of them, including Plume, Eero, and the Netgear Orbi. They're all very good for people struggling with dead zones in their own home, or if there's a lot of WiFi congestion in the area. Mesh routers work by having a base unit along with extenders positioned all over the house to pass the signal around (much like a "mesh"). The downside is that a mesh router is more expensive, about $300 or more. But for better connectivity, it's worth it. Leo has tried all of them and some are better than others depending on the setup.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

John and his wife share an iCloud account and whenever his wife makes a phone call, it appears on his phone and vice versa. Why is that? Leo says it's because they're sharing the same Apple ID. They will also be getting the same text messages as well. Leo recommends having separate iCloud accounts and Apple IDs. Then share the contacts, calendar and other data with a shared Google account. That way it won't impact their phone calls, text messages, etc. All they'll need to do is add that account in their phone's mail, contacts, and calendar settings. Or, one of them can turn off iCloud drive and it will no longer sync to it. But that means one of them won't be backing up to the cloud, either.

They can also turn on family sharing if they want to share contacts, calendars, and even music.

Watch Diane from Oxnard, CA Comments

Diane got a message that said "downloading virus" when she went to a website on her Android phone. Leo says that's a bogus popup designed to scare her into downloading something. There's no legitimate message on her phone warning her that it will download a virus. She has a blank screen now, though. Leo says that is probably coincidental. It sounds like her phone's screen has gone out, or she could have a bad charging cable or clogged charging port preventing it to charge. There is a forced recovery mode for Android to bring it back up. If that doesn't work, then it's time to go to a third party phone repair place. They are very good at taking the phone apart and figuring out what's wrong with it. But depending on the age of the phone, it may not be worth fixing.

Watch Tom from Chicago, IL Comments

Tom traveled to see the eclipse and says that there's nothing that can prepare you for seeing totality. It was amazing. He didn't want to waste the moment trying to take pictures, but he did get one with his iPhone.

When he was down there, he had no cell service. Someone said he could put a T-Mobile SIM card in it and use it. Leo says he'd have to be sure his phone is unlocked to do that. If it's paid off, or if he's in good standing and traveling overseas, he can ask his carrier and they usually will unlock it. He'll also want to be sure it can support the radio frequencies of the other carrier.

Image Taken by User:Omegatron using a Canon Powershot SD110 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ron from Boston, MA Comments

Ron fell down and broke his hip. He used Amazon Echo to call his brother. So it saved his life. Leo says that's the beauty of the Echo's voice calling and everyone should do that, just in case.

Watch Gloria from Valley Village, CA Comments

Gloria wants to know about the cheap T-Mobile $30 plan. Leo says it's available, if she can find it. It's buried deep in T-Mobile's website under the prepaid plans. The easiest way to get to it is to google T-Mobile and $30 plan.

What phone should she buy for her first? Leo says that she shouldn't wait until the holidays because there are sales all the time. T-Mobile has the REVVL, which is $125, but they may give her one for free. She should go into T-Mobile's store, but she shouldn't tell them she wants the $30 plan first. The chatroom says that the $30 deal is only available through the website.

Another good budget option is the Motorola G5. It's under $200, and is quite good. The iPhone will be coming out soon now too, and many are offering free iPhone SEs with a two year commitment.

Watch Todd from Indianapolis, IN Comments

Todd wants to try and create an affordable screen reader using a Raspberry Pi. Leo says that NVDA is a free one, and Orca will run on Debian. If he can get Debian to run on the Raspberry Pi, then he's in good shape. The chatroom says it can work, but he'll probably need more RAM. If he can, that would be a great open source project for the blind.

Watch Serenity from Ashville, NC Comments

Serenity wants to get a larger laptop to replace her desktop. Leo says if she doesn't mind the extra weight, a laptop is not a bad idea for a desktop replacement. She also wants a convertible for tablet use. Leo likes the two-in-one versions like the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga. It's in its second generation and it's beautiful. She can also pay extra and get the OLED version.

Can she get one that plays DVDs? Leo says very few models have optical drives anymore, but she can get an external drive for about $40. Use this PERKS Code: NJ*PERKSEPP, which could get her up to 25% off.

Watch Michael from Grand Rapids, MI Comments

Michael wants to know if the internet is just one computer talking to another, why do we need to pay ISPs for the privilege? Leo says because someone has to build the roads between them. So he's essentially paying the toll. But our internet freedom is at stake as Net Neutrality is under threat. Service providers want to charge both ways and they want to prioritize traffic. Net Neutrality is the idea that bits are bits and it shouldn't be that way. Leo says to go to SaveTheInternet.com to get involved in protecting Net Neutrality.

Watch Brad from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Brad and his wife both have iPhones and they shut down with 15% left. What gives? Leo says it's a software thing. In essence, the phone is making a guess and as a phone gets older, it has less capacity. So that estimate can get more inaccurate the older the phone gets. Batteries can be recharged about 500 times, and as it gets closer to that number, it gets more inaccurate. Brad doesn't want to buy a new phone, though, and Leo says he doesn't have to. He can go into Apple and request they replace the battery. It's about $100. Can he do it himself? Leo says maybe. He should try going to iFixit.com. They have videos that will show him how to do it, and they also have the tools and parts. But it's not for the faint of heart. iFixIt will also give him a repairability score to let him know if it can be done.

The chatroom says that there is a recall underway for unexpected shutdowns.

Watch Chris from Miami, FL Comments

Chris says that his Time Machine won't let him set when the backup happens. It just does it when it wants to. Are there any alternatives? Leo says that SuperDuper is a better option. It can not only back up his internal drive, but it can make his external drive bootable so that if his hard drive dies, he'll be back up and running within minutes or even seconds!