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Episode 1518 August 26, 2018

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Neil from Phoenix, AZ Comments

Neil has Apple AirPods, and he says that the connection drops out a lot. Leo says that's because it uses Bluetooth and it's an antiquated technology that wasn't all that great to begin with. Bluetooth is well known for not always maintaining a stable connection. But Apple has put AirPods on deep discount and Leo suspects a version 2 is coming next month.

Watch Larry from Prescott, AZ Comments

Larry wants to use his camera with Be My Eyes on his iPhone, an app for the vision impaired. Leo says the first thing he'll need is a camera that can connect over Wi-Fi. Then he would need an app to allow him to remotely control it from the iPhone. Leo says that iOS sandboxes each app for security purposes, so one app can't compromise others, so he likely won't be able to use a separate camera with that particular app.

ScooterX in the Chatroom shared this YouTube video from a tech accessibility channel, and they offer a How-To for doing this on the computer.

Julian called in to say that Larry could do what he wants to do with an Android phone. There's also a service called Aira.io that does professional services for blind people with smart glasses that do the same thing.

Watch Jim from San Diego, CA Comments

Jim wants to know why his computer can't read his USB thumb drive. Leo says it's probably formatted wrong. If he formats it NTFS, he should be able to read it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ed from Lyle, IL Comments

Ed is tired of using Gmail. What are his alternatives? Leo says he'll want an IMAP service, and Leo uses Fast Mail. It's a pay service and it lets him use multiple devices to access the same mail in addition to a web interface. It's encrypted. Another good one is Proton Mail, which offers end-to-end encryption, if privacy is a priority.

Watch Dr. Mom from New York, NY Comments

Doctor Mom may be moving cross country and wants to know a safe way to pack her technology, like her computers and her NAS. Leo says that pulling the drives out and wrapping them separately in bubble map is a good idea. Then she can place them together in a box with plenty of shipping material. But the iMac is tougher because she can't take that out. And then there's the huge screen. Ideally, if she still has the box, she can encase it in that with the original packaging. Otherwise, she'll need to just wrap it judiciously in bubble wrap.

Leo suggests looking how it was originally packed, floating in the box with 3-4" of air around it, but the computer itself is encased on the ends with cardboard or styrofoam. OtherWorld Computing has a Mac Shipping box for $70.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from Traverse City, MI Comments

John is having an issue with his optical drive on his computer after a Windows 10 update. Leo says to check the cables to see if there's a bad cable first. Since the EFI Setup/BIOS doesn't see it, then that points to a hardware issue. It could be a bad board. He should try clearing the ESCD data in the memory. That could help. He can look in setup for it. There may also be a jumper on the motherboard to do it. If he still can't see it, then it's likely a bad CD player circuit board. The good news is, CD players are cheap.

Watch Julian from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Julian called in with a suggestion for for Larry in Prescott, AZ, who wanted to connect an external camera to his smartphone for use with an app called BeMyEyes that acts as a visual aid. Julian's idea is to either use an Android device for this, or to use a service called aira.io. This service works in conjunction with glasses that would be worn and identify what things it is seeing.

Watch Vicki from Realto, CA Comments

Vicki put her computer to sleep and now it won't wake up again. Leo says the usual culprit is the power supply. She should try turning her monitor off and back on. She can press and hold the on/off switch of her computer for ten seconds. That will turn her computer fully off. She should unplug it for a few minutes, then plug it back in and turn it on, to see if the monitor will wake up. If it does, sometimes it can fall asleep and not get the signal to turn back on. Then shine a light on the power supply fan and see if it's spinning. If it is, then it isn't the power supply. If it isn't, then the power supply is dead, but that's unlikely.

Watch Jack from Riverside, CA Comments

Jack bought the HDMI adapter for his iPhone to watch video on the TV and it doesn't work! What can he do? Leo says that he gets this complaint a lot and there may be an update in iOS that broke the connection. It could be copy protection. But you'd think that if Apple sells the item, they wouldn't break it with an update. Apple says to be sure the TV is set to the right HDMI selection. It should work automatically.

From the chatroom - after the iOS11 update, it didn't work. Here's a thread on Apple's discussion forum about the problem: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8079462.

Watch Micah from Maine Comments

Micah uses Thunderbird with Pop 3 protocol. Leo says that most email servers have moved to IMAP now, keeping your email on their servers. Pop allowed you to delete from the server. But more people wanted access to their mail in the cloud than just on their computer, so IMAP was born. If you want to delete your email off the server, you can manually do that. But that's why Leo recommends Proton Mail. It's end to end encryption so no one can read it.

Watch Richard from West LA Comments

Does Richard have to create a VPN to set up his DNS settings? Leo says no. DNS is essentially the phone book that the internet uses to look your address up. You don't use a VPN for that. VPNs are for encrypted net traffic. OpenDNS is the best DNS that Leo likes. CloudFlare is another. Quad Nine. Google even has a secure DNS. All are great if you're concerned about privacy, as it allows you to filter traffic at the router level. Log into your router, look for the DNS settings, and input the DNS address of your DNS server. Steve Gibson also has a app that benchmarks DNS services here - https://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm