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Episode 1533 October 20, 2018

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sam from Yadkinville, NC Comments

Sam installed Hue lights with remote controls for his elderly parents. He wants to know if there's a bracelet remote for it. Leo says that Philips has a device called Homesafe AutoAlert, which will alert 911 in the event of a fall. Then there's the Apple watch Series 4. Here's an interesting project for the handy person from hackaday.io.

Watch Brian from Mission Viejo, CA Comments

Brian has an Apple Airport and every time he gets on the network with his phone, the internet drops out. Leo says to check his DNS to see if it's properly configured. That can be found in network settings. He should also try rebooting his router. Steve Gibson has a tool called DNS Benchmark at GRC.com which can tell him how well his DNS settings are responding. He can also change it to Google's DNS or OpenDNS. It could also be that his router is just dying out.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

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

Craig has been stunned by overages in the hundreds of dollars. Leo says it's time to get a new provider. Every provider has either an unlimited plan or a cheap charge for another GB or two of access. He should set his photo apps to not download unless he is connected to WiFi. But he can't get satisfaction from AT&T about the overages. Leo says he can shame them by tweeting out his complaints. They have a social media department that pays attention to that. He can also write the CEO. He has an office for complaints. His name is Randal Stevenson. Craig should politely request escalation.

Watch Kevin from Denver, CO Comments

Kevin wants to know how to DIY capture his home super 8 movies. Leo says he'll need a projector. Then he can use a camcorder to record the image on the wall. That's the easiest. But there's also devices that will allow him to capture directly and digitize it, like the Wolverine. It's $300 and is highly reviewed. Kodak has a cheaper version, but it's not the Kodak everyone remembers, the name had been sold. He can also use a service like ScanCafe. The advantage here is that they will clean up his footage, getting rid of dust and dirt.

Watch Gayle from Covina, CA Comments

Gayle wants to know if she can do dictation with her desktop. Leo says that she can plug in a headset or microphone to the audio jack in the back of the computer. Windows 10 has Cortana that can handle the dictation. She can also get software like Dragon Naturally Speaking, but these days, voice dictation is available as part of Windows OS. It's not perfect, but it works pretty well.

Watch Jeff from Sunland, CA Comments

Jeff has a Vizio 4K TV with a Bose surround system. He cut the cable recently, but now he doesn't know how to use his surround sound system with the TV because it doesn't have audio out. Leo says most systems now connect audio via a SPDIF or TOSLINK optical connection. The Bose should have an optical connection to it. He'll also need a TOSLINK cable. There's different connectors, so he'll have to see what his Bose wants, and what his TV takes. Monoprice makes them for pretty cheap, and Amazon Basics does as well.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ron from Newport, PA Comments

Ron is having issues with Thunderbird after a recent security change that is causing him issues. Leo says that Thunderbird has largely been abandoned by developers, who are simply not keeping it up. He may want to check his IMAP and SMTP addresses to make sure they are configured correctly. He should double check how to properly log into it, and what port he'll need to use. His ISP can help him with that.

Other email choices include Pegasus, Claws, and Microsoft Outlook Mail. The Bat! by RITLabs.com is another option. They have a try before you buy feature. $26.95 for a Home license and $59.99 for the Professional.

Watch Alexander from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Alex has a browser plugin called Fakespot, which checks the reviews on Amazon to determine if they are legit or not. It promises to weed out the bogus ones. Leo says that's an interesting concept, but he has concerns that the plugin is selling his search data. He'll want to read the privacy policy and see if they are in compliance with the EU GDPR regulations. It will also send him targeted ads. It's not really a big deal, but at least he can opt-out. Of course, he could just go to Fakespot.com and check the reviews there without installing anything.

Watch Victor from Covina, CA Comments

Victor is having issues with Wi-Fi on his laptop. It's very slow. Leo says that his router may need to be replaced if it's really old. He should run Inssider to analyze his Wi-Fi. NetSpot is another that will show him the weak spots in his router coverage. There are others at techwiser.com.

Mesh routers like the Netgear Orbi may also be doing bandwidth shaping to prioritize the web traffic.

Watch Shelley from Palmdale, CA Comments

Shelly has Windows 10 and Microsoft EDGE, but she's having issues with her internet access. The website pages keep timing out. Leo says that antivirus software like Trend Micro may be working too zealously to protect you. Leo recommends only using Microsoft Defender on Windows 10. So try disabling Trend Micro or removing it and see if that helps. Check to see if other devices can get online, like your mobile phone. If you can, then it's a Windows issue. If not, then you're not connected at all. Are you sure you have connected your computer to your modem? Is your router connected to the modem? Simple fixes often start with checking your cables.