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Episode 1582 April 13, 2019

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Darren from Missouri Comments

Darren is looking to upgrade his network to a Mesh router and is having issues connecting his WyzeCams. Rich says that a lot of people are having issues with this because the WyzeCams are 2.4ghz and the mesh routers will switch between 2.4 and 5 GHz. That can cause camera connection issues. Google's mesh router will automatically connect to the band that the camera supports. So he may want to check out the Google WiFi mesh router. 

Rich has Eero and he was able to hook up his WyzeCams without any issue. 

Watch Bob from Hacienda Heights, CA Comments

Bob has a mesh network for his 2800 sq foot house, and he's having issues. There is likely a congestion problem. If Bob's accessing the internet after 6 PM, for instance, that's when everyone is watching Netflix. That can really drain that shared internet access of the ISP. It could also be that since his network is new, it may not be updated yet. So give it a few days. If it doesn't improve, it's time to contact the ISP's tech support.

Watch Tony from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Tony is tired of paying so much for cable and wants to cut the cord. How can he do it and get the same amount of programming?  Rich says that cord-cutting is the most popular question he gets, but it isn't' all that easy.  Even when consumers succeed, they end up paying as much or more for programming with subscriptions that they add ala carte. Also, a lot of TV programming require a log in for a cable or satellite service, etc.

There are local services available through DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, SlingTV. Rich uses the FireStick and the FireTV Recast. He can throw up an antenna, to get the local stations, but that is also dependent on a good TV signal. If he doesn't have it, he is stuck with it.

What about those special sticks and boxes that offer unscrambled services? Rich says that those are either piracy or just a collection of TV services he won't care about like Slovenian soccer. 

Rich recommends visiting Untangle.tv, input all the desired channels, and the website will list all the services Tony will need as a cord cutter,

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Sheldon from Sherman Oaks, California Comments

Sheldon hears about Amazon's listening in on commands with Alexa, but are they recording when users do a drop-in, or a phone call? Rich says that no, the system is designed to stop listening once the command is executed. Besides, if they were, that could kill the entire service if word got out that Amazon was recording the entire call/drop-in. 

But an easy way to test it is to make a call, and then give Alexa a command, If it reacts, then it's not recording. If it doesn't ... well, there would be an interesting answer from Amazon about that.

Also, users can always check their account at Amazon.com/alexaprivacy to see if the recordings are there. 

Watch Mitch from Irvine, CA Comments

Mitch is concerned that uploading photos to a free service could be a privacy issue. What are the services doing with those pictures? Rich says that if consumers are using a free service, it's not surprising that they will look at the images and then suggest ads based on those images. It's all probably automated, which is why we get ads that are so tuned in. 

Can he opt out of it? Rich says only if he gets rid of Facebook. Rich says he should only upload photos he wants to share to those services.

Watch Christie from Mission Viejo, CA Comments

Christie wonders about Google Duo, the Google version of Facetime. Could Google be recording those? Rich says not likely. The video and audio are encrypted, so that would be difficult to do. However, the metadata is fair game. Who she called, how long she was on the call, where she is, etc. But the reality is, free services still cost "something", so it comes with the expectation that some monetization is going on to pay for it.

Watch Becky from Ohio Comments

Becky has the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and after a recent update, it's killing her battery after two hours. Rich says that sounds like there's a process running in the background that's wearing down the battery. Rich recommends getting rid of any app she does not recognize. Also, run a program called HTC Boost or Google's Files Go. Let it get rid of old files and then reboot.

 

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Taylor from Cincinnati, OH Comments

Taylor hears that 5G is so limited in range, that there will be more towers and connections. Will that be harmful to people? Rich says no, but it's likely going to replace everything from home internet connection to free public wifi. But how unsightly will it be with all those towers

When will Google Duplex be able to make restaurant reservations? Rich says he just recently tried it out and it works in 43 different states. 

Watch Maria from Corona, CA Comments

Maria wants to know how to back up her recordings on her computer, so she can see them on her phone. Rich says that Dropbox is probably the best option. She can drag it into a folder on her desktop and it will appear on the Dropbox app on her phone. She can also do it with Google Drive or iTunes. If she is fine with paying money, WALTR is a decent alternative.

Watch Richard from Hacienda Heights, CA Comments

Rich wants to learn more about solar power and what he would need to get into solar, like how much it would cost, etc.

Rich says that Google's Project SunRoof will answer a lot of questions of how he can get started and get off the grid. 

But Rich isn't ready to buy into solar power just yet because the efficiency isn't where it should be and he's not thrilled with drilling into the roof to mount the panels.

Watch Millie from Tehachapi, CA Comments

Millie wants to know what the best mobile phone is. Rich says that the four best are the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S10, the One Plus, and the Google Pixel 3. Google's Pixel 3 has the best camera for all situations, but that's about where it ends. The iPhone is the best all around, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S10. More likely it comes down to what she really wants to do with it, and Rich recommends asking her friends and family what they have. Get what they have and she can always ask for help or interact with them easily.