Amazon

Is my Amazon Dot secure?

Episode 1356

Steven from Las Vegas, NV
Amazon Echo Dot

Steven is worried that his Amazon Dot could be hacked since it becomes a Wi-Fi access point during setup. Leo says it only becomes an access point during that setup process, and after that it turns off. This does bring up an interesting issue, however, about how the Dot communicates with the device used for setup. Is that communication encrypted? Leo thinks it probably is, but there's no password required to access the Dot during setup, so we don't really know.

TV News Segment Triggers Amazon Echos All Over San Diego to Order Products

Episode 1352

Amazon Echo

A local TV news segment told the story of a girl who talked to Amazon Echo and accidentally ordered hundreds of dollars in toys and cookies through the automatic ordering feature. In doing so, the radio station triggered homes all over San Diego that have Amazon Echo to do the same thing. Leo says it's important to make sure you have parental controls on to avoid this, and to train yourself to not use the "A" word when talking about things it may mistakenly use to order for you.

How can I read comics digitally?

Episode 1348

Mike from Santa Monica, CA
ComiXology

Mike wants to use his Kindle to read comic books. Leo says there's a far better option, and it's owned by Amazon as well. It's called ComiXology. It's designed exactly for reading comics, while the Kindle is really made for the written world.

ComiXology will enable him to zoom in and out, and it also works with all comics. He can use it on his laptop too. The Marvel Unlimited app has an all you can eat monthly subscription, so if he's a Marvel fan, it's the way to go.

How is the Amazon Tap?

Episode 1348

Curtis from Michigan
Amazon Tap

Curtis is a podcaster and uses a Heil PR40 for his microphone. Leo says that podcasting is fun when you're not trying to make a living at it. It's work if he wants to make it into a job, and a tough one at that.

What about the Amazon Tap? Leo says that the only difference between the Dot and the Tap is the battery. The Tap is portable, but it doesn't listen all the time. It only responds when you press a button. How should he set up the Echo? Leo says to just call it Echo, but he'll have to avoid using that word while podcasting.

Is the Amazon Echo a good Christmas gift?

Episode 1343

Cindy from California
Amazon Echo Dot

Cindy wants to know about the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the cool thing about the Echo is that Amazon opened it up to create more functions for it, called "Skills." To date, the Amazon Echo has over 3,000 skills it can handle. If she's an Amazon Prime member, she can tell it to buy stuff and ship it to her. She can tell it to stream music, too. If she has a stereo system, she can save money and get the Amazon Dot and plug it in.

Is high refresh rate important when buying a UHD TV?

Episode 1339

Felix from North Hollywood, CA
Samsung UN43KU7000 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Felix heard that TVs with higher refresh rates are actually just simulating the extra frames. Leo says since there's no content at these high frame rates, so anytime there's something faster than 60 frames per second, the TV is faking it. The reason is, LCD TVs are a little bit slower than the old CRT TVs and even Plasma and OLED. So fast moving action can look a little blurry. The way these manufacturers have solved it is through frame interpolation. This means that software will generate what should be between the frames, or it may just double the frame.

How can I publish a book on Apple iBooks?

Episode 1334

Noberto from Whittier, CA
Apple iBooks Author

Noberto is a retired scientist turned self published author. He wrote and published his book through Amazon's Create Space and wants to expand to Apple iBooks. Leo says that using Create Space means he's stuck with just Amazon, and that really is the biggest place. Getting it on Apple iBooks can be done in a similar fashion. Apple offers iBooks Author for free. Apple will let him do self published works, but the key is to get it in the right format (ePub).

Why does my mobile phone have ads?

Episode 1332

Rob from Long Beach, CA
Moto G from Amazon

Rob bought a Motorola Moto G and every time he turns it back on, he gets a ton of ads from Sprint. Leo says that it could be Sprint that's doing it, but they say it's an app virus. Leo says that Amazon sells subsidized devices which would give him Amazon ads. So if Rob bought it from Amazon, he'll get lock screen offers and ads. That doesn't mean he's stuck, though. He can root the phone and put another ROM on it.