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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellie can't get Leo's show to play live on her Amazon Echo. Leo says it's on the TuneIn app in Echo and she can just tell it to play TWiT Live. However, Echo can't pronounce L(eye)ve. So she'll have to say L(eh)VE.
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).
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.
Ricardo got an Amazon Echo for his birthday and he loves it. He's wondering how smart it can get, though. Leo says it can play music, get the weather, and hundreds of other information gathering techniques based on Echo "recipes." It's getting smarter. Artificial intelligence, thanks to machine learning, is growing by leaps and bounds, except for Siri on the Apple platform. Siri is actually getting dumber because Apple values privacy more than gathering the data needed to make it smarter.
Jeff heard the next generation of the Dot from Amazon has been released and it's cheaper. The Dot is the Echo without speakers and you can add it to your own system. He's annoyed that he just bought the first generation a month before. Leo says that's the way of the world in the tech industry. The first generation of anything is more expensive, and it's usually an early adopter that has to pay the price. He tried talking to Amazon about it but was essentially told "tough luck." Leo says it's probably just a matter of timing.