Hardware

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.

What is the best computer for sketching and artwork?

Episode 1351

Terry from Burbank, CA
Microsoft Surface Studio

Terry is an artist with Disney Imagineering, and she wants to know what's a good computer to for sketching and artwork. Leo says that Microsoft's Surface Studio was just announced and it's designed with artists like Terry in mind. It has a 28" tilting display, pen stylus, and a new Dial that will enable her to change colors and other options with a turn of the wheel.

Will the new MacBook Pro handle my audio workflow?

Episode 1351

Adam from West Covina, CA
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Adam is looking to get the new MacBook Pro but he's concerned that it isn't high performance enough. Leo says that it does come limited with memory at only 16GB, and he won't be able to upgrade it. So what you buy is what you get. Whether it's right for Adam is subjective. Adam runs Logic and he's worried it won't be enough for him. Leo says Logic does take a lot of RAM, but Leo's used it for Logic and it works for him. That doesn't mean it will work for Adam, though, as his mileage may vary. Leo says that if Adam's iMac, at 32GB of RAM is bogging down, that should tell the tale.

What should I get for my first computer?

Episode 1351

Shirley from North Hollywood, CA
iPad Pro

Shirley is retired and is looking for a computer. Leo says that a Chromebook is probably the best option for Shirley, and she'll need an internet connection. Shirley could also get a Chromebook with LTE.

Another option is a tablet like an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. She shouldn't get a cheap one, though. Leo advises getting one with LTE so that she doesn't have to rely on Wi-Fi. T-Mobile is a good option. Leo also advises a deal of $25 with unlimited data from them when she buys the tablet up front. That's a good deal.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1349

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the Aukey Rechargeable Folding Lamp. It's a sleek, portable LED desk lamp that offers 2 brightness levels with a built-in push bottom on top. It's built of a handsome aluminum alloy that's 360° adjustable for easy positioning in any situation. It's great for reading, workshops, crafts, on the nightstand, etc. It has a rechargeable battery that runs for about 3 hours on a full charge. It's lightweight and low profile. It also folds flat for portability and only weighs 9.2oz; so it's ideal for travel too. Uses just 3 watts of power but generates 150 lumens of light.

How can I connect my turntable to my Bluetooth headphones?

Episode 1349

Billy from Oxnard, CA
Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones

Billy is getting Beats Bluetooth headphones for Christmas. What peripheral can he connect to his vinyl record player in order to use them? Leo says most modern amps have Bluetooth support built-in. If his existing receiver doesn't, there are plenty of third party Bluetooth transmitters that will do it. Amazon is filled with them for around $15. He should be warned that the audio quality won't be all that great, though. Bluetooth audio simply isn't all that great, no matter how good the headphones are, because the dynamic range of the music is highly compressed to make the bandwidth.