Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

CES 2019 Comes and Goes

CES 2019

Episode 1557

This week was the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and there was a lot of 8K TVs being showed off. Samsung also showed off a new microLED 75" TV. The price is $50,000! Short throw Projector TVs were also popular at CES. LG's Optima is under $2,000.

There were also self driving cars using artificial intelligence and LIDAR. There was also an electric helicopter and self-driving flying cars. There were also Amazon Dash Buttons, which are designed to instantly order a product at the touch of a button.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1556

Hate it when someone uses says the trigger word "Alexa" when you don't want your Echo device to do anything? The Mute+ is from Smartē could be for you. The idea is to place this device on top of an Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot smart speaker, so you can mute it when you don't want it to react to the trigger words. The company says their proprietary technology temporarily blocks any noise near or far from the smart speakers’ microphones and the lighted privacy timer can be set for up to an hour at a time. Each time you push a button at the top it adds ten minutes.

How can I unlock a used iPhone?

Episode 1556

Jake from Jacksonville, FL

Jake bought a new phone on eBay, but he can't activate it because it says he owes money to AT&T — but he's never used it with AT&T. Leo says it's probably the carrier that has flagged the IMEI of that phone and locked it out. Leo advises contacting eBay and getting his money back. He should give the seller a bad review as well. Of course, he could pay the bill. But who wants to do that? This is why you don't buy phones on eBay.

How can I stream TV shows and movies online?

Roku

Episode 1556

Michelle from San Pedro, CA

Michelle has finally cut the cable and wants to know how to stream her movies and TV shows from the internet. Does she need special equipment? Leo says maybe. If she has a smartTV, then she might not. But Leo recommends getting a streaming device anyway and he recommends the Roku. Streaming services include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there's also new services coming from Disney and many others. How does she pay for them? Leo says she would have to give them a credit card.

Can I pay for things with an Android Wear watch?

Android Wear watches

Episode 1556

Joe from Winslow, AZ

Joe wants to buy his girlfriend a smartwatch. He wants to know if Android Wear watches will use NFC so he can buy stuff through his watch without his phone. Leo says that the Apple Watch can do that. There are probably models of Android Wear that will do that as well. Leo says that if the watch supports Wi-Fi, and is connected through the internet, then Google Pay will work. If it's not, then no, it won't be able to do that.

Would using a smart plug with my exercise bike cause a problem?

Amazon Smart Plug

Episode 1555

Gary from Cheektowaga, NY

The screen on Gary's exercise bike doesn't turn off unless he unplugs it, so he got a smart Wi-Fi enabled plug that he can use through Alexa. He's wondering if that could harm it in some way. Leo says it's the same as if he were just unplugging the bike and plugging it back in, so there shouldn't be any harm in that. The only exception is if it somehow sends a power spike to it when it turns back on, but it should be OK.

Can my mesh router work with my Comcast router/modem?

Eero

Episode 1555

Bobby from Plymouth, MA

Bobby wants to know how he can get his Eero mesh router to work with his Comcast modem/router. Leo says that's called Double NAT and it's problematic. Leo recommends getting his own modem and using that. Comcast has a list of modems that are supported and they cost under $100. He'll want one that supports DOCSIS III or better. The added benefit is that he'll save on the rental of the modem.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

How can I restore my Chromebook?

Acer Chromebook

Episode 1555

Ken from Mountain Home, ID

Ken has a Acer Chromebook, but he's having issues with his keyboard after doing an update. Leo says first thing he'll want to do is a Powerwash. That will wipe everything out, reinstall the OS, and bring it back to the factory defaults. He should also make sure that if he has stored anything locally, that he backs it up. That way, if anything in the update was corrupted, it will clean that out. If that doesn't fix it, then he'll need to contact Acer for a repair.

Why can't I listen to my music with Google Chromecast Audio?

Google Chromecast

Episode 1555

Dennis from Hoover, AL

Dennis is an audiophile and he's having issues playing music from smartphone using Google Chromecast. It wants him to upload all his music to the cloud first. Leo says that his casting app may be corrupted. He should try another one, like AllCast. From the chatroom - Google requires you to upload your music to the cloud before casting with Google Play. That's what it's designed for: to play from the phone at home using the Google Home App.