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Episode 1037 December 7, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Gloria from Norco, CA Comments

Gloria is an artist and uses her computer to order her supplies. She's been bit by malware called "Sweet Pacs." Leo says that Gloria inadvertently agreed to install the Sweet Pacs toolbar, which has basically taken over her browser. The chatroom says it's part of an ad site called "Conduit," which brags that they have 250 million users. Leo says most of them have been duped into installing the toolbar.

Leo says that Gloria can uninstall it by going into Programs and Features, then add/remove programs. Windows has mandated that software provide an installer to uninstall the software, otherwise it's malware. She should just uninstall the conduit toolbar. Then, she can go into the internet browser and change her homepage under "options." She'll also need to remove "" from her browser. Leo recommends running MalwareBytes to remove it all. Another tool is ADWcleaner.

Watch Scott from Finland, MN Comments

Scott needs a drawing program for his Android tablet in order to sketch out maps and diagramming. Leo looks to the chatroom and the consensus seems to be that there's an AutoCad for Android called "AutoCad 360." It's free at the Google Play Store. He'll need to pay the $5 a month fee to create new drawings, though.

Leo says the trend in mobile apps is "freemium." He'll get the app for free, but will have to pay for premium features. Another option is Infinite Design.

Watch Allie from Orange, CA Comments

Allie is thinking of getting an Android tablet, but she's having trouble connecting her laptop and her Samsung device. Leo says that Allie needs to download a Samsung utility called KIES. It will connect with her phone and update drivers. Leo says it can be tricky to connect her phone to the laptop to move data, though. That's why Apple and Android have both moved to connecting over Wi-Fi. Leo also recommends getting DoubleTwist.

She's also having trouble connecting her iPhone with her Laptop via iTunes. Leo says Allie should make sure she has the latest version of iTunes. That will update all drivers for the laptop and enable her to connect.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch James from Long Beach, CA Comments

James needs to buy a new laptop and he's thinking of the Lenovo Ideapad Ultrabook with a Solid State Drive. He also paid for the extended warranty and is beginning to regret paying $225 for that. Leo says he doesn't usually buy extended warranties, choosing to self insure. But he also says that is a pretty good deal for a 3 year warranty. He also disagrees with Lenovo that SSDs aren't very reliable. They are very reliable, at least as much as a traditional hard drive.

Is the "Absolute Protection" software a good deal or can he uninstall it? Leo says if he wants to, it's perfectly safe to install. Even though James is getting the virus protect for free now, in a year Lenovo will push him to pay for a subscription. He prefers Microsoft's Security Essentials, which is free. If he wants to pay for better protection, then Eset's Nod32 is his recommendation.

How can he backup his Outlook PST file? Carbonite isn't doing it. Leo says it should, but he could also zip it up and Carbonite should be able to grab it.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).

Watch Al from Chula Vista, CA Comments

Al is having trouble with his Chromecast dropping his internet connection. Leo says that Al is using Comcast's ActionTek router and there may be interference on the 2.4 Ghz band. He recommends going with a higher band, like 5 Ghz. Most other stuff uses 2.4 Ghz and it's getting pretty crowded. Another option, if he can't go with 5 GHz, is to choose another channel on the farthest end. ActionTek uses Channel 1, so he should try Channel 11. That should clear the field and help Al to connect.

The Chromecast also has it's own Wi-Fi router built in. So Al may have to go into its settings to change it and he isn't sure it supports 5 GHz. Also, he should go to MetaGeek and download "Inssider." It'll give him an analysis of what his Wi-Fi network looks like. Leo also recommends turning off SSID Hiding. If someone wants to hack into his Wi-Fi, they can probably still see it. And be sure to turn on WPA2 encryption.

Watch Willy from Chicago, IL Comments

Willy has several flash drives and portable hard drives that keep getting corrupted, and he wants to know how he can recover that data. Paying someone to recover it is expensive, so he should try using recovery software. It could also be that drives are just failing. Hard drives either fail early, or fail after about 3 years. The longer he keeps them, the more likely they are to fail.

Watch Willy from Chicago, IL Comments

Leo says he likes it because it's a tablet that runs a full version of Windows. Paul Thurrott at WinSupersite has great things to say about it and there's a newer version coming out called the Venue 8. A lot of tablet makers are bypassing the Windows RT option and building tablets with the full version of Windows.

Watch Rolf from Barstow, CA Comments

Rolf likes that Windows tablets have SD card slots to access more memory. Leo says that is a bonus, but it's important to understand that flash memory has a limited number of writes and can fail. So he should be sure to make a backup of the data he puts on them. He'll be able to get a few years out of them, though.

Watch Tom from California Comments

Tom has to route video through a cable that's over a hundred feet long. He also wants to split the video signal to two different projectors. Leo says that attenuation will be an issue causing the signal to fade and drop. Leo recommends using Baluns for long distances. They essentially convert the signal to Ethernet and then back to video on the other end. He'll need a VGA to Baluns adapter on either end. Cat5 is best. He can also go with HDMI and Coax.

Watch Gary from California Comments

Gary wants to connect to his home network over the internet so he can see his dog via his Samsung camera and talk to him. It requires uPNP to do this. Leo doesn't like uPNP because it has security issues with opening a port to the outside world. The problem is that it's automatic. If malware gets in, it'll open via uPNP and Gary will be vulnerable.

Leo says he can DMZ it or use as guest. Port forwarding is the manual way to do this, and is completely safe. So if he can find out the port that his Samsung camera uses, he could do it that way.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Roger from Woodland Hills, CA Comments

Roger's website and email has vanished through Yahoo/AT&T. He's frustrated because no one will help him on either end. Leo says that AT&T chose to set his site up with Yahoo and if they're passing the buck, that's unacceptable. Leo says that one thing Roger can do is write a letter to the CEO of Yahoo: Marissa Mayer. She won't handle it, but she has an office that's dedicated to handling these kinds of things. It's worth a shot and let her know that he's losing business. They at least owe him an explanation and if it's an error, they need to fix it. If they can't, then they should give him his domain name so he can move to another host.

Watch Art and Karen from Nevada Comments

Art's wife talked him into buying a Mac Mini. Can Art make "The Switch?" Leo says that for Art's job, Excel will work just the same on the Mac. What about the iPad? Leo says that there are spreadsheet programs like Apple's Numbers. Not identical to Excel, especially with Macros, but it's doable. What about forms? Leo says that Numbers will read Excel forms, but it may not look the same. So he'll have to clean them up. But once that's done, Art can then save them in the cloud. What about Flash? Can it work in the iPad? Leo says it can't because Apple doesn't support Flash. There are third party apps out there, but even Adobe doesn't support Flash for mobile applications. So at the end of the day, a MacBook Air would be a better option.

Watch Fran from Irvine, CA Comments

Fran wants to know if she should upgrade to OS X Mavericks if she buys a 21" iMac from Apple. Leo says it's odd that Apple is shipping their latest hardware without Mavericks. It should already be installed. If not, she can easily download and install it from Apple. It's a free upgrade. What about a fusion drive? Leo says it's not really worth the extra price. She should go with either a hard drive or, better yet, an SSD.