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Episode 1042 December 22, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from Newport Beach, CA Comments

John got his son a new laptop for Christmas and wants to know how he can restrict his game play on it. Leo says he wouldn't take that approach, and instead he would team him balance and moderation. There are ways to prevent applications from being installed, but then he could just find web-based games to play instead. Also, if he blocks it, it'll just make him want to do it more. There's also no perfect way to block these things, since anything can be bypassed. Kids are great at finding ways around these things as well.

John should make sure that the computer is located somewhere he can see, so he can keep tabs on what he's doing. He could also give him a limited account with only John being able to install anything. If John wants to limit his time online, he can set up the router to be online for only a few hours a day, or use the MAC address to set an internet curfew. Leo suggests using OpenDNS to block inappropriate websites as well.

Ultimately, Leo doesn't suggest having a "police state" in his house. He can also have them sign an Internet Use Contract. Leo says to teach them responsibilities and consequences and let them police themselves. However, Leo doesn't want to be telling anyone how they should parent either because every situation is unique.

Watch Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Jonathan wants to upgrade his AV receiver and wants to know if the Onkyo 818 would be a good choice. Leo says he has two of them, and the 818 has some cool stuff including a powered HDMI port (called HML). He should always upgrade his firmware when he gets it home, too.

A new AV receiver is a nice way to upgrade a home theater. It will gives more flexibility and functionality.

Watch Paul from Wallace, MI Comments

Paul wants to know if he should get IT certifications or go to a local junior college. Leo says that Paul could spend thousands at a private school getting IT certificates. Community colleges are very affordable. So that's where Leo would suggest going.

Certifications don't equal skills, however. The best way to get IT skills are on the job training or learning from real IT guys. But to get the first IT job, it's often necessary to get the certs. It's very valuable for job hunting.

Leo also recommends spending some time at ITPro.TV. He can learn a lot from that channel, and it'll prepare him for taking the certifications tests.

(Disclaimer: ITProTV is a sponsor)

Watch Jay from Providence, NC Comments

Jay wants to know if he should keep all apps closed while shopping online. Leo says not really. The real key is to make sure he's using "https" when he's shopping. That means the traffic is encrypted. What we learned from the Target breach is that it's the security afterwards, when they're storing the credit card number. Leo says that it's often possible to set up a one time only credit card that can only be used once or only with a single merchant.

Cross site scripting may be an issue, but only if the site itself has been hacked. Leo says it's far more risky giving a waiter a credit card while paying at a restaurant.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bret from Ft. Worth, TX Comments

Brett wants to set up his own mail server. Leo doesn't recommend it, though. There's a lot of traffic that would have to run through his own computer. Since ISPs don't want customers to become spammers, they frown on such activities. ISPs will often block outbound servers that use port 25. So if he's in earnest, then Leo recommends using the SSL outbound port 465. He should always talk to the ISP before setting up his own mail server, because they could dump him. Another option is to use Google's server:

Leo recommends using Gmail and have it forward his mail for him from his ISP. Let them run the server.

Watch Peter from Hong Kong, China Comments

Peter has a Samsung Galaxy SIII and a new Samsung Galaxy Note III, and is trying to transfer over all his settings and apps. How should he go about doing this?

Leo says that he uses a combination of Samsung's backup account and Google. Just by logging in, it should all transfer to the other phone. He wants to know specifically about his WhatsApp contacts, though. Leo says that WhatsApp should restore the contacts when he logs into it.

The chatroom says he can backup his contacts to an SD card via WhatsApp and even back them up to Dropbox. Here's a technote on how to do it. Leo also recommends having all of his contacts and settings on Google.

For apps, he should try AppBrain, which is a great third party app backup option.

Watch LaxMan from Tempe, AZ Comments

Laxman has to get his own DSL modem for his cable internet service, but will they be backwards compatible? Leo says that DOCSIS III modems have auto configuration menus that can handle older devices. But buying is a far better option than renting that modem for $5-7 a month.

Leo likes the Motorola Surfboard. He will have to tell his ISP that he bought one and make sure they support the model he wants to use.

Watch Alfredo from Rohnert Park, CA Comments

Alfredo wants to upgrade his Windows laptop to a workstation laptop or a desktop. Leo says he'll have to decide between maximum portability or maximum power. It's not just that the price of a workstation laptop would be higher, but it's also the weight, screen size, and battery life that would factor into the decision. If he chooses portability, then he's going to sacrifice some processor power, it would have a smaller screen size, but the battery life would be far better.

Leo likes Dell because he could spec out what he wants. Hard drives depend on how large the data files are that he'll work with. Lenovo is another good option. An SSD would give him great performance and fast boot up times. He may want to upgrade to Windows Pro with NVidia Quadro graphics and 8-16GB of RAM, depending on his budget. He'll also want to make sure he gets a Haswell processor.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Tim from Moreno Valley, CA Comments

Tim wants to get wireless speakers. What ones are the best? Leo likes Sonos speakers. Sonos can sync from room to room and they have little latency or echoing. So he could have them in every room in the house and put it in party mode. Bose makes outdoor speakers as well, but they're not going to be as good. He can just bring them out when he needs them.

Watch Al from Lancaster, CA Comments

Al wants to know if there's a way he could watch Sunday Ticket on his original iPad. He used to be able to, but after the latest DirecTV update, he can't. Leo says that it sounds like DirecTV upgraded their software to require iOS 6 or later.

There is a lot of debate over why Apple makes its hardware obsolete so quickly. Apple is making all apps update to be compatible with iOS7 and that's the choice that was made. It's how Apple strongarms users to buy new harware and he says it's pure greed. That first generation iPad still works fine, and Leo doesn't believe there's any technical reason that it shouldn't be able to run new apps. Leo's going to be "Secret Santa" and send Al a new iPad because he's on a fixed income and can't afford it.

Watch Terri from Lake Tahoe, CA Comments

Terri's Toshiba Excite tablet crashes when she loads Yahoo Mail. Leo's guessing that it has to do with faulty javascript code that causes the issue on some sites, but not others. Leo suggests restarting or resetting it. She should remember to backup her stuff first, then reset it. And even then, it may not fix it.

The chatroom says that sometimes webpages put a toolbar on the webpage that stays as you scroll and that could be causing the issue. Clear the browser cache. Leo also suggests using the Chrome Browser instead.

She also wanted to thank Leo for letting her know about FoxFi, which can turn an Android device into a hotspot for free with no root. Leo says that it may not work with the latest version of Android, but her Excite tablet isn't running the latest software, so it's still working for Terri.

Watch Austin from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Austin wants to know what the future has in store for Blackberry. Leo says that Blackberry has the benefit of its servers being very secure, but recently they let the keys go to China and India and that's just asking for trouble. Leo says thinking email is secure at all is a risk.

Does it have a future? Not a hope in the world. It lost several billion in the last quarter and they haven't been able to turn it around. It's too bad too because they made a great phone. And the latest Blackberry OS, the z10 flopped. They're stuck between cheap Android phones and expensive iPhones. No way it can turn around and nobody is interested in buying it except for China, and the Canadian government won't let it sell to them.

Watch Ben from Ontario, CA Comments

Ben is listing a bunch of things on eBay to sell and in the early morning he has Wi-Fi hotspots all to himself. But by 10am he can't get on. Leo says it's just network congestion. Hotspots only have so much bandwidth and if it's standing room only and everyone is using it, it slows to a crawl. He should try a different coffee shop.

Watch David from Hollywood, CA Comments

Leo says that Windows Movie Maker would be a good free option. Since he only needs it temporarily, he could use free trials. Sony Vegas has a free 30 day trial. There's also LightWorks, which is free.

He could also get something inexpensive, like Adobe Premiere Elements. For $80, he would get 90% of the full Adobe Premiere's functionality.