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Episode 1068 March 23, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dave from Waukegan, IL Comments

Dave has a new MacPro, but he's not so sure it's the "latest and greatest" computer out there. Leo agrees. It's not better than the current Haswell processors, and at that price, Dave's not really getting more speed then a comparable iMac for every day tasks.

But with the high performance AMD Firepro graphics cards and DDR3 memory, it really begins to shine when it's used for high performance applications like video editing. Although it doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard or mouse, considering the price is $3,000, it's actually a great deal and Dave couldn't build one for that.

Watch Billy from Redondo Beach, CA Comments

Billy is getting a new Windows 8 desktop and wants to be sure he sets it up with the proper security. Leo says that Microsoft is now bundling Windows Defender (formerly called Security Essentials) with Windows 8, so he'll be protected as long as he keeps it up to date. There are other things he can do to protect yourself more, though:

1. Stop using Windows as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote the existing account to "limited user." This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. He should get Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure. This has Adobe Flash built in, and it's sandboxed so it's safer. Billy shouldn't install Flash separately.
3. He should not install Java, unless he knows he needs it.
4. Don't click on links in email.
5. Only get software from the original vendors.
6. Keep the antivirus software up to date.
7. Be careful of what gets installed, and he should be careful what he clicks on.

If Billy does these things, he should be fine going forward. Billy should also check out to learn more about how to catch phishing scams before they catch him.

Watch Louis from Hollywood, CA Comments

Louis says that he thinks in addition to backing up our data, we should "back up" people. What he means by that is redundancy of capable people so that companies aren't reliant on just one person to solve problems, especially in IT. Leo says he agrees, which is why he does things like show notes, and the TWiT Wiki. In fact, he's also trying to put together a Wiki of what everyone does at the Brickhouse Studios. Leo is breaking ground on running a TV station on the Internet, and as such, things often go awry.

Watch Earl (AA7EG) from online Comments

Earl wants to get a laptop for photo editing. He'd also like one that has good battery life. Leo says that the MacBook Air gets up to 13 hours of battery life. Even if he's doing a lot of photo editing, that's still about 8-10 hours.

How much RAM should he get? For most things, 4GB is fine. But if he's going to do RAW, where the size of the images is 27-28 MB per file, then maybe doubling the RAM would be a good idea.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jeff from Redondo Beach, CA Comments

Jeff is having trouble with his Dell XPS laptop because he can only get an hour and a half of battery life. Leo says that the XPS is considered a "desktop replacement," and an hour and a half really isn't that unusual. It's likely that if he looks for the "fudge words" in the ad, he'll see that his mileage may vary. That's why Leo advises never to buy a new piece of hardware without reading legitimate reviews. An ad is always going to stetch the details.

Watch Mike from El Segundo, CA Comments

Mike says that city governments are levying extra taxes disguised as internet modernization efforts, when in reality, they're using it for other purposes. Leo says that TWiT isn't a political show, but users should always pay attention to what goes on in their home towns. All politics is local. A greater impact is the monopoly on internet access that companies have, and we've seen that in the recent net neutrality issue resulting in Netflix having to pay.

The Internet should be a utility, and even the United Nations says it's a human right. Leo says that cities should provide internet access in the same way they provide electricity and water. That would eliminate issues like Net Neutrality. But corrupt legislators and high priced lobbying efforts stymie that.

Watch George from Vero Beach, FL Comments

George got a nasty piece of malware called "Search Conduit." Leo says that Conduit is bad, even though they swear they're legit. But if it takes over his browser and he can't get rid of it, then it's the very definition of malware. Leo advises downloading MalwareBytes from If that doesn't work, he should try booting into "Safe Mode" and try it then. If that doesn't work, he should try one of these:

Leo advises all users run as limited users, then this kind of thing won't be as likely to happen.

Watch Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ Comments

Scott has an HTC One that he used at AT&T but he's had it unlocked and moved over to T-Mobile. But his MMS and text messaging aren't working now. Leo says that it may be that the APN settings are wrong, and that won't allow the phone to send images. There also may be an issue with the frequencies supported.

Leo says there's a YouTube video which talks about that very issue. It may be that the HTC One sold by AT&T is different in its capabilities than that same phone with T-Mobile. The chatroom suggests using WhatsApp instead. It bypasses the whole issue. But the other person he wants to text with needs to be using it as well.

Watch Walt from Huntington, WV Comments

Walt and is using an old server as a home computer. He uses to monitor his home security system, and it works wired. But when he changes over to the wireless configuration on the camera, one of his cameras will not connect.

Leo says that there may be a DHCP conflict that's preventing it, or the password based security is the issue. He should try turning off security on the router to see if it works. It may be the older camera can't be supported with the newer security standard used by the router.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Pat from San Bernardino, CA Comments

Pat has quite a few computers, and is wondering if there's a good way to manage all of his data on one single machine. Leo says that the Cloud can make just about any computer "his" computer. With his data in the cloud, he can just use any computer or device he wants. Leo uses a computer at work, at home, and has a tablet and a phone. Leo also has a FileTransporter, which for $250 gives him his own cloud access.

Watch Bobby from Las Vegas, NV Comments

Bobby wants to know what Anti Virus he should use. Leo says that AVS software isn't as important as behavior. If he's very careful with his online behavior, then having an antivirus is a good last line of defense. But if he isn't being safe online with his behavior, AVS really won't save him from himself.

Here's what Bobby should do:

1. Stop using the computer as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. He should add an account as an administrator and then demote his existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
3. Don't click on links in email.
4. Only get software from original vendors.
5. Keep antivirus software up to date.

If he does these things, then using a free anti virus like Microsoft Defender will be good enough.

Watch Wes from Washington State Comments

Wes has 15 years of data from Quicken that he'd like to import into his new computer, but he can't get it to read it. Leo says that only Quicken tech support can help him do that. Leo suggests trying Mint instead.

Watch Suzanne from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Suzanne's mother has a Windows XP machine and she's wondering what she should do after April 8. Leo says that Microsoft ending life of support for XP really isn't as terrible as it was first believed. If she practices safe computing, her mother should be ok. Here are a few things she can do to protect herself on Windows XP:

1. Stop using XP as an administrator. Use it as a limited user instead. She should add an account as an administrator and then demote her existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
3. Don't click on links in email.
4. Only get your software from original vendors.
5. Keep antivirus software up to date.

If she does these five things, she'll be fine moving forward after April 8th.

Watch Pat from Downey, CA Comments

Pat keeps getting an iTunes error on his older Mac running Lion saying that it can't "allocate memory" when trying to sync to his iPad. Leo says that may be due to the version of OS X that he's using. But if he's using at least OS X Lion, then it should be OK.

The chatroom says it could be a cable issue. Pat should try uninstalling iTunes and reinstalling. Pat may also need to clear out some memory on your iPad. But at the end of the day, iTunes has become a terrible program.

Watch Jim from Cypress, CA Comments

Jim wants to run both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable off the same TV. Leo says he can do it via the HDMI ports on the back of the TV. Then he can just switch from one source to the other. But he'll need a separate cable for it. Can he do it wirelessly? Leo says that wireless HDTV is a difficult thing. It's always best to go wired through HDMI.

Watch Richard from Placentia, CA Comments

Richard is ready to upgrade his Gateway XP desktop to a new computer. Should he buy a Dell or Lenovo? He bought his daughter a Dell Latitude. Leo says that Dell is great, and the Latitude is a great business model PC. In fact, Leo's entire business office uses Dell.

Will he get the same TV directly from Dell than the big box store? Leo says that getting it from will be the most recent computer and that's better. The Big Box Stores will have older, year old models.

Watch Chris from Miami, FL Comments

Chris has noticed that when he visits a web page, he'll start hearing audio but he doesn't know which tab it's coming from. Leo says that's very annoying and it's becoming quite a problem because sites will auto play video. Google Chrome actually puts an audio icon on the tab that is playing the audio, so Leo recommends using Google Chrome as his browser.

Watch Michael from Long Beach, CA Comments

Michael wants to back up all his images onto CDs for safe keeping. He used to use Nero, but it doesn't work on Windows 7. Leo says that Windows may be able to burn it natively. He'll want to format the CD and then drag the files onto it. Then he can select "burn," and it'll be done. Leo says he doesn't put stuff on CDs anymore, he uses the Cloud instead. And with Flickr by Yahoo offering 1TB of free image storage, it's a good option. Also, just having one backup isn't really a backup. Backing up to the cloud is a wise idea.

There's a few free options like IMG Burn, which is like the old Nero. CD Burner XP is an excellent option as well. It works like Nero and also can handle Blu-rays.

How can he downgrade his user account to a standard user? Leo says to create an administrator account first and then in the user account settings he can downgrade any user account. He'll have to have at least one administrator account, though.

Watch Michael from Long Beach, CA Comments

Michael wants to know how he can downgrade his account to a "limited user" as opposed to running as administrator in Windows. Leo says he'll have to create an administrator account first, and then in the Windows user account settings he can downgrade any user account. Should he run as "Guest"? Leo says no, "guest" will automatically delete all the data every time the user logs out. He can just downgrade his current account after logging into another administrator account.