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Episode 1140 November 30, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Max from Milpitas, CA Comments

Max has Eset's security suite and when he goes onto public Wi-Fi, it shows he's invisible to other computers. Leo says that's a good thing because public Wi-Fi is visible to anyone. Eset is probably turning on the Firewall, but he doubts there's a VPN going on here. If it's secure, he'll see the URL start with "https://." There's a move to make all internet traffic encrypted. But until that time, Max will have to remember that when he's on public Wi-Fi, he's out in the open.

(Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor)

Watch Robert from Garden Grove, CA Comments

Robert would like a simple, easy to use tablet. Leo says that the iPad is the best option for ease of use, but it's not cheap. He'll need access to the internet to get email, download apps, etc. So Robert should get the LTE version, which costs about $129 more, plus a monthly rate for the data plan.

Watch Randy from Tustin, CA Comments

Randy's wife is Chinese and he'd like to get her a laptop that she could use in both Chinese and English. Leo says that he can get a laptop in Chinese over the internet and then switch it to English when she would need to. Or, he can just buy a Chinese USB keyboard. Leo recommends the Lenovo Yoga, which could double as a laptop and a tablet.

Another, more expensive option would be the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It's a tablet that also has keyboards she could snap onto it, and Randy could probably get her both a Chinese and English keyboard to go with it.

To find accessories and products in other languages, the chatroom suggests visiting There are products there in nearly any language.

Watch Paul from San Diego, CA Comments

Paul needs to replace his big, heavy laptop with something lighter and thinner. Leo suggests the Acer Aspire S7, which is the computer he uses. It's not cheap, at around $1300, but Leo says it'll last longer than cheaper laptops and he'd probably have fewer problems with it.

If he's on a budget, there are some great deals out right now. Paul wanted something touch sensitive, and was looking at the Lenovo Yoga 2. Leo says if he wants touch, that's a great way to go.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Miami, FL Comments

Joe has several high resolution audio downloads and would like to burn them to CD. He has an SACD player and also a DVD-A player, but he doesn't have a high resolution player like the Pono. Leo says that SACD and DVD audio were two formats created to deliver higher quality than CD. In most cases, it was for surround sound and other features, but it could be higher bit rate. But unless he could make that CD, the fact that he can play it back doesn't really help him here.

If Joe wants to burn it to a CD that can be played back on any CD player, it has to conform to the "Redbook" standard. The Redbook standard requires that the audio be 44.1 kHz with a sample rate of 16 bit. He could, however, burn a data disc instead of an audio disc. That would contain the original files, just as they are on his hard drive. But in order to play those back, he would still need hardware that can understand high resolution audio files. Leo has an Onkyo receiver that has digital to audio converters that can handle higher resolution, all the way up to 192/24. He can put high resolution files on a USB key, plug that into the USB port on his receiver, and then just switch the receiver to that, it will show him a directory of music. Joe needs a player that can understand this.

Joe is wondering if he downloads the high resolution tracks to his computer, would it work there? Leo says not all computers will be able to handle high resolution tracks. Leo also recommends checking out the Pono Player.

Here's how to burn DVD Audio -

Watch David from Durham, NC Comments

David has a hearing aid, which is bluetooth enabled, and whenever he gets into his car, Ford SYNC connects to his hearing aid instead of his phone. Leo says that's one of the limitations of Ford SYNC is that it can only sync with one device at a time, so he'd have to disable his hearing aid in order to have it connect to his phone.

Watch Charlie from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Charlie would like to get a sound bar for his home theater since he lives in an apartment complex, but he also wants to use it for music. Leo says that the Sonos System is ideal for this, but it's not cheap. It can connect to his TV and he can also use it for music. It's very flexible to tie in his iPhone or iPad as well. It's equivalent to the Bose, which could cost a bit more. Leo loves them, and he has several in the house. And what's really cool is that he could connect it to his stereo and it becomes another Sonos outlet.

Watch Gary from Buffalo, NY Comments

Gary is thinking about rooting his old Android phone. Leo says that rooting means he can run his phone as an administrator, or "super user." Some companies, like Samsung, make it a bit harder to do, but it can be done.

Gary should check out XDA Two popular boot loaders include Clockwork Mod, and Twerk. But he'll have to use the exact rooting instructions for his specific model phone. And it varies from model to model.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jason from Auburn, ME Comments

Jason uses a logging app that will automatically add GPS data when he creates an entry. It would take something from an external GPS through a com port, which is obviously something his laptop doesn't have. He found an app that allows for GPS over Bluetooth so he can use the app on his laptop. Most laptops have Bluetooth built-in, but the app is looking for that data from a com port. The chatroom recommends the GlobalSat GPS receiver for $35, and it works via USB. They also make USB to Serial port adapters. Jason should consult this tech note from Microsoft -

Jason also just bought the Samsung Galaxy S5 and he has an unlimited data plan because he's a truck driver. Leo says that makes a lot of sense, but most people have Wi-Fi at home and work and as such, don't really need or use that much. Leo also thinks it's bad form for companies to offer unlimited data and then throttle you when you actually use it.

Watch Naomi from Denver, CO Comments

Naomi upgraded her Nexus 7 tablet to Android 5.0 Lollipop and she's not very happy. Leo says that the promise of the Nexus line is that, being directly from Google, users should get updates first. But they roll it out slowly to see if problems crop up, and it sounds like Naomi was one who had problems. Naomi's issue is that her Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping out. Her tablet has also been running really slow. Leo says Google will push a fix pretty soon, though. First thing to do is clear the tablet cache. Leo also says that doing a full factory reset could also help, but she'll lose everything.

Here are some more tips -

Watch Darren from Long Beach, CA Comments

Darren feels like Plasma TVs going away is like watching vinyl dying all over again. With both Pioneer and Panasonic out of the game, where can he find a plasma now? Leo says that nothing looks as good as plasma, but everyone bought LCDs. Companies just have to follow the demand, and LG is the last man standing. Darren could still find a few Panasonic VT or ST models, but they're getting harder and harder to find and they're really expensive. So that leaves last year's Samsung, and LG.

Should he buy the extended warranty on a plasma TV? Leo says he doesn't because even if it dies, they won't be making them anymore. It wouldn't be replaced with a plasma, it would be replaced with an LCD. The only other option is an OLED, but they're still cost prohibitive at $8,000. But the price is dropping.

Scott Wilkinson says that the newest FALD LED TVs are starting to get black levels comparable to plasmas. So that's not a bad way to go for now.

Watch Bob from Shelbyville, NC Comments

Bob wants to know when Netflix is going to replace Silverlight. Leo says that Microsoft dropped support for Silverlight a long time ago, and Netflix is slowly starting to change to HTML5, but it's not fast enough for most of us. Bob says that Silverlight goes away from time to time and it's frustrating. It has happened on the Mac. But for Windows, I.E. 11 uses HTML5. Since Bob uses XP Pro, he can't even use that. He's stuck at IE8. Leo says it's really time to get a new computer. The Chrome browser may be an option.

Watch Steve from San Diego, CA Comments

Steve just bought high end Sony Bluetooth headphones and he wants to be able to connect his iPod classic to it. Leo says he can buy a bluetooth audio transmitter that plugs into the headphone jack. He should make sure it supports A2DP. But quality varies dramatically. He could also buy one that plugs into the iPod's 30 pin connector and that's a digital signal. He can look for them at