Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Chris from Charlestown, RI Comments

Chris has two Android phones and after getting an update, he keeps hearing an unfamiliar voice through his headset. Leo says that the headset offers voices from Cortana, Siri or Google Now. The headset uses the voices from his phone, and that's likely what Chris is hearing.

BlueAnt is a great headset because it will talk you through setup and announce the callers. That's what the Voyager Legend does as well. But it's drives Chris crazy. Leo says it's likely coming from the phone and he can turn it off in the settings.

Watch Kevin from Pensacola, FL Comments

Kevin got an Amazon Fire TV Stick for Christmas and he's having issues connecting to it using Miracast in Windows. Leo says that Miracast is a Wi-Fi technology that essentially sends HDMI over the air. Android 4.2 or newer has it built in. Windows 8.1 also natively supports it.

The chatroom says it's also in Windows 7, but it's not very reliable on Windows and it may require a particular video card. Kevin should make sure his video drivers are up to date. Leo recommends checking out this article from Paul Thurrott at about it.

Watch Stana from Pulaski, WI Comments

Stana is having issues with her old Compaq Presario freezing frequently. She tried cooling it, and it helped for awhile, but it's freezing again. She updated her drivers, and when that didn't work, she uninstalled them. Now she can't even boot into Windows because it says it failed to install an update, and it's trying to revert back.

Leo says it sounds like the drive is starting to fail. It may be a good idea to format the hard drive and reinstall windows. Compaq also has a hard drive test she can run. Reboot and press F8, then run hard drive diagnostics. And as a last resort, she'll need to buy a new hard drive.

Watch Amy from Maryland Comments

Amy has several chargers and they all charge at different speeds. Can she run a speed test to see how long it takes to charge them? Leo says she can monitor power usage with the P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. This plugs into the wall, then she can plug a charger into that. There's also this USB in-line voltage and current meter from ADAFruit.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Donald from Lion, IL Comments

Donald would like to find a printer that's really good with ink. Leo says that companies don't really care about selling printers anymore, which is why they're so cheap. They make up the money with ink. Ink per gallon is one of the most expensive fluids around. They won't let consumers use third party cartridges, and they actually use circuitry to prevent it. It requires special formations of ink to print it out. And much of the ink doesn't get used on the page.

If Donald does a lot of printing, a laser printer is by far the better option. Brother makes an affordable model, but Epson is Leo's favorite. They do have color lenses, but it's "business" color. If he wants photos, he'd have to go with InkJet.

Consumer Reports has a printer guide that's a bit out of date, but it may be helpful. Leo says that Epson does a good job keeping ink costs down. PC Magazine says that Kodak is very stingy as well.

Leo also says that printer makers are realizing that people aren't thrilled with such ink prices.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor).

Watch Rick from Merced, CA Comments

Rick is interested in 4K, and is wondering if this will be the year for it. Leo says that when he sees it, he'll go crazy because it looks fantastic. But there's a problem -- there's no standards. We're close, but they aren't finalized yet. Check out Home Theater Geeks this week, as Scott Wilkinson will be at CES talking about 4K TVs and their standards. But it's largely the reason why Leo isn't recommending buying 4K TVs just yet. And there's not much content out for it, either. Streaming can't give a good quality 4K picture at the bandwidth we have right now. So 4K is coming, but it's not really ready for prime time just yet. It'd be best to wait a while yet.

Rick should look for TCL, HiSense, and other Chinese TV manufacturers to come in and shake things up a bit.

Watch David from Torrance, CA Comments

David got a message from a strange link in Internet Explorer, and he's wondering if it was a legitimate tech support company. Leo says it's very important to look from right to left to see where the link is really coming from. The country code will indicate where it's originating from. Microsoft will never email him about anything, nor will they call. This is a phishing scam from a tech company pretending to be Microsoft in an effort to snag him and get his credit card information or load something malicious onto his machine. Leo advises calling Dell to see if they have a facility to handle such calls. And don't ever let them run the computer via remote access!

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Alan from Honolulu, HI Comments

Alan just got a 15" MacBook Pro, but he considers himself a geek and is wondering if this was really a good purchase. Should he switch? Leo says that OS X is far more secure, having been based on a pure UNIX system called BSD. It's important to note that he can also run Windows on it through Boot Camp. So when he boots up, he can choose Windows or OS X.

Having said that, Leo says he should use whatever he likes. A computer is a computer. Alan wants to know what to do with it if he chooses to get rid of it. Leo says he can sell it to Gazelle, or list it on eBay, but why not give it to his kid? There's great parental controls on the Mac to keep it safe and easy to use.

Watch Sergio from Whitter, CA Comments

Sergio has a Metro PCS phone and he can't get any incoming calls. Leo says that he'll need to be sure he's giving out the right phone number - a digit could be mixed up. Verify what the phone number is according to the phone.

He might also have accidentally turned on call blocking in the settings.

Call forwarding may be turned on.

He should also try calling MetroPCS to ask. The port from another company may not have gone through properly.

Lastly, he should reset the phone. Start with a soft reset that requires removing the battery, and then go to a hard reset if it doesn't work. If he has Wi-Fi calling, he may not have set up his account with MetroPCS, which would prevent incoming calls.

Watch Tyler from Marcellus, IL Comments

Tyler wants to know about the hack for Windows XP that will allow it to continue receiving updates. Leo says it involves altering Windows so that it think its "Windows Embedded for POS." It requires a registry hack, though, and Microsoft frowns on it.

Tyler should check out the article from ZDNet on it here. He should make sure he backs up the registry before doing any alterations, though. This hack is for the 32 bit version of XP. If he does this, he can get security updates through 2019 -- provided Microsoft doesn't put a stop to this.

Watch Emilio from Lubbock, TX Comments

Emilio is looking for a good file management utility that has good accessibility features, chiefly via speech. He wants to be able to sort and make documents that are easily searchable. Evernote doesn't do it. Leo says they should.

DevonThink is very popular with researchers. It's a database he can put stuff into, and organize it. Microsoft's OneNote is free and it works pretty well also. Microsoft has a support document on how he can turn on accessibility in One Note here.

The chatroom says that Folder Lister for OS X is something to look into.

Watch Jonathan from San Jacinto, CA Comments

Jonathan has Verizon FIOS with 75 Mbps up and down. Leo says that's nice! He has great signal on one side of the house, but it's terrible on the other side. How can he extend the Wi-Fi? Leo says he has to use Verizon's FIOS modem and router, but he doesn't have to use it for Wi-Fi. He can get a better Wi-Fi access point like an Apple Airport Extreme. Then put that in bridge mode so it'll pass the signal along to the rest of the house. If he needs more, then he can add a few $99 Airport Express's to act as a repeater. Leo has three of them.

He'll want the base station near his FIOS modem and physically connect it. He'll also need to turn off the FIOS modem's Wi-Fi, and put the Airport into "Bridge mode." He can use 2.4 Ghz, but if it's a crowded area, he could choose 5 Ghz. The lower the number, the farther it'll go. So it's a tradeoff.

The other option is powerline networking. But that has it's own challenges, such as not being able to jump junction boxes.

Watch Steven from New Jersey Comments

Steven needs to upgrade his Android phone. For him, the Note is too big, and the Galaxy 5 has too short of battery life. What about the Droid Turbo? Leo says that at 5", it's a nice size. It's essentially a Moto X with a giant battery and supurb screen. It's very crisp and has many of the Moto X features. If he's on Verizon, the Droid Turbo is among the best.