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Episode 1247 December 19, 2015

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mike from El Segundo, CA Comments

Mike needs a new phone and is looking at the latest Samsung Galaxy Note or Galaxy S6. He wants one with a replaceable battery. Mike found an unlocked international Samsung phone at an electronics store, and they said it doesn't have the extra software on it. Leo says it'll most certainly have the Samsung software installed, but since it's an unlocked international phone, it won't have any carrier software on it.

The Galaxy S and Note series has less bloatware, but they do come with their own software. Leo says to avoid the S5. The Note 5 doesn't have a replacable battery either, though. Only the Note 4 does, and it also has an SD card. But having said that, the Note V and even the Galaxy S6 are top notch, especially with the camera. The LG G4 also has a removable battery and SD card slot. And it's a really nice phone as well.

Watch Mark from Covina, CA Comments

Mark bought a Samsung 4K Curved TV and it won't find his phone unless he unplugs it. Leo says that Samsung's DLNA is notoriously terrible. It stops, drops, and loses connections. Leo's suggestion as an alternative is Google Chromecast. It works perfectly because the hardware connection from the Chromecast is straight into the TV.

Watch Ron from Downey Comments

Ron tries to stream music from his NetGear App on his Nexus Tablet but when the tablet goes to sleep, the music stops. Leo suspects that the app doesn't support background streaming. There are plenty of other options out there, like Plex. Leo also uses Google Music from the cloud and streams his music. That works even when the tablet goes to sleep.

Watch David from Irvine, CA Comments

David is looking for an app that will turn his iPad into a secondary display. Leo suggests Duet, which was written by former Apple Software engineers. He can make it mirrored or extended and it works on both Mac and Windows. It uses remote access from his computer. This requires a wired connection to the computer, though.

There are several other options out there if David just wants to remotely access his computer over Wi-Fi. TeamViewer is one option. There are many more if David just searches the app store for "remote access Windows."

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Wayne from Decatur, GA Comments

Wayne ordered a computer online and he wants to know if there's a program that he can plug into his computer and make it into an answering machine. Leo says there is, but he doesn't recommend them. He would need a voice modem to support it. ZyXEL still sells them, but Wayne would have to leave his PC on all the time and connected to the phone line. Then there's always the risk that the computer will answer the phone instead of him. It's far easier to just buy an answering machine. Or rely on the phone company's own voice messaging. Or, just cut the cable altogether and rely on his mobile phone solely.

Another option is RingCentral if it's a business. He can get a virtual receptionist and phone tree to handle incoming calls. Other options include Google Voice and Grasshopper.

(Disclaimer: RingCentral was a sponsor).

Watch Rick from Phelan, CA Comments

Rick is being bothered relentlessly to upgrade to Windows 10. How can he stop that? Leo says that Windows 10 is good and a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and 8 users isn't a bad thing. If he accepts the offer and installs it, he'll still have 30 days to downgrade. But he doesn't have to upgrade if he has Windows 7. If he has Windows 8, on the other hand, he should definitely do it.

There is an unsanctioned way to get rid of the repeated ad to upgrade. The GWX Control Panel can be downloaded and it will tweak his system to remove the ad. Leo is hesitant to recommend it. Microsoft should really stop badgering users to upgrade. That's just bad form.

Watch Mendota from Beverly Hills, CA Comments

Mendota wants an alternative to Time Machine for backing up his computer. Leo says he's not a fan of Time Machine. He recommends SuperDuper because it can be bootable. Time Machine is a dumbed down, simpler backup solution "for the rest of us." But that ease of use is more dangerous because it's too easy to assume you've backed everything up and can restore it. SuperDuper will not only backup Mendota's hard drive to his external drive, but it'll be bootable and SuperDuper will also constantly update it, so that if he needs to, he can reboot to an identical drive immediately.

Watch George from Santa Monica, CA Comments

George hears that Elon Musk wants to launch satellites to give everyone Wi-Fi access. Leo says it's true. He wants 4,000 satellites orbiting the earth so that there's nowhere on earth that you can't get high speed internet. He wants to launch them through SpaceX. Leo says that one of the problems with satellite internet, however, is the latency because of the distance it has to travel back and forth twice for each packet of data. Better than nothing, mind you, but there is a cost. Google is taking a different approach with balloons in Project Loon.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Nashville, TN Comments

Steve has an iPhone 6s Plus and he's being driven crazy by Apple constantly asking for his password. Leo says Apple has decided to be the security company, but what bugs him is that they already have a secure method with the fingerprint reader. Isn't that enough? He talked to an Apple Genius and they say it's a bug. But Steve Gibson says there's probably a method to their madness and it's by design.

Steve heard of a cool app called Smart 911 which has all of your personal information on hand so that if you're in trouble, they already have the details they need to send you a first responder.

Watch Chuck from San Diego, CA Comments

Chuck's wife keeps losing her iPhone charger. Since she got a replacement, she gets warnings that the third party charger isn't designed to work with the iPhone. Leo says that's an annoying popup, but if they want to avoid it, they should look for MFI certified accessories. These are accessories that are Made for iPhone. Leo says that the trend is moving towards Type C connectors and he believes that this standard will be adopted industry wide, including on Apple devices.

Watch Mike from Burbank, CA Comments

Mike notices that when a laptop goes on sale, the price drops are really not that significant. Leo says that's because he believes that computers are already at rock bottom prices. Competition has driven the price as low as it can go and margins are razor thin. That's why support is terrible on this hardware. Apple doesn't drop the price because they like their profit margin and they also offer some degree of support. They're also the only ones who make Macs. So they can charge whatever they want. The bottom line is, if we're complaining about price, we've got nobody to blame but ourselves.

Watch Carol from OshKosk, WI Comments

Carol is thinking of upgrading to WIndows 10 but she's worried about compatibility with Quicken 2000. Leo advises to contact Intuit to see if they've updated it to support Windows 10. Looking at the Intuit website, Leo finds that Quicken is focused on testing the latest version of Quicken to make sure it works. Leo guesses that since it's 15 years old, it probably won't. but if it works on Windows 7, why fix what isn't broke? She should stick with Windows 7. She's not missing a whole lot.