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Episode 1289 May 21, 2016

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Beaumont, CA Comments

Steve got caught up in the terrible handover from Verizon FIOS to Frontier. He cancelled his account and has decided to go with Time Warner Cable. Leo says that's the good news, that he has an alternative. All too often there's a virtual monopoly between cable providers in the area.

Leo says he's going to want to have his own router, though, and he should let the Time Warner modem just be a modem while his own router handles the security. He should also make sure that he gets a DOCSIS III modem from Time Warner. In fact, if he can, he should just buy his own modem. ARRIS is a good brand, but he's going to want to be sure what models Time Warner supports.

Steve should check out The Wire Cutter for reviews. The ARRIS Surfboard 6141 is the one they recommend.

Watch Ian from Lakeview Terrace, CA Comments

Ian heard that Apple has stopped support for Quicktime for Windows. He's uninstalled it, but there are programs like Adobe Premiere and Hyper Studio that depend on it. Leo says that there may be an update through the programs that will support other options. If there isn't, there should be soon. In the meantime, Ian should make sure that his browser can't launch Quicktime. He can go into the settings and disable it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Railroad Flat, AZ Comments

Steve is having trouble recovering his password in Gmail. Leo says that password recovery is the number one way to get an email account hacked, so Google makes it really difficult to recover. That's why Leo recommends using 2nd factor authentication so that he can get a text with a code to recover it easily and securely. If he hasn't done that, he'll have to jump through a few hoops including telling Google about a recent email he sent. If he can't do that, he may be out of luck short of contacting Google. There is a Google support number, but unless he's linked his phone number to his GMail account, he may have no way to actually prove he is who he says he is.

Watch Albert from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Albert wants to know how he can watch TV over the air on his smartphone. Leo says that there used to be a way to do it, but third party apps have mostly gone away. Many of the cellphone carriers have TV apps, though. T-Mobile has a TV app called T-MobileTV.

Watch Kathy from Maryland Comments

Kathy has a friend who's thinking of moving to Consumer Cellular. Leo says that they are an MVNO, reselling coverage from another carrier like AT&T. It should work as well as the carrier and often they are a great deal.

However, they may also have data caps and even throttle data after the 1st GB. Leo says the deal may be better for voice plans rather than data plans. Another option would be a former sponsor Ting. The chatroom suggests Republic Wireless, which is another great option. If Kathy doesn't mind buying a Google phone, Google Fi is a great choice too.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch The Old Geek from California Comments

The Old Geek has a friend who's worried that his Microsoft Office subscription will expire and lock him out of all his documents. Is there a way around this? Leo says that even when Office expires, he can still open his documents, he just can't edit them.

There's another option, though: Microsoft Office online. It's free and works just like the Office subscription, but with some limited features. There's also open source office alternatives like Libre Office. It's free and works just like Microsoft Office. So there's nothing to worry about. Buying Microsoft Office these days really isn't as compelling as it used to be.

Watch Peter from Michigan Comments

Peter is going on a cruise in the fall and wants to get a really great camera. What should he get? Leo says that nowadays smartphones are really good, but they can't zoom very well. Leo likes the Olympus TG-4. It's 16MP, very durable, and has a fast 2.8 lens. Great for traveling.

Watch Preston from Indianapolis, IN Comments

Preston's music is in the cloud now, but he wants to know how he can listen to that when he's not on the internet. He's using Apple Music. Leo says there's a button in Apple Music for downloading music, and as long as he's a subscriber to Apple Music, he can download and play the music even when he's offline. He just needs to find a playlist or album he likes, and look for the download button. Sometimes music services will phrase it a little different, and say "Cache" or "Pin" instead of "Download."

For music that he already owns, he can just sync it from iTunes to his phone. He also could get iTunes Match, which will match the tracks in iTunes and make them available in the cloud to access on his phone. If iTunes doesn't have a copy of the music file, it will just upload it and make it available for download on other devices.

Watch David from Palm Beach, FL Comments

David wants to know about Tunnel Bear. Leo says that Tunnel Bear is a virtual private network or VPN, which essentially burrows a digital secure tunnel in the internet. Is it secure enough to bank with or should he just trust "https"? Leo says both are very similar. The difference is that https activity cannot be seen by anyone, but they can see that he's been online. It can also be probed, whereas VPNs are tunnels that encrypt all of the traffic. no one could see anything. It's more security, but similar security. It's up to David. If he's on a hotspot, VPNs are the way to go.

(Disclaimer: Tunnel Bear is a sponsor)

Watch Maggie from Tuscon, AZ Comments

Maggie is on Yahoo and she's thinking of moving her email account since they're going to be sold. Leo says that Gmail is a great option. It's what he uses. If she wants to pay and avoid ads and prevent a service from scanning her email for ad keywords, then FastMail is a great option. She can also set up her Yahoo mail to forward to her FastMail account, so she doesn't have to cancel it.

Watch Doug from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Doug has a 70" flat screen TV and it just died on him. He bought another slightly smaller one. Is it worth it to fix the broken one? Leo says maybe. It could be a failed power supply. If it's the screen itself, it's probably not worth fixing. But it wouldn't hurt to find a good TV repair guy to let him know. It's worth at least $1000 if he can.