Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Rick from Hisperia, CA Comments

Rick is wondering which virtual reality headset to buy, or if it would be best to wait until the next generation. Leo says that VR is very convincing and creates an amazing immersive illusion that you're somewhere else. The Oculus Rift has a demo where you're standing on the edge of a skyscraper that's very realistic. There are some shortcomings, however. You can't pick up things and touch things unless you use a game or hand controller. The negative on the Sony Playstation VR is that the move controllers weren't designed with VR, so they can lag a bit. Also, the playstation VR was designed to be used while seated. Oculus is limited movement because of the cords. Only the HTC Vive has the wireless option and that's probably the best of the bunch.

Then there's the choice of games that are available. Sadly, the Oculus has better games, but the Vive is the better technology. It's also expensive. Rick would need an Oculus approved PC to run it, too. The Playstation VR will have 50 games by the end of the year, though. Leo says he should expect to feel queasy when playing as most people do.

We're also in the early days of it, and it's being driven by mobile devices.

Watch Mike from Fountain, CO Comments

Mike wants to know if he can use an active background in Windows 7. Basically, he's interested in a background that moves. Leo says that it works, but he'll need a very high performance PC to take advantage of it. Leo recommends looking into StarDock. They probably have some of those features in Object Desktop.

Watch Eric from Richland, WA Comments

Eric is doing some video editing and wants to know what the best software is for 4K footage. He also wants to know about the best drone to get. Leo says for drone advice, he should check out KnowHow with Father Robert Ballecer (PadreSJ). He does a lot of features on drones and has some tips and tricks on how to buy, build and fly them.

As for 4K video editing, Leo says that just about any video editor will do. As for zooming in with 3D space, that's a function of the video player more than the editor. One option would be Matterport's 3D camera, which is very popular for real estate video. It captures in 3D space. It's not an editor, but it would give him the source footage to make it possible. Leo suggests checking out the VideoLan Client. It supports zoom.

Watch Patrick from Long Beach, FL Comments

Patrick heard Leo talking about Tiny Hardware Firewall in the past, and he also uses it. The idea of this is not unique to this company. It's actually created by HotSpotVPN. They buy inexpensive boxes and then put firmware in them that routes everything through their VPN. As part of a subscription to their VPN, or as part of the hardware purchase, you'll get this automatically. The downside is that the Tiny Hardware Firewall must use HotSpotVPN, and can't use a different service. Some people may not choose them because some people use VPNs to bypass geographical restrictions, but that's not how Tiny Hardware Firewall works. You can't choose a different geographical location. Tiny Hardware Firewall does have TOR built-in though, which is nice. Leo uses that because he wants to be safe when using an open access point. Leo has the keychain version of the hardware firewall, and he says it's important to have a firewall when you're on an open access point.

Patrick uses TunnelBear, and Leo says that one is a good one, particularly for removing geographical restrictions. But Patrick says Netflix complained about it. Leo says that the way services like Netflix or the BBC iPlayer fight back is by banning VPNs. Netflix has gotten better and better at blocking VPNs. Using a VPN isn't a great idea for watching video anyway, because it does limit your speed.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Conrad from Louisiana Comments

Conrad just got a cell phone on a prepaid plan. From what he understands, though, getting a phone on a regular contract plan would give him better reception. Leo doesn't think that's true, and says the phones are the same, and the only difference is how he would pay. Admittedly, these cheaper "Go Phones" are not the best phones. Truthfully, though, sometimes the lower priced phones have better antennas than the higher end smartphones because manufacturers try to hide and minimize antenna lines for cosmetic purposes. Conrad has an iPhone 5 on AT&T, which Leo says is a good phone for this. If he were to get it from a reseller like Straight Talk, sometimes that is prioritized lower for data.

Conrad had a little bit of sticker shock though at the cost of the phone. Leo says the most expensive computer a lot of people will ever buy is the smartphone. A new iPhone is at least $600 or $700, and then the cost of data over the course of two years adds up to thousands of dollars. Leo says Conrad probably got the best deal he can get, though.

Conrad is also having a hard time finding a good protective case for it. Leo says he buys his from Amazon. Conrad should check out Ringke. These are $10 cases made from a clear rubber and they're very good at protecting the corners/back of the phone. It won't protect the glass on the front, though. Conrad will want a case that has a cover for that. Otterbox's cases are great for that, but they're about $70. They will definitely protect it, though.

Watch Keith from New Hampshire Comments

Keith streams on Netflix and it looks terrible at the beginning. Leo says that Netflix uses an adaptive algorithm that starts off at its lowest resolution and then gets better once it guages his bandwidth. If it gets worse over time, though, that means that his bandwidth is inconsistent. Since Keith is using wireless, it could be the Wi-Fi dropping or pausing briefly, dropping packets. Keith needs to wire his router to the TV. If that doesn't fix it, he can look for the Quality of Service (QoS) setting that will enable him to set priority over what traffic he wants.

Watch Noberto from Whittier, CA Comments

Noberto is a retired scientist turned self published author. He wrote and published his book through Amazon's Create Space and wants to expand to Apple iBooks. Leo says that using Create Space means he's stuck with just Amazon, and that really is the biggest place. Getting it on Apple iBooks can be done in a similar fashion. Apple offers iBooks Author for free. Apple will let him do self published works, but the key is to get it in the right format (ePub).

Noberto should check out this FAQ at about it.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Douglas from New York, NY Comments

Douglas discovered Dirpy, a website for downloading video from YouTube. Sometimes it freezes up, though. Leo says that Google may be trying to block it. There are plenty of others to choose from. The Chatroom says YouTube-DL is a good option. It's an open source program that runs from the command line of your PC. Leo also recommends KeepVid.

Douglas wants to know why Siri has gotten so bad. Leo says he thinks it has gotten so bad because Apple doesn't like to pry into user history, whereas the Google Assistant is all about harnessing user information to give better results.

Watch Tom from Warren, OH Comments

Tom is interested in a pico projector. Leo says they're not very bright and have low resolution. The idea of having a projector in your pocket that can connect to a mobile phone is pretty cool, though. Will they last? It's anyone's guess, but brightness may be the biggest issue.

Shown above: AAXA P300 Pico Projector (Amazon)

Watch Char from Minneapolis, MN Comments

Char wants to take his old 60GB iPod and use it to copy files from his computer as a kind of hard drive backup. Leo says that when the ipod first came out, you could do that. But with newer models, Apple made it difficult to do this to prevent piracy. Char can do it, but he'll have file names that look different. Leo advises using Senuti.

Char can't even see the iPod from his PC, though. He could see if it's in Device Manager. If he can't, then it may have died. Or it may be a "hidden" device, which can happen in Windows. But chances are, it's broken. It may also be a bad 30 pin connector or even something called "stickshun." Those old iPods were spinning drives, and over time the head could actually stick to it. If he gives it a gentle wack, it could free it up.

Mike B in the chatroom says to try this: in DOS - "SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" This may cause it to show up.

Image: Photo taken by Stahlkocher (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Debbie from California Comments

Debbie has an old HP Photosmart printer and she wants to print some images. Leo says that most printers are wireless now and she can print over Wi-Fi through iOS and Google. She also wants an all-in-one that can also fax. Leo says faxing is dying out these days. She can take a picture or PDF and email it. It's a much simpler process.

Leo recommends the Canon PIXMA Pro 100, Pro 110, or an Epson. Epson is the best if she's printing in Black and White. Leo's not a fan of HP. Leo recommends checking out the Wirecutter. They say the best is the Epson SureColor, but it's not cheap at $800. The Epson Artisan is another option. Even the EcoTank is a great deal. But if she doesn't do a lot of printing, it may be easier to just use a service.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)