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Episode 1357 January 22, 2017

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Walnut Creek, CA Comments

Jim is about to retire and he has to get a computer now that his work computer will be returned. What should he get? Leo says it depends on what he liked about his work computer and what he didn't like. Jim had a Thinkpad for work, so Leo says he can get one of his own.

Leo also says that since the PC division of HP split off, its new Spectre line is fantastic. Monitor-wise, Dell has an Ultrawide 34" monitor, and LG has a wide curved monitor that is incredible, and surprisingly affordable.

Watch Ron from Rome, ITALY Comments

Ron is driving an RV around Europe. He wants to be able to upload all his 4K videos to the cloud. Leo says that he can upload them to YouTube or Vimeo. Both support 4K, but he won't have sufficient bandwidth to do that. Leo recommends saving them to an external drive and then shipping them home. Or he can just send thumbdrives, which he can get as large as 256GB now. Shipping them would be the most efficient way to back them up. Uploading, even at an internet cafe, would take forever.

Leo also says that uploading in 4K is rather impractical as most of the video is highly compressed anyway and nobody is really seeing it. 1080p is plenty.

Check out Ron's Facebook Page here.

Watch Brian from Nashville, TN Comments

Brian is concerned that the more data he creates with his phone and computer, the more data is out there for people to know about him. How can he be more private online? Leo says his mobile phone leaks data in a wide variety of ways, and not even the iPhone is invulnerable anymore. The best way is to just get off the internet. Since that isn't practical, he'll have to compromise and just be careful how he shares data. He should avoid social media. He should remember that his ISP knows everything he does online.

Leo recommends checking out Future Crimes and the UPDATE Protocol at

Watch Jim from Las Vegas, NV Comments

Jim has an Amazon Echo and wants to know how he can find out if a skill is good or not. Are there reviews anywhere? He also wants to know if there's a way to play audio from YouTube. Leo says he could pair his Echo to his phone and play it that way. It can then work as a Bluetooth device. There may not be a YouTube skill yet, though.

What about using the Echo to record audio? Leo says it maybe could, but there may be privacy issues with that. He can trigger it with the keyword, but Leo doesn't know how long it will keep tracking what is said. Some may think that Echo is always recording, but it isn't. It listens for keywords and responds.

Watch Bret from Wood-Ridge, NJ Comments

Bret has Windows 10 and uses Windows Defender, but it keeps telling him he's unprotected -- even if he's just run a scan. Leo says there's a little red flag in the task menu, and if he opens that up, it will tell him what's unprotected. Bret says it's just notifications that keep coming up, and Leo says he can just turn those notifications off. Leo suggests looking at the screen that tells him what's unprotected. If he doesn't have protection updates turned on, he may want to do that. If he wants to be as safe as possible, he should turn all that stuff on. It could just be that those updates aren't turned on or his definitions aren't up to date. Bret says everything is up to date, though.

Leo suggests doing a thorough scan to see if that resets it. It shouldn't be notifying him right after performing a scan, unless it's just not registering that he's done a scan.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jerry from New Brunswick, NJ Comments

Jerry is getting a new computer and wants to know if he should buy one with an Intel or AMD processor? Leo says that AMD is a bit underpowered and he recommends sticking with the Intel i5. Leo says that for what Jerry does, a Chromebook is a very reliable and low cost alternative. It's the most secure OS out there. Leo recommends the Samsung Chromebook Plus, which goes on sale next month.

Watch Mike from El Segundo, CA Comments

Mike got a Samsung Galaxy S7 and he's concerned about the same battery issues happening to the S7 that happened to the Note 7. Leo says that's not a concern as it's a completely different design. We have no one to blame but ourselves since we're always demanding a thinner phone. Leo would rather have a thicker phone and better battery life.

Mike's Galaxy S7 has cracked twice. What case should he get? Leo says that it really doesn't matter if he's clumsy. Leo doesn't even use a case.

Mike is also about to change his carrier and wants to be able to tether. Leo says it depends on what's best in his area. Leo likes T-Mobile because it's very aggressive in pricing and service. Good high speed internet with unlimited data (which slows down after the first few GB).

Watch Joe from Sounthbend, IN Comments

Joe installed a TV, Blu-ray player, and a Yahama A/V receiver for his friend, but they couldn't get the audio return channel to work. Leo says one of the HDMI ports on the TV should be labeled ARC. They'd plug that into a port on the receiver, and usually it just works. Joe went through the settings in the Yamaha and he had to turn on HDMI control. After doing that, the Blu-ray player now wakes up anytime he changes the input. This is called CEC, and it automatically turns on the TV and sets the input to that device when you turn it on. What happens, however, is that everything that's connected tries to switch the TV's input to it when you turn everything on.

Joe wants to know if it's possible to turn off CEC for the Blu-ray player. He apparently has to have CEC on for the audio return to work. Leo says those shouldn't be coupled, but maybe it has to signal to the receiver that the audio is coming from the TV. The chatroom says to turn off all HDMI control of CEC, and TOSLINK may be the option here. That will avoid the whole issue but then he won't get the audio return.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Scott from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Scott bought a Dell OptiPlex and it doesn't have a sound mixer utility for SoundForge. Leo says that it should, especially since Scott sees a microphone. It may not show up from the right click menu on the task bar, though.

Scott should check his sound and task bar settings. He can also try to install the drivers from Dell. The sound card may also need to be enabled in BIOS. Also, he should check in the Device Manager (Windows Key + X) and see if the drivers are missing. The chatroom says he may need to install ASIO drivers for SoundForge.

Watch Dick from Rochester, NY Comments

Dick is thinking about cutting the cable. Leo says that cutting the cable may be more convenient, but it doesn't really save him money if he's streaming television. He'll end up paying more for his internet access and premium streaming services.

What's the best streaming solution for getting the channels he'd be giving up with regular cable? Well, DirecTV Now, but it's terrible. SlingTV is from Dish. The third is the best, however, and that's Sony PlayStation Vue. It has different plans with lots of channels including local channels. But the chatroom says that it still doesn't carry all the channels.

Watch Ed from Pennsylvania Comments

Ed has a Hi8mm camera with Firewire and he wants to record directly to the computer. Leo says he probably could, but it won't be in hi def. Even his smartphone would be better in quality than that old Hi8 camera. He'd also need a Firewire drive and Firewire is a dead technology. He'd be a lot better off with a point and shoot, and it would give him 12x optical zoom. A Canon ELPH will cost under $120.

Watch Bret from Wood-Ridge, NJ Comments

Bret says that watching the TWiT Stream on his tablet buffers while his desktop doesn't. Leo says that the tablet is likely not powerful enough and has to buffer. It fills up the memory with frames so he can stay ahead of the stream, and if he's watching a higher resolution stream, that takes up even more room. His PC has larger memory buffers to handle it with no hesitation, but it can buffer as well, depending on the network traffic. Both will also get dropped packets.

Watch John from Los Angeles, CA Comments

John wants to know if keeping his Mac on while he's walking around will damage the laptop. Leo says not if he puts it to sleep. It stops reading the drive that way.

What is a hardware password? A hardware or firmware password will keep the computer from starting up in any way other than its designated startup. On the Mac, he'd go into Utilities and set his firmware password. It's very important not to forget it, though.