Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Indianapolis, IN Comments

Jim called in to talk about how the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring not only the free press, but also bloggers, podcasters, and vloggers. Jim wonders if he should use a VPN as a hedge against that. Leo says that while anonymizing his content is a natural reaction, and while a VPN could be a useful tool, but it's not a privacy tool. In fact, encrypting his traffic shines a light on him more than just being a part of the "background noise." Also, a VPN only encrypts the traffic along the way.

Leo says that TOR (the Onion router) further anonymizes traffic so that it masks everything and routes through multiple servers. But it would slow him down. Dan Patterson has some great materials on how to anonymize traffic. He's trained dissidents all around the world.

Watch Matt from Rochester, NY Comments

Mike has an old collection of miniDV tapes and a camcorder that works over FireWire. How can he transfer them to his computer? Leo says that FireWire was a great format back then, but nobody really supports it anymore. So he'll have to get a box that will convert it to USB 3. The good news is that because the miniDV tapes are digital, he won't be degrading the image any. If he has a tower computer, he can buy a FireWire card for about $15. But if he only has a laptop, then he'll have to think outside the box. He'll also have to play the video tapes in real time to transfer the data. It may also be easier to either buy a used computer off eBay with FireWire, or an external hard drive with FireWire. The QuickstreamDV is one, but it's expensive at about $800.

One option would be to use a Thunderbolt port on his computer, if it has it. Apple has a Thunderbolt 3 to FireWire converter. That would be the best option.

That chatroom found an article on how to convert FireWire to USB at

But the easiest thing to do is just have a service do it.

Photo by MichiK via Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from Southern California Comments

John bought an 9.7" iPad Pro. It came with antivirus software. Does he need it? Leo says absolutely not. In fact, it won't even work. Apple's iOS software sandboxes everything and Apple has to approve all apps, so unless he jailbreaks his iPad, he is completely secure. So he should throw away that AVS because he doesn't need it.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Calvin from Carolina Comments

Calvin uses Adobe Illustrator CS5, and his files won't open anymore. Leo says it sounds like the files have been corrupt or damaged. It may also be that CS5 can't read older CS2 formats without converting them. Backups don't work either. Leo says it sounds like the files got corrupted, and then synced to the backups, overwriting the healthy files.

Adobe has a tech note "Troubleshooting Damaged Illustrator Files". It's possible that reinstalling the software will help.

Watch Jeff from Long Beach, CA Comments

Jeff's MacBook Pro has died, and he's shopping for a budget 15" laptop under $800. He wants to use it to broadcast live on the internet with it. Leo would suggest Dell. Jeff should get one with an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.

Watch Don from Rochester, NY Comments

Don releases educational videos through YouTube and they've since killed annotations. Leo says that the annotation editor really didn't work all that well on the mobile platform, which people found annoying. Leo says that it's likely better to use the title utility in the editor to do what annotations used to. That's a much better option. But he won't be able to link to them. He could always put links in the descriptions, though. Or he can even use a plain old white board. Don should check out Vi Hart on YouTube and see the trope she uses to explain her subject. Think about what's going to help the audience get the message the easiest.

Watch Mark from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mark has a 2012 Panasonic Viera and wants to know if he should upgrade to 4K. Leo says that the Viera was a plasma TV and it's really the best quality there is. And it still works! Yes, there's 4K, yes there's HDR. But 4K is only important if he's really close to the screen. Chances are, it won't be all that much of a difference. HDR, on the other hand, offers superior dynamic range. But unless he sees them side by side, he might not notice it. So Leo advises keeping that plasma TV until it dies. He can always upgrade then. And when he does, he's going to want to get an OLED. The longer he waits, the cheaper they'll get.

Watch Mary from Temecula Comments

Mary heard that Yahoo's new owner, Verizon, can read her email. Is that true? Leo says yes. It can read your email, photos, files, etc. in order to do facial recognition, offer targeted ads, etc. Leo says that Verizon's never been big on privacy. So it's not a surprise. Worse, they'll also be looking into other personal information. So you have to think about whether you want to agree to that or go with an alternative. Leo recommends Google.