Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bob from San Jose, CA Comments

Bob has an LG G5 Android phone and his battery life is really bad. He was thinking about resetting it, just in case there's something running in the background that's wearing it down. Leo says that after two years, it could be that the battery is worn out to the point that it's time to replace it. The good news is, the G5 has a removable battery. But what about his authenticators? Will they stay enabled when he resets? Leo says probably not. They may have to be reenabled. Leo says he may be able to go into Google Authenticator and get the keys. If he can back them up, then he can input them after resetting and be back in business. Leo also recommends trying Authy. It's a much better and easier to use authenticator.

The battery is also swelling. Leo says that's a bad sign. It's really time to replace the battery!

Watch Ron from Charlotte, NC Comments

Ron has messed up his Outlook. Now he can't see any images in the body of the email, and it won't download any graphics. Leo says that's a good thing! Outlook disables downloading jpgs by default because they can be hacked to include malware. That's called HTML email and it's a bad idea. So he'd have to opt-in to enable it, but Leo wouldn't. Plain text emails are always best. But if he really wants to, he can go into the Trust Center and change the settings.

Watch Jeff from Marshall, IL Comments

Jeff wants to extend the range of HDMI to other parts of his house. But when he does, he starts to lose signal. What can he do? Leo says that Baluns are good for that. It stands for "Balanced/Unbalanced" and it will convert HDMI to ethernet and back to HDMI so that he can stretch it hundreds of feet with no signal loss at all. Jeff should check out Monoprice.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Shell from Menifee, CA Comments

Shell's son makes music with his computer and he wants to get him some good speakers. Should he go wireless? Leo recommends wired to avoid signal interference, and Audio Engine makes some great speakers. Plus, since he makes music, bass is important and getting a sub woofer is vital. A pair of Audio Engine A2 speakers plus their S8 subwoofer would be great. So for around $500, he'll have a great sound system for his son's PC. Should he get surround sound for gaming? He could, but he'd need to have a sound card that supports it. It's not really necessary. Standard stereo will be fine for gaming at this point.

Watch Mike from Maine Comments

Mike is a commercial pilot and he called in to talk about Johnny Jet's tweet about mist in the airplane cabin. Mike says that airplane mist happens a lot in humid climates when the cold air from the airplane's AC meets the warm air of the cabin. It's very normal, and only happens when the plane is at the gate and hooked up to an air conditioner to keep boarding passengers cool.

Watch Cookie from Valencia, CA Comments

Cookie wants to buy her kid a 3D printer. What should she buy under $500? Leo says that the da Vinci Nano is $179. Robo's R1+ is a huge 3D printer for $399. The MonoPrice Maker Select is about $200. It's a great budget printer that the WireCutter really likes.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Wade from Minneapolis, MN Comments

Wade wants to know if he can use network attached storage (NAS) with his Chromebook? Leo says he can mount the NAS as a drive, and he can access his NAS through the web. But to do a direct backup using Chrome may be nontrivial. Wade should check out the Chrome extension Network File Share.

The issue is doing automatic backups. He can file share, that much is certain. But Leo doesn't think an automatic backup exists because Google Drive handles it. Leo does say, however, that Synology has a Chrome Drive backup, so his NAS could go online and backup his Google Drive.

The chatroom offers up this tip from

Watch Bill from Vista, CA Comments

Bill heard that there's a new super fast overclocked Intel chip at over 4Ghz called the 8086K. Leo says that K means it's unlocked so he could overclock them, but he'd need an insane amount of cooling to keep it from overheating. So he's not really impressed.

What about AMD? Leo says that AMD are the other guys, and they serve a great role of keeping Intel honest. But in the last few years, AMD is catching up on Intel as chips have hit a plateau. On paper, AMD processors are now comparable to Intel. But Leo says that if he needs that kind of performance, going with a Xeon processor is probably a better option for multi-core performance.

Leo also recommends checking out the TWIT netcast This Week in Computer Hardware.

Watch Henry from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Henry has a home theater system running iTunes for playing music and he wants to expand it to other rooms. But since Apple has discontinued the Airport, what can he do? Leo says that the good news is, there's a better way to do it. Apple has released the HomePod for that purpose, but Leo would wait since it's so new and early in its development. He recommends Sonos Connect. He can connect speakers to it, or he can buy Sonos speakers with the built-in connection. Then he can control it by phone or by Amazon Echo.

Watch Bonnie from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Bonnie bought a new computer and plugged in her external hard drive. She can see the data on her old computer, but she can't read it on her new computer. Leo has a hunch that her WD Passport runs a proprietary utility that encrypts her data to protect it. She probably will need to install that same software on the new computer in order to see the data.

Bonnie's also used to use WordPerfect on her older computers. She doesn't want to buy another word processing program just for a few documents that she accesses, and she can't get WordPerfect to install on her new Windows 10 computer. Leo says WordPad in Windows is actually pretty good. She could also use the web-based version of Word.