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Episode 1555 January 6, 2019

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Christine from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Christine's son has a laptop that has completely lost its Wi-Fi connectivity, but it still works when its hardwired. Leo says that laptops have an Airplane Mode with a function key that will disable the wireless connection. It may be that he accidentally disabled it. They should look in the Wi-Fi settings to see if Airplane Mode is on.

Watch Dennis from Hoover, AL Comments

Dennis is an audiophile and he's having issues playing music from smartphone using Google Chromecast. It wants him to upload all his music to the cloud first. Leo says that his casting app may be corrupted. He should try another one, like AllCast. From the chatroom - Google requires you to upload your music to the cloud before casting with Google Play. That's what it's designed for: to play from the phone at home using the Google Home App.

Here's a tech note from

Sam Abuelsamid also says that LocalCast is the app Dennis will want to use to cast from his smartphone. It will cast any media that's local.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Carmine from Chicago, IL Comments

Carmine has 2 factor authentication on most of his systems, but some use SMS, and he thinks that's not very secure. Leo says that there will always be a trade-off between security and convenience. But SMS is far easier to crack than independent authentication through an authenticator. Leo says to contact the cellphone company and have them put their additional layer of authentication on her phone.

Watch Ken from Mountain Home, ID Comments

Ken has a Acer Chromebook, but he's having issues with his keyboard after doing an update. Leo says first thing he'll want to do is a Powerwash. That will wipe everything out, reinstall the OS, and bring it back to the factory defaults. He should also make sure that if he has stored anything locally, that he backs it up. That way, if anything in the update was corrupted, it will clean that out. If that doesn't fix it, then he'll need to contact Acer for a repair.

Watch Bobby from Plymouth, MA Comments

Bobby wants to know how he can get his Eero mesh router to work with his Comcast modem/router. Leo says that's called Double NAT and it's problematic. Leo recommends getting his own modem and using that. Comcast has a list of modems that are supported and they cost under $100. He'll want one that supports DOCSIS III or better. The added benefit is that he'll save on the rental of the modem.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Watch Gary from Cheektowaga, NY Comments

The screen on Gary's exercise bike doesn't turn off unless he unplugs it, so he got a smart Wi-Fi enabled plug that he can use through Alexa. He's wondering if that could harm it in some way. Leo says it's the same as if he were just unplugging the bike and plugging it back in, so there shouldn't be any harm in that. The only exception is if it somehow sends a power spike to it when it turns back on, but it should be OK.

Watch Bruce from Las Vegas, NV Comments

Bruce upgraded to an LG C7 TV, and it's been the best TV he's ever owned. He has an older generation Apple TV, not the new 4K version that's out now. He's wondering if it would be better for him to get a Mac Mini instead. He wants to know what the difference would be between Apple's tvOS and macOS. Leo says the new Apple TVs support UHD and high dynamic range (HDR). One of nice things about using an Apple TV is that it's automatic, Bruce would just have to plug in the HDMI cable and everything would work. The other thing it does is Dolby Atmos sound. Since Bruce has the AV receiver and speakers to support that, it is a feature he may want to have.

macOS Mojave does not support Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, so he wouldn't get HDR or the enhanced audio capabilities. Bruce likes the idea of having an unrestricted, full computer plugged into a TV, but if he can't get HDR, it might not be worth it. Leo says if Bruce ran Plex on his Mac Mini, that might support HDR. Bruce says most of his content is coming from Netflix and Amazon Prime, however. Just because there's not native support in the OS doesn't mean an app couldn't support it. Software could in theory decode it and send it out, but it looks to Leo like Netflix hasn't made it possible to allow a desktop computer to do that.

Watch Bruce from Las Vegas, NV Comments

Bruce wants to know why he's being asked for his iCloud password all the time on his iPhone 8. Leo isn't sure why this happens, but it's happened to him as well. It does go away eventually. Leo thinks it's just a bug. Leo suggests going into settings, and re-entering his passwords there.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Tom from Orange, CA Comments

Tom updated his Wi-Fi to an Eero mesh router system, but it changed his static IP address and it's causing problems. How can he fix that? Leo says that all he'll need to do is reserve the IP for those devices. It's in the Eero settings. But the fact that Eero keeps an eye on his network worries him from a security point of view. Leo says that they do that for quality of service, as they are always adjusting the router for the best possible performance. If he doesn't trust Eero to do that securely, then he shouldn't be using it. But the reality is, his internet provider knows everything about him.

(Disclaimer: Eero is a sponsor)

Watch Greg from Boulder, CO Comments

Greg wants to know if his mesh router can work with a network switch. Leo says that mesh routers prefer to handle all management on the network. He can use a switch as a hub, though, and the dumber they are, the better. TP-Link makes a 24 port switch that works great with the Eero. The key is to get an "unmanaged switch".

Watch Cindy from Temecula, CA Comments

Cindy has a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and sometimes she hears a fluctuation in volume, like it's going from stereo to mono. Leo says to be sure the phone is in Do Not Disturb mode. Notifications can disrupt sound to her speakers when they appear.

Watch Micah from Maine Comments

Micah is thinking about doing a video podcast and wants to know how to do that with his computer. Leo says it's probably better to just use his smartphone for the video. It's far easier and he can even live stream directly. The iPhone is really easy and he can even use iMovie or Clips to edit directly on the phone itself and then share it online.

Watch Chris from Lakewood, CA Comments

Chris' internet company offers 400 Mbps. Is that a noticeably better speed than 100 Mbps for everyday use? Leo says it probably isn't for the money he's paying. The real key is the upload speed, because if it still takes him an hour to upload something, and he's paying for download speed that he isn't really using, then what good is it?