Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Roger from North Hollywood, CA Comments

Roger is getting phone calls saying that his car warranty is about to expire. Leo says that those Robo Calls are phishing scams designed to get you to buy something. Leo advises putting your phone number on the national DoNotCall list and see if your phone carrier offers a blocked call service to prevent them from calling you back. And if you have an iPhone, you can block the phone caller directly. But it's kinda like playing wackamole because most of them spoof their caller ID or just change the outgoing number. Next year, though, the FCC is going to require a "shaken and stir" concept, where all calls will have to be approved by the recipient before the call goes through. If you say no, it just goes away and gets blocked.

Watch Gary from Cheektowaga, New York Comments

Gary created a series of Google Action Blocks on his phone. But when he transferred them to his new phone, the blocks got blanked and don't work anymore. What gives? Leo says that they run with the Google Assistant and it could be that the Assistant is a blank slate on the new phone. Look in the Google Action Blocks app and see if they're there. Leo adds it sounds like a flaw in this new feature. They should also be backed up by Google if your backup feature is enabled. It's also an issue that Android does not backup widgets in general and Leo uses Nova Launcher to backup his setup and install it on a new phone. It backs up widgets. 

ScooterX in the chatroom suggests contacting the accessibility team at Google and ask them to address it. Here's a link - g.co/disabilitysupport.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jeff from Cedarville, CA Comments

Jeff bought some smart plugs to install into his house. Is there anything like that on the breaker side? Leo says that's an interesting idea, but he doesn't know if you'd really want to do that. You have to be very careful what's on your circuit and you wouldn't want to install it yourself. But it's a great idea for making your home smarter and more controllable remotely. Here's one by Leviton.

Jeff has also built a new l local nonprofit radio station and wants to know how to market it in this new age to build his audience. Leo says that marketing has changed dramatically in the last few years and it's quite a challenge, especially when your budget is low or non-existent. Self-marketing using Social Media is the hot new thing.  But it's both an opportunity and a challenge.

Check out the APE Book by Guy Kawasaki. It's about self-publishing, but many of the lessons can apply to any kind of self-marketing out there. A few options include Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. They are very efficient. Facebook has extremely targeted ad buys for your region, who would like to listen to your stations. There's also YouTube AdSense. It's much smarter to target with digital, than any kind of TV advertising.

 

Watch Thomas from Mahtomedi, Minnesota Comments

Thomas is thinking about going solar and wants to know if it's a good idea for where he lives. Leo says there's a great site from Google called Project Sunroof, that you can visit, put in your address, and it will tell you how much sunlight you will get, how much electricity you generate, and how much you can save. It'll also tell you how long it will take before your savings pay off the investment should you decide to buy rather than lease. Leo leases from Tesla Energy.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Patrick from Highland Park, CA Comments

Patrick is a teacher, and he wants to know how fast internet speed he needs to teach his kids. Leo says that most broadband connections are asymmetric, meaning that they are faster downloading than uploading. By a large portion. Minimum, you want 5MB up, 200 MB down. There's also consistency. How well the online video upload is. There can be video dropouts that could cause an issue, especially during attendance. That can be either latency or jitter. The issue can also be due to wifi. WiFi is designed to be "polite," pausing when competing for traffic comes around. This can cause congestion and dropouts. So it largely depends on how much WiFi traffic is happening. Especially if you have more than one kid doing distance learning in the same house, all using Zoom in the classroom. Using a wired connection would be the fastest and more consistent, but most are on WiFi, and you can imagine how challenging that can be for parents who are faced with extra charges due to getting higher-tiered internet speed.

Watch Frank from West Springfield, VA Comments

Frank has never needed a WiFi extender in his home, but his girlfriend's house could use one. So he installed one, but it doesn't seem to be doing much better. Leo says the reason is because an extender has to spend half it's time talking to the router. They can't speak to both devices at the same time. Mesh routers, by contrast, have a dedicated backchannel that is always on, that talks to the router without impeding the bandwidth speed. They can be a bit more expensive depending on how many satellite units you need for the house. 

Another option is powerline networking. This is where you plug the extenders into the wall and it uses the home's electrical grid to transmit data all around the house. The best about it is, that while it isn't as fast as wifi, it's more reliable because it's wired. TPLink makes some of the best and affordable units.

Watch Mike from Rancho Mirage, CA Comments

Mike has been watching videos on youtube and wants to screen grab various shots. But when he does, it's terribly pixelated, like a multi-generational copy. And Windows just gives him an error. Leo says to open the file with a photo editor and see if it's better. Leo recommends Irfanview. Leo also recommends trying to make a PDF of the image and then printing that. It could be a print driver issue.

Watch Gloria from California Comments

Gloria wants a recommendation for a reliable 2TB hard drive for her computer and a web camera for zoom. She's taking a class. Leo says that Seagate makes a really good one, but hard drives are pretty ubiquitous now, and the price is dropping. So you can get two of them and swap them out when you backup your data. Swap them out every other week. Also, rely on a cloud-based backup like iDrive (a sponsor of the radio show.) Ideally, you want 3 copies, 2 kinds of backup formats, one off-site or in the cloud.

Leo also recommends Logitech or Aukey webcams. Aukey's is a very similar design, so it could be the same. And it's only $50 currently.