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Episode 1740 October 25, 2020

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Johnny from Atlanta, GA Comments

Johnny is confused with what may be happening with Google Hang Outs. Leo says Hangouts worked great for everyone's text, messaging, video chat, audio chat and others. But Google has slowly been chipping away at deprecating it (removing features). Now they're going to close down in January and replace it with an app called "Meet & Chat." Leo says it'll happen automatically, and people won't really have a choice. Leo adds that Google Fi's telephone service relies on Google Hangouts for text messages, and will also be moved to Chat. How that will work is anyone's guess. Does that mean that Google Voice is next? That's a good question. Maybe Android Messenger will take over for Google Fi users? Who knows.

But people have been using alternatives like What's App, Facebook Messenger, and others for video chat and other means for communications.

Watch Jerry from Hatfield, PA Comments

Jerry has been shopping on Amazon for some tools, and recently when visiting eBay for alternative shopping, he's been getting a notification from Amazon about what he's been doing online. That's creepy. Leo says it's probably Google doing it, in spite of using a VPN. If you're still logged in, they can track you. Amazon may also be selling your search activity with eBay. It's in the terms of service that they can do that.

Leo has mixed feelings because he relies on ads, and also wants to have suggestions of the things he's interested in. But he also understands the need for privacy. Leo says that Firefox can sandbox your activity so that it can't be used. There's a plugin called UBlockOrigin that can further block your activity and prevent sites from tracking your online activity. 

You can also run restrictions on the router, use NextDNS to block trackers at the DNS level. 

Watch Mark from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mark wants to know how good the business version of Google Docs is. Leo says that the business version, Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite) is what they use on TWiT to run their daily operations. It's simple and easy, and very affordable. Microsoft Office with One Drive is another option if you want to stay in the Microsoft Universe. It's called SharePoint. That's probably what Mark wants.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Kathleen from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

Kathleen recently updated to the latest Zoom, but her friend can't update because she doesn't know the password to her Mac. What can she do? Leo says there are about 5 ways to reclaim your login password on an Apple computer. You can find instructions on Apple's Support site - Look for HT202860. In recovery mode, there's also a reset password command. That's probably the easiest option.

Watch Paul from Delaware, OH Comments

Paul was recently gifted an Apple Cinema Display. But it doesn't light up if he plugs it in. Leo says there's no on/off switch on that old ACD. You just have to plug it into a computer that has a display port to get it to turn on. You may need an adapter for Display Port to HDMI. 

Paul wants to also know what's the best streaming box. Leo says that Roku seems to be the most compatible, but some ISPs have deals with other boxes like Apple which can give it better programming or preferred traffic. So Apple TV may also be a good choice depending on your ISP. 

Watch Rick from Palm Springs, CA Comments

Rick posted a few pictures on Facebook, and he sees one picture with a caption he didn't add to it. How did that happen? It also seems to come from a group he isn't a member of, rather than from himself. Leo says that Facebook makes a group of your account automatically so you can share images. So that's probably the group he's seeing. You can also add filters or frames that can be added. It's possible it was added by accident. Check the picture and see what the privacy settings are. If it's public, you may want to change it to friends only. It may also be a good idea to change your Facebook password and set up 2-factor authentication. That would prevent someone from grabbing your password and messing with your account. You can also use a password vault to keep your password secure. Leo uses LastPass (a sponsor of the TWiT network & studios).

Watch Norbert from Escondido, CA Comments

Norbert's 2019 MacBook Pro shuts off when the battery drops below 60%. With no warning. Leo says that he may want to check the battery status. Coconut Battery is an app that will give you more information about the battery. You want to look at the number of cycles the battery has left. Also check the battery capacity. Lithium-ion batteries only take about 500 complete cycles before needing a new battery.

If it's dying at 60%, then there may be something physically wrong with the battery. It could also be the firmware is misinterpreting the battery health data. Resetting the SMC may fix that. Outside that, a trip to the Genius Bar may be in order. Leo suspects that Apple will replace the battery since Norbert has Apple Care. 

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Benny from Pasadena, CA Comments

Walter recently logged into Windows 10 and his profile has gone blank. What happened? Leo says that a recent Windows 2004 update has a bug that caused the profile to disappear. The good news is, that your data is still there on the hard drive, the so-called "new profile" just can't see it. KB4549951 is the update. One solution people have reported is to reboot your machine six-eight times. That brings back your data. The profile may also be there in settings but renamed with .000 or .bak. Browse around for a file with your login name with those extensions. Rename it. That could help. Once you get it all back, it's a good time to make a backup and an image of your drive so that you can restore it.

Watch Tim from Toledo, OH Comments

Tim would like to set up his mother's TV to be able to change channels by voice activation. Leo says that the Amazon Fire with an IR blaster would be a great option. She could just talk into the remote. Can he create a remote access for the FireTV as he can with Amazon through the Echo? Leo says that there is a smartphone app that can work as a Fire TV remote, and you can perhaps use that on Tim's phone to make any changes. But you have to be on the same WiFi network for it to work. 

Doctor Mom in the chatroom says you can reset up a Harmony remote and link it to your Amazon account. Then you can control it remotely. Just like the Echo. Then you can use the Echo to control the TV with an IR blaster.

Watch Harold from West Covina, CA Comments

Harold got a budget Android A01 phone and it won't take text messages. But it works with his old Samsung. Leo says that since Harold moved to Mint Mobile (who is a sponsor of the TWiT network), it's possible that his settings are misconfigured, and as such, his cell data isn't getting through. This can happen when you're moving things over. Mint says it may not be compatible with their service. Leo suspects that Harold's phone is from another region and as such, the radios aren't compatible for the US, when it comes to SMS Text messaging. That's likely the issue. It's the risk of buying an unlocked phone online. Leo recommends returning the phone and getting an iPhone SE.