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Episode 1784 April 3, 2021

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch William from Pendleton, OR Comments

William is blind and wants to know more about accessibility with Linux. He believes that many tools are built with the assumption of what he needs, not what he really needs. The tech world has also taken away much of the tactile nature of computing that William could benefit from.

Linux is trying with an on-screen keyboard, visual cues, sticky keys, high contrast settings, and other voice and speech interaction tools. And some distributions have speech on by default. Leo also says that with a screen-reader and use of the command line, Linux may become even more useful. Leo recommends talking to Julian over at TechJV, TWiTs resident accessibility expert. 

Watch Joe from West Hollywood, CA Comments

Joe has a USB touch monitor. How can he plug it into a power adapter to go over 15" away from his computer? Leo says that the biggest challenge may be the length of your cable. Monoprice sells one that's 32' long and has a dongle on it that amplifies the signal. You'll also need a USB hub that can get you the power, but you may lose too much signal to get the data. 

Watch Phil from Dallas. TX Comments

Phil has an original iPad Pro and iPhone. Should he upgrade? Leo says that those are both still fine. But you may want to think about the M1 Mac. That's a huge shift. But don't buy it just yet. Apple does have an event in June for the Worldwide developers' conference, and Leo thinks there may be a new generation M1 chip. So keep your powder dry on buying a new Mac until June. But he's expecting a new iPad Pro this month with an A14X chip, the mobile version of the M1+. Also note, that the current MacBook Pro and the latest iPad Air both have the same chip. 

Now is not really a good time to buy.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Marlboro, NJ Comments

Joe has 16GB of messages on his iPhone, and he wants to back them up before he gets a new one. Leo says you have to turn on cloud sync in the settings, and you'll need more than your free iCloud allocation to do it. There are third-party backups that let you save to your computer. iMazing does a great job. It's $50, but worth it.

Watch Melia from Lancaster, CA Comments

Melia wants to know if the Garmin Fenix 5 is a good smartwatch for runners. Leo says that he uses the Apple Watch, but Garmin is one of the best in the category. If you're a road runner, Garmin is much better though, according to the chatroom. Much more accurate. Leo also says the displays are very good. And if it's a good price, why not?

Watch Mark from Studio City, CA Comments

Mark's home wifi modem has run out of ethernet ports. So he bought a five port gigabit switch, but nothing really works. Leo says that everything has to have a unique IP address, so a switch won't work. You need a router, which will assign unique addresses to everything you need to plug into your network. Connect the switch to the router's ethernet port, and then the router will assign the IPs as needed. 

Watch Maurice from Van Nuys, CA Comments

Maurice still has a Pioneer Kuro Plasma Monitor that he keeps in great shape by unplugging it when he doesn't use it. Leo says that they were great TVs for their time, but OLED has actually surpassed them.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Joe from Uttica, NY Comments

Joe wants to know if thumdrives should last a long time. Leo says that they have a limited life span, but it's gotten better and better. But they are primarily for short-term storage.  Even then, a thumbdrive wears out by writing to it over and over again, not reading from it. So if you load it up with music to listen from, for instance, it won't overheat due to reading from it. That happens when you write to it.

Watch Jazz from Temecula, CA Comments

Jazz wants to know what a good option for DIY home security is? Leo says that SimpliSafe (a sponsor of the TWiT Network) is the one he'd recommend. RING is getting into it, but they are late to the party. Simply Safe also has cameras now, so it's a very good all-in-one solution. 

Another company worth looking at is WYZE. They are new to the home security game, but they are VERY affordable. Check out The Wirecutter for their reviews.

Watch Julian from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Julian Vargas of TechJV is our resident accessibility expert, and he's calling in to comment on the caller in hour one who doesn't like touchscreen monitors because they don't really help the blind. Julian says that's doesn't mean they shouldn't exist or any other technology. The more technology advances, the more accessibility can be built into it. But it must be part of the design so those who are blind can still take advantage of technology advancements. The iPhone is a perfect example. Julian says that Google Lens is a great app for making your Android devices more accessible. The app can use the phone camera to take an image and identify it and read it.

Check out Julian's TechJV site here.

Watch Diane from Norco, CA Comments

Diane recently discovered that someone used her credit card to buy an iPhone 12, and it was shipped to her, not the person who made the fraudulent charge. She has disputed the charge, but Apple doesn't seem to want the phone back. Being that she's not an Apple person, what does she do with it? Leo says you can use it, but there may be someone in the family if you don't want it. Leo guesses that she can always sell it on eBay. Apple doesn't tie it to you until it's activated. You could try activating it first. If it doesn't activate, Apple could have recorded the serial number to prevent anyone from using it. Returning it to the Apple Store may be a wise idea.

You can also go to and see if the IMEI is on a blacklist.