Ray can't get a decent AM radio signal where he lives. What can he do? Leo says that streaming is a better option. He can stream using iHeartRadio, Tune In, or even just going to a station's website. Or he can get a better AM antenna that he can plug into his radio. CCrane is the best place to go.
Another idea is to get an Amazon Echo Dot, hook it up to the stereo, and then listen to radio that way.
Chuck is blind and he wants to get a laptop with a screen reader. Leo says that there are many blind users who are fully functional on a computer. There are braile screens. JAWS is a screen reader, but it's expensive. There's an open source version as well.
Kenny wants to integrate his Amazon Echo with his Sonos system. Leo says that the challenge is that it has a proprietary networking system between speakers. Sonos has promised that integration soon, but it isn't been released yet. When it does, it should be awesome. Meanwhile, Kenny could try the Chromecast Audio.
Jim has an Amazon Echo and wants to know how he can find out if a skill is good or not. Are there reviews anywhere? He also wants to know if there's a way to play audio from YouTube. Leo says he could pair his Echo to his phone and play it that way. It can then work as a Bluetooth device. There may not be a YouTube skill yet, though.
A local TV news segment told the story of a girl who talked to Amazon Echo and accidentally ordered hundreds of dollars in toys and cookies through the automatic ordering feature. In doing so, the radio station triggered homes all over San Diego that have Amazon Echo to do the same thing. Leo says it's important to make sure you have parental controls on to avoid this, and to train yourself to not use the "A" word when talking about things it may mistakenly use to order for you.
Curtis is a podcaster and uses a Heil PR40 for his microphone. Leo says that podcasting is fun when you're not trying to make a living at it. It's work if he wants to make it into a job, and a tough one at that.
What about the Amazon Tap? Leo says that the only difference between the Dot and the Tap is the battery. The Tap is portable, but it doesn't listen all the time. It only responds when you press a button. How should he set up the Echo? Leo says to just call it Echo, but he'll have to avoid using that word while podcasting.
Dave is looking to get his daughter a Polaroid type camera for Christmas. Leo says the Polaroid Pic is very popular and prints small business sized photos. The trick may be finding film, but instant cameras are coming back, so that may not be an issue. The film isn't cheap, however. Kids think they're fun. Leo says they're a great idea for teenagers.
Cindy wants to know about the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the cool thing about the Echo is that Amazon opened it up to create more functions for it, called "Skills." To date, the Amazon Echo has over 3,000 skills it can handle. If she's an Amazon Prime member, she can tell it to buy stuff and ship it to her. She can tell it to stream music, too. If she has a stereo system, she can save money and get the Amazon Dot and plug it in.
Pete is trying to decide between Amazon Echo or Google Home. Leo says he'd definitely pick the Echo. The Echo Dot, a smaller and less expensive version of the Echo, is designed to connect into a speaker system. It's also only $50. It's way ahead of Google Home with hundreds of tasks and recipes that enable Echo to do a variety of things. Google Home is way too new, but chances are, it'll get smarter quicker. Pete could connect the Echo Dot to a speaker and he'll have a stereo. It's amazing.