Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is there a bluetooth-controlled smart hub?

T-Mobile

Episode 1644

Gary from Cheektowaga, New York

Gary needs to turn off his T-Mobile modem and reboot it sometimes because it slows down until it's almost unusable. So rebooting it gets it back to high speed. But it will eventually slow down again. Leo says it's a very common problem with routers. Leo thinks it's because the router overheats. But it could also be a crashing modem. Look for a firmware update.

What's a Good, Affordable Computer?

ChromeBox

Episode 1644

Elizabeth from Palm Desert, CA

Elizabeth wants to get a new computer but wants to save money. Which budget computer should she look at? Leo says that a Chromebook or a Chromebox is ideal for her because she can use her existing monitors (with the ChromeBox) and it's ideal for most of the things we do today online. Liz doesn't have WiFi though. Leo says that if her computer is next to the modem, that's not really an issue. But she'll be chained to your desk when doing things. That's why a WiFi router/modem combination would be better. 

Do I have to pay a monthly fee to use a NEST Thermostat?

Episode 1643

Jerry from Hatfield, Pennsylvania

Joe was thinking of getting a NEST thermostat, but he doesn't want to pay a fee. Rich says the only fee you pay is for buying the device. NEST uses WiFi to connect to the internet, where you can control it using your mobile device. But you don't have to pay a subscription fee to use it. Can you control it using your computer? Rich says you should. But the NEST doesn't have to be programmed since it uses machine learning to learn how you want it to operate. Also check with your energy company. NEST also offers a $50 rebate.

Will a Chromebook make a good Christmas gift?

ASUS Chromebook C423NA

Episode 1643

Andy from Richmond, VA

Andy wants to get his granddaughter a Chromebook for Christmas. But he doesn't understand what EMMC storage is. It has 128 GB worth. Rich says that EMMC is basically the same kind of memory that's on your mobile phone. So, it's flash memory. RIch likes the HP i3. It's a pretty good model, great for someone who spends most of their time in the Cloud. In fact, most people are better off with a Chromebook. 

How can I prevent a reboot loop on my parent's computer?

Windows 10 Laptop

Episode 1643

Greg from New Brunswick, Canada

Greg's parents were using EDGE on Windows 10, and it shut off and went into a reboot loop. They took it in and got it reset. But how can they avoid it in the future? Rich says that it sounds like his parents got bit by some malware after clicking on something. It's very easy to fall victim to. So encourage them to not click on any links or open attachments. Also, make sure their software is up to date. Of course, you could replace their Windows machine with a Chromebook. That would be very secure, and if something happens, you can powerwash it back to normal. 

Sam Abuelsamid ... Collected

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1643

There has been a question lately if Google and Apple collected data from a smart connected car. Sam says that to date, they don't, other than the location history from your phone unless you turn it off. Also, if you connect your phone to the car, your car GPS is more accurate than your phone, and depending on the manufacturer, that car may provide location data to your maps app.

The Giz Wiz ... CLEAR!

Dick

Episode 1642

This week's gadget is the HeartHero Champion. HeartHero has developed a small, truly portable automated external defibrillator (AED). The survivability of public CPR is around 5%. Even though the AEDs you see inside a glass box on the wall at your school, work and in the airport, look intimidating they are easy to use.