Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How Can I Get Square to Stop Dropping Bluetooth?

Square

Episode 1634

Emily from Altoona, PA

Emily has a store business and she uses Square to process credit card sales. But it keeps disconnecting. Leo says that square uses Bluetooth and if people have their Bluetooth on, it could cause interference. Doctor Mom says hers failed all the time, and it has to be very close to your paired device. Leo says to forget the device and then repair it. Make sure the card reader firmware is updated. ScooterX in the chatroom says that the firmware should be vs. 2.29.6. After that, the next move is to call Square.

Johnny Jet... Alerted for the Holidays

Johnny Jet

Episode 1634

According to Expedia, the cheapest time to buy airline tickets is between October 9th and November 13th for traveling during the holidays. AAA says November 11-17. Johnny says that everyone should price out and use flight notifications and alerts by Google, or Kayak and Yapta. They will send you fare alerts when the price drops. They will also let you know if you can get a refund by changing your tickets. 

Here's How You Can Have Cell Service During a Natural Disaster

34N

Episode 1634

Jay from Los Angeles, CA

Jay called in to talk about a new service that's a portable cell phone system, that can be set up with drones immediately. The drones can be tethered, and be up within minutes. The drones can stay up in the air for up to ten hours. The service is also agnostic, being an unlocked tower.  The service us called 34 North Drones.

How Can I Stay Connected During a Natural Disaster?

Iridium

Episode 1634

Luke from Abaco Islands, Bahamas

Lou is from the Bahamas and he's looking for a way to stay connected after a natural disaster. Leo says Satellite Phones are a good option. They aren't cheap, but if he can rent them, he can stay connected when he needs it. But a more affordable thing to do is to become a ham radio operator. He can get a handheld device and become a part of the emergency action network. Then when he needs to make a call, have a ham route the radio through to a phone. That's both affordable and valuable when there's an emergency.

Can I be spied on with a device I buy from China?

ORICO 4 Bay Hard Drive Docking Station

Episode 1633

Allan from Washington

Allan recently bought a hard drive docking station from a manufacturer in China. Is it secure? Leo says the reality is that everything is made in China, or South Korea. China has become the factory to the world, and many are worried since spyware has been found in the past. The government has even warned that companies like Huawei aren't secure and could be owned by the Chinese Government. But even if they aren't, they have to follow the rules in China. So it comes down to whether you're someone spies can benefit from. It's called the "Threat model." Odds are, you aren't a target.

Does Samsung have an LTE Smart Watch?

Samsung Galaxy S9

Episode 1633

Rick from Sacramento, CA

Chris has a Samsung Galaxy 9S and wants to know if the LTE watch is coming out soon. Leo says that the Apple Watch does it (at $10 a month). The new Samsung Watch that just came out may be coming soon. But it may be that Samsung has decided it's not worth the extra cost. All watch companies are having issues selling smartwatches, except for Apple. The other problem may be that your carrier doesn't support it. But Verizon has sold them in the past, so talk to someone at the Verizon store.

Can I install open source firmware on my router?

DD-WRT

Episode 1633

Karen from Olympia, WA

Karen wants to know if she should flash her firmware on her router to get it to work better. Leo says that in a way, you flash that firmware almost every time you update. But if you're talking about using third-party firmware, they can be very good, but they are limited in the routers they support. Check out DD-WRT.com and look in the router database to see if it's compatible. Most routers don't support it, sadly. What Leo recommends is ASUS routers, because they use their own flavor of DD-WRT. 

Why does my printer keep clogging?

Epson ET3600

Episode 1633

Chris from Roseberg, OR

Chris has bought 4 Epson printers, and the blue always stops printing after awhile. It keeps clogging, even though he prints a lot with it. Leo says that inkjet printers clog if you don't use them regularly. Leo says that if you're using official Epson ink, you shouldn't have a clog. But if you're buying your ink from Amazon, it's possible that you purchased counterfeit ink. So be sure you're buying your ink from an authorized Epson retailer. But it could also be a defect, so Leo advises contacting Epson directly. 

Will the Apple Watch call emergency services if I die?

Apple Watch

Episode 1633

Judy from Citrus Springs, FL

Judy is retired and lives alone and is thinking of getting an Apple Watch. But what will happen if she takes the watch off and it doesn't feel the pulse? Will it contact emergency services? Leo says he isn't sure that it will call home in that case. Will it sense if you have died? Leo says no, there isn't. It'll detect that you have a low pulse and give you a warning, but so far, there is not a "phone home" from the watch if you die.