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Episode 1103 July 26, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mike from New Albany, MS Comments

Mike shops at Amazon, and has noticed a change in permissions that would allow Amazon to send him text messages. Leo says the cool thing about the Android system is that they would show him what permissions are enabled and which ones an app takes advantage of. So at least he'd know going in what they want.

Leo believes this SMS permission paves the way for second factor authentication, should he forget his password. Also, sending a text and reading a text require the same permission. So Leo says it's not really an issue to worry about. But it's good that Mike took the time to read up on it, rather than just hit "accept."

Watch Steve from Glendale, CA Comments

Steve has network attached storage and wants to be able to access his media anywhere in the house. Should he use wireless speakers? Leo says that conventional wireless speakers won't work all around the house, but the Sonos wireless system is an ideal solution. They use a wide variety of speakers that are about the middle of the line, but what makes the system stand out is that it can provide what Leo calls "whole house audio." It can also provide great internet radio through Pandora, iTunes, and even the networked music from his desktop computer. Leo has access to his entire music collection.

Steve can also bridge it to an existing stereo with speakers. If he needs additional speakers, Leo recommends the Sonos Play:5 speakers. Steve will need the Sonos Connect or Bridge, then the speakers. It's not cheap, but it sounds great, and he won't have to spend all that money at once. He can build it up piecemeal, which is what Leo did.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch John from Murrieta, CA Comments

John has a Mac Mini with a USB hub, but he can't charge his iPad with it. Leo says that the iPad requires 10 watts to power and re-charge it. Standard USB ports have about 5 volts, but the amperage varies. Apple broke the standard for charging with the iPad. The older ports won't charge iPads because they don't get 10w or power. Apple's own chargers work fine, and if he has a late model iPad Air, he should be able to. But for now, get an 11w charger and that'll do the job.

Watch Don from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Don has a Windows Phone 7, he's noticing that the security updates are about to run out, and he's concerned about security. Leo says that it's not really cause for concern. He's not using the latest or greatest, but it's such a small market share, that malicious software simply isn't attacking it. Don would like to switch to the iPhone. Leo says he can. It's a good next stop in the smartphone game, and it's very secure. It's not perfect, but at the crossroads of security and convenience, Apple does a great job. In general, smartphones are very secure anyway. Malware is always caught quickly and cleared or repaired. In extreme cases, apps are merely "killed" by the publisher remotely if the app is compromised.

The other issue though is privacy, which is actually worse than it is for desktop computers. Law enforcement can get information on him without a warrant based on the phone. It happens a lot and is a chief crime fighting tool. They can also get metadata on who he's calling and when. He can always turn on encryption and Leo says he should just in case he loses the phone.

Watch Mitch from Burbank, CA Comments

Mitch does voice-over work and still uses a 2004 Power Mac G5. But the fan is so loud. So he's looking to get a new Mac Pro. Leo says that although it has a big fan, it's extremely silent thanks to it's central core design. But if he doesn't really need a lot of horsepower, the Mac Mini is very quiet as well. An iMac would also work great. That's what Leo would be looking at. It would be about $1200-1500. It's very quiet and has plenty of horsepower under the hood.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Raymond from Knoxville, TN Comments

Ray has an iMac and when he downloads programs to it, it wants to install it on the internal hard drive. Leo says he can put the apps just about anywhere he wants just by dragging them to a different location. He should just install it, and then move the file and applications folder onto another hard drive.

He can also just move his home folder to a separate drive. That'll save him a ton of space. He'll need to go into the System Preference pane, right click on his name, and select "Advanced Options." He'll have to do it as an administrator, and then change where the home folder lives in "Advanced Settings."

Watch Esther from California Comments

Esther's sound in her computer suddenly stopped working. Esther should first check the speaker cables to be sure they are still seated. Unplug and plug them back in. Esther can also see what happens when she plugs in headphones. If that works, then it's not the sound driver. She should also make sure her speakers are turned on in the computer's settings. She might even try a simple reboot. If she can't get sound after checking all of those things, it may need to be looked at by a technician, or she may have to reinstall Windows.

Watch Ken from San Diego, CA Comments

Ken had a hard drive go bad on him. He replaced his computer and got a docking station so he could access files on the bad hard drive. But it won't give him access without permissions.

Leo says that Ken needs to "take ownership" of the old files. PadreSJ says that Microsoft has a tech note on how to take ownership of a file or folder.

Watch Larry from Burbank, CA Comments

Larry gets calls from telemarketers all the time over his bluetooth headset. It's very annoying. The device announces he's getting a call from one of his contacts, and when he answers it, it's a "Google specialist." Leo says that it's really easy to spoof a caller ID to prevent him from knowing who's really calling. And it's unlikely they have access to Larry's contact list in order to do that. It's more likely that his Bluetooth headset is simply misassociating the incoming call with a person in his contact list because the number is close. Carrier forwarding may also be the problem.

Watch James from Bullhead City, AZ Comments

James says he's noticing that over 300 MBPS is available overseas for under $40 a month. It's maddening that Europe gets that kind of performance and James pays $50 for 3MB down. That's outrageous. Leo says that is disgusting. We pay more than many countries for less service. And because we invented it, we have incompatible systems still in use and that can be expensive. There's a benefit to not being the first, but it's almost always the meddling of governments who have created a duopoly for internet service.

Watch Ryan from Maui, HI Comments

Ryan got a used MacBook Pro, and he'd like to start over by erasing the disc. Leo says the good news is that with Apple, there's a recovery partition that will allow him to format the drive and reinstall the OS. He should reboot, and hold down the CMD-OPT-R. That'll do a clean install just like it came from the factory. Then he'll have to update it from there. Since Apple no longer charges for upgrades, it'll be easy to do it.