Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Michael from Shelby Township, MI Comments

Mike says with the explosion of third party keyboards on the iPhone now, is there a security issue with it? Leo says that is a legitimate concern. However, Leo doesn't think it's really an issue. Apple does warn you though, that any keyboard can capture keystrokes and send them to the developer. Apple already does that. He recommends using SwiftKey. It will allow him to swipe letters instead of typing. It's more accurate and faster to type.

Mike says that he hears that Swiftkey saves the data. Leo says that nobody is making him use a different keyboard. So he should go with the one that he's comfortable with. If he's not comfortable with it, then don't use it. But SwiftKey uses that data only to make the keyboard more accurate by studying his typing style and they're getting no more data than his ISP or mobile phone carrier already gets. Any software is a black box for activity. So it comes down to whether or not he trusts the companies of the products he's using.

The one thing Leo is annoyed with though is that iOS 8 will switch back to the standard Apple keyboard randomly, leaving him to conclude that Apple implemented third party keyboards rather poorly.

Watch Jerry from Fallbrook, CA Comments

Jerry is thinking about getting an Apple TV or Roku and cutting the cable. Leo says that there are a lot of choices and all of them are designed to do one thing: connect his TV to the Internet so he can watch online programming. But none of them offer all the options available. If he has a true 6 Mbps connection, streaming will work great. But remember, if there's more than one computer or mobile device on the network pulling at that bandwidth, it's going to affect the stream.

Which one should he get? Depends on the services he wants. Roku is Leo's best choice, but it won't do iTunes. They all do Netflix and YouTube now. Apple doesn't do Amazon Prime. So it comes down to what he wants. Apple TV does have the advantage of being able to do content distribution through Netflix because it cache's all Netflix programming on it's servers. So he's less likely to run into buffering due to traffic. Leo also says if he has kids, the Amazon Fire TV may be the best option.

Watch Jim from Atlanta, GA Comments

Jim was podcasting back when Leo was still on TechTV. Jim had to walk away from it a few years ago but now he's ready to get started up again. He sees that Leo had recommended the Sennheiser SMD25 and is wondering if its still a good option. Leo says he wouldn't go with that. He uses a dynamic directional mic instead. Leo recommends Bob Heil's HeilSound PR40. It's great for studio work and it'll make Jim's voice sound really great. They're about $350.

How about mixing boards? Can he bypass it and just use a USB mic to do it? Leo says sure, but he can only do one mic at a time that way. So if he has guests in studio, that'll be an issue. But if he's doing Skype interviews, sure, he could use that.

Watch Justin from Bakersfield, CA Comments

Justin wants to get his mom a new computer, since she's still using a Dell with Windows XP. He uses a Mac, but she doesn't want to stick with Windows. She uses the computer for word documents and browsing the web, and uses it mostly for fun. She is a teacher's assistant though, and uses it for work. Justin says the budget is around $600.

Leo suggests that Justin get her an iPad or a Chromebook. Justin says she already has an iPad, which she uses sometimes, but she's most familiar with her Windows machine. Leo says Windows is just overly complex for what most people do. People that need Windows should really have an IT department they can call upon.

Since Justin's mom needs Windows, Leo recommends looking at Dell, Lenovo, Acer, or Asus. Since he's going to be spending $600, he'll be looking at the lower end consumer models which Leo isn't crazy about. It would be nice if she could have a touch screen since she'll be using Windows 8.1. On the other hand, Windows 9 is coming out soon, and it will be less touch-centric so she could get away with a non-touch device. Leo also suggests Microsoft's Surface Pro, but it does cost a little more money.

In terms of specs, Leo says if he can get a Core i3 or i5, he would, but at that price he might end up with a Celeron which would be fine for her needs. He also recommends at least 4GB of RAM, and if he can afford an SSD of 128GB or 256GB, he should aim for that. In fact, having an SSD is more important than the processor in terms of the perceived speed.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jeremy from Thousand Oaks, CA Comments

Jeremy is an elementary school principal and he's rolling out a digital curriculum this year with Linux laptops for every student. Leo says that's great! Generally he'd recommend Chromebooks because they're safe and cheap. But if the Linux laptop works, in some ways it's even better.

Jeremy needs a website or program that will teach kids basic computer skills. What about file management? File systems can be confusing and there's a security issue. Most kids will do everything on a mobile device where file system management really isn't used and Leo says that while it's important for adults, kids aren't really going to need to know that in the future.

From the Chatroom, there's this article from Life Hack on Ten Linux Resources for kids and here's a great site called E-Learning for Kids.

Watch Evan from Long Island, NY Comments

Evan listens to audiobooks but it drives him crazy that some audiobooks don't bookmark and pick up where he leaves off. Leo says that he can do that with any eBook by going into iTunes and looking into the MetaData. Select the audiobook in the "Options" tab under "Media Options" in iTunes. Then iTunes will bookmark it as he goes.

Watch Ed from Charlotte, NC Comments

Ed can upgrade to the new iPhone and wonders if it's worth it to extend his contract or just buy it unsubsidized. Leo says that buying an iPhone outright can cost up to $1000. That's why most users buy subsidized, which is essentially paying for the phone over time with a two year contract. All the carriers have special plans now so he can get a new phone every year. But in the long run, he's actually spending more. If he isn't eligible for an upgrade, then he's going to pay the full price anyway.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Walter from Huntington, WV Comments

Walter can't take a screenshot anymore using Assistive Touch in iOS 8. Something had been changed from iOS 7. He wants to take a screenshot of photos that he has zoomed in on to get rid of the black borders around them.

Since the camera roll in iOS is accessible from other apps, Leo suggests trying SnapSeed. It's a free Google product, and it's a photo editor that has cropping. This is a great photo editor that does a lot of things, so it's worth a try.

Watch Catherine from Alta Loma, CA Comments

Catherine got lured to a new phone company to save money and now she's lost her internet service. She was promised that Verizon would maintain her Internet even though she changed services. Leo says that Verizon owns the copper wire, but since she's no longer using their service, she can't have access to the internet. She would have to use whatever DSL that the other phone company offers. Leo says it sounds like she was bamboozled by a promise they had no intention to keep, so Leo advises going back to Verizon.

Watch David from North Carolina Comments

David wants to get rid of his iPad and go with a mobile phone large enough to do both. Leo says the time is ripe for that since the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" screen. Is the Galaxy Note 3 bigger? Leo says no, it's the same size. But the Note 4 is a little bit larger.

Leo says that the 6 Plus is a really good choice thanks to it's 5.5" screen. But if he isn't married to the iPhone ecosystem, the Galaxy Note 4 is the right choice, especially considering he's already using the Galaxy S4 already.

Watch Avi from California Comments

Avi is an Android user who's looking to make the switch to the iPhone 6. What's going to be the hardest transition? Leo says that settings are a bit different. What about contacts? Leo says that since Avi is a google user, it'll all be automatic once he logs into it.

Avi will have to get the separate Google App to still use Google Now, otherwise he has to use Siri. But Leo thinks that Avi will like the iPhone.

Watch Paul from Long Beach, CA Comments

Paul wants to know what website host is the best. Leo says it largely depends on what Paul is planning to do. Since Paul wants to have a basic log, then Leo says that Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr are free and have a large community that goes with them. But they're largely inflexible in design. If he wants to go to the next level, then SquareSpace is a great choice, but he'll be paying for it at that point.

(Disclaimer: SquareSpace is a sponsor)

Watch Mike from Orange County, CA Comments

Mike has a printer that he needs to have repaired, but he's worried that the printer memory could get hacked. Leo says that it's definitely possible. But Leo doesn't think it's really a cause of concern. At best, it'll only remember the last job it had. So it's not really that big of an issue, just a theoretical concern. Just because the memory is there, doesn't mean it can be accessed or that it will even stay there once it's unplugged.

Watch Mark from Anaheim, CA Comments

Mark's computer died, so he got a new one running Windows 8.1 and he hates it. He's heard of StarDock and wants to know if he should get it. Leo says there's several options including StarDock's Start8, which only costs about $5. It'll bring back the Start Button and works really well. Classic Shell is another option, and it's free. Leo says that Start8 does a better job though and is worth paying $5 for.

Watch Mark from Anaheim, CA Comments

Leo says yes, this is true, but it isn't something to worry about. Both Apple and Android require that developers request permission to do things on the smartphone. Apps can request to have access to the phone dialer, texting, microphone and more. It does cause concerns among users primarily because they don't know why these apps are requesting such permissions. For example, in order to use Facebook Messenger to make a phone call or send out a text, the app needs access to the phone's operating system to do it. Otherwise the app won't have that functionality. Does it mean Messenger would send messages on its own? It could, but it's not going to.

When we install applications on our computer, we don't have as much control. Applications have always been able to do whatever they want. It's only coming to light now because applications are being explicit about what access they need. The news media are just trying to use this to generate clicks.

Watch Evan from San Diego, CA Comments

Evan got an iPhone 6 and set up his Outlook account. However, the folders that he has set up appeared without the emails that were inside of them. Leo says that Outlook uses Exchange and it should get duplicated, but it could be stuck. He should try removing it and adding it again. It may also be that the older emails won't show up since the OS doesn't want to overwhelm the phone by downloading thousands of emails. There may be a setting in email that would allow him go to back and get the older email.