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Episode 1128 October 19, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Teri from Apple Valley, CA Comments

Teri needs to buy a smartphone but she wonders if she can use a tablet instead. She could then use it to take notes, read eBooks, etc. Should she go iPad or Android? Leo says that a tablet isn't really the right move now since phones are getting larger. They're big enough to read books on, take notes, and use as a calendar as Teri said she wanted. And they take phone calls too, of course.

Leo says the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may be the perfect phone for Teri. Leo says that the Galaxy Note will also translate handwritten text to computer text. And using Google's calendar and contacts will work great. The Note 4 will be coming out with Verizon this week, so the timing is right.

Watch Jason from Warren, NJ Comments

Jason wants to get a new Galaxy Note 4, but he doesn't want to lose his unlimited data plan. Leo says that AT&T is always looking for a reason to take unlimited data away from those who are left using it. And frankly, most people who have it don't use that much data and they're really paying for what they don't use. Either Jason could get a plan that would cover the data he uses, or he could go to T-Mobile and get unlimited. Most of their plans are unlimited, but would throttle his speeds after he reaches a certain limit.

Leo says to choose the carrier first, then decide which phone to get. He likes the hardware that Samsung makes, but he can't stand the extra stuff they put on the phone. If Jason likes it, though, Samsung is a good option. Also, since Sprint is the carrier he's looking at and that it doesn't really work well at home, he could ask them to provide a "femtocell" that will route cell phone calls over his Wi-Fi connection.

Watch Aiden from Ireland Comments

Aiden made the switch to a Mac and his Time Capsule takes forever to backup. It works just fine in Windows, though. Leo says there are a number of different protocols, and Windows uses that SMB, which is the default language. Apple uses its own protocol called AFP, which is based on the older AppleTalk. Leo advises going into the settings and turning all the protocols on. That will allow it to use the fastest available.

Aiden also says he uses an app called Unclutter for Mac, which is like a notebook he can quickly get to. He's been storing his long passwords in it. Leo suggests using a password manager like Lastpass, 1Password, or Dashlane.

Watch Lori from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Lori's son gets spam in Gmail, and she's wondering if he can click to "unsubscribe" from them. Leo says no, all that does is confirm that the email is a valid email and that's what spammers want to know. Lori's son probably selected promotional emails in his Steam account, so he keeps getting them because he asked for them. These are called "bacon."

Leo advises turning on the "promotional" tab (which Gmail calls automatic categorization). That way they'll go there and unclutter his main feed. For the rest, he can just label it "spam" and then Gmail will remove them.

Click on the Gear > Settings > Configure Inbox to turn on this categorization.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Howard from Chatsworth, CA Comments

Howard has a two year old 27" iMac and wants to know if he should upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Leo says not right away. There's no need to rush in as in the first week of a new OS roll out. There's always bugs that crop up. Howard should probably wait for the second update to Yosemite, which will fix whatever the new OS breaks. He'll know in the first week what problems crop up. Once Apple puts out a fix, and then a fix to fix the stuff broken in the fix, he'd be ok to upgrade. It'll probably take about a month.

iOS 8.1 will be coming next, on October 20. That is another case of "wait and see."

Watch Katie from Arlington, TX Comments

Katie works from home and wants to know the most secure way to use the Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or public library. Leo says that most things we want to be secure already is under "https." So she really doesn't have to worry about that. The big one is that email logins are protected.

Leo advises using a Virtual Private Network or VPN. This would allow her to "burrow a tunnel" into the internet that connects to a private server. That way nobody can see any of her traffic because it's encrypted. There's many options out there like HotspotVPN, ProXVPN, and OpenVPN to create her own. They usually cost a few dollars a month. However, because she's putting something in the middle, it will slow down her traffic a little.

Watch Francine from Palos Verdes, CA Comments

Francine's Gmail got hacked and now she's hearing from people she hasn't talked to in years. She knows it was a hack because she's been locked out of her account. Leo says that's the tell tale sign, as hackers will change the password in order to keep it. She ended up paying hundreds of dollars to get her email back. Leo says that Google will never charge to help get email back, and that's the danger of "googling" solutions.

What Francine should have done is go directly to Google Support at support.google.com. This is another reason to turn on second factor authentication where Google will text you with a code to reset the password. Chances are, since she gave the third party "support" access to her computer, it's likely that her system has been further infected with malware. Leo advises backing up her data, formatting the hard drive, and reinstalling Windows from a known good source. Then update it. She should also cancel her credit card, and reset all of her other passwords from anything associated with that Gmail account as well.

Watch Jerry from Phoenix AZ Comments

Jerry has a MacBook Pro and bought a pair off brand Cinema displays. But the MacBook Pro can't power them. Leo says that MiniDisplay port will do it. But Apple has replaced that with Thunderbolt 2. He'll just need the right cable. Most monitors don't have Thunderbolt. DVI ports are a possibility, but he'll need an adapter to handle it. Monoprice is a good place to look.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch David from California Comments

David got a Google Nexus 5 phone and he's concerned about battery life. Leo says that's the main problem with modern mobile phones -- they don't last through the day, which is why he likes phones that have removable batteries. What about killing programs and tasks that are running? Leo says that today's modern phone operating systems don't require task management anymore.

David will want to avoid wake locking, where the phone can autoupdate itself or get email and notifications. This wakes up the phone and wears down the battery. He should turn off push data, and change his app updates to manual. Programs such as System Panel and GSam pinpoint battery drains so he'll know what's draining his battery.

Watch Slim from LaHabra Heights, CA Comments

Slim has some twenty year old photo morphing software that he'd like to run on his new Mac. Leo says no way. There's no way to run it on a modern Mac. No emulator, no compatibility. He's just plain out of luck. It's one thing that Apple is willing to do that Microsoft isn't. The best he can do is buy an old Mac and run it there.

Leo says that Morpheus Photo Morpher is a good alternative to the old Griffin photo morpher.

Watch Concerned Consumer from California Comments

Concerned Consumer is worried about his email being shown while he's using an ATM. He says that's a violation of privacy. Leo says there's no reason to show his email, but it's not the worst thing in the world to happen. The bank really shouldn't display it, though. They can easily asterix out most of the address. It's a very easy fix and it shows that the bank doesn't care that much about privacy.

Watch John from New Jersey Comments

John did a clean install of OS X Yosemite and it won't let him log into his iCloud account. Leo says this is a prime example as to why it's never wise to update immediately when a new version of an OS comes out. There may be something weird with the install. Leo did a "dirty" install, upgrading over the previous verison with no trouble.

Leo advises calling Apple Support to see if there's a problem on their end. It sounds like doing a clean install isn't the wise thing to do. Maybe with Yosemite, it's wiser to do an upgrade.

Watch Jan from Carlsbad, CA Comments

Jan is having trouble with her Time Warner Roadrunner email account. It won't load. Leo says that it could be an incorrect credentials when she set up the email account, so she should double check the username and password. There's also been a message saying that Time Warner is upgrading their platform and it may cause login issues. Leo says that's annoying, and just plain bad luck. They're probably just moving servers and if Jan gives it a few days, it should work again.

The Chatroom says that Time Warner has been having email problems since June! One chatter suggests setting up a Gmail account, then go into the settings and have Gmail go get her Time Warner email. If that works, then she can use Google and move away from Time Warner.

Watch Steve from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Steve Martin uses the new Windows Surface Pro 3 and he loves it. But iTunes keeps losing his playlists and music on the tablet. Leo advises using MediaMonkey instead. iTunes for Windows has always been problematic. He should install Media Monkey, and then have it sync from the iTunes folder.

Watch Kal from Erie, PA Comments

Kal took Leo's advice and created a second user account for his wife, so she wouldn't be using the administrator account for day to day use. But then he lost the administrator password. Leo says there are bootable discs that he can use to reset the password. Here's a support document from Microsoft that will help him reset the password. He can use another computer to create this disc.

Another option is a program called Ophcrack, but that will only work if the password isn't as long and secure. NT Offline Password Reset could also work.

The chatroom recommends going to pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/, which Leo says is probably the one he'll want.