Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mark from San Diego, CA Comments

Mark's company currently enjoys an exemption from the FAA to fly drones for commercial use. Mark says the lighter your drone is, the more challenging it is to fly. It's always important to have extra batteries. Additionally, it's important to always fly with someone else because your perspective is often skewed, and a second person can help you keep track of it.

There are some basic rules to follow, including staying away from airports, and don't use it to spy on other people. If you're going to buy a new DJI quadcopter, plan on spending twice as much for extra batteries and other accessories. Also, keep your flying activity on the down-low, so as not to attract unwanted attention.

Watch Julian from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Julian says that there's a new service called Be My Eyes, which pairs blind people with volunteers who can literally be their eyes. Sighted people can respond to blind people using the smartphone app, and so far, there's over 30,000 volunteers -- 100 times as many blind people who are using it. Leo says that's extremely cool. And it's free, which is amazing.

Caller Paul says that KNFB Reader reads printed text. It's written by Ray Kurzweil.

Check out Julian's website at TechJV.com.

Watch Jeffrey from Torrance, CA Comments

Jeff has an old Magnavox Plasma TV and he's in the market for a new TV. Leo says that plasma has gone away largely because of the power requirements. And thanks to the State of California's low power requirements for TVs, nobody really makes them anymore. Jeff has a budget of $1,000 and would like a TV that's at least 55".

Scott Wilkinson says the 60" Vizio M Series 602i-b3 is a tad under $1,000, and he can get a 70" for about $1,500. It is full array backlit with local dimming. If he sits off axis a lot, the 55" inch may be better. But if he's mostly viewing in the center, he should get the 60".

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Donald from Chicago, IL Comments

Donald wants to know if the Windows Surface Pro 3 would make a good first tablet. Leo says that it's a great tablet that runs full Windows. But it's more of a computer than a tablet. That would give him the option to attach a keyboard and turn it into a full blown laptop. It's over $1,000, so it's not cheap for a tablet. If all Don needs is a device to play movies and such, then it's overkill.

The Apple iPad would work well for those basic things. There's also the Amazon Fire HD. However, if he wants to rip his own DVDs for movies, then Leo says that the Surface is a better option. Another great tablet convertible is the Lenovo Yoga.

A tablet with an SD card will save him about $500. For that, Leo likes the Nvidia Shield. It's a very fast gaming tablet, but the battery life isn't great. The Google Nexus 9 is another good one. Both the Shield and the Nexus 9 have front facing speakers. There's also the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. If battery life is important, the iPad gets 10 hours.

Watch Dan from Huntington Beach, CA Comments

Dan wants a keyboard for his iPad. What one would be best? Leo says that any bluetooth keyboard will work with the iPad. Many companies make keyboard cases, such as Logitech. But Apple's own bluetooth keyboard is excellent for a standard bluetooth keyboard. Caller Rob likes the KeyFolio Pro 2.

Another option is a foldable Bluetooth keyboard, like the iLepo on Amazon.

Watch Mike from Sherman Oaks, CA Comments

Mike wants to know how to find all of the files installed by a program so he can remove them after he uninstalls that program. Leo says that the best way to uninstall a program is to use the uninstaller that comes with the program, or use the Windows 'Add/Remove' programs. Ideally the uninstaller should look at the manifest created by the installer and remove all traces. Sometimes those uninstallers aren't well done and it leaves some traces behind.

There are third party uninstallers that run in the background and watch everything an installer did. REVO makes one that's free. But Leo doesn't really recommend using those, and strongly suggests using the uninstaller that came with the program. Mike should understand that he can't really get rid of everything unless he formats the drive and reinstalls Windows, which he should do every year or two anyway.

Watch Rob from Tarzana, CA Comments

Rob's job keeps him on the road, and he wants access to his desktop PC at home via his laptop or iPad. What's a good option, and can he do it without adding an app? Leo says that he can do it in a browser, but it's better in an app.

Atlas Remote Access on the iPad works well, according to the chatroom. There's also TeamViewer. But he'll need to install something. Google Chrome Remote requires installing an extension, but if the hardware isn't locked down from browser extensions, that's an option.

Guacamole is open source and is something he could install on his desktop and it uses HTML 5 for him to connect via his web browser. And it's free!

Watch Jeff from San Tan Valley, AZ Comments

Jeff has great bandwidth - 100Mbps down - but when he's streaming on his TV, he gets constant buffering. Leo says that smart apps on a TV are terrible. So Leo advises avoiding them and going with a streaming box like the Roku. Jeff says it's also happening with the Fire TV, though. Jeff is mostly having a hard time streaming DirecTV content. He has a SWiM box which is connected over the LAN in his house to his DirecTV receiver. There shouldn't ever be buffering, so Leo thinks it's the SWiM box. It is possible for an ethernet connected device to bring down the whole network by spewing packets inappropriately.

Leo says he should slowly eliminate the easy things like replacing cables. Since streaming to mobile devices is fine, then there's something localized like a TV connection. That's where he'll want to start troubleshooting.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jack from Thornton, NH Comments

Jack is wondering if Leo had heard of LiFi, which uses light to transfer data between the ISP and the computer. This is not the first time we've seen this kind of thing, and there are a number of ISPs that use microwave as well. Microwave and LiFi require direct line of sight. Leo says in theory, this makes sense, as it uses the same type of technology as fiber-optic. But there are issues with this, and this line-of-sight light could be interrupted by weather and other factors.

Watch Paul from Houston, TX Comments

KNFB Reader reads printed text, but it uses a server-based back end and Paul is concerned about privacy. Leo says that end-to-end encryption fixes that, but the recipient needs to have the encryption as well, making it very inconvenient. But they could work it into the back end on any app. What we do in general is in public though, and there are benefits to that.

Watch Jim from Woodland Hills, CA Comments

Jim has an iPhone 4S without phone service and the Wi-Fi doesn't work. How can he fix it? He heard some crazy methods to try and fix it including heating up the phone and then chilling it. Leo says there's a method to that madness since electronics work with solder, but it's not a prescription that he'd recommend.

Leo recommends going to a local independent phone shop and have them check it out. That's a more reliable solution than heating it up and freezing it, which could cause moisture condensation and that's not good. The chatroom says to update the OS as well. He should try restoring the phone and installing the OS updates.

Watch Mary from Lake Arrowhead, CA Comments

Mary has Windows XP and she needs to reformat her hard drive, but she has programs she can't replace. Leo says that she can look through her registry to find software keys so that she can reinstall them to reactivate them. But if she doesn't have the reinstall disks, she may be out of luck. That's why having an image of the hard drive is very beneficial.

Watch Beanie from Reykjavik, Iceland Comments

Beanie wants to know if Photoshop works the same on the Mac Mini as it would on a similar small device from HP. Leo says that Photoshop is CPU bound, meaning the speed of the chip's cores will matter. The more cores, the better. An SSD will speed it up, as well as a good graphics processor. The Mac Mini uses Intel's Iris Processor, which is OK. So while there are speed differences, it largely depends on what he's doing, and chances are, he's really not going to notice. Going up to an i7 processor will give him a boost because of hyperthreading, but only if he really, really needs it.