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Episode 1156 January 25, 2015

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

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

John is curious about the lawsuit against Apple regarding the stated storage capacity vs. the actual capacity. Leo says that while it's true that when buying an iPhone (or any smartphone) that half of the storage is used by the software and operating system, that's true of hard drives as well. Most people understand that. It is true that the 8GB iPhone users were left wanting when trying to upgrade to iOS 8, though (you need 5GB for it). But most class action lawsuits are started by law firms that get the lions share of the settlement. Perhaps this will motivate a more accurate explaination of how much storage there really is, rather than relying on fuzzy math.

Watch Aaron from Tuscon, AZ Comments

Aaron just bought a Belkin router and he wants to know what he can do to make it work better. Leo says that he can make it more secure by turning off WAN administration and Universal Plug and Play. Both allow for holes in the router to let in traffic like gaming.

Another option is to get a router that can use open source firmware like DDWRT or Tomato. Asus is one such manufacturer.

Watch Don from Ashland, OR Comments

Don wants to know what Leo thinks about Microsoft Office 365. Leo says it's a great idea, and he uses it. It's for a cheap monthly fee, especially for non profits. Leo says to go for it. He can install up to five copies and get access to his files on any platform anywhere thanks to its web-based interface.

Don isn't all that thrilled with Exchange for email, though. Leo says that's a huge commitment, but it does have more features than webmail. He doesn't have to use it, but there's benefits like document sharing. It's definitely worth doing.

Watch Amy from Newport Beach, CA Comments

Amy is having trouble sending videos to Android with her iPhone 6. Leo says the problem is likely with AT&T and it should be fixable. Text messages are handled with SMS, while video and photos are sent via MMS, or through Apple's Message. So it's likely Amy's MMS is misconfigured. Leo says to talk to a genius at the Apple Store and ask them to fix it.

It's also possible that Amy's cell phone service doesn't include MMS. Amy says it also happens when she uses email to send the videos, though. Leo says that's a horse of a different color. But if it sends and they just can't open it, then that means it's not her service. That points to an incompatible format, but the iPhone 6 doesn't record in an odd format. Any modern phone should be able to read it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Yorba Linda, CA Comments

Jim has an iPhone 5 through Verizon and he's being nailed for "excessive use of data" with charges over $300 a month, and he has no idea why because nothing has changed in his usage. Verizon claims he's using up to 1 GB a day! But he isn't using even close to that. He doesn't stream video, and is rarely listening to Pandora. Leo says that going into the usage meter in the settings, he can see what the phone thinks he's using. Is the hotspot turned on? Streaming video can easily get 1GB a day if he's not careful. And since he can't receive phone calls, that tells Leo that data is constantly on. Try leaving the phone off for a day, or put it in airplane mode and see if there's any data usage. If there is, then it isn't the phone.

Leo recommends doing a factory reset and leaving it in a pristine Apple state and see how the data runs. It could be a rogue app that's doing it. He can also go into the settings and look at individual app usage. Go to Settings > Cellular > then scroll down to the apps, and he'll see the usage broken down by app. It's also possible that the ESN number of the phone has been cloned and someone else is using his data. Leo recommends calling Verizon to ask to change the ESN or the Data SIM.

Watch Ivan from Salt Lake City, UT Comments

Ivan is frustrated because he can't seem to update to Windows 8.1. It keeps giving him an error after downloading 2 GB. It's very frustrating because he is a truck driver and he has to use his mobile data to do it.

Leo advises setting Windows to automatic updating so he doesn't have to manually try downloading it every time. Also, there's a technote here on how to create your own installation on a flash drive or DVD. That way he can install it directly. There's also a direct download here.

Watch Dave from Merced, CA Comments

Dave has a new HDTV and would like to calibrate it. What can he use that's commercial grade to dial that in? Leo says that Scott Wilkinson says that calibration is vitally important to make the TV all it can be. But a professional calibrator will set him back $300.

The good news is he can get 90% of the way himself just by setting his TV to "Movie" mode. TV sets are set by default to dynamic or showroom mode. He'll want it in movie mode. For $29, he can also get DVE HD Basics by Joe Kane. AVS forum has a utility that he can download here.

Watch Terry from Riverside, CA Comments

Terry uses an Epson scanner/printer but he can't export it to PDF. An error occurs. Leo says that a PDF creation program could be an easy workaround that can talk to the printer. But it sounds like a corrupted driver. Terry should go to Epson.com to download and install all the latest drivers.

The chatroom suggests trying to export the PDF from the printer first. There are options on the printer/scanner itself. If it works, then he'll know it's an issue with his computer connection. What Leo advises is to remove the printer entirely and reinstall it. That can completely remove the drivers and then reinstall them.

Watch Mary from Orange, CA Comments

Mary got a new Scion automobile and she can connect her phone to it, but it doesn't work right. She can't hear the turn by turn directions when she connects her Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to it. Leo says that there is a setting for it to play over the music. Doctor Mom in the chatroom says she had a similar problem and she says to start over with the Scion. Forget the pair in her Scion Bluetooth settings, and then repair it. Leo also says to look in the navigation settings in Google Maps to change the volume on the voice settings. There's also a 'mute' checkbox there.

Here are a couple of pages for more information about it:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/maps/NR6xxNE5vQw
https://developer.bluetooth.org/TechnologyOverview/Pages/A2DP.aspx

There's also a free app called A2DP Volume, which may help.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dave from Crystal Lake, CA Comments

Dave is looking for a good camera for taking pictures of paintings. Leo says he'll want a good camera that has a wide angle lens, but he won't want it too wide because it will show some barreling. Detail is even more important, and a great lens makes a huge difference, as does accurate color. A large sensor helps with that. Sensors in camera phones are really tiny. A camera has a larger one and the bigger the lens, the more costly. Ideally, he'll want a full frame sensor.

The Sony RX100 is ideal because it has a 1" sensor for great low light capability and better color accuracy. It's around $500-700. The next step up with interchangeable lenses would be a micro four-thirds camera. Leo likes the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M5, depending on his budget. These are great for taking images and he can change the lenses out.

Dave also uses an app called CoPilot, which uses the phone's GPS to find his way around with offline maps without using any data.

Watch Dave from Denver, CO Comments

Dave wants to know if Leo likes the Amazon Kindle HDX tablet. Leo does, and it pays to look at reviews before buying them. On Amazon, he can get good reviews from people who actually use the item. Toss out the high and low reviews, and he'll have an accurate depiction of how the item works.

If Dave likes the Amazon ecosystem, the Fire is a great option. But if not, then Leo points to the Google Nexus 7. What about adding a keyboard? Leo says that any tablet will work with any bluetooth keyboard. So he can just get the one he likes.

Dave wants to be able to put cassette tapes onto his iPod, and for that Leo says he'll need a computer. There are also dedicated devices that will digitize old media. Dave can find some of this at crosleyradio.com.

Watch Mark from Menasha, WI Comments

Mark has a FLIR attachment for an iPhone 5 that does thermal imaging. Can he use it on a phone without a data plan? Leo says it should work, unless it requires data in the app. But it's worth a try. Gazelle sells used iPhones. He'll probably have to have an iPhone 5 or later though.

(Disclaimer: Gazelle is a sponsor)

Watch George from Santa Monica, CA Comments

George wants to know of a way to use his computer without having to use a password or user name because he keeps forgetting them. Leo says that passwords don't work. We have to remember them, so we tend to make weak passwords and use them on multiple sites. Steve Gibson has an idea called SQRL (Secure, Quick, Reliable Log In). The idea being that a smartphone app will automatically authenicate using a QR code so it just lets the user right in. Great idea, but behind the scenes it's a lot more complicated than that. It's going to be a while before anything like this is widely adopted, though.

Watch Louis from Palos Verdes, CA Comments

Louis downloaded something and now he can't do anything when he boots up. Leo believes that the computer's hard drive is failing and that's what is causing the computer to stall on boot up. Especially considering it's an old XP machine. Given the issues Louis is having, it's unlikely from something that Louis installed. Leo says it's not really worth fixing. He advises going to Walmart and buying an HP Stream for $250 and move on.

Watch Benny from Pasadena, CA Comments

Benny wants to get organized. What calendar can he use? Leo says that Google Calendar is a great option. It has a built in task list and it's quite good.

Google Keep is like Evernote, and both are great for making lists that he can share.