Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What headphones do I need to watch TV for the hard of hearing?

Episode 1532

Seth from Long Beach, CA

Both of Seth's parents are now hard of hearing and they need headphones to watch TV. Is there a system that can do it for them? Leo says that hearing aids now can pair to your TV. So if they need a hearing aid, that's a good feature to get. But if you want headphones, Leo got his mother a pair of Sennheiser wireless RF headphones. Much better than bluetooth.

Is there a GPS device for hiking to keep track of someone who gets lost?

Episode 1532

Robert from Mira Mesa, CA

Robert is looking for a personal GPS tag for hiking and backpacking, that can be used to locate someone in case of an emergency. But not tied to cellular. Leo says they are a very popular device for hikers, and the technology is called SPOT. It does GPS with their own satellite networks, shows waypoints on google maps, will alert family. Check out FindMeSpot.com. There are also watches that use SPOT. Garmin's In Reach has it's own network.

Leo Tries the Magic Leap VR Headset

Episode 1532

Leo had a chance to try out the "Creator's edition" of the new Magic Leap Virtual Reality Headset. Magic Leap has raised $1.4 Billion to create this VR headset. Leo says that selling a developer's edition is the new Beta. People buy them, and then shake out the bugs. Leo says that while VR is initially a wow experience, over time, you start to get sick to your stomach. And while Magic Leap was interesting, Leo says we are still in the infant days of virtual and augmented reality.

Should I buy a mesh router?

Episode 1532

Dave from New York

Dave wants to replace his Airport Extreme and wants to go with a mesh router. Leo says that's a good idea since Apple has stopped making routers. Mesh routers are good because they are always updated and they provide great coverage around a large house. The downside, is that to get additional features and updates, you have to pay around $100 a year if you want that support. Leo recommends Eero and Plume, and the Netgear Orbi. But even the stand alone routers from Asus, Linksys and NetGear have mesh features. The NetGear Nighthawk is a good one that's recommended by The Wire Cutter.

How can I stop Robocalls?

Episode 1531

Jessie from Durango, CO

Jessie keeps getting robocalls and the numbers they get are either disconnected, or bogus. Leo says that they are bogus, and according to a recent survey, by 2019, 80% of cellphone calls will be robocalls. Making a cellphone useless for phones. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas, they forge the caller ID, and will even do it with your area code and prefix. The reality is, that legitimate companies will not be calling you. They'll be contacting you via mail. You can log your number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.

The Giz Wiz and the Smart Flower

Episode 1531

The SmartFlower Solar system was another 'big' gadget at the Luxury Technology Show. They had a unit out in the street so the press could see it in person. The SmartFlower is a fully integrated, all-in-one solar system that can live anywhere, but certainly the sunnier, the better. SmartFlower uses GPS tracking aligned to the specific longitude and latitude of the site where it is installed. This precise tracking can increase productivity by as much as 40%. They do want it setup by one of their installers to get the full warantee.

My laptop was stolen, what do I do?

Episode 1531

Jeff from Costa Mesa, CA

Jeff is worried about whether his personal data has been compromised after his Mac was stolen. Apple says not to worry about it. Leo says that if you turned on file vault, then you'd be OK. But if you didn't, then they can hack into your Find My iMac account to find out where you live. Leo recommends clearing out your FindMyIMac searches, and block anyone who may have gotten into it. More likely, they just tried to sell it or pawned it. Apple may be able to remote wipe or brick it. But you don't want to try and go get it. That would be dangerous. Turn over the data to the police.

Why won't my laptop charge?

Episode 1531

Karen from California

Karen's laptop has stopped charging. It's 10 years old. Leo says that your laptop has a lithium ion battery and it's likely it's just worn out. They won't take a charge after about 500 recharges, and after 10 years, it's very likely that's what it is. But Windows 10 has a feature in the command line. Hit the Windows key, and then type CMD and enter. Then type "powercfg /batteryreport." This will give you a report on your battery's health. It gets saved to your hard drive and you can open it with your browser. If it's under 10%, it won't hold a charge, and you'll have to get a new battery.

Should I buy a Mac Air or Mac Mini?

Episode 1531

Matt from Florida

Matt is thinking of getting a MacBook Air with an i7, or a Mac Mini. But he's been holding off because he keeps hearing rumors of new models. Leo says that the problem with those two devices, is that they haven't been updated since 2015, so buying one will get you an antiquated processor. The screen is also low resolution by comparison to today's standards. Leo also says that the rumor of a mac mini is extremely unlikely. THere's no real data to support it. In fact, since Apple is more focused on mobile devices, it's more likely that Apple will discontinue it entirely, sooner or later.