Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What's the best USB mic for $100 to $200?

Blue Yeti Microphone

Episode 1556

Jake from Jacksonville, FL

Jake's friend wants to get into music recording and is looking for a good USB microphone. Their budget is between $100 and $200. Leo says there's a lot of choices in that price range. Blue is best known for this category. The Blue Yeti is the top dog. He should avoid the Snowball, though. It has no headroom. Audio Technica's ATR2100 is very nice as well.

How can I best teach others how to use computers?

Computer lab

Episode 1557

Bob from New Jersey

Bob is a computer guy and he has no patience with people who want to learn computers. Leo says it helps to remember when he was just starting out. Somebody took the time to teach him, so he should pay it forward. Community colleges are also a good way to learn. Local extension courses, user groups, etc. There are plenty of options out there.

Is my MacBook Pro broken?

Apple MacBook Pros

Episode 1557

Andrew from North Carolina

Andrew bought a new MacBook Pro with the Vega 20 graphics and i9 processor. He hooked it up to an external monitor and the display is flickering. This is the top of the line laptop he paid $4,200 for. What's wrong? Leo says Andrew should take it to Apple to look at it, because it sounds like a hardware issue. He returned it and got a replacement, and the new one is flickering as well. Leo says to change cables and change displays. Eliminate all the easy things. Unfortunately, since even happens on the laptop's screen, Andrew really needs to take it back to Apple and have them fix it.

Sam Abuelsamid on Car Tech

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1557

Sam is back from CES and he says that while more companies are featuring technology for cars, it is by no means a huge car show. That's the domain of the Detroit Auto Show. But Sam says that doesn't mean that there wasn't some cool car tech there. Alexa for Auto is becominng a thing. Sam says that cars are becoming far more computerized. Chips have been in cars since the 70s, but most cars now have about 75-100 separate computers built into them. We're starting to see a trend towards fewer, more powerful computers that will run your car for you.

CES 2019 Comes and Goes

CES 2019

Episode 1557

This week was the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and there was a lot of 8K TVs being showed off. Samsung also showed off a new microLED 75" TV. The price is $50,000! Short throw Projector TVs were also popular at CES. LG's Optima is under $2,000.

There were also self driving cars using artificial intelligence and LIDAR. There was also an electric helicopter and self-driving flying cars. There were also Amazon Dash Buttons, which are designed to instantly order a product at the touch of a button.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1556

Hate it when someone uses says the trigger word "Alexa" when you don't want your Echo device to do anything? The Mute+ is from Smartē could be for you. The idea is to place this device on top of an Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot smart speaker, so you can mute it when you don't want it to react to the trigger words. The company says their proprietary technology temporarily blocks any noise near or far from the smart speakers’ microphones and the lighted privacy timer can be set for up to an hour at a time. Each time you push a button at the top it adds ten minutes.

How can I unlock a used iPhone?

Episode 1556

Jake from Jacksonville, FL

Jake bought a new phone on eBay, but he can't activate it because it says he owes money to AT&T — but he's never used it with AT&T. Leo says it's probably the carrier that has flagged the IMEI of that phone and locked it out. Leo advises contacting eBay and getting his money back. He should give the seller a bad review as well. Of course, he could pay the bill. But who wants to do that? This is why you don't buy phones on eBay.

How can I stream TV shows and movies online?

Roku

Episode 1556

Michelle from San Pedro, CA

Michelle has finally cut the cable and wants to know how to stream her movies and TV shows from the internet. Does she need special equipment? Leo says maybe. If she has a smartTV, then she might not. But Leo recommends getting a streaming device anyway and he recommends the Roku. Streaming services include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there's also new services coming from Disney and many others. How does she pay for them? Leo says she would have to give them a credit card.

Can I pay for things with an Android Wear watch?

Android Wear watches

Episode 1556

Joe from Winslow, AZ

Joe wants to buy his girlfriend a smartwatch. He wants to know if Android Wear watches will use NFC so he can buy stuff through his watch without his phone. Leo says that the Apple Watch can do that. There are probably models of Android Wear that will do that as well. Leo says that if the watch supports Wi-Fi, and is connected through the internet, then Google Pay will work. If it's not, then no, it won't be able to do that.