Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I protect my home from lightning strikes?

Episode 1421

Jay from Providence, NC
https://pixabay.com/en/photos/lightning%20storm/

Jay's house was in a recent thunder storm and his cable modem (and other devices) are dead. What happened? Leo says that the cable modem has more than one access point to get zapped by power surges from a lightning strike. If there is a lightning storm, the best route is to disconnect and unplug. Another tip is to look into whole-home surge suppression, installed by an electrician.

The Giz Wiz ... ready for his close up

Episode 1420

https://twit.tv/people/dick-debartolo

For those that like to make videos with a smartphone, then check out the Movo Smartphone Video Rig with a Stereo Microphone, Grip Handle, & Wrist Strap. (It's also available without the microphone kit for under $30.) This kit is designed to improve the production value of smartphone video by letting one add mics, lights, a tripod, etc. Perfect for live-streaming, vlogging, interviews, performances, etc. (There are three female 1/4" threads for mounting accessories and tripod.) Also an integrated cold shoe mount microphone & lights.

Can I own my own modem?

Episode 1419

Cecil from Hemet, CA
Motorola Surfboard DOCSIS III

Cecil has been dealing with issues with Spectrum and he's replaced the router. Can he replace the modem too? Leo says yes. He can buy his own modem and save himself a $10 a month rental charge in the process. He'll want to check with Spectrum to see what routers Spectrum supports, and based on those, he can buy his own. Most support the Surfboard DOCSIS III. There's also the NETGEAR Nighthawk.

What's the best WiFi BBQ thermometer?

Episode 1419

Gabby from Santa Rosa, CA
Williams Sonoma Smart Thermometer 2

Gabby is looking for a good smoker. Leo says that a Big Green Egg is his preference, but secret is the wood chips. He can even do that in his current BBQ. Gabby bought a Bluetooth thermometer that he can use with WiFi to extend the range or allow him to remotely check in. Leo says that Williams Sonoma has one called the Smart Thermometer 2 that works via WiFi with Android and iOS.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1418

Dick DeBartolo

This neat little gadget is called Port O Pill. And the company boasts: Pills + Water / Anytime, Anywhere! Never get caught without water or medication again. Leak-resistant, refillable container. Now the company says “Holds up to 10 pills” but that will surely depend the kind of pills. Chances are you'll carry this with just the pills you need for one day. Carrying only 1.5 ounces of water, it meets FAA plane rules for carry-on liquids. It's small enough for a backpack, purse, glove box, and maybe a pocket if you're wearing cargo pants. BPA Free and top rack dishwasher safe.

Can the Amazon Echo make phone calls?

Episode 1418

Cindy from California
Amazon Echo

Cindy wants to know if the Echo can work as an intercom all around the house. Leo says it can, but the Echo Dot requires external speakers, while the Echo has its own speaker. There's also the Echo Show, which also has video. She heard that it can make phone calls. Leo says it doesn't make phone calls, but it can make Echo to Echo calls to anyone in her network. If she wants to make phone calls, then Google Home is the way to go. It uses Google Voice.