Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Are DJI Drones Spying on the Army?

Episode 1411

This week, the US Army issued a directive ordering soldiers to not use DJI drones and other UAVs due to cyber vulnerabilities and the potential for spying by the devices on the battlefield. DJI is shocked by the move without consultation. What would be the threat? Leo says that drones have radios and GPS, and often have internet connectivity. So it's possible that drones could be taken over by a third party and used for spying, especially for mapping terrain. But Leo says it's also likely there's could be a certain amount of paranoia at work here.

Can I fix my laptop's keyboard?

Episode 1411

Carrie from Hermosa Beach, CA
Laptop Keyboard

Carrie turned on her laptop and a few of her keys don't work anymore, so she can't log in. Leo says that may indicate that her keyboard is dead or that those keys have broken. The good news is that she can plug in a USB keyboard and use it that way. She could also pry up the key caps on her laptop keyboard and see if there's some dirt or lint in them. That can easily cause a lack of connection between the keys above and below. Canned air will get rid of all that.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1410

Dick DeBartolo

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.

How can I update my GPS radar device?

Episode 1410

Lee from Rapid City, SD
Escort Passport IQ

Lee has an Escort radar detector/GPS device and he can't update the maps. Leo says that many GPS companies are getting out of the business because every smartphone has GPS and a maps app. The phone is constantly up to date, while the GPS device isn't. Escort has also joined the iPhone generation by making their own app that has crowd sourced radar data like GPS. So GPS devices are rapidly becoming obsolete. There may be a software/maps update at the Escort Radar Forums.

How can I record a month's worth of security video?

Episode 1410

Mike from Fremont, CA
Swann Security Camera

Mike has a Swan surveillance camera with a hard drive recording option that archives for seven days before it loops around. He'd like to expand that to a month. Can he? Leo says he might be able to with a larger hard drive, but it may be specially locked down to prevent upgrading or hacking it to his liking. It largely depends on the DVR.

Why can't I use a third party charger with my HP laptop?

Episode 1409

David from Orange Park, FL
HP Spectre x2

David bought a new HP convertible laptop, and HP has made it so he can't use third party charging systems through the USB C port. Leo says that's anticompetitive, and HP is one of the few companies that does it. It just makes people angry that they are locked into using proprietary accessories with a standard open source port.

Leo suspects that maybe it's just an issue of needing more wattage since he can charge with it while the computer is turned off.