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Sunday January 16, 2011

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Edited Audio

Posted one week after broadcast…

Tech News

Apple finally brings the iPhone to Verizon, but is it worth it?

After four years of rumors and demands from fans, Apple has finally agreed to make the iPhone available to Verizon as well as AT&T. But is it worth it? Will Verizon’s 3G data network become more sluggish? And considering it’s last year’s iPhone model and not the rumored LTE capable iPhone 5, will fans be regretting buying that iPhone now instead of waiting six months?

Leo advises patience and waiting. But for those who simply can’t, the Verizon iPhone is available for preorder starting at $199 with a 2-year commitment. Current subscribers will get it on February 7th, and new subscribers on February 10th.


Scott Wilkinson, Home Theater Magazine, @htgeekscott

Scott says that one thing he took from CES is that the economy must be on the rebound because they saw a TON of cool items that are coming out this year.

He also got a great pic of Leo listening to some cool 3D audio …

What impressed Leo was Coby - a company who is known for low budget electronics, has come out with a sound bar that eliminates what Scott refers to as the “sweet spot” so now you can hear the same quality sound no matter where you are in the room.

Scott’s survey question of the week … can recorded music ever be better than listening to it live? Head over to ultimateavmag.com and chime in. Also, UltimateAVMag is now reviewing 3D Blu-ray titles. Like Leo, UAVs reviewer David Bonn was a skeptic. Then he bought a JVC 3D projector with 4 pairs of glasses and now, he’s all in.

Chris Marquardt - Tips from the Top Floor

Chris Marquardt joins us from Germany to talk about this month’s assignment; LIGHTS. Chris said there was some fantastic choices this month including:

Winter Halo by Patrick Stanbro. Chris says he did it by using a long exposure of about a minute.

DSC-44341 (come on, name them, people) by Spencer Johnson was a nice one because of it’s abstract appearance.

Christmas Lights, by KateinOregon was notable because she took them through a pair of snowflake 3d glasses which turn lights into a specific shape.

Next month’s assignment - LIQUID! Take a picture and post it on Flickr tagged to the Tech Guy Group and this month’s assignment.

Chris will be back in the States this summer with photography workshops in San Francisco, Washington DC, and up north in Toronto, Canada. Check out discoverthetopfloor.com for more details.

The first 10 people who want to check out his new iPhone App Pocket Chris will get a free code! Email him at chris@pocketchris.com.

Hour 1

Q Phil, Dallas TX - Remote Access via the iPad

Phil is a student and wants to use the iPad exclusively in college and wants to now if he can use a remote desktop utility when he has to use a PC. Leo says that using remote desktop for logging into Windows on the iPad is doable. Leo says VNC is the best choice, but RDP has the advantag of being able to run without additional software. Splashtop Remote is an option, but only if youre on the same network. Accessing from the Internet, the school will likely prevent you from doing remote access due to security concerns. But Phil’s best bet is using a VNC client like iTeleport, Jaadu, iTeleporter, LogMeIn. From the chatroom, Ronald says Screenz is a good option. But the real key is going to be if remote access will be blocked and Leo think’s it’s likely they will.

Leo also suggests contacting the university IT department and ask them if they support it or how they can handle it.

Q George, Houston, TX - Bandwidth caps and steaming online

George has a Roku Box for streaming movies, but he’s worried about passing his bandwidth. How easy is it to pass it? Leo says that George is right to be concerned about passing it. Comcast knows that these days, with video, 250GB is nothing and they know people pass it if you watch more steaming video and Comcast doesn’t make a dime off you watching movies on Netflix. Netflix says that users watching in HD eat up roughly 1GB an hour, and Comcast has placed a 250GB cap on their users. Leo says right now it isn’t really an issue, but that train is coming down the line and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to a head. It’s really what Net Neutrality is all about and Leo says that cable providers of Internet are more interested in protecting their premium cable content than serving their consumer’s needs.

Q Steve, Los Angeles, CA - The iPad

Steve got an iPadfor his birthday. He hasn’t opened it yet. Should he returned it and wait for the iPad 2? Leo says it’s just rumor, but if Apple is true to form, an iPad 2 in April would be about the time for a new iPad release. But no one knows. It could be 4–6 months or more. But when it does, here’s a few ideas of what may be in it: A camera. It could be smaller. It’s possible the retina screen could come to a smaller iPad, but it would be really be costly to do so.

Leo says there’s always going to be a rumor of something coming down the road. So why wait.

Hour 2

Q Cassie, Los Angeles, CA - new computer recommendation

Cassie is working on getting her first PC and she’s concerned about security. She’s got a budget of $700. Leo says you can get a Mac Mini for around $600, but without a monitor. A MacBook Air would go for $1000. So she’ll probably have to go with a Windows 7 computer. Windows 7 has a good firewall built in. But if you’re going to get Internet service, she’ll need a wireless router to keep the nasty trojan from biting her. For AntiVirus, get Nod32 or a free one called Microsoft Security Essentials. And make sure Windows update is run every second Tuesday of the month. In fact, just keep it on automatic. Turn on WPA2 encryption on your router when you set it up. Don’t accept file attachments from strangers, etc.

Q George, New Boston, MI - new desktop recommendation

George wants to know if an iMac or [B004E6F2BI|[Dell XPS 8100]] is best for his next computer. Leo says if there’s not a compelling reason for getting a Windows machine that George should get a Mac, especially since Windows is such a big target security wise. IMacs are elegant, high in quality hardware, more secure, and you can run Windows on them if you want. But for what George wants to do with it - writing and podcasting - the iMac is the way to go.

Hour 3

Q Nichole, Brentwood, CA - iTunes trouble

Nichole is having trouble with her iTunes account. She changed her email in it and then updated iTunes. Then, when she installed a new hard drive, it won’t authenticate it. Leo says the issue is that Nichole inadvertently created a second account and that’s why it’s having trouble recognizing it. He advises contacting iTunes support directly and asking them what’s going on there. They are usually very friendly and helpful. You can also authorize all accounts for iTunes and it should give you access to both. Another option is to go to the Apple Store and make an appointment with the Genius Bar. If anyone can fix it, they can. Another idea from Knox in the chatroom is to go to http://appleid.apple.com/ to manage your AppleIDs.

Leo also suggests upgrading to iTunes Plus on all your purchased music and then authentication isn’t necessary.

The phone number for iTunes support is (800)275–2273.

Q Bruce, Tampa, FL - teaching a kid computers

Bruce has an 11 year old son who is very good taking things apart and back together. Bruce would like to give him some training in computer repair. What is out there DVD wise that he can learn from? Leo says there’s a fantastic book with a kit that teaches kids how to build a computer, and it would be a great way for him to learn the basics. The Book is called |The Elements of Computing Systems by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken. There’s also a Google Tech Talk which echoes it that’s worth watching. Another idea is Lego’s Mindstorms kits and the old Heath Kits. And soon, he’ll be doing Arduino as well. So you may want to get him a subscription to MAKE MAGAZINE. In fact, Bruce should take his son to MAKER FAIRE. He’ll learn a ton.

Leo also recommends handing him a digital camera and camcorder, give him a YouTube account and turn him loose (with your supervision, of course). He could be the next Fred Figglehorn.

Q Tom, Wisconsin - partitioning his MAC for dual boot.

Tom wants to know if he can create erase a partition for Windows 7 on his MAC and Windows XP. Leo says Tom can erase Windows 7 and install XP, or he can dual boot with a separate partition for both. Use the Windows Installer for that.

Q Phil, Burlingame, CA - Printing via Bluetooth

Phil has a Blackberry Curve and an HP Photosmart printer which is bluetooth equipped. He’d like to print his emails by bluetooth, but can’t. Images only. Suggestions? Jeremy, in the chatroom suggests Remote Print for Blackberry. It’s $5 and available in the Blackberry App Store. It won’t go directly to the printer, but through the PC though. There’s also one called BASIC PRINT, which prints via bluetooth. It uses a format called Direct Printing and it’s $40. Not cheap, but there’s a try before you buy. But it claims to do what Phil needs. Read reviews very carefully.

Q Jay, Garden Grove, CA - Pocket HD Camcorder recommendation

Jay is going to Europe in the Spring and wants to know what pocket HD Camcorder Leo recommends. Leo loves the Kodak ZI8. Shoots in HD (although it’s upscaled to 1080p), but it also has an external minijack. But Leo says that point and shoot cameras have very good HD video these days. Why carry two cameras when you don’t have to? And don’t forget the HD video capability of today’s smartphones. It keeps getting better and better.

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