Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss new MoviePass problems, Disney+ compatibility, a
Ken in Nashville, Tennessee listens to the Podcast and asked: “I’m a Sprint user and am just now qualified to upgrade my device. I wondered if I would be better off upgrading my S8 plus. I’m tempted by the Note 10. But I’m also intrigued by what new technology might be coming down the line with the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. And if there might be some devices coming out that would allow dual network. So I’m wondering if I should change now, or wait and see what the next year or two brings.”
Ken, if you feel like you could wait a couple of years before upgrading then there’s probably no good reason for you to upgrade right now.
Phones are pretty mature technology by now and there isn’t that much difference between two devices released a year or two apart.
The do get better, they have better processors, slightly better cameras, etc, but the changes are small and probably not worth a lot of your money if the phone is working to your satisfaction.
If you’re waiting for T-Mobile and Sprint to merge and put out some kind of special device, keep in mind that they don’t manufacture anything, so what they’ll put out is what the market puts out. It likely won’t be anything revolutionary. At least nothing revolutionary that you couldn’t have without a merger.
If your phone is working well and you don’t really have a reason to upgrade, we’d say save your money and keep the phone you have, but if you want to upgrade, you likely won’t see anything mind-blowing from T-Mobile or Sprint between now and your next upgrade that will make you regret switching to a new phone now.
Jake in Colfax, Washington listens on AM840 KMAX and asked: “I’m looking for some good apps to help me learn how to play guitar. I’m wondering if anybody can give me some recommendations or ideas – besides using a book, to learn how to play guitar.”
Jake, we haven’t tried any of these first hand, but Chord! Is a popular app to look up chords you don’t already know that will also let you write down your music once you get good enough to write.
Guitar Trick’s Guitar Lessons includes, not surprisingly, guitar lessons that you can follow, even as an absolute beginner.
There are quite a few apps that give you an added benefit: they let you learn and play along to songs you may already know by letting you navigate a very large library of popular songs.
We won’t include any names because we’re not clear on the legality of listing someone else’s music without their permission and without any licensing, but it’s hardly a new practice so you may not be breaking the law if you do it.
The books you mentioned may be a good idea too, there are even guitar magazines that come with music and lessons for different stages, so you might want to incorporate them into your learning as well.
You can probably turn to YouTube. There will be lots of videos there to help.
Jonathan in Sparta, Tennessee listens on WTN 99.7 and asked: “I’m interested in trying to figure out a hotspot for a computer – I guess so I can travel. I’m not real clear on how to go about it at all.”
Jonathan, you have a couple of options. The least investment one will come from using your phone as your hotspot. Most plans nowadays come with some level of hotspot ability.
They are usually throttled in either data amounts or data speeds, but those limits can usually be changed or removed if you’re willing to pay some extra money for the service.
There are two advantages to using your phone as your hotspot: you get to use one device and you get to keep a single monthly plan.
It will drain your battery and tie you to the same network you have now, though, and you can get around that using a standalone device.
Those devices look like a little plastic rectangle about half the size of most modern phones and usually allow several connections at once. How many depends on the device, but you can usually expect between 5 and 10.
The advantage of having a standalone hotspot are that it will run on it’s own battery, some will even charge your phone, and you can choose a different network if you feel like yours may not be up to the challenge as you travel, but you will have to buy an extra device.
If you’re traveling internationally, Skyroam is worth a look. You can buy or rent their devices and you can buy day passes that are used up only if you use the service on any given day. That means that if you don’t use it today but you need it tomorrow, you only pay for tomorrow. We’ve used their devices in Europe and Asia and they’ve always worked very well.
Larry in Toledo, Ohio listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “Was wondering what you know about an e-mail virus protection program called ESET.”
Larry, ESET has been around for a while and Nod32 is a well known anti-virus product.
There’s not that much to say about the company, though, it’s a Slovak company that has been in business for many years and that puts out a product that is generally considered ok, but nothing particularly amazing.
Its antivirus protection is good, its general antimalware protection including other threats generally scores more towards the middle of the pack, but there’s nothing wrong with it necessarily.
For the price, which is around $40/year, we’d tell you to look around and you may find better offerings.
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