Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss genetic testing companies and privacy, Dish’s spectrum problems, Google caving to censors in Chins, Huawei’s foldable phone rumors, the Note 9 and Fortnite, Facebook’s time limit, and more.
Harry in Port Huron, Michigan listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “I’ve got a friend who has had nothing but problems with Windows. He uses Windows 10 and for the last two years, I kid you not because I’ve counted them, he has had to reinstall Windows 25 times in the last two years. What would cause Windows to corrupt? No matter what version he has, he puts it in, it works for a few weeks and then it’s corrupted. What causes that and how do we stop it from happening?”
Harry, that doesn’t sound like a Windows problem, that sounds like a hard drive problem.
Windows can usually run over extended periods of time (meaning years, not weeks) without any real corruption issues. If all your friend is getting is a few weeks then something else must be going on there.
If his hard drive is on its way out there’s a chance that some sectors just keep getting corrupted.
Hard drives are not very expensive and are not very hard to install, so it may be smart to just swap it before the next reinstall, but if Windows happens to be up and running right now he can also run some diagnostics on the drive to see what comes up. Windows 10 includes some basic tools to scan and check a hard drive. Even running those may yield some clues that would point to a faulty drive.
This is not a common Windows problem, must less a problem across several versions of Windows, so you and your friend should approach it as a likely hardware issue.
Jim in Gladewater, Texas listens on KTBB asked: “I’m thinking about getting a newer laptop. I was wondering, because I really can’t afford an expensive one, is going to a pawn shop a good idea or a bad idea?”
Jim, there’s probably not a right answer to this.
Since the computer would be coming from an unknown source that treated it in an unknown manner, it seems like this would be a luck of the draw situation.
You may be better off looking at refurbished models that come with a warranty, or even at used computer sites online that will at least take it back if it doesn’t turn on.
Other than that, it seems like buying it from a pawn shop or anywhere else would basically just mean buying it used, with all the advantages and disadvantages of buying anything used.
Another thing you may want to consider is whether or not you need an expensive one, you may be able to get away with a new one, or a used one from a safer source, that isn’t that powerful or expensive.
Wayne in Webb City, Missouri asked: “I need some help with trying to get to where I can watch my Dish recordings on my TV. I’m an over the road truck driver and I store my things on an iPad but I need some way to project them or get them up on a TV screen where I have a better screen to watch them. I’ve tried a Fire stick, but either I’m not smart enough to set it up or I can’t get it to work. I also have a Hopper Go as well. If I can either one of them to work on the TV, I’d really appreciate it.”
Wayne, your best bet will probably be to buy a lightning to HDMI adapter and physically plug your iPad to your TV.
Try not to go cheap on the adapter, the cheap ones tend not to work. Read the reviews for whichever one you choose to buy before you make the purchase and you will probably see either all 5 stars or all 1 star, there’s very little middle ground with these.
The good adapters tend to be around $40 and they will come with an HDMI out and a port to charge your iPad.
Unfortunately the HopperGo won’t be any help, it’s basically just an external hard drive that you used to transfer Dish’s encrypted content, but there’s no connection option to go to a TV.
James in Grangeville, Idaho asked: “I have a ranch and I was wondering how I could use a drone – especially during the winter time to go out and search for trouble or troubled horses that I have down below the hill.”
James, yes you should be able to, as it’s a common use case for drones.
You will probably want a better drone, not one of the inexpensive $100 chinese generics, but something more like a DJI Phantom.
The main reason for that is range, but there are other reasons as well, with a quality drone you get features like auto return and land if they start to run out of battery or lose their signal, and you get better range.
You want something that won’t restrict you to a regular WiFi connection, but something that will boost its signal as much as possible.
Again, your use case is viable, there are drone tests that show drones flying 3 or 4 miles from the operator before the signal starts to degrade, the only issue is that those are the $1000 drones, not the $100 drones.
We’ve tested Yuneec drones, and they have good image quality, and stand up to the wind reasonably well, DJI’s drones can also compensate for the wind, but if you live in a truly windy place keep in mind that drones will not do well in that environment.
The other obvious thing to point out here is that you said Idaho and winter… A drone may not be able to keep its electronics warm enough to keep from failing in the cruel Idaho winter, don’t buy anything without first making sure that it’s rated for very low temperatures.
Jimmy in Norfolk, Delaware listens on 105.9 WXDE and asked: “Interested in buying a new computer setup and I wanted to see what you would recommend for me.”
Well Jimmy, Acer’s Predator Orion 9000 sounds pretty good to us.
It’s powered by an Intel Core i9 chip, it comes with 128GB of RAM, 2TB of hard drive space and an extra 512GB SSD for speed. It’s also VR ready, which is a good thing because it’ll cost you $8000.
The HP Stream 11 sounds pretty good too, it barely has any storage space with 32GB (most of which will be eaten up by Windows 10), but it’s hard to argue with a $200 MSRP.
Unfortunately, without knowing more about what you’re planning to use it for it’s going to be hard for us to help you find the sweet spot in between those for you.
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