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Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss porch pirates and how to avoid them, MoviePass coming back, T-Mobile’s 5G speeds, Facebook misleading the public, and more.
Here are the tips mentioned by Dave to stay safe from porch pirates:
- Enable Tracking and Text Alerts: Most carriers, including Amazon, UPS, and FedEx, will text you when your package has been delivered. Turn this feature on and collect your packages as soon as possible.
- Install Home Security Cameras: Security cameras serve – if they’re visible –as a deterrent and they have successfully identified porch pirates in the act. Consider smart cameras with Ai-based technology that can detect unusual activity including if a package goes missing.
- Invest in a Porch Lockbox: Several companies now manufacture lockboxes designed specifically to receive packages. The lockbox will have a code that you provide to the delivery service so they can open it and drop your package off securely.
- Control Shipping Location: If you know you will not be home to accept the package, you can have it shipped to work, to an Amazon Locker or pick it up in-store.
- Ask for nondescript packaging: A package that has some Electronic’s company name or logo all over it, is likely to pique the interest of any criminal. See if the merchant will use a nondescript box.
Heidi in Erie, Pennsylvania ,”I want to watch TV out on my back deck and I haven’t been able to get all of the local channels, so I’m not sure what antenna I should use. Or if I should just move the Roku outside.”
Heidi, any old rabbit ears type of antenna will do. You dont need anything special to pick up your local channels outside.
If you search you will find plenty of antennas that promise range for 120 miles, 200 miles, big numbers like that. Feel free to ignore those.
Antennas are subject to what is called line-of-sight propagation. What that means for you is that if you live in a 2 story house in a flat prairie and you put your antenna on the top floor, you may be able to reach 60-70 miles. Anything over that and the curvature of the Earth will block out the signal.
It is possible to get greater ranges but it usually involves a mast or setting up at the peak of a mountain.
For what youre looking for, basically any basic cheap antenna should do the trick and you wont benefit by getting any of those that advertise crazy ranges. If you can mount it higher that will probably help you out a little bit as it will help the signal clear obstacles, but you probably dont need to do that in a place like Erie that is pretty densely populated and probably a target for local broadcasters.
Just get a simple regular antenna without any gimmicks, or if you get one of the ones that make crazy claims, dont expect that you will actually be able to pick up Cleveland channels just because it happens to be in range of their claims.
Theres a great site I came across – NoCable.org. You can put in your address and it will tell you which local stations are in your area and if youll be able to pick them up with an antenna. It has 4 different categories for the stations: Likely to receive, 50/50 to receive, challenging to receive and dont even try.
Donald in New Mexico listens Online and calling via the AskDave button on our site, and asked: “In some computers, when you have a CD or DVD that doesn’t want to come out, you can use a pin in a little hole to eject it. I have a Bose sound system with slots for four CDs. One of them is stuck. I can hit the eject button and it’ll eject all the others, but not one of them. What can I do? Is there a similar trick to ejecting a CD when it doesn’t want to eject?”
Donald, there probably wont be anything like youre describing to get that tray to eject.
Bose obviously made many different systems over the years and your mileage may vary, but holding down the eject button for 30 seconds will reset the software in some Bose models. If this is being caused by a software glitch, that reset may help.
Realistically, that probably wont do it and your options from that point become brute force or to try to take it to Bose or a third party store for servicing.
Bose may not take it any more. Like most audio products, theirs have moved away from CDs and towards digital files and streaming so you may struggle to find official support for an older system.
Third party repair shops can probably handle it though. The solution is probably going to be to force the tray out and see whats been jamming it. Worst case the shop may be able to replace it with a generic replacement.
Don in Middletown, Delaware listens on Delawares News Radio WDEL, and asked: “I was looking into purchasing a new laptop and I wanted to get as much memory as possible. I was looking at the 1TB HDD which I believe is a mechanical hard drive. And then out comes these devices, laptops, with 256 SSD. I asked the clerk what the difference was and she said the SSD was a solid state device and the HDD is a mechanical hard drive. My questions is, how do the mechanical hard drives equate to memory quantity and the SSDs?”
Don, the storage capacity is what the number says on both SSDs and HDDs.
In this case the 1TB hard disk drive will be able to store roughly four times the data the 256GB solid-state drive can hold.
You will find that traditional hard disk drives are cheaper than solid state drives of similar capacity, but there’s a good reason for that.
SSD are much, much faster, particularly their read speed is much faster. The difference is enough to be easily noticeable by regular users. If you swap out an HDD for an SSD it often feels like you upgraded the RAM, the computer feels much faster.
If what youre looking for is just the most storage you can get for your money, and HDD is the way to go, but since youre purchasing a new laptop you may want to have a good look at computers equipped with SSD too just because of how much better the performance is.
If you dont want to spend the money on a 1TB SSD, you can still use an external drive to expand your storage and the benefits in how quickly the laptop boots up and generally operates will be very noticeable.
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