Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital. Sometimes choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job.
This week, I received questions on a TV guide for streaming, Apple ransomware, investing in tech stocks and more. Do you have a question you'd like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.
Streaming Content Guide
Q: Is there such a thing as a TV Guide for programs, movies, and shows that are streaming online? I want a real simple way to see what’s available on Amazon vs. Apple vs. Hulu vs. YouTube vs. Roku and all the others!
A: There are so many different streaming services available, and each provides a different blend of programming. As you’ve pointed out, it’s hard to tell what flicks and shows are available on each service, especially when titles appear and vanish so unpredictably. You’ll be happy to hear that several different sites have answered the call and can summarize these streaming catalogs at a glance.
Adjust TV Volume
Q: The dialogue on my TV is awful. I can hardly hear people, but the sounds are loud. How can I fix this?
A: When you bring a new TV into your home, it arrives with a lot of arbitrary settings: tint, color, contrast, and so on. The volume controls are nearly as important as the picture because they can dramatically affect the sound of the dialogue, ambient noise, and music. There are many ways to fix this problem, but if you’re not accustomed to working with speakers and acoustics, you’ll need a little guidance.
Comparing Smart Temperature Controls
Q: I was thinking about getting a smart thermostat to save money on heating bills. Is the Nest or Ecobee the better choice?
A: Most of our monthly energy bills relate to the heating and cooling of our homes, and the smarter your thermostat is, the less energy you’ll use. The exciting part of both systems is that they will automatically adapt to your household’s needs. You just have to set the thermostat to its regular settings for about a week, and the internal computer will figure out the rest. Both systems are excellent, but there are a few clear differences.
Apple’s Virus Vulnerability
Q: Is it true that Apple users will never get ransomware?
A: It's true that Apple devices and apps are significantly less vulnerable to viruses and malware than their competitors’ products, but that doesn’t mean your iMac is invincible. In fact, cybercriminals are working around the clock to find new ways to hack into Apple devices, and a new kind of Apple-specific ransomware is now at large. So if you’re dedicated to Mac, the time has come for you to think about protecting yourself. If there are any chinks in your armor, you can bet there’s a hacker who will find them, no matter what brand of computer you own.
Investing in Tech
Q: I invest in the market. What are the best tech stocks?
A: When I was a kid, my dad and I used to pore over the financial pages, and I have been following the stock market religiously ever since. We both know that the market can take unpredictable turns, but certain companies have outstanding records when it comes to profitability, and there is definitely a shortlist of great tech stocks. These companies are all performing very well, and shares are not cheap, but you can expect them to remain stable, and even increase in value, in the next few years.
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