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 about auctions for business and first-class airline seats, news of bitcoin crashing, downloading Netflix movies for offline viewing and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Business flight bids
Q: I heard that airlines are now having auctions like eBay for business and first class seats. How can I bid?
A: Many flights don’t get completely booked, and the airline struggles to sell those last empty pricey seats at H-hour. The solution? Giving the seats away to the highest bidder.
Granted, this isn’t a dependable solution, and you’ll probably have to pay a few hundred dollars for the upgrade. If you have money to spare and feel like playing the game, you may be rewarded with a glass of champagne and a lot of leg room.
Q: What’s going on with Bitcoins? You don’t hear too much about it anymore.
A: The dot-com bubble and real estate market of the early 2000s are two important cautionary tales. Any good investor will encourage you to diversify your portfolio and not put all your eggs in one basket.
Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, is not surging any longer. Now may be the best time to study its patterns, while everyone else’s back is turned.
Q: I am dying of cancer. I want to leave my legal and online life in a good state for the wife and kids. Can you help me?
A: First of all, I am deeply moved by your question, and I think it is very noble to think of your family during such a challenging time. When we reach the end of our lives, we realize, as you have, that we will leave a lot of loose ends behind, and it’s wise to make definite arrangements.
In the past, this meant drafting a will and testament, but our online identity also requires attention. The algorithms of social media can be thoughtless in a time of mourning, provoking painful emotions if they aren’t kept in check.
Luckily, web-based services have become more tactful, and even helpful, in end-of-life situations.
Protect your password
Q: What can I do to stop someone from requesting a new password to access my online accounts? It seems like a very weak security link that anyone can reset a password.
A: When you think about it, that little string of digits and numbers is a pretty flimsy defense, like building a panic room out of cardboard. That’s why two-factor authentication is such a brilliant device; using your smartphone, you more than double the strength of your security.
If you value your account, and — more importantly — you value the information that is collected in your account, two-factor authentication is the only way to go. This may sound like a chore, but you’ll be much sorrier if someone hacks your password and hijacks your life.
Download Netflix shows
Q: You have to help me! Is there anyway to save the kids’ shows on Netflix so they can watch in the car without using my data?
A: Not long ago, Netflix execs swore that they would never make their content available for download. Well, they changed their minds — and we all benefit, because Netflix downloads are some of the easiest, fastest, and most comprehensive ways to watch movies and TV shows offline.
That’s great for, say, a long plane ride, where the in-flight movies might not appeal to you. But it’s an incredible luxury for parents on long car trips.
Most responsible parents know to limit their children’s screen time, but there’s nothing quite as relaxing as handing your children their favorite movie and giving yourself time with your music playlist.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.