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Q&A with Kim: Tackling Wi-Fi dead zones, iPhone’s secret menu and more

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 most difficult part of my job.

This week, I received questions about troubleshooting cellular phone reception, the risks of Kodi boxes and more. Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.

Puzzling out phone signals at home

Q: I hardly get any signal strength on my iPhone at home. Is there a way to know if it’s me or the carrier?

A: I admire your curiosity. Most people would just growl and curse and find another place to make a phone call. But you ask an interesting question. There’s a trick for finding this answer, and there’s a bonus that comes with it. You can actually find all kinds of interesting things about your phone by accessing its “secret menu.” Sound enticing? It can be, especially for people who like to know the ins and outs of their smartphone. Click here to learn about the iPhone’s secret performance menu.

Tackling Wi-Fi dead zones at home

Q: It’s very frustrating! What’s the easiest way to find the Wi-Fi dead zones in a house?

A: You’re right, it is frustrating! With a laptop, you can walk around your living room until you find the right spot where the Wi-Fi is stronger. But Wi-Fi requires a lot more patience and persistence. Worse, you may not even realize what’s causing the problem, since there is so much hardware, software, and physical environmental factors that might be affecting your connectivity. So before you rip your router out of the wall, try some strategic troubleshooting. Click here to learn how to fix dead spots in your home.

The skinny on Kodi

Q: I know someone who is selling Amazon Fire sticks with Kodi to access the latest movies and porn for free. Is this legal?

A: Kodi itself is perfectly legal. It bills itself as “open source home theater software,” and that’s exactly what it is. For folks who like to take a DIY approach to their entertainment, Kodi can be a lot of fun. But where does all that content come from? Mooching off black market content is the real issue, and it’s also a reason you might get into trouble. Meanwhile, FBI warnings aside, you may find that Kodi-equipped devices aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Click here to get the pros and cons on Kodi.

Asking for more cerebral games

Q: I am so over and done with Candy Crush! Are there games that require more thinking power?

A: When games go viral, it feels like everyone is playing them. Candy Crush is one. Farmville is another. Angry Birds became so popular that they turned it into a major motion picture. Many of these games value reflexes more than actual knowledge and higher reasoning, which can ultimately make them boring. So what are some alternatives, especially for people who aren’t really “gamers” but like to pass the time in an online format? How do you sort through the thousands of games? Well, we’ve taken the time to find five that really kick your brain into gear. Click here for five mobile games that value brains over luck.

Whether to let batteries run down

Q: Please help me solve a bet. Do you need to let your battery drain all the way down before charging it?

A: You’re probably not the first person to place a bet on charging devices. Some people get very argumentative about this commonly held belief, insisting that you’ll wreck your battery if you leave a laptop plugged in all day. But that’s not the only “fact” that people have accepted over the years. There are many habits and assumptions that just aren’t true at all, or at least haven’t been true for a long time. Click here for seven tech myths that you may believe but shouldn’t.

What 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. App background

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