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Kim's column

Streaming services compared, how to stop robocalls, smartphone emergency calling, 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 how streaming services compare, how to stop robocalls, smartphone emergency calling and more. Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? Click here to email me directly.

Streaming services compared

Q: I am so confused. How do Hulu, YouTube, and Sling compare when it comes to shows?

A: At this point, most people are aware of the difference between, say, Netflix and Amazon Prime. But what is the difference between Hulu and YouTube, now that they have both ventured into intensive streaming television? To really appreciate the nuances of each, and to decide which one to commit to, you need to see their attributes side-by-side. The differences can be subtle, but depending on your interests. Click here to see how different streaming services lineup.

Putting kibosh on robocalls

Q: Robocalls are driving me bonkers. Isn’t there anything I can do to stop them?

A: First it was junk mail, and then, it was telemarketers. The latest flood of unwelcome messaging is the robocall. Whether you are receiving a call from a political campaign, a survey group, or a company imploring you to buy their product, robocalls are truly obnoxious, and you don’t even have the benefit of a live human being to yell at for interrupting your dinner. Click here for the new government tool that will help stop annoying robocalls.

New emergency tools

Q: My daughter is away at college. I taught her how to call 911 when she was a child. Isn’t there anything like that for your smartphone?

A: The short answer is: Yes, there is. Mobile phones have been a boon for people in dangerous situations, and the ability to send GPS coordinates has also helped save lives. Such features are easy to use, but take a moment to learn how to use them, just in case something goes wrong while you’re stranded somewhere. Like they say on airplanes, “In the unlikely event of an emergency…” Click here to learn about the emergency features that could save your life.

Photos of the future

Q: I am really into taking pictures. What’s the next wave?

A: This is a great time to ask that question because photography is about to make a big leap. Until recently, the ability to take 360-degree panoramic pictures was a novelty that only pros and curious millennials seemed to get into. Wraparound photos beg a lot of questions: How do you get ahold of a 360-degree camera or app? And how do you print these kinds of pictures on paper? The entire photographic world is gearing up for the revolution. Click here for more information about 360-degree photography.

Retire your 0ld phone

Q: Now that I am buying a new phone, what should I do with the old one? Can I sell it?

A: You can swing by almost any Staples or Best Buy and find a place to recycle your phone. Remember to delete all of your personal information and restore factory settings, so that nobody else can use the phone to invade your privacy down the line. But if your phone isn’t very old, you may be able to sell it for cash. Thanks to web-based marketplaces, you can safely hawk your phone, and any number of other gadgets, to the highest bidder. Click here for three ways to make money off of old gadgets.

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.

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