CNET to the Rescue Ep. 19: Four girls walk into hotspot...So your daughter is at college borrowing a WiFi signal from the boys downstairs. What could go wrong? We explain, and solve. Also: How to replace the expiring XMarks; and we watch a Parrot AR.Drone fall from the sky.
Hi everyone I'm -- Italy. And -- just -- and welcome to CNET to the rescue our weekly podcast where we tell you the truth about tech products and services and answer your tech questions if you have one. It tech question that is call us to get on next week's show the number is 8774386688. Began -- toll free number. 8774386688. No question is too basic especially now that we have we answer -- so we can figure it all out so -- got a tech problem that's been getting under your skin please call it's we will try our best to help you out now. We're gonna start this week with a couple of road tests these -- products and services that we have been using for real not just to our review. And we're gonna tell you what we think of them then we're gonna take your questions we have a couple of really really interest in email. Questions and one on the new voice -- line that we just got started so again. Sinister with no questions I'm region and number 87743866. It is only through the way we can hear it that's -- something now. And there are apps for that and counters and I haven't tried to get really really something three years ago about that yet. Anyway I want to start today we talked last time about the parrot AR drone this is -- quad copter is 884 rotor. Sorry but getting it might have or rotor helicopter that is controlled by the iPhone. And I'm showing this to -- in its non it's in its static non spinning it because this is dead. This 300 dollar product fell out of the sky while I was flying it and will not reboot. All the lights on red -- can't victory boot apparently not on come problems -- but I did take we did manage before we killed it. To take eight to take when the car -- cameras and and glued on -- the top productive -- the top. And that's we have first person video of this thing flying before -- a terrific -- have a camera in the app but you can't record but it took it. Yet it from the start there's this. That's my son views your work that they. Now the thing about this really cool if -- it while it's working -- over restarting just let it run. If you press the button to have a take off and it -- lifts off the ground covers it has an auto pilot this the only consumer product like that. Where it has built in stabilizers and an auto pilot. So if you just don't touch the controls it will hover in place. At -- at an -- a couple of feet off the ground and not going where you can you can bump it with your hand and it'll just -- Michael and -- -- -- -- incredibly stable yet -- -- -- the answers no this is do we put the -- a camera on top of this thing could barely lifted. But we did mention we have an atrium here -- -- -- this thing is playing to two story atrium that's Eric and Donald that's my boss there over to the left you can barely see him. And here we are flying around in this atrium and I over corrected a little bit and and pumped it into the wall behind the copter and that's were begins to -- little unstable. -- I am right about here I bumped it and it cuts out and also the -- Now but this did not kill it. This is when I was flying it and it's you know it's covered styrofoam so it just fell to the ground and I restarted and was fine later on Amanda. Done some damage to the later on when it with flying with using that atrium was right -- dot -- boss and everything's going fine and it just turned off and drop like a rock and would not turn back on even after recharge and re -- on. And so a lot of fun kind of a -- of the should be part that you rent. Because after awhile it it's an -- and 300 policies where you put -- I mean you close it. No not really plus the batteries only last for. Where about 1215 minutes and then it's about 45 to one hour recharge the market for -- then -- can go whales did not really if -- extra batteries. -- the fortunate yes. Andy you had some fun now I was fun and I didn't mean it was a demo unit so you know thanks guy's sending it to me -- and I'm sorry it broke it except I really really hard because. It should be more robust. So if you are into battery life I have a prime minister the battery life and it's kind of ridiculous actually it is called the type pad TYPHD. If you actually do what I believe the first result is take pad which is a blogging product. So kind of an unfortunate names he went PA Dino -- exact are. So what it does is it just gives your your you slicker iPad in here it's -- Bluetooth keyboard. Its value to keep port for your iPad that's -- portables that -- to the dock thing it doesn't unfold exactly in an idea of a stupid case. With the not you know keyboard -- you weren't Jan Norman structure were so excited it's probably a licensee visiting. This is serving but it's honored to grant dollars which is -- -- I think that's life I mean that's you know for the price of the case and a keyboard separately you know you come in underneath and if Yeltsin stitching skills at that there it terrific. So you know there's a couple my things about it -- some custom keys for for instance if you wanna go home there's a home key and there's volume up and down one -- actually you know massive than anything like that. So that the keyboard itself -- a hundred days of standby time -- ninety's solid hours of typing them. Which is you know that's great you just charge you have to worry about it for a month here. So. That's the thing I mean I -- -- intermittently. I mean you know. -- -- the price now here's the thing I I looked at this product as you know it would just got this I was very excited about this -- because I use my iPad all the time on seventh a notebook for a in meetings and stuff and I -- looked at the keyboard on as an option. There's no right hand shift key there's -- to deal killer. For me it's a total deal killer because I hate I'm a touch typist I use both shift keys and it after re learn how to type. On a keyboard that. -- -- they could put a shift key on it. Yeah blacks -- they couldn't I mean it's a very small -- base. And on everyone means that. Yet but I do I know you you -- -- they're talking about you know the next future model bringing both shift keys are somehow you know letting you maps amazed he says the things you wanna do but that's -- -- -- difficult near. But yeah anyway I mean and and here's the cool thing when you're done with it. It looks just like -- and with a magnetic flaps the you might not get mugged if you're -- -- this in the street cool people might think it's something important. Yet that's that's great -- -- probably can't use it on your lap. At all not really even with mean even as a regular -- win it comes down is like a little notch that -- Sonja. But I mean that's if you're actually typing and it's at an angle little doubt bill like this can you -- -- over and just use it as an iPad without a keyboard how does that work out. Kind of -- like -- but it's you know it's a lot of -- on the back. Area you also didn't -- like fifth. But yeah I mean it's not it's not -- be anywhere near. What you get with the naked device. It's a bunch of -- -- there. Are right now -- for effort that -- you -- Don't look better origami for that keyboard now there's something that we both use -- -- now it's almost standard issue now for CNET reporters. Which is a sprint overdrive yet this is a portable hot spot in -- with me basically -- pop up much show. It works on three G and -- -- areas that supported and which now includes at this I think and -- -- -- testing and getting forty signal here. He said -- this little black featuring the pop has little display -- it. And it turns your three G data service in two Wi-Fi. Releasing these products before this is -- first -- G1 com. What a great idea. What a disaster of an implementation is pretty disastrous -- here's the thing that I haven't everything of the same problem. With this I get both the three G or in some cases a four G signal and it's rock solid. But the Wi-Fi cuts out it's on trying to do my work and the white -- keeps bouncing up down -- ballistic. All have that prom also from where all have a solid connection -- I don't have connectivity and need to reboot it. Which is -- and it happens all time. And the promise -- you know we're actually using these for work we have a live blog going for more than twenty minutes and that's that's crops we don't know right -- you can tether it. I guess that would solve the Wi-Fi problem you can use it. Through the US -- -- but it won't solve your problem that losing. Three G connectivity correct. So at this point I have to recommend against this product until they get the software update -- -- looks -- -- -- the problem -- -- see -- carriers -- -- -- the Verizon -- Well people at the MiFi line -- in -- that when he really like that. It's -- and yet you get you're the one from -- -- -- a contract -- just by data by the month and it's very portable at that. And on the cheap in the one from Verizon anyway so there are good hot -- that portable hot -- out there. The -- software's. Still we're beta testing it. It there you finally acted quick note it is Wednesday. And on Friday the social network movie comes out I saw. I got thank you maps -- -- I got into the match will advanced screening of this movie and just a quick little movie review here it's a really fun movie. I think actually it may take I know it takes a lot of liberties and it it -- entire parts of the story of that the founding of FaceBook -- all the stuff. But it's a fun movie. And I think although it might not capture the facts accurately captures the spirit. Of entrepreneur or -- How money moves around the differences between the East Coast and the West Coast -- communities. And the excitement of a building. A big important. Company from zero. And it's just it's a fun entertaining there's some great lights in the winkle -- twins but -- -- spoiler here. The legal -- twins are really pissed at Zuckerberg for stealing their idea they. This is in real life so this is anyone got to move your right -- -- -- And it's great glamour there really angry at him. And he's not there they're there they're debating with their partner about what to do and they want it they'll be there wanted to beat him up and so one of the -- -- -- twins says. God damn it I'm 220 pounds six foot two and it took me screen time. Anyway go see the movie it's really good really was -- -- -- Now made enough fortunately did it not do that movie industry are right let's move onto your tech questions and we are starting here with the bit on a bit of a -- -- I has rights so X marks is ending its service in 2011 and -- as you're right it's they announced that X marks bookmark sync is going away. Across browser bookmark -- -- -- plugin is great and I -- that all the time he says do you have any suggestions for a replacement plug in that works on both Chrome and Firefox. And here's a thing. Yes this is a tragedy Chrome and Firefox both have their own -- gaps so -- all Chrome world Firefox. You can sync your browsers your your bookmarks across browsers and the cross platform to -- in Mac. And that's one of the reasons that X marks and doesn't work as a business because these these are in open. But they're not cross browser. Do you use multiple browsers Josh -- recommend. -- the -- symbol option is delicious owned by Yahoo! -- delicious dot com. And the -- port over all your existing bookmarks. And captaincy to Firefox Chrome Internet Explorer there's also bookmark -- if you don't feel like installing -- thing. They can just Kindle I'm doubtful drop down -- shows -- your bookmarks. So I mean it's very simple and elegant solution and you know Melissa's is also chemical can you discover new places to -- so it's -- -- Seeking place interesting and -- speaking of mission creep. On this on this concept and -- X marks that exactly what you wanna -- thinker bookmarks delicious does that plus some discovery. There's another product out there called ego would be I IGO. Which. Is not jet -- in it's cross browser in fact even works on -- devices on and I OS devices. But it doesn't integrate that tightly with your bookmark system -- the sidebar to do that's right. But. For that extra heavy -- -- of the plug -- you also get highlighting. And sharing and read it later features that if you want to share save and share and across use your bookmarks against on all your browser platforms. Use that. It just the integration is in this type and he's -- theory like crazy and in my hand when interest among your answers for in another -- version five which has all sorts of weird things. Yes -- interest thing again. I don't know how long these -- -- -- because browser sync. Bookmark -- is getting built into the browsers yeah. And eventually you know it's ready to meet standards so and apparently -- -- -- to the lower. Yet the with the one really nice thing about delicious I think particularly it's worth noting that -- tags and soon actually finding your stuff and you know when you're adding new bookmarks utility -- -- -- people put on him in X. Organization incredibly easy. So I will try that yes. Sorry I'm so -- minutes or so are we got it cool question from Richard -- says. My daughter moved into an apartment you UCLA. The four girls -- the apartment are sharing -- Wi-Fi network with the boys in the apartment downstairs. They -- their outer and they gave the -- permission to use their network and password. I am very worried about my daughter's info being accessible on this network. She does shopping and bill pay on her MacBook how can I protect -- data should I insists. That she get her own broadband connection and use her own airport express routers which she will share with her roommates. Interest in question Richard and I -- and share with her roommates now with the boys so this on the -- CBS sitcom it. Kind of you know so my -- and you expect -- Our security reporter Elinor mills said it's quite simply yes he should pay for her to get her own Wi-Fi routers. And service and she should use a password so that only she and her roommates can access it also use HTTP yes. Only when doing business online now I ask is also this question of Darren Kitchen who has been on the show before -- sometimes on I'm weekly on them. But that allowed you can find all is good stuff on Hak5 -- or he says. This is a little beyond. You know what it -- videos do but if this is this is the right answer. She should use a commercial VPN service to tunnel all her traffic to have heard of include hot spot VPN and hot spot shield. There goes on to say personal effort that my own -- Canada dedicated server that are -- -- VPN is the solution that which you can use whatever -- when she wants and what a VP and does is a virtual private network it takes your connection from your computer. Your and -- -- it sends it to a different. Place a secure ISP. And then from there it's the scripted and sent out over the Internet so anything between there. That in encrypted PP and I -- the and your computer including all the Wi-Fi hotspots and crap in the middle is. Theoretically anyway impenetrable that will work however requires the initially -- -- cancerous or at a hackers one of where. Craig's list yeah. You know and I. There to have a hard words you know pay for the service I don't. Feels so nice having access to my own routers and be able to change settings and on and worry about -- you don't you need to rebooting you don't need to block downstairs and hope that -- there. Yeah which I'm assuming it's corals are students -- -- you know an -- -- for. -- -- function you know if you're working out and all homework assignment. You you do into the mission critical -- have that yet but the people who own the Wi-Fi routers just for the sake of argument they're guys. There on the computers all the time that hot spot is not going down and -- can congested with BitTorrent or. Than that PS game but it's not going. Just but yes for security sake. -- is not an acceptable solution using somebody else. Finally efforts voice -- not finally but efforts voice -- now on our new number 8774386. X eight. This is Jake and -- Pay raise I mean this -- and Apple in California I have. He activated iPhone true. I don't have a new card for. What am trying to do was find out how to make it into -- portable video player slash. Camera to get a little it to you later -- Any help will be appreciated -- see don't have all the sim cards sold waksal. Right along panic. You don't appreciate it thanks again. So Jake be the answer is unfortunately it's if you -- in the official route. The city away that you could just stick a friend sim card and Aaron and plug in iTunes and activated and then take the sim card on be done. The promises sometimes when you update the software -- -- put that activation back on if you don't have its in part. So the easy -- do you this is a jailbreak it which of -- it is now legal. According to Library of Congress if you are in the United States oh. There are many options and -- -- -- -- do that when the easiest places to go as I clarified which has walk throughs in software downloads and all that stuff. I've done it before -- the key thing to keep in mind is that if you were running in newer version of the IL OS say something like 41. It might not work with someone at the -- jailbreak solution so hopefully you run older version and be sure not to update. And you should be okay but that's -- is anything if you're giving us that someone else be sure to go to settings and set down certain restrictions like if you don't want -- Downloading -- -- material on iTunes and if you don't want them having access to certain videos in YouTube internal those things off. Thank struck I actually have -- iPhone three G with at the same issue then I neglected to -- it's not it's. Almost not worth selling -- the three united enthusiasts. I mean that's if you try and sell -- -- the number one question and yet from people you -- or someone else they're like one OS is a running you know it's only when it is it's everyone wants to jailbreak it is if you -- a -- -- -- him even -- and use it with another carrier who but if you use it for your kid you know all Baltic. Ideas -- why final lock them. Totally -- that ultra. We got a question for Ralph assist the company to copy a simple dvd as protection what would you do the copy simple dvd as protection from loss or damage. What's the best free software. The previous version of the -- training dvd I had with loss that would like the copy. The new copy -- purpose I don't have to buy it yet again. I have this from all without much training dvds. Really -- that they they fragile against if you wanna keep the many is everything I see just dvd shrink I used to use this program all the time on my PC it's free. It's incredibly easy to use -- the name suggests it actually makes you dvds smaller than which is really great. -- so there is some. Quality loss of shrink it down but you know there's -- -- reliant -- training videos yeah you -- ideal candidate and it APU here's what I like about you get insurance you can say hey I don't -- I want you to keep track of like the foreign language tracks button like. I don't need the French in the German audio -- slate take that out and totally all the space which perfect. Also on the Mac side there is Roxio as popcorn and this is really cool -- it not only does it do you dvd rips. It can also do video conversions for things like the iPod -- the Tivo. And it's fifty dollars. Than eight years sporting developer now when I wanna save or back up dvd movies you I use hand brake. And just -- movie. Content and put it on my computers is that also a good solution for the it's great if you are okay getting rid of the extra features and stuff and you -- still rip those there doesn't seem to sort of menu structure in the look I guess if an educational dvd really do want that many structure that's how you navigate the court that's probably -- I mean but if you some and I can break just label well. And at least -- -- -- get a perfect copy of that which dvd shrink I believe is able to but it it. You know if you just want -- videos this format space -- -- -- Juan Castro says I've tried the new eighty G and it -- -- my computer animate my machine crash I need something that does not crash. And we all and is also fast -- doing scans I like a vast however takes like three to four hours to do a scan of my machine. Can you help me -- an XP computer. Well if your machine is crashing under AVG I don't know what prompted AVG is not a bad -- shouldn't you shouldn't be crashing maybe it's an older machine against -- in threes and nonetheless. I I recommend for antivirus for basically everybody Microsoft security essentials. Now no matter what you do it's going to take some time to do initial scan on an older machine. -- four hours is not unreasonable for the first time you install antivirus that means that -- do full scanned. It's gonna take some time just do it overnight don't worry about it and then the incredible stands one pixel and anyway and that's the it's free it's good enough. For most people -- And a lot of the people on download.com if you go there they say it's -- -- and resources and and -- PO UC PU usage which is -- -- does the two things that it sounds like. One once. Embassy does work on XP doesn't -- yes -- okay. Good point to point them -- -- Let's see. Serving -- says. In safari. -- the iPhone. Is there a way to stream audio at the same time open a different page and surf the web there. Right so this is -- that's -- doing all the time and a good case to actually UC. Computer -- your phone or asked for that matter them that background and rice still you know not for serving safari for streaming audio it takes over the whole screen so you obviously can open up another tab. And you can however start streaming -- safari and open up another browser. Something like opera mini. So like this that's a test this out this morning and it worked fine I just before warned that -- -- iPhone for. Opera mini has not been updated -- -- months so it can -- be -- display. Candle background processing all that stuff. So you. You were stuck he's -- -- -- and some of the browser. If you've still -- safari and your mobile user. You can store that audio file I disk start plane in the ideas app and then go back -- and you can open -- eight taps of whatever you want. And I will also add that if the if the question here is how do you stream audio in the background I don't know which exact audio you're trying to stream. But. ITunes will continue to play it that they've got a player will continue their -- The pandora app and some other streaming audio apps will also are -- for an -- and we'll work in the background while you browse. In the web browser as part. That's the oh yeah here's another we get a ton of iPod and iTunes questions. Neil asks. -- -- he praises this I'm a systems administrator for my wife's iPod Touch. 32 gig currently gets podcasts music -- -- -- upgrades via iTunes when connected to windows XP laptop however. I would love to find a piece of software that will manage since the subscriptions and allow for IOS updates and upgrades. I'm aware several managers that perform most of this but I'm unaware of -- manager that will allow updates. Can you recommend one I want to switch away from iTunes. The reason is that the windows laptop is currently an Acer netbook and can see wheezing under the bloat. I have mostly Ubuntu machines in the house so it Linux solution work to but I prefer windows XV and movies for my wife it's ever. Has somebody do this had to get the full -- functionality including software updates without iTunes -- -- for software updates are always gonna be stuck with iTunes is that just the way it works. There's no over the air updates yet to mobilize units and then they're gonna add in a future version I -- every other phone. Product has basically been doing this for years now. So if you are just going for for podcasts there's a bunch of different podcast apps on the phone for instance if you're actually subscribe to podcast. Through iTunes you can add and download more episodes directly from the device. If you just go into. The iTunes Apple. And you know if you wanna subscribe to podcast there are podcast players. -- RSS player formerly podcasters that is an app that lets you -- subscribe to podcasts and download Moakley. And you know and if you really wanna do and updates and I OS device. You just plug it into any anyone's iTunes -- -- -- can be another computer and you hit update it doesn't affect and you're setting. Also if I'm on the road and I don't have a computer with me but I have my -- device and I want to upgrade my software. I can do that from your iTunes inflation even though it's that it's connected. -- yet he's is that the machine you just have to to -- and I do is globally CO -- -- I updated at 41 when I was on the road -- -- -- economic Peter with name and he's BZ. -- -- -- -- -- Excuse me. Finally last question here -- some comments Austin College student says. I recently completed a deal DIY project to hook up my netbook to my TV. It's an older TVs I purchased the VG eight RCA converter for video for about 28 dollars and an audio stereo converter for five and it works great. Even turned my Troy into the remote for my computer with -- Korea pulled from portrait of the kind of cool. You know Brazil project here until lo and hacks anyway after says however I've noticed two flaws might -- -- My TV displays contacts so the text does not always appear as it should. And also the video and audio do not convert at the things -- -- the video lags a little behind the audio. I wanted to know if there was a way perhaps it's offered to -- -- screen for the convicts display and also they wait to play or sync up my audio. I can live without HD and I don't have the money can buy in -- TV. This is a difficult problem. Now there's two problems here one is the fact that your images distorted. Doing image processing to fix your warped -- will not be easy I don't know way to do that conference that the audience that the challenge. If you know way software that will in real time. Concave apply because you gotta -- -- -- -- it can't make it okay. Very. Correct the distortion. Let me know. -- than a -- an email to rescue at cnet.com. Old tube TVs though I have to say. Don't have the resolution does support acts even at 640 by 485 in line you only get. I think three or 400 scandalous and and less depending on how old and crack in the -- so it'll never be a good alternative to computer monitor. Now as far as the audio video sync problem. My suggestion would be to try a different player. I have think issues with -- -- my files. Up to date computer in Mac and Windows Media Player and I play the same file reveals the in the think it's perfect. That's so I just write a political players even -- real player who knows them. I hate spewed -- they -- new TV that seems like an awful lot of effort for -- -- -- for under 200 dollars. I can't argue tells -- plasma. Make it work felt the platinum by plasma he. -- -- executed marketing the camera. Are right let us get to some comments from last week's and previous shows. Don pierce says. To the caller who's looking to buy a used laptop it was recommended that they bring up a black screen and a white screen -- pixels this is insufficient. I recommend that he is a display test pattern that will fill the screen with all basic colors such as them Nokia monitor test -- put a link -- that in our. Also other things to check for -- -- laptop keyboard keys in USB ports most people use these on a daily basis and they wear out or fail completely or can. I would not trust someone to warn me -- such conditions because they may simply be used to working around. Interest in the -- shirt sued George to. You've been returning to you for the past two episodes the question is best way to use a phone or other Bluetooth device on a motorcycle. In my experience over the years as an avid writer I've tried many different options. For me the best overall method has been keeping my phone a Motorola Android in the tank bag which most bags -- -- specific -- on top. To display -- device and keep it safe from the weather. As for the headphones that at the best feature rich device I have is the high tech branded -- two modular wireless device. The unit does it all its -- DP stereo profile for audio as well and artillery -- for non believed to VD players. As an embedded FM tuner and will allow Bluetooth communications between you and your passenger as a -- I can -- radio -- a T 16100 feet. For the price the device really can't be matched at this time. One optional cool feature these separate charging station from the group removable battery control section of the device hope that sheds a bit more light on the topic. If it does felt that really cool thing so it's it's a unit -- -- put on the outside of your home with a Mike dep policy that for the Mike for outside of all you want as the audio looks -- has to relatively. Slim. Speakers that go inside the helmet they temple -- -- all. It difficult looked at -- I guess I like this walkie -- idea of its content and that's that's the thing to do your -- motorcyclist and it with your passenger your friend does is you have. -- -- They can't yell at that can't yelled at and you obviously can newswires that we can I guess if you're a mean a lot of old touring -- -- we -- tandem. You both wires -- then but if you're writing alongside somebody in different by. You can't really mark control mobile phone your hands when you're riding a -- -- have always busy. Or should be if they're not you know whatever so you need something wireless Bluetooth so cool thanks for that relinquished it. If you have tech questions please send them our way you can email rescue at cnet.com or call them into -- -- -- -- toll free number. 8774386688. Again 8774386688. And that spells. 8774386688. You can also cast -- catch past episodes and all our answers at cnet.com slash rescue. Follow us on Twitter I'm Rafe and -- -- Josh. And we will see you guys -- next -- central --