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 how the Google Pixel 3 compares to the iPhone X, deadly laptops that can cause plane crashes, how tech can helps kids with autism, and more.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?
Adjusting the TV antenna
Q: I have a TV antenna. How do I know if I get all the possible channels?
A: In some ways, the TV antenna is like a vinyl record: it’s a simple, physical device that reminds us of a simpler time. However, unlike a 45, your antenna picks up a digital signal, which means that the picture can be high quality, as long as you live in a place with decent reception.
Setting up an antenna is something of a lost art, and thanks to the TV spectrum auction of 2017, broadcast television is rapidly evolving, so you may have to recalibrate your devices to find and pick up the best channels.
With a few minutes of troubleshooting, you should be able to receive all possible local stations, and it’s all free.
Pixel 3 vs. iPhone X
Q: How will the new Google Pixel 3 compare to the iPhone X? I heard it’s incredible!
A: Every time a new smartphone is about to hit the market, hysteria sets in. How powerful will the phone be? What new features will it have? How much will it diverge from previous interfaces?
The iPhone X certainly has its fans. Now that Google is striking back, what will the Pixel 3 have in store? There are a lot of unanswered questions.
No doubt, Pixel 3 is going to be a pretty monumental piece of technology.
Finding your secret dossier
Q: I’d like to know what all these tech companies know about me. Is that a pipe dream?
A: There has been so much talk about “personal data,” and how much information we sign over to large corporations, you have to wonder: what do these companies know?
For that matter, is there a single datum about your life that they don’t know? Finding out the information that has already been cataloged could give you peace of mind, or it could affect the subscriptions and services for which you decide to sign up.
Now, there’s a fairly simple way to request your “secret dossier.”
Q: I saw the news about how an overheating laptop could cause an airplane to crash. Could that happen?
A: Most of us are pretty cavalier about flying. We roll our eyes through TSA, we reluctantly remove our laptops from our bags, and we wonder what the security officer means by a “lithium-ion battery.”
We often forget that technology behaves differently in different environments, and in a passenger jet, every single thing we carry is a potential danger to the people on board, whether intended or not.
This is why it’s so important to keep laptops switched off, or at least to bring your active laptop in your carry-on bag.
Given what a liability they can be, it’s hard to believe that more problems haven’t arisen.
Q: My son has autism. Is there tech to help him communicate?
A: This is a great question because there are so many people who have special needs, or know someone with special needs, who can benefit from inexpensive consumer technology.
There has long been a healthy intersection between autism and computers, and untold numbers of people on the spectrum have become successful programmers and technicians. There are also many apps that are specially geared toward kids with autism, along with hardware and devices that can help entertain and educate.
One of the most powerful inventions has been developed by Google, and parents and developers have both been impressed by their impact on empathy and social interaction for children with an autism diagnosis.
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.