This week on the podcast we’re talking about encrypted email, whether Microsoft Office or LibreOffice deserves your download, and why you should ditch photo management software. We’re also answering your questions about making an awesome podcast, the best laptops for college, and which password manager you should use.
How to Listen to This Week’s Episode
Here’s how you can listen to our episode:
News and Top Stories
Windows 8.1 to Be Released on October 17th as a Free Update: Mark your calendars, Windows users: Microsoft announced today that Windows 8.1 will officially be available on October 17th. It’ll be a free update for Windows 8 users, available from the Windows Store.
Google Adds Your Flights, Reservations, and Purchases to Voice Search: Google added the ability to ask personalized questions to retrieve information associated with your account directly from the search page, including things like “What are my plans tomorrow?” and “Is my flight on time?”
eBay My Gadgets Collects, Organizes, and Helps You Sell Your Old Gear: It’s hard to find a good tool to organize your stuff, and even harder to find one that tells you in real terms how much that stuff is worth, but eBay’s new “My Gadgets” does both pretty well. It organizes your electronics, gives you real values, and makes it easy to sell if you ever get the urge to declutter.
Battle of the Office Suites: Microsoft Office and LibreOffice Compared: For a long time, Microsoft Office has been the reigning champ of office suites, but that doesn’t mean the free alternative, LibreOffice, isn’t worth considering. Let’s take a look at how the two compare, and if it’s finally possible to ditch the paid option for the free one.
How to Encrypt Your Email and Keep Your Conversations Private: Between constant password breaches and the NSA looking in on everything you do, you’ve probably got privacy on the mind lately. If you’re looking for a little personal privacy in your communications with friends and loved ones, or you just want to trust that the documents you email to your accountant or client aren’t being intercepted and read, you’ll need to encrypt those messages. Thankfully, it’s easy to do. Here’s how.
Why I Ditched Photo Management Apps and Use Dropbox Instead: I’ve cycled through tons of photo apps and found little more than bloated software with excessive features I didn’t need. They filled up my hard drive, used excessive CPU cycles, and didn’t deliver the promise of organizing my photos with ease. Rather than continue on a pointless path, I took a step back, organized my photos with Dropbox, and solved all my problems. You can, too.
Questions and Answers
Avery writes, “Me and my friend just got our own podcast on iTunes. What is your advice for new podcasters to make their podcast awesome?”
Get a consistent format, some cheap recording equipment and software (you don’t need much), and figure out what kind of podcast you want to be. (Listen to the answer on the show for details.)
“How can I ask visiting relatives to get off the Wi-Fi and stop using up all my bandwidth?”
Just set expectations ahead of time or, better yet, set up QoS rules on your router so you can restrict the bandwidth of your visiting inlaws.
Will writes, “I have a lot of online accounts, most of which use one of four usual passwords, and I really need to take security more seriously. I‘ve heard a lot about 1Password, but I use Windows, Mac, and iOS, which comes to a staggering $ 108. What can I do to secure all my accounts (other than using two factor authentication on LinkedIn) without destroying my wallet?”
Bailey Bootthanoo: I have $ 500 to spend, what’s the best laptop for college? I’m going to be commuting between class, dorm, and study hall. (Should I Avoid Acer?)
We’re not sure why you’d need to avoid Acer. For $ 500, a refurbished or used 2009 MacBook Air will work nicely (whether you want Windows or OS X). The Wirecutter recommends the HP G6t (sort of—they have a new recommendation coming soon). The Asus VivoBook X202E (here’s a newer, slightly more expensive version) gives you a portable ultrabook that’s not a bad choice for college-related activities.
Fuze Xhepyr: Can You Guys Make More Evil Episodes/Stuff?
We definitely will come Evil Week, in late October, but we’ll consider some other times as well.
writerthesp77: Do you guys suggest using email on your own domain over gmail?
Both! Get your own domain, host email with Google Apps.
NonSequiturTech: What Tech coming out in the next 12 months are you excited about?
Tips of the Week
Downloads of the Week
How Do I Submit a Question?
There are two ways to send in your question:
Please keep your questions as brief as possible. This means about 3-5 sentences for emails and 30-60 seconds for calls and videos. Your questions can be specific, but broader questions are generally better because they’ll apply to more people. For example, “how can I breathe new life into my old PDA?” is much better than “what can I do with an old HP iPAQ 210?” Either way, we look forward to hearing from you!