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Tech Q&A: Computer reboots, eBay misspellings, car technology, and more

Finding mispellings in the titles of eBay auction sis a great way to find unexpected deals.

Finding mispellings in the titles of eBay auction sis a great way to find unexpected deals.  ( REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach)

To reboot or not to reboot?

Q. Whenever I call my local tech for support, he has me reboot. Is this really helping, or does he not know what he's doing?

A. "Did you try rebooting?" is such a common question it's almost a joke among IT pros and consumers. But rebooting does have an actual use. It can quickly tell a tech if the problem is a temporary glitch or something more serious. Rebooting is also when some gadgets install important updates. You'd be surprised how many computers I've fixed with a reboot. If you want to know more about how rebooting helps, and some ways you can even do it wrong, click here.

Find online deals using typos

Q. I heard on your national radio show that a great way to find deals on eBay is by looking for auctions with misspellings in the titles. I looked, but had a hard time finding any. Help me, Kim!

A. Misspelled auctions are a great way to save because they don't turn up in a regular search. For example, an item you want might be listed under "Noke" instead of "Nike." If you find it, you can buy without bidding against many people. The Fat Fingers website can help you find items of this type quickly. Here are two more secrets only the pros know to use on eBay.

Future car technology

Q. Since it looks like flying cars are never going to "take off" (pardon the pun), what other game-changing car tech do you see on the horizon?

A. While there are flying cars on the market – like the Terrafugia – I don't see them becoming something for the everyday driver. Self-driving cars will happen first. But there are other cool advances coming to make your car better, like airless tires. Imagine the most perfect mix of comfort and performance possible, and no way to get a flat. Sign me up. Click here for four more automotive advances you won't want to miss.

Technology for better sleep

Q. I hear some people say technology hurts my sleep and some say it helps. Which is it?

A. Well, it depends on the tech and how you're using it. Yes, staring at a bright screen before bed and having your phone buzz in the middle of the night will leave you less than refreshed in the morning. But there are apps and gadgets that monitor your sleep and help you pinpoint how you can improve it – without making things worse. Sleep Cycle Alarm is a good app for this. Click here for some more sleep tracking devices to get a better night's rest.

Get Windows 10 features now

Q. My computer runs Windows 8 and it's been a nightmare. I can't wait for Windows 10 so I can get my Start menu back. When is it going to be out?

A. It should arrive next spring. But you can get a Start menu in Windows 8 right now. Just grab a program like Classic Shell or Start Menu 8, and it will give you a Windows XP/7 style Start menu. Plus these programs make a few other tweaks to the way Windows 8 works to make it more comfortable. Want more Windows 10 features right now in Windows 7 or 8? Click here to learn how to get two of the coolest.

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On the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show, Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com. Kim also posts breaking tech news 24/7 at News.Komando.com.