Tech Q&A: TV guide for streaming, ransomware hits Apple, investing in tech stocks and more

Streaming content guide

Q: Is there such a thing as a TV Guide for programs, movies and shows that are streaming online? I want a real simple way to see what’s available on Amazon vs. Apple vs. Hulu vs. YouTube vs. Roku and all the others!

A: There are so many different streaming services available, and each provides a different blend of programming. As you’ve pointed out, it’s hard to tell what flicks and shows are available on each service, especially when titles appear and vanish so unpredictably. You’ll be happy to hear that several different sites have answered the call and can summarize these streaming catalogs at a glance. Click here for easy-to-follow guides to streaming content.

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Adjust TV volume

Q: The dialogue on my TV is awful. I can hardly hear people, but the sounds are loud. How can I fix this?

A: When you bring a new TV into your home, it arrives with a lot of arbitrary settings: tint, color, contrast and so on. The volume controls are nearly as important as the picture, because they can dramatically affect the sound of the dialogue, ambient noise and music. There are many ways to fix this problem, but if you’re not accustomed to working with speakers and acoustics, you’ll need a little guidance. Click here to learn about a hidden volume setting.

Comparing smart temperature controls

Q: I was thinking about getting a smart thermostat to save money on heating bills. Is the Nest or Ecobee the better choice?

A: Most of our monthly energy bills relate to the heating and cooling of our homes, and the smarter your thermostat is, the less energy you’ll use. The exciting part of both systems is that they will automatically adapt to your household’s needs. You just have to set the thermostat to its regular settings for about a week, and the internal computer will figure out the rest. Both systems are excellent, but there are a few clear differences. Click here for my recommendation on smart thermostats.

Apple’s virus vulnerability

Q: Is it true that Apple users will never get ransomware?

A: It's true that Apple devices and apps are significantly less vulnerable to viruses and malware than their competitors’ products, but that doesn’t mean your iMac is invincible. In fact, cybercriminals are working around the clock to find new ways to hack into Apple devices, and a new kind of Apple-specific ransomware is now at large. So if you’re dedicated to Mac, the time has come for you to think about protecting yourself. If there are any chinks in your armor, you can bet there’s a hacker who will find them, no matter what brand of computer you own. Click here to learn about new ransomware targeted at Apple products.

Investing in Tech

Q: I invest in the market. What are the best tech stocks?

A: When I was a kid, my dad and I used to pore over the financial pages, and I have been following the stock market religiously ever since. We both know that the market can take unpredictable turns, but certain companies have outstanding records when it comes to profitability, and there is definitely a shortlist of great tech stocks. These companies are all performing very well, and shares are not cheap, but you can expect them to remain stable or even increase in value in the next few years. Click here for the best tech stocks of all time.

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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Learn about all the latest technology 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.