Tech Q&A: Investing in Bitcoin, Alexa saves lives, cord-sorting hacks, and more

Bitcoin jumpstart

Q: I want to make money with Bitcoins, but I don’t know where to start. Help me so I can take advantage of this once in a lifetime ride!

A: As I write this, one Bitcoin is worth over $13,000. Like any investment, though, Bitcoin is extremely unpredictable. Will this magic cryptocurrency retain its value for years to come, making investors wealthier than their wildest dreams? Or is it a fad that will eventually fade, leaving acolytes with empty pockets? Nobody can predict the future, not even the most skilled traders. But if you know all the facts about Bitcoin, you might consider taking the risk. Click here to get the skinny on Bitcoin.

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Alexa to the rescue

Q: I was thinking of getting my elderly parents an Amazon Echo to turn on the lights and other things. How else could they use it?

A: Smart devices might seem like flagrant luxuries to some, but they can transform the life of someone who is bedridden or has trouble walking. Voice-activated locks and light bulbs save enormous amounts of time and energy, and an integrated system may help people with memory problems who can’t remember whether they closed the garage door.

New Alexa skills are released every day and one in particular lets your parents ask Alexa for help. Click here for this potentially life-saving Alexa command.

Nosy iPhone

Q: Where is the place on my iPhone that shows everyplace the phone has been? I heard you mention it on your national show. That is shocking to me!

A: Your iPhone does track your movements, and you can easily see everywhere you’ve walked, driven, or skateboarded today.

Many iPhones users don’t care because they don’t feel they have anything to hide. But others are concerned about their privacy, and some are (understandably) freaked out that their phones keep such close geographical tabs. Brace yourself: I’ll tell you exactly where to find this log, and you’ll probably be surprised by its accuracy and timestamps. Click here to see your own map of travels and learn how to turn it off.

Cable woes

Q: I love your digital life hack tips. Can you share some to organize cables? I hate all the cords!

A: If you’re like me, you might call that tendency your “inner MacGyver.” Cords are a pain, especially when you’ve stuffed so many in your junk drawer that they turn into an ugly bundle, and it takes hours to untangle them all. You have to keep them all because so many chargers are designed for a specific kind of phone, tablet, or camera.

But you’re in luck: There are lots of clever ways to organize these wires. Not only are they creative, but you’ll probably have a lot of fun seeing them in action.

Click here for low-tech cord hacks you didn’t know existed.

Free Windows email

Q: I use Windows and need a new email program. Is there a free one? I don’t want to pay for Outlook.

A: This is one of the great things about owning a PC; there’s always some third-party developer coming up with cheap solutions to everyday needs. That said, some of these email programs are better than others, so you should know which ones are worth your time.

While you’re at it, you might be interested in free alternatives to Microsoft Office. Click here for the best free email program for Windows.

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.

Copyright 2018, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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.