Every week I get countless questions from my listeners about technical problems, new products and everything that is digital.
Sometimes the best part of my job is picking the most interesting questions to highlight. This week I got questions about headline collecting, addictive Alexa skills, private search engines, and more. Do you have a question you would like to ask me?
Tap or click here to send me an email directly.
Calculate your risk of death from COVID-19
Q: I see the cards. I hear the statistics. But is there a site that tells me what my chances are of getting COVID-19?
A: Obtaining coronaviruses is difficult to predict because you would need to describe your daily activities, work environment, life situation, etc. But OurRisk.CoV determines (get ready) how likely you are to die from COVID-19.
Based on some personal data and medical histories, the website calculates your chances of dying from COVID-19. For most of us, this site is a strong reminder that COVID-19 is a serious situation. Still, it can be a relief if your chances of survival are high.
Tap or click to see how likely you are to die if you become infected with COVID-19.
Q: Is it possible to send an email that destroys itself after someone sees it? I’m not a James Bond, but I like martinis!
A: “This message will destroy itself …” Thanks to “Mission: Impossible”, it is one of the most famous choruses in television history. But nowadays self-destructive messages are more than just a spy story. They exist thanks to a service called Privnote. This tool comes in handy when you need to send confidential information or private correspondence and recipients need to read your message but don’t need to keep a copy in their inbox.
However, keep in mind that the message can be forwarded or captured as a screenshot. In most cases, the recipient reads the message and watches it disappear without fanfare. You can choose to have your message read up to 30 days after it is sent. Best of all, it’s free!
Tap or click here to send safe, self-destructive messages.
News Junkie ultimate facility
Q: I am a news aholic! How can I set up my home office computer so that I can track everything at once?
A: I like to keep up with headlines and breaking news and check dozens of websites every morning. But the real mabe is Ben, our news director at the command center. He has superbly configured his desk, including multiple screens, a well-positioned webcam, and many affordable, specialized devices to maximize his workflow.
Ben was kind enough to describe my workplace with my readers and provide photos that explained how he organized and interacted with his space. This desk setup may not work for all users. However, if you need to record large amounts of information at short notice and set up fast video conferencing, you should take notes.
Tap or click here to learn how a news professional has configured their home office.
Q: Google is tracking me and I hate it. What is a search page that I can use instead of Google?
A: You said it. It is now common knowledge that Google – and other large technology companies – collect your data, including tracking your browsing and even your physical movements. Many people follow other search engines to explore the web privately.
One of my favorites is DuckDuckGo, an independent company based in Pennsylvania. As a company, DuckDuckGo is the exact opposite of Google, but the search engine is quite capable and has nifty features. If you’re looking for a more powerful browser that can even explore the dark web, consider Tor.
Tap or click here to stop tracking with these Google alternatives.
Alexa uses clever
Q: I have an Amazon Echo. I don’t use it much anymore. What do you use Alexa for?
A: The Echo caused a sensation a few years ago and millions were given away as Christmas gifts. The Echo is inexpensive and straightforward, but turns normal houses into intelligent houses. Technically minded users can open garage doors, activate security systems and dim lights with a simple voice command. This was an impressive feat for a Bluetooth speaker system, but not everyone had to do this feat.
What is the echo good for normal people? Alexa can summarize your recent emails, write a “to-do” list and act as your personal trainer. It will even tell you a joke that will make you smile.
Tap or click here to view the Alexa skills you will be using all the time.
What questions about digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and Tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can hear or see The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here to view Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about the latest technologies on The Kim Komando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online data protection and data hacks. You can find your daily tips, free newsletters and more on their website at Komando.com.