Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital. Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job.
Instant pot tech
Q: I am in love with my Instant Pot. Are there any other kitchen techie-type gadgets that you use?
A: Your question is timely, considering how many people are stuck at home and experimenting in their kitchens. An astonishing range of high-tech gadgets, many of them considered “smart” devices, can help home cooks master new culinary skills.
One such device helps with sous vide cooking, a method that requires specific times and temperatures to get precisely right. The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker is both sophisticated and easy to use, and you won’t believe the results. Other equipment is more analog, such as the gas-powered pizza oven that comfortably fits in your backyard.
Q: I lost my job and can’t afford a new PC. What steps can I take to speed up my computer?
A: Two tricks for speeding up any computer are (1) scan your hard drive for viruses, and (2) remove files and programs you no longer need.
If you don’t have any malware, a sluggish operating system is usually due to too much bulk, especially if there are programs running cumbersome background tasks.
But which items are safe to delete?
Cleaning out your Windows PC’s hard drive is more complicated than ever, but thanks to BCUninstaller (you’ll have to guess what BC stands for) you can easily pinpoint expendable files and remove them. Consider this part of your spring cleaning for 2020, perhaps the ideal task for someone under quarantine. The best part: It’s free.
Sanitize the remote
Q: You said to clean your TV remote because of COVID-19. What’s the safe way to clean a universal remote so I don’t ruin it? If I do, we’re back to four different remotes.
A: The remote can be a dangerous thing to forget because everyone in your household will (literally) get their hands on it. To start, before using a disinfectant cloth, remove the batteries.
Secondly, one of the most effective tools you can use for those minute nooks and crannies is a cotton swab. Once you have thoroughly cleaned the faceplate of a remote control, a simple wipe down twice a day should be enough to keep your device sanitary.
Best coronavirus maps
Q: So many different coronavirus maps are available online. What’s the best, most comprehensive, and accurate map? I want news and stats.
A: Understand, I am very particular about my sources of information, especially right now. The pandemic has been the perfect opportunity for hucksters and con artists, who want nothing more than to confuse the public and manipulate people with secret agendas. The volume of fake news associated with coronavirus is almost beyond measure.
The Coronavirus News Monitor not only provides detailed maps and statistics but also news analysis — including fake news and major trends — from all over the world. The website provides up-to-the-minute indexes for media coverage, levels of panic and the latest verifiable headlines.
Listen to Kim Komando’s show from 1-4 p.m. Sundays on KRMG am740 or fm102.3. Read her columns or get her newsletters at komando.com.