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Mindfulness apps, souping up old cars and more: Tech Q&A


Update Car Tech

Q: My car is a classic like me, older than dirt. Can I use my phone hands-free with it somehow?

A: Sometimes you want to keep that trusty old ride, or you don’t feel like signing up for a $40,000 loan for a new set of wheels. At the same time, Bluetooth is standard in new vehicles. Making calls without Bluetooth is deadly dangerous, and listening to radio, music or podcasts often requires an unwieldy cord. You’ll be relieved to hear that there isn’t one way to hook up Bluetooth, but three. Here are three ways to add Bluetooth to your old car.

Instant Pot Help

Q: I love my Instant Pot. Is there an app for that?

A: Instant Pot gives you very precise control over your cooking, and it both accelerates the process (so you don’t have to wait all day for your stew) and uses considerably less energy than a traditional electric pot. That said, you’re about to enter a world of fun because the Instant Pot app works like magic: you can gather recipes, create your own, operate the device from another room, and even remotely monitor the chowder you’re currently cooking. Better yet, the Instant Pot app is free for your use.

Mindfulness Apps

Q: I keep hearing about how great meditation and mindfulness apps can be. Can they help Type A people like me? I would like to know the science or just all made up.

A: For decades, the term mindfulness was maligned as New Age gibberish – and there are certainly a lot of kooks and quacks out there – but the practice of meditation has been benefitting practitioners for millennia. There are some 3,500 different mediational and mindfulness apps to choose from. Listen to my podcast about the apps, and I bet you’ll enjoy learning about the science behind how it works, too.

Document Life Stories

Q: My parents are getting older. What’s the best way to get started recording their life story?

A: It’s hard to imagine our great-grandparents, who were rarely ever photographed and left a limited paper trail. If we’re lucky, we may inherit a diary or some papers, but the vast majority of families can fit their ancestors’ photo documentation into a single coffee tin. Family stories are similarly endangered; we may know a few anecdotes about Great Aunt Clara, but who was she, really? Today, in the era of social media, it’s painful to imagine our biographies just vanishing forever. That’s why people of a certain age might consider trying to preserve their history – ideally, with the support of younger generations. Here are five steps to take to record your family history.

Loose Wi-Fi Mooches

Q: I think my neighbors are using my internet connection. How can I know for sure?

A: There are so many reasons that neighbors may get on our nerves – loud parties, weird smells, late-night domestic disputes – but one of the passive-aggressive things a neighbor can do is mooch off your Wi-Fi. After all, this is a service that you pay for, and just because someone can log on without your knowledge doesn’t entitle them to that signal. First things first: change your password so that nobody can log on without your prior authorization. Second, you can find out whether someone is piggybacking on your signal. You can use a great free app to find out who is stealing your internet.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call her national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s 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.



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