Tech Q&A: Bitcoin tips, a smartphone tax, to get the most Out of Alexa and more

(Credit: Reuters)

Echo ‘ s skills

Q: I have had my Amazon Echo for more than a month now. I use it to check the weather, traffic reports and sports scores. But to be honest, other than that, it is a speaker access to the space.

A: For many people, the Alexa magic disappears pretty quickly, and – as you say – the Echo can feel like a different decoration. But before you regift your device to a distant relative, try commands that you haven’t thought of. Sometimes it is just a matter of what to say and how to say it, plus a plethora of inventive new skills. Click here for a list of little-known Alexa commands.

Buy in Bitcoin

Q: Where is the safest place to buy a Bitcoin?

A: Now everyone is obsessed about Bitcoin – even people who never heard of it but a few months ago, many amateur investors are dying to get their hands on the virtual currency. When a business opportunity explodes in popularity, so the presence of scammers. In the virtual atmosphere of Bitcoin, you need to be extra careful that you’re buying something authentic. Bitcoin has a cool logo and a little bit of physical Atms, but there is no physical, legal tender that you can hold onto and stick in your safety deposit box. It is best to learn everything you can. Click here for tips about Bitcoin, including how to buy it in the right way.

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Tech tax breaks

Q: I am a freelancer. Can I deduct the cost of my smartphone out of my taxes? How about my internet bills and cable bills?

A: As you may already know, is the number of independent entrepreneurs in this country skyrocketing. At the time that you sign a 1099, you should go for any valid expense you can, because the “self-employed” tax can be brutal. Some of these fractures are well known, such as work-related mileage, from the square metres of your home office, lunch and meetings with colleagues. These costs can also have your gadgets, depending on how you use them. Specialist contractors should consult an expert accountant to ensure worksheets are completed, but you may be surprised how many credits you can collect for the purchase of the right tech for the right job. Click here for the tech-you can find the depreciation on your taxes.

The Winter phone hacks

Q: Is it OK to use my phone when it is really cold outside? I don’t want to ruin it!

A: Most modern smartphones are durable and will function perfectly well in a range of environments. But your instincts are correct: Phones are vulnerable to extreme temperatures, and if you live in the far north, keep an eye on your phone while playing outside in the winter. (As always, do you best to prevent moisture and exposure to melted snow, because water damage is one of the main causes of mobile phone damage). Meanwhile, there are plenty of smart ways to protect your phone against the elements when the mercury drops dangerously low. Click here for 5 cold weather hacks you would wish that you had known.

Windows wonders

Q: I just got a new Windows 10 laptop. Wow, it is so different than that of Windows 7. All the tricks that you can share would be wonderful!

A: a surprise, isn’t it? For years, Windows is the “old reliable” operating system, that one that hardly changes from one generation to the next. (And they are careful since Windows Vista disappointed so many loyal users in 2007). But Windows 10 is something of a coup: It is more dynamic, innovative and fun than any Microsoft upgrade in the recent history. There are all kinds of options and Easter eggs that users are still getting used to it. Click here for 10 Windows 10 features that you should try.

What questions do you have? Call my 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. Of the buy of an opinion to the digital world problems, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2018, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, newsletters and more, visit her website at

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