Question: I've seen two new tablets — the Galaxy Tab 2 and the Transformer Pad 300 — that are both under $400. Are these tablets worth it at that price, or are they just pieces of junk?
By Kim Komando
Answer: Both of these Android-powered tablets are actually great buys. Whether or not you should buy them depends on what Android tablets already interest you. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 compares favorably with devices like the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. At $250, it's only $50 more than those two, and you'll have two more cameras and the latest version of Android. The other tablet, the Asus Transformer Pad, is an affordable option to its older brother, the Transformer Prime. The Pad's plastic casing isn't as sturdy as the Prime's metal frame, but the Pad delivers similar performance to the Prime for just $380 — almost $150 less.
Finding a drop shipper online
Q. I run an online store, and I'd like to set up drop shipping to save on inventory space. I'm not sure how to find a good service. Where should I look online?
A. Good idea! Drop shipping allows you to keep a catalog of items to sell. Whenever someone orders from you, a third-party retailer fills and ships the order. You could try to find a drop shipper online, but you'll have to sift through hundreds of scam websites. Most real drop shippers don't advertise online. Some directory sites could link you to drop shippers, but these charge monthly fees and can be scams, too. Your best bet is to call the manufacturers of the items you sell and talk to them. They might have a list of drop shippers or be able to fulfill your orders themselves. If they do give you a third-party company, you can Google just that company to find honest reviews.
What's not to Like?
Q. What does the Facebook "Like" button actually do? If I like a business or page on Facebook, is there anything in for me?
A. Not really. The Like button is just a way of telling your friends that you enjoy something. Of course, once you start liking businesses and pages, you do give Facebook more and more information about you. Facebook can share this information with marketers and use it for targeted advertising. It can also attach your name to ads for any business page you've liked. If that's not something you want, go to Privacy settings>>Ads, Apps and Websites>>Edit Social Ads Settings. Choose No One in the drop-down menu. Then, uncheck every box in the "How people bring your info into the apps they use" menu. This way, what you like on Facebook will stay private.
Walmart DVD conversion
Q. I saw an ad that says Walmart can turn my DVDs into digital files. How does that work? Is there any way to do it at home?
A. For $2 per disc — or $5 to upgrade a movie to high-definition — Walmart will digitize your movies and upload them to its Vudu streaming service. Then you can watch or download the movie on any device you own. Of course, Walmart has deals with only five studios, so it can't convert every DVD you own, just yet. Still, it's a much better option than trying to convert your DVDs at home. Ripping a DVD takes a long time and isn't easy to do. You'd also have to figure out a way to bypass copyright protection on the disc. Legally, I can't tell you how to do that. There are websites that will tell you how, but many of them host viruses, so it isn't a safe option.
Change or hide your SSID
Q. My son named his Wi-Fi connection something really offensive! Could you tell me how to change the name to his network so no one has to see it?
A. Changing the name, or SSID, of your Wi-Fi network is easy! Just enter the router's IP address into your browser. If you don't know the router's IP address, check the manual. Once you're in the settings menu, you should find an option to change the SSID and save it. Keep the name vague. The more personal the name, the more likely you are to give hackers too much information. You might be better off disabling SSID broadcasting to hide the connection altogether. This can usually be done from the same settings menu. Look for SSID Broadcasting or Wireless Radio — it varies from router to router. As long as your son knows the network name, he and his friends will still be able to sign on.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit www.komando.com. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.