Watching Live TV
On the Go
Q. Is there a way to watch broadcast television channels live on a laptop or iPad without network apps or streaming from Web sites?
A. If you live within range of the broadcast signals from local television stations, a digital TV tuner accessory could do the job. These small TV tuner cards, which usually include a small telescopic antenna, connect to a laptop's USB jack or the iPad's connection port. You typically need to install a program or app for viewing and navigating the live television channels, too.
USB-based TV tuners can cost $50 or less from several manufacturers on sites like Amazon.com, Best Buy and TigerDirect. Compatible iPad tuners tend to cost around $100. Belkin and Elgato are among the companies selling iPad TV tuners that work with the Dyle Mobile TV system; Dyle service is not available nationwide yet and channels vary by area, so check the coverage map on the company's Web site first ( www.dyle.tv). Elgato also sells its own EyeTV software for Mac OS X that works with third-party TV tuners.
Other options include buying a Slingbox device ($180 or $300 at slingbox.com) to place-shift your programs over the Internet from your television at home to your laptop or iPad, or signing up for the Aereo live-TV service ( aereo.com). Aereo, now available in New York and a few other cities, costs $8 a month.
Sent via Text
Q. I recently got a phone text message saying my "Google profile had been hacked" and asking me to text back when I am ready to get a "reactivate" number. Does this mean Gmail has been compromised?
A. Although Google does send text messages to your registered mobile number for security purposes (like account-verification codes) when you log in from new devices, messages that ask you to text or call back are fraudulent. Instead of replying or supplying any sort of personal information, forward the message to your wireless carrier's number for spam reporting -- many carriers use the number 7726. Google has more information on the issue at tinyurl.com/pr98cda.
You can check your account for any suspicious activity by logging in from a Web browser and clicking Account from the menu next to your profile picture. On the settings screen, click Security and then Recent Activity to see a record of your Gmail account's use on your computers and devices set up with the service. If you do not recognize any of the sessions listed, change your password right away.
The Gmail Security Checklist on Google's site (tinyurl.com/ptkkfcf) has more advice. As for general online safety, Google's official blog has recently been running a series of helpful tips (tinyurl.com/pz9k38l), offering advice on making strong passwords, keeping home wireless networks secure and protecting Android gadgets.
TIP OF THE WEEK Keyboards on mobile devices are small and cramped compared with a regular computer and it may seem as if keys are missing -- like those for accented characters or special symbols. With both the Android and iOS systems, however, you can often find additional characters on the keyboard simply by pressing down on the virtual key for an extra second or two.
Holding down on the vowel keys (and certain consonants like "n" and "c") reveals alternate versions of those letters with diacritics like the umlaut, tilde or acute accent. Lingering on the dollar sign reveals several international monetary symbols -- including those for the yen, euro and pound sterling -- and is faster than jumping to the symbol keyboard to get the same characters. On an Android device, you can also get fractions and superscript numerals by pressing and holding the number keys.
J. D. BIERSDORFER
Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to QandA@nytimes.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.interact
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.