Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Video Blog, Late Night in June

This is what happens when I drink too much coffee. You get a 1am video Blog.


  

Enjoy! 

- Will England

Midnight Audio Blog

Created, edited and posted all on the phone.

Complete pain. Would  have been impossible without the stylus on the Note 9, and Firefox. Chrome just up and said 'nope'.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Audio Blogging on Blogger Re-test, 2019

Hi!

Think this still works...


We're using the HTML5 <audio> < source></source></audio> controls to display an MP3 hosted on Google Sites.

Download the Podcast!

(As found from Lifewire)
(PDF of Lifewire as bitrot happens.)

By goodness, it does.  Be sure to stuff the MP3 URL into the 'Links', Enclosure Links field over to the right and it'll show up as a podcast in your favorite podcast listener tool.


Hope this helps someone else too!

-- Will England
Today's Coffee: Black Rifle Coffee Company AK-47 Espresso Blend. In their words, 'This indestructible blend of light Colombian and dark Brazilian coffees is here to conquer your taste buds.'

A medium roast. Straight out of the pot, it's harsh, almost bitter. Cut with a nice foamed milk if you have that interest, or a swig of half and half opens up the flavors, giving you the darker roasted chocolate flavors and a long lasting after taste of a classic coffee. No 'hint of citrus' as their web marketing weasels (I can say that, I am one) have put down. It's a full bodied coffee that straight will give you a punch in the face.

Lightened out, you can start to taste it and it's not bad. More roasted than my preferences, but it's a good coffee overall.
Enjoy your morning punch in the face!

- Will England
(May the Peace of Christ be with you - an a strong right arm!)

Monday, June 03, 2019

So what does 5G do on the LG V50? Sprint Product Ambassadors

So what does this new 5G do on the LG V50?  It's an entirely new network configuration and being built out across the country.  Right now we have 6 cities lit up with 5G coverage - but what does that mean to you on your new LG V50?

Simply put - it means speed!  Side by side, outdoors in a fairly crowded network environment, I was able to pull down 87Mb/sec on the Galaxy Note 9 on 4G LTE, a true speed demon and powerhouse of a phone.  While still in the very same location, I was able to pull down 158 Mb/sec on the LG V50 Thinq!


LG V50 ThinQ 5G Speed Test

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Speed Test


As the network build continues we'll see even faster and faster speeds, combined with market-wide coverage, so you get these faster speeds across the metro, not just right next to the tower!

Hope this helps you understand the benefits of true 5G from Sprint!

- Will England

The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Friday, May 31, 2019

LG V50 ThinQ - Mind The Buttons! - Sprint Product Ambassadors

The LG V50 Thinq has an excellent set of buttons around the edge for power, volume and the Google Assistant.  But because of the placing you must beware of how your car mount grabs the phone.  I have the wireless charging phone holder for my car.  The grip arms will push the Google Assistant button if I have the phone slid down low enough to activate the wireless charging.  Be aware of this as you look for phone holders in your vehicle - side gripping holders may inadvertently activate your Google Assistant!




Note how close the side gripper is to the Google Assistant button!

I hope this helps others to find excellent phone holders that don't trigger the buttons on the LG V50 ThinQ!

- Will England


The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

LG V50 ThinQ 5G Setup Screen Recording - Sprint Product Ambassadors

Did you know the LG V50 ThinQ 5G phone from Sprint had a built in screen recorder?  Now you can capture your gaming, demonstrations, or more with the built in screen recorder.  I took a quick tour through setup and basic features of the phone on video - click to watch!


I hope this helps you have a better idea on the newest LG phone and the first 5G phone from Sprint!

- Will England

The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Setting up the Hand Recognition on the LG G8 ThinQ - Sprint Product Ambassadors

A phone you don't even have to touch to unlock - not news these days with facial recognition from most of the big phone makers.  But the LG G8 ThinQ goes one further with hand recognition!  It scans the patterns of blood vessels in your hand using the cameras and sensors on the front of the device.  Once it's set up, it's fantastic!  But to set it up, takes just a bit of finesse.  Watch the video to find out how to "crush it" setting up hand recognition!


Amazing!  It took a few tries to figure that out - but now that you know how to set up hand recognition on your LG G8 ThinQ you'll be crushing it like a pro!

- Will England


The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Monday, May 27, 2019

LG G8 ThinQ Air Motion Controls - Sprint Product Ambassador

A phone you don't touch to control - amazing!  That's exactly what LG has designed in their LG G8 ThinQ.   They have new touchless technology called "Air Motion" that allows you to answer the phone, manage your alarm, capture the screen or open apps.

It does take a bit to get used to it - first, hold you hand two to five inches directly above the camera in the top until the blue bar lights up.  Then, you can make the desired action without even touching the phone!

You can see a brief demonstration of it live from my test phone here:


I hope this helps you to get more out of your LG G8 ThinQ from Sprint!

- Will England

The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Saturday, May 25, 2019

LG G8 ThinQ Unboxing and Size Comparison - Sprint Product Ambassadors

This week we're looking at the LG G8 ThinQ phone from Sprint.  The current 4G top of the line phone from LG, it's an impressive device right out of the box!  Watch for more:


Looks like it's going to be a great test!

- Will England, Sprint Product Ambassador

The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Introducing the LG G8 ThinQ - Sprint Product Ambassadors


A phone you don’t touch.  A phone with no speaker.  A phone that supports the fastest, widest LTE network.  The LG G8.  This is one amazing phone.  I’ve been using LG phones – and getting them for my family – for years, the G6, G7, v30, v40, etc. – and this one has features to outsmart and out work them all.    Running the latest QUALCOMM 855 chipset, supporting up to 2TB of storage for lossless audio storage and more.

The 6.1” screen itself is the speaker, combined with an integral bass chamber for low end reproduction, the sound from the LG G8 is nothing short of phenomenal for a handset.  But it really comes alive when you connect it to a high end set of Bluetooth headphones; the LG G8 supports the aptX protocol for high bitrate streaming to your Bluetooth devices.  Connect to the (still included!) 3.5mm headset jack and you experience lifelike surround sound in your headset.  The digital to analog converter remains best in class.  LG has partnered with Meridian, one of the big dogs in audiophile and high end audio, to tune the sound output on this phone, along with Dolby DTS:X 3D sound for the simulated surround from your headphones.

Once you buy this phone, you will quickly become a customer of Acoustic Sounds and HDTracks, two of the biggest vendors of high-resolution lossless audio.  You will find your old catalog of MP3’s start sounding tinny and find all sorts of new amazing music.  For the deep catalog, you can get great tracks from Bandcamp as well, again in lossless FLAC files.  Combined with the free subscription to Tidal that Sprint offers with their unlimited plan, you will rediscover your love for music with this phone, and find artists and tracks you’ve never heard before.  I’ve purchased over 480 new tracks, some 43 GB of uncompressed music since I started using the LG phones with their amazing sound quality!

Beyond the sound, the LG G8 offers touchless commands, super fast data speeds on the Sprint LTE network and a 6.1” edge to edge display using the latest in OLED technology for an immersive experience in movies, videos, games and more.  Stay tuned for demos and videos of the coolest new features of this brilliant phone!

The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee


Links to external vendors not sponsored by Sprint, nor endorsed by Sprint.  No compensation was received for any external content or downloads.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

A Quiet Mechanical Key Switch Keyboard

For *years* (1995 to 2018) I have been typing on IBM Model M keyboards with the buckling spring keyswitches.  I learned to type on an IBM Selectrics and that level of pressure and feedback is just what I'm used to.

This year we moved office into an open pod area with coworkers separated from me by only a foot or two and a thin foam wall.  I've had several warnings and hits (people leaving rubber dome keyboards on my desk etc.) regarding the noise of my typing.  Additionally, our new docking stations for the laptops have removed the legacy PS2 ports for serial keyboards, so I've had to find a good USB to PS2 converter.  (Tip - there arent' many at all).

I checked into all the current mechanical switch keyboards and they are mainly focused on video gamers - 'interesting' colors, RGB backlighting, price tags of $80 to over $100, etc.  Finally found the Logitech K840 - just came out recently, is very conservative in color and style, but offers a solid mechanical switch, the 'Romer G'.  TomsHardware reports that the newly designed Romer G switches have "[...] tactile, quiet switch that requires 45 g of actuation force, Romer-Gs are similar to Cherry MX Browns, but spring back a little faster."  This illustration from Logitech shows the build diagram of the Romer G switch:




The frame and body are built from anodized aluminum for a study long lasting feel. With 26-key rollover it'll keep up with the fastest of typers, and can be used for games.  But with the understated black and grey colors, clean lines and quiet actuation, this is the perfect keyboard for the office.


A quick check with DB Meter Pro on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at 6" from the keyboard give a maximum SPL (C-Weighted) of just over 60dB.  From 2 or 3 feet away it's essentially un-noticeable. 


While the MSRP is $89, you can typically find them for $50 or so online.  Excellent keyboard, office friendly and great to type on.  I hope this hardware review helps you to find a quality keyboard with mechanical switches that won't drive your coworkers batty!

- Will England



Sunday, April 28, 2019

First Ride of 2019!

Much later than usual, but I got the Ducati Monster out yesterday and rode out to the lake to visit the Boy Scout Troop and join them for lunch.  Good day riding, if quite windy.  About 75 miles round trip. 




- Will England

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Figured out how to export Audio from concert videos in Final Cut Pro

Tried half a dozen tricks in VLC and could not split out the audio from a final rendered clip of our latest band concert.  Would not give the full 13.5 minutes of audio.  So I read the fine manual.  In Final Cut Pro X, you can export a 'Master File' - and there's even options!

Just select your project in the project window.
Choose File - Share - Master file.
Choose your Audio options from the options in the Master File.
You'll end up with a big AIFF file, uncompressed.

With that, you can dump it into SoundCloud for embedding in blogs, sharing with others and so on:



So - that's how you get your Audio out of a project in Final Cut Pro X.

-- Will England

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Do Members of the US Congress Get Paid For Life?

tl;dr - No, elected officials do not get paid for life the day they retire. They are subject to the same Federal defined benefit system as all other federal employees.

A report on "Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress," prepared in November by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, outlines how pension benefits are calculated.

The key provision: no member of Congress is eligible for any pension unless he or she has served in Congress for at least five years. (Senators serve six-year terms; House members must seek reelection every two years.)

To collect, a congressman or senator must be age 62, or be at least age 50 with 20 years of service, or be any age with 25 years of service.

Under the most recent pension program, adopted in 1984, the size of a pension is based on the highest three years of a member's salary, the number of years of service and a multiplier, which is 1.7 percent for the first 20 years of service and 1.0 percent for subsequent years.

Here’s an example, using a typical 25-year rank-and-file member who retired this year. The pension would be the sum of two calculations. First, multiply $172,443 [the average salary over the last three years] times 20 years times 0.017. Then, multiply $172,443 times 5 years times 0.01 and add that number to the first calculation. The total: about $67,250 per year.

A three-term congressman (or one-term senator) who has now reached retirement age would be eligible for an annual pension of $17,588 for six years of work. That's generous, but not close to full pay.

Federal law prevents members of Congress from getting full-pay retirement when they leave office. The report says, "By law, the starting amount of a member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary."

Under the formula, it would take 67 years of service to hit that limit.

So the email saying that members of Congress can "receive full pay retirement after serving one term" is blatantly bogus. It's never full pay and the only one-term members who would be eligible for any pension would be senators.

https://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2013/jan/11/chain-email/can-members-congress-retire-full-pay-after-just-on/
And from the horses mouth:

https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/ac0d1dd5-7316-4390-87e6-353589586a89.pdf
https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/9c14ec69-c4e4-4bd8-8953-f73daa1640e4.pdf
https://www.gao.gov/assets/230/221239.pdf
https://www.cbo.gov/about/careers/benefits

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Three Rules

I quote to my kids quite often Rule 1, Rule 2 and occasionally Rule 3.  What are they?

Rule 1 - the Golden Rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do to you; corollary, love they neighbor as you love yourself.

Rule2: The Will Rogers rule:  "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all"

Rule 3: The Junkie rule -  "Never trust a junkie."  Corollary: Everyone's a junkie for something.  Food, attention, games, TV, drugs or alcohol. 

Thursday, March 07, 2019

My Certified Ironbutt Rides

I've gone and done a lot of riding.  A couple of the rides I stopped and got reciepts, start and end witnesses etc.  Three of em in particular.  They earned me the IronButt Association Number of 11,383. Only way to get a lower number would be to finish the Iron Butt Rally.


So, follows are the rides that I got certificates for from the Iron Butt Association:

Extreme Rides:


William England
Overland Park, KS
08/20/05
Honda ST1100 Not Stock - Russell Day Long Seat, Clearview XL screen, 6" Ron Major Dogbone Bar Risers. 
1,551 Miles in 24 Hours; KC to Winnipeg, CA and back. 

This one never got a write up, and I can't even find the couple of blurry photos I took of the "Welcome to Winnipeg" sign.  Not much to say - sit here, twist that, watch rainbows, run WFO on I29 in the dark of the night, get a half a cup of bad coffee at a gas station in Winnipeg, turn around ride home.


Will England
Overland Park, KS
04/06/13
Stock Honda CBR250R
1,030 Miles in state - Trip Report on the SS1K In-State ride
KS-1000
* * * Combined with Tour of Honor Sites - www.tourofhonor.com * * *

Normal Rides:



William England
Overland Park, KS
06/01/02
Honda VFR750, Stock.
1,078  -- Overland Park to Downtown Chicago and Back.
Had to get a Blues Fest T-Shirt for my wife at the time.  :-)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

How to reset the Maint Required light on the 2005 Scion xB

https://www.scionlife.com/forums/scion-xb-1st-gen-owners-lounge-1602/2004-scion-xb-maintenance-required-light-21507/

The above forum link describes what is going on with the Maint Required light and the blue / red thermometer looking lights.

Assume that they are just on solid - you're due for the 5k service.

To reset on the 2005 Scion Xb, set the trip odometer to 'odo'. Power off car. Press and hold trip odometer reset stalk. Turn car to 'on'. Continue to hold the button down until both lights turn off.

Thanks to the Scion Life forums for this easy solution!

Will England

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Video Recording Time for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Lot of questions about how long you can record on a cell phone - DSLR's are limited to file size (4gb) or 30 minutes (European directive).

So I'm sitting here testing apps and chatting with the wife, so I put the Note 9 on it's Spigen kickstand and have it record the kitchen floor, with the occasional cat or dog wander by.  There is apparently no European limit to the recording -- we're at 39 minutes so far -- and no file size limit.  I have 128GB on board, and a 256GB chip installed; I think I have the video set to record to the 256 MicroSD chip.

In a nutshell, I haven't found a hard limit to how long you can record with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9; I got bored and shut it down before I hit a limit.

Monday, February 18, 2019

You don't need the brightest flashlight

When you are out camping, especially in durable high impact campgrounds, you will never need a 200 lumen super flashlight. It just fries your night vision and the vision of everyone else around.

"all you really need is a zipper pull-style pinch LED light."

Read more - https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/07/26/lets-shine-some-light-on-flashlight-etiquette/

Thanks all,

Will England

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Conecting Windows 10 Laptop to USB connected network drive on an Apple Airport Extreme

I have had for a good while now the Apple Airport Extreme base station.  Yes, I know it's time to upgrade to a Nighthawk, but I'm lazy.  And have kids,

Speaking of kids, I rebuilt and lit up a refurbished Windows 10 laptop for my Dear Daughter to use going back and forth to college.  We keep all our backups, music,  movies etc on a pair of drives connected to the USB port on the Apple Airport Extreme base station.

So, I tried to map the base station shared drives using the typical UNC network protocol (\\10.0.1.1\) in the Explorer bar.  No dice.  Tried the 'Map Network Drive' button in Explorer.  No dice.

Then I got around to searching and found a post in a long-dead thread that mentioned you should install the Airport Utility for Windows .  So I did.  And while it was installing, I noticed it was also installing Bonjour drivers.  Once it completed, I still couldn't connect.

Mapping a drive from the file explorer finally threw a useful error message - the Airport Extreme uses old SMB1 protocol, and that's blocked by default due to old insecure protocols.  Well, this is a home network and has nothing sensitive on the shared drives.  So, I found that you can enable SMB1 Sharing Protocol in Windows 10 by running 'optionalfeatures.exe'.
Hit Windows Key and R for 'Run Program' and run optionalfeatures.exe.

From there you get a nice dialog box with everything you can, and cannot enable.  SMB1 is disabled.  Enable it.  Restart the PC.

Now, from Explorer, you can connect to a Network Share or Map a Network Drive.  Easy, eh?

-- Will England

Friday, February 15, 2019

Will England on Tumblr

Some time back (five years back to be precise) I lit up a Tumblr blog on advice of my mentor to discuss technical stuff.  So I did, when I was a social media geek.  Then it got ghosted for 5 years.

Now I'm back with Analytics stuff going out there.  You can find me at Will England on Tumblr

and everywhere else to find Will England too!

Enjoy, be excellent to each other and be present!

-- Will England

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snow, Ice anda dopey dog

My dopey dog, SamTheDog, thinks winter is the best ever - the whole world is covered in fresh, new edible crunchy!  When he was younger his water bowl would freeze solid and make a puck-shaped ice disk.  He'd chase that around the deck with abandon and joy, or at lest until it slipped under the deck rails into the yard.

During the summer, his favorite treat wa an ice cube fresh from the tray. Kerrunch, nom-nom-nom!  I doubt it was good for his teeth, but he certainly enjoyed them!

Surprisingly I captured a few on video with the cell phones:



As he gets older, he's more interested in just sniffing the snow and taking a few licks at it.  But my dopey SamTheDog loved his icepucks!



-  Will England 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Buttons and turning on the AKG Y50BT

THe AKG Y50BT Bluetooth headphones are very nice cans with great sound and a fantastic battery
AKG Y50BT Headphones
life.  However, they are sorely lacking in documentation - so here is my take on the 'fine manual' about operating all the buttons, pairing and more.

On the Left earpiece is a MicroUSB B port to charge the phones.That's it.

On the Right earpiece are all the buttons. Starting from the top:

  • Button labeled '+' - increase volume 
  • Black button with a dot - One press for pause, / play two presses for track forward, three presses for track backward.  And they mean *quick* taps.
  • 3.5mm hole - to plug in the headphones for a non-bluetooth experience.
  • Black unlabeled button - power on, power off, pair.
    • To power on the headphones rapidly tap one time the unlabeled button.
      • Fast flashing blue light indicates it's on, and unpaired
      • Slow flashing blue light indicates it's on and paired.
      • Slow flashing red light indicates  low battery.
  • Black button looking thing - not a button but the microphone!
Hope this helps someone else out -- remember, *quick* tap on the button to turn it on / off.

-- Will England

References: 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Netflix not working with OpenDNS / Cicso Umbrella?

Netflix can get caught up in the blocking many families use to restrict visiting illicit movie sites by
Blocked Netflix Content Domains by OpenDNS
their kids.  You'll find that movies in Netflix spin the orange circle for a while before throwing out an error code, Netflix error code M7037-1101.  You can't play any Netflix movies on Chrome or on Safari.    This error code  means your local machine cannot connect to the Netflix servers to play the movie.

It's quite simple to resolve when Netflix won't play because of OpenDNS filtering - go into your Umbrella control panel and whitelist:

  • services.wmdrm.windowsmedia.com (the Silverlight player)
  • netflix.com (just in case)
  • nflxvideo.net (their content distribution network)
  • nflximg.net (more of their content network)
Within 2 or 3 minutes of whitelisting these domains, your Netflix will be working again and you won't have to worry about error code M7037-1101!

-- Will England