I Wonder What Drives Sears’s Ad Engine


I did just buy some tires from Sears last month so as with most advertising engines they keep suggesting the item I already bought (Is that really a wise use of an ad budget?). But WTF prompted them to try to sell me the top left item.

(Winado Female Dress Form Plastic Mannequin Full Body Display stand with Metal Base).

Windows 10 Bug Fix

On my personally owned home office workstation I saw this message in red on the Windows Update screen, “Some Settings Are Managed By Your Organization”. For quite a while I didn’t think much about it since I log in to the corporate Office 365 site on this PC. Today it suddenly dawned on me that since this PC’s Win 10 login is to my personal outlook.com ID it seemed unlikely my workstation was being managed by my employer.

A quick Google search and I found that the message is likely caused by what appears to be a rare bug in Windows 10. TekRevue has the details and a simple fix that worked for me.

OneDrive for Business Sync Problems

I had sync problems between my home office PC and the PC in the main office. It turned out that the problem was from making huge changes in the files synced with OneDrive and SharePoint via the OneDrive for Business program. To avoid this problem I found you should have both PC’s logged in while making large changes.

Sadly the only way to get things back in sync was to perform a reset of OneDrive and then let it download all 20G again. Glad I discovered this problem before my usage got into the multi-hundred Gigabyte range.

To perform the reset and restart run this command.

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

If OneDrive does not restart on its own in a copule minutes then run this command.


From this Microsoft OneDrive community forum post.

TWiT Network Ridiculous Whining

Ian and Leo on TWiT, and others on other shows this week, were whining because US newspaper companies don’t want to spend a bunch of money so that they can continue to give free stuff to Europeans without fear of legal financial penalties.

Leo has even admitted it cost his tiny company 40 hours of labor some if it lawyer time. Obviously Leo feels his company will at least break even on the expense so of course he should make the effort. I am confident the newspapers calculated that it will result in only a net loss so it would violate their fiduciary responsibility to waste money complying with GDPR.

Update: just watched Mac Break Weekly and Alex brought up how GDPR is a no profit, only losses, situation for businesses who don’t have EU customers. I should have expected this bit of sanity since Alex is a very smart business person (as well as one of the most amazing media production experts around).

Editing Built-In Spellcheck Dictionaries

There are common words that I frequently mistype where my error is also a properly spelled word e.g.  fro when I meant for. Since I will almost never use fro I like to have it flagged as a spelling error to reduce the number of spelling errors I miss when proofreading my work.

For LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox it’s simply a matter of deleting the word from the built-in dictionary. One word of caution, be sure to use a good text editor for this because the files are very large and often use Unix line endings so Windows notepad will likely trash the file. Also because the files are in protected folders you will need to do the editing as administrator.

On my Windows 10 Pro PC the files are named en-US.dic and located in these directories.
C:\Program Files\LibreOffice 5\share\extensions\dict-en
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\dictionaries

Unfortunately the Chrome browser compiles that same file into the executable so you would need to compile the program yourself to edit the standard dictionary.

Fortunately OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote & Word on the web, and Teams all flag fro as misspelled. (Excel on the web doesn’t have spell checking)


ISBN & UPC Code Lookup Sites

Dave McKay   posted to the Raspberry Pi community about this topic with great resources.

Google API for ISBN is accessable @ https://www.googleapis.com/books/v1/volumes?q=isbn:007024572X. Substitute your book’s number for the last 10 characters.

UPC lookup’s are free at the UPC Database. There is a limit on free access and most of the data is user entered so I wouldn’t count on it for running a business but it is great fro personal use. I even added a code for an item I had handy.

Android Smart Lock

My Nexus 5X on Google Fi asked me if I wanted to try out the Trusted Voice feature last week so I did. Unfortunately it makes the phone wake and show an invalid lock message when people around me or on TWiT shows say OK Google or sometimes just Google.

Then something happened that showed me how much this feature lowers the secutiy of your phone. I was watching All About Android and Aaron Newcomb said OK Google multiple times during his conversation with Ron Richards. My phone kept showing the bad unlock screen and going back to sleep until one time it unlocked! Oops, I decided that the convenience of this feature was far outweighed by the reduction in security so I turned it off.

Most Inaccurate Episode Ever

Was listening to this weeks episode of This Week in Google on TWiT.tv and beleive I heard more errors than I can remember ever hearing before, three of them in rapid succession.

  1. Jeff conflated the still living management consultant Tom Peters (author of In Search of Excellence) and the deceased Professor Laurence J. Peter (creator of the concept named the Peter principle).
  2. Then Leo and the group were thinking that an advisory rule about hot tub temperature limits was a law. AFAIK it isn’t a law, the reason that many manufacturers follow the advisory is due to either real problems they have experienced or requirements from their liability insurance providers.
  3. The last thing was that Leo claimed that Raspberry Pi’s where susceptible to the recent round of processor flaw security problems. They aren’t, see Eben Upton’s post for details.