iPhone Dictation is Not Working

iPhone dictation stopped working on an iPhone 13. Pretty much everyone older that I know uses dictation. When it stops working it really frustrates the user. I just do not understand why this happens from time to time.

There are a lot of things to check but the easiest one and most likely one is right in Settings. Go to Settings then General and then look for Keyboard. In keyboard just scroll to the bottom or until you see “Enable Dictation”. Turn it on if it is off or if it is on then toggle it and reboot the phone.

That’s it and like most Apple products all you can do is reboot. Either it works or it doesn’t.

Using LibreOffice with Thunderbird

I recently changed Microsoft Office out for LibreOffice. I set the defaults in Windows 10 for LibreOffice. I thought everything was good but come to find out Thunderbird would not open any .doc or .xls files. Even in Thunderbird I had the defaults set for LibreOffice. For some strange reason I had to set it using the file paths of the exe files. Thunderbird listed LibreOffice as an option but that did not work. It was a strange bug but at least I figured it out.

I wish more people used open source instead of giving their money to Microsoft.

When is Congress going to do something about Big Tech?

The question that has been asked for years. When is Congress going to do something about Big Tech? As someone who makes his living in IT it is clear as day there is far too much power in the hands of these technology companies. This has very little to do with politics and everything to do with the rule of the land and the control that they wield.

They or their algorithims determine your fate and you have no recourse. Whether it is Google, Facebook, Amazon, Paypal or Apple they get to be judge, jury and executioner. We don’t put up this in the real world then why do we put up with it from these companies?

If they don’t like something they can just lock you out and throw away the key. They don’t even have to tell you what you did wrong. It’s crazy and it needs to stop.

While the republicans are only looking at big tech and their supposed political biases they instead should be looking at the rule of law and what kind of power is truly being weilded.

Your entire life could be ruined by one accidental algorithim mistake and there is nothing one can do about it. We need to start kicking these big tech companies to the curb and demanding our privacy and rights back.

Google Approvals Via the Phone Now include Volume Down Button

It appears that Google now requires a button push on the phone when verifying a log in. This is new to me. It asked me to hit the volume down button to verify my sign in. I was signing into a new chromebook at the time.

I assume that is more secure? If someone controlled your phone I would think they also might have the ability to simulate a volume down press as well? Whatever it is I sure wish I would have taken a screenshot.

ESPN BAMMedia Error Code 3 Solved

ESPN BAMMedia Error 3 has been driving me nuts for months! I realize now that this was a rare error but I was told it was a generic error message. It might be but my use case is very rare.

First, let me explain how and where I got this error. Occasionally I was seeing this error on my 5 yr old iPad Air using the ESPN App. More specifically it was when I was trying to watch live sporting events. I resolved this error, or at least I thought I had, by updating the latest iOS and by reinstalling the ESPN App. It was annoying because it happened only on my ipad and only when we were at the beach.

I tried everything I could think of. Rebooting, reinstalling, updating, and playing with the permissions. are just some of the things I tried. I tried a few other things including VPN. I even called ESPN! I never do that. Would you like to know why I never call support for anything? It’s because I have a vast wealth of IT knowledge combined with crazy good troubleshooting skills. This is just another classic example of that.

I would like to point out that using a VPN is mandatory for me if I want to watch MLS. MLS hates the US Virgin Islands. It’s disgusting that we are not considered part of the US market and it’s arcane to think that we should be blacked out. If Austin didn’t have a team I would not care.

To continue the troubleshooting I use a mifi on the beach with the ipad to watch soccer on ESPN+ in the mornings. Other facts to consider is this only happen on the ipad and not my chromebook. It also would work just fine watching PL on Peacock. If I used my phone hotspot it would also not work correctly. If i turned on the mifi at home the ipad worked great off of it!

Here is what I figured out. My main phone is Android and I get very good speeds off that SIM card. My work phone is an iphone but with crappy T-Mobile reception. By crappy I mean not even 1 meg up and down. That is how much they suck STILL!

I basically stopped bringing my work phone to the beach because I really wasn’t using it. It turns out there was a correlation between my iphone and ESPN+ on my ipad.

The problem is actually the GPS. Apparently the GPS is not accurate enough on iPad and essentially I was being blacked out for all my Euro games. I was not receiving a blackout message so it is not very clear. However, that is exactly what was happening. At my house the GPS on the ipad was perfect. At the beach it just showed St Croix and water around it. I am in St Thomas which is only 35 miles North so technically that “ocean” on the GPS is still US territory. I don’t know but when I bring my iphone with to the beach the GPS on the ipad is very accurate.

You know what happens next? THE STUPID APP STARTS TO WORK!!!! This has been months of anguish. I was able to use my chromebook as a tablet for my wife and I to watch but the nits are half that of my ipad. Almost impossible to see in the sun.

The next time you get that stupid error message be sure to check your GPS settings and accuracy.

Huawei Mate X Pro Bluetooth Windows 11

I had some troubles with bluetooth on my Huawei Mate X Pro. This only started after I installed Windows 11. It was one of those issues where you aren’t entirely sure what the problem is. The device manager would show the exclamation mark and reinstalling the driver would fix that issue but the bluetooth continued to not connect.

Huawei has their own program called Huawei PC Manager to update the drivers. It turns out that the program needed an update. It would be nice if Huawei would build that update process into the driver update program. After updating the program it did find new drivers for the bluetooth.

I updated the drivers but it still would not work! This was getting frustrating. I ended up uninstalling the drivers. Then I rebooted and then I ran a PC Manager scan again. Then I was able to update the bluetooth drivers. Finally, I had working bluetooth again!

A week later I had the same problem. I followed the same process and got it working again. I think this issue was partially Microsoft’s fault. I have gone three weeks without the bluetooth issues. I have had to reboot since then but no reinstalling of the drivers.

Disable Magnify Glass in Windows

Here are some instructions to permanently disable magnify glass in Windows. Well, as close to permanent as we can get because the occasional Windows Update can restore it from time to time.

This issue really only popped up on one machine for me. It was an active directory profile upgraded from Win7 to Win10. Used on multiple machines and yet the magnify glass would come up on its own every single time. Could not disable it.

Thankfully the internet helped me out and it is a simple process. You are going to change the ownership and rights for magnify.exe. Once you do that you can then rename it (magnify-sucks.exe.bak is my go to). Once renamed Windows will not be able to open it because it does not think it exists.

Now on to the instructions!

  1. Open an elevated command prompt. Hit the Windows button and then type cmd. When Command Prompt comes up as an option either right click it and select run as administrator or select run as administrator on the right of the icon.
  2. Type the following and hit enter after each line:
takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\Magnify.exe
cacls C:\Windows\System32\Magnify.exe /G administrators:F

To finish up just go to c:\windows\system32 and rename magnify.exe to whatever you want. That is all that it takes!

How to setup Polycom IP 6000 and 3CX Cloud

Polycom Soundstation IP 6000

Here are some instructions and screenshots you can use to get the Polycom IP 6000 working with 3CX in the cloud. I run mine on AWS. Per their instructions it states that you can only use phone locally. It is not supported remotely or even with a SBC. Such a shame because it’s still a good phone.

I had found a used Polycom IP 6000 for only $35 on Amazon and figured why not try to get it to work. That is a very cheap price and sometimes people do not have the experience or skills to make these bargain phones work. Truthfully it is also patience.

This particular phone was locked to another company’s network. I did not have the password. Thankfully the skills I learned playing with old Cisco phones and TFTP led me to a way to factory-reset the phone.

I actually did this a few months ago and did not realize that I had not posted any notes. I see that I did not really take any notes either! I only mention this because this is going to be high level.

First, the default password is 456 and you will need the MAC address for the real password. You will need to factory reset the phone. The problem comes in because the TFTP server still keeps the same settings after reset.

  • Power cycle the phone
  • Press CANCEL during the boot process
  • When it starts to countdown press and hold 6,8, and *
  • Next, enter the MAC ID from the label on the bottom of the phone. Here is one of the tricky parts. You need to T9 that thing. Meaning you need to have the correct case set to put in the right letter. (a -> 1A) will get you capital letters.

Now remember how I said that the factory reset doesn’t erase the server settings? What that means is the phone will go ahead and redownload the profile from that old server it was connected to. This brings you right back to square 1.

Before we can even get to the point of changing the TFTP server settings I needed to change the firmware. For some reason, probably security, the firmware was missing some important options. You need to flash polycom firmware in order to bring those settings back.

Depending on the firmware number already in the phone will determine which firmware you flash. I remember having a hard time finding the right firmware as polycom’s forums were not as open about it as I had liked. However, the base firmware is out there.

Also, for TFTP that would be another completely separate guide. I use TFTPD64 for my tftp server. I had much better luck with that one compared to the Solar Winds free server. Setting up a TFTP server can very simple or a little nerve racking depending on what you have available on or for your network.

Lets assume you have used TFTP before. In this case you put the files into the tftp directory on your computer. You plug in the phone and the phone goes out and finds the new files and downloads them. If the process is successful you will be able to tell on the reboot because you will have more options to choose from. You need to change the server settings!

I think there is around 10 different parameters. I don’t remember changing all the parameters but I got it right on the 2nd try. You need to set the server to look at the local TFTP server and you also want to remove any passwords on the phone.

Once this is complete I removed the default firmware files from the TFTP directory and put in the 3CX files that I got from 3CX’s site. I rebooted the phone and voila I had a web gui to use!

Using the web gui there may end up being some trial and error but you are basically entering in your extension info and the server will be your cloud IP. Obviously, you have to do this manually as it won’t provision automatically.

I sure hope I did not forget anything but I was really excited to take this $35 phone off of Amazon and make it work. Normally these phones going for a few hundred used. I must say the audio on this thing is excellent! I was worried it would sound bad because of how old it was. Apparently it was not used much.

Unable to Add an Office 365 Account to Outlook 2016

I have experienced this issue of being unable to add an Office 365 account to Outlook 2016 numerous times. This is one of those times that I wanted to make sure I remembered the trick.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity
DisableADALatopWAMOverride
dword value 1

What that does is basically lower the security for the connection to Microsoft. This is usually a Windows 7 machine that this happens to but it is annoying. I thought I had this info saved but I couldn’t find it and I wasted 5 full minutes trying to find it using a Google search.

Updated 10/15/21: I don’t know what is going to happen come the end of the month. Microsoft is going to start disabling old authentication methods. I am afraid this work-around will not work then. I guess we will find out the hard way.

Wyze Shipping Included in the Price

I received an email from Wyze late this week. It mentioned two important things. The first is that Wyze is going to include the cost of shipping in the price of each item. That way we do not get hit with the sticker shock at second. Second, and this what is being reported over everything else, Wyze is raising their prices on a few items. The v3 camera and the Doorbell will be first. It’s just a few bucks on the camera nad $10 on the doorbell. None of these are dealbreakers. They are still great prices. In fact, they really did not have to send out an email for this.

Unfortunately I see the email being posted as “60%” price increase. I also saw it listed as “Wyze lies again”. Come on now. These headlines will get the clicks and one of them got mine but let us all be real here. We all know there are shortages and they span an insane amount of items. Throw some good old inflation into the mix and I would have honestly thought the price would have gone up even higher.

I’m still very pleased with my Wyze products. We have A LOT of them. Are they perfect? Nope otherwise they would cost a whole lot more. Are they the best bang for your buck. I certainly believe so.