I had to use a VPN to get in on the Bard Beta

I had to use a VPN to get in on the Bard Beta and that is a bunch of garbage. Google doesn’t consider USVI as past of the United States. The Bard beta is limited to US and apparently Great Britian. It’s stupid. It’s so stupid that I asked Bard to write an article for me on how stupid it is. On a side note the stuff I can do with ChatAPI and with Bard is amazing. On the other side of the coin I’ve caught Bard saying flat out lies a few times today. This could be amazing or scary.

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The USVI consists of the main islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John, and Saint Croix, as well as several smaller islands. The USVI has a population of over 105,000 people and is a major tourist destination.

Google is a multinational technology company that provides a variety of online services, including search, email, and maps. Google does not consider the USVI to be part of the United States, and as a result, USVI residents do not have access to all of the same services that are available to residents of the 50 states.

This is unfair for a number of reasons. First, the USVI is a part of the United States. The USVI has been a US territory since 1917, and its residents are US citizens. Second, the USVI is a major tourist destination. Many US citizens travel to the USVI each year, and they should be able to access the same services that are available to them when they are in the 50 states. Third, the USVI is a major economic partner of the United States. The USVI imports goods and services from the US, and it exports goods and services to the US. The US should not discriminate against the USVI by denying its residents access to important online services.

Written by Bard

Google should reconsider its policy and treat the USVI as part of the United States. This would be the fair thing to do, and it would also be good for business.

How to Manually Force Sync Azure AD with Active Directory

Imagine you’re the captain of a ship sailing the high seas. Your ship is like your Azure AD environment, and just as you need to keep your ship’s course up-to-date with the latest navigational information, you need to keep your Azure AD environment synced with the latest user and group information.

To manually force sync Azure AD Connect using PowerShell, you’ll need to give the command to “hoist the sails” and get the ship moving forward. In other words, you’ll need to open PowerShell and type “Import-Module AAD” and hit enter. Then enter the following command:

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

This command tells Azure AD Connect to start a delta sync cycle, which will update your Azure AD environment with any changes made to your on-premises Active Directory since the last sync.

Once you’ve given the command to start the sync cycle, you’ll need to keep a sharp eye on the horizon (or PowerShell window) for any errors or warnings that might appear. If you spot any issues, you’ll need to take corrective action to keep your ship sailing smoothly.

But with this clever little trick up your sleeve, you’ll be able to manually force sync Azure AD Connect using PowerShell like a seasoned sea captain navigating the treacherous waters of the high seas!

How to Enable the Administrator Account in Windows 10 and 11

  1. Press the Windows key + X on your keyboard and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the menu.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter “:net user administrator /active:yes
  3. You should see a message that says, “The command completed successfully.” This means that the administrator account has been enabled.
  4. If you want to set a password for the administrator account, type the following command and press Enter:net user administrator *This will prompt you to enter a new password for the account. Note that the characters you type will not appear on the screen.
  5. Once you’ve set a password, you can switch to the administrator account by logging out of your current account and selecting “Administrator” from the login screen.

Note that it’s generally not recommended to use the built-in administrator account for day-to-day use, as it has unrestricted access to your system and can be a security risk. It’s usually better to use a standard user account with administrative privileges instead.

ChatAPI Can Give You the Wrong Answer

ChatAPI has been wrong with it’s code more times than right. The first time it was wrong was when I asked for code to implement a CNAM lookup for 3CX. From my knowledge there is no way to implement this correctly. ChatAPI insisted it was possible but the directions provided definitely do not work. I tried to see if there use to be a way but I have no idea where it got it’s info from. The closest I can tell is it was blurring FreePBX with 3CX. It wasn’t FreePBX directions but there was parts of the code that sure seem like it was from there.

The next time it was wrong was with filtering spam calls on a Signalwire number. In this instance it wanted me to use Twilio Spam Score API. Well, that doesn’t exist. I told it this and it apologized and then told me to use Truecaller. Truecaller has a developer platform but their API doesn’t work in this way. The code wanted an API key and secret. Truecaller wants me to create an app. On the third time asking it provided a 10 top ten list. A few them I did recognize.

The time wasted trying to prove the code is good or not does not save me anytime. At least from my point of view. Obviously version 4 will be coming out soon. I am eager to try that.

Migration to Ghost Blog Did Not Go According to Plan

My migration to Ghost blog did not go according to plan. I had a few missteps. First, the conversion was okay but not good. Lots of broken links and just stuff that shouldn’t have been mashed together. Second, I wanted to run it in docker. That part failed really hard. I had this blog running in ghost in docker but when it came to upgrade it was ruined. Ghost blog went through some major changes and the lack of flexibility with certain packages like Mysql it just did me in.

Actually, it left a really bad taste in my mouth as this blog was ruined and I have two more ghost blogs that are completely toast. This wordpress is a 6+ month old backup that I restored. I only lost a few posts. The other two blogs will need to be built from scratch. I have the data but it’s hard to read let alone restore.

Some day soon I will attempt to migrate this blog away from WordPress.

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.