Whispersync issue: Audible to Kindle on iOS

I upgraded a Kindle book by buying the Whispersync For Voice enabled Audible book. I did this through Audible’s matchmaker service.

The problem: Kindle will not update with the last location heard on the Audible app. The Kindle iOS and web apps will sync with each other, and Audible will always recognize the last position read in Kindle (iOS and web) and ask if I want to continue from that location.

Environment: 

  • iPhone 5, running iOS 9.3.4
  • iOS Audible app, version 2.14 (416)
  • Kindle for iPhone, version 5.1
  • Kindle web app (read.amazon.com)

Attempted solutions:

  • Delete and re-download book in both Audible and Kindle apps.
  • Delete and reinstall Kindle and Audible apps.  
  • Reboot phone. 
  • Manually hit the sync button in both Kindle and Audible.
  • In Amazon account, manually re-deliver book to Kindle app. 

Audible tech support suggested deleting/reinstalling the app and rebooting the phone.

The eventual (and accidental) solution: for unrelated reasons I restored my phone from a backup, which forced me to re-download the book. I was then having issues playing the book at all, so in desperation I changed the Audible setting for “Download by part” to Single-Part from Multi-Part, and downloaded the book again. 

Something I hadn’t seen before–when you change that setting to Multi-Part, a message pops up warning you that keeping audiobooks as a single file is better for syncing across devices. I do not remember seeing this when I originally changed it to Multi-Part. I also don’t know why I assumed at the time that Multi-Part must be better…probably because of the way Kindle books are broken up into locations.

don’t choose multi-part
Syncing now works both ways.

restoring an iPhone to create space removes data you probably want

I have an iPhone 5 that is perpetually hovering near capacity. I came across a tutorial online suggesting backing up then restoring your iPhone to free up all the “Other” space being taken up on the phone — in my case, around 2 GB.

Don’t do it. What that author failed to understand/mention is that the Other space includes all the files cached by your apps. So it’s a space gain only until you realize you’re missing all your podcasts, books, etc. and have to download them all again.

Specifically I noticed losing all my local data in Overcast (podcasts), Audible, Kindle, NewsBlur (RSS reader), and my various email and calendar apps…so pretty much everything I use regularly. After opening them up again, I’m back to square one in terms of lack of space.

Galaxy S7 & Edge thoughts

After trying-before-I-buy with both models side by side in two different Best Buys, some thoughts:

  • Edge has a wider/better viewing angle — the S7 gets much darker than the Edge when the screen is not exactly straight on. Also much darker than my current iPhone 5.
  • At first store, the Edge gave whites a yellowed tone compared to the S7. At second store, Edge had a pinkish tone on whites compared to S7. Both had same settings, and tested on all screen profiles. 
  • Even straight on, and with the S7 showing better whites, there was a dullness I the S7 that could be annoying over long term use. 
  • The main value I see in the novelty of the edge menu is in taking quick actions on open articles, which will actually be immensely useful for taking notes when reading, or sharing articles. Any other use as a launcher is probably beat by the ease of keeping those apps on the home screen. 

I am really interested in why I’m seeing colour differences between these two models. I’m leaning toward buying the S7, largely due to the wider viewing angle, and the slight ease of use I think the edge will give me in my phone-based activity (reading). But I’m a little uncomfortable with the colour (quality?) inconsistency I’m seeing in the Edge screens.

The closest I’ve come to finding a review that goes beyond comparing just the published specs of the screens (resolution and ppi) and actually looking at the quality of the displays is at DisplayMate, but even though they pride themselves on measuring the color accuracy of the screens, they still only measure the S7’s colors and assume the two screens will be the same.  The two screens are different sizes and are made of different components, so I don’t know why nobody is looking at the non-PR-kit differences between them.

this post will be taken entirely out of context.

Something felt a little bit off in one particular line of “Critical Praise / Review” for Rob Bell (and ostensibly, his new book How to Be Here):

Bell will be joined by the likes of Brian McLaren, James Martin, Diana Butler Bass and Carol Howard Merritt. — Christianity Today

I could see it working if Bell “joins the likes of…”, but there’s something about how it was written that sounded like a high-schooler’s essay pieced together with sentence fragments taken from all over the internet.

Not far off, that line is actually taken from a Christianity Today article about a podcast/YouTube channel that Rob Bell is involved with — where he is “joined by the likes of Brian McLaren, James Martin, Diana Butler Bass and Carol Howard Merritt.” (It’s so important the article states it twice.)

Now, I know pull-quotes are used out of context all the time, but at least they’re usually coherent. 😛

And then I then read the first pull-quote from Publisher’s Weekly….which sounded familiar because it was already used wholesale as part of the publisher’s product description.

I’m going back to my cave now — the internet is making my head hurt.

PDF problems

I don’t like that I now have to think twice before printing PDFs — I find more and more they’re not actually designed to be printed — just viewed.

The reason: all the background colour. White text on a dark background looks nice on a produced brochure or report, or on a website, but not when I’m printing it at home to read in detail. It just hurts to think of all that ink being wasted — even if I print in grayscale.

Here’s a possible guideline: don’t design a PDF page that will be so wet with ink that it will warp as it comes off a consumer printer.

Orange Pi PC

I decided it’s finally time to get a mini server running at home to handle the basic webserver stuff that my shared host can’t handle (python, etc.).

I recently bought an Orange Pi PC from a friend, and it’s got a little more oomph than my old Raspberry Pi Model B, so that’s what I’m going with for now.

The issue I kept running into with the rPi was forgetting what hardware version I had, and the specs of that version. To avoid that with the OrangePi…

Stats for future reference (from OrangePi.org):

Orange Pi PC

Same chip and RAM as:

  • Orange Pi 2
  • Orange Pi Mini 2
  • Orange Pi Plus
  • Board imprinted with: PC v1.2
  • CPU: ARM H3 Quad-core Cortex-A7 H.265/HEVC 4K 1.536 GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali-400 MP2 @ 600 MHz
  • RAM: 1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)
  • SoC: Allwinner H3
  • Storage: TF card (max 64GB) / MMC card slot
  • NIC: 10/100M Ethernet RJ45
  • Video Input: A CSI input connector camera:
    • supports 8-bit YUV422 CMOS sensor interface
    • supports CCIR656 protocol for NTSC and PAL
    • supports SM pixel camera sensor
    • supports video capture solution up to 1080p@30fps
  • Audio Input: MIC
  • Video Outputs:
    • supports HDMI output with HDCP
    • supports HDMI CEC
    • supports HDMI 30 function
    • Integrated CVBS
    • supports simultaneous output of HDMI and CVBS
  • Audio Output: 3.5mm jack and HDMI
  • Power Source: DC input can supply power, but USB OTG input don’t supply power
  • USB Ports:
    • three USB 2.0 HOST
    • one USB 2.0 OTG
  • Buttons: Power Button (SW4)
  • Low-level peripherals
    • 40 Pins Header, compatible with Raspberry Pi B+
  • GPIO(1×3) pin: UART, ground.
  • LED
    • Power LED
    • Status LED
  • Key
    • IR input
    • POWER
  • Supported OS
    • Android Ubuntu
    • Debian
    • Raspberry Pi image
  • Product Size: 85mm x 55mm
  • Weight: 38g
Orange Pi PC board (click for larger version)
Orange Pi PC board (click for larger version)

Starting out with Debian Server for OrangePi2.

237 words on the election

I care more about the institutions of government in this country than the political parties. These institutions are generally structured to protect the citizens and the country, while politicians work within them for their ideological ends.

In my mind, the greatest existential threat to Canada is any government that disregards or undermines our system of government. We can bounce back from most external things, but slow-boil systemic changes will shift the structure of Canada in ways we don’t even realize today.

In this current government I’ve seen a continued and increasing disregard for Parliament and the Supreme Court, including the Prime Minister publicly trying to convince us not to trust those institutions because they have challenged him for breaking or ignoring various laws. There are also the personal attacks to discredit the head of Elections Canada for defending our election laws (i.e. doing his job). And the huge issue of the lobotomizing of our collective public knowledge (see “Vanishing Canada”, in Maclean’s), which, intentionally or not, serves to undermine decision-making in government. (If we don’t have scientific research and data to base decisions on, we’re only making decisions based on political ideology.) Before considering the short-to-mid-term policies that everyone is promising, I had to eliminate Stephen Harper’s Conservatives from the options, because it’s evident to me they do not respect — and are actively undermining — the long-term system we are ultimately electing them to uphold. .:. Cross-posted to Facebook.

on the 42nd general election in Canada

Misappropriated from G.K. Chesterton’s 1926 book on distributionism, this passage struck me as rather appropriate words in the middle of an election. It was the closing to the chapter titled “On a Sense of Proportion”:

If a man wants what he calls a flower-garden he plants flowers where he can, and especially where they will determine the general character of the landscape gardening. But they do not completely cover the garden; they only positively colour it. He does not expect roses to grow in the chimney-pots, or daisies to climb the railings; still less does he expect tulips to grow on the pine, or the monkey tree to blossom like a rhododendron. But he knows perfectly well what he means by a flower-garden; and so does everybody else. If he does not want a flower-garden but a kitchen-garden, he proceeds differently. But he does not expect a kitchen-garden to be exactly like a kitchen. He does not dig out all the potatoes, because it is not a flower-garden and the potato has a flower. He knows the main thing he is trying to achieve; but, not being born a fool, he does not think he can achieve it everywhere in exactly the same degree, or in a manner equally unmixed with things of another sort. The flower-gardener will not banish nasturtiums to the kitchen-garden because some strange people have been known to eat them. Nor will the other class a vegetable as a flower because it is called a cauliflower. So, from our social garden, we should not necessarily exclude every modern machine any more than we should exclude every medieval monastery. And indeed the apologue is appropriate enough; for third is the sort of elementary human reason that men never lost until they lost their gardens: just as that higher reason that is more than human was lost with a garden long ago. — G.K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity

marketing vs. the fine print

There’s a little disconnect between Denny’s nice little slogan on their coffee mugs…

and the disclaimer in their menu whenever you have a choice of egg style:

But remember, it’s always sunny-side up. 🙂

.:.

 

Denny’s U.S. menu

 

Funny, the menu I looked at welcomed me to Canada’s diner.

Reminds me of a local Wal-Mart flyer a few years ago sporting a maple leaf as the dash in their name and the slogan “Proudly Canadian”.

You can’t just say these things.