xBox, Region Encoding, and Kinect


For Christmas, we got a Kinect for the xBox.  It was simply a piece of hardware so we bought it here.  it came with a game that I assumed wouldn’t work (because of region encoding as well as the PAL vs NTSC stuff).  After I hooked up the kinect, I put the game in just got grins.  What do you know….it worked just fine.  After doing some more research, it looks like most games will work just fine….I think I’m going to start taking a chance on some used games and see how they work.  As I do, I’ll keep a list here…just in case anyone is looking and finds this thread.

Image from sheryl’s boys via flickr



I’ve blogged before about differences between British English and American English so I won’t bore everyone with my discussion about it again.  A blog I found recently written by an American expat in London had some good ones.  Here is a link to her list of articles…Here’s a few that made me laugh:

Plummer Crack/But vs Builder Bum
Pronunciation of Nissan
Pronunciation of Nokia
Dannon vs Danone
Pronunciation of 6th
Pronunciation of Michigan
Pronunciation of Michelin 
Inverted commas vs quote marks
Pronunciation of furore (I’m going to have to do more research on this)
Saying — right the way through
Merry Christmas vs Happy Christmas
Shots or Jabs
Bye (read more about this one at the bottom of this article)

I’ll conclude with a saying that a colleague (not co-worker mind you) loves to say:  The US and UK are two countries separated by a common language!

Image from nataliemaynor via flickr


Revolving Pleasure

Last night, whist watching one of my new movies (Cyndi got me Jingle All The Way for Christmas) I was mindlessly surfing the internet when I came across a blog written by an American expat living in London.  One of her articles was a link to a article on The Superiority of American Appliances.

The title intrigued me so I went to have a look.  The main jist is that American appliances (called white goods in much of the rest of the world) are way easy to use (or have controls labeled in ways that are easy to understand) while European appliances are much harder to figure out.

I don’t have any good pictures to illustrate this for you (and flickr wasn’t very helpful either) but I think the same thing.  Even here, in English speaking England, controls for appliances are complicated and machines do rather odd things.

Image from gnarls monkey via flickr

OSx 10.7 Lion, and FileVault 2 (FV2)


Today at work, I had a minor moment of “holy cow I can’t believe that is how it is but I guess so.|  With Mac OSx 10.7 (aka Lion), Apple is offering full disk encryption as an option out of the box.  When you set it up at first, you get to choose the users who will have the ability to unlock the disk at startup.  I had to add a few users to an already encrypted machine but couldn’t figure out how to add them to the FV2 disk unlock list.  I found this apple kb about fv2 which proved useless.  It didn’t mention anything about adding users.  ARG.  From the article, I thought I would have to decrypt and re-encrypt.  Well, that process only takes about 10 hours and I wasn’t happy.

Before I started, I wondered if it added them by default.  I rebooted and, sure enough, there they were.  Why the documentation can’t say that is beyond me.  So, if you are in this

10.7/Lion with FileVault 2 (FV2) auto adds any new users to the disk unlock list.

Image from chester zoo via flickr

Tonight we had….

lights 12

…our first power cut/outage in the UK.  Actually, we had 3 of them.  The electric went out and, at first, I thought it was us.  I checked the breakers then looked outside.  The breakers were ok and our neighbors didn’t have electricity so we waited.  In about 15 minutes, it came back on.  Then went off again in about 15 min.  This repeated itself 3 times.  Finally, it stayed on.

Cyndi and I joked if the Grizwold’s turned on their lights 🙂 This is part an inside joke because what passes for tacky Christmas lights here are nothing like tacky lights in the states.

Image from jodigreen via flickr

From a Bag Smasher

Luggage handling

I was reading Fox News this morning when I came across this article titled “Confessions of An Airline Baggage Smasher Thrower.”  He answers the following questions:

  • What are the best/worst things about the job?
  • What’s it like to work in that environment?
  • How can passengers prevent their bags from going astray?
  • Have you ever seen theft?
  • What kind of suitcases get damaged least/most?
  • How do bags get lost?
  • How do bags get damaged?
  • What goes on behind the curtain?

Things he says I agree with:

  • We see open bags all the time because the zipper just started coming apart, and yes, things do fall out of these open bags.  Sometimes, we see it and can put whatever came out back in the bag it came from, but sometimes there are just random items strewn around the belly.
  • Cheap bags that you buy at the discount store break very easily.  If your handle is sewn on or is very flimsy, it’s probably going to break.  If you travel a lot or pack heavy, make sure you buy a quality, durable bag.
  • Airplanes are only making money while in the air and no airline wants an airplane on the ground too long.
  • You might be amazed at how much manpower it takes to put a passenger aircraft in the air.

The important thing here:  Airplanes are only making the company money when they are in the air.  Everything an airline does is geared around that.  Although with only one airline in the US actually making a profit, it might not seem as if they care about that very much  ;^)

One thing he says I disagree with:

  • Speaking of wheels, the best bags to get are the “spinners” with four wheels on the bottom.

Have you ever used those things?  I did once with about 30kgs worth of “stuff” in it.  Holy how…that bag didn’t want to push straight on the wheels and it wasn’t designed to be pulled.  It was a horrible bag.

Image from shanghai daddy via flickr