How to turn of Picasa faces detection.

Quite like Picasa, its not a bad way to mange large amounts of images quickly. However what’s annoying is Googles interference with its face recognition detection. This is turned on by default (Why?!!) It hogs CPU usage and just serves absolutely no useful purpose to many people…

This is how you disable it:

Click on “Tools” at the top of the Library screen.  Choose “Options” from the drop down menu.  Select the “Name Tags” tab.  Untick the tick boxe for “Enable Face Recognition” and “Enable Suggestions.”  Click “OK” to save changes.

Next click on “Tools” at the top of the Library screen.  Click “Folder Manager” on the drop down menu. On the “Folder List” (left side of the screen), click on your image folders one by one and untick “Face Detection”Click Ok to save changes.

The People Album should now be gone.

3 Mobile problems…

Oh my goodness. I can’t believe how simple this would be if ‘3’ would even take one second to inspect their services properly.

Above is a map of where I am on the left of the yellow line, and where the three transmitter site is on the right side.

April 2012 I purchased a three data contract, and was so happy the way it was working at the above address (KT160EE), I decided also at the beginning of November to also change to 3 for my mobile phone data/calls.

Shortly after around the 9th November, all data at the above location became impossibly slow. I left it about a week or so as I was away, hoping that on my return all would be resolved. It wasn’t.

I called three to report a fault and was told they would look into it. A week later and nothing. I did eventually get a call back from ‘level 2’ tech (I think) asking more questions they agreed something was wrong, and they would get back to me.

More time passed and I got a call last Thursday, this time telling me engineers had been to the site (really?) had made some changes and wanted me to test to see if it was any different. I obliged and did a speed test on my pc (which failed to even load the address I was given) and then tried on my phone which got a similar level of results as I keep getting recently.

I then decided that this path of progress was too slow, and took to twitter. I sent a message to @ThreeUKSupport and also @ThreeUK they said they would look into it…

This is where it gets a bit frustrating. Let me make VERY VERY clear the following points:

  • I get 3/5 to 4/5 ‘bars’ of signal strength on my data dongle. Its not ‘excellent’ and its certainly not ‘poor’.
  • The data service WAS working perfectly. In fact it was much better than Vodafone, it worked so well, I even decided to get a new phone and ‘3’ voice contract.
  • I am 0.8 miles line of sight from the transmitter site (with a few trees in the way) there are no new buildings and no new constructions causing me any issues.
  • I drove to the bottom of the cell site and ran some data tests there. They give exactly the same kind of response as I get from the problem location. I even put a video on youtube!!!

So with this in mind. These have been the responses I have had from@ThreeUKSupport each sentence is a different response, I have been following this up daily.

Could be a limitation of service and no actual faults.


No faults in area but area can only receive a very limited indoor signal so it’s likely it’ll vary within the property.


Hi, no faults in area but can see area’s only capable of receiving a limited indoor signal so will vary from room to room.


No faults at our end in area. Looking at the area and the signal it receives it’s to be expected to be honest as there’s only a very limited indoor coverage available.


100% no issues with mast. The area only receives a very limited indoor signal – this isn’t a fault. The area’s only capable of receiving that.


No faults or any works, just a limitation in what services are available within that area.

I’ve begun to wonder if @ThreeUKSupport is any more than a public face to prevent a PR disaster on twitter, and they have no more power of skills in checking for faults than what we do via there website. One thing for sure they don’t appear to be technically minded, or are used to talking to non technical folk. I’m not a mobile network expert, but did work for Sony/Ericsson at MWC 2012. To me at least it appears the ADSL lines that feed data to this cell site are suffering network issues, but as its such a low population density in this area, perhaps they don’t care about it…




Facebook is down!

Amazing, I wonder what everyone is doing around the world right now that it at least appears (as Google starts to pick up on the data) that its not off-line just for me in little old UK, but according to others as well.

Speaking not as a network engineer, so may be wrong, but it appears that the DNS name servers are perhaps down/corrupted.

It wasn’t an instant death of the entire service so perhaps this has propagated through DNS servers taking it entirely off line… Watch this space…



So I log in to the back end of one of my sites I manage today. Its a test site so nothing major, and I see Joomla has an update it wants me to install. No problem click here…. error message later and now the admin page is 505’ed nice…


Coldest day so far…

So playing with my new Oregon Scientific WMR 88 weather station I see that today is the coldest on ‘record’ to date!

-5.1, Sure to be beaten many times this winter, but cold enough when you have to go out in it! :)

Full on Nerd Status achieved!

Just talking to a friend over at and he mentioned to me “You’ve not pulsed for a while”. Right, now I have to explain pulsing. Firstly it begins with a program called WhatPulse this little program records how many times you press a keyboard key (not what you write) and how far (in miles!) you move your mouse. I joined this in march 2005 and have slowly been “pulsing” ever since. There is no real purpose to this other than to show how much time you waste (or not) in front of the PC. In my case its quite a lot, as globally I have achieved the following ‘status’:

Ed is in 1521st place. Ed has been a participant since 2005-03-06 (101 months ago), and in that time has typed 30,093,334 keys, clicked 6,399,275 times and moved his or her mouse for 511.52 miles. Averaging 0.12 keys and 0.03 clicks per second.

That has cost me two keyboards and mice (this one is about to fall to bits too) and clearly a lot of time. Am I proud of this, not really! But I do kind of find it interesting. Also in that time I’ve been a member of a distributed computing project whilst my computer has been idle and providing the heating required to warm my house it has been busy looking at data from pulsars with this project more here. So how much have I contributed to this project! Here are my stats:

Certificate of Computation

This certifies that


has contributed 255,669 Cobblestones of computation (220.90 quadrillion floating-point operations) to the following scientific research projects:






14 August 2010

Not too bad really, when you consider this machine is for now simply a dual AMD MP2800+ on an old TyanS2468 mobo!

In addition:

by Total Credit by Recent Average Credit
World Rank 217,312 out of 2,497,266
(91.2980 percentile)
136,841 out of 2,497,266
(94.5204 percentile)
Country United Kingdom: 9,799 5,893

So there we have it! Spare PC power being used towards the further understanding of the universe which surrounds us!



Finally! New monitors!

This has been some time coming! Until now I’ve still used a pair of old Dell CRT D1226H displays for my main pc. Madness! This 1907 technology refined somewhat, but still going well in 2012 well kind of.

See the thing was I could see how rapidly changing monitor technology was. For the last 10 years consumers have seen a total change in interfaces and screen type. I didn’t want to upgrade to something that in a few years time would be incompatible (DVI to HDMI with HDCP for example) so I held on.

These old dell CRT displays obviously use analogue RGB via VGA as the only input. There have been various implementations of RGB interfaces over the years (first invented in the 1950’s), but the 15pin sub-miniature D connector is remarkable in that in 2012 its still available yet was first on the scene in 1987. After flat screens appeared computers naturally generate a digital video signal which was then converted to analogue within the video card, and then sent as analogue to the monitor. This then needed to be converted back to digital to display the image (flat panel lcd/tft etc displays being inherently digital by design) it then made sense to create a new interface to take these conversion and de-conversion steps out, and thus DVI was invented. However cleverly DVI also had the ability to include the analogue signal within an extra set of pins in the connector, ensuring backwards compatibility where necessary.

Anyway I decided to hold of this upgrade step. Monitors with DVI were available but with decent screen resolution (bear in mind I was using 2x 1600×1200 19inch CRTs) were well out of my budget. Then a funny thing happened (sort of) this new DVI interface it turned out was insecure as far as copyright infringement went. But the ability to make bit for bit copies across it of HD movies etc and the arrival of HD content to homes worried the hell out of Hollywood. So they took the DVI interface and guided by a load of accountants as opposed to engineers (DVI is a great engineering feat of sensible design) came up with the HDMI interface. This was technically very similar to DVI except that it enabled encryption of HD video and audio between the display and source.

So this brings me to now. Standards have settled. HDMI is here to stay and v1.4 supports other ridiculous high definition future formats 4K, 8K etc, and the big one new displays are finally affordable at decent resolutions. So here I am typing this using my brand new Dell UltraSharp U2713HM. 27 inch screen boasting 2560×1440 pixel work space. I’m not going to review it, thats been done better than I ever could here. But this is one upgrade I’m very pleased with. The only downside is I may now need to turn on the radiator again in this room…


Apples new connector, why?

Why didn’t Apple just stick a mini USB port on their phones rather than create yet another proprietary hardware standard to screw everyone (customers) over, and I say this not even owning an apple device. You would think it doesn’t affect me, but it does. With this new ‘standard’, no one wins. I follow a few manufactures of automotive, marine, and home audio equipment via on-line forums/blogs etc and many of which are now and are having to explain to customers what to do and if their current hardware is compatible with the new Lightning connector. Some people don’t seem to happy about this having shelled out several hundred quid for something that is now may be useless. Take for example a family member of mine, having recently been given a new iPad and audio dock has now discovered this is incompatible with their iPhone 5… nice…

What is interesting is for nearly 4 years now, the mobile phone industry has been getting together to standardise the charge sockets of mobile devices with obvious benefits that it entails. No where was this more obvious than when working at the Olympics where everyone was able to share charges… Except the Apple devices of course… Apple even showed interest in this for a while, but it now seems that Apple knew only to well how much more money could be made on these minor accessory purchases and so were only to happy to continue the trend, at of course the expense of our pockets and the landfill sites.

Perhaps it will mean manufactures will start looking at alternative compatible products. For example Android is outselling iPhone devices currently by over 3:1. All of those devices have connectors that won’t be made redundant any time soon.

Youtube real name – ok bit slow on this one.

Visited Youtube yesterday and came across for the first time – a page asking me if I wanted to use my real name on youtube. I know their Google+ accounts must use real names, but it seemed odd they wanted you to do the same on youtube, and if you declined you had to give a reason as to why. In some ways it makes sense. Comments on Youtube are some of the most unpoliced/uncensored from any modern ‘family friendly’ site. Will real names make a real difference however I don’t really know. It does however seem that weather you want to or not, Google probably holds and is happy to make public enough information on you to have your own Google+ account ready and populated before you have even ever activated it – scary! For many the internet wont be the internet any more, but Googlenet all data supplied and carried and presented for you by Google…