What’s new in OneNote 2016? Nothing.


Absolutely nothing.

Sorry kids, time for a small rant. While new features appear to be continually being worked on in other Office 2016 products (judging by the annoying popups I’m always getting when I open them) as usual, there’s nothing new in OneNote 2016.

Microsoft appears to have focused its efforts in rolling out classroom features, forgetting everyone else in the corporate world.

OneNote 2016 is still as slow as a one-legged donkey trying to run a marathon, the magical cloud backing OneNote is… well… dark and stormy with a 100% chance of rain that’s not going away – with large changesets taking hours to sync at times, and it murders batteries installed in Microsoft’s flagship Surface tablet range.

Come on Microsoft; it’s 2017. If not a new feature, make it work reliably under combative conditions which exist in the real world.


Prison Architect: How to turn off staff needs

Help! The new Staff Needs feature in update-11 has completely broken by prison – and I’ve played for days trying to overcome the problems!

Does that sound like you? Yep, you’re not alone. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with just giving up, especially when the bugs are outside of your control. Here’s a simple trick to backtrack the butt hurt and disable staff needs in your Prison Architect prison.

Firstly, make a backup of your .prison file. On Windows, game files should be stored in:

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Introversion\Prison Architect\saves

If you’re using Mac, no idea, get a real computer.

Open your prison file in a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++. Towards the top of the file, find “StaffNeeds”.

Change the “true” to “false”. Save the file and load the prison again in Prison Architect.

If you want to enable it again later, follow the normal process of going through the Main Menu, Extras, Map Settings and click Enabled Staff Needs.

Start rant. I just want to add I’ve very disappointed in the efforts of Introvision on this new feature. Considering this feature was a Christmas present from the developers to players, Prison Architect simply has become a broken toy. Hope was in the air when a bug release appeared in Jan 2017, however, only one or two issues were fixed, leaving the magnitude of other issues (related to the staff needs feature) unresolved. Fair call, it was a beta build, but even their alpha builds have been less broken than this and the final update was still broken. End rant.


Prison Architect: Prisoners stuck “complaining”

Prisoners stand still, starve, cannot be interacted with while “complaining”.

I’m sure someone could make a joke about their wives here… but we won’t. I’m currently running the PC update-11f steam version of Prison Architect. I’ve noted a few prisoners standing still and starving. They also refuse to fulfil their needs.

I decided to take a look under the hood by opening the game prison save file. I found what appears to be a bug. See screenshot below:

I noticed that there were 10 instances of prisoners with a Needs Action of “Complain” where the others were “Complaining”. The pattern aligned with those prisoners that were stuck.

Firstly, please remember to take a backup before messing with your prison file. Using Notepad++ (though any text editor will do), I did a find and replace of “Complain ” with “Complaining ” which resolved it. Note: Yes, pay attention, that wasn’t an error. There is a space ( ) after “Complain ” and “Complaining “. If you don’t put the space in, every “Complaining” will become “Complaininging”.

I have logged a bug with the developer, though I doubt they’ll resolve it anytime soon, if at all. I hope this helps anyone else “stuck.”


Prison Architect: Top Tip to Relieve Congestion

Did you know: The speed at which your prison architect prisoners move around the map depends on the surface they’re walking on?

To relieve congestion on main thoroughfares (high traffic areas) ensure you take advantage of the 1.5 multiplier speed bonus on particular types of flooring. And areas where prisoners shouldn’t be could be slowed down with the 0.5 multiplier, giving your snipers extra time to shoot before escaping.

Below is an example of my prison architect prison. I was using the road surface on many critical paths around the jail. Now, prisoners arrive faster to patrol meetings, to meals, to the doctor, classes – meaning their needs are being fulfilled for seconds longer. Also, consider kitchens should use high-speed flooring so cooks can “fly” around the kitchen faster. Check out GamePressure’s comprehensive guide on surface speeds (towards the bottom).


Happy Birthday!

My birthday isn’t any time soon, but there’s always one thing I hate about it.

In the mail today I received a birthday card and coupon from a local RSL club conglomerate. I sighed. It comes every year and I never use it, and for good reasons.

Let me share it with you:

“Wishing you a very happy birthday!”

It’s not near my birthday, pretty confident they just want to spam me with their advertising as soon as possible, but ok.

“Here’s a special birthday gift to you for being a… member.”

Mmm, you know, it’s written quite sincerely. I’m impressed; looking forward to seeing what it is now. Whatever it may be, sounds like it’s going to be a real treat!

In large print on two coupons, it says “Birthday Dollars” and “$12.50.”

Oh neat, that’s pretty cool! Anything that makes the cost of living a bit more affordable is appreciated!

“Purchase two meals at [the bistro or coffee shop] and receive the lesser value meal discounted up to the maximum value of $12.50.”

Oh, so I can’t spend it at the bar? Can’t buy a beer or even a soft drink? …Okay, I guess that’s fine.

But wait, I also can’t spend it at the really expensive fine dining restaurant you also have in the club? Hmm, a discount on fine food and people sucking up to me would have been a real “special” birthday treat, but okay, sure.

So just the normal “minion” food with everyone else? That’s fine, no that’s great even, I’m excited again. Woot!

But hang on, I have to buy two meals? …But there’s only one person having their birthday?

“You must present your membership card to redeem this offer.”

Huh… I, the birthday boy, have to buy dinner for myself and guests? I’m not as cheery about my “special” treat now.

I guess I can make light of this. Honestly, your meals are so small, that sometimes I’ve dreamt about buying a second meal so I could feel full…

Yep, okay, done! Silver lining, problem solved! I’m getting two meals! Birthday treat is on that table again! WOOT!

So thinking this through… I’ll order two roast lamb dishes ($20.50 each)… that’s $41… plus $3 for extra gravy… making it $44… before I can save $12.50… while eating alone… for my birthday…

Let’s imagine for a moment, I was that desperate and wanted to take them up on that offer…

“Not valid in conjunction with any other offer.”

Wait, so now I can’t use my member discount!?

Two roast lamb dishes (now $23.50 each with no discount)… that’s $47… plus $5 (no discount) for extra gravy… making it $52… before I can save $12.50… while eating alone… for my birthday…

Alright!! Fine!

Let’s imagine for a second that I was so socially deprived, had such a yearning that could only be fulfilled in this conglomerate’s establishment: I’m desperate – a situation so bad as to be impossible to deal with.

Kinda like a meth junkie who hasn’t had a fix in 48 hours: I’m breaking into houses to steal money and getting violent. The cops are hunting me down, but I’m determined the only way they’ll catch me is in an alleyway, passed out with a needle hanging out my arm – read: that’s how desperate I’d have to be in this imaginary scenario as to accept this “special” offer…

Alright… this Saturday night… I’ll get all dressed up… go out to the club and make a night of it!

I’ll spend $52 minus $12.50 on food, there will be so much food and for the first time I’d be so full! But I’d save $12.50, so I don’t care!

I’ll buy my own drinks even! And you know what, it’s my fucking “special” birthday treat – so I’ll sing at the karaoke, dance to the music, play the pokies and Keno too.


“Offer valid Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only.”

Get fucked arseholes. Perhaps even by jamming your pointless advertising.

Human Relations

19 Practices That Build Trust

  1. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  2. Make decisions based on core values and principles rather than expediency or short term fixes which do not ensure.
  3. Treat all people with courtesy, sincerity and respect, regardless of their status.
  4. Care about people, their well-being and be empathetic regardless of context.
  5. Avoid using people as instruments or stepping-stones for self-advancement.
  6. Be prepared to be vulnerable, willing to admit your own limitations and mistakes.
  7. Be accountable and assume responsibility for your decisions and actions. Be more concerned about your own accountability than your “rights.”
  8. Admit to and apologise for your mistakes.
  9. Be courageous – confront and take corrective actions when there is a problem.
  10. Under-promise and over-deliver.
  11. Always follow through on your promises, no matter how insignificant.
  12. Always clarify and qualify your promises to make sure that you don’t set up unrealistic or erroneous expectations.
  13. Take great care to maintain and nurture working relationships.
  14. Exercise self-control, and remember that an unkind word spoken in anger can cause irreparable damage to a relationship.
  15. Whenever a misunderstanding occurs, clear it up as soon as possible.
  16. Give honest but constructive feedback.
  17. Trust people first until they prove themselves untrustworthy.
  18. Communicate openly and honestly, and explain your decisions.
  19. Earn people’s trust by building a reputation for being competent and trustworthy.

Source: Schuman, S 2006, “Creating a Culture of Collaboration”, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA

The willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party (Mayer et al., 1995).

Source: Roger C. Mayer, James H. Davis, F. David Schoorman, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), pp. 712


Before Nick Muzin worked in politics…

Wow Nick Muzin, Director of Coalitions for the House Republican Conference, how embarrassing it must be for you to have your name and face associated with a statement like this?
Nick Muzin selfish polotician
Nicolas Muzin points out essential health care rights to the poor and disadvantaged citizens of the US are related to confirmed cases of Ebola in the USA. Is it even possible a more ignorant statement could be made?
Allow me to to counter with “Before Nick Muzin started his political career, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S.” Fact!
I cannot help but shake my head in disgust and ponder is the world as fucked up as it is because of selfish, misleading liars like this arsehole are in positions of influence.
Muzin later removed the post, adding “Earlier tweet was a bad joke, my sarcasm did not translate well online. Deleted.”
  • No Nick, it is not appropriate to make light of a volunteer doctor at ground zero of a significant deadly virus epidemic (for which we have no known cure for yet).
  • No Nick, Ebola virus disease’s 48% survival rate is not a subject for comedy or satire.
  • No Nick, you cannot possibly imagine the sight, smell, torment and ravishing impact Ebola is having on third world countries (which I doubt you could find on a map if you tried).
  • Yes Nick, I realise you have a MD. Perhaps you could do something useful like shut your face and go volunteer when people like you are needed – don’t worry, there’s no “Obamacare” over there, so you’ll be fine.
Human Relations

How to get out of a speeding ticket

This post is going to cover some things you can do to brighten your situation, improve your presentation and increase your chances of you getting out of an infringement notice courtesy of your booking officer.

NSW Police Car TechnologyTo be clear, these points are intended to improve your odds of getting off lightly. You’re going to need to employ your own tact, professionalism and sense of fairness.

Setting the Scene

Before we get started, you need to know:

  • The police / highway patrol officers have a job to do.
  • There are aspects of their job that they enjoy and some they do not.
  • Do you hate office politics? Well consider working for actual politicians. It doesn’t get much worse.
  • Their job requires them to enforce laws that they themselves don’t always agree with – but it’s their job regardless.
  • If you did not do your job, you’d be reprimanded or fired right?
  • Do you love everything about your job?
  • Was there anything you used to enjoy but now hate in your role?
  • These guys and girls in uniforms are human too. They’re just like you and I.
  • In our society, the movies teach us that the bad guys go to jail, we enjoy watching the rich fail and the famous “get what they deserve.”
  • You are being examined through these same eyes – your goal is to show the Officer that you are not the bad guy, you are not another big-shot that needs to learn their place and that you have earned their mercy and not their punishment.
  • Consider now that you are a human being that has this terrible job:
    • You are responsible for responding to heartbreaking tragedies.
    • First to motor vehicle accidents, seeing mangled bodies and the wrenching smell of perforated intestines.
    • You attend court hearing to give evidence only to be branded a liar by the defence attorney to better his client’s case.
    • You are given the job of telling mothers and fathers that their children are dead.
    • You’re the closest car to a domestic call out. You’ve been to this address many times before and were powerless to intervene. As you investigate, you realise the “wife-beating husband” was knifed by his wife after he threatened to hurt their daughter… you have to now arrest her.
    • Standing in the shower each morning, thinking over rumours of a colleague shooting herself with her own service weapon to end it all.
    • The wailing and screams ring in your ears at night when you’re trying to sleep.
    • Friends treat you differently and change topics when you join the group.
    • Some how being a part of society, yet above it leaves you feeling like an outsider.
    • People go out of their way to suck up to you.
    • All you want is some true and genuine human communication, someone who doesn’t want something, someone who can see you’re having a bad day.

Next time you get pulled over, consider that the Officer you were going to yell at, might be going through the above.

NSW Police iPad Minis


  • Never ever lose your composure, get upset, curse or swear. Do not antagonise, belittle, mock or discriminate. If you do any of these things – you are not making it easy for the Officer to do you a favour. Show them how you are an upstanding citizen of society. Speak politely, show the utmost respect and courtsey.
  • Greet them warmly and pleasantly when they approach your vehicle. “Good morning!” and include a huge smile. Think of something really funny if it helps.
  • Avoid keeping them waiting, have your window down, ignition off, any papers ready and drivers license handy. Do not get out of the vehicle unless instructed – it comes off as threatening.
  • If you’ve requested to do something (such as step out of the car) respond positively acknowledging the request “Yes of course, right away, Sir”.
  • Do not insult their intelligence by lying or attempting to mislead them. If they ask you “do you know why I pulled you over?” or “is there a reason you did an illegal u-turn back there?” – accept onto yourself all of the blame and responsibility. Be an adult, admit willingly and openly that you did the wrong thing. “No… there is no good reason Officer, it was extremely stupid and careless of me. Yes, you are right, I should have paid more attention.”
  • If you can see their rank on their badge, include it once or twice while speaking to them. “Now you put it like that Sergeant, I can see where you are coming from. You are right.” for example.
  • Allow them to speak until they have nothing left to say. Make eye contact. Nod to show you understand. Do not interrupt them while speaking. Do not argue. Do not ever argue. You must listen to them completely. Conceed to their point.
  • Assuming they are not-dodgy cops (note 97% of them are good people), it is extremely likely they have clear evidence of you doing what they allege you did. Police vehicles are fitted with cameras facing numerous directions, automatic plate scanners, automatic speed detection and other cool tech. Therefore before you go telling them they have the wrong person or their equipment is faulty, before you go questioning their integrity or professionalism, consider carefully if anything you spurt out is going to help motivate them to let you go.
  • If you’re dealing with an Police officer with ego – don’t let him or her take the pleasure of lecturing you. “You caught me fair and square. I suppose you’re going to throw the book at me? I may even lose my license. I feel like such a fool. But here we are, now I’m going to get what I deserve for being so impatient.” If you’re lucky, you are taking the wind out of their sails. The only remaining way for them to expand their ego is to show you mercy and let you go.

NSW Police Car Technology

Some final important points

  • An infringement notice can be withdrawn or re-issued at any time up until you and they go separate ways. Regardless of the outcome, maintain your composure, be consistent. If you break into disrespecting scolding and yelling at them – it only reinforces “they were right” to give you the fine.
  • Before you let them leave – stop them. “Oh Officer, one more thing…” Once again, regardless of the outcome, you owe them your honest appreciation for being an awesome fellow human-being and also for the extremely difficult job they choose to put themselves through every day. Tell them that!
  • “Oh Officer, one more thing… Before you leave I just wanted to express my honest appreciation for all the work you have done and will do in the future. I understand that it isn’t always easy and you are often in difficult positions where you have to make tough decisions. But you keep coming into work again the next day. I am not trying to change your mind… I only wanted to remind you that myself and others thank you from the bottom of our hearts and have our eternal gratitude. Thank you once again.”

Punkbuster 89335 Error Code Hell

ERROR Game disconnected: you were kicked by PunkBuster. Stated reason: PunkBuster kicked player 'Lostagent2' (for 0 minutes) ... RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver [89335]I’ve recently had some trouble with PunkBuster kicking me from Battlefield 4 after about 1.5 continuous rounds. Below is my error:

Game disconnected: you were kicked by PunkBuster. Stated reason: PunkBuster kicked player ‘Lostagent2’ (for 0 minutes) … RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver [89335]

In utter frustration I had tried all of the following:

  • Ignoring it and trying again
  • Complaining loudly
  • Google searching the error message (no results matching the error code)
  • Updated by graphics card drivers, rebooted
  • Upgraded the Origin client to the beta version in case it was out of date (somehow?), rebooted
  • Updated Punkbuster
  • Uninstalled Punkbuster
  • Installed Punkbuster
  • Uninstalled Punkbuster, rebooted
  • Installed Punkbuster, rebooted
  • Contacted EA support
    • Attempted to email EA support about a Punkbuster issue but their contact form for email doesn’t allow you to submit at the time of writing.
    • Contacted EA support via live chat
      • Waited 55 minutes to talk to someone
      • Connected to an agent. Emailed my problem and provided comprehensive logs. Was told I came to the wrong queue and was transferred.
      • Waited
      • Connected to an agent. Emailed my problem and provided comprehensive logs. Was told I came to the wrong queue AGAIN and was transferred.
      • Waited
      • Connected to an agent. Realised I had been transferred back to the first guy. Explained the problem to him again to which he replied “Oh that’s sad” – very helpful thank you…
      • He ran me through his usual troubleshooting script:
        • Checking the Windows firewall
        • Making an exception
        • Reinstalling Punkbuster (again, for the 4th time that night)
        • Updating Punkbuster (again)
        • We found that PnkBstrB was not installed, so we installed it. When I ran the test services in the wizard I saw the test process stop it and leave it stopped – so I assume it wasn’t necessary. Anyway.
      • I was told “Restart the game and origin and see if it works now”. I didn’t trust that it would be that simple though, so I asked him “can I stay on this chat?” to which he agreed.
      • I played 1.3 rounds of BF4 when he decided “I am sure the game is working now.” I insisted I had not yet proven that but he was keen to go.
      • Less than 5 minutes later, I was kicked from the game by Punkbuster. Problem not resolved.
      • Tried to join live chat again but queue time was > 1hr.
    • Contacted (Punkbuster) via a support request
    • Uninstalled Battlefield 4 from my computer, uninstalled Origin client
    • Kicked off a fresh install of BF4 and went to bed
    • Installed updates, played a game, 1.5 games later was kicked by Punkbuster.

As you can see, I went through a lot of time and frustration. Something miraculous finally happened though.

A whole 21 hours later I got this reply from EvenBalance support containing exactly the information I was after.

This kick is usually caused by one of the following programs running. Disabling them should stop the kick.

Auto Hot Key
Memory Cleaner
Ad Munch
Black Glass Enhanced

If you do not have any of these programs running, open this ticket back up and state what you do have running, especially anything that might be similar to the above.

Bingo! Weeks ago I had searched Google for a solution to quickly switch between my PC sound output (speakers and headset). In Windows 8.1, to change the playback output device, right mouse click on the sound icon, click Playback devices and change the default device and then the default communication device. Because I do this so often I looked to automate it. I found this solution recommend Auto Hot Key and a little script that mapped F6 and F7 to the switching function.

Anyone who knows me well can confirm that I hate people and the concepts of lying, cheating, deceiving and misleading. For this reason, it never crossed my mind at all that Auto Hot Key might be used to macro behaviour maliciously in Battlefield 4. I’ve since gone back to manually switching and uninstalled Auto Hot Key.


Explaining to Emily the Overlooked Intention of “They”

I have a friend, a good friend who I have known for years. It saddens me that she is sick and that the funny, caring and amazingly good natured character of her will only be a memory – sooner than it could have, would have been.

Yet she knows how to piss me off if she wants to! Yet with great exertion on her behalf, she simultaneously, both constrains herself and tolerates my fickle self. But then she’ll say or share something carelessly that enrages me.

Life is already too short without illness added so early in life.

I am a smoker.
I am a smoker (read: I am an idiot).

I could not help but to retort at the obvious oversight of the message.

They don’t want to stick images on packs, Emily… They want you to consider the extreme damage smoking does to your health, children, friends and family. But most of all they want you to stop.

You were raised in an era that had all the facts, figures and evidence. In fact they made it a part of your school curriculum, they made sure you were educated – yet you made and continue to make the decision to smoke and mock those around you, who actually care about you.

They want you to consider how impressionable children are, whom do not yet know any better. They know some of those children will grow up after seeing you smoking and assume it is okay. They know those children will form attitudes contrary to the evidence that is so plainly and gruesomely staring at them on a packet of death sticks – because Emily did.

They want you to realise how much better your life would be and how much potential you have. They want you to wealthy and wise – invest in yourself and family – not in a multibillion dollar global industry whose only goal is to lie to you, take your money and kill you.

They want you to realise that you are shortening your life – which is of course your “right” – but that you will be depriving your loving family, children and friends of precious days, weeks, months or years with you that can never be replaced. As we who hold your pale limp hand in a hospital bed when the silence comes to grace you, they know we’ll be wishing for more time…

So yes, you bet damn right. No I am not copying this ignorant piece of shit onto my wall to aid in the continued and senseless brainwashing of more idiots on a mass media network that carelessly facilitates it to be acceptable!

I’ll however post it on my blog aside thoughts nobody else will ever read.