Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Android phone won't save new / correct APN settings

Note: This assumes your phone has the "+" or "Add" button in the APN settings.  If your phone does not have this, look elsewhere.

Also, you obviously need to know the correct APN settings for your carrier.


If you can "Add" an APN but the settings don't get saved / don't stick:

 1.  Try putting in ONLY the APN name (i.e. Rogers" and the APN sever (i.e. rogers-core-appl1.apn) and hit SAVE.

If this test APN gets saved to your phone, then the problem isn't that the phone isn't saving the APN settings.  The problem is actually that the APN settings you are putting in are wrong and the phone / carrier / APN server is rejecting them.

2.  Pull up your test / new APN again.  You may find that many of the necessary settings have now been pre-populated.

I don't know exactly how this works.  I assume the phone queries the APN server to get them.

3.  Start changing the settings from their defaults to the recommended settings, one at a time.  After each change, hit "Save" and see if the changes stick.

It is likely that at some point in the process, the "new" APN that you created and previously saved will simply disappear from the APN list.  This indicates that the last setting you changed was somehow invalid, even if it is the "right" setting according to your carrier.

For example, Petro-Canada Mobility says to set the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) type to "None", but doing so will cause the APN profile to not save.  Creating a new APN with ONLY "rogers-core-appl1.apn" as the APN will pull the correct MVNO type (IMSI) and MVNO value (302720x98) to the phone automatically and allow the profile to be saved correctly.

"According to our system, your Google Account or one of the Play Gift Cards you submitted isn't eligible for appeal."

 Similar to this post, but a different issue.

Problem:  You can't redeem a Google Play gift card, they need "more information", which you provide.

Then Google replies with "According to our system, your Google Account or one of the Play Gift Cards you submitted isn't eligible for appeal."  Meaning you've just lost your money.

Solution: It seems there isn't one.

The most likely explanation seems to be that gift card codes are being stolen between time of purchase and time of redemption.  Meaning by the time you try and redeem it, the funds are already gone.  But nobody seems to know for sure.

Although people love to hate on Google, it is not in Google's interest to deny legitimate customers use of their bought-and-paid-for gift cards.  Consistent failure to honor would destroy that part of Google's revenue stream.

The only solution, therefore, is to not buy Google Play gift cards.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Google error "Your Play balance can only be used in Canada"

 Similar to this post, except switching to mobile data did not fix it.

 Seems many people are having similar problems.

In my specific case, my son was trying to buy Robux.  I was able to redeem his gift card using mobile data (as in this post) but when attempting the purchase all I got was "Your Play balance can only be used in Canada".

To be fair, I am using a VPN - with a Canadian ISP address.  Turning it off did not help even though I live in Canada and my DNS was correctly reported as being in Canada.  Every setting I could find said the account was in Canada.

I was able to fix the issue by switching to mobile data, downloading the Roblox app on my own phone, signing in to Roblox as him, then paying for the Robux using my own payment information.

I could theoretically have done the same thing via a web browser, except that Roblox did not allow purchase of the # of Robux he wanted via web.  (On mobile, you can buy 80 Robux; on web, there is no option for 80.) 

This solution obviously does not fix the issue of him having a "stranded" Google Play balance that he cannot redeem.  I contacted Google about this issue and they had no answer.

I get that Google is trying to crack down on scammers but this is utterly absurd.  I certainly won't be purchasing any more Google Play cards, and I highly recommend that no one else does either.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Stuck because iTunes won't let you update your billing information

I suppose this is now a Windows-only issue.


Problem:  iTunes stops at "Verification is required.  Please click Billing Information", or similar, but when you click the "Billing information" button, nothing happens.  Prevents you from buying anything.

Solution: There is something wrong with your Apple ID that needs to be updated.

The "Billing information" button is supposed to take you to a web page where you can sign in using your Apple ID, where you can view, edit and update your billing information.  However, the iTunes button doesn't always work, making it seem like iTunes itself is broken.

Most likely there is some security or billing update that needs to be completed, like 2-step verification or updating your credit card information.  Neither of these can be done in iTunes itself; they both need to be done at the Apple ID web site.

So, the solution is to:

•  Go to and sign in.

•  Check / update your security settings and billing information.

•  Restart iTunes.

You should be able to purchase things using iTunes as normal.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Etsy "Sorry, there was an error" on credit card processing

If you get this error, you can try signing back in again.

In my case, I had started to sign in, but it went wrong and I closed the sign-in pop-up dialog.  Nothing seemed wrong.

However, this left the Etsy site confused, even though I had opted to checkout as Guest.  Re-signing in using a Google account fixed the error.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Getting error "This gift card can only be redeemed in Canada" - even though you are in Canada

Note: this affects ONLY the situation where you have a gift card FROM YOUR COUNTRY and are actually IN YOUR COUNTRY.  If you want a means to redeem a foreign card, or redeem a domestic card while in another country, look elsewhere.


 This issue popped up recently on Google Play.

Location services were off, but turning them back on did not help.

What did work was turning off Wi-Fi and completing the transaction over mobile data.

This might work for other countries, I don't know.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Don't buy a Ducati Hyperstrada

I rode an older Hypermotard in Europe, and really had fun.  Probably the most fun I'd ever had on a motorcycle, to be honest.  So I naturally wanted my own.

Unfortunately, I'm too short to be in the Hypermotard club.  I was on tippy-toe the whole week in Europe, and it was not a good feeling.  I needed something shorter.

Enter the late-model Hyperstrada.  Very much like the Hypermotard, but including panniers, all Hyperstradas after 2015 are 939s, and the "low" model.  After test-sitting one I knew it was OK for me.

Don't get me wrong: this bike is fun.  Damn fun, actually.  And far more capable than I am capable of riding it.

Unfortunately, it suffers from some glaring flaws that - somehow - nobody sufficiently points out.

One is the legendary grabby clutch, a seeming constant characteristic of modern Ducatis.  That goes away once warmed up, but is irritating.  Still, no bike it perfect, and it's annoying but tolerable.

Similar is the "false neutral" issue of the transmission, which can rear up at the least opportune times.  Never an issue on any of the other bikes I have ridden, this happens infrequently enough so that might be considered an infrequent quirk, although such a loss of control is (in my mind) far too dangerous to be so easily dismissed.

Of far more day-to-day concern is the horrible throttle response on the low end.  No longer a nice linear ramp, the throttle behaves far more like an on/off switch, resulting in a terrible low-speed riding experience.  Fixing this requires an ECU remap to correct the frankly abysmal low-end tuning of the 939 engine, at considerable cost, just to make the bike properly rideable.  

Still, this issue is fixable - albeit at great cost - and might be chalked up to a combination of Ducati "personality" or - more often - blamed on the European emissions regulations.  Why Ducati engineers simply can't make the bike properly rideable within the confines of the emissions specs, however, indicates to me a lack of expertise that I quite frankly find hard to accept.  Such is, after all, arguably the primary job of their engineering staff.

However, there is one "personality" issue that I have and am finding completely unforgivable:

The bike stalls.

Now, I'm not talking about stalling on startup, or in some kind of unique weather condition, or after tens of thousands of miles.  No, this bike - when NEW - will simply stall, randomly, when you pull in the clutch to come to a stop.

Don't believe me, check here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

This is utterly and completely unacceptable.  There is NO CIRCUMSTANCE - whatsoever - where it is acceptable for a vehicle engine to simply randomly stall under normal driving conditions.  Not now, not in this day and age, nor in any other.  It simply SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. 

This is more than a simple embarrassment on how a "premium" Italian motorcycle is patently inferior to German or Japanese motorcycles.  The safety hazard here is clear and present, and surely has put more than one owner into seriously dangerous situations.  And yet it persists through all Hyperstradas of all model years and engines, as well as some Hypermotards as well.

How on God's green Earth does Ducati get away with this with hardly a peep from anyone?  The safety hazard associated with this is so obvious, yet nobody seems to raise anything more than an eyebrow.  No such issues are ever mentioned in "professional" reviews of the motorcycle, and the owner base seems to simply grin and bear it.

Most astonishingly, there appears to be no fix.  Nobody knows why this motorcycle, or it's 821cc sibling, simply randomly stalls at low speeds when the clutch is pulled in.  No one has developed a way to bump the idle up a few hundred RPM, change the mapping, nothing.  It's simply written off with a shrug as "a Ducati thing".

Some people do blame the charcoal canister,  some the ECU (needing an update), and so on.  But there is certainly no definitive fix.

Now, it seems the newer Hypermotard 950s don't have this issue - although they do / did have some issues with some kind of anti-corrosion gunk clogging up the throttle bodies.

So it seems that Ducati simply can't make their own 821/939 engines behave, and follows on with not knowing how to properly assemble the 950 engine.  So much more Italian engineering expertise.

I really wanted to love this bike, but this issue pisses me off.  With all of the improvements made in computerized engine management, a 30,000km 2001 CBR600 works better than a 3,000 km 2016 Ducati Hyperstrada.

Yes, I realize I'm probably unlucky.  Yes, I realize other owners haven't had issues.  Doesn't change my opinion much.

So, I would advise anyone looking to buy one of these: Don't.