Kerv Contactless Payment Ring Review

Well, I first saw this on Kickstarter in October 2015 and it sounded like a great idea for someone like me who travels through London every day constantly getting my card out to swipe through the gates at the train then the tube and sometimes the bus too. Estimated delivery was stated as April 2016, and well over two years later and some nagging via email it finally arrived at my door January 2018! So we had a bit of a bad start….but I have gone straight out and put it to the test and thought I would share my experience good and bad so that others can get a bit of information if they are looking at buying this product.

First Impressions – Look and Feel

I must say the packaging looked amazing and when you open it looks very smartly presented.

Kerv Smart Ring Packaging
Kerv Smart Ring Packaging
Kerv Smart Ring Inside Packaging

The ring looks nice and smart, feels smooth and weighs hardly anything.

Kerv Ring
Kerv Ring

Generally I like it and the fit was perfect as measured using the Kerv sizing chart.

Kerv Smart Ring Look and Feel On My Finger
Kerv Smart Ring Look and Feel On My Finger

Initial Setup

The box came with a set of instructions to set up your online account, associate it to your ring, then set up a virtual mastercard and add some money to get started.

Kerv Ring Instruction Leaflet
Kerv Ring Instruction Leaflet

I found it very easy and was up and running in no time. I went straight for the auto top-up feature which is a bit of a pain as the lowest value is £30 to trigger an auto top up and the lowest value you can top up with is also £30 so every time it tops up you could have £60 on there waiting to be spent. I’d prefer if it were smaller values but there you go.

First Test

So I jumped straight in and tested it on my route to work. There is a contactless reader into the train and out the other side then a reader into the tube and out the other side, I hovered it over the first reader wondering if anything was going to happen and ping, it worked! It was a little slower than I was expecting but worked none the less. The other readers it was roughly the same but the last one it came up with the dreaded “seek assistance”. I stepped back and let the other people through then took it off and put the ring directly on the reader and it worked again. This led me to think I was using it wrong, if only I had read the instructions properly!

On the way home it was pretty much the same as above, when I got back I opened the instructions and there it was….It says clearly on the instructions how to use it and I had been doing it differently like a prize turnip!

Kerv transmission ready gesture for making a payment
Kerv transmission ready gesture for making a payment

Second Test

Well, this time fully prepared I approached the first reader and this time using the correct hand gesture it picked it up really quickly similar to using an actual card on the machine. I continued all the way to and through London and back again and it picked it up on every single one no problem at all. Was very impressed.

One of the main problems I found is that (at the time of writing) you cant use it with your TFL account to see journey history, payment history or to claim a refund. They do give you a virtual MasterCard number including the CVV number but if you put that into the TFL website it doesn’t pick up the data. This is because the chip in the ring has a separate card number but unfortunately they don’t give you that number on the website or anywhere else. I contacted support on this one and they said they are working on it and will update me when they have something.

Support

Support were very responsive and helpful in general, I first had a lot of contact with them as I was a Kickstarter backer and had the long delay I mentioned, they replied every time within 24 hours and did update me on progress. I do wonder if I would ever had received the ring now if I had not contacted them.

Summary

A good device if you don’t mind wearing the ring when you are travelling and don’t like getting your card out constantly. Use it properly on the reader and it will reward you by working as designed. I have fingers crossed that they will get the device chip number sorted for integration with the TFL website but even without that its a good gadget to show off and save you time.

Technology – How to Find Out About the Windows Lock Screen Image or Spotlight Image

I had a certain image two days in a row on windows spotlight lock screen that looked like a half crescent moon like sand dune structure and wondered where it was, for reference, here is the image I was talking about:

Windows spotlight lock screen image
Windows spotlight lock screen image

Now after a bit of googling for things like “what is the big sand half crescent on the windows spotlight” and “what is the big desert structure/sculpture on the windows spotlight” with no luck I pressed CTRL+L to get back to the lock screen and investigate further. When you look at the top right of the lock screen there is an icon “like what you see?”, if you hover over it it tells you where this is:

Icon "like what you see?
Icon “like what you see?

Even better than that, if you click on the middle icon “What do we have here?” it will take you to a bing search for the building or location in question:

Icon "What do we have here?"
Icon “What do we have here?”

For those that are interested, it turns out this is actually not a “half crescent moon like sand dune structure” but in fact its the Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz, Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). An auditorium, who’d have thought it?

Samsung Galaxy S6 Headphone Sizes In-ear Fit

Samsung have tried a mixture of canal-type earphones that are inserted in the ear canal and open-type earphones. This new type are called In-ear Fit and comes with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and a few other models. When I first opened the box I put them in and wore them to work but I found they didn’t quite fit properly and were falling out a lot, also the sound wan’t great because of the way they fitted they were hanging out of the ear. When I looked into this later I saw they had L1 and R1 written on the rubber ear tip. When I looked in the box there was a second set of rubber ear tips with L2 and R2 written on them. At first glance they didn’t look too different but up close they L2 and R2 set were slightly bigger. I removed the L1 and R1 rubber parts and replaced them with the L2 and R2, although the sizes weren’t a lot different it did make a huge difference wearing them. They fitted more snugly and the sound was a lot better – Before throwing them away make sure you try the above 🙂

Windows Vista Hangs While Downloading Updates

I found a solution to my problem when Windows would search for updates, but then when it started downloading it would stay at 0% forever. I started by stopping the Windows Update service (in my case the service proved to be frozen so I restarted my computer and disabled the service before it starts) and the Application Experience service. After that I went to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and pressed ctrl+a and shift+delete to empty its contents. Mine contained more than 70,000 files so it took a while. I started Application Experience and enabled Windows Update. I let it check for updates and try to download them. It worked perfectly.
Do not worry about deleting important windows files in this case. The contents of SoftwareDistribution is used as a cache and data for Windows Update. When Windows Update starts again it rebuilds the cache repopulating it with up-to-date versions of the files and chewing up a ton of harddisk space again.

Strava Not Recording My Run or Updating

I use Strava to track my runs and bike rides which has been working great on my old Samsung Galaxy S4. I recently got a new Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and at first it was working great but a week or two ago it started playing up. I got home and it had not tracked my run, it has GPS at the start and at the end when I went to finish the tracking but nothing in the middle. Very annoying but I hoped it was just a random day when GPS signal wasn’t strong or something. Anyway the next day I went for a short run again and kept a close eye on it this time. It got GPS again at the start so I set off, a few meters down the road it was clear that the tracking wasn’t working but when I unlocked the phone it picked up GPS immediately.

Fix
Its easy to think something has broken on the phone or in the app but the above pointed towards a setting on the phone that was stopping the tracking from working. When I looked into it further it didn’t take long to see on the alert ribbon “power saving mode enabled”.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Power Saving Mode Button Menu
Samsung Galaxy S6 Power Saving Mode Button Menu

I must have accidentally pressed it when scrolling through the menu. I turned power saving mode off and tracking immediately worked again. Posting this for others who have the same frustrating issue.

WHS Mediasmart Server Add Hardrive Problems

Windows Home Server – How to Troubleshoot Mediasmart Server Add Hardrive Problems

PROBLEM:
Plugged in a 500GB esata hard drive to use a backup for my WHS data.

When I click “Add” and then “Use this hard drive to back up files that are stored on your home server”

I get the message:

“Drive partitioning and restart required. The drive does not seem to have a partition created. Please create a partition and then restart home server before trying to add the drive.”

TO SOLVE IT THE EASY WAY:
Add it as a data drive first using the WHS connector, it will format then add. As soon as this completes then remove it again using the connector.

I had to do this a couple of times as it would not let me add as a backup drive the first time I added and removed as data!

TO SOLVE IT THE HARD WAY
Remote desktop onto the server and go to “all programs”->”administrative tools”->”computer management”->”disk management”
Create a primary partition

Teamspeak 3 – Guests can’t see who is in other channels

A quick fix for server admins using teamspeak 3 when guests cant view who in channels:

To join a channel the i_channel_join_power of the server group (found in servergroup/channel/access) must me equal or higher than i_channel_needed_join_power of the channel (found in channelrights/channel/access). To view the members in channels, you have to do the same for i_channel_subscribe_power. Probably this is too low or not set for your members.