Bob Kniaz 1944-2017

Some details for those asking about my dad’s passing

Robert John “Bob” Kniaz passed away peacefully on August 31, 2017 in Little River, South Carolina. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Laura Elizabeth Kniaz of Ocean Isle Beach, NC and his son Robert K. Kniaz of London, England.

Bob was born on August 14, 1944 to John and Mary Kniaz of Harvey, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Engineering in 1967 where he was a proud Evans Scholar. He then moved to Baltimore, working for Westinghouse and Domino Sugar while he attended the University of Maryland Law School, graduating in 1971.

After working at the US Patent Office, he joined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) where he rose to the position of Deputy General Counsel before his retirement in 2003 after 27 years of service.

He lived in La Plata, Maryland from 1979 until his move to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina in 2016. He was an avid golfer and long time member of Breton Bay Country Club in Leonardtown, Maryland where he played each Sunday morning before heart disease made it impossible.

In addition to his wife and son he is survived by his daughter-in-law Doctor Caroline Kniaz. He is also survived by his brother John Kniaz and sister Patricia Justiliano, both of Wisconsin.

His ashes were buried at St. Brendan the Navigator Church in Shallotte, North Carolina. Condolences can be sent to his widow via email, via laura at kniaz.org

Amazon Echo in the UK

No longer needed now that Amazon launched Echo here officially. Although I get better results by keeping a US model and just updating the address, so technically it’s a US model in the UK. You lose specific UK recipes for now but certain things like iHeartRadio only work on the US model. YMMV.

Devdiner has a great write up on how to quickly hack your Echo to work outside the US. For those in the UK it works perfectly once you get the address properly formatted including County. Weather and even the Uber booking seem to work flawlessly. Here’s the UK specific code I used. Follow his directions for the cURL method and replace the XXXXX’es with whatever is already there in your own settings.

{"devicePreferences":[{"deviceAccountId":"xxxxxxxxxx","deviceAddress":"10 High Street, London, London, GB","deviceAddressModel":{"city":"London","countryCode":"GB","county":"London","district":null,"houseNumber":"10","label":null,"postalCode":"WC1A 1AA","state":"London","street":"High Street"},"deviceSerialNumber":"xxxxxxx","deviceType":"xxxxxxx","firstRunCompleted":true,"notificationEarconEnabled":true,"postalCode":"WC1A 1AA","responseStyle":"CONCISE","searchCustomerId":"xxxxxxxx","temperatureScale":"FAHRENHEIT","timeZoneId":"Europe/London"}]}

Fixing Vodafone UK subway wifi

If you’re using an iPhone and have a Vodafone UK monthly subscription, there’s a special wireless network that bypasses the annoying Virgin Media login screen everytime you’re in the London Underground. Unfortunately there’s some sort of Apple issue that doesn’t let it connect directly as it asks for a username and password instead of using the SIM authentication (EAP-SIM). This config profile forces the iPhone to use the SIM to connect itself to VodafoneWiFi. Enjoy. Click here from your mobile browser and hit Install