Non Phonetic alphabet

Ever get a call from s scammer or annoying telemarketer?  Don’t hang up, give them fake information.  When you need to spell something, make it harder.  Instead of “A as in Alpha, X as in X-Ray” say “A as in are, X as in xenon”.


Here’s a list of possibilities.  There are more than one option for each letter.  Hopefully they get confused and you need to elaborate.  “No, No, not ‘r’, A as in Aisle, A as in Aural.”

There are several tricks here.  One is to use homophones like Hour, Our, Are; best used together in the same word.  Some are a reference to a different thing that is non-obvious until explained like saying sleep when you mean “ZZZ”.  Another is silent letter like “Gnat”.  The most common is non-phonetic consonant combinations like “Chasm”.


  • A
    • Aisle
    • Aural
    • Aye
    • Are
  • B
    • Bee
  • C
    • Cue
    • Czar — Zar
    • Cede
    • Charisma
    • Chasm
    • Champagne
    • Chablis
    • Celery
    • Chorus
    • Chimera
  • D
    • Djibouti — Ji booty
    • Djakarta
    • Django
    • Djinn
    • Djembe — Jim Bay — a traditional drum like a large bongo
  • E
    • Eye
    • Ewe
    • Earn
    • Earl
    • Euro
    • Eight
    • Eileen
    • Eunuch
    • Euphrates
    • Eucalyptus
    • Euthanasia
  • F
    • For
    • Fizz — make a “fizzing” sound
  • G
    • Gnat
    • Gnarl
    • Gnome
    • Genre
  • H
    • Hour
    • Herb
    • Heir
    • Honor
    • Honest
    • Hors d’oeuvre
  • I
    • Isle
    • Ian
    • Illegal — Ee-Legal
  • J
    • Juan
    • Javier
    • Jalapeño
  • K
    • Know
    • Knee
    • Kneel
    • Knife
    • Knead
    • Knight
    • Potassium — chemical symbol is “K”
  • L
    • British pounds
    • Like public transport trains in Chicago
    • Listen
  • M
    • Mnemonic
    • Me
  • N
    • No
    • Nit
    • Neil
  • O
    • One
    • Our
    • Owe
    • Ouija
    • Oedipus
    • Oestrogen
  • P
    • Phlegm
    • Phonetic
    • Pneumonia
    • Pneumatic
    • Pterodactyl
    • Phlegm
    • Psalms
    • Urine — gotta go Pee
  • Q
    • Qatar — Kutar
    • Quiche — Keesh
    • Quay — Kway
  • R
    • Like a Pirate — Arrrrrrrrr!
    • Rwanda
    • Roar — make a “Roar” sound
  • S
    • Sea
    • Scent
    • Sealing
    • Sheik — Shake
  • T
    • Tsunami
    • Tsar — Zar
    • Teepee
  • U
    • Umlaut
    • Urn
    • Uvula
  • V
    • Vroom — make a “Vroom” sound
    • 5 in roman numerals
  • W
    • Why
    • Won
    • Whole
    • Write
    • Wrap
    • Wring
    • Wrinkle
    • Wrong
    • Wrestle
    • Wagner — Vagner, the German composer
  • X
    • Xenon
    • Xerxes
    • Xenophobe
    • Xylophone
    • Xiphoid process
    • Xena Warrior Princess
  • Y
    • You
    • Ypsilanti
    • Yvonne
    • Yttrium
  • Z
    • ZZZ — Pronounced “Sleep”
    • Zwieback
    • Zsa  Zsa Gabor
    • Zero

Diifa Touch Earbuds Part 2

I have used the earbuds for about 2 weeks.  Time for an update.


The earbuds pair to each other very fast, as soon as you open the lid.  Then it start talking immediately, usually I can’t get them in my ears before they start talking.

There are a few modes of operation:

  • Both earbuds on, but, only one has paired to phone
  • Both earbuds on, both have been paired to phone
  • One earbud on, earbuds have been paired to each other
  • One earbud on, earbuds have been not been paired to each other

Connection experience

The thing is when you open up and put in either one or two earbuds, its super chatty and beepy.  Annoyingly so.  It says “connected” when the left and right pair to each other, then “left channel”, “right channel” in the appropriate ear.  Then it says “second device connected” then it beeps.  Neat the first annoying after the first time.

When the phone rings, the phone sends beeps too.  Really annoying, the phone is already sending a ring tone, the too-loud beep blasts on top of the phone’s ring tone.  Do the testers not have iPhones and Android phones?  There is no need to send extra beeps.

Then, when the call connects you get another beep telling you the other person picked up.  So, you miss the initial audio from the call.  To make it extra dumb, the beep is the same beep as the phone ringing beep so you can’t actually if they answered or if it’s still ringing.

If you are already on the phone without earbuds and put in a single ear bud you are in for a real treat.  The earbuds pair to each other really fast, as soon as the cover is opened.  This is nice, but a pain if you are will be using just one earbud because it goes through this sequence:

  • “Connected”
    • Earbuds paired to each other
  • “Left channel”
  • “Right channel”
  • “Second device connected”
    • Master earbud connected to phone
  • Close the case with the other earbud in it
  • Beep twice
    • No idea why
  • “Disconnected”
    • Disconnected from other earbud

This is terrible if you are on the phone with someone.

Audio Quality

The low-end is weak.  These are earbuds so I don’t expect super low end, but I have an old LG HBS 700.  The actual ear bud hardware is smaller and has better bass.

To be fair, the wireless earbuds need to have antenna, battery, and circuitry that the LG does not.

The November 2017 delay was to put in a bigger audio driver.  If this represents the bigger driver, it’s not impressive.  I’m hoping this is the smaller one.  But I’m not fooling myself, it’s probably not going to change.

Connection Keeping

A very import thing when listening to earbuds is keeping the audio stream in sync and preventing drop outs.  There are issues.  Serious ones.

The left-right sync is pretty good, rarely is there an issue.  For music this is never noticeable as the things audio technicians do to music to make it sound bigger is to sometime slightly off-set the audio channels.

However, I listen to podcasts.  These are typically mono so a mismatch in the sync is noticeable.  Normally this means the balance seems to shift left or right.  This tends to vary now and then.

The real problem is drop out.  It happens.  Often.  It seems to be connection specific because sometimes it will drop out a lot, sometimes very rarely.  You have to reboot the earbuds and sometimes is fixes the problem.  Just like a Windows computer: “Turn is off and back on again”.

One side dropping out is not too bad to podcasts or speech.  It’s a huge thing for music!  It is impossible to ignore.  Sometimes I just have to stop listening.  This is not too often but it happens.

The strange thing is that it tends to drop out on the non-paired channel.  It seems to be affected by my movements but not the location of the phone relative to the paired channel.  It’s strange and I don’t understand why.  I’m an engineer so this baffles me.

What about Touch?

In the January update the reason for the delay was because the touch didn’t work well enough.  90% of the time.  Sure, that could be.  It seems to ignore the first touch sometimes, like it needs to wake up.  Of all the issues, this is actually the least troubling.

It is capacitive or similar.  There is no feedback when you touch it.  I suppose the previous iteration, the “Dot”, looks like it has a button that actually clicks in.  I’m not sure which is better.  Lacking the tactile feedback means that I don’t know if I inadvertently pressed it when removing the earbud to talk with someone.  I find myself bringing it up to my ear occasionally to verify.

I had to teach myself to only touch the edges when handling them.  Not a big deal.  Just took a little practice.


Yeah, they stay in.  Workouts too.  This is all good.

How about Price

On the Indiegogo page they talk up their price difference between the Touch and Apple’s AirPods.  DiiFa claim the Touch is “$89” and Apple’s is “$159”.  However, this is not the case.  The $89 was an introductory Indiegogo price that is not available anymore.  You can get them for $99 at a “50%” discount.  They make it clear, the retail price of their product is $199.

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 4.42.57 PM.png

So, their retail price is higher than Apple’s.  This is bad news for DiiFa, that’s prices too high.

The difference is in the design

On the Indiegogo page they claim “The difference is in the design” and have this comparison chart:


I’ll address each item:

  • Price
    • As previously stated, the Touch is priced at $199, that’s $40 more than Apple.
    • Win to Apple
  • True wireless pairing
    • At the Apple Store in the Mall of America I paired my phone to Apple’s AirPods.  It was amazingly easy.
    • Win to Apple
  • Touch sensor technology
    • No tactile feedback
    • meh
    • Win to Apple
  • Charging pod
    • Yes, that’s nice
    • Equals
  • World’s Smallest
    • Sure, whatever, there’s probably smaller ones but these are small
    • Win to Touch
  • Curved ergonomic tip
    • Yeah, in November 2017 DiiFa announced this critical feature was no longer a feature.  It’s anyone’s guess why DiiFa doesn’t update their Story to remove the references to the curved tip.
    • I have used Apple’s wired earbuds in the past.  I don’t like them, they don’t fit in my ear.
    • So, strangely, for my usage, Win to Touch
  • Custom sized eartips
    • This is better than Apple’s choices
    • Win to Touch
  • Other color options
    • True
    • Win to Touch
  • Bluetooth 5.0
    • Nobody cares
    • Few people have BT5 phones
    • Nobody cares
    • How does this help?
    • Nobody cares
    • Nobody gets the win
  • LDS Antenna
    • Seriously, why do they think this is a thing?
    • The specific way an antenna was engineered doesn’t matter.  A solid connection is what matters.  I have to assume the connectivity issue are because of the different antenna technology.
    • Win to Apple

Apple: 4

Touch: 4

Equals: 1

Who cares: 1

Final Thoughts

This is not a finished product.  We know that.  However, according to the limited information out of DiiFa, the button press is what they are fixing.  Not the audio or chattiness.  I would say the software needs to biggest update.  The chattiness, the beeping, the damn beeping!  Please, please, when it connects, give a short, not too loud beep.  That’s all we need.

Overall, I like them.  I haven’t tried Apple’s Air Pods except in the store for a couple minutes so can’t compare deeply but I have used Apple products for a long time.  Their products are polished.  This is not.  I hope they have MANY changes before they ship.  However, I would bet that the unfinished product I have now is the same as the finished one I will get in May or whenever they get around to it.

I would think these should cost no more than $80.  Maybe $70.


If you want to help a brother out, send Bitcoins here:


Bitcoin address

Standard 2-on-1 Eight Ball rules

2-on-1 Eight Ball is a variation on the standard 8 ball rules for three players.  Two people are on one team and the other player is alone.  This variant is also useful if the single player is better than the team or two players.  It gives an advantage to the two-person-team.

There is also an option for play when there is a missing object ball, this is useful for occasions where a ball is completely missing, damaged or if the ball was not released by the for-pay table mechanism.


  • 15 pool balls numbered 1-15
  • Two cue balls
  • Triangle rack
  • Pool table

The basic play is the same as Eight Ball including using a single cue ball.  The two-person-team takes turns taking shots.  This is different than some team based play where alternating turns are traded.  If player A from the two-person-team sinks a ball, then player B from the two-person-team gets his/her the next shot.

Once the two-person-team sinks a ball the additional cue ball is placed on the table on the head spot.  From then on, either cue ball may be used by any player.  The cue ball hit by the player is the active cue for that shot.  The other cue ball is just a dummy ball.  It may be hit first without a foul, it may be sunk without a foul.  If it is sunk, it is placed on the head spot without penalty and the current player continues their turn, even if no other object ball is sunk.  As per normal rules, if the active cue is sunk it is a scratch and the other player/team gets ball in hand.  See 7.0 of the official billiard rules.

15-ball-rackIf the single-player gets 2 balls ahead of the two-person-team the handicap is activated.  In this play both players on the two-person-team take a shot at the same time.  Each player chooses a cue ball and they count down and take their shot simultaneously.  This requires coordination to avoid unintended consequences.  Both cue balls are active so if one is sunk it is a scratch.  If both are sunk one is placed on the head spot and the other is ball-in-hand to the other player.

If either or both players sink their object ball the two-person-team continues their turn.  Only one object ball needs to be sunk to continue their turn.  When there is a single object ball other than the 8 ball left the two-person-team no longer takes simultaneous shots.

Both of the simultaneous shots must be legal shots.  Particularly, the cue must first hit an object ball from his/her group and the cue or object ball must hit a rail or the object ball must be pocketed.  See 7.3 and 7.4 of the official billiard rules.

The simultaneous shot rule stays in effect for the remainder of the game, even if the single player is no longer ahead by 2 balls.

Special rule for missing object ball:  If an object ball is missing the additional cue ball is racked with the other balls.  For the break this ball is a stand-in for the missing ball.  After the break, either cue may be used as the active cue, the other one is a stand-in for the missing ball.  This gives a slight advantage to the team that has the additional cue-ball-stand-in.  For this reason, the two-person-team can optionally pre-select that group of balls prior to breaking.

This special rule may optionally be used even if there are no missing object balls.  In this case, one of the object balls is swapped for the extra cue in the rack.