Friday, 1 September 2017

BOSE QuietComfort 35 - How to Tell You Have a Fake set of BOSE Headphones

I've had fake MicroSD cards sent to me previously when bought online - but the attention to detail in the fake BOSE QC35 headphones I recently received was amazing.

After ordering my Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-cancelling headphones off Ebay, I was surprised how slick they looked - but the positive impression did not last. Once I plugged them in and charged them up it became painfully apparent that the electronics inside them were not up to scratch:

1) They would cut out intermittently from the Bluetooth connection.
2) The noise cancellation was ineffective. I've used the QC25 headphones before and it is clear when the noise cancellation is turned on and off (thinking night and day). When noise cancellation is on, it reminds me of when people go deaf (in movies like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Dunkirk") from the concussive effects of a grenade or bomb (yes they're that good!).

I contacted Bose ( and they confirmed that they were in fact very well done fakes and they didn't exhibit most of the superficial faults that most fakes have. In particular, the "BOSE" writing on the headphones was embossed perfectly and there was no clear marks where the ear cups had been glued together. All the serial numbers on the headphones and on the box also matched. The box, plastic and packaging was also hard to fault.

The only issue was that the serial number was invalid - the number after the Z is meant to be a date.


So it seems that the most important (and most expensive components) - the internal chips and electronics - are the part you are probably paying for and the part that is hardest to reproduce accurately by the guys making the yum-cha/knock-off copies.

So the simplest way to check for a fake is to attempt to register you headphones online at:

The guy I was dealing with on Ebay even tried to negotiate the refund to 30% of the original price before I told him how it is meant to work. Make sure you demand a 100% refund including the return postage cost on a fake substandard item like this. The guys at BOSE will also help you to get a refund if needs be.

Hope this helps!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Fix - Error in lc.exe when Compiling Solution upgraded to Visual Studio 2017 RTM from Visual Studio 2015

Upgraded our product solution today to the latest Visual Studio 2017 RTM and everything seemed to work fine - until I started getting the following error in the build:

"The specified task executable "lc.exe" could not be run. The filename or extension is too long"

What is this lc.exe command and why is it running? It is used by the standard .NET licensing mechanism and is maintained by Visual Studio for information about all licensed components.

In my case, the error was occurring in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Enterprise\MSBuild\15.0\Bin\Microsoft.Common.CurrentVersion.targets" Line 2975 according to my error log.

Clearly this problem was related to the fact we are using Telerik Controls which require a licx file to compile (or so I thought).

I turned on full diagnostics in Visual Studio 2017 to help get to the bottom of the issue:

This showed the full path that was being passed to lc.exe is over 42000 characters long (!):
1> C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v10.0A\bin\NETFX 4.6.1 Tools\lc.exe /target:ESSP.ApplicationPages.dll /complist:Properties\licenses.licx /outdir:obj\Debug_SP2013\ ....[SNIP]

Several places such as on Microsoft Connect - suggested that the "solution" (pardon the pun) is just to delete the licx file (also as per I could then recompile without any build exceptions.

This issue comes about because the lc.exe executable can only handle a parameter length of 32000 characters or less - and the full path is used for all references. Needless to say this is a restrictive limitation in the licensing mechanism!

So the possible alternatives to fix this issue:
1) Remove the licx file if possible when you don't need the full licensed functionality (in my case this was fine - as we don't need design mode for the Telerik controls).
2) Reduce the length of your references by adding a shared drive or logical redirect to a shorter path e.g. c:\references instead of c:\src\DDK\product name\releases\ etc)
3) Reduce the number of references that you have in the project that has issues with lc.exe