Friday, 26 November 2021

Huge fines and a ban on default passwords in new UK law

The government has introduced new legislation to protect smart devices in people's homes from being hacked.

Recent research from consumer watchdog Which? suggested homes filled with smart devices could be exposed to more than 12,000 attacks in a single week.

Default passwords for internet-connected devices will be banned, and firms which do not comply will face huge fines.

One expert said that it was an important "first step".

Cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting products from phones and smart TVs, to home speakers and internet-connected dishwashers. Hackers who can access one vulnerable device can then go on to access entire home networks and steal personal data.

In 2017, for example, hackers stole data from a US casino via an internet-connected fish tank. There have also been reports of people accessing home webcams and speaking to family members.

And poor security on a home wi-fi router could have been behind the uploading of illegal child abuse images from a home network that led to police accusing an innocent couple of the crime.

www.bbc.co.uk


Thursday, 25 November 2021

Europe must ban Bitcoin mining to hit the 1.5C Paris climate goal

 

Faced with a sharp rise in energy consumption, Swedish authorities are calling on the European Union to ban "energy intensive" crypto mining.

Erik Thedéen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and Björn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, said cryptocurrency's rising energy usage is threatening Sweden's ability to meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Between April and August this year, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in the Nordic country rose "several hundred per cent," and now consumes the equivalent electricity of 200,000 households, Thedéen and Risinger said.

In an open letter, the directors of Sweden's top financial and environmental regulators called for an EU-wide ban on "proof of work" cryptocurrency mining, for Sweden to "halt the establishment" of new crypto mining operations and for companies that trade and invest in crypto assets to be prohibited from describing their business activities as environmentally sustainable.

The growth of crypto mining brings with it an opportunity cost, Thedéen and Risinger said, as Sweden's renewable energy is diverted away from industrial, transport and domestic uses, and into Bitcoin and other tokens.

"It is currently possible to drive a mid-size electric car 1.8 million kilometres using the same energy it takes to mine one single Bitcoin,” they said.

“This is the equivalent of forty-four laps around the globe. 900 bitcoins are mined every day. This is not a reasonable use of our renewable energy".

www.euronews.com


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Global chip shortage: Everything you need to know

Nearly every digital electronic device today is powered by semiconductors, which contain silicon and are critical for creating integrated circuits, also referred to as microchips. Cars use ICs for things like digital displays, entertainment systems and more complex features like assisted parking.

Semiconductor chips are also used in everyday appliances; they enable advances in computing, communications and applications used by nearly every industry.

Previously, computers were made of tubes and dials, which were not only fragile but required a lot of electricity. Tubes were eventually replaced by semiconductor chips, which are faster, cheaper and more efficient.

What is the global chip shortage? Since anything that needs to compute or process information contains a chip, they are extremely important in our lives. And because demand for ICs is greater than the supply, there is a global shortage of them. Read more HERE.

www.techrepublic.com


2022 Suzuki Katana first look - & it looks fab!

 

News has broken of an updated 2022 Suzuki Katana, a radical retro-inspired sportbike that harkens back to the original 1982 model. The new model receives revisions to its engine platform, electronic rider aids suite, and aesthetic details among other things.

The heart of the modern-day Katana is a 999cc inline-four engine, which is an evolution of the legendary GSX-R1000 K5 powerplant. For 2022, it follows the updates made to the new GSX-S1000, meaning it gets new intake and exhaust camshafts, valve springs, a 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system, and airbox for improved efficiency. The bonus is a claimed 2 hp increase with broader midrange power delivery. For reference, the last Katana we ran on the in-house Cycle World dyno produced 139.6 hp at 10,100 rpm and 76.3 pound-feet of torque at 9,200 rpm.

What a fantastic looking bike! That's another one to watch out for @ MCL Birmingham next month - gonna be a busy show!

www.cycleworld.com


Motorcycle Anti-Tampering: NMC rejects ‘poorly defined’ proposals

The National Motorcyclists Council has today officially responded to the Government’s consultation on 'The Future of Transport Regulatory Review – Modernising Vehicle Standards', rejecting the proposals for anti-tampering as set out in the consultation document.(here).

This consultation has already proved to be highly controversial, generating wide attention in the motorcycle world and the media, given how the wording in the consultation can be and has been interpreted by the wider public. It is worded in such a way that suggests that all types of modifications of motorcycles will be outlawed. It also goes further by proposing to outlaw the marketing, promotion and sale of ‘tampering services or products’. This appears to be an extraordinary and socially repressive approach to perceived problems which are currently not well defined in the consultation.

www.uknmc.org


Tuesday, 23 November 2021

New Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello breaks cover at the Eicma bike show, Milan

 

Moto Guzzi have released more details on the V100 Mandello, which signifies a huge step forward for the brand. Best known for their low-tech retro machines of late, the new V100 is the most technologically advanced Guzzi so far.

At the heart of the Mandello is a new 1042cc twin, which is Guzzi’s first water cooled unit and brings with it some very new (and some not so new) tech. 

What a stunner! Now I'm even more excited about our visit to the MCL Birmingham bike show - roll on December!

www.motorcyclenews.com


Monday, 22 November 2021

Reading for today: God's will or ours?


The Teacher explains our power to choose: ‘There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.’