29 July 2016

Win Wickham Festival tickets - with SAM FM!

Win tickets to the Wickham Festival taking place from 4th - 7th August off Blind Lane.

Sam FM will be there to enjoy live music from The Stranglers, The SAS Band featuring Toyah and Roger Taylor from Queen, Lindisfarne and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

It's a fun filled weekend for the whole family in the Hampshire countryside with activities including a solar powered cinema, storytelling and a laser arena.

27 July 2016

The Internet Of Things (IOT)

The Internet of Things (IOT) refers to everyday items (not just PCs, phones, tablets, etc) which are connected to & controlled through a network - typically an Internet connection.

What sort of things? Webcams, fridges, home thermostats, lightbulbs, washing machines, cars, door locks, toasters, etc...

In some cases, it's easy to see why this is useful. For example: checking on building security - remotely, via a Webcam. In other cases I'm not sure what the actual benefit could be. Why would you want one of these: Washing MachineFridgeLightbulb?

Now technology is generally great & can be fun, helpful, a productivity boon, or a real time-saver if used appropriately.
However, sometimes I wonder if manufacturers actually stop, take a step back, & say, "are we actually improving product X here, or just building in extra cost, obsolescence, & security vulnerabilities?".

Here are some examples of how not to do the IoT:

Refurbished laptops & desktop PCs - for sale.

Donline has a limited number of refurbished laptop & desktop PCs in stock.
These are fully checked and are a great alternative to buying a new PC.
Contact Donline for further details!

Only 2 days left to upgrade to Windows 10 for free...

On Friday 29 July, Windows 10 will cease to be a free upgrade. 
Anyone wanting to upgrade after that will need a boxed copy, priced £99 for the Home edition and £190 for the Pro version, so it’s definitely worth making the switch if you haven’t got around to it yet.

26 July 2016

Natwest and RBS may charge firms to hold deposits

Good morning customer, how may we help you?

a) You'd like to BORROW some money?
Certainly, here are our charges.

b) You'd like to DEPOSIT some money?
Certainly, here are our charges.

A huge portion of cake & eat it syndrome...

25 July 2016

Calli on Old Winchester Hill. Sunday 24/07/2016

Kim & I took Calli for a great walk up on "Old Winchester Hill".

If you don't know where that is, here it is on: Google Maps - a great place to walk.
Truly fantastic views! Its a SSI with an impressive history.

Ended up with a lovely pint at a really nice pub: The George and Falcon, Warnford.
Calli wasn't especially keen on the balsamic vinegar crisps, but she scoffed a few anyway!

22 July 2016

Free Windows 10 upgrade? There's only one week left!

If you are thinking of taking advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer - don't leave the decision to "press the button" too much longer!

There's only one week left before Microsoft stops the free upgrade offer: on 29th July 2016.

21 July 2016

Which is more expensive: Printer Ink or Vintage Champagne?


I've just run out of ink in my (great) Canon Pixma MG6350 MFD Printer.
As I went to change the ink tanks, I wondered how much ink was in a tank?
How much does that ink cost per ml?
How does that compare to, say, high end Champagne?

New: 20 grams
Empty: 14 grams
Therefore 6 grams of ink in a new tank.
Ink RRP = £19.05
£19.05 / 6ml = £3.175 per ml of ink(!!!)

1500ml Magnum bottle (equivalent of two standard bottles)
RRP = £1,499.98
£1,499.98 / 1500ml = £1 per ml of Champagne.

To put it another way: the ink costs just under £16 per teaspoon full!

Caveat: the maths might not work out quite as above! Pure water weighs 1 gram per millilitre. I suppose that ink & champagne don't weigh the same as water, but probably/maybe not too far off... Anyway, makes you think!

Nearly six million fraud and cyber crimes last year

Almost six million fraud and cyber crimes were committed last year in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics has said.

It estimated there were two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million fraud offences in the 12 months to the end of March - suggesting fraud is the most common type of crime.

Users of iPhones and Macs must update to avoid Stagefright-like bug

Earlier this week, Apple released patches for numerous security holes in its OS X and iOS operating systems, including five vulnerabilities that bear a chilling resemblance to Stagefright.

Just as with Stagefright, which haunted Android users, the attack works because of exploitable bugs in how Apple iPhones and Macs process image files to render a thumbnail. Vulnerabilities in that thumbnail rendering code can be exploited by a maliciously-crafted image file (including BMP and TIFF format files) to achieve remote code execution on the targeted device.

The good news is that Apple issued fixes for the problem earlier this week. If you have already updated your systems to iOS 9.3.3, tvOS 9.2.2, watchOS 2.2.2, and El Capitan v10.11.6 then you have done the right thing.

20 July 2016

Dogs die in hot cars

Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day.
If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.

Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

19 July 2016

18 July 2016

When and why was Saul’s name changed to Paul?

Paul the Apostle was originally known as Saul of Tarsus. He was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to the mid-50s, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

At some point, Saul became known as Paul. How & when did this happen?
Click the links to find out!

14 July 2016

Microsoft OneDrive - Cloud Storage

Get to your files from anywhere, on any device, with Microsoft OneDrive.
Share and work together with anyone in your work and life.
Work together and share files and photos.
Collaborate with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote - from your desktop, mobile device, and the web.

13 July 2016

The free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends soon: 29th July 2016.

If you are thinking of taking advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer - don't leave the decision to "press the button" too much longer!
There's about two weeks left before Microsoft stop the free upgrade offer: on 29th July 2016.
After at that point you will have to pay Microsoft (probably around £100) if you then decide to upgrade...

Be a street child's superhero! Chance for Childhood.

With your help, Chance for Childhood helps to protect street children and transform their lives. 
Become a superhero for street children by donating at https://chanceforchildhood.org/donate

11 July 2016

Kawasaki H2R Track Test: The Bike Show

Set to be the pinnacle of motorcycle performance, the Ninja H2R is a supercharged motorcycle masterpiece. Created with cooperation from across the engineering and technology scope of Kawasaki heavy industries, the Ninja H2R matches cutting-edge engine, performance, the highest quality chassis dynamics and a host of craftsmanship details to create a new two-wheel icon. (Spoiler: 326bhp!!! Kawasaki, are you mad?)

The Secret Life of Pets: Trailer

The humans behind ‘Despicable Me’ take it upon themselves to reveal ‘The Secret Life Of Pets’ and show us what our animals get up to when we leave the house.

Max is Katie’s terrier, and lives a pampered life as her favourite pet. But Max’s world is turned upside down when she brings home a sloppy mongrel called Duke, and he has to accept that he’s not the only dog in her world any more.
Featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart and Lake Bell, come and learn about ‘The Secret Life Of Pets’. You’ll never look at your dog the same way again. 

Symantec and Norton Security Products Contain Critical Vulnerabilities

"Symantec and Norton branded antivirus products contain multiple vulnerabilities.

Some of these products are in widespread use throughout government and industry.

Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system."

08 July 2016

Petition to allow motorcycles to use ALL bus lanes.

Bikes take up less space than most other road users and therefore aren't seen as readily and are at greater risk of personal injury.
We are legally allowed to filter past the queuing traffic and get to the front, this way would help make it even safer without affecting the buses and taxis.

06 July 2016

The Chaucer Pubbe Gagge - Bill Bailey

Three fellowes wenten into a pubbe,
And gleefullye their handes did rubbe,
In expectatione of revelrie,
For 'twas the houre that is happye.
Greate botelles of wine did they quaffe,
And hadde a reallye good laffe.
'Til drunkennesse held fulle dominione,
For 'twas two for the price of one.
Yet after wine and meade and sac,
Man must have a massive snacke,
Great pasties from Cornwalle!
Scottishe eggs round like a balle!
Great hammes, quaile, ducke and geese!
They suck'd the bones and drank the grease!
(One fellowe stood all pale and wanne,
For he was vegetarianne)
Yet man knoweth that gluttonie,
Stoketh the fyre of lecherie,
Upon three young wenches rounde and slye,
The fellowes cast a wanton eye.
One did approach, with drunkenne winke:
"'Ello darlin', you fancy a drink?",
Soon they caught them on their knee,
'Twas like some grislye puppettrie!
Such was the lewdness and debaucherie -
'Twas like a sketche by Dick Emery!
(Except that Dick Emery is not yet borne -
So such comparisonne may not be drawne).
But then the fellowes began to pale,
For quaile are not the friende of ale!
And in their bellyes much confusione!
From their throats vile extrusione!
Stinking foule corruptionne!
Came spewinge forth from droolinge lippes,
The fetide stenche did fille the pubbe,
'Twas the very arse of Beelzebubbe!
Thrown they were, from the Horne And Trumpette,
In the street, no coyne, no strumpette.
Homeward bounde, must quicklie go,
To that ende - a donkey stole!
Their handes all with vomit greased,
The donkey was not pleased,
And threw them into a ditche of shite!
They all agreed: "What a brillant night!"

Huawei learns photo meta-data can bite you in the bum

Huawei would like you to buy its P9 Android smartphone: "We managed to catch a beautiful sunrise with Deliciously Ella. The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure"...

However the image's metadata revealed that the photograph wasn't taken by a Huawei P9 smartphone. Instead, it seems the photo was taken by a Canon 5D Mk. III with a rather tasty lens. Total cost? $4500.

A.D. Kingdom And Empire [DVD]

This is a fantastic & really engaging series, mainly based on the Book of Acts
The series begins with Jesus' Crucifixion & Resurrection, & covers the birth of the Christian Church.
Great screenplay and acting. Highly recommended.

All twelve episodes of the miniseries sequel to 'The Bible' (2013). Beginning with the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the series follows the impact that his death has on his disciples and shows how they struggle to carry on their leader's work. 

04 July 2016

Today's Reading: On freedom (and predestination)

It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.

Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.

By C.S.Lewis
From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

ACU National Road Rally 2016.

Over Saturday & Sunday: Dave, Dave & Don did The ACU National Road Rally.

This involved riding our bikes an alleged 540 miles through 23 checkpoints - against the clock. IMPORTANT: this isn't a race, it's a rally. Big difference. A challenge of man & machine.

Two very important ingredients required: stamina and vast amounts of coffee!!! Must be mad!

Pleased to say that we made it all the way round & actually arrived at the final checkpoint just before 7am - an hour ahead of schedule. 

Here is a list of control points, etc detailing the route.

03 July 2016

Beaulieu: Simply Bikes. 10 July 2016. 10:00am - 6:00pm

All Motorcyclists are invited to ride into Beaulieu and park up within the museum complex for what promises to be a superb day out for both motorcycle owners and enthusiasts.

Enjoy a ride through the beautiful New Forest, voted by keepbritainbiking.com as one of "Britain's Top 10 Biking Spots", to join bikers on cruisers, vintage, sportsbikes and others straight from the showroom floor.

All participants have the opportunity to be chosen as the winner of the People’s Choice Award, selected by public vote. The winner will receive the Beaulieu Simply Bikes trophy.

ADVANCE TICKET HOLDERS: receive a free bacon roll at the Brabazon* with your advance ticket purchase.

01 July 2016

Why antivirus programs have become the problem, not the solution

Staggeringly poor programming and security practices have made antivirus programs a gaping security hole in millions of computers.

Security software necessarily requires high access privileges to operate effectively, though when it is itself insecure or otherwise malfunctioning, it becomes a much higher liability due to the extent to which it has control over the system. These software issues, combined with logistical and political problems in the antivirus industry itself, are making users less secure.

2016 Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph's Thruxton cafe racer was always a good looking bike but just a bit disappointing to ride. 

Now, there's a new one and things are looking up...