31 March 2017

It's World Backup Day!

DON'T BE AN APRIL FOOL: Be prepared. Back up your files on March 31st.

A backup is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents and emails.

Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe.

What do I need to do a Backup?
1) Something to backup to: a quality hard drive.
2) Instructions: contact Donline.

The four top Scams on Facebook

Scammers just love Facebook! It allows them to quickly and cheaply reach huge numbers of potential victims. 

Facebook is completely free, very easy to use, and accessible to people at all levels of Internet savviness. 

So, alas, there is a never ending supply of naive and inexperienced users that Facebook scammers can target at will.

Here is a summary of four scams that target Facebook users around the world every hour of every day.  

Read the complete article at www.hoax-slayer.net

30 March 2017

The wine detective battling counterfeiters

Philip Moulin intently studies the label on a bottle of expensive wine with a magnifying glass.

He then shines a blue ultraviolet light at the bottle, before picking it up and weighing it in his hands. "Counterfeit bottles can often be much lighter," he says.

Mr Moulin is standing at his workbench at the main warehouse of UK wine merchant Berry Brothers & Rudd (BBR).

A cavernous facility in the Hampshire town of Basingstoke, more than 2.7 million bottles of wine are stored there at a constant 12C, stretching from floor to ceiling in endless rows.

A great article for wine lovers, possibly at a somewhat higher end than would usually be quaffed by yours truly! 
Read more at www.bbc.co.uk

GetSafeOnline & ActionFraud - be aware of the risks of online activity

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.

Our website is a unique resource providing practical advice on how to protect yourself, your computers and mobiles device and your business against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online. It contains guidance on many other related subjects too – including performing backups and how to avoid theft or loss of your computer, smartphone or tablet. Every conceivable topic is included on the site – including safe online shopping, gaming and dating … so now you really can stay safe with everything you do online.

ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.
We provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and cyber crime.
The easiest way to report fraud and cyber crime is by using our online reporting tool.

Google Calendar App is now available for iPad

Whether you’re jumping from meeting to meeting or on your way to meet a customer—your calendar needs to work for you...anywhere, anytime.

That’s why today, Google Calendar is now available for the iPad.

With the new app, you’ll get all the Calendar features you know and love, now optimized for iPad. 

Download the Calendar app for iPad today. Stay tuned for more updates, like a Today View Widget to easily see your upcoming events in the Notification Center and on the lock screen (coming soon!).

29 March 2017

On privacy: watch what happens the the USA, could happen here too...

The US House of Representatives has just approved a "congressional disapproval" vote of privacy rules, which gives ISPs the right to sell internet history to the highest bidder.
This follows the same vote in the Senate last week. Just prior to the vote, a White House spokesman said the president supported the bill, meaning that the decision will soon become law.

This approval means that whoever you pay to provide you with internet access – Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, etc – will be able to sell everything they know about your use of the internet to third parties without requiring your approval and without even informing you.

Your ISP already knows quite a lot about you: your name and address, quite possibly your age, and a host of other personally identifiable information such as your social security number. That's on the customer information side. On the service side, they know which websites you visit, when, and how often.

That information can be used to build a very detailed picture of who you are: what your political and sexual leanings are; whether you have kids; when you are at home; whether you have any medical conditions; and so on – a thousand different data points that, if they have sufficient value to companies willing to pay for them, will soon be traded without your knowledge.

This article applies to USA. Be aware this could also happen in the UK.

Why the Honda Grom makes so much sense

There’s no inherent malice or preconceived notions when it comes to Groms. If your grandma sees a leather-clad Harley rider, she might think he’s some sort of scofflaw, out to rape and pillage. If she sees a would-be Power Ranger on a sportbike, she might think he’s off to do wheelies in traffic and get in police chases. But a man on a Grom? She’ll just laugh at him, and tell him to be careful.

There’s something to be said for riding something with absolutely no pretensions of grandeur. Everyone else is faster or has a better pedigree. But it simply doesn’t matter. The only objective of the Grom is to be fun. Not fast, not loud, not well handling, just fun.

Oh sure, you can bolt on everything from Ohlins suspension, to Akrapovic exhausts, to full turbo kits, but that almost makes it funnier. It’s like throwing racing slicks and a big wing on a Smart Fortwo. Utterly pointless, but in the best way possible.

Over the years, I've ridden all sorts of bikes from mopeds up to sportbikes. My bike is a V4 1200cc adventure bike producing 134BHP. Kim's Grom is a single cylinder 125cc producing 9BHP. However... I've said it once, I've said it a million times: you will have more fun on a Grom than in any car or pretty much any bike. It's a fabulous creation. Try it, you'll buy it!

28 March 2017

Johnny Depp will play John McAfee in an upcoming biopic

If you were given the option of who would play you in the movie version of your life, Johnny Depp would often seem an optimistic choice. Not for John McAfee, though, if a recent report is to be believed.

According to Deadline, the Pirates Of The Caribbean star will play McAfee "as he takes a... magazine writer on a darkly comic Apocalypse Now-like tour at his Belize compound, a trip filled with paranoia, machine guns, sex and murder".

Details are sketchy at present, but the film – that allegedly has the working title "King Of The Jungle" – will apparently be based on the notorious episode in which the tech mogul and one-time presidential candidate went on the run from Belizean police in an unbelievable incident involving meth labs, alleged police frame-ups and the murder of McAfee's neighbour.

The story of John McAfee is well-known in the tech world. After selling his cybersecurity company for a princely sum, he moved to Belize in 2008 & led what could safely be called a colourful life!

Today's reading: Living life as a continued sacrifice to God

"The death of Jesus Christ has turned our whole lives into one continued sacrifice—whether we eat or drink, whether we pray to God, or do any thing to man, it must all be done out of a love for and knowledge of him who died and rose again, to render all, even our most ordinary deeds, acceptable in the sight of God.

"If we live by this principle, if Christ is the Alpha and Omega of all our actions, then our lowliest actions are acceptable sacrifices; but if this principle is lacking in our lives, our most pompous services avail nothing: we are nothing but a spiritual idolater; we sacrifice to our own gain and make an idol of ourselves. We make ourselves, and not Christ, the end of our actions: and therefore such actions are so far from being acceptable by God, that according to the language of one of the Articles of our Church, 'We doubt not but they have the nature of sin, because they spring not from an experimental faith in and knowledge of Jesus Christ.'"

27 March 2017

Had your account hacked? Been Pwned? Check here...

Have you been pwned?

It’s not unusual to find email accounts for sale on the dark web, but up to one million email accounts with decrypted passwords have recently been discovered.

You can check whether your email address has been breached by going to the following web site: https://haveibeenpwned.com/.
Simply enter your email address and find out whether your account has been compromised or not.

Another IOT fail: Miele dishwasher has web server bug. Yes you did read that right!

Don't say you weren't warned: Miele went full Internet-of-Things with a dishwasher, gave it a web server and now finds itself on the wrong end of a bug report and it's accused of ignoring.

The utterly predictable bug report at Full Disclosure details CVE-2017-7240, “Miele Professional PG 8528 - Web Server Directory Traversal”.

“The corresponding embedded Web server 'PST10 WebServer' typically listens to port 80 and is prone to a directory traversal attack, therefore an unauthenticated attacker may be able to exploit this issue to access sensitive information to aide in subsequent attacks.”

Directory traversal attacks let miscreants access directories other than those needed by a web server. And once they're in those directories, it's party time because they can insert their own code and tell the web server to execute it.

Don't look at the "review sites": just go & see the movies that you want to see!

"The worst thing that we have in today's movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes," he told an audience at the Sun Valley Film Festival.

"I think it's the destruction of our business."

He suggested that the way the site aggregates reviews is unfair.

I don't know about unfair. Perhaps rotten is the word! If you want to watch a movie - go! Don't let other people influence you. Make up your own mind.
We have literally hundreds of DVD & Blu-Ray movies. Very many have had less than glowing reviews: however, we love them. 

24 March 2017

Today's Reading: the Fall from Grace

Traditional doctrine points to a sin against God, an act of disobedience, not a sin against the neighbour. And certainly, if we are to hold the doctrine of the Fall in any real sense, we must look for the great sin on a deeper and more timeless level than that of social morality.

This sin has been described by Saint Augustine as the result of Pride, of the movement whereby a creature (that is, an essentially dependent being whose principle of existence lies not in itself but in another) tries to set up on its own, to exist for itself. Such a sin requires no complex social conditions, no extended experience, no great intellectual development. From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it. This sin is committed daily by young children and ignorant peasants as well as by sophisticated persons, by solitaries no less than by those who live in society: it is the fall in every individual life, and in each day of each individual life, the basic sin behind all particular sins: at this very moment you and I are either committing it, or about to commit it, or repenting it.

It's almost time to change the clocks!

Daylight saving time 2017 in United Kingdom 
will begin at 01:00 on Sunday, 26 March
and ends at 02:00 on Sunday, 29 October
All times are in United Kingdom Time.

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour so that evening daylight lasts an hour longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times. 
Typically, regions that use Daylight Savings Time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time.

Clocks will be going forward this Sunday!

23 March 2017

Deal of the Day: GTX1050 Gaming Graphics Card under £100!

PCI Express x16 3.0
DisplayPort / HDMI / DL-DVI-D

A quality, high spec gaming graphics card - for a very sensible price!

Please consider supporting those who protect us: "The Thin Blue Line"

COPS is a UK registered charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty, rebuild their lives.

It aims to ensure that survivors have all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, and that they remain part of the police family.

May God Bless those who lost their lives in London yesterday, by the actions of an evil man. I pray for repose of their souls, and healing for those wounded.

Please reflect on the below, and consider donating to COPS.

"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
That we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak."

22 March 2017

Which is the most secure Web Browser? Spoiler: it's Chrome!

The Pwn2Own 2017 hacking contest, which celebrated its 10th anniversary, concluded after three days in which security teams hacked away at browsers and operating systems. Microsoft’s Edge seems to have been hit the hardest, while Chrome remained unhackable during the contest.
Microsoft created the Edge browser by rewriting most of it from scratch (some parts were forked from Internet Explorer). The company’s goal was to have a browser that’s much more secure and that can keep up with Chrome and Firefox when it comes to supporting the latest web standards. Edge even implemented sandboxing technologies that were similar to what Chrome was using, which put it ahead of Firefox, which is still trying to play catch-up in this regard.

The Real Vicars of Dibley: Heavens Angels!

Here we see Father Scott Anderson and Pastor Paul Sinclair on 'The Real Vicars of Dibley' (BBC1) blessing the Ace Cafe London in September 2001. 
At that time Father Scott was the Parish Priest at Willesden Green and Pastor Paul the Pentecostal minister just further up the street in Willesden itself.
God's sense of humour to assign both motorcycling ministers to the very same street!

For further reading on Faith on two wheels, see:

21 March 2017

Ask Toolbar - if you needed to ask, just don't go there!

For years people have been opening their browser and asking, "how the heck did that Ask Toolbar get installed?"

Chances are that if you don't have the Ask.com search toolbar haunting your PC, you may have friends or family who are afflicted.

Normally the Ask toolbar is installed in a slightly underhand fashion. Users install the likes of Java (as though there weren't a mistake in itself!) and have unwanted additional software foisted upon them, as they fail to read the small print and don't spot that they've accidentally agreed to install the Ask.com toolbar.

If you have the Ask Toolbar in your Web Browser - it needs to go! 
Do uninstall it. If you need a hand - contact Donline.

Read more at www.grahamcluley.com

Our new shed, by Malvern Timber Framed Buildings

At Malvern Timber Framed Buildings we specialise in handmade garden timber framed buildings. We offer a stunning collection of outdoor spaces that can be tailored to your every specification.

Our reputation of high quality standards and excellent customer satisfaction has been built through our team of skilled craftsmen. We hand-make every timber-framed building using only the finest materials to provide long-lasting protection.

Kim & I can highly recommend Malvern Timber Framed Buildings - for all your "shed" needs! They helped us come up with a bespoke design, manufactured to order, delivered and installed by professionals. More expensive than your "common or garden" shed? Yes, but you certainly get what you pay for! Manufactured from top quality materials - exactly to your specification. A+

Buying a bike? The difference between PCP and Hire Purchase

You can buy seemingly anything on finance nowadays, and that extends to motorcycles, with Personal Contract Purchases (PCP) accounting for 20-30% of all new bike sales. Although it's probably the one you're most familiar with, PCP isn't the only form of finance available, there's also Hire Purchase.

They seem similar - both let you pay a deposit and a series of monthly instalments over a set period of time - but that's where the similarities end.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)
PCP offers low monthly payments, low deposits and a bit of flexibility - if you don't want to buy the bike at the end of the contract you don't have to. 

If you want to keep the bike you'll have to pay the optional final payment. Alternatively you could exchange it for a new model and start a new contract, or simply walk away. 

However, interest rates tend to be slightly higher than with Hire Purchase and if you exceed the mileage limit or damage the bike beyond fair wear and tear you could face extra charges.

Hire Purchase
Hire Purchase is slightly simpler than PCP. The cost of the bike is split across the monthly payments and the initial deposit. Once you've paid your final payment, the bike is yours.

HP contracts typically last longer than PCP deals which make them more affordable and since you'll automatically own the BIKE after the final payment, you don't have to worry about saving up extra cash for the optional final payment like with PCP.

It's worth noting that the bike could be worth less than you estimated at the end of the contract, which could be a problem if you plan to sell it on soon after you take ownership.

I bought my Honda Crosstourer on PCP from Hunt's Motorcycles. It was on a 0% interest deal from Honda. This deal used my Suzuki V-Strom 650 GT as deposit, gave me low monthly payments over 3 years, with a final balloon payment (I'm keeping the bike!) - due this summer.
I have been really happy with this way to buy a new bike. Hunt's were a great dealer to buy from (I will again!), and Honda build quality is as good as it gets. All happy!


20 March 2017

17 March 2017

Microsoft isn't updating Windows 7 or 8.1 on latest CPU architectures

Microsoft is currently not providing updates to Windows 7/8.1 for users of the following CPU architectures: Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors (Kaby Lake), AMD "Bristol Ridge" (Zen/Ryzen)Qualcomm "8996" .

This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. For example, Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations:

Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
AMD “Bristol Ridge”
Qualcomm “8996"

Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.

On a side note, it's surprising just what is powered by AMD's Ryzen CPU.
I guess Walter's OS isn't Windows 7!

Child Of Hope Uganda - Faith in Action & Motorcycles too!

A slum mum running a tiny business selling beans identified a possible business idea – and has now launched a successful new business selling motorbike spare parts. Better still, she has been able to employ skilled workers to do the maintenance and repair work on the bikes!

Stella Arakit, a 50 year-old mother with a family of five children and three dependants, was inspired by the increasing number of motorbike transport businesses (Boda Bodas) in the Namatala slum. She developed a business plan to start a motorbike spare parts shop to provide motor bike repair services for the local Boda Bodas. Then Stella shared her business idea with our IGA support staff, who gave her encouragement and business counselling on how to realise her dream. 

Kim & I love Child Of Hope Uganda. They do such wonderful work.

Need an accountant for your business? You need AIMS

AIMS do what you expect an accountant to do, and do it well.

Tax, Accounting and Bookkeeping are time consuming and there are so many rules and regulations even accountants despair at times. But as a business owner you can’t get away from these and they are simply tasks that need to be done and done well. The upside is that you can hire a qualified accountant to deal with the numbers, your tax and your accounts, leaving you to do what you do best – running and developing your business.

That’s where we come in. AIMS accountants have the knowledge and expertise in all areas of accounting and are more than happy to take on the bean counting and number crunching for you.

I have used AIMS for the last 11 years - since starting my business
They have been invaluable in offering good advice and professional accountancy services. I can wholeheartedly recommend them!

Contact Matthew & tell him that Don sent you!

16 March 2017

Still using Windows Vista? Really? Here is stuff you need to know!

Windows Vista will fall out of Extended Support on 11th April 2017.

This means: no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

In the unlikely event that you are still using Windows Vista as the operating system on a PC, you need to urgently come up with a "plan B" - contact Donline.

15 March 2017

Christian Aid: East Africa Crisis Appeal

16 million people across South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia urgently need food

Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, where 100,000 people face starvation and nearly 5 million people urgently need food. This crisis follows more than three years of devastating conflict, which has left millions of people without a safe place to call home.

The situation is also grave in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia where 14 million people are going hungry every day, caught up in the region’s worst drought in 50 years. In Somalia alone, over 360,000 children under five are extremely malnourished.

The situation is deteriorating rapidly. A major catastrophe is unfolding. We need to reach people quickly.

We must act now. 

Android malware: new phones and tablets found to be pre-installed with virus before being sold

Over 30 different Android smartphones and tablets have been found to have had malware preinstalled on them before users even switched them on, according to cyber security firm Check Point.

Check Point detected a “severe infection” on 38 handsets being used by two of its corporate clients, a telecommunications firm and a multinational technology company that have not been named.

The issue affects smartphones from a number of big-name brands, including Samsung, LG and Google. 

13 March 2017

Real life imitating art? Ozymandias returns!

Headline: Egypt extracts torso of 'Pharaoh Ramses II' statue from mud
Wikipedia: Ozymandias was a Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II.

Percy Bysshe Shelley: "Ozymandias"

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Honestly - what is wrong with some people? Got a dog? Take some responsibility then!

Mrs Main, MP for St Albans and the owner of a three-year old lakeland jack russell terrier called Sam, says the menace of poo-filled bags "is a massive problem" that is polluting the environment.

"Like many people, I like to walk my dog out in the countryside, parks and in woodland, but over the last few years I've noticed an increasing number of dog poo bags hanging off bushes, trees and railings - and it's disgusting," she said.

"People think it's the right thing to do to pick it up, but when they find there aren't any bins, they jettison the poo-bag into the undergrowth or lob it over a garden fence where animals can eat them, children pick them up or cyclists ride into them."

The answer is simple: Get some bags (we use these ones - they are great). Bag it. Use the bin if there is one. If not, take it home. PLEASE don't hang it in trees, or just dump it!

What info do you reveal when web browsing?

Everyone that is browsing the web right now has a user agent. It's the software that acts as the bridge between you, the user, and the internet. It's easiest to understand user agents if we backtrack and look at the evolution of the web, so we can understand the benefits of user agents.

When the internet was a text-based system, right back at the beginning of its use, users had to type commands to navigate and send messages. Now, we have browsers to do that for us. We simply point and click, and the browser is acting as our "agent," turning our actions into commands.

When your browser (or similar device) loads a website, it identifies itself as an agent when it retrieves the content you've requested. Along with that user agent identification, the browser sends a host of information about the device and network that it's on. This is a really set of data for web developers, since it allows them to customise the experience depending on the user agent that's loaded the page.

Click HERE to see what information is sent via your Web Browser: www.whoishostingthis.com