30 April 2017

101 Motorcycle Engineering. How does a clutch work?...

A clutch is a mechanical device which engages and disengages power transmission especially from driving shaft to driven shaft.

In the simplest application, clutches connect and disconnect two rotating shafts (drive shafts or line shafts). In these devices, one shaft is typically attached to an engine or other power unit (the driving member) while the other shaft (the driven member) provides output power for work. 

Below are a couple great YouTube Videos, demonstrating the components of a motorcycle clutch, how they go together, and how the clutch operates / exactly what it does.

29 April 2017

Find a problem, report it: get prosecuted!

Last year, Mats Järlström was fined $500 for revealing troubling flaws in the mathematical formula used to govern the timing of US traffic lights.

Järlström, a Swedish electronics engineer who has lived in America for more than two decades, realized there was a design fault in traffic systems after his wife got a ticket from an automated traffic camera in Beaverton, Oregon.

However, for communicating his findings in five emails, the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying in March, 2015 opened an investigation. In August 2016, the rules body found that Järlström had engaged in unlicensed engineering and assessed a $500 fine.

Järlström paid the fine but fears his ongoing interest in traffic light timing will lead to further penalties. Violating the Act could subject him to $1,000 in civil penalties, $6,250 in criminal fines, and as much as a year in jail.

A spokesperson for Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying said, "At this time we are not providing comment on the current open litigation."

28 April 2017

"Moby Dick" Brough Superior going on sale next month for £600,000!

One of the most valuable motorcycles in the world is going to auction in Italy next month and it’s being estimated by the auction house to sell for nearly £600,000.

The Brough Superior SS100, nicknamed ‘Moby Dick’ by Motor Cycling magazine in 1931 was known as: “The fastest privately owned machine in the world,” at that time. During that motorcycle magazine test in 1931, Moby Dick was timed at 106mph, with further tuning of the 1,142cc v-twin engine later raising that figure to 115mph in top (third) gear.

The bike was sold by Bonhams for £210,500 in 2011 making it one of the top ten most valuable motorcycles ever sold. This time around auctioneer RM-Sothebys says that it expects the bike to sell for between 500,000 and 700,000 Euro (£579,000).

Moby Dick is one of five Brough Superiors headed for RM-Sothebys’ Villa Erba sale on May 27, with all of them expected to fetch more than £100,000.

Apple fanbois are officially sheeple! Offended? Blame Merriam-Webster...

Apple fanbois are officially sheeple. So says American dictionary Merriam-Webster.

The American lexicologists added the term of endearment to their tome yesterday, a mere 72 years after its first recorded use in the English language.

Helpfully, and entirely non-inflammatorily, Merriam-Webster's people gave two examples of "sheeple" being used in a sentence. The first was a fairly neutral example of a farmer being rude to his neighbours. The second... well, here it is for your amusement/enragement (delete as appropriate):

Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone – an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for.

27 April 2017

Mexican bank intervenes after woman, 116, deemed 'too old' for card

Born at the turn of the past century, Maria Félix is old enough to remember the Mexican Revolution – but too old to get the bank card needed to collect her monthly 1,200 pesos ($63) welfare payment. Félix turns 117 in July, according to her birth certificate, which local authorities recognise as authentic. That would put her in the ranks of the world’s oldest living people.

She went three months without state support for poor elderly Mexicans after she was turned away from a branch of Citibanamex in the city of Guadalajara for being too old, said Miguel Castro, development secretary for the state of Jalisco. Welfare beneficiaries now need individual bank accounts because of new transparency rules, Castro said.

They told me the limit was 110 years,” Félix said with a smile in the plant-filled courtyard of her small house in Guadalajara.

Félix, who sells candies from a stand outside her home, got by on her modest sales but was delighted when Castro became aware of her case, delivering a cheque and an apology to her in person. “Sooner or later, God provides,” said Felix, waving a hand. “Here I am.“

In an emailed statement, Citibanamex, a unit of Citigroup Inc, said Félix’s age exceeded the “calibration limits” of its system and it was working to get her the bank card as soon as possible. It said it was adjusting its systems to avoid a repeat of the situation.

Upcycle 2017: Street Pastors cycling Northern Ireland!

Upcycle 2017: Join in with Les Isaac, Street Pastors and fellow friends and supporters of Ascension Trust as we get on our bikes and cycle across the miles in Northern Ireland over three days to raise funds to help meet the practical needs of local communities.
Funds raised will help increase our impact in communities by increasing the safety we provide in and around our schools, colleges, night life, railways and national emergencies.
Event dates: 28-April-2017 to 30-April-2017

Help us to raise £10,000 which will help to:
Increase the number of volunteers we train as Street, School, College, Prayer, Rail and Response Pastors
Increase our partnerships with churches, the Police, local authorities and the night-time economy for the benefit of public safety
Further develop and implement practical and effective strategies to transform lives

Alien: Covenant. Prologue: The Crossing

The Crossing, an official prologue short to Alien: Covenant, reveals what happened to crew members Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the synthetic David after the events of Prometheus. Set aboard an abandoned Engineer vessel, Dr. Shaw repairs David as they continue their search for humanity’s creators. 

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

See Alien: Covenant in Theaters - 19th May 2017

26 April 2017

Advance Notification! Beer Day Britain: June 15th

What is Beer Day Britain?
Beer Day Britain is the UK’s annual national beer day when people celebrate the
national drink.

What is the purpose of Beer Day Britain?
• To encourage people to drink beer and join the national party.
• To raise the profile of beer as Britain's national drink and increase beer sales.
• To celebrate Britain's amazing brewing scene and heritage in spreading the
love and knowledge of beer around the world.

Why June 15th?
Beer Day Britain is the UK’s national beer day and it happens on June 15th. This date
is significant because it is also the date that Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Ale is
mentioned in Magna Carta. Clause 35 of the great charter stated:
'Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single
measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely the London quarter’.
Having the Magna Carta connection with Beer Day Britain makes people appreciate
that for centuries ale has played a central role in this country. 

25 April 2017

Webroot software flagging Windows files as malicious

Webroot upset many of its customers when one of its signature updates caused its anti-virus solution to flag critical Windows files as malicious.

The endpoint security provider's anti-virus platform melted down between 13:00 and 15:00 MST on 24 April. In that time span, Webroot began detecting legitimate Windows files, some of which are essential for Microsoft's operating system to function, as W32.Trojan.Gen, its generic name for a Windows trojan. The anti-virus platform responded by moving all these falsely flagged files into quarantine, rendering an untold number of computers inoperable.

The flawed update was in place for 13 minutes before Webroot pulled it. Subsequently, the security firm released a workaround that users can implement to recover their files. This solution works for home users who have one or two affected PCs. But it doesn't do much good for managed services providers (MSPs) that cater to hundreds or thousands of clients. For those clients, Webroot said in an update posted to its forums that it's "still working to resolve this issue through the night and will keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available."

The Children's Society: Cyberbullying Survey - help required

Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham, in partnership with The Children’s Society and YoungMinds, has set up an inquiry into the impact of social media bullying on children and young people’s mental health.

We are carrying out a survey of young people aged 11-25 to find out about your views and experiences of using social media and cyber-bullying.

We are keen to find out what young people think is and isn't working well, and what could be done to make social media sites safer in the future.

Please click on the "TAKE OUR SURVEY" link 
at the bottom of this page if you can help:

Apple nearly removed Uber from every iPhone in 2015

If Apple had its way, Uber – the ride-sharing service garnering lots of controversy at the moment – would have been removed from the App Store long ago. The reason? Apple was tired of Uber’s underhanded tactics to track iPhone users; the tech giant wanted to send a message to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick that things had to change.

As we all know, Uber wasn't pulled from the App Store since the threat alone proved enough for Kalanick to reverse Uber’s tracking policies. But it wasn’t until Apple CEO Tim Cook personally explained the gravity of the situation that things began to change.

Revealed as part of an in-depth look at Kalanick’s success tactics, the New York Times revealed not just his meeting with Cook, but also how Uber tried to pull a fast one on Apple. It appears that, in an attempt to ensure it could always safely identify users, even after they'd deleted the Uber app from their phone, Uber was secretly tagging iPhones – a policy that violates Apple’s privacy guidelines.

Can plastic roads help save the planet?

At MacRebur, we have found one simple, clever invention with which we intend to solve three world challenges:

  • Use up millions of tons of waste plastic that sit in our landfill sites
  • Reduce the millions spent on new roads, maintenance, and pothole repair
  • Make our roads stronger and longer lasting

MacRebur’s carefully selected plastics, taken from old rubbish, are added into roads to improve strength and durability, whilst reducing the quantity of the oil based bitumen used in a traditional road mix.

Imagine that; your old rubbish can now make our roads stronger and longer lasting…

24 April 2017

CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks

WASHINGTON -- CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.

Sources familiar with the investigation say it is looking for an insider -- either a CIA employee or contractor -- who had physical access to the material. The agency has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen.

Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.

The trove was published in March by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks.

Macron? I thought I'd heard that name before...

May I for one, welcome our new Strogg overlord.

23 April 2017

Happy Saint George's Day!

Saint George; AD 275–281 to 23 April 303), according to legend, was a Roman soldier of Greek origin and officer in the Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith. As a Christian martyr, he later became one of the most venerated saints in Christianity and in particular the Crusades.

And on a lighter note: Rik Mayall's Noble England

Pink Floyd - Echoes [Live at Pompei (Directors Cut)] HD

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
No one speaks
And no one tries
No one flies around the sun

Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Come streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning

And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.

Written by Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason, Rick Wright

22 April 2017

My 1st SkyDive - from 15000 ft!!! Thanks GoSkyDive!

Having had a "big birthday" last year (21 if you must know), Kim bought me a SkyDive package from the great guys at GoSkydive. They are based in Salisbury, and offer tandem jumps from 7000, 10000 & 15000 ft.

We decided to do the maximum height: 15,000 ft with the "Totally Epic" video package - which includes two video recordings: one by the instructor (the guy that I'm buckled to), and another by a freefall jumper. They used GoPro cameras which gave great results. The video is crystal sharp & I'm so happy with the results! We also got loads of still pictures as well.

Their organisation is amazing: slick, running like a well oiled machine! From booking, to the run-up to the day, even after the day, we had regular communications from them by text & email. The jump date was set for 21st April 2017. We were booked in for an arrival time of 11am, but arrived 30 minutes early with our great mates Brian & Tracy. I was immediately fast tracked through: induction, sign-in, suiting up / buckled into a harness, dangled from the ceiling(!) / given training, off to the departure area, and then to the aeroplane.

Now, bearing in mind that I love excitement & thrills, not scared of heights, love speed, I knew this was going to be great: I had no idea just how incredible this was going to be. My instructor was Henk who was great fun & gave superb advice, keeping me focused on exactly what to do & when. The freefall cameraman (Roman) was excellent too, with lots good banter from both guys.

Here are the videos, I hope you enjoy, I certianly did!
BTW, the intro's are the same, (slightly different angle) then the action starts!
See if you can spot Stonehenge!

If this is potentially your sort of thing, just do it!
www.goskydive.com - highly recommended!

Earth Day, is today: 22nd April

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy

Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defence of environmental protection.

Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.

This Earth Day, gather with your community for an Environmental & Climate Literacy Teach-In or another project focused on education. We are launching Earth Day and Teach-In toolkits that will lay out the steps for holding a successful event. Register your event with us and we will support you with promotion and advice.

21 April 2017

Mastercard Unveils Next Generation Biometric Card

Mastercard today unveiled the next generation biometric card, combining chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

South Africa is the first market to test the evolved technology, with two separate trials recently concluded with Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket retailer, and Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Africa.

The new card builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments today and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.

“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security, Mastercard. “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”

20 April 2017

A prayer for election time

TalkTalk and BT rated worst for broadband in Which? survey

TalkTalk and BT have received the worst customer satisfaction scores in a survey of 12 broadband providers.

They scored 38% and 45% respectively with their customers, while Sky (48%) and EE (49%) came close behind them in the Which? survey of 1,800 people.

Frequent price rises, connections that drop, unreliable speeds and "woeful" customer service all contributed to the scores, the consumer group said.

The four account for almost three-quarters of the UK broadband market.

BT alone accounts for almost a third of the country's broadband connections.

Five stars?
Zen Internet had the highest customer rating at 86% in the survey, followed by Utility Warehouse (81%), John Lewis Broadband (68%), SSE (66%) and Plusnet (65%)
Virgin Media (52%), Vodafone (50%) and the Post Office (48%) were also included.

19 April 2017

IAM RoadSmart: free advanced riding introduction

If you're interested in finding out what advanced riding techniques and skills could do for your confidence and ability then this is for you. We believe that the very best way to understand and develop new skills is to see and feel them in practice, with the guidance of an IAM RoadSmart qualified Observer. We'll help you to develop new skills quickly and easily

Your free ride lasts around an hour, usually arranged at a time and location convenient to you - although some of our groups run rides on set days and locations . It is a relaxed and enjoyable experience with the opportunity to ask questions. There are no special requirements and the offer is open to everyone, providing you have a full licence and your own bike. You'll gain some new ideas and skills, plus tips on how to develop your riding abilities.

How to book your free session
Simply click on this link & select the location closest to you. You'll then be able to email your details directly to the local organiser - please include your name, phone and email details plus the bike you ride. They will make contact with you and arrange your ride.

Bible Verse Of The Day: The Risen Jesus

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

18 April 2017

Fancy some free chicken? Of course you do!

Here is a great offer from the nice people at MuscleFood.

FREE: 4 x 125g Chicken Breast Fillets - 0.5kg!

How to Claim: 
Place any order and enter code DT622587 at checkout
4 x Chicken Breasts will be added for free, gratis – nothing!
Your order will be delivered chilled on a day that suits you
Enter Code: DT622587 At Checkout
Minimum order of just £25 applies. New customers only.

Phishing with Unicode Domains - scary stuff!

If I told you that "www.apple.com" (see above) could be a phishing site, would you believe me? Check out the proof-of-concept - works in Chrome & Firefox.

Punycode makes it possible to register domains with foreign characters. It works by converting individual domain label to an alternative format using only ASCII characters. For example, the domain "xn--s7y.co" is equivalent to "短.co".

From a security perspective, Unicode domains can be problematic because many Unicode characters are difficult to distinguish from common ASCII characters. It is possible to register domains such as "xn--pple-43d.com", which is equivalent to "аpple.com". It may not be obvious at first glance, but "аpple.com" uses the Cyrillic "а" (U+0430) rather than the ASCII "a" (U+0041). This is known as a homograph attack.

Be careful out there, readers. 
On the Web, make sure that you truly are on the site that you want to visit.
There are some bad people out there!

17 April 2017

Inside the Tech Support Scam Ecosystem

A team of three doctoral students, looking for insights into the inner workings of tech support scams, spent eight months collecting data on and studying the tactics and infrastructure of the scammers, using a purpose-built tool. What they uncovered is a complex, technically sophisticated ecosystem supported by malvertising and victimizing people around the world.

The study is the first analysis of its kind on tech support scams, and it’s the work of three PhD candidates at Stony Brook University. The team built a custom tool called RoboVic that performed a “systematic analysis of technical support scam pages: identified their techniques, abused infrastructure, and campaigns”.  The tool includes a man-in-the-middle proxy that catalogs requests and responses and also will click on pop-up ads, which are key to many tech-support scams. 

There are a slew of different versions of these scams, but generally they’re a type of multichannel fraud that occurs when a scammer claims to offer legitimate tech support via the phone or online to unsuspecting users, with the caller usually claiming to work for Microsoft or Apple support. As the Stony Brook study points out, many of these scams begin when a cleverly designed website tricks unsuspecting, vulnerable users into believing they have a virus, and that they need to call the number shown on the site to help them out. Sometimes, the page disguises itself as a Windows “blue screen” so that users find it more believable.

16 April 2017

The whole blog in one pic!

"An eclectic collection of faith, technology, motorcycles & puppies!"

Here we have a photo taken on Holy Saturday, taken on a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, featuring: Holly & Gromit, with Kim & Calli.

The whole blog in one pic!

Alleluia - He Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

The Resurrection of Jesus
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Wishing everyone a very HAPPY EASTER!

15 April 2017

Councils urge chewing gum firms to aid street clean-up

Councils in England and Wales have once again told chewing gum manufacturers to pay towards prising gum from pavements. Councils spend £60m a year removing trodden-in gum from streets, said the Local Government Association (LGA).

The LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, has for years urged producers to help remove what it called a "plague" on pavements. Wrigley, Britain's leading gum manufacturer, said it was investing in campaigns to discourage littering.

More than 95% of the UK's main shopping streets are gum-stained, according to Keep Britain TidyThe campaign group said 64% of all UK roads and pavements are "stained" by chewing gum - where chewed gum has been squashed into the street.

I'm a bit of a chewing gum addict & get through loads of the stuff, specifically: Wrigleys Extra Peppermint. However, I never discard my gum on the floor! Always in a tissue / in a bin. This isn't rocket science people - if you produce waste, deal with it! This smacks of cigarette buts, and dog poo...

13 April 2017

Pre Easter Puppy Pix!

Calli: 1st thing this morning, then after a couple of hours at the puppy parlour!
Well done again Pam!

Wintershall Play: The Passion of Jesus - Trafalgar Square

The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

On Good Friday 20,000 people gather to watch the Easter story in central London.
Supported by the Mayor of London, one hundred Wintershall players bring their electric and moving portrayal of the final days of Jesus to this iconic location in the capital.
The 90-minute production is completely free of charge - a gift to Londoners and visitors.
No tickets are required. There is a performance at 12 noon and 3:15 pm. The production is open air with visibility maximised using large screens. There is a realistic interpretation of the crucifixion so parental guidance is advised. British sign language interpretation is provided.
Invite your friends and family to this unmissable annual Easter event on Friday 14th April 2017.
Before you travel please check the Transport for London website.
If you can’t join us on Good Friday, the Passion performance at 3:15 pm will be streamed live on ‘Facebook Live’, please go to our Facebook page to view: https://www.facebook.com/Wintershallplay.
See some of our media coverage here: The GuardianThe TelegraphThe Daily MailThe MirrorBBCWSJ and Metro.