30 December 2018

2 tickets to the London bike show: £33 - offer ends soon!

The 2019 London Motorcycle Show is coming soon: 15-17 Feb 2019!
They promise an amazing range of very latest bikes, all NEW racing action, star riders, guest speakers and hundreds of exhibitors all offering kit, accessories, motorcycling bargains and their own unique piece of motorcycle goodness!

All the important 2019 machines
Biking bargains galore
Back for 2019 - Michelin Thunderdrome featuring exciting live racing action!
John McGuinness Bar - meet the legend and his bikes
Get up close to racing legends with a Paddock Pass 
Huge custom and cafe racer display

Choose your day, then select:
Offer ends Midnight 2nd Jan 2019!

24 December 2018

Christmas Blessings from Donline!

Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness and prosperity;
over this Christmas, the New Year, and throughout 2019.

Don, Kim & Calli Tocher x

Christmas is a time to give. Please consider these good causes.

Apollo 8: Christmas on the Far Side of the Moon

For many, Christmas is for spending time close to loved ones. But in 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell would spend their Christmas Day further away from home than any human had ever done before.

With the help of archive material, former NASA employees, author Robert Kurson and the astronauts themselves, Anna Foster remembers the Apollo 8 mission on its 50th anniversary.

The mission was everything to Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman. For him, beating the Soviets in the space race and the safety of his crew were paramount. William Anders was the rookie of the crew. Bill had never been to space before, and he was excited to document and remember every last second of the experience. In new interviews, they share their memories, the mission and its legacy with Anna.

21 December 2018

If you still use Internet Explorer (really / why?) time to patch urgently, or better still: move to Google Chrome!

Microsoft has released an out-of-band (emergency) security update that fixes an actively exploited vulnerability in Internet Explorer.  This vulnerability has been assigned ID CVE-2018-8653 and was discovered by Google’s Threat Analysis Group when they saw the vulnerability being used in targeted attacks.

According to Microsoft's security bulletin this is vulnerability in how the Internet Explorer scripting engine handles objects in memory.  Attackers can use this vulnerability to corrupt memory in such a way that attackers could execute code under the security privileges of the logged in user.

Go to Windows Update: download the update & patch ASAP! BTW: don't use IE - use a modern safe Web Browser, like Google Chrome.

20 December 2018

Gatwick droning on: why don't the cops just shoot down the drones? Several good reasons actually...

Comment As the Gatwick drones chaos rolls on, with the airport now set to reopen at 8pm UK time at the earliest, many people have been asking a simple question: why the hell can't the authorities just shoot down the offending drones?

Like all simple questions, the answer is complex. Counter-drones tech is a new field and not quite as easy as you might imagine. Find out more here.

Home Alone Again with the Google Assistant

Have you ever wondered what Kevin McCallister from Home Alone is like as an adult? Me neither. 

But just in case you’re curious you should watch this great ad for Google Assistant.

Triumph's 2019 Rocket III - set to give Ducati's Daivel a run for it's money!

Triumph will release an all-new Rocket III in 2019, and the styling and spec suggest it will be a serious weapon, aimed at kicking Ducati’s new Diavel squarely in the V-twin.

This official Triumph design sketch was revealed to dealers at Triumph’s annual conference in late October, swiftly followed by a pre-production test mule being briefly ridden across the stage.

But despite the firm releasing a raft of new models since, there has been no official public confirmation of the return of the Rocket III. However, MCN has learned that the new bike is scheduled for release in 2019, and will boast class-defining performance figures.

When revealed to dealers at the closed-door event in October, Triumph claimed the new Rocket III would deliver in excess of 180bhp from its new 2.5litre inline triple engine - which we expect to then be rolled out through a whole range of new Rocket models.

19 December 2018

Calli's new Jumper - courtesy of Megan & Jamie!

Calli isn't overly keen on her two lovely coats. We think they really suit her, Calli isn't so sure...

However, Megan had a hoodie jumper which was too big for one of her dogs - and donated it to Calli - who loves it / doesn't want to take it off!

Perfect for this "lovely" weather (cold/rain/hail/thunder/lightning/etc) we are having ATM. Not that she's stepping outside much either!

18 December 2018

TBT: Tomorrows World from 1981 - computer program transmitted live over TV!

This clip is from Tomorrow's World (6.55pm on 3rd December 1981). Presenters Kieran Prendeville and Su Ingle demonstrate how computer programs are saved on cassette tape, with a mention for the (then) new BBC Micro

They then transmit a program (live over the TV!) for the Apple II and ZX81 but the program does not work on the show. The following week Su showed the program running and people wrote in to say that it had worked.

17 December 2018

Received an email claming that your PC has been hacked & they have your passwords? It's probably a scam...

Here’s a clever new twist on an old email scam that could serve to make the con far more believable. The message purports to have been sent from a hacker who’s compromised your computer and used your webcam to record a video of you while you were watching porn. The missive threatens to release the video to all your contacts unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom. The new twist? The email now references a real password previously tied to the recipient’s email address.

The basic elements of this sextortion scam email have been around for some time, and usually the only thing that changes with this particular message is the Bitcoin address that frightened targets can use to pay the amount demanded. 

But how did they get your password? Chances are, from an already compromised site & not from a direct hack on your PC. Check if your credentials are available online HERE. As always: DO NOT REUSE PASSWORDS!!! 

If you have received one of these emails & are worried / unsure what to do next - contact Donline.

Today's Reading: Mary gives thanks to & Worships the Lord

[Mary’s Song] Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name"...

Read all of Luke 1 at Bible Gateway

To hold Facebook accountable, stop calling it a tech company

Nearly half of Americans get their news from Facebook(!), its newsfeed should be subjected to the same standards of fairness, decency and accuracy as newspapers, television and other media outlets.

Facebook runs ads. Companies that run ads learned a long time ago to track what we're interested in and to use that information to target those ads. That way, they can charge their advertisers more.

For media companies that run ads, especially ones that use public networks, we tell them that they can't lie or mislead, that it's not okay to advertise cigarettes to children or push prescription drugs without including the risks. We have laws governing deceptive advertisements and Truth in Advertising laws. Companies that run ads can't say a car gets 40 miles per gallon unless it's true. They can't say a movie won an Academy Award unless it did. If you say the wool comes from New Zealand, it must.

Facebook places ads just like most media companies do and should be held to the same overall standards.

14 December 2018

Iranian phishers bypass 2fa protections offered by Yahoo Mail and Gmail

A recent phishing campaign targeting US government officials, activists, and journalists is notable for using a technique that allowed the attackers to bypass two-factor authentication protections offered by services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, researchers said Thursday. The event underscores the risks of 2fa that relies on one-tap logins or one-time passwords, particularly if the latter are sent in SMS messages to phones.

Attackers working on behalf of the Iranian government collected detailed information on targets and used that knowledge to write spear-phishing emails that were tailored to the targets’ level of operational security, researchers with security firm Certfa Lab said in a blog post. The emails contained a hidden image that alerted the attackers in real time when targets viewed the messages. When targets entered passwords into a fake Gmail or Yahoo security page, the attackers would almost simultaneously enter the credentials into a real login page. In the event targets’ accounts were protected by 2fa, the attackers redirected targets to a new page that requested a one-time password.

“In other words, they check victims’ usernames and passwords in realtime on their own servers, and even if 2 factor authentication such as text message, authenticator app or one-tap login are enabled they can trick targets and steal that information too,” Certfa Lab researchers wrote.

Calli has been to see Pam for a wash & brush up again!

Dear Pam has worked her wonders on our Calli once more.
Fresh & clean - ready for Christmas! Thanks Pam!

Dog stuff from our favourite Bike gear manufacturer: Rukka Pets!

From Motolegends: We're not a pet business. We sell motorcycle apparel and safety wear, so I never imagined that, one day, we'd be loading dog jackets onto the website, and wondering how to work out what size coat a particular dog is going to need. Especially as we’ve only just got to grips with working out what size a human rider is going to need! The pet market is going to require a whole new set of skills. 

Yet here we are, and we're here only because of Rukka. We love the Finnish brand, we love their ethos, and we love the quality of their products. So when they told us that they made the world's best bike dog coats and jackets, we were so intrigued that we decided to take on pretty much the entire range. 

Interestingly, Rukka tell us that, on social media, their profile in the dog world dwarfs their position in motorcycling. For us, it's a bit of fun. We are always drawn to exceptional products, and we like dogs. If you want to avail yourself of some superior outwear for the mutt in your life, click below.

13 December 2018

Why young people expect to work just a few months in each job before moving on

Young Brits no longer believe in a “job for life” and want to work for only a few months in a post before moving on, according to new survey findings.

A new study by JOB TODAY discovered the average 16 to 29-year-old expects to be in his or her current job for just four and a half months.

The average youngster expects to have six jobs in his or her lifetime with many putting this down to the changing job climate. Just over a third said they expect more variation in their day to day career explaining why 16% of 16 to 29-year olds have more than one job compared to 86% of 30 to 44-year olds who have just one job.

According to the data, 63% of all adult Brits said they will spend less time in one job than their parents, with 16 to 29-year olds topping the list spending the least time in comparison.

Half of all working Brits put this down to more flexibility in the job market with men expecting to spend just three months in their current role compared to five months for women.

Some things just aren't meant to go together. Like technology & beer!

Fan of those trendy coffee machines shilled by George Clooney? Wish there was one that did beer? Of course you don't, but LG has gone and done it anyway.

Due to be unveiled at CES 2019, LG's beer-making machine is targeted squarely at those DIY beer enthusiasts seeking something sleek to pop on the kitchen worktop rather than go to the effort of working out how to make a decent brew (with all the pipework such a thing entails).

It's a capsule-based system, with the thirsty user popping a single-use pot of ingredients containing malt, yeast, hop oil and something LG distressingly refers to as "flavouring" into the machine, hitting the go button and waiting. And waiting...

Sadly, the needs of the I-want-it-now generation are not met – the device will take around two weeks to dribble out a mere five litres of beer(!). By which time the wannabe beer drinker will likely have given up and popped down to a local brewery to sup from the source.

Maybe LG have taken a leaf from the Panasonic Breadmaker handbook? Well beer is sometimes known as liquid bread!

12 December 2018

This Christmas, give the best gift of all. No not a motorcycle! The gift of life...

This Christmas season, three mums remember how blood donors gave them the gift of life.

Around six per cent of donations are used to treat blood loss during childbirth.

In an emergency, if a patient’s blood type is unknown, O negative blood is used. That’s why it’s called ‘universal’: it can be given to anyone.

Please consider giving blood, and/or becoming an organ donor.

Well that's interesting: Google "idiot" & guess what pops up?

The word "idiot" has been searched for more than one million times, following testimony typing it into Google Images threw up pictures of President Trump.

The link between the two was mentioned during a congressional grilling of Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.

He was asked whether this was an example of political bias in algorithms, something he denied.

According to Google Trends, "idiot" is currently the number one most searched for term in the US.

11 December 2018

The Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show: 15-17 Feb 2019 at the ExCeL Centre, London

Its the most exciting bike show in the UK and for 2019 we can promise an amazing range of very latest bikes, all NEW racing action, star riders, guest speakers and hundreds of exhibitors all offering kit, accessories, motorcycling bargains and their own unique piece of motorcycle goodness!

All the important 2019 machines
Biking bargains galore
Back for 2019 - Michelin Thunderdrome featuring exciting live racing action!
John McGuinness Bar - meet the legend and his bikes
Get up close to racing legends with a Paddock Pass 
Huge custom and cafe racer display

09 December 2018

Reading for today: Imitate the Shepherds

We must not cease to wonder at the great marvels of our God. It would be very difficult to draw a line between holy wonder and real worship; for when the soul is overwhelmed with the majesty of God's glory, though it may not express itself in song, or even utter its voice with bowed head in humble prayer, yet it silently adores.

Our incarnate God is to be worshipped as "the Wonderful." That God should consider his fallen creature, man, and instead of sweeping him away with the besom of destruction, should himself undertake to be man's Redeemer, and to pay his ransom price, is, indeed marvellous! But to each believer redemption is most marvellous as he views it in relation to himself. It is a miracle of grace indeed, that Jesus should forsake the thrones and royalties above, to suffer ignominiously below for you. 

Let your soul lose itself in wonder, for wonder is in this way a very practical emotion. Holy wonder will lead you to grateful worship and heartfelt thanksgiving. It will cause within you godly watchfulness; you will be afraid to sin against such a love as this. 

Feeling the presence of the mighty God in the gift of his dear Son, you will put off your shoes from off your feet, because the place whereon you stand is holy ground. You will be moved at the same time to glorious hope. If Jesus has done such marvellous things on your behalf, you will feel that heaven itself is not too great for your expectation. Who can be astonished at anything, when he has once been astonished at the manger and the cross? What is there wonderful left after one has seen the Saviour?

Dear reader, it may be that from the quietness and solitariness of your life, you are scarcely able to imitate the shepherds of Bethlehem, who told what they had seen and heard, but you can, at least, fill up the circle of the worshippers before the throne, by wondering at what God has done. 

Today's reading is taken from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional.

07 December 2018

Take the Bible Gateway Christmas Quiz

How well do you know all the facts about the birth of Jesus? Have fun taking this brief quiz to find out. Encourage your family, friends, and social media followers to try their hand at it, too.

Once you’ve finished, sign up for Bible Gateway free email Christmas devotionals and begin receiving them in your inbox.

05 December 2018

7 Advent practices that will make your December better

When December rolls around I feel more than a twinge of panic. There’s so much to do. Somehow it all gets away from me and I spend the month playing catch-up. Decorations to unpack, presents to buy, cookies to bake, parties to attend. I’d like to say that I’m reveling in the wonder of the season, but mostly I’m trying to keep all my plates spinning.

The irony is that, traditionally, December was not a season of festivities but fasting; not running but reflecting; not parties but preparation. The season of Advent—those four weeks that precede Christmas day - were set aside by Christians to prepare our hearts and minds for the joyful season to come...

Bet still & read more here: 

When To Say No To Riding. Six clues to judge when it’s best to not ride

The world is a big place, vast enough that no one can cover all of it in a lifetime. It is easy to be thirsty, to want to ride every inch of it when we are travelling. But sometimes it’s best to leave those miles unridden. Everyone has different thresholds for when it’s too hot, too cold, or too wet to ride. The same goes for state of mind, your health, and your level of conditioning. When do these variables form enough of a distraction to merit leaving the bike in the garage? When does exposure to riding conditions make the risk greater than the reward? Here’s where we might draw the line.

Nasty Weather
Extreme Heat
Chill Factor
State of Mind
High Risk
Low Reward

04 December 2018

Calli & some of her toys. It's Christmas soon. What could go wrong?

Dad, get these teds off me!
It's worse than that, there are more on the way!

STOP THE PRESS: Blockchain - "the answer to everything" - turns out to be pants.

Though Blockchain has been touted as the answer to everything, a study of 43 solutions advanced in the international development sector has found exactly no evidence of success.

Three practitioners including erstwhile blockchain enthusiast John Burg, a Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), looked at instances of the distributed crypto ledger being used in a wide range of situations by NGOs, contractors and agencies. But they drew a complete blank.

"We found a proliferation of press releases, white papers, and persuasively written articles," Burg et al wrote on Thursday. "However, we found no documentation or evidence of the results blockchain was purported to have achieved in these claims. We also did not find lessons learned or practical insights, as are available for other technologies in development."

Blockchain vendors were keen to puff the merits of the technology, but when the three asked for proof of success in the field, it all went very quiet.

Microsoft's Edge browser to be replaced with one one based on Chromium?...

Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.

Because of this, I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform, according to my sources who wish to remain anonymous. It's unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10's default browser is dead.

03 December 2018

Back from our hols, a great cruise to the Canaries. One of the highlights: Madeira by URAL sidecar outfit!!!

So: we FINALLY managed to get away on hols: tools downed - just having a fab old time. OK, we did get away  for 4 days in June: Devon & Cornwall. but I find that 4 days off work a year, somehow just isn't enough. I dunno, call me greedy...

A great holiday shared with our dear pals Brian & Tracy. We went on the Marella (Thomson / Tui) Dream on their 7/8 day Canarian Flavours cruise. We had a great time, went to great destinations, met some lovely people, lots of great food and drink.

What I want to share with you is the fantastic Ural sidecar tour of Funchal, MadeiraIf you find yourself in Madeira - contact Madeira Sidecar Tours - they are superb. Sadly the weather was a bit inclement - ranging between generally damp & light rain, but as I said to Filipe - our very able pilot - we are British & used to the odd bit of rain(!). 

Bri took the bathtub, I took the pillion seat. Very comfy for both of us! The URAL is agricultural, old fashioned, clunky, slow & under powered. Surely that makes it rubbish, I hear you ask? Not at all - I totally loved it! We averaged 15-20 odd MPH, never above 25mph. I have never had so much fun at such slow speeds! It was stable on slippery, inclined steep roads (up & down). It's got a huge boot & spare wheel!

I love the idea of taking Calli on my bike, but can't work out a safe way to take a 10-11 Kg beloved pooch. Sidecar: problem solved!

Only problem: URALs are (somehow) over £15k new!!! For that much, you can have the choice of pretty much any modern bike... Now, if I can find a pre EFI model for £3k on eBay, then that might work. But, where to put it? Aah, those first world problems...

What a great experience, the URAL is so unlike a normal bike - if you get a chance, try it - an absolute hoot! Now, back to modern bikes, but still with three wheels... Look what I have a trial set up on: the new Yamaha Niken! It is apparently a crazy, brilliant thing! Review to follow later this month...

Have a Dell.com account? Your info may or may not have been stolen!

According to a customer update on Dell’s website, the computer company was hit with a hack earlier this month, and they’re being pretty darn vague about it.

Here’s what we know. On 9 November, the company noticed some “unauthorised” activity on its network, which was intended to steal customer information. Dell says that it quickly intervened and shut the hack down, likely before anything was breached. Then, out of “an abundance of caution,” (Dell’s words, not mine,) the company reset everyone’s passwords. Dell also hired a digital forensics team, and has launched an official investigation into the matter.

Dell does clarify that this potential breach could only have accessed names, email addresses and hashed passwords. Credit card information is stored separately and would not have been accessible, even if Dell hadn’t caught the breach when it did.

At the moment, the company is staying silent over how many accounts, if any, have been affected. In a press release from Wednesday, a Dell spokesperson announced that “though it is possible some of this information was removed from Dell’s network, our investigations found no conclusive evidence that any was extracted.” In short, your data might have been stolen, but also, your data might not have been stolen. Thanks, Dell.

01 December 2018

We're in December: so it's time for Child of Hope's new Christmas videos!

It’s that time of year again - the Child of Hope Christmas Party is fast approaching! 

The children have been working hard to bring you a Christmas extravaganza this year - a hilarious nativity video each day for 11 days, starting on Dec 1.

Every year we aim to bring a little Christmas joy to the whole community surrounding Child of Hope, including our students and their siblings, parents, invited guests and community leaders - after all, it would be unfair to keep all the fun to ourselves!

Could you donate to help us put on the party? It would help to provide food, drink, a present for the children and a fantastic party for around 1,300 people who live in one of the poorest places on Earth. This will be the best meal they have all year for some of them it may be the first proper meal they have had since the last Christmas party. We can only do this thanks to your generosity, so a huge Thank you for any amount you are able to donate.

If you would like to donate to the party, please click HERE for our JustGiving page.

The new Christmas film from Spoken-Truth: Mess

Mess. It’s just one word. One syllable that brings to mind a whole load of images….messy ones! And at Christmas time, this one messy syllable word seems to shift into top gear! I think of the post-Christmas dinner-plate pile-up, or the decor of celebration wrappers between the sofas (Malteaser ones!)

It’s fair to say there was a fair bit of mess at the very first Christmas too. As Mary and Joseph trekked down to Bethlehem for a census, there was no room for them to stay. So the young couple welcomed Jesus into the world, with a bunch of animals as his roommates (some scholars claim it was almost as bad as living with students).

But Jesus didn’t just enter the mess of a downstairs room with a feeding trough, he entered the mess of our world too. It was a message that has been posted in versus throughout scripture, one will come to fix up the mess.

The Christmas story is about the one who was born in the Mess. You see ‘Mess’ is only central to the Christmas story when it’s an abbreviation. When it’s followed up with 3 letters i.a.h. - it changes everything.

22 November 2018

Deal of the day: Save on SONOS!

Save £50 on Beam. No matter how busy the season gets, there’s always time for your favourite Christmas classics. This year, experience the songs and sleigh bells with rich, room-filling sound from Sonos Beam — the smart soundbar for your TV. Use Beam’s Speech Enhancement feature to hear every detail, or ask Alexa to turn down the movie when carollers come to the door. 

Want to expand your system and save even more?

Save £25 on Sonos One. Enjoy the sounds of the season with surprisingly rich, room-filling sound. Hands full with ornaments? Ask Alexa to cue the carols.

Save £100 on Sub. From the explosions of Die Hard to Nat King Cole’s baritone, Sub adds dramatically deeper bass for your home cinema or favourite Christmas music. 

Offer valid until 26 November 2018, or while supplies last.

Alexa will soon be able to read the news just like a professional

Amazon’s Alexa continues to learn new party tricks, with the latest being a “newscaster style” speaking voice that will be launching on enabled devices in a few weeks’ time.

You can listen to samples of the speaking style here, and the results, well, they speak for themselves. The voice can’t be mistaken for a human, but it does incorporate stresses into sentences in the same way you’d expect from a TV or radio newscaster. According to Amazon’s own surveys, users prefer it to Alexa’s regular speaking style when listening to articles (though getting news from smart speakers still has lots of other problems).

Amazon says the new speaking style is enabled by the company’s development of “neural text-to-speech” technology or NTTS. This is the next generation of speech synthesis, that use machine learning to generate expressive voices more quickly. Currently, Alexa uses concatenative speech synthesis, a method that’s been around for decades. This involves breaking up speech samples into distinct sounds (known as phonemes) and then stitching them back together to form new words and sentences.