31 August 2018

Win 2 tickets to the Devitt MCN Ally Pally Show & Supersprint!

Fancy winning a pair of tickets for you and your best pal to head to the brand new Devitt MCN Ally Pally Show & Supersprint this September? Well, Devitt are giving five lucky winners the chance to win tickets

You can join in the ride into the iconic Alexandra Palace for the Devitt MCN Ally Pally Show, on either Saturday 22nd or Sunday 23rd September, and take in all the action from the Supersprint with a few famous faces including Foggy, McGuinness and Dougie Lampkin – watch them battle it out for the title.

There’s custom section, Bonhams auction with over 70 rare and fascinating machines on sale and workshops with Allen Millyard.

How do I enter? Simply complete the form HERE with your name and email address. We’ll be selecting our winners at random on Monday 10th September.

Puppy pic: Calli has been to Pam's for a wash & brush up!

It's time for "Dr Don"'s instant weight loss plan: Calli has been to Pam!
She's back now: looking & smelling great - Thanks Pam.
Also came back with advice about cutting back the Scooby-Snacks. 
Not sure if that was for Pup, Pa & both?...

29 August 2018

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

Bad passwords are one of those problems that never goes out of fashion, and sure enough, in a recent audit (26 per cent) of  Active Directory passwords were found to be somewhere between easily guessed and downright lamentable.

Among these, ‘Password123’ was in use by 1,464 accounts, ‘Project10’ by 994, ‘support’ by 866, ‘password1’ by 813, and ‘October2017’ by 226, to pick only the top five worst offenders in popularity order.

In one particularly epic fail, the auditors said they were able to remotely access a test environment for the agency’s web system using the password ‘Summer123’.

So, puhleaze: choose your passwords carefully, no simple ones, complexity is the key, and no reuse of passwords either! If you need help: contact Donline.

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about aluminum's use in motorcycles

Aluminum is everywhere that either lightweight structure or high thermal and electrical conductivity are required. 

The typical sportbike has an aluminum cylinder block, head, and crankcases, plus a welded aluminum chassis and swingarm. Within the engine, the crucial aluminum application is its pistons, which by conducting heat so well are able to survive exposure to combustion temperatures far above their melting point. The wheels, coolant and oil radiators, hand levers and their brackets, top and (often) bottom fork crowns, upper fork tubes (in USD forks), brake calipers, and master cylinders are likewise aluminum.

Together with the wide variety of steels, aluminum is a basic workhorse of human civilization, but it’s more than that for modern motorcycles. It’s the meat of a bike, so ubiquitous that we barely see it or acknowledge how much of the machine’s performance we owe to it.

Find out more at:

28 August 2018

Virgin Wines Advent Calendar 2018 - get yours before they sell out!

Having sold out two years running, the original and the best Virgin Wines Wine Advent Calendar is back! #Reimagined, bigger, better, and jam-packed full of more highly customer rated wines from the two-time Online Drinks Retailer of the Year.

Plus, new for 2018 is your very own daily video wine tasting experience at your fingertips featuring our very own independent winemakers from across the globe!

Don't miss out. Sold out in 2016 & 2017. Secure your 2018 Wine Advent Calendar now with a £10 deposit and we'll e-mail you prior to dispatch in early November.

Now featuring more grape varieties, more wine styles, and more independent winemakers from more countries across the globe. 24 highly rated wines, across 24 days. Reds, whites, a rosé, Port and plenty of fizz to keep the festive spirit flowing!

Guess what: mine's already on order! Last years was great!
Don't delay - order yours today! Ho, ho, ho!

A smart way to get "genuine" printer ink - the subscription model

Until relatively recently when it was time to order some ink for your inkjet printer, you had a couple of choices: take the risk of using cheap refilled cartridges (just say no!), or pay through the nose for "genuine" OEM cartridges.

There is a new model where you subscribe to the manufacturer & pay a monthly fee. They then monitor your printer & send you out fresh ink supplies before your current ink runs out.

Not all manufacturers offer this service (yet), & older printer models usually aren't supported. However: looking at the subscription fees (HP £7.99 for upto 300 pages/month), they look a lot more attractive then paying between £60 & £100 for a set of ink tanks!

Here are links to the various manufacturers websites, hope it helps!
Canon - not yet
Brother - not yet
Lexmark - not yet

So: if you are in the market for a new printer I'd recommend considering: 
Epson or HP

27 August 2018

There's one born every minute: the virtual land selling for millions in Decentraland

Investors are spending real money to buy land in a new city that only exists in virtual reality. 

Buyers can build whatever they want on their plots in Decentraland

Many hope to make a profit trading goods and services in the virtual world's own crypto currency

But will Decentraland be an online utopia or a cyber slum? 
Clue, look at these words: Virtual, Cryptocurrency. Hit or miss? 

BBC 4.1: experimental AI and archive programming 4-5 Sept 2018

BBC 4.1 AI TV will bring two nights of experimental programming to BBC Four on 4-5 September, featuring new and classic programmes exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This includes Made By Machine: When AI Met The Archive, a new and experimental programme part-made by AI to help show how it works, and The Joy Of AI, where Professor Jim Al Khalili tells the story of the pursuit of AI, the emergence of machine learning and recent breakthroughs.

AI was also used to help discover a selection of hidden gems from the BBC’s vast archive that will be shown as part of BBC 4.1 AI TV. Using the latest AI technology from BBC Research & Development, BBC Four scanned programme information dating back to 1953 from well over 250,000 TV programmes. The AI learnt what BBC Four audiences might like, based on the channel’s previous schedules and programme attributes, and then ranked programmes it thought were most relevant.

25 August 2018

Trip report: David Silver Honda Museum

Jeff, Bri & I had a couple of days away to Leiston, Suffolk to visit David Silver Honda Museum.

Jeff needed to pick up some spares for his CB750 restoration project, and we all fancied a trip to the museum.

Went up on Thursday - a fair old trip - Denmead to Leiston! Got checked in to our hotel and went out for some beers & a great curry!

Next morning after a hearty breakfast at the really nice Tiffins cafe, we went to David Silver's. Honda spares dealer par excellence! Also fantastic collection of Honda motorcycles (on two floors) from the 1940s onwards. Everything from kids scooters, through engines for bicycles to GoldWings & CBXs! I was fascinated by the collection of monkey bikes - they have loads! Unsurprisingly they have a CG125 - my 1st bike (1983, still love & miss that bike!)

After finishing there, we popped over to have a gander at the Sizewell reactors. Then a trip back down to Denmead - wait for it - on the Friday before a Bank Holiday! Amazingly the traffic back in our direction was relatively light, but was horrible in the other direction especially on the A12.

So, if you are a bike fan, and especially if you're Honda nut - a trip to Suffolk is highly recommended!

Reading for today: on the virtue of kindness (mercy)

For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues - ‘kindness’ or mercy - that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad. 

Such lopsided ethical developments are not uncommon, and other ages too have had their pet virtues and curious insensibilities. And if one virtue must be cultivated at the expense of all the rest, none has a higher claim than mercy - for every Christian must reject with detestation that covert propaganda for cruelty which tries to drive mercy out of the world by calling it names such as ‘Humanitarianism’ and ‘Sentimentality’. 

The real trouble is that ‘kindness’ is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that ‘his heart’s in the right place’ and ‘he wouldn’t hurt a fly’, though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.

National Motorcycle Museum - Free open day Sat 27 Oct 2018

Following the massive success of Museum LIVE over the past four years, Saturday 27/10/18 will see the museum host our 5th annual free open day when everyone will be invited to visit the museum collection free of charge. There will also be a host of other free attractions including our amazing “stars on stage” feature which is presented in association with Norton Motorcycles Ltd

Museum Live 2018 Timetable: To assist visitors, everyone arriving on site will be given a free timetable with a full list & timings of all the day’s exciting, free, events.

Free Museum Entry: Everyone will be invited to visit the museum collection, free-of-charge.

22 August 2018

A selfie like you've never seen before!

Later this year, the International Space Station will celebrate its 20th anniversary. As well as being one of the most important scientific endeavors in decades, the ISS has also proven to be a fantastic platform for photography, peering down at the mountains, deserts, cities and seas. New Atlas rounds up some of the best images snapped from humanity's eye in the sky.

The International Space Station measures 357 ft (109 m) long, and it gathers power from the Sun through a solar array spanning 240 ft (73 m). It orbits the Earth every 90 minutes at a speed of about 5 miles (8 km) per second, at an altitude of between 330 and 435 km (205 and 270 mi).

From that unmatched vantage point, the ISS is the perfect place for astronauts to capture the Earth in stunning detail. The natural beauty of landmarks like the Grand Canyon are unmissable, and at night the biggest cities sparkle like the stars above. The planet is also happy to showcase its more chaotic side too, with volcanic eruptions, wildfires, hurricanes and solar eclipses all clearly visible.

Take a few minutes out of your day and behold the beauty of Creation in these stunning photos from space. Enjoy!

Puppy and kitten sales at pet shops set to be banned - it's a start, but a long way to go!

Pet shops and dealers in England will be banned from selling puppies and kittens under government plans.

The proposals, which have gone out to consultation, will mean those wanting to buy or adopt a pet less than six months old will have to go to the breeder or a rescue centre.

A ban on licensed sellers dealing in dogs and cats less than eight weeks old is already coming in on 1 October.

Campaigners welcomed the announcement, but warned of "potential loopholes".

The ban aims to reduce the health problems associated which emerge when animals are reared in poor conditions.

If you are considering bringing a furry friend into your home & family, PLEASE consider rehoming / adopting.

21 August 2018

Facebook is rating the trustworthiness of its users on a scale from zero to one

Facebook has confirmed that it has started scoring some of its members on a trustworthiness scale.

The Washington Post revealed that the social network had developed the system over the past year.

The tech firm says it has been developed to help handle reports of false news on its platform, but it has declined to reveal how the score is calculated or the limits of its use.

Critics are concerned that users have no apparent way to obtain their rating.

20 August 2018

Bank of England chief economist warns on AI jobs threat

The chief economist of the Bank of England has warned that the UK will need a skills revolution to avoid "large swathes" of people becoming "technologically unemployed" as artificial intelligence makes many jobs obsolete.

Andy Haldane said the possible disruption of what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution could be "on a much greater scale" than anything felt during the First Industrial Revolution of the Victorian era.

He said that he had seen a widespread "hollowing out" of the jobs market, rising inequality, social tension and many people struggling to make a living.

It was important to learn the "lessons of history", he argued, and ensure that people were given the training to take advantage of the new jobs that would become available.

'Exploding' iPad prompts Apple shop evacuation

Three Apple employees have been treated for minor injuries after an iPad battery reportedly exploded in an Amsterdam shop.

The three staff are believed to have breathed vapours released when the battery caught fire.

The incident, on 19 August, led to the shop in Amsterdam's Leidseplein being evacuated and closed.

Firefighters were called and they dealt with the iPad and made sure the shop was properly aired.

The shop has now re-opened.

16 August 2018

Microsoft’s AI can create decent Chinese poetry from just a few images

Wings hold rocks and water lightly
in the loneliness
Stroll the empty
The land becomes soft

Microsoft’s AI wields the cool but questionably useful skill of being able to conjure Chinese poetry from a couple of images. 

The company’s Xiaolce chatbot is the system in question – a Chinese language conversational AI.

Windows Defender Browser Protection browser extension for Google Chrome

Protect yourself against online threats, like phishing and malicious websites, with real-time protection from Microsoft.

The Windows Defender Browser Protection extension helps protect you against online threats, such as links in phishing emails and websites designed to trick you into downloading and installing malicious software that can harm your computer. 

If you click a malicious link in an email or navigate to a site designed to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information, or a website that hosts malware, Windows Defender Browser Protection will check it against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft. 

If the malicious link matches one on the list, Windows Defender Browser Protection will show a red warning screen letting you know that the web page you are about to visit is known to be harmful, giving you a clear path back to safety with one click.

Continuously updated list of reported harmful sites.
Protects against phishing sites and socially engineered malware sites.
Real-time indicator of harmful sites and website status.

14 August 2018

One for my mate Jeff: The David Silver Honda Museum celebrates 50 year of the CB750!

Golden anniversary celebrations for the Honda CB750 kicking off in Suffolk next month.

It's pretty much beyond argument that Honda's CB750 was the first modern performance motorcycle. Launched in late 1968, its inline-four cylinder engine, disc brakes, electric starter and mad performance (68bhp ffs!) made everything else suddenly look a bit crap, and encouraged the other Japanese firms to bring out their versions - Kawasaki's Z1, Suzuki's GS and Yamaha's XS ranges.

We've arranged a visit to the museum, but before the CB750 extravaganza kicks off! Erm, that's a shame as Jeff is a CB750 nut!

Bitcoin's parabola: $6k to $20k back to $6k in ~10 months!

Bitcoin touched below $6,000 and dozens of smaller digital tokens including Ether retreated as this month’s sell-off in cryptocurrencies showed few signs of letting up.

The largest digital currency fell as much as 6.2 percent to $5,887, the lowest level since June, before paring some of the drop, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Ether sank as much as 13 percent, while all but one of the 100 biggest cryptocurrencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com recorded declines over the past 24 hours.

The total market capitalization of virtual currencies dropped to $193 billion. That’s down from a peak of about $835 billion in January.

13 August 2018

Please take 90 seconds out of your day to watch this video & find out the dirty truth about Palm Oil

I just took 90 seconds out of my day to watch a video called Rang-tan that tells the story of how the forest homes of orangutans are being cleared to grow palm oil.

I think you should watch it too, here’s the link.

It’s bizarre to think that palm oil is in over half the products on our supermarket shelves. The more people that watch Rang-tan the more people we can get to put pressure on brands like Nestle, Unilever and Mondelez to make sure the palm oil used to make their chocolates and soaps aren’t coming at the highest price for the world’s forests and the orangutans that live there.

Here’s that link to Rang-tan again, an animation about a little girl and her orangutan friend: www.greenpeace.org.uk

The Motorcycle Live (NEC Bike Show) 17-25th Nov 2018. Tickets on sale now!

All things biking for those yet to venture on to two wheels and the seasoned biker! A great day out for the whole family! FREE bike parking!

The 2018 Show will take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 17 - 25 November 2018. Also known as the NEC Bike Show.

The lads & I go most years. For my money - the best UK bike show in the calendar. Get your tickets now!

Compromise a network connected fax machine - and take down a corporate network...

Booby-trapped image data sent by fax can let malicious hackers sneak into corporate networks, security researchers have found.

Since many companies use fax machines that are also printers and photocopiers, they often have a connection to the internal network.

The malicious images exploit protocols established in the 1980s that define the format of fax messages.

The two researchers said millions of companies could be at risk because they currently did little to secure fax lines.

In particular, the researchers found problems with the way the protocols were used in some multi-purpose printers made by HP that are widely used in the business world. HP has now issued a patch for its printers, which will close the loopholes found by the pair.

10 August 2018

Meet Petronella - and find out how Find Your Feet have helped her (and others) to become sustainably self sufficient

Petronella is 54 years old and lives with her husband in Kativhu village in Zimbabwe. Petronella used to grow maize for a living, using highly priced hybrid seeds and chemical fertilisers. She shunned legumes such as cowpeas and small grains such as Rapoko, Sorghum and Millet, which she and her family perceived as old fashioned, inferior, and of low status for very poor households. Recurrent droughts coupled with the very high cost of fertilisers resulted in their maize productivity declining and Petronella was struggling to provide enough food or income for her family.

In 2015 she was selected by the community as a Lead Farmer. Through Find Your Feet she received training on sustainable farming techniques, and how to grow traditional grains. She was also trained on how to process her crops to create marketable products from them.

Her household is now growing small grains that are drought tolerant and using compost, manure and chicken droppings as organic fertiliser to save them money. The use of natural fertiliser, combined with mulching for the past three seasons, has improved the fertility of their soil, which has improved their yields.

She is now using traditional seeds to make tea leaves, coffee and curry powder. She also makes a sweet potato drink, her own yoghurt, and home made buns from amaranth and sweet potato flour, and dries her own fruits and vegetables such as mangoes and mushrooms. After receiving training on indigenous chicken rearing from Find Your Feet, she even sells her chickens to make a profit.

As a result, the welfare of her family has improved significantly, and she is installing solar panels and electricity in her home. She has bought a television, and deep freezer, and is now much more food and nutrition secure.

If you would like to support incredible women like Petronella to learn sustainable farming techniques to support their families, then why not get involved with Curry for Change this year?

09 August 2018

PGA Championship servers hacked and files locked - crooks demand Bitcoin ransom!

Hackers have broken into servers belonging to PGA of America, which runs the PGA Championship golf tournament.

Files containing marketing materials for that competition as well as the Ryder Cup in France have been locked, pending payment of a ransom.

A Bitcoin address was provided, but the hackers did not specify a desired amount, according to sports magazine Golfweek.

A PGA spokesman told BBC News he had no comment as the incident was ongoing.

He did add, however, that the PGA Championship would not be affected.

This dear readers is why it's important to have offline backups
Contact Donline if you need assistance with this.

Try Google G Suite & get 20% discount off your 1st year!

I use G Suite to help run my company and think other businesses can benefit from it too. 

You can use Gmail, as well as Google Calendar, Drive, Docs and other tools that allow you to get things done from any location, on any device. 

G Suite is offering a free 14-day trial. 
Sign up using my referral link and message me directly to get a 20% discount off your first year!

08 August 2018

Slashdot Poll: What search engine do techies choose?

A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). The information may be a mix of web pages, images, and other types of files. Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories. Unlike web directories, which are maintained only by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler. Internet content that is not capable of being searched by a web search engine is generally described as the deep web.

FYI: I use & recommend Google search.

Dogs And Their Motorcyclists - what is it about dogs that mixes well with motorcyclists?

Guy Martin has a three-year-old yellow Labrador called Nigel (after Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell) and has named his holding company Nigel Racing Corporation. The British truck mechanic, motorcycle racer, and popular television personality from Grimsby takes his pooch everywhere his custom Ford Transit van leads him, all in the name of speed.

Speaking of speed, nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi loves his dogs so much he’s included their cartoon likeness on his custom carbon AGV Pista helmets and on various sections of his Yamaha YZR-M1 Movistar bikes. He’s owned other animals, but when pressed to choose between dogs and cats he’s made it perfectly clear in past interviews where his allegiance lies.

And of course there is Calli the Honda Hound, & the marvelous Motorbike Milly.

07 August 2018

There's always a warm welcome at All Saints Church, Denmead!

On a very hot, sunny Sunday afternoon, 80 adults and children enjoyed a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at All Saints Church, Denmead.

After the success of this initiative last year, families from across Denmead were again invited to come and share an afternoon of party games, face painting, crafts, singing, bubbles, picnic food and ice-cream! The picnic brought together families from Messy Church, Little Stars (our baby and toddler group) and those whose children have been baptised at All Saints. Everyone brought their favourite teddy or cuddly toy to join in the games.

All Saints launched the Teddy Bears’ Picnic last year, and we were thrilled to see so many families returning this year, along with several new families. Several said how much they enjoyed the teddy bear hunt around the church and gardens, and the ice-creams. 

We are involved with a range of activities and services that support young families. For the 37th year, Denmead Activities and Bible School (DABS) will take place this summer, run in partnership with the local Baptists and Catholics. It is an amazing week in which children learn about God’s love and care.  

We regularly host a Messy Church on Saturdays between 3.30pm and 5.30pm. The next session is September 15. Each session explores a Bible story through messy arts and crafts, games, singing and  prayer.   It is full of fun, friendship and laughter and finishes with a yummy meal for all.  

We then have various services, a Sunday School and Youth Explorers which help our youngsters explore faith and encounter God. This year we have also launched a baby and toddler group, Little Stars, which meets every Friday from 9.15am to 11.15am in term time. Babies and toddlers have plenty of toys to play with, and parents and carers can meet new people and catch up with friends. There is always a snack for young and old, and a chance to sing together. 

We welcome everyone – whatever your age. 
Go to www.allsaintsdenmead.org.uk or call on (023) 9226 8757.

Read more at: www.portsmouth.co.uk

06 August 2018

Do you read the Bible regularly? A free online plan helps us to know & understand God's word

If you haven’t already determined to regularly and consistently read the Bible, RIGHT NOW is always the best time to make that decision! You can always rely on Bible Gateway to provide you with a variety of resources to make it happen:

Visit our New Year’s Bible reading resources page and sign up for a free email devotional
Or select a devotional from our complete newsletter page
Or select a Bible Gateway Bible reading plan that you can customize to your own reading pace
Create your own free personal account on Bible Gateway to be able to store notes that you write online as you read Scripture on Bible Gateway, highlight and bookmark Bible passages, and synchronize your notes across your multiple devices
And we encourage you to upgrade your Bible study experience with your own Bible Gateway Plus membership

Our free Bible reading plans and devotionals are available all year long: they’re ready when you are!

02 August 2018

Long Live The Local - help to save Britain's Pubs

The British pub has long since been a place for people to come together and is an indispensable part of British culture and heritage. However, if there is a hike in beer tax in this Autumn’s budget, this may put local pubs out of business, endangering the vital part they play not only in Britain’s identity, but also in their contributions to community.

The mission of the nationwide “Long Live The Local” campaign is to protect and celebrate the important role that pubs have in Britain’s community, culture and national identity. Backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, the campaign calls on the Government to cut the overwhelmingly high beer tax to help keep pubs open, a tax that is only set to rise further in the next three years. 

01 August 2018

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords! Scientists manage to revive worms that were frozen in the Siberian permafrost for up to 42,000 years

The Siberian permafrost is famous for preserving the remains of life from the Pleistocene period, but it's really outdone itself this time. Two worms frozen for around 40,000 years have now been thawed and revived, making them the oldest living creatures on the planet and the first multicellular organisms to have survived such long-term cryobiosis.

After gathering and analyzing over 300 samples of permafrost deposits, the team found that two of them contained viable specimens of soil nematodes (worms). One of these samples was taken from a ground squirrel burrow in the Duvanny Yar outcrop, which has previously been radiocarbon dated to about 32,000 years. The second sample was a drilled ice core from a glacial deposit near the Alazeya River, which corresponds to around 41,700 years of age.

After years of sitting in cold storage in a lab at -20° C (-4° F), the samples were defrosted in a Petri dish with an enrichment culture to promote their growth. They were warmed at 20° C (68° F) for a few weeks and sure enough, the nematodes began to move again, as well as chowing down on E. coli that had been added as a food source. Nom nom nom...