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.

21 November 2018

Busting The Engine Break-In Myth. Does is matter how you break-in your new bike?

Getting a new motorcycle is an exciting prospect, but once you fire it up for the first time you’re left with what many deem a great responsibility: breaking in that new engine.

What is engine break in? Fresh from-the-factory parts appear smooth, but they actually have microscopically rough surfaces that need to rub against their counterparts and bed in, and that happens during those first miles of use. Once the components are polished smooth and broken in, friction is reduced, sealing is improved, and you’re ensured good power, fuel economy, and reliability.

There are a lot of sliding and rotating parts within an engine, but what everyone gets riled up about when discussing engine break-in is the seal between the piston rings and cylinder walls. And rightfully so. Ring seal is the a key condition that’s going to affect performance and longevity, so it’s worth thinking about.

Read more here: www.motorcyclistonline.com

Deal of the day: Audible subscription just £3.99/month for the first 4 months

Unmatched selection of the world's best stories. Take your pick from the world's largest selection of audiobooks and premium spoken-word entertainment.

What you get with membership:
One credit per month, valid for any audiobook regardless of price.
Your own library to build. Every audiobook is yours to keep. Even if you cancel.
Exclusive member-only deals with up to 70% off additional audiobooks.
Exchange for free. Swap any audiobook, anytime for any reason.

Listen anytime, anywhere:
Whether you're driving, commuting, exercising or just relaxing before bed, Audible transforms the everyday. Listen in the Audible app for iPhone, Android or Windows, or on your Kindle Fire, Amazon Echo or Fire TV.

Audible is £7.99/mo after 4 months. Renews automatically. 

Using a free VPN? Why not skip the middleman and just send your data to President Xi Jinping?

Many popular free VPN apps are sketchy Chinese operations with dubious privacy policies, according to research.

Metric Labs' Top10VPN conducted a rare investigation into the ownership structure and responsiveness of top VPN providers who distributed their services on iOS and through Google's Play Store. 86 per cent are deemed to have substandard security policies that failed to disclose how the data was used. And 59 per cent are either Chinese-backed, or actually based in the People's Republic of China.

"It was often very challenging to verify who was actually behind these VPN apps, due to the great lengths companies went to in order to hide their ultimate ownership, and far beyond the means of the typical consumer to discover," concluded head of research Simon Migliano, who collated the data.

VPNs act kinda like a bridge: netizens' network traffic is routed through the VPN provider so that for all intents and purposes, each user appears on the internet at the location of the VPN's gateway. So, someone in the USA can use a VPN in the UK to appear as though they are using the web from Blighty. This obscures the true public IP address of the user. Also, connections to and from the user and the VPN are typically encrypted so if you're worried about your hotel or airport Wi-Fi being spied on, the VPN tunnel will mask it.

However, this means you place an enormous amount of trust in your VPN provider, which becomes effectively a second ISP. By carrying your network traffic, the VPN biz can potentially snoop on and tamper with your web browsing and internet activities. Websites and other online services that use HTTPS, or similar encryption, with mitigations to prevent man-in-the-middle eavesdropping can evade snooping VPNs.

Reading for Today: On humility

For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: “He must increase and I decrease.” 

He will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures; I know no promise that He will accept a deliberate compromise. For He has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only in so far as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls.

Compiled in: Words to Live By

20 November 2018

Top 5 ways to pick a secure password

Oh, passwords. Someday the FIDO alliance or somebody will save us from them. Until that heady day, we still need them and we need to choose ones that are really hard to guess. Even if you have two-factor authentication turned on—which you should—secure passwords are still a good idea. Fire up your Horse Battery Staple, here are five things to know to pick a good password:

1) Never reuse one. Ever. Data breaches are very common. When your password is breached at a service, that service will usually make you change it. But the service where you re-used it doesn't know that, so you just made that password very insecure.

2) Choose a long and strong passphrase. Yes, it is possible to remember your password and make it secure. Don't choose dictionary words. Security researcher Bruce Schneier suggests taking a sentence like: "When I was seven, my sister threw my stuffed rabbit in the toilet." And using the first letters numbers and punctuation to make "WIw7,mstmsritt."

3) Let a password manager do it for you. Yes, password managers are a single-point of failure, so be honest with yourself. Are your passwords more secure if you let a manager that is 2FA-protected pick really good ones for you? Or do you want to manage all that yourself? And is the way you manage it, more secure than a password manager? Be honest—nobody else needs to know.

4) Don't update it regularly unless you're forced to. It used to be that it took 90 days to crack a password, so if you changed it every 90 days, you could stay ahead. Now it takes seconds, unless you've picked a strong one.

5) Skip the secret question. If that's not an option, answer it like you're making a second password. There's no point in having a really secure password only to have it backed up by a dictionary word in your secret question that's easily guessable.

Two Wheels for Life: massive MotoGP prize up for grabs!

Two Wheels for Life and Dorna are giving you the chance to win THE ultimate MotoGP™ race weekend in 2019.

We are offering you the chance to win two paddock passes for the Jerez race weekend, including ALL grid access, hospitality for the entire weekend and an invitation for you and your guest to attend an exclusive dinner, hosted by Dorna.
The prize doesn’t stop there though, as your flights and accommodation are also included... all you need to do to be in with a chance is enter!

You may buy multiple entry tickets to increase your odds of winning:
£5 - 1 entry
£10 - 2 entry
£15 - 3 entry
£20 - 1 free entry
£25 - 2 free entry
£50 - 3 free entry

This prize draw closes on Tuesday, 11th December 2018 at 10 PM (GMT)

19 November 2018

Deal of the Day: Daytona Non Stop Gore Tex Motorcycle Boots

The Daytona Non Stop Gore Tex Boots are the perfect slim fit boot for touring, boasting a multitude of features for a low-price. Made of soft, water-repellent and greased special cowhide, these boots feature a Gore-Tex watertight and breathable membrane, for use in any weather. Extremely durable and comfortable; these boots includes a reinforced gear change cushion, an anatomically formed climatic insole and ankle protection on both sides, padded inside with open-cell special foam. All of this, including a Velcro fastener for different calf sizes and a side zip fastener for a personalised fit, makes for a sleek, lightweight boot with a whole lot to offer for the everyday rider.

Upper made of soft, water-repellent and greased special cowhide
GORE-TEX® watertight and breathable membrane
Side zip fastener with leather covering
Velcro fastener for different calf sizes
Reinforced gear change cushion from abrasion resistant PU foam
Anatomically formed climatic insole
PU foam sole
Plastic shinbone protection (both sides) padded with latex foam cushions
Ankle protection
Plastic reinforced inner sole with a hot-dip galvanised steel inlay, that allows you to gently roll your feet
3M-Scotchlite reflector
Non-slip rubber sport sole

These are the boots that I ride with.
Daytona's entry level boot @ a list price of £350!!! 
IMHO: Daytona make the best bike boots that money can buy.
This is a great opportunity to get some fab boots at a bargain price.
Christmas is coming: time to Treat your feet!

A great new Worship song & video from Graham Kendrick: As In Heaven

As In Heaven - by Graham Kendrick is taken from the 2018 album Keep the Banner Flying High.

Filmed by Mark Minors, Jon Kensington and Andy Pressdee. 
With special thanks to TBN UK.

And while we are on the subject: please enjoy this one too: 

CCleaner Black Friday sale is now on: 50% off till 30th Nov 2018!

The #BlackFriday half price sale for CCleaner, CCleaner Pro, CCleaner Pro Plus and CCleaner Business Edition is on! 

CCleaner frees up space, clears your online tracks and helps you manage your machine so it runs faster.

All of the above products are 50% off until 30th November 2018!

Changes to the Google sign-in interface coming soon

Starting November 27th, 2018, there will be some small changes to the appearance of the Google sign-in page. These follow changes made earlier this year, which updated the sign-in page to match the Material Design principles used in other Google products.

Specifically, you might notice outlines around some entry fields, and changes to the spacing and styling of other text on both the web and mobile screens. The changes will start to take effect on 27th November 2018 - and may take up to two weeks to reach all users.

Please be aware of this design change. Google do this every now & again - nothing to worry about - it's not hackers! 

17 November 2018

Let's take a bad thing & make it worse: Windows 10 Mail, now with added Ads!

Microsoft was, and maybe still is, considering injecting targeted adverts into the Windows 10 Mail app.

The ads would appear at the top of inboxes of folks using the client without a paid-for Office 365 subscription, and the advertising would be tailored to their interests. Revenues from the banners were hoped to help keep Microsoft afloat, which banked just $16bn in profit in its latest financial year.

According to Aggiornamenti Lumia on Friday, folks using Windows Insider fast-track builds of Mail and Calendar, specifically version 11605.11029.20059.0, may have seen the ads in among their messages, depending on their location. Users in Brazil, Canada, Australia, and India were chosen as guinea pigs for this experiment.

A now-deleted FAQ on the Office.com website about the "feature" explained the advertising space would be sold off to help Microsoft "provide, support, and improve some of our products," just like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail display ads.

The Win10 Mail app sucks - do yourself a favour & use Webmail or Outlook!

15 November 2018

Japan’s cybersecurity minister has never used a computer!

Japan’s cybersecurity minister has an interesting little secret, one that came to light in Parliament on Wednesday: He has never used a computer.

No, there’s no need to go read that line again. You read it right the first time. Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s 68-year-old minister of cybersecurity, has confessed to having never used a computer before.

When asked to elaborate on this claim, Mr. Sakurada explained that he has always had his employees and secretaries do computer work for him. He was also confused by the concept of a USB drive. A USB drive… When asked by a lawmaker if using USB drives in nuclear power plants proved to be a security risk, Sakurada recommended that he ask an expert.
(Sounds like a job for Donline!)

Deal of the day: The Nokia Banana phone is back - the smartest dumb phone there is!

The return of the icon. Much like the original, the new Nokia 8110 4G has a curved protective cover you can slide open to pick up calls and slide back to end them. The unique shape also means you can spin the phone in ways you never imagined. 

You can surf, chat and stream faster with 4G LTE. Plus, the wireless Hotspot feature lets you create your own Wi-Fi connection wherever you are.

The Qualcomm® 205 mobile platform is optimised to bring performance without compromising on battery life, bringing up to 25 days of standby time from a single charge.

Bargain price too:
RRP: £69.99 

Containerisation vs Virtualisation - what's the difference?

Containers and virtual machines are two of the most popular methods for application deployment. Understanding the similarities and differences can help you to choose the right method for your project.

Containerisation is Operating System (OS) virtualisation, whereas deploying Virtual Machines (VMs) is hardware virtualisation. Popularised by the open-source project Docker, containerisation is taking the IT industry by storm and presents another option for your business’ cloud hosting.

But what exactly is it and how does it differ from virtualisation?
Read more here: www.serverspace.co.uk

Wanna play? Try these:

Microsoft resumes rollout of Windows 10 version 1809

Microsoft has resumed the rollout of Windows 10 version 1809. The re-release of the so-called October 2018 Update comes more than five weeks after the company pulled the original installation files from its download servers and stopped its scheduled delivery through Windows Update just days after its initial debut on Oct. 2.

In a blog post, Microsoft's John Cable, the director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, says the data-destroying bug that triggered that unprecedented decision, as well as other quality issues that emerged during the unscheduled hiatus, have been "thoroughly investigated and resolved."

10 November 2018

Fullers 173rd anniversary: 19th Nov - Get Together and enjoy any 3 Fuller’s favourites for just £1.73 per pint!

At Fuller's, we’re counting down to our 173rd anniversary! 

Join us for the Fuller’s Get Together on Monday 19th November and enjoy any 3 Fuller’s favourites for just £1.73 per pint.

To receive a voucher to redeem your 3 pints at £1.73 from participating pubs simply fill in the form. Your voucher will be emailed to you.

09 November 2018

Icelend's banned TV advert - Rang-tan's Story - Choose a Christmas Without Palm Oil

Following a year of leading the retail industry in sustainability initiatives, we decided to do something different with our Christmas advert and continue to raise awareness of rainforest destruction caused by palm oil production, and its devastating impact on the critically endangered orangutan.

However, it has been ruled our advert will not appear on TV alongside other supermarkets as it was banned by advertising regulations on grounds of political advertising.

Find out more about our ‘No Palm Oil’ Christmas range by visiting Iceland online and searching for products using the 🐵 icon or by looking for the green 'No Palm Oil' badge on our products in store.

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 - coming soon!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 will follow summer 2016’s blockbuster about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. 

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy will produce the sequel to the comedy that had the best opening ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.

We loved the original movie - can't wait for v2!

07 November 2018

Dell special offer: Laptops at a bargain £13 million quid!

Dell are pleased to offer the following - on a great deal ~40% off!

Engineered to excel. Designed to impress. 
Dell’s thinnest, lightest and smallest 15" mobile workstation is more powerful than ever. With enhanced graphics, stunning design and best-in-class display.

Original Price: £20,002,151.65
Total Savings: £7,000,753.08
Dell Price: £13,001,398.57 Ex. VAT & Delivery

Please form an orderly queue! 
Click here to see the original page (before Dell realise their booboo & take the deal offline) - scroll to page 11 to see just how much you could save! 
I wonder if they offer a discount for bulk?

05 November 2018

Bad news, coffee drinkers: you’re probably a psychopath if you like your coffee black!

If you’ve ever been on a coffee date with someone who chose black coffee over the typical indulgent caffeinated creation, you might want to take your latte and run. Apparently, you’re on a date with a psychopath.

A new study from the University of Innsbruck in Austria found that people who prefer their coffee black often have psychopathic or sadistic tendencies. 

The study, published in the journal Appetite, surveyed over 1,000 adults about their flavor preferences. They also took four different personality tests that assessed machiavellian traits like narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, and aggression.

Researchers found a trend that suggested a correlation between preferences for black coffee, and other bitter tastes, and sadistic or psychopathic personality traits.

Oh dear, that's me then :0~

Need quality car insurance? Fancy a free £50 Amazon.co.uk gift card? Read on...

Enter referral code X45PK9 at the checkout when buying a car insurance policy direct from Quotemehappy.com receive a £50 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card! Ts&Cs.

Referral code: X45PK9

New from Planet Computers (home of the Gemini): the Cosmo Communicator

We are excited to announce that we are extending the range of Planet devices with the Cosmo Communicator, our new flagship device.

The Cosmo Communicator is a modern dual-screen clamshell-based mobile communicator with an integrated keyboard. It is built to be a great pocket computer, a superb mobile phone and an excellent high resolution camera.

The Cosmo Communicator is the ultimate mobile device that fits in your pocket. It's a great little computer with an excellent keyboard, a world-wide dual-SIM mobile phone and a fantastic camera - all in one! Great for emails, messaging, editing documents, making calls and taking snaps. The latest tech for your pocket from Planet Computers - the people that brought you the Gemini PDA. Running Android 9 OS, Sailfish and Linux operating systems, with a multi-boot option.

Why deepfake videos are a real threat to elections and society

Deepfakes are a new breed of fake videos that use artificial intelligence (AI) to make a falsified video virtually undetectable by swapping out someone's face and voice with an imposter's. 

The consensus among researchers is that deepfakes will eventually be used to impact a political election, whether this year or in the near future.

This is much more than a Photoshopped meme or a fake news story. With deepfake videos, algorithms are used to recognize actual audio or visual aspects of a person and then, just as with a fake photo, an actual video of that person is doctored to replace what they really said or did with a false video clip that perfectly mimics them. It's nearly impossible to know that the video isn't real.

02 November 2018

The Bible and World War One

Remembrance Sunday, 11 November 2018, marks the centenary of the end of World War One. It was a war in which some 65 million men were mobilised. Nearly a third were wounded. Some 8.5 million were killed. It’s a time for reflection. A time to pray for peace.

Where do you look for comfort in the Bible? You might head to the Psalms or perhaps the poignant words of Revelation 21.4, that speak of a time when 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes.' 

As we approach the centenary of the end of World War One, we remember both those who sacrificed their lives, and the conflict that ravages the world today.

And so we've brought to life the words of Revelation 21.1-7 in a touching film voiced by people from different walks of life, to bring comfort today. 

Brexit: UK government's battle with Apple over EU citizens app. OK if you use Android, probs if you're an iPhone fanboi...

The UK government is preparing to launch a smartphone app to make it as easy as possible for EU citizens to apply to remain in the UK after Brexit - the only problem is it doesn't fully work on Apple devices.

And hopes that the problem would have been fixed by now have just been dashed. The app is a key part of the government's drive to get the estimated 3.5 million EU citizens in the UK to apply for "settled status".

App users answer three "simple" questions, take a "selfie" to be checked against Home Office records and then - if they have an Android phone - scan the chip on their passport to verify their identity. The Home Office says a decision will be made on whether they can stay in the UK within two weeks.

As things stand, people with Apple devices will not be able to scan their passports and will either have to borrow an Android phone to complete their application or post their passport to the UK Visa and Immigration Service instead, meaning the process is likely to take longer.