Thursday, 21 February 2019

In other IS news - Swiss man on trial for fighting AGAINST IS!


Johan Cosar went to Syria not to fight for the Islamic State group, but against them. Now, the former Swiss army officer is facing a military tribunal back home.

He is charged with joining a foreign army and thus undermining Switzerland's neutrality and security.

Mr Cosar makes no attempt to hide his actions and remains proud of them.

"The law forbids fighting for a foreign force," an army spokeswoman said. "Who that force actually is, is irrelevant."

Mr Cosar was born in Switzerland, and is a Swiss citizen. But his grandparents have Syrian roots, and the Cosar family are members of the Syriac Christian community.

God Bless you Johan. I pray that any and all charges against you are soon dropped, and you can be a free man shortly. Thank you for your fight & leadership against this evil threat. Unlike some other people I could mention...

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


59 Club: ride-out & Blessing Service at St Paul's Cathedral. Saturday 4th May 2019


Come and  celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 59 Club and join one of two special rides to St Paul’s Cathedral in central London on Saturday 4th May 2019.

All are welcome to celebrate the 59 Club, its Diamond anniversary, motorcycling and, together with special guests, are invited to attend a Service and Blessing at 5pm in the City of London’s iconic landmark.

The two separate Ride-Outs to the city on Saturday 4th May are from:

A) All Saints Church
Uxbridge Road
London TW13 5EE
Meet From 1.30pm, Depart 2.30pm

B) Ace Cafe London
North Circular Road
London NW10 7UD
Meet From 2pm, Depart 3pm


Samsung Galaxy Fold: a very cool smartphone that morphs into a tablet


Samsung kicked off its Galaxy Unpacked 2019 event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco with the biggest news first - its foldable smartphone. Called the Galaxy Fold, the smartphone/tablet hybrid sports dual screens: one that folds in half like a notebook, and another that works just like any other. Samsung says the Galaxy Fold is defining “a new mobile category.”

The roughly 200-gram Galaxy Fold flips open in portrait orientation, and the inside is coated with a film that gives it a photopaper-like appearance. It’s got a protective polymer consisting of a cover window, a shock-absorbent film, and a polarizer that’s 45 percent slimmer than the company’s previous thinnest, along with a flexible layer and backplane. Samsung says the tech — dubbed Infinity Flex Display — took seven years to develop.

Thanks to a highly durable adhesive and a “sophisticated” hinge system with interlocking gears, the Fold’s 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3) primary screen can undergo “hundreds of thousands” of flexes without sustaining any sort of damage, Samsung says. The 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED (21:9) cover screen purposefully doesn’t bend — it puts apps at your fingertips when the Fold’s folded in half.

The Fold packs a speaker tuned by AKG Acoustics and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and comes in four colours: black, silver, green, and blue. You can personalize the hinge color, too, if you choose.

It’s available in both an LTE and 5G version, starting at an eye-popping $1,980. April 26 is the launch date.


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

40acts - give generously during Lent


How can 40acts help me during Lent? Lent is one of the most important times of year for many Christians around the world, particularly those within the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox traditions, held at a similar level of importance to Advent – the build up to Christmas.

Different people observe Lent in different ways, though by and large most people do this by giving something up for Lent. Whether you’re intending to give up chocolate, fast food, alcohol, or the Internet, 40acts encourages you to do something generous during Lent, too. You can sign up to take the challenge here.

As well as our group resources for families, churches, small groups, schools and youth groups, we also have a whole host of prayers for Lent that you can read, as well as a list of Lent prayers for children. In order to help your children better understand this wholly significant time of year we also have a section of our website entirely dedicated to facts about Lent, from the different days of Lent to what days like Ash Wednesday mean to the wider community.

If you need any help or guidance through Lent this year, sign up for 40acts, and do Lent generously.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Windows 7: you need SHA-2 support - or no more Windows updates after July 2019!


To protect your security, Windows operating system updates are dual-signed using both the SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash algorithms to authenticate that updates come directly from Microsoft and were not tampered with during delivery. Due to weaknesses in the SHA-1 algorithm and to align to industry standards Microsoft will only sign Windows updates using the more secure SHA-2 algorithm exclusively.

Customers running legacy OS versions (Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) will be required to have SHA-2 code signing support installed on their devices by July 2019. Any devices without SHA-2 support will not be offered Windows updates after July 2019. To help prepare you for this change, we will release support for SHA-2 signing in 2019. Some older versions of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) will also receive SHA-2 support to properly deliver SHA-2 signed updates.

However, even if you have SHA-2 code-signing installed, there isn't much time left! Windows 7, service pack 1 - End Of Support: 14th January 2020. Now is the time to start planning for an upgrade to your computer or a to obtain a replacement system.


Get 50% off your 1st order at Amazon Business!


What is Amazon Business?
Amazon Business is changing the way companies buy supplies. For most small businesses, buying supplies can be time-consuming and frustrating. Finding the best product at the best price with the most convenient payment terms can be a challenge, especially when they have other tasks that need to be completed. Amazon Business is the solution and brings big benefits to businesses of all sizes and industries. 

How does Amazon Business work?
Amazon Business is a business-to-business marketplace that combines selection, convenience and the value customers around the world have come to know and love from Amazon, with additional business-specific features including bulk pricing, Pay by Invoice*, downloadable VAT invoices and spend management tools. In this marketplace, multiple sellers compete for purchases on common stock keeping units (SKUs) on the most favorable terms for customers. It’s like a “reverse auction” where customers save time, money and hassle in the process. 

Choice, value and convenience: Amazon Business simplifies the entire purchasing process for businesses by helping them find, compare and order exactly what they need with fast, reliable shipping and flexible payment options. It’s a shopping experience Amazon customers will instantly recognise and understand. 

Helpful purchasing tools: Amazon Business gives users access to helpful purchasing controls that can ensure that only authorised purchases are made, together with tools to integrate with their existing purchasing system and provide detailed purchasing analytics.

Free accounts: Unlike warehouse clubs or subscription-based online retailers, Amazon Business accounts are free, even for companies with multiple authorised purchasers. Once registered, those with accounts are able to search hundreds of millions of products in the Amazon Business inventory, where multiple sellers can compete for their purchase.

Until 14 May, customers registering via this link will benefit from 50% off their first purchase of up to £100 on Amazon Business in addition to the great prices in the Fiscal Year End Sale during March 2019.


Work from home - a good fit for your business?


Remote work used to be a trend, but it is quickly becoming the norm. According to research, companies that support remote work have a 25 percent higher retention rate than companies that don’t. More and more people have seen the benefits of telecommuting and now want it as an option in their workplace.

In this eBook, you'll learn nine essential tips for effectively managing a remote team, including how to:

  • Establish habits of easy daily reporting on the status of projects.
  • Support connectedness with video meetings, offsite retreats, and chat groups.
  • Measure metrics like engagement, satisfaction, and customer feedback to set a standard for success.

Download the full eBook today to see how you can foster a successful work-from-anywhere culture.


Monday, 18 February 2019

The beginning of the end for physical optical discs? Download or stream only?...


Slowly but surely, spinning discs are dying out, and Samsung just put another nail in their coffin. The company told Forbes that it’s done producing new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players — and CNET was able to confirm that Samsung is halting production on at least some of its 1080p Blu-ray players as well.

“Samsung will no longer introduce new Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player models in the US market,” a Samsung spokesperson told CNET.

It's gonna be a sad day for yours truly when optical disks are dead & gone. Although I don't buy as many DVDs & Blu-ray disks as I used to, I still prefer to have a physical disk than streaming via Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. I still buy CDs as well. How old skool is that?


Saturday, 16 February 2019

Visit to the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show at the ExCeL Centre, London


Jeff & I had a great time at the The Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show.

A few of us try to do the Brum & London shows each year, but sadly missed the Birmingham show last year. In all honesty - Brum is the bigger & better of the two shows, but this year's London show was worth attending, for 4 hours of bikey fun!

Highlights: This special edition Kawasaki Z900RS by Surrey Customs - absolutely stunning! The Indian FTR1200. Royal Enfield 650 - two models. We were really looking forward to seeing the new Suzuki Katana. Suzuki had an original & new bike there. Nice, but not "take my money now" territory sadly - which is a shame, as that's what we were expecting it to be :0(. Would be good to have a play though...

Jeff rather liked the new Honda CB650R - which looks really good. Test ride next week - details to follow!

What did I come back with? I bought a Norton Commando 961 SE Motorcycle! Or at least a 1:18 scale model to add to my collection ;0). Also a pair or Rukka MARS 2.0 gloves on a cracking show deal from Infinity. We also did our bit to rid London of surplus beer stocks - a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it!


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Tired of screwing up your fasteners? You're using the wrong screwdriver! JIS screws explained by MC Garage


Explaining the difference between JIS screwdrivers and Phillips Screwdrivers

Are all the Phillips screws on your motorcycle chewed up and rounded off? It's probably because they are not Phillips! 

On this episode of MC Garage we talk about JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screws and screwdrivers. 

Wow - who knew? I thought there was Pozi & Phillips. Nope - there are loads of crosshead screw standards! Spoiler: is there a dot on the screw head? If so, it's a JIS head! Therefore you need this set of screwdrivers!


Monday, 11 February 2019

A new extension for Google Chrome: Password Checkup. A tool to help you to stay safe, stay secure


Google Password Checkup helps you re-secure accounts that were affected by data breaches. Wherever you sign-in, if you enter a username and password that is no longer safe due to appearing in a data breach known to Google, you’ll receive an alert. Please reset your password. If you use the same username and password for any other accounts, please reset your password there as well.

Password Checkup was built with privacy in mind. It never reports any identifying information about your accounts, passwords, or device. We do report anonymous information about the number of lookups that surface an unsafe credential, whether an alert leads to a password change, and the domain involved for improving site coverage. Click HERE to learn more about how Password Checkup works.


Still using Internet Explorer? It's time to move to a modern Web Browser!


Old habits die hard, but they do eventually have to die. Microsoft knows there are still plenty of businesses and organisations out there using Internet Explorer because the outdated browser supports legacy web apps, but the company is asking people to finally let go of their old ways and to embrace a modern browser.

In a blog post, Microsoft senior cybersecurity architect Chris Jackson said continuing to use Internet Explorer is racking up companies a ton of "technical debt." Essentially, by continuing to use IE, organizations are creating additional costs down the line by selecting the easiest, most convenient solution now rather than the approach that is best for the long term. Jackson laid out a scenario in which a company, choosing the easiest possible route since Internet Explorer 6, goes to make a webpage today and ends up using a 1999 implementation of web standards by default.


Thursday, 7 February 2019

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.2


The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.2 with NotebookBar, a significant major release of the free office suite which features a radical new approach to the user interface – based on the MUFFIN concept – and provides user experience options capable of satisfying all users’ preferences, while leveraging all screen sizes in the best way.

The NotebookBar is available in Tabbed, Grouped and Contextual flavors, each one with a different approach to the menu layout, and complements the traditional Toolbars and Sidebar. The Tabbed variant aims to provide a familiar interface for users coming from proprietary office suites and is supposed to be used primarily without the sidebar, while the Grouped one allows to access “first-level” functions with one click and “second-level” functions with a maximum of two clicks.

Need an office productivity suite? Word processor, spreadsheet application, presentation program, etc. Fancy something other than the mighty Microsoft Office, with it's not-insubstantial price tag? Try LibreOffice (for free) - millions of users can't be wrong!


Free IT courses and resources - from Microsoft


Whether you are a parent with kids, manage a team, head up an IT function, run a business or work in the charity or public sectors, digital skills can provide you and your family & staff with the knowledge to achieve more in an increasingly technology-driven world. 

With 90% of jobs requiring some level of digital proficiency within the next two decades and three in four companies struggling to recruit those with the critical skills they need, digital skills can help your organisation to be more competitive, attract new talent and upskill current employees. 

From basic digital literacy to discovering new ways to unlock innovation through cloud and AI technology, the Digital Skills programme is designed to empower you and your people to benefit from a modern approach to business.

Find out more about the free courses and resources available to you, your family & and your workforce.


Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Virgin Media tests 8Gbps broadband - really?!?!


A handful of homes in Cambridgeshire have tested broadband speeds of 8Gbps, as part of a trial by Virgin Media.

Currently only eight households, in the village of Papworth, are involved in the trial but Virgin Media hopes to extend this to 50 over time.

The technology it uses, ethernet passive optical network, offers the same speeds for downloads and uploads.

One analyst said it was important that fibre operators future-proofed networks and ensured there was enough capacity.

That's nuts! As an IT consultant & can happily live with 50Mbps down, 15Mbps up. What on earth does someone NEED that sort of speed for in a home?


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Zen Internet - one of the two ISPs that Donline works with. A truly great Internet Service Provider!


Learn how to start an internet company. 
Everything you need to know in 4 mins 21 seconds.
Check out the BBC News #BBCBizLive interview with Zen chairman Richard Tang (Richard's bit starts at 18.35).

I first used Zen's services ~20 years ago.
They were & still are a fantastic ISP: truly trustworthy, excellent techies.
Want to find out more? Click HERE, then contact Donline.


Still looking for reasons why cryptocurrencies are a bad idea?


Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange is unable to access millions in digital currency following the sudden death of its founder.

Quadriga has filed for creditor protection and estimates that about C$180m ($137m; £105m) in cryptocurrency coins is missing.

It has not been able to locate or secure its cryptocurrency reserves since Gerald Cotten died in December. Cotten, 30, had sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins.

In court documents filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on 31 January, his widow Jennifer Robertson, says the laptop on which Cotten "carried out the companies' business is encrypted and I do not know the password or recovery key". "Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere," the affidavit states.

So, a bit like a bank: who's manager has lost the key to the vault, "Sorry, you can't have your money back. Shut the door on your way out." 
I've said it many times: 


Reading for today: God is good!


For the word of the Lord is right and true; 
he is faithful in all he does. 
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; 
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Read all of Psalm 33 at Bible Gateway

Monday, 4 February 2019

A message from Snopes regarding their (now-ex) Facebook fact-checking partnership


Facebook endeavored at the end of 2016 to work with various fact-checking organizations (including Snopes.com) in order to help curb the spread of misinformation on their platform. After contributing to that effort for two years, we want to inform our readership that Snopes.com has elected not to renew our partnership with Facebook.

At this time we are evaluating the ramifications and costs of providing third-party fact-checking services, and we want to determine with certainty that our efforts to aid any particular platform are a net positive for our online community, publication, and staff.

To be clear, we have not ruled out working with Facebook or any other platforms in the future. We hope to keep an open dialogue going with Facebook to discuss approaches to combating misinformation that are beneficial to platforms, fact-checking organizations, and the user community alike, and we particularly hope Mr. Zuckerberg meets with fact-checkers as part of his recently announced series of public discussions.


Friday, 1 February 2019

Does a miracle fuel additive really work? Spoiler: No!


Widely advertised in tabloid newspapers like the Daily Mail and Daily Express, there’s long been a stream of ‘miracle’ fuel additives and gadgets that claim to boost the performance and economy of your car or motorcycle’s engine, but do they really work? Can they truly give the results that they claim?

I've often seen these type of wonder additives at bike shows, & thought they looked like some sort of snake oil product. Looks like I was right!


Asia Bibi - free at last? Pakistan's notorious blasphemy case, actually one of many...


Asia Bibi was dragged out of her house, beaten, and arrested in front of an angry mob. Accused of blasphemy, she would never return to her village. After a decade-long ordeal, Asia is finally free.

Please God, let Asia & her family be offered a safe country to find sanctuary in.
Pray for freedom and safety for the persecuted Church worldwide.
Perhaps we ought to reconsider the aid given to Pakistan?


10 most expensive bikes on sale in India


In the world of high-end two-wheelers, bike makers around the globe have creations designed to offer the ultimate in performance, luxury and exclusivity — from bikes with over 300hp on tap and track specials, to custom order creations. These are bikes that, in many cases, are more common as posters on people’s walls than seen in people’s garages. We take a look at the 10 most expensive bikes that are currently available on sale in India. (All prices, ex-showroom).

Some serious bikes here. Several from The Motor Company, Kwak H2, Ducati Panigale 1299, etc. Not just Royal Enfields then! Mind you there are loads of REs over in the UK, with lots more to follow when the funky new 650cc models become available soon.

Working out the prices in this article are proving to be a bit tricky for me. It's Indian Rupees, for starters. Then Lakh, which = 100,000 Rupees. But just to make matters more difficult, they use commas as a separator -&- put them in different places. Aargh, too difficult. Its been a long week. I'll just look at the piccies!

Click here to read this article in full at The Hindu newspaper:

Where was your Triumph motorcycle made?


A Great British icon built in Thailand? “It’s not a ‘proper’ Triumph” many seem to scream on social media.

BikeSocial asked Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product officer and a man instrumental in the setting up of the overseas factory, whether Triumph is still the English rose it once was…


Donline is 13 years old today!


Wow: I truly can't believe that THIRTEEN years (lucky for me!) have passed since I started Donline Computer Consultancy on 1st Feb 2006.

I feel so blessed to serve Donline's clients - all 547 of them! I support home users, small & medium businesses. Such lovely people. It's a pleasure to work with you all! 

Thanks for all of the business (& coffee!). I look forward to (God willing) offering IT Support services for many more years.