26 November 2019

Need another good reason to backup your data? Certian HPE Solid State Drives to definitely fail in under 4 years of use!

Hewlett Packard Enterprise was notified by a Solid State Drive (SSD) manufacturer of a firmware defect affecting certain SAS SSD models (reference the table here) used in a number of HPE server and storage products (i.e., HPE ProLiant, Synergy, Apollo, JBOD D3xxx, D6xxx, D8xxx, MSA, StoreVirtual 4335 and StoreVirtual 3200 are affected. 3PAR, Nimble, Simplivity, XP and Primera are not affected.)

The issue affects SSDs with an HPE firmware version prior to HPD8 that results in SSD failure at 32,768 hours of operation (i.e., 3 years, 270 days 8 hours). After the SSD failure occurs, neither the SSD nor the data can be recovered. In addition, SSDs which were put into service at the same time will likely fail nearly simultaneously.

To determine total Power-on Hours via Smart Storage Administrator, refer to this link.

There are two types of people in the world: those who have lost data, and those who will lose data. Backup now - before it's too late! Don't know what to do? Contact Donline ASAP!

Finally a Black Friday deal worth paying for! Audible £3.99 per month for your 1st four months!

What is Audible? Download and listen to the world’s best storytelling. Enjoy audiobooks, original series and more on the free app. Heighten your everyday moments - whether you’re driving, commuting or just unwinding, transform the moments when your hands are busy but your mind is free. Listen to your favourite genres including best sellers, latest releases, sci-fi, fantasy and more.

What you get with membership:
One credit per month, valid for any audiobook regardless of price.
Thereafter Audible is just £7.99/month (renews automatically)
Free Audible Original Podcasts. Unlimited listening to episodic documentaries, comedies and more.
Your own library to build. Every audiobook is yours to keep. Even if you cancel.
Get up to 80% off selected audiobooks with member-only deals.
Exchange for free. Swap an audiobook 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.

Report highlights toll of outdated office computers, software, printers

A ZenBusiness study found more than 50% of people said their office was moderately or completely outdated.

Employers are costing themselves time and money because of outdated technology slowing workers down, according to a study released by business tech company ZenBusiness

The company created a survey with Amazon Mechanical Turk and spoke with 917 people evenly split between working at a small business, midsize business and large company. 

The study found that, on average, employees estimate nearly an hour each day is lost due to technology malfunctioning or moving slowly while almost $4,000 is lost each year. 

More than 80% of respondents cited computers as the most commonly outdated technology they use at their workplace while software came in second at 70.5%. Many people also cited printers and displays as tech that constantly failed. 

Time is money. Waiting for old PCs to respond is costing your business real cash. Need advice on an upgrade path? Contact Donline.

25 November 2019

Xerox threatens hostile takeover after HP rebuffs $30bn acquisition bid

The chief executive of Xerox has outlined his roadmap for a hostile takeover of HP after the laptop and printer maker rejected a takeover bid in excess of $30bn earlier this week.

HP reviewed a takeover proposal first submitted on 7 November, but its CEO declared earlier this week that the bid significantly undervalued the company, and wasn't in the best interests shareholders. Xerox's CEO John Visentin has written back to HP to dispute this, suggesting instead the company's valuation actually represents a huge premium on the target share price set by the firm's own financial analysts Goldman Sachs.

The dispute also centres on what Xerox describes as "one-way" due diligence, in which HP has demanded that Xerox performs customary checks ahead of a merger, but has declined to reciprocate. The firm has now set a deadline for HP to agree to mutual due diligence by Monday 25 November, or Xerox will take its case directly to shareholders.

"While we are glad to see that HP's Board of Directors acknowledges the substantial merits of a business combination between Xerox and HP and are open to exploring the value opportunity for our respective shareholders, your response lacks a clear path forward," Visentin wrote in his letter.

"The Xerox Board of Directors is determined to expeditiously pursue our proposed acquisition of HP to completion – we see no cause for further delay. The overwhelming support our offer will receive from HP shareholders should resolve any further doubts you have regarding the wisdom of swiftly moving forward to complete the transaction."

This sort of thing sickens me. Acquisitions, asset stripping, greed. My old company Synstar International got eaten by HP - there is nothing left now. HP might get eaten by Xerox(!). Sharks getting eaten by bigger sharks. Mammon...

Donline supports the Contract for the Web - do you?

The web is one of the most powerful tools we’ve ever had to transform our lives for the better - it transforms people’s lives, enriches society and reduces inequality.

But never before has its power for good been more under threat.

Online scams cost users millions. Cyber bullying is on the rise. Foreign state actors use disinformation to undermine democracy.

We must take action to fight for the #WebWeWant.

21 November 2019

Video: The Impact of Alpha. Come: in these difficult times - hear The Good News!

Watch our short film for a snapshot of some of the amazing things God is doing around the world.

In 2018, an estimated 1.3 million people around the world encountered the Good News of Jesus on Alpha.While these numbers are encouraging, it is about individual lives that have been changed through the Gospel. 

It is people like Jonathan who was caught drug trafficking and sent to prison in China. He was released 15 years later, returned to Malaysia and chanced upon Alpha in his local church, which turned his life around. He said: “The chains that bound me for so long were all broken by the love and power of Jesus.”

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune

It can be tough in the repair industry, and no one knows that better than struggling corporation Apple. Poor souls... ;0)

Cupertino has long been criticized for trying to control what its customers can do with their products, and especially so for charging what critics have said in an unjustifiable mark-up on repairing everything from iPhones to MacBooks.

But it’s just not true, the iGiant revealed this week to US Congress: in fact, despite charging between double and triple what other repair shops charge for fixing problems, Apple (2018 profit: $60bn) actually loses money on its repair business.

Asked by the House Judiciary subcommittee to “identify the total revenue that Apple derived from repair services,” the Cupertino idiot-tax operation revealed that: “For each year since 2009, the costs of providing repair services has exceeded the revenue generated by repairs.”

That’s right, it may charge you $329 for a screen replacement that costs $100 everywhere else. Or $80 for a battery than costs $30 across the street. Or even $475 to replace a single key at an Apple store. But poor old Apple is making a loss every time.

Which is, of course, nonsense, though it’s interesting to explore how Apple can make the claim with a straight face. And the answer is creative accounting.

19 November 2019

Question: "What does God want me to do?"

We ask the question what does God want me to do? for a variety of reasons. We may be facing a big life decision and truly want to follow God’s plan. Or we may be searching for God and believe that there are steps to follow or rules to keep in order to find Him. Or we may ask, “What does God want me to do?” because we can’t find purpose or meaning in our lives and suspect that God is keeping it from us. Whatever motivates the question, the Bible has answers when we are wondering what God wants us to do.

When asking what God wants me to do, remember that we are not human doings. We were created in God’s image as human beings to communicate and walk in harmony with Him (Genesis 1:27). When we focus on who we are in Christ and study the Scriptures, we will know what God wants us to do.

13 November 2019

Microsoft starts rolling out Windows 10 November 2019 Update

12th Nov 2019: Microsoft started rolling out the free Windows 10 November 2019 Update. For those keeping track, this update is Windows 10 build 18363 and will bring Windows 10 to version 1909. You can grab it from Windows Update when it’s served to you, or try to download it manually (when available in your region).

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released seven major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, April 2018 Update, October 2018 Update, and May 2019 Update. The eighth one arrives this month.

Update - PM 15/11/2019: I have updated my laptop to Win10Pro v1909 - a really fast upgrade: 5-10 mins including download, install & reboot! No visible differences - some minor changes.

Every year, dogs are thrown away like rubbish! Please help the Dogs Trust care for an abandoned dog, this Christmas.

Three-legged Boxer cross, Missy was found wandering the streets just days before Christmas. She had been thrown away like she was nothing – just another piece of rubbish. Thankfully, Missy was rushed into our care. She was clearly traumatised by her ordeal but what made her situation even more critical was that she was heavily pregnant.

We did everything we could to make sure she and her puppies knew they weren’t rubbish - It’s what we do for every dog that comes through our doors.

What is wrong with some people? Dogs are a beautiful, precious part of God's creation, & they are good for us too! Always love & care for your pets especially at Christmas, and if possible give to an animal charity like Dogs Trust or Healing Paws. Thanks x. 

11 November 2019

Top five (six!) classic bikes to buy now before they increase in value

Here is a great article from Bennetts - BikeSocial with recommendations as to what to look for if you are in the market for a modern classic motorcycle. I'm glad to see that prices are much more reasonable than they were a couple of years ago - when a bag of bolts would cost a king's ransom! 

This is their shortlist - & I'd pretty much agree:
1996 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit
2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000K5
1985 Yamaha V-Max
1993 Ducati M900 Monster
1994 BMW R 1100 GS

For my money - I'd add this to the list: 1983 Honda VF750 SC (Sabre). This was one of my fave big bikes in the day. Now a minter (like these: Bike1 or Bike2) is £2.5 to 3.5k. Doer-uppers start @ £600! They did have their issues (OK, major issues - camshafts!), but when sorted (& they invariably are - or they wouldn't be around 30+ years later) they are cracking bikes. Santa - please take note... ;0)

07 November 2019

Reading for today: pray for our politicians

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Read all of 1 Timothy 2 at Bible Gateway

06 November 2019

Stop the press: Bimota are back. Again!

*** Unveiled at EICMA 2019 *** The Kawasaki Heavy Industries group considers it a privilege to be able to, through Italian Motorcycle Investment, support the BIMOTA brand in its revival.

Ooooo I really hope this will be a the MCL show later this month! Bimota are the ultimate in outrageously sexy motorcycles. Cutting edge tech & engineering, stunning styling, eye-watering price tags. Essentially: Italian! The Tesi H2 could be an awesome thing: hub-centre steering & the amazing H2 supercharged engine. Hold on tight - to the bars & your wallet!

Not enough sockets in your house? Buy this place - it's the EC socket mountain!

Buying a house is a major ordeal. You go from door to door, months zip past and something's never quite right... then you find it, "the one". A five-bedroom home in Pinner, Harrow, northwest London"I could see the girls growing up here," your partner utters with tears in their eyes.

Indeed, the listing on Rightmove looks none too shabby on the surface. "This family haven is situated in a family-friendly location just approx. 1.7 miles [2.7km] from Eastcote Station and 1.1 miles [c 1.8km] to Pinner High Street," the description burbles.

Because not once does the cheerful text acknowledge the sheer number of electrical sockets festooning interior walls of the house. Trypophobes and OCD sufferers should probably look away now!

One Bitcoin “whale” may have fueled the currency’s price spike in 2017

A single Bitcoin holder—called a “whale” in cryptocurrency parlance—likely manipulated the market and helped fuel the big rise in Bitcoin’s price in 2017, according to researchers. That year, Bitcoin’s price jumped from under $1,000 in January to more than $19,000 in December.

The news: Last year, University of Texas professor John Griffin and Amin Shams, an instructor at Ohio State University, published controversial research concluding that in 2017 just a few big players used the stablecoin Tether to prop up the price of Bitcoin following market downturns. Griffin and Shams now tell Bloomberg that just a single whale was likely behind the behavior. They say that one entity on Bitfinex, a popular cryptocurrency headquartered in Hong Kong, appears able to push the price of Bitcoin up when it falls below certain thresholds. 

Fullers are 174 years old on the 19th Nov 2019 - time to celebrate with drinks at £1.74 each!

It’s our birthday on 19 November, marking 174 years since the official partnership papers of Fuller, Smith & Turner were signed in 1845, and to celebrate we’re having a special Get Together in our pubs with entertainment, food, and of course, plenty of great drinks – and you’re invited! 

Each of our 200 managed pubs will be getting involved by putting on special events, including pub quizzes, comedy shows, open mic nights, meet the brewer or distiller mixers, tap takeovers, tastings, and fundraisers for our charity partner, Special Olympics GB.

If you sign up to Get Together you will receive a voucher code to get three drinks for £1.74 each, which you can redeem at any of our managed pubs on our birthday. Cheers!

05 November 2019

Tools With A Mission: a Christian charity sending tools across the world

TWAM: our mission is to collect unwanted tools, refurbish them, sort them into trade kits and send them across the world for livelihood creation.  We send around 20 containers filled with over 300 tonnes of tools every year.

Why we do it: We want to support local people supporting their own communities through livelihood creating projects.  We believe there is dignity through work and the ability to provide for yourself and your family.  We believe entire communities can be transformed through training and the provision of tool kits and equipment.
Our motivation: We believe that God's heart reaches out to the poor and that He calls us to follow His example.

“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.”- Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)

Our motivation is to be a refuge for the poor, a safe place to find support, hope and dignity through the provision of tools and equipment.

Great news from our friends at Child of Hope, Uganda: construction progress on their secondary school

You can see how construction is progressing on our secondary school in this 2-minute video. We’re still on target for completing in time for the new school year in Jan/Feb and, as you’ll see, buildings are taking shape nicely.

When the school opens, we will probably start with three classes (S1, S2 and S3). S4 classes will have been taught different parts of the 'O' Level syllabus in their current secondary schools, so it will probaby be best for CoH S4 students to remain in them. We will then add the S4 class in 2021.

Motorcycle Live is almost here! 16-24 November at the NEC Birmingham

From 16-24 November at the NEC Birmingham, bike enthusiasts from around the country have the chance to see the latest new models from the world's leading manufacturers, enjoy non-stop live entertainment and take advantage of free chances to ride - will you be there?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of classics or customs, sports bikes or cafe racers, Motorcycle Live is the place to be! If you want to meet racers and celebrities or if you’re looking for somewhere to go with the whole family – there is everything you need, under one roof.

There are a whole host of FREE opportunities to get on two wheels too - and it doesn't matter if you're a complete beginner or a seasoned-professional - there's something for all ages and all abilities. Click HERE to book your tickets!

04 November 2019

Introducing the new Microsoft Edge and Bing

In our mission to empower people with knowledge with Microsoft 365, one critical opportunity is the internet. We know that 60% of the time people spend on the PC is within the web browser, and it has become the primary way we work, learn and play. The internet has become an everyday utility, that we reach for automatically without thinking, yet two decades after its introduction, we are bumping into challenges and obstacles that raise questions for us.
  • Is our data safe and our privacy protected as we surf the web?
  • At work, why can’t we find our internal company information, like our pay stub or co-worker’s office location, right from within our browser or search engine like we do with web search?
  • Why can’t the web work more seamlessly with the productivity tools we know like Office 365 so that we can be more productive with our research and collaborate with others?

At Microsoft, we believe it is time to expect more from your web experience whether you are using it for personal or business use, an IT manager in a company, or a web developer. Today we begin with a focus on people in businesses and introduce the new Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Bing – the browser and search engine for business.

Microsoft today announced that the new Microsoft Edge is expected to be generally available starting January 15, 2020. We are also excited to introduce our new look! To learn more about these announcements, click below:

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Adventure MC Commute Review

Moto Guzzi returns to the motorcycle adventure riding scene in a pleasing medium-size package with its all-new V85 TT. Designed as a retro-themed but modern-featured ADV bike, the V85 TT is for riders looking to be able to travel farther, while experiencing the classic heartbeat of Guzzi's signature transverse-mounted air-cooled V-twin.

The V85 is powered by an overhauled 853cc twin. Yes, its cylinders still poke out from both sides of the machine, but the dynamic and character of the engine are more refined than ever. Still it retains that trademark Guzzi feel that makes it feel like, well, no other motorcycle on the road.

The engine hangs inside a steel trellis-type chassis with road-competent suspension that delivers a good balance between sport and comfort. Of course, styling is a big selling point, and this Guzzi, certainly is a head turner with its throwback lines to the Italian company’s Paris-Dakar racing days.

But don’t just take our word for it; see how the V85 TT Adventure performs on the road as we negotiate mean SoCal traffic during our work week commute.

We are off to the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham later this month. This is probably the number 1 bike that I want to see in the flesh. Looks great in pix, and the reviewers seem to like it too.

Microsoft thinks we should have 3 day weekends - with benefits all round!

Last August, Microsoft Japan carried out a “Working Reform Project” called the Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019. For one month last August, the company implemented a three-day weekend every week, giving 2,300 employees every Friday off during the month. This “special paid vacation” did not come at the expense of any other vacation time. The results were pretty incredible!

First off, the reductions. Employees took 25.4 percent fewer days off during the month, printed 58.7 percent fewer pages, and used 23.1 percent less electricity in the office (since it was closed an extra day). All of these saved the company quite a bit of money.

Next, the increases. Productivity went up by a staggering 39.9 percent. That means even though the employees were at work for less time, more work was actually getting done!

A lot of the increase in productivity is attributed to the changing of meetings. With only four days to get everything done for the week, many meetings were cut, shortened, or changed to virtual meetings instead of in-person.

And even though it should seem obvious, it’s also important to note that 92.1 percent of employees said that they liked the four day workweek at the end of the trial. Due to its success this year, Microsoft is planning on repeating it again next summer or perhaps at other times as well.