Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Reading for the New Year - with Blessings for 2020


This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.


Father God, lead us towards the new things you want in our lives. 
Help us to keep going when the way gets hard. Amen.

With Blessings to all for a happy, healthy & successful new year & 2020!

Read all of Isaiah 43 at Bible Gateway

Sunday, 29 December 2019

A couple called 911, thinking an intruder had entered their home. It was actually their robotic vacuum


A North Carolina couple was watching a movie in their bedroom when they suddenly heard loud noises coming from downstairs. Worried that it was an intruder, the two called 911.

The couple waited for police to arrive, hoping their 2-year-old daughter sleeping in her room wouldn't get up to check on the noise, said Thomas Milam, the husband, in his Facebook post shared to Forsyth County Sheriff's Office's page.

Milam was armed and prepared to use his military training if things took a turn for the worse.
"All my military training came back to me," he said in the post. "I started analyzing the path the intruder would take, their line of fire if they entered the room in certain ways, and where we should be to decrease our risk of getting hurt."

Minutes after they called 911, police entered the home and began to search for an intruder. When the 911 operator told Milam to go downstairs to talk to the police, he said, the officers just had one question. "Is this Roomba yours?" Police had apprehended the suspect: the couple's brand new robotic vacuum.


Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome - criticised for excessive data collection


Google Chrome is the latest browser to drop AVG and Avast extensions after reports of excessive data snooping.

Back in October, a blog post from Wladimir Palant, founder and CTO at AdBlock Plus, highlighted that browser extensions created by the two security firms were hoovering up more data than necessary to function, especially versus rivals such as Google Safe Browsing. That data, according to the post, included user ID, where you're located, and how you got to a specific page.

After that report, Mozilla and Opera both pulled the AVG and Avast extensions, though the former reinstated one set of add-ons after changes to data collection were made. Google has now reportedly also followed that lead, removing the questionable extensions.

"I didn't expect to publish this update any more, but Avast extensions are now gone from Chrome Web Store as well," Palant tweeted. "Only AVG Online Security remains for some reason. Way to go Google!" The latter has 3,582 users, according to the Google Web Store.

Avast, which bought AVG in 2016, had not replied to a request for comment at the time of publishing.


Saturday, 28 December 2019

Chance for Childhood - tune in to our BBC Radio 4 appeal this Christmas


There are only a few days left of 2019, but our year isn’t over yet. On the 29th December, Chance for Childhood will be broadcasting an appeal on BBC Radio 4 and we would love you to tune in!

Earlier this year, freelance journalist and former BBC correspondent Mark Doyle visited our work with children with disabilities in Rwanda. Mark saw first-hand the impact your support has, funding and training Learning Support Assistants to provide specialist one-to-one support to children with disabilities so they can attend mainstream schools.

No child should spend Christmas hidden away because of their disability. Written and read by Mark, our appeal will highlight the importance of ensuring that every child has access to the education they deserve to get the best start in life.

So please do tune in! You can listen on Radio 4 (that’s 92-95 FM, or online) at 07:54 and 21:25 on Sunday 29th December. 

In the meantime, learn more about our appeal and listen to Mark tell us why he wanted to do the appeal on our website by clicking here.

Best wishes this Christmas period and I hope you enjoy the broadcast.

 Did you catch the Chance for Childhood appeal on Radio 4? If not, you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer now! We believe that no child should be hidden away because of their disability and the appeal highlights how all children should have an education. 
Click here to listen now.


Tuesday, 24 December 2019

"That’s What Christmas is All About, Charlie Brown”. Merry Christmas from Donline!


9th December 1965 is when the TV animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on the CBS network. It has continued to be loved by successive generations for half a century.

The pinnacle scene in the program is when Linus recites the Gospel of Luke, second chapter, verses 8 to 14, after which he says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.

Wishing everyone & Happy & Holy Christmas,
With Love & Blessings,
Don, Kim & Calli x


Friday, 20 December 2019

Got Questions about Christmas?


Got Questions: We receive a lot of different questions about Christmas.
Rather than focusing on any one particular question, we thought it would be more helpful for us to give you the list of our most frequently asked questions related to Christmas.

Whether or not you choose to celebrate Christmas, rejoice with us that Jesus was born.
Without that day around 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, Jesus could not have become the Savior of the world.


MCN's top 10 new and used Honda motorcycles


There’s no bigger or more successful motorcycle manufacturer than Honda, and to prove that fact in 2019 the Japanese company announced they had built their 400-millionth bike since the company was founded back in 1948. The first was the 1949 Dream D-Type.

In the past 70 years many of our favourite bikes have worn the Honda badge, and whether you’re after the smallest, most basic commuter or the most advanced superbike, Honda has a bike for you.

Which Honda motorcycles are best for me? The choice of new and used Hondas is so great the only limiting factor is you. What sort of bike are you after? An A1-licence 125? Novice-friendly middleweight or full-bore superbike, adventure machine or tourer? Next, what’s you budget? This might dictate whether you’re better off buying used. Oh, and don’t forget Classic now out-of-production Hondas such as the Super Blackbird. Here’s our pick of the best new Hondas plus a couple of brilliant used buys and some ‘golden oldies’…

MCN's guide to the best Honda motorbikes:
GL1800 Gold Wing
CBR500R
CB1100EX
NC750X
X-Adv
CBR1000RR Fireblade 
CB650F
CBR1100XX Super Blackbird
C90 Super Cub

Yup, you've got that right MCN - Honda's top ten bikes includes my beloved Crosstourer. Wanna know more? Apart from the short write-up in this MCN article, have a look at my blog post here. Fancy a powerful Adventure Tourer, which will munch up massive miles in 2-up comfort with luggage, but won't give you cramp as soon as you look at it? Look no further!


Calli's Christmas Crackers Clipping!


Calli has been for a pre-Christmas wash & brush up to Pam today - what a lovely result!
She always comes back not just looking fresh, but full of energy too.
I wish a bath worked such wonders for me!



Reading for today: don't worry, be happy!


A great many people (not you) do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds’ song and the frosty sunrise.

Compiled in Words to Live By

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

When IT goes horribly wrong: The Post Office's Horizon system by ICL/Fujitsu Services


Fujitsu faces a potential criminal investigation after a High Court judge's savage criticism of the outsourcing company and one of its customers, the Post Office, at the end of a long-running trial over the state mail operator's core IT system.

In the so-called Horizon judgment handed down on Monday, Mr Justice Fraser went for the Post Office’s jugular, saying its attempt to defend its Horizon IT system "amounts to the 21st century equivalent of maintaining that the earth is flat."

Back in 1999 the Post Office inked a deal with Fujitsu for an IT system called Horizon for managing its sprawling network of branch offices around the country.

That system was the cause of accounting irregularities, as the High Court has now found: over-the-counter payments accepted by Post Office branch managers (called subpostmasters, or SPMs) sometimes did not tally with the Horizon system’s accounting.

The judge found that when these inaccuracies were reported to the Post Office by SPMs, the public sector body showed “the most dreadful complacency, and total lack of interest in investigating these serious issues, bordering on fearfulness of what might be found if they were properly investigated.”

So concerned was the judge by the Post Office and Fujitsu evidence that he was shown during the group litigation that he is passing a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, as was reported from court. In addition, some of the SPMs were given permission to pursue the Post Office on charges of malicious prosecution.


Have an old sewing machine? Why not donate it to TWAM (Tools With A Mission): and provide someone with a livelihood


Diana lives in Entebbe, home to Uganda's only international airport. Despite the increase in infrastructure in this rapidly developing city, pockets of poverty still remain.

Diana is a single mother. Having a teenage pregnancy meant her studies suffered and she was forced to drop out of school.

TWAM's partner and local NGO Mindset run tailoring courses for students just like Diana. "A friend told me about Mindset and the opportunity it would give me to learn again. As a 'school drop out' I had little prospect of employment. I gained skills and knowledge in tailoring, a dream come true!"

Diana received a sewing machine and sewing kit when she graduated from the course with Mindset. All of the graduates enrolled at Mindset receive the relevant tools upon graduation - all provided by generous Tools with a Mission supporters!

Diana now rents a small space on a friendly shop-owners' porch. She works in the space 8am to 7pm six days a week. Diana had a sewing machine adapted into a treadle (by one of our UK volunteers) as there is no electricity on the shop porch.  

Diana now makes up to 7 dresses per week! "My customers trust me and tell me what they want and know I will make it.  I measure them and design their garments to their wishes."

Your donated sewing machine could end up in the hands of a young woman just like Diana!  When donating tools to TWAM, be sure to check out our list of tool kits.  A sewing kit is supplied with every sewing machine donated, and includes everything the newly trained tailor needs to get their small business off the ground. You might want to donate a small amount of money with your tools to ensure your donated items last a life-time! 


Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Google: turning off less secure app access to G Suite accounts

What’s changing: Starting in June 2020, we’ll limit the ability for less secure apps (LSAs) to access G Suite account data. LSAs are non-Google apps that can access your Google account with only a username and password. They make your account more vulnerable to hijacking attempts. Instead of LSAs, you can use apps that support OAuth—a modern and secure access method.

This is most likely to impact users of legacy email, calendar, and contacts apps—see below for more details. We’ve also emailed your organization’s primary admin with details around this change. That email includes a list of users who are likely to be affected.

Access to LSAs will be turned off in two stages:
1) After June 15, 2020 - Users who try to connect to an LSA for the first time will no longer be able to do so. This includes third-party apps that allow password-only access to Google calendars, contacts, and email via protocols such as CalDAV, CardDAV and IMAP. Users who have connected to LSAs prior to this date will be able to continue using them until usage of all LSAs is turned off. 
2) After February 15, 2021 - Access to LSAs will be turned off for all G Suite accounts. 

This is a continuation of our previously announced process to limit access to less secure apps to protect G Suite accounts. See below for more details on the possible impact of this change, and some recommendations for change management with users of LSAs.

Why this matters: Many users use non-Google apps, and give those apps permission to access G Suite data. For example, you may give the iOS mail app or Microsoft Outlook - permission to see your work email.  When account access is provided through an LSA, it puts that account at risk of hijacking. That’s because LSAs provide a non-Google app access to your account through just a username and password, without any other authentication factor.


Monday, 16 December 2019

Having a stressful day? There is always someone worse off than you: Ripley in this incredible scene from Alien!


A brilliant clip from an incredible film: Alien
The auto-destruct sequence fails to turn off and Ripley is forced to evacuate the Nostromo with the alien life form blocking the escape route.
Yup, your day definitely could be worse!


Willing to risk Win7 after Jan next year? (Bad idea BTW!) You can add no Anti-Virus to that risk as well...


When the Windows 7 operating system ticks over into extended support on 14 January, Microsoft will also permanently discontinue its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) antivirus software.

Businesses that rely on the security platform, which has been available for legacy editions of Windows including 7, XP and Vista, will have to find an alternative between now and 14 January, according to the firm.

Launched in 2008, MSE has provided Windows devices real-time malware protection, with a set of stripped-down features aimed at nullifying threats as and when they arise.

“Your Windows 7 computer is not protected by MSE after January 14, 2020,” Microsoft said in its FAQs page for Windows 7 extended support. “MSE is unique to Windows 7 and follows the same lifecycle dates for support.”


Friday, 13 December 2019

Words of strength & encouragement - perseverance & prayer


IN GOD’S HANDS. ‘My Dad has just been diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson’s. It’s hereditary, so I don’t know what that means for my health. I’m going to get myself tested. It’s frightening. I was all over the shop when I found out.

Galatians 6:9 was given to me as a scripture to learn and study. It says, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up.” It’s about perseverance.

‘I have been praying for the strength to face this. I’m grand, because I know that God will help me through it. A walk with Christ is not easy. Perseverance is important. I know my future is in God’s hands. Even if I tried to sort this out myself, I wouldn’t be able to. I know what I’m like. I’m just a disaster.

‘So, I’m going to God every morning and praying for strength to get through this and for my Da and Ma. My Dad is only 56.

‘Without the perseverance that this verse talks about, I wouldn’t be able to follow the path that God has laid before me.’


Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Just in case you were wondering if Trump is a goodie or a badie - here it is from the horse's mouth!


Imitation, they say, is the most sincere form of flattery, but recycling pop culture for politics can backfire. On Tuesday, the creator of Thanos (yes, Thanos - the Marvel supervillain!) called US President Donald Trump a "pompous fool" after his team used the Marvel villain in a campaign video.

A doctored Avengers film clip showed Mr Trump's head on Thanos's body. It then showed him declare his re-election in 2020 "inevitable", clicking his fingers to wipe out his political opponents in the process.

"After my initial feeling of being violated, seeing that pompous fool using my creation to stroke his infantile ego, it finally struck me that the leader of my country and the free world actually enjoys comparing himself to a mass murderer," said Jim Starlin, who introduced Thanos in the 1970s. "How sick is that? These are sad and strange times we are going through. Fortunately, all things, even national nightmares, eventually come to an end," he told The Hollywood Reporter.


Wow Google, welcome to the 21st century! Send emails as attachments in Gmail.


We’ve heard from you that there are situations where attaching emails makes more sense than forwarding separate emails, like wanting to forward multiple messages related to a single topic. With this new functionality, you can do exactly that. Sending emails as attachments allows you to write a summary email message to your recipients, and attach the set of supporting emails that recipients can directly open in their mail client. 

You'll know this feature is available to you when you see the "Forward as attachment" option in the three-dot More menu.


Monday, 9 December 2019

44 million Microsoft customers found using compromised passwords


Microsoft's identity threat researchers have revealed that 44 million of its users are still using passwords that have previously been compromised in past data breaches.

The 44 million weak accounts comprised both Microsoft Services Accounts (regular users) and Azure AD accounts too, suggesting businesses are not adopting proper password hygiene.

A total of three billion user credentials were checked in a database populated from numerous sources including law enforcement and public databases.

Using the data set of three billion credentials, Microsoft was able to identify the number of users who were reusuing credentials across multiple online services.

Microsoft forced a password reset for all of those users who were found to have leaked credentials during the scan which took place between January and March 2019.


Friday, 6 December 2019

The Bible Society. A message from China: thank you!


Since the summer, supporters like you have generously donated more than £100,000 towards Bible work in China, which will be doubled to an amazing £200,000! Thank you so much; your kindness left us humbled and grateful. Most importantly, you are changing people's lives in China...

Kua Wee Seng, who leads our work in China, says, 'You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you cannot count the number of apples in a seed. Once a seed is planted and becomes an apple tree, you can never tell  how many apples it will produce. It's the same with the word of God. You can never tell what God can do with your gift of the Bible.'

Thank you so much for giving the gift of the Bible in China.
Would you like to find out more and help? Please click here.


Leave no child forgotten in Africa this Christmas and have twice the impact - with Chance for Childhood


You can have twice the impact this Christmas while helping us to ensure that no child is forgotten in Africa.


No child should spend Christmas on the streets, nor hidden away because of their disability. Yet too often street children, children with disabilities and kids behind bars are excluded from society. They live in abject poverty and are unable to go to school. They may face human trafficking, child labour and sexual abuse.

Now we have a chance to reach even more of the most vulnerable children and give them the start in life they deserve.

Chance for Childhood is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign. Can you help us reach our £20,000 target which will be doubled to £40,000? For one week in December, every donation you make to the campaign will have twice the impact and be automatically doubled.


Keep your eyes fixed on God, on the path to Christmas - with Advent reflections


Advent marks the beginning of the church year. It is a time for reflection in darkness, for renewal of hope and for a movement towards a beginning.

The season of Advent, as it first emerged in the Church in the fourth and fifth centuries, lasted, like Lent, for 40 days. Later tradition developed the Advent we know today, of four Sundays before Christmas Day. 

It is a season of expectation and preparation as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Christ. Church decorations are simple and sparse, and purple is the traditional colour used. Advent falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work throughout Advent and Christmas. 

Click here for Advent reflections from the CoE. Also here is a Spotify playlist #FollowTheStar 2019 which will help to get you in the Christmas spirit.


Watch: Local hardware shop hailed for ‘Christmas ad of the year’ which cost just £100


The owner of an independent hardware shop in Mid Wales has said he has been “overwhelmed” after a £100 Christmas advert starring his son became a viral sensation.

Thomas Lewis Jones, who runs Hafod Hardware in Rhayader, with his grandparents, created the promotional video with the help of family and friends.

It features his young son Arthur as he goes about the shop helping customers, carrying out handiwork and putting up Christmas decorations. The ad then ends with Arthur transforming into his father, with a slogan encouraging visitors to “be a kid this Christmas”.

Mr Jones said their aim was to encourage people to shop locally over Christmas. He said: “The underlying message is that small independent businesses can offer you just as much as your large high street chains. “Try and shop locally over Christmas if you can.”


Thursday, 5 December 2019

Spear phishing campaigns - they’re sharper than you think


Even your most security-savvy users may have difficulty identifying honed spear phishing campaigns. Unlike traditional phishing campaigns that are blasted to a large email list in hopes that just one person will bite, advanced spear phishing campaigns are highly targeted and personal. They are so targeted, in fact, that we sometimes refer to them as “laser” phishing. And because these attacks are so focused, even tech-savvy executives and other senior managers have been duped into handing over money and sensitive files by a well-targeted email. That’s how good they are.

Even though spear phishing campaigns can be highly effective, they aren’t foolproof. If you understand how they work, you can put measures in place to reduce their power. Today, we provide an overview of how these campaigns work and steps you can take to better protect your organization and users.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Push-Pull motorcycle throttle cables. What's all that about then?


A push/pull throttle is a dual cable throttle operation where the pull cable opens the throttle plates, while the push cable, along with a throttle return spring, closes the throttle plates. The “push” cable is a misnomer as the push cable also pulls.

A push/pull throttle cable is an upgrade to the old standard single throttle cable linkage. The throttle grip works on the carburettors when twisting/throttling up and when releasing/throttling down. This is a step up to the single throttle cable type where only a spring is responsible for throttling down. With a push/pull throttle, should the spring fail, twisting the throttle will pull the throttle linkage back to idle.

In a crash, if the steering stops on a bike and is pushed in a bit from hard falls, the cable can often get caught between the frame and fork tube. This crushes the cable housing a bit, and the cable will bind. If a rock or something gets caught in the carb housing (if somehow the cover fell off) the spring won't close the carb slide. The second cable pulls the carb closed so it isn't stuck wide open. On a road race bike at 165mph+ approaching a tight turn with little run off area, riders want that peace of mind that if they close the gas, it will close. It is for this reason that it is now illegal in many countries to remove the push cable and rely on the spring to close the throttle.


Tuesday, 3 December 2019

It's that time of year again - for the slightly daft Child of Hope Christmas videos!


It's that time of year again - for the slightly daft Child of Hope Christmas videos! There are seven short videos spread out between now and Christmas Eve, each with a verse of our children’s very own Christmas carol. Click the picture to watch the video on our website...

And now the children are preparing their party dances, because the COH slum kids Christmas Party is nearly upon us! All it takes for a great party is the equivalent cost of a dozen mince pies and a couple of glasses of mulled wine, around £5 per child!

So, this Christmas time, as you enjoy some festive fare could you also donate to our Christmas Party and bless not just our 600+ children, but their families too? (Any additional funds over our target will be used to help provide food to the children throughout the year).


Mozilla removes Avast and AVG extensions from add-on portal over snooping claims


Mozilla removed today four Firefox extensions made by Avast and its subsidiary AVG after receiving credible reports that the extensions were harvesting user data and browsing histories.

The four extensions are Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast SafePrice, and AVG SafePrice.

The first two are extensions that show warnings when navigating to known malicious or suspicious sites, while the last two are extensions for online shoppers, showing price comparisons, deals, and available coupons.

Mozilla removed the four extensions from its add-ons portal after receiving a report from Wladimir Palant, the creator of the AdBlock Plus ad-blocking extension.

Palant analyzed the Avast Online Security and AVG Online Security extensions in late October and found that the two were collecting much more data than they needed to work -- including detailed user browsing history, a practice prohibited by both Mozilla and Google.