Friday, 17 January 2020

Apple may have to abandon Lightning connector cable. So: USB-C or Wireless next for Apple?...

Apple could be forced to abandon its Lightning connector cable if European lawmakers get their way. The cable is used to charge and sync many Apple devices, such as the iPhone.

But members of the European Parliament urged the European Commission on Monday to force tech giants to adopt a single universal charging method.

Two other charging cables - USB-C and micro-USB - are used on Android devices, and Apple has already stopped using Lightning on the 2019 iPad.

European regulators will vote on the matter on a yet to be determined date, but Apple says the proposed regulation would stifle innovation and be disruptive to consumers.

The all new Microsoft Edge Web Browser is available to download now!

It's time to expect more. The new Microsoft Edge is now available for download on all supported versions of Windows, macOS, Android and iOS in more than ninety languages.

Insiders, thank you for joining our journey to build the new Microsoft Edge. There have been millions of downloads of the prerelease builds by the Microsoft Edge community. We couldn't have done it without you. We will continue to engage with the Insider community to make Microsoft Edge the browser that puts the web to work for you.

So, what's the difference between old & new Edge? On 6th December 2018, Microsoft announced its intent to base Edge on the Chromium source code, using the same rendering engine as Google Chrome but with "enhancements" developed by Microsoft.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Sale @ - great deals to be had - especially this one!

Stay connected to what matters most with long-lasting battery life[1] and thin and portable, micro-edge bezel design. Built to keep you productive and entertained from anywhere, the HP 39.6 cm (15.6") diagonal laptop features reliable performance and an expansive display - letting you stream, surf and speed through tasks from sun up to sun down.

Windows 10 Home in S mode (convertable to Win10 Home)
Intel® Core™ i3-7020U (2.3 GHz base frequency, 3 MB cache, 2 cores)
39.6 cm (15.6") diagonal FHD SVA anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)
8 GB memory; 128 GB SSD storage
Dual speakers; HP Fast Charge; HD Webcam

Update Windows 10 immediately! NSA issues warning about "critical flaw"

Microsoft today released updates to plug 50 security holes in various flavors of Windows and related software. The patch batch includes a fix for a flaw in Windows 10 and server equivalents of this operating system that prompted an unprecedented public warning from the U.S. National Security Agency. This month also marks the end of mainstream support for Windows 7, a still broadly-used operating system that will no longer be supplied with security updates.

As first reported Monday by KrebsOnSecurity, Microsoft addressed a severe bug (CVE-2020-0601) in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016/19 reported by the NSA that allows an attacker to spoof the digital signature tied to a specific piece of software. Such a weakness could be abused by attackers to make malware appear to be a benign program that was produced and signed by a legitimate software company.

An advisory (PDF) released today by the NSA says the flaw may have far more wide-ranging security implications, noting that the “exploitation of the vulnerability allows attackers to defeat trusted network connections and deliver executable code while appearing as legitimately trusted entities.”

“NSA assesses the vulnerability to be severe and that sophisticated cyber actors will understand the underlying flaw very quickly and, if exploited, would render the previously mentioned platforms as fundamentally vulnerable,” the advisory continues. “The consequences of not patching the vulnerability are severe and widespread.”

Donline would like to introduce "Hope and Soul" - a wonderful charity based in Tanzania

Hope and Soul are a UK registered charity established in June 2017. Our love for the people of Tanzania began in 2013 followed by yearly return trips to the busy city of Arusha working with different charities, local projects and exploring the greatest needs.

Since 2013 Hope has been supporting the children at Women's Christian Orphanage through generous support from friends and family in the UK. We have been able to provide so much to improve the lives of these children and to this day they are thriving under our continued support.

In 2016 after being introduced to a whole new world of secret children who are rounded up and chased from the streets by the local authorities, we soon discovered a great need. It is estimated that there are over 400,000 street children in Tanzania alone.

These children are extremely vulnerable, many do whatever they can to survive; often turning to begging or petty crime in order to feed themselves. We aim to provide for and rehabilitate these children and young people through support, education and training to give them the skills and security they need to achieve immediate and lasting changes in their lives.

Hope and soul work very closely with large numbers of street children in Arusha providing clothing, shoes, medical care, food and relief from the authorities. We currently have a re-enablement project that works with those over eighteen years of age. The boys share rented accommodation and are supported into jobs or education depending on their future aspirations. Working with these children is not always easy but as they learn to accept love and kindness we build great trust with them.

Kim & I know the Prosser family - who between them are founder & trustees of this wonderful small charity. We highly commend Hope and Soul - please consider supporting them in their work with the children of Tanzania. No-one can fix everything, but we can all fix something. Let's be part of that fix!

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Don Tocher - Plummeting for Parkinson's! Abseiling from Guildford Cathedral's tower - 16th May 2020

Abseiling from Guildford Cathedral's tower!
Location: Guildford Cathedral, GU2 7UP
Date: Saturday 16 May 2020

I'm raising funds to support Parkinson's research. My darling wife Kim works for Parkinson's UK - helping to support people diagnosed with this neurological condition. Also one of my dear friends has Parkinson's. Please sponsor my Parkinson's Plummet - and raise funds to help develop new treatments, faster. Together we'll find a cure.

"Once you've climbed the 249 steps to get to the top of the Cathedral Tower, you get to experience the beautiful panoramic views of Guildford before making your epic descent. The views are spectacular, the challenge is terrifying, the cause rewarding. Are you up for it?"

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

14th Jan 2020: Windows 7 is now "End Of Support". GCHQ warns not to use Windows 7 computers for banking or email!

GCHQ has warned people not to do internet banking or use emails from computers with Windows 7 from 14th Jan 2020, when Microsoft will end support for the software.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the public-facing arm of the cyber spy agency, said that devices still using the operating system after next week will become increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks as the tech giant stops patching weaknesses in its product.

Microsoft announced last year that it would be ceasing technical support for Windows 7 and urged users to upgrade to its Windows 10 system.

It is estimated that there are still more than 440 million people using Windows 7 worldwide, which was first released in 2009.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Long-Term use of "Advanced Driver Assistance Technologies" can result in disengaged drivers

Drivers with experience using advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, were nearly twice as likely to engage in distracted driving while using the systems compared to when they were driving without the systems, according to new research from the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Alternatively, drivers with less experience and familiarity using the technology were less likely to drive while distracted with systems activated compared to when systems were not in use. AAA wants drivers to remember that while new driver assistance technologies offer important benefits, drivers must remain active and engaged when behind the wheel to maximise safety.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Join in Everyday Faith via our app or on your smart speaker

The Church of England smart speaker skill enables millions of users to ask for prayers, explanations of the Christian faith, location-based information about local church events and services, and more.

To get started, just follow the instructions for your device below:
"Alexa, open the Church of England"
"Google, talk to the Church of England"

These smart speaker apps are integrated closely with A Church Near You to help you find out about services and events going on close to where you are throughout the year. 

The apps also seek to increase users' knowledge of the Christian faith 
by answering questions such as:

Stop everything. Update Firefox now!

Do you use the Firefox web browser? You need to update it, now!

The United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued an advisory urging users and administrators to upgrade their versions of Firefox (the latest version at the time of writing is 72.0.1).

The reason? Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, has identified (and, in version 72.0.1, patched) a zero-day vulnerability in Firefox that could allow an attacker to take control of users’ computers.

According to Mozilla the vulnerability was detected in exploits seen in-the-wild.

So, don’t dilly-dally and update your version of Firefox to make sure that you are protected.

Reading for today: on good & bad - no grey areas!

If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God. 

But, of course, if you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that. You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will. 

Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, ‘If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realise that this also is God.’ The Christian replies, ‘Don’t talk damned nonsense.’ 

For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world—that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God ‘made up out of His head’ as a man makes up a story. 

But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.

Important: is your PC still running Windows 7? Support ends next week!

What does this mean for you? If your computer has Windows 7 installed, you will not receive any more updates from this date. Whilst you will still be able to use the operating system, you could potentially put yourself at risk of security threats and viruses. Read our full blog article.

Upgrade or Replace? Upgrading an existing device to Windows 10 can be costly so it may be better value to buy a new, or refurbished computer. This is where we can help - whether you want 1 or 50, we have a huge range of PC's with Windows 10 Home pre-installed.

Special Offer: If you are a business and need Windows 10 Pro - we're halving the cost of a Windows 10 Pro upgrade to just £10 when you buy a PC, for a limited time only.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

SONOS fed up with "me-too" ripoff smart speakers: see you in court Google!

Sonos has decided to take on Google, suing the monster tech company for allegedly infringing on its sound-sharing patents, and throwing itself into what will almost certainly be a brutal and very expensive legal battle.

Sonos was once the leader for smart home speakers though in recent years the market has been swamped by the three big tech giants – Apple, Amazon, and Google – and their own flavor of cheaper smart speakers. The latter two companies are knowingly infringing its many patents, Sonos claims.

“Google is an important partner with whom we have collaborated successfully for years, including bringing the Google Assistant to the Sonos platform last year," Sonos CEO Patrick Spence told The Register in a statement on Tuesday. "However, Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology in creating its audio products.

"Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate in the interest of protecting our inventions, our customers, and the spirit of innovation that’s defined Sonos from the beginning.”

Spence told the New York Times it is suing only Google – as opposed to both Google and Amazon – because it wants to focus its resources. It also has a stronger case against Google, given that it worked closely with ad-slinging giant back in 2013 to tightly integrate Google Play with its products: a move that Sonos now calls “naive.”

According to Sonos, it has repeatedly warned Google and Amazon that they are infringing its patents but neither company has agreed to license its technology. It’s not entirely clear what finally sparked Sonos to sue, but the fact that both companies are now outselling Sonos in the smart speaker market will be a big part of it.

5G signals won't make men infertile, sighs UK ad watchdog as it bans bonkers scary poster

A group of Luddites who think 5G causes everything from cancer to lack to sleep have had an advert promoting their views banned from public display.

Electrosensitivity-UK, a group of people who think “all forms” of electromagnetic radiation could be dangerous to your health, put up posters in July and August last year with the headline “How safe is 5G?” over a picture of a family walking a dog, presented with lots of scare quotes about the digital cellular tech.

Unfortunately for ES-UK, it was unable to back up its scary claims that 5G will cause infertility in men, make your head to hurt and treat users of 5G as "guinea pigs". It also, hilariously, said "that the millimetre waves planned for 5G were used in military warfare and some civilian crowd control, which confirmed that this type of 5G radiation could cause adverse reactions in the ordinary population."

By "millimetre waves planned for 5G" the group appears to be referring to the use of spectrum between 24GHz and 100GHz in the next generation of the spec, 5G SA, bands that are much less congested than the lower frequencies. New 5G devices will need specialised MMwave chipsets for deployment - and a wider spread of optimised beamforming antennas and componentry to deal with signal degradation associated with its shorter wavelength. The standalone spec, aka fullfat 5G, now has a freeze date of March this year and is due to be completed in June 2020.

As for their capacity to do harm, millimetre waves are not ionising radiation, and thus don't have the capacity to break molecular bonds or damage biological tissue. This is all a simple matter of basic chemistry.

Ruling that the ad was misleading and unsubstantiated, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) declared: "We told Electrosensitivity-UK to ensure they did not make claims which implied there was robust scientific evidence that demonstrated negative human health effects caused by 5G signals or that specific medical conditions had been shown to be caused by 5G signals."

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Still looking for a new year's resolution? Here's a great one: read the Bible

Question: "Why should we read the Bible / study the Bible?"

Answer: We should read and study the Bible because it is God's Word to us. The Bible is literally "God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, it is God's very words to us. There are so many questions that philosophers have asked that God answers for us in Scripture. What is the purpose to life? Where did I come from? Is there life after death? How do I get to heaven? Why is the world full of evil? Why do I struggle to do good? In addition to these "big" questions, the Bible gives much practical advice in areas such as: What do I look for in a mate? How can I have a successful marriage? How can I be a good friend? How can I be a good parent? What is success and how do I achieve it? How can I change? What really matters in life? How can I live so that I do not look back with regret? How can I handle the unfair circumstances and bad events of life victoriously?

We should read and study the Bible because it is totally reliable and without error. The Bible is unique among so-called "holy" books in that it does not merely give moral teaching and say, "Trust me." Rather, we have the ability to test it by checking the hundreds of detailed prophecies that it makes, by checking the historical accounts it records, and by checking the scientific facts it relates. Those who say the Bible has errors have their ears closed to the truth. Jesus once asked which is easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven you," or "Rise, take up your bed and walk." Then He proved He had the ability to forgive sins (something we cannot see with our eyes) by healing the paralytic (something those around Him could test with their eyes). Similarly, we are given assurance that God's Word is true when it discusses spiritual areas that we cannot test with our senses by showing itself true in those areas that we can test, such as historical accuracy, scientific accuracy, and prophetic accuracy.

We should read and study the Bible because God does not change and because mankind's nature does not change; it is as relevant for us as it was when it was written. While technology changes, mankind's nature and desires do not change. We find, as we read the pages of biblical history, that whether we are talking about one-on-one relationships or societies, "there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And while mankind as a whole continues to seek love and satisfaction in all of the wrong places, God—our good and gracious Creator—tells us what will bring us lasting joy. His revealed Word, the Bible, is so important that Jesus said of it, "Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). In other words, if we want to live life to the fullest, as God intended, we must listen to and heed God's written Word.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Remember the joke about the police station address? Well it's true!

There are some jokes so old and so deep in our psyche that we don’t even need to hear the set-up to know what they are.

Someone discovered that a South Yorkshire Police building address tapped directly into one of those jokes. Or, to put it another way, wait for it:

In case you were wondering, the building was in place before the aptly named road was built to connect the M1 to the airport, and planners decided to have a bit of fun.

Can’t help wondering whether they have a police dog with no nose.

Another example of Smart devices being pretty stoopid. Xiaomi showing other people's homes!

Google has disabled Xiaomi devices’ access to its Nest Hub and Assistant after a camera owner reported seeing unfamiliar still images apparently from other cameras, Google confirmed to The Verge. The issue was first reported by Android Police.

“We’re aware of the issue and are in contact with Xiaomi to work on a fix,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “In the meantime, we’re disabling Xiaomi integrations on our devices.”

A user reported on Reddit that his newly purchased Xiaomi Mijia 1080p Smart IP security camera was showing what appeared to be still images from strangers’ homes if he tried to stream from the camera to a Google Nest Hub.

Use a windows server with inbound RDP? Time to think again (ASAP) about security!

Computers with Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) exposed to the internet are an attractive target for adversaries because they present a simple and effective way to gain access to a network. Brute forcing RDP, a secure network communications protocol that provides remote access over port 3389, does not require a high level of expertise or the use of exploits; attackers can utilize many off-the-shelf tools to scan the internet for potential victims and leverage similar such tools for conducting the brute force attack.

Attackers target RDP servers that use weak passwords and are without multi-factor authentication, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other security protections. Through RDP brute force, threat actor groups can gain access to target machines and conduct many follow-on activities like ransomware and coin mining operations.