Monday, 17 February 2020

Norton – Was it a fraud from the start? Where has all the money gone?

Article by John Hogan - Editor of SuperBike Magazine. You’re about to read the first in a series of interviews relating to the Norton story. The story is not a good one for the UK motorcycle industry.

I first wrote about Norton in SuperBike magazine back in 2012, expressing my concerns. Stuart Garner called me a couple of weeks later and tried to give me the hairdryer treatment. He sounded like a posh schoolkid that had hidden his marbles in his bag and then blamed me for stealing them. My doubts of Stuart Garner’s ability to run a motorcycle brand like Norton have never gone away.

The mainstream Norton story relates primarily to pension fraud, you can read about that in detail in the Guardian. If you’re tired of reading, you’ll also be able to watch various ITV pieces on the same subject. I played a small part in helping those mainstream journalists understand the oily nuts and bolts side of the Norton business. During my research I’ve spoken to current and former employees, from the shop floor to the boardroom. A former accountant, Stuart Garner’s former PA, a burned business partner, an investor, multiple Norton buyers, Norton franchised dealers in the UK and on the other side of the planet, various Norton racers and Mr Stuart James Garner himself. Everything I’ve written is the result of speaking to the people involved, some were happy to be named and others weren’t. That’s their choice and I can respect that. It makes sense to me to start the story in 2008, when Stuart Garner bought into Spondon Engineering, prior to buying Norton and bringing it back to the UK.

You can read each of these interviews and make your own mind up as to whether Stuart Garner made a mistake thanks to Brexit and has only recently ran into trouble. Or is it possible that he’s planned every single element of the largest frauds the UK motorcycle industry has ever seen, and he began doing so back in 2008?

IOTA cryptocurrency shuts down entire network after wallet hack

IOTA Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind the IOTA cryptocurrency, has shut down its entire network this week after hackers exploited a vulnerability in the official IOTA wallet app to steal user funds.

The attack happened this week, Wednesday, on February 12, 2020, according to a message the foundation posted on its official Twitter account.

According to a status page detailing the incident, within 25 minutes of receiving reports that hackers were stealing funds from user wallets, the IOTA Foundation shut down "Coordinator," a node in the IOTA network that puts the final seal of approval on any IOTA currency transactions.

The never-before-seen move was meant to prevent hackers from executing new thefts, but also had the side-effect of effectively shut down the entire IOTA cryptocurrency.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Norfolk PC drove at 101mph in 30mph zone 'while training'

A police driving instructor clocked speeds of 101mph in a 30mph area, a court heard.

PC Paul Brown, 48, of Norwich, denied 16 driving offences while in an unmarked police BMW X5.

Ipswich magistrates heard he drove with blue lights on, ran four red lights and reached speeds of 122mph.

He was cleared of the charges after telling the court he was carrying out continuous professional development (CPD) - a mandatory requirement.

Crazy! Can you imagine what would happen if a mere mortal (one of us) got caught running red lights & driving at those speeds? One rule for us, one rule for certain others, so it seems!

‘Splatometer’ tests reveal huge decline in number of insects

Two scientific studies of the number of insects splattered by cars have revealed a huge decline in abundance at European sites in two decades.

The research adds to growing evidence of what some scientists have called an “insect apocalypse”, which is threatening a collapse in the natural world that sustains humans and all life on Earth. A third study shows plummeting numbers of aquatic insects in streams.

The survey of insects hitting car windscreens in rural Denmark used data collected every summer from 1997 to 2017 and found an 80% decline in abundance. It also found a parallel decline in the number of swallows and martins, birds that live on insects.

Well, cant argue with science, can ya?...
Unless you're a motorcyclist. Then it seems that there are plenty of bugs about - mainly committing kamikaze dives all over our visors, jackets & bikes!

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Apple Mac malware detections overtake Windows the first time

Cyber threats aimed at Macs have outpaced those targeted at Windows PCs for the first time, signalling that Apple’s computers are not as secure as they once might have been. 

For some time, it was a commonly held belief that Apple Mac computers, such as the iMac, were pretty much immune to malware. This was largely due to the proliferation of Windows machines over Mac computers, and how macOS was previously built on a bespoke secure version of Unix with a locked-down ecosystem. 

However, the growth of Macs has seen them become a more tantalising target for hackers. And, according to the latest data from Malwarebytes, the security company detected an average of 11 threats per Mac endpoint in 2019, nearly double the average 5.8 threats per Windows endpoint. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

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Printing photos just got easier from social media, the cloud and your camera-roll gallery

Monday, 10 February 2020

Apple fined €25 million for deliberately slowing down old iPhones

Apple has been hit with a 25 million Euro fine (US $27.5 million) after it added battery management features to iOS that slowed down the performance of older iPhones.

An investigation by the French consumer watchdog DGCCRF determined that Apple had failed to properly inform iPhone users that applying an iOS update might slow down their devices.

DGCCRF began its investigation in January 2018, just weeks after it was discovered that Apple had been secretly throttling the speed of the iPhone 6, iPhone SE, and iPhone 7 as their batteries aged.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Ewan McGregor talks about "Long Way Up" & riding the Harley LiveWire

All has been quiet on the Long Way Up front since the news broke that Ewan and Charley had completed the third instalment of their Long Way series, this time riding from the tip of South America to Los Angeles. That all changed this week when Ewan McGregor appeared on a US chat show and described the experience of travelling the Americas on the electric Harley Davidson LiveWire.

In the clip, from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ewan explains that the choice to ride electric bikes was partly inspired by wanting to be “part of the new wave of transportation.”

The boy’s decision to ditch the internal combustion engine on their trip north was met with varying degrees of scepticism and admiration across social media when the news first broke. And, in Ewan’s own words, the choice of bike led to an experience that was both “amazing and quite tricky at the same time.” The biggest issue? You guessed it. Charging the bikes.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Reading for today: on God using our hardships for our ultimate good

We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need be broken, and if He chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it.

Win a refurbished Dell Laptop worth £500!

Encore-PC are offering you the chance to win a fantastic refurbished Dell Latitude 2 in 1 Laptop worth £500!

All you need to do is to complete the form HERE with the correct answer.

This Dell laptop is a great example of some of the quality refurbished laptops we offer. This one has a 12.3" touchscreen, Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD drive for smooth performance.

For an extra chance of winning, answer the question on the Encore-PC Facebook page.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

More dumb "smart devices" - hackable lightbulbs that could compromise your entire network!

Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has today revealed vulnerabilities that would enable a hacker to deliver ransomware or other malware to business and home networks by taking over smart lightbulbs and their controller.

Check Point’s researchers showed how a threat actor could exploit an IoT network (smart lightbulbs and their control bridge) to launch attacks on conventional computer networks in homes, businesses or even smart cities.  Researchers focused on the market-leading Philips Hue smart bulbs and bridge, and found vulnerabilities (CVE-2020-6007) that enabled them to infiltrate networks using a remote exploit in the ZigBee low-power wireless protocol that is used to control a wide range of IoT devices.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Donline is 14 years old today!

I'm Don Tocher, a highly experienced freelance IT Consultant who previously worked for Synstar International (now known as Hewlett-Packard CDS), until I left to set up Donline Computer Consultancy on the 1st February 2006.

Donline delivers professional IT support for small / medium sized businesses, home offices, & home users. Donline specialises in bringing true enterprise class IT support to those without their own IT department, and in supplementing existing IT teams where additional skills or resources are required.

I feel very Blessed & thankful to God for this wonderful journey!
Thanks also to all of my ~600 clients for helping my business thrive over these last 14 years! 

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Make it cheap enough - some people would buy anything: Huawei outsells Apple in 2019, becomes No. 2 global smartphone vendor!

Market research firms Canalys and Counterpoint Research have posted their 2019 global smartphone market share reports. Both reports say the biggest mover is Huawei, which, thanks to a whopping 16-17 percent annual growth, claimed the No. 2 smartphone vendor spot in 2019, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. Both firms have similar global market share numbers for 2019, with Samsung at around 20 percent, Huawei at 16 percent, Apple at 13 percent, and Xiaomi and Oppo at around eight percent each.

Counterpoint credits Huawei's success in its home country of China for its success, saying, "This was the result of an aggressive push from Huawei in the Chinese market, where it achieved almost 40 percent market share." According to the firm, China makes up 60 percent of Huawei's shipments.