28 May 2020

Planning a (post COVID) trip to Germany? You need to read this!

GERMANY has taken the bold (and slightly worrying) step of banning the use of any system that alerts the rider or driver of a vehicle to a fixed speed camera.

Both Garmin and TomTom have contacted their registered users by email alerting them to the news that speed camera detection systems are now banned in Germany.

The move is part of sweeping reform in Germany, and this change is just one in a long list of amendments the German Federal Council has adopted to the road traffic laws.

Germany has already for some time made it illegal to use specific speed camera detection systems, Snooper and Radar, and such like, although the new ruling makes it illegal to even use the built-in software that most major SAT NAV manufacturers use.

The hard to police change will mean that any motorists travelling through or to Germany on a motorcycle tour will need to manually disable the speed camera detection within the SAT NAV’s menus or risk a €75 fine!

Threats to the security of Google Chrome - propagated by Google's own Web Store!

Efforts to manipulate installation counts in Chrome Web Store extension listings appear to be alive and well, despite a developer's personal crusade to call attention to the problem.

Julio Marin Torres has been highlighting suspiciously popular Chrome extensions since January in posts to the Chromium Extensions forum, trying to get Googler to enforce their store policies.

In an email to The Register, he said Google has taken some action since his initial posts on the subject, but the problem has only gotten worse since then. "Something has to change," he said. "I think this hurts the entire Chrome Store developer and user community."

There are still thousands of extensions in the Chrome Web Store that artificially inflate their user count statistics, to make store visitors more inclined to believe the extensions are widely used and trustworthy.

Google Chrome is a great Web browser, but there are a number of vectors out there that can turn chrome from a great tool, into a misery! Extensions & Notifications are the biggest threats that I have to deal with on behalf of my clients. Have problems with Chrome? Contact Donline.

Microsoft releases Windows 10 May 2020 Update, version 2004

Microsoft is starting to release the latest twice-annual update to Windows 10, featuring enhancements to the longstanding Notepad app and a way to find your cursor in a sea of text.

Windows is the world’s most popular PC operating system, and more than a billion devices are actively running Windows 10, which debuted in 2015. Last year Microsoft shifted to a cycle of a major update in the spring and a minor update in the fall, rather than a major update in each of those seasons each year. 

Microsoft has been testing different versions of the Windows update with a small pool of users for the past several months and is now ready to provide it to the full base.

27 May 2020

Video Chat applications - staying in touch during lockdown

The best video chat apps are now more valuable than ever for those looking to stay in touch and connected to friends and family. Fortunately, there's all kinds of software designed to help with that, across desktop and mobile — many of which are free.

We've rounded up a list of the best video chat apps, whether you're on desktop, using an iPhone or Android handset, or gaming on your PC. Some of these apps are better suited for professional cases, like working remotely with colleagues, while others are better for simply chatting. In fact, depending on the smartphone you own, some of this software might already come preinstalled on your device.

Read on for our highlights of the best video chat apps on a multitude of platforms. And if you're skittish about spending money, fear not: every piece of software in this list at least has a free tier - and most of them are totally free, period.

For years Microsoft Skype was the go to video chat app, but things have moved on. The applications that I use most often are: WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, Google (Hangouts) Meet, Facebook Messenger, Zoom
I prefer WhatsApp for speed, ease of use, & security. Teams is amazing - really feature rich & professional. Meet has brilliant GSuite & Gmail integration. Facebook Messenger is useful for chatting with mates. Zoom is very popular - but I and many other techies & businesses have lingering security concerns.

22 May 2020

Norton's hiring: new owners expanding workforce

The new owners of Norton are wasting no time in getting up to full strength with job adverts for 15 roles posted on their website. The brand, now owned by Indian company TVS, are on the hunt for people to fill a range of engineering and admin roles including a quality manager, senior design engineer and principal powertrain engineer.

"We have begun the process of planning for the restart of the business and are looking to both fill some existing vacancies and add to the capabilities of the organisation," Norton’s interim CEO, John Russell, told MCN.

This intake will grow the headcount of the business by over 25% from the 55 members of staff it had when TVS took over, and it doesn’t sound like it will be the last expansion either.

Russell added: "The roles we are recruiting are across the organisation, engineering, operations, sales, marketing and service. Initially we are looking to fill around 15 posts and will be looking to further rounds of hiring as we grow Norton to its full potential."

21 May 2020

Don's latest compo win: a lovely IOM TT quilted jacket!

I'm a bit of a competition hound, and regularly enter compos. Like the TV ad used to say - you've got to be in it to win it! Over the years I've been blessed with winning all sorts of lovely stuff: food, a TV, lots of computer kit - all sorts.

On Wednesday this week I was really pleased to receive an email from Motor Cycle News saying that I've won this competition! After a quick bit of email correspondence, I was advised that it would be posted out to me - fab I thought, something nice to look forward to... Unbelievably, the postie delivered it this morning - 24 hours later - all the way from the IOM! It's a lovely thing, but I'm gonna have to wait till later this year to wear it as it's nice & warm, so not ideal for the summer months. 

Thanks so much to MCN & Isle Of Man TT Merchandise for this lovely prize!

20 May 2020

Organ donation law in England has changed - HORRAY!

Organ donation in England has moved to an 'opt out' system. You may also hear it referred to as 'Max and Keira's Law'. This means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. The opt out system in England came into effect on 20 May 2020.

Your family will still be approached and your faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected. You still have a choice whether or not you wish to become a donor. Get the facts about organ donation to help you decide. 

If you needed an organ transplant would you accept one?
If you needed a blood transfusion would you accept it?
Then please help those in need: by giving blood, and opting to donate organs and tissue.

Please do it now - the links are below. 
Don't put it off, you might forget.
Sign up & save lives.

Coming soon for motorcycle & car tyres? New recyclable rubber material repairs itself on demand

Imagine getting a flat tire, but instead of swapping it out for a new one you just smear on a chemical that makes the rubber meld seamlessly back together. That’s the kind of breakthrough researchers at Australia’s Flinders University are now reporting, and better yet the material is made of waste products and can be easily recycled itself.

The new material is made up of more than 50 percent sulphur, mixed with some canola cooking oil and a chemical compound called dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). This unusual concoction makes for a versatile and sustainable new form of rubber.

But the weirdest part is that this material is a “latent adhesive” – basically, glue waiting for its cue. The missing ingredient is an amine catalyst, and once that’s applied the rubber becomes sticky again, allowing it to bond with itself so completely that it doesn’t lose any strength.

19 May 2020

EasyJet hacked - details of nine million customers accessed

EasyJet has become the latest victim of a cyber attack, which resulted in the travel plans and email addresses of millions of its customers being stolen.

Hackers also managed to steal the credit card details of 2,208 passengers.

The airline said the attack came from 'a highly sophisticated source', adding: "As soon as we became aware of the attack, we took immediate steps to respond to and manage the incident and engaged leading forensic experts to investigate the issue.  We also notified the National Cyber Security Centre and the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office). We have closed off this unauthorised access. " 

It said the email address and travel details of approximately nine million customers were accessed.

18 May 2020

Time to talk about one of Donline's biggest topics: Backup! Let me introduce you to Backblaze

WHAT IS BACKUP? A backup is a second copy of all your important files - for example, your family photos, home videos, documents and emails. Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe. You can store your backup on USB storage, or using a Cloud provider like Backblaze.

Backblaze: Back up an unlimited amount of data. No limits to file sizes or bandwidth speeds. We wanted to create a worry free experience so Backblaze constantly scans for new or changed files and automatically backs them up. There is nothing extra you need to do.

We hope one of the things that comes across is that Backblaze is an environment where everyone is focused on providing actual value to our customers. With over 750 Petabytes of data from customers in more than 150 countries, restoring over 40 Billion files, we’ve been able to build a self-sustaining business. We’re proud of our bootstrapped history which means we get to make decisions based on what we think is the right thing to do. 

Over the past decade we’ve built a culture where people actually like coming in to work. We love having a workplace that rewards open, honest communication. We like to have fun,but we also take tremendous pride in being an innovator in the cloud storage industry. It takes our entire team to be able to offer the most affordable cloud storage on the planet.

What makes us different? When filming this video, we had multiple team members say “I’m going to stay here until I retire.” We only included one of those quotes in this video above. The people here matter.

Make Your Own Paper Motorcycle! Print out our custom template and fold this Energica Ego motorcycle to life.

Young or old, there’s never been a better time for crafts than now. In that spirit, we commissioned this paper template so you can fold your way to two-wheeled freedom right at the kitchen table.

The Energica Ego electric motorcycle’s crisp lines are perfect for translation from two dimensions into three, so fire up your printer and get started. We have added vibrant colours, but may we also suggest you print in black and white so you can pick your own graphic scheme.

#ThyKingdomCome under Lockdown - Award-winning App now available

The #ThyKingdomCome App is available now to download from Google Store and I-Tunes!

The award-winning app is full of the daily videos, Bible readings, reflections, podcasts from Professor NT Wright and a special section for your 'Pray for 5'. Download the Apple version here and the Android version here.

The Digital Family Prayer Adventure Map and App is also available to download. Find out more here.

Honda FINALLY announces Android smartphone compatibility via a software update for 2018–2020 Honda Gold Wing motorcycles

American Honda has announced that its 2020 Honda Gold Wing luxury touring motorcycle will add Android software compatibility to its array of electronics. Riders who use Android 5.0 or later smartphones will be able to pair their phones to the motorcycle via the Android Auto app.

When Honda released its latest and greatest Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour models for the 2018 model year, it curiously only offered smartphone compatibility with iPhone/iOS-users via the proprietary CarPlay app. Finally it appeases all phone users with this new update.

This allows Gold Wing owners to use many of the motorcycle's features including listening to music and making phone calls and/or text messages. The software update will apply to all 2018 and newer Gold Wings and will be released for June 2020.

Gold Wing owners will be able to download the software from the powersports.honda.com domain and apply the update using a USB flash drive drive.

Chance for Childhood - double your donation!

Across the world the most vulnerable in society have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This big crisis requires a big response. 

We now have an incredible opportunity to double our efforts towards ensuring no child is forgotten, through the BIG Chance! For just 11 days, donations will be doubled by our partner Frugi until we hit our target of £30,000! Make a donation now and it will go twice as far.

Your chance to make a big difference: At times of crisis it can be hard to know how you can make a difference. Our team on the front-line and our local partners are already working so hard to distribute emergency supplies and support to the most vulnerable who have been hit hardest. But they can’t do it alone, we need your support now more than ever.  

By donating to the BIG Chance your gift will have twice the impact and will mean we can step up and maintain our response to ensure no child is forgotten.

Any gift you can give, large or small, will make a huge difference to the lives of the most vulnerable Together with your help with your help we can overcome the challenges we face today to ensure that, tomorrow, all children have the bright future they deserve. 

13 May 2020

A new song for Thy Kingdom Come 2020 - from worship leader, Pete James

 This year we are pleased to announce a new anthem for Thy Kingdom Come, sung by worship leader, Pete James, who gave us the beautiful song - Your Kingdom Come in 2018. 

The new song, Thy Kingdom Come, is set to the melody of Tell Out My Soul and we pray this song is a blessing to churches in this season.

To download the lyric video, video, or the music score - visit here:

Win a Honda VTR1000 SP-1 with Bennetts

Get a direct quote with us for a chance to win this legendary sportsbike
No, we’ve not gone crazy. As part of our 90th year (we know - we don’t look it…) celebrations, we’ve decided to give away a Honda VTR1000 SP-1.

Just by getting an insurance quote online with us – either for a motorcycle or classic motorcycle policy – from now until December 31, 2020, you will be entered into a free draw to win the actual bike above.

Hard to believe it is 20 years old and definitely falling into the modern classic category, the Honda SP-1 is truly an iconic bike. Together with HRC, Honda built their own 1000cc V-twin to beat Ducati and the dominant 916 at their own game in World Superbikes and did just that with Colin Edwards in 2000. The same year, the late, great Joey Dunlop picked up his final ‘big bike’ Isle of Man TT win riding one.

Getting a quote with us online is simple. We search our panel of insurers to find you our best price for the cover you need and Bennetts insurance policies are Defaqto 5-star rated, include 17 of the most common modifications covered as standard, provide access to a 24/7 UK-based claims team along with exclusive deals on riding kit, accessories, experiences and rider training as part of FREE membership to Bennetts Rewards.

12 May 2020

WhatsApp might take on Zoom with desktop video conferencing feature

WhatsApp could become a major rival to video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, according to latest reports from WABetaInfo.

The tech site recently discovered a new feature in an as-yet-unreleased beta version of WhatsApp Web that lets users create a group video call using Facebook Messenger Rooms. 

The feature, which was spotted as one of the shortcuts in the beta’s WhatsApp menus in the 2.2019.6 Web update, would allow users to make calls with up to 50 people - a significant increase from the eight-way video calls which came with WhatsApp’s recent update.

Facebook launched Messenger Rooms at the end of April, in an attempt to capitalise on the heightened demand for video conferencing during the pandemic lockdown. As well as allowing video calls with up to 50 participants and no time limits, the free service also offers a user interface (UI) which lets up to 16 people share the same screen.

Mad dash for webcams with surge in videoconferencing has turned out rather nicely for Logitech

Webcams – like toilet paper and disinfectant wipes – have become an increasingly scarce commodity since the start of the pandemic, with analysts at the NPD Group reporting an almost-threefold increase in sales for the first three weeks of March.

This was not lost on Swiss peripheral maker Logitech International, whose balance sheet saw the benefit of those remote workers suddenly needing a cam, with sales of the teleconferencing aids increasing 13.6 per cent – nearly $10m – from the same quarter last year to $40.1m in its Q4 ended March 31.

Logitech's basic HD webcam, the C270, is perhaps the best example of this. The tech staple typically costs $25 in the US. During normal times, it's sold for as little as £12 on Amazon UK, according to data from CamelCamelCamel. But immediately after the start of the nationwide lockdowns in the US and UK, some eBay sellers were asking for as much as $130.

TalkTalk’s ex-CEO Dido Harding heads up the UK’s Coronavirus tracing app! What could possibly go wrong?...

The UK has decided to develop a smartphone app that might help quickly trace recent contacts of anyone with the coronavirus. But, unlike many other countries, you are trialling a “centralised” model app, which requires the potentially sensitive data on a central computer server rather than the alternative, “decentralised” model proposed by Apple and Google, where information stays on people’s handsets.

Obviously calming people’s understandable privacy and security concerns about such an app is going to be an important factor to increase chances that a decent proportion of the public will download it.

So, who does the UK government appoint to head up the NHS COVID-19 tracing app? None other than Baroness Harding of Winscombe. Perhaps better known to you and me as Dido Harding, the former CEO of TalkTalk.

Yup, that's right - Dido (not this one!) who was the head of TalkTalk - at the time of a massive data breach! The hack which used a SQL injection attack, combined with leaving database software unpatched 3.5 years after a fix was available (watch the video here for the full train wreck). Frankly she wouldn't have been my choice for this role! Lets hope dear Dido pays a bit more attention to data security on this project - for all our sakes...

11 May 2020

So what do the latest COVID-19 pronouncements from the Government mean for motorcycling?

There was a lot of noise on Sunday night after the PM’s address, with lots of people suggesting that bikers had eventually been let off the leash. Well certainly it would seem that both motorists and motorcyclists have been given more legitimate reasons to be out on the bike and, of course, that’s a good thing, but it’s not on open invitation to throw on your leathers and head off to the hills.

There are now more circumstances in which we can get on the bike, but there are limits, and even though some people will always ignore the guidance and the rules, we should all be aware of what we are, and are not, allowed to do.

Clearly, the government wants more of us to get back to work; particularly those who cannot work from home. But the issue is how people should get into work. Public transport is not going to be the best solution for many. The Mayor of London, for example, reckoned in an interview I heard this morning that social distancing could not be maintained at anything over 15% of the system’s capacity. I personally wouldn’t be massively keen to take the bus or the train if I had an option. Yet walking and cycling, which is the government’s preferred option, is only going to work for some.

It leads us to the view that, especially over the summer, commuting into work by motorbike is a way to go. It’s not going to block the roads up, and it’s reasonably self isolating.

We’ve also been told that we can drive/ride as far as we feel necessary to take our exercise. The consensus seems to be that riding a bike, per se, is not exercise, and it’s going to be a stretch trying to convince a Police Officer that you put put on your one-piece leathers so that you could take a walk in the park.

Microsoft adds protection against Reply-All email storms in Office 365

Microsoft rolled out this week a new feature to Office 365 customers to help their IT staff detect and stop "Reply-All email storms".

The term refers to situations when employees use the Reply-All option in mass-mailed emails, such as company-wide notifications.

If the number of recipients in the email chain is large, and if multiple employees hit the Reply-All button, then the ensuing event generates massive amounts of traffic that usually slows down or crashes email servers.

Such events happen almost all the time, and, at one point or another, a company is going to have email servers go down because of employees participating and amplifying Reply-All storms as a prank.

08 May 2020

Reading for today: progress & our place in it

No one is looking at world history without some preconception in favour of progress could find in it a steady up gradient. There is often progress within a given field over a limited period. A school of pottery or painting, a moral effort in a particular direction, a practical art like sanitation or shipbuilding, may continuously improve over a number of years. If this process could spread to all departments of life and continue indefinitely, there would be “progress” of the sort our fathers believed in. 

But it never seems to do so. Either it is interrupted (by barbarian irruption or the even less resistible infiltration of modern industrialism) or else, more mysteriously, it decays. The idea which here shuts out the Second Coming from our minds, the idea of the world slowly ripening to perfection, is a myth, not a generalisation from experience. 

And it is a myth which distracts us from our real duties and our real interest. It is our attempt to guess the plot of a drama in which we are the characters. But how can the characters in a play guess the plot? We are not the playwright, we are not the producers, we are not even the audience. We are on the stage. To play well the scenes in which we are “on” concerns us much more than to guess about the scenes that follow it.

07 May 2020

Protecting your organisation against password spray attacks

When hackers plan an attack, they often engage in a numbers game. They can invest significant time pursing a single, high-value target—someone in the C-suite for example and do “spear phishing.” Or if they just need low-level access to gain a foothold in an organization or do reconnaissance, they target a huge volume of people and spend less time on each one which is called “password spray.” Last December Seema Kathuria and I described an example of the first approach in Spear phishing campaigns—they’re sharper than you think! Today, I want to talk about a high-volume tactic: password spray.

In a password spray attack, adversaries “spray” passwords at a large volume of usernames. When I talk to security professionals in the field, I often compare password spray to a brute force attack. Brute force is targeted. The hacker goes after specific users and cycles through as many passwords as possible using either a full dictionary or one that’s edited to common passwords. An even more targeted password guessing attack is when the hacker selects a person and conducts research to see if they can guess the user’s password—discovering family names through social media posts, for example. And then trying those variants against an account to gain access. Password spray is the opposite. Adversaries acquire a list of accounts and attempt to sign into all of them using a small subset of the most popular, or most likely, passwords. Until they get a hit. This blog describes the steps adversaries use to conduct these attacks and how you can reduce the risk to your organisation.

Three steps to a successful password spray attack:
Step 1: Acquire a list of usernames
Step 2: Spray passwords
Step 3: Gain access

06 May 2020

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere!

Two-thirds of people recycle the same password or use variations on the same basic one, according to LogMeIn.

Even though more than 90 per cent of people surveyed by the password manager biz said they knew it was risky to recycle passwords or light variations on a theme, 66 per cent of respondents admitted they "always or mostly use the same password or a variation".

These findings came from LogMeIn's Psychology of Passwords report, released recently, that quizzed 3,250 people and discovered that half of them across the world hadn't changed their passwords over the past 12 months "even after hearing about a breach in the news".

Depressingly, that number rose to 58 per cent for Britons specifically who did not change their passwords after reading about a breach on the news. A whopping 92 per cent of Brits reuse passwords despite being aware of the risks.

Click here to find out more about the risks in poor password hygiene, and advice on how to stay safe.

05 May 2020

Windows 10 - May 2020 update (v2004) has been delayed. No surprise there then!

Microsoft has delayed the release of the next major Windows 10 upgrade by two weeks after flagging a number of issues including a zero-day corruption-reporting vulnerability.

Users keen to upgrade their systems to the May 2020 Update must now wait until the end of the month as Windows 10 developers plan to issue a further set of fixes with an additional build of the flagship operating system.

This is in order to fix a set of known issues that may affect a small group of users. Windows Mixed Reality, for example, may not work correctly for some on the May 2020 Update, with users recommended to hold off on updating through the ‘release preview’ mechanism.

The UK Blessing - watch, listen & be Blessed!

At this unique and challenging time in the United Kingdom over 65 churches and movements, representing hundreds of others, have come together online to sing a blessing over our land. Standing together as one, our desire is that this song will fill you with hope and encourage you

But the church is not simply singing a blessing, each day we're looking to practically be a blessing. Many of the churches included in this song have assisted with supplying over 400,000 meals to the most vulnerable and isolated in our nation since COVID-19 lockdown began. This alongside phone calls to the isolated, pharmacy delivery drops and hot meals to the NHS frontline hospital staff.

Our buildings may be closed but the church is very much alive!

04 May 2020

Christian Aid Week is moving online for 2020!

We are building a vibrant, virtual Christian Aid Week so you can take part as an online community. We’d love you to join in to show love for your neighbours near and far.

About Christian Aid Week - Christian Aid Week is a joyful celebration of our potential to change the world through our gifts, prayers and actions. Together, we raise funds to support our poorest sisters and brothers around the world. Coronavirus means Christian Aid Week is very different this year. But we hope supporters like you will do all you can to make it the same life-changing and joyous week we’ve run since 1957.

Your gifts will save lives - Coronavirus impacts all of us. But love unites us all. Now is the time to reach out to our neighbours near and far. Poor communities are hit hardest by coronavirus. It’s affecting families living in overcrowded refugee camps, and many vulnerable people who have no water to clean their hands. With your support, we can limit the impact of the virus, with life-saving soap and water.

Reading for today: using lockdown to grow closer to God

L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N - it's time to:

L - listen to God's voice and reflect. Let go and let God
O - obey His words and His teachings
C - call on Jesus name and be calm
K - know that God has a purpose for all of this
D - dwell in his presence. Don't panic He is with you.
O - offer a prayer for everyone's safety
W - wait on the Lord and be patient
N - nurture our personal relationship with God

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Read all of 2 Chronicles at Bible Gateway

01 May 2020

The true cost of cheap phones: Xiaomi harvesting user data - transmitting it to remote servers!

Security researcher Gabi Cirlig has discovered that his Redmi Note 8 usage habits were being tracked and sent to servers hosted by Alibaba in Singapore and Russia that have been rented by Xiaomi. This included the folders he opened on his phone, the screens he swiped to including the status bar and the settings menu. As if that was not enough, Xiaomi was even tracking what music Cirlig was listening to using the default music player on his Redmi phone.

The security researcher also found that whenever he browsed the web using Xiaomi's default browser app, it kept a record of all the websites he visited, search engine queries, and the items viewed on the browser's newsfeed. More worryingly, the behavior continued even when using the incognito mode in the browser. The security researcher found the same tracking code in other Xiaomi phones as well including premium models like the Redmi K20, Mi 10, and Mi Mix 3.