30 September 2020

Bear Grills on his love of motorcycles


The former SAS man’s love affair with bikes began as a 16-year-old with a 50cc moped, but he quickly progressed to a 125 and then a 1200cc as a reward to himself for passing selection to the British military elite. One of his first TV programmes was 1994’s Ridge Riders, a documentary about a group of riders who toured England’s historic sites by bike.

“When I’m out filming with the crew and we use all these different all-terrain vehicles and bikes to access places, I’m always first to go for the bikes, riding ahead to scout the route. It is always my favourite time, off camera, alone and pushing into new terrain and new adventures, with great friends beside me.

“I really believe that the only wealth worth having in life is our family and relationships. If you pursue money or fame it will always leave you empty. But shared adventures touch our souls in a way that is hard to describe.”

22 September 2020

Don Rides the 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire


Today I took some time out of the business (it happens occasionally!) and took a ride to sunny Guildford - to try out the H-D LiveWire - electric motorbike.

I was met by sales chap Darren, given the lowdown on this £30k beast & was soon introduced to the bike that I'd be riding. Seated the feeling is sportbike like: foot pegs back (no cruiser stuff here!) with a good reach for the bars. The seat has a padded section which is up into what would otherwise be the fuel tank - which makes for a really comfy perch. Quirky indicator switches - separate for left & right on the appropriate bars. The indicators are self-cancelling too! Build quality is fab - as you would expect on a machine with this price tag.

A quick play with the controls in the "car" park. The LiveWire has keyless start. It has a lovely TFT "mobile phone type" screen, which is angle-able for rider height & to help with sun glare - nice touch! I took the LiveWire out in rain mode - to get used to the power delivery. In under a mile I switched (on the fly) to Road mode - much better! 

At low speed the bike sounds like a milk float, once you get on the throttle (twist & go - no clutch or gears!) - it sounds like a jet fighter! On the subject of slow speed - I found very slow speed control: unsettled. Might be the length of the bike, reach for the bars, lack of clutch - or all of the above. I guess you'd get used to it, but would make for tricky filtering until you do get used to it!

The power delivery on this bike is addictive! Roll on is great, but from zero-ish MPH - acceleration is significantly quicker than any other bike that I've ridden, but controlled at the same time. No clutch, gears, fuelling issues, or on-off jerkiness: just huge amounts of smooth power!

The riding experience is quiet! The only sound you can hear (apart from God's creation around you & other traffic) is the electric drive (which is actually pretty cool) & the suspension working - yes you did read that right! 

Charging time is sensible when you get your head around it: Fast charge (if you have access to one of these charging stations) = 0-80% in 40 minutes. 0-100% in 60 minutes. Or you can plug it into a 13A home socket & the charge takes ~8 hours. You just need to plan your journey - hit fuel stations with fast charge points, grab a seat & a coffee.

I had the bike for an hour, and honestly thought that I'd think: OK but too quirky. Nope - I absolutely loved it! I'd love to own one (deffo one for the fantasy garage) but not sure £30k would work for me. OK - lots of expensive R&D here, lots of expensive kit too: the battery is ~£8k alone! Frankly I was really impressed with this bike. If it was £20k, I think it would be a viable alternative for my beloved CB.

If you get the opportunity - try the LiveWire. Forget it's a Harley, also forget that it's electric. Ride it as a motorbike & enjoy the experience - its a fantastic bike!

Looking for an ideal starter bike? Start here: the all new 2021 Honda CB125F

Honda have pulled the covers off their 2021 CB125F, revealing a completely redesigned learner-friendly commuter that now weighs 11kg less than the previous model and is capable of a claimed 497 miles on a single tank of fuel.

Designed to be a reliable, comfortable, upright workhorse that’s unintimidating to novice riders with either a CBT certificate or A1 licence, the entry level CB was first introduced in 2015 – taking over from the part-faired CBF125 as a new model.


Reading for today: On the goodness and love of God


God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense all His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give and nothing to receive. Hence, if God sometimes speaks as though the Impassible could suffer passion and eternal fullness could be in want, and in want of those beings on whom it bestows all from their bare existence upwards, this can mean only, if it means anything intelligible by us, that God of mere miracle has made Himself able so to hunger and created in Himself that which we can satisfy. If He requires us, the requirement is of His own choosing.

It is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up “our own” when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.

About the Bible - the Word of God

The Bible is a collection of 66 different books and letters, written over a period of approximately 1500 years up to about 100 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is divided into two major parts, called the Old Testament (the first 39 books) and the New Testament (the last 27 books). 

The Bible is a book primarily about God’s revelation of himself to mankind and his relationship with people.  It is not just a book of history, but its accounts of God’s dealings with individuals and nations are as relevant to the modern world as they have been to every age since they were written.

The Bible has stood the test of time, the greatest test of all literature.  It was completed nearly 2,000 years ago, yet is now read more than any other book and by people of widely varying cultures.  It is still the world’s best-selling book.

Are you looking for an accessible way to read & study the Bible? Try the Bible In One Year appStart your day with the Bible in One Year, a free Bible reading app with commentary by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. Nicky Gumbel is the Vicar of HTB in London and pioneer of Alpha.


15 September 2020

How do you protect your data?

The Disturbing statistics on Disaster Recovery:
Only 35% of SMBs have any Disaster Recovery plans in place (Gartner)
The rest will have a survival rate of just 10%
1 in 5 businesses will suffer a major disaster (fire eg. arson, flood etc) every year
Of these more than ¾ will never re-open or fail within 3 years
Of these a half will never return to business
Those that have had a fire and don’t return to business in 10 days will fail

ioSafe manufacture a unique and patented range of fireproof and waterproof server, storage and disaster recovery solutions.

Want to find out more about protecting your data?
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Australian Cyber Security Centre says: don't pay the crooks to unlock files encrypted during a RansomWare attack!

Paying a ransom does not guarantee decryption of data. Open source reporting indicates several instances where an entity paid the ransom but the keys to decrypt the data were not provided. The ACSC has also seen cases where the ransom was paid, the decryption keys were provided, but the adversary came back a few months later and deployed ransomware again. The likelihood that an Australian organisations will be retargeted increases with every successful ransom payment.

It is generally much easier and safer to restore data from a backup than attempting to decrypt ransomware affected data.

14 September 2020

Faith Comes By Hearing: freely accessible & downloadable bible resources

Here are some staggering facts: Earth's population numbers in the billions, and it's growing every day. There are over 7,100 languages spoken all over the world. 70% of all humanity live in oral communities, and 50% cannot read at a functional level. How will they ever hear the Gospel? There's no way that one ministry can complete this task alone. Praise God: We are not alone. 

Faith Comes By Hearing has come alongside the worldwide translation community in a movement to finish the task—to ensure that everyone on Earth has access to Jesus Christ’s Gospel in a format they can understand. The various ministries carrying out this work have entered into an unprecedented time of unity, meaning that at long last, after two thousand-plus years, we can finally see the finish line. 

Our goal: To work in partnership to see that the Word of God is recorded and freely provided in every language that needs it by the year 2033.

This is it. The final sprint. The Great Commission completed in our generation.

With your help, we will see it done. Come with us on this journey and be a part of changing the world for Christ.

Faith Comes By Hearing’s Audio Bibles are freely available and used in a variety of formats. People engage with God’s Word through solar-powered devices in a listening group, streamed online, or personally on their phone via the Bible.is app or a Micro SD card.

Through regular listening to God’s audible Word, individuals are impacted, families are revived, and communities are transformed.

11 September 2020

9/11 Remembrance: only known survivor from impact zone credits God

The 9/11 Commission credits Stanley Praimnath as the only known survivor from the impact zone at the World Trade Center towers on 11th September 2001.

The Lord saw fit for me to live,” says Praimnath, who works in the banking industry in New York.  His riveting tale of survival is chronicled in “Plucked from the Fire” (Rosedog Books), coauthored with William Hennessey.

Click HERE to read the amazing story of his survival from those terrible events.

10 September 2020

Buyers ask Lenovo for Servers that aren't built in China...

Some server-buyers are asking Lenovo to provide product made in Mexico, rather than made in China.

So says Nutanix senior veep and head of Asia Pacific and Japan Matt Young, who in conversation with The Register today said he’s aware of buyers in India who’ve made the request.

Security suspicions are one reason some buyers prefer Mexican kit. Another is that some imports from China have languished on Indian docks for rather longer than imports from other nations.

Slashdot Poll of how Techies send their messages

For years Microsoft Skype was the go to video chat app, but things have moved on. 

The applications that I use most often are: WhatsAppMicrosoft TeamsGoogle (Hangouts) MeetFacebook MessengerZoom

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.

StinkyInk! Great value ink and toner with a 12 month guarantee

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Officially we are Solar Electronics Ltd, but we trade as Stinkyink.com. Why the name? Well it’s memorable isn’t it? Enough said!

Stinkyink.com is a family business and above all we’re a company that cares: for our customers, our staff and our community. As online shopper ourselves we like to 'do as you would be done by'.

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08 September 2020

Huawei set to exit server, storage and networking business in the UK

The Register: Huawei is yanking a bunch of Enterprise product lines from the UK in the wake of a business review, admitting that the campaign waged by US President Donald Trump hasn’t helped its plight on this side of the pond.

The embattled Chinese giant confirmed it has told its channel partners and customers, some of whom told us that Huawei has called time on hardware including all networking switches, servers and storage gear.

A spokesperson for Huawei sent us a statement about the country-specific portfolio rationalisation and related redundancies.

“Our Enterprise Business is to focus its operations in the UK to deliver fewer products in a better way. Unfortunately this means a number of roles are no longer required, however, we hope to reposition colleagues who are affected elsewhere within the businesses.”

We understand that 20 roles are impacted out of the 50-strong Enterprise team.

02 September 2020

Long Way Up trailer - at last! Staring Charley and Ewan riding Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles

The craziest ideas lead to the best places. Starring and executive produced by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, “Long Way Up” reunites the best friends after more than a decade since their last motorbike adventure around the world.

Covering 13,000 miles over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries, starting from the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America, Ewan and Charley journey through the glorious and underexposed landscapes of South and Central America in their most challenging expedition to date, using cutting-edge technology on the backs of their prototype electric Harley-Davidsons in order to contribute to the sustainability of the planet.

The new series will follow Ewan and Charley as they journey through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and up through Colombia, Central America and Mexico. Also joining them are their longtime collaborators, directors David Alexanian and Russ Malkin, following them in their electric Rivians.

The first three episodes of “Long Way Up” will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 18, and new episodes will roll out weekly: https://apple.co/_LongWayUp

BMW claims its new motorcycle chain never needs lube or adjustment - uses an industrial diamond coating!

In days gone by, motorcycle riders needed to be half-competent mechanics to reliably get where they were going. That's changed a lot in the last few decades, to the point where a lot of riders get by without ever laying a spanner on their own machines. But there are still chains.

Chains still need the occasional clean and lube, and as they wear and stretch, you still need to adjust the rear axle back to take up some slack. If you ignore these basic bits of maintenance, you end up having a chain that flops around, jumps off the teeth on the rear sprocket and becomes a safety issue – not to mention making your bike noisy, clattery and sloppy in the gearbox.

BMW now says it's solved these problems with the introduction of a "maintenance-free chain" that doesn't need any lube, and never needs to be re-tensioned.

The BMW M Endurance chain, as it's known, uses an industrial diamond coating on the chain rollers for "extreme hardness and resistance." It doesn't wear off, BMW says, and it "drastically" reduces the friction coefficient where the roller interfaces with the sprocket teeth, and with the bushing surrounding the pin that holds the chain links together, which also gets the "tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C)," or industrial diamond coating.

01 September 2020

Special offer from Fluke - manufacturer of the best T&V tools: Buy a Fluke, get a FREE Fluke!

Now is the perfect time to expand your toolkit. What you do matters. In these challenging times, others will be counting on you, and you can count on Fluke, always.

Starting September 1, 2020, take advantage of this Fluke promotion and treat yourself to something extra for all the work you’ve been doing – Buy a Fluke, get a FREE Fluke.

Order your Fluke today through an authorised distributor and receive a free Fluke tool based on the purchase value. This Autumn Promotion runs for a limited time - until December 15 2020. Make sure you don't miss out on this opportunity.

Sena Smart Intercom Pairing - an easier wair to pair motorcycle helmet comms

Smart Intercom Pairing is here for quick and easy Bluetooth® pairing!

Sena is committed to the continued support for our diverse portfolio of products. Smart Intercom Pairing (SIP) allows for an easy way to connect using a smartphone to scan QR codes to quickly pair devices to one another. Nearly all Sena devices, along with many Sena-powered OEM devices, with Bluetooth 4.1 and up can use their respective app in order to quickly pair with other SIP compatible headsets. 

While many products already have access to SIP, the new feature will soon be rolling out for over 60 Sena and Sena-powered OEM devices. In addition to Sena branded devices, SIP will be supported by our partner products, which include Sena-powered communication devices by Harley-Davidson, Schuberth, Shoei, HJC, Polaris, Klim, Nexx, ICON, AGV, and more. Check out our latest blog post to learn more about SIP, and which app you can use in order to benefit from the new feature. #RideConnected