Thursday, 14 October 2021

City of London is set to become the UK’s first 15mph region

The City of London Corporation’s most senior decision-making body, the Court of Common Council, has voted to make the Square Mile the first area in the UK with a 15mph speed limit, subject to government approval.

The decision follows a public consultation into 54 proposals unveiled by the City Corporation last year, which together sets a 25-year framework for its first long-term Transport Strategy.

The plans have been developed to support the changing working, living and commuting habits across London.

Last month, after the morning of the Motolegends Open Day, I decided (foolishly) to ride up on Ariel & visit some of my old haunts up in the smoke: Roehampton, Richmond, Sheen, Barnes, Chiswick, Brentford, Ace Cafe, Greenford, South Harrow, etc. What a nightmare! Horrific traffic, 20mph zones everywhere, confusing new signage. Note to self - don't do that again!

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Reading for today: Who do you look to for help?


I have heard some people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His sufferings and death lose all value in their eyes, ‘because it must have been so easy for Him’. Others may (very rightly) rebuke the ingratitude and ungraciousness of this objection; what staggers me is the misunderstanding it betrays. In one sense, of course, those who make it are right. They have even understated their own case. The perfect submission, the perfect suffering, the perfect death were not only easier to Jesus because He was God, but were possible only because He was God. But surely that is a very odd reason for not accepting them? 

The teacher is able to form the letters for the child because the teacher is grown-up and knows how to write. That, of course, makes it easier for the teacher; and only because it is easier for him can he help the child. If it rejected him because ‘it’s easy for grown-ups’ and waited to learn writing from another child who could not write itself (and so had no ‘unfair’ advantage), it would not get on very quickly. If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) ‘No, it’s not fair! You have an advantage! You’re keeping one foot on the bank’? That advantage—call it ‘unfair’ if you like—is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?

By C.S. Lewis

From Mere Christianity

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Reading for today: Jeremiah tells of God's love & Grace


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart

Read Jeremiah 29 at Bible Gateway

Monday, 11 October 2021

Hamburger menu? Kebab button? All this IT is making me feel hungry...

The ellipsis ... also known informally as dot-dot-dot, is a series of (usually three) dots that indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning. The word (plural ellipses) originates from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis meaning 'leave out'.

In computer menu functions or buttons, an ellipsis means that upon selection more options (sometimes in the form of a dialog box) will be displayed, where the user can or must make a choice. If the ellipsis is absent, the function is immediately executed upon selection.

The hamburger button, so named for its unintentional resemblance to a hamburger, is a button typically placed in a top corner of a graphical user interface. Its function is to toggle a menu (sometimes referred to as a hamburger menu) or navigation bar between being collapsed behind the button or displayed on the screen. The icon which is associated with this widget, consisting of three horizontal bars, is also known as the collapsed menu icon.

In mobile, web, and general application design, the vertical ellipsis, ⋮, is sometimes used as an interface element, where it is sometimes called a kebab icon. The element typically indicates that a navigation menu can be accessed when the element is activated, and is a smaller version of the hamburger icon (≡) which is a stylized rendering of a menu.

Automatic for the people – could this be the end of the manual driving licence?

New research by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has revealed how the ‘green agenda’ is radically influencing driving attitudes of young people aged 17-24.

The ban of new petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030, and the absence of manual gearboxes in electric vehicles, has prompted 61% of the 1,000 young drivers surveyed to tell IAM RoadSmart that they plan to apply for an automatic-only driving licence.

The green agenda is also translating into expected buying behaviours, as 81% of respondents stated they were likely to purchase an electric vehicle as their next car.  Only a very small number (5%) declared they were very unlikely to purchase an electric vehicle.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed more about the prospective buying habits of younger drivers with 51% saying that when it comes to buying a new car, they will save the money and pay upfront, with 17% stating they would use car finance and only 10% were in favour of getting a bank loan.

Friday, 8 October 2021

Have you heard of the Dutch Reach? The changes to The Highway Code you need to know

With the government set to confirm major changes to The Highway Code, road users need to get up to speed with a range of changes to the rules of the road this autumn. The updates are the largest overhauls to the code since mid-2018, with a plethora of amendments and new rules including a hierarchy of responsibility that will affect all road users. 

The Cycling and Walking Review and the recent Summer of Cycling show that government is firmly committed to promoting active travel alternatives to the car, although traffic levels are now quickly returning to normal. The focus of the review is to improve road safety for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders in an effort to make active forms of travel easier and safer.

Among the highlights of the updated code is the inclusion of the Dutch Reach, the safety practice whereby drivers and passengers use the hand furthest from the door to exit their vehicle. This naturally turns the driver or passenger towards the window, making it easier to spot approaching cyclists.

Collaboration on unique resin spurs creation of the Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse

How can something as small as a mouse make a such big impact in Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability? It all starts with plastic water bottles and the desire to make positive change.

According to the National Ocean Service, scientists estimate there is more than eight million metric tons of plastic found in the ocean. By 2050, one study estimates there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. The environmental impacts are staggering. For the product and engineering teams at Microsoft, trying to figure out how to utilize this plastic waste in a new way represented a major undertaking.

The start of what eventually would lead to the development of the Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse, which is now available for pre-order, sprang from a series of questions asked by a dedicated group of individuals across several teams determined to crack a difficult challenge.

“The team wondered, why couldn’t we make a resin out of plastic in the ocean and make a dent there?” said Patrick Gaule, senior designer on the Windows & Devices design team. “We started formalizing this idea. What type of resin? What kind of product? We came up with a plan to look into it. We were sure it was going to be very hard. We weren’t sure it was going to work.”

Plastic resins are made by heating hydrocarbons until they are broken down into smaller molecules. Synthetic plastics contain polymers as a backbone ingredient. Polymers consist of repeating covalent bonded units known as monomer residues. These polymers have specific characteristics that are utilized in applications like water bottles, caps, packages and other everyday plastic materials. Polymer resins in pellet or bead form are then put into moulds to create products.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Can your PC run Microsoft's new operating system: Windows 11?

These are the minimum system requirements for installing Windows 11 on a PC. If your device does not meet these requirements, you may not be able to install Windows 11 on your device and might want to consider purchasing a new PC. If you are unsure whether your PC meets these requirements, you can check with your PC Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or, if your device is already running Windows 10, you can use the PC Health Check app to assess compatibility.

Your device must be running Windows 10, version 2004 or later, to upgrade. Free updates are available through Windows Update in Settings>Update and Security.

Processor   1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).

RAM  4 gigabyte (GB).

Storage  64 GB or larger storage device Note: See below under “More information on storage space to keep Windows 11 up-to-date” for more details.

System firmware  UEFI, Secure Boot capable. Check here for information on how your PC might be able to meet this requirement.

TPM  Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0. Check here for instructions on how your PC might be enabled to meet this requirement.

Graphics card  Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.

Display  High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel.

Internet connection and Microsoft account  Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account.

Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. 

For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.

Certain features require specific hardware. System requirements to run some apps will exceed the Windows 11 minimum device specifications. Check device compatibility information specific to the apps you want to install. Available storage on your device will vary based on installed apps and updates. Performance will scale with higher end, more capable PCs. Additional requirements may apply over time and for updates.

The hardware requirements for Windows 11 are ridiculously high - especially at a time when IT components are in serious constraint, and we are meant to being reducing waste in our work & home lives... 

I ran Microsoft's PC Health Check app on the Donline Workstation (a Fujitsu Celsius W530 Workstation, Intel i7-4770 3.3Ghz, 24Gb RAM, 1Tb SSD, etc) - amazingly it failed to meet the minimum hardware requirements! It is still a very serious beast & significantly more powerful than the vast majority of the computers that I support.

This invariably means that a significant proportion of the PCs & laptops in use in homes & businesses at the moment cannot be upgraded to Windows 11. So what I hear you ask? So this: Microsoft will end support for Windows 10 on 14th October 2025. In 4 years time there will be no more Win10 updates or patches!

Monday, 4 October 2021

Michael Robotham’s novel The Suspect is being adapted for TV. Can't wait: MR is one of my favourite authors!

Poldark star Aidan Turner is to play a doctor with a dark side in a new drama for ITV from Bodyguard and The Pembrokeshire Murders producer World Productions. The British broadcaster has ordered a small-screen adaptation of Michael Robotham’s novel The Suspect.

The five-part series will also star Shaun Parkes (Small Axe), Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Camilla Beeput (Peep Show), Adam James (Doctor Foster) and Anjli Mohindra (Vigil). The series is being written by Gangs of London writer Peter Berry.

Joseph O'Loughlin appears to have the perfect life - a beautiful wife, a loving daughter and a successful career as a clinical psychologist. But nothing can be taken for granted. Even the most flawless existence is only a loose thread away from unravelling. All it takes is a murdered girl, a troubled young patient and the biggest lie of his life.

Caught in a complex web of deceit and haunted by images of the slain girl, he embarks upon a search that will take him from London to Liverpool and into the darkest recesses of the human mind. Ultimately, he will risk everything to unmask the killer and save his family.

Big Brother Is Watching! Speed limiters to be fitted on all new cars by 2022

The top speed you can legally drive on UK roads is 70 mph. So why can cars reach speeds over 100 mph? The European Transport Safety Council has investigated this. It says that 26,000 road deaths happen in Europe every year, and speed is one of main reasons for this figure.

As a result of this research, new speed limiting software called the Intelligent Speed Assistance system (ISA), has been developed. The software will be mandatory for all new cars from next year, despite the UK leaving the EU.

The ISA uses either a video or a GPS-linked system to detect speed signs. The system alerts the driver if they’re going over the speed limit, and if the driver doesn’t slow down the ISA should intervene.

The system doesn’t involve the car’s braking system, though. After a series of alerts, if the driver doesn’t apply the brakes, the vehicle reduces power to the engine.

The car should then naturally slow down to the new speed limit. Automatic detection of pedestrians and cyclists was also approved alongside the ISA.

Windows Server 2012 support ends 10th October 2023. Be aware, plan & migrate...

If you're still running SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2, you have a little more time to plan ahead for upgrading. Extended support for SQL Server 2012 (including the R2 version) will also end soon, on July 12, 2022; Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 extended support goes away on October 10, 2023.

At that point, you can pay for Extended Security Updates, which include critical and important patches, critical updates for SQL Server and access to support if you have an active support plan with Microsoft. They're distributed through the usual update channels, like Windows Update and WSUS.

ESUs for SQL Server 2012 and 2012 R2 will be available to purchase from April 2022 (so you know you won't miss any security updates when extended support stops). ESUs for Windows Server 2012 and R2 can be bought from July 2023.

ESUs are an expensive way of sticking with the older versions after the end of extended support. You have to have at least one month of Software Assurance or an Enterprise Agreement with subscription licences, you buy ESUs in in 2-core packs for SQL Server and 16-core packs for Windows Server 2012 and you'll be paying 75% of the licence cost for the latest version of SQL Server and Windows Server (not the version you're still running), just for the first year. For the second year, you're paying the same as the licence cost for the current versions and 125% of that licence cost for the third year.

Microsoft begins the rollout of Windows 11 on 5th Oct 2021

The rollout of Windows 11 begins on Oct. 5 for for eligible devices in a "phased and measured approach to focus on quality," Microsoft announced in a blog post. First up for the free upgrade: Eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs pre-loaded with Windows 11 that will soon become available for purchase, it said.

Microsoft took the wraps off its latest operating system in June to developers and invited insiders to poke around a preview version a month later. The blog post from Aaron Woodman said engagement and feedback were "unprecedented," adding, "The Windows Insider community has been an invaluable community in helping us get to where we are today."

After eligible devices, the upgrade continues over time to "in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience," Microsoft said. It expects all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.

An open letter from Andrew Lindsay, CEO of Utility Warehouse

We’re going nowhere! It’s an energy shambles out there. Deals are being withdrawn, suppliers are going under and customers are facing huge price increases, hassle and stress.

For something as important as the energy that powers their homes, we believe people deserve better: a company they can rely on and the confidence they’ll always pay a fair price for what they use.

That’s exactly what we offer, and that’s because we’re different.

We’re more than just an energy company. We bundle together all your home services into one - energy, broadband, mobile and insurance - and the more of them you take, the more you save. What’s more (and unlike companies who are in difficulty at the moment) it also means we aren’t solely reliant on energy.

We promote our services differently too. Over the past two decades, we’ve become the biggest utility company you’ve never heard of. We now have over 650,000 customers and we’re currently the Which? Utilities Brand of the Year. But we don’t spend money on flashy TV ads or splash our name all over footballers’ shirts. Instead, we’ve grown thanks to thousands of UW Partners who recommend us to their friends, colleagues and neighbours.

And we take a responsible, long-term approach to buying the energy our customers use, meaning we can always guarantee to beat the price cap set by Ofgem - today and in the future.

Let me reassure you, our customers and all our UW Partners, that we’re here to stay.

In fact, after more than twenty years in business, we’re only just getting started.

Andrew Lindsay, CEO

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Apple iOS 15 Messages Bug Causes Saved Photos to Be Deleted

A serious bug in the iOS 15 Messages app can cause some saved photos to be deleted, according to multiple complaints we've heard from MacRumors readers and Twitter users.

If you save a photo from a Messages thread and then go on to delete that thread, the next time an iCloud Backup is performed, the photo will disappear.

Even though the image is saved to your personal iCloud Photo Library, it appears to still be linked to the Messages app in ‌iOS 15‌, and saving it does not persist through the deletion of the thread and an ‌iCloud‌ backup.

Assume Nothing: a podcast detailing the TalkTalk hack in 2015

October 2015 - TalkTalk: One of the UK’s most high profile cyber-attacksThe attack saw the personal details of 156,959 customers accessed, including the bank account number and sort code of 15,656 customers.

For a couple of weeks in 2015, Dido Harding was a regular fixture on UK news reports as she attempted to answer technical questions about the “sequential attack” against TalkTalk, and struggled to clarify what customer data had been exposed, and whether it had been encrypted or not.

Some think it’s the work of cyber jihadis, but the truth is much closer to home. This is the story of how teenage clicks crippled a communications giant.

In RansomWare news: crooks complain that crooks are acting like... crooks!

Security intelligence vendor Flashpoint claims to have found forum comments from customers of the REvil ransomware-as-a-service gang, and they’re not happy. The gang's malware may contain backdoors that REvil uses to restore encrypted files itself.

REvil's modus operandi is to rent its malware to other evildoers, in return for a hefty cut of any ransoms paid by victims.

Flashpoint writes that the "Exploit" forum has recently featured posts from a threat actor complaining about the backdoor, and the fact its presence meant that REvil could let its customers do all the hard work of arranging an infection, then subvert communications with victims and keep the entire ransom for itself.

Other chat in the forum, Flashpoint asserts, includes complaints about REvil's behaviour, and the futility of attempting to negotiate with the gang.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

GB number plate sticker no longer valid abroad!

British motorists driving outside the UK must now remove old-style GB stickers or cover them up. Instead they should display a UK sticker or have the UK identifier on their number plate.

The UK government guidance has been in place since Tuesday 28 September.

"It might only be a matter of replacing two letters, but this is a significant change for drivers who in normal times take their cars outside the UK," said RAC spokesman Rod Dennis.

The new rules state that any driver with a GB sticker on their car now needs to replace it with a new UK one if they are taking their vehicle abroad.

"Drivers also need to remember that number plates featuring the blue band and letters 'GB' next to the European golden stars are also no longer valid," Mr Dennis warned.

Penalties for not complying with the new rules are likely to vary.

Halfords warned that drivers who failed to display their UK badges could be refused entry to some countries.

IAM RoadSmart Solent - SolentSunday 3rd October 2021, 0900 - 1200hr. Come & meet us!

SolentSunday is more than just an open day for motorcyclists to come along for a ride assessment, it's also a major social event in our calendar and your opportunity, as a Group Member, to come along and meet your fellow Members.

Induction sessions are offered to new Members and Associates who have recently joined the Group.

If you'd like to discover how IAM RoadSmart and IAM RoadSmart Solent are linked, how the training sessions are run or perhaps learn more about the thriving social side of the Group … in fact, everything that is on offer over and above improving your riding skills.

The induction sessions will set out to answer these questions, and to encourage you, as a new Member or new Associate, to play an active part in your Group. These are open sessions, run in a relaxed, informal manner which encourages questions and discussion along the lines of ‘What have I bought?’ … ‘How will training be delivered?’ … ‘What else does IAM RoadSmart Solent have to offer me?'

Refreshments: If you've missed breakfast, or it's going to be a while before lunch, our dedicated catering team can offer tea, coffee and a selection of breakfast rolls; choose from selection of bacon, sausage or egg or have all three!

Activities for Members: Would you like a fresh perspective on your riding? Members and Associates can request an Observed Ride, which will give you another view on your current level of riding skill.  Obviously, we have to prioritise prospective new Members and these assessments for existing Members and Associates are subject to Observer availability. Please note that a contribution towards the Observer's running costs is requested.

You can find us at:

Wickham Community Centre
Mill Lane
PO17 5AL

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Is your dog trying to tell you something? Fill in the national dog survey by Dogs Trust. Woof!

The Dogs Trust is calling on all dog owners to take 10 minutes to let us know how their dog has been coping since the pandemic began. Your answers will help us ensure we’re doing all we can to help the nation’s pooches get back on their paws. Ready to start?

The pandemic has changed everything for all of us – including our dogs. Our dogs are so used to being at home with us that even going back to work could have a damaging impact on them. Grab a cuppa and join countless others in taking 10 minutes to fill out the National Dog Survey to help keep our precious pooches happy.

The National Dog Survey is a moment for all owners to unite for the happiness of their dogs. As our dogs begin to adjust to the new normal, we’re here to help. That’s why we need you to be your dog’s voice and tell us what they need.

It only takes 10 minutes, and there are no wrong answers because it’s all about you and your dog.  

We’ll get back to you with the results of the survey, with some tips to help your dog adjust to the new normal.

We’re calling on all dog owners to get involved. So next time you’re on your walkies, tell everyone about the National Dog Survey. 

Dogs Trust (formerly the NCDL) is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 15,000 dogs each year through a network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK. We have been involved in every piece of legislation affecting dogs over the past 126 years.

Friday, 24 September 2021

China declares all crypto-currency transactions illegal. Now for the rest or the world!


China's central bank has announced that all transactions of crypto-currencies are illegal, effectively banning digital tokens such as Bitcoin.

"Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities," the People's Bank of China said, warning it "seriously endangers the safety of people's assets".

China is one of the world's largest crypto-currency markets. Fluctuations there often impact the global price of crypto-currencies. 

The price of Bitcoin fell by more than $2,000 (£1,460) in the wake of the Chinese announcement.

It is the latest in China's national crackdown on what it sees as a volatile, speculative investment at best - and a way to launder money at worst.

Don rides: The Harley-Davidson Pan America RA1250S

Yesterday (23 Sept 2021) I had the pleasure of taking the Harley-Davidson Pan America for a good spin! Steve & Paul at LIND Guildford Harley-Davidson were fine hosts at their dealership - friendly, professional & knowledgeable.

Background: Kim & I miss the ability to tour, as we used to do on Holly my previous bike - a Honda Crosstourer VFR1200X. Now Ariel my Honda CB1000R+ is a truly brilliant bike (God willing gonna keep this bike forever!) but far from ideal for two up touring. Add a topbox & panniers & it would ruin what the CB does fantastically. So the solution is another bike. As Jeff says: the equation to calculate the ideal number of bikes is n+1 ;0).

The Pan America is designed to take a tasty slice of BMW's GS pie. It's a very attractive pie too: the GS is one of the best selling bikes in the UK, and the adventure bike market is probably the biggest sector in motorcycling. At my bike club IAM RoadSmart Solent the car park teems with GSs! So HD, known to the world as a purveyor of American cruisers, has developed their first adventure bike: the Harley-Davidson Pan America. "What's it like then?", I hear you ask. Read on...

The Pan America is a big bike, and makes Ariel look like a 125! The "S" (stands for Special) model that I rode has lashings of goodness as standard, but Guildford's demo model had been further upgraded with Adaptive Ride Height rear suspension, Spoked wheels, extra lighting, Topbox, etc. 

I spent about 45 minutes riding through leafy Surrey including Godalming, Busbridge, Hascombe, Loxhill, Dunsfold, etc - and got a good feel for the bike. The Revolution Max 1250 V-Twin engine is a brand new design delivering a claimed 150bhp, and has loads of low down grunt. The Adaptive Ride Height feature (lowers the bike by ~30mm when you come to a stop) works well, but is so subtle I only caught it doing it's thing once - clever! The fact the bike rises when you move off gives a great view of the road & surroundings. The windscreen is easy to adjust while on the go - with only one hand. Fantastic road grip giving a confident ride with compliant suspension & a super comfy seat. Good brakes by Brembo, not as powerful stopping as I'd imagined - but it is a big bike! A light, easy pull to the clutch lever with a smooth gearbox - although I did get a couple of false neutrals. This bike had a Screamin' Eagle performance exhaust fitted - which I thought was a touch loud (when cracking on) for my liking. That said, the bike made a fab sound on over-run: plenty of pops & bangs :0) ! The bike has self cancelling indicators, which weren't 100% self cancelling, and the indicator switch was in an awkward position - which made it tricky (not easy) do activate the turn signals. Like most things - I guess you'd get used to that. Harley is known for a very high quality build (which this bike certainly had) with great residuals (unknown - brand new model only launched this year).

So this bike was the "S" model. Spoked wheels (cast as standard) & Adaptive Ride Height are must haves. So would a luggage kit (topbox, panniers, mounts). Ball park £18.5k. Here are my pictures of the bike. It's a cracker & perhaps is a viable alternative to the Honda Africa Twin. Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Energy price crisis: you’re in safe hands with Utility Warehouse

20 September 2021 - We understand why recent media coverage of the UK energy market has many people worried. But we’d like to reassure all our customers that we’re continuing to operate as normal and are protected from the pricing volatility many other providers are currently experiencing.

It’s been well-documented that wholesale energy prices - the cost suppliers pay to buy energy - have risen to record levels in recent weeks. This has been compounded by Ofgem’s price cap - the upper limit at which suppliers can charge their customers for energy - which has meant a number of UK suppliers are no longer able to operate sustainably. In fact, some have stopped trading altogether.

However, UW is well-positioned to weather this storm and this means that as a UW customer, your service will continue. We can say this with real confidence for three key reasons: 

Firstly, the structure of our wholesale energy agreement means that the cost of the energy we buy is protected against pricing volatility, both today and in the future.

Secondly, we’re more than just an energy provider. We have a unique multiservice offer that also spans broadband, mobile and insurance. This generates a number of different revenue streams and means we’re not solely reliant on energy.

And finally, we’ve always taken a long-term approach to pricing while still offering competitive tariffs to all our customers. We’ve spent the last 25 years building a stable and sustainable business, and we plan to be around for many years to come.

You’re in good hands with UW.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Mad-looking British speed machine hits the track in high-speed testing

The outlandish Brit bike that’s targeting the speed record for electric motorcycles has hit the track as it undergoes initial test runs in the UK.

White Motorcycle Concepts unveiled the WMC250EV back in June, bringing a host of new ideas to the table centred around a vast aerodynamic duct that slashes the bike’s frontal area and drag coefficient without resorting to the sort of low-slung, extended-wheelbase semi-streamliner setup which is more common on record-setters.

That means it’s an idea which could be transferred to road bikes, since the seat height and fairing silhouette could allow for a conventional riding position.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Introducing everyone to the Lord Jesus Christ: GOOD NEWS For Everyone!


GOOD NEWS For Everyone! serves to introduce others to the Lord Jesus Christ by the placing, presenting and/or distributing Scriptures in many different areas of life, most often Testaments, which include the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, but also copies of the full Bible. 

The Bible is a book all about God’s relationship with us. It offers us an opportunity to meet with Him and get the direction we need to live life to the full. The Bible has provided hope and inspiration for generations and continues to be a worldwide best seller, with sales outstripping any other book ever published.

The Bible is actually a collection of 66 different books and letters, written over a period of some 1,500 years up to about 100 years after Christ's death and resurrection. It is divided into the Old Testament (the first 39 books) and the New Testament (the last 27 books). The word 'testament' means covenant or agreement, so the Bible shows how God’s old agreement, based on the ‘covenant of law,’ is superseded by a new ‘covenant of grace' - as shown in The New Testament.

Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81. RIP Clive ❤

Sir Clive Sinclair died on Thursday at home in London after a long illness, his family said today. He was 81.

The British entrepreneur is perhaps best known for launching the ZX range of cheap microcomputers, which helped bring computing, games, and programming into UK homes in the 1980s, at least.

This included the ZX80, said to be the UK's first mass-market home computer for under £100, the ZX81, and the trusty ZX Spectrum. And then there was the Sinclair QL, which was Sir Clive's big shot at business.

A whole generation grew up in Britain mastering coding on these kinds of systems in their bedrooms, and went on to build games and applications we use today.

Free REvil ransomware master decrypter released for past victims

A free master decryptor for the REvil ransomware operation has been released, allowing all victims encrypted before the gang disappeared to recover their files for free.

The REvil master decryptor was created by cybersecurity firm Bitdefender in collaboration with a trusted law enforcement partner.

While Bitdefender could not share details about how they obtained the master decryption key or the law enforcement agency involved, they told BleepingComputer that it works for all REvil victims encrypted before July 13th.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Microsoft accounts can now go fully passwordless


Microsoft now lets you remove passwords from Microsoft accounts to embrace a passwordless future. Starting today, the software giant will let consumers sign into Microsoft accounts with its Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or an SMS / email verification code instead of a password.

The new option arrives just months after Microsoft started rolling out passwordless authentication for commercial users in March to help people adjust to the realities of remote work. “When I think of security, I think you’ve got to protect your whole life,” says Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft security, compliance & identity, in an interview with The Verge. “It’s no longer enough just to think about work or home and anything in between.”

Upcoming changes to the Highway Code - need to know!

Pedestrians and cyclists are due to be placed at the top of a re-ordered pecking order, as a new Highway Code hierarchy rule is on the cards.

If approved in Parliament once MPs return from their summer holidays, the new rule will look at protecting the most vulnerable road users by giving them the most right of way, with the new hierarchy reflecting how much potential danger a motorist will pose to other road users – placing the heaviest vehicles at the bottom with the most responsibility.

On the change, a statement from the Department for Transport reads: ‘Car drivers will be responsible for ensuring cyclists are safe, while cyclists will be responsible for looking out for pedestrians,’ adding that this ‘does not remove the need for all road users to behave responsibly.’

Monday, 13 September 2021

Apple iPhone risk from powerful motorbike vibrations

iPhone owners should beware picking up bad vibrations from powerful motorbikes, as they may damage camera systems, Apple has said.

The technology giant published a warning iPhones should not be attached to powerful bikes, in a support document spotted by MacRumors.

Engine vibrations can harm phones' optical-image stabilisation or closed-loop autofocus systems, it says.

Owners of scooters and mopeds should also use "vibration-dampening mounts".

On social media, several users have said their phones have been damaged after being attached to a motorcycle.

And Apple says several models of iPhone are susceptible to the damage.

Lucky I use an Android phone then LOL! ;0)

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Really looking forward to this movie - one of my favourite SF tales! Dune - Official Main Trailer

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same nameIn cinemas 21st October 2021.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential - only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Majestic rolls out UK’s first cork recycling initiative


UK specialist wine retailer Majestic is launching a cork recycling scheme across its store estate – which it claims is a first for the UK – as well as its own Wine Club. 

The retailer is working with the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) in a bid to recycle over 1 million corks per year, which it says amounts to more than 309 tonnes of CO2. The retailer is placing collection hubs in each of its store and will encourage customers to return natural corks, in order that these can be recycled. The corks are being trialled by the Eden Project in Cornwall,  who will use them as a mulch for its Mediterranean plants.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Donline sponsors the 23rd Wickham Charity Beer Festival Saturday 9th October 2021

After a break in the program last year due to COVID(!) - the Wickham Charity Beer Festival is back on again this year! Click here to download the flyer with full details for this brilliant event. Hope to see you there - Cheers!

Hi everyone. I have left my following message generally as written for the April 2020 Festival. It has been a long time coming but we are back and we hope to continue as before.

A quick thanks to all of you who attended our last Charity Beer Festival (it seems so long ago now) and to our Sponsors and Suppliers. Also a big thank you for your generosity at the event investing your hard earned cash in the raffles; altogether the Beer Festival has been able to give in excess of £5,000 to charity from the last event. This means that since we started, back in 2008, we have, with your help, raised over £135,000 for both local and national charities. This excludes the additional income for charity made by the Wickham Community Centre and by Meon Valley Lions

Our next event is early October and, as normal, is a one-day event on Saturday 9th October starting with the morning session from 11:00 to 16:00 followed by the evening session from 18:00 to 23:00; we look forward to seeing you all there. Mike, Gary and the Wickham Beer Festival Team

Friday, 3 September 2021

Don & Kim ride out to Bury Hill, Arundel


The good folks at Honda Motorcycles UK had a brainwave & sponsored several photoshoots with BikerPics - up & down the land (see below for details). Kim & I had a great ride out to Bury Hill, Arundel on Monday 30th Aug 2021 - for our local site. We stayed off the A27 dual carriageway for as much of the journey as possible but joined it around Chichester. Kim even had her first experience of filtering on her Grom - and really enjoyed it! Here are the photos - not only are they fab, but they were also FREE!

This Bank Holiday weekend, Honda Motorcycles and BikerPics are giving you a chance to get a picture of you on your Honda Motorcycle for free!

The locations, dates and times are as follows:

Saturday 28th

9am – 3pm A537 Cat and fiddle (Macclesfield)

9am – 4pm A686 Hartside Pass (Penrith)

2pm – 5pm A702 Dalveen Pass (Durisdeer Mill)

Sunday 29th

9am – 3pm A44 Worcester

9am – 4pm B6255 Hawes (Yorkshire Dales)

10am – 3pm A82 Tyndrum North

10am – 2pm B184 Fyfield, (Great Easton, Essex)

10am – 4pm A470 Brecon Beacons

Monday 30th

9am – 3pm A452 Horseshoe Pass (Llangollen)

9am – 4pm Snake Pass (Glossop)

10am – 2pm Bury Hill (Arundel)

10am – 4pm A470 Brecon Beacons

Please share and tag your Honda riding friends, so they don’t miss out.

Happy and safe riding from everyone at Honda Motorcycles UK!

UK VoIP providers under attack from Ruskie cyber crooks

Two UK VoIP operators have had their services disrupted over the last couple of days by ongoing, aggressive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

South Coast-based Voip Unlimited has confirmed it has been slapped with a "colossal ransom demand" after being hit by a sustained and large-scale DDoS attack it believes originated from the Russian cybercriminal gang REvil. This morning, it confirmed that "services are operational ... however the attacks are still ongoing."

Separately, London-based Voipfone (see status page here) said it is still suffering outages on voice, inbound and outbound calls, and SMS services. It told customers on Tuesday in a status update that it had been hit by "a further DDoS attack" after the initial attack, revealed to customers via email as having taken place over the Monday bank holiday.

At this stage it's not clear if any other UK Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP) have been affected. However, UK Comms Council – the industry body that represents ITSPs – has informed members of the industry group about the attacks and issued a reminder to adopt "appropriate DDoS mitigation strategies."

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

A prayer for today. Request a free Bible or HOPE magazine

 Almighty God,

who called your Church to bear witness

that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:

help us to proclaim the good news of your love,

that all who hear it may be drawn to you;

through Him who was lifted up on the cross,

and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


Although the Bible is the World's best selling book - there is no need for you to buy a copy. Request a FREE Bible: if  you would like a free Bible for yourself or someone you know, please fill out the form on this link

The HOPE Gospel Magazine is an excellent means of sharing the Word of God. Since the launch in March 2020 well over 110,000 copies have been distributed. They contain the entire Gospel of John and many extracts from the Psalms and are presented in an attractive easy to read A4 magazine format with many photos of scenes from around the country. If you would like to receive a free copy of this wonderful introduction to Jesus's Good News, please follow this link.