Friday, 30 April 2021

Sign the NFU open letter to Police & Crime Commissioners and demand action to tackle fly-tipping


Dear Police & Crime Commissioner,

Action on fly-tipping

Fly-tipping is a blight on our countryside and incidents are on the increase. Last year alone nearly 1 million cases were reported across the country. Fly-tipping is a crime that needs to be tackled as a priority to prevent our iconic countryside being used as a rubbish tip.

As my elected Police & Crime Commissioner I am asking you to:

  • Work with the UK Government, your local authority, landowners and the waste sector on prevention, clean-up and prosecution
  • fund additional investigative support to help bring offenders to justice, including forensic support to track the source of waste
  • explore technological solutions, eg the use of CCTV in fly-tipping hotspots
  • Raise awareness of the duty of care householders have for disposal of waste to the final disposal point

The current system of reporting fly-tipping is frustrating and confusing, which means the true scale of this problem is hidden. Many farmers and landowners are the victim of this crime​, as they have to spend time and money cleaning up other people's rubbish. It shouldn't be this complicated to keep our countryside looking beautiful. Please help care for our countryside and use your authority to make a difference and reduce the scourge of fly-tipping.

Yours sincerely

Please click HERE to sign

This letter will be sent to your local Police and Crime Commissioner after the elections on 6 May.

www.countrysideonline.co.uk       www.nfuonline.com

Thursday, 29 April 2021

TKC2021: Watch the brand new video 'We Seek Your Kingdom!'

 

This year, Thy Kingdom Come have teamed up with the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity to produce a video for the civic hymn 'We Seek Your Kingdom'.

The hymn, is a song for our times, fresh lyrics set to the tune of 'Abide With Me'. 

The song features worship leaders, Andy Flannagan, Noel Robinson, Donna Akodu and Lou Fellingham.

www.thykingdomcome.global


Update your Macs! Malware attacks can exploit critical flaws in Apple’s built-in defences


Apple has released a brand new update for its macOS Big Sur operating system, and you really should install it.

Amongst other fixes, Big Sur 11.3 patches a zero-day vulnerability that could allow an attacker to craft malicious payloads that will not be checked by Gatekeeper, the security check built into Apple’s operating system that is supposed to block the execution of software from untrusted sources.

Researcher Cedric Owens says that all recent versions of macOS prior to Big Sur 11.3 are vulnerable to an attack that could easily be launched against unsuspecting users.

www.grahamcluley.com


Slavery - rescuing children from Brick Factories in Pakistan

When Becky Murray, visited Pakistan in 2018 with the Dignity Project - an anti human trafficking initiative, giving girls sanitary products and wisdom about the tactics traffickers use - her heart was broken by what she witnessed.

Within Pakistan there are about 20,000 brick kilns where children are forced into bonded labour, Becky knew God arrested her heart and she had to do something. She shared her story with Premier's Rachel Matthews.

Becky Murray, Founder and President of One by One, a missions organisation with a heart for the poor and broken across the Third World.  If you would like to find out more about their work or support the mission taking place you can visit their website.

www.premierchristianradio.com


COVID: In the UK, how do I order a supply of lateral flow tests?

 

People in England and Scotland are being encouraged to take rapid coronavirus tests regularly. The UK government says regular testing could be an important tool for easing restrictions.

Why is testing being increased? It's hoped the tests - known as lateral flow tests - can help stop individual cases from becoming outbreaks. About one in three people have coronavirus without any symptoms.

How do I get a lateral flow test? Anyone without symptoms in England can get free tests from testing sites, pharmacies or through the post (in packs of seven).

Where to pick up lateral flow tests near you

Order lateral flow tests online

UPDATE @ PM 29th April 2021. I ordered one of these kits yesterday afternoon 4.30pm. Amazingly it was delivered this afternoon. Under 24 hours from order to delivery - impressive! Now - what isn't so impressive:

Full Article here: www.bbc.co.uk


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Google Maps Timeline - why the straight lines?

 

Four of us went for a spin on the bikes yesterday. Jeff came up with the route & it was a cracker: Denmead, Clanfield, Chalton, Finchdean, South Harting, Hurst, etc. A lovely spring day for a fab ride in the beautiful Hampshire countryside!

As I have no sense of direction, nor any idea of where I am most of the time(!), I rely on SatNav, Google Maps etc. However, I've noticed that generally Google Maps doesn't track roads - it tends to draw straight lines. Last time I checked, not all roads are Roman roads!

This became really apparent when Kim & I were doing our West Coast road trip in 2018. One day Google / the odometer on the bike were dozens of miles out. When I looked at the Google Timeline - apparently we had ridden across the sea! Funny, I don't remember the wheels getting wet! 

So why does this happen? Here is an excellent article on GPS accuracy, drift & update intervals. An interesting read. Doesn't help with working out the route where one has been tho! Have to zoom in on the map & try to spot the roads, villages & places of interest we've travelled through...

www.google.com


Increased hand sanitizer use blamed for rise in gastro outbreaks

 

A number of countries are reporting increasing rates of viral gastroenteritis over recent months, and experts suggest greater use of hand sanitizers, known to have little effect on pathogens such as norovirus, may be partly responsible.

Exactly why norovirus clusters seem to be increasing is unclear, but some experts are suggesting the growth in use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be playing a role. As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020 more people than ever started frequently using hand sanitizers. Some estimates suggested demand for the product grew 16-fold in the first few months of the pandemic.

“I suspect many of us have become a bit complacent with handwashing and instead are slapping on alcohol-based hand sanitizer when we can, although this is anecdotal,” hypothesizes gastroenterologist Vincent Ho, in a recent article for The Conversation. “However, even though hand sanitizer is convenient, it doesn’t work as well against norovirus as thorough handwashing does.”

Researchers have long suspected alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not be as effective as soap and water handwashing in removing norovirus. A compelling 2011 survey of 161 long-term care facilities in the United States found those facilities using soap and water more often than hand sanitizers experienced less frequent norovirus outbreaks.

www.newatlas.com


The Trussell Trust: When one person goes hungry, our whole society is weaker. It’s time for change.

 

Last year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network gave out more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis. Almost a million of these were provided for children.

Things like ill health or a job loss can happen to any of us – but if these hit someone when they don’t have enough support in place, it can make it more difficult to afford the essentials.

We can’t let this continue. It’s time to stand up and say that this is unacceptable. And we need you to stand alongside us.

The poem ‘Acceptable’ was written by Caroline, one of the thousands of people who’ve signed up to help us build a hunger free future and who has needed to use a food bank in the past.

“I just didn’t have enough money to live on. I didn’t want to go to a food bank. I was very embarrassed, thinking ‘why am I having to go and get free food?’ I’m not ashamed though because it’s not my fault. And it’s not of my making.”

It’s time for change. To stand together and say that this is unacceptable and that we will build a more just, more compassionate future.

www.trusselltrust.org


Tuesday, 27 April 2021

The jellyfish - God doesn't make junk!

 

On a planet filled with living organisms that are wonderfully equipped to travel though water, one surprising creature stands out as the most efficient swimmer of them all—the jellyfish.  

This remarkable animal has no skeleton, blood or heart, yet it’s designed to expend the least amount of energy as it journeys through the oceans of the world.  

The biological engineering involved has captivated scientists who seek to re-create its unexpected genius in the form of robotic locomotion.

I love subject matter like this because of its power to present clear and compelling evidence for the reality of a supernatural Creator. Regardless of our age, nationality, worldview or level of education, God speaks to us constantly through the things He has made. All we need to do is look and consider His message with open hearts and minds.

www.thejohn1010project.com


Monday, 26 April 2021

Reading for today: On change and the Christian life

 

The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.

We can only do it for moments at first. But from those moments the new sort of life will be spreading through our system: because now we are letting Him work at the right part of us. It is the difference between paint, which is merely laid on the surface, and a dye or stain which soaks right through. He never talked vague, idealistic gas. When He said, ‘Be perfect,’ He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is harder - in fact, it is impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

By C.S. Lewis

From Mere Christianity


Fullers: Shakespeare in the garden hath returned!

 

SHAKESPEARE HATH RETURNED! THIS SUMMER, SOAK UP SOME SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN WITH FULLER'S

After a somewhat disrupted year, we're all in need of a “Summer of Love” more than ever. Open Bar are back with two plays that are full to the brim with comedy, romance and adventure!

Experience Shakespeare as it was intended - informal, raucous and in a spacious pub garden with a drink in hand. Whether this will be your first, or thirty-first night of Shakespeare, you will not be disappointed.

This year is our biggest ever for Shakespeare In The Garden, with 64 shows across 39 pubs from Bristol to Greenwich.

View our pubs with shows HERE, and get more information around dates, and tickets.

www.fullers.co.uk

 

Bike geek! How to read the manufacturers markings on a tyre

 

  1. Tubeless: No tube is used, when mounted on a tubeless rim; abbreviated "TL"
  2. Rear: Direction of rotation for rear tyre, indicated by an arrow on the tyre sidewall
  3. Michelin: Tyre manufacturer
  4. 73 Load index: I.E, 73 corresponds to a load of 805 pounds (365kg) per tyre
  5. Radial
  6. Pilot Power 3: The tyre's model name
  7. 190: Nominal section width of the tyre, expressed in millimetres
  8. 55: Aspect ratio, the sidewall height as a proportion of the tyre width
  9. R: Radial construction
  10. 17: Bead-seat diameter of the wheel, expressed in inches (1 inch = 2.54cm)

www.michelin.co.uk


Friday, 23 April 2021

A new video from Child of Hope Uganda: "This is where we live"

Check out this new 5-minute video in which Child of Hope primary pupils show us their homes, cooking and chores.

Every day we all turn on the taps and flick on the lights without much thought. With that in mind, this month we have a new video showing the day to day lives of our pupils in the slum. It gives a fascinating insight into some of the challenges they face in everyday life - and how amazingly well they cope! 

Many of these children are still without sponsors. If you’d like to know more about sponsoring a child through Child of Hope schools, please click here.

www.childofhopeuganda.org


Post Office / Fujitsu Horizon IT system: Convicted workers have names cleared

Judges have quashed the convictions of 39 former postmasters after the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.

They were convicted of stealing money, with some imprisoned, after the Post Office installed the Horizon computer system in branches. The system was flawed and postmasters and postmistresses have spent years trying to clear their names.

The judgement was met with cheers from ex-postmasters outside court and was hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson called the original convictions an "appalling injustice".

Want to find out more about this horrendous tale? Nick Wallis is the journalist who has been tenaciously following this story for years. Here is his website: www.postofficetrial.com. Please consider supporting his work.

www.bbc.co.uk


If you have a QNAP NAS, stop what you're doing right now and install latest updates

QNAP has urged its customers to install and run its latest firmware and malware removal tools on their Network-attached storage (NAS) boxes amid a surge in ransomware infections.

Two file-scrambling nasties, Qlocker and eCh0raix, are said to be tearing through vulnerable QNAP storage equipment, encrypting data and demanding ransoms to restore the information.

In response, QNAP said on Thursday users should do this to avoid falling victim to this malware.

www.theregister.com


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Google Chrome is under Zero-Day attack - make sure you are patched up to date!


Google late Tuesday shipped another urgent security patch for its dominant Chrome browser and warned that attackers are exploiting one of the zero-days in active attacks.

This is the fourth in-the-wild Chrome zero-day discovered so far in 2021 and the continued absence any meaningful information about the attacks continue to raise eyebrows among security experts.

The newest Chrome update - 90.0.4430.85 - is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users and is being rolled out via the browser’s automatic update mechanism.

www.securityweek.com


Tuesday, 20 April 2021

The Stone Refurb Spring Sale is now on - save up to 45% on standard prices!

 

With savings of up to 45% on a range of desktops and laptops from top brands like Dell, Lenovo, HP and more!

All these items come with a minimum six month warranty, and delivery is free when you spend £75!

www.stonerefurb.co.uk


A poem to our rescue dog, Calli

 


There's no need to flinch when I lift my hand 

No need to cower each time I stand 

No need to run when I come near 

No need to tremble - I see your fear. 


You can sleep with both eyes shut, 

Don't need to jump when you wake up. 

Your food is yours to eat in peace 

No need to fight to keep your feast 


You don't need to lie upon a hard floor 

The beds and sofas are yours to explore 

Don't need to sit out in the rain 

The house is your shelter, your new domain. 


I cannot erase the memories and fears 

I can't compensate for the wasted years 

All I have is what you see 

But I give you it all and I give you me. 


I give you these arms to comfort and hold 

I give you this voice for the joys you'll be told

I give you my heart and abundance of love 

I give you my soul and I hope its enough. 


x

Donline's top IT tips - the super seven!

 

I've been running the Blog since 2014 & have posted nearly 2000 articles! Many hundreds have been about all aspects of IT - from mobile phones to AI.

Out of all the IT articles on the Donline Blog, I would recommend the following seven to stay safe & get the best productivity from your computing experience:

Backup: There are 2 types of people in the world: those who have lost data & those who will loose data!

Basic IT training: have you tried turning it off and on again?

Manage your email - zero that Inbox!

Received an email claiming that your PC has been hacked & they have your passwords? It's probably a scam...

Top 5 ways to pick a secure password.

Which is more expensive: Printer Ink or Vintage Champagne?

Annual Service for PCs.


Monday, 19 April 2021

A sunny Saturday Spring afternoon at Loomies

 

Had a fab ride out to Loomies on Saturday in beautiful Spring weather - what a joy! 

Denmead, Hambledon, Droxford, Meonstoke, Warnford, West Meon, Loomies. A good turnout @ Loomies - busy but not (yet) rammed. Gets a bit cozy in the bike (car) park at times! 

Nice cup of coffee & a great Thruxton Burger - not exactly Slimming World compliant (don't tell Kim LOL!) Then ride back on the A272 Turning right at St John the Evangelist Church Langrish - going through East Meon - which I truly believe is one of the most beautiful villages I've ever had the joy of seeing. Then rejoin the A32 @ West Meon.

The A32 is such a Blessing to Bikers! A very scenic road with plenty of engaging twists & turns. If you ride - this is a very special route. If you used to ride or are thinking of joining the fold, do read this - I hope it inspires you!

www.loomiescafe.co.uk


Top 200 most common passwords of the year 2020 - top 10 on this pic!

 

Here are the worst 200 passwords of 2020. The list details how many times a password has been exposed, used, and how much time it would take to crack it. 

We also compare the most common passwords of 2019 and 2020, highlighting how their positions have changed. The green arrows indicate a rise in the position while the red ones - a fall off. 

Check if your password is on the list and strengthen it if it is.

www.nordpass.com


Thursday, 15 April 2021

Do you subscribe to Donline's Blog? Changes are coming to the email feed in July 2021. Read & be aware...

 

GOOGLE: Starting in July 2021, we are transitioning FeedBurner onto a more stable, modern infrastructure. This will keep the product up and running for all users, but it also means that we will be turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions, at that time.

The Feedburner team announced that their email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021. As a result, Blogger’s email subscription widget, also known as the FollowByEmail widget, will be turned off. From July 2021 onwards, your existing Feedburner feeds will continue to serve but the automated emails to your subscribers won’t be supported.

Translating the above into English: Google are pulling the plug on the email subscription serviceFollowByEmail widget - services used on my Blog & many, many others.

If you currently subscribe to Donline's Blog (big thanks to all 1,166 of you!) nothing will change till July this year. Then according to the Google articles - you will no longer receive email digests of my posts, nor have the ability to sign up for these emails. Bah.

So from that point on, if you would like to continue reading my Blog content - you will have to visit my Blog on a daily/weekly basis. Apologies for this interruption in service, but as you can see it is totally out of my hands. Thanks Google, grrrr.

Thanks again for reading - I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy creating them. It's about the stuff that's important to me... 

With Blessings, Don.

www.google.com


Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Why don't we leave "playing God" - to God?

New technologies may have already introduced genetic errors to the human gene pool. How long will they last? And how could they affect us?

He Jiankui seemed nervous. At the time, he was an obscure researcher working at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. But he had been working on a top-secret project for the last two years – and he was about to take to the podium at the International Summit on Human Genome Editing to announce the results. There was a general buzz of excitement in the air. The audience looked on anxiously. People started filming on their phones.

He had made the first genetically modified babies in the history of humankind. After 3.7 billion years of continuous, undisturbed evolution by natural selection, a life form had taken its innate biology into its own hands. The result was twin baby girls who were born with altered copies of a gene known as CCR5, which the scientist hoped would make them immune to HIV.

But things were not as they seemed. "I was kind of drawn to him for the first five or six minutes, he seemed very candid," says Hank Greely, a professor of law at Stanford University and expert in medical ethics, who watched the conference live over the internet in November 2018. "And then as he went on, I got more and more suspicious."

In the years since, it's become clear that He's project was not quite as innocent as it might sound. He had broken laws, forged documents, misled the babies' parents about any risks and failed to do adequate safety testing. The whole endeavour left many experts aghast – it was described as "monstrous", "amateurish" and "profoundly disturbing" – and the culprit is now in prison.

Read the article in full here:

www.bbc.com


E10 petrol is coming to the UK – will it affect your vehicle?


From September this year, the UK government will allow the introduction of E10 petrol at filling stations. ‘E10’ is a reference to the percentage of ethanol mixed into the petrol. Currently, the UK's normal ‘baseline’ petrol is E5. It contains 5% ethanol, so E10 contains twice the amount.

The government claims that CO2 production will be cut by as much as 750,000 tonnes annually as a result of this change, but there could be some negative effects, too. Here Martynn Randall explains what they could be...

What is ethanol? Ethanol is ethyl alcohol, a plant-based biofuel made from biomass such as corn or sugar cane. Being plant-based, it’s a renewable form of fuel, not a fossil fuel.

Ethanol absorbs water. If your vehicle is less than 20 years old and is driven regularly (at least once a week), you're unlikely to notice any differences when using E10 petrol. But if your vehicle is left unused for a couple of weeks or more, the water content in the fuel will rise, which could cause corrosion in the fuel system and poor starting and performance.

Ethanol is a solvent. Ethanol will slowly eat through rubber, plastic and fibreglass. This will affect rubber seals and hoses in the fuel systems of older vehicles in particular, causing the material to perish and eventually leak. One solution is to replace them with special ethanol-proof components (fuel hose, seals, etc.). Ethanol is particularly bad news for solder, so older vehicles with carburettors and brass floats will be especially vulnerable.

Ethanol is 34% less energy-dense than petrol. So to get the same power output from your engine, that accelerator pedal is going to have to be pressed harder! Obviously, this will have an effect on your vehicle's fuel consumption.

www.haynes.com


Electric motorbike? They're so last Tuesday! How about a Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered sportbike?

 

Segway-Ninebot has rather sensationally announced that it's building a hydrogen fuel cell sportsbike – and boy does this thing look like it glitched its way out of Cyberpunk 2077, complete with a highly improbable steering design and an amazing price.

Here's what we know so far: Segway has been playing with performance bikes a little bit lately to go with its lineup of cheap electric scooters, mainly sold in China. The Apex was announced in 2019, a slightly gawky looking battery-electric "super scooter" capable of 125 mph (200 km/h), with full sportsbike fairings.

Now, there's an Apex H2 coming, which will run a hydrogen-electric hybrid powertrain – gaseous hydrogen stored in tanks will be converted into electrical energy through a fuel cell and fed into a buffer battery, which will power an electric motor that drives the rear wheel in some way or another – we can't see whether there's a chain drive or a hub motor or what indeed is going on in these renders. Yes, that's an exhaust port in front of the rear wheel, but all that'll be coming out of it is water vapor.

www.newatlas.com


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Don's 25th Blood donor session

 

I'm please to say that today I gave my 25th blood donation. It was at Havant Plaza and as usual the staff were friendly, efficient, polite & gentle. Giving Blood is an important thing to do - your donation could literally save somebody's life. If you currently give blood - well done - keep up the good work! If you don't - please consider registering to become a donor. Cheers!

The need for blood
We need to make sure that we have enough supplies of all blood groups and blood types to treat all types of conditions.
By giving blood, every donor helps us meet the challenge of providing life-saving products whenever and wherever they are needed.

Maintaining the blood supply
We need to maintain a regular supply of all blood groups and types so we can provide it to the hospitals and patients who need it.  
We sometimes need to target specific blood types to increase stock levels. That's why we sometimes contact regular donors with the particular blood type we need, and ask them to give blood.
We are indebted to our regular blood donors for their role in helping us to save lives.


Monday, 12 April 2021

Microsoft is acquiring Nuance Communications for $19.7B

Microsoft agreed today to acquire Nuance Communications, a leader in speech to text software, for $19.7 billion. Bloomberg broke the story over the weekend that the two companies were in talks.

In a post announcing the deal, the company said this was about increasing its presence in the healthcare vertical, a place where Nuance has done well in recent years. In fact, the company announced the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare last year, and this deal is about accelerating its presence there. Nuance’s products in this area include Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting.

“Today’s acquisition announcement represents the latest step in Microsoft’s industry-specific cloud strategy,” the company wrote. The acquisition also builds on several integrations and partnerships the two companies have made in the last couple of years.

Wikipedia: This will be Microsoft's second-biggest deal ever, after its purchase of Linkedin for $24 billion in 2016.

www.techcrunch.com


(Sobering) Reading for today: on Love


There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket of coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.


Saturday, 10 April 2021

At Easter Christians celebrated Jesus' Resurrection. Why should I believe in Christ’s resurrection?


Do we have evidence for the resurrection, actual proof that Jesus Christ raised from the dead? Arguments for the resurrection for why Christians believe that Jesus is alive, and that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead abound. In this video, Pastor Nelson with Bible Munch looks at several lines of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This video answers the question, “why should I believe in Christ’s resurrection?”.

It is a fairly well-established fact that Jesus Christ was publicly executed in Judea in the 1st Century A.D., under Pontius Pilate, by means of crucifixion, at the behest of the Jewish Sanhedrin. The non-Christian historical accounts of Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, Maimonides and even the Jewish Sanhedrin corroborate the early Christian eyewitness accounts of these important historical aspects of the death of Jesus Christ.

As for His resurrection, there are several lines of evidence which make for a compelling case. The late jurisprudential prodigy and international statesman Sir Lionel Luckhoo (of The Guinness Book of World Records fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defence murder trial acquittals) epitomized Christian enthusiasm and confidence in the strength of the case for the resurrection when he wrote, “I have spent more than 42 years as a defence trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

www.gotquestions.org


Friday, 9 April 2021

The Crate Escape: search for Irishmen who airmailed Brian Robson home

Are you Irish, were you in Australia in 1965 and did you happen to help a homesick Welshman airmail himself home in a wooden box? Brian Robson wants to contact Paul and John - he can't remember their surnames - who helped him get out of Oz.

Brian, from Cardiff, was 19 years old when his two friends helped nail him into a crate so that he could mail himself from Melbourne to London. He couldn't afford the air fare but he was desperate to get home.

The journey proved much more hazardous than he had imagined and almost spelled the end of his life. But he lived to tell an incredible tale.

As a teenager, Brian had taken a job with Victorian Railways on an assisted immigration programme in Australia, but he was deeply unhappy. He couldn't just buy a ticket home - he had committed to spending two years in the country. His travel costs had been paid for by the Australian government and he said he would have had to pay about £800 to reimburse them and fund his way home. "My salary was about £30 a month so there was no way," he said.

Kim & I saw this chap telling his crazy tale on the BBC Breakfast show this morning - & what a tale - I was spellbound! I have placed a pre-release order with Austin Macauley Publishers for his book, can't wait!

www.bbc.co.uk


A song for today. Thunder: Preaching from a Chair

 


I'm sorry I don't hate the world.

I'm afraid that I'm not disturbed.

I'm sorry, that I don't do drugs, I hope you understand.

I can't talk my life in hell, or a suicide attempt that did not go well,

no life of crime , no misery. What you see is what you get.

And I don't believe in dwelling on a darkest side,

coz there is enough bad new on the television every night.

So I don't need , need some little punk who's latest star,

telling me over and over again, life is such a drag

when you're in a band.


What is it coming to, when everyone's talking through their heads.

And we all heard it all before.

What happened to honesty? The way that it looks to me.

Is everybody's in in it trying to get somewhere.

And trying to justify it, PREACHING FROM A CHAIR.


Full Lyrics / Youtube / Album


Thursday, 8 April 2021

Gartner: Worldwide IT outlay to hit $4T in 2021

Researchers at Gartner said that all IT spending segments - from data center to enterprise software - are forecast to have positive growth through 2022 with overall IT spending projected to hit $4.1 trillion in 2021, an increase of 8.4% from 2020.

Gartner forecasts the highest growth will come from devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile phones (up 14%) and enterprise software (up 10.8%) as organizations shift their focus to providing a more comfortable, innovative and productive environment for their workforce, said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

The growth in spending on devices is linked to the permanent effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on usage patterns by employees and consumers, said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner. “With remote work turning into hybrid work, home education changing into digital education, and interactive gaming moving to the cloud, both the types and number of devices people need, have and use will continue to rise,” he said.

www.networkworld.com


Introducing the next feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1

 

Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1. As people continue to rely on Windows more than ever to work, learn and have fun, we understand the importance of providing the best possible update experience to help people and organizations stay protected and productive. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly and why for the first time an H1 (first half of the calendar year) feature update release will be delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology, while continuing our semi-annual feature update cadence. In today’s blog I will cover details on how we plan to service the release, its scope, and next steps.

Based on feedback and learnings during the past year of extensive remote work, learning and play, version 21H1 will be delivered with servicing technology (like that used for the monthly update process and how 20H2 was delivered).  Windows 10, version 21H1 will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access and quality. The features we are releasing in this update are focused on the core experiences that customers have told us they’re relying on most right now. So, we optimized this release to support our customers’ most pressing needs.

New features include multicamera support for Windows Hello and security related performance improvements.

Windows Hello multicamera support to set the default as the external camera when both external and internal Windows Hello cameras are present.

Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements including optimizing document opening scenario times.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvement to support remote work scenarios.

TECHREPUBLIC - explain more about the release programme & what's in 21H1.


www.windows.com


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

The wonderful modern hymn: "In Christ Alone" is 20 years old this year!

It may seem hard to believe but the famous hymn In Christ Alone is 20 years old this year! The modern hymn was the first song to be co-written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty in 2001, and instantly became a classic.

Esther Higham has been reminiscing with Keith Getty about how the song came about.

This is Kim & my favourite hymn - we had it at our wedding. It deeply moves me each time I sing or hear it. Listen here & enjoy - Jesus Christ be praised!

www.premierchristianradio.com


Road Safety - it's a state of mind

"It’s a state of mind." That’s how Michael Neeves sums up his secret for riding many thousands of miles on top bikes without a serious spill. 

“Even before I was a part of it, the world of the professional motorcycle rider has always fascinated me," he says. "How do they do all these miles a year and never really get into any trouble?" 

Michael has been an MCN road tester for almost 20 years and we’ve brought together all six videos in the series "Secrets of a Road Tester”, to share his hard-earned secrets with you. 

www.bikertekshop.co.uk


I like it when people learn to play nicely - let me introduce you to the Power For All Alliance!

 

The POWER FOR ALL ALLIANCE is one of the largest cross-brand 18V battery systems of leading manufacturers worldwide and offers solutions for the entire home. Our vision is to provide our users with ONE battery that can be used for all use cases in and around the home.

No cable. No limits. One single battery for all tools. The POWER FOR ALL ALLIANCE offers the greatest application variety for home users in the market and consistently expands it to new areas of life and use.

One and the same 18V battery within the POWER FOR ALL ALLIANCE is 100% compatible with all 18V appliances of the brands Bosch Home & Garden, GARDENA, Bosch Home Appliances, GLORIA House and Garden, Emmaljunga epowered by Bosch, Wagner and Rapid.

www.powerforall-alliance.com


Another reason not to do Bitcoin - it is literally costing us the Earth!

The carbon emissions associated with mining bitcoin have accelerated rapidly in China, and they will soon outstrip the total annual emissions of mid-sized European countries.

Analysis by Guan Dabo at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues suggests that the total carbon footprint of bitcoin mining in China will peak in 2024, releasing around 130 million metric tonnes of carbon.

This figure exceeds the annual carbon emissions of countries including Italy and the Czech Republic.

By 2024, bitcoin mining in China will require 297 terawatt-hours of energy and account for approximately 5.4 per cent of the carbon emissions from generating electricity in the country.

Mining bitcoin relies on computers racing to solve mathematical puzzles, with miners receiving bitcoin for being the first to process a batch of verified transactions.

In other much Greener news: Great Britain’s electricity system has greenest day ever over Easter 2021.

www.newscientist.com


Live in an area of Hampshire with low Broadband speeds - this might work for you & your community...

The Hampshire Top-Up to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is designed to provide additional funding for residents in rural Hampshire so they can get access to fast, reliable broadband services. 

Eligible residents can get vouchers worth up to £3,000 per property - double the value of the government’s standard Gigabit Broadband Voucher.  

The broadband will be delivered on gigabit-capable infrastructure which can support internet speeds of up to 1000Mbps.

To qualify, residents must live in a rural area, be unable to get broadband speeds of 100Mbps or more and apply as a group of two or more premises. 

Find out if you are eligible by using our postcode checker here.

www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com


Tuesday, 6 April 2021

With a post-COVID roadmap taking shape, where would you like to go next?

Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch startup to one of the world’s leading digital travel companies. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world.

By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travellers with memorable experiences, a range of transport options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses.

Booking.com is available in 43 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including over 6.2 million listings alone of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.

This is how Kim & I do most of our adventures: road trips by motorbike or car. We will often have a rough plan of travel and book hotels as we progress. Booking.com makes travel so easy & fun - highly recommended!

www.booking.com


Saturday, 3 April 2021

Peter - A Spoken Word for Easter. Part 2

For this Easter, and in association with Bible Society, we've put together two spoken word films that tell the Easter story through the lens of Saint Peter.

This is Part 2 of the story. From the empty tomb to fish sarnies on a beach and the penny dropping of what it all means. 

Part 1 homed in on the heartbreak of Jesus’ seemingly certain defeat. 

Part 2 journeys us to the joy found because of Jesus’ certain victory.

My hope with this two-part offering is to story-tell Jesus, through the voice of Peter, one of his closest followers and friends. May this spoken word help you experience Jesus, who went from fully perfect, to fully broken, to fully fixed so if we want to, we can be forever fixed in him.

www.spoken-truth.com