Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Harley-Davidson spins out LiveWire as its own electric motorcycle brand

 

LiveWire, the first electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson, will now become its own standalone brand. The Milwaukee-based company announced that it would be spinning out its electric motorcycle division as its own company with a distinct lineup and a tailored retail experience. Harley-Davidson plans to unveil the “first LiveWire branded motorcycle” on July 8th to coincide with the International Motorcycle Show.

It’s a shift from how the company approached its current LiveWire model, in which the Harley-Davidson logo is front and center, while the LiveWire brand is practically nonexistent. And it’s a sign that going forward, Harley-Davidson is interested in letting its electrified models stand on their own terms.

“With the mission to be the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world, LiveWire will pioneer the future of motorcycling, for the pursuit of urban adventure and beyond,” Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president, and CEO of Harley-Davidson, said in a statement. “LiveWire also plans to innovate and develop technology that will be applicable to Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles in the future.”

www.theverge.com


Amazon “seized and destroyed” 2 million counterfeit products in 2020

Amazon "seized and destroyed" over 2 million counterfeit products that sellers sent to Amazon warehouses in 2020 and "blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published in our store," the company said in its first "Brand Protection Report."

In 2020, "we seized and destroyed more than 2 million products sent to our fulfillment centers and that we detected as counterfeit before being sent to a customer," Amazon's report said. "In cases where counterfeit products are in our fulfillment centers, we separate the inventory and destroy those products so they are not resold elsewhere in the supply chain," the report also said.

Third-party sellers can also ship products directly to consumers instead of using Amazon's shipping system. The 2 million fakes found in Amazon fulfillment centers would only account for counterfeit products from sellers using the "Fulfilled by Amazon" service.

The counterfeit problem got worse over the past year. "Throughout the pandemic, we've seen increased attempts by bad actors to commit fraud and offer counterfeit products," Amazon VP Dharmesh Mehta wrote in a blog post yesterday.

The above sounds like a good thing - you'd think... However: Amazon regularly ships their own stock knowing full well it isn't what it's meant to be! See the image above / these reviews... I and many others have complained about these Hard Drives - to no avail. Amazon seem happy to go after other vendors (good) - but not so happy to put their own house in order - Physician, heal yourself! 

www.arstechnica.com


Monday, 10 May 2021

Interesting world population statistics - by Worldometer

 

World Population:

has reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011.

is projected to reach 8 billion in 2023, 9 billion in 2037, and 10 billion people in the year 2055.

has doubled in 40 years from 1959 (3 billion) to 1999 (6 billion).

is currently (2020) growing at a rate of around 1.05 % per year, adding 81 million people per year to the total.

growth rate reached its peak in the late 1960s, when it was at 2.09%.

growth rate is currently declining and is projected to continue to decline in the coming years (reaching below 0.50% by 2050, and 0.03% in 2100) .

a tremendous change occurred with the industrial revolution: whereas it had taken all of human history up to the year 1800 for world population to reach 1 billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in 30 years (1960), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), the fifth billion in 13 years (1987), the sixth billion in 12 years (1999) and the seventh billion in 12 years (2011). During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.

by Country & UK Population through the years

www.worldometers.info


NFU calls for national ban on sky lanterns

 

The NFU has written to Environment Minister Rebecca Pow as part of a coalition of 18 farming, environment, animal and fire organisations to explain how the government’s approach to sky lanterns is now significantly out of date.

The group is calling on the government to act now to make the use of sky lanterns illegal. The letter details how in other countries the release of sky lanterns is considered an environmental crime due to the harm they cause animals, habitats and the countryside.

By enacting Section 140 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Secretary of State can prohibit or restrict the importation, use, supply or storage of injurious substances or articles, such as sky lanterns. So far, 152 local councils have already banned the release of sky lanterns on council property but with no national legislation in place, the countryside and farms remain unprotected.

RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Mark Kennedy said: “Though sky lanterns might look pretty in the sky, they pose a serious danger to horses, farm animals and wildlife.

“Sadly, many people are unaware of the potentially deadly consequences the release of sky lanterns can have for animals. Not only are they a serious fire hazard but the RSPCA has had reports of suffering animals through ingestion, entanglement and entrapment, or simply the sight of a lit lantern in the sky causing terrified animals to bolt and harm themselves.

“We know many people are already aware of the dangers sky lanterns pose to animals and we are pleased to work in coalition with the National Farmers' Union and others to raise awareness within the UK government of our concerns.”

www.nfuonline.com


Christian Aid Week. The climate emergency is one of the greatest injustices we face. Together we stop this climate crisis.


This climate crisis hurts us all. But people living in poverty fight the worst of it every day.

From drought to flooding, climate change robs people of control over their lives. Extreme weather means people like Rose are struggling to survive without a reliable source of water.

Your gift could help a community build an earth dam, so when the rains do come, they will have the water they need to live. A reliable source of water will help families withstand long drought or relentless rainstorms.

Every envelope. Every gift. Every challenge can change lives. Together we stop this climate crisis.

www.christianaid.org.uk


Friday, 7 May 2021

Like a nice cookie? Of course you do! Better check this out - for the best handmade cookies!

Mike Hall (one of my bikey mates & owner of the excellent Mike Hall Carpentry Services) presented me with the most superb box of handmade Terry's Chocolate Orange cookies. Beautifully presented, delicious, and a wonderful gift. Well done The Cookie Dough Club - these are a truly superb treat!

Freshly baked cookies or bake yourself cookie dough in a huge range of flavours.

We’re based in Waterlooville, Portsmouth. Offering a collection & delivery option. 

Postal bakes coming soon!

www.facebook.com/the.cookie.dough.club


Microsoft is finally ditching its Windows 95-era icons

 

Microsoft is finally preparing to refresh its Windows 95-era icons. The software giant has been slowly improving the icons it uses in Windows 10, as part of a “sweeping visual rejuvenation” planned for later this year. We saw a number of new system icons back in March, with new File Explorer, folder, Recycle Bin, disk drive icons, and more. Microsoft is now planning to refresh the Windows 95-era icons you still sometimes come across in Windows 10.

Windows Latest has spotted new icons for the hibernation mode, networking, memory, floppy drives, and much more as part of the shell32.dll file in preview versions of Windows 10. This DLL is a key part of the Windows Shell, which surfaces icons in a variety of dialog boxes throughout the operating system. It’s also a big reason why Windows icons have been so inconsistent throughout the years. Microsoft has often modernized other parts of the OS only for an older app to throw you into a dialog box with Windows 95-era icons from shell32.dll.

All of this work to improve the consistency of Windows is part of Microsoft’s design overhaul to Windows 10, codenamed Sun Valley. The visual changes are expected to appear in the Windows 10 21H2 update that should arrive in October. Microsoft has not officially detailed its Sun Valley work, but a job listing earlier this year teased a “sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows.”

www.theverge.com


Thursday, 6 May 2021

Millions of people in the UK at risk of using unsecure routers

Millions (potentially up to 7.5 million) around the UK could be at risk of using routers with security flaws, a Which? investigation has found.

In December 2020 we conducted a survey of more than 6,000 UK adults, asking them which routers they’re using at home. We found millions could be using devices over five years old, that are no longer being supported with firmware updates

We sent a selection of the most commonly used old devices to security specialists, Red Maple Technologies, to find out just how secure they are, and discovered issues with more than half, from ISPs such as Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk, EE and Vodafone.

www.which.co.uk


IT & Motorcycles (& cars) - why there is a shortage of new models at the moment

If you’ve had even just a side-eye on the global newsfeeds in recent weeks you will know that there is a crisis brewing in the motoring industry that is bit-by-bit consuming all of the top manufacturers - the ‘global chip shortage’.

While this may not seem terribly important to your Average Joe, these chips can be found in everything from cars to motorcycles and everything in between, such as ABS, smart keys and ECUs. In short, they have a literal part to play in every single new model that rolls off the production line.

It is a crisis that has already affected some of the biggest names in the motoring industry; JLR, Mini, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have already scaled back production to ease the strain on the supply chain issues, and now Yamaha has gone on record to explain why it’s is now falling behind on orders.

There is a positive reason as to why this is occurring. Demand for motorcycles has bounced right back from the lulls of 2020 when we were gripped in the COVID-19 crisis, but it was during this period that suppliers saw orders cancelled in anticipation of a steadier return to full production capacity.

www.visordown.com


Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Excellent, informative, free (if a bit geeky) training: LOCTITE®XPLORE

LOCTITE®XPLORE is a new e-learning platform designed for Assembly, Maintenance and Vehicle Repair Pros – to help you make informed decisions within your area of expertise.

The content is based on the accumulated knowledge of more than 65 years of practical experience – and it’s 100% free, quick and certified. All you have to do is pick a topic and start improving your skills – 15 min at a time. Quick gratification is as easy as that!

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it! Sign up HERE.

www.henkel-adhesives.com


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

BlackBerry has built the iOS of cars, and it's taken over the automotive industry

It might be running in your car right now, but you'd never know it because there's no "Intel Inside"-like badge. And that's just how BlackBerry likes it.

BlackBerry QNX is the de facto standard for in-car operating systems. If a car were a smartphone, QNX is iOS or Android. It's what connects all the bits of vehicle hardware so that the "apps" — everything from the speedometer to the tire pressure monitoring system — can talk to each other securely and reliably.

Modern automobiles are wildly complex, with countless sensors, electronic control units (ECU), buttons, inputs, connectivity and more. And they're all built by different suppliers but still need to communicate. That's where QNX comes in.

Grant Courville, BlackBerry's vice president for products and strategy — aka one of the guys in charge of QNX — puts it this way: "The consumer won't ever see our logo. They won't ever see our software... but we provide the safe and secure plumbing in the car."

www.techrepublic.com