30 July 2021

IBM's AI can predict how Parkinson's disease may progress in individuals

In the past, we’ve seen doctors use AI software to detect brain tumors, kidney illness and various cancers. Now, researchers from IBM and Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) say they’ve developed a program that can predict how the symptoms of a Parkinson’s disease patient will progress in terms of both timing and severity. In The Lancet Digital Health journal, they claim the software could transform how doctors help patients manage their symptoms by allowing them to better predict how the disease will progress.

“Our aim is to use AI to help with patient management and clinical trial design. These goals are important because, despite Parkinson’s prevalence, patients experience a unique variety of motor and non-motor symptoms,” IBM said.

The breakthrough wouldn’t have been possible without the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a study the Michael J. Fox Foundation sponsored. IBM describes the dataset, which includes information on more than 1,400 individuals, as the “largest and most robust volume of longitudinal Parkinson’s patient data to date” and says it allowed its AI model to map out complex symptom and progression patterns.

It’s estimated Parkinson’s disease affects more than 6 million people globally, and there’s currently no known cure for it. IBM Research and MJFF plan to continue work on the AI model. In the future, they hope to make it better at providing more granular characterizations of the various stages of the disease.


29 July 2021

It's annual System Administrator Appreciation Day today: 30th July 2021 - remember who's got your back!

Happy SysAdmin Day! Your network is secure, your computer is up and running, and your printer is jam-free. Why? Because you’ve got an awesome SysAdmin (or maybe a whole IT department) keeping your business up and running. So say IT loud; say IT proud…

Wait… what exactly is SysAdmin Day? Oh, it’s only the single greatest 24 hours on the planet… and pretty much the most important holiday of the year. It’s also the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the heroic men and women who, come rain or shine, prevent disasters, keep IT secure and put out tech fires left and right.

How could you Bless me on SysAdmin day? If you are a Donline client, I would like to invite you to go to this link & offer honest feedback on my services. If you have previously submitted feedback - I thank you.


Caveat emptor: 'We lost our life savings in a cryptocurrency scam'. DONT GO THERE!

Joseph (not his real name) had run his own business for years and had built up a tidy sum in savings for retirement.

He planned to use the money to buy a mortgage-free bungalow for him and and his wife to live out the rest of their days.

In a bid to top-up those savings he was drawn into investing online - a move into cryptocurrency trading that left him at the mercy of suspected fraudsters and drained his life savings... handing over more & more money, eventually losing more than £250,000...

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.


The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points

The UK needs to increase the number of charging points across the country tenfold if it is to support an electric vehicle (EV) economy starting with the ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

As it stands, access to EV charging points is a "postcode lottery" with London streets ahead of every other part of the UK.

So says the "Electric Vehicle Charging Market Report" from the Competition and Market's Authority (CMA), which found that there are 80 public charging points per 100,000 people in London compared to just 20 per 100,000 in Yorkshire and Humber.

All told, there are around 25,000 public charging points up and down the UK today but the CMA reckons that figure will need to swell to between 280,000 and 480,000 as motorists switch to EV.


22 July 2021

StinkyInk - save up to 50% on ink & toner with the Mega Sale!


StinkyInk love to rock the boat. Which is why they are setting sale!

Stinkyink supply toner and ink cartridges for every make and model of printer (and the multi-function machines) – that’s over 4200 products!

We're going all out, by offering up to 50% off our vast variety of products! Come aboard any time, before midnight Wednesday 28th July. I'm "shore" you won't want to miss it!

The sale is live right now with no discount code needed! Pop on over and order now at Stinkyink


Reading for today: Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

Kevin Wailes, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.


21 July 2021

Oh dear, how sad: Bitcoin is going down the toilet. Don't say I didn't warn ya!


What goes up must come down, but when it comes to cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin in particular, wild up and down swings feel like normal occurrences (it was just a short while ago when Bitcoin and Ethereum fueled a cryptocurrency explosion to a $2 trillion valuation). And that is what Bitcoin investors are hoping is occurring right now—just a normal downward swing, as the digital currency comes crashing below the $30,000 mark for the first time in a month.

At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $29,694.34. That's down from around $31,000 yesterday, and less than half of where Bitcoin peaked at in April of this year, when it topped $60,000. Will it go back up? Probably, but for Bitcoin investors, there are definitely reasons to be cautious, outside of the normal volatility associated with cryptocurrencies.

OK, I tend to pick on Bitcoin a lot, other cryptocurrencies are also available. They all suck: bad for the planet, bad for our souls. Steer clear of them all...


20 July 2021

Malaysian police destroy 1,069 bitcoin mining rigs with a steamroller. It's a start...


Call it a crypto crackdown - literally. Malaysian authorities seized 1,069 bitcoin mining rigs, laid them out in a parking lot at police headquarters, and used a steamroller to crush them, as part of a joint operation between law enforcement in the city of Miri and electric utility Sarawak Energy.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Hakemal Hawari told CNBC the crackdown came after miners allegedly stole $2 million worth of electricity siphoned from Sarawak Energy power lines. 

A video of the event posted last week by local Sarawak news outlet Dayak Daily has since gone viral on social media.  

Acting on a tip, authorities on the island of Borneo confiscated the rigs in six separate raids between February and April. In total, police destroyed about $1.26 million of mining equipment. 


19 July 2021

Don rides the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S


KTM had arranged a day of demonstration rides of their KTM 1290 Super Adventure S - from Loomies cafe - on Saturday 17th July.

I rode out to Loomies on Ariel, on a hot late morning, glad that I was wearing my mesh jacket, which once moving - does a great job of keeping me cool, letting the cooling breeze through. Loomies was packed - always the case on a sunny day, but particularly due to the fact that KTM had taken over a good chunk of the parking area!

For our 12.15pm timeslot, I was one of  about seven pre-booked test riders. We were introduced to the bike: KTM 1290 Super Adventure S & told about its abilities & impressive electronics package that included Adaptive Cruise Control and Semi-active Suspension.

We spent around an hour in the saddle & covered 30+ miles, in speeds from stuck in traffic (it was a very busy Saturday!) to motorway speeds. The route was roughly Loomies, Bramdean, Winchester, Twyford, Bishops Waltham, back to Loomies.

So what was the bike like? I was hoping that I'd like it. We miss Holly my Crosstourer, & her ability to endlessly tour two up, with all the luggage. As much as I love Ariel my wonderful CB1000R+: two up (pillion) isn't great, and just forget luggage! It really would be fab to have a bike to tour on as well as Ariel the CB. Sadly although this bike is significantly more powerful then the Honda Crosstourer (134bhp for the Honda, 160bhp for the KTM), and there is a whole load of good stuff on the KTM, It wasn't a bike that would work for me. My notes:

Brilliant electronics package
Fantastic easy to read TFT display
Easy to adjust windscreen
Great suspension, comfy ride
Weight is kept low using two low fuel tanks
Keyless start & fuel cap
Easy to access phone / glasses cubby

Pronounced vibrations above 4k RPM (engine redlines @ 10k RPM)
Mirrors are blurry due to the vibes
Lots of buttons & functions to learn
Electronics: too much / what happens when they fail

The vibes come from the powerful V Twin engine, and I just couldn't face days in the saddle having my fillings shaken out. Also, electronics, modes & gizmos, etc - don't do anything for me on a motorbike. I want to be & feel engaged. Much of the electronics nowadays makes me feel that the rider ends up as a passenger. Also, what happens when they break... 

Alternative view: here is a great video review of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S by the good people at Knox. They put it though it's paces on & off road & genuinely seem to like it. Maybe it's just me then...

Piaggio MP3 - 3 wheel scooter. In a word "Nah"


I've recently had the "pleasure" of a couple of rides on a mate's Piaggio MP3 Scooter (3 wheels - 2 at the front). Well, that was an experience! 

Over the years, I've ridden most things: scooters, sport bikes, adventure, motocross, tourers, cruisers, etc. Usually (as you might have noticed) I enjoy most things two wheeled. This is the first bike that I've ever ridden where I was pleased to get off & hand it back!

Apart from the fact the engine cut out two or three times in one relatively short journey, the whole feel of this "bike" could be summed up as "vague". Sometimes in a corner, I felt the leaning front end suspension system doing it's thing - which actually was pretty cool. Most other times it just felt loose! Almost like there was a broken linkage, or a flat tyre on one side. Glad I was riding it in warm dry weather - wouldn't have been fun in wet / windy conditions! 

I thought that I'd try getting some heat into the tyres to see if that improved matters - using the good old controlled front end weave manoeuvre. Aaagh - that was scary - thought the bike was going to throw me off!

OK this bike was a "well used example" and that might account for some of my experience, but based on my experience, I honestly couldn't recommend one. While on the subject of 3 wheeled contraptions: I never got round to riding the Yamaha Nikken - most peeps who have ridden one loved it. But almost no-one bought one... I'll stick to two wheels I think!

15 July 2021

The return of Clippy?

Microsoft is threatening to bring back its annoying / loveable Clippy character. The software giant claims it will replace the paperclip emoji in Microsoft Office with Clippy if their tweet gets 20,000 likes. 

The tweet has already hugely surpassed that number (130k+), so it seems Clippy could be about to return as a more innocent emoji - but Microsoft is being coy about what might happen next.

Born in Office 97, Clippy originally appeared as an assistant to offer help and tips for using Microsoft Office. You either loved or hated its Groucho eyebrows and persistence, and Microsoft eventually killed off Clippy in Office XP in 2001.


14 July 2021

Emission free bikes to play key role in new Government plan

Motorcycles and scooters are set to play a key role in the freshly announced Government Transport Decarbonisation Plan, following years of behind the scenes campaigning from the Motorcycle Industry Association.

The Department for Transport announced the radical new plan earlier today, which pledges to end the sale of all new, non-zero emission road vehicles by 2040 at the latest, as well as phasing out the sale of all new non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles in that timeframe.

Whether than will mean a greater expanse of electrification, or further investment in synthetic fuels, MCIA chief executive Tony Campbell welcomes the plan and said: "The government has today laid down a long overdue marker, signalling not the end but the start of our next chapter."


Microsoft puts PCs in the cloud with Windows 365

Microsoft is putting Windows in the cloud. Windows 365 is a new service that will let businesses access Cloud PCs from anywhere, streaming a version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 in a web browser. While virtualization and remote access to PCs has existed for more than a decade, Microsoft is betting on Windows 365 to offer Cloud PCs to businesses just as they shift toward a mix of office and remote work.

Windows 365 will work on any modern web browser or through Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app, allowing users to access their Cloud PC from a variety of devices. “Windows 365 provides an instant-on boot experience,” according to Wangui McKelvey, a general manager for Microsoft 365. This instant access lets workers stream their Windows session with all of their same apps, tools, data, and settings across Macs, iPads, Linux machines, and Android devices. “You can pick up right where you left off, because the state of your Cloud PC remains the same, even when you switch devices,” explains McKelvey.


09 July 2021

LiveWire One: Electric bike drops the Harley badge and the price

LiveWire, the freshly spun-off electric motorbike brand from Harley-Davidson, have unveiled their first model called the LiveWire One.

The bike is instantly recognisable from the Harley-Davidson version launched in 2019 but now comes in black or white without the famous Bar and Shield badge.

That means you get the same 104bhp, 146-mile claimed range, six-axis IMU controlled electronics, one-hour fast charge time and haptic ‘heartbeat’ vibration at ‘idle’.

The biggest change will be felt by your wallet though as the price looks to be drastically reduced compared to the H-D version of the bike. UK prices haven’t been announced as the One won’t make it to non-American markets until 2022 but the US price is just $21,999.

If you convert that price to GBP and then take off the UK EV grant of £1500 you end up with a projected price of just under £14,500. That’s getting on for half the £28,750 of the Harley-Davidson version.


08 July 2021

Microsoft rolls out emergency patch for critical PrintNightmare flaw

Microsoft has deployed a patch for a vulnerability so critical that even older, unsupported versions of Windows are receiving it. On Tuesday, the company rolled out a fix for the PrintNightmare flaw, (a serious security hole in the Windows Print spooler service) a problem that could allow an attacker to take over a compromised computer to install software, modify data and create new user accounts. Microsoft clearly considered the flaw so severe that it released the patch out of band this week rather than wait until next week's July Patch Tuesday.

Accessible through Windows Update, the patch is available for most versions of Windows for clients and servers, including Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, as well as Server 2004, 2008 and 2019.

The only versions without an available patch are Windows 10 Version 1607, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation), Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 (Server Core installation). Microsoft said that these versions will be updated shortly after July 6.

Individual users should check Windows Update to download and install the patch, while organizations should deploy the update through their patch management system.


03 July 2021

What are the most famous/important questions in the Bible?

There are many, many questions in the Bible. It is difficult to give a precise number because ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek did not use punctuation—we can’t just pull out the Dead Sea Scrolls and count the question marks! 

Often, it is difficult to know if a sentence is truly intended to be a question. But Bible scholars estimate that there are approximately 3,300 questions in the Bible.

This list of questions in the Bible is definitely not complete. It is simply a survey of some of the most famous and important questions in the Bible.


02 July 2021

European Commission drops insurance green card requirement for UK motorists

The European Commission has scrapped the requirement for UK riders (including Northern Ireland) to carry an insurance green card within the EU.

Under the previous guidance all motorists wishing to travel into the EU needed to obtain a green card from their insurance provider to prove they were insured. This was of particular concern for those Northern Ireland who regularly cross the border into the Republic of Ireland.

"This is excellent news. We have long campaigned for the UK to be part of the Green Card Free Circulation Zone so we warmly welcome the decision by the European Commission," said Huw Evans, Director General at the Association of British Insurers.

"The Commission has taken a pragmatic approach on the matter.  UK drivers will no longer need to apply for a green card through their insurer which will help reduce bureaucracy for drivers and road hauliers travelling between the UK and EU."


Calli has been to Pam again. If you look carefully, you might be able to spot a subtle difference LOL!


Just look at the above picture of Calli - before & after visiting Pam's puppy parlour. What an improvement! Dear dawgie must have felt that she was walking round in Summer with a jumper on! Calli is so much happier & full of joy, thanks Pam!

Windows BSOD goes from Blue to Black!


Microsoft is changing its famous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) to black in Windows 11. The software giant started testing its new design changes in a Windows 11 preview earlier this week, but the Black Screen of Death isn’t fully enabled yet. The Verge understands Microsoft will be switching to a Black Screen of Death for Windows 11, matching the new black logon and shutdown screens.

It’s the first major change to the BSOD since Microsoft added a sad face to the screen in Windows 8 in 2012, and QR codes in 2016. Microsoft first introduced the BSOD in Windows 3.0, offering a way for IT professionals and support personnel to diagnose hardware and memory faults. A BSOD is Windows’ own kernel error or bug check, and it usually includes a dump of data that can help system administrators analyze what system fault caused the blue screen.


01 July 2021

One billion dollars lost by over-60s through online fraud in 2020, says FBI

According to a newly-published report by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the elderly are more at risk from falling victim to online fraud and internet scammers than ever before.

In the IC3’s Elder Fraud Report, the FBI detailed that approximately 28% of all fraud losses are sustained by victims who are over 60 years old – with losses totalling approaching US $1 billion.

Worryingly, that figure represents a rise of around $300 million compared to losses reported by seniors in 2019.

According to the FBI, while the average loss per victim was US $9,175, some 1,921 victims aged sixty and above lost more than US $100,000 to online scammers.

Figures released in the report show that not only were the over-60s most likely to become victims of all the age brackets surveyed, but also their total losses were the greatest.

Fraud poses a major threat to the UK. It’s a crime that the finance industry is committed to tackling, but it’s also one that requires the combined efforts of every sector, both public and private, to overcome. TAKE FIVE TO STOP FRAUD!


UK arm of international charity The Salvation Army hit by ransomware attack

Criminals infected The Salvation Army in the UK with ransomware and siphoned the organisation's data, The Register has learned.

A Salvation Army spokesperson confirmed the evangelical Christian church and charity was compromised, and said it alerted regulators in the UK. She told us: “We are investigating an IT incident affecting a number of our corporate IT systems. We have informed the Charity Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office, are also in dialogue with our key partners and staff and are working to notify any other relevant third parties... We can also confirm that our services for the vulnerable people who depend on us are not impacted and continue as normal.”

Sally Army staff and volunteers should keep a close eye on bank statements for mysterious transactions, and for correspondence suggesting new accounts have been opened with financial service providers. Ransomware gangs typically resell stolen information to other criminals for further exploitation.