24 August 2022

MAG fires first shots on motorcycle ICE Ban consultation

Following the publication of the much-delayed consultation on 14th July, the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) arranged an initial meeting with Department for Transport (DfT) officials.  The meeting took place on 21st July. 

Firstly, officials confirmed that the consultation will not consider questions of ‘if’, only of ‘when’.  ‘When’ is proposed to be 2030 or sooner for 125cc and smaller bikes.  For larger capacity bikes the proposal remains as no later than 2035.  Arguments for dates beyond 2035 are highly unlikely to win favour.  The officials said a date beyond 2040 is entirely off the table. 

Secondly, with respect to claimed technology neutrality, only battery electric, fuel cells or hydrogen are viewed as options.  Hydrogen burnt in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) is considered to be highly unlikely. 

Finally, carbon neutral liquid fuels for ICE is considered to be nothing more than a short-term transition fuel for existing ICE.  The DfT rules out synthetic or bio fuels as a solution for the continued sale of new ICE.  

Read more: www.mag-uk.org

7 cybersecurity terms every hybrid employee should know

An employee working from home opens an attachment in an existing email thread with coworkers. Someone else quickly types in a URL to look something up while working on a project, without noticing they made a small typo. A new colleague receives an email that looks like it comes from a payroll company and responds with their Social Security number and bank account information.

Each of these scenarios could be just part of a normal day for an employee who spends most of their time working at a computer. But they’re also opportunities for a cyber attack that could wreak havoc for an entire company, its employees, and its customers. Now that more employees are working remotely for all or part of the work week, outside of the security of a company’s internal IT systems, the threat is even greater. In the first few months of the pandemic, cyber attacks on cloud infrastructure skyrocketed by 600%.

“Employees have a role to play, but more sophisticated attacks make it next-to-impossible to spot them,” says Ian Pratt, global head of security for Personal Systems at HP. “That’s why it’s key that employees feel empowered to inform IT when something looks off.”

1. Ransomware

2. Spear phishing

3. Spoofing

4. Pretexting

5. Typosquatting

6. Shoulder surfing

7. Zero-click attack

Click here to find out more & protect yourself & your business.


23 August 2022

Don rides: Energica Experia - electric adventure tourer

Italian electric bike manufacturer Energica aren’t afraid to challenge preconceived perceptions. Having been in the electric game for ten years, the firm not only produces a range of high-end motorcycles but was also the driving force behind, and sole supplier until the end of 2022 to, the MotoE World Cup. And with their new bike they are once again pushing boundaries.

Claimed by the firm to be a ‘green tourer’, the Experia is an adventure-styled bike packing all of the latest battery and electric motor technology that Energica have gained through their MotoE racing and decade of road bike development. Is the time now right for adventure riders to consider making the switch to electric? Yes and no.

If you could take price and range out of the equation, the Experia is a very impressive motorcycle. The electric motor is superb, the level of tech comparable to petrol-powered rivals (aside from a lack of semi-active suspension) and the handling and comfort levels certainly good enough to class it as a sports tourer.

I had a go on an Energica Experia at Motolegends on the 7th August & loved it! Went with Jamie to another of their magnificent Sunday breakfast meetings. This time it was the Italian session. Prime parking was full of lovely Aprillas, MVs, Ducatis, Guzzis, etc. 

Another Italian bike manufacturer who was present on the day was Energica - who make state of the art, high end electric motorcycles. I've previously had a spin on the Ego - an amazing electric superbike (yup - the one that they use in MotoE). 

This time I had the opportunity to ride their latest model, the Experia. It's a bike in layout & capabilities not dissimilar to my previous bike: Holly, the Honda Crosstourer VFR1200X. On paper the Experia would make a great tourer for Kim & me - so what was it like? The Experia has loads of power, well equipped & built, a great ride. It's a really good bike, BUT at ~£27k... It's twice the price of my Honda CB1000R+ - but definitely isn't twice the bike... Never mind the electric range anxiety: claimed ~160 miles range on a full charge, but then where do you find a charger while on a tour? Truly a corker - but not quite there yet.


19 August 2022

Apple releases iOS, iPadOS and macOS security fixes for two zero-days under active attack

Apple released surprise software updates for iPhones, iPads and Macs on Wednesday that fix two security vulnerabilities known by Apple to be actively exploited by attackers.

The two vulnerabilities were found in WebKit, the browser engine that powers Safari and other apps, and the kernel, essentially the core of the operating system. The two flaws affect both iOS and iPadOS and macOS Monterey.

Apple said the WebKit bug could be exploited if a vulnerable device accessed or processed “maliciously crafted web content [that] may lead to arbitrary code execution,” while the second bug allowed a malicious application “to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges,” which means full access to the device. The two flaws are believed to be related.

Some successful exploits, such as powerful nation-state spyware, use two or more vulnerabilities in conjunction to break through a device’s layers of protections. It’s not uncommon for attackers to first target a vulnerability in the device’s browser as a way to break into the wider operating system, granting the attacker wide access to the user’s sensitive data.

18 August 2022

Be aware of: The Florida Ice Effect! A danger on UK roads - as the rain returns...

The Florida Ice Effect is a relatively uncommon phenomenon, at least here in the UK, but it is something to watch out for on the roads in the next couple of days. 

Over the last few weeks, the UK has enjoyed exceptional weather. The heat has been quite intense for us Brits, who are perfectly happy with anything 15C and up, generally speaking.

The most recent heatwave followed up a previous one in July. The latter one was longer, but less intense than the first one, but the continued dry period has meant the ground is in a poor condition. (For sure, there has been tendencies towards hyperbole in recent weeks, but it is also true that areas of the UK were declared to be in drought recently.) This poor condition extends from the earth itself to the asphalt on the roads. 

If you were to go riding on un-prepped dirt tracks in recent weeks, you would have found difficult, rocky, slippery conditions. Now that rain is returning to the UK - albeit in relatively small quantities in many places - a similarly low-grip condition is to be expected on the paved roads. 

This is because of what is known as the Florida Ice Effect. This is where the first rains after an intense dry period cause moisture to get into the asphalt on the roads, and bring all of the oils, dust and such to the surface, creating very slippery conditions. 


17 August 2022

This Blog is overdue for a puppy-pic!

And when you are ready for some more click here!

Google has released Android 13

Android 13 helps ensure your devices feel unique to you – on your terms. 

It comes jam-packed with new capabilities for your phone and tablet, like extending app colour theming to even more apps, language settings that can be set on an app level, improved privacy controls and even the ability to copy text and media from one Android device and paste it to another with just a click.

Find out more HERE.


12 August 2022

Reading for today: on the loss of our beloved Pets

I will never laugh at anyone for grieving over a loved beast. I think God wants us to love Him more, not to love creatures (even animals) less. We love everything in one way too much (i.e., at the expense of our love for Him), but in another way we love every- thing too little.

No person, animal, flower, or even pebble has ever been loved too much - i.e., more than every one of God’s works deserves.

Dedicated to our precious Angel Poppy who died 13 August 2014

Compiled in Words to Live By

Reading for today (from Ecclesiastes 5): give thanks to God for the goodness of life

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labour under the sun during the few days of life God has given them - for this is their lot. 

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil - this is a gift of God. 

They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.


11 August 2022

Battery Specialist Swobbee Joins Honda, KTM, Yamaha, And Piaggio Consortium

On July 27, 2022, Berlin-based startup Swobbee officially joined the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium. That’s the group formed by Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha to develop compatible equipment and infrastructure to support widespread electrification across the industry.  The Swappable Battery Motorcycle Consortium will soon have a shared battery platform across manufacturers.

Who is Swobbee, and what is the company’s specialty? It bills itself as offering “Battery-as-a-Service,” and you can probably see where this is going. Its role in this project is, in fact, to develop a shared-use battery that all participating manufacturers can use in all their vehicles. 

Swobbee evolved from another company called GreenPack, which also produced a battery design that was both standardized and portable, for use in multiple EVs and other small electric equipment. Now Swobbee is getting to work doing the same thing for two-wheelers that are part of this consortium. 

"We are convinced that we can make a valuable contribution to the development of a multi-vehicle compatible, high-performance rechargeable battery with our many years of practical experience in the battery exchange infrastructure field and the system configuration of battery technologies,” Swobbee co-founder and head of marketing Tobias Breyer said in a statement. 

As the consortium grows, it’s moves like this that can hopefully entice other vehicle manufacturers to join the charge 😉. Knowing that a standardized battery and charging infrastructure system that can be shared across manufacturers is currently under development could theoretically be a game-changer. Will it be, though? That, of course, remains to be seen...


10 August 2022

Tickets on sale NOW for Motorcycle Live 2022

Tickets are now on sale for Motorcycle Live 2022, in association with Bikesure Insurance - and with savings to be made by purchasing in advance, there’s no better time to get them booked!

Taking place at its home - the NEC, Birmingham - from 19-27 November 2022, Motorcycle Live is a 'must' for many motorcycle enthusiasts. This year’s show promises to be truly memorable - with many manufacturers already signed up, it is one you won’t want to miss... 

FREE opportunities to ride for all ages and abilities, loads of manufacturers, chances to buy and a Black Horse stage schedule packed with racing stars, riders and celebrities, what are you waiting for?

NEW for 2022, we've extended the age of a child ticket to 18 year olds. So for just £1, 6 - 18** year olds can access a show brimming with all things two wheels, to sit on, try and marvel at everything the biking world has to offer.

Advanced tickets are priced at £22 for adults, £1** for children aged 6-18 and under 5's go free**. Motorcycle parking is free and car parking can be booked at a discounted price of £10 (£16.95 if bought on the day) when purchased with tickets in advance. **must be accompanied by a paying adult.


08 August 2022

Still deciding whether or not to buy into Crypto? This should put you off for good!

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published Monday, Tesla said the value of its digital assets -- including bitcoin and dogecoin -- were set at $222 billion as of June 30. 

Tesla took an impairment charge of $170 million on its bitcoin holdings for the first six months of the year, while recording a $64 million gain from converting its bitcoin into fiat currency. 

Musk also indicated the company continues to hold the digital dogecoin, but did not indicate its value or amount.


03 August 2022

The tangled web of security vendors!


The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has given a provisional nod to the proposed merger of British cybersecurity company Avast and US rival NortonLifeLock.

Action by Britain's market regulators has international ramifications; the CMA's interventions in the Arm-Nvidia deal were partly responsible for the cancellation of the $66 billion sale of the British chip designer to Nvidia. And it has held up Facebook's purchase of Giphy.

As for the antivirus vendor pact, the $8.6 billion merger was announced in August 2021 and, after a gentle probe, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided that a closer look was needed in March 2022. That closer look (referred to as a Phase 2 investigation) is pretty much done and dusted and the CMA has provisionally decided that the deal doesn't raise competition concerns in the UK.

This is due to existing players, including the duo's main rival in the UK, McAfee, and Microsoft's bundling of its own security applications into Windows.

So: Bullguard got taken over by Norton (LifeLock). AVG got taken over by Avast. Now Norton & Avast are merging! Not sure this is a good thing... Want to see which security vendor is best? Check with AV-Test, or contact Donline.


Outlook stops responding when viewing Uber receipt emails (& others). Word is also affected


When opening, replying, or forwarding some emails that include complex tables, Outlook stops responding. The same table contents will also cause Word to stop responding.

This issue started in Current Channel Version 2206 Build 15330.20196 and higher.  It also occurs in current builds of Beta and Current Channel Preview.

The Word Team has implemented a fix that will be released to the Beta channel shortly for fix verification.  We currently estimate the fix to go out to production Current Channel on Patch Tuesday August 9, 2022.


02 August 2022

Windows 10 22H2 - releasing soon, possibly September?...

The first Release Preview of Windows 10 22H2 was the most significant Windows build last week, along with a confirmation to admins it would be business as usual on the hardware compatibility front.

While Microsoft has yet to commit to a firm date for the release, it has now made the code available in the form of build 19045.1865, which it described as having a "scoped set of features" as Microsoft focused on validating the servicing technology.

While Windows enthusiasts on their home PCs have likely moved on into the shinier world of Windows 11 (assuming those devices meet Microsoft's hardware requirements), many machines will be sticking with Windows 10 for the time being, particularly in the more conservative world of enterprise IT. And this is why the release preview is important, as it will allow administrators to test out the code on hardware in their organizations.


Good News For Everyone: Hope Magazine - Commonwealth Games commemorative edition

Have you got your copy of our Hope Magazine yet? You can download directly to your device as a PDF, and start reading straightaway! We hope you'll find it uplifting, enlightening and enjoyable. 

During the Commonwealth Games, teams of GOOD NEWS for Everyone! members, supported by local churches, will be distributing HOPE magazines and Testaments in personal witnessing. 


Look up You're Not Alone In This (page 38)

A Remarkable Journey That Will Change Your Life (page 51)

The Key To Finding Strength When Things Are Tough (page 25) 

View & download the PDF here (21.3 MB)


01 August 2022

Kate Bush's 1993 Short Film 'The Line, the Cross, and the Curve'

Among its many accomplishments, the fourth season of Netflix's Stranger Things has introduced progressive rock heroine Kate Bush to an entirely new audience, largely through the use of her hit 1985 single "Running Up That Hill" at key moments throughout nine episodes. As a result, she's stormed music charts around the world, and her expansive back catalogue of almost 45 years is receiving a well-deserved re-exploration. While Bush has a slew of impressive music videos, she's only ever appeared in one proper film, 1993's The Line, the Cross, and the Curve - and like the majority of her work, it's an entirely Bush creation, with the epic songstress serving as star, writer, and director. Nearly 30 years after its debut, and with Bush squarely in the centre of the public consciousness, now is the perfect time to re-examine her singular cinematic contribution.

Created as a promotional tool for her 1993 studio album The Red Shoes, this short film is a spin on the classic fairy tale of the same name, in which a young woman puts on a pair of enchanted shoes that cause her to dance unceasingly until and unless she can find a way to remove them. Here, we open on Bush's character in rehearsal with her band until a power outage causes them to take a break. Left alone in the studio, Bush is suddenly confronted by a dark and mystical dancer played by two-time Oscar nominee Miranda Richardson, who implores Bush to help her break the curse of the red shoes by drawing three symbols—the titular line, cross, and curve. However, Richardson's ulterior motive soon becomes clear—by receiving the symbols, she passes the curse onto Bush, and flees through a mirror. Bush pursues her and finds herself in another dimension (an Upside Down, if you will), soon greeted by an otherworldly figure portrayed by British dance legend Lindsay Kemp. He tells her she must "sing back the symbols" to break the curse. After visiting an elderly woman named Lily who gives her advice and comfort, Bush draws on the memories of her loved ones to guide her closer to Richardson's twisted prima ballerina. Giving herself over to the sounds of a jubilant choir, Bush is able to regain the symbols, rid herself of the curse, and escape through the mirror, leaving Richardson crushed under the weight of a cave in with only her feet, once again bearing the accursed shoes, sticking out.

A truly brilliant short movie / really long music video: watch & enjoy!


Amazon Drive is ending on 31st December 2023

Over the last 11 years, Amazon Drive has served as a secure cloud storage service for Amazon customers to back up their files. On December 31, 2023, we will no longer support Amazon Drive to more fully focus our efforts on photos and video storage with Amazon Photos. We will continue to provide customers the ability to safely back up, share, and organize photos and videos with Amazon Photos.

If you rely on Amazon Drive for your file storage, you will need to go to the Amazon Drive website and download your files by December 31, 2023. As an Amazon customer your photo and video files have been automatically saved to Amazon Photos. Step-by-step instructions for downloading your files, managing your paid subscription, and resources for additional help can be found on our FAQ page.

As part of this process, on January 31, 2023, Amazon will no longer support uploading files on the Amazon Drive website. You will still be able to view and download files until December 31, 2023.

You can continue to use Amazon Photos for backing up and storing photo and video files. The Amazon Photos app can be downloaded on iOS, Android, and Desktop. Prime members get free, unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5 GB video storage. If you are not a Prime member, you get 5 GB of free storage for photos and video.