31 October 2022

Donline exclusively uses Bosch Professional power tools

The Power Tools division of the Bosch Group is the world market leader for portable electric power tools and power tool accessories. The professional blue power tools and accessories from Bosch are developed for professionals. Bosch creates new innovations in power tools and accessories by working intensively with professionals who use power tools as part of their everyday work.


28 October 2022

An estimated 1 million UK drivers could be hit by a £1,000 fine for failing to update their photocard driving licence

THE Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) has data which shows that more than 900,000 UK motorists are at risk of having to pay a £1,000 fine for using an expired photocard driving licence.

The news comes from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Press Association, which highlighted the number of drivers on UK roads using expired photocard driving licences.

The number means that around 2% of UK road users are still out on the road with licences that ran out in August this year – 2022. While some of those road users will have simply stopped driving without notifying the DVLA, a great number are likely to be still using their vehicles unknowing that their licence is expired. The same FOI request found that some 2.5 million road users did indeed renew their licence this year, although they did so after the expiration date noted on the licence.

The DVLA has reported that those who renewed after the expiration date will not be fined, as will those who have active renewals with the agency.


Didn't see this coming: Europe now has so much natural gas that prices just dipped below zero

Europe has more natural gas than it knows what to do with. So much, in fact, that spot prices briefly went negative earlier this week.

For months, officials have warned of an energy crisis this winter as Russia — once the region’s biggest supplier of natural gas — slashed supplies in retaliation for sanctions Europe imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.

Now, EU gas storage facilities are close to full, tankers carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) are lining up at ports, unable to unload their cargoes, and prices are tumbling.

The price of benchmark European natural gas futures has dropped 20% since last Thursday, and by more than 70% since hitting a record high in late August. On Monday, Dutch gas spot prices for delivery within an hour — which reflect real time European market conditions — dipped below €0, according to data from the Intercontinental Exchange.

Prices turned negative because of an “oversupplied grid,” Tomas Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS), told CNN Business.

It is a hugely surprising turn of events for Europe, where households and businesses have been clobbered by eye-watering rises in the price of one of its most important energy sources over the past year.


27 October 2022

Wanna be a time lord? Travel through time this weekend!


In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.

The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).

When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


25 October 2022

Still using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1? Here's another reason to move to Win 10

With the release of Google Chrome 110 (tentatively scheduled for February 7th, 2023), Google will officially end support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. You’ll need to ensure your device is running Windows 10 or later to continue receiving future Chrome releases. This matches Microsoft's end of support for Windows 7 ESU and Windows 8.1 extended support on January 10th, 2023.

Older versions of Chrome will continue to work, but there will be no further updates released for users on these operating systems. If you are currently on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, we encourage you to move to a supported Windows version before that date to ensure you continue to receive the latest security updates and Chrome features.


24 October 2022

The 3 top SCAMS to watch out for

While fraud and scams are not new, advances in technology give criminals more ways to attempt to access your money. Knowing the techniques they use can help you protect yourself and your money.

Investment scams: Fraudsters will try to pressure you into buying worthless or non-existent shares. These can include crypto-currency, gold or even wine. They’ll use a variety of sales approaches to contact you, so please be cautious.

Purchase scams: While online shopping may be quick and convenient, we must be careful as fraudsters can use this to their advantage. They can trick you into paying for high value goods that don’t exist, often through social media or auction sites.

Impersonation scams: Impersonation scams happen when a fraudster contacts you pretending to be from your bank, the police, or another trusted organisation to convince you to send them money.

Be aware: there are animals on the road! Pegasus, Pelican, Puffin, Toucan, and Zebra Crossings

I'm in the process of reading the new / updated Highway Code - for my IAM studies. I came across a section of the book that detailed all of the different pedestrian crossings. Who knew there were so many?

As a driver, it is important to know the different types of pedestrian crossings so you can give pedestrians the right of way when needed. Not only that, but you may be tested on the different crossings during your driving test. Luckily for you, the 5 different crossings are named after animals so they are easier to remember.


21 October 2022

Released at last: Windows 10 update 22H2!


Microsoft knows the important role your PC plays every day for hybrid work, learning, entertainment and gaming, and we are committed to supporting our customers using Windows 10. 

Today, we are announcing the availability of the Windows 10 2022 Update (also known as Windows 10, version 22H2). Based on customer feedback we are providing a limited scope of new features and functionality delivered via a familiar, fast and reliable update experience. Version 22H2 will continue the recent Windows 10 feature update trend of being delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology.


Amazon could pay UK shoppers £900m compensation

Amazon shoppers in the UK could receive a share of £900m in compensation, once a legal claim is submitted against the technology giant.

The proposed claim alleges the company breached competition law and caused customers to pay higher prices.

It is being led by consumer-rights champion Julie Hunter, who says products sold on Amazon.co.uk and the Amazon app obscured better-value deals. The collective action is due to be filed before the end of the month.

Started as an online bookseller, Amazon is now the biggest e-commerce company in the world. More than 80% of purchases on the site are made via featured offers in the "buy box".

But Ms Hunter alleges independent sellers are excluded from the buy box, even when they offer the same product cheaper or on better terms - thus breaching UK and EU competition law.


19 October 2022

The countdown to Motorcycle Live 2022 is on...

Motorcycle Live in association with Bikesure Insurance opens its doors at the NEC, Birmingham, from 19-27 November. Here are just some of the reasons why we should ‘See You There’…

Latest new models: Over 50 manufacturers have signed up – there’s nowhere else you can see the latest model line-ups from the major manufacturers all in one place. It’s also the first chance in the UK to see some of the brand-new models for 2023.

Save money in advance: Discounted advanced tickets are available now and you save money by booking in advance. Advanced tickets are priced at £22* for adults, £1** for children aged 6-18 and under 5’s go free**. Motorcycle parking is free, secure, and indoors – and car parking can be booked for a discounted price of £10 when purchased with tickets in advance.

Ride for FREE: Whether trying out two wheels for the first time in MCIA TryRide supported by MCN, taking to the dirt in Experience Adventure, testing out battery power in the Electric Zone or the open road in the Test Ride Zone there are plenty of opportunities to jump on two wheels – and all included in your entry price…

Fun for the whole family: With riding experiences for motorcycle fans as young as one and half, there are lots of things to do for mini-motorcycle fans. Entry for under 5’s is free** and for new for 2022 those aged 6-18 are just £1**. Share your love of everything two-wheeled under the comfort of a roof!

Meet racers and celebs: Motorcycle Live has been lucky enough to welcome everyone from multiple World Championship winners and off-road legends to TV stars and even royalty. So, practice your smile for that selfie and get your marker pens ready for those autographs…

See You There! 


The modern way of buying features on a bike or car - choose or lose!

KTM has a revised the 890 Adventure R for 2023 with reworked suspension, a five-inch TFT dash, and a new look, but none of that is what is causing a stir among some motorcyclists. Instead, it's something KTM calls "demo mode."

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R comes with a wide array of electronic rider aids and optional features when you buy it from the dealer. For the first 1,500 kilometers (932 miles), all of those options are activated. At the end of that period, buyers can then decide which features they want to keep and pay for them. They lose the ones they don't pay for.

This approach is definitely controversial among motorcyclists. When Andy wrote last year about Zero offering the ability to pay to unlock performance upgrades in some of its motorcycles — along with some other pay-to-unlock features offered by other brands — nearly 300 reader comments flowed in, more of them negative than positive.

Update (24th Nov 2022): Mercedes are offering an online upgrade to owners of their EQ models, which gives a “noticeable improvement in acceleration of 0.8 to 1.0 seconds (0-60MPH)”. For 1 year it will cost you $1,200. Yes readers, this "upgrade" is remotely activating an ability that is already in the vehicle...


17 October 2022

So, what do techies think about the metaverse?

Wikipedia: In futurism and science fiction, the metaverse is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets. In colloquial use, a metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection.

Metaverse? Honestly: what a waste of skills, time, resources. As this Slashdot poll shows - techies are pretty scathing of the whole Metaverse thing. Nothing to see here - move along!

In other news: Meta shares plunge 24% to the lowest price since 2016.


12 October 2022

Despite warnings, many people treat partially automated vehicles as self-driving

Drivers who use partial automation on a regular basis often treat their vehicles as fully self-driving despite widespread warnings and numerous high-profile crash reports, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

Regular users of Cadillac Super Cruise, Nissan/Infiniti ProPILOT Assist and Tesla Autopilot said they were more likely to perform non-driving-related activities like eating or texting while using their partial automation systems than while driving unassisted. More worrying, 53 percent of Super Cruise users, 42 percent of Autopilot users and 12 percent of ProPILOT Assist users said that they were comfortable treating their vehicles as fully self-driving.

“The big-picture message here is that the early adopters of these systems still have a poor understanding of the technology’s limits,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “But we also see clear differences among the three owner populations. It’s possible that system design and marketing are adding to these misconceptions.”

In other news: After cutting radar, Tesla now dropping ultrasonic sensors from its EVs.


The Norton Commando is back & better than ever!


THE 2023 Norton Commando 961 is everything the 2019 model wished it could be. But that has been no easy feat. Norton has spent over 100,000 man-hours refining an icon, a machine that is (and always has been) all about style and turning heads. 

Billet aluminium everywhere, the hand-finished Commando hails from the Solihull factory as a self-confessed ‘best ever’ version of the iconic British Motorcycle.

Alex was out in the North Wessex Downs, near Newbury, for the launch ride (or, re-launch if you will) of a TVS-backed new-Norton’s next, newest, and arguably most important release.

Where the first-ever Commando was first seen in 1967, with over 55,000 models sold since then, this machine is every bit of an icon as ever. Despite recent troubles (click here for more info), Norton is confident to announce that this is the best-ever Commando, benefitting from hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment & man hours to ‘re-launch’ a timeless machine that has clearly been passionately built in the UK.


11 October 2022

More than 4 in 10 PCs still can't upgrade to Windows 11

Nearly 43 percent of millions of devices studied by asset management provider Lansweeper are unable to upgrade to Windows 11 due to the hardware requirements Microsoft set out for the operating system.

Microsoft made it so that Windows 11 does not install on devices that lack a recent TPM-equipped CPU. It is possible to get around this restriction although it isn't a perfect solution and potentially not long term.

Lansweeper said 42.76 percent of the estimated 27 million PCs it tested across 60,000 organizations failed the CPU test, albeit better than the 57.26 percent in its last test a year ago. Altogether 71.5 percent of the PCs failed the RAM test and 14.66 percent the TPM test.

"We know that those who can't update to Windows 11… will continue to use Windows 10," said Roel Decneut, chief strategy officer at Lansweeper, whose customers include Sony, Pepsico, Cerner, MiT and Hilton hotels.


03 October 2022

Bitcoin, Crypto - worse for the climate than most things!

Far from being the "digital gold" some claim, Bitcoin's relative climate change impact is greater than the beef industry, and over seven times more than actual gold mining.

Economic researchers compared the environmental impact of Bitcoin – created by using computing brute force to crack complex algorithmic puzzles – against three measures of environmental impact between January 2016 and December 2021.

Led by Benjamin Jones, associate professor in economics at the University of New Mexico, they looked at whether the estimated climate damages are increasing over time. They also looked at whether the market price of Bitcoin exceeds the economic cost of climate damages and how the climate damages per coin mined compare to climate damages of other sectors and commodities.

Astoundingly, they found that in 2020 Bitcoin mining used 75.4 terawatt hours per year (TWhyear-1) – higher energy usage than Austria (69.9 TWhyear-1) or Portugal (48.4 TWhyear-1).

The researchers found the energy emissions for Bitcoin mining had grown 126 times from 0.9 tonnes of emissions per coin in 2016, to 113 tonnes per coin in 2021. A Bitcoin mined in 2021 created $11,314 in climate damages, with total global damages exceeding $12 billion or 25 percent of market prices. Damages peaked at 156 percent of coin price in May 2020, such that each $1 of Bitcoin market value led to $1.56 global climate damages.

Taking the relative damage of Bitcoin averaged between 2016 and 2021 of 35 percent of the market value, the economists went on to compare the cryptocurrency's climate impact to that of other industries. While it was less than electricity produced by natural gas (46 percent) and gasoline produced from crude oil (41 percent), it was slightly greater than the relative damage of beef production (at 33 percent) and much more than gold mining (at 4 percent).