27 October 2023

PIRG petitions Microsoft to extend the life of Windows 10

The Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has delivered a petition to Microsoft calling on the company to rethink the impending abandonment of Windows 10 in the face of millions of PCs potentially being rendered eligible for landfill overnight.

There are now less than two years until Microsoft is due to cut support for Windows 10, and at current estimates, 400 million PCs can't make the jump to Windows 11.

The petition, addressed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, criticizes its plans and states that customers expect their devices to last rather than be rendered obsolete by an arbitrary decision. PIRG warns that tipping that much hardware into landfills is somewhat at odds with the company's stance on the environment.

The petition reads: "All software reaches a point at which it's no longer supported, but when the consequences to our environment are this large we shouldn't accept it."


The Poppy Appeal 2023 - please support our Armed Forces Community

 Every poppy shows you care about the lives of our Armed Forces Community.

As we pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed during Remembrance this year, we hope you will show your support to all our amazing Poppy Appeal collectors in your local communities. Without our partners, volunteers and without you, we wouldn't be able to continue supporting serving and ex- serving men and women, and their families.

The 2023 Poppy Appeal campaign has now launched. Poppy Appeal collectors will be distributing poppies across the United Kingdom so please do look out for them and get your poppy from sellers in your local community. 

In 2023 the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal will focus on how your poppy shows you care and helps the RBL continue its vital work supporting the Armed Forces community.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae


25 October 2023

Look closer to spot and report signs of exploitation

Across the country, young people are being manipulated, sexually abused, forced to launder money and deal drugs. Exploitation isn't obvious. But it happens everywhere. And you can stop it.

Get to know the signs of child exploitation and how to report it through our award-winning #LookCloser campaign with the British Transport Police and National County Lines Coordination Centre. Together we can protect children from this abuse.

Join us and pledge to #LookCloser to protect young people from exploitation. 

By getting to know the signs and how to report your concerns if worried, we can keep more children safe from abuse.


20 October 2023

Indian authorities raid fake tech support rings after tipoff from Amazon and Microsoft

Acting on information from Microsoft and Amazon, India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has raided alleged fake tech support operators and other tech-related crims across the country.

The Bureau shared news of a Thursday operation that saw it conduct 76 searches in relation to five cases.

The Bureau stated its effort "was conducted in collaboration with national and international agencies, alongside private sector giants," and described two of its targets as international tech support fraud scams that "impersonated a global IT major and a multinational corporation with an online technology-driven trading platform."

The alleged scammers operated call centers in five regions of India and "systematically preyed on foreign nationals, masquerading as technical support representatives" for at least five years.

The scammers sent users pop-up messages that appeared to come from multinational companies and advised of PC problems – with a toll-free number at which assistance could be had.

Victims who called the fakers had their PCs taken over, and were charged hundreds of dollars for a "fix".


18 October 2023

MI5 head warns of 'epic scale' of Chinese espionage

More than 20,000 people in the UK have now been approached covertly online by Chinese spies, the head of MI5 said. It comes amid a new warning to tens of thousands of British businesses of the risk of having their innovation stolen.

Ken McCallum was speaking to the BBC at an unprecedented public appearance of the security chiefs of the Five Eyes alliance in California.

The heads of US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand security agencies appeared together. They did so for the first time to warn of commercial secrets being obtained by China.

Stanford University in California was chosen as the venue for the first public meeting because it lies in the heart of Silicon Valley. In both public statements and a closed session with entrepreneurs and investors, security chiefs warned that cutting-edge research is being stolen.

"We have seen a sustained campaign on a pretty epic scale," Mr McCallum told the BBC in an interview during the event.

We all know that China is spying on us & we need to be careful. However people still buy smart speakers, mobile phones, computers, connected cars & motorbikes (etc) designed & manufactured in China! Decades ago, we were concerned about "reds under the bed". Nowadays (unbelievably) we actually pay for the spying devices & place them ourselves in our homes & businesses!


12 October 2023

inty CloudFest partner conference - Bristol


One of my most important suppliers: inty - had their partner conference at Aerospace Bristol this week. I've partnered with them for over 6 years: primarily the go to company for Microsoft licensing & support, as well as other key software vendors.

What a great opportunity to learn & network in an amazing location - sat underneath Concorde G-BOAF! As a nipper I grew up in West London - it's highly likely that this beautiful bird flew over my head! Astounding to think that the technological marvel Concorde - was developed & flown in the 1960s. Hey, we can't do this stuff NOW!

We had speakers from inty themselves, Microsoft, Acronis, Exclaimer, Barracuda, GoTo & others. An important opportunity to keep up on technologies & new products.

Many thanks to inty for an invaluable day of learning & fun - good job!


09 October 2023

Not even the ghost of obsolescence can coerce users onto Windows 11


Windows 10 may be just over a year away from the axe, but its successor, Windows 11, appears to be as unpopular as ever.

The end of Windows 10 support is getting closer. Unless the company blinks, October 14, 2025, will be the end of the line for the Home and Pro editions of the operating system, yet users seem reluctant to move on to Windows 11.

There was a marked reluctance by users to move from Windows 7, back in the day, but some of the reasons for hesitancy this time are different.

The move to Windows 10 usually required the purchase of new hardware. It tended to be unavoidable – 7 could run on far lower-spec devices than later versions. The move from Windows 10 to Windows 11 will also require new hardware, but for different reasons.

Infamously, Microsoft axed support for a raft of hardware with Windows 11, including older Intel CPUs, on security grounds. The result was that hardware that will run Windows 10 perfectly well will not accept the new operating system. And this is not due to performance problems (who remembers trying to run Vista on XP hardware?) but rather because of Microsoft's edict.

The result? A collective shrug from PC users. Windows 10 does the job. Why upgrade?


Bees: extraordinary engineers!

For more than 20 centuries, mathematicians, artists and engineers have marveled at the structure of the honeybee hive. Comprised of thousands of perfect hexagonal cells, every inch of a honeycomb wall is a masterpiece of design. Now, recent discoveries have cast even greater light on the bee’s architectural abilities with stunning new evidence of purpose, foresight and cognitive decision-making by insects with brains smaller than a sesame seed.


01 October 2023

The Great Greek Rescue - A Dogumentary

Sue Deeth from Healing Paws Animal Rescue has been rescuing dogs in Zakinthos Greece since 2011. Through her network of friends in the UK, Holland and Germany, she has managed to find over 2,000 dogs forever homes. Sue continues to rescue animals and bring them to her home in the mountains.

In September 2021 - Sue posted a video of her and her families struggles, running a rescue (nonprofit charity) on facebook. The Greek Companion Animal Legislation, 'Project Argos' was voted in September 15th 2021. The ever changing legislation puts her rescue at risk of being shut down.

The video prompted a response from the films Director, Maeve to fly out to Zakinthos with fellow producer Conor and show how Healing Paws Animal Rescue changes the outcomes and lives of strays in Greece.

The family run charity hopes to become one of the first fully licensed rescue and rehabilitation centres in Zakinthos but needs the funding and support to make that happen. This is their story.

People often ask Kim & me what breed is Calli, and where did we get her from? Calli is a "Bitzer", from Zakynthos, Greece and was rescued by Sue & her team while still very young. Please consider supporting Healing Paws Animal Rescue If you are considering bringing a furry friend into your home & family, PLEASE consider rehoming / adoptingThank you!