Aug 102016

A Squid

In motorcycling terms, a squid is the name given to bad rider that wears minimal protective clothing and rides a bike way beyond their abilities.

The term ‘squid’ refers to the way that they look after they have been scraped up off the road.

Sadly, motorcycle licensing in the US is very bad. A license is obtained simply by completing a safety course which contains no street riding and no speeds beyond about 25mph.

Other than a small insurance discount for having passed a test, there is pretty much no incentive. You can simply walk into a dealer and buy the fastest bike on the planet and ride out. Obviously a riding buddy can teach you all you need to know in a few minutes because riding a motorcycle is dirt easy. Right ???

Sometime a wannabe rider will ask experienced bikers for their opinion on a good starter bike. Almost without fail the conversation goes like this.

Q. Hey guys I’m looking to start riding, I’m thinking about getting a Kawaduci 1000RRR as a first bike, is there anything (sic)  I need to know ?

editors note: The more R’s in a bike model name, the more it is aimed at racing use rather than street use. Additionally, 1000cc bikes make 150-200hp and are absolute spaceships, our wannabe rider here is aiming way too high.

Continue reading “Squidly Mc.Squidface” »

Aug 012016

Passwords are rubbish.

They are an inherently flawed method of securing your information.

Don’t believe me ?

If your password is less than seven characters long, it can be cracked in minutes using cheap off-the-shelf computing hardware.

If it is longer than seven, but still a word that appears on a word list, even if you substitute e’s with 3’s and sprinkle capital letters in there, again it is rubbish.

There are wordlists out in the real word that have  60 billion words on it, while that number might seem high, a dedicated pawed cracking machine that costs less than $5000 will check 6 billion combinations per second. Continue reading “Even with a password manager….” »

Jul 222016

Sony MDR V6sFor as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed listening to music, for the last few years the majority of my listening has been on a variety of headphones. Invariably I have plugged these into my phone – or they are Bluetooth connected and all has been well in the world.

My favourite headphones are my Sony MDR V6’s, complete with aftermarket velour pads. I’d had these for a long time and really worry that one day they will die and I will not be able to replace them.

Sadly these are no longer available, but you can sometimes find a New Old Set on eBay for around $150 or so, to match my setup the ear pads will add another £30 or so.

Trust me on this, for £180 (about $270), you will struggle to get headphones that are as good. They are considered classics for a reason.

Despite these being some of the best ‘semi-budget’ headphones that you can no longer actually buy (sorry about that), they are somewhat source-sensitive and until today I had not really noticed.

As I made my sandwich at lunch time, I flicked the radio on, Dire Straits’ ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was just about finishing. I made a mental note to play it when I got back to me desk. I grabbed my trusty V6’s and plugged them into my Mac Book Air, I found the song on Apple Music and I listened, loud. The song is great, its too short, its raw, there are little nuances that I remember from long ago listens, in short it is a great song that sounds utterly awesome.

Then I made a horrible mistake.

I unplugged the headphones from my laptop and plugged them into my iPhone6.

Ugh.  Continue reading “Is good enough, really good enough ?” »

Jun 152016

I guess that you must have no noticed that I was behind you ?

So when I accelerated past you, you were more than a little bit surprised about it.

I suppose that you probably think I came from miles behind, that I was travelling at high speed and I simply blew past you like everyone else ?

I suppose too that you think I was riding dangerously, because I split the lane between your car and one that is somewhere in your field of vision ahead ?

Well, sometimes the truth is much stranger than you would believe.  Continue reading “Sorry I surprised you !” »

 Posted by at 2:28 pm
May 252016

As regular readers will know, on August 1st 2014, an errant driver in a Toyota Aygo hit me while I was riding my bicycle.

The crash was pretty brutal, I broke my collarbone.

The break was a bad one, three surgeries later I am still not fixed.

Today I was seen by the medical assessor who will create the report for the insurance company that will be looking to settle my compensation claim.

This is the final opinion, it has been close to two years, it is time to put this to bed once and for all.  Continue reading “Crash – the last update ?” »

 Posted by at 6:32 pm
Mar 242016

I used to think that the next American civil war would be caused by an uprising of the great unwashed. The red-necks, the cowboys, the NRA nut jobs and their ilk.

I believed that one day they would all jump in their good old boy F150 pick-ups, loaded up with more ammunition than the average third world militia owned and head to Washington to teach the ‘guvmint’ a lesson.

I imagined that it would be a fairly short, but incredibly bloody confrontation, resulting in perhaps thousands of casualties, perhaps a lot more if the red-necks managed to make a few bombs.

I suspect that the red-necks would become domestic terrorists, protesting government over-reach, protesting laws that protect those that they hate – basically everyone that is not a  white heterosexual male and that the civil war would probably all be over fairly fast.

That was before Trump.

I see now that this can go two ways.  Continue reading “The next American civil war ?” »

 Posted by at 9:42 am
Mar 232016

When I was a young child, I had a pair of imaginary Afghan Hounds. Apparently I would pick them up to cross the road and spend time talking to them. As far as I was concerned, they were real.

I cannot remember any of this, but my father will jump at any opportunity to remind me, usually in front of friends about my ‘afdams’. He reminds me of this because he thinks that it is hilarious that a young child would have imaginary friends for some reason. I think that he also likes to remind me that I was a very, very late talker and got many of my words muddled, but that is a whole other subject.

Except, and this is something I do not understand, many people around the world spend significant amount of time, energy and money on their imaginary friend and very few people think that this is not normal.   Continue reading “Arguing over imaginary friends is futile” »

 Posted by at 9:49 am
Feb 242016

Leader of the Pack.The working title for my game is ‘Lane Splitaz’.

The game itself is fairly simplistic, you are the rider of a moped and you have to split the lanes of traffic under a variety of conditions against the clock….

Level 1 – The easy intro.

Bike – 50cc scooter, no mirrors.
Traffic – Entirely stationary cars
Gaps – about 2M wide

The only difficult section here is that you pretty much have to be totally flat out the whole time to reach the end of the course.  Continue reading “I have this idea for a video game….” »

 Posted by at 10:16 am