Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Review: Gerber NXT Suspension (is Great)

This is a positive review of the Gerber NXT Suspension.

I needed a replacement multi-tool for our car and since it is a n+1 device I was happy to have a modestly priced unit. Already I tried a Leatherman REV,  but as my review indicated, I was not happy.

So instead the Gerber NXT Suspension has replaced it and I used it as my primary multi tool around the house for over 1 week (instead of my Leatherman Charge) to see if it is in fact any good.

And the answer is a resounding yes.

Don't forget this is about a 30GBP device and a quality Leatherman is well over 100 GBP.

In fact the Gerber feels comfortable in the hand, and although it can't compare to any expensive multi-tool in terms of alloys and construction detail it is very rigid indeed.  I had no complaints.  Aside from that the pliers are spring loaded and all blades are lockable.

What is there not to like!




Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fake News for Digital Newbies

Ask For Evidence

Here in England, Marcus and Agata are increasingly mingling with our rural community.

And in the countryside we find a lot of normally very savvy people, who however, never grew up with computers or digital everything.

These communities are at continued risk to fake news!

This post is targeted at you.  Please read

Generic Principals
The Internet, Websites and other Digital Communication channels like WhatsApp or Text Messages are now sadly inhabited by an increasingly large set of dishonest people

- They may send you false scare tactic information
- It could be for reasons of trying to scam you
- But many times it's done because the sender thinks it's funny, a laugh.  They seem to relish or enjoy your discomfort

Such individuals get a kick out of seeing their malicious or irrelevant messages being circulated and reported on world news

- In some cases it's done to disparage competition
- Some message have phrases you know to be true, but then go onto to make unrelated fraudulent claims that you believe by association are valid.

If you publish or forward content it should be your duty to fact check information, otherwise it is merely your unchecked opinion.  Therefore of course in the following,  I will of course justify my fake assertions!

In the last days Marcus and Agata have been forwarded many fake items like ...


This is a text from an NHS worker

As of tomorrow, do not leave home for bread for anything! Because the worst begins tomorrow as the incubation date is met and many people that are positive with the virus start to peak!!  It’s at this time other people are most vulnerable! so it is very important to stay home and not to be in contact with anybody, even members of your family if possible!! Being very careful is very important and very crucial at this time!!

As from tomorrow we are going to see the start of the peak of those that are positive, then there will be two weeks of calm and then two weeks where it decreases.

 * What happened in Italy is that they neglected the contagion period and that is why all the cases turned out together and so badly, plus they didn’t know what they were dealing with *.

 * And finally, please do not receive visits from anyone, not even from the same family.  This is all for the good of all. *



example link   refutation

Just got this from our IT guy!!! If you know anyone using WhatsApp you might pass on this. An IT colleague has advised  that a video comes out tomorrow from WhatsApp called martinelli do not open it , it hacks your phone and nothing will fix it. Spread the word.
If you receive a message to update the Whatsapp to Whatsapp Gold, do not click !!!!! 

Please inform all contacts from your list not to open a video called the "Dance of the Pope". It is a virus that formats your mobile. Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on  BBC radio. Fwd this msg  to as many as you can!




|FAKE #4
HeraldScotland: If you receive this image on WhatsApp, you're best off ignoring it


Urgent and not a joke

Straight from the City of London Police fraud team -

Extremely sophisticated scam going about this morning.

Definitely Danske bank customers but possibly all banks.

You get a message saying a payment hasn’t been taken eg O2 and to click here. As soon as you touch it the money is gone.
They already have all your details and it’s the most advance scam the bank has ever seen. Pass this on to everyone. Please. They are being inundated with calls – thousands flying out of peoples accounts!

example link  refutation

Agata pointed out to me:  If they have all your details, why don't they just raid your bank account right away.  Are they waiting for permission!


If anyone is using that house 
party app 
My friends email account
been hacked into by it 
And managed to get bank 
account details too and has 
hacked that.
I've seen a few other people 
saying this too on twitter.
I also keep getting dodgey 

Just a warning x


Protect yourself and your loved ones !
KILL the coronavirus right now !
New tested, scientificly proven and amazing antivirus against coronavirus using Chloroquine and Colchicine
at very low price (33% discount)
Satisfaction garanteed or your money back !

Protégez-vous et vos proches!
TUEZ le coronavirus dès maintenant!
Nouvel antivirus testé, scientifiquement prouvé et étonnant contre le coronavirus utilisant la Chloroquine et la Colchicine
à très bas prix (33% de réduction)
Satisfaction garantie ou agrent remie !

Research Article   Refutation  (at Clinical Trial stage now only)


Coronavirus SCAM: Terrifying text warns 'irresponsible behaviour ...


A webpage where for a small charge you can find out how many infected people you are close to.

FAKE #10

A website that promises a Corona Safety Mask if only you install an Applicaton.
Unfortunately that application performs malicious actions with your contact lists which it reads.

FAKE #11

A fake website was setup at to phish for personal information
Luckily the scammers were unable to spell the world relief correctly.

FAKE #12

Coronavirus fake news: No evacuation flights from UK, clarifies Indian High Commission

"If anyone knows anyone who is stuck in London, Air India is operating evacuation flights from DEL and BOM. 

They will need to contact the Indian High Commission in London to figure out about a seat. These are on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd of April DEL LHR DEL. Apr 3rd BOM LHR BOM." 

As referred in the message, DEL is Delhi, BOM is Mumbai and LHR is Heathrow airports.

FAKE #13
Here's some great advice from doctors on the front line:

Virus Detection:
• The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that
the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it
does create a dry and rough cough.
• The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation
and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days.
• The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the
airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing
pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days.
• Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The
Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In
this case, the doctor should be called immediately.
• Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in
deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds.  If this can be done without
coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the
lungs, indicating the absence of infection.  It is strongly recommended to
do this control every morning.
• The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater
than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply
hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day.  These hot liquids
kill the virus and are easy to ingest.
• Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.
• Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should
drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY?  Even when the virus
enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through
the esophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the
virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and
from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.
• For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun's UV rays kill the virus and the
vitamin D is good for you.
• The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so any
face mask can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life.
• If an infected person sneezes near us, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to
allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you.
•  When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours,
therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are
touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic
•  The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours.
Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be
exposed to the Sun and the virus will die.
•  The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection,
touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present.
• Washing your hands is essential. More details about GoSun's portable sink
coming very soon.
• The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time
many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This
allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good
of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them.
• You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen
Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the
throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and
then to the lungs.
•  Disinfect things touched often: cellphone, keyboard, mouse, car steering
wheel, door handles, etc
Please share this information with family, friends and acquaintances. We
must take care of ourselves, for our good and the good of others.

Let's validate Fake #13 which I did by taking samples of the text and googling them for a match ...

#Original Article

# Some refutations etc

In fact very little about FAKE#13 is true at all.  And in fact some of its recommendations are harmful.

Don't Spread Fake News!

I can't do anything about the pathetic people who invent this fake news and spread it to the vulnerable, or newbie digital.

But I can ask anybody who receives what appears to be calamitous news to go thru these simple steps, before either a) believing it  or b) forwarding it

- Does the News come from a trusted source?  Example a website you use daily such as BBC or Financial Times or Independent Newspaper

Check the base URL carefully.  A website ending is known to me.  One ending in  is not!

- Does the Article quote specific sources, and did you follow those links to check that what is quoted matches what is summarised in the article

- Did you Google the text of the article to established it is widely reported by multiple sources, some of which you would trust

- Did you check this article against common fact checking websites?

such as,,  ap fact check

- Other tell tale signs are:  Bad English, over encouragement to share. 

In Conclusion
I always remember and live by this Carl Sagan quote:

Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Evidence

See Also

CoronaVirus Fake News Scam

Monday, March 30, 2020

CoronaVirus 19 covid19 Disease Modelling with GeoGebra Classic

Modelling with GeoGebra

As a long, faithful and enthusiastic subscriber to the Numberphile channel the above video just arrived.

This post assists you in following the steps to use the online GeoGebra tool to perform the simulation as shown above.

(To make things absolutely clear,  all credit here should go to Ben Sparks and the rest of the Numberphile team)


- Watch the video from start to finish

Impatient people will of course try to work along with simulation first viewing around.   I would recommend patience, watching the whole video first and then

- Download and Install  GeoGebra Classic 6  or
- Start GeoGebra Classic  on Web

- In order to save you will need to register on the website

The basic package is free.

- Watch the video from the start a second time, and follow along entering the formulas that Ben shows us and also creating the on screen slider controls

You have to enter it line by line and here is what he shows. 

S variables for Susceptible
I variables for Infected
R variables for Recovered

Copy and paste each line into the entry area i.e. to the right of the + symbol

S'(t, S, I, R) = - transm * S * I
I' (t, S, I, R) = transm * I - recov * I
R'(t, S, I, R) = recov * I

NSolveODE ( {S',I',R'}, 0, {Sstart,Istart,Rstart}, maxT)

It Didn't Work!!
(Debugging Steps)

- For Marcus, all was going well until I entered the NSolveODE formula.  At that point it refused to acknowledge the formula was correct

- I tried the help but I was convinced all was good.  I note that {} brackets are for a list,  and that function has text inside ()

I tried everything,  eventually Agata deleted the formula and re-entered it (the flippin same!!) and like a good consultant it magically sprung into action.

What a team!

- Once you type in the NSolveODE line and have it accepted it generates three solution lines.   Each line corresponds to a graphed line.

- Then as in the video I renamed each, and also set a colour so that we can see what is going on

- To get the animation you click on the play button for maxT  (which I set as a slider between 0 and 10)

- Change the transmission rate transm, and then press the play button on maxT again to see different graphing results

Still Does Not Work?

I signed up and then saved my work at the following link.  So if you still can't get it working, instead you can directly go to the model that I made and see my version

Link to My Shared

And that completes the lesson for today


Social Distancing

Coronavirus fear

There are numerous videos, and indeed simply logic dictates that if you are physically isolated from a pandemic virus carrier, then you can't catch (a non airborne) virus.

R naught or R0 or reproduction rate is a number indicating how many people get infected per virus carrier.

Most articles quote the R0 for CV19 to be between 2 - 2.5.  Example

So then
India it seems will be the ultimate awful human experiment.

Migrant workers represent a staggering 80% of the working population in India.

As the video shows, the Government Lockdown has made it impossible to implement Social Distancing.

Quite the reverse.   More like Social Un-Distancing. So if Social Distancing can help, then we should expect the reverse to make covid19 infection rates much worse.  And now those closely proximate workers are on busses back to their home states, so if anything they are about to bring the infection to their villages also.

I will be studying what happens in India closely.  India then would seem to be inline for a world record increase in covid19 cases within 14 days.  If not then the European Social Distancing measures are misguided.

Unfortunately there is no good outcome either way.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Sermon: So Now You Want to Communicate Over The Internet?

Friends far and wide, young and old, were always very cynical about Marcus' desire to use the Internet to perform video calls.

Not so cynical now are we!   Yes,  I have been positively overcome with friends frantically asking me for some tips and advice on how to make quality calls to each other.  So here is the noddy guide

From easy to more difficult:

01 Facebook  (PC, Mac, Smartphone)

Facebook already has the ability to perform audio or video calls and from and to any of PC, Smartphone, or Mac.

On a PC/Mac you goto the contacts and start a character conversation, then just click on the phone or video camera symbol.  On a Smartphone you start from Facebook Messenger

02 WhatsApp (Smartphone)

Whilst WhatsApp can be used from a Smartphone or from in a PC/Mac browser, only a smartphone allows you to make an Audio or Video call.

On my Android Smartphone I can call Agata's iPhone and do a Video or Audio call by first selecting Agata and then just clicking on the icon.   Please for humanity's sake 

a) use Landscape
b) Put your phone on a stand to stop it wobbling around

03 Zoom (PC, Mac, Smartphone)

The best audio and visual quality you'll get is using the Zoom application

a) Signup
b) Download the PC or Mac client and install it
c) Start Zoom, ideally login

d) New Meeting,  then Invite, then Copy URL.  Send that URL to a friend by any mechanism  email, Whatsapp or Facebook Message
e) Your friend clicks on the link  (causing them to start their Zoom, or possibly download it, then start )
f) Your videocall for upto 40 minutes.
g) Zoom does offer a set of paid for plans, but the cheapest is 12 GBP/month which I don't think is justified  for me  (over free)

04 Cisco Webex
Webex is the choice of Enterprises, not normally of the individual, so I list the link here, but don't choose to cover or recommend it here for person to person or small team usage.

Summary Points

- So far, despite exponentially increased usage due to Coronavirus 19 (CV19), none of the above platforms has broken down.  That is good news eh!

- There is nothing like having a quality Video Call.  Practically then you need a decent Internet Connection and good Webcam and Microphone.  I'll mention Logitech Brio and Blue Yeti.  These are quality vendors also offering lower priced, lower quality alternatives.

Remember the obvious, if you receive a quality video and audio stream from somebody with quality hardware and Internet connection,  what they see and hear  (from your I can't be bothered to spend a penny configuration)  may not be the same.

- Assuming you are on an unmetered Internet plan i.e all Landline Plans and some mobile plans (my 3 plan for example)  the incremental cost of these calls is a big fat zero.

At the risk of overloading the Internet and ruining my personal experience I invite all my friends and colleagues to join me for a quality video call.   CV19 has changed everything.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Don't Breakdown

Subtitle: Just don't do anything stupid!

In the UK right now, the whole country is basically shuttered.  Normal life has paused and most of us are trying to follow the government advice which is of course

- Stay at home
- Keep 2m from any other person (excluding members of your own household)
- A single exercise each day, starting from home
- Go to the shops for basic food provisions only
- Wherever possible use online services

They forgot to add 2 less polite instructions

a) Don't be a wanker
b) Don't push the limits

To concentrate on the second,  I'd like to suggest that in this time of crisis you really must stay at home and refrain from breaking anything.  This means primarily yourself or your home infrastructure.

For example

- Don't partake in any extreme ( sports or exercise), at home
- Don't undertake DIY that you are not confident of
- Don't push any part of the home infrastructure to breaking point
- Lower your expectations on buying any new technical appliances, because their supply chain is currently broken (see below)

Because if anything breaks, either:  you physically, or part of your home, you are going to have a between difficult to impossible job getting it fixed right now.

So please chill, and don't break anything!

Just Not In Time

Above is a pretty good explanation from the Verge why the same Just-In-Time manufacturing process that delivers you technical goods oh-so-cheaply is very brittle and utterly screwed when any element of the supply chain fails.

And believe me as of March 2020, supply chains everywhere are dead.   We just have to hope that Food supply chains can somehow (magically) keep going instead of grinding to a halt like the rest of technology.   We will see, right!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Thank You Dedacciai Thank You


This is nothing more than a sincere thank you message to #Dedacciai.

I own a circa Dedacciai Scuro RS frame bought from Ribble cycles circa 2010.   So in other words it is a staggering 10 or so years old.

It is an old skool design with an integrated aerodynamic carbon seatpost.  In fact you have to hacksaw it down to the correct height, after which you have a personalised bicycle frame that you will never sell to anybody taller than yourself!

Recently I was heartbroken to find that after a modest shakedown ride to test a new SRAM Cassette the seat seemed noticeably wobbly.

I found out the bracket  (they call it a Kingpin) that holds the seat to the seatpost had cracked.  After much searching I found a product recall from 2016 here

I contacted Dedacciai in Italy and they got onto a UK distributor.  They found me a spare part and sent it immediately to me by recorded delivery

And so in less than one week I had a fully functional bicycle again.

Thank you Dedacciai.   I'm used to moderate to crap service from so many people these days, but your service was top notch.

Next time I am looking for a Bicycle frame or cycle component that you make,  I will take a look at your products, remembering this great after sales service that you gave me.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

CoronaVirus: Just 14 days People

Space Oddity

Today, Thursday is Day #4 of Marcus and Agata's personal 14 day CoronaVirus Lockdown.

To make things easy I have also synchronised the Monday start with one of those FaceBook challenges.  This time it's about music, so I was an enthusiastic participant.

I did modify the challenge though.  I've made it

- 14 days not 10
- I am presenting songs not album covers
- For each day I do give an explanation  (not the "no explanation" referred to in the challenge) as to why it is special
- Oh and it has to be a video not just an audio clip, and something that I rate as both visually and audibly special (to me)

A Small Plea
I did talk about this yesterday  It is the fact that our UK government asked us to take extraordinary measures.

And that, even if we know better, we should give it 14 days of cooperation, without getting arsey.

As above, as a human species, we have come far, from caveman sitting around a fire and praying to an imaginary friend.  (Well some of us anyway).   We are nearly at self driving cars, for goodness sake!

After just 4 more days we'll have had a week of restrictions and then we will more accurately know who is becoming sick in the UK, by demographic and various other factors.  Right now we are here

Come On

There are so many things that you can do to occupy your time productively at home.  And anybody with a reasonably fast Internet Connection really has the world's knowledge, news, entertainment, all at your fingertips, most of which can be delivered and consumed for free!  This was unthinkable even just 20 years ago.

Maybe you want to join the 14 day facebook musical challenge with me too?  Below are days 3 2 1 selection, oh, and of course day #0

Day #3

So moving it makes me cry, almost every time I play it

Day #2

Because when I finally found that somebody who loved me back, for just being me, my life was forever changed for the better.

Day #1

My Corona indeed.  Let the journey begin

Day #0

Because I was there, you know at the beginning.

Only 10 days to go people.  We can do this!

Statista See Also