2014 Highland Trail 550 race

An insight into the 2014 Highland Trail Race - UK's toughest bikepacking race along an uncompromising 550 mile route through the Highlands of Scotland.

Started as a practice run for races such as Ride the Divide, the Highland Trail has become a established challenge of it's own. It may not be as long, but the terrain and weather more than make up for it.

Maybe next year..if not the race..then maybe the route.

Skylock

This looks nice....well designed....if it all works:

Bluetooth controlled from you phone, allowing you to:
-Lock/unlock using your phone (keypad on lock for backup).
-Alerts you to potential theft attempts by hooking it up to a local wifi point.
-Charges from solar panels (apparently it uses very little power)
-Detects accidents and calls for help through your phone if you don't respond to the message it'll push to your phone.

Two years at sea

A surreal film about a childhood neighbour of mine that I vaguely knew, but heard about often.

"TWO YEARS AT SEA won a prize at the Venice Film Festival, and was TimeOut's number one pick of the London Film Festival. The title refers to the work Jake did in order to finance his chosen state of existence. The film extends Ben's relationship with Jake, a man first encountered in his short film THIS IS MY LAND. He lives alone in a ramshackle house, in the middle of the forest. It's full of stuff that might come in useful someday. Jake has a tremendous sense of purpose as he works around the house and surrounding forest and moorland. Rivers' witty and gracefully-constructed film creates an intimate connection with an individual who might otherwise be hard to get to know if we met him face-to-face."

Coinitor - a bitcoin wallet monitor

A bitcoin wallet monitor.

Add in your bitcoin wallet public address (up to 3 wallets can be monitored at once) and this desktop app simply shows you the balance, the value in a currency of your choice and the number of wallet transactions.

The background bitcoin value barchart shows live data.

This is more secure than logging into your actual wallet to check the balance as it requires no passwords and doesn't need to know your private wallet key. It simply queries the blockchain to access public information about your wallet. In this way keyloggers etc will not pick up any useful info while you query your wallet.

Mountain Bike - rolling resistance tests

Peter Nilges has done some scientific testing in his dissertation (at the German College of Physical Education, Cologne) on the rolling resistance of mountain bike tyres under varying conditions. The results were a surprise.
While on tarmac thinner, higher pressure tyres have a lower rolling resistance the opposite is true for off-road riding.

Another reason to switch to tubeless, which not only helps prevent punctures, but can be run at a lower pressure (and depending on the system you use can save weight, or more importantly, rotational mass).

Click here

Bitcoin

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
Read more at http://explosm.net/comics/3479/#1X6gB0eF5Ku5h4uO.99

Apt.....But bitcoin is probably far from dead.

Here's what happened:
MTGox, the biggest bitcoin exchange (apparently something like 90% of all bitcoin-fiat currency transactions went through here) had some bad code which allowed people to 'Double Spend' bitcoin that was held by the exchange. This theft went on unnoticed for several years and amounts to some 750,000 bitcoin going missing.

Who's watching you today.

A huge number of webcams are unsecured, meaning that anyone on the internet can access the feeds. As they have web front ends, Google even lists them in their search indexes, making them even easier to find. Eg: Google search.

Some websites are even dedicated to listing unsecured cameras.
Here's some examples:
livesecuritycams.com

Most of them a pretty mundane, car parks and the like.

There's also lots of deliberate sharing, like this guy with a camera on his truck:
bigrigtravels.com

Bitcoin UK

So....everyone's probably heard of bitcoin, the digital currency that's supposedly changing the world.

While it's far from certain that bitcoin will survive, it is true that digital currency in a similar form is here to stay.

I've been playing around buying a small amount of bitcoin (and spending it on takeaway when it's value goes up) to understand how it works. In the UK it's not hugely easy to get hold of or spend. That fact that, like any new product/service, there are dodgy people trying to take advantage of people's lack of knowledge doesn't help matters.

Here's some lists of a few current trustworthy UK bitcoin sellers and businesses who accept it:

A good place to get an overview: (you'd don't need to do the sign in with facebook or sign up to coinbase bits)

try Bitcoin

Set up an online wallet:

Blockchain.info

NOTE: This is a good starting point. However, like a real wallet, only keep small amounts or spending money in here long term. You are trusting the wallet host not to suddenly disappear or be hacked.
Also, make sure you make a backup of the wallet (easy to do through the main interface).
If you have any significant money in bitcoin, you should move it to an offline/paper wallet.

Android - Standalone wallet:
Bitcoin Wallet

Android - Monitor the balance of your multiple wallets in one app
Bitcoin Wallet Balance

Buy bitcoin:

bitbargain.co.uk - Buy bitcoins safely from individuals using an escrow system. (I personally used this without problems.)
localbitcoins.com
zipzapinc.com - Buy bitcoins with cash from 28,000 outlets in the UK

Spend bitcoin:

Scan - electronics hardware
Takeaway.com - 8000 takeaways throughout the UK
8ballbikes - online bike shop
The chocolate tree - Edinburgh chocolate shop

cryptodechange.com - Exchange bitcoin for uk gift cards and more

Finally:

Coinmap.org - shows a zoomable world map of places which accept bitcoin.

Encrypt your web browser - android

The Electronic Frontier Foundation have just released 'HTTPS Everywhere' extension for Firefox on Android. This forces your browser to use a secure, encrypted https connection when you are visiting enabled sites thus securing your traffic against monitoring/capture of your traffic (including passwords etc) by your ISP, government agencies, or anyone listening on that untrusted coffee shop wifi.

Click Here for more