Be a bit safer online

Dear Reader,

In one of his recent comments, Smiles makes fun of the dangers of the internet. Don’t worry, he means well.

By the way, what is the opposite of well done? Well intended.

Back to a slightly safer internet experience. We mentioned the Tor project on diablog a couple of times. If you want to go a step further, pretty much everyone I trust on that issue recommends using Tails.

Tails is an operating system based on Debian/GNU Linux. The first major difference is:

Tails is not installed on the computer.

Instead, Tails is installed on a CD, DVD, USB stick, Smart Card, or other external medium. Thus, Tails works like a guest on the computer, using only the temporary memory (RAM). By default, no data is stored permanently on the computer. On most computers the RAM is cleared upon shut down. Thus, you are less likely to leave any traces on the hosting PC.

Second major difference with Tails::

all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network

That means, all your email, web browsing and chats are encrypted. And it is much harder to trace you.

The additional safety has limitations. If you want to learn more about Tails, read their warning page here:

According to many websites, Edward Snowden used Tails. And the NSA / GCHQ complained, that they cannot really eavesdrop on Tails users. Or at least not as easily as on others.

Please remember, there is no such thing as 100% security. Even a concrete house with no windows and just one door isn’t 100% safe against a break-in. But certainly it is utterly useless to live in.

Stay sane,

Engine Room


DB5 ‘replica’

Dear Reader,

Many agree, not only on diablog, the Aston Martin DB5 was the ultimate English sports car. Yes, I am talking about the one James Bond drove in Goldfinger, this one:


This week at Top Marques Monaco a car will be introduced, inspired by the DB5. It is called Speedback and comes from David Brown Automotive. It looks like this:


Granted, the rear view mirrors aren’t perfect. Otherwise, it is a brilliant interpretation of the DB5, wouldn’t you agree? Everything under the hood comes from Jaguar, mostly from the XKR.

As the following shots show, Continue reading


i should be ashamed of myself but i’m not, cobber…

Dear diablog,

It’s the week before Easter and things get a little light hearted on diablog.

I apologise unreservedly and in advance to anyone who takes offence at the following (worth persevering with as the out-takes are as good as the feature) piece of Australian culture which found its way into my eager grubby hands from Philippa

phirripa real

This proves a number of things: Philippa’s taste is worse than mine, mine is as bad as hers, Australians have a great sense of dodgy humour, there is more culture in a pot of yoghurt than in the whole of Australia, diablog is sinking into the morass since Pete had brain fade, woteva, laugh here -



- and ultimately, who cares!

Yours, diablog, sniggering and lurking behind the bike sheds



It’s the energy, Stupid

Dear Reader,

While Pete is going through the next midlife crisis, (how many can one go through?) I am filling in. Since I can’t do funny as Pete, I will add some food for thought.

A while back I had asked our beloved commentator and expert on everything from Eastern Europe to Asia, Smiles, about the Ukraine. His answer:

Bla bla bla,… I will keep you informed.

That’s probably British code for: leave me alone, or bugger off, or get lost.

Thus, I did my own research. In case you are interested, here it comes. Otherwise: I will keep you informed.

Let’s start with all the things that do NOT play a role in the Ukraine/Crimea crisis.

  1. The Ukrainians – they are poor bastards, no one gives a damn
  2. Democracy – never mind who gets voted into Ukrainian office, nobody cares
  3. International Treaties – pretty much all related to the Ukraine have been broken

So, what does matter?

Continue reading


Up in the air

Dear Reader,

In response to my last post about being on the road again, Smiles claimed to have been just that. More accurate would have been: in the air again.

Now this could lead to the song of the same title by Phil Collins, but not today. While I did the monkey job of fixing all jump breaks, of course I had music on my ears. How else do you survive the dire routine?

On my playlist was Five Miles Out by Mike Oldfield, which – especially with those beautiful pictures from the BBC – fits Smiles travel habits. Enjoy:

Keep on moving,

Engine Room


all is well thanks to captain america…

Dear diablog,

Glynsky is safe – at last! Not only that, but elevated to Superhero after the steam engine debacle.

Yesterday I went to see Captain America – The Winter Soldier with a collection of small(ish) boys who are now convinced that I am the embodiment of


though for me the main interest was Scarlett


as Agent Romanoff. Ooooer! She looks brill.

The plot would have been thoroughly approved of by Engine Room with…

Continue reading