Author Archives: Steve Morley

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power 2017 – In Review

Body Power Aerial Shot

Body Power Aerial Shot

This was my 5th Body Power Expo, it were considerably busier on the Friday and Saturday compared to previous years, Sunday was about average. The official visitor total shows just shy of 96,000 visitors. So very close to the magic 100,000 visitors. I would guess if you counted the athletes, media, press, staff and security, it would easily hit the golden 100k visitors. Next year is the 10th Anniversary so maybe 10 is the new 100k, and Nick Orton the organiser say it will have a Vegas Style strip straight down the middle with all the arenas and such in the middle. Sounds like an awesome plan.

The main highlight for me were the Strongman Arena by Strongman Revolution which were right up my alley, and I spent as much time as I could watching the events. What I saw were a bloody good show, I only wish I had more time to watch but I was constantly on the go. Sadly I didn’t get that many photo’s because the arena were surrounded and packed the whole time. I would have ended up blocking some ones view or getting a Vauxhall Corsa dropped on me, so I spent more time watching the event than taking photo’s of the events.

Panoramic View

Each year I have taken a panoramic view of Body Power. This year is no different, last year was the queue for Paige Hathaway, this year its the PHD Kitchen stand from the top floor of their stand.

This was taken on the friday, you can see how crazy busy it were, and saturday was massively more busy.

 

Stand Out Products

The stand out products for me were things which made my diet and lifestyle better, so I’m putting them in Alphabetical order as I really couldn’t choose which one is best. 

Barebells Protein Pudding

Barebells Protein Pudding

Barebells – This is a company owned by Nocco (NO Carb COmpany), a Swedish company which has been my stand out company in previous years for having one of the best marketing and tasting products in its class. This time around they came with Barebells Pudding and Barebells Protein Bars, both of which considering their macronutrient content tasted amazing. I normally forcibly eat MyProtein Puddings or MHP PowerPak Pudding neither taste especially great.

I nearly turned down the samples, until I spoke to the people on the stand and they explained the connection to NOCCO, so I tried it and were blown away. You would barely be able to tell they are not normal products. I wanted to try the Hazelnut Spread by Barebells but they didn’t have it to hand, but more on that later. 

Jazz Apples – This company is emptying my wallet as a new addition to my fruit bowl. They are so delicious, they have a pear type firm consistency but a sweet and juicy taste. Its like biting into a fruit based Magnum Ice Cream, such an awesome crunch and explosion of sweet juice.  

The team on the stand explained they were a combination of Gala Apples and Braeburn which ironically was the 2 types of Apple I had back in the hotel room, I’d say that’s a fair analysis. I’ve since purchased them twice, a pack of 4 large ones from Waitrose and a bag of 6 normal ones. Certainly won a spot in my fruit bowl. 

Farmers Walk Treadmill Machine

Farmers Walk Treadmill Machine

Jim Jams Spreads – I had seen these in Tesco (I think) but I were sceptical of the low sugar content being replaced with sweetener and having an after taste or not being nice. The stand owner near enough guaranteed I would like them if I liked Nutella, only it wouldn’t contribute diabetes or sugar crashes.

Macro for Macro they are fairly evening matched, the difference is Nutella has 57.6g Carbs or which 56.8g are Sugars, where as Jim Jams has 49.4g Carbs but only 8.7g are Sugars, thats a beastly chunk of sugar you’re not eating by swapping over. Shame both of them are quite low on the protein compared to 

Farmers Walk Treadmill were one of my favourite bits of equipment and easily stood out. Its fixed at 11 degree incline so as to be able to generate momentum, with various resistance settings along the ability to load around 160kg of weight plates and walk. I didn’t get to use it very much, least nearly as much as I wanted to play on it. I’m not sure I could justify the costs, but so very cool.  

Challenges

Thors Hammer at Primitive Apparel

Thors Hammer at Primitive Apparel

The Thors Hammer challenge on Primitive Apparel‘s stand were good fun, the poor lad who were first up and scored over two and half minutes holding a 10kg Hammer looked destroyed when someone topped 6 minutes and more so when a girl was within 30 seconds of his time. It was certainly a fun challenge, beats the usual protein bags /  buckets and lateral holds and the likes. 

The Mammoth stand had an interesting challenge and Bryan made it look far easier than it were. It were good fun to watch. You had to have an empty 5kg Protein tub balanced on your back while you did a press up, then raised your hand and opposite foot, then repeat the other side with a 5 second pause.

Bryan did it dozens of times and made it look easy as pie, but very very few people actually executed the move without the bucket falling off. I love the Mammoth Carrier Bags, they are basically sealable 

Mars Protein Peg Challenge

Mars Protein Peg Challenge

The Mars Protein stand had a fun challenge, this stand were the biggest disappointment, as the biggest company there (Mars turned over £25,000,000,000 (BILLIONS) in 2016), the fact they ran out of samples within the first 2 hours but still had plenty to sell potentially highlights now they made 25 billion, I won’t even go near the fact they were selling at full retail not a show price.

The stand had a peg board climbing frame challenge (see pic) which destroyed so many people, apart from some old man who pretty much ran up it matrix style. It certainly favoured the free runners, parkour and cross fit types but still fun to watch the techniques and 

There were one more challenge which stuck in my memory, a girl called Joanna managed to hold a lateral hold for over six in and a half minutes on another stand with two 2.25kg tubs of protein. Another challenge was for hang time, the longest time hanging on rock climbing handles, which is brutal on the fingers.

Some other challenges were equally fun to watch. 

Big Names

There was a little controversy over a certain big name who decided to get pissed out of their tree and didn’t bother turning up on their last day. Other big names included William Bonac, Kate Errington, Robert Oberst, Imogen Parfitt, Terry Hollands, Lee Constantinou, Zydrunas Savickas, Christie Bailey, Kris Gethin, Bill Kazmeier, Emma Hyndman, Zac Aynsley, Rich Piana, Flex Lewis, Cedric McMillan, Laci Kay Somers, Steve Cook, Dana Linn Bailey and Jay Cutler. There were loads more which I have forgotten, but will be in the images. 

Oh there were a dude called Callum Best sneaking around too. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Android O Joins Ransomware Battlefield

Android O by Symantec

Android O by Symantec

I read an interesting article about Android O and its joining the battlefield against Ransomware but first I’m addressing the big issue, well not really THE big one but still a sticking point. Lots of people are second guessing Android O’s name I’m still banking on Android Oreo with an Android KitKat style tie in deal. Lots of others are saying it will be Oatmeal Cookie because Orea is a trade mark, but that didn’t stop them with Kitkat. My second guess would be Opal Fruit but that’s also another tie in. I don’t know if Opal is global or not, and in lots of parts of the world Opal is a car company, so less than ideal. 

Back on the topic of Ransomware, Google has decided certain vendors are cretins and not heeding their security warnings and utilising protective features so staring with Android 8.0 (Oreo :P), they are going deprecate (remove) certain things and give us another some beastly weapons. Android 8.0 is due to be released early in the last quarter of 2017. Google will be killing the following Window Types: TYPE_SYSTEM ALERT, TYPE_SYSTEM_ERROR and TYPE_SYSTEM_OVERLAY. 

These are basically urgent or critical windows which appear on top of any other running window, think of Windows modal pop ups where you MUST click to close it, or something like a Blue Screen of Death message that sort of thing. These are the window types which Ransomware often use to lock users out of their devices. 

Permission Classifications

Previously there were only two classifications for permissions, which were Normal Permissions and Dangerous Permissions. Normal permissions were simple things like access the phones IR Sensor, Alter the Time Zone, Set A Wallpaper. Dangerous Permissions are like Access the Camera, Use the Microphone or get phones GPS Location etc. 

Google introduced a third class which they called “Above Dangerous“, really should have been called “Toxic Waste” or “Radioactive” to drive home the danger. As it happens it wouldn’t have made a huge difference since many OEMs decided not to move the toxic permissions into the Above Dangerous category. OEMs are people like Samsung with Touchwhiz and HTC with Sense and the various others who modify Android to their own front end. 

Normal Permissions the Android OS could grant with no interaction from the user, Dangerous Permissions you get the pop up at install time or when needed and had to OK it. Above Dangerous permission requests needed 100% human interaction, apps which required it had to do so by providing instructions where you had to physically go into android settings and carry out the action yourself. Some OEM’s decided this were a hassle to users, and users would prefer paying Ransom in Bitcoins (BTC) to criminals instead.

Google Nuclear Weaponry

Google has been introducing a series of weaponry against Ransonware, in the previous release Android Nougat (7.0) google disabled applications from being able to programmatically change a phones PIN, Security Codes and Passwords. They have now introduced another bunker busting nuke, in case anything does manage to get through and try to lock your screen. The notification bar will always be accessible along with a button which will kill any application trying to hold the screen.

The evidence shows that Ransomware Criminals don’t bother trying to circumvent Googles moves to block them, instead the criminals choose to target older versions. Worst hit are versions Lollipop (5.0) and below, the older the version of android the more targeting it. Jellybean, Ice Cream Sandwich and KitKat are the hardest hit. This would show Google is slowly nailing all the hatches shut.

 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power 2017 Is In Effect

I shall be down at the Body Power 2017 Expo at the Birmingham NEC from Thurs 11th until Monday 15th, so won’t be available to answer emails or anything else reliably. I will try to answer emergency requests and the ticket monkeys will maintain essential support. 

This will be the first work I have undertaken since my Shoulder Surgery, which was done early March, so hopefully it goes well. Assuming this goes well, I should be slowly returning to work towards the end of May according to my doctors anyway.

Below is a Flash Back Gallery from Body Power 2016, which was the biggest Body Power yet, with over 100,000 visitors. Exhibitors covering everything from clothing to supplements to medical to equipment, along with athletes from strongman, body building, power lifting, boxing, martial arts, physique, fitness, instafamous, and loads more. 

Kevin Levrone, Kate Errington, Faye-Evette Betts, Ania Malys, Tiny Iron, Bill Kazmaier, Rich Piana, Zydrunas Savickas, Rob “Mr Hyde” Archer, Paige Hathaway, Michelle Lewin, Zack Khan, Laci Kay Somers, Jade Katy, Dorian and Gal Yates, Calum Von Moger, Martyn Ford, Jeremy Buendia, William Bonac, Bionic Body, Sara Beverly Jones, Krzysztof Radzikowski, Terry Hollands, Eddie Hall, CT Fletcher, Natalie Woodall, Nick Orton, Carmen Black, Daniel Yeomans, Jimmy Lewin, Nina Ross, Abby Pell, Kirk Miller, Craie Carrera, Justin Gonzales, Katrina Freds, Steve Cook, Nora McAnulty, Dounia Rijkschroeff, Dana Linn Bailey. 

I’m sure there are many many more that I missed or forgot to list, don’t even get me started on the companies attendance. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power 2015 – Flash Back Gallery

We are now mere days away from Body Power 2017 at the Birmingham NEC, which will be my 5th Year, and each year the show gets bigger and bigger. I previously posted Body Power 2014, now its Body Power 2015 and lastly a Body Power 2016 Flash Back. 

2015 Saw a boom in Stongmen, Fitness Girls and Competitions/Contests all boomed and even The Hulkster as in Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart made an appearance with Queue longer than an airport customs queue from Colombia.  Worlds Strongest Man Brian Shaw, Runner up Eddie Hall, along with Dana Linn Bailey, Flex Lewis, Ania Malys, Rob “Mr Hyde” Archer, CT Fletcher and many other names made an appearance. Lots of new products launched here ProMixx Blender with the main man Daniel Yeomans, BLK Volmix Water with Alternative model Becky Holt and many many others.

I’ll post a Body Power 2016 Flash Back soon. if I can obtain permission for Body Power 2013 one for that too. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Samsung App Stops Texting and Driving

Samsung are releasing an App which will stop users from Texting and Driving, which they have called “In-Traffic“. It is currently being trialled in the Netherlands, but soon should end up global. I’m all for this app, mostly as I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve had on-coming cars nearly drive into me while holding a phone in-front of them, on top of the steering wheel.

There isn’t much information about how the app will work exactly but it seems it uses the phones GPS and various Sensors to detect if your in a vehicle or a bike. I would guess it monitors your speed over the last minute or two, and if your moving faster than say 6mph it activates. It would need to monitor some previous time frame to allow for slow moving traffic and traffic lights etc.

Voice Automation

I actually thought Voice Automation with apps like Siri, OK Google and Alexa etc would progress to the point where they would read messages and allow a response long before more draconian methods like this came into play. I had a Tom Tom 910 a long time ago which used to read text messages out, I remember a particularly embarrassing occasion where it read out a sexting while my mum was driving.

I have been looking for a decent app to move to the next track or play certain songs, or to mute my music on command, I think a driving app which allows more voice control should be the future and a huge seller. This is where Samsung should be focussing  its money rather than blocking access. 

You can almost fully use voice controls for SatNav, when I have been lost, I simply say “OK Google, Directions to X”, it comes up on the screen in the Magnetic Phone Holder, I press navigate and off it goes. I would like the ability to be able to say “Navigate” or “Go”, if you are listening Google ;). The AirVent magnetic phone holders are great for SatNav usage, I have mine charging while on SatNav so the phone gets VERY hot, having it on the cool air works brilliantly. 

One of the interesting features of Samsung Phones are the air motions. These are basically when playing music you can wave you hand to the right, which moves to the next track, or to the left for the previous track. There are a bunch of “Air Motions”, I have to wonder how they would fair in a phone mounted in a car. 

Automatic Replies

It seems the “In-Traffic” app would automatically reply to text messages, its not clear if this would include Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, Kik and others, presumably it would be for all messengers. It either responds with a standard “Sorry I’m Driving, I’ll get back to you soon.” or it can do “Fun” replies, which are expected to be animation or possibly Gifs, I’m not sure, what the “fun” method is for. However it would be cool if the app read out the message, and replied automatically, that way you would know if it were urgent and you needed to find a safe and legal place to pull over and deal with it. 

There are lots of unanswered questions, such as how will know if you’re a passenger or a driver ? Apps like the excellent Waze do a really good job of this, and ask you if you are a passenger or driver. I would like to see this be a little more complicated. Perhaps ask you to press a number of buttons in a certain timeframe which a driver would be unable to do, I’m not sure. I expect many idiots would attempt this while driving and cause more accidents. 

Texting While Driving image by Roman Pohorecki, Sat Nav image by Pixabay.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power 2014 – Flash Back Gallery

Body Power 2017 is coming on 12th May, just next week. Body Power 2014 also at the Birmingham NEC was my first Freelance year at body power, previous year I was with a publication as a second photographer. The show was still early days for Body Power 2013, mostly body builders and supplement companies, 2014 saw an explosion with Fitness and Physique mixing along with fighting and combat people in the Combat Zone along with Boxer Ricky Hatton. You could see the massive growth from 2013, and this reflected in range of companies attending with bigger and bigger displays, along with an a huge boom in new products launching. 

The big names were Boxing Legend Ricky Hatton, and Worlds Strongest Man Brian Shaw, other names included Strongman Mark Felix, Mr Olympia Dorian Yates, Model Louise Glover and Body Builder Kai Greene and loads more. 

Many images I’m not able to post here due to exclusivity and sales, but I’ll post a Body Power 2015, and Body Power 2016 flash backs soon. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.
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