Thursday, October 13, 2016

Telstra refund scam

When I receive scam emails every day I can't help wonder why the Australian ISPs can't stop people from being scammed. All it would take is for the ISP to redirect the link (or site) to a safe page letting people know it is a scam. Most people in Australia use the DNS server from their ISP, and if I'm right, an entry in the DNS could stop people going to malicious sites.

So many people get caught by scams and yet the ISPs don't seem to care.

What interested me with this cam was the email address they used to send the email to me. It is one I use, but rarely hand out. The email address doesn't contain my full name, but as you can see, the To field for the email does use my full name. That adds a level of legitimacy that could trick people. I don't have a Telstra account where Telstra can bill me, so this is an obvious scam.

When you receive emails don't just click on the links. Stop for a moment. Check the links by moving your mouse over the links and the address will appear. In many scam emails some of the links may be legitimate, but one or more you are meant to click on will send you to an unrelated address that has nothing to do with the company.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary update could cost people large amounts of money if using mobile devices.

The other day the power was turned off so I didn't have my usual access to the ADSL broadband. I checked my mobile data and I had 1GB of my 1.5GB plan left. No problems I thought, for the small amount of use I'd need, I'd simply use my mobile as a hotspot.

Then something weird happened. I received a data usage alert that I'd used 50% of my data from the plan. How weird I thought.

I was lucky.

I hadn't been using the MacBook Air very much. I have Windows 10 installed using Parallels. I perhaps wrote a couple of social media posts for a client and maybe a few web site updates. Very minimal amount of work, and yet I'd clocked up hundreds of megabytes. Why was this so?

On further investigation I found Windows 10 was automatically downloading the update in the background. Easy I thought, I'll simply disable the update. Not so easy. There's no longer any such feature. I'll let Windows know I'm using a mobile hotspot. Nope. As it's a virtual machine it thinks it's connected to a network and there's no option to let Windows 10 know otherwise.

Later I did some testing and using one hotspot Windows 10 was downloading at around 9MB per minute. With another hotspot Windows 10 was downloading at 32MB for minute. Depending on your plan this could be costing around $20 an hour. If you're travelling overseas, this could cost you thousands.

A client later rang up as they were concerned about a Windows 10 update. Normally they use less than 4GB a month on their mobile device, but had already used 13GB. I don't know the actual size of the download, but from what I can gather around 3.5GB for the ISO (usually burnt to DVD), but for the download and update, I don't really know. Whatever the size keep in mind when you download, there's overhead and also upload traffic occurs which can add another 15%.

The bottom line is, if you have a Windows 10 computer and haven't updated to the Windows 10 Anniversary update, think twice about using your mobile connection or hotspot. It's best to use lower cost broadband and the manually apply the update before the automatic update comes along.

If you're travelling overseas you could easily get bill shock if the automatic update hits you.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, September 30, 2016

Location failing in Safari since upgrading to macOS Sierra 10.12

For those thinking about upgrading to macOS Sierra, if websites that use location features is important to you, then perhaps put off the upgrade.

Whilst prior to upgrading the Safari browser may occasionally fail to find the location, since upgrading to macOS Sierra, the websites that use location features built into the Safari browser, now fail all the time. This includes when using Safari and Opera. Chrome only supports sites which use SSL, so I tend not to use Chrome for much on the MacBook Air. The sites all work fine on mobile devices including iOS and Android.

Applications such as Google maps and Apple maps have are OK with finding the location, so the problem appears to be more related to location services used by the browsers such Safari and Opera. It is a design of the Chrome browser not to support websites that don't use https, so Google Chrome can't be tested for sites using http.

An example that will enable you to test if location services are working is my site

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BMI formula page updated to show weights for BMI ranges for your height.

For those of us who are overweight, a question I often ask myself is what weight do I need to get down to, to be in the next range. To find the answer I'd keep dropping the weight until I got the BMI. A long way to do something that is pretty easy to calculate.

I decided to update the BMI formula web app so that once you enter your height, you can see the weight for the various BMI groupings. Now you'll instantly know the weight for the next range.

When dieting people would often ask me am I trying to lose weight. My response was, "no, I'm simply trying to get from obese to overweight".

I hope this helps others.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Nearly took one for the team on Sunday. Red light/speed camera on Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone.

Phew. That had me worried. As I was posting the video for the red light camera/speed camera on the corner of Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone I was reminded the light changed to amber as I was driving through. At the time I didn't give it a second thought as I most likely felt I was sufficiently close to the intersection that stopping wasn't safe or practical, which it wasn't. However reviewing the video made me get quite concerned. Had I been booked!!!

Watching the video you can see I was nearly across the intersection when the traffic light turns red. Anyone would consider that to be OK and it happens to us all the time. But how close was I to getting booked. A lot closer than I would have ever thought. I think once you read this you'll realise the government has tightened down their tolerance so there is very little margin for error and a lot of margin for revenue generation. OK. That's a tad cynical.

Here's a link to the video. Play the video at normal speed and ask yourself what you would have done. Stopped or gone through. (

Based on the video I travelled 1.33 seconds until I reached the white line. I measured this later and that means I was around 2 metres before the line. When we look out the front windows of a car we can't see the exact front of the car. We estimate.

Now what is generally not known is where the sensors are placed. They are not at the white line where you stop your car. The induction loops can be placed quite a bit further forward. Using Google maps I measured this to be 3.44 metres.

Why is this important? We've all grown up believing if your car has entered the intersection you're OK. It is even stated on the Victoria Police site (, "A road safety red light camera is activated when a vehicle crosses the stop line and enters the intersection after the light/arrow turns red. If a vehicle is already partially or wholly over the stop line and within the intersection when the light/arrow turns red, an infringement will not be issued. All images are verified before an infringement notice is issued."

The police don't get a picture of where you were when the light changes to red. Only when the rear of your car leaves the sensor. Two pictures are taken. A second picture is taken a second later. We just have to hope when the pictures are reviewed they get it right.

There's one more little piece of detail. Speedometers by law have to be at or below the actual speed limit and can be up to 10% lower. That means if you're at the speed limit, you're most likely travelling slower than the speed limit. When I'm travelling at100 km/h the highway test shows around 96 km/h. At 40 km/h I'd guess I'd be travelling at perhaps 38 km/h. However since I was approaching the light I made sure I was under the 40 km/h, so perhaps another 2 km/h. That means I may have been travelling at about 36 km/h

So how close was I to getting booked?

It took 1.33 seconds to get to the white line according to the video. At 36 km/h that's 10 metres. There's then actually 2 metres between my car and the white line. So I was roughly 12 metres to the line.

My car is 4.7 m long and the distance to the end of the sensor 3.44 m. That's another 7.14 m. A total distance of 19.14 metres.

At 36 km/h the stopping distance assuming and emergency reaction time of 1.5 seconds, is 22 m, so no time for me to stop. safely. OK. I did the right thing.

The amber light goes for 3 seconds. At the 36 km/h I would travel 30 m. I had close to 11 m to spare. I'd suggest that's about one car length plus the spacing between cars.

In reality I had about a second to spare. There's also 0.5 seconds after the red light changes where reportedly you don't bet booked. A total of 1.5 seconds.

It really isn't a lot. The 1.5 seconds is assumed for an emergency driving situation and in a relaxed driving situation I don't think we react that fast and certainly don't come to a stop as fast. In addition you don't just look at the lights. You look at the traffic around you, from the sides, your speedometer. and any other potential hazards. There's a lot going on and the difference between getting fined or not is very slim.

Had I been going less than 30 km/h, then it gets very, very close. I suspect this is a reason for many people getting booked by red light cameras and speed cameras when turning and when in low 40 km/h speed zones. Great for government revenue.

This really is a reminder that when travelling on a low speed road (40 km/h), or turning at an intersection, where often the amber timing is set at the much shorter 3 seconds than for the speed limit of the road, if the amber light comes on, try to stop if it safe to do so. There's no tolerance for going through a red light and it is very costly.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, September 19, 2016

Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone red light/speed camera video

As part of my continuing effort to create videos so people who have been booked with a red light or speed camera infringement, can now review the location, I've uploaded a video for tne Warrigal Road and Batesford Road Chadstone red light/speed camera.

The low 40 km/h speed limit when travelling in a southerly direction along Warrigal Road catches close to 91,000 people each year. It's very easy to do.

You can view the video at

You can find a list of the videos on my site You can also find a web app which you can use to alert you to speed and red light cameras in Victoria as you drive along.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bus and trams take off before people are ready or seated.

It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate bus and tram drivers are. When I get on a bus in Templestowe to go to the city, invariably I move down to around half way down the bus, just past the seats that are left for less others. About a quarter of the way down the bus driver takes off jerking me and I have to make sure I'm ready for the driver to suddenly take off. A few bus drivers do wait.

I've regularly seen people being tossed back and forward in buses in this way. I also saw an elderly woman on a tram who when trying to sit down and was half way seated when she was tossed forward as the tram suddenly drove forward.

As I get older trams and buses become a real concern for injury. The body simply isn't is flexible as it once was. A jerked back can easily lead to days of discomfort and I suspect many older people are in the same boat.

I decided to do a quick check on the internet and found this article in The Age.

This paragraph caught my attention.

In six years 1300 people have suffered falls, trips and slips on trams or buses, resulting in 171 serious injuries requiring hospitalisation.

That's 216 falls, trips and slips per year, resulting in 28 serious injuries requiring hospitalisations.

I also thought we need to report incidents more often. Yarra trams made the following statement.

A Yarra Trams spokesman said the company was committed to improving passenger safety and that in 2014 it had received "only 109 feedback cases related to braking by drivers" in 25 million kilometres of travel.

I know I've been tossed around by braking and acceleration and never reported it, and I suspect most other people do the same. I know my elderly mother had some terrible stories that worried us at the time. We just accept this as a negative of travelling on public transport.

I didn't report the drivers going through red lights. The drivers not stopping to pick up passengers. Drivers abusing car drivers and even arguing with passengers (but I should say the passengers didn't help). Nor on the other hand have I provided feedback of the many good drivers who provided a smooth experience.

Perhaps it's time we all start to report driving that affects us both good and bad. We don't want to get the drivers into trouble and yes they will probably get into trouble. But the drivers are only trying to stick with the timetables and that can be difficult. Unfortunately those who run the trams and buses will only blame the drivers and not themselves and the pressure they put drivers under.

In the end I'm really looking forward to autonomous cars taking over public transport. I can only see the level of service improving. The vehicles will wait for you to be ready. No driver to get into trouble and the owners can't blame the drivers just for trying to do their job. As I get older the thought of injury and discomfort caused by trams and buses becomes more of a concern and eventually it won't be worth the risk.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fill up with petrol in the morning. Good idea or not.

Because of my recent interest in petrol prices around Melbourne, I've been reading articles and questions about whether or not it is a good idea to fill up first thing in the morning. The idea is petrol expands as it gets hotter. The mornings are cooler so you get more petrol for your buck.

From my observation there is something missing from this conversation. It is how petrol prices change during the day. Each day prices around Melbourne drop by half to one cent. If you buy in the morning you'll buy at a higher price from the day before since prices don't appear to go down overnight.

I decided to see what I could find out. The density of petrol changes about 0.12% per degree C. So yes petrol density does change with temperature. If we look at the temperature change from minimum to maximum, it is unusual to see more than a 10 degree change. The minimum would often be around 5-6 am and the maximum mid afternoon. So even if you did decide to fill up in the morning, most likely it will be after the temperature starts increasing. However this assumes a direct relationship with the ambient temperature. Petrol is stored underground and is less affected by the ambient temperature. For simplicity lets say the temperature did change for say 5 degrees. That would be 0.6% change in volume. Perhaps in summer with hotter days, this may mean a larger temperature variation.

The price of petrol in Melbourne is currently fluctuating between around 100 cents to 130 cents per litre over roughly a four week cycle. With prices in the discount part of the cycle changing around 0.5 - 1 cent per day, filling up later could save half to one cent per litre.

Too put this into perspective, if we fill up a 50 litre tank and there was a 0.6% density change due to temperature, if we use 115 as the price per litre of fuel, that would gives us a saving of 30 cents.

On the other hand, if we fill up at the end of the day and take advantage of the dropping price, that could save us 25 - 50 cents.

In all sincerity I suspect the actual temperature variation would be lower since the tanks are stored in the ground, but in any case, you're more likely to gain more by taking advantage of the dropping price. Overall however, saving 30 or 50 cents, is a very small amount and it would be hard to justify changing your habits for such a small saving. There's bigger and better savings to be made. However if I were to pick, I'd pick filling up towards the end of the day because the price cutting will most likely mean a better saving.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

BMI formula web app now available

Some time ago I wrote a BMI/BMR calculator. Whilst this is very handy web app, often people only need to perform a BMI calculation. I decided to create the BMI formula web app.

Only two figures are required to calculate your BMI. Your height and your weight. The BMI formula as you can see on the web app does not use your sex or age.

You can find the BMI formula web app at

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monopoly rare pieces 2016 for Maccas Australia

A couple of years ago I created a web app so people could submit their monopoly pieces they'd collected from Maccas. By knowing the pieces collected I was able to determine the rare pieces.

Since Maccas Monopoly 2016 has started, I decided to dust down the code and make the web app available again. If you have Maccas Monopoly 2016 pieces for Australia, please feel free to enter your pieces. Once enough pieces have been entered I'll be able to start determining which are the rare pieces and let everyone who has contributed know.

The site is

Good luck and enjoy.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update 20th September 2016

Not as many people submitted pieces as had been hoped, so I performed a review using the internet. The list of rare pieces is not available. Whilst these haven't been confirmed by people's input, there is a high degree of certainty.

To see the rare pieces enter a piece, submit to obtain the password. Then enter the password and submit. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Are the Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus overpriced in Australia?

Last March you may remember I reviewed the pricing of the Apple iPhone 5SE to compare Australian pricing to USA pricing. The result was not good.

I decided with the new Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus, I'd perform a similar review. Basically we take the US dollar price, convert to Australian dollar, add 6% for exchange rate costs and then add 10% for GST. So how do the prices compare.

Apple iPhone 7 32GB
USD price $679
Converted price in AUD $1,050.
Apple's price in AUD $1,079.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 32GB
USD price $769
Converted price in AUD $1,189
Apple's price in AUD $1,269

At this stage the prices for the full range of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are not currently listed on the Apple USA site, so it is not possible to perform the calculation for the entire range.

We can see that whilst the based iPhone 7 converts to Australian dollars very well, the iPhone 7 Plus is marked up around 7% greater than the USA price, which isn't good.

In terms of value for money, it may be wise to perform the above calculation. It may be the higher priced models means a greater mark-up for Australians and less value for money. Ultimately however it boils down to the price you're prepared to pay.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, September 09, 2016

Find the nearest petrol station in Melbourne and surrounds

Looking for the nearest petrol station. Perhaps you need to find the nearest petrol station for your discount vouchers. The latest web app at is now available.

Nearest Petrol Station Melbourne and surrounds

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Video of Cemetery Road West And Royal Parade, Parkville speed/red light camera

In the continuing series of videos on speed camera and red light camera locations, I recently took a video whilst travelling along Cemetery Road West turning into Royal Parade in Parkville.

The aim of the videos is to allow others to easily review the speed/red light camera.

Around 6,000 drivers drivers are being booked at this location generating revenue of over 2.5 million dollars a year. The main reason is people going through the red light when turning right into Royal Parade. The amber timing is quite short at 3 seconds. The approach traffic lights are high overhead and not visible as you approach the stop line.

There were only 32 speeding infringements for the turning lanes and around 600 for those travelling directly through the intersection.

The aim of these posts is to help people become aware of the speed limits in different areas. We may not agree with them, but in the end the law is the law and if we don't comply, then we can expect a fine.

You can view the video by clicking on the link to the video at

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Video of Fitzroy Street And Lakeside Drive, St Kilda speed/red light camera

I recently took a video whilst travelling along Fitzroy Street approaching Lakeside Drive in St Kilda. The aim of the video is to allow others to easily review the speed/red light camera.

Tens of thousands of drivers are being booked at this location generating revenue of over 12 million dollars a year, which is mainly as a result of the low 40 speed limit.

The aim of these posts is to help people become aware of the speed limits in different areas. We may not agree with them, but in the end the law is the law and if we don't comply, then we can expect a fine.

You can view the video by clicking on the link to the video at

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Flinders Street and William Street Melbourne red light/speed camera.

The video of the intersection of Flinders Street and William Street Melbourne has now been uploaded.

For those wishing to review this intersection hopefully the video will assist.

Flinders Street and William Street Melbourne red light/speed camera

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to spot the petrol price hike is occurring using Petrol Prices Melbourne.

It's that time when petrol prices spike in Melbourne. Yesterday we saw the first petrol stations jump from around 99.9 cents to 129.9. I thought I'd share what you see on the Petrol Prices Melbourne ( map.

During the price discounting cycle you'll see the average price being a yellow marker and prices above being orange to light red, and prices below, being olive to light green. However when the petrol price spikes you went up with prices being at either end of the range. The old much lower price and the new much higher price. That is you'll see lots of dark reds (those that have increased their prices) and lots of dark greens (those that haven't yet increased their prices).

It takes around 3-4 days for the new higher price to become the norm (this is called the restoration phase of the discounting cycle) and then for the discounting to start again.

When you see lots of dark reds and lots of dark greens it is time to fill up.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, August 29, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Alert - Speed Camera Locations - Audible alert when approaching speed camera location (red light camera).

Alert - Speed Camera Locations - Audible alert when approaching speed camera location (red light camera).

Just finished first release of the alert for speed camera locations. A good way to become aware of speed camera locations on your trips around town. You get an audible and visual warning of an approaching speed camera location. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Costco Epping petrol may change petrol prices in the northern suburbs.

Since starting the Petrol Prices Melbourne web app I've noticed a number of interesting trends. One particularly interesting trend is where the price of petrol in Melbourne is consistently the cheapest. It turns out the best petrol prices tend to be around Costco in Moorabbin.

The following is a snapshot of the petrol prices around Melbourne as shown on the Motormouth site. The dark green markers show the cheapest petrol location.

Anyone in the Moorabbin area can take advantage of the reduced petrol prices and not just at Costco. Without purchasing a Costco membership those shopping at Woolworths can use their discount voucher to often match the Costco petrol price. Other petrol stations get very close negating the need for a Costco membership.

Should a Costco open as has been suggested in the media in Epping, it is very likely Costco petrol prices may have a similar effect on petrol pricing in the northern suburbs of Melbourne around Epping. Good for consumers but perhaps not so good for some of the petrol stations.

The reports in the media also indicate Costco were granted a permit in 2013 for 20 Jovic Road, Epping. With another article in the media stating "The Costco proposal will include the extension of a road from Cooper St, between The Northern Hospital and Epping Plaza, to Deveny Rd."

The aim of the Petrol Prices Melbourne web app is to help people save money on petrol. Knowing where the cheapest petrol is around Melbourne can save some money. Moorabbin may not always be close to you, but if you're passing through the area, keep in mind the petrol prices are often very competitive. If you're running low, a top up may be a good idea.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 21 August 2016
For those wanting to buy petrol at Costco Epping you'll be in for a long wait. A few days ago I decided to check to see what progress had been made at the site. The site is still a vacant area. No construction work or anything has been started.