Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Virus alert: Your Statement number: 384545

I decided to receive this email instead of using OzEfilter to delete it. The subject of the email was "Your Statement number: 384545" and the body of the message was the following:

"Dear Client

As you requested, we are sending you this report with details on your account transactions made between 9/1/2008 and 10/28/2008.

At your service
Marguerite Crowell"

The email also had an zip file and that file contained a program which was disguised to look like a Word document file where the name appeared to be Details.doc......exe, where the exe extension might not be seen by many.

The attachment was submitted to the virus scanning service identifying the attachment as malicious.

- Kelvin

This post brought to you by the JustLocal service.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dictionary: Is it cellphone or cell phone?

This is a rather interesting question. The word cellphone is not currently in the spellcheck dictionary.

It is important to check a word like cellphone, as it could easily be the American spelling since American spelling tends to concatenate words together. In this case a check of the Merriam Webster site displays an entry for "cell phone", when a search is performed for "cellphone", so even this generalised observation does not apply. This leads me to suspect this is not the usual spelling in America. That rules out "cellphone" being an American spelling variation.

If we check the Australian Concise Oxford dictionary Fourth Edition cellphone is an entry. If we check the Macquarie Concise Dictionary Third Edition there is no entry cellphone, but there are entries for cellular telephone and an also entry for cellular phone.

The general rule I use in maintaining the spellcheck dictionary files, is if a word is in either dictionary and there isn't an obvious conflict, then it is included in the full version of the spellcheck dictionary.

For the Kelvin version, which is the prescriptive spellcheck dictionary, designed to simplify spelling to the preferred spelling in Australia, this requires a bit more investigation.

In this case we also need to consider that "cell" is a shortened version of cellular. Just as phone is a shortened version of telephone and phone would be considered as a colloquial spelling of telephone, or the shortened version of telephone. In more formal documents, phone by itself may not be an acceptable spelling.

Using the Kelvinometer, a tool I developed which shows the usage of words in Australia as found by the search engines, I can then get an indication as to which is the preferred usage.

The results for Google Australia are:

cellular phone: 206,000
cellular telephone: 8,810

cellphone: 99,100
cell phone: 1,180,000

Based on this information cell phone is the preferred spelling.

I also thought it would be of interest to check the word mobile, as I personally would not use cellphone or cell phone, but would instead use mobile phone, or mobile for short.

mobile phone: 7,870,000
mobile telephone: 82,100

Based on the above the preferred term in Australia would be mobile phone, and then cell phone. Since cellphone is a secondary way to spell cell phone, cellphone wouldn't be added to the Kelvin dictionary.

It should be noted that spellcheck dictionaries cannot handle a space, so it is not possible to spellcheck for "cell phone", and the spellcheck would be testing for the words, "cell" and "phone". Both the full and the Kelvin versions of the dictionaries contain colloquialisms, so “cell phone” would appear as correct spelling.

In this case both spelling variations are correct and it would be considered a matter of style. The more popular usage in Australia is “cell phone”, but the term “mobile phone” is even more prevalent.

- Kelvin

This post is brought to you by the dictionary project which can be found on JustLocal.

Thinking phones, think Renée.

JustLocal advisory: Facebook shows your friend's photographs to the world.

As a result of a search my daughter recently did, my Facebook page was returned in the number one position. On clicking the link there were photographs of a number of my friends and that really concerned me.

By default Facebook creates a public page which can be found on the Internet. I had not thought that it would also provide photographs of friends which could also show their children. I would not without permission, put other people's photographs on the Internet for the world to see, so I really didn't expect this to happen by default.

Please accept my apologies. It was never my intent to make photographs of others available and I would never have thought this would be a default behaviour of Facebook.

By reviewing the security settings in Facebook I've now removed the public page.

The problem is it is not possible to completely remove the information. The information once made public, will continue to exist on some sites for some time to come, possibly for many years to come.

I hope that by sharing this experience it alerts others to potential issues when using Facebook.

- Kelvin Eldridge

This information is provided to assist JustLocal friends.

Virus alert: An old friend added you as a friend on facebook

I recently checked the email on the mail server using OzEfilter and noticed an email with the subject: An old friend added you as a friend on facebook.

The contents of the email was as follows:

"Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.
Facebook notifier

One of your old classmates added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know her in order for you to be friends on Facebook.
To see her picture please check your attachment."

The attachment was a zip file called and this is a pretty good indication the email contains a virus. In the zip file was a program called picture.exe further indicating this is a malicious email.

This program was not detected by our desktop anti-virus program, or the server anti-virus software, which has been the case for a couple of months with similar virus infected emails.

Once again I've sent the attachment off for review as mentioned in MyAnswers 1890 and expect it to come back as malware.

I also recently read an article from a news site with the subject and the first paragraph which read as following:

"Facebook attacked by vicious virus

FACEBOOK users are under attack from a virus sweeping through the online social network.

The virus is technically a trojan worm that disguises itself as an email from"

This email may or may not be the type of virus the article was talking about. The email did have what is most likely a fake address appearing to be from

Once again treat with suspicion any email you receive. Log on to facebook and check your messages there. Avoid using links in the email.

Please take care with email purporting to be from facebook.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, October 27, 2008

News at it happens.

Each night many of us sit and watch the news of the day. A half hour segment split into news, sport and weather, with around a third of time taken up with commercials.

For me waiting around until 6:30pm to hear the weather doesn't make sense, when the Bureau of Meteorology provides a very good service and it is easily available on the Internet. Sometimes I would like more than a brief overview of a story provided by the nightly news, and at other times, I'd prefer to skip a number of stories.

It occurred to me, what if I could access the latest headlines. I could then scan the headlines and read only the articles of interest to me. The result of this idea is the NEWS page which provides links to the headlines from a number of the major media organisations, and of course, the latest weather.

You can access the NEWS page from JustLocal. Just click on the following image.


- Kelvin Eldridge

Important Security Update from Microsoft


On Friday 24th of October 2008 at 12.27 pm I received an email from Microsoft with the subject: Important Security Update from Microsoft.

The first paragraph and heading was the following:

"What is the purpose of this alert?

Microsoft has released a security bulletin (out-of-band) to address a vulnerability in all currently supported versions of Windows. The software update was made available for download from the Microsoft Update / Windows Update web site this morning."

I've examined this email and it is legitimate. However that doesn't mean other emails will be legitimate. Microsoft provides a link in the email to obtain further information. The full link address is not shown for the full bulletin, just a click here type link. The underlying link however is a valid Microsoft site.

The problem is phishing attempts that look like Microsoft official emails are sent. One of my clients was tricked and ended up infecting their computer and other computers on the network.

Personally I think Microsoft should display the full version of every link. Even if the full version of the link/address is shown, I would suggest keying the full version of the link/address into the browser and not clicking on a link. When you can see the domain is a, or domain and a page on their site, and the address is typed in, this gives assurance the information is information from Microsoft.

In this case the email I received was a bona fide. You may receive the same email, but just as equally take care, as you may receive a fake email with almost identical information, if one gets created.

Treat all emails, even from the companies you know, as a potential threat. Use the standard update approach used in Windows, which ensures you do not download potentially harmful malicious software.

- Kelvin Eldridge

This informaton is brought to courtesy of the JustLocal service.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Search Australia first, with Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.

The clutter with the number of results when searching using Google can be overwhelming. Large overseas companies often get their information positioned first in Google, and this can cause Australian companies to suffer and lose sales. With the States having a population of 300 million, their presence simply overwhelms us and many smaller countries. This can make it hard for Australian sites to gain a higher presence.

So now if your using a third party search bar such as the Google search bar, hide the search bar, use the search facility that is now built-in to Internet Explorer 7 and the Firefox 3 search bar, sometimes called Mozilla search. Now add Search Australia to your list of search engines to conveniently search for Australian sites.

You can find the Search Australia page available on the JustLocal site.

At the bottom of the Search Australia page are two links to enable you to easily add the search page as a search engine to your browser. Click on the link for your browser and you can quickly install the Search Australia page. You can make it your default search engine, or you can use it as required. Once installed, if Search Australia is selected as your default search engine, you should see JustLocal Australia as text in your search area.

Now when you want to search Australian sites, just select the Search Australia search engine and enter your question straight into the browser's search area. The best part is if you have been using a third party toolbar which takes up an additional row of space in your browser, you can get rid of it and use the features now built into the Internet Explorer and Firefox browser. It never hurts to have more space to read web pages.

As they say "Too Easy". Now it really is easy for you to Search Australia first.


- Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thinking of removing Internet Explorer 8 beta.

If you are like me and have been frustrated to find a lot of sites not working as they should with Internet Explorer 8 beta, there is a way to keep it installed and working.

If you have a web site, it is a good idea to test your site with Internet Explorer 8 beta, because many sites will be broken. Microsoft reportedly are moving to greater standards compliance. My feeling is this is going to hurt Microsoft in the short term, as so many sites will not work as they should. People will probably just dump Microsoft's Internet Explorer and move to a solution that just works for them, like Firefox 3 or Google Chrome.

However, if Internet Explorer 8 is more standards compliant, then it makes sense to persist and use it to check sites, because none of us want our site to cause grief to visitors. Even if our sites worked pre Internet Explorer 8, visitors won't care whose fault it is, and we will lose business if our sites don't work.

I have to admit I was at the point of regretting installing Internet Explorer 8 beta and was thinking of removing it, as it was causing too much grief. I actually run three browsers which are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google's Chrome. Google's Chrome for speed and simplicity, Firefox for spellchecking when the others don't work as they should, and Internet Explorer as it works generally better on more sites, until Internet Explorer 8 beta that is.

In Internet Explorer 8 beta there is a compatibility mode you can run which temporarily switches the browser so it runs like Internet Explorer 7. The problem though is this feature doesn't always work as it should and it makes life even more frustrating.

The following is how I get around the problem.

When checking sites for future compatibility with Internet Explorer 8, I simply use Internet Explorer 8 beta as it has been installed.

Once I've done my testing, I set Internet Explorer 8 beta to always be in compatibility mode and this gives me a very stable experience. When I want to test again I can turn the compatibility mode off. This approach gives me the best of both worlds.

To set Internet Explorer 8 beta compatibility mode always on you do the following:

Select Tools -> Compatibility View Settings
Tick the option Display all websites in Compatibility View
Click Close

Now the frustration of using Internet Explorer 8 beta on a regular basis because of compatibility issues is gone.

For more solutions like this please check MyAnswers. When I and my clients have problems with computers I often document the solution like I have done above. Some problems can take hours to solve and I recall one problem took over twenty hours to solve. There are now nearly 2,000 solutions I've documented over the years, and having ready access to these solutions saves my clients a great deal of time and money.

Chances are if you have a problem, then others are having the same problem. You can of course search the Internet and if you are very experienced, piece together the solution. The problem with the Internet is there are a lot of solutions which are very poor and I've found through some bad experiences, that some will easily damage your computer making things worse. The solutions I provide are the solutions that actually solved the problem for the particular situation and so there is no need to go through hundreds of posts to find a solution.

You can also find MyAnswers on the front page of JustLocal.


- Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How lucky is Paul Wight from Queensland.

Paul is the winner of not one, but two prizes in The Great Give-Away.

I attended the draw of the two prizes provided by The Computer Wholesaler which was a 2.5" and a 3.5" external hard disk drive case. A random number was generated and the winner of the 2.5" external hard disk drive case was Paul Wight. Another random number was generated, this time for the 3.5" external hard drive case. To the astonishment of both Mike, who owns The Computer Wholesaler, and myself, it was Paul Wight again.

By my calculation Paul had a one in nearly a thousand chance of winning both prizes. Maybe they should rename the sunshine state to the lucky state.

Well done Paul and thank you to The Computer Wholesaler for participating in The Great Give-Away.

The Great Give-Away is a competition run by JustLocal together with advertisers, where we give people the chance to win a prize in return for receiving promotional emails from JustLocal and the advertiser. People can request to stop receiving promotional material at any time.

Feel free to check out The Great Give-Away. It costs nothing to enter and you never know, you might be as lucky as Paul

- Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, October 10, 2008

Virus alert: Please check your AdWords Payment Information/Please Update Your Billing Information.

On running OzEfilter this morning I noticed two emails possibly from Google adwords, but most likely a phishing attempt.

I decided to receive these emails instead of OzEfilter deleting them safely at the mail server.

The reason I wanted to check them out is many smaller businesses give Google adwords a go either to promote their business or to try to generate some income from their site. Since the focus of JustLocal is to assist micro and small business, I felt checking these out might help others.

Both emails are the same and start with the following:

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does
not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message. If you
have any questions, please visit the Google AdWords Help Centre at
the page.

and then go on to state:

Our attempt to charge your credit card for your
outstanding Google AdWords account balance was declined.
Your account is still open. However, your ads have been suspended. Once
we are able to charge your card and receive payment for your account
balance, we will re-activate your ads.

Hovering the mouse over the first link the text tip which appears, shows the site address to be a Google address. However hovering the mouse over another address used to log on, shows it is not a Google address, and is an obvious phishing attempt to probably gain user name, password and/or possibly credit card information.

The advice I have in these situations, is not to connect to a site from a link in an email. Instead, open the browser and go directly to the site by using the URL known to be correct for the site.

Whilst most of us will discard these emails after realising they are fake, because of the large volume of emails sent, the probability is some people will get caught, which to me is quite sad.

It should be kept in mind that in my experience I have only ever found one situation where a computer was infected, that was not the result of a person being tricked into taking action.

I use OzEfilter to assist me in handling unwanted emails. What I find is it helps people to reduce the exposure from the Internet and just as importantly, to reduce the chances of people doing something to damage their computer.

Please take care with all emails, and in this type of situation, emails that can be mass marketed, because large numbers of people use these well known brand companies.

- Kelvin

Thursday, October 09, 2008

How did Optus Wireless broadband go on my recent trip to Surfers Paradise?

One of the things I do for clients, and those using the JustLocal service, is to document IT related issues as solutions in the MyAnswers service. By doing this clients can receive answers more economically than they could by using my services directly.

Recently I travelled to Surfers Paradise and took my computer and Optus wireless broadband modem. I used the Optus service at the hotel and at the airport. I share this experience in MyAnswers solution 1908.

Knowing this information can help my clients, or perhaps you, make a better informed purchasing decision, when it comes to wireless broadband.

Happy mobile surfing.

- Kelvin

Think of birthday gifts, Christmas gift ideas, or something for you.

I'd like to welcome Lil and Natural Gifts For You to JustLocal. I checked out Lil's site and I am very impressed. Lil has some very interesting products which would make great gifts. If you're having problems coming up with a birthday gift idea, a Christmas gift idea, or just want something for yourself, then check out Lil's site.

The Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps look great, and I recently saw one of the Mesmerizer Balls whilst in Surfers Paradise and I have to say the effect was, well, mesmerising.

In addition to a range of Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps, Selenite Lamps, and the Mesmerizer Ball, you can also find a range of Feng Shui and Bling products.

You can find Lil and Natural Gifts For You on the JustLocal postcode page 3037. I believe Lil ships all over Australia. If you can keep a secret, I've already spotted a few neat Christmas gift ideas.

I hope this helps next time you're looking for a great gift idea.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Firefox 3.0.3 download works with Australian English dictionary.

Firefox just updated to 3.0.3 so I decided to check Australian English spellchecking (spell checking) to ensure there were no new issues.

The existing issue where if you copy and paste text into a form, and the in-line spellchecking does not work, is still the same. To get around this problem turn off the spellchecking and then turn it on again.

On the Firefox dictionary page, I provide a convenient link to download the British version of Firefox 3.0.3. This version's user interface is more consistent with spelling used in Australia.

The Australian dictionary available via the project is very dated and should be avoided. It is based on my work from years ago. You can obtain the latest Australian English dictionary files which have over 40,000 more words and greater localisation.

Two versions of the Australian English dictionary are available. The full version, which contains the dual spelling of many words used in Australia (e.g. organise and organize), and the Kelvin version which contains only the preferred spelling of a word used in Australia (e.g. organise). The Kelvin version removes over 2,300 words many people consider to be American spelling, but in most cases are really the secondary spelling used in Australia. The Kelvin version is often the spelling students will find their lecturers to consider to be correct. Using the Kelvin version of the dictionary will result in more consistent spelling in documents.

Happy spellchecking.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Little Wheels Productions helping raise money for Ronald McDonald House Monash.

Ashley is a VPS member promoted on the 3106 post code page. Ashley is also a member of the final year PR team at Box Hill TAFE, who are running an exciting event titled, "Feel the Rush" on November 12th.

If go-karting takes your fancy, if laser games appeal to you, if you want to have a great night out and help raise money for a worthwhile cause, then let your inner child take over for the night and have great fun at the same time.

As a sponsor of the event, it has been my pleasure to provide Ashley and the team with hosting services, and advice and guidance on web site development. Ashley has done a great job on the Little Wheels Productions web site. I've also seen material produced by other team members and I have to say, it is as good as I've seen from many companies. Well done team.

You can also find Little Wheels Productions on the main page of JustLocal, in the community section at the bottom of the page.

I'm looking forward to the night and seeing a few JustLocal friends at the event.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Acer Aspire One has Outlook Express with French.

People upgrading their computer to Office 2007 are finding their Outlook Express spellchecking stops working. More of a concern, are brand new computers, such as the Acer Aspire One netbook, come with Outlook Express and French spellchecking as the only option.

Microsoft by now should have released a patch to fix this issue, as it is causing a lot of people grief.

The solution many people around the world find acceptable is the spell.exe program made available by Vampirefo. For those who don't want to use American English, a patch also provided by Vampirefo in response to my request for assistance, changes spell.exe to check using the spelling variation more commonly used in Australia, and other countries, such as England and New Zealand. For example "colour" and "organise" will be the correct spelling and not "color" and "organize".

You can download the program and patch from the dictionary project on the Outlook Express page.

I highly recommend reviewing all your email and spellchecking options if you are using Outlook Express, as Vampirefo has indicated the programs will not be updated. My testing shows the dictionary files have a very usable subset of the language, but this is probably only 30-40% of the current Australian English dictionary files I provide. The dictionary projects provides you with many more options with email and Australian English spellchecking.

Right now, to get around your Outlook Express spellchecking issues, unless of course French is your preferred language, the program from Vampirefo is one of your best short term options.

Thank you to Vampirefo for making these files available and assisting Justlocal users.

Happy spellchecking.

- Kelvin Eldridge

PS. If this issue is causing you grief, please feel free to add a comment to this post. If enough people comment, I will pass this information on to my contacts in Microsoft Australia.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Virus alert: [NO-REPLY] UPS Tracking Number 13438330

This slight variation of the recent UPS tracking email has been occurring more often according to my OzEfilter log so I felt it was time to recheck. This is a malicious email.

The email contains the following text:

"Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package you sent on Sept the 18 in time because the recipient’s address is not correct.
Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office

Your UPS"

The email has an attachment named and the zip file contains the file UPS_letter.doc.exe. (For those with the option to display file extensions off, you will not see the ".exe".)

This is a malicious email and it should be deleted.

I am quite surprised that these emails continue to pass anti-virus software undetected since this form of malicious email has been released many times over recent weeks . Both the mail server anti-virus scanner software and the desktop anti-virus scanner software, did not detect this malicious email.

For us this is not a problem, as OzEfilter keeps this unwanted email out of our computer. However for everyone else, I would suggest deleting this email permanently.

Virtual Profit Sharing members please also keep in mind OzEfilter is available for you to let others know about. If you find people you know receiving 10-20 or more unwanted emails a day, OzEfilter can assist them and significantly reduce the chances of them infecting their computer. Everyone I have using OzEfilter, appreciates the peace of mind OzEfilter gives them.

- Kelvin Eldridge

The Weekend Australian Art Sydney - 24-26 October 2008

For those in Sydney from October 24-26, you can find Lyne Marshall of Art Clique at Stand A12. Some of you will know of Lyne from her book, Gleaner or Gladiator: the struggle to create. You can find Lyne's book on her JustLocal book page. I thoroughly enjoyed the extract of her book which also gave me the chance to view and appreciate some of Lyne's work.
For more information on the exhibition click here.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Microsoft Live Hotmail and Australian English spellcheckiing.

Spellchecking is a very important aspect of writing and it is no less important when writing emails. Typos and spelling errors can make a bad impression with those you write to. With family and friends, typos and spelling errors are usually of little concern. But when applying for a job, or responding to a request for a quote from a new customer, typos and spelling errors can make the difference between winning or losing the job or  business.
A large number of people use Windows Live to write emails, so I decided to check which browser in conjunction with the Australian English spellcheck dictionaries gave the best user experience.
To my surprise, the answer was none of the browsers spellchecking worked with the browser's built-in, or add-on spellcheck feature with Microsoft Windows Live.
In the test I created a new email in Windows Live with Internet Explorer 8 beta/IE7Pro, Google Chrome, Firefox 3 and Opera 9. In all cases I was not able to spellcheck the message using the Australian English spellcheck dictionary files.
For me, after the product itself, spellchecking is a critically important feature of any software where the main role is writing. As a result of these tests, I would not use or suggest Windows Live to other people. Many people will however find the Windows Live spellcheck feature is sufficient for their needs. For those like myself who prefer not to use the "ize" spelling variations of words, the Windows Live spellcheck feature will not be sufficient.
If you haven't checked out Windows Live Hotmail you can get yourself an account by clicking on the following graphic.
You can find the Australian English spellcheck dictionary files at
- Kelvin Eldridge