Friday, January 29, 2010

Apple iPad Tablet presentation by Steve Jobs

For those interested in Apple's latest iPad Tablet product, visit their web site at http://www.apple.com/. Apple have made the Steve Jobs presentation available as the entire focus of their main page. I don't know how long they'll keep it as their only focus, but I'm sure they'll have a link to the presentation for some time.

What I found interesting is initially I couldn't work out how big the iPad was. Based on rumours I thought the device was going to be smaller, which goes to show you shouldn't listen to rumours. Once you see the video you get a good idea of the size.

A number of areas with the iPhone, which to me are limitations, have been improved with the iPad. The larger on screen keypad and the external keyboard docking station looked very good. The price of the iPad at $499USD (with WiFi, but without 3G) locks like a great price. Even paying $130USD extra for the 3G model offers value.

The smaller screen on the iPhone is often an issue (as a result of the browser and email applications) which causes me to reach for a netbook and this now looks like it should be less of an issue with the iPad.

With the iPhone and now the iPad, I couldn't help feel Apple are losing their reputation for selling expensive products. The iPhone and iPad pack a lot of features for a very good price.

I currently use my iPhone only for internet usage for my own reasons and I would be one of the target market for the iPad. When I was looking at the iPhone I was actually seriously considering the iTouch. But I wanted the GPS, faster processor of the 3GS series and 3G data, so I felt the iPhone for me was a better bundle than the iTouch. Now the iPad would be a very serious option.

A couple of thoughts do cross my mind.

In the presentation Steve Jobs points out they believe they are creating a third market. The iPhone, the notebook and now the iPad. Due to the size of the iPad, I can't help think, would I be bothered with carrying the unit around. I have a netbook which to me is a great product, but I don't carry that around with me on a day to day basis, but I do carry around the iPhone because of its size. The netbook has been fantastic when travelling in Australia and overseas. It has also been a great help when I've needed to carry my Windows applications with me. But I rarely take the netbook with me on a daily basis and I wonder if the same would be true of the iPad.

The next feeling I get is the Apple product is for those who just want to use the technology. As an IT person I want to more than use the technology. I want to tailor it to my needs and my clients' needs. The closed shop approach of Apple doesn't appeal to me. I can however get around that by doing everything on the internet. With cloud computing options improving, that approach isn't a bad option. For those who just want to be a consumer of the product, it looks like an excellent product. I get the feeling that perhaps the IT market of old is slowly going and even I will soon largely be a user of the technology. That may even be a good thing as it shows the market has matured.

I'm not usually an Apple fan, but with the iPhone and now the iPad, I have to say I feel Apple are producing products which package together many features I want at an affordable price.

There are still things I would like to see in the iPhone and iPad, but since I don't have the technical skills, as a consumer I have to accept if I use the products, I have to accept the limitations.

Overall, full credit to Apple for what looks like an excellent product. I'll be very interested to check out the  iPad when it comes to the local Apple store.

- Kelvin

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

invitations@hi5.com, e-cards@123greatings.com, noreply@coca-cola.com, e-cards@hallmark.com, e-cards@americangreetings.com, svc@ppal.com

I'm sure most people receive fake emails from invitations@hi5.com, e-cards@123greatings.com, noreply@coca-cola.com, e-cards@hallmark.com, e-cards@americangreetings.com, svc@ppal.com and many others. I also receive them, but they never reach my computer. I use a program I wrote called OzEfilter which deletes the emails at the mail server before they ever reach my computer.

Today for example I received 41 emails. Of those 35 were spam or malware. All 35 were disposed of at the mail server and never came close to my computer. As a result of using OzEfilter I save time and minimise the chances of a costly and time consuming infection, or worse, a successful phishing attempt.



OzEfilter is built on a very simple idea. I want to receive emails from people I know, but I want to first check emails from people I don't know before receiving them into my computer. I then delete all the unwanted emails from strangers (spam, malware, phishing attempts) and only receive the emails I want.

The following is the view screen which shows me the emails on the mail server for me to review before receiving.



The email address and subject are enough to let me know whether I want to receive an email from a stranger. The country of origin at the left is a further clue about whether the email is bona fide or not.

OzEfilter also saves me time. On a normal day I receive 50-100 emails a day. Around 80-90% of those are not wanted and potentially dangerous. A quick review and a click on the delete button purges the unwanted emails. Much faster than receiving and then deleting each email and much safer too. Just think about it. If you receive just 10 unwanted emails a day, that's a lot of wasted time deleting unwanted emails, but more worrying is that's 3,650 potential threats to you or your computer a year.

If unwanted emails is a problem to you, if you've been tricked by malware and want minimise the chances of that happening again, then consider OzEfilter. No anti-virus program can protect you against the latest malware threat. It takes time for the software companies to identify and release new signature files. Often up to a couple of days. That is the time you are most vulnerable. Every anti-virus program I've tested has let malware into the computer undetected resulting in infected computers. Why take the risk.

OzEfilter comes with a peace of mind money back guarantee. Give it a go and see what you think. You have nothing to lose except unwanted emails.

- Kelvin

Monday, January 25, 2010

Melbounre, Melborne, Melboune, Melbourne. Victoria, Australia.

For many spelling Melbourne can be a bit tricky, but if you want to find out about the real Melbourne, then follow the experiences of Renée Barber in her JustLocal blog as she explores Melbourne. See and experience Melbourne as you've never seen her before.

Renée has already shared her experiences of the Queen Victoria Market, the Fitzroy Gardens and a fantastic balloon ride over Melbourne. What is really interesting is we never know where Renée will visit next.

Thanks Renée for sharing Melbourne as you see her.

- Kelvin

Friday, January 22, 2010

ATM skimming

Recent articles in the press about ATM skimming and Card skimming had me wondering about the exposure and how the skimming was being carried out. My concern is I've heard of thousands of people's accounts being potentially compromised. None of the articles I read in the press provided any information which would help me determine how skimming works.

As it turns out, when your card is being scanned, a second scanner attached to the ATM also scans the card. In addition the pin needs to be captured. To most people the skimmer just looks like part of the device.

This article from the Commonwealth Bank provides some excellent information including pictures of the equipment being used.

Recently it has been reported in the press that skimmers have managed to steal millions. What concerned me is recent skimming was being done at McDonald's. I don't know how they could be doing that as every McDonald's I've been to, use handheld scanners and not ATM machines. One article I read alleged the keypad was being replaced. If true, and the keypad unit was identical, there would be almost no way for a consumer to know their account details and pin had been skimmed.

Thanks to the Commonwealth Bank for the article as it helps on what to watch out for.

Kelvin

Tags: ATM card, ATM machine, ATM machines, card skimming, ATM skimming

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Balloon rides over Melbourne

For those considering a balloon ride over Melbourne, Renée shares her latest adventure and some great shots on the JustLocal postcode 3000 blog. Thanks Renée.

- Kelvin

Welcome to Michael Tornatore

I'd like to welcome Michael Tornatore. Michael looks after the JustLocal 3064 blog which covers Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Kalkallo, Mickleham and Roxburgh Park in Victoria.


Michael has a passion for, and considerable experience, in the area of property management. If you rent, own a rental property, or thinking about buying an investment property, reading Michael's posts could prove to be very useful. Michael welcomes comments and questions.

You can access the blog directly or use the News/Blog link on the 3064 postcode page.

Thank you Michael for sharing your knowledge.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fitzroy Gardens and Queen Vic Market

Having lived in Melbourne all my life, it is very refreshing to see Melbourne through the eyes of another. Renée Barber has recently moved into the centre of Melbourne and is generously sharing articles on the places and things she sees and experiences.

Renée's first article on Queen Victoria Market and her photograph shares the vibrancy of Melbourne's night life. Her second article on Fitzroy Gardens and Captain Cook's Cottage takes me back to the fun times I've had at the beautiful park.

Thank you Renée for sharing your experiences with us.

You can find Renée's articles on the blog for JustLocal postcode 3000 page. If there are places you'd like to see Renée visit let Renée know. You never know, your favourite place in Melbourne may be something Renée might be interested in seeing and sharing with others.

- Kelvin Eldridge