Monday, May 28, 2012

MyAnswers: A list of the Everyday Rewards items from Woolworths

The following MyAnswers solution 2223 is now available:

A list of the Everyday Rewards items Woolworths now offers Everyday Rewards card holders a special price which is a discount of 20% or more.


Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz
(An Online Connections service.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blog menu item now changing to News

You’ll notice the word blog starting to disappear from the JustLocal pages. There are a couple of reasons.

The word blog is a bit dated, may not be understood by non technical people, and JustLocal is set up to link to any local site for news and that site may not always be a blog. The word News conveys the idea of up-to-date information which is what the News menu item is about.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
JustLocal is Just Local

 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MyAnswers: Which is the best virus checker please?? The one that you would use??

I regularly repair clients computers as a result of a virus infection. The anti-virus software I install is free and based on my testing of over a week, where I ran multiple programs on multiple computers against new viruses from the internet, the program performed best. I also found the program was light-weight in that it didn’t adversely affect the performance of the computer. I’ve found a number of commercial programs severely affect computer performance or usability.

Because clients often don’t have to then renew their existing anti-virus (which didn’t catch the malware) the cost saving often pays a considerable portion of the support call.

Today I was asked the question “Which is the best virus checker please?? The one that you would use??”, so I created the MyAnswers solution 2221 which provides the details of where to get the software and what I do when installing the software.

The solution is now available to all clients. This really is an excellent opportunity to install a good anti-virus program in your business and home computers. The software I install on client machines.

The one limitation is it based on the licensing, you can only install the software on up to 10 machines in a business. Above that you need to look for another solution.

As part of my ongoing testing to find new ways to assist clients MyAnswers solutions are now provided to clients on a pay-what-you-want basis. If it doesn’t assist then clients don’t need to pay.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz
(An Online Connections service.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boatshack Fish & Chips Templestowe

You can now find the menu for Boatshack Fish & Chips Templestowe on the JustLocal page for Templestowe (www.JustLocal.com.au/3106). The Dinner for 2 looks interesting.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
(An Online Connections service.)

 

 

MyAnswers: How to get around Windows formatting 40GB drive to 32GB using FAT32.

The following MyAnswers solution 2219 is now available:

I have an old 40GB 2.5" drive I want to format using FAT32. Windows will only allow me to use 32GB. How do I use the entire drive?


Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz
(An Online Connections service.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Border Collie Training - Have you considered Herding Dog Training for your Border Collie

According to Wikipedia "the Border Collie is a herding dog breed developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding livestock, especially sheep".

If you own a Border Collie, it may interest you to check out Charlie Brincat's site www.HerdingDogTraining.com. Charlie runs herding dog training classes in Melbourne for dog owners who'd like to experience the opportunity to train their dog to herd sheep. Charlie provides a number of videos on his site to share the fun he and others have in their herding training classes.

A link to Charlie’s site is also provided on the main page of JustLocal (www.JustLocal.com.au).

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buy a Windows 7 PC, upgrade to Windows 8 for free (or perhaps for a small fee)

If you’re thinking about buying a new Windows 7 PC, keep in mind that Windows 8 will be released later this year. So that people keep buying PCs and the market doesn’t grind to a halt, Microsoft usually provides new PC buyers with a low cost upgrade opportunity to the newer operating system when it is released.

For example, when Windows 7 was scheduled for release on October 22nd in 2009, for those purchasing a new PC from July 1st 2009, Microsoft provided the opportunity of a free upgrade to from Windows Vista to Windows 7. I’m not sure if there was a small cost involved, such as a delivery fee and there were also conditions which applied.

The aim of this post is to remind people of what occurred in the past if they are looking to purchase a new PC with Windows 7. By waiting a short while they may be able to also have access to a lower cost copy of Windows 8, giving them a computer they need now, plus a saving on Windows 8 which will last them for the years to come.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Alert: Spring Offer : Apple Discount Card

I received an email today with the subject “Spring Offer : Apple Discount Card”. This is a scam and you should delete these emails immediately.

Normally I wouldn’t comment on a basic scam like this because most people now recognise the scam. But I’ve found Apple users since they haven’t been attacked as much as PC users aren’t as used to such scams. For example the Birthday Gift Voucher aimed at iTunes users saw this blog go from around 100-200 users a day to over 6,000 in a couple of days.

I hope this post helps Apple users.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au 
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: Clicking on a Google ad and my anti-virus popped up warning me it was cleaning the computer.

Tonight whilst doing a computer support related search in Google, the usual three ads appeared at the top of the results. I clicked on one of the ads which then went to the site and my anti-virus program popped up and stated it was performing a cleanup. The page had the Exploit: HTML/IframeRef.Z.

The anti-virus software states “This program is dangerous and exploits the computer on which it is run.” The item was located in the Temporary Internet Files.

I often say to people it is now possible to infect your computer by visiting sites on the internet. Some infections are time consuming and costly to remove.

The problem is this link is a Google advertisement. That is a concern.

I had another person who was looking for a map of Bendigo Hospital and clicked on a Google ad. The link asked the person to install a program which they did. The program changed the person’s search engine so that when they search, they got a over a screen full of ads and didn’t realise they were ads.

Another person wrote to me because they’d been tricked into using and paying for what they thought was support from Canon. It was titled Canon Support, but it wasn’t Canon. The problem wasn’t fixed but they still ended up paying.

If you’re using Google you should be just as cautious with the ads Google presents as you are with any sites presented in the search results.

Today I’ve personally experienced going to a site with my anti-virus program reported could have infected my computer. That is a real concern.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au


Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Biggest Loser: Margie Cummins, Brenda Hunt, Alex Zorzi, Kasey Cheesman

I decided to use the BMI/BMR calculator I wrote to determine the BMI for The Biggest Loser contestants: Margie Cummins, Brenda Hunt, Alex Zorzi and Kasey Cheesman. The contestants details at the start of the series were:

Name, Age, Height, Sex, Weight
Margie Cummins, 34, 175cm, Female, 159.1kg
Brenda Hunt, 40, 172cm, Female, 120.8kg
Alex Zorzi, 50, 162cm, Male, 161.6kg
Kasey Cheesman, 26, 171cm, Female, 132.8kg

Using the BMI/BMR calculator, the BMI for each of the contestants at the start of the show was:

Margie Cummins: 52
Brenda Hunt: 41
Alex Zorzi: 62
Kasey Cheesman: 45

All contestants were Obese Class III.

The contestants now weigh:

Margie Cummins: 98kg
Brenda Hunt: 78.5kg
Alex Zorzi: 96.6kg
Kasey Cheesman: 83.2kg

Margie now has a BMI of 32, which Obese Class I. Margie is getting very close to moving into the range of overweight.

Brenda now has a BMI of 27. Brenda is now overweight and no longer considered obese.

Alex now has a BMI of 37, which is Obese Class II.

Kasey now has a BMI of 28. Kasey is now overweight and no longer considered obese.

The following is where each contestant stands in overall weight-loss percentage to date.

Name, Weight, Weight loss to date, Percentage lost
Alex Zorzi: 96.6kg, 65kg, 40.2%
Margie Cummins: 98kg, 61.1kg, 38.4%
Kasey Cheesman: 83.2kg, 49.6kg, 37.3%
Brenda Hunt: 78.5kg, 42.3kg, 35%

Currently the biggest loser of weight in order are: Alex, Margie, Kasey and Brenda. Alex has a significant lead which will be very hard to beat, but it is still a close game.

I’ve produced three calculators which may assist others in their weight-loss journey. The BMI/BMR calculator which shows you where you are and which I used to determine my energy intake in kilojoules. For those who prefer calories, there are 4.2 kilojoules in a calorie. Divide kilojoules by 4.2 to determine the corresponding calorie value.

The second calculator is an Exercise Energy Calculator. This really shows people how much time you should exercise to work off the energy consumed. A real eye opener for most people. For e.g. a choc chip muffin from Coles is around 1,800kj’s. Check to see how long you have to exercise to burn off the energy and you’ll start to see how important diet is in reducing weight.

The third calculator I call the Work It Off Calculator. I wrote this so that should I not be able to resist that treat, this would show me how long I would need to exercise to burn off the energy consumed. Once you know the effort you need to make to burn off that moment of desire, you start to think twice.

You can find all three calculators on the JustLocal page www.JustLocal.com.au.

I find the maths behind weight loss to be easy and clear once you know the information. Once you know the maths, losing weight can be very easy.

For my own weight loss journey I decided to test if it was possible to lose weight without any additional exercise above normal activity. I was able to lose 22kg as a result of dieting alone. No food was off limits for me and all I did was measure the energy content. Very simple, but it does take focus. I would however suggest get a balanced diet in order and exercise and you’ll lose weight more easily. Also seek guidance from a qualified medical practitioner. (The information I share here is only my experience and is not meant to be taken by others as advice.)

Congratulations to the contestants and everyone who is meeting their weight loss goals.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au (An Online Connections service)


Sarina Lea Cowle & Associates

JustLocal welcomes Sarina Lea Cowle & Associates. Sarina Lea Cowle & Associates provide professional services in the areas of: Workplace Relations, Commercial Law, Succession Planning and Estates, and Mediation and Dispute Resolution.

Sarina Lea Cowle & Associates can be found on the Heathmont postcode page www.JustLocal.com.au/3135.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Computers solutions in the MyAnswers database now available for purchase at a price you decide.

I like trying new approaches and enjoy seeing how people like or don’t like the approach. There is no right or wrong way to do things, just better ways. I always learn something when I try something new.

The MyAnswers database is a database of my notes on problems I’ve solved for clients and the solution to the problem. I use the solutions frequently myself and for assisting my clients. This saves myself and clients a lot of time and given time is money, that means a financial saving for clients.

I created the MyAnswers database so clients could request solutions to problems and use the DIY approach. If people can solve their own problems with a little assistance then why not. Clients can request solutions they are interested in from that MyAnswers database. If the solution doesn’t help them there is nothing to pay. If the solution solves their problem, I now let clients decide for themselves how much they wish to pay.

Check out the solutions at MyAnswers. There are a large range of solutions covering many aspects of IT, and some areas of interest to me. Because of my nature I often investigate things which interest me that aren’t IT related and I’m happy to share what I learn from those investigations as well.

You can find MyAnswers at www.MyAnswers.biz.  Please note the solutions are only available to clients. It is only because of the support of clients that the bills are paid each month. I hope and trust clients take advantage of the MyAnswers service to help them solve their problems themselves and in doing so, increase their knowledge, have some fun and at the same time, save some money.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

 

Friday, May 04, 2012

One Big Switch on The Project

I noticed the One Big Switch promotion on The Project the other night. I decided to check out the One Big Switch web site to see how their offers compare with what I’m currently receiving in terms of electricity rates.

I have to say I’m very disappointed. There are no rates to be seen, not even examples of group purchases they’ve made. There is no real information by which a person can make a decision from what I can see. This feels like a very well organised press campaign.

Consider looking at ways to reduce your electricity usage. I’ve reduced our electricity usage by 50-60% by making some very simple changes in usage habits. It is extremely easy to do. Yes, if you’re squandering your money by using electricity unwisely you can save money with a discount. But reduce your usage and you’ll find you save much more and the discount doesn’t make as much difference.

If I recall correctly on The Project they said there was a three year contract. I for one wouldn’t want to be locked into such a long term contract. I couldn’t find any information on the One Big Switch site which could answer even that question.

To me the One Big Switch site looks more like a site to capture people’s email addresses so they can continue marketing to them, which is very common marketing technique used on the internet. Make what looks like a good offer, or even give away something for free, which in turn helps to create a marketing database.

Personally I’d rather deal with a business that was upfront with what they were offering. More than happy to consider offers if you simply present the information for me to review.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Bolton Street Medical Centre - Eltham Ridge Medical Centre

We know the Eltham Ridge Medical Centre as the Bolton Medical Centre. The advantage the Eltham Ridge Medical Centre offers for those in the Templestowe/Eltham area is they bulk bill. The obvious advantage if you need a medical certificate for work is the out-of-pocket saving. Most doctors in the area are now charging around $60 for a consultation and the Medicare rebate is only around $35. That’s a saving of around $25 and quite a bit of time saved going to a Medicate office to the rebate back.

I don’t know of any other medical centre in the area which bulk bills. The others that used to bulk bill in the area have since ceased to bulk bill everyone and now just bulk bill only certain patients.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Google now tracking potentially 10-25% of Australians on the internet

The other day I was checking the statistics for a page on my site. I’m able to see what people searched for in Google and thus why they came to my site. I find this to be useful information. But lately I’ve noticed for the keyword a value of “(not provided)” started to appear, and more recently, on some pages this had become a considerable portion of the traffic.

I decided to investigate. Initially I didn’t know what may be causing the keywords used from not being provided. A bit of research indicated That recently Google decided to stop passing on keywords for searches on their overseas sites and more recently that was implement in Australia.

Knowing how and why people get to your site is quite important information and can assist you to make better decisions and where to direct your efforts. But if Google hides this information in effect, all you really know is they came from Google but you don’t know why.

Now what started to concern me even more, if what I read is correct, is the keyword is not provided if people are logged onto a Google service. The concern here for me, is Google is now able to identify and log an individual’s activity on the internet without them being really aware and I’m inadvertently assisting Google by using their services.

For example, most people will accept that if they perform a search that Google knows about the search. What may not cross their mind is, if they are logged onto a Google service, the searches can be associated and tracked to them. From what I see people don’t even realise they’re logged on to a Google service when they’re searching because they don’t make the connection with Google’s internet search and Google’s other services. I’d even suggest many people forget they are logged on. For example, many people use Gmail. They log on and then don’t log off so that when they open the Gmail site there are their emails ready for them to read. People at work are using the internet all day for work and during the day flip over to check their email.

In addition people are using other services such as YouTube and again remain logged on. Google have a range of services including their Android mobile phones, all potentially logging the activities of an individual without them realising it.

Even when you’re not thinking you’re using a Google service you may be. When you visit a site with advertising is that advertising provided by Google (as it is in many cases), are you being tracked. I’d guess you are. When you view a YouTube video, a Picassa photo, a page that has Google’s services embedded such as their analytics, are you being tracked? I’ve done searches on Google early in the day to visit a site later in the day, and found Google has remember what I searched for at the start of the day and provided ads later in the day based on the search I entered.

I was at a customer’s the other day and signed them up for hosting. When they went to a site with Google advertising that wasn’t related to hosting, there was a hosting ad in the middle of the page. Both the customer and myself was quite shocked to see the obvious tracking occurring, but had I not been there the customer would not have realised, as most people won’t realise.

The page that I originally noticed this keyword “not provided” message has today received 3,407 unique visitors. Of those 91.73% came from Australia and 12.24% produced keyword “not provided”, which from what I gather means they were logged onto a Google service at the time. In other words, 382 Australians were being individually tracked, or over a year that would be 4,000-5,000 people. That’s just from my site. What about the millions of other Australian sites.

Most of us don’t yet understand what is being done with our data or how it can, or even is affecting us. I don’t even know. As an example however, a while ago I searched for travel insurance and the usual ads appeared at the top of the page promoting super discounts and special offers. I decided to check them out. Most were around $700 or more for what I wanted. I then went and got a quote from the company I’ve previously used (I researched a number of companies a while ago) and ended up with insurance for around $450.

If Google knows what you’re doing and interested in, advertisers can use that to their advantage and present you with what looks like good offers, but in fact you end up paying more. The power of tracking you gives away your bargaining position. You’ve told the company already what you are interested in and since they know they have an interested buyer, you’ve lost your negotiating position and can easily pay more than you should or could. When you look at an advertisement in a newspaper they don’t know who you are and generally have to offer a much better proposal to you to get your interest.

The concern I have is Google is gathering too much information on us individually and not just as an anonymous pool of user statistics. How that information is used we aren’t fully made aware of. I’ll leave that to people’s creative imagination to come up with how they think their data could be being used both for good, and perhaps to their own disadvantage.

As an example I read about a leading GPS company overseas that uploaded data from people using the GPS unit. The authorities purchased the data and used the data to determine where people would speed and then they were able to book more people who were speeding. The people using the GPS units ended up potentially creating the situation where the fine they received only occurred because of the information they had themselves provided. Their own information from a service they were paying for had been used against them.

Whilst I can’t change the world, a change I will now make across the JustLocal site is to remove the Google Search facility. JustLocal has been designed to make it very easy to find a business in the local area. You don’t need to search. You just need to go to the postcode page and then click on the logo for the business you are interested in. Trying to find a local business in Google is often close to impossible. You’re more likely to get a list of directories than the business itself. JustLocal solves this problem by providing single click access to a local business advertising on JustLocal. In addition we don’t track what people do.

If you’re concerned about being tracked on the internet there are a couple of things you can do.

1. Make sure you log off any online service you are using when you finish. Don’t leave it logged on in the background.
2. Think about using Bing and Yahoo search as well as Google. If you split your searches evenly Google only sees a third of what you are doing.
3. Make sure you don’t have any toolbars from installed in your browser that may be tracking your searches.
4. Think about varying your use of browsers. Keep in mind Chrome is produced by Google and Firefox receives over 80% of their income as a result of searches using Google.
5. Install all three search engines in Internet Explorer. On my Fun With Search page (www.justlocal.com.au/clients/search-fun/) I provide links which enable you to easily install Yahoo, Bind and Google as search engines in Internet Explorer. You can then easily vary which search engine you use.
6. If you have an Android mobile phone or tablet it is very difficult not to use a Gmail account. It is possible. For a while I used the tablet without having any Google account. Only when I need to download an app would I re-enter the account and then delete it again after. You can use an email account that isn’t a Gmail account for your email. You can also log on to web based services from a Smartphone rather than use the built-in apps.

Right now over 90% of Australians search using Google. Giving a single company, no matter which company it is, access to all your online activities I don’t believe is the best idea.

As JustLocal grows and I have the resources available, I hope to remove the Google services I’m currently using and further reduce the ability for Google to track JustLocal users. This blog entry for example uses Google’s blogger. Sorry. I do this for business reasons and will be able to change once JustLocal’s momentum reaches a certain point. I look forward to that day.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au