Thursday, February 28, 2013

Alert: BOGO Funding - IMG spamming emails

I received a couple of emails with the subject “New AU & NZ crowd funding site coming soon...” send by the IMG Marketing Group Ltd. One of the emails addresses only appears in code and not made public which means it has been harvested.

The IMG Marketing Group Ltd is a spammer. Even if BOGO funding is legitimate, any business that uses spammers I would recommend is a business you should avoid.

I’d recommend that you delete any emails from the IMG Marketing Group Ltd and by association disregard anything regarding BOGO Funding.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Fuel consumption Toyota Avensis

When I purchased the Toyota Avensis I’d get around 500km by topping up the tank with 50 litres of petrol. Five years later I now get around 450km which provides and indication of how the fuel economy of a car decreases over time even with regular log book servicing.

To use the Petrol Cost Calculator you need to determine your fuel usage. The standard used is litres per 100km. For the Toyota Avensis the fuel economy is 11.11 litres per 100km. I explain in the notes for the Fuel Cost Calculator how to determine the litres per 100km value. If you use the same approach with your car you can then plug in your values into the Petrol Cost Calculator and determine the cost of petrol for a trip.

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

In the site log for one of my sites today I noticed Google image robot (Googlebot-Image/1.0) trying to access images that aren't even on my site.

I recently set up the site www.PetrolCostCalculator.com.au as a calculator for others to access and determine the cost of petrol for a given distance. What was weird is that when I checked the logs for the site I see entries such as /images/numbers/red/9.png with the agent string being Googlebot-Image/1.0. The Google image robot can’t find the files because they aren’t there and in fact they’ve never been there.

At first this was a concern as how could Google possibly think those files exist on my site when no such files ever existed.

The answer to this perplexing problem is provided in MyAnswers solution 2320 which can be found
here.

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Alert: Re: End of Aug. Stat. Required

I’ve received a couple of unusual emails which are obviously malicious in intent and thought it would be a good idea to warn others.

The emails have the subject “Re: End of Aug. Stat. Required” and have an attachment which aims to appear as an invoice. The body of the message is:

Hallo,
as reqeusted I give you inovices issued to you per jan. (Microsoft Internet Explorer).
Regards

CHARMAINE Conn


As you can see the poor English is a good indication the email may not be legitimate. Also the name changes in each email. The attachment is a html file which has a coded routine in it making it difficult to read, but in essence, if you run the web page the end result is there is a reference to a site with a Russian domain. I didn’t investigate what the site was about.

I’d suggest deleting these or similar emails.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 is now available for Australians.

Exciting news.

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 has now been released by Microsoft and is available for download. I’ve downloaded and installed Internet Explorer 10 and also installed the preferred Australian English spelling file I provide to clients and it works as expected. Now thousands of secondary spelling variations which exist in the standard Australian English dictionary provided by Microsoft, will be marked as spelling errors. Now “mom” for example will be marked as a spelling error, as will the many “ize” spelling variations, American spellings and errors I’ve identified in the standard dictionary.

At last the preferred Australian English spelling can now be made available to Internet Explorer 10 users on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

In the next couple of days I’ll update the instructions for Windows 7, but for those who can’t wait, go to http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/internet-explorer/ and purchase a copy of the preferred Australian English spelling file. The steps to install the file are the same.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

How much energy is used to make a new aluminium can and a recycled aluminium can?

Good information on the internet can be quite tricky to find and also often it is difficult to verify the information with regards to the energy used to make a new aluminium can. I decided to focus on the following information which references the CSIRO because if the reference is correct, the information is likely to be better.

CSIRO calculate that the embodied energy (all the energy used to make the material) for aluminium is 211 GJ per tonne... Read More

Based on the CSIRO calculation of 211GJ per tonne, where a tonne is 1,000kgs, this gives us 211MJ per kg. The next step is to use the figure from 2005 (www.aluminium-cans.com.au) where an aluminium can weighs 14.7g giving us 68.03 cans per kilogram. Thus the amount of energy to create a single new can is 3.101MJ.

A common unit of measure for costing electricity is kWh. MJ or mega joule is an amount of energy, whereas kWh is the amount of energy used over an hour. One joule per second is one watt. To determine the energy used to make a single can we take 3.101MJ and use the energy over an hour. There are 3,600 seconds in one hour. Thus 3.101MJ/3600s gives us 861Wh of energy usage or 0.861kWh.

This is a good figure because we can now plug that figure into the Energy Cost Calculator which shows if we used this energy in one hour at domestic rates, the cost per can for the energy would be 22 cents. Of course an aluminium smelter wouldn’t pay this type of money. I don’t know what they pay but it would be at a considerable discount.

The next figures of interest is that in 2005 71.3% of cans were recycled and it only costs 5% of the energy to create a can from recycled material as it does to create a new can. Thus if only using recycled cans the cost of energy at retail rates would be 1.1 cents. If using 28.7% new cans and 71.3% of recycled cans which means at domestic electricity prices the average cost of electricity to produce at can would be around 7.1 cents. I can only guess the rate aluminium smelters pay for their electricity, but I suspect it would be in the order of half to a quarter of what a consumer would pay. Thus an average can would cost perhaps 2-3 cents to create.

In summary the energy used to manufacture a new can is around 861Wh and the energy to make a can from recycled cans would be around 43Wh.

I hope others find this information interesting.

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Petrol Cost Calculator now live

The Petrol Cost Calculator is now live and available on the main page of JustLocal, or directly at http://www.petrolcostcalculator.com.au.

JustLocal is about encouraging people to buy local, but ultimately people shouldn’t be disadvantaged by buying local. I remember one business saying they charge customers more because they’re local and pay staff less because they’re local. To me that was poor logic. Eventually customers will look around for a better price and staff will look around for a better job.

Often however we end up shopping all over the place without thinking about the hidden costs. It is quite difficult to determine the costs of using a car because many of the costs are incurred whether the car is used or not. The one cost which is easy to determine is the cost of petrol for a trip. At least knowing that cost can assist in making better decisions.

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

 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mobirewards.org pop-up on the Apple iPhone and how I bypassed the problem is explained in MyAnswers solution 2316.

Today a pop-up for Mobirewards.org appeared on my iPhone and the only option available was to click on OK. In the MyAnswers solution 2316 (click here to obtain the solution) I explain the steps I took to bypass the pop-up which was stopping me from using the browser on the Apple iPhone.
 
Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.
 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Qantas Cash - Take care when loading currencies with BPAY

A few years ago I had a bad experience with BPAY. I paid late one night before a long weekend. My credit card payment was late so I was expecting to pay interest. What I wasn't expecting was additional banking fees for late payment. The reason is whilst I paid in the Friday, it was past the banks cut-off time for the day which I didn't know. Thus the payment didn't get processed as having been paid until the following Tuesday. The late payment was due on the Monday, but because the BPAY transaction didn't go through until the next banking day I was charged a late payment fee.

That taught me an important lesson. You have to allow plenty of time if you make a payment by BPAY. Pay on a weekday before the banks cut-off time and things are OK. But pay after the cut-off time, particularly before weekends or public holidays and it could take days before the money arrives.

What concerns me with Qantas Cash is the first line of their "Brief snapshot of benefits" which is, "Load up to 9 different currencies simultaneously via BPAY".

BPAY states available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is, but the transaction doesn't occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For example load money late on Thursday before Easter and the money may not be available until possibly Thursday the following week.

A considerable amount of travel is done around public holiday and weekend periods. You don't want to think you have transferred money when it actually may take days before it is available to you.


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

Check the spelling of a word using Word Check for free.

To my knowledge, the Word Check tool I've created and provide for free on the internet, is the only tool which enables people to check the Australian English spelling of a word and then easily look up the meaning of the word. In addition, Word Check is the only online tool to provide the preferred Australian English spelling.

Many people will dismiss the importance of good or even reasonable spelling. The following article shows that 54% of recruiters frown on poor spelling (second to profanity at 61%) on the social media sites of potential candidates

Want a job? Check the spelling on your Facebook profile... Read More
If you're not sure of the spelling of a word, check the spelling using Word Check, which is available at http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/.

Two other tools you may find of interest are the preferred Australian English spelling for Microsoft Office and the preferred Australian English spelling for Internet Explorer 10. When spelling really matters, using the preferred Australian English spelling will give you the best result. The preferred Australian English spelling is only available from Online Connections. I created and maintain the preferred Australian English spelling because to me it matters.

So for those who wish to keep their online presence as professional as possible and increase the chances of landing that ideal job, add the preferred Australian English spelling to Internet Explorer 10 and update your social media sites knowing you're using the preferred Australian English spelling. Since the preferred Australian English spelling is only available for Internet Explorer 10, those using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari will be at a disadvantage and for you that's a bonus.

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

Ring Road roadworks closes section this weekend.

There is no doubt the roadworks on the M80 Ring Road can be frustrating.

This weekend the section of the Ring Road between Sydney Road and Pascovale Road heading west, will be closed from 8pm Saturday night until 5:30am Monday morning.

I read the roadworks are costing $2.2 billion and expected to take 8 years to complete.

Why the government has to do upgrades in both directions and on most sections, even though they are unrelated, makes no sense to me.

I've lost faith in the Ring Road sometime ago. I find you never know if you'll end up at a dead stop or not and that can be pretty stressful. Without notice or an signs, they blocked to exit to the airport and their detour signs led to nowhere.

I can't help feeling one section at a time, on one side at a time, would have caused far less inconvenience and made it far easier for drivers to plan for.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

RSPCA Burwood adoption fees.

I have to admit I was quite surprised to see the quite expensive adoption fees for animals from the RSPCA in Burwood. The fees came to my attention because a couple of pensions I know decided they'd adopt a dog rather than purchase one from a retailer . Once they found out the price that put a stop to that idea.

I had a guinea pig and it was be a lovely pet. The price for a guinea pig at $50 if I'm correct, far exceeds the cost from the pet shop at Greensborough.

I have to wonder how many unwanted animals end up getting put down because of the adoption fees.


If you're thinking about a pet make sure you think long and hard about the commitment and the cost. Not just the upfront cost, but the ongoing cost including the unexpected and very high Vet costs if required. We sat in a vet recently and the people we saw were all getting charged $300 or more. Our two visits cost us around a $1,000. So make sure you're ready for the commitment and the cost. A pet becomes a very special friend.

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

The Personally Controlled eHealth Records System letter arrived today.

Today in the mail I received a letter regarding The Personally Controlled eHealth Records System initiative by the Australian Government. The idea of having our health records centrally located concerns me on a number fronts.

Recently we saw (blog post on February 8th 2013) the Australian Tax system had been infiltrated by criminals. We've seen the most technologically advanced companies in the world compromised. Anything can be hacked. In addition real humans are involved and if we listen to the homeland security stats where 3% of the population aren't allowed onto aircraft and up to 10% would be stopped, if we think about the large number of people employed by the many government agencies, some of those people will be involved in criminal activities.

We're not only limited to our borders. The exchange of information between government organisations from different countries occurs and we have no idea how that can affect us.

Personally I'd prefer to be able to get a full copy of my records for my own storage. I appreciate there are advantages of having the information centrally stored, and in an ideal world that would be great, but this isn't an ideal world.

Some people will see the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Each person will have to decide for themselves if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.


Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 705 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Offence or offense?

Recently for some reason, I thought about the spelling variations offence and offense. I don’t know why, but I wondered how confusing the spelling of this word could be. We are so used to seeing similar words such as licence and license, that it would be easy to use the incorrect spelling. Luckily the situation in Australia is very clear.

The spelling in Australia is offence. Offense is the American spelling.

Interestingly, if you perform a search using Google for just pages from Australia, for “I took offence” and “I took offense”, the number of results returned are 33,300 and 162,000 respectively. That means a staggering proportion of over eighty per cent of pages on Australian sites are using the incorrect spelling.

If you’re in doubt about the correct or preferred Australian English spelling of a word, you can use my Word Check tool located at http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/. If you’d like to use the preferred Australian English spelling with Microsoft Office or Internet Explorer 10, you can find products on the Australian Dictionary site www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator and maintainer of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
 
UPDATE: The results from Google just didn't feel right. I decided to redo the test using my Custom Search Engine (which uses Google services) and limits pages to domains ending in .au. The search engine can be found at http://www.justlocal.com.au/search/australia/. This test shows most pages use the correct spelling. Not really sure what Google is then displaying when it comes to pages from Australia.    

Koalaing suggested by Ellen DeGeneres

This morning I noticed on the morning show a grown man jumping on the back of another and thought how silly it was and how someone could easily get hurt.

It turned out Ellen in her show has asked her viewers to send in videos of themselves "koalaing" to promote her upcoming visit to Australia.

Here is a link to Ellen's video on koalaing.

Have fun koalaing, but do be careful and don't hurt yourself or anyone else.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alert: You've sent a payment - service@paypal.com.au

Shortly after reviewing the malicious email with the subject "Your American Express Statement is now ready to view", I then received a couple of emails with the subject "You've sent a payment". These are fake transactions made to appear to come from PayPal.

What was interesting is the domains used for the links in these emails was the same as the American Express emails. That means these emails are most like attempting to use the Adobe Flash Player download approach to infect a users machine.

Currently most of the antivirus programs do not detect the downloaded file as malware. The only protection you have is you and common sense. Unfortunately some people will get tricked.

Take care on the internet as in this day and age we are being attacked everyday by someone trying to scam us in some way. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date, be suspicious with emails and when using the internet be cautious. 

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

Alert: Your American Express Statement is now ready to view - American Express On-line Services

I received three emails today with the subject "Your American Express Statement is now ready to view". These are obviously malicious in intent, but what I thought was interesting is the links in each went to three different domains. This isn't just one email but a number of emails with a slight variation.

I decided to check out what would happen by clicking on the link. Please note I don't do this using my computer as I normally would. I set my computer up in a secure manner using a special boot disk (also available to clients) which means my computer won't get infected or changed should I click on anything malicious.

What was then quite concerning is by clicking on the link the site popped up a message to download and update Adobe Flash Player. Checking the file reveals the file contains malware. I don't know if this was a modified version of Flash or just a file which if run would infect the computer. It does open the question in my mind have users downloaded and installed a modified and infected version of Flash. The version was 11.2 whereas the current legitimate version is 11.6.

If you are in doubt remove and reinstall Flash directly from the Adobe site.

If you receive any similar email you should delete it. I suggest that if you do receive an email with a link, don't click on the link, but go to the web site and check the information from their. If you do inadvertently click on a link in an email or a web page and you start getting requests to install something don't. Close your browser just in case.

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

Monday, February 18, 2013

Australian cattle dog driving electric car.

When I saw this news article I couldn’t help but think about Herding Dog Training. Herding Dog Training enables dog owners the opportunity to experience a fun new activity with their dog and participate and learn how to herd sheep. With training in Melbourne East Herding Dog Training is convenient to Melbourne dog owners.

Now I really don’t think Charlie of Herding Dog Training can help your dog to drive an electric car, but herding sheep is another matter.

To check out Herding Dog Training and their videos click here.

To check out the Australian cattle dog driving an electric car click here.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Helping local business with cost effective local advertising.

Alert: Qantas Telephone Sales Australia - Itinerary And Travel Details

I received a couple of emails this morning with the subject "Qantas Telephone Sales Australia - Itinerary And Travel Details". Attached to the each email is malware which isn't currently detected by most of the antivirus programs people in Australia generally use.

The attachment is designed to appear to be a PDF with a filename of "QANTAS7769043.pdf.exe" or similar. By default in Windows, you won't see the .exe in filenames.

I suggest changing the default setting in Windows so the filename extension is visible. Doing this can provide a better clue that an attachment is malware.

You should delete these emails.

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Petrol Cost Calculator

If you want to work out the cost of petrol for a given trip, try the Car Cost Calculator.

Car Cost Calculator

As an example I worked out the return trip to my bank was 9.3km. If I plug this distance into the Car Cost Calculator, the cost of petrol for the trip is $1.45.

Much less than the bus and takes about 15 minutes compared to 1.5-2 hours by bus. Also since most of the buses run around nearly empty, the car is more efficient than the bus.

Don't forget to plug in the cost of petrol and your fuel economy as explained on the page. Also in the notes I explain how you can save the bookmark to use you default values.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Re: 1000000% New - 10000% Easy

Received another spam email with the same content but different subject (Re: 1000000% New - 10000% Easy). I wrote about these emails in the following post today.
 
Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Re: $70 EVERY 60 Seconds

Received another spam email with the same content but different subject (Re: $70 EVERY 60 Seconds). I wrote about these emails in the following post today.
 
Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Alert: You were meant to fail..But I won't let you

Received another spam email with the same content but different subject. I wrote about these emails in the following post today.
 

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

Alert: Conspiracy: Why Wallstreet brokers make 2 Million a day, Conspiracy: Why the Banks and Wallstreet wants you to fail - derdondetes.com

Today I received five emails all with the subject being different. I've never seen a mass mailing (potentially scam, phishing or malware) where the subject has changed in every case but the body of the email remains the same. Changing the subject makes it harder for people to check the internet to see if an email is a potential threat.

The subjects were:

Conspiracy: Why Wallstreet brokers make 2 Million a day
Conspiracy: Why the Banks and Wallstreet wants you to fail
Re: $70 every 60 Seconds...  Really?
You were fooled about Forex and Stock Market
"CheatingTheOdds" - Bank secrets revealed

These emails came from Argentina, Mexico (x2), Chile and Colombia.

The domain derdondetes.com is registered to a company in South China.
 
The body of the message starts with the following:
"You probably have never even heard about
this before (its that GOOD)
It's a new website that's already
got over 5,000 people making $70 Every 60 Seconds"

There is a link which goes to the domain derdondetes.com. The site is a typical high pitched sales site which I highly suspect is some form of scam and may even be malicious with the potential to infect your computer. I didn't try to find out, but I'd advise others not to click on the link.

I'd highly recommend that you delete these emails.

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

UPDATE: I decided to follow through the links using techniques which minimise risk. Whilst I didn't complete the registration, based on the information provided, I was able to glean this is more than likely an invitation to participate in binary trading. This almost sounds like the old roulette red/black strategy where you keep doubling until you win, except in the stock market. Unfortunately often a run of the wrong choice can break you, or the cumulative losses to the win means the win is minimal.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

MetEye from Bureau of Meteorology being launch late February/March 2013

I've found the weather app which comes with the Apple iPhone to differ quite significantly at times from the Bureau of Meteorology, so I remove the app and put a bookmark on my home screen direct to the BOM site.

I noticed the following on the BOM site today.

"MetEye: A whole new way to view your local weather
Scheduled Release Date: Late February or March 2013 *

From late February or March 2013, the Bureau will release its new MetEye map viewer and Local Weather web pages.

MetEye provides a whole new way to view your local weather, giving the latest weather and forecasts out to 7 days ahead, for any location."

Because I live in Melbourne I've only really been interested in Melbourne's weather. It is good to see the BOM is going to provide localised weather easily accessible to more Australians and perhaps even travellers. Not certain if this information is already provided in some way, but if it is, in a quick search I couldn't find it.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Alert: ANZ Bank - Important Notice: 3rd attempt failed !

I've received a couple of fake ANZ Bank alerts today. You can quickly tell these emails are fake by checking the actual site the link will go to. Not all email clients enable you to check the actual link, but products like Outlook and Windows Live show you the link address when you hover over the link text.

If you receive an email with the subject "Important Notice: 3rd attempt failed !" you should delete it.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nokia Lumia 620 Australia release date

Tonight I noticed a Harvey Norman ad on the internet for the Nokia Lumia 620, white 8GB. The date of release is 22nd of February.

What also caught my eye was the price of $276. Previous pricing I've read had the Nokia 620 at $329RRP.



This isn't a recommendation for the 620, but I just wanted to let others know if this mobile interests them.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

McDonald's Monopoly Australia rare pieces 2013

For those interested, I’ve now listed the rare pieces in the comments in the following blog post.

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

Advertising for free using Google Drive for web hosting

The internet provides plenty of ways to advertise your business for free. There are of course compromises you have to make such as if you advertise in a free service, chances are if someone finds your listing then they’ll also be presented with rather large ads from your competitors. Google now provides free space and if you know how to use it, you can use it to advertise for free.

I decided to take Google’s service for a spin. I modified one of my programs which enables anyone to create a list of items for sale, share, loan, or even giving items away. The program enables you to include pictures of items. The beauty with the Google services is I can enter items into the program, click on a button to generate the page for the internet and Google’s services will automatically upload the new page and pictures almost immediately.

As an example, this link is to a site which displays a list of books I’m happy to loan to family, friends and clients.

Google provides free space on the internet and I know of a very good free program you can use to create your site, so now people can literally advertise whatever they want for free.

The beauty of JustLocal is JustLocal has been designed to link to and promote your page on the internet. The sites JustLocal links to often get a very good position in Google which increases traffic to the site. JustLocal’s main advantage is businesses outside of the area can’t advertise on a local page and thus smaller local businesses don’t lose business to bigger businesses with deeper pockets for advertising.

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Microsoft online store advertising Windows 8 Pro for $399 and no other options.

I’ve decided to remove the Microsoft online store from JustLocal. I provided access as a convenience and as an affiliate link. But I’m concerned that someone will inadvertently pay $399 for Windows 8 Pro when it is still available in retailers for under $60 for the upgrade.

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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Alert: You have (1) new ecard!

I've received a number of emails to different accounts with the subject "You have (1) new ecard!" which contains a link that has been disguised using bitly.

If you click on the link (which I suggest people don't) you'll go to a site where you'll receive a message that someone is interested in you.



Guess what, they're interested in me too and probably tens of thousands of others.

Hopefully by sharing this email someone may avoid being scammed.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Alert: Work At Home & Make Money, Make money online

Today I received five emails with the subjects "Work At Home & Make Money" and "Make money online".

The body of the email contains the following:
"I actually make over $6,347 a month working from home."
- Karen James

There is a link. Checking the site the domain was registered on the 24th of January 2013 and the information stated "Service Provided by Center of Unkranian Internet Names".

The emails came from Chile, Brazil, Germany, US and New Zealand.

In hard times it may be tempting to check out one of these emails but you shouldn't. There are enough warning bells here that this is nearly certainly a scam. You should delete this type of email should you receive one.

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

Friday, February 08, 2013

McDonald's Monopoly rare pieces 2013

Over the years we’ve played a number of collect the pieces from McDonald’s but never won a prize other the a food voucher. That’s OK because in the end it’s just a promotion and some lucky people end up winning and that’s their good fortune. It’s pretty obvious the rare pieces are only printed the number of times for the prize but the other pieces could be printed tens, if not hundreds of thousands of times. It doesn’t take long to collect two pieces of the same type and that’s a good indication they aren’t the rare pieces.

So here’s the pieces we’ve collected more than once.

Mayfair
Angel Islington

Because Mayfair is one two, that means Park Lane is the rare piece.

If you’ve got multiple pieces of the one piece feel free to let others know. In the end it almost certainly won’t affect your chances of winning, but at least you’ll know if you’ve got the rare piece or just one of the many.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Providing home and small businesses with cost effective advertising.

UNITED STATES 2013 MONOPOLY UPDATE

I noticed McDonald's Monopoly2013 has started in the United States. The following are the rare pieces.

(20) Mediterranean Avenue
(15) Vermont Avenue
(3) Virginia Avenue
(1) Tennessee Avenue
(40) Kentucky Avenue
(2) Ventnor Avenue
(15) Pennsylvania Avenue
(2) Boardwalk
(4) Short Line

There is information which indicates Boardwalk is on a Big Mac.

Good luck.

Alert: Western Union - Security Measures.

I received an email this morning with the subject "Security Measures" which supposedly came from Western Union.

The email is a fake and if you receive one of these emails you should delete it.

If you check the link you'll find the address goes to a Canadian domain. The email headers (usually hidden but available) show the email was sent from France. These are obvious clues the email is a fake and likely to be a phishing scam.

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

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Aldi digital caliper

I must admit I tend to give Aldi products a hard time. I keep buying their specials but I take into account that probably about a third of the time they don’t work. E.g. a PVR which lasted six months. An evaporator which lasted a few hours. A 7” tablet which didn’t work. Equally however they’ve had some good bargains. I remember purchasing a memory card which was half the price of everyone else at the time, so I tend to forgive them probably more than I should.

I did purchase the Aldi caliper and have to say I’ve used it a couple of times recently and to me it has paid for itself. The first time I used it the batteries had gone flat. No biggie as I could still read the measurement from the scale. Recently I’ve had to measure a number of items and the LCD display makes it very easy to check the measurement. That’s enough patting Aldi on the back;-)

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Supporting small business with cost effective local advertising.

Car Parking Tullamarine Rates February 2013

I just dropped into Tullamarine airport in Melbourne and thought it might be useful to check out the car parking rates. Below is a picture of the Short term car parking fees and the Multi-level long term car parking fees.

The fees aren't cheap but still, the fees can be cheaper than the cost of a return trip by taxi for us. Luckily our family likes to help one another so there is usually someone more than happy to drop of or pick up. But at least if for some reason someone is not available, knowing the fees can be useful.


Also keep in mind there is another large parking area which can accommodate long and short term car parking and there are probably a number of businesses in the area providing similar services.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Helping small business with cost effective local advertising.

 

Alert: Australian Taxation Office - Refund Notification

Received another malware email today with the subject “Australian Taxation Office - Refund Notification”. There is an attached file “ATO_TAX_Refund_218928DHBSJ.zip” which contains malware.

If you receive this type of email you should delete it.

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

When buying a new Windows 8 computer/notebook/hybrid/tablet be aware of the processor.

A while ago I was in a computer retailer and a customer asked about the processor for a new computer. The sales assistant said don’t be too concerned about the speed. To me that was a major concern. The problem with getting advice from a retailer is they only make money if they can sell you something, so if there is an issue with something they’ll often gloss over the issue or change the conversation away from the issue so the customer forgets.

Right now I’m seeing quite a few portable/tablet type devices being advertised in the market. They look very good but then when I check the specs they have a pretty average performing processor. The problem is a higher performing processor consumes more energy and that means a shorter battery life at this stage with the current technology. With portability we want a longer battery life. I know I certainly do.

In the past underperforming processors were largely kept to the bottom end of the market with the cheap prices. But now with tablets and hybrids, you could end up with a computer that barely runs as fast as a 4-5 year old computer.

One service I have provided clients is to review the specifications for the computer they are thinking of buying. Often this gives clients peace of mind they’re making a good purchase, but in other cases it has meant they’ve decided not to purchase. For example a student was being offered a cheaper notebook and a more expensive lighter notebook through their school and the parents contacted me for advice. The more expensive notebook was actually far less powerful. With that knowledge they were able to make a better informed decision. Another example is a person was buying a notebook on special at Dick Smith. It ended up the notebook couldn’t write to CDs let alone DVDs (this information wasn’t clearly stated) which meant the notebook wasn’t suitable.

The small cost for advice at the right time can end up helping us make better buying decisions and in some cases, help us avoid buying a dud. Just ask yourself next time when you’re buying something, “is the advice you’re getting in your interest or the interest of the person selling?” If you need help, make sure you have someone in your corner you can trust.

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

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Free Stuff For Family And Friends now live.

Ever had the feeling you’d like to give away your excess items to family and friends. I decided to do just that and use technology I know to make it easier and also show others how easily it can be done.

I decided to set up a blog called FreeStuffForFamilyAndFriends. I know quite a few tricks of using a blog so that made it relatively easy. The advantages of the approach I’m using are:

1. I can take a photo of an item on my mobile phone, send the photo to the blog and the item is immediately available.
2. I can provide an email address to family and friends and they too can list their items.
3. If people want to be automatically notified when a new item is added it is easy to add them their email address or use the RSS feed.
4. I can monetise the site using Google advertising and earn a little from complete strangers anywhere in the world.

The best part is if family and friends find items they’d like I free up some space and the item goes to a good home.

If you’d like assistance in setting up a blog to promote your excess items to your family and friends (or for any other purpose) this is another service I’m happy to provide.

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Alert: You have received a secure message - National Australia Bank

I’ve received a number of emails with the subject “You have received a secure message”. The attached file “SecureMessage.zip” contains malware which is not currently detected by most antivirus software packages. Don’t open the attachment. You should delete these emails.

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

 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Nokia 620 Australian release date

When Nokia released their Smartphone range in around October 2011 they didn’t start shipping them to Australia until around March 2012 and by June 2012, anyone buying the new Nokia mobiles found they were effectively superseded devices. Microsoft had orphaned the devices as they wouldn’t be able to be upgraded to the Windows 8 Phone operating system. I doubt anyone really wants to know the mobile they bought three months earlier for nearly a thousand dollars was obsolete.

Things appear to have settled down now. Microsoft seem to have their Windows 8 Phone operating system where they want it. Nokia have a number of devices, but what interested me was the budget version of the Nokia 620 I noticed that was launched later in 2012 but not yet mentioned in Australia.

I’m really over spending $600-$800 for a mobile phone which is superseded in six months and if you want to use the latest software and features you need to buy a new handset. With nearly all the smartphones now we simply don’t know when Apple, Google or Microsoft will bring out a new operating system which won’t work on our rather expensive mobile phone. Since there is no certainty the only certainty you have is the choice you make and for me that means spending less to get what I need now.

The Nokia 620 has been announced as part of Stephen Elop’s visit to Australia and will reportedly be available mid-February for $329. The Nokia 620 is now promoted on the Australian Nokia web site as coming soon where you can also read the specifications.

The Nokia 620 is just one of many options for mobile phone buyers.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.
 
UPDATE: The Nokia 620 doesn't have the ability to operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot. For my use this rules this device out.

Monday, February 04, 2013

MyAnswers: Aldi Bauhn DVD Maker quick summary

The following MyAnswers solution 2308 is now available:
Aldi Bauhn DVD Maker quick summary. I purchased the Aldi Bauhn DVD maker to convert old mini VCR tapes holding our old family movies to digital format for storing on a hard disk. I share what I found.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
MyAnswers
(An Online Connections service.)

Cost of petrol to drive a given distance.

The other day I was at Bunnings to buy a curtain wire. I needed a 2m wire. When I went to the local Bunnings they didn’t have the 2m wire in stock which was $3.90, they only had the 5m wire at $6.90. As I went out to the car to drive to the next closest Bunnings I thought, is it better to pay the extra money, or is it better to drive to the next closest Bunnings.

Whilst we could argue all day over the cost of running a car, for me the cost of petrol is the immediate direct cost and all other costs are either fixed costs or variable indirect costs. All the fixed costs and most indirect costs of owning a car are already sunk once you decide to buy a car. So the only easy figure to use is the cost of petrol.

I thought for me having a quick calculator for the cost of petrol usage could come in handy. Paying more for an item in one location rather than paying less in another location which is further away often isn’t intuitive for people, but if people have some facts the decision becomes much easier.

I decided to write the Car Cost Calculator and make it available on the internet.

So should I have paid more or gone to the other Bunnings?

The distance to the other Bunnings was 13km and then 11km home. So the shortest route was around 24km. Using the Car Cost Calculator the cost of petrol is estimated to be $3.73. So forget about wear and tear on the car and the time involved, the cost of petrol alone would have been more than paying for the longer wire. So I went back inside and purchased the longer wire and returned home.

Out of interest I decided to check the cost of driving to the local shopping centre which is roughly a return trip of 7.6km. The petrol cost is $1.18. The cost of zone 2 Myki fare is $2.42. For every additional person who goes to the shops with me the Myki cost increases whereas the petrol cost increase is minimal. By the time I walk to the bus stop I’d already be at the shops. For short distances and trips where there are more than one person the cost of petrol is much less than a Myki fare and far more time efficient.

The Car Cost Calculator isn’t meant to be an fully costed tool but a quick and easy tool for myself and others who wish to check the cost of petrol usage for a given trip.

Enjoy,

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
JustLocal – Cost effective advertising for local businesses.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Alert: Melbourne Mom woman making Earns $6,795/Month Part-Time. (Work-at-Home-Digital)

I received an email today from a person I hadn’t contacted for quite some time. The email had no subject, a link to a site and her full name was the only content.

I decided to check out what my friend had sent me, but I was suspicious. The link took me to an article on what looked like the CNBC news site. The article was titled “Melbourne Mom woman making Earns $6,795/Month Part-Time”. (Please note that I didn’t use my regular computer. I used another device which I felt was unlikely to get infected should the site be a malware trap waiting for me to access the site.)

Further investigation showed the site was a fake site designed to look like the CNBC new site.

The concern for me is for my friend. Her name is very unusual and for me to receive an email from her, could indicate that one of her email accounts has been hacked and that a scammer has access to her contact list. The last time I saw my friend use this email address was over five years ago. The email address is a yahoo.com.au email address.

This type of attack is very concerning. The attack is very targeted aimed directly at a person’s contact list. We tend to trust communications from our friends, but this is an example of why even emails from friends and family should be treated with suspicion.

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

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Aldi indoor bike trainer

I thought I'd let others know, if you are thinking of buying one of these units, which goes on sale next Wednesday, keep in mind you need smooth tyres. If your tyres have deep tread the trainer is far too noisy.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 release date.

Another hint that Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 is getting closer is the release of the Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 10.

The Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 10 is used to stop the automatic updating of Internet Explorer by Windows Update. This is important in large organisations where they don't want to risk breaking web applications by installing a more recent browser.

Looking back, Internet Explorer 9 was released on the 14th of March 2011. The blocker toolkit was released on the 10th of February 2011which is roughly a month before.

This may mean that we might expect Internet Explorer 10 sometime in March, but I still hold out hope for an earlier release.

I'm looking forward to the release of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 as it means more people will be able to take advantage of the preferred Australian English spelling I provide, if as expected spellchecking is built in.

I already supply the preferred Australian English spelling to users of IE10 under Windows 8 via the site www.australain-dictionary.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.