Thursday, June 27, 2013

Advertising local - JustLocal, the only true local advertising service.

As I wind up testing Google Adwords (which did not achieve good results) it occurred to me that JustLocal is the only true local advertising service. True in the sense that only locals can advertise on a local page.
 
With Google Adwords you can limit advertising to a region but unfortunately in Australia for Melbourne, you can't limit the region to a postcode or an area around your business, but only all of Melbourne. In addition, even though there may not be many businesses in your area providing similar services, with Google Adwords bigger businesses with deep pockets for advertising can also advertise against you resulting in advertising costs much greater than they could be.
 
The advantage of JustLocal for businesses and consumers is only the businesses based in an area can advertise on a postcode page. For consumers that means they know they are dealing with a local business and for businesses that makes it easier for locals to find them.

To my knowledge there is no other local advertising service which helps local businesses operate in their local area by only providing an advertising service for local businesses in their area.
 
If you'd like to find out more about my trial with Google Adwords I share the information in MyAnswers solution 2361.

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Search Australia - Australian search engine update.

The option Search Australia from the JustLocal menus previously allowed users to enter keywords or single letter shortcuts only on the first page. Once the results where displayed keywords and shortcuts couldn't be used. Search Australia has now been updated so you can enter keywords and single letter shortcuts into the search field on the first page and on the page with search results.

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Alert: Qantas Booking reference 47648830 - Seat Select Fee Receipt

Over the last hour I've received five fake Qantas emails for seat selection fee receipts. The booking reference number changes and may be randomly generated. Attached is a zip file with what looks like a randomly generated filename.

If you receive these emails you should delete them.

As a matter of course when I see multiple suspicious emails I use an online scanner to check the attachments so as to advise others to be on their guard. In this case 13 of 47 antivirus programs identified the malware, which also means quite a few antivirus programs didn't and the one which concerns me is Microsoft's Windows Defender which comes as part of Windows 8. If Microsoft want to include antivirus software as part of the operating they have to be up there with the best and not just one of the pack.

Ultimately you are your own best defence against malware and other scams. I'd suggest if you do receive an attachment and have any doubt whatsoever, even from someone you know, then take the time to scan the attachment. In MyAnswers solution 2293 I provide the site I use to check suspicious email attachments and in most cases the site has been very good. The site shows just how often the leading antivirus programs would leave you totally exposed.

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

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Qantas Frequent Flyer toolbar

I read today that if you install the Qantas Frequent Flyer toolbar, log on to the toolbar and perform valid web searches, you'll receive one point for every valid web search (up to 150 points per month) and if you install and use the toolbar by the 23rd of June 2013 (which is tonight), you'll earn 200 bonus points.

What was also interesting is I read one person said people are installing the toolbar, earning their bonus points and then removing the toolbar.

Toolbars like the Qantas Frequent Flyer toolbar (and Coles offered a similar toolbar) generally offer little value to users and in return users give up valuable private information. For example Qantas are offering up to 150 points per month. If you look at the gift cards from Qantas Rewards they start at a $25 gift card for 3,500 points. That is 140 points is equivalent to $1. Qantas are thus offering a little over $1 of value per month for your valuable searching behaviour which may assist to sell more products and services. The 200 point bonus is worth around $1.43. Not that much really.

Often when assisting clients and cleaning their computers one area is to clean up and remove unwanted toolbars in their browser. The more you have installed in your computer the greater the performance hit. The question is, is it worth around $12 a year of Frequent Flyer points to: a, have your search history recorded for marketing purposes, b, change to using the Yahoo search engine, and c, the slight performance hit you'll experience. The choice as always is yours.

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alert: 50% Disсоunt from Telstra at online Bills Pay.

Interestingly today I received an email with the subject "50% Disсоunt from Telstra at online Bills Pay". What I found interesting was that of the four email clients I continuously use and test, only one identified the email as a potential phishing scam.

Whilst the email is designed to appear to be from Telstra using the Telstra logo, if you check the links in the email )don't click on them) you'll notice they are for an IP address (a series of four numbers separated but dots) rather than a domain. The IP address is hosted in the United States.

To Microsoft's credit the email client was Microsoft Live Mail client. In fact you can't click on the links unless you actively unblock the message. That's good protection for users. Unfortunately over time I've found this is more the exception than the rule. It would be a good feature for other email clients to have to protect their users where possible. Of course it is hard because scammers change their approach so quickly to work around the software.

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Viewer Vote promoted on Channel 7's Today Tonight is outright creepy.

We've just seen how America is spying on what seems like everyone using the internet and now Viewer Vote is being promoted by Channel 7. Keep in mind you are identifiable individually when you download an app. Now what you will be doing is giving away totally free how you feel and what you believe on a range of topics. Over a period of time a profile of you can be built up.

None of us know how this information will be used now or in the future. Channel 7 is a media organisation that makes income from advertising. You don't pay for news, you don't pay for the service, so somehow whatever you watch has to be paid for and that is from advertising. Having built a profile of you, your needs, your desires, your point of view over a period of time, can make it much easier for marketers to pinpoint you as the target market and the more information you provide the easier it will be to sell products and services to you.

I'd suggest people seriously think about what they are giving away. The problem is none of us know in advance how giving away that level of information can affect us and I'm pretty sure it isn't going to be in a positive way.

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

Woolworths weekly specials catalogue a bit deceptive with Everyday Rewards specials

I noticed a family member this week buying groceries at Woolworths. A number of items were on special in the catalogue. When they got to the counter and the items came up but no special came up. I then provided my Everyday Rewards card and the $7 plus discount was applied.
To me that is a real trap. I certainly didn't think the specials on the front page of the Woolworths catalogue were only for Everyday Rewards card holders. I wonder how many others have been caught out thinking they're getting a special when they aren't.
To make it easier to check out the Coles and Woolworths weekly specials I've added links to their catalogues on the www.JustLocal.com.au/3109 postcode page. Keep in mind I've added the links so accessing the specials is convenient for myself and others in my area. The specials may differ in other areas of Australia.

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

Alert: FoxNews Corporation - Breaking News: An important discovery of American Scientists

Over the last few days the green coffee bean spam/scam faked emails have certainly had a massive distribution. Each day a new email with a slight change of message is being sent and I'm receiving emails across multiple email accounts.

I highly suspect this is a scam to collect personal and credit card details. The link people click on uses a Polish domain which keeps changing. A good indication it is a scam. The early content I checked was typical of a web page that looked like a news page containing links to a Dr Oz show making the information appear real. The best scams include some real information to entice unsuspecting people into their trap.

If you receive emails like this you should delete them. 

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Treasurer Wayne Swan's app simply helps send voters to Apple's services.

You really have to wonder why anyone would bring out an app such as Fix-o-Gram. All a constituent needs is to take a photo and email the photo along with comments. Rather than just being available as an iPhone app, any mobile device with a camera can easily take a photo and send an email. I hope too much wasn’t paid to develop something everyone can already do so easily.

Treasurer Wayne Swan rolled out on Tuesday his own app, the Fix-o-Gram... Read More

- 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, June 17, 2013

Computer Repair Melbourne - Covering Doncaster, Doncaster East, Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Eltham, Montmorency and Lower Plenty

Currently I'm running a trial using Google Adwords to promote my computer services business in the area covering Doncaster, Templestowe and Eltham. I've set up a landing page (www.computer-repair-melbourne.com.au) which promotes my services in Doncaster, Doncaster East, Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Eltham, Montmorency and Lower Plenty.

At the end of the Google Adwords trial I will share what I've found with the notes I've recorded in MyAnswers solution 2361. Google made an offer that when I spent $25 they'd provide $100 credit. Thus the trial is equivalent to spending $125 and you'll be able to see what I did and what the result was.

To me this is valuable information. Few people share this type of information which can be used by others to make better decisions on how and where they spend their advertising dollar.

Most advertising works on the perception that it will deliver results and in the past I've spent thousands advertising in media with little or no result. So how Google Adwords compares based on $125 spend is shared in the MyAnswers solution 2361.

My aim and desire is to assist people in making better decisions by sharing my experience. Others will consider this information isn't the type of information they'd share because in effect they've giving away their marketing advantage which has cost them real dollars to determine the information. By making the information available via MyAnswers I see the cost is shared by those who are interested and the marketing advantage is shared by those contributing.

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Under The Dome starts on channel 10 on June 25th

One of the things I find frustrating about new programs coming to TV is often they don't let you know when the program will start. Sometimes the promos go on for months. Tonight I saw the promo for Under The Dome. Then when the promo finished a short ad appeared which showed when Under The Dome will air. I thought I'd share the date with others who may have missed the date.

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

Friday, June 14, 2013

Alert: ScienceDaily: Dietary Supplements News

Today I've been receiving spam from ScienceDaily across multiple email accounts.

I suggest that you don't deal with spammers and delete the emails no matter how tempting any offer may be. If any business is prepared to spam they don't operate ethically. I've not checked if these emails are simply spam or malicious, but it doesn't matter. Just delete them.

If you want to lose weight it costs nothing to diet. I lost 22kg from dieting alone. No additional exercise, no expensive gym membership, no expensive gimmicks. All you need is knowledge and a true desire to lose weight.

I worked out the maths behind losing weight and wrote the BMI/BMR calculator which helped me to know my energy intake. You're welcome to use the BMI/BMR calculator to determine your energy intake when dieting. You can find the calculator on my JustLocal website (www.justlocal.com.au).

You can also find the web app on my apps page www.justlocal.com.au/apps. You can add the web app to you mobile phone Home screen for convenient reference whilst dieting.

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

UPDATE: The link in these emails go to a Polish domain. The site is a site to promote green coffee beans and uses information from other sites such as Dr Oz. Addition emails have been sent with the subject of  'Breaking News' from FoxNews (where the link isn't to FoxNews as people would think but a Polish domain) and 'TodayScience: Shocking news for obese-people'. You should delete these emails.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Alert: Vodafone MMS notification ID746753

I received couple of fake emails with the subject being 'Vodafone MMS notification ID746753' or similar. Attached was a zip file 'image 2APPZD55EP.zip'. Contained in the zip file was the file 'image DRJT4D45AS.jpeg.exe'.

The attachment contains malware and you should delete these emails. You'll also notice the filename of the contained file is 'image DRJT4D45AS.jpeg.exe'. For those who do not display the filename extension they'll see 'image DRJT4D45AS.jpeg', and may think the file is an image file and attempt to open the file. Opening the file will most likely run a malicious program.

I suggest that people turn on the option to view filename extensions in Windows to help them identify malicious files.

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.

Alert: Woolworths Supermarket Survey Department

I received an email today with the subject ‘Woolworths Supermarket Survey Department’. The email has an attachment ‘Woolworths_Survey.zip’ which contains a html page which is a web page.

The body of the email contains:

‘You have been selected by Woolworths Online Department to take part in our quick and easy reward survey.

In return we will credit $50 to your account - Just for your time!’

This email is most likely a phishing scam designed to collect your details. You should delete these emails.

Woolworths Everyday users should start to become concerned with the constant emails sent out by Woolworths where you click on a button to accept their weekly offer. All it will take is for a scammer/malware writer to send you a fake email and you click on the button which takes you to a website and you could infect your computer. Once the large companies such as Woolworths send out regular emails where people don’t have to think too much they will become targets for malware writers. The same applies to Coles offers. Don’t just click on a button in an email without thinking. If you get tricked you could infect your computer and that will cost far more to repair than any special offer.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Power consumptiom of a fridge

A family member just purchased a new fridge and was wondering how much it costs to run. Normally I suggest measuring the electricity usage of an appliance using a low cost power meter, then plug the figures into the Electricity Cost Calculator I've written to make determining the yearly cost easier.

However with a new fridge it is even easier. Fridges now have an energy rating and have a sticker with the energy rating and usage per year. In this case the fridge uses 337 kWh of electricity a year. A good figure to use for electricity is around 25 cents per kWh. So this fridge is expected to use around $84 of electricity a year.

Not all devices are as easy as a fridge to calculate. For example television sets are often measured as being used 10 hours per day. If you take the kWh figure and divide by the number of hours, then divide by 365 for the number of days in a year, the figure you get is the kWh figure for one hour. That way if you use an appliance such as a TV for more or less hours, you can get a good idea of how much your TV will cost you a year to run using the Electricity Cost Calculator.

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

Friday, June 07, 2013

HP Slate 7 now available in Australia.

I just received an email notification from HP letting me know the HP Slate 7 was now here and thought I’d let others know if they are interested. This isn’t a recommendation for the HP Slate, but simply a sharing of information. You should compare the HP Slate with other devices and more specifically against your needs. I have a very underutilised Acer tablet which is Android based and would have to say it wasn’t one of my better purchasing decisions. Since different people want different things from tablets some people will be very happy with an Android based device.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

www car insurance com - Looking for car insurance in Australia

A lot of people enter the .com domain when looking for car insurance which means people can end up on an overseas site. If you’re looking for car insurance and only want domains ending in .com.au then Search Australia will provide the results you want. Search Australia is a search engine based on Google’s search engine which I developed to limit search results to Australian domains. You can find Search Australia on the JustLocal site in the menus as the Search option, go direct to http://www.justlocal.com.au/search/australia/, or click on this link (car insurance) to display car insurance companies using Search Australia.

The advantage of using Search Australia is it removes all the clutter from the search results. Normally when searching using Google you end up with directory sites, review sites and overseas sites. Search Australia limits results to Australian domain names.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Remote computer support Melbourne. Is it even necessary?

There is no doubt remote computer support can save some time when you’re being supported by someone across town, interstate or on the other side of the world. Have you ever needed to use remote support services. I’ve assisted clients when their suppliers have provided remote support services and I’ve found a few interesting things people don’t consider.

First you need to make a call to support. Often you’ll wait on the line for quite some time and then you log a support call. Clients sit around often for a couple of hours and sometimes the support call doesn’t even come back that day. So even though in theory remote support saves time it can also cost quite a lot in wasted time.

Next there are things that still need the customer to be at the computer. For example when the computer needs to be restarted. Often whilst the computer is being looked after the customer has to also sit by the computer consuming valuable staff time.

Then there was one support call where my client was asked to pull their computer apart and another where a manager had to crawl under the desk even though I’d already analysed the problem that a service technician was required.

Other issues are language difficulties when dealing with overseas support organisations. Another issue I’ve seen is where the support person is simply incompetent and it is simply best to ring up and get another person who is hopefully more skilled. One issue not mentioned is often whilst you’re being charged for a support call the person is also working on another support call whilst the technician is waiting for things to happen. In effect the support organisation is double charging (or even triple charging) for their services instead of passing on the time saving to the client.

The one situation where remote support tends not to work well is when the computer is crippled, such as when infected with malware, and it is not possible to connect into the computer remotely. This is when onsite support is required.

I’ve provided remote support to clients, family and friends and in fact at its simplest, a telephone call is a form of remote support and I’ve handled probably thousands of those over the years. But generally remote support is connecting into a client’s computer and remotely taking over the computer to fix a problem.

Many technical support organisations provide remote support as their primary form of support. That saves the client the travel time but still has all the limitations mentioned above. Most of the time remote support will work fine, but when it doesn’t onsite support is required and is usually much more expensive. My focus is to support local residents and businesses. There is little need for remote support because I’m just around the corner. As soon as I’ve finished one support task I can quickly get to the next client and look after their needs. There is no call-out fee, no extra charge for onsite support, no yearly contracts and you deal with the same person each time. Often people who use a computer find it difficult to explain their problem, but when they’re able to discuss a problem face-to-face with a person things become much easier.

If you’re looking for an organisation to provide remote support take a little time to look around your local area for a local support person. Chances are there is someone in your area supporting someone half way across the world who could just as easily support you locally. If you live or work in Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham or the surrounding area then give me a call on 0415 910 703. When you have local support you don’t need remote support and you’re helping to build a stronger local community when you use the services of locals.


Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Is Google's $100 credit for Google adwords when you spend $25 worth anything?

For Google this is a no lose situation whereas for you, you could lose $25 and the time you spend in using their adwords. The worst case scenario is you earn nothing and Google gets $25 from you. If Google makes this offer to millions of past adwords users this can easily generate Google tens of millions of dollars with no real gain to the user.

Given I've used adwords a number of times without any return I thought perhaps I'd give it one more chance. I know how to be quite specific with the terms I use and whilst it is a long shot, there is a slim chance I might now know enough for Google's $100 credit to pay off. I'm happy to pay for advertising if it works, but so far it hasn't and the one reason I created my own advertising service which does work for me and others.

So here goes. I'll take Google up on their offer and once the $125 is spent I'll then provide the result as a MyAnswers solution which others can learn from. I'll also provide details of how I advertised, that is my strategy and why I used that strategy.

Business isn't about long shots. Business is about making informed decisions and getting a return on investment. If you want to take a long shot go to the casino. My experience will hopefully turn a long shot into a sure bet, or at worst, will be an experience where people can learn from my experience and save their money.

If clients   are interested in the results of my testing, I've written up my notes in MyAnswers solution 2361 which is available from the site MyAnswers.

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

Monday, June 03, 2013

I am smarter than you app by Doncaster brothers Aaron and Aiden March

DONCASTER brothers Aaron and Aiden March are the men with all the answers – 18,000 to be precise. ... Read More

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

MyAnswers: How to stop Microsoft OneNote from starting and appearing in the System Tray.

The following MyAnswers solution 2360 is now available:
I don't use OneNote. How do I stop OneNote starting and appearing in the System Tray? I have Office 2007.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
MyAnswers
(An Online Connections service.)