Thursday, October 30, 2014

Attracta - You won't believe Google's new #1 ranking factor - spam

It never ceases to amaze me with companies like Attracta send spam worldwide to promote their business.

Notice how the hook is the typical "want to know a secret" approach. That is you have to click on and watch the video to know Google's new #1 ranking factor. It's a hook to get you in. Can you resist not knowing. They're counting on your curiosity.

So resist for once. This is using a social engineering technique to manipulate you. They've sent the email. They could have just as easily said, "I thought we'd save you some time and let you know Google's new #1 ranking factor. Here it is. If you'd like to get to know us then feel free to check out our site".

Whilst it would still be spam, instead they've set the trap. Will you take the bait.

I'm reluctant to hit unsubscribe on these emails because I get a feeling that will simply let them know their email has been seen and that could get me on other mailing lists. This time I did but perhaps the best idea is to simply delete the email. If you have control at the server and can block repeat offenders at the server level before your email client receives the email, that's what I do for nuisance spammers from overseas.

Make no mistake. This is a spammer because they've used an email address I would never have provided them so they've scraped it from the internet, or their mailing list provider has.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 901 703 for IT support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surround areas.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Catch Up Coffee now provides a map of cafes around Melbourne and some other areas.

Catch Up Coffee is a site I've put together with to help myself and others catch up with each other for a coffee. The list of cafes was created with input from the members of the I am a business owner in Victoria Facebook group. I asked the group to suggest their favourite cafes to catch up for a coffee.

The reason I'm doing this is to encourage people to catch up with others in their area. In effect this provides people with the opportunity to catch up and network with others in the area for basically the cost of a cup of coffee. That's very cost effective networking.

The desktop site is available at www.mapz.com.au/catchupcoffee/ and the mobile version at www.mapz.com.au/catchupcoffee/mobile. The desktop version is great when you wish to check out all the areas easily and then drill down to the area you'd like to meet. Hover over the pin and the cafe name and details are provided. With the mobile version the aim is to provide the closest five cafes around you. The map is shown along with the list of the five cafes.

If you're working on your own and hankering for a good chat, think about organising a Catch Up Coffee.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Helping local businesses to connect.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Alert: David Murphy's book ABC of Gardening - Organic Growing With Worms heavily spamming to promote.

Yesterday and last night I received quite a few emails promoting David Murphy's book ABC of Gardening, Organic Growing With Worms. I don't know if this is a scam or simply spamming.

There is a link to PayPal to pay for the book but little else.

The emails I received were sent to multiple email addresses across multiple domains. I've never met such a person and the emails are being sent to public email addresses that are on the internet but that I don't give out to others so the email addresses have been harvested.

I'd suggest discarding all such emails. I'd never deal with a spammer and this could easily be a scammer. It may even be worthwhile reporting these emails to Dodo and PayPal. I'd hope both of these companies might respond should they see a large number of response for the same entity.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eastlink's Breeze website has been down since Sunday.

I travelled on Eastlink and Saturday and went to pay on Sunday a couple of times and got they're site was down for maintenance.


Eastlink certainly must be having some very serious problems with their systems. As an IT person this isn't what I'd consider to be maintenance. Of course the average person will simply think the systems have probably just done down. Quite unexpected to see a major company like this offline for so long. This is very poor service from Eastlink. They're always happy to charge but if you can't pay it simply becomes time consuming and stressful.

Another time I noticed their online program design was flawed and would not allow you to pay on the last day the payment was due. This is a typical junior programming error where the testing for a condition is out.

Not much anyone can do except wait until their systems come up and hope they don't hit people for late payment. 

I largely avoid Eastlink as I've worked out for a trip from Tempelstowe to Rowville people would need to be earning around $60 per hour for it to be worthwhile. Most people don't do those timing tests so would not realise. This time however I was doing the longer drive to the beach area and for that I feel the cost is worth it.

Kelvin Eldridge

UPDATE: Given I don't have much confidence in Eastlink and their notice here is misleading since this evening was now yesterday, so they're prepared to mislead with incorrect information, I decided to try paying via mobile. Same issue with the mobile site. I then tried using their 1300 number which succeeded.

If you have an outstanding trip you wish to pay I'd suggest using the 1300 number. I would not assume they'd give you and extra time since their online facilities are not available. They are quite firm on your accepting their terms and conditions. On a previous occasion when I missed the 72 hour deadline there was no flexibility.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Is the current VCE systems advantaging overseas students over students born in Australian without a native second language?

This article actually concerns me. I believe I've worked out that it is possible that some courses give some people and advantage over others, in particular studying a language other than English provides a bonus which may result in an increased ATAR score. This is not something teachers were able to explain when I asked them when my daughter was in year 12, which I feel was inadequate and unfair guidance to some students.

Templestowe College principal Peter Hutton said students who had recently arrived in Australia often studied their native language at the highest level in VCE before reaching year 12, accounting for some of the overall increase.... read more

Kelvin Eldridge 
www.JustLocal.com.au


Alert: Please Verify Your Apple Account Now

I received the email shown which I know to be fraudulent but thought I should alert others. As you can see the email is set up to appear to come from Apple Support.

This an example of what is termed as social engineering. It uses a couple of what I'd consider well known sales tactics used in many industries. The first is to present a problem that alarms someone. That is someone is trying to use your Apple account. The second you'll see there's a short deadline which puts people under pressure to respond.

The wording is not overly pushy. It hasn't said your account has been hacked. It uses gentler terms like "when you're ready" and "we suspect". The wording does not show the usual lack of English ability with mistakes in spelling, grammar or punctuation. There is of course the obvious clue of the Reply-To address not being an Apple email address.

The domain has been registered in the United States with payment made to protect the privacy of the registered party. The domain servers and thus where the site is located in in London, UK

The link if clicked goes to a folder on the server sendgrind.me/wf/click followed by a long and meaningless parameter. This site could be a hijacked site or one set up specifically for malicious purposes. If I wanted to find out more

I'd connected using a secure way which wouldn't infect my computer. It may be interesting to see how good to site is the user is presented with. The more it looks like a real Apple screen (and all that takes is to copy the layout) the more likely if people are tricked to click the link, they'll continue and provide their login information and the nefarious will have achieved their likely goal of collecting the users login information. Often the same information people use to log into multiple well known sites such as Facebook and Google.

Obviously these won't trick everyone one, but if a small percentage are tricked, they'll get the response they desire and move on to the next malicious email they've probably already got lined up, but of course that's just a guess.



If you see any emails from providers you know don't click on the link. Open your browser and go to the site. These emails are fake and even smart and aware people I've met have let their guard down sometime and get tricked. So never think you're too smart to be tricked and always be careful.

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jehovah's Witness Convention in Melbourne this weekend.

I just read a person was having troubles getting a rental car. The reason. The Jehovah's Witness Convention is being held in Melbourne this weekend. Apparently there's an influx of 70,000 Jehovah's Witnesses which is expected to be good for the local economy to the tune of $50 million.

That's a huge crowd. I hope they enjoy the beautiful weather Melbourne is expected to have this weekend. Couldn't have picked a better weekend.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Helping local businesses to prosper.

Have you noticed how Apple quietly puts up the prices of their products with each new release?

The Apple iPad Air 2 products were announced last night. Now I've been noticing a pattern with Apple I decided to check with this release.

The pattern

With each release of Apple products I seem to notice that entry level model price increases and the bottom level model is dropped off for a more expensive model. Thus Apple are increasing the price people need to pay to purchase both the new products and their oldest lowest cost model. This doesn't always happen but it seems to happen more often than not.

Let's see what happened with this release.

NOW

New entry models
iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 16GB - $619
iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB - $779

Old bottom of the range models now for sale.
iPad Air Wi-Fi 16GB - $499
iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB - $659

WAS

iPad Air Wi-Fi 16GB - $598
iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB - $749

Old bottom of the range models being sold
iPad with Retina display Wi-Fi 16GB - $449
iPad with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular 16GB - $598

From the new iPad Air 2 range and the range of the oldest model kept the same pattern has emerged this time as well. That is to buy an new iPad the price has increased and to buy the oldest model in the range the price has also increased. 

Keep in mind we're only talking about price and not functionality. One could easily argue, but yes, people are now getting more for their dollar and that is true. But the old model is older technology (still good technology) and the new model appears to go up in price. The new model doesn't come out at the same price point or a lower price point, but appears to come up each time at a higher price point. To me that's an interesting observation.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Computer repair Doncaster. If your computer giving you grief?

Computer repair Doncaster. If you need your computer repaired then think about using the services of a local person. When you simply grab a business off the internet you don't know where they're located and that means you end up paying for their travelling time. If there's problem and your computer has to be taken away, you then also end up paying for that time as well.

I run Online Connections providing computer services to local residents and businesses. Because I live locally in Templestowe, I don't charge Doncaster residents and businesses a call-out fee, or a minimum charge. You simply pay for the time required and if that is just a few minutes, as happens on many occasions, then that is all you need pay. If there's a problem and I need to take your computer away for repair and later return, there's no charge for the travel time involved. That's the advantage of using a local support person.

Have you ever sat waiting on a support line. I'm fairly sure that many times I can actually take less time to get to your home or business than you wait on the support line. Simply contact me and book a time and I turn up at the agreed time and fix your computer. In the unlikely event I can't fix the computer ,such as when the problem is the less frequent hardware failure and not a software issue, then there will be no charge and a simple thank you for giving my service a go.

So if you're having problems with your computer and are located in Doncaster, call me on 0415 910 703. I look forward to assisting you.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.

QVB High Tea caught my attention as I was performing some basic research for Talking Teas.

QVB High Tea caught my attention. When new customers join JustLocal I like to do some personal research simply out of curiosity. I love learning about the businesses on JustLocal. Whilst it isn't always possible, sometimes that knowledge enables me to connect two businesses together.

Now QVB High Tea is in the Queen Victoria Building Sydney so I'm sure it would be a lovely outing. Being in Melbourne that probably isn't going to help me. So my thought for those in Melbourne, why not host your own High Tea or tea party with the great range of teas from Talking Teas. Have a chat with Allison and perhaps your next party may be a Tea Party.

You can find Talking Teas on the www.JustLocal.com.au/3130 postcode page.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Help locals to connect with local businesses.

iPad Air 2/iPad 6 Australian release date 2104.

Quite amazingly last night was the first time I read about Apple's October 16th announcement which is nearly certainly about a new range of Apple iPads.

The usual timetable seems to be announce the product and then about 10 days later, usually the Friday (for iPhones so perhaps also for iPads), Apple makes the devices available in-store to the public. I have a feeling this is to seed the first sales on the Friday to beat up demand and get the weekend sales. Usually on the day of announcement pre-orders can be taken for delivery around the Friday.

Now if you're interested in the announcement and want the latest news as it is happening, the announcement is made at Apple's head office, usually starting around 9:30 am their local time. By 10 am most of the news has hit the online press. Some time after Apple publishes a to link to a recording of the event on their site so you can watch the announcement at your leisure. I actually like to watch the announcement as often there are some titbits which I'm interested in that the general media isn't.

In terms of local time in Melbourne, I believe this would be around 3:30 am on Friday morning. Some people stay up to watch sport. Some people stay up for the latest news. I think I might just be sleeping at that time;-)

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.
Support residents and business in Templestowe and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Block 2015 address is 27 Darling Street South Yarra.

A little internet snooping reveals the location of The Block 2015 is 27 Darling Street South Yarra. The property is a block of 12 apartments which will become 5 apartments and a large communal living area.

Reportedly the property was purchased for $5.7 million from Beller Residential. In its renovated state it makes a rental return of $216,516 per annum approximately.

The Google aerial view shows no fences, but the street view shows construction fences have been erected. It is hard to tell when the Google photos were taken.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Helping locals to find local businesses.

Camomile tea or chamomile tea. What is the spelling?

Talking Teas is a new business on JustLocal. As part of researching tea related terms I came across something I thought was quite interesting. The spelling camomile tea appears quite often in searches as does chamomile tea. Now the spelling is chamomile but it is one of those tricky words.

If you're interested in tea, not just the spelling, then Talking Teas can be found on the JustLocal postcode page www.JustLocal.com.au/3130. If you love tea then you'll love talking to Allison from Talking Teas.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Help you find small businesses in your area.

Bluetooth hands free car kit KT100 Plantronics from Officeworks pleasantly surprises.

OK. I have to admit I love gadgets but I've been burnt a few times with bargains that frankly didn't live up to my expectation. In other words, I'd consider them rubbish. So you'll forgive me when I decided to buy a $49 bluetooth hands free car kit unit from Officeworks and didn't have high hopes. "Can I bring it back if it doesn't work to my expectation" I asked. "Yes, no problem".

But then my first surprise the K100 unit was a Plantronics device and I've had a good run from Plantronics devices. I was immediately happier.

Now I accept this unit clips over the visor and needs to be recharged. My iPhone 4 is currently on a stalk stuck to the front window and sort of works, but I have to lean forward and never knowing if I'm yelling too loudly or not. So having a device on the visor appeals to me and charging whilst a nuisance, is OK for the price.

After charging I paired the device and had it going almost immediately. That was easy enough I thought, but do keep in mind I support computers, so technology isn't a concern for me. But even then I was happy with the simplicity.

Reading the sheet of paper that came with the device I was able to do what I wanted. However what surprised me was the voice calling worked better than I expected and I'd not previously used that feature much on the mobile, but now I'm very happy to.

I decided to have a conversation and transmit the sound through the radio speakers. I didn't buy the unit for that function but thought, hey, it's there, let's see how it goes. At first I was very happy but then during the call the quality deteriorated at times to the point where I was not happy at all. That's OK, back to using the speaker in the unit. It sounds a little tin like at times, but overall it is quite acceptable.

So now I'm a very happy little vegemite as I'm able to make hands free calls and receive the occasional call whilst on the road. I can use voice calling very easily and I no longer have to lean over and shout at the iPhone and struggle to listen to the conversation.

Very happy indeed.

Quite surprisingly the $49 price in Officeworks is actually one of the best I can find. Given that I can go into a store and pick it up, so there's no shipping fee, it's actually the cheapest I can find.

Most reviews I read of the unit did nothing more than look at the container and examine it. To me those reviews are close to useless. I wanted to hear the thoughts of someone who used the device.

If I did have any gripes it would be the FM quality through the car speakers, (which by the way was easy to set up), and perhaps the need to charge, but hey, at the price I'm not going to complain. The only time I was really tricked and didn't know what to do was when I was on one call and a second call was coming through. I hung up on the first and for a moment didn't know how to get the second caller onto the hands free, but quickly found out I could. I don't expect that to be a problem.

One other point, I did try to connect the unit to a low cost Android 2.3 mobile phone and was not able to. The iPhone 4 gave me no problems, so you may need to check to see if the device is compatible with your mobile phone.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.
Happy to answer on my new hands free device.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Block 2014 winners are Simon and Shannon Voss.

The Block 2014 auction is about to start. As the auctions progress I'll update the information as I did for The Block 2013. The Block winners are TBA.

1. Chris and Jenna Susetio
Reserve: $1,500,000, Bid: $1,810,000, Profit: $310,000 - SOLD

2. Simon and Shannon Voss
Reserve: $1,565,000, Bid: $1,900,000, Profit: $335,000 - SOLD

3. Karstan Smith and Maxine Stokes
Reserve: $1,670,000, Bid: $1,710,000, Profit: $40,000 - SOLD

4. Darren and Deanne Jolly
Reserve: $1,370,000, Bid: $1,380,000, Profit: $10,000 - SOLD

5. Michael and Carlene Duffy
Reserve: $1,380,000, Bid: $1,390,000, Profit: $10,000 - SOLD

* The reserve amount is the adjusted reduced amount.

Until the next season of The Block.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Optus telephone network currently not working.

I had a call from a person in Reservoir with the home telephone not working. I said I'd call Optus on their behalf. Nothing on their website status page. With some wait, there was a general statement to say their telephone network is not working and technicians are working on it.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 415 910 703 for IT support.

Update: This issue started because because the telephone stopped working. The internet was working. The person contacted Optus via online chat who said they'd get back to the person but didn't. Today (Friday two days later) I decided to investigate.

It turn out the telephone cable was not located in the correct socket which was user error. Thus there was no way for the person to know the service was again working. Hard to say if it was just a local issue or the national issue. What was interesting is that calling the number with no telephone plugged in results in the caller being getting what sounds like the telephone is ringing, but since there's no telephone on the other end nothing is ringing. This is an Optus cable based telephone service. I do wonder if his is the same for normal telephone networks. I must check that at some point. The problem is now solved.

Persian Food Recipe and Armenian Food Recipe cookbook - Tastes of Persian and Armenian Cuisine by Elizabeth Vladica

Love Persian food recipes or Armenian food recipes, then this post is for you.

I'd like to welcome Elizabeth Vladica and her cookbook Tastes of Persian and Armenian Cuisine. I look it when I see the passion of people compiled into a cookbook or other book. It takes a lot of time and dedication to write a book. Well done Elizabeth.

You can find Elizabeth's cookbook on the JustLocal Book Project at www.JustLocal.com.au/book.

If you cook up any of the recipes I'd love to hear about them.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au
Helping people with their passion.

Monday, October 06, 2014

JustLocal Book Project presents - Box Office: The Collected U.S Box Office Reports 2004 - 2014 by Lane Myer


From The Passion of The Christ to Gravity, Box Office: The Collected U.S Box Office Reports is the culmination of 10 years of work. As well as featuring detailed reporting and analysis on the biggest (and smallest) movies of the last decade, Box Office also covers the history of some of cinema's biggest franchises, including Batman, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Twilight, James Bond, Alien and the Marvel cinematic universe. 

Filled with facts and figures, this collection of essays allows the reader to track a film from its opening weekend through to its exit from screens, offering discussion as to the how and why of movie box office. See how blockbusters are made or broken on that first Friday night, while summer sleepers surprise everyone - including the studio that produced them. 

The book features a brand new introductory essay, detailing the author's cinematic journey. From seeing Jaws on the small screen and the video boom of the 1980s, to the age of the internet and the first steps of a ten year writing odyssey. 

Box Office: The Collected U.S Box Office Reports is a must-read for any fan of cinema and the stories behind those moving pictures. 

"One of the most comprehensive and downright entertaining guides to the US Box Office I've ever read. Essential reading for all movie fans." 
Jon Hamblin, SFX Magazine 

"In a world where box office analysis is a few sentences here, an offhand plot summary for the weekend's top film there", what you hold in your hand is representative of the best of what a very specific genre has to offer. These thorough and exhaustively researched box office reports were the sort that ennobled the field" 
Scott Mendelson – Forbes

You can find this book and other books on the JustLocal Book Project www.JustLocal.com.au/book.

You can also find Box Office on Amazon.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Friday, October 03, 2014

Microsoft Office for Mac - the best spelling for Australian users.

Microsoft Office for Mac is a great product. One major problem however is the spellcheck dictionary that Microsoft provides. The dictionary includes thousands of secondary spelling variations which many Australians consider as incorrect. Words such as organize, focussed and even mom.

The dictionary files I provide mark the thousands of secondary spelling variations as incorrect, resulting in more professional documents and little chance of inadvertently using two different spelling variations of the one word, in the one document. Using two spelling variations in the one document is always considered an error and it can easily creep in when you copy of paste text from different sources.

If your written work is important to you, if you want the best possible spelling, get the preferred Australian English spelling files for Microsoft Office for Mac.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
When spelling matters.