Thursday, October 19, 2017

Petrol prices in Melbourne going up to 142.9 for unleaded.

Last night I noticed the petrol prices around Melbourne were starting to rise with quite a few now being 142.9. Time to fill up those cars. Time to get ready to lock in the price using the 7 Eleven fuel app.

There's still of lot of petrol priced around the 113 mark. Even less with a discount voucher. Around Springvale you can find unleaded petrol for 111.9 and Oakleigh around 111.7.

Prices won't hold for long now and you can expect it will be hard to find a low price by or after the weekend.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cheaper Melbourne petrol near Lilydale train line

I've mentioned a number of times how people can lock in a cheaper petrol price for later use using the 7 Eleven petrol app. This is great when the price drops suddenly 25-30 cents a litre and you can lock in the low price for another seven days. However another saving that can be made is when petrol prices are dropping. The difference between one area and another can be significant. Sometimes if you can lock in the petrol price from another area without too much effort, you can make additional savings of perhaps 8-10 cents a litre.

At the moment those travelling on the Lilydale train line passing through Croydon can take advantage of the 7 Eleven Petrol app to save around 8-10 cents a litre. The 7 Eleven petrol stations at Croydon Hills, Moorolbank and Chirnside Park are advertising unleaded petrol for 115.9 cents per litre. Many other service stations outside this area are advertising unleaded petrol for around 123-126 cents per litre.

If you've signed up for the 7 Eleven petrol app and you pass near one of these 7 Eleven petrol stations you can lock in the price for use closer to home. At 8-10 cents a litre cheaper than your local area, it means this is usually a good price for the next few days. Even if you have a Coles or Woolworths discount voucher, the 7 Eleven price can still be better than your local servo.

There's really little point driving to these cheaper petrol stations, but if for example you're travelling to work via public transport or driving near these areas, you should be able to lock in the cheaper price. By near this often means you can be 10 km or more away from these 7 Eleven petrol stations. As long as one of these petrol stations is one of the five nearest 7 Eleven petrol stations to your current location, you can lock in the cheaper price.

This week I was able to fill up our two cars and save around $7-$8 for petrol. Not a bad saving for simply taking the time to lock in a cheaper petrol price.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.PetrolPriceMelbourne.com.au

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Snapchat Spectacles sample videos. Australia

Picking up a pair of Snapchat Spectacles in Australia isn't currently possible. However, if you have family or friends, or you're travelling to America, then you may be able to pick up a pair.

So far found I've the Snapchat Spectacles are quite good at some things and very poor at others. That isn't meant to be a criticism, it's more about knowing what they're good for an not good for.

First, the novelty of the Snapchat Spectacles when seen by others, became a real conversation starter. It's been a while since I've found people so fascinated by a piece of technology. "You mean it's not just a camera, it can take videos." Once people knew the Snapchat Spectacles could take videos they were really impressed.

I've posted the following three videos I took using the Snapchat Spectacles.

Snapchat Spectacles - P & O Cruise Conflict Islands
https://youtu.be/HuQkLeHZZbg

Snapchat Spectacles - Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
https://youtu.be/H_0NY_nW5og

Snapchat Spectacles - Birdword Kuranda
https://youtu.be/g4MkyhwvHls

This isn't meant to be a review, but more of sharing an experience. The Snapchat Spectacles can take 10 second videos. By pressing the button whilst filming you can extend the recording by another one or two 10 second videos. Each video is taken separately, but you can select and export them as a single video. The 10 second length I found to be better than I expected. Often when taking home videos you get that too short video, so the video jumps from scene to scene. The 10 second video gives a good amount of time, but not too long and the result when videos are combined (using a computer) is quite good.

Close up scenes best. If you're thinking you'll get a good picture of things in the distance, probably best to think again. I found the best result was when what I wanted to video was quite close. Perhaps not more than a couple of metres away, but often even closer, as in the bird video. Scenes in the distance just don't seem to capture the feeling of the scene as well.

Memory limitations was a real problem. I was travelling and didn't have access to the internet. A cheap mobile phone with 4GB of memory, but a 32GB memory card. The problem was the Snapchat Spectacles wanted to back up what I was recording and progressively consumed all the memory in mobile phone. I'm talking about multiple gigabytes of memory. The temporary file it was creating swamped the storage making it impossible to use the mobile phone. I learnt if you have limited storage you need to move the files manually to the external storage and then delete them from Snapchat. A time consuming exercise. Resetting the Snapchat Spectacles had to be done at one stage but again, keep in mind you need to have internet access as you need to be able to log on to your Snapchat account. I spent hours of wasted time trying to work around issues with the Snapchat Spectacles relating to storage and how the software worked.

Exporting videos. Certainly not straight forward to get what you want out of the Snapchat application. I've read people saying Snapchat is deliberately designed to make it hard for people to find things, but to me it's just poor design. It takes a lot of effort to work out how to use the software, although that may depend on what you want to do. I really wanted a convenient video recording device, whereas I get a feeling it's really about a device that's built for Snapchat.

One video I didn't share was taking a video whilst driving. The wide field of view (120 degrees) meant more detail of the inside of the car from the drivers perspective and less detail of outside. The detail shown in the car was quite good, but what was shown outside the was much further away. If you want to take what's outside the car in detail, this is probably not the device. As an example I wanted to record a petrol price. Yes you can see the price sign, but the resolution of the Snapchat Spectables at 800x800, meant  that if you zoomed in you lost too much detail to read the price. The detail was quite pixelated.

Overall I found the Snapchat Spectacles to be fun to use. There's videos I took which I would never have taken on a mobile phone. The hands free design of the Snapchat Spectables makes it possible to take videos conveniently when required. Yes there's plenty of limitations, frustration with the software, but I'm OK with those limitations, as long as I use the Snapchat Spectacles for what I feel they're best suited.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
IT support. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

PayPal - Action Required. Please verify your business identity.

I don't know if others are experiencing this issue, but PayPal has become a pain in the neck.

According to the PayPal site, action is required to verify business identity. I went through this process a couple of months ago and it was a real pain. Eventually I submitted feedback letting them know their system wasn't working properly. Whilst they never contacted me it appeared they fixed everything and the account was back to normal.

Today the message started to appear again.


The problem is all of the information is entered. The last piece of information required is my name. I entered my name and I get the error message which appears to be more of a software error than a typical error message. Now sometimes when I go to log in or out I get the above Action Required and sometimes I don't. There's no notifications so there's no way to find the section to verify.

Whilst I can't be sure, this looks more like PayPal's system may be playing up. However if you do get this message it may be better to give them a call, if you've entered all the information but still get an error as I did.

I've lost quite a bit of faith in PayPal as a result of this. I've been dealing with them for possibly over a decade and whilst there's been a few annoying issues, this is probably the most annoying. OK. That's probably because I've forgotten how annoying the past issues were at the time. As I've lost confidence that money won't be tied up, I've kept only a minimal amount in PayPal. That's probably a good idea as a general rule.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 17 October 2017
Today another email and the Please Verify message appearing on the account. In addition I tried to again enter my name as the director. The following message appears.
A call to PayPal confirmed they indeed had my name and my account was OK. They would forward the issue on to their technical team. This confirmed the issue is with their system.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Booking.com doesn't show all the available rooms.

I was looking at Booking.com to book some accommodation in a Victorian country town. According to Booking.com all the accommodation is booked. This simply isn't true.


I checked one motel and there were plenty of days left, but it would have meant moving rooms during the stay. Not ideal, but still plenty of rooms available. I then checked the hotel I was originally looking at that had become booked. The hotel had a room for all the days I wanted. I booked the hotel even though Booking.com stated the last room sold out 2 days ago.

The trick here is not to just use Booking.com. Double check the hotels' actual sites.

In the past I've found a cheaper price by checking a hotel's site. In another instance one accommodation provider said they use Booking.com to keep their name out there.

There's lots of techniques accommodation providers will use to help promote their business and get our business. It isn't always Booking.com's issue. But just because Booking.com doesn't say there's any rooms available, doesn't mean there's actually no rooms available. Check each of the accommodation providers' own websites. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Kelvin Eldridge