Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tra-La Thai Restaurant, Rustico Pizza and Bolton Fish Shop now live on JustLocal

Welcome to Tra-La Thai Restaurant, Rustico Pizza, both from Bulleen and Bolton Fish Shop from Eltham, the newest advertisers on JustLocal.

You can find Tra-La Thai Restaurant and Rustico Pizza on the Bulleen page and you can find Bolton Fish Shop on the Eltham page Each restaurant includes their menu which means now when you have family and friends over, it is so much easier to select takeaway everyone is happy with.

Because of the way Justlocal helps people find businesses in their local area there is no longer any need to search. You simply go to your postcode page and click on the business you wish to use their service. But if you want to search Google go right ahead. Both Tra-La Thai Restaurant and Rustico Pizza have now been live for around a week and because of what we do behind the scenes, you can find both businesses by name on the first page of the Google search results. Whilst we can't guarantee placement in Google we often find those we promote end up in or near the first position in the search results. Bolton Fish Shop has just gone live and we hope they'll also get a high position in Google. The fastest way however to go to the page for each restaurant is to go to the postcode page and then a single click and you'll be at their site. Couldn't be easier.

Bon appetit.

Kelvin Eldridge 

Monday, October 18, 2010

NBN (National Broadband Network) concerns me. Are we creating Telstra 2?

I can't help but be concerned with the National Broadband Network. On the one hand I'd like the option that a fast optical fibre network will bring, but on the other hand because it is being built by the government and the government can legislate against all other players, it destroys competition.

The government sold off Telstra to mum and dad investors and then progressively eroded the value of the investment knowing it wanted to build its own fibre network. Of course it wasn't just the government but the worldwide trends towards reduced telecommunications costs working against Telstra, but I can't help feeling Telstra shares would be worth more if the government wasn't building its own network (Disclosure: I am one of the mum and dad Telstra shareholders but that isn't what concerns me.)

What concerns me is because the government is making the rules and playing the game, it is very hard for others to play the game. If you've ever played Monopoly as a kid you'll recall the person who was the banker somehow ended up doing pretty well.

Based on the experience in Tasmania the cost per connection (not retail) is $3,500. ($700 million over 200,000 connections)

So every Australian household is now to contribute $3,500 in some way.

I've read one ACT broadband supplier sold out early on. As I read other articles I get the feeling if broadband infrastructure suppliers aren't made an offer, they could go the way of the dinosaur.

Optus may close network for NBN: Conroy

Buy or beware - competitors gear up to do battle with NBN

Now I read since the copper network will be closed down if people want a fixed line and aren't connected to the NBN they'll have to pay $300.

Connect to NBN now or pay up to $300 for phone line

I keep reading articles about costs which people won't expect. When you get the NBN to you home what then? What wiring will you need done to take full advantage of the fast service?

The real concern is what happens in 30 years when the government wants to privatise the NBN. This feels to me like Telstra 2 in the making.

What about the billions of dollars invested in Optus and Telstra cable networks? What a potential waste if those networks are closed down before their time. Perhaps it is more efficient to close them down. I don't really know.

But my concern is it appears we won't have any choice and when that happens there is no competition and thus we can be charged whatever the government wants to charge. This reminds me of what is happening to electricity prices and once the government sells off NBN as it will in the future, I can't help feeling we'll all be having a feeling of deja vu.

What is wrong with the government making the rules by which multiple commercial players then operate? What is wrong with the government getting involved for areas where it is not economical for commercial players such as rural areas to make it commercially viable so all Australians get a fair go?

NBN isn't just about the internet and telephones. From what I see it is about the future of all forms of electronic media consumption households consume and soon I feel that could include the future equivalent of today's TV. Going one step further I suspect the NBN could become the backbone of all forms communication including mobiles and other forms of wireless communication giving the government and potentially a future privatised NBN owner single point control over a vital part of our countries infrastructure.

Right now bringing in an internet filter requires all ISPs to participate. With control at this level the government in theory could introduce whatever controls it wants without the involvement of any other party.

To me the government should be making the rules, not playing the game. Do we really want to end up with another government run monopoly? If government run monopolies were run at zero profit to world's best practices, I'd be in favour of them, but government run monopolies are run for profit at our expense.

The NBN concerns me. We can have a national broadband network without the government owning it. No one can compete against a government because it also makes the rules.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gary Hipworth, a modern day Socrates

I once read Socrates would answer a question with a question. He was a person who made people question that status quo. When I read about Socrates it reminded me of Gary Hipworth, a friend I've known for many years, who has focused his life on helping others to focus on their goals to achieve a better life and is always looking for ways to build a better world.

If you've reached the stage in your life where you are now starting to say, "there has to be more to life", Gary has produced a tool called Superlife to help you focus your thoughts and to take action.

Do you feel there's things in our society that need to be reviewed, then check out Gary's site and join in. Help make our society a better society for future generations.

Gary you have my support because I know you'll be there to support others.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thai Restaurant Bulleen

The aim of JustLocal is to encourage local businesses to promote themselves online so locals can more easily find and use their services. It is my belief every restaurant, tradesperson and in fact any small local business can help their potential customers by having a basic web presence.

When we have friends over and we’re thinking about grabbing some local takeaway, often the only menu we can find online is one of the big well known companies. There’s nothing wrong with that but I also like to also help the smaller businesses when I can.

I’ve recently sponsored and completed a menu for a new Thai restaurant in Bulleen, Tra-La Thai Restaurant, so now you can check out their menu online and enjoy some delicious Thai food. I’ve eaten there a number of times. Recently my daughter and a friend went there and we’ve all had a lovely experience.

Please feel free to check out the Tra-La Thai Restaurant’s menu at You can also find Tra-La Thai Restaurant on the JustLocal 3105 page (

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Windows Phone 7 launch announcement

Last night Microsoft launched their new Windows Phone 7 product which certainly looks very interesting. We now have Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Windows Phone 7 and I suspect early next year we'll see HP enter the market with the WebOS, which is the Palm operating system they acquired. I should also mention Blackberry, but I find in Australia the presence of Blackberry tends to be very low, even though in the States it has massive market share. Nokia may still be the leader in mobile phones by volume, but from what I see it hasn't captured the mindset of people in the Smartphone era.

I recently read that more than 50% of people are now using Smartphones. That is a massive uptake of what really is quite an expensive device that for most people will have a useful life of around two years.

The Apple iPhone based on my logs is showing considerable penetration in the market place (now being the third most popular operating system after Windows and Mac) with the other players hardly appearing as a blip in my logs. It will be interesting to watch how Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 performs in the market and whether it gains traction.

This is certainly going to be an interesting time in the Smartphone market. The pressure on all players to keep ahead is going to be immense. Microsoft will certainly gain a presence simply by the number of businesses bringing out product. There is LG, Samsung, HTC and Dell. Now consumers will be presented with a very large range of options and a lot of the options will be running Windows Phone 7. Apple has the market advantage due to its considerable time lead in the market. Android hasn't really taken off in Australia (based on my logs) but with Android tablets about to appear the broader range of devices may help Google's presence. Until of course Apple bring out their new models and perhaps Microsoft finally get a decent tablet product to market.

For the consumer the choice just became a little harder, but perhaps a little more exciting.

Check out Microsoft's Steve Balmer's announcement Windows Phone Newsroom: Press Event Video to keep updated on the state of play with the new entrant. Interesting to think of Microsoft as being the new entrant.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, October 08, 2010

A person shared this link with me so I thought I'd share it with others.

Smiffy's Place I Killed My FaceBook Account. Or So I Thought.

I have nothing against Facebook. I simply believe they should make all data private by default and people should take action to make it available. Facebook in my opinion should provide a series of open articles explaining to people potential risks and exposures associated with participating in an open way on the internet. People don’t know what they don’t know.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Alert: Your address has been changed. - PayPal

Today I received a phishing attempt I thought was a bit different and may catch people out, so I decided to warn others. The email had the subject Your address has been changed. and is designed to make people feel their PayPal account address has been changed.

I've found over the years most threats on the internet require people to take action when they shouldn't. The psychological tricks these dubious people use are quite interesting. Imagine you're not quite thinking and you get an email which tricks you into believing your bank account address details have been changed and you think you are being notified by the bank. A small lapse in concentration and the phishing attempt has worked.

In this case the attack is targeted at Australians with an Australian address provided. As attacks become more sophisticated and more directed, the greater the chance of someone being tricked. As you can see by the text tip provided by Outlook when you move the mouse over the link, the site you'd  go to is obviously not PayPal.

We can all be tricked. The recent iTunes gift voucher phishing attack saw the number of Mac users reaching my site go from 6-8% of the traffic to 25-30% of the traffic. It was truly amazing to not only saw the enormous number of people who were tricked, but also the significant increase in the proportion of Mac users hitting this blog.

To show how easy is it to be tricked I'll share this story.

I heard a person was waiting for a parking spot at a shopping centre and another driver rudely pulled in quickly, in front of them. As expected the person was irate. A short while later they saw the driver of the car in the shopping centre so they tapped them on the shoulder and said "excuse me. Do you own (the type of car) such and such a car". The answer was "yes, why". The person then said "someone has smashed into your car", to which the person rushed off in panic to check their car. The person was satisfied they'd inconvenienced the other driver as they'd been inconvenienced. All that is needed is a little information we can related to and we can all be tricked very easily.

Do take care on the internet. Whilst I do make money fixing people's computers and removing virus infections, it really is work I'd prefer wasn't required.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. OzEfilter is the product I wrote and use which helps me avoid being tricked by phishing and malware attacks. For free anti-virus software read earlier blog posts where I ran parallel tests against various packages over a week.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Alert: Online Transaction Error! - ANZ

I've received a couple of emails this morning with the subject Online Transaction Error! and thought I'd warn others and provide a couple of tips.

First this email is a fake email and more than likely, is designed to trick people into revealing their access details to their bank account. So delete the email.

The following are suggestions which may assist you in protecting yourself against phishing attempts.

  • I use a product I wrote called OzEfilter. OzEfilter enables me to view what is on my mail server before I collect the emails. These email would have been deleted at the mail server and never reached my computer, but in this case I accepted the emails so I could review them and share the information with others.
  • I don't provide an email address to my bank, so I will never receive a legitimate email from my bank. All banking emails can thus simply be deleted. I'd recommend you ask your bank to delete your email address. If they need to contact you they can always send a letter.
  • I use Outlook as my main email client. If I were to receive a suspicious email, I can move my mouse over the link and see the underlying web site address. Most free web mail products such as Gmail don't show you this very important information. If you need a copy of Outlook visit the Microsoft store using the link on the front page of JustLocal ( The following is what I see when I move my mouse over the link in Outlook. Outlook Express is also quite good in that it shows the link in the status area.

Please don't go to the web site shown in the  above image. It is only included here as an example and is in all probability a malicious site.

I hope this information helps you to avoid future malicious emails.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, October 04, 2010

Site to cancel Sensis Yellow Pages and White Pages directory delivery

Times are a changing. At one stage when you wanted to advertise your business you'd think about the Yellow Pages. For some it may still be the case. For me however every time I receive the Yellow or White pages I simply toss it in the recycle bin. I really don't want to receive either the Yellow or White pages and notice many people feel the same way.

The good thing is Sensis now provide a site so you ask them not to deliver the directories to your home or business. I guess they figure the savings on printing is worth it. For businesses advertising they won't notice any difference because people like me don't keep a copy anyway, so those businesses advertising know Sensis directories are more likely to be in the hands of consumers who want them.

If you're no longer interested in receiving the Sensis directories you receive, visit the following site.

Cancellation is for a period of three years and I believe you'll receive a reminder. I just hope Sensis don't use this as a way of  building a mailing list and pestering us using email instead of the printed directory that never gets used. Tossing a directory once a year can be easier than trying to get people to stop sending your emails. You never know who Sensis is going to provide your details to. It is up to you to decide whether tossing the unwanted directory is better or worse than the potential risk of unwanted emails. I'll risk it in the hope it saves a few trees.

To be fair, Sensis is a large organisation and they state the email won't be used for other purposes except for confirmation and notification. I believe we can take them at their word.

TIP: For the cancellation service I used Gmail. The activation email ended up in the spam folder and was not seen for a while. Normally I use OzEfilter which is for me a better way to get rid of spam without having emails go astray into a spam folder when you don't think they should.

Kelvin Eldridge

Gmail removes one of the most important reasons I don't recommend Gmail to many

I recently read the threaded view in Gmail was to become optional. I had to investigate and it's true.

First what is threaded view. Threaded view is where emails with the same subject are group together. Let's say for example you email someone, they reply back, you reply back them etc. Google groups all these emails as a thread and you see the latest email and a number in brackets in your inbox.

The problem I've found is most people I've met don't have a clue what is going on. They see the latest email but don't realise there are other emails there as well. For example they may be waiting for a response from one of the people they sent out invitations to, but not realise it has already been received.

Threaded emails appear to be a feature which came across from newsgroups where many people participate and so grouping the conversation together made sense. In emails often it doesn't make sense.

For example I often send out an email and during a course of time there are a number of emails going back and forth. I want to keep some of the emails, but some I don't, so I just delete them. The problem is I didn't realise but when I deleted one of the emails I deleted all of the emails in the thread. So the emails I thought I was saving were deleted. I found this by accident. I didn't understand why the email I remembered keeping wasn't to be found. Luckily it was still in my trash so I could recover it.

Google Gmail has now made the threaded view optional. Yes you can turn threaded view off and to me this improves the usability of Gmail for my user base significantly. To me it is a major step forward. There are still limitations in Gmail that exist which stops me from recommending it for everyone, but this is a major step forward.

In MyAnswers solution 2024 I provide the steps to turn threaded view off. This solution will be available soon.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Alert: Internet domain name & keyword

My clients have received emails purporting to originate from China advising a company is registering domains in the .cn, .asia using their domain name. Today I received one as well. This was good as I was able to check where the email came from.

The email had the subject: Internet domain name & keyword

The body starts with the following:

This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration and dispute internationally in China and Asia.
On September.29th,2010, We received HAITONG company's application that they are registering the name " onlineconnections " as their Internet Keyword and " onlineconnections .cn "、" onlineconnections " 、" onlineconnections .asia "domain names etc..,It is China and ASIA domain names.But after auditing we found the brand name been used by your company. As the domain name registrar in China, it is our duty to notice you, so I am sending you this Email to check.

I checked this email and it does appear to come from China. It is not possible for me to tell whether it is legitimate, spam or fraudulent. My suggestion to clients is to decided whether or not those domains are of important to them and then use a registrar they know and trust to register the domains.

I personally would not respond to these emails and thus delete them. There is no way for me to easily tell if this email is legitimate but it isn't worth the risk of responding.

Kelvin Eldridge