Sunday, May 29, 2011

The mail server at "" rejected the sender's address

I’ve seen the situation a number of times where a client sends an email to a customer where the receiving email server rejects the message. In this case the receiving service is Hotmail.

The mail server at "" rejected the sender's address, <[email address removed]>.  This is a permanent error. "" said, "550 SC-001 Unfortunately, messages from weren't sent. Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network is on our block list. You can also refer your provider to".

In the past when this has happened I’ve suggested the client contact the customer and ask them for an alternate email address. Another solution is to send the email using a different service provider.

The problem is companies like Hotmail/Microsoft are huge and they’ve probably identified spam or malware being sent from an internet address (IP) which the company sending the email is using and has no control over the IP address. The company isn’t doing anything wrong. The problem is when you send an email it has to go through your ISP. It is this ISP that is being blocked. One the ISP’s customers is probably sending spam or malware and the person sending the email is seen perhaps in the same range, or using the same dynamically assigned IP address.

The person who should receive the email thinks everything is OK on their end. The problem is Microsoft is blocking what the person can receive without their knowledge. I’ve seen this happen a number of times. I’d suggest a good way to fix this problem is to stop using Hotmail, or any other service that uses such a broad brush approach to blocking unwanted emails. Yes no one wants unwanted emails, but to block valid emails is just bad business practice and can lose companies business.

This is one reason I suggest that clients don’t use Hotmail for their business. If a potential customer sent you an email and it bounced you’d lose the business. I’m hoping that Microsoft does not apply the same level of rules to their upcoming Office 365 service or I’ll have to recommend clients not to use that service either. Given there is no way for me to know what Microsoft will do, it does make me now more cautious as to recommending Microsoft services.

In the past one approach clients have used is to simply wait for a few days and send the email again. With blocking it is sometimes done for a set period of time to stop and particular activity. In this instance the email worked perfectly yesterday but doesn’t work today. It is anyone’s guess if it will work tomorrow, but it is worth giving it a go. If it becomes a permanent problem you’ll need to look for a more permanent solution. It is a good backup plan to have a second ISP such as a mobile service provider or a web mail service provider to around this type of problem.


Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Opera Mini 6 on Apple iPhone kills off Goggle advertising

Opera Mini 6 on Apple iPhone kills off Goggle advertising I have no idea if this is by design or an accidental side effect. I have Google advertising on some of my pages and noticed the Google ads had vanished. No big deal really as I do lose some potential income, but users benefit with just my content and that is also a good outcome.

WOW I thought. Does this also apply to results from Google's search site. The answer as you can see from the screenshot is yes. There are no ads appearing at the right or top of the results. That's Google's lifeblood. No ads, no income.

All those sites which copy my articles onto their sites largely for Google ad revenue are effectively useless for them. That doesn't make me unhappy one bit:-) Of course this won't really impact those sites unless a large number of people use Opera and the iPhone to browse the internet.

Seriously, I do wonder the reason for this with Opera Mini.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, May 27, 2011

Word Check (WordCheck) now has its own domain

To make it easier for people to locate Word Check I've now set up Word Check with its own domain

Word Check enables people to check if they are using the preferred Australian English spelling. If you ever ask the question,"is it spelt with an s or a z?", then Word Check will help. If you wonder if it should be spelled or spelt, then Word Check will help. If you need to check the spelling of a word, then Word Check will help with suggestions if you haven't spelt the word correctly, and a convenient link to check the meaning of the word or other suggested words.

You can still find Word Check on the main page of JustLocal (, and you can still go direct to the Word Check page, but now you have a quick and easy way to remember Word Check and where it is located on the internet.


Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alert: Apple admits scareware problem, at last (Macdefender, Macguard, Macprotector, Macsecurity)

Over the years many Mac users have believed their computers to be immune to malware. In the past I've suggested they search the internet as there have been instances. To be fair, until recently Macs represented only around 6% of the PC market, but according to my observations this has now close to doubled. This doubling now increases the size of the market for malware writers and thus the Mac becomes more of a target and Mac users needs to accept the change in situation.

I was very surprised to read the following article about the line Apple support workers had to maintain. I hope it isn't true.

Apple has finally held its hands up and admitted that the MacDefender scareware package might be a problem, abandoning the line that support workers must on no account suggest to users that their machine might be infected with malware

This type of malware has been around for years with Windows computers and I have seen at least one person fall victim to the malware. I don't know why anyone would provide their credit card details in such a situation, but I can understand how people can be easily tricked.

A number of articles have starting appearing (Updated rogue AV installs on Macs without password) with regards to the issue and it seems the Apple forums started discussing the issue very early in May.

I read some time ago Apple incorporated anti-virus software into the operating system but it wasn't well publicised. To do so would indicate malware was becoming an issue. Informed users are generally better users in my opinion.

A while ago an email promoting a $50 iTunes gift card circulated as malware. Normally Mac users represent around 8% of the traffic to this blog. With the gift card there was a substantial spike of over 6,000 visitors in a very short period and the logs showed 20-30% of those were Mac users. That was a real concern is it highlighted that Mac users may be more susceptible to being tricked because in the past they weren't as good a target for malware writers. That has all changed. Mac users need to be kept informed. With the increased popularity of Apple products comes the increased problem of malware. It is unfortunate, but we need to accept it.

Kelvin Eldridge

Small businesses closing down. Don't be next.

I thought I’d share the following article which appeared on the News site. Whilst it is expected the a certain number of small businesses will close up each year, equally new business start up. In this article there is no mention of new businesses starting up, so if we factor new businesses in, to lose over 10,000 small business a year incredible, but what’s even more incredible is it understates the real number of businesses closing down.

SMALL shops are still badly wounded from the global financial crisis, with exclusive analysis for showing that more than 30,000 of the most vulnerable small businesses disappeared between the 2007 and 2010 elections. ... Read More


If you read many of the comments on the article by people you would get the idea it is all the government’s fault. Yes there is too much red tape, yes we are over governed, yes people prefer to buy at large department stores, but ultimately we are businesses and we have to work out how to survive. No one asked us to start a business. It was our choice. Should we really be putting our hand out to government. I don’t think so. If we do the government simply needs to take the money off us in the first place and by the time it comes back to u,s it is a fraction of what they’ve collected.

To me one of the biggest problems for small business is being seen by people in their area and for locals to support the businesses. But equally how many small business give preference to locals to supply them with products and services. Certainly none of the local businesses in my area ever ask me what I do, or give me business. With that approach how can they expect any loyalty from locals. Most businesses simply take from their customers in the form of profits and rarely see their customers as potential suppliers. Personally I look at my customers as the first people I call if I want a service. I look for ways to refer business to my customers if I can. If more small businesses stopped just taking from the local community and actively looked for ways to spend their expense dollars locally I believe they’d make a huge difference.

As small businesses we only have ourselves to blame. Look for ways to help other locals with your purchasing power and you’ll get more loyalty from locals. If you don’t, your business may be the next business they’ll be looking to online stores to provide your product or service. Loyalty is a two way street. You can make it happen but not if you only take and don’t give back.

- Kelvin Eldridge

Will the Apple app store be Apple's archilles heel

Personally I find app stores to be a blessing and a curse. Finding a suitable app takes a considerable amount of time. Then you have to evaluate the products to see if they meet your needs. I've deleted more apps than I can remember because most simply don't provide the functionality I want. But more recently I decided to go back and use an app I purchased a while ago and I wasn't' a happy chap.

The app is called RedLaser. The app scans barcodes. Ideally I wanted the app to scan a barcode and then use that code with a page I set up on the internet. That feature isn't included in the app, but with the tools Occipital provided (via their site) I was able to create a custom app to do what I wanted, sought of. I say sought of because I wanted to provide the approach to others and this clumsy approach meant it wasn't viable.

So it turned out I'd wasted the time and money on the app. Now when I go to use the custom app it no longer works, so really I've purchased an app with no useful functionality. I suspect the app was updated as a result of being purchased by eBay and the functionality I used was probably removed.

I'd still like to have the functionality, but to find a suitable app I have to read through numerous entries in the app store (again), and in most cases they are simply created as a tool to promote shopping sites overseas and I have no interest in those programs.

Now the blessing part of this is it is quite some time since I purchased the RedLaser app and there are now twice as many apps available. This is now a free app that appears to do what I want so I can now start testing that app.

Another example is more recently I purchased a blogging program because the Safari browser in the iPhone has been crippled so it doesn't provide the ability to upload a photo using the browser to blogger. Again I went through the process of reviewing a number of apps. This time I obtained assistance from a Mac user and from their contacts a Mac user group's discussion list. That saved a lot of time and resulted in one useful suggestion. So the app was purchased. Whilst it was a pretty poor user experience it was still workable. But then the other day I went to post on my blog and it failed as the app stated blogger wasn't accepting posts at that time. I went to the blog directly using Safari and was able to post so the program isn't up to scratch.

For me the app store is not a pleasant experience. It wastes time and money which is really frustrating. When you do have a win by finding something useful all tends to be forgiven. This is really weird. Chances are you'll end up paying someone that isn't helping and the person who is now helping you, will probably end up with nothing and that doesn't quite feel fair. I wonder if it is just me or are others finding a similar experience.

For me I can't wait until the browser functionality catches up and app stores aren't required. I don't know if that will happen soon as the app stores help the companies providing them by locking people in and taking a 30-40% cut from the developer. But I have faith it will happen. It is just a matter of time.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Opera Mini web browser 6.0 for Apple iPhone available

Opera Mini 6 browser for the Apple iPhone has just been released so I decided to give it a whirl. I've kept Opera installed on the iPhone, but to be frank, it really didn't offer much and had some issues. For example the layout off pages was not as good as the Safari browser. Being dependent on Opera's servers I also found it could get quite sluggish. Really there was little reason to use it so it languished.

I updated to Opera Mini 6 and my first impression was WOW. Scrolling around the screen now makes Safari look downright sluggish. I didn't expect that. Opera has changed their zoom feature to now be consistent with Safari, which is much better than the previous approach.

I decided to check my favourite site I found the previous version of Opera Mini did not display this site correctly. Neither did the Windows Phone 7 and the earlier versions of Android weren't good either. They'd wrap text as thought they were formatingg the text for the narrower screen, but kept the graphics in the right location. Safari was really the only browser that provided the same experience as the desktop browsers. Now Opera has fixed this issue as you can see in the about screen capture. JustLocal now displays correctly. Yahoo!

Another feature I did like with Opera was I use some of Google's services. Safari won't remember the log on information but Opera does. This saves a lot of typing and this feature has continued to work on the new version of Opera.

My biggest grief with Opera and Safari is I use Google Blogger. Neither allows the uploading of an image as I would using a regular browser. That's a real limitation for me. If Windows Phone 7 Mango upgrade provides this ability it will really sway me away from Apple. Both the Safari browser and the Opera browser are not recognised by Google Blogger so both do not work well.

Now I'll have to reserve judgement on speed, but when Opera loaded the JustLocal page it took around 5 seconds, whereas Safari took a very sluggish 15 seconds. The way Opera first loads blocks of colour and then fills in the actual images is pretty impressive to watch.

A feature that Opera is missing is spellchecking even on basic forms and I was hoping it might include spellchecing. Safari doesn't provide spellchecking either.

One of the problems I have with sites on the iPhone is quite a few mobile sites have been developed with the font being too small. That's not the iPhone's problem but really is the fault of the designer, but that doesn't help the user. When you try to zoom some sites designed for a  mobile device you often can't. The text stays annoyingly small. Opera on the other hand is great. It allows you to zoom in on the text even with a site designed for a mobile phone. The CNET mobile site is OK to read, but with the ability to zoom in Opera, it is now even better. When viewing CNET with Safari if you turn to landscape mode the text doesn't enlarge which is often the case and makes a site easier to read. With Opera the page zooms in, enlarging the text and you still have the option to zoom further if you want.

These are my first impressions with Opera. I really didn't expect much because I was pretty disappointed with Opera's first attempt. This version is significantly better. Whilst I may find things I don't like and may still revert to Safari, Opera for me is now worth a second look.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Alert: YouTube Administration sent you a message: Illegal video warning

I received an email with the subject YouTube Administration sent you a message: Illegal video warning this morning and decided to investigate.

This email is a phishing attempt. You should delete this email if you receive one.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mercury web browser for Apple iPhone

One feature that is missing from the Safari browser on the iPhone, is the ability to upload a file (or photo). Uploading a file is a standard feature on Desktop browser.

I decided to see if the Mercury web browser, which is available from the app store, would provide this facility.

As it turns out the button to choose a file to upload is also disabled in this browser.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, May 09, 2011

How and who is using your GPS data

I read recently that TomTom in Europe apologised to its clients for reselling the clients’ data and how that data was potentially going to be used. In effect government authorities will potentially be able to determine better locations for the placement of speed cameras which in turn increases revenue.

TomTom isn’t the only business that is recording users’ data and I’d be fairly confident that if you’re using a mobile phone your location data is being collected and used in ways you probably can’t imagine. If you’re using a “free” service simply ask yourself, how is the company making money? If you ask that question you’ll start to realise if they aren’t making the money from you, they have to be making it in some way and you may not be entirely happy with how your data is being used.


The problem now is even if we do pay a company for their service, they still seem to think it is their right to use our information for their benefit and I for one don’t think that is right.

TomTom Australia says it is planning to sell GPS data collected about its customers' journeys to road authorities and private companies ... Read More

Keep in mind as the consumer you have choices. You can turn off features of your devices that you aren’t using. In my case I have an iPhone I use only as a portable computer and a low cost dumb mobile phone I use for calls. The advantage of this is the mobile phone can last days on a single charge whereas smart phones need to be charged every day and sometimes multiple times a day.

- Kelvin Eldridge