Saturday, March 28, 2015

AAMI safe driver app. Make sure you understand the information you're sharing before you use the app.

I think the AAMI safe driver app is a very good idea, but a very bad idea when it is provided by an insurance company and the data is uploaded to their servers.

Now I'm not saying this is happening, but it could happen. You use the AAMI safe driver app and the app determines you're not a safe driver. That of course is a good thing to help the person improve their driving skills. However how is that information going to be used. AAMI is part of the Suncorp Group. Is that data going to be accessible to the entire group? Will the data you provide affect your ability to gain insurance? Will insurance be withheld now or in the future because you're not considered a safe driver. Two major groups control around 80% of the car insurance group and those installing the app will be providing their data that could in theory affect their ability to gain insurance.

If the data was only stored in your mobile device and not shared with anyone else I'd be much happier with that situation. Any device that can assist us to improve our driving is a good thing. Some people however could potentially supply data that could be used against them. In the FAQ it is stated the data can be used for research, but it isn't stated what type of research. It is also stated the data can be provided to law enforcement agencies if required.

Unfortunately people often have no idea of the implications of the data they are giving away to others for a relatively small benefit, how the data is going to be used and how it may potentially affect them.

I'd highly recommend not installing the AAMI safe driver and other similar apps without first fully understanding the implications of sharing your data.

As an example Tom Tom in Europe had users upload their GPS data. Tom Tom then sold that data to the law enforcement agency who then used the data to research where people were speeding more. By using the people's own data against them they were able to increase revenue, and I suspect some people who provided the data, would have ended up providing the information that resulted in them being fined.

Now of course it could be argued fining more people for speeding is a good thing. It could be argued many fines and the level of fines are not appropriate and revenue raising. Those arguments are for another day. My main concern is that people are fully informed and aware of the implications of the choices they make. In this case where the app is provided by a business where there's a related financial interest, it is important for people to think through the implications of their actions.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Video not working in Facebook.

I've noticed a number of times that when I view a post in Facebook with a video all I get is a timer that keeps spinning. If I click on the image nothing happens. If I wait nothing happens, the timer simply keeps spinning around.

I decided to investigate and the solution is pretty easy. I run my system without Flash and Java installed as these two products make up most of the top ten malware infection vectors. Since I don't generally need these products I've removed them.

That means this issue is through my own creation. To fix the issue all you need to do is to go to the Adobe site in install the Flash Player. If you don't wish to install the Flash Player and really want to check out the video, then use your mobile device connected to your Wi-Fi (not your 3G data as video uses a lot of data which could mean cost). Facebook knows mobile devices can't display Flash so doesn't use Flash on mobile devices. Now why Facebook just doesn't do the same on desktops and notebooks makes me shake my head.

In any case, now I know and your know as well.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

SEO services for JustLocal advertisers

SEO Company Melbourne is a site I've just set up for a number of reasons. The first being on a regular basis I assist JustLocal advertisers with their presence in Google. For those advertisers who require assistance I'm now happy to assist them improve their presence in the Google search results.

A second reason is I continue to test and measure and the site is part of my ongoing testing. I often release the results of my tests in MyAnswers, so all clients can benefit from the knowledge gained for a nominal cost.

The third reason is the SEO Company Melbourne site is an example of a responsive site. A site that can be viewed on the desktop, tablets and mobile phones. The techniques developed in creating this site can now be used to develop other similar sites if required.

The final reason is I wanted to share a way for people to avoid the SEO scammers. Those SEO consultants marketing their services, often very successfully, who often don't deliver anything for the unsuspecting user. The knowledge I share on the SEO Company Melbourne site can be used by anyone to lock their supplier down. That means they will now know what to expect from their SEO consultant if the SEO consultant doesn't deliver, and if they've taken the advice provided, they shouldn't be out of pocket. I believe if a supplier doesn't deliver then the customer should not have to pay.

At this stage I'm limiting my SEO services to JustLocal advertisers.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, March 27, 2015

Alert: You are selected to win a coles voucher!. Congratulations! Win free groceries.

I received an email today which is an obvious scam. As you can see their mail merge didn't even insert my name correctly. However this is a reminder that you should never simply assume any email you receive is legit.

The problem I feel is a disaster waiting to happen is so many people are Flybuys and Everyday Reward members the scammers at one point will product very good fakes. If the fakes are almost  identical to legitimate emails being received by millions of Australians, when that happens a huge number of people will be tricked.

Ask yourself this. How often do you now click on the Activate offer button without reading the offer in details? If the regular Flybuys or Everyday Rewards email was a fake email, clicking on that link may take you to a site which could potentially infect your computer, or worse.

One of my earlier posts of the $50 iTunes gift voucher received thousands of hits within a matter of days, so if you get tricked, you're not alone.

Take care with all emails you receive. Most of the time the infected computers I see are a result of the person being tricked causing the person to infect their own computer. We're all human. With a moments lapse of concentration it is very easy to do something you'd never thought you would.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Alert: Mauricio Prinzlau - Cloudwards - World Backup Day 2015 Infographic email.

I received an email from Mauricio Prinzlau from Cloudwards regarding an infographic for World Backup Day 2015. The email read:

Hi Kelvin,

I recenty came across your coverage of World Backup Day, and as you may know, it's celebrated every year on March 31st. As such, I thought our unique 12390px long infographic can be usefull to you.

We've gathered interesting statistics and facts about backup and the cloud, alongside listing the best practices for backing up data properly.

Now I did publish a blog post for a previous World Backup Day ( I've also written a utility people can use to to back up their data ( No cost involved. Just use the tool I provide. So I did recall the earlier post and the email appeared to have something to do with World Backup Day. Perhaps it was from the organisers.

Then I became suspicious. The email address they'd used was an email address I don't publish anywhere. Of course. This is just spam marketing. These people have obtained a marketing list and are just spamming people who may have referenced World Backup Day in the past.

It really is getting to the point that nearly every email and blog comment you receive is spam. Such a pity where this world has got to. I suggest to others to treat every email that is requesting some action on your part for assistance as suspicious. Many people get tricked as I have in the past. With time we all get better at picking the spammers and scammers.

You should delete such emails.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Microsoft's OEM versus retail demarcation really wins them no friends.

How much time is wasted due to the silly lines of demarcation that companies like Microsoft artificially create. I received a computer from a client that needed to have Windows 7 reinstalled. Everything looked OK. I had the disk and the product key label was affixed to the computer.

As it turned out I didn't quite have everything. On closer examination when I went to enter the product key I noticed the last two characters of the product key missing. The characters had been pulled off when an overlapping label had been removed previously. Now perhaps I was remiss. Perhaps I should have looked closer and noticed the missing characters and then used a hacking tool (probably available on the internet) to determine the product key. But really, should we need to hack when there's proof of purchase.

A call to Microsoft support (with the obligatory wait) and then advised to do a key-less install without the product key. Then come back when ready and they'd activate. With everything ready I placed another call to Microsoft with the obligatory wait and being passed to another group. This time the answer I received was, they weren't able to provide the product key as that was up to the manufacturer since it wasn't a retail product. Now of course the manufacturer doesn't keep those details do they.

Not one to give up and I decided the easiest approach (if you can call it easy) was to determine the characters used by Microsoft product keys and simply enter all the two letter combinations. Slow, tedious, and painful, but in the end the client gets their computer and there's no additional cost for a new package of software they already own. Microsoft wins no friends by this ridiculous behaviour.

This however is a good warning to everyone. Make sure you have recorded your product keys. So many times I see people who have thrown out their packaging, or lost the email with their product key (it was on their computer which just failed) and it ends up costing them money they need not spend. Basic administration and recording of the appropriate product keys is important. You really don't want to spend money you don't need to.

Have you written down your product keys for your software?

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

JustLocal's main user interface is now "responsive" and mobile friendly.

I've wanted to adjust JustLocal to a more suitable design for mobile and small tablet users for some time. As from the 21st of April Google will penalise sites in terms of ranking on mobile devices, if the site isn't designed for a mobile device such as a mobile phone. This change reportedly does not affect tablets and desktops.

Given I'd already felt adjusting JustLocal to work better on the small screen of a mobile phone was desirable, I decided it was time to make the changes and I'm very pleased with the result.

On mobile phones and some small tablets you'll see a slightly different presentation than on the desktop. The desktop has a grid showing ten lots across. A lot being a single graphic linking to a business. On a mobile phone since you can hold the phone vertically or horizontally, you'll see four lots across when held vertically and five lots across when held horizontally. In computer terms the vertical orientation is called portrait and the horizontal orientation is called landscape.

One oother term you'll hear about websites is whether they're responsive or not. This isn't about how quick a site will respond to you, which is I feel how many people will think about the term. It is about how the site design responds when the user is using a different screen size device. The site is responsive if it adjusts to the size of the screen.

With the small screen design of JustLocal there's also two other slight changes. The menus across the top show a reduced selection of options and the banner section, where I sometimes display links to sites, will show less sites. You'll see in the following screenshots only the link for Conveyancing Melbourne is shown, whereas on the desktop quite a few more links are shown.

Vertical orientation

Horizontal orientation

I always enjoy watching JustLocal evolve and this change is particularly pleasing and will assist to help local businesses be found for some time into the future no matter whether people use a desktop, notebook, tablet, or mobile phone. Now as for smart watches, we'll just have to see how they evolve;-)

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Property Lawyers Melbourne - JJ Legal

Property lawyers Melbourne JJ Legal can be found on JustLocal postcode page

If you have a legal matter relating to commercial or residential property contact JJ Legal.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, March 20, 2015

Alert: Email with no sender, no subject, no body, that is it appears completely empty.

I heard today on the internet people receiving emails that were completely empty. I'm pleased to say I just received one so I've been able to review the email. However I'm sure the pleasure is going to come with some pain down the track.

In your email client (web mail, Mac mail client, Outlook in my case) the email appears to be completely empty. So relax, it's not your mail client. The following is all the email consists of. This is known as the email headers.

Return-path: <dqpjo(at)>
Envelope-to: sales at
Delivery-date: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 03:48:53 -0500
Received: from [] (port=39084
 by with smtp (Exim 4.82)
 (envelope-from <jdqpjo(at)<>)
 id 1YYsbr-00012D-0I
 for sales at; Fri, 20 Mar 2015 03:48:53 -0500
Message-ID: <5 p="">
NOTE: The @ symbol has been changed to (at) to avoid live links. After the 5 are three more characters [10.

Whilst you may jump to conclusions with regards to the mail server (.de being Germany) and the .com domain, these are fake. The only real piece of useful information is the IP address which lets us know this email came from the ISP BSNL in India.

That's really all that can be determined. There's no hidden text or graphics in the email body as I've seen a person mention. The email contains no body content.

So why would anyone send such messages. I don't really know. I saw someone suggest it is to verify email addresses are valid so the sender can ensure they're providing a database of current email addresses. This is possible but it's not really necessary to actually send emails to check an email address, or at least it wasn't when I checked a few years ago. Perhaps things have changed.

If I were to guess I'd suspect this is a malformed email. I've seen malformed scam/spam emails in the past, but not one that had this effect.

The bottom line is this particular email should simply be deleted. You can't stop people from sending emails to you, or determining if your email address is valid and live. You could of course use some form of spam tool/filter on your end, but this email is little more than a quick delete and move on.

The pain down the track. Perhaps more spam, but I'm used to that, so nothing we aren't already handling.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.


I stand corrected. There is a body to the email which is the following.

MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook 15.0 Thread-Index: AdBi6rFJIDn4g2UCRtyJPvWUk7P/kQ== X-OlkEid: 00000000B90EFA456EEF1F48A930E7FFCC2C3F840700C3B68E10F77511CEB4CD00AA00BBB6E600000000000B00001298AEAE1536E54C8B9551F5D9A1369E0000000019E200004DB0B20D60D74D4CAED04885369C5C8B

I've not seen this before but this is more concerning. It looks like an SMS message contained in an email. I'm not able to determine what this may do. Definitely delete this email without pressing on anything else.

Checking the internet this sounds like a truncated message. It may be the anti-virus software used by the mail provider is doing this. I don't know what if anything they use.

I suppose for the moment this one will have to remain a mystery. Again the safest thing to do is to delete the email.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Is the spelling trademark or trade mark in Australia?

I've been assisting a site with SEO with terms like Property Lawyers MelbourneIntellectual Property Lawyer and Conveyancing Melbourne, but one thing that stopped me in my tracks I found quite interesting was the spelling of trademark versus trade mark.

I've seen both the spelling trademark and trade mark used so I thought it was time to investigate. Now here's where our language gets tricky. On checking the Australian Oxford dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary (version 5), both have the main spelling as trademark and the also spelling as trade mark. As a general rule if both of these authoritative references agree it's often a good indication of the correct spelling. In this case however the authoritative references don't agree with Australian usage and the government sites. In particular you would think if the government sites which maintain the trade marks use the spelling as two words, that would be a good indicator. General usage in Australia by using the Search Australia tool I wrote, which only returns results for .au domain (plus some other specified sites), also shows the general use is two words.

It also appears the usage varies across the world. For example the government sites in the UK, Canada, USA and Australia use trade mark, trademark, trademark and trade mark respectively.

Unfortunately this leaves us in a situation where the authoritative references are in conflict with the usage by the government and general Australian usage. This isn't a situation I see often. At this point until I can resolve this I really need to stick with the current spelling in my dictionary files. That is that trademark is a valid spelling and since the two words trade and mark and also individually correctly spelt, then both spelling variations will be considered correct. It does however mean I'll need to investigate further.

I'm not a betting person, but if I were, then I'd place my bet on trade mark as the correct spelling, or should I say, the preferred Australian English spelling. However I think it is best to withhold judgement until further investigation is undertaken.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary files.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Woolworths Domino Stars doesn't make sense as a game of dominoes.

When I saw a collection of the Woolworths Domino Star tiles I thought that's neat. I used to like playing dominoes when I was younger and I can see how the next generation would find them fun. However I picked up a couple of the tiles and to my surprise the picture on the front was the same, but on the reverse the value or number of spots differed. Huh, I thought to myself. What's going on?

That made me start thinking, how many tiles are actually in a dominoes set? It turns out there's two standards, but the one I'm played had 28 tiles and there's another with 55. The Woolworths Domino Stars has 44 tiles so it doesn't match either set. Based on the numbers on the tiles it would make sense to have 28 tiles.

Then it occurred to me the Woolworths Domino Stars really makes no sense at all as a playing set of dominoes. First the number of tiles don't match, but more importantly, the pictures on the other side would let a child with a good memory know what the other person had. That makes the game pointless.

I think Woolworths should have thought this one through better. It really just is a marketing exercise. The word domino is used so we relate to the game, but really there's no useful relationship. The number of tiles don't match and if someone has a better memory, then they have an unfair advantage and that's not what dominoes is about.

On the plus side they do make a good set of tiles, and one of the things I had fun with as a child was lining the tiles up in patterns and then knocking the first one over to watch them all fall. Not really dominoes, but still a fun activity.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, March 13, 2015

HBO Now. Will it be available in Australia for the Apple TV?

I watched Apple's March 2015 keynote presentation as I like to see what Apple is doing direct from the horse's mouth so to speak, and not through material written for other media outlets. There's often clues or further information not mentioned. I learnt quite a lot more watching the keynote than I have from any of the media articles.

One thing I was interested in was finding out whether or not the HBO Now service would be available in Australia. I'd probably not use it, but I thought it's not likely to be available due to the regional licensing of material. Eventually these artificial borders will go and when that happens we'll see quite a different media landscape.

Whilst nothing was said specifically, which to me is disappointing, there was a very useful clue. As the video for HBO Now finished, if you looked carefully, the information we needed was there. Here's the relevant image.

For those not able to read this it states, HBO NOW is only accessible in the U.S. and certain U.S. territories. Some restrictions may apply.

Ah well. It looks like Australia misses out again, but that is to be expected at this time.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Conveyancing Melbourne - Searching for a lawyer to assist with your conveyancing?

If you're searching for 'conveyancing Melbourne' in Google, then why not save some time and check out JJ Legal for their conveyancing service. You can read more about the conveyancing services offered by JJ Legal at

JJ Legal can also be found on the JustLocal postcode page for Burwood.

If you're in Melbourne and require conveyancing, give JJ Legal a call.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Where are the nearest Coles Express locations?

Have you ever wondered where are the nearest Coles Express locations? This came up in a conversation on the weekend where a person was telling me how handy the map showing the nearest petrol station was. They needed a BP service station as they had a card for BP. I thought it was an amazing coincidence that I'd mapped the BP service station locations and the map had come in handy so soon.

I then realised a map of Coles Express locations could come in very handy for family, friends and users of my sites. Everyone I know has a Flybuys card and most shop at Coles, so they receive a petrol discount voucher. Over the years what''s annoyed me with Shell is going into a Shell service station and they don't honour the discount voucher. Not a big deal but when you're expecting something to happen and it doesn't, something just doesn't feel right.

What I hadn't thought about is how things have changed with most Shell service stations now being owned and operated by Coles. The issue of not accepting vouchers only occurred with the independent Shell service stations and now since many of the service stations are Coles Express, by just sticking with Coles Express I think you'd be fairly certain to get the discount. I'd never thought of it that way. In other words when travelling if there's not a Coles Express, then it really may not matter which petrol station you use. If you pick the Shell service station you may or may not get a discount. Just assume you won't and if you get the discount, it's a bonus.

If you're looking for where Coles Express service stations are located the desktop site will show you all the Coles Express locations across Australia. If you're travelling or simply want to check the Coles Express locations around you, the mobile map at shows you the nearest five locations and the distance as the crow flies. We tend to go to service stations through habit and often the map uncovers service stations that are more convenient than we would otherwise have expected.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, March 09, 2015

Where is the nearest cinema? Nearest Hoyts and Village Cinema map.

The other day I was purchasing discount tickets for the cinema. I was faced with the option of either Hoyts tickets or Village Cinema tickets. Which to choose? Where is the nearest cinema or cinemas I thought to myself.

I've actually found myself in this situation a few times so I thought a map of the cinema locations could help me make a better decision and if I'm out and about, the mobile version of a map showing the closest five cinemas could come in really handy.

At the time I made the decision to go with Village Cinema tickets. After having created the map and viewing the five closest cinemas the real surprise was there were three Hoyts and two Village Cinemas so Hoyts would probably have been a better choice. I'd have never known that if it weren't for the maps. It really is amazing the assumptions we make based on what we think we know, which in fact isn't as good as we think it is.

If you'd like to check the nearest cinema to yourself, the desktop version of the map is available at and the mobile version showing the closest five is available at All maps are available via the site.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, March 06, 2015

Where is the nearest McDonald's?

Where is the nearest McDonald's is a question I've often wanted to know over the years and as part of building some useful maps, I decided to put together a map of the McDonald's locations across Victoria.

There's a map for desktop/notebook/tablet users ( which shows a large map with a large number markers indicating the location of McDonald's stores. For desktop/notebook users you can click on a marker to see the location. You can also zoom in and move around the map. For mobile users the map ( shows the nearest five McDonald's store. Very handy for those on the move and not familiar with the area. In fact often we find we go to the McDonald's quite far away without realising there's an alternate McDonald's just up the road in a slightly different direction.

I've produced these maps for myself but share them in case others find them of value.

Kelvin Eldridge
Helping locals to find local businesses.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Can't send an SMS in Skype on the iPhone.

I have to admit Microsoft for me has destroyed the Skype experience. Skype was an exceptionally useful application on the iPhone but now I find it frustrating. Over the years I've found Microsoft for me has been destroying my experience and satisfaction across all their products, so I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised. To put this in context I was a die hard Microsoft user for decades so it disappoints me to see Microsoft so often shooting themselves in the foot.

I have very little need to use Skype locally, as my mobile phone plan means it isn't necessary. However when I travel Skype comes in very handy for calls and sending SMS messages.

I went to send an SMS message to a mobile number not in my contacts. There's no option to just send an SMS message. That's pretty useless. Such a basic feature has been removed. Imagine not being able to send an SMS message on a mobile phone simply by entering the number. You'd never buy such a phone.

To get around this issue with Skype you need to first call the mobile number and then quickly hang up. Go to the recent calls, select the number and now you can send an SMS. As crazy as it sounds this works.

I hold out hope that one day Microsoft will again focus on the needs of the users, or at least the needs of this particular user, which I'm sure are similar to many others.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for IT support.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Google+ and Fun Date Ideas added to Mapz.

Where the nearest petrol station was recently added to Mapz and now I've also added Fun Date Ideas and the locations the Fun Date Ideas team have reviewed. A novel variation is if you click on the marker on the map you'll go straight to the review.

Impress your other half with your ability to come up with fun date ideas. Check out the locations at, or on your mobile device.

Oh, I forget to mention, if you like the maps don't forget to do a review by clicking on the g+1. Thank you for your support.

Kelvin Eldridge
Making it easier to find local.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

We have now verified that we are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account(s) under your control.

I received an email titled "Policy Breach Notice" from Google with the following message.

Dear Publisher, 

We have now verified that we are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account(s) under your control. 

Thank you for helping to resolve this matter. 

The Google Policy Team

Initially I wondered if this was a scam, but this appears to be a legitimate email. I didn't know what PII meant. After some searching it appears PII stands for Personally Identifiable Information. However the real problem is the thank you for helping to resolve this matter makes no sense. I had no knowledge there was any issue.

Checking the internet has found many people receiving the same message and also not having any knowledge of what it is about. At this point there is nothing I've knowingly done or have done.  The message appears that it may be a result of a false positive.

I felt it was appropriate to share this experience in case others find themselves in the same situation. At least people will know they're not alone.

Kelvin Eldridge

Where's the nearest petrol station? Very handy if you're running low on fuel.

Where's the nearest petrol station is a question I've often asked when fuel is getting low. I decided to put together a map showing the nearest BP petrol stations in Victoria.

Why BP you might ask. I wanted to see if there was any interest and BP make their data available whereas most of the other oil companies don't. Best to start somewhere and really the difference for 50 litres is only around $2, so in a push, it's best to know where the nearest BP petrol station is than not knowing at all.

One tip that might come in handy for desktop users is the map is centred at your approximate location. If you click on the + to zoom in the map will zoom around you present location. For other locations double click roughly where you're looking and the map will zoom at that point.

You can find the nearest petrol station (BP Victoria) using the desktop site at and on a mobile at

Kelvin Eldridge