Monday, July 24, 2017

Free Bike Share Melbourne has evolved.

I've now added a bike sharing system to the Free Bike Share Melbourne site. The system will enable my family and friends to find, book, borrow and return bikes, making bike sharing much easier.

The new option is the Bikes option found on the menu at This section is password protected for registered users only.

My desire is to test the approach and if it is found to assist my family and friends, to then look for ways I can make the same facility available to others.

Kelvin Eldridge
Free Bike Share Melbourne

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Aldi 60"/152cm Ultra HD 4K LCD TV.

Can't justify the cost of a large screen TV, perhaps the 60" TV from Aldi is worth checking out.

OK. I'm not really a big TV fan, or more specifically a big fan of TV, but like most people, do spend time watching it. We've had a smallish 32" TV in the lounge for some time and really it looks too small.

The Aldi range of TVs are very reasonably priced so I thought why not give it a go. I picked up the Aldi 60"/152cm Ultra HD 4K LED LCD TVs on Saturday. If you're thinking about one of these TVs it is big, so make sure you have a car/van that can carry the TV. We have a small people mover and it took up all the back boot and passenger space. The good thing is whilst it's best to have two people to lift it, it is surprisingly light for its size, at about 15kg.

Set up of the TV was pretty easy. Installed the two legs by screwing in three screws in each. I'm always a bit concerned with screws cross threading and one was a bit of a concern, but the rest screwed in fine. Turn the TV on an followed the prompts and it was up and going in a few minutes. The picture quality for my needs is very good. It also fits our large lounge room and doesn't look out of place. I like the thin black frame which means the TV doesn't look like a piece of furniture.

So far really, the only thing I think could be better is the EPG guide. The EPG doesn't show a summary of what's on across all the channels. You have to step through each channel to see what's on the channel. Not a really big issue as I can always check an online TV guide. The EPG does show what's showing currently and later for the channel, so that's good if you want to see what's up next.

Keep in mind this is not a smart TV. I'm not interested in a smart TV as the computing devices, Apple TV and Google Chrome provide all the smarts I need.

In terms of ports, it has all the ports I need. One port that is missing that I've seen on other TVs, is output of video/audio using RCA sockets, but since I've never used them in the past, I don't see that as a problem for the future. There's four HDMI inputs and two USB inputs. One HDMI for the Google Chrome device I have which uses one USB port for power and a second port for a USB device. Again sufficient for my needs.

At $799 the Aldi 60"/152cm Ultra HD 4K LCD TV is a pleasant addition to our entertainment needs. No real problems so far and I'm very happy with the purchase.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Coles receipts are tax invoices, but not a valid tax invoice when Flybuy points are used.

A while ago I created the Australian GST Calculator to make it easier to determine GST, or add GST. Rounding can be an issue with GST.

Today however, I noticed a very unusual situation that I'd never seen, or thought about before. According to the Coles site, Coles receipts, which are clearly marked at tax invoices, also display a disclaimer they are not valid tax invoices, if Flybuy points are used. Coles provides a GST Calculator specifically for calculating the actual GST when you use Flybuy points.

Looking at the examples provided, it appears you need to apportion the Flybuy point saving in proportionally to both the tax example and taxed items. In the first example on the link provided the total receipt is for $79.99, the Flybuys discount is $10, the GST on the receipt is $6.40 and the tax free item is $9.55.

The $10 as a proportion of $79.99 is 0.125. Therefore the GST needs to be reduced by 0.125 or $0.80, giving the actual GST as $5.60.

In the case of the second receipt for $154.34, GST $7.74, Flybuy points were used to pay the entire amount. The GST in this case has to be reduced by 100% or 1 * $7.74, meaning no GST has been paid. Put another way, Flybuys is a discount and needs to be applied equally to tax free items and taxed items. Thus the amount of GST paid for the taxed items is reduced.

In this case, the Australian GST Calculator won't assist in this more complex situation. It may be worthwhile when purchasing business related items to either pay entirely using Flybuy points, or not to use Flybuy points at all.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Melbourne petrol prices are now in the price hike phase.

Last night I noticed the Preston Woolworths Petrol station had increased its price to 132.9. This morning I noticed a second in South Preston has increased their price.

Today driving around there were many petrol stations that had restored their prices to 132.9.

It's definitely time to fill up your petrol tanks and soon lock in the 7 Eleven petrol price for the coming week.

The area where you can find the lowest prices appears to be around the Clayton/Springvale/Moorabin area. There's still plenty of areas you can find unleaded petrol under the 110 price, but don't delay, another day or two and the petrol price will have restored to the higher price.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Optus offers extra 50GB on it's $70 a month 50GB SIM only data plan.

I found this interesting. Optus recently offered an extra 50GB on their $70 a month 50GB SIM only data plan, taking the monthly allowance to 100GB. The plan continues at 100GB a month unless you cancel the plan. The offer expired on the 2nd of July 2017.

Today, the 6th of July, I saw this ad appear on the site.

 Yes (no pun intended), it is the same offer that had just expired, but now we have a new offer (that's the same) which expires on 6/8/17. The offer like the previous, ends on a Sunday.

Now I do wonder what will happen after the 6th of August. Perhaps another similar offer.

Seeing this type of ad is good as it shows us the technique of using a limited time offer to encourage people to buy now. Once you see such offers only to see the same offer again after the expiry date, it makes you realise you're just being manipulated by the advertising. You're then in a better position to make better decisions, rather than making decisions where they've used psychological tricks to make you buy.

Overall the offer is a good offer. I suspect not too far into the future we'll see 100GB at this price or better, so mobile data hopefully becomes better value over time.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Making an offer on real estate/property.

I think everyone is annoyed the real estate industry regularly advertises properties for sale with a price range and the sale price is nowhere in the range. The reserve price is far above the advertised price range.

The explanation I was given for this type of price advertising by an agent decades ago, is the pool of buyers is like a pyramid. At the actual price wanted there is only a limited number of buyers. However as you go down in price the pool of potential buyers in the market increases. If you can get the interest of a larger pool of buyers, it may be possible to encourage some of those buyers to pay more.

What this means for most buyers is they waste valuable time and resources looking at property that may never have been in their price range.

Recent changes in the law to discourage under quoting (advertised prices lower than the price actually wanted) means there's now a better way to make an offer on real estate/property.

Always make your offer to the agent in writing (this also means email). If the offer is then rejected by the vendor and you get a response in writing (request a written response), the agent can no longer keep advertising below the price that was rejected. That means the advertised price has to be adjusted resulting in a more realistic advertised price.

If the agent continues to advertise the real estate/property below the price of a written offer/written rejection, then the agent can be reported to ASIC for review.

Keep in mind vendors do not have to consider any offer and may wish only to go to auction. It is also conceivable the agent may try to respond with the rejection verbally so it is not in writing, or not respond at all. There may be many ways for the agent to continue to advertise a price lower than the vendor will accept.

At least now by making a written offer and requiring a written response, there's a slim possibility advertised prices may adjust making it easier for buyers to only consider real estate/property within their budget, saving them considerable time and effort.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

ASIC late payment fees due to ASIC sending reminder late.

To me it is rather disturbing how ASIC is acting. ASIC are issuing late payment notices that are received well after the date the fee has to be paid, resulting in an even higher excessive fee being charged.

ASIC send out very early notices, months before the ASIC fee is required. In this case I fully accept I misplaced the notice and thus should pay the late payment fee. However, the notice I received from ASIC to indicate the yearly fee had not been paid and thus a $76 late payment fee was being charged, did not come out in a timely manner.

ASIC invoice issue date 24 Jan 17
ASIC due by date 24 Mar 17

ASIC invoice issue date 27 Mar 17 with additional $76 late fee
Not stated due date. Pay immediately.
Received and paid on the 1 May 17.

If this amount isn't paid within 28 days an additional late payment fee of $240 applies. Invoice was received and paid on 01 May 17.

Overdue notice dated 25 May 2017 for a further late fee of $240.
Paid on 31/5/2017.

As stated above I have no issue of paying the initial late payment fee as I was in error. However, sending out the reminder to be received after the time required to be paid, means you automatically end up being hit with an additional $240 late payment fee. My incompetence in paying the ASIC fee on time, is only exceeded by ASIC to get late payment notices out in a timely manner.

If you're in this situation, I'd suggest it is simply a waste of time applying for a fee waiver. In my case it was rejected.

Kelvin Eldridge