Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Hailstorm in Templestowe.

There's a hailstorm that just passed through Templestowe and the hail stones were huge. About two thirds the size of golf balls. A good time to put the car in the garage.

Take care.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Seniors Card Vic discount offers now being added to Mapz.

Now that I have a Seniors Card I thought I'd start creating a map of the places I've received special discounts or offers. Initially I thought it would be easy, but then comes the frustration. Now you could say just be grateful, and I should be, but I do wish things would be simple. Different businesses of the same franchise group make different offers so you never know what offer you'll get until you ask.

The Seniors Card Vic section of Mapz is now being populated with the places I've received discounts or offers.

Whether it's an extra coffee or a discount, if you have a Victorian Seniors Card it doesn't hurt to ask the question, "do you offer a Seniors Card discount?" The worst they can say is no and sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Don't forget when shopping for Christmas presents at this time of the year, some shops offer a Seniors Card discount.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, December 11, 2017

Petrol prices in Melbourne on the increase. Unleaded rising to 149.9

Today I noticed a number of petrol stations rising their price for unleaded petrol to 149.9 so it looks like it's petrol price hike time again.

What has been really weird over the past week has been price drops of up to 4 cents per day. I've not seen that happen before so felt something very unusual was happening in the petrol market. Secondly, since I've been following the petrol price over the last year the pattern has been fairly consistent. The petrol price drops to around or below the average gate price (wholesale price) and then returns to the peak which is around 25-30 cents higher than the low price.

Usually the drop from the peak to the low price point happens at around half to one cent per day. Basically that means the price drops over three to four weeks. Sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. Quick drops like we've recently seen aren't usual.

Second, the low price point of the average gate price has not been reached or passed. We've still seeing prices around the high 120s. The average gate price is around 124.

I can only guess that as we approach Christmas and the holiday period the petrol companies wanted to drop the price rapidly so the price could be raised back to the peak to get a better return from people going on holidays. Otherwise at the normal rate of the price dropping, those travelling would have had excellent petrol prices. Now that's not going to happen.

There's been one false price hike I've seen where prices for some petrol stations went up early and this still could be the case. However, there's far more this time so it really does look like the price hike is happening.

Time to shop around and fill up those tanks. For those using the 7 Eleven fuel app, watch the prices and lock in the low price in the near future.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The Australian Spelling Test - The Sequel, now available.

For those keen spellers out there, my latest spelling test, The Australian Spelling Test - The Sequel, is now available.

There's 20 words to test your spelling skills. Each word is shown with spelling variations people typed into Word Check to check the spelling, or the meaning of the word. What makes the test tricky is when you see all variations together, it is amazing how you sometimes struggle to remember the correct word even though you've spelt it correctly for years.

You can find the spelling test at http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/spelling-test-sequel/.

Have fun.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Google Adsense This month total is currently wrong for Estimated earnings.

Yesterday I noticed the Google Adsense This month total in Estimated earnings, which appears near the top of the Home screen, was wrong. We've now moved on to the next day and the This month total is still wrong.

If I choose the product report for this month I get a different figure than the This month total. Another indicator that it is wrong is the This month total is up over the same period last year by exactly the same amount. For this to be true it would mean I didn't earn anything during this period last year and that's not correct.

I thought I'd share in case others are having the same problem. I expect Google will fix this is due course.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Update: 7 December 2017 @ 11:55 am
This issue fixed itself.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Watch the latest release movies online for free.

Now if watching the latest movies online for free interests you, then this post is for you.

A little while ago a message popped in my browser from Microsoft saying I could join their rewards program. All I have to do is be logged on to my Microsoft account, search using Bing and I'd start to accumulate points. In addition Microsoft has some challenges and rewards which are a bit of fun earning more points.

How it works is I get 3 points for each desktop search up to 90 points a day and 3 points for each mobile search up to 60 points a day. There's also the option to get another 150 points a month by using Microsoft Edge whereby for each hour you've been using Edge you get 5 points. I do most of my searching on my MacBook using Safari and my Android based mobile so I'm unlikely to get the points for using Edge. Really all I have to do is log into my Microsoft account and use Bing for searches. How hard could that be!

The rewards. If you earn over 500 points a month you earn more points, so it's good to get to that level each month. If you do then by building up 2,220 points you can redeem that for a $3 Microsoft Store gift card. Two of these and you can hire any of the latest movies.

There we have it. Free movies.

To make things a bit more fun Microsoft Rewards offers 10 points for an activity which does a search on a particular topic. Who knew what bottle tossing was? You don't have to do these activities, but they're a bit of fun and generate points. What else are you doing whilst travelling to work or passing time? A second activity is a questionnaire where there's three questions and you earn 30 points. It's multiple choice so get it wrong and just click on another option. Too easy.

Finally if you go to the Bing page you'll see there's about a dozen trending news items. This isn't a bad way to keep up with news items that others will be talking about. Click on the item and you get a search result. Often the headline is enough to let you know what's happening and if you want to know more, then you can read on. Each day there's easily 20-30 points for news items.

If all you do is change your default browser from Google to Bing you'll earn points. In time enough points to earn gift vouchers which in time will be enough to watch a movie.

Now to make my life easier I have my own search engine. I've put keywords into the search engine so a single word takes me the sites that interest me, and there's around 300 keywords that are the top keywords Australians use, such as banks, airlines, etc. I've set the page https://www.AdvancedSearch.com.au/SearchBing/ as my default home page and default search in Safari. On the Android I've added to the Home screen an icon for https://www.AdvancedSearch.com.au/SearchBing/mobile/. Whenever I want to search if what I type in isn't one of the keywords, Bing is used. That makes earning points just part of how I normally work. For others, you can simply change your default search engine in your browser to be Bing and that will work just as well.

How is this going for me? It takes me about a month to build up enough points for a movie. I've been doing this for around two months and am just about to earn enough points that will allow me to watch two latest release movies.

Totally free latest movies you watch online just for changing from Google to Bing. Not bad at all.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

ASIC renewal email is a scam. That is it's fake.

If you receive an email like the following that appears to be from ASIC please be aware that it is a scam. It's a good fake email.

All but one link is legitimate. The link to the "Renewal letter" is the link that will take you to a malicious site.

I've received a number of these emails and it is hard to see immediately if they're fake. Since ASIC send out reminders via email, and you don't want to miss renewing your business name, there's an added pressure that may trick people. My experience with ASIC is they give no latitude for mistakes which again adds extra pressure.

Don't click on the link. Instead go to the ASIC site and log in directly to your account. Check there if there's anything outstanding. If you're still concerned give them a call.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

How much is an iPhone addiction costing people!

I just read the following posted by a person on the internet.

They've been purchasing the iPhone since 2009. A total of 8 iPhones in 8 years. That's probably well over $6,000-$7,000 in mobile phone purchases and that doesn't even include plan charges.

The media often mentions the avocado generation, but it's the large companies making a killing with their must have marketing tactics. Add ongoing fees and this subtle but continuous drain on people's finances may reduce their long term ability to grow their asset base.

I'm sure this person is very proud of their iPhone collection, but do people really need to buy a new expensive iPhone or equivalent every year. Perhaps not. But of course, if that's what brings joy to your life then ultimately that's your choice.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Bureau of Meteorology short term forecast for Templestowe last night way out.

Last night I decided to go for a walk around 7:30 pm. I'd checked the weather forecast for Templestowe and there was a 70% chance of rain. A look outside and whilst there were some dark clouds in the distance, they weren't close enough to affect my walk.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast for between 8 pm and 11 pm last night was predicting 90% rain. Again it didn't happen. At 6:30 am this morning the rain did start.

From what I could tell the weather radar was a better indicator of rain. In fact I couldn't help feel all that is really needed is live monitoring stations run by individuals and we could probably have a more accurate picture of what is happening around us. For all the huge sums spent on weather forecasting, the pun I regularly use, "your guess is as good as the weather bureau's", still seems to apply.

Last month I was going to cancel a trip to Sydney because the weather forecast predicted terrible weather. As it turned out it did rain, but only at night. The days were beautiful and it was a great holiday. So glad I went irrespective of what the weather report said.

To be fair the Bureau of Meteorology to provide a range of tools that can be very useful. The weather radar is one of my favourites as it shows the weather approaching. That really does help to see if it's going to rain in the next few hours.

Kelvin Eldridge