Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Vodafone My Vodafone error Connection Lost

Since yesterday whenever I try to run the My Vodafone app I get the message Connection Lost.

Everything else appears to be working with the Vodafone mobile service.

If I go to the Vodafone site and try to log on to My Vodafone using a computer I receive the following error messages on Safari and Google Chrome.

Restarting the mobile phone made no difference.

I've written this post as others may be experiencing the same issue.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support

Update: 30 January 2019
This issue came good yesterday afternoon after around a day and a half of the My Vodafone app/site not working. In other words the problem wasn't on the user end.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Crown Casino parking rates. Watch out for the $21 flat rate parking.

I don't go into the city very often so don't really know the good places to park. Since I've been to Crown Casino a few times I know the Crown Casino parking facility. As a result I tend to park there.

I parked at Crown Casino last Saturday and noticed the rather scrappy signs at the entrance stating $21 flat rate parking. A bit steep I thought but it is there choice what they charge.

I stayed for around 4-5 hours which normally would be $6, but this time because I entered after 11 am on a Saturday, ended up paying the $21.

The following are the parking rates for Crown Casino parking for those interested.

The Flat Rate section lets you know the times when the rather high $21 fee applies.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Postcode Finder web app now live.

The Postcode Finder web app is now live an available at www.PostcodeFinder.com.au.

If you're wanting to find the location for a postcode, or to find the postcode for a location, the Postcode Finder now provides those features for Victoria. Why Victoria only and not all of Australia? Because the data was readily available for Victoria under a developer friendly licence and rather than not provide anything, I felt it was better to at stage make the Postcode Finder available for Victoria.

Kelvin Eldridge

Google Adsense: Valuable Inventory: No content

I recently found a couple of my web app sites were no longer serving Adsense ads. These sites had been OK for years, so something has changed with Google Adsense.

Whilst I can't be certain it looks like in October 2018 Google Adsense moved the Sites option closer to the top of the Adsense page in a more prominent position. The aim appears to make sure the webmaster can add some code to their site and thus have control over the site. I'm not sure but it looks like an automated process recently went through my sites adding them to the site list. A couple of sites failed, however most were OK.

The sites that failed weren't immediately obvious. The Adsense showing on the pages simply no longer displayed. Checking errors on the page showed there was an error 403. I went and checked the ads in Adsense and they'd been deleted which meant the error 403 made sense as there was nothing to show.

The site also didn't appear in the Sites section of Adsense. Resubmitting the site now resulted in the site being rejected with the message: Valuable Inventory: No content.

From Adsense's point of view the sites don't have much content as they tend to be web apps, much like native apps on mobile devices, but using web pages. Whilst these have been OK for Google Adsense in the past, it appears they no longer are.

So far I've not found a way for Google Adsense to accept the sites so the only alternative is to use alternative ad services. These work fine, but I did like the convenience that Adsense offers. I suspect any review will use bots to check the page so there's not much I can do, and really, any time spent is probably a waste of time when there are alternate ad services available.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, January 18, 2019

Energy Australia - Your EnergyAustralia electricity bill is here - spam/scam.

Today I received six emails that are designed to appear to come from EnergyAustralia that look like the following.

These emails are fake and most likely designed to scam you in some way. The View Bill link takes you to s a site that is not an EnergyAustralia site.

EnergyAustralia customers were also targeted on the 16th of January 2019 with a similar mass mail out.

If you receive emails like this you should discard them. Don't click on the links. Even if the email is really from your provider, it is still best to open your browser and go to the site and then log onto your account.

Every day we receive multiple attacks like this, possibly thousands a year and it can be easy to be tricked. You can't let your guard down when it comes to technology and scammers.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Aldi Gardenline Hose Reel Set 15m

Our old host set is getting a bit long in the tooth and leaks a bit, so when I saw the Aldi Gardenline Hose Reel Set 15m I thought it was worth purchasing.

The packaging states "Pre-connected and ready to go". Yes it was but as soon as I attached the hose and turned it on, the hose connecting to the mail reel feel out leaving the connector on the main reel and nothing on the end of the house.

I then reattached the hose to the connector and tighten using multigrips so that it was tighter than I could get using my hands alone. The hose continued to leak. The connector at the end of the hose was good as was where the hose connected to the tap. But where the hose connected to the reel it leaked.

A second issue I had with the unit was pulling out the house. Our old hose reel you could pull the hose out and the reel would stay put. It is just a wireframe unit. With the Aldi Gardenline Hose Reel if you try to pull the feel out the reel unit just follows you. You need to hold the reel unit and pull out the hose. Not very convenient at all.

Overall I'd say give the Aldi Gardenline Hose Reel Set at miss. Back to Aldi with this one. Very disappointing.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, January 14, 2019

Paving Calculator web app now live.

Doing some paving?

If you're doing some paving the Paving Calculator may come in very handy. From the first stages of working out how many pavers per square metre and the cost per square metre, through to calculating the number of pavers for the required area.

Having a Paving Calculator helps make it easier to compare prices for pavers when you're given the size of a paver and the price per paver. By converting the price to per square metre you can more easily compare prices for different sized pavers.

Often when we're paving we work out the size we want to pave. However if you make the size slightly smaller to use a whole number of pavers, you may be able to save cost and time by not having to cut pavers. The paving calculator will give you a mathematically calculated number of pavers for an area, the full number of pavers for an area, and a smaller area which takes the paving area down to the next full paver size.

A handy rotate option is also provided so you can quickly compare the difference in cost and quantity of pavers required. The orientation of the pavers can make quite a difference to the cost.

For those who think the might just be able to put the pavers into the boot of their car, the cubic metres and weight of the pavers shows just how heavy the pavers can be. Much heavier than you'd think.

Hopefully others will find the paving calculator handy.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Petrol Price Alert Melbourne - Unleaded petrol increasing to 139.9. Time to think about filling up.

Since the last petrol price hike in early December, we've seen an interesting period with both the average terminal gate price and the low petrol price over the festive period.

The average terminal gate price (think wholesale) continued to drop. Last time the average terminal gate price was 117.5 cents per litre for unleaded petrol, dropped to 111.7 on the 31st of December 2018 and as of today, has now floated up to 114.6.

Perhaps it's a coincidence, but the retail price of unleaded has remained low around the 110-113 mark for longer than would be expected, but the price is now increasing just as many people will be returning from their holiday break.

The price hike so far looks like the new peak price will be 139.9. That's around what would be expected as we've seen in the past the normal price jump is 25-30 cents above the average terminal gate price, and set at one of those retail price points ending in 4.9 or 9.9 cents, so 139.9 would be expected.

Over the next few days we can expect to see the price of petrol to peak for Melburnians. Time to start thinking about filling up the tanks. If you're using the 7 Eleven fuel app, wait a couple of days but keep a close eye on the prices around you, or where you drive (or public transport) to and lock in a low price for another week.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 15 Jan 2019
Since the initial price jump of a small number of petrol stations on Wednesday the 9th of January, only around 20-30% of petrol stations have put up their prices. This is quite unusual, but does happen. This would suggest prices may go up towards the end of this week. Only time will tell.