Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Petrol Prices Melbourne price hike alert. Petrol prices at 166.9 spotted.

Checking petrol prices tonight I noticed a number of petrol stations around Melbourne have increased their unleaded price to 166.9 cents per litre. With the current gate price at 137.9 cents per litre, and then adding the usual 25-30 cents per litre when prices hike, we could expect to see the unlead petrol price to hike to somewhere in the range of 162.9 to 167.9. I would expect the price to hike to 164.9 as the price looks better and makes the price appear to be in the lower half of the 160-170 range. However at 166.9 this is still within the expected range.

I'll continue to watch the petrol prices as I usually like to wait until I see three or more Woolworths Petrol station increase their prices. Sometimes some petrol stations break from the pack just to later reduce their prices. Once I'm confident the petrol price hike cycle has started I'll notify those on the Alert mailing list.

Let's see what happens tomorrow.

Kelvin Eldridge
Petrol Prices Melbourne

Update: 1/05/2019
A few more petrol stations have increased their prices to 166.9. Looks like 166.9 is the new price hike price.

Update: 9/05/2019
The hiking of petrol prices has occurred quite slowly this time. It's 9 days since the first signs of the price hike started and still an estimated 20% of petrol station have not increased their prices. That's great for drivers as it means cheaper prices are still relatively easy to find.

A second unusual situation is the average gate price (think wholesale) has dropped a couple of cents so we're seeing a second group now raise their prices to 159.9, meaning even if you miss out on the cheaper prices there's still a 7 cents per litre saving that can be found.

As we approach the weekend it's probably safe to assume most prices will have gone up by Monday and perhaps prices might quickly drop to around the high 150 mark.

Early voting centre for Menzies

For those looking for the early voting centres for Menzies, the following page provides details of candidates and the locations of early voting centres.


Kelvin Eldridge

Alert: Your Optus bill for account xxxxx.

Sometimes timing can be everything, even for scammers.

Today I activated a new Optus prepaid service, so when I received an email bill from Optus, my first thought is what has Optus done. I've seen this happens to others. Rather than knowing the email's a scam, because the person has done something very recently with the same company, this leads a person to think the email is from the company. Timing. No this email isn't from Optus.

This is a scam email designed to trick people to click on the link (Vew your bill now). If you check the link it has nothing to do with Optus. Most likely it's a hacked website where the scammer has loaded their code onto the site without the site owner knowing. This is extremely common.

Next time you receive an email from one of your suppliers do pause for a moment. It's easy to be tricked by scammers when you're under pressure, or perhaps just not thinking clearly.

Discard these emails for the junk they are.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Active April upsell much stronger this year.

The Premier's Active April is marketed around people getting out and getting fit. Almost a feel good campaign for the community. Last year we joined the local Aquarena and took advantage of the free offers. Ten free sessions including full use of the pool, spa and classes.

This year the offer from Aquarena wasn't as generous. What is also different is the follow-up marketing. Two phones calls and a text message and April isn't over.

This year it feels more like The Premier's Active April upsell. Gone is the feeling the promotion is good for the community, but more like a corporate marketing strategy to get people to use the facilities so they can be marketed to.

I haven't activated the membership this year and next year I'll probably just give it a miss.

I'm always reminded when things like this happen that government is just a business, just like every other business.


Can we really trust the weather temperature reporting and thus record temperatures and thus global warming.

Today I learned something that almost had me in disbelief. This was purely by accident. I wrote a convenience web app that showed yesterday's temperature. But sometimes the data isn't available for the maximum from the previous day at 9am in the morning. So I thought, what about the daily readings from the weather stations. The didn't match. Two lots of data where the high and low from the previous day's data didn't match. How could this be?

I can explain this away since one lot of data is reported every 30 minutes. If these are spot measurements then the temperature at each minute, or even every second, could be higher or lower but we wouldn't know. So yes, it's easy for there to be a difference.

Then I read an article where a retired head master has an obvious special interest in the weather and followed through on why temperatures can spike quite a bit minute to minute. We're now in an age where we're using different measuring devices. Devices that can accurately measure temperature at a particular point in time. Ever walked through water at the beach an noticed how there's warmer spots and even areas that seem to flow with different temperatures. What's the temperature of the water? What's to say this isn't happening with measuring the air temperature. Instantaneous fluctuations. Yes the measurement isn't wrong, but to compare this type of measure with historical records where equipment by its nature averaged out the reading due to slower response times, can make for significant apparent changes that make the headlines.

The hottest overnight temperature on record. Or was it just because we're now measuring it differently? The headline grabbers don't highlight that we may be talking about a fraction of a degree. That doesn't make it as sensational.

This really plays into the hands of the climate change sceptics. If we can't trust the weather reporting then how can we trust what's being reported about climate change. Any scientist (or politician) going against climate change right now won't be treated seriously, or worse, they'll be treated very poorly.

This is one person's story I found interesting.


The issue isn't about whether the temperature is being measured correctly, but the time the measurements are averaged over. It appears the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia uses a single spot measurement each minute, whereas in the UK it is the average of the 60 measurements in the minute (one per second) and in the USA, it is the average over 5 minutes. There's nothing wrong with any of the approaches, but what is wrong is you can't compare if you measure things differently.

Another article I thought worth reading was how the historical temperatures in Darwin have been reduced using different approaches. Few people are experts in this area but for us laypeople, it just doesn't feel right to go back and reduce historical temperature values which then helps argue that global warming is occurring. That just puts doubt into people's mind. Doubt is all the climate change sceptics need to convince people climate change isn't happening. No science. Just doubt.


In this case, removing the earlier hot period from the data so it is outside the range for the trend just doesn't make sense. So often we see people who wish to prove their point only use a selection of data which proves their point, but ignores other data which does not help their case.

Now when I hear news items about the highest or lowest temperature for a day, month, period, I need to be aware of  how much the change is. If that's not reported it's just sensationalist reporting designed to grab headlines and capture viewers attention.

The real sadness here is I do believe we are having a negative impact on our world. Just living, eating, consuming, travelling, all use resources. The more people the more resources. There has to be an impact and that impact just feels like it will be devastating. To not have a global standard by which all countries agree means it's far more difficult to do something globally and be in agreement.

What started as what appeared to be a very simple personal project, of what was yesterday's temperature, became far more complex. The good outcome however is if we just chill and relax, all that is really needed from yesterday's weather is a rough guide. A few degrees here or there doesn't really matter. We just want to know what yesterday's weather is so we can compare it to today. Is it going to be similar, hotter, or cooler? The answer doesn't need high precision.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. Unlike some sites this post is not meant to be a criticism of the Bureau of Meteorology. Weather is not an exact science. The resources provided by the BOM are used by most of us most days of the year and are appreciated. I have no idea if the actual historical raw data is being modified and I certainly hope it isn't. Modelling isn't the raw data, just someone's interpretation of the raw data, and that can and will change over time as technology and knowledge changes.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Points Calculator for Points, kilojoules and Calories now available.

Need to work out the kilojoules, Calories or Points for a food item, the Points Calculator now makes it easier.

Just enter the serving size and energy per 100g and you can calculate the kilojoules and Calories. For those using Points, enter the protein, saturated fat and sugars content to get the number of points for the serving size.

A new feature which will appear on the Points Calculator will be the ability to scan a barcode and if the food item's details are already stored, the details will be loaded for you. Since it's only me loading the food items we use, it may take a while before this feature is available to others.

If you need to calculate kilojoules, Calories or Points for a food item, visit https://www.PointsCalculator.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Weather Yesterday Melbourne web app now live.

Weather Yesterday web app came about because a person said it's very difficult to find yesterday's weather. If you search for Weather Yesterday Melbourne you can't easily find the information from the Bureau of Meteorology. When checking a site tonight, the weather for Melbourne was nothing like the actual weather. Lots of information but nothing that seemed correct.

Really all the person wanted was the max, min and rainfall for yesterday in Melbourne.

The Weather Yesterday web app shows the weather yesterday in Melbourne. Just the min, max and rainfall. Simple and easy to read. Quick to access.

You can find Weather Yesterday at www.WeatherYesterday.com.au.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Intagrammers taking huge risks, sometimes with the worst of outcomes.

Yesterday's news headlines on Bing are a reminder just how crazy our world can get. Most days we read about social media influencers and users affecting areas, taking huge risks and even dying for those special pictures.

Yesterday the following news items appeared on Bing. Two out of the first three items were about intagrammers. One who had died, and another couple who took pictures of what look like a very dangerous situation. One woman dangling over the edge of a large drop being held by a man in a swimming pool. All for the sake of that "perfect" instagrammable picture.

Because these people seem to be successful at what they do, others who may not be as prepared or experienced, may attempt to copy or better their pictures.

It's a real concern. Perhaps some money is made by these people, but certainly the most money is made by those running the social media services.

Please, please, do take care capturing that intragrammable moment. Consider others around you and those that will be impacted if something doesn't go to plan. It's really not worth it.

Be safe.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Alert: Your account has been hacked! You need to unlock.

If you receive emails with the subject: "Your account has been hacked! You need to unlock." don't be too concerned. This is a scam.

The email goes on to say you've been watching porn. They've recorded you using your web cam and if you don't pay up, they'll post the video to your contacts or the internet. Pretty scary. However it is most likely a scam and they have no recording of you.

I receive multiple emails of this form to multiple email address most days. The email addresses for which they say they've hacked my account in many cases, don't actually have an account. They are just forwarded email address. So no account, so it's just a bluff.

OK. So what about the future. That webcam on your computer really is an exposure. Should you get an infected computer that can really use the webcam, that's a concern. Anyone could check out you, your family, your home.

A quick and easy solution to this is a bandaid. Yes a bandaid. Since the padding part has no sticky substance, you can place the bandaid over the web cam and you can easily remove the bandaid if you need to.

Chances are you probably rarely if ever use the webcam. If you don't use the webcam like many people also don't, then a bandaid can remove this potential issue and give you peace of mind.

I hope others find this tip useful.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Adsense: Valuable inventory: Under construction

As mentioned previously something has changed with Google Adsense whereby sites are being rejected more. The exact reason unfortunately is difficult to work out.

In the case of the site https://www.CarRunningCostCalculator.com.au trying to add the site to Google Adsense resulted in the message "Valuable inventory: Under construction". The site isn't under construction and has been live now for a few months.

The site https://www.Mapz.com.au likewise also returned the message "Valuable inventory: Under construction". This site has been live for years, but recently I updated the site to be responsive rather than separate mobile and desktop pages. One suspicion I have is Mapz is largely map sites with not too much text. That may get the site rejected, but the message certainly doesn't indicate this would be the reason.

As suggested in the earlier post when you receive messages like this there's probably not much you can do about. In this case it's best to find another ad provider, or at least it's much easier and you'll have live ads displaying in less time.

Kelvin Eldridge
IT support.

Friday, April 05, 2019

HelloFresh discount code.

Received an invitation from a friend recently who tried and enjoyed using HelloFresh. It was a free trial so I had nothing to lose unless I miss the pause/cancel date. Signed up tonight as I thought I'd give it a go.

Whilst I can't pass on the same trial to others, I did notice they had a refer a friend offer where both parties get a $50 credit. The person using the code gets $50 off their first order. If this interests anyone the following is the link HelloFresh provided for me.

Visit HelloFresh for more information. Discount code should be applied.

As always make sure you read the terms. Also be careful with the automatic ordering. You can pause the automatic order and cancel the automatic orders.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Petrol prices in Melbourne starting to go up to 159.9.

Today I was a little surprised when I noticed a number of Woolworths Petrol stations had increased their price of unleaded petrol to 159.9. Surprised because today's gate price (think wholesale) is 131.6 and prices don't normally jump until prices drop below the gate price.

OK. I totally forgot that school holidays in Victoria start this weekend. Now it makes sense. Prices are being hiked just in time for the school holidays.

Currently there's not too many petrol stations that have increased the price of unleaded petrol, so it is always possible the petrol stations have made a jump on the pack.

Time to keep an eye on petrol prices.

Kelvin Eldridge
Petrol Prices Melbourne

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Days Between Dates Calculator now using SSL.

I personally don't consider a need for using SSL (secure sockets layer) on sites like www.DaysBetweenDates.com.au, but if you're using Google Chrome, you will receive information that the site is not secure.

Does it really matter if you're typing in a couple of dates. I don't think so. But of course Google Chrome can't tell what you're typing in so they flag the site as not secure. As a result, as a developer I need to then revisit each site and perform changes taking time and sometimes money that offers no additional value to users. That's a huge cost to the community when you consider how many sites need to do the same.

But as they say, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. A more secure internet really is better for everyone. As time and resources permit I'll be revisiting sites that don't use SSL and migrate them to SSL.

Yesterday I migrated www.DaysBetweenDates.com.au. There's no visible changes for users, but now if you go to the site, the site will be secured using SSL and a lock symbol will appear in the address bar of the browser.

Kelvin Eldridge