Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MyAnswers: TV guide for Melbourne on Apple iPhone

The following MyAnswers solution 2077 is now available:

How to add the Freeview TV Guide for Melbourne for both now and tonight as icons on your Apple iPhone Home screen.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, February 18, 2011

Alert: You have notifications pending - Facebook

I received an email recently which had the subject You have notifications pending which made me think, why can't Facebook leave me alone. I closed my account in every possible way and they still persist in bothering me.

The body of the message looked like a Facebook notification indicating there was a message for me and contained the following message.

You haven't been back to Facebook recently. You have received notifications while you were gone.
OK. As you can see I'm probably not the biggest fan of Facebook. If Facebook came out with a product which was low cost that I could pay for and put my privacy first and foremost I'd use them tomorrow. It's just when companies don't charge for their services they have to make money in ways which aren't always in the best interests of their users. Put simply, their users are not their customers. They are simply a means to an end and the real customers are the businesses which pay Facebook.

I've seen too many things with Facebook in terms of privacy and ownership of content which I don't agree with, which puts me off Facebook and thus when I receive an email to let me know I have a notification pending, it tends to ruffle my feathers.

I wanted to share that background as what I can now share is the email wasn't from Facebook at all. It was a pretty good phishing attempt designed to get me to provide my logon details for malicious intent. Whilst the links look like they are from Facebook, if you clicked on the links it would take you to a site with a Hungarian domain. Because I use Outlook I can hover over the link and see where the link will take me if I click on it. Some free email services such as Gmail don't let users see the information for the destination of the hyperlink. If you are using email in a mobile phone chances are you also won't know the destination of the hyperlink. One of the strengths of Outlook as an email client are the little extras like this which helps the user by providing often important hidden information.

Next time you think that social networking site the you've disconnected from is trying to get you to reconnect, pause for a moment, the email might not even be from the site at all. There is no doubt phishing attempts will become so good in the future that people will be easily tricked. Whilst I did realise this was a phishing attempt, my initial reaction and the reaction most people will follow through on was that it was an email from Facebook. Take care with any email you receive from any of the social networking sites. Because one in four internet users use Facebook this now makes Facebook an ideal phishing target.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

People often ask me for my thoughts on the NBN (National Broadband Network).

Whilst I do believe we need great internet access now and in the future, I don't believe the government needs to be the provider.

The problem I see if the following:

1. When the government gets involved it makes the rules to suit itself. We can see that in how the government is treating Telstra. The government new the direction it was taking so progressively moved ownership from itself and the end result is a loss in value in the shares for possibly millions of small share holders (I'm one of them).

2. You can have the person making the rules playing the game. Governments roles should be to create a level playing field for the benefit of the people.

3. In Tasmania the figure we were given in the press was for 200,000 premises at a cost of $700 million. That's $3,500 for each of the premises. Since it is from our taxes we don't notice the money. The question I like to ask people is would you be willing to pay $3,500 for the infrastructure to provide fast broadband to your home. This is in addition to paying for the broadband service because you'll have to pay for that as well. I'm quite sure if people had to pull the money out of their own pockets directly (rather than indirectly via their taxes) most people would say no.

4. What happens to all the infrastructure we have in place that has plenty of life left. This will be a waste of billions of dollars of infrastructure turned off and laying idle because if is competition to the NBN.

5. Smaller infrastructure players will be forced to sell out or close up shop because you simply can't compete with the government.

6. Delivery of new services and upgraded services was advancing what we had in Australia. Once the NBN got involved that all died from what I could. With Telstra's recent announcement in wireless (LTE) it is good to see there will be some competition.

7. The NBN is another monopoly being formed. The government will use our money and then sell off the business as it has done in the past just like it did with Telstra. Where are we then? There will be a single major supplier to our underlying infrastructure and we can be pretty sure the government will legislate to make sure it gets a good price at the expense of other businesses.

8. Right now 3G wireless isn't really at a level suitable for business but that doesn't mean that will always be the case. As part of my testing what is possible for the past couple of months I've run my business and household completely via 3G wireless and whilst there is some compromise, as prices come down there is no reason wireless won't become the predominant means by which most consumers and small business will be able to cost effectively connect to the internet. But if the government owns the NBN they won't let that happen as easily as it should. You can't have the government playing the game and making the rules as this isn't a level playing field.

9. The growth in IT technology appears to be in the mobile arena. That is more suited to wireless than fixed internet. The government may have made a mistake of basing the next ten years on the past and not the future. Obama has announced an $18 billion plan for wireless whereas we've heard nothing on that front from the Australian government because they are now locked into the NBN direction.

10. This blog entry was created using a netbook connected wirelessly to a Wi-Fi hotspot which connects to the internet via a 3G service. No landline facilities were required.

11. My concern is the NBN may simply become tomorrows delivery for TV, movies and entertainment. There is nothing wrong with that, but why have the majority of Australians paying for the entertainment facilities of others.

12. I'm also concerned that should the NBN become the single backbone of internet access in Australia the government is well position to filter and monitor the information as it sees fit. I'm not particularly happy to give that much control to the whim of the government of the day.

I'm not against the NBN, but I don't believe the government needs to be the provider of the services. The government to me needs to remain independent and provide all Australians with the best regulatory framework for businesses to be able to provide the best services to all Australians.

In summary I think if people realised that every worker is chipping in a couple of thousand dollars they'd start to think twice as to whether it is the best way to spend our taxes. I'm concerned the government is making the rules and playing the game which doesn't provide the best outcome. I'm concerned the government is putting into place infrastructure which will be superseded by wireless well before the NBN becomes reality meaning the return on investment by taxpayers will be doubtful.

Ask yourself are you happy with the internet service that you currently receive and the range of options you have available and I think most people will be pretty happy (short of poor service by many providers which won't change as we'll still have to deal with them). Would you then be happy to pull the $3,500 out of your own pocket for a service you may never need to use and I think for most people the answer will be no.

I also respond this is just my point of view based on my knowledge and perspective. It is equally possible others will see the NBN as the preferred direction for Australia. But at least by letting people know my thoughts they can then take that information and

Kelvin Eldridge

Alert: New Adobe Acrobat Reader 2011, Upgrade Available Now

I received a number of emails with the subject of New Adobe Acrobat Reader 2011, Upgrade Available Now. My advice is to disregard these emails as they are most likely malicious in intent. If you want to upgrade Adobe Acrobat Reader go the to the Adobe site and download the software from there. Do not click on a link in an email you receive. The same applies to any other vendors software.
If you use a link in an email it may look legitimate but links are easily faked. By going to the site you are in control and know the site you are going to.

Kelvin Eldridge


Friday, February 11, 2011

Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem

Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Microsoft SBS (Small Business Server) 2011 just around the corner

Recently I was contacted by one of my suppliers asking if they could send me offers on Microsoft SBS 2011 which I thought was a bit unusual as I'd not seen any promotions from Microsoft.

However this did flag something I felt was important. If you are about to get Microsoft Small Business server 2008 installed, then you should really think about the timing. If you can wait for the 2011 version it means you get the latest software and don't need to pay for the new version, you'll have the latest version which means the value you get will last you longer, and you won't need to pay addition support costs should you wish to upgrade to 2011 in the future.

I don't yet know the release date for SBS 2011, but given the sales channel is starting to promote, that gives me a feeling it won't be too far away.

At this stage I don't install Microsoft Small Business Server in my client base as I've found installing a simpler lower cost file server to serve my clients needs. This saves them a considerable amount of money and keeps their IT environment very simple so support costs are kept to a minimum. If you have a couple of computers in your business and would like to move to a file server with the benefits it brings feel free to contact me. If you need someone to install or upgrade your Small Business Server contact me and I'll put you on to a business I know that can assist.

Kelvin Eldridge