Some photo’s from 2014 that are memorable to me

2014 was probably the most turbulent year of my life. The following photo’s are highlights of that year. Click on image to expand.

Laguna De Bay, Philippines

Laguna De Bay as seen from the roof of Rio Building, Azure Resedences, Paranaque

My darling Patty

My darling Patty

Lorne, Victoria, Australia

Recent road trip along the Ocean Road in Victoria I stopped for breakfast at this picnic ground in Lorne. It’s the perfect place for a stop, beautiful scenery, sounds, and smells. Spectacular 🙂

Sandstone sculptures on the cliffs near Elliston, South Australia

The Great Ocean Tourist drive passes across the top of the clifs at Elliston on the West Coast of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. A number of sculptures are spread across these cliffs.

Coffin Bay, South Australia

Located on the Ayre Penninsula, South Australia, this beautiful bay is a haven for boaties, fisherman and other water lovers. The bay has almost no waves from the Southern Ocean leaving a glass like surface.

Port Adelaide Alley

An alley way in Port Adelaide, South Australia. Port Adelaide is one of the early parts of Adelaide with a lot of factories built in the 1800’s that still stand. Most are converted now to apartments and offices. This photo was a bit of a challenge because of the high contrast between light and dark.

Often referred to as Don Dunstan's Balls, they come and go from time to time from the Rundle Mall in Adelaide.

Often referred to as Don Dunstan’s Balls, they come and go from time to time from the Rundle Mall in Adelaide.

Buskers in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia

Two young buskers in Rundle Mall on a nice Friday afternoon in October entertaining the shoppers. They take it in turns to give a consistent show.

Sunset at Semaphore beach, South Australia

Semaphore, South Australia is a metropolitan beach north west of Adelaide city. Some of the sunsets we are fortunate to get are quite spectacular.

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Optical Illusion

Stare at the cross between the two changing faces. What should happen is the features of the faces merge if you are at the right distance from the screen.

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Simple tricks on passwords

Hackers are getting smarter. They have learnt that most people will have one password that does it all. So once they get it from one place, it can be put into the automated robots to try it on every other site on the internet. Imagine if it’s your banking password as well as your Facebook password.

This article is not going to guarantee that you will never get hacked, but it will provide some idea’s to increase your protection from being hacked.

Rule 1: Your email password is the most important and should not be used for anything else. Reason: When this is hacked, all the thief needs to do is use the forgot password link on all other sites and they get your password for what ever you may be registered for.

How to come up with an easy to remember but hard to crack password. You use a phrase instead of a word. So think about where you went on holidays, or where your partner was born. Lets use the holidays one for the example. “Love Sydney” is the phrase that came to my mind. It really could be anything. You want to write it with correct case as well. So capital L for Love and capital S for Sydney. That gets 2 of the often required things for passwords. Now the spaces in your password. Some systems don’t like them so probably better to replace them. Decide on what you are going to use as the space. It might be the hash or a comma. We’ll use a hash for the example, so now our pass phrase is “Love#Sydney”. So we’ve got upper case and lower case. We’ve got special characters. Now we just want some numbers. Easiest one there is where you have a L and a O change them for a 1 and 0 except for the first character (some systems don’t like to start with a number). “L0ve#Sydney”.

Passwords should be at least 8 characters. An 8 char password takes a little over 2hrs to brute force crack. 10 characters is over 2,000 hours. Out example password will take 50,000 hours.

Now a way to have a unique password for each web site and be able to remember easily.

Use your password as a base and select characters from the web address to add into your password. Here is a example:

web site facebook.com. We’ll use from the right, the 2,5,6 letters. Always do from the right as some domains are very short which will break this. Remeber it’s always the same for every web site. So facebook the letters are oko. So use our space character and add the 3 chars to the end. “L0ve#Sydney#oko”.

It’s like anything new. It will take a little while to get used to it.

Remember, your email password needs to be unique and strong. I would make it at least 12 characters and I’d use a mixture.

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Peanuts may contain traces of peanuts

My question after reading the label of a packet of peanuts was; if it only contains TRACES of peanuts, what is the rest?

Yummy Snack Foods 500g peanuts

Yummy Snack Foods 500 gram salted peanuts

Peanuts may contain traces of peanuts

Peanuts may contain traces of peanuts. So what else do they contain?

Are peanuts nuts?

Well it looks like peanuts are not officially nuts. Reading Wikipedia about them they are classified as Arachis hypogaea, a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. As a legume, the peanut belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae; this is also known as Leguminosae, and commonly known as the bean, or pea, family. So I suppose the statement is partially relevant, may contain traces of … other nuts.

The Wikipedia article does go onto to say further down:

Some people (0.6% of the United States population) report that they experience allergic reactions to peanut exposure; symptoms are specifically severe for this nut, and can range from watery eyes to anaphylactic shock, which is generally fatal if untreated. Eating a small amount of peanut can cause a reaction. Because of their widespread use in prepared and packaged foods, the avoidance of peanuts can be difficult. The reading of ingredients and warnings on product packaging is necessary to avoid this allergen.

Link to the Wikipedia article referred to is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut

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Australian Public Hollidays 2013

ACT Vic QLD SA WA Tas NSW NT
Nbr of days in year 12 11 11 11 11 10 10 10
1-Jan New Years Day x x x x x x x x
26-Jan Australia Day x x x x x x x x
28-Jan Australia Day replacement x x x x x x x x
4-Mar Labour Day x
11-Mar Adl Cup day x
11-Mar Labour Day x
11-Mar Eight hour day x
11-Mar Canberra day x
29-Mar Good Friday x x x x x x x x
1-Apr Easter Monday x x x x x x x x
25-Apr ANZAC day x x x x x x x x
6-May May Day x
3-Jun WA day x
10-Jun Queens Birthday x x x x x x x
14-Aug Qld Show x
30-Sep Queens Birthday x
30-Sep Fam and Community day x
7-Oct Labour Day x x x x
5-Nov Melb cup x
25-Dec Christmas day x x x x x x x x
26-Dec Boxing day x x x x x x x x
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Lovebuy on ebay – recomend

Every now and then something doesn’t work as planned when buying on ebay. We see ratings and you can read all sorts of stories, but the real proof in a good ebay seller is how things are handled when something doesn’t go right. That’s what happened with Lovebuy and they really came through.

I won’t go into the detail except to say this is a shop that is there is a problem they really do help to fix it. You don’t fall on deaf ears. They help.

There shop is at http://stores.ebay.com.au/lovebuy

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Target out of stock of 3 arm mens jumpers from catalogue

Target’s latest catalogue has an advertisement on thier front page with a picture of a son, mother, father and daugter all wearing what looks like very comfortable fleece jumpers. The mens one is interesting as it’s got 3 arms, 2 right arms (one on the wifes shoulder and the other between the wife and himself) with his left arm holding his daughter.

 

Target catalogue with 3 arm mens fleece jumpers

Target catalogue with 3 arm mens fleece jumpers

Anyway, I’ve called a few stores to see if they have any in stock.  I haven’t been able to find a store that stocks them yet :)  Let me know if you find one!  I really want a 3 arm jumper.

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Should we get a 13 or 1300 number?

These numbers are a good idea and have some advantages. For example, you can have the same number with different locations and depending on the caller, it will route to the closest branch.

BUT the world is changing. More and more people are starting to use the Internet for their phone calls because of cost. Example: we changed from normal Telstra landline to Engin VoIP and our bill went from about $100/month to about $20/month.

Two problems arise with the 13 and 1300 number system then.

  1. The 13 or 1300 phone system no longer knows where the caller is. When we first got the system, I would call a cab using 13 number and ended up talking to Sydney (I’m in Adelaide).
  2. The most annoying for me, it costs money to call a 13 or 1300 number and the call cost is comparably high! They also show up on the bill as expensive calls, so people soon start to become more aware. (Most move to VoIP to save money).

So the tip: If you’re going to do 13 or 1300 numbers, make sure you also publish the traditional landline numbers so you don’t annoy your customers. Give them the choice!

You want to make it as easy and convenient for customers to call you. Not annoy them I’m sure.

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robertwarner1965@gmail.com – Gumtree / Paypal buyer scam

We’re selling our Ford Focus on Gumtree and got an SMS which we replied to as requested.

NOTE: Didn’t check the phone number the SMS came from. It was +16786617688. Obviously not an Australian phone number which for anyone reading this, is the first hint that they are about to get a scammer trying them.

SMS Message from +16786617688:

Is the car still available for sale and whats your final price email me robertwarner1965@gmail.com my battery is flat so we can talk better  – Sent from iPhone4

So sent the reply via email

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 1:27 PM, name_removed <mailto:address_removed> wrote:

Hi Robert, just organising some pics for you

Recieved

From: Robert Warner [mailto:robertwarner1965@gmail.com] Sent: Thursday, 15 March 2012 3:58 PM To: Name_Removed Subject: Re: ford focus

May i know your asking price please?

Sent

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM, name_removed <mailto:address_removed> wrote:

As advertised at $7000  , if you wish to negotiate would like it to be done in person

and recieved

From: Robert Warner [mailto:robertwarner1965@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, 15 March 2012 4:14 PM
To: name_removed
Subject:Re: ford focus
Thank you for the message, i will take it for that amount since i am interested in the purchase for my daughter who just moved to Malaysia where this is needed and due to my inability to walk i will be making use of a shipping company to have this picked up from you and have it delivered to her. Further arrangements will be made with you in regards to the pick up once i have paid you.
I would appreciate if you email me with more pictures (if available) too since i won’t be be able to see this in person, what’s the Paypal email to send funds to in order for me to pay you.

Anyway:

If your wondering, no we stopped responding to Robert at this point as it became very obvious very quickly that it’s a scam. But did want to post it on-line so when someone google’s Roberts email or any part, hopefully they will see Robert does this a lot. Well I say Robert, we all know he’s not using his real name.
Detail summary of the scammer:

The phone number comes up at http://cidlookup.com/lookup/6786617688/ with the following:

  • CIDLookup for 678-661-7688
  • Current Telephone Company: Bandwidth.com Wireless – Syniverse
  • Original Telephone Company: Charter Fiberlink “Georgia Llc“ Ga
  • Original Telephone Company Type: Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC)
  • Estimated City: Bogart
  • Estimated Region: Georgia
  • Estimated Postal Code: 30622
  • Equipment Location Code: ATHNGAIJCM1

Another scammer email – mi.richie540@gmail.com from the same number.

We recieved a few messages from the same phone number just with different email addresses, but same text.

For those interested in learning what sort of thing happens next (ie you send him the paypal email) one of a few things happen, but the most common can be read about at http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1845478 or http://www.christianbiggins.com/2010/04/very-poor-scam-attempt.html.

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Update site to WordPress

The old PHP Nuke site was running tired, hard to update and add to. So move across to WordPress which was not to difficult a migration to complete including all the post data from the old Nuke site. All up about 10 hours work.

The next few weeks will be doing minor tweaks with the way things look and work. If you can’t find something, from the old site, please use the search as it is here (with the exception of the downloads section which I’ve turned off).

 

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