Showing posts from May, 2015

Fake debt collectors

Beware Fake Debt Collectors, usually by phone It is sad how many people get conned by scams, especially by phone. Here is an alert I have received via a security subscription ... May 2015:  SCAMwatch is warning of phone calls from scammers claiming to collect debts. Recently scammers have been cold calling, claiming to be from energy providers,telecommunication providers or even government departments. Scamwatch have received reports of these phone calls demanding payments for overdue accounts and using the threat of disconnection to try to convince people to pay. These calls are targeting both individuals and businesses. On some occasions it has been reported that the caller was from Centrelink and that pension payments would be stopped unless the debt was paid. Other examples include threats of arrest or court action for unpaid fines or bills or the threat of disconnection to essential services. What appears to be common to al lthese scams is the use of threats to create a

Prawns please

For years we have been told and educated to eat certain foods in moderation. Most definitely we had to avoid food that thickens the arteries and causes heart disease a strokes. We were told to avoid eggs, and other high cholesterol food like butter, shellfish, bacon and liver. It is now acknowledged that the scientific research was flawed. Experts now say that there is no link between high cholesterol in food and high levels of fatty substance in the blood. It's annoying ... all those years spent declining that second bucket of prawns. The biggest danger these days is sugar. Its content is increasing in the food products and the consumer is mostly unaware. It's a killer. The ideal diet is more prawns and shellfish and less sugar. Source: The Advertiser, 27 May 2015.

free software

Why buy software when you can get it legally for free? Here’s a couple of great (and useful) software that are free. Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder Have you ever needed to reinstall software but can't find your product key? Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder will search you PC for installed software and if they have a product key, show them to you. When you install, use the custom setting so you don't install the annoying toolbars! PhotoScape Do you want to manipulate photos and have great images without buying or using PhotoShop? PhotoScape does resizing, brightness & colour adjustment, white balance, backlight correction, frames, balloons, mosaic mode, adding text, drawing pictures, cropping, filters, red eye removal, blooming, paint brush, clone stamp, effect brush, plus a heap of other useful tools!

Maroon field goal

What a fantastic Origin game last night. As a former Queenslander I support the Maroons. In fact, most (thinking) South Australians support Queensland over New South Wales during the Origin series. It’s rare to see a field goal in NRL, but it won the game for Queensland. As to the scrums – they are 100% biased to the team passing the ball into the scrum (or whatever the technical term is). I fail to see the value of it. In Rugby Union it’s a different matter with a real contest in the scrum.

Ants & Us

I usually enjoy reading Philip Adams’ column in the Weekend Australian Magazine. His recent column on 16 May 2015 was about religion. It was factual and riveting. The article would reinforce atheists of their beliefs and would I suspect cause discomfort for Christians and other religions. It certainly caused me to question the validity of my religious beliefs. Religion aside, there was an interesting statistic presented. To quote: Recent estimates put the human population at seven billion. The combined weight of those seven billion people is far outstripped by the combined weight of all the termites on Earth. Isn’t that an amazing fact? Trivia? Yes, but it helps to put our place into perspective. Here's a link to the article

Robot takes jobs

For some time now, people have talked about when robots will be taking our jobs. It is now claimed that in reality, they have already taken some of our jobs – we simply have not noticed. We know what physical robots can do eg. tasks in car assembly; tasks that are easily programmed. These are tasks that help to make the workplace safer (for humans); who cares if a robot drops a welding hand-piece on its toe! Now we have artificial intelligence robots that mimic what humans do. These are mostly software robots – and they are taking jobs from humans in droves. For example in the UK, the telecoms firm O2 has replaced 150 workers with a single piece of software. Typical tasks involved are Sim swaps, porting mobile numbers, migrating from prepaid onto a contract, unlocking a phone; now automated by software without human intervention. The software (robot) isn't trained how to perform the tasks, rather it watches and then mimics the human tasks. Another example is performing leg

Sorry Babe

It’s all too easy these days to not communicate face to face and just use email or sms to tell someone you fancy them,  wouldn't  mind a bit of sex and then, later, to use email or sms to break-up. Is there any guilt these days? Is it too awkward to just say in person ‘sorry Babe’? These days it is just that much easier to do it online. And, if you don’t have the guts and just want to quickly move on to the next relationship , then there is the option of outsourcing the task of saying sorry to Babe. Here’s a link to someone who will do the dirty deed An sms or email to Babe will only cost you $5.50. In fact you can outsource most dreaded tasks to someone else online. Here’s some more information … Breaking up is hard to do. So let someone else deal with it. Remember when breaking up was hard to do? There were the teary speeches, the recriminations, the anguish at losing someone who meant a great deal to you. Well, not anymore. These days, with a bit of help fro

On-line fraud

This week (18 – 24 May) is Fraud Week . Fraud Week is an initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) and is a national campaign aimed at raising awareness of consumer fraud. There are in excess of 100 government and industry bodies which work side by side to promote consumer protection. The theme for the 2015 campaign is get smarter with your data and will focus on the importance of protecting your personal information. The campaign seeks to help Australians understand how valuable their personal information is to scammers, and provide them with some practical guidance on how to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of identity crime. To leave scammers out in the cold, follow SCAMwatch’s Top 6 Protect Yourself tips: Keep your personal details secure Think twice about what you say and do in an online environment Keep your mobile devices and computers secure Choose your passwords carefully Beware of any request for your details or money Get a copy of your c

Rotating taste

I've always believed that presenting food well on a plate adds to the enjoyment of a meal. I'd say that presentation is about 40% of the overall value of a meal. Now it's been confirmed. Researchers have discovered that by rotating your plate so that the food points away from you improves the taste of the food. I'm not quite sure what they mean by rotating the plate so the food points away. It wouldn't work too well with a bowl of noodles or soup, but it might work with a steak, sausages or fish. The study by psychologists has been published in the journal Food Quality and Preference . So if the meal you're eating is a bit average, then rotate the plate until you get the best taste.

J.P. oath to Crown

An Indian friend wants to become a Justice of the Peace (J.P.) and he asked for my advice and help. So I took time and reviewed the information available on-line. Here's a link to the J.P. Handbook I was intrigued by the oath of allegiance and the judicial oath. Here’s an extract: In taking the oath or affirmation of allegiance, you promise that you: …will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law… Further, in taking the judicial oath or affirmation, you promise to: …well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law, in the office of Justice of the Peace for the State of South Australia, and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this State, without fear or favour, affection or ill will… Nothing wrong with that; just traditional oaths to the Crown that go with a position (o

Mars ideas

It seems that we are definitely going to Mars – or at least we are planning to do so. I say ‘we’ in the global sense. Who will be those chosen few; a handful of people destined to never return to Earth. I won’t be going, but I’d happily nominate a few people. NASA is getting quite innovative about the project. It is seeking bright ideas on survival on Mars. The agency has announced it is offering three US $5,000 (AUD $6,260) rewards for the best ideas on “establishing a sustained human presence” on the planet. I’ll certainly give it some thought and submit a few ideas. A couple that spring to mind are: Establish a local library Install cycle lanes Ensure that dogs and cats are micro-chipped Here's a link to the story

Who was that?

Quite often, when I attend functions and community events I get to meet politicians who I didn't know existed. I'm fairly politically savvy and generally know who is who - at least I usually recognise a name or a face. When it comes to State Government election time for the Upper House (aka. the Legislative Council) we can either number all the boxes below the line (which takes ages and days of advance preparation) or take the easy and unthinking method of simply marking 1 above the line. By voting 1 above the line for Labor, Liberal, Palmer, Greens, Sex Party, Shooters, etc. you have no idea of what the outcome might be. Preferences come into play and numbers get crunched. The result is that several handfuls of unknown party men and women get elected to the Upper House. For the next 4-8 years these pollies remain relatively unknown to the community at large. It can be a bit embarrassing when at some event, during idle chatter to someone you ask what they do and get told th

Give me your CVV

I have a thing about CVV numbers. You ask - what is a CVV number? Here's a link to explain It’s the 3 digit number on the back of your credit card. It proves that you are the holder of the credit card. So, if you know the credit card details viz. the 16 digit number, the account name and the expiry date (which is probably already on a foreign database somewhere) AND if you know the CVV, then the transaction will be allowed. The bank knows that it is absolutely you. If you give away your CVV (other than via a secure online transaction) then you are giving away your financial identity. Don’t do it! If a merchant asks you for it in writing, by phone or by email – don’t give it. Decline the business and move on. Be firm. Business merchants love to get the CVV because it guarantees that the transaction will be honoured.  Here’s ANZ Bank’s comment on the use of CVV from a merchant’s persective This is not written from an individual’s perspective. If I see the

Walk safely to school

National Walk Safely to School Day Walk Safely to School Day (WSTSD) is an annual, national event that encourages Primary School children to walk and commute safely to school. It is a Community Event that seeks to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment. The National designated day is Friday 22 May 2015. Here’s a link to the  WSTSD website / Goodwood Primary School is participating and getting in early – their date of participation is Thursday 21 May. The school’s program includes: encouraging as many families as possible to walk to school in groups on the day entering through the main entrance on Goodwood Road (to create maximum visual effect) having participants' arrivals announced by local personality and WSTSD ambassador, Amanda Blair having children collect a piece of fruit etc. as part of the healthy life style theme Walking groups will arrive between 8:30am to 8:50am.

Unearth Unley

Unley Council has fantastic creative talent and has an ongoing program to activates places - parks, streets, ... The latest is a  public arts project  Found, out – unearthing our place . What is  Found, out – unearthing our place Come on a journey of discovery and celebration with professional artists to re-examine your local park. Be a participant, be an explorer and document your own experiences. Check the Council website for more information. At Soutar Park  on Saturday 9 May  and Everard Park Reserve on Sunday 17 May, 10am - 4pm. For more information visit  this link