The Null Device


Today I had occasion to catch a tram from Glebe to Central Station. One thing I noticed about Sydney's trams (all one line that they have there, much like Manchester or LA or someplace) was that they have TV screens installed on board, with sound, which play some sort of "entertainment programming", consisting of ads and extreme-sports segments. Which looks like the sort of thing that giant TV screen in Bourke St. shows.

Mind you, the trams there do have air conditioning you can actually feel, as opposed to the pitifully weak effort on Melbourne's trams/trains (presumably adjusted down to the bare minimum to cut the privatised operators' electricity costs). Perhaps that's what the ad revenue pays for?

Sydney's buses also have video screens, which today were displaying Fun Facts About Christmas (i.e., about reindeer and Christmas trees and such, not about Jesus Christ or Mithras or the like). Not sure what the point of those is; perhaps they'll gradually sneak in ads?

(Yes, I'm in Sydney right now; I'm typing this from Peter's house. I've been on the road since Sunday, hence the recent sparsity of blogging.)

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