The Null Device


Public Transport First!, a new group pushing for a less freeway-centric transport policy for Melbourne. They plan to run candidates in marginal seats, directing preferences to the Greens and against the most public transport-hostile party. Sounds good to me.

And then there's the PTUA. Of course, if these groups are too sane for you, you could always join the Transport Victoria Association, who are something like the SPK of public transport advocacy, and appear to be comprised entirely of the deranged people you see on buses.

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Psychalking is a hobo-language for paranoids to communicate with each other about dangerous mind control hot spots. Interesting start, but they could do with some signs for the different alien races and thought-stealing TV celebrities. (via psychoceramics)

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Yesterday, I bought a monthly Met ticket (as I usually do every month). Today, when the old one had run out, I boarded a tram and validated it. All very well, except for one minor detail: the validator machine was out of ink, and thus didn't print the date on the ticket. This has two implications:

  1. There is no way to tell that the ticket is validated without putting it into a machine; which means that if I'm on a train with it and the Ticket Nazis show up, I get an on-the-spot fine for fare evasion, and
  2. If the magnetic strip is corrupted (as happens from time to time, due to malfunctioning validators), the ticket is irrecoverably worthless.

I spoke to the tram driver about this, and it turns out that the drivers have no authority to certify tickets as validated or do anything about it. She gave me the phone number of the Yarra Trams customer feedback line. I called them, and they directed me to a number at the ticketing company, which is only staffed during the week.

I am not impressed with the efficiency of Jeff Kennett's automated ticketing system.

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As the last entry suggested, I went to the RMIT film department stolen-gear fund-raising show at the Corner tonight; or at least to part of it. First up I saw part of The Night Terrors' set; they didn't have the trademark fluoro lights, but did do a set of their usual unrelenting onslaught of grinding bass guitar, buzzsaw synths and theremin, like some mutant gothic hot-rodders from hell. Or about as metal as you can get without being Metal (or using guitars), as the case may be. (Though the frontman could probably pass for a Scandinavian metalhead.) Ninetynine played a set with lots of energy, doing many old songs (starting with Wöekenender and ending with Polar Angle), and a few newer numbers (though the triptych they started their other shows with was there only in part). Then came La Scimmia, who played various brooding minor-key things (mostly instrumentals, apart from one anti-US rant at the start). The Grey Daturas then played a half-hour set consisting of sheets of guitar feedback, with drums kicking in in the middle. I left shortly after George W. Bush started playing as they seemed like fairly uninteresting pounding-drums-guitar-riffs-and-screaming hardcore punk.

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Some photos from tonight's Ninetynine performance, courtesy of my new(ish) digital camera:

Ah yes; I've started working on a proper photo content system. Not quite up to Cos's level yet, but give it time...

(Note that the photo URLs will probably change from returning an image/jpeg to sending back a HTML page for the image in question.)

Update: the photo URLs have now been changed to point to images in the more recently uploaded photo gallery for this gig.

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