Archive for April 19th, 2007

ACTION Changes Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

I’ve had some time to digest the updates to the ACTION timetables which I mentioned not that long ago. As expected the updates are paltry and minimal, but probably the best that can be done without creating an entirely new timetable.

The good news is that these changes are, according to my sources, interim changes, and a completely new timetable with proper service levels is on the way. I don’t really have a timeframe for it yet as these sort of changes always take quite a bit of wrangling between ACTION’s relatively incompetent timetabling system, ACTION management and the Transport Workers Union.

At an educated guess, I’d say late November or early December, and considering that my last educated guess was only twenty minutes out, I’d rate my guess a 90% chance of being accurate.

The change is supposed to happen this year, one can only hope.

Samuel

April 19th, 2007 at 03:42pm

MyTalk and The Radio Webcams

Listeners to any of Southern Cross Broadcasting’s talk radio stations and viewers of any of their television stations would by now be aware of the “MyTalk” website, a hub for news, discussions, and the websites of their TV and radio stations.

All of the talk stations now have a live video webcam which is clearly still having the bugs ironed out of it. From the 2UE webcam, Paul Makin this morning (not actually on air at the time as the red light (little black thing under the monitor he is looking at) is not on):
Paul Makin on 2UE

Viewers of Southern Cross television stations would probably have seen the ad for MyTalk featuring John Laws by now. It mainly consists of Lawsie signing off from his show by saying “that’s all we have time for” (has he ever actually said that on-air?) and then explaining that there is only a limited amount of time on the air, but there is all the time in the world to discuss whatever you want on MyTalk, and if you sign up or update your details before May 11 you could win $100,000. The terms and conditions have me a bit concerned though.

6. Inaudible, incomprehensible and illegible entries will be deemed invalid.

Well, that makes all of the entries invalid, as you can’t record your entry audibly for them. It’s a standard web form, and the last time I checked, it didn’t speak.

Also peculiar is the fact that the MyTalk television commercial omits any mention of the digital television version of MyTalk. For some peculiar reason it is also available as a “datacast” station with the latest news headlines, local and nearby weather and a few other bits and bobs (which this morning contained a short looped show of some bloke talking about pets in the State Focus studio).

MyTalk Datacasting in Canberra
MyTalk datacasting on digital channel 55 in Canberra

If the digital television version of datacasting is using up the bandwidth of a standard television service to display a screen with a bit of writing and a couple pictures, which can’t be manipulated by the viewer in any way, then I say bring back teletext! Actually I think Seven’s digital broadcasts still have proper teletext, but only some set top boxes support it. I’ll have to find that spare set top box and see if there are any teletext services associated with MyTalk. I know the local station, Southern Cross Ten, were running a test teletext service on their analogue station a couple years back, so it’s certainly not impossible.

MyTalk datacasting runs on channel 55 in most areas, and either 66, 77 or 99 in others. Of course if you don’t have a Southern Cross station in your area, then you don’t get their datacasting. They have a list of places and stations here.

It’s good to see traditional broadcasters making a genuine effort at getting in to the online arena, and MyTalk is fairly impressive and will probably prod 2GB to expand their offerings, and push the ABC to finally become serious about having two-way discussions rather than guestbooks. I’m a bit skeptical about the point of having the digital television version of MyTalk, but it’s a start and I’ll give it some time to develop. These things always seem to take someone to take a risk and launch something new and bold, and much to my surprise, it looks like Southern Cross Broadcasting have paved the way. Now we just have to wait and see what the others do.

Samuel

4 comments April 19th, 2007 at 10:16am

Petrol

Just went up again! And on public service pay day too.

Was
Unleaded: 126.9
Diesel: 130.9
LPG: 61.9

Now
Unleaded: 133.9
Diesel: 130.9
LPG: 61.9

I wouldn’t be surprised if diesel and LPG go up shortly. Surely if this really was part of a discounting cycle the petrol companies would have gone broke earlier in the week.

Samuel

April 19th, 2007 at 07:33am

Funny thing I saw a few minutes ago

Good morning Paul,

Samuel from Canberra emailing from work. Just thought you might be interested to know that I work opposite a petrol station and just saw one of the funniest sites I've seen in a while.

A white commodore pulled up at the petrol station and the driver got out, they were obscured by the signs but I could tell something was a bit odd. Firstly they didn't seem to know how to use the petrol pump, and had to get the attendant out for a lesson. I was distracted by work for a few minutes after this, but I saw them again as they were returning to their car after paying for their petrol, and that's when I spotted it…they were wearing a near full length purple dressing gown which was about three sizes too big!

I wonder if they were sleep walking? It would explain the dressing gown but not much else.

Have a great weekend Paul and Abe.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

Update: This petrol station is fantastic entertainment. The attendant has walked out in to the petrol pump area for his break and lit up a cigarette. I just hope flaming chunks of the place don’t come flying through the window. End Update

April 19th, 2007 at 04:29am


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