Categories
News and events TV

News-junkies’ summary of TV news bulletins

I was thinking that for news junkies like me, it’d be nice to have a quick reference to when it’s possible to tune into a news bulletin on free-to-air television. With ABC News 24, this is easier than ever before, but in fact there are numerous times when other channels air substantial (10+ minutes) bulletins when ABC News 24 is showing other things, such as The Drum.

I’ve included shows like Today, Lateline and Afternoon Live which include a regular news bulletin, even though some of these are probably shorter than 10 minutes long. I’ve excluded non-Australian bulletins, such as the BBC News shown overnight on ABC News 24.

The symbols used below are:

* State-based news (all others are national)
+ Time varies
# Live webcast available

Weekdays:

Summary of TV news bulletins: Weekdays

Saturdays:

Summary of TV news bulletins: Saturdays

Sundays:

Summary of TV news bulletins: Sundays

See any errors? Let me know.

Categories
Photos transport

Silhouettes on platform 1

Platform 1 shadows

Categories
Food'n'drink transport

Lunch on the Restaurant Tram

It was actually a present from my last birthday: a lunch on the Restaurant Tram.

Boarding was at 1pm sharp near the casino. Presumably they don’t like to hold up service trams coming from St Kilda or Port Melbourne. It was a fleet of three out for lunch, and we were told to board the front car, number 4. (I can’t quite read the photo, but the records indicate it was MMTB 938, first in service in 1948.)

Restaurant tram arrives for boarding

Restaurant tram appetiser

On boarding we found the appetisers already on the table, and ordered the entrees and mains (a choice of two possibilities for each; all including meat — it seems you have to notify them in advance if you want the vegetarian option). Champagne and wine was forthcoming — I’m not much of a drinker, but whatever plonk they were serving was very nice.

Marita and I swapped the food around so we got to try everything. After the mains there was a cheese platter with tea or coffee (and an option of another after-lunch drinkie — we both chose Bailey’s) and a couple of little chocolates to polish it all off.

Restaurant tram passing Elizabeth Street

All the food was very tasty, and while perhaps on its own (eg in a conventional restaurant at this price) it wouldn’t win any awards, with the great service and the novelty of the experience it made for a very very satisfying meal.

And the route? From the Normanby Road starting point, the tram went north up Spencer Street, east along Bourke Street, along Spring/Nicholson Streets, then west down Latrobe Street, turning south down William Street, along Kingsway, then into St Kilda Road. From there we rolled down to St Kilda Junction, along Fitzroy Street and The Esplanade, and all the way down to the end of Acland Street.

Mohawks in a convertible, Acland Street St Kilda

From there we went back along The Esplanade, into Fitzroy Street, but then reversed into Park Street, following the 112 route back in towards the City. In Albert Road we manoeuvred out of the way to let a service tram overtake, then continued on north along Clarendon Street. We reversed again at the casino, and then headed a short way down the 109 light rail, just past Southbank depot where we once again reversed back to the pickup point again, arriving just on 3pm.

Daniel and Marita on the Restaurant Tram

We didn’t see the other trams in the pack until we arrived back, so I assume they must have taken other routes around the place. After all, on a tram network the size of ours, there’s plenty of possibilities.

The tourists and locals dispersed, and Marita and I strolled back to Southern Cross to catch our trains home, a little light-headed and very full.

I’ve got to say, it felt very civilised rolling along the street with all that good food on the tram. I’d definitely recommend it.

(No, they didn’t have Myki readers aboard, and no, the trams weren’t showing up on Tram Tracker. But the departure and arrival were dead on time.)

Categories
Melbourne transport

If Melbourne didn’t have trams, would every CBD street look like Lonsdale Street?

Here’s something to ponder…

If Melbourne didn’t have trams anymore, would every CBD street look like Lonsdale Street?

Lonsdale Street

(Seen on Twitter recently: “Lonsdale St is the scariest, least bike friendly St in CBD. Discuss.”)

PS. Lunchtime: I’d just note that I deliberately chose Lonsdale Street over the (arguably more attractive) Exhibition or Queen Streets because I would think that if the trams had gone, we would have ended up with more Smartbus-type frequent bus services, as well as (I’d hope) fulltime bus lanes. In fact it somewhat staggers me that the Lonsdale Street bus lanes aren’t fulltime.

Categories
Consumerism

Dear retailers, when prices are 60% cheaper offshore, GST won’t save you

Amazon packageTough talk from the retailers, who continue to demand GST be applied to all purchases.

It’s rubbish of course. 10% GST is not why people are shopping online.

Let’s take the example of my last Amazon UK order, which I placed when the AU dollar was at its height, about two weeks ago.

  • Book: Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”. UKP 4.46 (AU $6.96). Cheapest AUD price (via Booko, looking only at Australian outlets) $15.95
  • Book: “Wiped! Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes”. UKP 12.69 (AU $19.81). Cheapest AUD price (via Booko, looking only at Australian outlets) $27.51
  • DVD: Red Dwarf series 1. UKP 4.58 (AU $7.15). Cheapest AUD price (via DVD Plaza, excluding postage) $35.55.
  • DVD: Red Dwarf series 2. UKP 4.58 (AU $7.15). Cheapest AUD price $35.55.
  • DVD: Red Dwarf series 5. UKP 4.17 (AU $6.51). Cheapest AUD price $35.55.

So, the total Amazon order cost was UKP 30.48 (AU $46.87 — may not match prices above because this is what I actually paid; above is the UK price I paid, converted using the exchange rate from a couple of days ago), and because it was more than UKP 25, I got free postage.

The total Australian retail price if I’d bought from the above, and assuming I’d been able to get the cheapest online DVD price at a retail outlet (and therefore avoided paying for postage) would be AU $150.11.

In other words, ordering online was less than a third of the cost of buying locally.

Now, of course this is influenced by many of the products originating with UK publishers. But even so, we’re talking about a factor of three.

Even if the AUD to UKP fell back to, say, 50 cents to the pound, and even if 10% GST was applied to everything, it’d still come out at AU $67.06; still less than half the Australian retail price.

So, sorry Australian retailers. GST is not the problem here. The whole pricing model (including the publishers and distributors) needs looking at if you want to get competitive.

Where bricks and mortar retailers should have an advantage

Bryant & May towerI would note that the Wiped! book has a printing error. Pages 33-48 inclusive are missing. I’m going to need to return it.

Obviously this’d be much easier if it had been bought retail, but I’ll be interested to see how Amazon UK handle it. I know that earlier in the year, SendIt.com sent my cousin in the UK an incorrect birthday gift (some book about WW2 instead of the Donkey Kong Country game we’d ordered for him), and there was some difficulty in getting it all resolved (in fact I’m not even sure if it was all resolved).

Retailers’ advantage is in customer service, particularly in cases like this where things go wrong. Face-to-face service can be worth a lot, and could help save market share. But only if they can figure out how to actually provide good face-to-face service.

Categories
transport

Two things you can’t do while driving

Two things you can't do while driving

As Gordon Price says: My travel time is far too valuable to waste actually driving.

Categories
Melbourne

Pic: Aeroplane and blue sky over Footscray

This Qantas plane, and others, were noted flying low over the inner-west, coming into land at Tullamarine airport this morning.

Plane over Footscray

(View larger)

Categories
Melbourne transport

Pic: On the train in Bourke Street

On the train in Bourke St

Categories
Food'n'drink

Bananas

Yesterday on the way to work I saw two people, both of whom were carrying nothing more than a banana.

Banana

Is this the done thing nowadays? In this time of expensive bananas, it is some kind of status symbol or something?

Categories
Home life

They’re not Smart Meters anymore, they’re Advanced Meters

Advanced MeterThey finally installed a new electricity meter at my house. This was after receiving three sets of letters saying “we’re about to install it”.

It wasn’t one of those much-criticised allegedly-defective Smart Meters though — oh no, it was an Advanced Meter. So much better.

Will be interested to see what effect it has on the next power bill.