Thinking about VOIP to replace my land line. Any recommendations?

Another $38.60 (per month) bill for my land line, which I barely use. That's made up of: line rental $22.95 17 local calls $5.10 calls to mobiles $1.62 silent line $2.93 caller ID $6.00 Almost all of the cost ($31.88) is in the line itself, rather than the calls. My sister's recently gone down the route of not having a land line at all; just mobile. I'm not sure I want to do that


Tram Cams – do passengers need to DIY?

A few minutes ago in Flinders Lane: It was only on a whim I decided to film as I alighted the tram. The car driver was apologetic, but this ignorance of the law around giving way to passengers has gone on far too long. It's a serious issue -- just last week a girl was injured in Camberwell. Years ago the government was talking about trialling tram cams, to catch motorists failing to give

Politics and activism, PTUA, transport

Metro apostrophe crimes! (and will the next state election again swing on PT?)

As if disrupted trains weren't enough, now we have Metro apostrophe crimes. (from Channel 10 news 25/6/2012: Commute derailed) Metro was already having a bad Monday morning peak with the inner part of the Sandringham line suspended due to a maintenance train derailing overnight. Things didn't improve when at about 7:15 the outer section of the Cranbourne line also went down, and it just got


Have higher weekend train frequencies resulted in huge traffic jams at level crossings? No.

There was speculation from some quarters that introducing 10 minute train frequencies would result in long traffic queues at level crossings, similar to those seen in many suburbs during peak commuting hours. I think this was unfounded. Looking around Bentleigh on a recent weekend, it seems no worse than when trains ran half as frequently. I think there's a couple of reasons for this:


All the self-serve checkouts are down, down

It was like a trip back in time to... last year. All the self-serve checkouts in Woolies were down tonight. A long queue at the express checkouts... surprisingly not at the other checkouts (all credit to management, they did have five non-express checkouts open at one time -- rarely seen nowadays). Perhaps the earthquake is to blame. Perhaps not.


#Myki cost over ten years has gone up to $1.5 billion

Last month the total budget for Myki (over ten years) quietly got increased, from $1.35 billion to $1.5 billion. It was revealed in the Budget Papers, and thanks to the torrent of other budget coverage, barely got noticed: MELBOURNE public transport commuters received little relief in this year's budget, which revealed the cost of the troubled myki ticketing system has blown out by another $150


Weekend traffic congestion + more frequent services = PT getting competitive with driving

It used to be that on the weekends, trips by car could safely be assumed to be faster than those on public transport, particularly crosstown trips that required a change of service to complete. I'm not sure that's always the case anymore. Over the weekend I took two crosstown train trips: Bentleigh to North Coburg (the superbly-named Batman, to be precise) on Saturday night, and Footscray back


Daniel’s theory of paving: The better it looks, the slipperier it is.

I reckon the better a paving surface looks, the slipperier it is, particularly in the wet. Asphalt: ugly, but grips well, even in the wet. Tiles (as platforms at Flinders Street station have been converted to, but thankfully not ramps) and blue-stone (increasingly common on CBD streets) look nicer, but are more slippery. And some types of tactiles (bumps, for the vision-impaired) often ar