Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Google Maps adds Traffic Information

trafficmapGoogle Maps has just activated real time traffic information to its maps. Information is taken from Intelematics, which you may recognise as the company behind the SUNA live GPS system that provides real time traffic information to GPS units through a discrete FM radio signal.

The breadth of coverage around Melbourne is staggering and Google plans to further expand traffic information by transmitting anonymous speed readings from those using the mobile version of the Google Maps Application.

traffichistoryAnother smart feature of Google’s traffic information is being able to look at historical information.  Say you want directions from Clifton Hill to St. Kilda around 5PM on a Saturday. The route usually would take you down Punt Road but potentially if historical information is smart it would tell you that Saturday afternoons along Hoddle Street are a nightmare because of footy traffic. Google has perhaps seen the success of it’s Flu Trends product in predicting likely occurance of traffic.

It’s amazing to think it that only three years ago, Google added the ability to actually look up an address on its maps and now we have real time traffic data.

Google Maps via [Official Google Australia Blog]

iTransit: iPhone, Mobile, Public Transport Application

itransitA few months ago, we reported to you on Metro, an application for the Iphone which provides real-time public transportation information. I had a play with ITransit, a similar program to Metro, but instead of an application it is a website fitted to work with an Iphone, a mobile device, or any other browser you throw at.

From the Yarra Trams website, one has to enter in their stop number, which you have to lookup based on the tram line and street via a popup box. Once you select your location, it is fed into the Yarra Trams website, where you then have to select the route again and then submit. Not too difficult but could be an easier process. This seems to be a new method on their website as previously you had to look up the number, copy, then paste the number back into the Yarra Trams box and submit.

With iTransit, you select what form of transport you want (tram),browse by route or stop number (browse by route), select direction, select stop, and then you are presented with the times of the next three trams after which you sigh because you were probably better off not knowing.  Trains are selected in a similar fashion and apparently they are working on a bus time tracker. I’ve never been on a bus that even remotely followed a schedule, so this will be interesting to see.

This definitely gives Metro a run for it’s money with it’s ease of use and ability to be used on any browser. Best of all, it’s free.


Metro: Public Transport App for the Iphone

It’s no doubt the IPhone is the biggest thing since sliced cheese. Not only is it a great phone but Apple has opened up it’s system for people to create applications for the phone. There are plenty of useful apps but Metro has to be one of the most useful for Melburnians.

The program provides scheduling information for trains, trams and buses. Instead of pulling out the schedule or looking up the schedule in the train station, Metro allows you to easily pull up your station, line, or train from your phone. With the IPhone’s built in GPS you can find out where the nearest tram stop is.  In addition, you can find out about any delays on the train lines. All they need is to add real time information to make this perfect but I don’t believe this information is publicly released by Connex.

$2.99 from Itunes, Demo Free


Metro Melbourne via [dhruvit]

Save Water Save Energy expo on this weekend

Showcasing the latest water saving and energy saving products available, the Save Water Save Energy expo runs from Friday the 17th until Sunday 19th October (that’s this weekend) between 10 am and 6pm each day, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (Clarendon Street, Southbank).

As well as being able to see demonstrations of products, and having a range of experts on hand to ask all your water and energy efficiency questions, there are a range of free seminars being held over the three days to give you insights into how we can all become more conservative with our use of resources, saving money and lightening our impact on our environment as a result. Speakers over the weekend include the Carbon Cops (from the TV series), as well as experts from various stalls at the expo. I recommend catching the morning seminar about energy efficient windows.

Clean water is our most valuable resource so we try our best not to be wasteful with it. Reducing our use of gas and electricity can mean we won’t need to build new power plants or expand existing ones, and make a shift to cleaner sources that much easier. Being thrifty in how we consume water and energy frees up resources and money for other important things. No matter if you own your own place or rent, we all can make small, inexpensive changes, that collectively add up to big things.

Google Street View Goes Live

streetview1.jpgTo think it was only two years ago, that everyone was excited by the ability to search for addresses in Google Maps. A year and a half ago, the company added driving directions. In it’s final stage in catching up with the rest of the world, they have released Street View for Australia. Street View for those not familar with it, is the ability to see ground level pictures layered on the map. In other words, type in your home address and more than likely you will see the front of your house.

There has been much controversy in the U.S. with Street View’s ability to pick up clear details of people walking on the street. With the Australian launch, they were able to use an automated blurring program that will blur licence plates and faces. It does seem to work well but the program has also blurred a lot of other random objects. Have a look at a few places of interests around Melbourne:


View of the Yarra from St. Kilda Road

Google Car taking a picture of a woman taking a picture of Luna Park


Eureka Tower looking up

In the Domain Tunnel

Nyun Nyun Restaurant, Smith St, Collingwood (Hmm…spell check?)

Update: How could I forget Ramsay Street   [via Google Maps Mania]

Tram Tracking Map shows the estimated positions of trams in Melbourne. You just pick the route and watch the tram dots slowly move along the roads. The site also features interactive timetables so you can plan your trip accordingly. The one thing that is missing is real time tram information, something I don’t think Yarra Trams would be keen to release as they have their own revenue stream through their TramTracker product. It would be interested to see how the real time map would look compared to this one. Most likely all the dots would be clumped in one section and then a big space between the next closest dot.

Links: [via Digg]


Lygon Street Memorial


I had a chance to walk down Lygon Street over the weekend. Friends and family of the two killed (Raed “Ali” Marouche & Mohammed Moussa) have erected a memorial on the lamp post. Just meters down the road near the phone box, as seen in the far distance of the photo is the memorial for Damian Cooper. In an even stranger twist, it appears that the driver’s brother died in similar circumstances seven years ago, further up Lygon Street.


Melbourne Metblogs: Change out of a Tragedy and Hoons

Herald Sun: Two sons died on same street

IMG_5510 IMG_5508 IMG_5509

has samSUNG just SUNG her last SONG?

Samsung 40 Inch M series

Have any readers, in the last five months, purchased a Samsung LCD/Plasma television during their buy-one-get-one free promo? I bought the sleek LA40M81BDX (above) in February from The Good Guys in Maribyrnong and Samsung had promised to deliver the tellies within six to eight weeks. I say that’s hogwash, as we’re now approaching the middle of May, and it’s almost 11 weeks.

Confirmation email aside, I’ve not received any phonecalls, follow up emails or mail whatsoever. I say, how hard is it to send my free 19″ telly to my doorstep?

Granted, it was a good deal. For $1973 inc. gst, I got myself a relatively large LCD television and a free 19″. Now that’s a steal.

But steal or not, it’s still a restless wait for the Samsung contact that’s never gona come. Or is it?

Yoohoo…anyone working in Samsung here? Get your fucking act together already! My bedroom looks empty and rather forlorn looking without a shiny screen looking back at me.

Shit water tastes good

I made this entry over fifteen months ago and my stance still remains the same: Give me a large cold glass of shit water anyday, mate.

A year has passed, and seems like the Government’s attempt to convince Melburnians to consume shit water has fallen shit short of their expectations.

Nothing seems to have changed. The Bracks Government were ridiculed back then, the Brumby Government ain’t faring any better. I think they really need to rethink their strategy if they wish to pursue this important matter. Whether it leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth (pun intended) is another thing altogether, but perhaps it’s time for Brumby and Co. to give the Victorian media another water cooler topic. They’re having so much airtime with their public transport debacle and terrorist bullshit, no thought is given to something that’s very close to all Australians.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to arrive on time in a non-crowded train and not be subjected to retinal checks when I’m at the airport. I don’t start doubting the Muslim’s intentions just because he prays seven times a day or his wife wears a hijab. Hell I’m sure terrorists exist in other religious denominations as well. The bottom line is, who needs a world class transport system and a terrorist-free country if there’s no water for consumption in the long run. We need to think long term. I’d rather be stuck in a hot, humid train, pressed against other sardines and am thirty minutes late. At least I have my delish cold bottle of shit water in my bag and not be worrying what my children will be drinking 30 years from now.

Eclipse Office Cubicle

First, one of University of Melbourne’s students figures out a way to make broadband connections 100 times faster. In yet another cool thing produced out of the university, Marcus Curran has designed The Eclipse Office Partioning System.

This may be the office of the future. We all know how ineffective cubicles are with everyone trying to speak in whispers, the stench of various foods during the day, and the ability of people to just pop their head over the top of the cubicle thus scaring the ever shit out of you.

Just as effective as putting the dome over Sam Newman’s head, this retractable cubicle allows for various levels of privacy and quiet. Inside the system is a workspace that contains speakers, a wireless recharging mat, and a wireless camera/projector. The video makes it look awesome but I can’t help thinking that some prankster is going to push this “dome on wheels” with someone inside, down the hallway. Hilarity and sueality ensue.

Gizmodo: Office Cubicle Reimagined as Office Pod

Youtube:Eclipse Office

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