November 2008 Archives

Down Under 2

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Some more musings on our holiday to Australia...

  • Coins - The one and two dollar coins appear to be made out of the same metal, yet the two dollar coin is much smaller than the one dollar.  Strange, though I prefer them to our huge two pound coins.
  • Transit lanes - Great idea.  Basically a lane where you have to have at least a certain number of people in your vehicle to use.  Only problem I see is how to police the system as I don't see an easy way to count people automatically.  It's probably easy enough to tell if people are in the front two seats with a thermal imaging camera, but the back row(s) of seats would be more difficult.
  • Breath tests - Whilst over there, we did two breath tests.  One I did before I was allowed to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the other Katherine did as a random roadside test whilst driving through the Blue Mountains.  On both occasions we scored a blood alcohol level of zero, but the interesting thing is the equipment they used.  Rather than blowing through a tube to collect a sample like in the UK, you simply speak into a nozzle (we were asked to count to ten) until the machine beeps.  It saves having to sterilise a new tube for everyone (the whole team doing the bridge climb used the same tester) and is a lot quicker and easier.
  • Internet cafés - Cheap and plentiful.  Handy for checking email, facebook, etc. and we were able to check in online for our return flights.  Oddly, most doubled as travel centres rather than as cafes.  One launderette I noticed was offering internet use while you wash your clothes.
  • ISPs - we obviously didn't pay for an internet connection on holiday, but I noticed in all the promotions that you pay for a fixed download allowance, rather than the (reasonably) "unlimited" subscription model followed over here.  I suspect that we're going to go down the same route sooner or later as the ISPs in the UK are straining under the ever increasing load and I'm sure would love to be able to charge more for their services.

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