The Future of the Written Word

The Future of the Written Word

The boom of video, emojis, memes and references has relegated the written word to a simple medium – there is little space for prose in the digital world. This downturn of interest has lead me to a discussion at a literary festival on the gloomy ‘Future of the Written Word’, could you choose a more foreboding subject? Driven to obsolescence by other media better at grabbing our interest, and stories better shaped to fit the spare moments in our lives…

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PACmen Review

PACmen Review

Last year proved the year of political dark horses, upending expectations of both US parties and standards. Luke Walker’s observational documentary of one such horse, evangelical neurosurgeon Ben Carson, offers insight into the driving financial forces behind modern day campaigning and the fevered conviction of his supporters – on a campaign doomed to blunder. Walker is no stranger to stories of conviction. Both of his previous documentaries Beyond Our Ken (2008) and Lasseter’s Bones (2012) are about individuals driven by…

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Census debacle senate review begins

Census debacle senate review begins

The senate review into the 40 hour online outage that plagued the Australian Bureau of Statistics online platform launch has begun, with contractor IBM conceeding responsibility. Kerry Purcell, head of IBM Australia opened proceedings by “unreservedly apologis[ing] to the Australian public for the inconvenience,” and said the outage was caused by four distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). Given the confidential nature of citizen data safeguards were put in place to restrict any international access to the site, and streamline…

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Myki on track to improve

Myki on track to improve

Commuters are set to benefit as a swath of changes to Myki and public transport fares  were announced by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) this week. The announcement follows a scathing review from the Victorian Ombudsman body of the current fare enforcement system, calling it “unfair and costly” while targeting the “vulnerable and innocently ignorant”. The changes include the addition of “tap-and-go” card readers at top up machines, dramatic improvement of online top-up times and the abolishing of on the spot fines. Authorised…

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Is artist control being kidNapped?

Is artist control being kidNapped?

Cut to 1999. Napster has just been released and for the first time popular music, computer viruses and petty larceny are available to the average consumer in the privacy of their own home. You and the 80 million other users of the program can now share those obscure “mp3” files you received from your friend/colleague/sibling/neighbourhood N’Sync fan. Sure, that carefully manicured record collection might still work, and those cassettes recorded from radio broadcasts of your favourite jam almost sound like…

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Kew public land for sale

Kew public land for sale

VicRoads is proceeding with its plan to sell two pieces of public parkland in Kew, to the ire of local residents. Boroondara Council has declined to purchase either property, saying however “the land should remain public open space for the enjoyment of the public,” in a recent press release. “It is gravely disappointing and incomprehensible that VicRoads is contemplating selling public land […] occupied and maintained by Council” said Cr Jim Parke, Mayor of Boroondara. The fate of 4 Studley Park Rd…

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Wake up call as scams multiply

Wake up call as scams multiply

Boroondara residents are being urged to stay vigilant when dealing with unusual phone-calls, after an influx of phone scams preying on the elderly and unaware. Hawthorn resident Michelle Murphy frequently receives calls on her landline, with scammers claiming to represent various companies. She was nearly conned into allowing a scammer posing as a Telstra technician online access to her computer but backed out at the last second. “He sounded very convincing, but once I realised what I was doing would give…

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Melbourne grown burgers

Melbourne grown burgers

Cleanse your palettes Melbourne, the Food and Wine Festival has left town. Pairing Melbourne’s diverse food multi-culture with world renowned chefs and institutions has created a growing tradition of quality, leveraging the city’s exceptional night life – for those willing to breach the entry cost. Of the over 300 events available only 25 were free, with the majority of price tags extending well over $100 per person. As a student of limited resources I decided to uphold Melbourne’s tradition of finding…

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Self-harming arson charges appealed

Self-harming arson charges appealed

A Melbournian woman has successfully appealed her 4 year sentence, after being found guilty of setting fire to her own home. Her sentence has been amended to her 290 days served in prison already, after disputing the case due to her deteriorating mental condition while in confinement. Ms Jennifer Martin, 59 pleaded guilty in September 2014 to two charges of arson, after twice setting her living room ablaze. The representative for the respondent conceded that the appellant’s long history of…

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