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Category / Australia

VNTZ | Event Listings 31 July, 2015 at 4:37 pm

For a long time now there has not been a decent resource listing events in Sydney. InTheMix had officially shut down its WHATSON section. Time Out, Resident Advisor, and even SPRACI are currently hopeless, and Facebook keeps you in an information bubble where you can only see stuff you are more or less directly connected to (eg by invitation, and now Facebook is limiting the number of invitations people can send to their own list of contacts!). What is one to do?… Roll your own!

VNTZ is my contribution. Currently a simple website with links to events pages elsewhere (could be any site, but currently linking to public events on Facebook).

Link submissions are made by simply posting a link to the corresponding VNTZ Event Listings page on Facebook. Easy peasy.

Site: VNTZ.info

Supported Projects 6 November, 2011 at 6:07 am

I’ve supported a few ‘crowd-funded’ projects in recent months, including the production of a DVD of visuals by the Joshua Light Show in New York (who provided visuals for famous music acts in the 1960s), The Sensorium Project (an 11.11m dome for video/interactive/psychedelic art to travel festivals here in Australia), and helping Professor Kliq (a musician / producer in Chicago) obtain his music composition degree.

The Sensorium Project has not yet reached its funding target and has just 5 days to go; I have just doubled my pledge and encourage any Australian VJs and visualists to contribute if they can.

See the new Supported Projects page for more links, videos, etc.

-spxl

Reach out and touch some…thing – SubPixel / Studio Kanzen 25 November, 2009 at 12:02 am

The following is copied from an email addressed to Studio Kanzen, creators of SubPixel – a digital culture video blog.

Studio Kanzen,

this evening I discovered someone/something called “SubPixel”. My sister asked me what videos were mine on YouTube, saying that she did a search for “subpixel” and found something that looked like porn, so didn’t open it at work. Something about a guy with his shirt off and a girl with her hands somewhere near his groin. “No, I don’t think I have anything that looks like porn, or anything with a guy with his shirt off.”

What was she talking about? YouTube. Search.

I see… SubPixel: Clone a Willy Penis Mold Kit Review

Quite amusing, but no, not one of my videos.

Hi, I’m subpixel. I’ve been pushing pixels under that name since 2002 when I started taking club and party photos for Australia’s dance music community at InTheMix: “sub” as in music, and “pixel” as in pictures (digital photographs). On later reflection it occurred to me that the name had other interpretations, such as “subpixels” meaning “images from a subculture”, or “subpixel” being the thing (or person) underlying/behind the images I was capturing, especially since I was responsible for the images and rarely “in front of the camera” in my own photos, or those taken by other photographers in the Sydney scene.

After being an InTheMix photographer for a year or so, and having made many new friends along the way, I was more inclined to go where some of those friends were going, and less inclined to take on ITM photography assignments elsewhere, though still continued taking photos, including as “official photographer” for an underground party called Undercurrents, and today have an archive of some 70,000+ images and short video clips. I was without a camera – I mean a camera I cared to carry with me, since, now I think about it, I did actually have at least one other – for about 6 months two years ago, and found that to be a bit depressing. That slowed me down a bit, and I don’t seem to have been taking as many since then (or perhaps for a while before), though do go through spurts on occasion.

Photo madness in decline, I am still behind the pixels nonetheless. I acquired subpixels.com in 2003, and continued to use the name, especially for creative projects. In 2006, after a late night laptop-and-video-projector good times retrospective for a friend’s farewell at a city fringe music bunker (another friend’s house with a killer sound system and wall to wall wax) in Sydney, I was asked to supply visuals for a live electronic music gig called Laptopjam, and so the subpixel name moved on to be my VJ moniker.

I appeared mainly at live electronic gigs, VJ meetings and house parties in Sydney until I was roped in as resident VJ for a fledgling club night (Mind! Reggae Dubstep) in Brixton by Italian DJ Unity Selekta along with Earl Gateshead [Trojan Soundsystem] when I moved to London in 2008, strangely enough from my Gumtree listing looking for a place to live. Around the same time I discovered a local VJ community, VJlondon, where I made friends, had fun, and through which landed various gigs around London including a couple more live electronic gigs. I also joined the sizeable contingent of VJlondon crew appearing at LPM 2009Live Performers Meeting – in Rome, apparently the only Australian representative. Through Dr.Mo, who organised most of the VJlondon gatherings, I met architect and artist Alex Haw of atmos (currently working on the CLOUD for the 2012 London Olympics), with whom I collaborated to realise the Weather Projection installation at the inaugural Smart Light Sydney festival – me, a Sydneysider, scrambling to write the code in London (and in Rome after LPM!), and Alex, a Londoner, scrambling to put together the hardware (and content) in Sydney – such a mixed-up world we live in! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to Sydney to see the result, but I’m back in Sydney now, and have rejoined forces with the live electronics party/promoter Midi In The City as well as taking up residency with the closely related TECHnique crew for their monthly techno parties and festival vibes at the Earthdance Sydney 2009 Campout. I have just completed another international collaboration, this time with Venetian producer and deepindub netlabel founder, Maurizio Miceli: a “VJ clip” for Way Out [DIDVJ002] to promote his latest EP.

You can find clips from and information about past VJ gigs at SPXL.TV, and other stuff like my blog including experiments with Processing at subpixels.com.

TECHnique feat. McBean 24 July, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Sat 18/Jul/2009 TECHnique feat McBean at The Sly Fox Hotel

TECHnique feat McBean
Sat 18/Jul/2009 at The Sly Fox, Enmore SYD

Visuals by subpixel

MySpace: TECHnique
Facebook: event | group

-spxl

Telstra TV commercial backing track 7 July, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Update: Ok, so I’m a spazz. I recognised the backing track in the TV ad for Telstra, and later when I went to my PC to work out what it was, I was tricked by the Arovane track, Goodbye Forever (after listening to it, and without the TV ad to listen to again to check). The track used is actually Trentemøller  – Miss You – a completely separate, though similarly beautiful track. Sorry Anders (and Arovane) for having been mistaken!

Since I have the video link for Arovane track here already, you may as well enjoy it. :o)

Title: Good Bye Forever
Artist: Arovane

-spxl

The so-called Clean Feed 12 November, 2008 at 2:33 am

Here is a copy of a letter I have just submitted to Internode, the internet service provider I used in Sydney, with my objection to the development and introduction of the so-called Clean Feed (ISP-level internet censorship) proposed by the current Australian Labor Government.

Originally addressed to Internode support with copies to Mark Newton and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the support address bounced, so I forwarded the original message to some other published Internode addresses. Two separate autoreply messages tell me I’m now in the system…

Yes, there are typos and at least a couple of sentences that went astray somewhere in the middle. And if you do read as far as the postscript, yes, I do miss my old connection, and my apartment with the view over Darling Harbour. It’s getting cold here in London.

-spxl.

To: Internode Management,

I’m hoping whoever in support receives this can direct it to the appropriate department or manager within Internode; that the other published addresses are for residential and business sales or accounts, none of which seem entirely appropriate.

As a prior Internode account holder, currently living in London and likely to be using Internode again when I return to Australia, I want to express my concern and dismay over recent news in the Australian and international media about the so-called Clean Feed that the government wishes to strangle Australia’s internet networks with.

If Australia was ever considered an internet backwater (and to be sure, it has), that was nothing compared to the ridicule and sheer disbelief that the rest of the (western, at least) world is now showing for this draconian attempt to censor the internet.

The example, I think in Finland, of a similar scheme being trialled being used to block access to an anti-censorship site is a perfect example of exactly how this system will, both unintentionally and worse yet intentionally, fail and be abused.

I have thus far read only a few articles on the subject, and a search for “clean feed” on the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy site (http://www.dbcde.gov.au) appallingly returns only a solitary relevant result – a speech by Helen Coonan in June 2006 at http://www.dbcde.gov.au/newsroom/speeches/protecting_families_online – but it seems odd that no-one mentions the obvious that this policy is almost certainly primarily about something other than “protecting the children”, which that referenced speech indicates wasn’t really possible in 2006.

I am aware that “the Mark Newton letter” of 20 October 2008 addressed to Kate Ellis is not the word of Internode, but to me it is vindication of my choice of ISP, that it is staffed by technically competent, thinking individuals who are willing to say what they believe in defence of their own rights and the rights of the community. I am horrified to hear that Stephen Conroy (or his office) made moves to have him silenced – the disturbing element of the system already rears is ugly head. Point blank: the Clean Feed is about censorship, not protecting the public. It is there to give a reason for the government (pressure groups, et al) a convenient mechanism to stifle dissent. Once the system is in place, it won’t stop the things it is “supposed to” stop, but it will stop the casual user – the greater community, if you will – from finding news and being able to have their own “democratic” voice. I am totally opposed to this and other similar criminal imbalances in the network, which in our information age is as fundamental and essential as water and electricity have been in previous times.

This does raise an interesting parallel, though, and that is of the artificial introduction of fluoride compounds into the water supply at a state or federal level: hazardous toxic waste that has never been proven safe to administer to people, which costs the community financially to implement, has no demonstrable benefits and a whole raft of negative long term consequences, all, supposedly, in the name of “saving the children” (from having bad teeth, in the fluoride case).

It is my current understanding that government is about to start (or perhaps already has started) a trial, seeking participation from ISPs. If some 80% of poll respondents are against the Clean Feed but the government blindly (or should I say determinedly, since the real agenda is to control the population’s ability to dissent, not to give the population what they want) pushes on, the “people”, including businesses, should push back – and if all it takes is _not_ investing time, money and other resources on developing a police-state-enabling technology _for_ the government, then I say do that; and make a loud public statement to say why. You don’t need to go into detailed studies and analysis of cost and effectiveness; you can simply look at the big picture and see that censorship marks the road to tyranny and object purely on ethical and moral grounds.

I may be living in London, but I will be returning home soon enough, and I want to make my voice heard.I don’t want to return to find my beloved internet, freedom of choice and freedom of publishing, chopped off at the knees.

Sincerely,
George Webeck.

London, UK.
PS: With regards to the earlier internet backwater comment, I miss the great ADSL2+ Internode connection I had in Sydney; much faster than most broadband services available here in London; certainly the one I’m using now.

SpammingSquare 26 April, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Back in December I was looking for a replacement for the camera I was parted from a month earlier in Vietnam. One site, ShoppingSquare seemed to be offering a good price on a Canon 860IS, but I wasn’t sure if it was covered by a Canon Australia warranty – I’ve heard that Canon Australia will not cover any Canon cameras without the Australian warranty at all; a warning to those who are considering purchasing parallel or grey imports from Hong Kong and the like. Using ShoppingSquare’s “Click Here to Ask A Question” requires you to create an account. Okay, perhaps that is fair enough. Created an account, asked a question. The response indicated that the camera “comes with a seller warranty in Australia.” A further question to clarify the meaning of that, and I’m told,

This camera does not come with Canon warranty, however, we would be covering the warranty for Canon cameras that are purchased from our online store

Okay, reasonable, though not what I was looking for at the time. The sie seems to offer a never-ending supply of great deals on all manner of items, though their rate of contact is somewhat excesive – an email pretty much ever day. I’ve recently started receiving email from TopBuy as well, though, to the ShoppingSquare-registered address, which I’ve used exclusively for the ShoppingSquare account – one of the advantages of controlling your own internet domain, so wrote to ShoppingSquare:

Back off, ShoppingSquare. It’s bad enough that you seem to insist on mailing every day, but now I’m getting TopBuy emails as well – are you the same company, or have you violated my privacy by giving them the email address I gave you? Who else am I going to start receiving spam from?

I can’t find your privacy policy on your website – do you even have one? What sort of bogus operation are you running? Why should I trust you with my credit card details if you can’t even keep my email address to yourself?

[name witheld]
Sydney

While I was on the site I checked my account details, and deselected the “Yes! Send me email updates about new products and special offers” option. Interestingly, both ShopingSquare and TopBuy are businesses operating in New South Wales, unlike the vast majority of internet annoyances that are outside Australian jurisdiction, so hopefully they’ll be a little more compliant than others you might be trying to shake off. We’ll see.

Links have not been supplied to the noted sites in this post as I don’t especially want to drive traffic towards them, though I’d say purchasing from them is probably quote okay. ShoppingSquare is one of the sites included in Shopbot product searches, for example.

Do your own research. Here are some links to some Australian price comparison / search sites. Quotes are taken directly from the sites’ about pages (but are not the entirety of those pages).

Shopbot

Link: Shopbot.com.au

Shopbot is Australia’s premier price comparison site offering the best service possible for customers and merchants alike. Established in 2004, our experienced team has fine-tuned the site to make it is as efficient and easy to use as possible. Shopbot’s main function is to connect savvy customers with reliable retailers, and it is with this in mind that we will continue to improve the site in response to your feedback and inquiries.

staticICE

Link: staticICE.com.au
Also: staticICE.co.nz (New Zealand)

staticICE (ABN 95 989 670 953), based in Sydney, is Australia’s comprehensive computer hardware and gadget price comparison search engine. We simplify the price shopping experience by searching inventory from over 260 Australian retailers.

AusPrices

This site has a handy feature of allowing you to narrow your search to retailers in a certain state, eg NSW. Excellent!

Link: AusPrices.com.au

AusPricesTM is a product comparison web site to help Australian users find the product they want, and at the cheapest price. Prices are updated at least every 24 hours (currently twice a day). Some shops may choose to update their information more often.

GetPrice

Link: GetPrice.com.au

Getprice is an Australian company that provides a free online comparison shopping resource for you, the consumer. Our aim is to help you make smart, informed purchasing decisions, by arming you with as much information as possible. Getprice aims to cover all of the key stages in the consumer buying cycle and address your questions along the way, i.e.:

  • Which product meets my individual needs? E.g. Plasma vs LCD
  • Read product reviews
  • Compare products side-by-side
  • View the price history of a product
  • Read merchant reviews
  • Compare prices

GetOnce

GetOnce is unique in that it allows you to (de)select which sites you want to search within a category, with the obvious side benefit that you are being shown up-front which sites it uses.

Link: GetOnce.com.au

The GetOnce website is designed to provide users with one central gateway to search a range of websites at once.

Typically when a user searches for a product or service on the Internet they are faced with the laborious task of finding relevant websites to search, learning how to navigate those websites, keeping track of what site sells which item and finally making a purchase.

GetOnce simplifies this process by providing a uniform “One Stop” search interface where users can quickly find what they’re looking for. GetOnce does not actually sell any products, it simply provides a mechanism to search leading retail websites within particular product categories.

ShopFerret Australia

Link: ShopFerret.com.au

ShopFerret is a free service connecting consumers in Australia and New Zealand with all the information they need to make a smart shopping decision. We help you buy the right product from the best merchant at the lowest price.

Yahoo!7 Shopping

Link: shopping.yahoo.com.au

Yahoo!7 Shopping is a free comparison shopping service that empowers consumers to compare millions of products from thousands of retailers. The retailers listed on Yahoo!7 Shopping pay to participate in the DoorOne Merchant Network programme. Yahoo!7 Shopping is committed to providing shoppers with the most comprehensive online shopping experience on the Web. If you think a store is mis-categorised or should be added to our listings, please let us know here. If you have a consumer query related to a specific retailer, please contact them directly.

I think that’s enough for now. I’m sure there are others around. Send me a link to any others that you know of (if you happen to know they are good!).

-G.

The Wonder Fuss 11 April, 2008 at 3:47 am

The Minimal Fuss crew have made some nice little ads for their parties. This is their latest – a take off The Wonder Years intro for a gig featuring Alex Smoke on the Thursday heading in to the Anzac Day long weekend.

Lineup:

  • Alex Smoke (UK)
  • Declan Lee
  • Oliver A
  • Mat Aubusson
  • Dave Choe
  • Ben Korbel

Thursday 24 April 2008 | The Civic Hotel | 9pm – very late
$10 with RSVP to minimalfuss@sounds.net.au | $15 on the door

-G.

Surf’s up! 21 February, 2008 at 12:19 am

..in a CouchSurfing kind of way. I’ve had a few CouchSurfers contact me recently about meeting up in Sydney, and met one of them (with other surfers in tow) at the Slip Inn this evening. I haven’t had dinner there in ages – it seems they don’t do a $5-ish menu these days, but the food prices aren’t too bad. It did make me feel ‘homesick’ for my old apartment just across the road, but speaking to some travelers has perhaps rekindled some traveling spirit – a reminder of the reason I left that apartment in the first place: to go and see the world. I should be at least starting to plan my return to London later this year.

I’ve reminded myself also that I’d really like to see Kruder & Dorfmeister at the Playground Weekender festival early next month. Anyone already planning on, or interested in, going?

-G.

It’s official… 23 January, 2008 at 8:42 pm

At the end of last year one of my mates was talking about problems he was having with staff for his company. They’d hired a graduate who looked good on paper but who then didn’t turn out so well. Following was a process of interviewing other potential employees, this time with some technical questions in the interview, and my friend was dismayed at the general lack of fundamental understanding from candidates – people who have supposedly completed degrees in computer science (or related) but who have problems with some basic concepts.

He asked if he could run the questions by me to see what I thought, and we sat out on his balcony one afternoon with him asking them to me similarly to in his interviews (perhaps a little less formally!). He’d lent me a book on C# programming the week before, and although at that point I’d only read around the first five chapters, that knowledge, and a vague recollection of some things I’d learned about C++ in uni many years ago, was enough to get me through more of the questions than any of the candidates he’d interviewed. After that he suggested that if I could get ‘up to speed’ in .Net then he might hire me… well, we’ve been talking about it some more, and I’ve been doing some learnin’ at home and in his office, and this week the company gave me an offer. Signed it today, so now it’s official. :o)

Of course now it means I have a little less free time on my hands, but it is in the city, so maybe I’ll be out and about a bit more.

The office is on the other side of the block to where I used to live. It’s a pity that now live out in the ‘burbs… I miss my city apartment!

-G.