The Boomer Legacy

Technology

Boldly Into the Future

Pixel Time; Privacy Inside The Panopticon; Cut-through Advertising; Click-bait; Cookie-tracking; Dances With Avatar; All The News That's Fit To Tweet.

Technology was a chimera: what you saw was never quite what you got.

Sample #5030
In the days of the citizen reporter    (Jul 2014)

Topic Images

There are currently 62 photographs in this section.

 

 

Big data and the cloud: Off-line storage by the petabyte → provided your network connection was fast enough → provided your resellers didn't vanish overnight…

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Mobile phone tower and clouds from a summer storm, at Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains   (Dec 2012,  113kb)

The spam massif: We facilitated a global network of unsolicited urgent messages

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Sydney University public noticeboards   (Oct 2017,  510kb)

Formalism Concrete: Move fast and break things with stable infrastructure (Facebook, 2014)

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Indigo Slam at Chippendale   (Jul 2017,  105kb)

All our tomorrows: You were our greatest and most cherished asset, an organic talisman that gave us light and warmth and windfall profits, and glistened so beautifully in the dying sun

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Anthracite in Lithgow, NSW   (Jun 2019,  140kb)

Cut-through messaging: Make your mark, repeat, move on

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Vandalised rail-car at the Zigzag railway, subsequently destroyed by the 2019 summer bushfires, Clarence   (Jul 2019,  325kb)

The tip of the spear: The most inspiring thing about the Kamikaze was that every problem had exactly the same solution

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Lockheed A-12 engine aerospike at the Intrepid Museum, NYC   (Oct 2017,  41kb)

Interconnected loose-ends: Sprawling cities were serviced by deliberately substandard public transport

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Southern Cross station, Melbourne   (Apr 2019,  274kb)

Reeks & Wrecks: A sustainable future may only be found in recycling and repairs

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Cardboard packaging in Blue Anchor Lane at Circular Quay, awaiting transport to an interstate landfill   (Nov 2017,  503kb)

Chariots of freedom: You were what you drove

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Custom license plates, Sydney   (Nov 2018,  263kb)

Edgy by order: Zeitgeist-y fresh environments were created in which start-ups could prosper

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Disposable bicycles on Pitt Str, outside World Square   (Jan 2018,  143kb)

Moving forward: Monorails; Supersonic airliners; Jet-packs; Thunderbirds; Moon-bases; Hover-boards; London to Sydney in 90 minutes; Long-range electric cars; Flying cars; Submersible cars; Cars with a KITT computer; Fully autonomous vehicles navigating suburban streets

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First Lane at Hurstville, Sydney   (Sep 2016,  370kb)

Force carrier: Sometimes we just couldn't contain ourselves

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Electrical junction box at Chippendale, Sydney   (Jul 2017,  447kb)

Springtime for Eloi: Everyone was amazed by the vast contraptions built by our distant ancestors

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Sydney Harbour sunrise kayaks   (Jan 2019,  197kb)

1918 revisited: Every bureaucrat, politician and reporter believed wearing masks was a panacea

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Masked commuters try to get home after yet another train network meltdown   (May 2021,  151kb)

Maximising engagement: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, WeChat, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn, 4/8Chan: elaborate frameworks were built to ensure you could never possibly be alone

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Stargazer lawn at Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney   (Aug 2016,  506kb)

We have some planes: All this technology and yet aeroplanes could be made to disappear by flipping a transponder switch

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Church Street cones at Parramatta   (Feb 2017,  478kb)

The upgrade escalator: Every nine months there was always something just that little bit better

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York Street escalators, Wynyard station   (Jul 2018,  282kb)

Deferred consumption model: As we grew older we could finally afford the things we wanted so much when we were young

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A mint green 1977 BMW 633 CSi at the Classic Throttle Shop showroom at Milsons Point   (Dec 2020,  94kb)

The well-connected domicile: LCD in the bedroom; OLED in the lounge-room; Playstation, XBox, iPhone, Galaxy, Note, iPad, Touch, Android and iOS scattered everywhere else

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Home entertainment in suburban Kingswood, in Sydney's West   (Sep 2010,  415kb)

For a better tomorrow: Technological progress turned out to be double edged

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Dalek ornament at Wilson Street, Lawson   (Aug 2021,  452kb)

Congestion busting: High speed rail was forever on everyone's agenda

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Bushfire wreckage, Zigzag Railway Clarence NSW   (Jul 2019,  487kb)

Peace through superior fire-power: Build it and they will die

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Vought F-8 Crusader at the Intrepid Museum, NYC   (Oct 2017,  166kb)

Think small: The opera house refurbishment didn't quite go according to plan

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Domestic fountain at Church Street in Croydon   (Sep 2016,  397kb)

The flipped classroom: A tremendous benefit of student BYOD was the collection of quality data to support our evidence-based focus on learning, along with informing the continuous improvement in our teaching skills and practice

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At the State Library of NSW   (Oct 2014,  354kb)

Orphaned success: A visionary but impractical architect; Engineers constrained by 1960s tech; Conservative politicians who merely inherited the project and regarded it as a pointless extravagance… The greatest achievement about the SOH was that it was ever completed

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Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall exterior.

(BTW the true colour of the shells is off-white cream — which was done to help reduce glare from reflected sunlight)   (Dec 2018,  301kb)

Accidental monuments: Civil engineering the hard way: build it first on the cheap and then completely rebuild it later

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Zigzag Railway upper viaduct, Clarence   (Jul 2019,  571kb)

Rust-belt agriculture: I'd rather put my trust in looking at the sheep and seeing how it performs, than in some number dreamed up by some scientists on a bit of paper (Merriman, 2012)

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Farm sculpture, Cathedral Street Woolloomooloo   (Jul 2018,  611kb)

Lifespans & outcomes: Longer lives no longer needed to be a problem

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Anzac Day marcher, Liverpool Street Sydney   (Apr 2018,  98kb)

Linear ascension: Those who could afford to do so, raced toward an off-grid future

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Cars race along the Eastern Distributor at Woolloomooloo   (Jul 2018,  173kb)

Perpetual congestion: Once the great symbol of individual freedom and personal mobility, the car has become a ball and chain. Slow, expensive, and surrounded by endless others, automobiles have taken us as far as they can (Hume, 2012)

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Weedon Avenue garage at Paddington   (Mar 2017,  331kb)

Nostalgic Futurism: The Eighties didn't quite get the future right

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The now dismantled Sydney Monorail at One Dixon Street, Sydney's Chinatown   (Jan 2012,  151kb)

Project attention deficit disorder: Every Prague Spring had its tanks

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Construction cranes at the Central Park development at Broadway, in Sydney   (Oct 2012,  228kb)

Waves don't vote: Roughly 2TW of energy was freely available in the form of coastal wave-power, but we ignored it because fossil fuel production was more important

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The abandoned 2006 Oceanlinx Mk1 Wave Generator prototype at Oilies Beach, Port Kembla. In June 2017 it was eventually towed out to sea and sunk   (Sep 2014,  326kb)

Option V — for victory: Upon the assumption that postal services were a universal right, the UPU Terminal Dues System was adjusted to ensure developing countries were generously subsidised whenever they exported small parcels to the west (Swiss World Cargo, 2019)

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Airport Drive, outside Sydney International Airport   (Oct 2019,  129kb)

Your privacy was taken extremely seriously: The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner; The Information and Privacy Commission of NSW; The NSW Information Commissioner; The NSW Privacy Commissioner; The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Amendment Act 2012 (Cth); The Australian Privacy Foundation; The Cyberspace Law and Policy Community; The NSW Council for Civil Liberties; The Law Council of Australia Business Law Privacy Sub-committee; The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era Inquiry; The Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) to replace the National Privacy Principles and Information Privacy Principles; The drone "roundtable" inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs; The Royal Guide Dogs of Tasmania Privacy Officer

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A Menckenesque kaleidoscope ensured that everyone in Wollongong could see you taking a bath   (Feb 2011,  290kb)

Let them drive cars: How were private toll-roads ever going achieve their projected ROI if people weren't encouraged use them?

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Abandoned bus at Opoho Road, Dunedin NZ   (Dec 2017,  445kb)

Computer says no: We could detect Gravitational Waves (LIGO, 2015), prove Fermat's last theorem (Wolfram, 2014) and even ridicule Wall Street's misuse of Gaussian copula functions (Wired, 2009) — but no-one could figure out the true cost of mobile-phone plans (WSJ, 2013)

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Mobile phone users at Martin Place, Sydney   (Dec 2014,  320kb)

Orderly exodus: When we were finally done, we got into our white vans and disappeared

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Toyota HiAce vans await delivery at Penrith   (Apr 2017,  310kb)

Aerotropolis now: Cheap and easy air travel was assumed to last forever

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Sunrise over the Sydney International Airport   (Nov 2017,  77kb)

Rattle & roll: With an average cruising speed of 130 km/hr, you could do Sydney to Melbourne in a brisk 7½ hours. Rock yourself to sleep to the squeaking bogeys and low-level roar of the turbocharged diesel-electric engine, while your 1980s XAM sleeper car jerks around on back-country tracks and occasionally becomes airborne, landing a moment later with a satisfying kaboom

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XPT trains at Sydney Central terminus. After decades of service, they are due to be retired in 2023   (Apr 2019,  289kb)

Off-line storage: Acres of tank-farms to cache our dreams

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Storage tanks at Tempe   (Sep 2012,  369kb)

You'll never use it: Mate, I dropped maths at school as fast as I could

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At the One Circular Quay construction site, Sydney Cove. At the time the photo was taken the offshore developers had run out of money, so the site had been abandoned for months   (Oct 2017,  469kb)

Ubiquitous presence: Our phones were taken everywhere and relied upon for everything

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Mobile phone users, Sydney CBD   (Mar 2015,  279kb)

X-out & scroll: First they came for the workers, then it was our turn

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Gomo Sportswear prior to its demolition to make way for Granville Place   (Jul 2017,  323kb)

In the days of the citizen reporter: Broadcast-quality equipment was no longer needed to craft good media stories and reach a global audience

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Reporters at the Sydney Opera House   (Jul 2014,  202kb)

Scaffolding the past: Our society became culturally unbalanced: BScs and BEs were displaced by BAComs, CPAs, LLBs, MPsychs, FRACGPs and BA(Hons)MT

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Sand-blasting and repainting the Sydney Harbour Bridge to replace the decades-old lead-based paint   (Jul 2011,  221kb)

Retro-tech: Some Edwardian technologies weren't as hopeless as we originally thought

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The pantograph of a NSW Heritage “Set F1” suburban carriage, Central station   (Jun 2019,  92kb)

Accelerated obsolescence: Yesterday's broadcast-quality equipment was re-purposed as landfill

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Tape-based off-line editing equipment in a dumpster at Darling Harbour   (Jan 2013,  145kb)

Faisal's gambit: The engine warning light came on in October 1973, but we covered it over and kept going

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Abandoned shops (since demolished), Parramatta Road Homebush   (Jun 2016,  164kb)

Stasi without the politics: HD-CCTV; IP address logging; Cookie tracking; SMM Profile Harvesting; EFTPOS transaction records; Data-mining; Phone-hacking; Location-sensitive personalised marketing; Mandatory QR Code scanning; Live facial-recognition surveillance; The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program; The unassailable cult of predicting consumer demand by knowing everything possible about what everyone has ever done

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Satellite, UHF and cable communications at Marrickville, in Sydney   (Sep 2012,  248kb)

It just works: Release now, patch later

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Jensen Avenue at Dover Heights   (Nov 2016,  242kb)

The imperfect panopticon: One nation under CCTV, but who was watching?

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Apartment courtyard surveillance cameras awaiting connection at Victoria Park

Revisited the location in Nov 2018 and the cameras were still not connected…   (Sep 2014,  112kb)

Brand garbage: 2000-08-07 purchase Omega Speedmaster Automatic watch (35105000) #56462628 $2150; 2001-01-13 repair under warranty for loud rattling inside watch; 2005-03-29 repair due to watch stopped $595; 2009-08-03 repair due to watch requiring movement replacement $655; 2017-07-20 watch gains 10 minutes every hour, Omega quote to replace movement and watch hands $1295 (+ $75 courier fee); 2017-07-25 quote declined and watch returned without repair; 2017-08-15 watch thrown into landfill at Blaxland Waste Management Facility

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A wristwatch achieved its destiny as a piece of rubbish at Blaxland   (Aug 2017,  245kb)

Binding energy: Everything depended upon the action of wave-particles which two hundred years earlier no-one could imagine existed

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33kV AC transmission tower outside the Penrith Transmission Substation   (Jul 2011,  193kb)

Fabricating nostalgia: A lot was written about the impacts of deindustrialisation, but few missed the unimaginative and life-threatening work

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Davy press at ATP Eveleigh Workshops museum   (Sep 2017,  376kb)

Built for comfort: Cruise control ✓ Loudspeakers ✓ Touch-screen TV ✓ Dual petrol tank caps ✓ National flag ✓ Oversized padded seat ✓

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Indian Roadmaster motorbike at Mandible Street, Alexandria   (Aug 2019,  285kb)

∇×E: The implementation of renewable energy struggled beneath a mantle of ignorance, conspiracy and fossil fuel lobbying

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Distribution cables (since demolished) in College Lane, at Stanmore in Sydney   (Sep 2012,  374kb)

Fibre nescience: Do consumers really need data transfer rates that only fibre could provide? (Liberal Party of Australia, 2013)

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Mothballed satellite dishes in Rozelle, in Sydney's East   (Jan 2013,  296kb)

Sci-Fi Now: Superconducting NbTi coils; Holmium magnetic flux condensers; 4°K liquid helium insulated within a liquid nitrogen jacket; A suitcase-sized helium condenser; A FFT-processing rack more powerful than a dozen 1980s mainframes… A 3T magnetic field from a machine the size of a wardrobe, to obtain non-intrusive millimetre resolution 3D internal body images. Twenty years earlier no one would have believed any of this was possible…

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The 3T MRI scanner at a medical imaging practice at Penrith, in Sydney   (Sep 2013,  77kb)

To deindustrialise: Wholesale deindustrialisation led to scaling back carbon-related activities, eventually

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The abandoned remains of the Illawarra Coke Company at Coalcliff   (Sep 2014,  371kb)

Together alone: Everything you could ever possibly want, via your smart-phone

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Pitt Street Mall passageway   (Aug 2018,  231kb)

Pan Atomicus: 48 tonnes of reactor fuel blown into the atmosphere; 500 000 liquidators to clean up the mess; 335 000 evacuees fled; >6 000 deaths; >90 000 animals killed; 20-fold increase in mutations; 2600 km² exclusion zone; €2.15 billion for the New Safe Confinement; $235 billion in damages; the collapse of the USSR… The effects of 1986-04-25 are with us still (National Geographic, 2019)

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Heritage locomotive at Central Station, Sydney   (Jun 2019,  101kb)

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