Priscilla Queen of the Desert meets Neuromancer. The highlight of last week's Internet World exhibition was a demonstration of passion, (supported by sponsors with deep pockets) waging war against political lethargy and ignorance.
IT industry faithful George Bray is striking out on a six-month tech trek into the far reaches of Australia's digital divide. His mission: to prove the potential of wireless communication and video publishing technologies, and to survey how Australians participate in the new information economy and to find out what's stopping those that don't.
Travelling with his family in their solar powered "Net bus", Bray will be the Internet Industry Association's (IIA) ambassador in some of the as yet disconnected regions, Downunder as well as metropolitan centres. The survey's results will be used by IIA and NOIE (National Office for the Information Economy) in future IT&T policy making.
Bray says the idea for the trek was spawned from an overwhelming disappointment in the way the government utilised the digital spectrum and the ridiculous constraints thrust upon it.
The IIA claims this is the first time in the world anyone has travelled such distances with so much advanced technology. Overall the trek will cover some 30,000kms and visit areas where the word "broadband" has yet to be recognised.
Also making an impression at the exhibition was Big Brother Web site developers Massive Interactive. The results are in - their www.bigbrother.com.au site raked in 83,894,702 page views (impressions) in just under three months, a total of 6,907,828 visits with an average visit length of more than 12 minutes. After recent Sydney Morning Herald reports, no-one dared ask the developers about the size of Channel 10's cut.