Showing all posts tagged: travel

Digital nomads soon able to work tax free in Indonesia

17 September 2022

People who need little more than a laptop and an internet connection for their work, and want to live in Indonesia, will soon be able to apply for the newly introduced Digital Nomad Visa. Presently the work-permit will allow remote workers to spend six months in Indonesia tax free, though the Indonesian government is considering extending the visa to five years.

The Indonesian Government has just announced the proposed introduction of a brand new ‘Digital Nomad Visa’, with them looking to welcome three million lucky freelancers to their tropical shores for a five-year working visa. This is excellent news for remote workers, allowing visa holders to stay in paradise long-term on an international income, all without having to pay any taxes to the Indonesian government.

While the digital nomads may not be paying taxes, much of the money they earn will be spent locally, boosting businesses in the areas workers choose to reside in.

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All about bringing public electric vehicle chargers to Australia

5 September 2022

With electric vehicles (EV) set to sky-rocket in popularity in Australia, there has to be plenty of business and start-up opportunities in the sector. Publicly available EV charging stations, which I wrote about the other day, would be one of them.

Melbourne tech-writer Anthony Agius was behind two companies whose aim was to install and operate charging stations across Australia, and in a detailed article, he outlines what he discovered about making them available for anyone to use.

The point of this post isn’t to analyse why I’m not an EV charging mogul with dozens of stations making mad profits around the country. The point is to dump everything I’ve learned about this topic into a single place so even if I don’t make anything out if, maybe someone else will stumble across it, learn something and do what I couldn’t. Even if one extra EV charger gets installed because of this post, it’ll be an improvement over my pathetic attempt.

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Electric vehicle charge stations coming to suburban streets in Sydney

3 September 2022

Presently, general use charging stations for electric vehicles (EV) are relatively scarce in Australia, with the majority being located mainly in car parking buildings. While not a problem for EV owners who have a garage with a charger at home, or drivers with access to one in their workplace parking area, recharging the battery of an EV can be tricky for many others. Limited numbers of public charging stations may even be putting off those wishing to switch to EVs.

Even though a Transport NSW map of publicly available charge stations shows them to be seemingly abundant, most EV owners want the option to recharge their vehicles at home. But a trial being introduced by several municipal councils in and around the greater Sydney area, may prove to be a game changer. In the near future, EV owners will be able to plug into chargers connected to power poles.

The scheme could eventually result in almost two-hundred-thousand EV charging stations appearing on suburban streets, says Jason Carter, writing for TechAU:

There will be a total of 50 street-side locations selected for the EV Streetside Charging Project, with each EV charging station to be connected directly to the overhead electricity supply and energy use matched with 100% GreenPower. There is potential for 190,000 EV chargers that could be connected to street-side power poles across Australia.

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Bicycles and the damage they have caused by Paul Fairie

29 August 2022

Paul Fairie, a researcher at the University of Calgary, and humourist, has, based upon clippings from vintage newspapers, concluded that bicycles are responsible for all sorts of problems:

  • A decline in marriages
  • A decline in book sales
  • Appendicitis
  • A decline in furniture sales
  • An increase in the number of women smokers
  • A decline in grain consumption
  • The closure of a Christian society (so now we know…)
  • The decline in trans-Atlantic travel
  • A condition referred to as “bicycle face”

Bicycle face, in case you’re curious, is described as being “the sentimental side of that tired feeling”. It possibly also applies to cyclists riding on a footpath (especially when a dedicated bike lane runs adjacent to the same road), who look passed pedestrians as though they are invisible.

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Cars with manual transmissions are becoming fewer and fewer

27 August 2022

Cars with manual transmissions are sadly going the way of the dodo… but who am I to complain, so is working from an office block for many people.

I learned to drive in a manual, though I did my first drive in an automatic, around an empty shopping centre parking lot one Sunday afternoon. At one point I could change gears on a manual without using the clutch, it was quite easy once you knew what to do.

As Matt Crisara writes for Popular Mechanics though, automatic transmission vehicles are becoming better, and, really, manuals are quite needless.

Being able to drive a manual car is about so much more than the simple joy of being in control of a machine. Most of my sense of accomplishment came from navigating the steep curve of learning how to drive a stick shift with my dad at my side — it’s not something you master overnight. I’m not ashamed to mention that it took me a few sessions in a parking lot to get the fundamentals down. Now, fewer kids are going to have this chance as manuals become harder and harder to find.

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Buying a car is the biggest purchase you make not a house

17 August 2022

Buying property is the biggest purchase most people will make. The process is given thorough due-diligence. And rightly so. In Australia, depending where exactly you buy, a free-standing house can cost near on one million dollars. You don’t commit to a million dollar obligation without understanding the ins and outs of the undertaking.

Of course a house you paid one million dollars for will end up costing closer to one million four hundred thousand dollars, if you had to fully finance the property, and pay an average interest rate of two and half percent over the course of a thirty year mortgage. Things like maintenance and insurance will also add to the overall cost. But usually that’s ok. Houses are generally assets that appreciate over time, so you’ll recoup the costs when you eventually sell, and, with any luck, make a tidy profit.

But here’s something, buying a house is not the biggest purchase many people will make. Owning a car will be. In Australia, owning a car could end up costing over two million dollars, were a driver to own a succession of vehicles over a sixty year period. How though can a car — even a small vehicle, going for maybe A$25,000 at the dealership — possibly turn out costing two million dollars? Ongoing running costs, which most vehicle owners grossly underestimate, is why.

Berlin based YouTuber TechAltar looked at the long-term costs of car ownership, and made the following conclusions:

  • Car owners typically underestimate car running costs by fifty-two percent
  • Thirty to forty percent of semi skilled and unskilled workers incomes will go into their cars, assuming they own vehicles for at least fifty years
  • Societies subsidise drivers by €5000 each year, so it’s not only car owners who pay

In Germany, a Volkswagen Golf typically costs the owner €7,657 per year to own and run. This includes depreciation, petrol, taxes, maintenance and so on. Based on a conservative study from a few years ago, if you own and use a car of that size over 50 years, it comes to a total cost of €403,179. If we stretch that to 60 years and apply a more realistic inflation rate of 2.5%, that small Golf will incur a lifetime cost of €1,579,583! On a medium income, that’s 30-40% of every euro earned, ever.

To convert those numbers to Australian dollars, a Volkswagen Golf, or an equivalent vehicle, would cost $11,075 each year. Over fifty years the cost is $583,286 (you could buy a modest size apartment for that). Over sixty years of ownership, and applying an inflation rate of 2.5 percent, the cost works out at $2,285,029. $2,285,029: with that sort of money you could buy a house, being, as we all know, an appreciating asset.

While fuel costs, vehicle taxes, and on the road costs might vary between Germany and Australia, I’d say the numbers would be pretty similar. And don’t forget to add in parking and traffic-offence fines. While car ownership is an unavoidable necessity for some people, those with young families among them, remind me again why anyone would otherwise want to own a car. Especially those living in centres with good public transport and cycling infrastructure.

Via Dense Discovery, a weekly, Australian produced newsletter, which I highly recommend you follow.

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Before cars arrived there was no such thing as jay walking

11 August 2022

Streets and roadways used to be the purview of people on foot, not motor vehicles, writes Clive Thompson. Jaywalking — whereby a pedestrian can be penalised for not crossing a street at the correct location — he tells us, is a misdemeanour created by the car industry.

If you travelled in time back to a big American city in, say, 1905 — just before the boom in car ownership — you’d see roadways utterly teeming with people. Vendors would stand in the street, selling food or goods. Couples would stroll along, and everywhere would be groups of children racing around, playing games. If a pedestrian were heading to a destination across town, they’d cross a street wherever and whenever they felt like it.

Maybe the solution, and to return roads to people on foot, is to lay down light rail or tram tracks on the streets. I was in the centre of Sydney recently where a number of once busy traffic thoroughfares are now light rail routes through the city.

Aside from trams trundling along the way every few minutes, pedestrians largely have free rein. The light rail lines have quite transformed parts of Sydney’s CBD in the last few years.

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Flip from left to right when driving from Hong Kong to China

16 June 2010
Hong Kong/China traffic flip bridge

A proposal by Dutch designers, NL architects, could result in the construction of a far from ordinary bridge roadway connecting Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland, which would include artificial islands serving as car parks and bus stations.

Hong Kong/China traffic flip bridge

Under the proposal, a “flipper” would be incorporated along the connecting roadway, allowing Hong Kong motorists – who drive on the left – to switch safely and effortlessly to the right, the side Chinese drivers use, and vice versa.

Originally published Wednesday 16 June 2010.

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