Planned obsolescence strikes again

On Tuesday I joined the queue of people at the local computer shop, all clutching laptops, smart phones or PC peripherals suffering from planned obsolescence syndrome. Some of these items may still have been under warranty (joy). But in the case of my four-year-old Toshiba laptop, the optical drive, the fragile looking tray that slides out to take CDs or DVDs, had carked it. It failed just as I finished burning a 58 minute video…

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Self-service gets our enterprise for a bargain

You may call me a peevish old man, but these self-service supermarket checkouts give me the pip. I only encounter them when venturing out of the village, as our service-oriented IGA does not as yet have automated check-outs. Not so a certain Brisbane supermarket which, around 5pm, seems to have nobody staffing its numerous checkouts and only one person ‘helping’ people scan their own groceries. I usually ignore the self-service corner and will wait an…

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The value of inner city car parks

As you’d know, one little statistic can send me off on an investigation – like the number tucked away in a Guardian Weekly report that, globally, cars are in car parks 95% of the time. The statistic emerged in a report about a pilot scheme in Amsterdam to reward residents with a free green space in front of their houses if they give up their parking permits. The car parks pilot scheme being trialled in…

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Facebook – does it really matter if they share our data?

Since we’re discussing Facebook and who has the rights to personal information you’ve posted, I wanted to show you my ‘Wall.’  People used to call their Facebook page their ‘Wall’, though that has become passe. As walls go, this one would be ‘liked’ by Shirley Valentine fans (cultural reference), as it suggests romance and sun-bleached beaches. I joined Facebook in 2009 (apparently) as this is the first image I posted. At the time we were…

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