/ Technology

This week in comments – Big Society, switches & matte screens


Today we published our 1,000th Conversation! And thanks to you, we’ve also had over 12,000 comments. So let’s take a look at this week’s best, from shrinking products to the Big Society.

Insuring unused cars

Dave Evans thinks that new legislation to tackle uninsured cars makes little sense. Commenter Chris agrees:

‘Yep another piece of pointless legislation that will enable the legalised mugging of ten people who have really done nothing wrong for every real offender.’

However, Phil doesn’t see the problem:

‘If the car isn’t insured it can’t legally be used on the public roads so why pay the road tax? Declaring a SORN doesn’t cost anything and as with road tax can be done online.’

Heating or eating – you shouldn’t have to choose

Pensioners are apparently having to choose between energy and food. Stuart Felters thinks he might have a solution:

‘In this day and age it should be a basic right for people to be able to afford to eat and keep warm.

‘Since the introduction of privatisation of the utility companies, these basic rights have gradually been taken away from less well off people due to the want for more profit to keep shareholders happy. Re-nationalise the utilities and get the prices we all have to pay back to reasonable amounts.’

Would you buy a TV without an on/off switch?

That’s the question Al Warman asked, and YouKnowWho can’t live without them:

‘Before I purchased an LCD TV I asked in a few stores about where the Power Off button is on these things. Each time I got a blank look, like why the heck do you want one of those? So now I have to use the switch at the socket, when I remember. Bad design.’

Dave also thinks on/off switches are a necessity:

‘Hard Off switches are essential for fire safety and energy saving. I am utterly disgusted that the law permits the sale of ANY electrical appliance that does not have such a switch. The only safe solution is to withdraw the plug from the socket when the appliance is not in use.’

Shrink wrapped – why are products getting smaller?

Lots of Convo readers have noticed products shrinking, while keeping the same price. Frugal Ways thinks this is decieving:

‘Less product whilst staying the same price, is a price rise. This method of increasing profit is hiding the true cost of inflation and deceiving the customer.

‘Forcing customers to remember prices per weight of product is nigh on impossible to do, but if your teabags are £4 one week then £4.50 the next, customers can easily spot it.’

Do you buy in to the ‘Big Society’?

Dean doesn’t look positively on the government’s ‘Big Society’ concept:

‘For me, Big Society is forcing the redundant public service workers to do the same jobs voluntarily.’

But Pickle doesn’t entirely agree:

‘Seems the Big Society incorporates existing volunteers into the scheme and encourages others to do their bit.’

Do you want matte screens to return?

And our Comment of the Week goes to Bill Bordass, who backs us in wanting to bring back matte screens:

‘Ten years or ago, when the industry went to flat computer screens, there was a massive improvement in computer screen visibility and also in occupant satisfaction with lighting in offices. The trend to glossy has undermined some of these advantages.

‘In offices, if you get reflected glare on your screen from a window, the blinds go down and the lights go on. So glossy screens increase electricity use by lighting too. Not clever when we need to save energy and carbon.

‘Please get the manufacturers to see technical sense and not be driven by their marketing people.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).