Feel free to talk in The Lobby

Open discussion

Do you want to discuss an issue that’s bothering you but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals. Well, you’ve come to the right place…

Since Which? Conversation launched six years ago, there have been almost 4,500 conversations on all sorts of consumer issues – from money to megabytes. And in those conversations, there have been close to 180,000 comments.

Of course, the real strength of Which? Convo lies in its members who contribute so much to every discussion. And one of the better aspects has been watching how this community has slowly but surely grown into such a caring one.

Our community

But, as with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so in some of the subjects we discuss due to the precisely defined nature of them.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we’re creating a brand-new convo: The Lobby.

This will give you the space to discuss anything that takes your fancy providing, of course, that your comments remain within our community guidelines.

The Lobby will be available in exactly the same way as all the other conversations, and some of our regular community members will help with the moderation duties.

As always, any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could also be used to generate new topics for debate and discussion, so you – our community members – will be able to really help shape the direction of Which? Convo.

Rules in The Lobby

There are no rules… only kidding 😉

To ensure that this off-topic discussion remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings and ideas, here’s a reminder of our most relevant guidelines:

  1. 1. You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby 🙂
  2. 2. You can’t agree with everyone all of the time, but when you do disagree, please be polite and speak to others as you’d like to be spoken to.
  3. 3. Avoid ‘trolling’, or purposely provoking others into a desired emotional response. It’s just mean 😐
  4. 4. Avoid making comments that others might find offensive, threatening, abusive or defamatory.
  5. 5. Website feedback is best shared on this dedicated Conversation, so we can keep The Lobby to be about everything else.

So without further ado… welcome to The Lobby. What are you waiting for!?

With special thanks to Which? Conversation community member, Ian, who kindly wrote the bulk of this conversation and provided the excellent name of The Lobby.

Comments
Profile photo of Ian
Member

What’s a couple?’ I asked my mother. She said, ‘Two or three’. Which probably explains why her marriage collapsed.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

‘Son, I don’t think you’re cut out to be a mime.’
‘Was it something I said?’ asks the son.
‘Yes.’

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

We are having fun with avatars again.
Beryl has come out from behind her plant, Alfa has the avatar that’s normally on her homepage (the rest of us just have one avatar) and my QR code is working again. 🙂

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Avatars are hackable Wavechange. As I keep saying Which Convo is producing a lot of interest worldwide , not always good.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

What would someone learn from hacking mine, duncan?

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Patrick S posted recently to say something was afoot, so it’s probably not something sinister, Duncan.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Malcolm-Pixels can contain bugs that gather info , they can also be identicons made up of your identity including your IP. Instant messaging avatars -aka- dynamic avatars -even talking avatars can replace your image .There are a multitude of other types . Then you have HTML5 tracking it lets advertisers know who you are etc and canvas fingerprinting /face tracking (pixels ) it goes on. A word of warning the new Firefox doesn’t like you blocking its monetary income from third parties and is now actively blocking YOUR blockers on the pretext it “interferes with Firefox , of coarse it does -their accounts department.it gave me back my best blocker MINUS its best features -Firefox -RIP. The December update will make it permanent.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I think I’ll give up using my computer 🙂

Profile photo of DerekP
Member

Duncan – it seems to me that Firefox is slowly becoming neither fish nor fowl.

It is a not an unashamedly commercial and fully featured browser like Google Chrome nor it is completely free and libre, i.e. unlike the GNU/Linux alternatives, e.g. IceCat and Abrowser.

With this in mind I have started evaluating Trisquel – to see if it is a usable alternative to other Linux versions.

So far I have been pleased to discover that wifi does work, even if only on a small subset of my collection of wifi cards. I already have plenty of PCs with “pre-Intel backdoor” CPUs to use, that just leaves me the challenge of upgrading to a libre bios…

Profile photo of Ian
Member

Malcolm: what would they learn? Quite a bit, in fact. For starters they can find where it’s stored, its filename, and fairly easily the computer on which it was created. If there was a leak within W?, however, they could very quickly find your name, address and telephone number. Put that together with information already widely known about you – that you’re a retired engineer, have grandchildren whom you take to school on several mornings a week, a university education, the bank you use…

There’s already a lot we give away and the avatar is simply another bit of the jigsaw. All helps the baddies.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Thats the type of info I like Derek –thanks. I will certainly try your suggestions , its just a shame that Firefox which I had been using as default has “dropped its standards ” . I do have many very small Linux type browsers but have not heard of the ones you suggest .I like to keep up to date with computing security as its a “War ” out there on the web . Sadly when updating third party updates -there were 40 on my old Pen 4 it had a seizure ( not enough RAM qand video went down -permanently . I uninstalled Ubuntu 16.04 and , using a disc from LInux Format installed Mint 18 and upgraded to 18.2 using Mate as it is for older PC,s .In doing so I deleted all the other 3 systems on it and this time on installation I made sure I unticked the box- install third party apps- with their attended warnings on safety in doing so. I have had no problems —so far and its a bit quicker although I should ty to find very old RAM to increase the spec. THanks again Derek.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Quite right Ian .

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Thanks Ian. So it’s all too late…… I expect anyone with the time could build up quite a profile on many of us by trawling through the thousands of posts we’ve made. I have never subscribed to facebook, but maybe this is just as bad? 🙁

I’ve had a spate of emails offering me the pill lately. Has anyone else?

Profile photo of alfa
Member

The flying alfa is the avatar I put on the test system some time ago when we were asked to test out the new system.

It is from a picture I found on the internet and although it was probably ok on my homepage, I am not sure whether I should be using it publicly.

I did have 4 avatars , the flying alfa, the praying mantis, a test one somewhere and a different one on my TV convo that doesn’t appear under my conversations.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Thanks for the explanation, Alfa. I’ve just got the two avatars – the working QR code and the close-up version that does not work.

A fair number of the avatars on these pages seem to have been gathered from websites.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

From a recent wildcard post of Paul’s the other day I suspect there’s been an issue and a “restore from backup” has been implemented.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Derek I installed Trisquel on my main PC –and didn’t like it BUT it removed my MBR for LInux Mint 17.3 so I was forced to install Linux 18 then upgrade to 18.2 +kernel . I have 17.3 on a separate SSD . I could change the connections internally to overcome it as its still on the Samsung SSD but at least this new version lasts till the end of -2021.

Profile photo of DerekP
Member

Duncan – thanks the news. I’m trying out Triquel on a spare laptop – I quite like its “Gnome flashback” desktop – it reminds me of how Ubuntu was, before Unity.

I have Mint on a few of my PCs – I like LMDE best because it is a Debian based rolling release. However, my “workhorse” distro is still LXLE – it comes with more device drivers than Mint. It also comes with GAMES. I can’t help thinking that the folk behind Mint must lack a sense of fun, if they can’t think of any worthwhile computer games.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Derek I am not into games so that’s the first thing I delete on a system (if I can ) . As regards “lacking a sense of fun ” just look what happened when I replied to Beryl stony -faced response by Which and removal of my post .All I did was reply-in the same joking mood . One law for one sex and another for the opposite sex. You wonder why I don’t crack jokes here ? its not because I don’t have a sense of humour . Never mind I can live with (in my view ) unequal regulations as long as I can reply to any comment directed at me. When that stops -well this country will be controlled tightly by PC. I live for real equality in the sexes – not agenda driven by one group that suppresses one side from the same type of reply to a comment.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

Welcome to World Car Free day. Put the weight on your feet – leave the car at home and walk, jog, stroll or crawl.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

I leave the car at home two or three days a week, but today won’t be one of them and Sunday’s not looking good either.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I think the bravest thing I’ve ever done is misjudge how much shopping I want to buy and still not go back to get a basket.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

That reminds me of carrying a pile of goods because I’ve forgotten to take a bag. The bags are, of course, in the coat that I’m not wearing.

Profile photo of alfa
Member

I was in a BP Marks & Sparks yesterday to pick up a couple of things. I looked for a basket in case I saw anything else I wanted but there were only dirty, deep baskets on wheels available. So I just picked up the 2 things I went in for.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

They have M & S in petrol stations? 🙂

Profile photo of DerekP
Member

Only M&S “simply food” (aka “simplex expensive”) but at least my local one is open 24/7/365 and is all of 200m away.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

A friend regularly picks up bargains at supermarkets. In the past year, most of the bargains have come from Morrisons and Waitrose, but recently M&S has been offering food and flowers at either 25% or 10% of the original price. Where I used to live, the local Tesco store often did substantial price reductions. I have seen few significant price reductions in my nearest Tesco or Morrisons stores.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

We find that Waitrose can be excellent for that. M & S can be okay, and sometimes beat Asda. Living where we do I still find it interesting that Asda, Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all compete for food deliveries. It’s a 50 mile round trip for several of them and yet we only pay the same delivery cost as someone living within a mile of the store.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

That is a bargain, but presumably they are making multiple deliveries to the same area.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I suppose so, but where we live is very sparsely populated, so would require quite long journeys between locations. Waitrose do only deliver on two days a week – presumably to try to control costs – and we do have instances where the drivers can’t get through owing to flooded roads, snowbound tracks or – in one memorable instance – a landslide.

It’s a wonderful place to live, beyond doubt, but you do develop a siege mentality once Autumn sets in, and two Freezers is a pretty common situation among those we know. Fortunately, there’s a great spirit among the denizens of the mountains, and even if our 4 x 4 Toyota can’t make it through, one of the farmers will hitch his tractor to a trailer and we’ll all be taken up and down to the nearest large village. Becomes quite a fun day, all told 🙂

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I love Snapchat. I could talk about classic card games all day.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Ah yes, card games. Wasn’t Isambard Kingdom Brunel good at bridge?

Profile photo of Ian
Member

🙂

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

For anyone wanting to contribute, through BSI, to the development of standards this link explains how to do so.
https://www.bsigroup.com/en-MY/About-BSI/UK-National-Standards-Body/How-to-get-involved-with-standards/Become-a-consumer-representative/

Profile photo of Beryl
Member

Duncan I have moved over to The Lobby to reply to your comments.

My “full frontal” was supposed to add a little humourous relief following a very serious and in depth debate. My original profile was supposed to be hidden behind a palm and this is the second time my full face has been exposed in as many weeks. It was not meant to be taken seriously!

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Beryl this has gone OTT because of PC when you mentioned -full frontal I could not help laughing and replied that it aroused my interest , it was meant as a joke in the same mold as your comment thats all it was . To take it to another level is ludicrous in my view . it is so small-minded that if a female says something and a male replies the male is always wrong it seems in this PC OTT country. . Think Beryl if a male said – full frontal it would be blocked immediately , so why is it so one-sided?

Profile photo of Beryl
Member

A classic example of a Freudian slip (or parapraxis) Duncan. As long as you continue to see the funny side of it who cares?

Profile photo of Ian
Member

Welcome to International Rabbit Day and the day in 1942 on which The ‘Manhattan Project’ commenced. More soberingly it’s also the day in 1993 when two 10-year-old boys were charged with the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool.

Scones, tea, coffee and hot chocolates await.

Profile photo of Beryl
Member

International Rabbit day? Another parapraxis Ian? Must be contagious 🙂

Profile photo of Ian
Member

If anyone knows how to fix some broken hinges, my door’s always open.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

The worst thing about driving a time machine is your kids are always in the back moaning ‘Are we then yet?

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Never having done any time travel I had assumed that it was quick – but maybe it takes time.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

I used to be addicted to time travel, but it’s all in the past, now.

Profile photo of Beryl
Member

Tell your kids time travel is an illusion because it’s always the present………………………..oh dear not again 🙁

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

The future looks good for old jokes about time travel.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

Hedgehogs – why can’t they just share the hedge?