• DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 17 days ago
    Having always been the only person using my home internet connection, I was startled to find that my IP address had been blocked by Wikipedia. When I explained that to them and asked how to unblock it, they introduced me to the unexpected concept of a dynamic IP address, which might previously have been allocated to someone who misused it on that site and triggered the block. Since I don't use mobile internet at all, I'd assumed that my IP address was static - but it turned out to be dynamic, instead. Hunting around in search of clarification, I found this useful guide to finding out whether one's IP address is static or dynamic. (It works, although getting into Command Prompt entailed some lateral thinking.) https://www.techbout.com/check-ip-static-dynamic-4135/
    See 11 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 17 days ago
    I can't think of any practical way to reuse this bulky rubber item, so I need to dispose of it as sustainably as possible. Can they be recycled, does anyone know?
    See 14 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 29 days ago
    This is an inspirational model, which UK cities would do well to emulate. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/19/ithaca-new-york-raised-100m-climate-proof-buildings?fbclid=IwAR1QTYoavBZX1G5xxBysppQM1rMTPuZ1633QDbyvMNvSQLwh3_WYSt2kCu8
    See 1 comment...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    I'm useless at science but almost everyone knows the chemical formula for water. And, with global warming leading to rising sea levels, there's increasingly too much seawater. So I wondered what progress was being made towards making hydrogen from seawater - and there have been encouraging studies, although whether the methods they've developed can be scaled up to industrial production levels is another matter. It sounds like a better approach than making 'blue hydrogen' from gas, though. See what you think of these ideas: https://news.stanford.edu/2019/03/18/new-way-generate-hydrogen-fuel-seawater/ https://phys.org/news/2020-07-material-hydrogen-salt-polluted.html https://www.fastcompany.com/1781495/making-unlimited-hydrogen-salt-water-and-wastewater
    See 5 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    I've been trying to get rid of tiresome electronic clutter and unintended consequences, on and off ever since having to begin using Windows 10. Today's main bugbear was the apparent impossibility of stopping the 'hover click' problem. I don't want the cursor's hovering over a list of what's in my e-mail inbox to result in the computer's deciding to open a message, for instance. I thought that I'd opted out of that, early on - but it's become very active recently. It turned out that what the Start button on this computer offers when one tries to alter any settings is an app, not the traditional control panel. Some useful geek identified the distinction and how to use the control panel instead of the app - but I lost the reference. The Geek Page approach (at https://thegeekpage.com/how-to-disable-hover-select-in-windows-10/) doubtless makes sense to techies but it's not easy for those unaccustomed to using code to reach what they need. Is there any simpler way of searching the computer for what it actually does (as in Windows 7), as opposed to being presented with a long and confusing list of unwanted apps and web search possibilities? My searches did result in a useful post about getting rid of background apps - including the one that only exists to try to sell one unwanted subscriptions to Microsoft Office - at https://www.howtogeek.com/241752/how-to-stop-windows-10-apps-from-running-in-the-background/ . (Sadly, the list of apps that one can turn off didn't seem to include one that produces the nagging McAfee subscription pop-up.)
    See 2 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 11 days ago
    I hadn't heard of the proposed Clean Heat grant scheme (opening next spring) until it was mentioned on the radio this morning, nor had I really been aware of the Renewable Heat Initiative which it's apparently replacing. As I have natural gas heating and a rather good (if ageing) boiler, no-one had ever tried to sell me a ground or air source heat pump. But it makes sense to focus now on how to replace that boiler with something that uses renewable fuel and how best to finance that, when that becomes necessary. The most useful articles that I found were a bit dated but a good introduction to the idea of what may become essential for us all to consider soon: https://www.homeheatingguide.co.uk/grants-schemes/clean-heat-grants https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/ground-and-air-source-heat-pumps/article/air-source-heat-pumps-explained-al5MC4f773Zq
    See 27 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    An otherwise useful website that I just consulted was impossibly littered with Google-generated ads, so I clearly need to equip this new computer browser with an effective ad-blocker. I was prompted to consider TotalAdBlock but was put off by user reviews saying that they'd been pestered by constant pop-ups nagging them to buy the more sophisticated version. Is there a good ad blocker that doesn't have this tiresome sting in the tail, please?
    See 5 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    We're all used to having to reject unwanted cookies whenever visiting any website and to choosing whether to avoid using American-type websites, which don't offer any options to reject any cookies at all. But I've just found myself needing to buy a specialist item from a UK company whose UK website (ending in .co.uk) wasn't working properly yet but referred me to its "main site" whose name ends in .com. That "main site" offers one no chance to reject any of the numerous cookies that they use (and list) if one refuses simply to "accept" all their cookies but follows the "learn more" button on the cookie banner. Yet one of the cookies they list seemingly claims to allow customer choice about cookies, being (somewhat ambiguously) labelled: "USER_ALLOWED_SAVE_COOKIE Indicates whether a customer allowed to use cookies." I went looking for an example of the infinitely more familiar and manageable cookie options list that I've seen and used so often but the first UK selling website that I tried (which I've used for years) now sends one off to a site called https://www.allaboutcookies.org/ - which discusses this at great length. As far as I could gather, our right to opt out of cookies comes from the 2002 e-Privacy Directive, as helpfully interpreted by the ECJ in October 2019 to require that "Storing cookies requires internet users’ active consent" (not just pre-ticked checkboxes). That EU law presumably still applies in the UK and (if I read correctly) to all websites which sell to EU customers. Is there any simpler guide to what and which businesses must do about imposing cookies on visitors to their websites?
    See 15 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    This guide to how many hectares of trees have been planted in recent decades looks encouraging. Obviously the planet still needs massively more to be planted, but it's a start.... https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-where-afforestation-is-taking-place-around-the-world
    See 9 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    Yesterday's rainstorms looked more like a deluge but the effects were very temporary around here. Other parts of London suffered much worse, however. Not only were there two flood warnings but 14 other flood alerts were issued, supposedly covering most of the capital. But such detail as the BBC reported suggests that the worst affected areas were in either SW London or out to the east, around Walthamstow; see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-57963856. Parts of London's old sewer system evidently can't cope but I suspect that those which can benefit from much better local surface drainage, so that less rainwater floods into the sewers. Some of the worst-affected areas are hotspots for massive redevelopment of old houses, where vast basements have been excavated and tanked to make them waterproof. All that excluded groundwater has to go somewhere, after all. Flood risk should be a serious consideration when planners assess such selfish planning applications.
    See 9 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    Literally every day since I began using this new laptop, a pop-up ad trying to get me to subscribe to McAfee has appeared when I switch on. I don't want ever to subscribe to McAfee, so I've tried to get rid of it but to no avail. I've tried tackling it directly, by clicking on the "accept risk" option in the pop-up itself, and indirectly, by altering the notifications management system to stop apps from sending me notifications - but nothing stops it. Is there any way to stop this happening? It's driving me mad!
    See 16 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 2 months ago
    As with so many things, this issues has become vastly more complicated; see https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/home-garden/shopping-guide/ethical-washing-up-liquid?utm_source=ECRA+Monthly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=bc939db0be-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_07_15non+subs&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9856040c29-bc939db0be-321357508 . It sounds as if refilling my old Ecover bottle at the local health-food cafe may no longer be the most ethical approach....
    See 4 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 2 months ago
    I have yet to see any post listed under "Local" which is about local issues. Every post that I could see there just now was about some form of sale, job opportunity etc. The mere fact that the person posting each item may be based within a few miles of me does not make the subject of these items "local". Please would SL either rename this loop as "Marketplace" (or something that accurately describes what's being posted there) or actively redirect misposted items into some more appropriate location - such as "Business Opportunities".
    See 40 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 2 months ago
    This new Dell laptop came without the basic software that I need to create and work with Word or Excel documents but I'm confused about how best to obtain what I need. The shop mistakenly told me that I'd have a 30-day free trial of Microsoft Office - but that trial turned out to be for McAfee anti-virus, which I can't wait to get rid of. The salesman said that I'd need either to buy that entire suite of software, including Powerpoint (which I don't need) either as a one-off (which can't be transferred to any other device) or by taking out what seems to be a hefty and indefinite monthly subscription. I don't want a subscription at all and buying the full suite as a one-off price seemed very expensive, when PCWorld quoted for selling that, so I put off the purchase until I had time to think about it. What Windows 10 apparently wants me to do is to use a supposedly free web version of Word, Excel and Powerpoint but, when I follow the link to set up a Microsoft Office account on that basis, the next page doesn't make it clear what I'd be getting into. It looks more as if it would be a subscription system - certainly nothing as simple as a free Web version of the software that I need. What's the best and simplest way to obtain Word and Excel for a new computer nowadays, please?
    See 25 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 3 months ago
    Is it possible - or might it be made possible - for one to belong to a particular group on Scooploop but NOT automatically be notified of every new comment (or post) in it? For instance, I've just joined Anything! for the second time, specifically to ask about something mentioned there, but I really don't want it flooding my notifications list here (let alone my own e-mail inbox) with every little scrap of activity in that group. Anything!'s only notification setting only lets one opt into receiving posts from another group member; there's nothing there to stop one being notified about comments on existing threads, which often proliferate very quickly. So can one opt out of all/any notifications from a Scooploop group of which one's a member?
    See 6 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 3 months ago
    Having just regretfully had to buy a new laptop after its predecessor failed in under ten years, I'm horrified to learn from this report that manufacturers expect these to be replaced after only about four years. See https://therestartproject.org/consumption/hidden-impact-devices/ The CO2 equivalent cost of producing any brand new device massively exceeds the further CO2e generated during its lifetime so, the less often we replace our devices, the less the CO2e 'cost' of them. Keeping them going is therefore critical but manufacturers deliberately don't make devices repairable. That simply must change; the faster, the better. So the Restart Project is using their research as the evidential basis for petitioning the UK government to legislate for effective repairability - along similar lines to the existing European Right to Repair campaign. There's a link at the end of this report; do please follow that to sign the petition and share it with your contacts.
    See 12 comments...
  • I've had to swap my elderly and familiar HP Pavilion for a new Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop, which may well have many advantages but is taking some time to master. (It has a number keypad which I never use, so the cursor keys are all tiny and set in weirdly unfamiliar places; my ability to touch-type is seriously compromised as a result.) In particular, it has such a sensitive user interface that things I didn't intend keep happening. Its worst trick is to expand the scale of whatever webpage I'm using, without any warning and therefore providing no indication how to reverse it. (I know how to change the scale via the ... menu but it's not that; this is something separate.) Is this the OS or the machine and how do I stop/undo it, please? Is there a Dummies-type guide to Windows 10 anywhere, do you know?
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 3 months ago
    I first tried this browser on my old laptop but it apparently caused log-in trouble with eBay, which I'd used easily for years via Chrome. The same thing happened when I set up and began using the new laptop, today. I can't seem to change password using the site's identity confirmation link. When I follow that and (when requested) insert a new password, up comes a warning box saying "We ran into a problem. Please try again." But trying again doesn't work either. Is this an Edge issue, or an eBay one?
    See 6 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 3 months ago
    I first tried this browser on my old laptop but it apparently caused log-in trouble with eBay, which I'd used for years via Chrome. The same thing happened when I set up and began using the new laptop, today. I can't seem to change password using the site's identity confirmation link. When I follow that and (when requested) insert a new password, up comes a warning box saying "We ran into a problem. Please try again." But trying again doesn't work either. Is this an Edge issue, or an eBay one?
    See 4 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 1 month ago
    Do you want your medical records shared not only with your medical advisers but others, as from 1st July 2021? If not, you'll need to register an opt-out form via your GP before 23rd June. The official announcement of this plan, early in April, wasn't actively reported and there's been no individual notification of patients, but its downside was reported on the Today programme this morning. NHS Digital's advice to the public, which no-one will have found for themselves, is at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-collections-and-data-sets/data-collections/general-practice-data-for-planning-and-research/advice-for-the-public. That advice is not objective at all. It's very clearly slanted to persuade us to let our data be scraped - but it includes the telling comment, "We do not allow data to be used solely for commercial purposes." (In other words, the data can be used for commercial purposes as well as medical and/or other research purposes.) The link from that advice to the opt-out form doesn't seem to work but there's an effective link to the form in the FT article at https://www.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748 .
    See 8 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 4 months ago
    No matter how hard we try to recycle as individuals, apparently some 90% of the UK's enormous bulk of plastic waste still isn't being recycled but is dumped onto other countries for disposal. Greenpeace are running a petition about this - sadly, not as a gov.uk one, but still worth our support. See https://action.greenpeace.org.uk/l/854853/2021-04-22/qv21z?source=IG&subsource=OCPOPSPEIG022X&utm_source=Instagram&utm_medium=Influencer+Share&utm_campaign=Plastic+Waste+Exports+Petition+[AL]+Lead+Gen+PE+20210422&utm_term=&fbclid=IwAR1gyWV4NeyoTDEEXuLXXifJlPxxAhrw_m7nE_f-vjxPlCx1O0hBCk1xjw4 The best way to encourage others to join in is probably by sharing this engaging and (eventually) informative video. I hope that it's been published elsewhere but the only source that I found for it was https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3935468383196646 .
    See 4 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 4 months ago
    I'm struggling to keep the laptop keyboard clean, despite shutting and covering the laptop when not in use - and even though the cat doesn't actually walk on it. Flying fur etc seems to accrue there constantly, despite my regularly clearing that off with a soft brush - as one used to do for typewriters. I tried using the vacuum cleaner - but the keyboard began lifting out of its socket, so that doesn't seem very sensible. What do other pet owners use to keep computer keyboards clean?
    See 13 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 4 months ago
    Nearby tenants sensibly laid artificial grass over the scruffy concrete front yard of their house, but it's rarely a good idea to install that stuff anywhere, as this report makes alarmingly clear. https://sustainablehackney.org.uk/profiles/blogs/fake-grass-and-fake-claims-an-expanding-environmental-disaster
    See 14 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 4 months ago
    I heard a little of the last episode of 'Dare to Repair' (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000vwqw) before dashing out yesterday and was amazed to hear that someone had already designed a much more sustainable and fully repairable smartphone. Having repeatedly had mobile 'phone cameras fail irreparably before the 'phone itself did, the idea of being able to slot in a replacement camera etc obviously had huge appeal for me. Has anyone (aside from the show's presenters) used one, though?
    See 7 comments...
  • If yours is less ancient than mine and capable of helping the user to understand where it's going wrong, then this should be useful: https://therestartproject.org/data-and-insights/help-us-learn-more-about-printers-with-printcat/
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 4 months ago
    There was a big fuss last year about a shortage of the different kinds of cardboard packaging needed to sell to retail customers what would normally have been sold wholesale - egg-boxes being a notable problem. I have lots of those, which I could tear up and compost, or use first for seedlings, but would rather get reused to hold eggs - if that's possible. Tesco say that they don't reuse them but I've pushed them to reconsider that, as it would be so easy to take the boxes back when I'm in the local shop twice or more a week.
    See 15 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 5 months ago
    I find this facility very useful on Facebook but it doesn't seem to be used here, although long discussions here are just as likely to attract irrelevant comments that I'd like to hide. Tried a site search but I couldn't find any mention of hiding just individual comments, as opposed to hiding a discussion or blocking someone completely. Have I missed something or is this a novel topic?
    See 2 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 6 months ago
    I never replace my laptop until it's no longer usable but the keyboard of this nine-year-old HP Pavilion has begun becoming noticeably less responsive - I often have to click on it twice before it responds - and I worry about whether it's about to fail. (I take care to keep it clean, so it's not simply become dirty.) It's my only internet-capable device. What's the best way to ensure that I don't lose the use of a computer? Now that I've got used to using the touchpad, I don't really want to revert to having a mouse cluttering up my limited desk space and monopolising a socket on the laptop. Someone once mentioned an external keyboard, which would be even bulkier - unless I built a shelf to hold the laptop. But would that be the best solution? Can a separate keyboard be connected entirely wirelessly, or does it also need to be physically connected to a socket on the laptop?
    See 8 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 4 months ago
    Anyone who believed they're buying entirely renewable energy from their 'green energy' supplier should be shocked to see how few of those supply energy that's been generated from renewable sources, rather than simply compensating for its fossil fuel basis by buying REGOs. The supposedly green supplier which I moved to over a year ago doesn't even appear in the lists of those which the Ethical Consumer report assessed. I recall not being the only member of this group who opted for Pure Planet at that time. There's a free preview of this worrying reading, available at https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/sites/default/files/flipbook/Issue189Preview/10/ (and successive pages).
    See 29 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 6 months ago
    It would never have occurred to me to wonder about this but the much greater public interest in wildlife may well mean that sales of binoculars etc has become a growth area. So it's worth asking whether their manufacturers are ethical. https://mailchi.mp/ethicalconsumer.org/event-should-we-care-who-makes-our-binoculars-with-chris-packham-1523136?e=57f084c3a9
    See 1 comment...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 6 months ago
    I've been using Ecosia for some time now and mostly found it very good, but I'm sorry to see from this Ethical Consumer report that Ecosia doesn't plant [m]any trees as a result of my searches - because I never intentionally click on the advertisements. It's still rated as much better than Google, however, so I'll keep using it anyway - except when I need to use Google Maps or be certain of getting comprehensive results. https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/technology/how-ethical-search-engine-ecosia?utm_source=ECRA+Monthly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=bb4b9d9665-EMAIL_newsletter_2021_03_05+nonsubs&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9856040c29-bb4b9d9665-321357508
    See 3 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 6 months ago
    My very basic mobile 'phone clearly doesn't like emojis, so it shows a small blank box (like a tick box) instead of those in a text. I don't suppose that it's possible to tell which emoji this represents?
    See 3 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 8 months ago
    ... and really should have asked this sooner, rather than letting the loaner gather dust! Pre-lockdown, I was lent a basic Android smartphone to make up for my nearly-new Doro's having unaccountably lost its camera facility. Unfortunately, having literally never handled a smartphone before, I need a step-by-step guide - starting with complete ignorance - to learn to use it. Does such a thing exist online and, if so, where, please?
    See 15 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 6 months ago
    I suggested ScoopLoop to a solitary acquaintance, thinking that she might enjoy it, but her initial experience has been dreadful and she wants to leave the site - but can't find out how to do so. Nor can I, either directly or by using the site's overall search facility. So how does one unsubscribe completely from ScoopLoop - and why isn't it clearly signposted?
    See 11 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 10 months ago
    I blew the whistle on some very bad, undisclosed privacy issues in a private Facebook group yesterday, only to be excluded. No doubt the administrators have taken down the whistle-blowing post but what else (if anything) will have disappeared? Does exclusion mean that my earlier comments (made over several months) have automatically been deleted? And why can't I even see the existence of the group by doing a Facebook search? It's as though they've made it into a secret group where I'm concerned, although other non-members can still see its description etc. Is this an automatic consequence of exclusion?
    See 4 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 10 months ago
    Given the vastly increased awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution, one would have hoped that manufacturers would think long and hard before building yet more plastic production plants. Some clearly haven't thought it through, though: ClientEarth and others are trying to stop Ineos from doing just this in the Port of Antwerp. See https://www.clientearth.org/latest/latest-updates/news/clientearth-takes-emergency-legal-action-to-stop-plastic-in-its-tracks/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=&fbclid=IwAR1QvYX75wgdOiRWjj28km_1vuIZzxjjw_2xV3VKKzgSNEjYqtM8igyydRE
    See 3 comments...
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 10 months ago
    Long but really worth studying, it's at https://www.clientearth.org/latest/latest-updates/stories/greenwashing-the-tipping-point/?utm_source=hero-article&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=greenwash&fbclid=IwAR3BKmBY7jwX_pQEDN9bC0a1V79PhpJzB6zr2Ckn0qgmzDSDGVG9JRERv3g
    See 3 comments...
  • Do look at the various sessions they're running, some (or all) of which should be of interest. https://www.bigmarker.com/series/clientearth-summit/series_summit
  • DIANA W @DianaW Dalston updated 10 months ago
    The only good thing about all the traffic on our roads is that it can be used to drive small turbines and generate electricity for the local area. There are now apparently plans for installing these turbines on UK motorways. Various enterprising folk have come with designs for doing just that, some of which are visually stunning. Apparently this was AltEnergy's most-read article last year; you can see why. https://www.altenergymag.com/article/2019/05/traffic-powered-wind-turbines/31030
    See 4 comments...
  • Surely no sane person would deny that ecocide should be an international crime. So let's all sign Stop Ecocide's international petition, to make that clear. (It's no longer only available to those who help fund their work.) https://www.stopecocide.earth/become?ss_source=sscampaigns&ss_campaign_id=5f64e0422d919365ad69a6d9&ss_email_id=5f662154886b4641515c56a1&ss_campaign_name=NEWSLETTER%20September%202020%20-%20the%20Pope%2C%20Paul%20McCartney%2C%20Peace%20%26%20Harmony&ss_campaign_sent_date=2020-09-19T15%3A21%3A32Z&fbclid=IwAR3YOJVvrxEReQRVsfhOonUgro0XAzDWXiVeqwz9jAZ5YFU92gtBq5quCi4 For the background to this campaign, see the Guardian Lab article at https://www.theguardian.com/climate-academy/2020/sep/16/ecocide-environment-destruction-international-crime?fbclid=IwAR2-yRXWMMPSQ05VZ8Z8UyYWmp_RofU9peu8WewMURLbgQ0t_WNIKdIcqD8&utm_campaign=buffer&utm_content=buffer3c313&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com There's also a fairly new Canadian government petition, seeking to make ecocide a federal crime in Canada. Do share this with any friends and family over there: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2827&fbclid=IwAR2opJBLkUvqjAMEprPC3JgOFPLc4iSKVq3FrjviKxN2_YzR0VYUgqt_4Mk

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