• 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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 7 Comments
  • 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 5 Comments
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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/
  • 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 2 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 3 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
  • 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 3 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 3 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 3 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 5 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 2 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 7 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 7 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 7 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 De Beauvoir Town updated 7 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
  • DIANA W @DianaW De Beauvoir Town updated 9 months ago
    Maybe the almost universal lockdown could be the leverage that's so desperately needed to spur radical change in how we regard food. Yesterday's edition of 'The Food Programme' provided an inspiringly positive view of what might happen in the near future. Much simpler and wider-ranging ideas than one would get from just reading 'Sitopia', which I'd barely been aware of. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m49j
    See 2 Comments
  • DIANA W @DianaW De Beauvoir Town updated 10 months ago
    The author was being interviewed on Woman's Hour this morning. Her practical approach sounds like a really useful guide to minimising the carbon footprint from how we eat. She sensibly outlines the principles but leaves recipe development to experienced cookery writers. Apparently my constantly using a microwave rather than the main oven is just right, which is reassuring. (I hope that, despite its considerable age, it isn't too energy-inefficient - but replacing it while it's still usable seems far more wasteful.) https://fcrn.org.uk/research-library/food-and-climate-change-without-hot-air
    See 1 Comment
  • Reassuringly, some aspects of government aren't being distracted too much by the twin crises of this pandemic and Brexit. It's very good to see how seriously members of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee attended to the Restart Project's evidence, focusing on waste prevention and repair. https://therestartproject.org/news/commons-evidence/

DIANA W's Friends

DIANA W's Loops