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Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 5:02 PM

The title may bring about anger from someone who would not easily get upset. Over the years, I have noticed more and more consummer goods are being engineered to become obsolete much more quickly. The marketeers proclaim that they know what the American public wants and designs products to become obsolete. They claim the public demands change and if that's what they want, then we will accomodate them. The truth is, they are creating the demand.Some people are happy with their 3 year old car, but that isn't good for the auto manufacturers. They want you to buy their product repeatedly, whether or not it needs to be replaced. Electronics is just the latest thing to fall to planned obsolescence. Software is just another. By designing something that will fail within a predictable frame, companies can ensure big profits with little regard for the consummer. Just a simple thing like soldering a battery into a device instead of using a replaceable battery is just some of the tricks marketeers use. This is not new news, but the public is not aware that someone is manipulating them. True, changes have to be made to keep the economy going, but maybe the time has come to slow down. Planned obsolescence is responsible for wasteful use of resources. The fashion industry was founded on just such a plan. It is obvious everywhere you look. That I-pad you bought last month is already obsolete; not because there was anything wrong with it, but because they want you to buy something newer. We are sheep being led to the slaughter and powerless to do anything about it. The question of ethics is a big question in my book, but marketeers don't like to have their ethics questioned.

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#1

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 5:26 PM

Companies want to stay in business.

If every carmaker built a car that would last 10 million miles and have virtually no repairs; a lot of the public would be out of work permanently as would those companies.

The reality is we live in a consumer society. However, none of that stops you from dropping out, moving to northern Canada, and live the rest of your life fishing for dinner and sleeping in an igloo.

or... just complaining about it.

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#17
In reply to #1

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 7:52 AM

You said "...none of that stops you from dropping out, moving to northern Canada, and live the rest of your life fishing for dinner and sleeping in an igloo."

You'll be given a test first. We don't let just anyone in, ya know. And the troublemakers usually get eaten.

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#2

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 5:39 PM

"companies can ensure big profits with little regard for the consummer"

Companies who produce products the comsumers don't buy will not stay in business very long.

The pc/software cycle burns my hide with every new roll-out, but sales have never been better.

The world just moves at a much faster pace than it did when you and I were kids.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 7:22 PM

PC sales are in the tank.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 7:27 PM

Don't confuse me with facts. I knew that, but at this point the distinction between PC and phone are shrinking at such a rate that I took a little license and lumped them together.

So, are you smart phone or smart phone and I-pad?

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#7
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 7:55 PM

I have the phone, but it sits doing nothing 99.99% of the time. I do not find it useful.

My girlfriend uses an iPad 3 most of the time.

I use a 2009 Mac Pro CAD station for most of my work with a 30" monitor and a 22" off to the side. I will add a third monitor at some point.

I als have one of the 15" Retina laptops that gets occasional use. Amazing machine and it is almost as fast as my CAD machine. My last one was replaced after about 5 to 6 years and handed down to my step son. It still kicks butt.

I usually get 4+ years out of a system because I tend to buy very high end and they have more than enough power to stay viable for longer periods.

I tend to buy what best solves the problems I have to solve rather than simply what has the newest fad.

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#28
In reply to #2

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 7:43 AM

Just saw a report that the next gen software that was going to save us from a future of want- Windows 8- has sales even lower than that fantastic system Windows Vista.

After 7 months of release, it is used by 3.82% of all users- Vista is 4.75%, all forms of MAC OS is 6.42%, Win XP- scheduled to be non-supported in a couple of years is 38.31% and Win 7 is 44.72%.

http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-microsofts-new-coke-moment-7000014779/ is an infogram that was titled, essentially, Microsoft's New Coke.

When HP sells a computer to businesses, it comes with Win 7 loaded, and the "free" upgrade to Win 8 if you want to make the switch.

SO- not ALL new software becomes the "gotta have" product. Note that even a well aged workhorse like Win XP is still being used by nearly as many users as Win 7.

You can fool some of the people .....

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#33
In reply to #28

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 8:32 AM

I think Microsoft's problem is they are trying to drive the market rather than let the market drive them.

In the case of Microsoft they are taking the lead, but when they look back they are seeing that no one is following.

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#56
In reply to #33

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 1:54 AM

Which is why Win8.1 is supposed to be getting the "Start" button back.

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#3

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 5:46 PM

I ignore the vast majority of it.

Whether it's cars, stereo receivers, tools, etc., I look for something older that either still works, or I can fix it.

One man's junk is another man's treasure. I'll pick up old stereo receivers that are still working, whether I need them or not. They are practically given away.

My biggest gripe is the disappearance of parts.

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#19
In reply to #3

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 8:56 AM

I recently bought a 20 year old Gravely mower to replace the 40 year old one that finally gave up the ghost. I like their transmissions. Beefy. I'm not real thrilled with the longevity of the hydrostatic drive equipment.

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#20
In reply to #3

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 11:32 AM

Hence my Marantz 2230, the sound is excellent and powers (the now defunct) Klipsch Forte 2.

My latest gripe is windows 8. Lets face it ,it was designed for tablets not a PC.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 12:07 PM

Yep, I'm using a big honkin' Sony from the 70's. I think I have a Marantz out in the shop.

Great flea market buys, when you can find them. The sellers usually have no idea what they have. Usually less than $20.

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#22
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 12:14 PM

And big bucks on eBay where buyers that do know what they are have deep pockets.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 2:26 PM

Interesting. I've got an indoor flea market near me, and there are usually at least a couple that can be found. I might have to drop in more often.

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#29
In reply to #20

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 7:46 AM

see comment 28 above- not even the tablet users want it.

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#4

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 6:37 PM

You can't stop time, the arrow of time is relentless, and I for one embrace it.....(when I can afford it)....

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#8

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 8:26 PM

I agree with you 100%. This rate of "progress" is unsustainable. Not only that, it is undesirable. You can fight back! Certain cars have managed multi-million mile lifetimes. Here is just one example: Volvo P1800. Instead of making ever increasing numbers of obsolescent vehicles, people should be employed doing more useful things such as cleaning up the environment. The USA is littered with scrap metal that could, and should, be recycled, rather than rusting away into oblivion. No-one is going to do it until it's too late.

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#9
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/02/2013 8:37 PM

The downside is safety.

When that car was around it was a safe car. Now advances in todays cars' safety has leapfrogged the old cars.

Another scary thought is that newer cars weigh more and about 1/2 of the vehicles on the road are either huge trucks or SUVs. The old Volvo was never designed to compete in that environment.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 6:12 AM

My 1986 GMC pickup has over 500K on it. Every 4 years or so, I'll just dedicate a couple of days to it, and fix or replace what's worn out. It's funny, I bought that truck, used, in 96 and remember thinking, what a lightweight piece of junk it was, compared to the 71 Chevy P/U I had driven before that...which I still wish I had back.

For day to day driving, I buy used minivans that I find for sale on the road, and pay no more than $2500 for them. The last one lasted 6 years with no maintenance but a brake job and a couple of oil changes. It was $1800, and when the tranny went out, the junkyard gave me $400 for it.

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#27
In reply to #8

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 4:14 AM

I had a twenty year old Volvo a few years back. I once parked it outside my sister-in-law's house and her neighbour opposite complained that he could not get his car out of his drive without hitting the Volvo. I responded by inviting him to match his 9cwt of Ford tinplate and plastic against my 1½ tons of Swedish steel. He declined my offer and got his car out just fine.

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#10

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 12:48 AM

Ron, you want to talk about companies manipulating, when are the World's people going to say enough is enough with the Oil Companies and revolt??

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 3:17 AM

People are revolting?

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 7:18 AM

Yes, they sure are revolting! Particularly the guy in line at the supermarket the other day. He had not bathed in what smelled like a week.

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#13

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 6:48 AM

People are not FORCED to buy the next greatest thing. They freely CHOOSE to buy new. I choose to use what works for me.

My cell phone from 2005 still performs its intended functions perfectly. It doesn't have a multi-core CPU, internet access, or an HDTV display, but it only needs to be charged once a week. That's MY choice.

My newest computer, from 2006, is a rock-solid workhorse. Sadly, I recently had to retire one from 2001.

Car from 1999 is still running well (~32 mpg highway), although the regional winters (and the copious road salting) have cause significant under-body corrosion. Maybe 2 years left before structural damage forces a trip to the bone yard and a car dealer.

Last year my tube TV finally died (after 13 years of solid service) and I purchased a flat screen (LCD) TV. I hope this will also last for 13 years, but I expect it will die (from dried out capacitors) anytime after 5 years.

I have worked in the electronic product development and manufacturing industry. Market cost (to be competitive), device function, and TIME to market were always the primary project goals. During development, FMEA and MTBF were evaluated to minimize (3 year) warranty costs. "Obsolescence" was NEVER planned.

The short consumer cycle time (attention span) is a function driven BY the consumers desire (and peer bragging rights) for the newest gee-wiz toy. You don't have to play that game if you don't want to.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 7:21 AM

Generally, consumer electronics will see an increased rate of mortality due to ROHS restrictions on lead.

Lead-free solder tends to grow whiskers that short to adjacent traces and as the density of electronics goes up, so does the mortality rate.

This is not planned obsolescence, just political decree.

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 8:13 AM

Yep, lead in solder is dangerous, but you can walk into any Walmart and find tubs of lead fishing weights.

I can understand the issue with fumes, but very little soldering is done by humans anymore.

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#25
In reply to #18

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 4:34 PM

I'd say the biggest lead hazard would be to persons who shoot a lot of cast lead, non-jacketed, non-gas checked bullets from a pistol.

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#55
In reply to #18

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 1:48 AM

And your dentist will probably still use amalgam to fill your teeth!

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 11:36 AM

Most dentists honor the request for composite material. If one doesn't, you look for another dentist. IMO, same goes for root canals.

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#53
In reply to #15

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/06/2013 12:59 PM

In my opinion, the only people receiving any health benefit from RoHS are those folks in southeast Asia who are taking all the chips off of old boards and preparing them to be sold as brand spanking new chips to 1st world consumers.

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#16

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 7:46 AM

Overall, when you consider what really drives product change it is not planned obsolescence - its technological innovation!

Consider your PC that you bought in 1980s. There is no way they could have made a 1980 computer perform and cost at the same level it does today.

The reason is that the technology we have today was not known back then. It takes time to do that and it is called incremental development.

Our technological progress has been on an exponential growth path since the Industrial Revolution. The Space Age of the late 1950s and 1960s have been responsible for the knee in that revolution by pushing our technological needs to limits that we never dreamed.

Humans can't skip the learning steps in-between. We can't build the perfect widget the first time and thank goodness for that. It would soon be a dull world if all challenge and wonder was stripped from our spirits with nothing new to do.

The rapid pace by which we see things changing is both a cures and a blessing.

The down side is that we see obsolescence in a matter of a few years. The upside is that those of us alive today are experiencing something that our ancestors have never, ever seen in their lives.

A few centuries ago life was little different than it was a millennia ago. Generation after generation and people had little in the way of expectations of seeing change for generations to come.

Now, in a single lifetime most of us have seen remarkable changes from a life of little innovation to humans placing foot prints on the Moon. Things that 100 years ago were nothing more than wild imagination are solid reality parting the ways for even more outlandish dreams.

If you were born 100 years ago you would have been denied all that you have witnessed today and there are many more new discoveries and wonders to come. We live in a golden age of discovery. Doesn't that excite you as an engineer?. This roller coaster of change may be hard, but all the dreams you had when you were a kid are rapidly unfolding before you as it has never done in all of history from the roots of time.

Perhaps you might try reconnecting with that wondrous child inside of you, seize the day, and relish the ride.

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#24
In reply to #16

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 3:29 PM

I don't think we are any happier or better off than our ancestors 100 years back. Remember the phrase; "you never miss something that you have never had". I'm sure my grandfather who couldn't even imagine knowing what a cell phone or computer was, was just as happy. In fact, he was probably more happy living the simple life than we do with all our tech toys. I know my life was much simpler 60 years ago than it is today. I didn't know what a calculator was, but I had a slide rule that worked fine and didn't require batteries. I have to admit that cell phones are a real important invention that revolutionized communications.

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/03/2013 5:55 PM

I'm not gonna go that far.

The simple life was a lot of work. I may not run after all of the shiny little bells and whistles, but I like having indoor plumbing, AC, a refrigerator and freezer, a fully stocked grocery store 5 minutes away, a comfortable bed, occasional television and music at my disposal, a computer, the internet, vaccines against nasty diseases.....I could go on.

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#31
In reply to #24

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 8:28 AM

Cell phones can also be a real pest. Only yesterday I had 2 different tradesmen, a plumber and a general dogs-body, helping me renovate my house. Both spent far too long taking and making calls on my property instead of getting on with the job. Now I get people to quote for the job, not an hourly rate - I'm not paying them to take/make calls. On the other hand ....... the plumber got here quickly because he had a cell phone. It's a two-edged sword.

I had a beautiful Faber-Castell Slide Rule back in the 60's. It had an amazing smell to it - unlike any plastic I have smelled before or since. To this day, I wish I had kept it, not for use, but for sentimental reasons and that magic smell!

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#43
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:39 AM

You are so right about cell phones. I have a brother-in-law who I don't see very often, but when he comes to visit, he is always on the phone due to his business. If we are having a discussion, his phone will ring and the discussion abruptly ends. Other than that, I find the cell phone assists me if I have to communicate with my wife while shopping. It definitely has it's pros and cons.

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#30

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 8:05 AM

Fasted item which becomes obsolete in shortest time is mobile phone. Companies are struggling to change and renovate the models at very fast speed. latest model is not only phone but it is camera, computer, personal diary etc. All additions are at additional cost. People are crazy in buying latest models even at high prices even queeing up at mobile stores for long hours.

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#32

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 8:31 AM

There are a lot of people out there who "must have" the latest and greatest. Then there are those who must make the upgrade for work reasons. The marketing people love them. My newest car, purchased earlier this year, is a 1998 Lincoln Towncar with 95K miles on it and I plan to have it for 15 to 20 years since I'll only drive it about 5K per year. (My motorcycle gets far more use). My Dell XPS laptop is a factory reconditioned unit that has been in use for a few years, all day long almost every day and I anticipate at least several more years out of it. Rarely do I rush out and buy the latest and greatest although occasionally, when in the market for something, my choice is to buy high(er) end anticipating it will last much longer. I learned this in my youth from buying power tools. When I bought "Sears Best", it was. On occasions when I didn't buy the best I brought it back and upgraded.

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#34

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 8:55 AM

Does anyone else dislike the flat screen HD television displays?

Not only do they give me a headache, but I intensely dislike seeing every tiny zit and blemish on the television commentators. The one thing I enjoy are the nature shows, particularly under sea documentaries, but my personal TVs are still the old tube style.

I've tried to get used to the "crispness" of HD, and I just can't.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 9:45 AM

You may want to stay away from the "Latest Technology", 4 times the number of pixels!

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 10:40 AM

I will. The new displays are now so cheap, and the technology is so popular; it kind of makes me feel bad that I don't like it.

I wonder if I'm the only one.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 10:45 AM

I can't see well enough to tell the difference.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:00 AM

There's also the programming issue. My interest in all television, has dropped to the point where I'll catch the weather, and maybe an hour of Animal Planet before I go to sleep. That's about it.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:07 AM

Around here, if it's not on a cooking channel, it's cartoons.

How much resolution do you need to watch cartoons?

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:25 AM

Yeah. Cooking channel and cartoons here to. That's the other thing...even if there was something on that I wanted to watch, it's not worth fighting over.

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#41
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:33 AM

We have 3 TVs in this house, all w/satellite, games, DVD, Net Flicks, etc. and the only time I can watch what I want is when everybody's gone but me.

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#45
In reply to #38

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:44 AM

Your're right again, TV programming is terrible and getting worse. Who really watches sex toys or worlds best blender or sex enhancer for men?

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#42
In reply to #34

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:33 AM

When you get older, your eyesight doesn't need the super HD pictures. I still have an older tube type TV and the picture is pleasing to me.

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#44
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:42 AM

The headaches are possibly from the motion smoothing software. You can turn that off it you need to.

When the smoothing is on people refer to it as the Soap Opera Effect. It gives some people headaches.

The name comes from the difference in which films are produced at a specific frame rate, but soap operas are generally video taped at a very high frame rate and the motion is very fluid compared to the typical frame rate of film.

On the old TV you never noticed the Soap Opera Effect because the TVs were already frame rate limited. The new flat screen TVs have 2 or more times the frame rate, so all of a sudden people are finding they get headaches.

Most people adapt to it over time and the headaches go away. My set has multiple smoothing settings so that you can compromise the amount of smoothing without getting sick.

As for the enhanced resolution, that is simply something you need to adapt to. You have been watching all your life in low resolution and high resolution seems strange and irritating.

It would be no different if after 40 years of your eyes only producing black and white suddenly were able to see color.

My beef with the LCD and LED TVs is that they take forever to turn on. It's like an old vacuum tube TV!

I guess the CPUs are much too slow and maxed out with all the software they must run, which doesn't run that well anyway. Smart-@ss TV.

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#47
In reply to #44

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 1:10 PM

I could probably get used to it, but at this point I watch such little TV, that it's not worth the $150 to go get a flatscreen. Maybe some day.

The HD documentaries that are filmed in the deep ocean are incredible!!!

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#48
In reply to #34

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 7:17 PM

Just take your glasses off.....what's the problem....

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#54
In reply to #34

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/06/2013 10:48 PM

Use a difuser sheet or turn the contrast back?

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#46

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/04/2013 11:57 AM

On a related note, I read the definition of non-durable goods in Wikipedia. It said a non-durable good was one that had an expected usable life of at least 3 years and included such items as clothing, cosmetics and among other things, "TOYS". How many times have you given a toy to a child at Christmas only to see it broken in less than an hour?

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#49
In reply to #46

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/05/2013 12:31 AM

Hey Ron!!


Who cares about the toy so long as the box still works... Of course today averything has shrunk and the box is no larger than the toy. And it doesn't even work as a Fort.

Such is progress I guess!

Bill

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#62
In reply to #49

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/09/2013 9:37 AM

Now everything is wrapped in that tough plastic with welded seams that requires a hacksaw and visegrips to get into, no more boxes for the kiddies to play with!

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#63
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/10/2013 12:31 AM

I wonder if we might sell empty corrugated boxes which could be assembled into a "Fort"? It could be more exotic than the forts we had as kids, but... how many kids even know what a "fort" is? I strongly expct that Fort Laramie is gone forever. I laugh when I think of my Mom explaining that "Calvary" and "Cavalry" are not the same thing. I didn't care so long as I got to ride horses, have a blue uniform... I even had a shirt with sargeants stripes on it, and I got ostracized for it because I had the stripes in the British direction rather than the "modern" US direction.

In any case, growing up in that world was a whole lot of fun.

Bill

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/10/2013 6:25 AM

It sure was fun!!!!!

High tech was a bicycle with a banana seat and a sissy bar.

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#50

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/05/2013 4:22 AM

I watch Discovery channel, TLC, Animal Planet, CNN etc. on old Sony tube TV. My son is insisting that he would like to bring for me LED TV with bigger screen, but I have refused to accept it as I am quite happy with my present TV.

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#51
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/05/2013 8:05 AM

And how would you know you would not be happier with a new TV?

If nothing else they use a fraction of the electricity that a CRT does.

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/06/2013 11:16 AM

Why do we need to be happier than we already are? If I have a million dollars, why would I want to have 10 million? Nothing changes, except the desire for more. Maybe some people have the need for the latest and greatest. That need has been implanted into our brains by the marketeers; definitely a form of brainwashing.

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#58

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 12:56 PM

P.O. is the tip of the iceberg of the ills of our species. (And ills are often defined by comparison with the past.) I agree with the sentiment that ignoring most of it is easy with little to no repercussions for those of us at a certain age. But, even then, at some point the drag of ignoring innovation can become more stressful than its avoidance.

Depends on one's perspective and how one "enjoys" life. I suppose if all you do with a computer is word processing, you can still get by with Win 3.1 on an old 386-based computer, and even a dot matrix printer -- until you need a new ribbon. And if all you do is write letters, you'll never miss any computer, as ronseto says. It is true, that people 90 years old probably enjoy life (if they still have their health) in ways not connected to technology.

People who have grown up with all the technology, often panic when they lose it. Not right or wrong, just status quo. We generally don't like when that gets interrupted. Ball-point pens have spoiled us from quills and ink wells. Has the washing machine really advanced much in the last 50 years? Does it really need a "brain?" Which do we find more stressful, layers of automated, voice-activated phone menus, or a live person to speak to? (And that stress is difficult to avoid when one needs customer service.) I guess that could be a toss-up if language becomes a problem.

The good part of the "good ole days" is an inner simplicity (lack of desire?) uncomplicated by too much technology. And that, I think, is where happiness (which could be a whole thread unto itself -- define happiness?) gets decided. If one starts with that, it is easier to keep all the innovation in perspective. Easy come, easy go. Losing touch with our true connection to Nature hasn't helped, either. Technology obscures that, too. (For instance, it's made war very antiseptic; more of an abstraction... something most of us just "see" on our variety of screens. Life has become somewhat like a video game. Watch a screen, use a drone, push a button, destroy something, go home for dinner.)

I feel much more alive being outside, paying attention to trees, birds, squirrels, etc., than I do looking at any screen, no matter what the content. That being said, TV and movies can be of service to us. But, too often, it's abused; by both programmers and viewers.

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#59
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Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 2:28 PM

Nicely put sir!

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#61
In reply to #59

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 4:13 PM

Thank you. I usually have a bit of sadness and feel a bit ill when writing about "ills", though.

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#60

Re: Planned Obsolescence

05/07/2013 3:15 PM

People from past generations have seen and experienced both the old and the new. That exposure has allowed some of us to make wiser choices not influenced by the money grabbing marketeers. The new generation doesn't have the background or experience to fall back on and are therefore prime targets for whatever it is they want you to buy. Try talking economics to a teen. I have grandkids aged 14 to 17 and they have no clue what I'm talking about. They want I-pads because all the other kids have them. When I was a kid, my father would explain why I didn't need my own personal TV or telephone and I could understand the reasoning behind it. Today, there is no reasoning. The power of the marketeer is greater than that of the parent.

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