Monday, June 22, 2009

Gadget Inspector

Here's one that caught my eye:

Green gadgets can do more harm than good

This young lady seems a tad more than the usual 'punt out a press release and call it reporting', so I wonder if I might get an answer* to my questions.

Failing which, I wonder how I might get to be paid for writing such stories and/or get funded to go find out.

I'm still trying to verify what the engineer told me the last visit to fix my washing machine, namely that all these cold temperature washes are not that great at keeping the seals and pipes clean and are causing premature failures through build-ups of deposits hotter washes could keep clear.

Any links to the truth of this, and if so what the gain in eco from lower temps might be vs. the losses of having to fix or buy a new one?

I really despair the lack of balanced science and engineering reporting in the 'green arena', such that a device or initiative can be assessed not just for its 'hue & cred' but actual enviROI.

I can sort of accept an eco-option that might 'cost' more in £ terms; that's a clear choice.

But one that also makes things 'worse' seems a bad deal all round.


Well, kudos to her. She saw a question and came back. Not a definitive answer, but it seems
I am on a worthwhile track, which kinda puts me at odds with every gov. & commercial marketing department in the land, all of whom have boxes to tick rather than enviROi's to ponder. She might be misguided on the hotter meaning whiter, mind, as it is my understanding that the water temp should not matter. Experience here does rather differ, mind.

PROF'S POSER - Heat and rust

Ok, best I could do.

And wrong from the off, as aluminium doesn't rust.

However it does frame this Prof's Poser, which is essentially an enviROI-based one pondering energy consumption.

Over the weekend I was making an oven-heated meal. And it dawned on me that I was popping a sheet of foil in the glass dish.

Now the picture shows it all becomes moot pretty quickly anyway as the foil ripped, but I was wondering which was more energy efficient, and hence 'better': cook in foil and incur the costs of that resource being used and disposed of (there's a limit to how food caked it can be to [put out to] recycle), OR just use the glass and end up with a few pints of boiling water being required.

What's the collective name or a group of gremlins?

I am opting for a 'dump'.

As in: 'a dump of gremlins'.

Two small setbacks this weekend, though I am hoping that by being highlighted they can be addressed and corrected pretty soon.

First up, having noted a nice, simple plastics reuse idea on the My Zero Waste site, I invited Mrs. Green to enter the competition.

Well, she tried, but it seems she hit problems. I am going to try and figure out why today, and with luck get the experts to cure it. Seems unlikely she was the only one, so who knows who else tried, failed... and gave up. I am grateful to her for letting me know (and for forwarding the error code, which makes things easier still). Most would not bother... the curse of e-ternal e-vigilance if you run a website, especially one with interactivity features.

For the life of me I can't figure out why a machine that works on 0's and 1's can suddenly decide to not work as it has for a decade.

The other was decidedly more human.

One of the main sections of is 'Answers', where you can pose questions via the Junkk site. It comes via a form, and is different to the info [at].

Frankly it was/is rarely used, at least so far. However, a while ago some spam bots got hold of it and I started getting inundated with porn site greetings. Clever devils some, such that I almost thought they were human.

Thing is, it was filling up my in-box, so I asked my IT guru to redirect them to a folder to address later... and then promptly forgot to check it these last several weeks with all the fun & games with getting my Mum cared for.

Anyway, on Sunday, as a Father's Day 'treat' I decided to clear these fellows out. Fortunately, despite there being thousands I didn't just dump and purge, but actually have started going through.

And guess what? As a consequence of the competition I found some questions related to it, including interest from magazines such as The Engineer... sheesh!

And all this with about a week left for the extended competition entry period.

Time for another? Plus another mea culpa? No real harm I figure. The contest could really do with more entries to make it worthwhile.