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Your Stuff Really Is Breaking Faster Than It Used To

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This article is an interesting jump point on how things are breaking sooner.

You aren’t imagining it. Turns out, your stuff really is breaking down more quickly than before. A recent study by a European environmental agency just confirmed it: the lifespan of your electronic goods is—indeed—shrinking.

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More at the link.

Report summary is here:

The report itself is only in German though. :(

Lightbulbs anyone?

^ no lightbulbs here @ 106 pages long :D

Even skimming it for graphics is hard work ;-)
interesting though:

* sold in 2011 in Germany - Gold in:   monitors=1,645 kilos; laptops=740;   smartphones=240
* sold in 2011 in Germany - Silver in: monitors=6,090 kilos; laptops=3,100; smartphones=2,350
and the font (Times New Roman?) and paragraph formatting, they're certainly not easy to read on screen...


Is (one) part of the problem that people tend to want to get stuff as cheaply as possible?
I believe that that's the reason that after-sales service is suffering, at any rate.

I know I fit in that bracket - I want something, and I want it cheap. But you get burned that way - poor quality products that dont last long and you got to spend again.
And I do also want good quality - I check reviews and look at amazon etc customer reviews (in particular the one to three star ones) - mind you most of those are not about long-term performance.

Noted the following via the ifixit link:

For the first time, an EU institution is looking into the positive aspects of a total ban on planned obsolescence: more jobs, better consumer protection and a boost to sustainable development. The EESC has today issued an opinion on product lifetimes and consumer information to combat the business strategy of obsolescence.

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October 2013...

Very interesting, and obviously a controversial topic.

I'm always curious about this subject, and fascinated by it.  It's clear that the stuff made a few decades ago in general were more can tell just by handling them and feeling the weight of the metal and wood, etc.  And there's this argument that that kind of heft is way overkill.  On the other hand, things will break more easily.
But then the other extreme is building stuff like phones that are actually planned to start breaking down after a set number of years.  And that can be done with an OS upgrade, etc.  Now that is a little more fishy.

An interesting personal example...
I grew up on the transformers toys.  The big "nostalgia" about them were that they were made of die cast metal, and all of us grown kids now reminisce on that aspect, and how well made they were, etc.  Now, in the past decade, with the new movies, a lot of these toys have been reissued or recreated and marketed to us grownups who were kids at the time (aka adult toys).  They are not made of metal, but they are actually better toys than the original ones.  They are more poseable, better looking, more accurate to the cartoons.  but less metal.  At first I thought I'd hate it, but I like them more!  And most of the fanbase does as well.  So it's an example of something about myself I would have never predicted.  Before this, i was die hard about the metal.  Will they last as long?  Possibly, but not if they are dropped or something.  i don't know.  I find myself changing my mind a lot about this sort of thing now.

This is relevant:


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