Utility Week

Uberflip 17 01 14

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/241939

Contents of this Issue


Page 30 of 31

Community Disconnector Game on! Ha! Disconnector always knew there were good reasons for feeling contemptuous of games consoles, quite apart from the fact that faltering eyesight and dodgy reflexes meant that he couldn't beat a 10-year-old at Call of Duty even if he wanted to. Which he doesn't. There has long been good reason to dislike what all these new-fangled electronic entertainments are doing to our youth – consuming their days as they sit for hours on end in darkened rooms playing "shoot-em-ups", all the while growing paler and paler and losing the power of human speech – at least that's what appears to be happening judging by the look of ne'er do wells hanging around at the local park. But it's not just that. No, the truth is that games consoles are bad for the planet. Fact. A US organisation called the Natural Resources Defence Council tested Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4 and found that both consume close to three times more energy than their previous iterations. If all American teenagers upgraded their current Xbox and Playstation consoles to the latest models, the US would need to generate 10 billion kilowatthours a year to power them all – enough to power a city the size of Houston. It makes the great man's blood boil. Kids today are not only wasting their lives away Top Tweets but they're destroying the planet into the bargain. It wasn't like that in Disconnector's day. Oh no. When we got bored, we had no recourse to playing war on a games console. We went off and fought real wars. But hey, at least it got you outdoors. A real buzz about mobiles If the idiot savants that seem to populate Silicon Valley have their way, we could look back on modern times as a golden age when kids merely wasted their time with electronic gadgets rather than wasting each other. Disconnector was amazed to read about some of the prototype add-ons for smartphones being punted around the Consumer Electronics Show in the US recently, many of which will go on sale this year somewhere around the world. Take Yellow Jacket, for instance, a case for your iPhone that turns it into a stun gun capable of releasing a 650,000V shock. It's to be used "strictly for self-defence", says the company – so that's alright, then. No danger of kids zapping each other in the playground or anything. It seems to Disconnector that a user is far more likely to sit on the phone awkwardly on the bus and set it off by accident rather than zap a would-be attacker with it. Expect some hilarious videos to that effect on YouTube any time now. On the other hand, if you happen to be a would-be attacker, then Flir Systems has developed some kit that turns your mobile phone into a thermal imaging device, using the same technology deployed by the US army in its helicopters. The manufacturer says it promises potential purchasers "a new way of looking at the world in which your cat is a psychedelic mix of yellows and pinks, and your child's eyes appear to glow". It will also allow muggers to monitor passers-by and check if they're holding any selfdefence devices, for instance. The naked truth Our insatiable appetite for novelty and diversion will end in tears, says Disconnector. What we need is a back-to-basics approach to entertaining ourselves, such as a good oldfashioned game of hide and seek. What could go wrong with that? Funny you should ask. It turns out the answer's "a lot" if you take it too seriously, as an Australian man did in Mooroopna town, north of Melbourne. The 20-year-old was playing hide and seek with his partner when he climbed into their top-loading washing machine – naked – and got stuck fast. Firefighters, paramedics and a search-and-rescue squad took 20 minutes to free the embarrassed Aussie using olive oil. Editor:  Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; Energy editor:  Megan Darby, t: 01342 332087, e: megan.darby@fav-house.com; Features editor:  Karma Ockenden, t: 01342 332086, e: karma.ockenden@fav-house. com; Reporter:  Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house.com; Reporter:  Conor McGlone, t: 01342 332083, e: conor.mcglone@fav-house.com; Production editor:  Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house.com; Sales executive: Nicky Shaw, t: 01342 332070, e: nicky.shaw@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries:  01342 332000; Subscriptions:  UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year, t: 01342 332011. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by:  Faversham House Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 1UZ Sheila Wren @SheilaWren2 DECC appt DG 4 Consumers & Households window dressing til energy conservation is forefront of energy pol Meg Crosby @mcrosby18 To the telemarketers who woke my elderly parents at 6 a.m. with "You haven't claimed your green deal yet..." Get stuffed! Nick Mabey @Mabeytweet Rumours that EC did not agree even 40% cuts for #eu2030 If true Barosso legacy kills 2C target and leave EU with unmanageable climate risk Steve Hawkes @steve_hawkes Water water everywhere here in Henley and yes, it emerges The Environment Agency wants to axe 90 lock keepers along the Thames ..#splosh James Murray @James_BG Boring semantic point. Michael Fallon says fracking only allowed if it is "absolutely safe", but nothing is "absolutely safe" It's NOT just me! @storm_monkey It seems Michael Fallon (DECC) thinks that #fracking is a renewable energy source. Where do the Govt get these people..? Jessica Shankleman @JessicaBG Funny how anti-wind & anti-frackers both say "community benefits" when it supports their favoured tech but "bribes" when it doesn't John Deben @lorddeben Spoke to WWF staff at their remarkable new HQ in Woking. We must conserve consensus on climate change and resist point-scoring 3WhitehallPlace @3WhitehallPlace Thanks to our action taken today, local councils which back shale gas will be able to afford the policing costs of protests #alloutforshale Caroline Flint @CarolineFlintMP No kidding but first person I meet on #labourdoorstep today works for DECC. Good response. #CostofCameron Subscriptions:  UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2012 UTILITY WEEK | 17th - 23rd January 2014 | 31

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - Uberflip 17 01 14