September 9, 2012

Cable Internet equal to fibre optic, says consumer watchdog

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 9:49 am

Consumer watchdog Consumentenbond has compared two types of broadband Internet in the latest issue of its magazine Digitaalgids, and concluded that cable and fibre optic are equals.

Fibre-optic providers have apparently been claiming that their product is better than that of cable Internet providers.

Webwereld quotes Digitaalgids:

  • Fibre-optic and cable providers claim to offer speeds that they do not deliver.
  • Prices are comparable.
  • Cable can still get faster and will therefore remain competitive for the foreseeable future.

Consumentenbond is quick to point out a couple of advantages of fibre optic compared to cable. Theoretically, fibre can reach 1 gigabit per second, and it offers upload speeds that are as fast as download speeds. The average Internet user currently has no use for those speeds, which may be why fibre adoption is going fairly slow at the moment. Consumers may also have real choice of providers in the future, whereas cable networks are typically controlled by a single provider.

(Photo by Jacek SzymaƄski, some rights reserved)

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May 25, 2012

Apple finally admits to be bound by Dutch warranty

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 4:09 pm

A tiny victory for real globalization. After years of pressure by Dutch consumer watchdog Consumentenbond, American electronics manufacturer Apple has finally adapted its warranty for the Netherlands to make clear that is bound by Dutch law.

Last Monday tech news site Webwereld pointed to the new warranty on Apple’s website, which now states: “If you buy an Apple product, you are covered by the limited Apple warranty of one year, optionally the AppleCare Protection Plan, and the Dutch law.” A handy table shows you what these three warranties cover.

Dutch consumer protection law states that a product must live up to a consumer’s reasonable expectations. A laptop battery for instance can be expected to last longer than a year, but the law does not protect you against capacity reduction, since that is something from which all batteries suffer. According to Internet law blogger Arnoud Engelfriet, a warranty can be both narrower and wider than this rule of conformity—a manufacturer could for instance cover battery capacity reduction in its warranty (this is just an example, Apple for instance does not cover capacity reduction).

Earlier Apple claimed that its warranty provided a better coverage than the law.

In the end of course this does not change anything legally. Dutch consumers have always been protected by the law. It’s good though that customers are made aware more of their rights.

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November 21, 2011

iPad grandpa died at age 87

Filed under: Technology by Branko Collin @ 10:51 am

Mr. Strubbe, the man we wrote about earlier because he had this delightful approach to buying computers, has died, Bright reports.

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ was his motto, and so until recently he still used WordPerfect on an old, perfectly functioning MS DOS computer that was not troubled by virusses. “Why would I say goodbye to such a dear friend?” he asked the camera crew of consumer watchdog Consumentenbond. But then the Apple iPad came along, and the second stage of his philosophy kicked in: if something truly better comes along, why hold yourself back? And so Mr Strubbe bought an iPad.

Earlier this year Consumentenbond visited Mr Strubbe again to give a hands-on review of the iPad 2, and he seems to have liked it:

(Unfortunately, no captions this time it seems.)

(Video: Youtube / Consumentenbond.)

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November 6, 2010

Mr. Strubbe will keep using MS-DOS and Wordperfect 5.1 until he dies

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 7:30 pm

Consumer watch dog Consumentenbond interviews people that have ‘golden oldies’, devices that despite their age still function beautifully.

Mister Strubbe is still using an ancient PC with MS-DOS and Wordperfect 5.1 installed, which never causes him problems with hackers, which has no viruses, never breaks down, always works. But has Steve Jobs finally been able to convince him to make the switch? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

Video: Youtube/Consumentenbond. Link: Sargasso.

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