Sunday, December 04, 2005

Consumer stuff

Clark Howard has a radio program that airs on Sunday mornings in the Seattle-Tacoma area on 1090 AM. He talks about anything and everything financial that affects the everyday consumer.

Here are a couple items of interest:

Jul 14, 2004 -- Bring old computers, electronics to Office Depot

Clark has three old, dusty computer monitors in his home, and his wife, Lane, can’t wait to get rid of them. The trouble is that it costs money to get rid of old computer equipment the right way because there is so much lead and other harmful chemicals in them. But two companies have gotten together to help solve this problem. Office Depot and Hewlett Packard, one of the pioneers of computer recycling, are taking electronics and computer equipment off your hands for free this summer. Just bring your items to any Office Depot store. They will take monitors, computers, PDAs, fax machines, digital cameras and fax machines. They will also take televisions that are smaller than 27 inches and TV/VCR combos. The only catch is that they will only take one item per person, per day. The promotion will run through Labor Day, so gather your old goods and make a couple trips. Clark wonders when Dell will respond with an offer of its own.

Oct 21, 2005 -- BPL coming to a town near you

Clark talked last year about experiments with high speed Internet through the power company. It’s known as BPL – or broadband over power line – in the trade lingo. It started in Cincinnati, and now is in a suburb or Washington. There has been no competition in this business, so prices have remained high. Now that BPL is competing with phone and cable companies, prices are sure to go down. And, as long as you have an outlet in your house, you can get BPL. Prices have settled at $29.95 a month, but looking forward pricing is going to get cheaper and the speed will get faster.

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