But for their own reasons the UK parliament has resisted such moves as they see the overriding importance of keeping the BBC free from political influence.
Yet, as a Brit you can't avoid being a taxpayer but you can most certainly avoid being a licence payer.
On things like refrigerators we already have mandated efficiency symbols, it would be good to include vacuum cleaners in the same list.
The same is true for a 40 W (50 is unusual) bulb it is up to 25% less efficient, a 100W Quarz Halogen bulb might achieve double the efficiency.
The fable that the continent has also remained on 220 V is only to pacify British feelings of guild, from 1990 onward the EU countries increased their mains voltage in small steps and were done in the year 2000, a little quicker than the original plan that called for 2004.
Just as much a fable is the story the UK would have incurred great or unacceptable cost for this change, technically and with good coordination it can be done in mere hours, it was and is simply a lack of will.
At the time this harmonisation was planned, mid to late eighties, the typical power supply for domestic apparatus was fairly crude and thus the change would have had economic benefits.
The introduction of better and switchable power supplies has largely done away with many of the original reasons for harmonisation and consequently we've seen a slight increase in the permissible range.
Environmentally there are no objections to the Mercury containing fluorescents as here in Europe we tend to recycle, landfills are strictly limited as a last resort.
But since a (very) few years anyone with half a brain buys LED, not cheap but long life and extremely efficient.
The UK has not changed it's 13 Amp plugs but the domestic circuits can be up to 40 Amp, on the continent they are typically 16Amp, meaning you can pull up to 3600 Watts.
There are manufacturers selling 2000-2200 W. vacuum cleaners.
There's a vice-mayor that heard stories of some city workers having trouble with the compatibility of certain file formats and he wants an investigation into it.
This says nothing about the Linux OS or something else OSS being ditched, it doesn't even mean he's getting his investigation!
Like I run Kubuntu 14.04 on a Thinkpad and hardly ever experience breakage, Firefox and Thunderbird are since years examples of stability.
My provider suns their mail, pop and imap, on Linux and again perfect stability.
Additionally, Munich does not run 'the latest and greatest' but a well proven Kernel and set of applications.
An other little piece of info, the newspaper article refers to observations by a vice-mayor of the city and the complaints he heard were not about Linux the OS but about compatibility issues with the Office packages, a problem that would go away if MS had a proper implementation of the odf standard.
Such forces would be comparable to those that caused lunar dust to stick to astronauts' space suits.
Ohh stop it! Now after so many years we should just admit the dust was sticking because they were too hasty starting to use the new set in the area 51 studio's and the black paint hadn't yet fully dried.