PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am

Will you be upgrading your TV for the digital age?

We are now entering a new era of high-definition television. I am quite excited about digital television, as we will have a larger choice of channels and a better picture quality on our screens. I am sure most people will welcome these improvements.

However, we should consider the impact of this new digital age. It may add to the financial burden of the poor. If they do not have a high-definition set, they will have to buy a set-top box and this may be too expensive for them.

I am also concerned that once they buy a high-definition TV, many residents may discard the old set and with so many TVs thrown away, this could cause serious damage to our environment. It seems ridiculous that on the one hand, we are trying to minimise the use of plastic bags, and on the other we will be encouraged to throw away our old television sets, because of the switch to digital.

I think subsidies should be offered to people on low incomes, so they can watch these digital channels.

Also, they should be introduced gradually in Hong Kong, in order to minimise the negative impact on the environment.

Eventually, I hope that high-definition TV can provide top-quality broadcasting to people from all walks of life in Hong Kong

Vicky Yik Hau-ying, Sham Shui Po

What do you think of GPS taxis?

Taxi drivers and their passengers can benefit from Global Positioning System technology.

With the installation of GPS, taxi fleets will be better organised. It will be possible to track a taxi's movements and ensure that the taxi gets to the passengers as quickly as possible.

I think passengers will have a preference for a taxi with GPS, as they know it can take the quickest route, and this will increase GPS taxi drivers' revenue, which is good for business.

Even if a driver takes a wrong turn, the GPS system will tell him and set him on the correct course.

GPS is an efficient and easy system to handle and I back those firms which are installing it in their taxis. Although the old system with radio taxis and mobile phones was not bad, GPS is much better.

Joyce Chen Yan-jun, Kowloon Tong

What do you think of sex education in Hong Kong?

Given the number of teenage pregnancies in Hong Kong, there is clearly a problem with sex education.

Sex education in schools deals with the physical changes young people go through, but does not deal with things like the consequences of teenagers having sex. Teachers and pupils tend to avoid discussing such matters, because they find it embarrassing. And it remains a taboo subject in most families.

There must be a more open discussion of the subject, so that pupils can ask the questions that they need to and receive the appropriate answers. Teenagers are taught only proper ethics and values, but it is not enough. Open discussion and an open teaching atmosphere should be introduced so that teenagers can share their views and seek help from teachers.

Teachers need to go into the subject in-depth so that young people are able to differentiate between right and wrong.

Hong Kong is a modern society and we should be more open-minded.

Yeung Shuk-wai, Kwai Chung

On other matters ...

I would like to thank your readers for their comments regarding the Ngong Ping 360 cable car service which resumed commercial operation on December 31.

I thank the thousands of visitors who supported us on the first two days, by coming out to ride on the cable car in spite of the cold weather.

Safety is the top priority in our operations and I wish to assure readers that the cable car system is designed and built to the best international standards and practices. Independent ropeway experts from overseas have also verified the system's safety after conducting detailed inspections and tests.

While an ongoing court case prevents me from commenting on the events that led to the temporary suspension of the cable car service, I would like to point out that the incident happened during non-service hours under circumstances that would not occur during normal operations.

Over the last several months, improvements have been put in place to help ensure we provide a reliable and efficient cable car service. However, as with any complex mechanical system, there are occasions when delays may occur. This is especially so as one of the safety features is a sophisticated sensor system that draws attention to any possible irregularity. Whenever a sensor is activated, the cable car system is automatically brought to a stop and an inspection has to be carried out. The system will be restarted only after staff have confirmed everything is normal. What is most important is that our staff are able to handle each situation efficiently to minimise delays.

Nevertheless, we understand visitors' desire to be informed and have enhanced our communications arrangements to make broadcasts into cabins and at terminals whenever a delay of three minutes or more is experienced. In the event of more serious delays, we will notify members of the public through our website, MTR stations and the media.

I look forward to welcoming your readers to Ngong Ping 360 where they can experience a breathtaking journey into nature coupled with a visit to the world's biggest, seated, bronze Buddha statue.

Morris Cheung Siu-wah, managing director, Ngong Ping 360

I happened to travel on The Peak Tramway recently, and was shocked by my experience during waiting and boarding of the tram.

I witnessed queue jumping, pushing and arguing, especially when passengers were about to board the tram from the narrow platform. The design of the station is certainly not able to cope with the huge number of visitors. Unfortunately, the poor crowd control made things worse.

It is a disgrace that such disorder could be allowed to happen in one of the prime attractions in this city, which promotes itself as Asia's 'world city'.

Raymond Lai, Quarry Bay