Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Activists push to recycle 'e-waste'

Filed under
Sci/Tech

When Earth Day dawned in 1970, optimistic environmentalists predicted emerging technologies would help reduce the nation's reliance on coal, oil, insecticides and other pollutants.

But 35 years later, a big part of the problem appears to be technology itself.

Tons of computers, monitors, televisions and other electronic gizmos that contain hazardous chemicals, or "e-waste," may be poisoning people and ground water. Activists say the nation's biggest environmental problem may be the smallest devices, and this week they're launching campaigns to increase awareness about recycling cell phones, music players, handheld gaming consoles and other electronics.

Frequently, smaller portable gadgets have batteries that are prohibitively expensive to replace. So consumers in affluent countries simply toss them in the trash.

Environmentalists are particularly bothered by the recycling and reuse policies of cell phone manufacturers and distributors and of Apple Computer Inc., maker of the iPod digital music player.

U.S. consumers retire or replace roughly 133,000 personal computers per day, according to research firm Gartner Inc. According to a study commissioned by San Jose-based Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, roughly half of all U.S. households have working but unused consumer electronics products.

CEO Steve Jobs and Apple board members, including former Vice President Al Gore Jr., have each received at least 400 faxes about the company's contribution to e-waste, said Robin Schneider, executive director of the Austin, Texas-based Texas Campaign for the Environment. The group is asking Apple to reduce or eliminate recycling fees for consumers and build in-store recycling centers.

In January, Apple agreed to help sponsor an industry initiative launched by eBay Inc. and Intel Corp., that created an informational Web site to help motivate Americans to resell, donate or recycle used gadgets. Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., International Business Machines Corp. and Ingram Micro Inc. are also participating, as well as the U.S. Postal Service, which in some cases will help deliver PCs to eBay drop-off locations or recycling centers.

"We'd like nothing better for Earth Day than for Steve Jobs to say he's agreed to producer takeback recycling," Schneider said.

Full AP Article.

More in Tux Machines

Bang & Olufsen’s RPi add-on brings digital life to old speakers

B&O and HiFiBerry have launched an open source, DIY “Beocreate 4” add-on for the Raspberry Pi that turns vintage speakers into digitally amplified, wireless-enabled smart speakers with the help of a 180-Watt 4-channel amplifier, a DSP, and a DAC. Bang & Olufsen has collaborated with HiFiBerry to create the open source, $189 Beocreate 4 channel amplifier kit. The 180 x 140 x 30mm DSP/DAC/amplifier board pairs with your BYO Raspberry Pi 3 with a goal of upcycling vintage passive speakers. Read more

Gemini PDA will ship with Android, but it also supports Debian, Ubuntu, Sailfish, and Postmarket OS (crowdfunding, work in progress)

The makers of the Gemini PDA plan to begin shipping the first units of their handheld computer to their crowdfunding campaign backers any day now. And while the folks at Planet Computer have been calling the Gemini PDA a dual OS device (with Android and Linux support) from the get go, it turns out the first units will actually just ship with Android. Read more

Red Hat: CO.LAB, Kubernetes/OpenShift, Self-Serving 'Study' and More

Browsers: Mozilla and Iridium

  • Best Web Browser
    When the Firefox team released Quantum in November 2017, they boasted it was "over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago", and Linux Journal readers generally agreed, going as far as to name it their favorite web browser. A direct response to Google Chrome, Firefox Quantum also boasts decreased RAM usage and a more streamlined user interface.
  • Share Exactly What You See On-Screen With Firefox Screenshots
    A “screenshot” is created when you capture what’s on your computer screen, so you can save it as a reference, put it in a document, or send it as an image file for others to see exactly what you see.
  • What Happens when you Contribute, revisited
    I sat down to write a post about my students' experiences this term contributing to open source, and apparently I've written this before (and almost exactly a year ago to the day!) The thing about teaching is that it's cyclic, so you'll have to forgive me as I give a similar lecture here today. I'm teaching two classes on open source development right now, two sections in an introductory course, and another two in a follow-up intermediate course. The students are just starting to get some releases submitted, and I've been going through their blogs, pull requests, videos (apparently this generation likes making videos, which is something new for me), tweets, and the like. I learn a lot from my students, and I wanted to share some of what I'm seeing.
  • Iridium Browser: A Browser for the Privacy Conscience
    Iridium is a web browser based on Chromium project. It has been customized to not share your data and thus keeping your privacy intact.