Lexis-Nexis, the on-line information service of Reed Elsevier, reports Sony has developed the industry's first small speakers made completely from recycled material. Milk cartons are among the materials used to manufacture the speaker cabinets. In fact, about 75% of the assembly is made from recycled paper. The assembly and components also contain 20% polyester foil and 5% aluminum, all of which did service elsewhere. Moreover, since no adhesives were used in construction, the material is recoverable and used yet again. If incinerated, the material produces no overly toxic fumes. The speakers themselves measure 17 cm across, 42 cm high, and 29 cm deep. They are considerably more pricey than comparable speakers made from non-recycled materials--about 40% more--but Sony is confident European demand for environmentally friendly products will move units off store shelves. Sales will begin in Switzerland, Austria, and Holland and the speakers will be generally available throughout Northern Europe as 1998 progresses. For more information, visit the Sony Web site at www.sony.com.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.