The U.S. Postal Service launched a pilot program that allows customers to recycle small electronics and ink-jet cartridges by mailing them free of charge. The “Mail Back” program makes it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way. Customers can now find free envelopes in 1,500 post offices. The envelopes can be used to mail back PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players without having to pay postage.
Postage is paid by Clover Technologies Group, a company that recycles, remanufactures and re-markets ink-jet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridge cannot be refurbished and resold, its components are reused to refurbish other items or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled. Clover has a “zero waste to landfill” policy, which means it does everything it can to avoid contributing any materials to landfills.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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.