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The Register breaking news

Cleveland residents get RFID-equipped recycling

Residents in Cleveland, Ohio, will have to ensure their recycling is out on time or face a $100 fine for failing to do their bit. RFID tags will be fitted to the recycling bins provide by the city council, and counted by passing rubbish-collection vans. Any residents whose recycling bin isn't on the curb over a couple of weeks …
Bill Ray, 23 Aug 2010
Marks and Spencer logo

M&S cooks up goods for gadget recycling

Have tech, but nothing to eat? Don't worry, you can now swap unwanted electrical items for M&S vouchers and feast upon the store's food and fashions. Recycling firm ShP Limited has teamed up with Marks & Spencer to launch a website designed to help reduce the one million tonnes of electronic waste that the UK, apparently, …
Caleb Cox, 28 Oct 2010
Irreplaceable elements - periodic table

Gadget world's metals irreplaceable, say boffins

Nearly one-fifth of the metal elements present in modern tech products have no replacement candidates if supplies are exhausted, according to a study by Yale University. In fact, the survey of 62 metals important to modern technology finds that not one of those metals has an “exemplary” alternative to take its place if reserves …
Red plastic funnel

IBM accidentally invents new class of polymers

IBM says its research arm accidentally invented the first new class of polymers the world has known for decades. Detailed here in a paper titled Recyclable, Strong Thermosets and Organogels via Paraformaldehyde Condensation with Diamines, the newly-discovered polymers were the result of an accident that saw IBM researcher …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2014
Data breach image

US Army loses 16,000 personnel records in South Korea

Sensitive information of more than 16,000 US Army personnel stationed in South Korea, plus data on local employees and job applicants, appears to have been compromised after databases loaded with names, identification numbers and addresses were accessed by unauthorised and unknown parties. Specific details of how the 28 May raid …
Darren Pauli, 06 Jun 2014
Tree sampling in the Monteverde cloud forest. Credit: Jorge Porras

Hey, Apple. THIS is how you flog iPhones in new markets

Last year mobile phone trade-in firm eRecyclingCorps announced that they had recycled 10 million phones in the past four years. This year they said they'd chewed through the same 10 mill in the last year alone. It would be nice to think that people recycle old phones out of a love for the planet, but the company has found …
Simon Rockman, 26 Feb 2014
Measuring up Apple

SAVE THE EARTH... give all your iThings back to us, begs Apple

Apple's flagship products rarely come in colours other than silver, black and white. But for Earth Day, the fruity firm has decided to coat its entire business in a lurid shade of green. Cupertino's latest eco-ruse is a recycling scheme that'll allow fanbois to drop off their old iThings and pick up a gift card if the gear is …
Jasper Hamill, 22 Apr 2014
Dave Akerman inflates the balloon

CSIRO, Macquarie University, on helium-saving crusade

Rather than sending out dire warnings about the dangers of party balloons wasting helium, it's probably better to stem the losses from the world's largest users. That's the approach being taken by the CSIRO and Sydney's Macquarie University. Cryogenics, as The Register noted here, is a big consumer of helium. In 2005, the US …
Eve in the Garden of Eden talking to a rather angry God on Snapchat

'Green' Apple: We've smudged a bit off our carbon footprint

With a product refresh rate that sees it chomp through natural resources like a chubby child demolishing a Mars bar, it's difficult to see Apple as a particularly environmentally friendly organisation. Nonetheless, the fruity firm has said it is committed to making its operations as green as humanly possible. In its latest …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Jul 2014
arrow pointing up

Kit makers trash New York e-waste recycling

Can't be bothered to recycle your old television set? Under New York City's new e-waste program, electronics manufacturers will be required to show up on residents' doorsteps and spirit away aged equipment free of charge. But two major electronics industry groups are fighting the city's new door-to-door recycling mandate before …
Austin Modine, 27 Jul 2009

BBC's Clangers returns in £5m 'New Age' remake

The BBC is to remake the classic children's animation programme The Clangers as a hi-tech production with environmental politics at the fore. Original Clangers animator Peter Firmin and illustrator Daniel Postgate - the son of Clangers creator Oliver - will be involved in the £5m budget production. The new series will be …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Oct 2013
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Sainsbury's and HP buddy up on recycling jamboree

HP and supermarket giant Sainsbury’s are asking Londoners to recycle IT kit they no longer use. Both firms want people to bring neglected desktops, laptops, fax machines, scanners and printers to Sainsbury’s Nine Elms store in Vauxhall, London this Saturday (6 September) between 11am and 4pm for recycling purposes. HP said it …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Sep 2008
Samsung RR82PDRS fridge

Internet of Things fridges? Pfft. So how does my milk carton know when it's empty?

In today's incredible Internet of Stuff Things world, the fridge is going to tell us we need to restock it with more milk and butter. What bunch of nutters thought this idea up? Let's take a patient walk through what a fridge would have to do to accomplish this, and then ask why it would be better than a fridge user's scan every …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2014

Apple to accept iPhone trade-ins at US Retail Stores

With the rumored launch date of the next iPhone fast approaching, Apple on Friday began allowing iPhone owners to trade in their old handsets at the company's Apple Retail Stores in the US. "iPhones hold great value," an Apple spokeswoman told the AFP news service. "So, Apple Retail Stores are launching a new program to assist …
Neil McAllister, 30 Aug 2013
Inch-thick layer of fluff on PC case

The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

Alistair Dabbs is unwell this week. This column is a repeat publication of something we found, er, at the back of the cupboard. It's actually not that musty (it's from 2012). I like my house zen. Unfortunately, I am a hoarder, so it’s not. My half-life wife has been trying to educate me by making me watch TV programmes with …
Alistair Dabbs, 30 May 2014
Recycle sign

Best Buy flirts with e-waste recycling

US electronics retailer Best Buy is experimenting with taking back some of the toxic materials contained in the products it peddles. It's piloting an e-waste recycling program at 117 stores in the Baltimore, San Francisco, and Minnesota markets. If all goes well, Best Buys says it will consider expanding the offering throughout …
Austin Modine, 02 Jun 2008
A Womble holding a guitar

Coding 'cockwomble' answers exceptionally dull critics on El Reg forums

A couple of days ago, we alerted Reg readers to a provocative article attacking the UK Government's proposed ICT curriculum. The Daily Telegraph blogger Willard Foxton took a couple of swipes at crap ICT teachers and those"exceptionally dull weirdos', otherwise known as coders. Readers responded in droves on our El Reg Forums …
Drew Cullen, 27 Oct 2013
Cthulu springs from HP desktop printer

Boffins demo re-usable paper and waterjet printers

Most of what gets spat out of office printers is read once and consigned to the recycling, so why do prints have to be permanent? One answer to that question is that they don't – and a water-jet printing technology published in Nature Communications suggests a way to make printing vastly cheaper. The idea is that by treating …

Sony US launches 'free' recycling programme

Sony will next month allow US consumers to drop off unwanted Sony-branded electronics products for recycling. The service is free of charge, but many eco-conscious Americans will still have to drive big distances to drop-off sites. The Sony Take Back Recycling Program will kick off on 15 September, and will operate at 75 of …
Tony Smith, 17 Aug 2007

Europe's largest phone recycling centre to open in Wales

Europe, send your unwanted mobile phone to... Wales. Well, from November, anyway. In that month, the continent's largest cellphone recycling plant will open its doors for business by logistics specialist Excel. The company said the £15m plant will be capable of dissassembling and safely disposing of some 500,000 handsets a …
Tony Smith, 10 Sep 2007
The Register breaking news

Cash handed out for recycling cellphones

A Cheshire-based firm has paid out more than £250,000 to punters recycling their old mobile phones since the beginning of the year. Envirofone.com either pays cash or offers punters credit that can be used at Argos for handing in old handsets. The firm then reconditions the handsets, if necessary, before sending them overseas …
Tim Richardson, 28 May 2006
Artist's impression of the Inspiration Mars spacecraft

Space tourist Dennis Tito begs US to BANKROLL HIS manned Mars flyby

Multi-millionaire investment manager, and world's first space tourist, Dennis Tito has been testifying before the US Congress about his plans for a 501-day trip around Mars and back. He says he'll need government money to meet the planned schedule of a 2018 launch. On Wednesday, Tito published plans to send an older couple, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Nov 2013

UK to expand battery recycling scheme

UK recycling quango WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is to widen is battery collection programme. The scheme is still in a trial phase, but the expansion will see battery drop-off points placed in a number of high street shops and by post in partnership with the Royal Mail. Next month, 33 Argos, B&Q, Currys, Currys. …
Tony Smith, 27 Oct 2006
The Register breaking news

Phone-flingers flock to Finland for World Championships

No, they weren't Nokia employees – we think – but on Saturday Finns gathered to hurl mobile phones into some concrete. It was for fun: "Mobile Phone Throwing is light and modern Finnish sport," say the organisers of the World Phone Throwing championships in the Finnish town of Savonlinna. It is the twelfth year of the global …
Anna Leach, 20 Aug 2012
gavel_judgment_channel

£250k fine for dumping council workers' files in Tesco bins, er, binned

I have just read the information tribunal decision and the reasons why the panel quashed the UK Information Commissioner’s £250,000 fine against the Scottish Borders council. The local authority was punished after a worker dumped employees' private data in bins at a nearby Tesco and another unnamed supermarket. It seems clear …

One-time Evesham chief pops up as Centerprise marketing honcho

Centerprise International is becoming something of a retreat for the grandfathers of Blighty's once mighty PC building community. Richard Austin, founder at defunct Evesham Micros, has now pitched up as head of marketing. Only last month, Sam Kazerounian who set up local PC maker Compusys, landed at Basingstoke-based Centerprise …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2013
Electronic waste dump in China

Weekend project: Mulch your old PC to save the world

Willitblend.com, the quaint site that subjects all manner of kit to the tender embrace of a high-powered blender, might be on to something other than the amusement that comes from wanton destruction. We make that assertion on the basis of this paper, Toxic Heavy Metal Capture Using a Novel Electronic Waste-Based Material— …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2013

Dell US peddles recycling for Small.biz

Dell is launching a new online computer recycling program for small businesses looking to securely curb their unused electronics on the cheap. The program charges $25 per item for up to 10 pieces of computer hardware and promises to thoroughly wipe data in the process. Dell will remove tags and labels from equipment, overwrite …
Austin Modine, 20 Sep 2007
Recycle sign

Apple offers cash for old kit

Apple has begun paying punters for any of its old products they own but no longer want. The service, run on the Mac maker's behalf by German recycling operation Dataserv, allows you to post your kit free of charge to the company and, if the gadget is in good working order and, if it has one, an unbroken screen, you'll get a …
Tony Smith, 17 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Dutch unleash intelligent robot bins: No ID, no rubbish

The Netherlands is rolling out intelligent bins that demand ID before accepting rubbish, and let the truck know when they need to be emptied, pointing towards the day when we'll all have to pay for the stuff we throw away. Altogether 6,000 intelligent bins are being deployed across The Netherlands, and green think tank …
Bill Ray, 12 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

WiReD surgically removes damaged neurotrash 'expert'

Glossy lifestyle magazine WiReD will sever its relationship with pop neuroscience journalist and author Jonah Lehrer, the author of Imagine: How Creativity Works. In late July, Lehrer was cut loose by New Yorker after he manufactured Bob Dylan quotes and then fibbed about their provenance to grownups at the posh mag. Lehrer had …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Sep 2012

Poor Intel TV dies on vine, its fancy pop-up shops turned into cafes, cinemas

Intel will open three pop-up retail locations in US cities this holiday season, but they won't be the kind of stores that some Intel execs originally envisioned. That's because Chipzilla originally picked up the retail spaces in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles to host the rah-rah launch of its much-hyped but little-seen …
Neil McAllister, 22 Nov 2013
Angry woman on mobile

US mobile telcos: All right, ALL RIGHT, FCC! We'll redo phone unlock rules

The five largest US wireless carriers say they are all onboard with new policies designed to make it easier for customers to use their mobile devices on the network of their choice. "We are pleased to announce AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless agreed to adopt a voluntary set of six principles for …
Neil McAllister, 13 Dec 2013
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PC recycling to boom

With the number of installed PCs worldwide fast approaching 800m, IDC expects the PC recycling market to grow to meet disposal regulations. The research firm estimates there were 749m installed computers around the world in 2004. With the market showing no signs of slowing, and companies around the world routinely involved in …
Microsoft Surface tablets

Microsoft: That $900m Surface write-down is smarting

Microsoft will today kick-start commercial channel sales of the little loved Surface RT and Pro, as our sources predicted, but the move is being pushed through ten months later than it should have been. Redmond has already paid the price for its stubbornness: selling the device direct and latterly through a handful of retailers …
Paul Kunert, 15 Aug 2013

Highways Agency tracks Brits' every move by their mobes: THE TRUTH

The Highways Agency, tasked with looking after England's motorways, buys data on Brits' whereabouts from mobile phone networks. The information, harvested by tracking the location of everyone's handsets and anonymising it into blocks of statistics, is used to establish which roads are used the most and when - much to the …
Bill Ray, 25 Sep 2013

IBM turns plastic bottles into life-saving 'ninja' MRSA, fungus fighters

IBM nanomedicine researchers working with Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have come up with a method for recycling plastic bottles – specifically those made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – to defeat drug-resistant fungal infections as well as bacterial infections such as MRSA. "Our latest …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Dec 2013

ANCIENT CURSED RING known to TOLKIEN goes on display

A supposedly cursed gold ring that may have been the inspiration for the One Ring in JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth fantasies has gone on display at The Vyne house in Hampshire. Frodo and the One Ring Unusually complex disposal and recycling guidelines on this exhibit The National Trust and the Tolkien Society have put the Roman …
The Register breaking news

Wales to host new £1m CRT recycling plant

A new recycling plant in Wales is set to create 70 jobs by turning old computer waste into something useful. The £1m investment will enable the new Citiraya Recycling Technology plant to recycle old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TV screens and computer monitors. The 35,000 square feet plant is due to open in December and will be able …
Tim Richardson, 02 Nov 2004
Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5: So easy to fix, it's practically a DIY kit - except for ONE thing

The teardown team at iFixit has had a bad run of things lately, with Apple and Microsoft's shiny new fondleslabs earning very low ratings for reparability recently. But Google's new Nexus 5 has broken this trend, earning an eight out of ten rating for being easy to open and repair. Nexus 5 teardown The Nexus 5 in pieces The …
Iain Thomson, 05 Nov 2013

Debt hangs heavy on Stone: Yes we make PCs. For the public sector

Stone Computers would appear to be caught between a, er, rock and a hard place: it specialises in building PCs for the public sector, both areas of industry that have fallen on hard times of late. The general PC market has been in continual decline since the second half of 2010 and austerity measures brought in by the coalition …
Paul Kunert, 22 Oct 2013

TUPPERWARE FOUND ON MOON of Saturn

A NASA spacecraft sniffing the smoggy atmosphere of Titan has found traces of the chemical used to make plastic Tupperware boxes. The robotic Cassini probe has detected propylene on Saturn's moon - the first time this chemical has been found out in space. Titan is a thoroughly unpleasant world with a brownish atmosphere, liquid …
Jasper Hamill, 01 Oct 2013

Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Howls of protest sound across the globe as I write this. I’ve been hired to help with the managed migration of incomprehensible volumes of data from one multi-intercontinental, instant-access media library system to another. The protest isn’t a response to my hiring, understandable though that would be. No, my role is …
Alistair Dabbs, 09 May 2014
The Register breaking news

Mobe-slurping Wi-Fi SPY BINS banned from London's streets

Electronic BINS in the heart of London must stop tracking hundreds of thousands of passing smartphones, officials have demanded. A dozen or so high-tech rubbish cans - which display adverts and information on built-in flat-screens and are dotted around the capital's financial district's pavements - were set up to collect data …
Jasper Hamill, 12 Aug 2013

SMELT YOU LATER: Apple announces conflict-free status

Apple has announced that it is now at least partially conflict-mineral-free after confirming that its suppliers use only ethically sourced tantalum. This follows hot on the heels of Intel announcing that they've achieved the same feat. While it's not a perfect result, it is an advance in civilisation and doing the right thing. …
Tim Worstall, 18 Feb 2014
The northern end of the huge water-filled pit, showing the coal seams in the rock at Broken Cross Muir opencast coal mine

You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Among the more surprising things that the BBC revealed to us last week was that the UK was going to run out of coal within the next five years. Given that the island is pretty much built on a bed of coal, this is something of a puzzler. The northern end of the huge water-filled pit, showing the coal seams in the rock at Broken …
Tim Worstall, 22 May 2014

Dying to make greener batteries

A common and ancient plant dye could replace cobalt and help deliver greener lithium-ion batteries, according to a study out of America. Purpurin, an extract of the common Madder plant, turns out to have the right characteristics to use as a cathode, according to research led by The City College of New York (along with Rice …
graph up

eBay bids for PC recycling glory

eBay is to tackle "e-waste": obsolete PCs that poison the environment when dumped in landfills. At CES yesterday the online auction giant announced the Rethink Initiative, to promote re-use and recycling. The centrepiece is a website that helps consumers and businesses learn about product disposal options, such as recycling and …
Jan Libbenga, 06 Jan 2005
cloud

Sita flogs WEEE ops to Oz recycling giant

Waste management firm Sita has sold its computer recycling business, MIREC, to Sims Group. Terms were undisclosed. Through the purchase, Sims Group, a publicly quoted Australian materials recycler, extends its reach from the UK to mainland Europe, where Eindhoven-based Mirec has operations or partnerships in 11 countries. The …
Drew Cullen, 05 Oct 2004
The Register breaking news

Council IT bod in the dock for flogging scrap work PC parts

A council IT worker who flogged his employers' scrap kit on eBay for £10,000 has been ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work by a court. Ian Holwell, 52, grabbed PCs and laptops due to be disposed by Derbyshire County Council and stripped out their parts to sell online. But he was rumbled and sacked after a whistleblower alerted …
Anna Leach, 22 Feb 2013