Imagine thousands upon thousands of cell phones, TVs, laptops, and other electronic equipment all sitting in a pile of trash in a small, poor country in Asia or Africa, polluting the air and creating an enormous environmental hazard to the residents. This kind of a situation is increasingly common. It’s a major problem in the country in question, and it’s a major problem here in the U.S., too, as giant electronics manufacturers look to recycle their no-longer needed products used by an ever-upgrading American public.
Do you know anyone who still has the same cell phone they did two years ago? Me neither.
According to a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded report, roughly 4.8 billion pounds of e-waste were generated in the United States in 2011, and all of that has to go somewhere. Read more
Almost half of manufacturing workers claim they are unhappy with their jobs, but most admit that they believe finding a new position is more of a challenge than it was a year ago, according to a new Monster Worldwide Inc. survey.
Gesture-recognition technology was introduced to mass consciousness more than a decade ago via the Tom Cruise film Minority Report. Now no longer science fiction, it allows a computer to recognize and respond to commands from a user’s face or hands without touching anything. But does gesture-recognition technology fit in an actual, live manufacturing operation today? Read more
To date, many wearable technology applications have focused on everyday, recreational activities. Golfsense’s glove-based sensor works to improve a player’s swing. Frog Design’s subway navigation bracelet alerts travelers to subway train times. Instabeat’s goggle-mounted sensor allows swimmers to monitor heartbeat and calorie burn in the pool. Read more
Many parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have already gone into effect, while others continue to roll out. Congress continues to struggle in vain to repeal some or all of the ACA. As the federal health care reform moves ahead with implementation, businesses are showing increasing concerns about the costs and administrative burdens of the new requirements. Read more
Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao present an inspirational new method to break down plastic waste. Their targeted contaminants are phthalates, classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a top priority pollutant. Every year at least 470 million pounds of phthalates contaminate our air, soil, and water.
Phthalates are used in plastic because they increase flexibility, durability, and transparency. When acting as a hormone disruptor phthalates can cause cancer and birth defects.
Phthalates are part of the plastic but not covalently bonded to the plastic’s chemical backbone and can escape into the environment. Baby toys, beverage containers, cosmetics and food wraps all contain phthalates. The contamination can be absorbed by skin contact, ingested and inhaled. Read more
In The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations, and Business, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs offer their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected — a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness. Read more