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Sprint Moves To Eliminate 'Blood Minerals' From Cell Phones

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-make-us-think-about-these-things dept.

Cellphones 74

Velcroman1 writes "So-called 'blood diamonds' or conflict diamonds are the well-publicized face of the decades-long human rights challenge in Africa. But the mining and sale of a lesser-known but more widely used group of natural resources known as 'blood minerals' has also fueled civil wars in Congo and Uganda — and they're in the latest smartphones. Congress sought to address the issue through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which included a requirement for companies to disclose conflict minerals. In 2011 the SEC opened a public debate about this disclosure — but Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington is critical of the process. 'They are afraid of being sued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the World Gold Council,' McDermott said. Ahead of the SEC ruling, Sprint has made baby steps to come to terms with the controversy, joining the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), and said it is working to make device manufacturers aware of the issue. But are they doing enough?"

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Hmm? (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260651)

How much iron is really in a cell phone? Oh wait...

Something for the drug kingpins to do... (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260685)

At least it is something for the drug kingpins to do if we finally legalize pot...

Saying "I am not going to buy this very valuable thing from you because you are bad" just gives others the opportunity to make a bit of scratch moving it around.

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260817)

Or might give someone else the opportunity to sell it for a little more making it in a better way.

What you advocate is that using slave labor is fine and no one should ever try to "vote with their dollars".

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260911)

This is like voting for oil with your dollars. We will not buy from X, but China will. Or Bob the Arms dealer will and then sell it to us from Panama. The rare earth elements are valuable because they are hard to find and in high demand. And unlike oil, you can put a lot of value in a small suitcase, and move it easily.

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260875)

At least it is something for the drug kingpins to do if we finally legalize pot... Saying "I am not going to buy this very valuable thing from you because you are bad" just gives others the opportunity to make a bit of scratch moving it around.

Except that this 'very valuable thing' is only valuable to a very small number of manufacturing companies, and they can design around it. If it's designed around, its not like there's a big underground chip fab using black-market materials...

Unlike drugs, which has a very large, mostly anonymous user base, and they're willing to pay for it.

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40264357)

They can't simply "design around" those minerals. Well, unless you are ok with heavier, less powerfull devices.

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (2)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260957)

Perhaps you could elaborate: if the phone manufacturers don't make phones with blood minerals, how will you buy them from someone else?

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (3, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261065)

Perhaps you could elaborate: if the phone manufacturers don't make phones with blood minerals, how will you buy them from someone else?

They are not eliminating unobtanium. They are eliminating unobtanium from Pandora. So, Bob the arms dealer on Romulous sells some arms for unobtanum, and then sells it to Sprint on DS9 through Quark.

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40263261)

Thanks for the star-trek analogy.

Re:Something for the drug kingpins to do... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265131)

Come on... Avatar was in there too! :)

I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260721)

Well I'll be switching to sprint just for the effort. For a while now I have been purchasing ethically traded products and really trying to decrease my dependence upon slave made and harvested products. (it costs a bit but if we vote with our dollars some change may occur). I also think it is better for the economy (Global and local). Because more money goes to the workers, thus more money moves around.

I may be an idiot or a sucker but at the very least I feel better about myself!

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260747)

Sure... I think you just want unlimited data.

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261075)

The data miners at Sprint are free-trade.

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40263291)

Sure... I think you just want unlimited data.

Eh, I have Sprint, and unlimited data is nice ... but in my area, the speeds are so pathetic that it's basically like trying to empty an oil drum through a coffee stir. I could probably do it over the course of a month, but it'd take a lot of effort.

--Jeremy

Marketing Wins Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260829)

Ahead of the SEC ruling, Sprint has made baby steps to come to terms with the controversy, joining the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), and said it is working to make device manufacturers aware of the issue.

So they put their name in a few lists and send a few memos to look good.

Well I'll be switching to sprint just for the effort.

And marketing claims another victim.

Re:Marketing Wins Again (1)

sarysa (1089739) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265179)

Sprint's...weird. Even from their inception as a competitor of Ma Bell, they've been trying weird things, or swimming against the current in some way. Lately it's been sending their stock price toward the pink sheets, but I've admired them for this for awhile -- and I even switched over about two years ago. I don't know if they're trying to be a force of good in an evil marketplace, but they managed to at least be a lesser evil. Blue and red really need some competition anyway...

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (2)

gatfirls (1315141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260847)

Me too, I don't like to think the slave labor assembling my phone is using anything less than the morally best!

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261243)

really trying to decrease my dependence upon slave made and harvested products.

. . . I've stopped using anything from projects that I have worked on . . .

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#40264093)

You know, that really does explain the open source movement...

I'll be selling my Sprint stock, due to the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261489)

Well I never knew Sprint was run by a bunch of liberal, commie, do-gooders who don't have the first clue how to run a business. I want every company in my portfolio to know how to exploit people to their fullest--not to have a "conscience."

DAMN RIGHT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40262477)

DAMN right! Killing people for profit? Fine with me, as long as it enriches my portfolio. Don't these Godless commies know that the love of money is the root of all virtue?

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261759)

So, because a bunch of Spear-chuckers cannot fight their inbred nature to kill each other I have to feel bad about whats in my phone? Try again.

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40262089)

I wish it mattered.

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40262153)

Good starting point Sprint. Although I see that people are switching to you just because you are making an effort, I cannot do that. The point is that I need a cellphone service that will work across my 270 mile state. Or else my company stock will also stoop to $2.00.

Re:I'll be switching to sprint, due to the effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40265899)

Sprint roams on Verizon, so you pretty much get coverage anywhere Sprint or Verizon have towers, which equates to pretty much anywhere. I came from T-Mobile to Sprint and was used to getting no service in a couple different areas of California, but now in those same areas I either have Sprint service or hit the Verizon network.

_Spirit_ Moves To Eliminate 'Blood Minerals' From (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260777)

Maybe it's time for glasses

There are much better ways to resolve conflicts... (4, Insightful)

nroets (1463881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260787)

Trying to track down where in Africa minerals are mined will require massive spending on auditors and lawyers. Bribery and corruption is rife. A much more effective approach is to support refugees, wherever they may end up. Furthermore, population growth and AIDS are larger problems than the African civil wars. Rwanda's population is already larger that what is was before the genocide there.

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260855)

You see, the main problem I see here, is that the FBI could help! But they only work offshore if it's related to software piracy.

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260939)

If I had points, I would mod you up. I would just have a hard time choosing between Funny and Insightful.

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (3, Interesting)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261023)

Yeah, forget the protection of workers. Let's just compensate them. "Sorry you lost your home and your hand got cut off for not mining enough. But here's a tent!"

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261059)

Furthermore, population growth and AIDS are larger problems than the African civil wars. Rwanda's population is already larger that what is was before the genocide there.

Population growth and AIDS are partly due to the civil wars. If an area's unsafe, volunteer educators and doctors are far more rare, so STDs spread rampantly. With uncertainty about the future and high rates of child mortality, people reproduce as much as they can, trying to ensure that their family/tribe/group will endure, and even grow large enough to eventually win whatever the current conflict is. These civil wars have grown from centuries of tribal conflict, so the battle plans are laid out on a scale of generations, with parents expecting that their children will some day fight for their tribe in glorious battle, if only those damned Westerners would get out of their way and stop saving whoever's losing the war this decade...

Supporting peaceful endeavors (including "mining companies that won't kill each other") and education is the best way I know of to solve all three problems. With education comes a better economy, sanitation, a more stable future, lower birth rate, which finally leads to better education.

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40262459)

We should give them a good US education! They can score really high on a tests, have absolutely no working knowledge, and be hooked on Facebook! Hell, that may solve the problem with population as well. Who has time to make friends or babies when you have the interweb thing in your face all day!

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261097)

Trying to track down where in Africa minerals are mined will require massive spending on auditors and lawyers. Bribery and corruption is rife. A much more effective approach is to support refugees, wherever they may end up. Furthermore, population growth and AIDS are larger problems than the African civil wars. Rwanda's population is already larger that what is was before the genocide there.

Not really.

There are three minerals involved - tungsten, tantalum and tin. The electronics groups have gotten together to work on the first mineral, tantalum and have done it at the smelter scale. There are 45 smelters worldwide that process coltan into tantalum, and from there it's a lot easier.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/materials/cracking-down-on-conflict-minerals [ieee.org]

The other two are next challenges (Tin is used for displays and touchscreens, tungsten in motors. Hrm... old style lightbulbs - conflict lightbulbs?)

http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/materials/cracking-down-on-conflict-minerals [ieee.org]

I'm Not So Sure... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261865)

Not really.

There are three minerals involved - tungsten, tantalum and tin. The electronics groups have gotten together to work on the first mineral, tantalum and have done it at the smelter scale. There are 45 smelters worldwide that process coltan into tantalum, and from there it's a lot easier.

I'm not challenging your statement because I'm ignorant on the question.

But really, when a ship, truck or train car arrive in the middle of the night, and cash passes hands - commerce in Africa is even more sketchy than China... There is every possibility that the actual source of raw materials is obfuscated to protect all the slimy business dealings...

Unless there are laboratory alalysis being done on the raw ore by independent watchers that can verify the chain of custody of the ore, in my ignorant opinion, all bets are off...

Re:I'm Not So Sure... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40262839)

Unless the ore has some unique property that narrowly separates different origins (like isotope percentages), laboratory analysis may not fully identify the origin of the ore. Even then it may give a general, imprecise origin like "Central Africa" Some of these conflict minerals come from countries where the neighboring country is conflict-free and may have the same signature. In an ideal situation where laboratory analysis may distinguish the material, the origin can be partially obscured by mixing it with conflict-free ores.

Then there is problem of recycled material which comes from a variety of sources. Unless the recycler goes through the laborious process of tracking down each and every single original manufacturer, they can never know. For example, gold is heavily recycled and one of the conflict minerals. So a recycler gets all his gold from smelted jewelery. Can he know that all the jewelery came from reputable sources? No. He can't know unless he goes through the tedious process of tracking down the origin of every ring, bracelet, etc. Even with the price of gold, there's no way the recycler could afford to do that. Tracking down his suppliers won't be enough as if he bought it from, say, pawnshops, someone still has to figure out the origin.

Re:There are much better ways to resolve conflicts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261825)

I think the purpose is virtuous but I agree that the means is flawed. One particular error in reasoning is the arbitrary categorization of what is or is not 'blood' resources. Where is the line drawn between goods that are used to fuel bad things and not? Who gets to make that distinction? The natural resources in even the most peaceful areas of the world are controlled by governments who use them to further their own ends, dominating people and holding them back in a plethora of ways. Is outright war the only time when it is not permissible? Why? What categorical distinction is there between slaughter and say theft(which reduces standard of living and has the effect of decreased lifespan)? Can some rulers decide when and where such a difference in severity is ok and when it is not?

To act correctly, one necessary(if not sufficient) requirement is that one must act with consistency. The violation of this basic prerequisite is found throughout the bill mentioned in the article(the amendment to the dodd-frank bill for conflict minerals). It attempts to achieve a stated(read: ostentatious) goal of discouraging and removing ability of people to do violence to others in the specific realm of war while using means(violence against peaceful people) that contradict that very goal.

I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260865)

Rather than use poor substitutes for 'conflict' minerals, let's man up and end these stupid conflicts. Oh wait, we can't. Western lefties will cry 'imperialism'. China and Russia will veto everything. Let the dictators and warlords be you evil capitalist exploiters.

Whatever. I'll buy whatever performance I need and the best price available. The blood 'whatever' controversy is a self-inflicted political problem. The people that gin up the controversy are the same people that won't tolerate solving the actual problem.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40260951)

Rather than use poor substitutes for 'conflict' minerals, let's man up and end these stupid conflicts.

Yeah, let's put the US on the hook for yet another open-ended war. That's worked so well.

  I'll buy whatever performance I need and the best price available.

That's your right...but no need to act so smug about it.

The blood 'whatever' controversy is a self-inflicted political problem. The people that gin up the controversy are the same people that won't tolerate solving the actual problem.

How, pray tell, do you solve this problem? Don't say war: it just doesn't work. (See the manhunt for Kony if you doubt this). Could it be that the problem of poor leadership and exploitation in Africa is a complicated problem than can't be immediately solved by guns?

Re:I have a better idea (4, Insightful)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261095)

Could it be that the problem of poor leadership and exploitation in Africa is a complicated problem than can't be immediately solved by guns?

Western nations, as well as now Eastern nations (read China and Taiwan) can stay the hell out of Africa. Corruption won't occur if no one is providing the dollars, yuan, euros or any other currency with which to bribe and buy influence. We can stop looking toward the third world to provide for our standard of living, and if smart phones and other electronic devices can't be made without slave labor or exploiting workers in a developing nation to keep the price down, then perhaps it's a luxury we can do without. The same goes for oil in the Niger river delta.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261341)

So your simple solution is to shift to a world without corruption, which will eliminate corruption. While it is true that this would work, hopefully you can spot the circular logic.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261611)

So your simple solution is to shift to a world without corruption, which will eliminate corruption. While it is true that this would work, hopefully you can spot the circular logic.

Sorry, but the Strawman response office is closed on Friday's.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261839)

I believe his point was that we need to give up this "White Man's Burden" garbage and think it's our job to "save" Africans from themselves. It hurts more than it helps. It makes them dependent on outside assistance to the point that they can't or won't do things for themselves, and a lot of the money and aid just fuel corrupt regimes and tribal warfare anyway. Either way, it's not really making things any better, and it arguably makes them much worse.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261679)

That won't solve corruption at all, it'd just be the dream of xenophobes to make things more backward. What forgeiners were involved in the rife embezzlement of government money and abuse of power in positions? This is not a Garden of Eden situation.

Re:I have a better idea (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261439)

Have the US join the ICJ, try the warlords in absentia, then drop a hellfire on their heads. Those guys aren't in it for the afterlife, so the supply of warlords should dry up quickly.

Re:I have a better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40262543)

Give the warlords US citizenship, then Obama can use drones to wipe them out.

i think (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260937)

(too much?)
that's something that should be discussed at government level, as i see it, ,no one gives a shit about the whole continent after it got dug out, only the chinese seem interested in at least putting up some sweat shops in the sand where the others just send food and weapons for the warlords now who's the hippie and who's right here ?

Which side are we on? (1)

clovis (4684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260975)

How do we know which side to be on when something is labeled a "conflict mineral"?. I ask because when you stop to consider the historical context of uprisings, the governments and corporations are not always the good guys.
Would minerals (or oil) sold to support the recent Libya uprising be considered "conflict minerals" if they didn't support Khaddifi?
Or is the criterion solely "if it wasn't mined by a corporation, it must be bad"?

For example, look at the "blood diamond" issue.
Which is more ethical? Buying diamonds mined by individuals working their own land, or buying diamonds mined by De Beers?

I really do wonder if we should call BS on the whole "conflict minerals" thing. I suspect the issue exists solely for corporate profits, and it started because diamond prices were getting undercut by sales outside of the diamond cartel. There's a reason why De Beers was banned from the United States for so many decades. You gotta be pretty bad if your corporation is too evil for the USA.

Re:Which side are we on? (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261079)

You gotta be pretty bad if your corporation is too evil for the USA.

then why is oracle still here?

Re:Which side are we on? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261089)

You gotta be pretty bad if your corporation is too evil for the USA.

That is one heck of a statement right there. And sig length too...

Sooo.... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40260997)

They're going to stop buying phones made in China? Wait China is okay right...

better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261123)

how about we eliminate sprint from cellphones?

An artificial problem (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261129)

Blood diamonds are diamonds that have been mined. And up until science came up with a way to create synthetic and flawless diamonds, they were a rare and valuable natural resource. But like I said, until then. What happened after was laws were passed banning the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry, and by 'happy' coincidence, their use in industrial process as well. Thus the distributors of diamonds in this (and other) countries could continue to command large sums of money for a rare and natural resource -- even though we now had a common and abundantly available supply via industrial process.

And so, because of the decisions of those individuals, corporations, etc., with the kind help of the majority of Congress and the authorization of the President, we helped make it possible for the exploitation of millions. We assisted in the enslavement of human beings, by trading our dollars for the fruit of those unnecessary labors. And we have allowed this to go on for as long as it has, because as long as we don't have to stare into their faces with a recognition of what they've done -- that our dollars do it for us, we can remain in ignorant or apathetic bliss.

Re:An artificial problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261441)

What happened after was laws were passed banning the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry, and by 'happy' coincidence, their use in industrial process as well.
 
I've never heard of this. Can you cite or give a proper name to the legislation?

Re:An artificial problem (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40262175)

I've never heard of this. Can you cite or give a proper name to the legislation?

The law was limited to certain jewelry manufacturers inducing the government to force anyone selling a diamond to disclose its manufacturing process; Specifically, whether it was created in a laboratory, or pulled out of the ground. So it was basically a labelling law (administrative), not a ban on the sale of them. But it was the catalyst for the current market -- The rest of the industry used the legislation to discredit synthetic diamonds with marketing propaganda. There are laboratories that sell a few carot diamonds, even pre-cut, at dramatically lower prices directly off their website -- but finding a jeweler to set it for you, and then later reselling it (if desired), is -- shall we say -- a difficult thing to achieve. Now, there's no citation or scientific paper I can point you to, but if you Google it yourself, you'll quickly conclude it's much more time consuming and difficult to get a lab-grown diamond set on a ring on your finger than to just order one online that was dug up using forced labor and slavery.

If the government hadn't stepped in and forced a delineation between the two products, the bottom would have fallen out of the market once new competitors entered and reduced the difference to something akin to a "Pepsi" challenge. And really, as much as you might like the taste of [favorite drink], they can't charge you twice, let alone fifty, times more, before the market shifts as people decide "almost the same" is a better purchasing choice.

Re:An artificial problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40262359)

What happened after was laws were passed banning the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry, and by 'happy' coincidence, their use in industrial process as well.

I've never heard of this. Can you cite or give a proper name to the legislation?

The law was limited to certain jewelry manufacturers inducing the government to force anyone selling a diamond to disclose its manufacturing process; Specifically, whether it was created in a laboratory, or pulled out of the ground. So it was basically a labelling law (administrative), not a ban on the sale of them.

In other words, you're a liar.

Re:An artificial problem (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265077)

So, in other words, you lied when you said "laws were passed banning the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry" and lied again when you said "by 'happy' coincidence, their use in industrial process [was banned] as well".

Just clarifying that your original post was pretty much a complete fabrication, and that you're a goddamned liar just trying to spread misinformation.

Re:An artificial problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261485)

Blood diamonds are diamonds that have been mined. And up until science came up with a way to create synthetic and flawless diamonds, they were a rare and valuable natural resource. But like I said, until then. What happened after was laws were passed banning the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry, and by 'happy' coincidence, their use in industrial process as well.

[citation needed]

See, I work at a plant that uses synthetic diamond grinding wheels, which you claim are outlawed, so I say you're full of it.

Not rare, deBeers is hording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261529)

Diamonds are not rare, DeBeers is hoarding them in warehouses to make them seem rare. Diamonds are a scam, I got my wife a cubic zirconium for this very reason. Those Bastards at DeBeers are doing terrible things to a nation.

Re:Not rare, deBeers is hording (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261985)

Does you wife know you got her cubic zirconium?

Re:Not rare, deBeers is hording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40266343)

Zirconium has a hexagonal-close-packed structure, not cubic, and with an opaque, grey, shiny appearance like most metals, it's a very poor gemstone substitute. Perhaps he meant zirconia?

And cubic zirconia is a very beautiful gemstone, with more fire than diamond, and incapable of combusting in oxygen. One hopes GP, feeling as he does about DeBeers, didn't marry the sort of shallow person who appreciates a gem only because it's expensive, so why wouldn't she know her ring is made of something prettier than diamond, and not liable to burn in a candle flame?

I'll be happier... (2)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261137)

... when Sprint stops taking my blood once every month.

Asteroid Retrieval (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261365)

let's just mine these damn things so we don't have to screw with third world countries, though kind of difficult to do right now (like everything else). If we do want to help Africans, help rebuild their water systems.

Why is this covered in a bank regulation law? (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261505)

Congress sought to address the issue through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which included a requirement for companies to disclose conflict minerals.

Well, right there is part of the problem. If this is something that should be dealt with in U.S. law (I can understand why it is, but I can imagine that there might be a good argument as to why it shouldn't be...and am not interested in arguing that point from either side), it should be in a law all by itself, not as an afterthought tagged on to a banking regulation bill.

Re:Why is this covered in a bank regulation law? (1)

judoguy (534886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40261937)

And to further add insult to injury, I believe one of the real intentions of Dodd-Frank is the confiscation of American bullion.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2011/06/bastards-want-to-track-our-gold.html [economicpo...ournal.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102 [wikipedia.org]

Perfidy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40261703)

My God man, Sprint was extracting its minerals from BLOOD?!? The inhuman beasts!
However, that does explain the recent drop in the homeless population in the Overland Park area.

Re:Perfidy! (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 2 years ago | (#40262569)

Well, at least local business was getting use from them. Here I was just thinking the homeless were simply being exported to the 'dotte.

And what mineral are not blood minerals? (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#40262469)

That would be a shorter list. How about the coal mines in China where criminals and political prisoners are sent to die? How about the infamous Norilsk nickle mine in Russia?

And what about oil? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40263023)

Shouldn't we do something about the oil we import from countries that abuse their citizen's rights [slashdot.org] ?

Re:And what about oil? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40266195)

you're funny, the USA leads in the body count for kills and maiming for the petro-dollar cartel. all U.S. resources are blood resources

Simple Solution (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40264033)

There's a simple solution to US companies buying these minerals (and oil as well) from "conflict" regions and from those who are declared enemies of the US.

Mine/drill for it here in the US. The US has plenty of oil and the minerals being discussed to supply us for centuries even accounting for best growth estimates. The information is out there, do a Google search.

We've allowed the government to tie our own hands behind our backs with regulations and laws which make it extremely costly & difficult, if not impossible, to do. I guess the people who advocate for such policies & regulations are fine with getting all the benefits of electronics technology, as long as they can export the negatives to poor regions.

It's NIMBY-ism on a global scale and it's adding significantly to the domestic economic and global political mess the US is in.

Strat

hrm (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40264339)

thats mighty un-capitalistic of you

Tantalum is named after Tantalus (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40265841)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalus [wikipedia.org]

Tantalus (Greek , Tántalos) was a Greek mythological figure, most famous for his eternal punishment in Tartarus: to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink.

So if you are going to have a conflict mineral, whose mines are rooted in human suffering, it might as well be the mineral source for the chemical element named after someone damned to an eternity of torment.

Sick coincidence.

which fscking Congress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40266839)

The Congress of Lituania?

Err why is sprint doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40267791)

Shouldn't sprint keep their own house in order first before going to someone elses land trying to fix it?

Of course taking responsibility of the whole supply chain your operations are utilizing is a good thing, but they should consider if they can find any problems closer to home. Not just trying to push others to do things, but actually take the responsibility and do it yourself.

Or are they actually claiming there is no problems in their own operation, but all the problems are somewhere else?

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