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The Darker Side of Computer Recycling

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the you've-got-poison dept.

Hardware 314

Makarand writes "We all know that with electronics it is very difficult to be green. We leave our computer waste in the recyle bin lest dangerous chemicals like lead and mercury seep into our landfills. The more dedicated environmentalists make a trip to the local recyling center where they may be asked around to pay around $15-$30 to recycle their old PCs. But guess what -- these 'recyclers' merely ship 50-80% of this stuff overseas. The Mercury News has a report on this ugly side of the PC industry which merely exports the recycling problems instead of solving them."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746527)

FP! Oh, and haven't we seen this before?

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746534)

first wasteful post!

Naughty Taco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746539)

Cmdr. Taco gathered me as though I was a child and placed me on his lap. "Shhh," Cmdr. Taco whispered in my ear. His warm breath caused my skin to gooseflesh while Cmdr. Taco slowly rocked me. When my tears were finished, Cmdr. Taco asked, "All better, little one?" I nodded feeling emotionally spent. His lips nuzzled the hollow where his breath had teased. Lightly nipping and licking Cmdr. Taco whispered, "Shall we continue?" Without waiting for me to answer, Cmdr. Taco stood me up holding my forearms when I stumbled shakily. "Take off all of your clothes," Cmdr. Taco slowly inspected me from my swollen lips to torn blouse to thigh highs peeking from under my skirt. "You may leave the stockings on. They remind me of the whore that hid inside you before I made you my own--my sweet, little whore, all mine. So alone out here, with no one to worry about you being gone." Cmdr. Taco nodded his approval when I had the last of my clothes off. I blushed as his eyes touched over every curve and valley of my exposed body. I moved to cover myself, but Cmdr. Taco stopped me. "No! It is mine to look at, mine to use." His fingers ran lightly over my skin. Brushing the underside of my breasts first, then Cmdr. Taco cupped both in his hands. The pads of his thumbs circled my nipples until they hardened even more. A smile curved his lips, finally his right hand lowered and cupped my sex. His middle finger slid easily within my silken folds. "I think someone is enjoying our little game." His finger probed deeper. "Tell me how much you like it."

My tongue felt thick and useless. I could barely breath--thinking was beyond question. I rocked my hips up and back straddling his hand wantonly. I felt my juices seeping running down between his fingers and onto my quivering legs. I opened my mouth and tried to speak but no sound would come forth. My jaw moved woodenly. I nodded my head from side to side trying to explain.

"You dare to disobey me?" Cmdr. Taco asked in disbelief. Cmdr. Taco piled my clothes in my hands.

I was afraid that Cmdr. Taco would send me away for disappointing him. I pleaded with him with my eyes. I finally worked until, "Please" came out.

"Please, what whore?" Cmdr. Taco asked.

"Please, don't make me go." I whispered looking down unable to meet his eyes.

He looked startled for a moment and then laughed. "Let you go? Letting you leave here was the last thing on my mind. I wonder if you would beg to stay knowing what I plan on doing with you--to you?" His voice turned harsh. "Throw your clothes in the fire." I started to question then did as Cmdr. Taco asked. I watched as my clothes kindled and disappeared into ashes. "Do you realize what you have done?" Cmdr. Taco asked. I shook my head no. "The only way you can leave now is as you are." Cmdr. Taco looked up and down my naked body. "I think the town would be shocked to see you walk through town in the buff. Don't you agree? Our perfect little girl naked and wandering the streets, maybe I'll make you do that later. What would they think? Would they see you then as I do? A needy whore begging to be taken--to be possessed fully and completely. Reach down and tell me what you feel." Cmdr. Taco commanded.

I reached down quickly to obey. I needed to fill the need throbbing between my thighs. My palm slid through my sticky tight curls as my fingers brushed my clit than slid into my wetness. Riding the sensations, I watched his face. This man I didn't know, yet the man who knew everything about me.

"What do you feel?" Cmdr. Taco prompted me as though I was a child.

My hips moved of their own volition as I crammed my fingers in and out of my wetness. "I feel wet." I answered.

"What feels wet, my sweet?" Cmdr. Taco questioned.

"My pussy." I answered.

"All of it," Cmdr. Taco said watching my fingers disappear then reappear.

"My pussy feels so wet." I moaned.

"Why is your pussy so wet?" Cmdr. Taco asked pulling me towards him and pulling my fingers from my cunt.

I struggled for an answer. "I'm wet, because I like this."

He brought my fingers to his mouth and slowly sucked them one by one into his mouth thoroughly cleaning each one. His mouth opened and sucked the puddle of wetness in my palm. Cmdr. Taco reached up and pulled me towards him by my nipples. "Here now I taste like you. Taste yourself." My tongue met his, and Cmdr. Taco moved my fingers between our mouths. Our tongues traced my fingers and met in their seams licking each other. The changing textures, the smell of my pussy between us caused me to gush more. Cmdr. Taco moved my feet apart with his foot. Somehow seeing his shoes still on and taking in his fully clothed body made me feel even more naked. Cmdr. Taco ran his hands along the inside of my thighs, and I shivered my pleasure at his touch. I wanted him inside. I wanted him to touch my core. I needed to explode to release the pleasure Cmdr. Taco was building within me. His hands quickly became coated with my stickiness. Cmdr. Taco moved his hands over me, but never where I craved it most. "What makes you this wet?" Cmdr. Taco asked again.

"You do." I answered.

"Do you think flattery will get me to touch your clit, little one?" Cmdr. Taco chuckled.

"Please," I begged.

"Mmmmm, I do have a soft spot for begging, and you begged so prettily earlier." Cmdr. Taco pondered as if considering my request. My hips pressed forward seeking his touch. I had never been this wet before. I was steadily dripping now. My nipples ached; my pussy literally throbbed with need. "You, young lady are making a mess on my carpet."

"I'm sorry," I stammered.

"I think you shall have to be punished for making such a mess with that slutty little pussy of yours. What do you think?" Cmdr. Taco questioned.

"I'm sorry." I repeated. "I can't help it. I need it so much."

"Why do you think it is that you need it so much?" Cmdr. Taco pressed on.

"Because, I like it... because, I'm a dirty slut. I like the way you make me feel. Please touch me there." I begged.

"You are a bad girl. First making a mess on my good carpet, and then begging for me to touch you in such naughty places. You must be taught a lesson I'm afraid. Bend over my lap." Cmdr. Taco commanded.

I quickly hurried hoping Cmdr. Taco would make the throbbing need end. My breasts lay in front of his knee and my legs hung suspended in the air not quite touching the ground. His knees spread, and I felt helpless. His hand reached between my thighs and cupped my sex. I moaned my intense pleasure. "What do you want?" Cmdr. Taco asked.

"Please, please touch me." I implored.

"Touch you where? Cmdr. Taco asked.

"Touch my pussy, please." I begged biting my lip to keep from steadily begging and pleading for the touch I needed so badly.

"Good girl, you are learning. Tell me exactly what you want."

"I want your fingers inside me. I want you to rub my clit."

His hand rubbed over my dripping pussy then moved back to my ass smearing my juices over me. His hand dipped back down and coated once more. Cmdr. Taco rubbed my juices back and forth until my wetness covered me thoroughly. His finger finally sought my clit, and I all but screamed my joy. Cmdr. Taco laughed aloud at my eagerness. Cmdr. Taco circled my now distended clit then rubbed it roughly. His other hand rubbed soft circles on my backside, and then without warning smacked down sharply. I jerked crying out at the unexpected pain. His fingers circled my clit once more. His fingers plucked and twisted my clit as though it was a nipple. Then his wet hand came down once more. Cmdr. Taco slapped my bottom relentlessly. My flesh stung and burned. The wetness made the slaps ring out in the room. I whimpered torn between the peaking pleasure between my legs and the sting of my backside. I felt the walls of my pussy begin to tighten. "That's it my little slut," Cmdr. Taco urged on. "I know you would come like this." His fingers plunged in and out of my pussy as his other hand rained down on reddened behind. "Does it hurt, little one?"

"Yes," I whimpered.

"Do you want me to stop, little one?"

"No." I shook my head.

"Do you know what that means?" Cmdr. Taco asked never slowing his two hands--one sliding in and out, the other slapping up and down faster and faster.

Tears built in my eyes. "I like to be hurt." The blows became harder still my body moved up and back, my breasts swaying and slapping against his leg as Cmdr. Taco rammed roughly in and out of my body.

"Who's slut are you?" Cmdr. Taco asked.

"I'm your slut." I answered.

"What kind of slut are you?" Cmdr. Taco pushed on continuing his twin assault.

"I'm your little pain slut," I cried out as I came gushing even more.

"That's it baby, come hard for me," Cmdr. Taco coaxed running his fingers slowly now in and out coaxing me to come even more. As I lay quivering over his legs, Cmdr. Taco rubbed my bottom praising me. My pussy clenched and released convulsively. "You are so beautiful. You respond so fully." Cmdr. Taco lifted and turned me on his lap facing him. Cmdr. Taco slid his cock into me and held it there filling me. I felt so complete. I tightened around him stroking him without moving. Cmdr. Taco cupped my bottom in his hands and rocked me up and back running his cock in and out of me. Cmdr. Taco would completely fill me, and then withdraw leaving me feeling empty then filling me once more. We rocked slowly together. His mouth covered my neck then my jaw biting lightly. We kissed slowly the contrast from the earlier pell mell rush making it seem even more languid. Minutes stretched by, contended I laid my head on his chest as Cmdr. Taco unhurriedly fucked me. I felt myself building once more, and Cmdr. Taco felt it too. Cmdr. Taco pulled me tighter bouncing me up and down on his cock. Cmdr. Taco turned me and pushed my shoulders to the floor following me to the rug. His hand road the small of my back as my elbows rested on the carpet, and my ass turned up into the air. Cmdr. Taco hesitated a moment looking at my upturned ass before plunging into my pussy. "I'll save your ass for later." Cmdr. Taco promised. The thought of having his cock, any cock in my virgin ass sent me over the edge, and I came. Cmdr. Taco never slowed his pace, but continued to pound relentlessly into my gaping pussy. As I struggled to breath, Cmdr. Taco fucked me without restraint. His cock slammed into me; his balls slapped out a rhythm. Cmdr. Taco no longer spoke, but moaned and groaned his enjoyment. My elbows slipped beneath me, and my face lay pressed onto the rug. My nipples drug up and back on the carpet. The teasing pleasure quickly became pain as my sensitive nipples rubbed faster back and forth. My nipples burnt and stung. My elbows were rug burnt halfway to my forearm. When Cmdr. Taco came, I felt the hot wet splash of his come inside me, and it set off another wave of pleasure. Cmdr. Taco drew out and rubbed the sticky remains of his come on my asshole. "Later." Cmdr. Taco promised watching the gobs of come run along the crack of my ass. I lay gasping on the rug feeling thoroughly used. Cmdr. Taco ran his finger along the crack of my ass. "You are just so tempting, little one. Your mouth was so eager; your pussy was so wet, so hot, and now that sweet little ass of your is calling to me. Do you want to be my three hole girl?"

He sat on the floor and leaned back on the sofa. "Come here, little one." Cmdr. Taco beckoned. I turned and crawled towards him. "Take off my shoes." Cmdr. Taco ordered. I turned my ass towards him once more and untied his shoes and pulled them from his feet. His socks followed. I felt his hand on my ass and tensed as his finger slid down my crack and circled my asshole. I clenched without meaning to, and Cmdr. Taco sighed. Cmdr. Taco lifted and slid his pants and underwear down and off. Cmdr. Taco pulled me back towards his lap by the hair. I lay curled between his legs, my head resting on his thigh while Cmdr. Taco slowly stroked my hair. My face was inches from his cock, and I watched fascinated as his cock twitched and more come slowly trickled down the bulbous darkened head. My tongue involuntarily jutted across my lips as I thought of tasting his come. My action didn't go unmissed. "I'd hate to disappoint a lady." Cmdr. Taco said sneering on the word lady. Cmdr. Taco grabbed a handful of my hair. I watched as another glob dropped from his head and fell into the dark matted hair at the base of his penis. His rough jerk reminded me to pay attention to him, and I quickly moved where Cmdr. Taco directed. Cmdr. Taco violently towed my head upward. Staring directly into my eyes, Cmdr. Taco threatened, "Keep that cat tongue in your mouth, or I will teach you what real pain is about." I nodded my compliance. "Say it!" Cmdr. Taco ground out impatiently.

"I'll...I'll keep my little cat tongue in my mouth." I promised.

"Yes, you will." Cmdr. Taco nodded. Instead of the licking and lapping up of used come that I craved, Cmdr. Taco held my head firmly between his hands and rubbed my face in the gooey remains of our release. The quickly cooling come coated my entire face. Cmdr. Taco dragged first one cheek then the other through the puddle of sperm. Then face first, up and down his spent cock. I felt it begin to harden beneath me. The temptation to open my mouth--to taste was so great that I clenched me jaw against it. More than the threatened pain, I didn't want to displease Cmdr. Taco. I wanted to please him more than I wanted to gratify my longing for come. I felt his seed spread through my eyebrows and eyelashes and begin to stiffen as it dried. The smell of his arousal was overwhelming, and I felt the familiar tightening in my body begin. When Cmdr. Taco was finally finished, Cmdr. Taco lifted me up into his arms. Cmdr. Taco smiled his satisfaction. "You look pretty covered in my come. I'll always remember you this way."

Irony (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746547)

A little bit of irony...the name of the paper reporting these abuses is the same name of one of the more dangerous chemicals found in pc's (mercury)

More ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746614)

Mercury is the most polluted of all the planets. Radiation levels on the surface are off the scale.

Maybe environmentalists ought to head over there to clean up the place.

I Have But One Word for Computer Recycling: (5, Funny)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746550)

eBay.

Re:I Have But One Word for Computer Recycling: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746809)

Give it to a school. Get the tax rebate.

Re:I Have But One Word for Computer Recycling: (1, Insightful)

monthos (591823) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747049)

unfortunatly, even schools dont have much to do with them, they take them, not realising there horribly outdated, and after someone realises it, they then throw them away or end up paying for it to be "recycled" . doesnt solve much of a problem at all.

P.S. This comes from a recently graduated student from a poor urban school district.....

Re:I Have But One Word for Computer Recycling: (5, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747060)

The schools don't want it. They buy Dell/IBM/Compaq PCs and have support contracts with those manufacturers. They also would also need to buy a license for Windows XP. Your license is non-transferable. What do they do when your PC's memory goes faulty? Who do they contact for a replacement? The fly-by-night Pricewatch vendor you bought it from? What are they going to use your Pentium 133 for, anyways? They're not going to be doing any physics simulations on it. You want to explain to them why they should make this the lone Linux PC in their entire computer lab? Especially after they see how horribly slow KDE runs with 32MB RAM and a 2MB video card that doesn't have XF86 4.x drivers...

Re:I Have But One Word for Computer Recycling: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4747068)

I agree that donating computers to schools is a great idea, at some point schools will have to discard old obsolete computers. The issue is how to safely dispose of those.

A friend of mine from China (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746552)

has a cousin who has some unpleasant health problems from living in a contaminated area where they do a lot of CPU recycling. It's a real disaster -- her cousin could tell you some stories, including the time that she found a piece of circuit board in her dinnertime meal (!).

Re:A friend of mine from China (5, Funny)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746711)

She wasn't having a bag of chips, was she? /me ducks.

Re:A friend of mine from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746750)

I knew a guy in Bangladesh who was pouring some water from his sink tap and a hard drive popped out. It shattered the glass in his hand and he required 30 or so stitches.

Re:A friend of mine from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746877)

Yeah right, your story is complete BS.

It makes no sense .. how can a peice of circuit board make it into her meal?

Yes I read the article, and no they arent stripping circuit boards in restaurants.

But *sigh* people will believe it.

China needs the money, once the economy develops these problems will go away.

You rather they starve to death like people in some of the african countries?

Re:A friend of mine from China (0, Redundant)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746976)

I had a cousin who had a friend whose housekeeper's wicked step mother once pooped out a bootlegged Star Wars DVD...two years before it was realeased.

Basement (5, Funny)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746553)

/me turns head and looks at pile of old cases, containing semi-working bits and bobs.

$30 a piece? Thats more then it'd cost to send them to a random address with no return address on.

MPAA anyone?

Re:Basement (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746580)

Why not just dump it on the curb for the trashmen to pick up? I got rid of a ton of old garbage that way. Broken monitors, an XT, old televisions that don't work anymore, my broken Vic20, etc. Just set the "good" stuff on top and 90% of the time the hillbillies in the pickup trucks come around and cart it off well before the morning trash pickup anyway. God only knows what they want with an old broken CGA monitor, but hey, at least it's out of my basement right?

Re:Basement (3, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746621)

You know they are goign to toss it on the side of the road somewhere else in an even more broken situation... Now lead and othe chemicals are in the ground thanks to oyur lazyness.

I support the idea of putting a small tax on new computers sold to pay for recycling the old ones. As much as it sucks it the only way we can pull this off.

Psst! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746650)

Lead and other chemicals are already in the ground.

It's called Nature.

Do you think that we get those things from magic poison fairies?

Re:Psst! (3, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746683)

Haha... ok so what your saying is we take the ground water and filter out the lead to use? Of course the elements exist but they are not in a position to hurt us. Your argument is basically that 99.9% of environmental scientists are totally off in thinking that chemicals getting dumped is a bad thing.

Re:Psst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746715)

Have yourself a good drink of water from your local unpolluted (by man) stream. Write back when your stomach unknots itself.

From dust we came, to dust we shall return. So the Bible says, and it still is news.

Obviously dumping chemicals in large masses is going to hurt the local environment, just as dumping a million gallons of water all at once on an area will kill everything living in an area. A random dead PC on the side of the road does nothing to the surrounding area except make it look a little less attractive. Some well-done spray painting of the case can alleviate that.

Re:Basement (3, Interesting)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746692)

the only problem with this is that taxes with a purpose for the most part very rarely do the intended job. Look at the lotto's education tax for example.

With all the billions in money the lotto has brought in - our schools in california are dilapidated pieces of shit.

I agree that the companies that make the crap should be responsible for ensuring that they get cleaned up properly - a "tax" (meaning that its actually legislated as a tax) is not the solution.

Rather the legislation should require the actual companies (like Intel) to start REAL clean-up programs and actually build facilities for reclaiming the toxics in their machines.

An the consumers should get *CREDIT* for returning machines to these facilities. not fucking taxed money that isnt going to do a damn thing in the first place.

Re:Basement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746969)

really? Cause of the lotto over here in new mexico, pretty much virtually anyone who wants a college education gets one for dirt cheap. They pay for tuition in-state a decent chunk of board. Like college enrollment went up by 33% when they implemented it.

Re:Basement (1)

merc_sa (35777) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746975)


I'd like the city to give me money for hauling away my garbage too, instead of charging me for each
trash can worth of stuff I throw away. The unfortunately fact is that, it cost money to take
care of these problem. If it's up to the corporations, it's cheaper for them to dump the
problem somewhere else than to take care of it. The key part is having "effective" and "smart" regulation.
Having no regulation simply mean a much more expensive problem down the road. The California idiocy with electricity should be a lesson in trusting the big corporation to do the right thing.

Re:Basement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746754)

What an idiot. Why should govt get involved and when have they done anything efficiently?

Cletus and Lerleen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746777)

90% of the time the hillbillies in the pickup trucks come around and cart it off well before the morning trash pickup anyway. God only knows what they want with an old broken CGA monitor, but hey, at least it's out of my basement right?

Cletus> Hey Lerleen! You might kin use this'n here at yourn job.

Lerleen> Naw, I already got a Mac.

Cletus> I guessen youse raht. (To Mac:) There ya go to waits for a woman o less discrimnatin taste.

What's even scarier... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746565)

Is how China is using the computers we ship over there!

It turns out they have a huge cyborg program in the works, and are literally turning their excess population in human/computer hybrids! They saw they Borg on Star Trek and were apparently quite impressed with their efficiency. Watch out! The Chinese Borg Army will be coming very soon!

Re:What's even scarier... (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746831)

A 286-based army scares me shitless.

Re:What's even scarier... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746897)

I am 7 of 8.999932. You will be assimilated. Resistance is A Fatal Exception has occurred at 0000:00000000 in win.exe. The current application will be terminated.

* Press any key to terminate the current application.
* Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart your computer. You will lose any unsaved information in all applications.

Press any key to continue _

BBC news links (3, Informative)

slug359 (533109) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746567)

Graphic article/pictures from the BBC:
article [bbc.co.uk] and in pictures [bbc.co.uk]

first ten thousand digits of pi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746569)

3.
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Re:first ten thousand digits of pi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746899)

Sorry, the 257th digit is incorrect it should be a 6.

Now you should know that Microsoft Calculator should't be used for complex calculations.

Thanks for your troll anyway.

what a great idea... (4, Funny)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746573)

Speaking of shipping problems somewhere else... can we ship the RIAA execs there too?

Exporting == solving (3, Flamebait)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746576)

We have a problem. It is pollution of our local environment by decomposing (!) computer parts. The solution is to get rid of those parts so that our own environment is not hurt.

Easiest solution: ship it somewhere else.

The countries that we ship these things to are HAPPY to take them. It makes them money and it gives them spare computer parts.

If you think that taking away another country's means of existence is the right thing to do, perhaps it's time to sign up at your local anarchist hovel for the spring trip to the WTO meeting.

Trade that is welcomed by both parties is not bad. Just because third party interlopers feel the need to stamp and huff about it, it doesn't mean that it should be done away with.

Re:Exporting == solving (1, Redundant)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746660)

And if your child was trying to chew on nails / [something pointy] for fun, would you let it find out for itself if it was harmful, or would you suggest a few alternatives for it?

Re:Exporting == solving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746670)

Many adults chew their nails. It may be a disgusting habit, but I fail to see how it would be harmful. Maybe if they choked on it...

Re:Exporting == solving (5, Insightful)

Ben Escoto (446292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746791)

Trade that is welcomed by both parties is not bad. Just because third party interlopers feel the need to stamp and huff about it, it doesn't mean that it should be done away with.
And if your child was trying to chew on nails / [something pointy] for fun, would you let it find out for itself if it was harmful, or would you suggest a few alternatives for it?
Your comparison to children is telling, because your argument, like many anti-trade arguments, rests on paternalism. It's common for first worlders to assume that they know better than the democratic governments elected by the people they are trying to help, or even the people themselves. Surprise, intelligence isn't limited to the rich. Poor people are often perfectly capable of evaluating the pros and cons of their own choices.

Re:Exporting == solving (2, Insightful)

dandelion_wine (625330) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747006)

What's telling is your use of the word "country" to describe who's happy about it. The country is... The government is... please. There are people making money off this and it's not the people knee-deep in toxic waste trying to feed themselves so they can live today only to die tomorrow.

WTF?! Just because a person has few options and takes what they can get doesn't mean they're HAPPY about it.

Re:Exporting == solving (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4747041)

A starving man given a Ritz cracker and a glass of water is HAPPY to receive it.

Just because you think you need a whole box and a six pack of Mountain Dew to make you happy doesn't negate his happiness.

The people who make the money are happy. The government is happy to tax them. The rest of the people are oblivious because they aren't knee deep in toxic waste, but knee deep in the rice paddies. And they are happy that their sons can get good jobs working in a company that trades with overseas companies in the U.S.

Perhaps it is you that needs to think a little harder.

BTW, what does dandelion wine taste like and where can one get it?

Re:Exporting == solving (5, Insightful)

gavinR (454878) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747019)

It's common for first worlders to assume that they know better than the democratic governments elected by the people they are trying to help, or even the people themselves. Surprise, intelligence isn't limited to the rich. Poor people are often perfectly capable of evaluating the pros and cons of their own choices.

While I agree with your assessment of his tone, you are mistaken in implying that "poor people" are the ones making the decisions regarding international trade. "Poor people" are not deciding to import the toxic electronic waste of first-world, but they are the ones who will be living and working with it. "The rich" who actually make these decisions will be far, far away.

The poster's analogy should have been something more along the lines of "If you saw an adult feeding nails (or other sharp things) to a child, should you do something about it?" While the comparison may use paternalistic terms, I don't believe that invalidates the analogy.

Re:Exporting == solving (4, Informative)

NanoProf (245372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747028)

Umm, mainland China is not democratic.

Re:Exporting == solving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746801)

You obviously didn't read the article, ObviousGuy.

Re:Exporting == solving (4, Insightful)

GT_Alias (551463) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746826)

Hmmm....so I guess you didn't look at this [bbc.co.uk] .

Happy to take them? I'd wager the general population has zero choice in the matter, it's the people who actually collect and keep the money that are "HAPPY" to make the trade. And its the people who take the money who don't give a damn how much mercury or lead seeps into the same water supply that drinking water is drawn from.

To make a blanket statement that these country's people are happy to take this junk from us -- for spare parts !?!?! -- is being incredibly ignorant of the problems this "welcomed" trade is causing for the general population.

Re:Exporting == solving (3, Interesting)

terraformer (617565) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746879)

No, in fact all it is doing is taking our problem and making it someone elses. I have two degrees in ES [terranovum.com] and have some knowledge on the subject. What happens is we send our old crap over to asia where a bunch of dirt poor people who pick through piles of smashed electronics for the precious metals. These piles are generally uncovered and on top of dirt. The process of smashing the electronics allows rain water to filter through the piles sending a toxic coctail leeching into the ground water. For the priviledge of having their ground water contaminated for centuries, they are paid pennies a day.
Exporting != solving.

Re:Exporting == solving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746920)

Environmental Science. Is that like "Homeopathic Medicine" or "Military Intelligence"?

A very sensible alternative... (2, Interesting)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746578)

refurbishment! [vnunet.com]

Why recyle... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746579)

... when we can ship them all to China? :-)

Get you're Karma (0, Offtopic)

blogan (84463) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746588)

Go to when the story was already published here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org] , take some of the good comments and paste them here. Be quick before others steal "your" comment.

Re:Get you're Karma (2, Informative)

HeavensTrash (175514) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746953)

Tech TV ran a great program on this some time ago.

Check it out here. [techtv.com]

A co-worker of mine has a friend in China, and it is something that he really takes seriously. He actually wrote an article in our IT newsletter a few months ago, talking about the waste that we dump into Asia. All sorts of countries are doing this. Companies are paying to dump this junk off to the cheapest landfill. It is sick. It is something that we need to take seriously. Large ships take this stuff to Asia every day.

I also read that there are start-up companies that are trying to take this stuff and dismantle it properly. Recycling this stuff, and appropriately preventing serious toxic hazards.

The first way to start is simple... Don't throw this stuff into the trash. Landfills are becoming full of this stuff. Donate working computer stuff, or try to find a suitable recycling facility. It is important to realize that this can be done with all electronics [recycle.net] .

Mercury News! (2, Funny)

taliver (174409) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746593)

How ironic is that?

More irony (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746955)

The editor of that paper's favorite writer is Hg Wells

Recycle PC's? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746595)

Yeah, we recycle PC's sir! *Takes old 486 DX2, reformats, slaps win 3.1x back on it, and slaps "$39.99 starter computer!" on it.*

It's sad, really (2)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746601)

We exploit them to create these devices and pollute their country when we are finished with them. I really despise what the world has become, despite all the wonderful advances we have made. I hope this is just a speedbump in our progress as human beings.

speed bump (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746720)

squirrels - natures' little speed-bunps

reduce REUSE recycle (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746607)

After trolling my local recycling drive, I came away with a 19" Dell monitor, a couple PII laptops, and other juicy stuff.

There were even a few resellers picking through the scrap as well.

One man's trash...

it's all a sham (2, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746619)

This is pretty heinous, if you ask me. Any time a business takes your money in exchange for some service and then doesn't follow through, an injustice is done. While this doesn't compare to that crematorium owner in Georgia who just dumped bodies in the woods, it is something to be upset over.

It's a great irony, though, that what is eventually done with these recycled computers is much "greener" than actually recycling them would be. Computer equipment is made from minerals and rare Earth metals such as silicon, glass, and copper, not to mention metal for cases. Recycling them involves separating and molding them into new shapes, which is an involved and energy-demanding process that necessarily creates pollution. The raw materials to build these goods from scratch, however, are often mined from the ground, and if the used products are placed in landfills, that's exactly to where they'll return.

While it's atrocious that companies should mislead their customers like this, I'm thankful that in this case the Earth is the greatest beneficiary.

Speaking of recycling... (4, Insightful)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746620)

I remember reading about this here in August [slashdot.org] .

- A.P.

Solution (1)

iomega (470848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746623)

Aside from letting all the crap pile up in ur garage, you can donate ur old machine to any number of institutions,, although i know my old school stopped taking crap after people started unloading piles of 486's

Re:Solution (2)

hopbine (618442) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746802)

When the schools have finished with them, then where do they go ?

Re:Solution (1)

iomega (470848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746896)

my school had a windtunnel/hangar complex for building small scale airplanes,

they all went in their,,
air hangar filled with 486's = free keyboards and ram keychains

Obviously this is not an ideal solution.. (4, Interesting)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746633)

.. but what is?

What can we do to eliminate the problem, or, at the very least, tone the issue down a little?

The hardware in question is either too far beyond repair, or to old to serve a useful purpose, so is it best to approach this from a toxic waste disposal point of view, slap an extra $100 onto the cost of your new PC, and treat old computing gear like medical/chemical waste?

One Big Freaking Missile (4, Funny)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746635)

I've always said we should just pack our garbage into a missile and fire it at the sun, and it seems like an even better solution now.

Some may say that the problems of the missile exploding and reigning fire and computers upon people is bad, but just think about it. If that thing explodes over your neighborhood. BAM! Computers for everone on the block.

Re:One Big Freaking Missile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746781)

I bet we have so much garbage that if we did unload it all into space, we'd have 20 hour days.

There is Money to Be Made (5, Insightful)

pgrote (68235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746636)

Nothing has changed since the last time this was brought up or the time before that.

People need to understand that the countries that these parts are shipped to either A) Want them. B) Don't care about the damage they do.

I read the article, but there are no new insights into this at all. Take this quote for instance:

"``I don't know yet if I like this work,'' said Li, 30, who had been on the job about one month. ``But back home there are no jobs. There is no money. There is nothing to do.''"

That is the plain and simple truth to this. There is a market for this crud. They are making money by doing it. Is it the most healthy way of doing it? More than likely not, but it is a way to make money.

Someone needs to publish that link about the place in India that takes apart oil tankers. Big Karma boost in that.

Re:There is Money to Be Made (1)

monadicIO (602882) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746724)

People need to understand that the countries that these parts are shipped to either A) Want them. B) Don't care about the damage they do.

This is too simplistic a view to take about the situation. You cannot make a collective judgement about the whole country. There are opportunists in the third world. There are worse opportunists in the first world who are willing to fsck up land/air as long as it is not their own. No country willingly wants someone else's trash. If there were riskless money to be made out of it, people would be doing it here in the first world itself, not sending it there.

The people who do this work don't do it because they "Dont care about the damage they do", but because they're not literate and hence uninformed to make a sensible decision, and too poor to have a choice to make a decision in the first place.

There will always be market for crud. Similarly, there will always be market for cocaine. That does not justify making it and shipping it there.

There is History Channel to Be Watched (1)

narftrek (549077) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746785)

quote
Someone needs to publish that link about the place in India that takes apart oil tankers. Big Karma boost in that.
end quote;

Someone has been watching History Channel lately haven't we?

Re:There is Money to Be Made (0)

jman11 (248563) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746800)

Of course money is the most important thing and as long as someone is making money somewhere it makes it a good idea.

In fact we should all be ashamed that we aren't actively supporting this brilliant money making scheme. We could bring the 3rd world out of it's economic malaise.

The short sightedness of this approach (common to amost things based on someone's making money - so shut up.) might possibly be a problem. Or in fact that we do share one planet and should take a measure of responsability for the continued well being of it.

As for the article holding anything news worthy, you are completely correct. It is not new, but that doesn't mean it isn't a problem.

Polution No good, Jobs Very good (2, Insightful)

lrslrslrs (621601) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746653)

He does have a few good points about the polution. However he is very wrong about the 17 cents an hour worker. That is a good paying job for that region of the world.

If you work in Hickville, IA and get $35,000 a year that is a good paying job. Get that much in Cali and you are very near poverty. It is all a matter of cost of living per region. C'mon guys this is basic economics.

Re:Polution No good, Jobs Very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746964)

Ya and the standard of living is really the same....

That may be a good paying job in that region of the world but that doens't mean he's gonna have a nice apartment and big SUV and a playstation 2.

More like he'll have a tin shack and some raw vegetables and rice for dinner.

The "but 17 cents an hour is a good wage for them!" is such utter bullshit.

Ya when you live in a tin shack and eat nothing but rice and water ya it costs a lot less than a loft in downtown san fransisco!

DUH.

Re:Polution No good, Jobs Very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746978)

Better raw vegetables and rice than rocks and dirt.

No computer should be thorown away (1)

pardasaniman (585320) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746658)

Even 386s can be a a dumb terminal in a school network of a third world country. It is essential that computers be donated. One man's bother, is another man's gold.

Re:No computer should be thorown away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746814)

I read that as "One man's brother..."

It's a bigger problem (4, Informative)

drmofe (523606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746662)

Here's another part of the problem: [eurekalert.org]

Incremental upgrading is part of the drive that keeps the marketing-PR-coup of Moore's Law running.

I just finished a book chapter entitled "The Leapfrog Effect" that details some of the ways in which developing nations HAVE to run their technology into the ground before upgrading. They can't afford to make the incremental steps. In fact, as it turns out, neither can the so-called "developed world" - they just hide many of the true costs.

Upgrade when you have to, not just because you are bored and there's a new game out that needs incrementally better hardware.

STF

"The Leapfrog Effect" is a chapter in: Managing Globally with Information Technology (Sherif Kamel, ed). IDEA Group Publishing (in press)

Recycle... harness power... (2, Insightful)

tgrotvedt (542393) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746673)

In rural areas, I know alot of people that get truckloads of 486's and such, and then network them together running open source Unices.

With 3 486's and some RAM, it is easier than you think to put together a lightning fast X server and workstation. These machines can do real work...

Perhaps the emphasis should be on re-use before shifting to recycle. There are upstart geeks all over the place that have no money... and in other news Mr Smith just threw out a Pentuim I PC, or a Mac Quadra....

Re:Recycle... harness power... (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746691)

So you're advocating Beowulf clusters? /me coughs, muttering something about smoke from burning karma

Give them away (2, Insightful)

Hanji (626246) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746674)

I usually just give my old computers away somewhere -- what us geeks consider horribly slow and outdated can still be very useful to other people who can't afford/don't need state-of-the-art machines. What they do with them one they truely die, I don't know.

Re:Give them away (1)

mpchatty (622391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746774)

I normally manage to find some use for an old machine (hence why my flat houses four computers in the airing cupboard!). Should I ever find myself with something I can't use, I'd certainly give it away (after trying to sell it on e-bay, of course)!

Someone is bound to have a use for those CPU cycles, even if only to donate them to Seti@Home or D.Net!

e-waste?? (2, Funny)

the_real_tigga (568488) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746696)

I must be dreaming.

The person responsible for that word should be electrocuted right now.

Oh well, at least I know how to call that stuff in the recycle bin on my desktop.

Re:e-waste?? (1)

espresso_now (219443) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746804)

The person responsible for that word should be electrocuted right now.

Don't you mean e-lectrocuted??

thief (1)

the_real_tigga (568488) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746891)

you stole my .sig

I feel very angry and depressed now. Perhaps I should break one of your toys.

We've been over this before... (2)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746710)

...and whether it's batteries in Bangalore or PC's in Punguyng, the 3rd world is paying the price for our conspicuous consumption. This story has been battered around before, and I'm afraid it's just not news any longer.

But they are being recycled overseas (1)

qwijibrumm (559350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746723)

The problem is not simply being shipped overseas. The PCs are being shipped overseas to be recycled. Recycling of paper, metal, and obviously PCs is not a clean process. Hazardous wastes are produced and such. But, when regulated properly, it is cleaner than pulling up virgin resources. These recycling facilities in China are obviously not being regulated properly.

Despite what you may have been taught in grade school, we can't just recycle our all resources and all our problems will go away. We have to re-use our components as well, that produces no waste.

Donate your hardware instead (2, Interesting)

alue (253363) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746745)

Instead of recycling your old pc hardware, donate [worldcompu...change.org] it instead through the World Computer Exchange [worldcompu...change.org] . Hardware donations are a real boon to the people (especially children) of third world countries. Projects like the Goa Schools Computers Projects [goasudharop.org] and the Digital Equalizer Initiative [digitalequalizer.org] help provide the less fortunate w/such hardware and train them to use it, too. The DEI also accepts donations [digitalequalizer.org] .

Re:Donate your hardware instead (2)

alue (253363) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746797)

Sorry I forgot to include a description of just what they do. From the WCE website:

"World Computer Exchange (WCE) is a global nonprofit organization committed to helping the world's poorest youth bridge the disturbing global divides in information, technology and understanding. WCE does this by keeping donated PCs, Macs, and Laptops out of landfills and giving them new life connecting youth to the Internet in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. WCE leverages the resources of businesses, strategic allies, volunteers, schools, and their community service programs to help WCE partners to prepare and train the schools, teachers, and students they recruit to use the Internet as a bridge to information, resources, educational materials, and new opportunities."

The DEI is one of the subprojects:

"The Digital Equalizer Project is a project to bring together US and Indian organizations working to promote the use of Information &Communications Technology in India."

I feel bad some days. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746769)

This is going to sound really odd, but I sincerly feel bad some days for the fact that I tread so heavily on the earth (not weight morons, enviormentally).

I feel bad about the fact that I generate trash with everything I do. I want to go completely paperless, because I don't like the idea of killing the rainforest for paper. I know that some cutting in forests is actually good for the forest, but few loggers do that.
Even if I didn't use paper, I still get things in the mail, I have packaging, etc...
My computers, my music equipment, my house, my car (esp my car), generate waste.
Even the food I eat, I consider waste. I want to be a vegitarian some days, just because of enviormental impact of hog farms, overfishing, etc... I would like to be in touch with the earth more- kinda of like how you think of indians (opps, native americans), of being.
You may ask, well why don't you. It's because I can't. I am in college. I live in Boston (well in 6 days I do). I can't plant myself a garden. I can't rid myself of paper. I can't use solar/wind/geothermal power in my apartment. I know that there are little things that I can do, and I do those, but it feels small in comparison. Well, at least I won't have my car in Boston, so the T should save some energy somewhere. Does anyone else feel bad about their impact on the enviorment? I am not an activist, just a concerned person. Even if something actually doesn't 'impact' something drastically, I still feel bad for that disruption.

How to help the environment if you don't know how (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746841)

1) Shit on people's lawns or park greens. The phosphates in your feces is like caviar to the grass. Smear it in so that it is spread over a larger area than a simple block of poop.
2) Wear hemp clothes, and nothing but. Every other type of material has massive environmental or negative social effects. Wearing hemp is the only way to prevent the killing of animals, exploitation of children, or processing of oil to make plastic. As an added benefit, when you get cold in the winter, you can burn your clothes and get a nice high from the smoke.
3) Shoot yourself in the head in a wide open field. Do it naked so that you aren't returning nasty chemicals back into the environment (if you are following rule 2, you can disregard the admonishment to be naked! :-).

Yes, you too can help the world! The power is yours!

Re:I feel bad some days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746871)

So, basically, you're moving to Boston.

Interesting anecdote (5, Interesting)

no_such_user (196771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746854)

I called Dell a few days ago looking to get pricing information. It turns out, with their low-end offering in the Dimension line, you can choose Wordperfect Office, MS Office SBE, or MS Office Pro -- bt not MS Works. On a low-end PC. WTF?

So I called Dell, asking if they could override this and somehow install Works. The rep said: "No." I said "No big deal I guess. I have Office 97 Pro from an old PC which I can install instead." This got him revved up.

Rep: "Well, sir, that's not legal."

Even after explaining that I bought this product at a retail store, and told him that the old PC was being tossed because it was no longer working, I could hear that he still wanted to lecture me.

So I reiterated, "I'm literally throwing out this computer because it doesn't work -- my license therefore is unused, and I can install it on my new PC, right?"

Rep: "That's illegal. Throwing away a PC is illegal. You might be able to see if someone would take it for parts if you gave them $30 or $40, but you can't just throw it away. You might be able to ask the manufacturer to take it back."

I did know this already, and had planned to bring it to my local waste facility for recycling.

But here's the punchline...

Me: "It's a Dell. Will you take it back?"
Rep: "No."

Re:Interesting anecdote (2)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746942)

We need a +1 (Sad) moderation.

Typical Yanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746865)

At least this is better than your usual export ... bombs.

Re:Typical Chinks (1)

rhodesbe (614799) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747067)

At least we don't crash our fighter planes into your recon planes and then blame it on you! AND then keep your crew "as guests"! AND make you take apart your plane and remove it in crates! AND make you apologize for flying over international waters. AND chain members of falun gong onto railroad ties and make a bonfire out of them in Red Square! ROTFLMAO

For those of you new here... (4, Interesting)

bedessen (411686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746868)

This meme seems to come up every so often on slashdot. For previous discussions, take your pick:

Unintended Results From U.S. Hardware Dumps In Asia [2/25/02] [slashdot.org]

China Bans U.S. Electronic Scrap [6/1/02] [slashdot.org]

Recycling The First World, in the Third [8/23/02] [slashdot.org]

I seem to recall all of these had the usual accompanying photojournalism showing women picking through bushels of desolderied TTL gates and such.

(I'm not saying this is a dupe, I'm just pointing out previous discussions.)

Nothing new... and it's not just computers (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4746870)

I'm not in the least bit surprised, having read a few court transcripts of cases against recycling firms.

Make no mistake, waste disposal is about big bucks. For many materials such as chemical waste, waste oil, contaminated soil, and manufactured products such as computers, batteries and cars, the costs for recycling are enormous. Consumers, governments and environmentally-conscious firms know this, but are still often willing to pay the hefty disposal fees.

Enter the recycling company. They'll take your toxic waste in exchange for your dollars... and now they have a choice. They can actually dispose of the waste properly while making a small profit, or just dump it somewhere and make a ton of money. So, the oil ends up in the sea, the chemicals are dumped somewhere in Poland, the contaminated soil is diluted with good soil and used in horse riding arena's. The computers end up in China where the valuable items are salvaged by less-than-clean methods.

With the great anounts of money to be made in recycling by sweeping waste under the rug, it is no surprise criminal organisations have taken an interest, and are at least partly involved in a number of recycling firms. In Holland, reputed to be an environmentally conscious country, none of the larger recycling firms has clean hands, and have used any and all of the above methods to cheaply get rid of waste. It's not just the computers, people.

welcome to capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746884)

What did you expect? Sheesh.

I mean let's not be naive now.

To Capitalists the environment is a unproftiable nuisance...well unless it's chock full o' oil.

The environment will always get destoyed under capitalism so get used to it.

I mean you don't wanna give up your "god given" right to drive a oil guzzlin' SUV and your produced in a sweatshop on the land where a rainforect used to be basketball sneakers and your (long list of pointless crap big media made you think you need).......

What is up with Slashdot? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4746966)

Stop recycling old news. This story is getting old. Rather than rigurgitating old news, how about providing a solution in thought!

Are we causing these nations to accept our waste? (2)

StArSkY (128453) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747007)

The reason why these countries take the waste and dispose of it poorly may be a little less obvious than you might think. The first step in economic growth and prosperity for a country like China (or Bangladesh for that matter) is agricultural production. They will make cotton and clothing, or wheat and grains. They can do this cheaper than anyone else because their labour costs are low. They export it to rich countries and that money they receive increases their standards of living.

Unfotunately the US (and Europe) is preventing the poorest nations on earth from entering the Agricultural market (remember agricultural export is the first step to development) because they have MASSSIVE subsidies on farm products and clothing.

Taking waste from industrialised nations will be the next big export (in effect) for these countries as they have been prevented from making a sustainable living in agriculture. We are driving them to accept our waste because we are protecting inefficient local industries.

An important thing to note here. I think the WTO is a good thing! The WTO is all about stopping these stupid agricultural sibsidies, so that countries like China can export their goods to the world. In turn that will mean they won't take our waste (because they won't need to). In the end that will force us to deal with our own waste problems! Unfortunately (AGAIN) the US and Europe talk about free trade only when it is in their best interests. When they realise that subsidies only hurt the poorest nations, and adjust their local industries accordingly, the world we be much better for these poor nations. The suffereing in the US and Europe will only be temporary. A few farmers will either need to improve the way they work to be MORE COPETITIVE or find a new career. This really is only a short term problem.

An example of a country doing the right thing in this area is Australia. They have come out this month and said they will abolish subsidies on imports from the 50 poorest nations on earth. At the same time local recylcing [aiia.com.au] of things like IT equipment is starting to happen.

Some of the consequences is they are paying sugar farmers to change industries. Get out of the sugar industry. "We are not competitive. There is too much sugar in the world." The farmers get payed to find a new career.

Hang on a minute... this can be a Win-Win situation !!!

What REALLY needs to happen... (1)

Obliterous (466068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747017)

Is for someone with a bit of cash to get all of this old hardware collected together, and start building a beawulf cluster of massive proportions. Seriously. Even older p100's and such could contribute cycles to the monster machine. I figure that with a year's worth of colecting older and discarded pc's, you'd have the largest collection of proccessing power in the world...

And if people would actually ship the hardware in, it'd probably be the cheapest as well...

Call it the Green Resurection.

I'll co-ordinate the building of the monster, if someone will donate space and operating capital...

My experiences in China (1, Offtopic)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747022)

I'm really not surprised by this -- those Chinese who so wholeheartedly jump on the opportunity to contribute to their own environmental decay. I'm an American businessman in the import- export business, so as you might guess, my frequent travels take me to many places around the world, on every continent. Anyhow, I wanted to share my experience in the "great" country of China, in the very part described by the article.

So, I was in Shenzhen China last December for about a week on business. A bit of background: Shenzhen, like Hong Kong and a few other places, is a "Special Economic Zone" that the Chinese government set up to try and give foreigners the illusion that China really ISN'T a drab, decaying fascist state that's economically languishing behind the rest of the world. Here, rules are relaxed and capitalism is encouraged, not surppressed. Well, let me tell you this, if this is China's best, then I'd hate to see the worst.

Anyways, when I stepped off the train from Hong Kong (which was no paradise itself, as that place has gone down the shitter since the Brits left) I was shocked. The whole place smelled like a combination of vomit and dog shit that had been left out in the sun for a day or so. And it was probably BECAUSE there was vomit and dog shit all over. I almost retched, and I've certainly been in some sketchy places in my travels but NOTHING like this.

People spit everywhere. Trash litters the streets. I found myself looking DOWNWARD much more than looking FORWARD when I walked.

Noise pollution is endemic. It doesn't help that their infernal language consists of abrupt rapid fire tones that is a cacophony for any human ear to bear. How do they speak and listen to that shit without going crazy all day long is beyond me.

Anyways, Chinamen stink -- literally. There is no concept of personal hygiene whatsoever. Meetings with even top officials were hourlong sessions of having to endure hot sweaty bodies and rancid breath eminating from mouths missing a few teeth. Geez, at least use deodorant for crying out loud.

The hypocrisy, corruption, and double-standards from the highest levels of government on over are the norm at the same time China opens up to the world. Foreigners get charged as much as five times for transportation, lodging, food, and everything else.

Traffic is horrible. Rules are non-existent except for at traffic lights: red means to go fast, green means to go REALLY REALLY fast.

The Chinese people themselve are pretty apathetic and everyone just wants to get out of that hell hole, so you see smuggling rings shipping people out hidden in truck beds and ships, all too often with tragic results.

The whole country, in my assessment is a lost case. Even the cheap labor can be found in Southeast Asia or Mexico. Same goes for pirated stuff -- SE Asia and Eastern Europe will keep on churning them out.

Anyways, the one redeeming quality were the girls. I paid 100 yuan (about $12 US) for a great fuck, with a 16 year old who seemed quite new and "unblemished" if you get my drift. Boy, was she tight, made all the right noises, sucked and fucked all night long and let me cum all over her. Much better than even the vaunted Thai whores, and worlds apart from anything in Las Vegas or in Europe. Best bargain I have EVER found in my life!

So yeah, screw the hell hole that's China. It's a lost cause of a country suspsended by a hollow facade of so-called new capitalism that's just show more than anything.

Uh???? (1)

gt25500 (622543) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747057)

What about all the software loaded on these machines? I recall reading on a M$ EULA that exporting the software is illegal. Isn't that the same for some hardware too?

How much would Saddam pay for a tip like this?

Note: I don't support terrorism, they are getting Windows 95!

When is a computer not useful!? (4, Insightful)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4747058)

I'd take any old computer! As long as it's a 486 or higher, it's still useful. Especially to a geek! Or give it to your child. Or just put it somewhere and use it as a typewriter. Or a print server. Or a regular ol' server. Or a file server. Or a router. Or a dildo. Er...maybe not the last one...but you catch my drift.
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